Monday, May 22, 2017

Chicago to Minnesota, a poem by Donald Nelson

Chicago to Minnesota
by Donald Nelson

On the elevated Quincy platform
I caught the Orange Line to Midway,
my flight delayed
and alone at the food court
I had hours watching other travelers
while reading and emailing.
There's no comforting eye contact here today
probably the look on my face,
haggard from the Lupron
that's castrating my testosterone.
If I'm lucky, I'll survive cancer like a friend
who's been through it before me,
he tells me it's not the same
but he can still make love.

In Minnesota, behind thick concrete walls,
the high energy hydrogen protons
spin around magnets in the synchrotron.
After six months of hormone suppression
and eight weeks of the high energy particles
aimed at my shrunken prostate
at nearly the speed of light,
I lie to myself, wishing someday,
that I could be whole again
or still make that profound human connection,
the male and female magic, that gave us all
our chance to be here together.


From Donald Nelson: “I'm poet in residence in my basement office. Transitioning from a life in visual art to writing about ideas and experiences distilled in words and phrases that interest me.”




Monday, May 15, 2017

The night before the inauguration, a poem by Kristine Esser Slentz

The night before the inauguration
by Kristine Esser Slentz

on ladies’ night we drank White Russians
at the local draft house
passing on the English and Irish pub

choosing to sit at the tall table
in the middle of the room
surrounded by TVs and its media

we take sips of our iced over drinks
between bites of deep fried food
we thank the black man that’s serving us

we discuss the origins of our
European surnames with giggles
ultimately reverting the conversation

back to our full time day jobs
complaining about the hours and
its offered healthcare coverage

maybe we’ll just show up late tomorrow
a shifty look from a manager
is worth this next liquid delight

at the end of our rich meal
we hand our VISAs to our server and
with a bow and a gesture of gratitude

he leaves us and we leave the
customary tipping percentage
then with elbows locked we walk

home to our high rises
openly kissing each other on the cheek
and a solid embrace of arms

we part only to meet our husbands
inside the historic renovation
asleep



Kristine Esser Slentz is originally from northwest Indiana and the Chicagoland area, accent and all. She is a Purdue University alum that studied English literature and creative writing while working at the independent student newspaper, The Exponent. After college Kristine has written pieces in publications such as the HuffPost, Pattern, and Nuvo Indy’s Alternative Voice. Currently, Kristine is the Assistant Editor at Unfold and has published poetry in Sweater Weather Magazine and The Unprecedented Review.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Company, a poem by Marjie Giffin

Mother’s Company
by Marjie Giffin

Mother is having company.

It’s been years, but I still recall
turkey platters and gilded plates,
soup tureens with china ladles,
crystal stemware and cubes of ice
that clinked together musically.

There were lavender-scented soaps
tucked amidst lacey table linens
in drawers so laden with heirlooms
that Mother would strain to pull
their polished, glistening handles.

I could breathe in and catch
the scent of Chanel No. 5;
I would steal a peek and see
her lips pursed before the glass
as she coated them with red.

Today’s company is being served
on paper plates on a kitchen table
so crammed with paraphernalia
that the tasteless sandwiches
almost tip off its edge.

Photos, stacks of letters, nail files,
coupon boxes, hosiery eggs –
all compete for centerpiece space
and the attention of the
curious guests who dine.

One of the favored few shaves
with an electric razor in between
snatches of conversation, bites.
Another, his wife, balances her plate
protectively between two dry elbows.

I make clever talk with both, knowing
I will have hours later to cry.


Bio: “I am an Indianapolis writer who has recently been published in Poetry Quarterly, Flying Island, Snapdragon, Words and Sounds, and in a teaching anthology. I am active with the Indiana Writers Center and participate in many workshops.”


Subject line:usage notification, a poem by Kristine Esser Slentz

Subject line: usage notification
account number *** *** 8187

Dear Julie,

We want to notify you that you have used 100% of your Daughter Anytime Usage Allowance with your Family plan for the service date ending on this Sunday due to religious affiliations.

Generally, should you reach your capacity limit for any payment cycle, your love and compassion speeds will be significantly reduced.

To view your usage or purchase additional emotional capacity, please visit the website.

Thank you for being a valued customer.


*Please do remember that the Daughter entity retains the right to end the unconditional contract anytime as well.

