H. Edgar Hix
She cut her hair: a tiny rebellion.
He didn't say anything when he got home
except, "I see you did it." They didn't
make love for a week. But she had gotten tired
of brushing it three times a day,
and she wanted to see her ears.
H. Edgar Hix
Pygmalion found Galatea's first white hair
as she gave him love in the white estuary
where the river Acis melds with the sea.
He plucked it and showed it to her, saying,
"You're returning to granite." She took it,
dropped it into the water and said, "No.
Your dream is turning to dust. I am alive."
H. Edgar Hix
She is riding the angry bull at the rodeo
but she thinks she's on the mechanical bull
at the bar with her friends waiting to buy her a beer
when she finally hits the padded floor.
Her hand is slipping out of the rope.
Her cowboy hat is already pulverized in the dirt.
The audience is yelling. Screaming.
She's getting thirsty.
It was most agreeable how you approached me without knowing me at all. I'm at a loss as to why I did it, but your spontaneous return of my embrace assuaged my every doubt. Straight from the beginning our intimacy was anything but pedestrian. That we're both yet unshaven—what are the chances? My cheeks tickle as well, but from hence forth we can avoid all such irritation. Flying leg scissor grips I had only thought practicable among professional wrestlers! I do worry about my glasses, crammed as they are in my breast pocket. Perhaps, with little ado, we could relax some pressure exactly there? I've never been one to take anything the wrong way, but it would gratify me dearly if you could remove your elbow from my groin. I indeed acknowledge my sympathy for you, without knowing why, some things being unaccountable. Today, close contacts are said to be of such growing importance. Regardless, we know each other very well now, and that is a major gain, even if we must shrink our connection. Your nostrils are somewhat moisty—if you could loosen your headlock, I could lend you my hankie. With only a few words we have forged a unique relationship destined to endure any lengthy estrangement. Please don't misunderstand me, but I would like to briefly free myself in order to open the window. I sense your dampish breath against my neck. What a surprise that two of our feet could fit inside a single shoe! Your hair is, as they say, thinning, but that bothers me not in the slightest. You have somewhat bad breath, but I'm already excited to examine, dotting my thumb, your curious teethmarks. Only this morning we collapsed into each others arms, and it seems the time has arrived for a coffee break. Brief separations can mean a world of good even among married couples. I am willing to proceed a step further and say that every separation—also the final one!—can be a blessing in disguise. I'm sorry, but I've handed out the last of my remaining business cards. My appointment calendar for the next few years is also frightfully crowded. Of course, long term, our mutual reward is that neither of us carries anything contagious. Of this I am quite confident.
Translated by Eldon (Craig) Reishus
The Big Z.A.
When the Big Zombie Apocalypse
slouches in, everything from A to Z
will be devoured. Utterly all.
When the last jar
of peanut butter cries out,
you'll wish you'd learned
how to skin a squirrel
because there won't be any Wikipedia
or YouTube—no signal—no juice
and soon no more squirrels anyway ...
just an occasional Zombie Rat.
Your John Hancock on a check
won't be worth a Hancock's John
no matter what your Zombie Account
balance shows. And the Zombies
won't help you unlock your safe
deposit box to fondle those scraps
of your indelible, inedible gold.
dreamt of water skiing
with you but your rope
was too long
way longer than winter
and we were standing in shallows—
water too shallow
to float even empty skis
standing side by side
on four old wood
Dick Pope Tiki Masters—
long sticks on slick mud
waiting for this boat
driven by the Devil Himself
to "HIT IT!"
we were wondering
if He could
snap up that slack
without breaking your arms
Ronald E. Shields
When I die
set me loose on the river.
Let it carry me in its soft brown hands.
The Mississippi has been my home,
from hobo camps to tugs, barges and docks.
I have worked its length and width.
The crows can pick my bones clean,
drop them in the headwaters.
In eighty days I will be washed into the sea
free of this world
and its dark passage.
