Tag: poetry

Mummy

By: Marie-Andree Auclair

My first mummy,
I stared at so long
my father wondered
where I was.
He did not see

I was with herin the glass cage
sitting compact
arms holding my knees
staring back.

What had they done to me
that I lingered undissolved
leather on stone
prisoner of time
not allowed to fade?

She found my dreams.
We ran on the sand of her river
wove baskets in the reeds
laughed, rarely disobeyed.
In the dark, I feared her
loneliness matched mine.


Marie-Andree Auclair’s poems have appeared in many print and online literary publications such as Apeiron, Gravel Magazine, Canthius Literary Journal, Harpur Palate, The Windsor Review, The Maynard, Qwerty, filling Station, Contemporary Verse 2, Structo UK, HCE (IRL). Her chapbook, Contrails, was released by In/Words Magazine and Press/Ottawa. She lives in Canada and is working on another chapbook.

Denny’s Grand Slam Special

BY:Tatiana Forero Puerta

When I was little I thought people only died at night.

When death came for her at 4pm

the sun still shone blossoms pink

to velvet opening their tabernacle mouths

towards the sky, petals like hallelujah arms.

A bird on the windowsill stared in

opened its beak silent, unable to sing

the piercing song of our sorrow.

 

After they rolled her pale body away

there were enough hours left to keep living

like running in a dream where no matter

how fast your legs shuffle, you’re never moving:

we could get in a car, go grocery shopping,

play hide-n-seek scurrying behind the abandoned

cars on the lot off Concord Ave

but none of those things

were any longer real.

 

We went to Denny’s and ordered

The Grand Slam Special. Aunt Luz

told the waiter to bring extra orange juice

because our mother had just died.

 

With oversized forks we cut our pancakes

into little pieces without eating them,

watched the butter melt into the crevices of dough

and the syrup create a moat that also held our tears.


Tatiana Forero Puerta’s poetry has appeared in Able Muse, Literary Juice, Flock, Juked, and other publications. She is a 2017 recipient of the Pushcart Prize, a finalist in Brutal Nation Prize for Writers of Color, and a nominee for Best of the Net Anthology. Tatiana’s first full-length poetry collection was awarded finalist by Autumn House, Grayson Books, and Two Sylvias Press. She holds a BA from Stanford and MA from New York University. Originally from Bogotá, Colombia, Tatiana now lives and teaches in New York. For more information on her work, visit www.TatianaWriting.com.

How to Become a Poet

BY: Gillian Lee

one sunny day you
are working or weep
ing and the little
great milk
colored butter
fly comes to
you.


Gillian Lee is a poet and maker of art from Vienna, Virginia. Gillian has had poems published in Dead King Magazine and Datableed Zine, among others, and has been featured as a Writer of the Week on Maudlin House. Gillian is currently studying and living in New York. More work and contact info is available at gillianlee.neocities.org.

Six-Word Stories

BY: Jodi Adamson

A Murderous Affair

Had boyfriend
Had friend
Both gone

A Short Vacation

September beach
Sand flea-bitten
Went home

A Poet Writes a Novel

Plot apparitions
Poet compression
Short story

A Long Night

Tall drink
Narrow stairs
Cracked head


Jodi Adamson, retail pharmacist, likes to write in her spare time. Most of her writings are short and sweet. Her “Six-Word Stories” are dedicated to her late, great friend, Debra Self, who wrote the best six-word story ever. Hopefully, Debra will save Jodi a spot in the big poetry slam in the sky.

Red Princess

By: Barbara Westwood Diehl

Let us be a diocese
of two,
not parishioners,
but a confessional
of cardinals,
each of us
red as papal slippers,
a clergy plumed
in tongues.
Let us be our own
absolution,
our liturgy a litany
of your hymn singing
to my psalm,
your hallelujah a chorus
to my every verse.
You and I,
we are a rapture
adapted for flight.
Let us be red princes
of our own northeast
Let us be whistling priests
in the sacrament of air.


Barbara Westwood Diehl is founding editor of the Baltimore Review. Her fiction and poetry have been published in a variety of journals, including Quiddity, Potomac Review (Best of the 50), Measure, Little Patuxent Review, SmokeLong Quarterly, Gargoyle, Superstition Review, NANO Fiction, Per Contra, Thrush Poetry Journal, Tishman Review, and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.

Blue Exhaust

April 4, 1968
BY:Janet Reed

At eight, sunk in the back seat
of my dad’s red Corvair, yawning
into my pink flannels, I lost faith fast,
the way a bandage ripped from skin
tears the weave of wound it’s tended.

The night of the murder in Memphis,
we waited in the graveled drive
of a trailer park, my mind on the promise
of ice cream when mom returned.
Engine idling, Dad slumped in his seat,
hand on the Delco’s AM dial,
and hummed a hymn with Loretta Lynn.

I still hear their song, still hear
the motor’s measured piston taps
hollow against the stick in park,
still feel the throttle inhale,
a half-beat of syncopation
in an engine once rebuilt already,
and still unsafe at any speed.

Like the whine of a diesel low on oil,
his voice rose at the news, distinct,
slurs stuttered and steamed
a centrifugal force of words
hot enough to break the block,
and still my mother did not come.

Not daring a breath, my eyes fixed
on the moths kissing yellow bulbs
over the doors of those doublewides,
the oily lights blurring a moving darkness
I did not yet understand, and choked
on the blue smoke of his exhaust.


