In My Old Age
by ROBERT A. DAVIES
I think of my past impotence
and now a bird in its nest
I think of Poe
the eyes of his haunted palace
of Lawrence’s lover
her eyes forget-me-nots
of Poe’s concept
a poem never to be long
and today’s paragraphs
lacking music pictures
of sharp elbows
the poetry crowd clambering up
a ladder to nowhere.
Robert A. Davies is the author of Melons and Mendelssohn. This poem will appear in the forthcoming Bluff Hollow. He can be reached at email@example.com.
every few months in the obituaries
by JUSTIN HYDE
i come across
someone i knew
at the halfway house:
face down between duplexes
with a bullet in the head
walking out in front of a semi
at the cavanaugh house
another flipped car
older black men
i always linger over.
here’s this guy
to be with the lord.’
i found cigarettes
in your shoe
had to do
was crudely carved
into your back
of your hip.
whoever did that
your left leg too.
i don’t know though
we never really talked
i’d try to reach out
a thousand different ways
use my authority
but that just made me seem weak
i could feel
breath it in
like a cloud
of iron filings.
but i could only guess
in the most
Justin Hyde lives in Iowa where he works as a correctional officer. He’s had work published in a wide spectrum of magazines ranging from The Iowa Review and the New York Quarterly to various on-line publications. More of his work can be found here: http://www.nyqpoets.net/poet/justinhyde.
by JOSÉ M. TIRADO
It began in the bedroom,
Right there in medias res,
That wretched observation that comes, at the wrong moment,
This meeting is nothing more than a
Bubbling, bumbling yearning of
The universe to see itself biologically,
Crude, ridiculous in its jerky nervousness.
Biology doesn´t lie.
They break for lunch.
The big picture secured, he sits smiling afterwards,
Though inside, a gnawing wonder, essential, ancient and still very raw
“Just for this?”
The painting of the lilacs in the hall properly faces north,
Above the couch in the white living room, three more defend the scene,
& in the bathroom, the toilet paper sheets roll open on the wall side,
As it should be; the cat has his green tray securely in the kitchen corner as well.
History records many such examples.
There was a slithering electricity at one time,
An old serpent-blessed magic which innocently reflected the vibrant light
In many of the rooms, daily.
The lawn mower struggled with the tall grass
On the Sunday it hit him. Nobody else saw anything.
Atop the backyard wall, Diego spotted birds with murderous calculation-
Before noon, one of the smaller ones would be gifted to her.
He envied that simplicity, that sincerity.
Biological. This was not so much the end of a line, he reflected,
More a crack through which some new, less innocent light burned the soul,
Turning the placid order of the finite
Into an inexpressible, almost ghastly Infinite.
Something had changed. Across town, the car dealership
Made a brisk run this weekend.
On the computer screen, recorded sales
Filled the program until coffee time.
The air also shimmied with dust sparkles so that
Outside, the white shirts of the brown customers appeared angelic.
Only a few hours more, he thought, just before
The crack opened again, revealing this time, some inner container
He once built in the dark, before experience collected.
A realization off to one side maybe, but still there,
Unshaken by being glimpsed.
Dinner was livelier with Santa Rita and fresh ceviche.
There were even fresh smiles since Peru was where the best
Ceviche they´d had was prepared. On a bed of wild rice in Lima
They´d planned biology then, that´s the way he now remembered it.
In biology it began, in biology it will end – he shook this
Last one off for a stiffer glass of Sherry and a sliced tomato.
“We have much to be grateful for” she celebrated, almost cooing,
He blinked, blinded to panic but
The crack stayed completely hidden from her, for now, and
He was most grateful for that,
So he smiled. Grandma´s dishes cleaned, the table made,
Even the cat Diego looked sated, neatly biological.
Stepping barefoot outside, the cool moist, freshly cut grass
Tickled but they watched the stars together with a glass each
And contemplated different worlds:
One demanding grateful acknowledgment,
The other, holding an ominous cracked sphere near the heart,
Anomalous, pregnant to bursting with a light too
Lucent to bear, too eager to be born,
Too biological to ignore.
José M. Tirado is a Puertorican poet and political writer living in Hafnarfjorður, Iceland, known for its elves, “hidden people” and lava fields. His articles and poetry have been featured in CounterPunch, Cyrano´s Journal, The Galway Review, Dissident Voice, Op-Ed News, among others. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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