Coffeehouse Poem #442
a tall girl walks in her
are all the sunshine
i need on a grey
her legs are as long
as the jazz solos
i listen to on
she would be a perfect
one that takes it time
and never rushes
so that the listener
can appreciate the
the groove, as red
as her hair
Erren Kelly is a two-time Pushcart-nominated poet from Boston who has been been writing for 28 years and has over 300 publications in print and online in such publications as Hiram Poetry Review, Mudfish, Poetry Magazine (online), Ceremony, Cacti Fur, Bitterzoet, Cactus Heart, Similar Peaks, Gloom Cupboard, and Poetry Salzburg. Erren has also been published in anthologies such as Fertile Ground and Beyond The Frontier. Work can also be seen on YouTube under the “Gallery Cabaret” links.
Lido delle Sirene
Somewhere, in the quaint, crafted gloss
of patterned ceramiche, fried fish, and lemon gelato,
you lose yourself:
to the sun, the rocky cliffs, the coastal villages…
surrender to the pebble-strewn beaches
that burn your soles and test your balance…
to the salty brine of the ocean
as it rests on your lips…
in the corner of your eyes…
surrender to it all,
forgetting that you ever have to go back.
Forgetting that this is not reality
but only a brief and fleeting dream
along the strange curves of life’s winding course.
And isn’t life as beautiful and nauseating
as the serpentine roads along the Amalfi Coast?
Isn’t life as immeasurably sublime and untouchably majestic
as those cliffs that jut up around you?
As unforeseeable as the horizon of that sea?
And yet, one day, you do wake up—
the current of your inner tide
sweeping you back into its swell—
and you find yourself left with only the memories of lemons.
Lemons as large and mysterious as the moon, herself.
Lemons you never tasted
A promise you make to yourself, a vow you make to the moon.
Devon Gallant is the author of four collections of poetry: The Day After, the flower dress and other lines, His Inner Season, and S(tars) & M(agnets). His work has been featured in Vallum, Carousel, Bitterzoet Magazine, Misunderstandings Magazine, and elsewhere. He is the publisher of Cactus Press [cactuspress.wordpress.com] and the host of Accent Open Mic [accentseriesmontreal.wordpress.com]. He resides in Tio’tia:ke/Montreal.
Saw Arne at the barber shop
Waiting his turn, seemed
To be nodding off, his
Old truck magazine slipped
Off his lap. He woke up.
Calving, he said, midnight,
three o’clock, six,
And here he was sleeping
Downtown like a vagrant. He
shook his head, rubbed his eyes.
I asked him, could he tell if
He could pick out the cows
That were likely soon to drop,
So a guy would know
To stay and help if birthing was hard.
Arne gave me that look, like
City boys have no brains,
And said, well, when you see
That extra pair of legs dangling down,
You’re getting close.
Mark Trechock published his first poem in 1974. He put poetry aside from 1995 to 2015 after more than 20 years as a community organizing. He lives in Dickinson, North Dakota. His work is soon to appear in Triggerfish, Visitant, SBLAAM, and Sweet Tree Review.
when i press my forehead to the ground,
i hear Rushing.
there is no Wind. there is no Water.
in the dirt, i feel Sunlight on my back.
i hear the Earth: she is Breathing.
and beneath her, i hear my son:
when I rise,
I heard Rushing.
the Night is Dark.
the earth is stone.
my son is Stone.
there is blood in my ears, and beyond them,
Katherine C. Frye, currently a theater student at Utah Valley University, began writing in the third grade with a series of ghost stories all titled, “The Shark-Alligator” (none of which contained a single mark of punctuation, which Katherine adamantly defended as an “artistic choice” so as not to receive low marks.) She has been recently published in the literary magazine All the Sins with a short story called “Millie and the Wendigo.”
I remember un-peeling you like a clementine
under a full moon at the Jersey shore. You were
topless in a beach house kitchen and it hurt
harder than all the skinned knees of my childhood.
We fed each other pocked strawberries, but I never
digested them, they were better stuck between
my teeth. My fingers were in your mouth, my mouth
was on your chest. We were silver and white,
a spider web on a queen sized bed.
Later, I was in a bathtub, watching my hair
float in curls around me like a noose. Your name was a spell
I cast to make myself remember that all the demons under my bed
were silenced when I was under you.
Layla Lenhardt is Editor in Chief of 1932 Quarterly. She has been most recently published in Poetry Quarterly, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, The Opiate, The Charleston Anvil, and Scars. Her forthcoming poetry book, These Ghosts are Mine, is due for publication this fall. She currently resides in Indianapolis.
skulls don’t blink
our history blinds
just that way
the strength of
our bones works
just that way
the organs split
processing america every
single, damn time
the mouth surrounds
the delinquent apple
we should be
a nation of
our parades should
choke the snake
we loosed before
we remembered gardens
your body is
will be i
can promise you
personally definitely will
be cleaned before
your shadow is
tucked away or
put on display
don’t slow down
Darren C. Demaree‘s poems have appeared, or are scheduled to appear in numerous magazines/journals, including Hotel Amerika, Diode, North American Review, New Letters, Diagram, and the Colorado Review. He is the author of eleven poetry collections, most recently Emily As Sometimes the Forest Wants the Fire (June 2019, Harpoon Books). He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry and currently lives and writes in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife and children.
Wild briars surround me,
wielding their thorn-barbed wire,
a weapon that threatens to keep me captive.
My hands claw at the sharpened spikes,
but my hands can’t help me.
They can only bleed
from the scratches and gouges
torn into my skin
and refuse to go into battle again.
A razor-sharp scythe would help –
arming me equally,
giving me a chance to make a break
from this bristly prison
and – finally! – taste the sharp-sweet syrup
of my stolen blackberries.
Cynthia Pitman is a retired English teacher with poetry published in Amethyst Review, Vita Brevis, Leaves of Ink, Ekphrastic, Postcard Poems and Prose, Right Hand Pointing, Literary Yard, Adelaide Literary Magazine, Three Line Poetry, Third Wednesday (finalist, One Sentence Poem Contest), and others. Her book, The White Room, is forthcoming.