From November, 2017

Scratchers

An art gallery opened across the street from your apartment this week. At first, you were excited. You love art. Who doesn’t love art? The building that houses the gallery has been empty since you moved here a year ago. You had hoped for maybe a florist, possibly a bodega—that way you wouldn’t have to…

Casual Environment

Trees know their feet when melty black licorice runs beneath. Folk, however, run with fewer prunes and those who do, who simper with sugar-yellowed teeth at taffy toe sludge, garner backward glances from the marble legs of still-bodied statues, which stand stately in their robes mostly unnoticed by all but the nosiest shrubs as limbs…

Our Lady Of The Shallows

George sighed deeply and took another sip of tea before replacing the oversized cup on the shiny plastic tablecloth. The winter sun threw weak shafts of amber light around the southern end of the kitchen at this time of day. Sometimes these would illuminate his introspection so that he would think himself an amalgam of…

Freddy Two-Stroke McFall

Freddy’s parents dragged him out of Omaha Nebraska at the age of four on a thousand-mile Pepsi-soaked tantrum and lodged him in a cold and drafty house up in Boise Idaho. His folks both snuffed it early from the big C because they had smoked without pause all their short lives. This didn’t wrinkle up…

The Pleasure of Your Company

Instead of writing a toast for Jocelyn Feingold’s rehearsal dinner, Mara wasted the flight from St. Louis to Chicago thinking about Mr. Feingold—Jocelyn’s dad and the intermittent object of Mara’s fantasies for two decades. You’re ridiculous, she told herself while glancing at her husband, Aaron, asleep in the next seat. “The fantasies aren’t about Mr.…

Sound, Unsound

To wake is an annihilation. The wool gathered  Blown and scattered In draughts of sound that flap from above. And the want to grasp at facts Is killer; The want to seal the cracks Is bigger Than any bribe  A dream might offer. Now the light steals in All hasty and foolish and brilliant, As…

The Project

The photo shows a man, neither tall nor short, neither stout nor thin, in a pale blue button-up shirt. He is somewhat younger than middle-aged, but based on the receding hair line and gray at his temples and in his goatee, not that much younger. His tie is perfectly straight, but his eyes are half-closed.…

Here

here, where the tarmac is cracked and faded, non-descript crossroads where all journeys converge makeshift metropolis of ramshackle shanties lean-tos, Quonset huts, wigwams pup tents, soapboxes, rumors this is where tumbleweed gathers jostles, rumbles, jumbles disperses again city of orphans, day-laborers, sisters of mercy men without qualities, women of ill-fame stranded, confounded, huddled, befuddled empty…

Hometown, Iowa

This is the town where the dogs blend in with the pavement, where the air chokes with the smell of the pigs, and your neighbor greets you with wire gray hair and twisted teeth. Instead of hello, his mouth gives a grinding noise, metal on metal, intermittent.     EDITOR’S NOTE: This poem was selected…

Over Snoqualmie Pass

For decades a resident of high dry country, I hurtle northwest on the Interstate beyond Cle Elum, bend along the endless construction zone snaking fake Lake Keechelus’s shore spotted with old stumps, then rise along three ski hills lining Snoqualmie Pass, that low hairpin Cascades saddle surveyed by George McClellan years before his Army of…