Monday, November 28, 2016

Crèche, a prose poem by Michael Brockley

by Michael Brockley

This year you build a Nativity scene with a green Tyrannosaurus Rex leering into the stable. Its buck teeth glisten whenever a car turns down your block, and its torpid tail reminds you how fragile your knowledge has grown. Batman straddles the roof as if he has rappelled down the side of a Bethlehem skyscraper. The Native American Thunderbird from your bolo tie affixed to the roof serves as the crèche star. This is the year the redhead left you for a stuntman she met at Sundance. The year your veterinarian injected pentobarbital into your last dog’s thigh. You position three Darth Vadars on the straw while Homer’s son bangs on a Lego drum. A rhinoceros and a one-eared kangaroo shiver across the dying campfire from the dinosaur. Frigid or fearful. You’ve never figured it out. Conan the Barbarian kneels at the fire, feeding it scraps of Hershey Kiss wrappers. Discarded holiday ribbons. His battle ax strapped across his back. Wile E. Coyote peeks from behind the Lands’ End shoe box that serves as the stable. You hum “Blue Christmas” and “Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis” while propping Spiderman and Daredevil behind a menagerie of rat finks and bobbleheads, memorizing the songs for your soundtrack of holiday carols. From within the shadows, a black-and-white Jessica Rabbit stands beside her Joseph, a blind Mr. Spock. In the manger, lined with cotton balls from your cholesterol prescription and strands of your late dog’s pale hair, you place the child you no longer believe in. You wonder what gifts your Magi would bring.

Bio: Michael Brockley is a 67-year-old school psychologist who works in rural northeast Indiana. His poems have appeared in Tipton Poetry Journal, Flying Island, The New Verse News, The Rat's Ass Review and Panoplyzine. Forthcoming poems can be found in Atticus Review, Gargoyle and Zingara Poetry Picks.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Spending Thanksgiving Day Alone, a poem by George Fish

Spending Thanksgiving Day Alone
by George Fish

Yeah, well,
that’s a real turkey!
far more wobble than gobble!

And when
Thanksgiving Day dinner
is a sandwich
made festive for the holiday
with four slices of bologna
garnished with a whole
two slices of
Muenster cheese
and a good dollop of
horseradish mustard—
well, that’s clearly a turkey
that ain’t a turkey!

Yeah, you who’ve been there
know exactly what I mean.

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. He has been described as "knowledgeable in an unusual variety of fields." 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, November 14, 2016

Sword of Maturity, a poem by Frederick Michaels

Sword of Maturity
by Frederick Michaels

Hand hammer forged,
purified in myriad layers
like innocent childhood wishes
folded into Xbox dreams
with young adult ambitions,
welding YouTube to Facebook.

Grown-up visions shaped
by iPhone and LinkedIn —
quenched in disappointment,
reheated in reality’s fire,
rehoned to a sharper edge,
polished to a brighter future.

Sheathed in scar tissue,
oiled by hard-won success,
hardened by experience
yet, soft as Corinthian leather,
her childhood wishes shine
like those in innocent eyes.

Bio: Frederick Michaels writes in retirement from his home in Indianapolis. His poetry has appeared in Flying Island, So It Goes Literary Journal, The Boston Poetry Journal, Branches magazine and Lone Stars magazine, among others. A number of his poems are included in the anthologies Reckless Writing 2012 and 2013 (from Chatter House Press, Indianapolis) and Naturally Yours (edited and self-published by Stacy Savage and Kathy Chaffin Gerstorff). His first book of poems, Potholes In the Universe, was recently published by Chatter House Press, Indianapolis. An engineer by training, Michaels has always been pulled to the side of the arts by his love of written words and the challenge of painting sense and feeling with them.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Favorite Author, a poem by Lylanne Musselman

Editor's note: Kurt Vonnegut was born on Nov. 11, 1922.

Favorite Author
by Lylanne Musselman

Pall-Mall smoker,
satirical joker,
technology hater,
Kilgore Trout creator,

POW survivor,
witty writer,
selfie screenprinter,
granfalloon spinner,

generational uniter,
political divider,
famous Hoosier,
mustache wearer,

advice giver,
life observer,
Saab dealer,
blues stealer,

wampeters definer,
reading reviver,
so it goes sayer,
controversy diver.

In a reading rut?
Get Vonnegut.

Bio: Lylanne Musselman is an award winning poet, playwright, and artist. Her work has appeared in Pank, Flying Island, The Tipton Poetry Journal, Poetry BreakfastSo it Goes, Issue 3, among others, and many anthologies.  In addition, Musselman has twice been a Pushcart nominee. Musselman is the author of three chapbooks, with a fourth forthcoming, Weathering Under the Cat, from Finishing Line Press. She also co-authored Company of Women: New and Selected Poems (Chatter House Press, 2013). Presently, she teaches writing at IUPUI, and online for Ivy Tech Community College.