The color of the water tells him who is meat, who should pass. I do not dream. The buses passed it every day. Look how you got me standing around. Everyone in my hiking group is already at the summit except for me and a trail guide who clicks the hammer of his Colt Revolver trying to scare me onwards. I thought a trip to the West would be fun get away from traffic and noise demanding nineteen-year-old students who think an academic advisor is a private butler.
Evening walks in the park failed to prepare me. My hiking pole bends in half and I fall hit my head on a rock. Students gather around my open casket ask if they can switch their major appeal their dismissal declare a leave of absence. Some hold out phones tell me their parents want to complain my death has been a terrible inconvenience.
They want to speak to my supervisor.
- Lady Luck's Legacy -
The guide kicks my boot spits a mouthful of water on my forehead says his ninety-year-old grandmother can hike up this trail. Staggering to my feet I admit to myself this is still better than being at work. If she likes a guy enough she might show him where the black widow lives. Raven hair dyed red purple death lips Cleopatra-eyed dark magic acolyte formerly suburban. Her mother thinks about the vampire she made as she plants mums along the driveway. How did the girl get to be so wild? Mom was president of the PTA has lunch every month with the girls from her church group always votes for the family values candidate.
One uncle not the brightest, to be honest showed the boy card tricks, as one aunt snapped, Oh God, how crass, the stupid man. But Uncle flourished bright celebrities, the queens, the knaves, the halberds, double heads the joker for the moment kept at bay. Later, in a day or so, he thought about odd puzzles.
He started to muse, still apathetically, on the tricks and tweaks of cut and deal, the making magic with the hearts and diamonds. And all the while, the slow kind uncle. Above the deck, the warmth of meaning well. Glitter nails already chipped, cracks in my LCD, subway delays. A pocket full of molly and nowhere to eat it.
IKEA meatballs, hairy man balls, seven half boxes of tampons. No butler but Butler, J. Quoting lines across the bar. Bumming vodka sodas with lime the unpaid intern way from the butch in faded skinnies who let me taste her. I had dreams of you being inside me. Filling me up, with rocks and sand. Making me heavy with your body. Making me solid with your body. My life is in nostalgia gone out of style. Like a friend said when he got beaten by the police: This is fucked up.
Better I stay stoned. The least I could do is blame it on the energy shortage the speed of time or the objective eye of the world but I know it is my negligence that opens and closes the doors until I surrender to every hollow afternoon. Wolves can tell the most magnificent stories about perverse lambs. Buys groceries. Makes a cup of tea. Sitting by her window she knits long scarves. Hobbies are a good thing. It all feels like calling home and speaking in a foreign accent, or like a strange cat sitting on her armchair. Melinda used to have her rooms full of nightingales.
Sometimes she flashed them at people. Well, she is only human. But counting nightingales before they sing all their songs is a cheater. It comes as a missed train, as rain inside the brain; as unequal exchange, torn page, minimum wage. It comes as derealization, depersonalization, as minding the gap but still getting your foot stuck in it; as varicose vein, chest pain, not so sweet martha lorraine.
It comes as blue, to paint blue the heart; as human factor, x-factor, max factor. It comes as grabbing hands, twisted arms, naked light bulbs; as consumable products, consumable contacts; as dropping leaves, dropping hints, dropping names even her name has gone out of fashion. It comes as untied love knots, as mispronouncing your deepest thoughts.
It comes as leaving, it comes as staying; it comes as anything, as everything. Some call it fate, say it spreads like butter on a staircase. Others the biggest joke there is. She took no nonsense from dishes who claim the road to feelings is perplexed. She gulped down all tendencies to be nice to herself. First she had a tall drink. The world was off somewhere, grinning at caged giraffes, taking pictures of quaint cottages or bloodsucking. Millions of fibers clinging to each other, loop chains growing longer and longer.
Fate was Melinda knitting scarves, pushing the needle with a bruised thumb. Making a big bad loop, she turned herself into a hanging ornament while a ladybird was passing outside her window. Here the sink shines like the surface of virtue and water boils at a hundred degrees Celcius. Organic courtesies, hand-picked apologies, so much to say on the freshness of a lettuce. Nobody here makes loves like this: with skin and soul, thorns and teeth.