Janet Reed is a recent second-place winner in Common Ground Review’s poetry contest, judged by Patrick Donnelly, and a 2016 Pushcart Prize nominee. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Chiron Review, Common Ground Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Avalon Review, I-70 Review, and others. She is at work on her first collection and teaches writing and literature for Crowder College in Missouri.

Mid-December

By: James Croal Jackson

The alley is paved with old bricks
blackened by rain. I used to want

conformity, that tidal hope gripping
your gut. You must have a family soon.

Everywhere babies sprouting
but garden sprinklers are off because winter

is near, crackled dirt longing for storm-
how long since the rough of gale and rain?

Seasons, in these frigid airs. And my seedling
heart stopped growing soon after its first beat.


James Croal Jackson’s poetry has appeared in The Bitter Oleander, Rust + Moth, Isthmus, and elsewhere. His first chapbook is forthcoming from Writing Knights Press. He is the 2016 William Redding Memorial Poetry Contest winner in his current city of Columbus, Ohio. Visit him at jimjakk.com.

Regina

BY: Anne Babson

When they crowned me and applauded, bowed in
The corridors, on the landings, when I
Nodded, gave them the back-handed wave, when
The parlors filled with obsequious smiles,

I thought they liked me. I did not see that
I had vanquished them, that the loudspeaker
Warned them in the barbarian language
To line the streets to welcome me under

That arch of triumph or executions
Would begin early. I did not think I
Played the Visigoth invading someone
Else’s eternal cityscape. Then I

Remembered my hymen ripping on silk,
Our wedding night consummated in the
Old general’s bedroom, a cannon ball
Hole gouging the floor of the room next door,

The ancient siege of the ancient city,
And I finally realized that this
Couldn’t be my country, not unless I
Declare that the fat turkey I have them

Roasting for us is my brother. We are
Not liberators. They hate me while I
Breathe their share of the local oxygen.
They hate me, but the cowards genuflect.

They keep fluffing the pillows, waiting for
Me to nod off. This is not for comfort.
The hospitable ones polishing forks
Stand waiting to smother me in my sleep.


Anne Babson’s poetry collection, The White Trash Pantheon (Vox Press, 2015), and her current chapbook, Poems Under Surveillance (Finishing Line Press, 2013), are currently available in independent bookstores and on Amazon. The opera, for which she wrote the libretto entitled “Lotus Lives,” was performed in Boston and Montreal in 2016. Her work has been anthologized in both England and the United States. Her poems have appeared in journals on five continents. She writes a blog about being a Yankee in the Deep South, The Carpetbagger’s Journal, that has thousands of readers. She was just included in Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse (Lost Horse Press, 2017).

 

Denny’s Grand Slam Special

By: Tatiana Forero Puerta

When I was little I thought people only died at night.
When death came for her at 4pm
the sun still shone blossoms pink
to velvet opening their tabernacle mouths
towards the sky, petals like hallelujah arms.
A bird on the windowsill stared in
opened its beak silent, unable to sing
the piercing song of our sorrow.

After they rolled her pale body away
there were enough hours left to keep living
like running in a dream where no matter
how fast your legs shuffle, you’re never moving:
we could get in a car, go grocery shopping,
play hide-n-seek scurrying behind the abandoned
cars on the lot off Concord Ave
but none of those things
were any longer real.

We went to Denny’s and ordered
The Grand Slam Special. Aunt Luz
told the waiter to bring extra orange juice
because our mother had just died.

With oversized forks we cut our pancakes
into little pieces without eating them,
watched the butter melt into the crevices of dough
and the syrup create a moat that also held our tears.


Tatiana Forero Puerta’s poetry has appeared in Able Muse, Literary Juice, Flock, Juked, and other publications. She is a 2017 recipient of the Pushcart Prize, a finalist in Brutal Nation Prize for Writers of Color, and a nominee for Best of the Net Anthology. Tatiana’s first full-length poetry collection was awarded finalist by Autumn House, Grayson Books, and Two Sylvias Press. She holds a BA from Stanford and MA from New York University. Originally from Bogotá, Colombia, Tatiana now lives and teaches in New York. For more information on her work, visit www.TatianaWriting.com

Book Review: Kendra Tanacea’s “A Filament Burns in Blue Degrees”


BY: Catherine M. Darby

A Filament Burns in Blue Degrees by Kendra Tanacea is a haunting first collection of poems released this year by Lost Horse Press. Tanacea is a master of the moment—not straight-on moments, but rather, ones full of visuals and emotions that transport the reader into Tanacea’s world. In this world, the reader becomes a lover, beloved, betrayed, friend, child, and want-to-be-mother, all while ruminating about life and the fullness it can offer.

Her poems intelligently meander on corners of braided rugs and peep through keyholes to see what life is beyond that usual existence of life, her words intoning the mysteries and science of the universe.

In “Keyhole,” the narrator looks through the keyhole of a locked door, straining to see “what is out of sight.” The words deliver full sensory experiences of an ever-widening life:

There is the scent of man, of woman, of cedar.
The eye shifts, straining in its socket.
French doors open onto a veranda
overlooking an ivy-walled garden.
The round moon is rising, giant and yellow.
Star jasmine, star jasmine!
An eye can see far beyond
its scope: solar systems, galaxies,
the Milky Way’s skid of stars.
All atoms, revolving around one another.

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