Jean in marketing
requested a few days off
for ‘personal time’

Bio:
Stephanie Barber is an American writer and artist. She has created a poetic, conceptual and philosophical body of work in a variety of media. Her videos are concerned with the content, musicality and experiential qualities of language and her language is concerned with the emotional impact of moments and ideas. Each ferry viewers through philosophical inquiry with the unexpected oars of empathy, play, story and humor.

Week 45: Rich Boucher

ten a.m. is hard

thirteen suns and moons have come and gone
since they said I have the job, background passed.
as far as one knows. ten in the morning has its own
brand of sunshine that lights up the tiles in this kitchen.
the black and white (and cold and dirty) oddfellow floor
glows barely perceptibly, like a déjà vu that stays,
makes the kitchen look just as out of time as me.
we are rarely as sure by the light of morning
about what we were certain of the night before.
the door to the fridge opens by itself, succeeding
in startling. a flock of pale brown birds escapes
and flies through my house until I open the front door
to permit exit. wishing time was not so visible.

 

Bio:

Rich Boucher resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Rich’s poems have appeared in Gargoyle, The Nervous Breakdown, Soft Cartel, Menacing Hedge, Cultural Weekly and Tinderbox Poetry Journal, among others, and he has work forthcoming in Street Poet Review. For more, check out richboucher.bandcamp.com. He loves his life with his love Leann.

Week 43: Steve Klepetar

Bewildered

Tracks around the house,
footprints

with three toes.
Sunset now

by nine o’clock
in late July, and the grass

still wet from last night’s rain.

Keening in the woods,
In the sky, no moon, no stars.

All around, the hum
of crickets and the scent

of pine. In a flood of indoor light
I count my pulse, I breathe.

 

Bio:

Steve Klepetar has recently relocated to the Berkshires in Massachusetts after 36 years in Minnesota. His work has received several nominations for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, including three in 2017. Recent collections include A Landscape in Hell (Flutter Press), How Fascism Comes to America (Locofo Chaps), and Why Glass Shatters (One Sentence Chaps).

Week 42: Richard King Perkins II

Many Uppercuts Required

Sunlight is the lord of all intoxication.
Where it leads, all else must swallow.

Attempt to keep pace with shiftless angels.
That which is incapable will be forgotten.

You are captivated, staring into embolisms
until nothing can be seen or hoarded..

Only when you are preoccupied does height fail.
Contract on what is missing to be fulfilled.

Aerosol dictates to both morning and afternoon.
Exposition is its stimulant.

Where to squeeze is always an isolated opinion
so far removed in its pertinence

that rain mats have little upon which to shine—
nothing except fervor and passion, clamor and agitation.

Storage boxes are a perpetual unknowing.
Constantly you will falter in their shadow

guided toward temptation despite halos of bleating
and then suffer for your inconstancy—

the many uppercuts required
to unlearn all that sight misgives.

 

Bio:
Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL, USA with his wife, Vickie and daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart, Best of the Net, and Best of the Web nominee whose work has appeared in more than a thousand publications.

Week 41: Emma Woodford

Dissolved

tugged from the ether

even the reassembled

reality that once were

waking desires are replaced by

belonging to each new day

 

Bio:

Emma Woodford is a poet and activist from the UK and Belgium. She has an upcoming publication ‘A Poem for My Daughters’ in the feminist magazine Les Sous Entendues.

Week 40: L. Ward Abel

Four Chairs

Out there the four chairs under a stand of oaken
walnut, the times hard like a tree but uncertain

on things like up and down. Holding patterns,
the lights from and to, skip like stones over

great blue film smooth and true north. If it moves
it proves time. Cold dew metal cold to touch

flakes thin beholden to wind, then to nothing
after it’s rained. Ghost wrought irons seated there,

they don’t believe anything they hear anymore.
Well maybe the quiet.

Virginia

Turn away, turn away
from all you are,
all you were. No one
knows but you.