Nobody speaks like a piece of fiction or in a way that encourages addiction. All lovely people should have a couple of these. Quelle surprise! Nobody here makes love like this. Legs were fuckers — steadfast. Voice was sucker — saccharine. I mollify his lusts with black licorice and a modicum of malice spread about with Twitter. Devil jigging like he owns me— he never streaks toward home, only laughs and taunts, daring me to throw the goddamn ball.
Euphrosyne, a cross-dresser demoted by the Church. Then the music died, my lottery number in the draft came up 69, jail sucked, the Fitzgerald sank, bits and pieces of sky kept falling until I volunteered to take a potential wonder drug that proved to be a placebo— everything turned shit in a basket so I bought a gun to end it all but as I pulled the trigger I closed my eyes and the bullet merely grazed my scalp.
Save the world or something. Can 70 be the new 30? Can I hold up the sky? Maybe you should tremble about now. Deer coalesce from the morning mist, trace their ambling paths as they choose. Fat nuts in the trees again shame my fruitlessness. Generations made this cropland. Now it rests. Every week the tractor mows the forest back. The engine grinds and rumbles in my chest; I wake thrashing from dreams of turning blades.
But the animal shriek of Now! A wildness pads into the orchard. This ground begins to know its mind again. Stalk silently through swathes washed the silver of matinees careful not to leave tell-tale trails of broken stalks. Plant your stakes, and unwind plastic sheathed bundles of cable wire. Work in from the end of your line, shuffle your boots to flatten, overlap circle edges to baffle. Be gone by dawn. They give me no thought dancing helplessly in my red heels spinning to nausea throwing myself again against the unrelenting beat. Where are their prayers to lift and fold me safe into my bed, where their sweet songs to quiet the frenzy of my wanting?
No, my angels carouse, pass out after dawn in a useless pile of feathers and stale sweat.
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- DANS LA VIE - RIRA SUGAWARA?
- Winter Lust And Wonder | The Written Word!
I was in pieces, pacing the floor with questions I already knew the answers to. I felt as responsible as a teenage pregnancy and was fighting the urge to abort the day. The coughing hacked its way through MTV so I took the couch with me to the bathroom and squeezed tubes of paste, waiting for pop lyrics that never came.
The second time I called the support group, I asked for their newest pizza toppings. I remembered reading about tea being the latest cure-all and the doctor slash writer made it seem that he was brewing weed. So I served a cup and avoided the eyes of the reclined form. The room was feverish and threatened to puke me out. I wanted to be buried in a crate so that they could laugh at me being a square even in death. She started using her indoor voice so I left the phone on the table and let her spells fill the air. I entered the musty bedroom and lay upon my sanity; forehead against forehead, interlocking spread-eagled limbs, ignoring the rave of murmurs against my cheek about green tea not just any tea being the new miracle drug.
Red lights, blue lights, a body on my front porch alive this time. I walk a bit faster, make sure to lock the new bolt on my door to protect against the threat never spoken that often passes by my front porch. Growing quite tired of the light and the sound the bathroom door still makes scraping past the glue, splinters, and nails long after I conceded that my gut screamed stop.
Red lights, blue lights a body parked in a truck outside watching my front porch. I bury my face in the menu. I sneak out without ordering. Uber home. Step Two: allow yourself a good cry. Step Two: Total Failure. I move on to Step Three: read inspirational verse. I google: most popular grief quotes. Come back. Even as a shadow, even as a dream. Anything you lose comes round in another form.
"Winter, Lust, And Wonder" Poetry Book
I google OkCupid. The waltz goes with the dream — about a floating sofa in blue sky. The traffic begins to move. I look away. The car lifts off, gently, silently rises gets smaller, higher, with the waltz. It floats peacefully, crystalline sky, puffy cloud wings on either side.
But they are on their red sofa again, woman smokes man plays his phone game. He looks up from his game she tosses her cigarette. I watch breathless. They are saved. They walk away holding hands, smile to each other, say nothing.
Just a straight couple joyriding while the world hums along. It felt funny. Dewey Decimal sits outside the Apple store with a sign: Will catalog for hardbound books and paper cuts. Today, the definitions dissolve like snowflakes. Orange is a poem. Hippopotamus is a poem. Bucket sashays his poemness all over the place. Only English majors check out library books. Drugged with dust and dying paper they imagine the audacity of cockroach porn, a chopped and screwed soundtrack of bug lust.
