Posts for June 12, 2015

Erin Mathews

Manager #2, Part 2

Don’t tell me that you can’t read
body language.
That you were blind
to every sidestep
shrink and shirk away.

Can you read a sneer?
Do you grasp my meaning
when I grab your wrist and remove you
from my shoulder

Do you hear a joke in my voice
when I tell you
to fuck off?


I don’t like it when you do that.
I do not want you to touch me.
It makes me uncomfortable when
you touch me without my permission
make comments about my body
and put your hands on my face

I really hate it when people touch my face.

I’m not angry.
No, I don’t need to calm down.
I’m using a calm, even tone with you.
But I’ll repeat myself
because you don’t seem to hear me.
I don’t want you to touch me.
You do not have my permission.
I repeat myself because you

Are you listening to me?
Or do I have to say it again.

Lennart Lundh

Sharing the Land

She brings them corn, and berries:
Cups of tooth-like white kernels
and handfuls of sweet softness. 

She speaks the names she’s given:
Honey Child, Soft Eyes, and more.
They call back in their own tongue. 

They thank her for her kindness,
add words passed on by birds,
by squirrels, and snakes, and bears. 

Her deer friends have a name for her,
shared from doe to fawn, again, forever.
If only she could know it: Sister-heart.

Body Baghdad

Literary Rap

From Henry David Thoreau to Jean Jacques Rousseau
I keep it thorough for all the burrows including William S.
This is no trap rap, I’ll leave behind the cheddar
just to read Alan MacKellar by candlelight in a cellar
If I buy my time, then who’s to be the seller?
That’s no Catch-22 Joseph Heller
It’s just Pascal’s wager to show on the nose of a no-show teller
I’m not Christian son, but I read hella John Donne
Sprinkle hash in the Dutchie, get so high you can’t touch me
so you can call me the rap Rushdie
with words I paint saintanic verses
the way the blasphemy burns is just so lovely
I go down with Dante putting back Molotov cocktails with triple shots
of Bombay when I freestyle after reading Ross Gay
Bringing The Shovel Down again at the end with your own lovely hands
On my bucket list I still have a lot to check off
like reading all the works of Anton Chekov
I’ll still be singing in my coffin like W.H. Auden
But now that life is upon us, let’s stay young and spillin’ sonnets like Dylan Thomas
Drinking vodka with Kafka but he calls it water
Pouring it out at The Vietnam Memorial with Komunyakaa
but he sees himself in the slaughter, Facing It
I see myself in his face full of tears
I see myself when I face all these wasted years
Couldn’t borrow so I had to take part in my own state of the art
stake through the Heart of Darkness
I drink therefore I am pouring liquor out for Descartes
in a graveyard in full bloom, trying to read Sartre
in a dark living room is hard
X Karl Marx the spot of a scarlet letter
cull the living flower that I start to jot in my starlit fetters
after sparking pot in the parking lot, what dark matters
to the black market of forever? Whatever’s clever
enough to survive the shark pit of a better argot
hip-hop and books are real starlets of the deepest pleasure
Thomas Paine, the only Common Sense I know is
that I Used To Love H.E.R., and I still do, do you, too?
Read Shel Silverstein where the sidewalk ends
light in the attic, we were the best of friends
thanks for letting me sit back and just pretend
While reciting Chaucer I got abducted by a flying saucer
Read Shakespeare among the everglades
open up to forever locked in a page
Shouts to all the people reading Pynchon
when their pension gets cut
and what can you do about it but make your little letters
stunning after reading e.e. cummings
Even before you open the door, it’s more 1984 than ever before
Big Brother, should we feel shitty Orwell?
Who needs Leaves of Grass when you’ve got wit man?
But maybe I should just shut the fuck up and sit on my hands
I could win the Olympics for cynics
but it’s not because I mimic Charles Simic
it’s just because my head plays more blues than there is on the news
I look like I’ve seen more dead dudes than Ted Hughes reading Plath
bleeding, yet receding the wrath of being left on the raft of a suicidal last laugh
Love is that which we long to suffer for, love is War and Peace
Tolstoy’s toy soldiers line up at each side knowing they’ll meet their demise
over and over, and now that it’s out, there’s no going back in the holster

Carole Johnston


moonlight boogie
with Midnight Butterfly
star hopping
down the road toward solstice
leave your ugly at the door

Pat Owen

At the Cathedral

At the Cathedral

When we’re asked to hold hands,
the well-dressed white woman
reaches out to a stranger–
a deep black man,
old, with a Muslim cap.

he wouldn’t have reached first
knowing he might be rebuffed
and I, sitting in the row behind
what I would have done.

Gaby Bedetti

To Weed or Not to Weed

After Larry and his company finish,
no weeds are left on our fifth of an acre lot.
On the first workday, three young men appear.

Larry arrives on day two to comment on our rich soil,
report the arbor vitae to be more on the incline than
the decline, while his crew adds insulation to the ground.

On the third day, one fellow shovels wheelbarrow
upon wheelbarrow of mulch from the back of his truck
while his partner rakes the mulch over the soil.

Schliemann ferociously dug through seven layers of dirt
to find Troy, one civilization atop the other.
A dig in our yard would yield horseshoes and nails, from

all that’s left from the U.S. Army Cavalry Remount Station,
where they supplied horses to the states east of the Mississippi.
Our neighborhood residents thus enhanced our hungry soil.

In 1982 two equine veterinarians started their practice
out of what is now our garage. The additional horse manure
quickly became a beautiful black soil amendment.

Weeds luxuriate in this preparation.
Vinnie, the cat, considers the place his own,
guarding his garden from the cat next door,

while we confine ourselves to the screened-in porch
alongside our house cats, never to undertake an adventure,
too mousy to extend our reach, too lazy

to imagine heaven.




Poem 12, June 12





a reader


out to me,


a copy

of my

first novel


her father

was dead



I wrote

about him

in that book


keep him







as surely


her own


of him do.