Monday, June 25, 2018

Sunday Drive, a prose poem by Lylanne Musselman

Sunday Drive
by Lylanne Musselman

In the backseat of our ’66 green Pontiac Bonneville, my view was of the back of my parent’s heads: dad with dark wavy hair, hands on the steering wheel, his pipe smoke swirling upward and back into my space; mom with coiffed hair, in the passenger’s seat chewing her Juicy Fruit gum. I was along for the ride each Sunday going to see my grandma who lived an hour away in Kokomo. I loaded up the backseat with my favorite stuffed animals and a few books in hopes of making time cruise a bit faster. I hated leaving other beloved belongings behind, feeling guilty for all that couldn’t go. I loved listening to the radio, Fort Wayne’s strong AM station, WOWO. The Beatles, Neil Diamond, The Supremes, Tammy Wynette and George Jones were played one after the other. I could’ve done without country, but dad preferred it to my favorites. I sang along with all songs that came on, even D-I-V-O-R-C-E. Mom marveled how I knew every word, saying she wished I memorized my homework like I did those songs. I worried all new song lyrics would be used up by the time I became a mom, driving with my own kids riding in the backseat.

Lylanne Musselman is an award-winning poet, playwright, and artist, living in Indiana. Her work has appeared in Pank, Flying Island, Tipton Poetry Journal, Poetry Breakfast, The New Verse News, Ekphrastic Review, and Rat’s Ass Review, among others, and many anthologies, including Resurrection of a Sunflower, poems to honor Vincent van Gogh (Pski’s Porch, 2017). A Pushcart Nominee twice, Musselman is the author of four chapbooks including the recent Weathering Under the Cat (Finishing Line Press, 2017).

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Time Spent With My Father, a poem by Rosemary Freedman

Time Spent with My Father
by Rosemary Freedman

26 bluegill were placed on my stringer
and entered into the fishing contest.
I was six. They snapped a Polaroid
of me with that smile wide as a canoe,
my small fingers holding up the line
with my fish shining like
silver Christmas ornaments
and taped it to the bait-house wall.
Now at 50 I recount that story with
the joy of someone who had won
a Nobel Prize—only to have it pointed out
that I had cheated by scooping the fish
out of water with a Styrofoam cup.
The shiny tiny dinosaur-looking creatures
gulping for breath like fat
diabetic chain-smokers telling
the last chapters of their stories.
And what happened to the other children?
Those line casters who patiently waited
and caught nothing? Perhaps they
stared at my tackle-box prize
the way women stare with envy
at designer purses they will never own.
It was true, I was a cheater.
I thought my father loved taking me with him,
day fishing, night fishing, in the small boat with
the green Coleman lantern and those small little
nets he seemed to forever be screwing around with
that had something to do with the light
and our seeing. I just know there was a lot of cussing
around those little cup like sacs that looked oddly
the shape of testicles. Once I thanked my father
for always taking me fishing. He laughed out loud.
You are joking, right? Your mother made me take you,
to give her a break.” I was one of his punishments
as I later found out—he was a cheater too.

About Rosemary Freedman: “I am married and have seven children. I have a B.A. in creative writing and literature, and a master's in nursing education, a post-masters as a Nurse Practitioner and a post-masters as a Clinical Nurse Specialist. When I am not writing poetry, I work as an advanced practice nurse.”

Last(ing) Memories, a poem by Christopher Stolle

Last(ing) Memories
by Christopher Stolle

Today’s kids don’t know the true
wonderment of basements.
At my grandparents’ house,
we’d put a Ping-Pong table
atop the pool table.
I’d grab a Red Delicious
from the mini fridge,
put some Roger Miller
or Royal Guardsmen
on the turntable
(which they also won’t know),
then play epic battles
against my dad,
who played like he was
the number one ranked player
in the world.
And he could have been
if I didn’t learn
all his tricks and mistakes.

About Christopher Stolle: His poetry has appeared most recently or is forthcoming in the Burningword Literary Journal, Tipton Poetry Journal, Flying Island, Branches, Indiana Voice Journal, Snapdragon, Black Elephant, The Gambler, and Sheepshead Review. He works as an acquisitions and development editor for Penguin Random House, and he lives in Richmond, Indiana.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Antelope, a poem by Keith Welch

by Keith Welch

The big sign said "Missile Range-- 
Call this number before crossing"
Bob and I were lost on miles of 
pitch dark New Mexican dirt road

making good time, we caught up with a 
panicked antelope, leaping like a dancer
in our auto-footlights

the animal must have leapt the roadside fence
we became its chase-car in a desert marathon

both car and animal trapped in a single barb-wire path;
the antelope bounding all terror and grace
the car creeping along, my eye on the gas gauge 

our little parade crawled for miles until
the beast lunged into the barbed wire
thrashing like a hooked trout
broke through into the unseen landscape
leaving us the empty track

somewhere under the unblinking stars
the antelope ran unhindered
wounded but free
beyond human borders

Keith Welch lives in Bloomington, Indiana, where he works at the IU Herman B Wells Library. He has poems published in Open: Journal of Arts & Letters, Writers Resist, Literary Orphans, and Dime Show Review. He enjoys meeting other writers and invites you to follow him on Twitter @Outraged_Poet.

Monday, June 4, 2018

"Gravegarden" and "Sacred Waters," two poems by Andrea Dunn

by Andrea Dunn

Dig a hole, eight feet long,
two and a half feet wide,
six feet deep.
Lower your love into the void.

Cover him with a quilt
of peat and moss and must.
Breathe deep the loamy shroud,
Beg pardon of the larvae, the tubers.

Pat the dirt and clay into place
with the hands that combed
through his hair and grazed his cheeks.
Let the silt sink beneath your fingernails.

Suture the earth's new wound
with marble or granite,
and leave all he engraved on your heart
chiseled on the rock.

Water seasonally, as with the opening
and closing of the sky.
Warrant the sun to scorch,
and permit the moon to mark time.

Fertilize each moment:
gaze on the before
and dwell in the since.
Harvest the offerings.

Sacred Waters
by Andrea Dunn

The sound of the raindrops slowly hitting my windshield
is like singular grains of uncooked rice
landing in a plastic measuring cup.

And now as the rain’s pace quickens,
it is popcorn, fully agitated,
plinking and bouncing in the metal pan.

The drops journey down my windshield
as I wait in line at the elementary school.
I leave the wipers off.

The windshield now looks just like a glass shower door:
not transparent, not opaque, not quite frosted.

The rainfall moderates now,
like the long leg of a race,
like the tears of a grief stricken daughter whose sadness is not fresh and violent.

From Andrea Dunn: I am from Indianapolis by way of Southwest Texas, Southern Indiana, and North Carolina. I studied creative writing at Texas Tech University and now enjoy working at home raising my three children. I have written for my eyes only for the past few decades, but am ready to start sharing with the listening world.