Music we do not know still exists despite our ignorance. And the termites tango in the trees, between pages of libraries, chewing through the leaves, but leaving behind the grass growing green. Dear Brother, you are not a tree. Stop cradling pears between your heart and lung. Where will the next fruit appear? Your throat? Your knee? Will you find it when it is still a grape? A strawberry? Next time, will you try to be a vine? The lemon, not cancer. Not cancer pressing your spine. Perhaps you thought your brain had grown too big for your skull.
Perhaps an alien invasion, a failed fact-finding mission from alpha centauri. But the pear. The pear ages us more than any year. Brings death closer than any survived car accident skidding to the roadside.
You fight the remnants of the pearflesh pulled from your chest. Against your Marine instinct, your body weakens to fight. Instead of muscle and bullets, you kneel, hands clasped, head pillowed on cool porcelain. Chemicals run and crawl through the obstacle course of your body. There are no machine guns, no long range grenade launchers, nothing bigger than a needle and ten ounce bags labeled with names long enough to fill missiles. Ascend solemnly the call and response of her thighs, running my hand between like the strains of an organ, then heavenward toward her buttocks, a psalm of David cleft by his sorrow over Absalom.
And there I rest in their lament and beauty, and my body responds. A sigh long and lovely as the Song of Solomon escapes her mouth. She turns to me, eyes green as infidelity, lips thick swollen lies until they lift in a smile simple and sunny as a proverb.
Her arms spread out like crossbars, where I rest my own. You can bank while you drive! App this! Old lecher Hugh Hefner is dead: the stud who got laid more than Picasso has met his maker and Her name is God. He cannot fathom that his ailing patient used to park in front of the family home, revving his engine and flashing the lights, unspoken threats to your widowed mother.
You will rest well tonight, no longer dreading a rabid stray at the door. What the fuck do I know about a thing? I knew I was being left when Corey said she was thinking of buying a condo. That was in ; the man died in In Seattle, a woman massacred six family members from three generations. It was Christmas Eve.
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In a hospital, six people died. They had reported nausea, abdominal pain, and shortness of breath 45 minutes into dialysis. The dialysis machines were sealed off. In my 20s I finally started trying to own the fact my families and closest communities had at the least neglected me. A man taught me that neglect was at least abuse when I was near forty. I tried to sober you up with cold coffee and stale bread, but you puked up my efforts, creating a splatter painting on the sidewalk. You needed to be home before curfew, before your father got back from the bar where he visits for salvation after the graveyard shift at the auto plant.
And he never got the irony it was a drunk driver who crushed the steel of her car, turned it into a tomb that kept her broken body intact after being suffocated in her own blood. But now I watch you become consumed, like your father, with brake pads and beer, try to spit out the grease and hate in the blurred hours of morning. I would blame the goblins. The goblins did it!
The goblins gobbled the grapes.
DANS LA VIE - RIRA SUGAWARA
They also took the cash from the bedside table, the car keys, and the wedding ring you slipped in your pocket. My family surprised me by taking me to the running trail around the lake in Pocantico Hills. The afternoon sun is glancing off the lake like a ring of fire. I never knew I loved lakes, so placid and calm like a Buddhist master. Whether small, like this one or large as Lake Sunapee, providing shelter for fuzzy goslings and their parents. Hard to believe each snowflake is unique. I never knew I loved leaves, crunching brown beneath my feet like tiny drums, or discarded beer cans.
Or green above me forming a glorious canopy. I never knew how much I liked meadows, the running trail bisecting fields of yellow and purple wildflowers.
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I sometimes picked a yellow to put in curly red hair. I never knew how many things I loved until I was in my wheelchair on the trail where I used to run. All they will call you is Deportee. Smile on your brother. Everybody get together, try to love one another. This land is my land. This land is your land. My dear boy, I have been patient, I have not harried or haunted beyond the necessary manifestation to shake you from procrastination, but I have of late a need to know if you are wont to front this show.
