About thehuronriverreview

I am editor/faculty advisor of The Huron River Review.

Darren C. Demaree: Three Poems

amend/amends/amendments #22

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

 

amend/amends/amendments #23

the mouth surrounds
the delinquent apple
we should be

a nation of
delinquent apples
our parades should

choke the snake
we loosed before
we remembered gardens

 

amend/amends/amendments #24

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.

Cynthia Pitman: “Entangled”

Entangled

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.

Disha Trivedi: “a marriage vow”

a marriage vow

look
__________across the bridge
where
__________once, two lovers
__________jumped,
hand in hand
for the sheer and simple joy of it.

the water was not deep.
daylight
__________had snuck up on them:
night
__________was for people
bent
__________on secrecy;
their mission
was celebration.

he jumped
__________and she fell;
unevenly
__________they went,
__________billiard balls,
and bowling pins,

dancing
__________in the air
one after
the other
__________till the whoop
__________and splash
rent
__________the water
__________like so many
unsent letters,
ready to accept a
simple correspondence.
love makes it easy

to risk drowning. for
two moments,
__________maybe three,
the people
who have gathered here today
watch and wait,
and then
__________two heads
emerge, sodden.
their mouths know only
the shape of laughter.

 

Disha Trivedi is a scientist-in-training. She currently divides her time between Scotland, New Zealand, and her native California. She has been previously published in The Women’s Issue, an anthology curated by the Harvard Advocate.

 

Robert Wexelblatt: “Surprising Consequences of Our Revolution”

Surprising Consequences of Our Revolution

_____Like all objects, the object of our revolution was unknowable-in-itself, accessible only through its secondary qualities, its taste, color, odor, texture. Like all revolutionaries, our revolutionary vanguard failed to understand that the object of their sacrifices was unknowable. On the contrary, they passionately believed in the glorious end, not just the taste, color, odor, and texture of the revolution. As we massed on the hills overlooking the spread-eagled capital—literally on the precipice of victory—our leaders smiled at one another. They could smell and touch and taste their final triumph. And it came swiftly, too.
_____Bottilini, the immensely prolific court composer, died penniless in a gutter at the age of forty-two. In his last appeal to the new Ministry of Culture he had written: “So I mastered the composition of the string septet. So I wrote over four hundred of the things. Look, I admit the string septet happened to be favored by the Ancien Régime, but is that my fault? Couldn’t you people use a few string septets too?”
_____The celebrated orator Halbschwacher fell silent. He had been the scourge of the Royalists who had not dared to imprison him for fear that he would convert the other prisoners, the guards, that his eloquence would captivate the very locks. Now that thunderous voice was heard no more. He retired to a cottage on what had once been his country estate, took up bee-keeping and knocking together wooden tables and rush-bottomed chairs. In response to an attempt by the Minister of Propaganda to recruit him, he replied, “What’s there for me to say? You want slogans. Slogans are vulgar. Without the cognoscenti of the Court my talent for invective is obsolete. Best wishes.”
_____The revolutionaries now had an inkling that all the consequences of their victory might well have been unknowable and they hastened to fill this intolerable creeping vacuum with ugly apartment blocks, agricultural collectives, hydroelectric dams, steel mills, nuclear reactors, wind tunnels, and rocket engines with enough thrust to launch the Royal Museum into solar orbit. The achievements of their frenzy were amazing. But what of their object, their original goal? Faint traces of its taste, color, odor, and texture may still be discerned from time to time in the swirling, multicolored effluents fouling our rivers.

 

Robert Wexelblatt is a professor of humanities at Boston University’s College of General Studies. He has published five fiction collections; two books of essays; two short novels; a book of poems; stories, essays, and poems in a variety of journals, and a novel awarded the Indie Book Awards first prize for fiction. Two collections, one of Chinese, the other of non-Chinese, stories, are forthcoming.

 

Thom Young: Two Poems

Love 

love came back
to haunt
us
with a gun
in her hands
we sat over
a bowl of cold cereal
and
laughed
at how the world
used to be
I never saw her again
after that
but sometimes
I hurt for no reason
at all.

 

Hell

you can find hell
in many things
in a cold stare of a lady
in a green dress
buying purple onions
and milk for a cat
that hates her.
in a small child pounding
its skull on a concrete wall
somewhere in California.
in the eyes of lovers
walking in a park at night
as Butterscotch lamps
shine on.
yes, you can hell in many
things.

 

 

Thom Young is a writer from Texas. His work has been in PBS Newshour, The Wall Street Journal, The Oxford Review, and over a hundred literary journals. He is a 2008 Million Writers Award and 2016 Pushcart Prize nominee.

Anna Teresa Slater: “Forty-Two”

Forty-Two

Milk, mum, nappies, mum, milk, sometimes dad,
blanket wrap, a squeezy duck,
a twinkling tin can with useful words:
tears   broken window   not that,
elephant-shaped milk chocolate cornflakes,
please, something to make them stop.
Pimple-popping machine, mouth filter,
box wine, a joint, true love’s kiss,
that boy at the dance, a seventh chance,
condoms, pepper spray, ice pack,
an eraser to rub it all out,
sometimes dad to hold me up.

A passport, yen, rubles, rupees, pounds,
a real reason to go home,
black coffee, god, Simone de Beauvoir,
a self-slap, a megaphone,
a forgiving church, a midday nap,
a warning before the call.

Old photos of them, alive and young,
something else to hold me up,
hair dye, another day, midnight song,
milk tea, Tao Te Ching, white lies,
a twinkling tin can with useful words:

Accept  Let go   It’s okay.

 

Anna Teresa Slater is a high school literature and drama teacher from the Philippines and is a postgraduate student in Creative Writing at Lancaster University. Four of her poems have been published in a local anthology and she has two poems in an online protest lit repository. She lives on a farm with her husband, dog, and cat.

Alexina Dalgetty: “Getting the Cogs to Fit”

Getting The Cogs To Fit

Michelle mixed colours never seen before, golden and fresh green daylights, purple and orange night times. She dusted over old landscapes with new ideas. She shifted perspective. She elongated trees. She owned the leisurely landscape.

Her paintings sold. They sold well. They sold for more money than Michelle thought anyone should pay for a modern day painting. She searched her canvasses for clues to their value. She eyed their competence and plausibility, their creative use of new colour, shadow, and perspective. It bewildered her. But still, she painted.

Her children grew older and left home. They had children of their own. They clattered through her house, demanding she paint their squirming babies. Her colours didn’t mix right for babies. They looked underdone and over roasted. Her children didn’t care. They oohed and ahhed. They paid for frames and hung the awful likenesses.

Her husband stopped working. Instead of packing a lunch and going to an office or wherever it was he used to go – she couldn’t quite remember, so much art in her head – he stayed in bed until late. He did odd jobs around the house and volunteered with the local historic society. He spent peculiarly long periods of time in the garden shed.

Gliding elegant into old age, Michelle woke one day compelled to paint cogs. Dry sandy dust coloured cogs. Orangey, browny, sludgy cogs. Each fitting into the other. Working in harmony. She saw them with the painterly eye that lived in the fibres of her heart. Cogs in motion, an engine to life. Each morning she painted the cogs and each evening she painted the canvass blank. The cogs refused to fit in paint the way they fit in her heart.

 

Alexina Dalgetty lives in Stratford, Ontario, the traditional territory of the Anishnabek, Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), Ojibway/Chippewa peoples. She has recently started writing short stories.