“Every artist seems to me to have the job of bearing witness
to the world we live in. To some extent I think of all of us as artists,
because we have voices and we are each of us unique.”
Sweat and Saliva
He’s a hot mess of a man
All sweat and saliva
Belching on his pot roast and beer
Blind to the parsley, the napkin ironed
He groans when asked to wash
Refuses to use that damned floss
So high falootin’
His trusty ole peppermint pick lodged
Deep within his swollen gums
He grabs for her tits
Claws at her derriere
Angry that all he scores is a manicured swat
The tinkle of silver charms
She was the queen of West Texas
Now a mean ole mother
He mutters under his stale breath
Cracking another can
Not noticing her freshly curled hair
Or the Home Beautiful magazine, $1.99
Dog-eared by her side sagging
Not looking anything like a home coming
Or anyone’s high school dream
- Heather M. Browne
(1 poem added 03.30.15)
editor's note: The shame of mutual disappointment; keep those bodily fluids to yourself. - mh
Never thought I’d live to see
My own Octo-gen-er-ity
The daily complement of pills
Have staunched so many ills
I am the first in my line
To reach this magic time
As I stand to face
The finish of the race
Each day I go anew
To confront life’s brew
Of ache and tired muscle
Amid our diurnal bustle
I take my quotidian stand
A toast to Medicine Grand
For a long and healthy life
Buttressed by my loving wife
- Milt Montague
editor's note: Better living, longevity and love - through chemistry. Viva, Milt! - mh
Under belched clouds
in Nebraska’s sunny sky,
chugged staccato rhythm,
a zombie cadence
for marching pubescent pluckers.
She walked through
miles and miles of corn
erect wiry-haired stalks.
No breeze ruffled
tousled yellow-silk tassels.
A budding song played in ears,
The summons for snatching
buzzed and buzzed.
She yanked sticky plumes
with sweaty palms,
pollen speckled her face.
August slipped by that summer.
It wasn’t her plan to become
part of monster Monsanto
or lose her virginity in a cornfield.
She was earning money for college.
- Sharon Frye
(2 poems added 03.28.15)
editor's note: Innocence turned to unintended complicity, caught in the coils of the combine. (We welcome Sharon to our crazy confab of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page, including another new one - echoes out of school.) - mh
An orange jumpsuit
Stung by zeal
doses of pain
I hang off a rock
In a storm of stardust
My soul clings
To desert winds
For fifty years
I crave a cigarette
Red lights flash
A siren blasts
Teeth fall out
I gasp for breath
My headless body
no longer belongs to me
I’m a pebble
Kicked down a road
- Milton P. Ehrlich
editor's note: A sorry plight; cravings addressed with a kick in the teeth and roll on the road. - mh
The Tear on the Cheek
There it goes,
There it overflows,
There it wanders
In a swift feather-like manner
When wind blows
As if to be forgotten
To be the dew
Inside a book bitterly written
To moan in silence
To hurt to torn
To be doomed to an everlasting mutiny
- Ilhem Issaoui
editor's note: Write the book sweetly; squeeze that tear from joy, instead. Write sweetly! - mh
Dolmens cast massive shadows in the narrows,
From where funnel clouds once rose in the narrows.
The wings of mynah birds shed pulsing sparks
In a cloud of ash that billows in the narrows.
Cotton grass is silvered with frosted dew
Where glistening fog flows in the narrows.
Moths dove into the flames of stone lanterns
As the shadows of wraiths rose in the narrows.
Like quivering wings, brittle leaves rise
In gales laced with echoes in the narrows.
Shafts of starlight flicker as sibyls rise
Like mist from shallows in the narrows.
Wisps of moonlit fog encircle the ferry
A cloaked figure rows in the narrows.
Pike shine like steel knives, gliding
Through sunlit shallows in the narrows.
- Steffen Horstmann
(1 poem added 03.25.15)
editor's note: Fat happenings in a skinny place... (We welcome Steffen to our growing congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Check more of his madness on his new page.) - mh
The second self of me is the gift
The adventure in need of a path.
A stone to be dislodged.
A bridge that crosses every part,
leading to passions and fears.
It’s a road without a friendly door
or room without a place to hide;
My second self forces me to sunlight.
I’ll shed a skin, maybe between clouds
or a under a soaking rain
and find a place I best fit in -
my second self and me.
- Roger G. Singer
(1 poem added 03.24.15)
editor's note: Better two-for-one than full price; make 'im fit. - mh