Last Man Standing by LYNNE SAVITT

Posted in LYNNE SAVITT with tags on March 9, 2015 by Scot

 

is the promise you made me
as we watched my lovers die
one by one they’ve fallen like
like toddlers in bouncy house

i was finally leaving all behind
husband, dogs, kids & theirs
wednesday after my doctor’s
appointment knowing our time

has become calendar pages
we flip realizing each day
is precious you called to check
on my progress but something

was wrong yr words choking
on swollen tongue i said call
911 but you refused i reached
yr friend since i was 200 miles

away you cannot leave me
love of my life attached to
feeding tubes paralyzed left
side unable to speak I call

constantly to hear nurses who
cannot tell me what’s happening
once i was yr wife now just a
voice whispering i adore you to

man who cannot answer hear
me, my love, i will come when
snows melt & my treatments
are finished together we will

turn our last pages together
side by side leaning on each
other listening to our own beating
red bleeding beautiful hearts

never break a promise
you must be the last man standing

Haiku by Ted kane

Posted in Ted Kane with tags , on March 9, 2015 by Scot

What really sealed
his fate, Jocasta had been
a dynamite lay

NC Poet Laureate by Helen Losse

Posted in Helen Losse with tags on March 9, 2015 by Scot

—for Shelby Stephenson

It’s sure to be cold
at your inauguration
in Raleigh. Early in February,

it might even rain. You’ll
shine, dressed for the occasion,
complete with umbrella,

but I choose to picture you
in front of that old plankhouse,
red clay under bare toes,

gardens of potatoes, rows of
tall corn. Watermelon.
Maybe a chicken or two.

My heart is a gypsy-hillbilly;
she embraces your folklore. We
laugh, laugh, laugh, for the joke is

on us. Yes, the joke is on us.
And hardly just the two of us. No,
all who join in. So maybe it is

my Muse, who wants to dance,
while you fiddle and sing
in the slow-lifting fog.

from the chap book: A Battle Cry From the Trenches of the American Dream – Hosho McCreesh

Posted in Hosho McCreesh with tags on March 9, 2015 by Scot

The Grandson

My grandfather died
last fall and even though
he made it 83 years
he really never left
WWII. Divorced. Retired as a
security guard for the
Air Force base. Nothing
about his passing will
make its way into the
election-year speeches or
a goddamned Ford truck
commercial & I’m pretty
sure that my mom & my aunts
spent every penny he left
them in 1 morning at the
casino.

 

–editor’s note–this poem goes back to the beginning of McCreesh’s writing

Seventeen Year Itch by Donal Mahoney

Posted in Donal Mahoney with tags on March 9, 2015 by Scot

 

Marcia was 17 the first time thousands of locusts rose from the fields of her father’s farm and filled the air, sounding like zithers unable to stop. Her father was angry but Marcia loved the music the locusts made. She was in high school then and chose to make locusts the focus of her senior paper.

At the town library she learned locusts spend 17 years deep in the soil, feeding on fluids from roots of trees that make them strong enough to emerge at the proper time to court and reproduce. Courtship requires the males to gather in a circle and sing until the females agree to make them fathers.

Courtship and mating and laying of eggs takes almost two months and then the locusts fall from the air and die. Marcia remembers the iridescent shells on the ground shining, She was always careful not to step on them. She cried when the rain and the wind took them away.

Now 17 years later Marcia is 34 and the locusts are back again. Her dead father can’t hear them and Marcia no longer loves the music the way she did in high school. Now she stays in the house and keeps the windows closed and relies on the air-conditioner to drown out the locusts. Marcia has patience, however. She knows what will happen. She reads her Bible and sucks on lemon drops, knowing the locusts will die.

In the seventh week, the locusts fall from the air in raindrops, then torrents. “It is finished,” Marcia says. She pulls on her father’s boots and goes out in the fields and stomps on the shells covering the ground but she stomps carefully.

At 34 Marcia’s in no hurry. Before each stomp, she names each shell Billy, John, Chuck, Terrence or Lester, the names of men who have courted her during the 17 years since high school. They all made promises Marcia loved to hear, promises she can recite like a favorite prayer. She made each man happy as best she could. They would grunt like swine the first night, some of them for many nights. But then like locusts they would disappear.

Pantoum Chant For Ferguson: 20 Miles a Day by Angela Consolo Mankiewicz

Posted in Angela Consolo Mankiewicz with tags on March 9, 2015 by Scot

 

The marchers march on, twenty miles a day
to Jefferson City, the latest Selma.
They trudge through the years, they know the way
from fifty years past, twenty more miles

to Jefferson City, the latest Selma.
Where will we be – who will we be
in fifty more years? After twenty more miles,
child of today, what will you see?

Where will we be? Who will we be?
Dreamers redeemed? Roads without lives without sticks without stones?
Or, child of today, is what you will see
the night chanting names on slicked over roads

trudging though years, knowing the way;
still dreaming and marching, twenty miles a day.

the poetry of Bill Gainer

Posted in Bill Gainer with tags on February 22, 2015 by Scot

The Last Time We Talked

(for José Montoya)

Stopped by to see him
drop a few books off
chat a while.
We hit on this
and that.
Nothing too important.
Asked how he’d been.
“Man, whatever it is
I got it so bad
even my skin hurts.”
I told him he looked good,
he grinned,
showed me his sketch book.
We sat in the little room
off to the right
in the front.
He said the chair there
was better
he had a TV
said
we could listen to the news
if I wanted.
When I left
he gave me a little salute,
two finger, a tilt of the head,
said, “Fly high man – adios.”
I haven’t been over
to that part of D street
in a while now.
No reason.

____________

Of Good

Nothing good happens
till after the crucifix
and St. Christopher
come off
and you forget about
not wanting to be bad.

____________

A Place in the Quiet

The hour
when the one
exhale
changes it all.
Nothing before,
if it ever did,
lives.
The light’s
angle thins,
the day’s eyes
close – slow.
You’re left
to yourself
finally.

____________

Lima Beans

When the old man died
we quit eating Lima beans.
Still, they’re there
in the canned goods aisle
and he’s still here with me.
He used to love those things.
Me, not so much.
Milk-toast sometimes,
when the money’s short
and you gotta make do,
but Lima Beans, no …

_____________

 

The Sum of Less

There wasn’t
a quiet moment
with her –
were you expecting
more.

____________

 

Frail Flowers

Her grandmother,
the frail flower
sits in the same chair
asks the same question
what channel’s
Merv Griffins on
today, yesterday
everyday.

She hopes
when they meet
in heaven
it will be different.
Maybe Merv
will be there
sit with her
hold hands
watch old reruns
talk about the events
of the day – 1962
a good year
for flowers to bloom.

____________

 

The Fool’s Market

Souls,
once used thrown
in the barrel
at the end
of the counter.
Marked down
cheap.
Now and then
they go through
throw the ones
at the bottom
out.
They’re hard
to sell
when they get
squishy.

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