God Is On His Way by Shawn Pavey

Posted in Shawn Pavey with tags on January 7, 2017 by Scot

Just got a text from the Almighty.
He’s running a little behind.
He was on his way to your subdivision
to bless you in your five-room,
three-bath abundance because
you are so much in need of divine grace.

Anyway, the heavenly El Camino picked up
a bolt off the road in the sidewall
of the driver’s side rear Firestone
because of all that highway
construction on Interstate 35
and, wouldn’t you know it, his spare was flat, too.

He called triple A and is just waiting for the tow truck.
Oh, he said to tell you that you’ll be fine
but you should have figured that out by now
with your health insurance and 401k balance.

He also mentioned he can’t stay long. Something about Aleppo.

KARINA AND I by Mather Schneider

Posted in Mather Schneider with tags on January 7, 2017 by Scot

KARINA AND I

were camping
in Washington State
and while we were sleeping in the tent
a bug crawled
into my
ear.

I exploded
out of the tent flap and into
the moonlit night
screaming and moaning
and slapping my right ear
(it was like a giant
was walking on my
brain)
and eventually rolling around and beating
my head on the ground.

Karina came out of the tent
sleepy eyed and beautiful
and looked at me
and laughed
and just at that moment
the little black monster hopped right
out onto the ground
and scurried away
into the dark grasses
of Mount Baker
before I even had the chance
to murder it.

Katrina and I made love after that
like two wild animals
oblivious
to the fact that one morning
years later
I would wake up in our
two story house
completely and mortally civilized
mute
and deaf to her
tears.

POET’S COSMOLOGY by Tom Montag

Posted in Tom Montag with tags on January 7, 2017 by Scot

 

Let this be
your measure:

the speed at
which we fly

towards darkness.
Your money

means nothing.

 

____________

 

Tom Montag is the author of In This Place: Selected Poems 1982-2013. He has been a featured poet at Atticus Review, Contemporary American Voices, Houseboat, and Basil O’Flaherty Review, and received Pushcart Prize nominations from Provo Canyon Review, Blue Heron Review, and The Lake.

The Bullet that Killed Wesley by Jimmy Pappas

Posted in Jimmy Pappas with tags on January 5, 2017 by Scot

 

The bullet that killed Wesley
struck me in the helmet
right between the eyes,
went around my headgear,
out over my shoulder,
hit Wesley in the neck,
and killed him.
Now don’t that beat all fuck.

 

____________

 

Jimmy Pappas served for the Air Force during the Vietnam War as an English language instructor training South Vietnamese soldiers. Jimmy received a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from Bridgewater State University and a Master’s in English literature from Rivier University. He is a retired teacher whose poems have been published in many journals, including Yellowchair Review, New Verse News, Shot Glass Journal, Kentucky Review, Boston Literary Magazine, The Ghazal Page, and War, Literature and the Arts. He is now a member of the Executive Board of the Poetry Society of New Hampshire.

Winter Occupation by Alarie Tennille

Posted in Alarie Tennille with tags on January 4, 2017 by Scot

The trees stand at attention
in their drab uniforms –
occupying forces that have cleared
the streets of gypsies in their red
and yellow caravans. Now they ban
any show of color, discourage
public gatherings.

They even intimidate the sun
as they stand at attention
in every yard, bayonets pointed
at the tank-colored sky, boots
crushing grass the color of wait.

 

____________

 

Alarie Tennille was born and raised in Portsmouth, Virginia, and graduated from the University of Virginia in the first class allowing women. She misses the ocean, but loves the writing community she’s found in Kansas City. Alarie serves on the Emeritus Board of The Writers Place. Her poetry collection, Running Counterclockwise, was first runner up for the 2015 Thorpe Menn Award for Literary Excellence. Please visit Alarie  at alariepoet.com.

Ringing in the Ears by Donal Mahoney

Posted in Donal Mahoney with tags on January 3, 2017 by Scot

 

Ringing in the ears
has no cure.
It’s called tinnitus
and you can pronounce it
the way it looks or the way
your doctor says it.

Today I discovered how
to turn the ringing off
and that’s to take
a phone call from your son
who says your daughter
died last night.

She won the first
and second match but
lost the last to cancer.
An hour later you realize
the ringing in your ears
has stopped but there’s
no silence in its wake.

A train of memories
chugs by and stops
and then chugs on again.
You want the ringing
in your ears back again.
You can live with that.

Four poems by Justin Hyde

Posted in Justin Hyde with tags on January 3, 2017 by Scot

eating chili with my father

two strangers
managing small talk
after decades of estrangement.
he tells me wasps
built a nest in his old wool air-force jacket
out in the garage. had to
throw it away.
but he cut the buttons off
and saved them.
i look up from the kitchen table
out the sliding glass doors
to the old blue garage.
i ask if he remembers twenty years ago
when i stood in there
fixing a flat tire on my bicycle.
he came up from behind
asked if i needed help. i told him
i never wanted his help
with anything
for the rest of my life.
i remember, he says, that was a hard boot
but i earned it.
i tell him i was wrong. i’ve had
so many things wrong in this life.
we’ve never hugged
or told each other i love you.
i lean over
and kiss his cheek.
he stiffens. but doesn’t
pull away.
____________

home-schooled

my father
tried to teach me
the value of a dollar

and hard work
but my mother
was a soft touch

a real mark

before the age of seven
i mastered
playing them off one another

they’d go
into the other room
yell under their breath

he’d throw his hands up
and go to the bar

i’d get
whatever i wanted
from mom
or
if she suddenly
sprouted a back-bone

i’d throw a fit
tell her i hated her
drive her to tears
and then get
what i wanted

those were my blue-prints
rawboned
nineteen
unleashed
on the kind-hearted women
of the upper
midwest.
____________

four degrees in iowa

the young man
walking down the sidewalk
pants-so-low
he has to hold them up
with his left hand

ass-cheeks
and white-underwear
in the bitter wind

happens to be black

my brain does not flash thug
or danger

i’ve got more solstice
than that

we pass each other

-eldridge cleaver
-malcom x
-hundreds of black men
who’ve come through the halfway house
on my mind

i know
you’re just trying to carve identity
stamp original swagger
into the ashes of a country
that stole everything else

but seriously

check yourself bro

there’s more creative ways
to buck the man

than hobbling around
like a fucking clown.

____________

for h

to be inside
a truly gorgeous woman
moaning in your ear
an ancient oracle
driving you on like a racehorse
stop for a moment
gaze upon this impossible scene
smile so broad
your ears join together on top of your head
come back
the oracle commands
cupping her hand behind your neck
they can take your legs
and your arms
strap you in a wheelchair
and feed you cornstarch
three times a day
so long as
you get to keep this memory
you’ve already
won.