Monday, October 28, 2019

Blanket Welcome at Kennedy Airport, a poem by Norbert Krapf


Blanket Welcome at Kennedy Airport
                                                        —for Peyton, my grandson
by Norbert Krapf 

There was a small pink, blue
and green blanket we sent
to Bogotá for your mother

to be wrapped in when she
came to us in New York.
When her plane arrived

at the gate at Kennedy Airport
a beautiful young Colombian
woman with long black hair

stepped off the plane smiling.
When we walked up to her
she placed baby Elizabeth Maria

in that blanket in my arms.
I held, beheld, kissed her
and said, “Welcome, Love!”

There was no wall whatsoever.
No insults on any tough lips.
We wrapped and held her in love.

Which is what we give you also,
her beautiful Colombian and German
son with dark light-filled eyes.


Norbert Krapf's latest collections are The Return of Sunshine (2018) and Indiana Hill Country Poems (2019). His adaptation of his Catholic Boy Blues collection (2015) into a play was performed in June in the Indy Eleven Theatre of Indy Fringe, and he is currently working on a new play, Andrew and the Bells of Lohr

Monday, October 21, 2019

Inner Workings, a poem by Mathew Early


Inner Workings
by Matthew Early

                         —for Dad

You taught me to skin squirrels
by the time I turned four:

Knife-slice down the belly like
scissors through wrapping paper.
Tear guts from shell,
make the inner workings forget
they ever needed to be hidden.

I would, not of want,
but it made you smile
bigger than the splitting pelts.
So big, pride flowed
like squirrel blood
from the corners of your mouth.

Your words never failed
to drought my eyes:
We’re all wired different,
and there’s no shame in that.

The woods were your church,
so I’d go on our hunts:
October swelling,
squirrels gnawing hickory
from stem in the treetops
like some drunken Morse Code.

I never told you
I hated the ease of it all:
How they’d fall like skydivers
sans grace and chutes,

but I know you could tell,
that you were hurt
when I didn’t want my camo
dirtied with dead blood—

and I forgive you for feeling guilty.


Matthew Early is a poet from Columbus, Ohio. He holds a BA from Muskingum University and is currently pursuing his MFA in creative writing at Butler University. He is the recipient of the 2018 Beulah Brooks Brown award in poetry. His work has also been featured in several literary journals including: the Flying Island through the Indiana Writers Center, Barren Magazine, Ghost City Press, and others.


Monday, October 14, 2019

Cuban Missile Crisis Anxiety, a poem by Steve Brammel


Cuban Missile Crisis Anxiety
by Steve Brammell

Lunch in a brown paper bag, eating in the bleachers,
reading my Lord of the Flies,
the other kids loud, but not enough to hide
the sudden sirens in the distance only I can hear.
I try not to move too fast across the basketball court,
its circle a bullseye, push the bar on the exit door,
the runaway elevator I’m trapped on never reaching bottom.
Outside I sprint to the edge of the playground,
look west where steel mills never stop smoking
and the Nike base, with its white-finned rockets,
guards against those slow bombers of another era.
Just beyond the curve of the earth Chicago is the prize.
I estimate the minutes it will take
for grinning Khrushchev’s missiles
to cross the Early Warning Line,
and how many more until the people,
now alert in the streets with nowhere to go,
all look up, just like me, and watch the warheads,
bright in the autumn sun, fall like Armageddon’s stars.


From Steve Brammel: I worked for many years as a technical and medical writer in Birmingham, Alabama. I was also a frequent contributor to Birmingham Magazine, Alabama Magazine, and other regional publications. My feature each month in Birmingham Magazine examined life in the city through a poet’s eyes. A long fascination with the culinary world led to another career in the restaurant business. Marriage finally brought me to Indianapolis, where I am employed in the wine trade, and still writing. I was a member of Austin Poets Theater in my younger days. I recently completed a manuscript of narrative poems based on my time in the South titled Red Mountain Cut. I am a native Hoosier from Michigan City and a graduate of Wabash College, where I studied with the poet Bert Stern.

Monday, October 7, 2019

The Dragon and the Wolf, a poem by Maria Pizzo


The Dragon and the Wolf
by Maria Pizzo


I want to believe I met a wolf in my past life.
I want to believe he wasn’t a figment of my imagination.
In a world with so little, missing genuine love,
I want to believe his arms that held me were real.

Have you ever been so alone
that the walls begin to talk?
Buying into lies,
philosophizing the woken lonely nights?


I want to believe what he told me was true.
I want to believe that balance sustains life.
Where everything is nothing,
and nothing is everything,
the absence of all is so much in itself.


Have you ever been so wrapped up in someone
that you shrink down to nothing?
Feeling like your existence has ceased,
finding peace in the silence, hoping never to return?


I want to believe he was real for my sake and his. 
Hidden away, menacing face, completely unapproachable,
desperate for love. 


Out of the cloud of delusion,
I know the sky is painted and music is artificial.
I know love is temporary
and that wolves don’t speak truths.


I know I’m alone
holding a pillow in the dark
as hyperventilation steals the air.


Imaginary fire orange dragon,
you were alone at the beginning.
You’re alone, and it’s the end.


From Maria Pizzo: “I am from Metro Detroit, Michigan. I am a junior at Ball State University pursuing Telecommunications and Creative Writing. Although most of my college work has been with film production, I recently interned through the Indiana Writers Center for the Building a Rainbow summer program.”