Are you, or are you not, resolved to execute the plot? Save me from this purgatory, give up this damned soliloquy, Is it to be or not to be? That is the question — R. The same yet different — something has changed. A slim thumbnail of light and millions stand amazed, humbled, no longer masters of the universe.
A two-minute reprieve, a chance for contemplation, for reflection, before the world turns on its wounded way. And no more ten for a dollar — the price has gone way up. Can you live on corn? Butter and salt the taste of sunshine — nibble row on row playing the corn cob harmonica, music in your mouth.
But as the season thinks about changing, as tomatoes and berries begin to play hard to find, now we have to think about good-byes. Good-bye to the sharp crack of the stalk when you snap it. The corn says cooler days are coming, longer nights. Get ready for the end. Good fortunes have included a Vogelstein grant for poetry, a Stadler undergraduate fellowship to Bucknell University, and a graduate fellowship to NYU.
She is a New Jersey resident, addictions specialist, consultant and freelance writer. Clayre Benzadon is a recent graduate of Brandeis University with a B. A in Psychology and Creative Writing. Additionally, she attended The Ashbery Home School, a week-long writing workshop and conference in Miami, which she attended last year. She is an editor at Plazm magazine. Helen Burke is a poet turned artist; her work has exhibited in the UK and France; she currently has an exhibition in Leeds, England.
Her art can be seen on krazyphils. She is a mother of four children ages 5, 8,10 and 16, and am a member of CU Poetry, a writing group that has been an endless source of inspiration and encouragement.
Her fellow Cuppers have assisted in reviving her, pulling her out of a creative coma, and rekindling her desire to write again. Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives in the Arkansas Ozarks. Heather Chandler lives in Central Texas where she teaches English and writes poetry and short stories. In her spare time, you can find her in the kitchen making coconut cream pies and drinking coffee. Joe Cottonwood still works as a carpenter, plumber, and electrician whatever pays when knees and shoulder allow.
Nights, he writes. He lives in La Honda, California, where he built a house and raised a family under and at mercy of giant redwood trees. More at www. Maureen Daniels teaches English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, where she is also a doctoral fellow in creative writing.
Stephen M. Her website is catdix. He was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in He is an attorney in Milwaukee. Since Frederick Foote has published over a hundred-fifty stories and poems including literary, science fiction, fables, and horror genres. Kathy Gee lives in Worcestershire, UK. She works in museums and heritage. Widely published online and on paper, in her first collection — Book of Bones — was published by V.
Press and she wrote the spoken word elements for a contemporary choral piece — suiteforthefallensoldier. You can also find her short stories published through Sapphire Books. She resides in Springfield, Illinois. Find her on Facebook or at TLHayesweb. Sabrina Hicks lives in the Southwest. Elisabeth Horan is a poet mother and teacher living in Vermont. She spends time with her three beautiful horses, Deuce, Flynn and Copper for therapy. He has been teaching high school English since Who would have guessed this observation accurately predicted her current direction?
She is also the author of forty books for young readers. Visit her online at jacquelinejules. He is the vice president and events coordinator of The Sacramento Poetry Center. He plays flutes, guitars, ukuleles, charangos and cavaquinhos. He currently teaches at California State University, Sacramento, where he sings lieder while walking on campus between classes. Her work has been published in The Rising Phoenix Review. Miriam has recited her poetry to friends and strangers in parking lots and coffee shops all over the country. Andrew Kuck was born in Ypsilanti, Michigan. After graduating from college, he spent a year teaching science in the Marshall Islands.
He now teaches high school mathematics in the United States, but his poetry and prose continue to be influenced by the time he spent on that small collection of coral atolls in the Pacific Ocean. Away from her own personal blackboard, she teaches writing workshops for all ages through the Institute for Writing and Thinking and the MAT program at Bard College. Nancy currently resides in Pasadena, CA where she has been active in regional poetry groups and events. Paul Lymanson lives quietly in a forest. He has no academic credentials.
He is a six time Pushcart Prize Nominee. She teaches Creative Writing at the University of Delaware. Suchoon Mo is a retired academic living in the semiarid part of Colorado. He composes music and writes poems. Some of them appear in literary and cultural publications. Frank C. Modica is a retired public school special education teacher living in Urbana, Illinois. He taught special education for 34 years. Since his retirement from teaching he volunteers with several arts and social service organizations in his community.
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