They think they know.
They say they know
but simple eyes have
simple minds behind.

The shoes, the shoes
they hide your feet
they hide your heart.
It beats in a quiet room

the bone-cage draped,
a standard mistaken
for someone else. There
cracks a pump

it breaks like
hedgerow-creased green,
flows with redding scabs,
hard before your creek
and alone.

Where the Five Counties Meet

this countryside catches
blurred veils
moving curtains of rain
almost silent across
tops of trees and clearings
and up to the house.

My god at the time, the clouds
my god at the lake, the face
I only know at a distance.
The west gives birth.
A breeze begins. My old gilded
book quivers on the front porch.

I know the way out-past the fences
but here is a place. Sounds
like showers fill the woods
long after they’ve passed over.
I ignore the rustling approach.
Then I count to one.

 

Bio:

L. Ward Abel, poet, composer and performer of music, teacher, retired lawyer, lives in rural Georgia, has been published hundreds of times in print and online, and is the author of nine chapbooks and one full volume of poetry, including Jonesing For Byzantium (UK Authors Press, 2006), The Heat of Blooming (Pudding House Press, 2008),  American Bruise (Parallel Press, 2012),  Little Town gods (Folded Word Press, 2016), A Jerusalem of Ponds (erbacce-Press, 2016), and Digby Roundabout (Kelsay Books, 2017).

Week 39: James Diaz

4/29/17

I dreamt you dreamt mountains and me cutting myself apart kind-knees hands in the soil tabitha railed iron fisted counted sleeping stones a while inside burning as bodies do left alone too long are you home and the outer road walking could I take you there letting go was easy when the pin split and the eye caught light laughter in the next room next life listen it’s not just rain other people can hear you and the talking in tongues first hit was the longest to shake I saw lived a while with the grate of the window pressed clean and my face belonged to you then I had no place it got this way in my body shook a little through the promises scribbled numbers call at midnight want to feel again but it’s never enough Tony’s mad eyes I couldn’t tell if he hated my help so I left him there to die aren’t we ravished enough socially I withered from within lit fires because the wood was good and sharp and my lungs could take it the company was all wrong then but it’s not the worst that shreds you it’s poking at morning details left unadorned me too crawled in the window this way strong hands lifted me off the ledge by my shirt I was all rag doll to him Sunny never came home I couldn’t breathe it got heavy my skin dancing I dreamt we were never poor asked to leave smelled a little sad that room called living on the soil no shoes no light on in the distance hills swallow houses I come clean I’ve been dangling all along 7-11 smirk how we ran with no legs claimed the deep parts addled been dreaming mountains and midnight promises scribbled on my door frame bruises if you had places for them but the scars drink water and I only pretend against the grate ivy lean in I linger it never stops hurting…

 

Bio:

James Diaz is the founding editor of the literary arts & music journal Anti-Heroin Chic. His work has appeared most recently in Psaltery & Lyre, The Ekphrastic Review, Quail Bell Magazine and HIV Here & Now. He is the author of This Someone I Call Stranger (Indolent Books, 2018) and currently resides in upstate New York.

Week 38: Robin Wyatt Dunn

 

what ruined surface of your moon
relates to me
my only child

whose urgent melody reposes dark inside your eye
give it me and I will heal it

give it me and I will damage it more
under the cover of stars

who waits to tell you
(or not tell)

the thing

the thing thing thing

thing thing thing thing thing thing

no one is telling

 

Bio:

Robin Wyatt Dunn lives in Los Angeles but is trying to escape. In 2017 he was a finalist for poet laureate of his city.

Week 37: Jim Zola

The Angels

where is the angel of adversity who knows
the angel of air I sleep with the angel
of insomnia how long is the angel
of longevity ask the angel
of calculations unknown to the angel
of confusion wet is the angel of rain
remember says the angel of forgetfulness
nothing says the angel of silence look up
the angel over small birds flies blind
into heaven

 

Bio:

Jim Zola is a poet and photographer living in North Carolina.