Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Stillborn Love Song, a poem by Norbert Krapf

Stillborn Love Song
by Norbert Krapf

I love you when
the dusk thickens,
evening falls in every
direction, and the dove
coos ever more forlorn.

I love you when
October air turns crisp
and smoke rises like
the breath of angels
from the chimneys.

I love you, stillborn sister,
when everything turns so quiet
the only sound I can hear
is the settling of snowflakes
on branches above my head.

I love you most when
All Souls Day returns
and the veil between
your world and mine lifts

and your spirit breath
drifts back down to earth
and touches these lips
waiting for your kiss.

Bio: Norbert Krapf, a Jasper, Indiana, native, was Indiana Poet Laureate 2008-10, received a Glick Indiana Author Award 2014 (Regional), and held a Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis 2011-12 to combine poetry and the blues. His latest of 11 poetry collections is Catholic Boy Blues: A Poet's Journal of Healing (ACTA Publications, In Extenso Imprint, 2015). He collaborates with bluesman Gordon Bonham.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Anna's Lament, a poem by Wendy Vergoz

Anna’s Lament

          And all at once a strange idea came to her: what if he had
          ceased to love her?  Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

To swim under iron and count,
each day, the ways I am alone.

No matter his touch, or not,
no matter silence to my words.

My nature, coreopsis,
coreopsis in a world of stone.

Too soon depleted, I choke on
dried petals, drink morphine.

Who knows such wounds,
ignominy and a lost son?

Wooden ties taunt, “What for?”
and promise something new.

I drop the red bag, drown my
sullied body in an iron sea.

            —by Wendy Vergoz

Bio: Wendy Vergoz is an assistant professor of English at Marian University. Her poems have appeared in The Christian Century and Anglican Theological Review, and her poem "Unfinished, A Found Poem," written after 9/11, was read on the first anniversary of the attacks at churches in five different states. Vergoz participated in “Arts Kaleidoscope: Art, Poems, and Videos,” an exhibition of visual art and ekphrastic poems at Gallery 308 in Muncie, Indiana.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

At the End of the Day, a poem by Barry Harris

At the End of the Day
by Barry Harris

At the end of the day
innovative, outcome-focused,
out-of-the-box 21st century
stakeholders stop ignoring
the elephant in the room
and just put the moose on the table.

They know who they are:
spot-on team players
who step back
and look at the big picture.

The good, the bad, the ugly
avoid a cross-functional disconnect
to leverage a six sigma project
that speaks to our vision
which will then  transform the organization.

Long story short, they will
move the needle, aim high,
pick the low-hanging fruit,
take this sucker into the sky
and land it on the Hudson!

Bio: Barry Harris is editor of the Tipton Poetry Journal and has published one poetry collection, Something At The Center. Barry lives in Brownsburg, Indiana and is retired from Eli Lilly and Company. A graduate of Ball State University with a major in English, Barry was founding editor of Tipton Poetry Journal, which has been published in print and online versions since 2004. In 2009, he helped found Brick Street Poetry, Inc., a non-profit organization which now publishes Tipton Poetry Journal, hosts Poetry on Brick Street, and sponsors poetry-related events. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Saint Ann’s Review, Grey Sparrow Journal, Silk Road Review, Kentucky Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Silver Birch Press, Boston Literary Magazine, Night Train, Hiss Quarterly, Cherry Blossom Review, Flying Island, Lily, The Centrifugal Eye, Redheaded Stepchild, Flutter, Wheelhouse Magazine, Houston Literary Review, Snow Monkey and Writers’ Bloc; and in these anthologies: MOTIF 3: Work, Twin Muses: Art and Poetry and From the Edge of the Prairie.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Girl, After Jamaica Kincaid


After Jamaica Kincaid

By  Charnell Peters

Always wait until the grease gets hot and test it with a pinch of flour; put your hand down close to the pan and don’t be scared of getting popped; it doesn’t matter what the label says, I mix these cleaners all the time and it works on everything; please do not mix those cleaners; don’t scratch your cornrows, because they have to last; if you ruin them, you better do something with that head or no boys are going to like you; use a folded rubber band to hook your jeans when you’re too fat to button them; save all your clothes because you might be skinny someday; don’t have high hopes for being skinny one day; your ankles are so ashy you could start a fire; put some lotion on and the thick kind too; you better eat all that on your plate; you better wash the bathtub when you get out; you better keep out of his way; help me fold these clothes and fold them right too; don’t just ball them up and call it good; sweep up the kitchen floor; Again?; and if you want to give me lip you can go ahead and mop it; the directions say two cups but I always put three; everyone knows good Kool-aide has three cups of sugar in it; and fill the first fifth or so with hot water so it dissolves real good; go get some groceries and make sure to use the food stamps; check all the eggs before you buy them and buy the cheapest bread and bologna; you better wear that skirt I bought you; you better get sick while we still have insurance; you better not leave a single dirty pot; you better stay out of his way; always stoop over a toilet; never pay more than the posted price; let people know you know they’re following you in a store; this is how you clean up a house for guests; this is how you clean up a house for family; this is how you wash somebody’s back when they can’t wash themselves; this is how you act like you’re not in charge but you’re really in charge; this is how you act when everyone knows you’re in charge; How do I know everyone knows I’m in charge?; put your tights on like this; put your smile on like this; put your legs together like this; or do you not want boys to like you?; you’ve got to drive up the hill, put the van in neutral, and roll back down into the driveway; it doesn’t go in reverse anymore; this is how you go through a stop sign when the brakes aren’t working; this is how you lend and borrow money; this is how you tithe when you don’t have money; always keep the peace; never start an argument; But what if it needs to be started?; you mean to tell me after all this you’re going to be the type of girl to start an argument?; do you not want boys to like you?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Sex Pistols--We Are All Punks!, a poem by George Fish

