Category Archives: Poetry

Standard Oil by Gary Duehr

Old Standard Oil service station with two men standing out front
 

There’s nothing here to see. Relax. Beside a Coke machine, a guy who acts As if he’s in a movie Puffs on a Marlboro Light. It’s moody; Nothing’s happening except For blue sky, gas pumps, asphalt. Here’s the precept: “Nothing comes from nothing” (Lear) If there’s no plot, no drama here, Then what is there to witness Other than the act of witnessing? Unless: Like Ruscha’s oil of LA’s County Museum on fire, His Standard Station goes up as well, higher And higher the orangish flames, the pall of smoke— A kind of art world … Continue reading Standard Oil by Gary Duehr

The Only Version by Michael Olenick

A tram speeding down a blurred narrow street
 

The only version of us that remains are the nightly replicas that appear randomly as my sole consolation prize. Last night we visited a country that was a cross between Costa Rica and Switzerland. After a walk through the banana forests of Zurich, we could not remember where the car was parked, and as we searched, the streets got narrower and narrower and through a sunlit slash at the end of the road we saw our children on a passing tram. They were somehow older than us, and were trying to brush Lindt off a … Continue reading The Only Version by Michael Olenick

Dead Men Missing Women by Nate Braeuer

Man and Woman from the knees down, striped cat between them.
 

Men in oiled slacks come shuffling down the mount in droves. Combed in purple milk the sky rolls up like bad reception                                       quaking clear from gaveled hits. Dead to hover sun-gray deserts. Hardened skins that settle in the darker crease of echoed canyons.              Dusting fields in phantom scrimmage.              Threading creeks up meadow’s twilight.              Wingtips rippling through the surface. … Continue reading Dead Men Missing Women by Nate Braeuer

Alan’s Odyssey by Sharon Hostler

Photo looking out over fields
 

69 Killed on Eastern Jet in a Crash near Charlotte New York Times,September 12, 1974 Like Odysseus, you sail the ocean in howling winds. No arm chair academic in corduroys, you are my red-bearded oceanographer in foul weather neoprene. Like Odysseus, challenged by Poseidon, far from the home fires of Ithaca, you, too, are tempted to taste the water nymph’s petals, but unlike Odysseus, you do not fall out, drugged and dreaming. Like Penelope with sulking Telemachus, I have little ones and sick patients. But, I have no need to pass the shuttle. No need … Continue reading Alan’s Odyssey by Sharon Hostler

Days like Clouds by Greg Luce

Waterfall over mossy rocks
 

Low clouds and the slate- colored river glimpsed through the trees, the train jolts into the day. A day like this compresses your thoughts into scraps, I said. One day’s like any other, they flicker along silver like that river, she said. Until the water breaks around rocks or heaves up with tidal surge, I said. The water marries the clouds, they billow along together, she said. Lead on lead, I said. Look at the clouds again, she said. Look at the water. Gregory Luce, author of Signs of Small Grace (Pudding House Publications), Drinking … Continue reading Days like Clouds by Greg Luce

Where Does Sorrow Take You? and Barred, 2 poems by Martha Snell

Two chairs at dusk overlooking a dark mountain range
 

Where Does Sorrow Take You? Three of us sprawled on the carpet aisle six of Barnes and Noble, Self-Help section after Religion, before Psychology. To my side a shopping bag of new dresses nestled in black. We are looking for an atlas, a guide to where one goes when the father dies, when a husband’s suddenly gone. No maps here. Neither in Travel. We sit closer on this journey than in recent years. We look into each other’s faces, we listen without interruption. Between us there is comfort, there are answers. Barred She arrives in … Continue reading Where Does Sorrow Take You? and Barred, 2 poems by Martha Snell

The Pines and Finish Line, 2 poems by Frank William Finney

Photo of pines against clouded sky
 

The Pines Behind Snow Drive, rusty needles led to a pine grove, where we made little circles with dirty rocks and lit little fires with matches lifted from the corner store. These days the pines that survive make little circles of shade in a trail of three-car garages and realtors’ signs. The old store stays open in our heads. Finish Line The knees will need braces. The bones rebel. The memory turn traitor: rust to dust. Hoops and hurdles. Heartbreak Hills. Fast as a mayfly or slow as a sermon. Either way, you’ll finally cross … Continue reading The Pines and Finish Line, 2 poems by Frank William Finney

While I Waited There by J.R. Solonche

Photo of people in airport
 

While I waited there in the terminal at Newark, I spotted something out of the corner of my eye. It was a bird flying back and forth along the ceiling, and because I was in an airline terminal, I thought a small ironic thought and smiled a small ironic smile and made a mental note to write a small ironic poem later, but just then another passenger turned to her companion and said, Look at that bird flying around trying to get out, and her companion turned to her and said, No, I don’t think … Continue reading While I Waited There by J.R. Solonche

Peace Offering and Bridges, 2 poems by Kevin Pilkington

Photo of busy city street
 

Peace Offering I still don’t know what to do with the jacket hanging in my closet. It’s not that old but like a Brautigan novel is out of fashion. Maybe it all comes down to math and how for the first time in my life I understand subtraction. After losing two close friends, a number that never seemed large is now a mountain. Of course raw fish has always been worth the risk and my last job offer was not. The same tall priest in a black suit I’ve seen a few times on the … Continue reading Peace Offering and Bridges, 2 poems by Kevin Pilkington

To Plane by Jacqueline Henry

old 1900 photograph of a boy planing a piece of wood
 

I think about the word plane as my daughter sands the picnic table, a task she takes on every summer, earbuds in, goggles on, the sander whizzing as it strips off layers of stain. A plane flies overhead. Biplane. Some words and sounds put me into other places, her planing wood, the biplane planing the sky mowing through layers of space and time as she orbits the wood, navigating deeper into another place—another plane—of existence beneath the sawdust, banking and gliding as the globe turns, her body mirroring the motion in the sky. Jacqueline Henry … Continue reading To Plane by Jacqueline Henry