Bailey Share Aizic
My bottom drawer contains relics of boyfriends and girlfriends past: a Clash t-shirt that I borrowed to sleep in, a necklace I couldn’t wear after the split, a scrawled poem on a sheet of notebook paper.
At the Open Mic
You say I wrote this poem today;
I prepare for a pigeon,
head cocked. Or I was
scared to write this;
I prepare for doors swinging
open and shut. Or
I wrote this years
ago; I prepare for oranges,
an earring, clover. Or I cried
all night; I prepare for walls
that vibrate, people fighting.
Or This took me ten years;
I prepare for a tool
with a groove on the side
made by your palm, where you
pushed the lathe,
every day, for ten years
until now, we have the poem.
I owe 19,673.5 hours of sleep. Sometimes
when making a deposit,
I fold 20 minutes away
for later. Soft, shiny bills.
When I'm dead, they can use
any extra coins to close my eyes.
Call it even.
Bailey Share Aizic is an editor, comedian, student, and human person based in Los Angeles, California. She’s also a poet, but you knew that already.
Jon Densford is from Memphis and is stocking up on non-perishables, duct tape, iodine pills, waterproof matches and clean white socks. He can still water ski despite advanced age.
Karen Greenbaum-Maya had a nightmare that her alma mater started offering a business major. www.cloudslikemountains.blogspot.com
H. Edgar Hix is a big fan of narrative poetry, particularly Kipling, Millay, and Poe. If you’d like to see his 77-line, award-winning, narrative poem, you can check it out at this site. It was published in Priscilla Papers in 2011.
Rejected by his academic peers for incidents that have resulted from his brazen narcolepsy and two-spiritedness, M. A. Istvan Jr. is a dedicated teacher of philosophy at various Texas institutions.
Dave Malone is a fifth-generation Ozarker who teaches occasionally at Missouri State University-West Plains. He is the author of six books of poetry, the most recent O: Love Poems from the Ozarks (TS Poetry Press).
Rupprecht Mayer was born near Salzburg. After living and working in Taiwan, Beijing, and Shanghai he resettled in Bavaria. He translates Chinese literature and writes short prose. English versions appeared in Agni Online, Ninth Letter, Right Hand Pointing and many other journals. His contribution to this issue was translated by Eldon (Craig) Reishus.
Ian Mullins casts his net from Liverpool, England. He only keeps the stuff everyone else throws back.
Robert Nisbet is a Welsh poet living in a small market town which is 15 miles in one direction from the small cathedral city of St. David’s and 20 miles the other way from Dylan Thomas’s Boathouse. He has poems published in the USA, in San Pedro River Review, Red River Review and elsewhere.
Darrell Petska's writing appears in The Tule Review, Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, Red Paint Hill, Star 82 Review, and a variety of other publications. Darrell cut short his career as a university editor to be the arbiter of his own words. He now is in Madison, Wisconsin.
A year ago, Tim Philippart sold his business and retired to write. He ghost-blogs, writes poetry, and nonfiction. He loves writing and wishes he had not waited decades to pick up the pen, although others might not agree. Recent publications include Silver Birch Press, Pure Slush and the Indiana Voice Journal.
Stella Pierides, born in Athens, Greece, now resides in Neusaess, Germany and London, England. Stella’s work has appeared in Modern Haiku, Frogpond, and elsewhere. Her book In the Garden of Absence received a HSA Award (books published in 2012). She manages Per Diem: Daily Haiku for The Haiku Foundation.
Louise Robertson has completed the following checklist: Journal publications (Crack the Spine, Zetetic, Gyroscope, and others). Poetry event organizer. College. MFA. Awards. Slam teams. Full-length book (The Naming Of, Brick Cave). Trouble sleeping. Tries to be nice. Likes biking and swimming. Hates running. Does it anyway. Loves her two kids.
Born into an itinerant family Ronald E. Shields has spent most of six decades on the run. Married late in life to the vagabond daughter of a New England schoolmarm his heels have yet to cool to life on the road. Recently published in The Linnet’s Wings and www.poetryontherun.com.