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  General Poetry Page     with Suzanne Robinson 

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Belmont Noir

 

Suburban dusk obscures detail.

Joggers dimple the path around

the reservoir. They toughen

their faces to hide the empathy

that requires a friendly nod.

 

Being old and out-of-town,

I move too slowly to matter.

Unobserved, I catch the gloom

in my hands and knead it like clay,

knead and sculpt little objects

 

that I sprinkle in the grass

to hex the local arrogance.

Earlier in a room of strangers

I rose to speak and felt myself

detach in the shyest tones,

 

although I rendered myself

loud enough to hear in the back

where someone awoke with a start.

Later I accepted a cookie

and bottled water, rather

 

like a horse after losing a race.

Now as one famous distance

piles over another I slot

my hands in my pockets,

descend the steps by the pump house,

 

and slink away under the trees.

Too dark now for art to cling

to the soft part of the conscience.

The joggers swerve homeward,

having tired themselves enough

 

to avoid sex with their spouses.

The underground reservoir sighs

molten little sighs no sinner

can hear. The water supply’s safe

for now, but surely it’s plotting.

by William Doreski

EVERYTHING AFTER THE BODY

 

then they find the spiders behind my bed

they find the half hairbrush

they find the loose change

they find the candle

wax melt still wet

always goes lifeless

they find the tooth shaped container

holding all my baby teeth

they find the left sock

or twelve

they find the photo paper

unknowingly expose it all to light

looking for a letter

the paper yellows

months later

they find the match book

they find the notebook

(both contain fire)

they do not find the humor

they find the pink vibrator

they find the box with

all the inpatient wristbands

all the second place finishes

they find the perfume

they find that shirt with the tag still on

they find the funeral dress

or they don't know its the funeral dress

they do not find instructions

Jessica Nieberg is a poet and student living in Denver, CO. She is receiving her BA in neuroscience at the University of Colorado. She is a member of the 2017 Denver Mercury poetry slam team and was a finalist for the Denver Youth Poet Laureate. Her work is forthcoming in the Mutiny Info Reader.

Empty Lot

Side by side
in the quiet and dark, raking
a short cut
through an empty lot I
(to stem the silence) pretended
was a park, we were hurrying
to something or somewhere (beyond that,
I don’t remember what). On
we slogged
in the quiet and dark (others nowhere
near us to see us) when,
flushed with resolution, I veered
to make you stop
in the center of the empty lot
(that was never a park); managed
a “Hey” and then (no way of knowing
there’d be nothing in the end
to stem the void
left by love that never grew
from this) quickly,
slowly
filled your mouth
with a kiss.

First published in Verse-Virtual.

James Keane lives in northern New Jersey with his wife and son and a menagerie of merry pets. His poems have appeared most recently in the Indiana Voice Journal, Overwatch Press and the Tipton Poetry Journal. In 2013, his poetry chapbook, What Comes Next, was published by Finishing Line Press.

 

Behind Words

 

You are a poetic book of verse,

allow me to sink into your pages

and become lost in odes to grey hairs

lamenting age with rage,

raging against salt and pepper ascents,

the growing of the white.

 

Allow me to traverse chapters,

reading between the lines,

before editing and proofreads,

your free unaltered voice

beneath veil of self-consciousness

and fronted facades.

 

Let me feel the fidgeting suspense

when anticipating life changing results

with sympathetic supportive arms,

amid the anti-climax of heart breaks

and protagonist's conflict tug of wars;

the victories and the defeats.

 

Let me read your twilight eulogy,

the varicose arthritic strokes,

the doddering wondering thoughts,

and then when loneliness stares out,

I can stroke the page.

Jason Nicholas Smith

new pictures

 

New tenants are moving into the house

Fine I was only borrowing that house

 

New pictures are being nailed upon the walls

Fine those are God’s walls

Those are borrowed nails

 

New lovers are tumbling under the sheets

Fine we were lovers once

We borrowed love

Those won’t be the last lovers under those sheets

 

New children are swaddled by our clothes

Fine my ghost was merely passing through those clothes

 

New songs will find their way to my throat

No one owns these songs

Nobody keeps this throat

"new pictures" was previously published in Bird’s Thumb.

Kiik Araki-Kawaguchi is currently at work on a collection of poems titled HOGG BOOK. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in iO, Washington Square, Action Yes and Okey-Panky.