            Sex Pistols—We Are All Punks!
    by George Fish

No, God won’t save the Queen   Though David Cameron
might try to   before he gets his proper comeuppance
from an outraged public that finally wakes up to the fact
that it got hoodwinked   even of its own willful blindness
and volition   But Johnny Rotten sang it well and properly,
“We’re your future!”   whether you like it or not  

In the ‘60s we shouted, “We are all Vietnamese!”   In the
‘80s and ‘90s we were all punks   In 2015 we are outcasts,
low-wage robots who work our asses off and can’t make a living
Yes, we are Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Arthur Wilson and
Tamir Rice   and also Bernie Sanders, John Brown and
Eugene Debs   'cause we know you can be old at 25 and young
at 75   it’s a matter of an open mind and open heart   No we’re not “pretty/pretty vacant/and we don’t care”   we care deeply   so we
thank Johnny Rotten, Sid Vicious, Paul Cook and Steve Jones  
The Sex Pistols   for talking to, for and at us   we are punks   and Vietnamese   and Chinese factory workers (not Chinese bigwigs) 
and African American   and Palestinian   and Egyptian   and
Honduran   and Venezuelan   and just plain illegal   everywhere
We are oppressed   and we stand with all oppressed   and all
fighting back against oppression 

No, we’re not “pretty/pretty vacant”   and we do care   one helluva lot

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.

Editor's note: It was in October 1976 when the Sex Pistols recorded "God Save the Queen." To hear the song, click here:

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Last Tusked God No Longer Heeds the Prayers of Its Believers, a prose poem by Michael Brockley

The Last Tusked God No Longer Heeds the Prayers of Its Believers
by Michael Brockley

You seldom speak of the sins of the president with the five o'clock shadow. About sabotaged peace talks. About the lies cataloged in the library of the POTUS who smuggled missiles and bibles to Tehran. Later this year the last elephant will stumble into its birth beneath the shadow of Kilimanjaro. No matriarch remains to scatter the bones across the red earth in grief. Where does the tusked god find refuge when bees no longer pollinate the pomegranate trees? When the night call of gem frogs vanishes into the desert of Noah's fire? You read about the orgasms of presidents. About the demise of the Whig Party. You think about the times you were rescued by dogs. The final miracle of a god during its last gasp of compassion. You're thinking of fireflies. Of luciferin and the science of cold fire. Last year you read four books on economics and realized how your country has descended into purgatory. When you visit the zoo beside the Wild West museum, an elephant with ginkgo-shaped ears paints masterpieces using a palette of kindergarten colors. Broad strokes of yellow and red ribboned across green clouds. The signature of the artist, a lotus without its stigma.

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Altar in the Kitchen, a poem by Norbert Krapf

The Altar in the Kitchen
by Norbert Krapf

The pink carcasses of rabbits
and fox squirrels shrivel in pans
of salted water in the sink.

Sometimes cleaned bluegill,
sunfish, or catfish settle
in round bowls of water.

Baking pans of rhubarb,
blackberry and apple cobbler
cool on the north window sill.

Ball jars of peaches jiggle
in boiling water on the stove
to winter in the cellar.

The kitchen is our Grand Central,
the table our stark altar,
and the priest, the farm girl

who gave birth to us, feeds us,
nurses us back to health,
prays over us in storms.

Bio: Norbert Krapf, a Jasper, Indiana, native, was Indiana Poet Laureate 2008-10, received a Glick Indiana Author Award 2014 (Regional), and held a Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis 2011-12 to combine poetry and the blues. His latest of 11 poetry collections is Catholic Boy Blues: A Poet's Journal of Healing (ACTA Publications, In Extenso Imprint, 2015). He collaborates with bluesman Gordon Bonham.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Red Coast, a poem by Luke Samra

Red Coast
by Luke Samra

Summer lasted from July
To the amber October skies
I'll take care of your roses
While you are gone

How can you forget
Those shadow chasing 

I had you blushing 
Like a sunburn

She carries herself 
Gracefully with me to the coast
The beach is just one big bed

Bio: Luke Samra is a graduate of Marian University with a BS in Management. He is a tennis player and a musician.