From March, 2018

Saturday Nights In The Wash Tub

Baths for the week took place in the kitchen where everything was cooked and where the heat was retained in the winter and held there until the spring windows could be thrown open. The old women were allowed to wash the children, especially the boys, from head to foot until we were fourteen or eighteen…

Saxy Beast

He left early – packed while she was at work, as agreed; moved boxes to an unknown locale. She pretended not to care. One last night spent lounging on wine-stained shag (the couch was his), takeout phở and arguing the viability of his thesis, aka the usual. She slept in bed and him on the…

The Field At The Horse Island

His mind was the silent rotor that swept the swirling flakes into eddies that whirled in the grey. Not proper snowfall yet; just a precursor to it. Sarah shaking out the bolsters, or orange pith blown from the hand by a lick of breeze; little flecks, a smattering of hesitance; a laden promise. Pat knew…

Carving the Sky

Condom wrappers and CD casings quiver on packed gravel as the crowds coalesce. A garrison of mohawks and begrimed skinny jeans assume formation, steam my shirt with their putrid sweat. Electrified frustration is as imminent as the coming storm. Fans shove ever closer to the stage, test the tensile strength of claustrophobia. The guitar rips…

A Small Town

This town where my wife and I have made a life is the largest I’ve lived in. For her it is the smallest. In her old city shopping was anonymous. She bought wine at warehouses. Since moving here, she dresses for the grocery store prepared to meet neighbors. Co-workers will want to compare produce. The…

Blue Bonnets Bloom on the Panhandle

It was a toasted Texas Tuesday rocking down Route 66 quashing sleep with fists of wide-eye wake-me-ups. I swished by wacky Wigwam Inns, tore through insect tempests, flirted with roller-skating, bare-skinned, drive-ined Marilyns. I was neon I was come on I was Major Betucan.       EDITOR’S NOTE: This poem was selected from entries…

Aromatics

In your knee-high, tri-stripe socks, you are the feather-haired object of my broken heart. I have loved you since before I came to Santa Cruz and found you there. A sweet and salty butter pad floats on the popping silver surface of a hot frying pan. I drop six eggs, grated white cheese, fresh diced…

Impatient

A virgin, I carry an empty: an accumulation of space. A sign around my neck: the core of my body is an untouched baby’s crib. I incubate something else, a sputtering leak drips: rainwater hitting the roof of my mouth. A kerosene pool swells, overflowing the crib. When I hold my breath, I hear it…

Day Dream

I awaken to find my brain sitting on the kitchen counter: a grey fruit cut into neat sections. I cough and a black dog snarls out of my throat, pauses on my tongue, panting, peers through the cage of my half-open teeth, squirms through, pounces down, and settles on the floor at my feet. Soldiers…

Truth Be Told

About a year ago Buster quit fixing track for the Gulf, Colorado, and Santa Fe and took up a job in sales. He’d been with the railroad for ten years, but once he got the notion in his head to quit, that was it. He’s always been like that. There was playing the guitar. He…