Monday, August 14, 2017

Goodwill, a poem by Marjie Giffin

Goodwill

is scattered all over the canopied bay
among the trampled cardboard boxes
and crumpled bags and soggy sheets.
A young, moody-faced teen languishes
on the curb, nodding when spoken to
but not answering my motion for help.
Figures, I think, cursing lazy youth,
as I trot to the back of my car and heave
up the hatch and begin loading my arms
with all the added goodwill I can muster:
baubles that came from Macy’s, canisters
that once spilled out Gold Medal flour,
baby dolls that were kissed and held.
No time for sentiment; tepid rain drips
from the awning and pools on cracked,
uneven cement. The scent of moldy
cast-offs mixes with the mustiness
of tentative, springtime rain. A sack
of Christmas candies catches the eye
of the non-attentive teen; May I?
his eyes seem to ask. I toss it to him
like a bridal bouquet. In the rearview
mirror as I pull away, I see him grinning
as he digs in the crinkly silver sack.

Marjie Giffin


About the poet: “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.”






















Monday, August 7, 2017

In Red's Juke Joint in Clarksdale, a poem by Norbert Krapf

In Red's Juke Joint in Clarksdale
by Norbert Krapf

In Red's juke joint they play the blues
after the sun don't shine. The notes
they play are blue but the ones plugged in
on the wall glow red and the beer bottles

Red sells from behind the bar are cold and brown.
A small river flows behind the old building
and in front stands a cut barrel in which meat smokes.
Between the river and the smoke the blues cook

all night long and the beer flows as slow and long
as the river don't stop. People come to sit
on bar stools and chairs and listen to the blues
nights the way they come to sit in pews in church

Sunday mornings and in Red's and in the church
the music is about the same though some people
say the music in the juke joint comes from the Devil
and in church it comes from God. My ears tell me

the music in Red's is the call and response of the Devil
and God talkin' together and the people listen
the same whether the smoke comes from a candle
or meat and all the singing sounds sacred.

About the poet: Former Indiana Poet Laureate Norbert Krapf's most recent poetry collection is Catholic Boy Blues, which was followed by the related prose memoir Shrinking the Monster, winner of an Illumination Book Award and finalist for an INDIES Award. Forthcoming is a collection of poems about his grandson (almost three), Cheerios in Tuscany. Norbert co-facilitates a workshop with Liza Hyatt, Bless This Mess: Writing About Difficult Relationships. For more, see www.krapfpoetry.co