Barry Yeoman: “Barely Hanging On”

Barely Hanging On

I’m constantly harassed
by unrecorded sentences
that loiter like pesky gnats
above the trashcan, the toilet,
the over-ripe bananas.

My diminished capacities
cover a continent, growing
and eroding with each storm.
Sand blown dust devils dance
while the boll weevil infests.

I’ve been pushing gloom
around all of my life, trying
to navigate obstacles, to win
at rigged carnival games.
There was a lush tempo I

gambled with and lost.
A black umbrella hangs
on a coat rack at the racetrack.
Something orange has left
a faint scent behind my glands.

Being harnessed to helium-
filled balloons I stay airborne
for ten feet between each two
steps I push off with. I would
not call this flying. I would call

it barely hanging on.

 

Barry Yeoman is a poet from Springfield, Ohio, currently living and writing in London, Ohio. He earned his B.A. in Liberal Studies: Literature and Creative Writing from Antioch University Midwest (Yellow Springs, Ohio). Submitting poetry since 2014 his work has appeared, or is forthcoming in Mission at Tenth, U City Review, Common Ground Review, Lost Coast Review, Right Hand Pointing, Crack the Spine, Harbinger Asylum, Gravel, and Broad River Review, among other print and online journals. He is working on a first book-length manuscript. He can be reached at barryyeoman@yahoo.com.

Advertisements

Rob Plath: “hit the keys”

hit the keys

one
day
the
maggots
will
hang
hammocks
in
my
skull
&
nap
w/ fat
bellyfuls
of
unwritten
poems

 

Rob Plath is a 48-year-old poet from New York. He has published
21 books so far. . He is most known for his collection A BELLYFUL OF
ANARCHY (epic rites press). He lives alone with his cat and stays out of trouble.
See more of his work at www.robplath.com

Julia Lisella: “Bird walk”

Bird walk 

On the wire woven through the trees
the bird, gray, larger than a swallow,
lands, seems frantic

to hear a call in return to her high caw

I stand listening beneath the tree
half thinking
we are waiting together

but my dog grows impatient
tugs for the next sniff near the end of the block
he, too, feeding on breath
and instinct and I let him
tug me along,

but I keep listening behind me
for the distance between
the end of her shriek and caw
turn to see the slight cock of her head
as she waits for sound to be met by sound
a companion
who does not seem to be anywhere near

Is she lost? Is the one she’s seeking lost?
Is she shrieking to a bird of another type
that does not sound as she does?

What waiting is is never clear
but I can feel it now
as something close
to this lost sound,
a vibration nearly recovered and nearly returned
to the original vibration,
the original shrill of need or love.

 

Julia Lisella is the author of two full-length collections of poetry: Always and Terrain (both from WordTech Editions) and the chapbook, Love Song Hiroshima (Finishing Line Press, 2004). Her poems are widely anthologized and have appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Antiphon, Ocean State Review, Literary Mama, Salamander, Prairie Schooner, Valparaiso, and others. She has received residencies from the Vermont Studio Center, MacDowell, Millay, and Dorset colonies, and has received a number of grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council to lead community poetry workshops. Her scholarship focuses on American women modernists, especially Genevieve Taggard. She is Associate Professor of English at Regis College in Massachusetts, and has recently joined the Board of the Robert Creeley Foundation.

Matt Stefon:”Near Edson Cemetery, South Lowell, Nighttime”

Near Edson Cemetery, South Lowell, Nighttime

Is it just me or is the moon getting thinner?
The more I walk on down Bowden toward the station
and the Quik-Mart, I mean. It’s just open till ten.
And so I walk a bit faster past dim houses
toward the little gas station so close to sleeping,
cradled in the little square formed where Gorham and
Edson cross each other near where I’m walking now
on a late-evening run for water, ’Gansett, and,
having missed dinner, crackers, maybe, something small,
probably all I’ll want this waning hour beneath
that yellow hangnail sticking thin out of the sky
down toward where Lowell flattens to take in all its dead
across the street from homes still holding so much life.

 

 

Matt Stefon is the author of the e-chapbook The Long Contraction: Twelve Rejected Poems (Smashwords, 2016) and the print chapbook Shaking the Wind (Finishing Line Press, 2017). He is poetry editor of West Texas Literary Review and lives and writes north of Boston.

Dominique Williams: “Snowstorm”

Snowstorm

Blanket me in indifference
Hide me from myself and numb my thoughts of you

But it melts away
Not the pain, but my protection, my cocoon

Blind me from the fatal truth as the carriage horse knows his future is not rest

Freeze me in the past where I could assure myself that romance was shared between us.

 

Dominique Williams grew up in New York City’s Greenwich Village when still a literary and artistic hub. She inherited a love of the written word from her mother, who is a writer, and a love of art from her father, a Greek-born artist of note. Dominique studied dance, voice, art, literature, and interior design. Her blog dgsinteriors.blogspot.com focuses on design, art, and architecture. Her writing has been published in Array Magazine. She lives in East Harlem with her husband and grey tabby cat.

Cary Barney: “Golub”

Golub

On the bus home you ask me
what we’ve seen.
I try to conjure Leon Golub–

huge rags of canvas shouting
red and black from gallery walls,
flat, scratchy, torn, bleeding, exploding,
dog fang and tank tread
rendering the dead,
manacled victims dangling,
naked puppets dancing
for laughing torturers,
Moloch triumphant,
a piss-yellow sphinx
slashing at us with knived paws

and you listen, clutching fervently
at what’s already being erased
by the flipped-switch gene
that killed your father too
and fifty-fifty might get your kids.
Hold on, Rosendo,
to whatever shards we can save for you
of this dwindling world.

 

Cary Barney was born on Long Island, raised in Massachusetts, received a BA from Marlboro College and an MFA from the Yale School of Drama. He has lived in Spain since 1991 and teaches theater and writing at Saint Louis University’s Madrid campus.

 

David P. Miller: “It’s a Grand Night for Singing”

It’s a Grand Night for Singing

It’s the usual cramped hustle between platforms.
Blue tarps and green scaffolds narrow the passage
down and elbowed around the vague gapers
who possibly know where they’re headed
but hesitate and rotate below my speed, well
anyway, I find little vacancies to slip between.

Left in my wake, a baritone warbler I almost don’t hear.
People sing in the subway, but this is so odd, a voice
of deep mahogany. Not like the flattened
tune-shapes chanted by men (always men)
following their earbuds’ commands.

Landed and ready, I bulldozed to no avail.
A ten minutes’ wait. The croon approaches,
patient, nearing, a church choir cornerstone.
And I know what he sings—how? This
something that’s maybe more than the moon,
maybe it’s more than the birds

maybe it’s more than the sight of the night,
in a light too lovely for words
I want to shut out because I’m ten again,
my mother has choral group ladies
around the piano, downstairs
after bed and I want quiet. Boy galaxy
of boy planet circling boy star,

it’s all me, weary of hearing the starts
and stops of this same same music.
For my mother, her women,
it’s all a grand night for singing.
Each time again, they insist,
the earth is a-glow
and to add to the show,

I think I am falling in love
he booms behind me, gray braid
poked from cloth cap, two-wheeled cart
with trash bag liner, umbrella handle
at the lip. He pushes toward the far end,
his own audience,
falling, falling in love.

 

David P. Miller’s chapbook, The Afterimages (Červená Barva Press), was published in 2014. His journal credits include Main Street RagMeat for TeaCalifornia Quarterly, What Rough Beast, and Ibbetson Street, among many others. David is a librarian at Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts.