Thursday, June 26, 2014

A poem from Stephen R. Roberts

Bird Strike Analysis
by Stephen R. Roberts

A bird strikes the back door window, a pluff of feather on glass.
There’s a little mark on the pane to mark where the pain came from.
The bird’s ok. Though I’m dizzy, confused in thoughts of flying

The bird’s up, wobbling across the concrete. I try to help, stretching
my arms perpendicular to my torso, as if wearing a cloak of feathers.
I flap. The bird watches through the clear sky he just smacked into.

He perceives that unseen accidents may be where or when it ends.
There’s a look in his eye as he tilts his head, and I tilt mine
in the opposite direction to show I understand or have no qualms

or questions about attempts to crash through new dimensions
to reach kitchens or space-time continuums with vivid possibilities.
After all, spring will be here soon or sometime after, and windows

should be foiled or hung with ribbon marking entries to new worlds,
so they can be avoided or prepared for ahead of time without the head
striking something crucial that’s been forgotten - what wings are for?

Such starry vision and revision as the cat comes around the corner,
opening yet another dimension of unintentional reality,
a blue remembering wrapped around how soft the sky once was.

Stephen R. Roberts lives on eight acres of Hoosier soil, pretending it to be wilderness. He spends more time now with grandchildren, trees, and poetry, not necessarily in that order. It is the love of these things, along with lariats and other fine examples of rope, that keeps him tying up words, knotting or unknotting poems.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

A poem from Jeffrey Owen Pearson

your summer at fernwood
by Jeffrey Owen Pearson

because men were forbidden
in your room
we camped deep in the hardwoods
where two streams slipped
into one

it always rained
and skin stuck to skin
in a glorious sweat

you joked every time I came
the blankets were a tent
and you need bring no poles

at first light when we walked among
the wild bergamot
and prairie blazing stars
hummingbirds suckled
near your breasts

late summer
the rocket grass
fired red
like a beautiful disaster

Bio: Jeffrey Owen Pearson’s poems appear in So It Goes, Reckless Writing Anthology, Tipton Poetry Journal, Flying Island and Maize. His chapbook Hawaii Slides was published by Pudding House Publications. A member of the Midwest Writers Workshop, he lives in Muncie.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A poem from Stephen R. Roberts

by Stephen R. Roberts

It’s always up there waning and waxing.
Making faces out of shadows or vice-versa,
cheese, or no cheese. Hiding rodent-like by day.

Peering down at night, a big eye during harvest,
or maybe later in the season, after heavy snow,
with silver fantasies ricocheting off every branch.

Yet ricochet isn’t the right word; it’s too reminiscent
of bullets. And there was only one silver bullet.
The Lone Ranger had it. Or was that his horse?

In a moonstruck language, Tonto’s greeting
may have been the word for werewolf.
And werewolves can be killed by silver bullets.

Or is that vampires? No. It’s normal looking people
sprouting coarse hair from every pore, and
blossoming into wolves when the full moon rises.

There’s a poem about it the old gypsy lady chants
as clouds drift over the pock-marked surface,
and Lon Chaney Jr. rips his shirt to shreds.

It’s something about wolfbane blooming, which
must be lovely for all the syncopated losers,
the misbegotten lost, and harried lovers scrambling

in the dark, as Luna moths flutter wings through
the soft ivories of lust. Then the lights come up,
the moon comes out, and everyone begins to howl.

Bio: Stephen R. Roberts lives on eight acres of Hoosier soil, pretending it to be wilderness. He spends more time now with grandchildren, trees, and poetry, not necessarily in that order. It is the love of these things, along with lariats and other fine examples of rope, that keeps him tying up words, knotting or unknotting poems.


Friday, June 6, 2014

A poem from Richard Pflum

Driving to the Stardust Buffet
by Richard Pflum

I remember the tick of the beginning,
now hear the tock of the continuing,
and from between the tock and the tick,
a more rhythmic pounding of the nothing.

I have gone out to gather in my sustenance:
some ions, neutral atoms, many neutrons and
protons with a limited number of quarks and
the rare and very small boson. Electrons and
positrons have been combined into rich sauces
and beside them are the colorful and sparkling quanta,
garnished with neutrinos. It is all laid out on
a black presentation board on a counter top:
this stuff I am and need, things some stars
                                      no longer have any use for.

Still, I feel sometimes that I am a byproduct of
some other more generous nature as I drive into
the parking lot, very crowded now with its
rolling ambience of charged bodies blinking
their lights on and off as a crowd awaits beside
the event horizon gate and a doorman, liveried
with the letter “G,” presses the button,
                                     allows all without, inside.

Bio: Richard Pflum is a native of and now lives in Indianapolis. He is the author of three full-length books of poetry, A Dream of Salt (The Fredrick Brewer Press, now The Raintree Press, Bloomington, Ind., 1980), A Strange Juxtaposition of Parts (The Writers’ Center Press, Indianapolis, 1995), and Some Poems to Be Read Out Loud (Chatter House Press, Indianapolis, 2013). He has appeared in Tears in the Fence (U.K.), The Flying Island, The Reaper, Exquisite Corpse, PlopLop, Hopewell Review, and Kayak. He also has a poems in the anthologies The Indiana Experience (Indiana University Press, 1977) and A New Geography of Poets (University of Arkansas Press, 1992), and two poems in The New Laurel Review (1999), and a poem in Glass Works (Pudding House, 2002). On the Internet, he can be found on the archive of PoetryNet, Poet of the Month, October 2003. He is the host of Evening With the Muse, a monthly reading and open mic of the Indiana Writers Center.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A poem from Anne Haines

It’s Not the Heat, It’s the Mortality
by Anne Haines

It was the hottest summer anyone could remember.
I know Texans laugh at twenty, twenty-one days of ninety
but some afternoons the air was so thick with humidity
you could have spread it on a birthday cake.
Animals died at the county fair, the grand
champion hog smothered in his own incipient bacon,
lambs panting behind the lemon shake-up stand.
Even my sunflowers, bobbing and weaving in the front yard
like stunned prizefighters, let their leaves wither,
collapse like old women’s hands that have given up on prayer.
Seasons like that, everything feels like a warning.
And when the nights are no relief, the dark air limp and lowering,
we lie as still as possible in separate beds
listening to the dense hum of crickets,
listening past them to the distant yip of a coyote,
past that to the slow machine of weather
churning in the distance, in the moonlight’s steam,
in the unavoidable swelter of August’s waking dream.

Bio: Anne Haines’ chapbook, Breach, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2008. Individual poems have appeared in Diode, Field, New Madrid, Rattle, Tipton Poetry Journal, the anthology And Know This Place: Poetry of Indiana, and elsewhere. She lives in Bloomington, where she works as the Web Content Specialist for the Indiana University Libraries. She can be found online at and on Twitter at @annehaines.