Category Archives: Poetry

Here is a Paring Knife, Here is the Metaphor and Not that I am Desperate, 2 poems by Michael Milligan

Photo of watermelon slice and knife
 

Here Is the Paring Knife, Here Is the Metaphor to cut the damaged parts away. So bruised and all. Peeling the flesh of the torturer you become of yourself. Here is the skin off your hand. The skin off your back. The delaminated rind of your life. Have you noticed how we tend to avoid poetic mention of these things by their names: Birth. Life. Love. Death. Pile up a few metaphors, that’s the standard prescription. A glimpse for a moment before the blinds are drawn. Pretending to look at the sun, at the face … Continue reading Here is a Paring Knife, Here is the Metaphor and Not that I am Desperate, 2 poems by Michael Milligan

Incandescence and I am an Onion, 2 poems by Priscilla Melchior

Photo of blurred hanging lights
 

Incandescence Few will understand. Light bulbs, for heaven’s sake. But I was awash the night I found spares waiting to meet my need and remembered when need was swallowed by the dark. My little stash of lumens in flimsy boxes leaned in tilted testament to the day shadow vanished from my life and I fairly danced to the lamp to replace the dead gray globe and twirl in luminescent grace. Even now, I rejoice anew not when a light dims, but when I reach out knowing another waits to shine. I am an onion but … Continue reading Incandescence and I am an Onion, 2 poems by Priscilla Melchior

Liquid Bandage by Michele Riedel

white bandaid against pale blue background
 

Brush a thin film over the slit on your papered skin— ………..feel the throbbing start to numb. Shields against……………………………..daily scrapes ……………………………………………………blisters and callouses ……………………………………………………prickles ……………………………………………………exposed nerves I scan directions for protection from…………………………….splintered remarks lodged so deep they remain hidden until the skin regenerates……………….pushing the sharpness slowly ……………………………………………………toward the surface Search for……………………………………toxic comments from others …………………………………………………..places not yet recovered …………………………………………………..pummeled layers from sharp tongues turned red to purple to blue to yellow from deep tissues that ooze their spew. Scars that never faded, alleyways from the past. My palms sweat as I touch the thick callouses … Continue reading Liquid Bandage by Michele Riedel

Some Day We Will Replace That Hideous Window by Virginia Watts

thin stemmed yellow daisies
 

  My mother has forgotten about the sun Her gaze gauzy, living room window a bay shape she has always detested Here comes the mailman My father is in the Rehab Center Our king and conqueror of transient ischemic attacks Your father’s strokes are just mini strokes Stacked in a corner of oil stained garage Forest green plastic lawn chairs unparted for cobwebby eons Virginia, what are you doing out there? On the small concrete front porch of that one bath, three bedroom rancher I place two empty chairs in the sunshine as white spiders … Continue reading Some Day We Will Replace That Hideous Window by Virginia Watts

On Marriage to a Statue by Emily Bornstein

Photo of statue
 

I could have stayed married to David if he wasn’t so unwaveringly chiseled. If his deceptively supple face wasn’t so perfectly defined. If Michelangelo could have given me a dress that was low-cut, a dress that would force David’s undulating cliffs of eternal gray hair to turn and fly rebelliously (momentarily) from the craggy sides of his head. Alas, I have no such dress (but rather, baggy plaid pajama pants that some dancers shot off the stage at a bar mitzvah) and I figure that even a silvery ball gown couldn’t turn me tamed and … Continue reading On Marriage to a Statue by Emily Bornstein

History Lesson by Susan Muse

Photo of bell in hole in wall
 

  Clouds flatten against a gray sky and cover what had once been the color of bluebonnets only a moment ago. Suddenly rain begins washing the windshield as we turn and head for Houston. Earlier, in San Antonio the sun squatted down to squeeze the breath from my chest, like smoking my first Luck Strike at 10. We had hidden from it in the quiet cool of the mission and ran our hands over rough rock, cracked like old bones or parched earth. its Spanish tiles were the color of canyons and hills that round … Continue reading History Lesson by Susan Muse

Portraiture and Man’s Man, 2 poems by Arnie Yasinski

Two girls, covering each other's eyes
 

PORTRAITURE Our dinner ends with watching Portrait Artist of the Year. For Adele likeness is all, while I focus on the how of its attainment. Beginnings proliferate and lead on to ever more various results. Yellow ochre ground and raw ochre outline of head and face; detailed sketches in pencil; a renaissance grid filled in from a polite iPad closeup. After the basics, most build slowly. I admire the painterly souls who stand back for each stroke, loading the brush then contemplating placement for long moments before leaning in with deliberateness and intention not mine. … Continue reading Portraiture and Man’s Man, 2 poems by Arnie Yasinski

Escalation by Claire Scott

Photo of woman walking dog
 

I am so sick of walking past the cute little signs that say please clean up after your dog. really? do we want our ivy, our pachysandra, our Vinca covered in pee and poop? do we want our perfectly manicured lawns used as toilets? no possible way to clean up all the mess with a plastic bag what about Keep Your Canine Off My Grass You Dimwit or No Pooping on my Property Under Penalty of Perjury I yell at my frowsy neighbor, who insists her stupid, practically legless dog prefers my ground cover, won’t … Continue reading Escalation by Claire Scott

A Chisel and a Rock and Losing Control, 2 poems by Annie Breitenbucher

Close up photo of a statue
 

  A Chisel and a Rock They say He created heaven, earth, and mystery: The jungle lion’s guttural roar The celestial twinkling of stars Tell me Where is your soul? And does it move with you like the moon—quarter, half, full of grief and gratitude? Tell me Who created your Creator? And, does He see the tiny grain of your face? Tell me Did He tell you What purpose you serve? What fever you can cure? Or, did He leave you here with the riddle, a chisel, and a rock? Losing Control It was the … Continue reading A Chisel and a Rock and Losing Control, 2 poems by Annie Breitenbucher

Tender by Sara Dovre Wudali

curved pale green fern in sunllight
 

My friend looks like he stands tall and straight. But for fifty years, he’s lived in his brain. He can’t bear you to know he can’t bear his body. Hidden inside, a fiddlehead, curled to protect a tender secret it’s not in vogue to keep. After the death of one parent’s wits and another parent’s heart, he tries on the latest fashion. But bravery carries a price his sister makes him pay. And with half a century of silence, his fetal back is broken. Unfurling is nothing but pain. Sara Dovre Wudali is a writer … Continue reading Tender by Sara Dovre Wudali