Theodore Worozbyt: “Glass”

Glass

With my pinky finger bleeding, Russia disappears, just as expected. It isn’t bad. I take out my little black notebook that I keep on my person to record observations. I rub my knuckle on the slide and slip on a cover. I dot myself with India ink. It spreads through my eyes. “A million, million million, million million million cells,” is what I read and then climb onto the white-graveled roof to watch the eclipse through a shoebox. It does not arrive like a liquid dart piercing the closer sky and inverting its imago on foil glued to the rear. It does not arrive. I stare through the lunar windows instead, into a kitchen where a black and white television plays and no one is cooking. Life, on those other planets in the book the faceless European lady gave to me, might be possible. Brownian motion is what makes the soul afraid of itself. It’s hard to go on much further from here.

 

Theodore Worozbyt has published three books, The Dauber Wings (Dream Horse Press, 2006) and Letters of Transit, winner of the Juniper Prize (The University of Massachusetts Press, 2008), and Smaller Than Death (Knut House Press, 2015). The City of Leaving and Forgetting, his most recent chapbook, appears in Country Music.

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Michael H. Brownstein: “Cold”

Cold
 
I wake senile this morning
enable to remember if my wife’s name
belongs to a woman or a man.
Outside, flesh shivers and I
flicker in and out inside surrounded
by a flurry of dogs awake and asleep,
growling and mute. You cannot brake
a breath-thought or destroy
an oxygen-dysfunction.
The dogs burrow themselves
under blankets and I try to recall
something I knew yesterday,
the day before yesterday,
a yesterday a week ago,
but not now, not in this stretching moment,
this thin brain-pause,
this advocate of a life-inadequacy.

 

Michael H. Brownstein has nine poetry chapbooks including A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004), Firestorm: A Rendering of Torah (Camel Saloon Press, 2012), The Possibility of Sky and Hell: From My Suicide Book (White Knuckle Press, 2013) and The Katy Trail, Mid-Missouri, 100 Degrees Outside and Other Poems (Kind of Hurricane Press, 2013). He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011).

John L. Stanizzi: “Ghost Town”

Ghost Town

                   East Hartford, Connecticut
                   December, 1967

_____When I got home from Fort Dix, East Hartford was a ghost-town. Everyone was either working, at school, in Nam, or dead, so I’d spend long, bleak, suicidal afternoons in the woods naked, one hand on my dick, one on my old man’s shotgun, practicing being born, learning to die.

 

John L. Stanizzi’s full-length collections are Ecstasy Among Ghosts, Sleepwalking, Dance Against the Wall, After the Bell, Hallalujah Time!, and High Tide-Ebb Tide. His work is widely published and has appeared in Prairie Schooner, New York Quarterly, American Life in Poetry, The Cortland Review, Paterson Literary, Tar River Poetry, and many others. Chants, his latest book, will be out this summer.

Carol Hamilton: “Diary Keeping”

Diary Keeping

Pepys gave up his habit,
aging, for fear it caused
his growing blindness.
At the end of his days
the significance of ink was,
he said, an early death for him.
I kept diaries from 4th grade
through one year of college.
As a child, I read
my wildly-spelled words
to trapped victims at family gatherings.
I copied in and blacked out
“love” notes from little boys
with my many shifts of mood.
I was voluminous with ink,
stuffing extra pages
into the 5-year diaries
so that locks and tiny keys
were useless. Older, my markings
spewed over into letters,
many and long.

My mother saved boxes
of my verbiage, words that now
walk me through forgotten days.
My long-ago chronicles send
me reliving past joys
without the worries, anxieties,
lead me into a stand-still time
formed of the banal
and the extra-ordinary.
My lineal life circles and circles
round and round, endless cycle,
even as the ancients told
and even as Pepys’ ink endures.

 

Carol Hamilton has recent publications in Southwestern American Literature, Bluestem, Cold Mountain Review, Commonweal, Common Ground, Louisiana Review, Birmingham Literary Arts, Broad River Review, Louisiana Literature, Haight-Ashbury Poetry Review, U.S. 1 Worksheets, and others. She has published 17 books. She is a former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma.

 

Joe Balaz: “Off to Thailand”

Off to Thailand

She stay off to Thailand
foa talk to wun Chi Nei Tsang master

to get moa expertise
in da field of therapeutic massage.

I tink she healing da mind too

as she wings her way
on her latest adventure.

 

Space
it’s wun wide open concept

and it looks like dats wat she needed.

 

I stay tinking all of dis
in da belly of wun great beast

dat has taken me
to da bottom of da sea.

 

Heah in solitary
in da illuminating blackness

I’m just like Jonah
in da diving whale.

 

Da brain can rewire anyting

and in dis strange confinement
heaving to da motion of my host

I can plainly see multicolored kites
dancing and bobbing in da sky

witout looking through my eyes.

 

Maybe dose
are like da random prayer flags

dat she going view in Chiang Mai

each one wun wish
and wun mystery to behold.

 

She stay off to Thailand
all da way around da world

while I stay riding
dis unseen leviathan

waiting to be placed
on some newfound shore.

 

Joe Balaz writes in Hawaiian Islands Pidgin (Hawai’i Creole English) and in American English. He edited Ho’omanoa: An Anthology of Contemporary Hawaiian Literature. Some of his recent Pidgin writing has appeared in Unlikely Stories Mark V, Otoliths, Tuck Magazine, and The Lake, among others. Balaz is an avid supporter of Hawaiian Islands Pidgin writing in the expanding context of World Literature. He presently lives in Cleveland, Ohio.

Cammy Thomas: “Teetering”

Teetering

When the body that’s failing
isn’t my own
even its smallest cough
wakes me.

I wait for the trees to show up
outside before
I would even consider
moving and waking him.

When he teeters in the bathroom,
collapses against me,
is it time to call the doctor,
the ambulance?

I don’t fight him about sleeping
with the cold fan on
or refusing to eat anything
for a day.

Now we just walk to the corner,
not over the hill–
and I watch for the high curb
and the storm drains. . .

 

Cammy Thomas has two collections of poems with Four Way Books: Inscriptions (2014) and Cathedral of Wish (2006), winner of the Norma Farber First Book Award. Her poems are forthcoming or have recently appeared in Tampa Review, Ocean State Review, The Missouri Review, and elsewhere. Cammy lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.

 

George Thomas: “Reams of Poetry Adrift”

Reams of Poetry Adrift

one poetry market
they threw your poems out
distributed them
to barroom bathrooms
bus stop benches
soapy Laundromat counters
they said they wanted to “get ur shit out”
get it out where it might do some good

Bukowski’s been in that one
Lin Lifshin too
and old Bull Lee
had Whitman been here, him too probably
and most likely Vachel as well
before he drank Lysol

it’s a vision all right —
poems lying in the gutter
reams of poetry adrift in puddles
on whore-night streets
and hangover dawns
beside cum-filled condoms
on blustery streets
the final destination of every immortal thought

ask any drifter with a poem in his pack

 

Retired now from life’s work as CNC machinist, George Thomas has been
writing poetry for most of his life with some little success but not enough
to encourage him. Recently Washington State poet laureate Tod Marshall
included one of his poems in WA129, an anthology of Washington poets.