                                     by Kristine Esser Slentz


Bio: “Kristine Esser Slentz is originally from northwest Indiana and the Chicagoland area, accent and all. She is a Purdue University alum that studied English literature and creative writing while working at the independent student newspaper, The Exponent. After college Kristine has written pieces in such publications as the HuffPost, Pattern, and Nuvo Indy’s Alternative Voice. Currently, Kristine is the Assistant Editor at Unfold and has published poetry in Sweater Weather Magazine and The Unprecedented Review.”




Monday, May 8, 2017

Alice, Reinvented, a poem by Mary Sexson

Alice, Reinvented
by Mary Sexson

The buzz of technology chimes           in my sunroom tonight, lines
sizzle and connect me across             the continents. India lies open
on my desktop, a portal to your           world, and I am Alice, falling
through a new-fangled                         looking glass,
an open door to your day                    already lived,
into your stories and songs                 already slightly warped
                           through this odd wrinkle in time.



Mary Sexson is the author of 103 in the Light, Selected Poems 1996-2000 (Restoration Press), nominated for a Best Books of Indiana award in 2005, and co-author of Company of Women, New and Selected Poems (Chatter House Press). Her poems have appeared in the Flying Island, Borders Insight Magazine, Tipton Poetry Journal, Grasslands Review, New Verse News, and others, and in several anthologies, including The Globetrotter’s Companion (UK, 2011),Trip of a Lifetime (2012), Reckless Writing (2013), A Few Good Words (2013), The Best of Flying Island (2015), and most recently Words and Other Wild Things (2016). She has upcoming work in HoosierLit Literary Magazine (May 2017).

Monday, May 1, 2017

Is Galoofah Greater Than God?, a poem by George Fish

Editor's note: May 5 is National Day of Reason


Is Galoofah Greater Than God?
by George Fish

Is Galoofah
greater than God?
The answer is
simple,
straightforward,
and direct.
So let’s see.
First, we realize—
Galoofah,
even at his/her/its
very, very worst,
is still,
always and forever,
a Poofah.
And that’s wonderful.
God, on the other hand—
even at his/her/its
very, very best,
is yet,
always and forever,
merely a Wod.
And that’s
not very good
at all!
So there,
my Jod!



Bio: George Fish is an Indiana freelance journalist and poet whose work has appeared in several national and regional publications and websites, especially those of left and alternative publications. In addition to short stories and poems, Fish has also published extensively on economics and politics; popular music, especially blues; and humor. He also does Lenny Bruce/George Carlin-inspired stand-up comedy.

Monday, April 24, 2017

A Writer's Lament, a prose poem by Mac Greene

A Writer’s Lament, or Ten Years Among the Wordmongers                                                                                 - dedicated to David Shumate* and Tracy Mishkin**
by Mac Greene

       So, here I am, a word bumbler trying to transform into an emerging writer, crawling
through the smashing surf onto one of the endless islands in the Archipelago Poetico. My Grand Canyon poem washes up in Hawaii. The zombie piece rots on Deadman’s Rock. Several haiku gardens blossom in Japonesia. I land a Christmas tree and a raft of ravens on Wilderness Isle, just as waves slam me down and pull me back to sea. My chapbook lights up the phosphorescentalgae, and then fizzles in the pounding waves. Drums and orators vociferate around all-night campfires on SlamBam as my rap poem bobs in a craft beer bottle. I steer clear of the broken crags and ivory towers of MFAland, especially Solipsism Reef and Overly Mannerd.

       Writers emerge from water spouts and whirlpools, only to be dragged back into the surf, sand in the crotch of our swimsuits, fighting against rip currents and flesh-eating jellyfish. I hear the mad cackling of Prosapomia Absurdia, where Neruda opened his briefcase and the room filled with seagulls* and porpoises suck strawberry daiquiris at poolside bars. The Poet Laureate asks Ronald for directions to McDonalds and reserves an AirB&B with a chatty fox squirrel. She is serenaded by a cello full of bumble bees**, while ants build empires beneath her feet. Forever emerging, I retreat on a shark-bitten surfboard searching for the mythical Sanity Isles in the Peach Glow Sea.


References:
High Water Mark, “All Seas Belong to Neruda,” by David Shumate, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004
I almost didn’t make it to McDonalds, by Tracy Mishkin, Finishing Line Press, 2014
Sleeping with the squirrels” by Tracy Mishkin, Zingara Poet (online), Fall, 2016


From the poet: “As you can see in Writer's Lament, Mac Greene hopes to become an emerging writer. He has eclectic interests, as most of the references in Writer's Lament are actual poems that have been published in an eclectic array of magazines. In his day job he is a Clinical Psychologist specializing in teenagers and gender issues.”