New Poem: Hiraeth

My poem is in Pure Slush’s seven deadly sins volume Pride.  Here is a link to the book. http://bit.ly/PrideBk

and here is the poem. Fun to write this one.

Hiraeth

Sure, Moses qualifies
but it’s hardly a stretch
to include those
DNA ghouls—
lanced and shorn—
who purpose their lives
in finding
some fabulous
ancestor—
hoping they might puff
up their emaciated chests
like frigatebirds
in heat
and point excitedly to
an illustrious branch
of their family tree—
but seem, always,
to come up with
monkeys.

 

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Stevieslaw: New Poem-Fumarole

My poem Fumarole was just published by the Broadkill Review. Here is the poem:

“Fumarole”

Here is the link:

And the poem:

Fumarole

“You know,”

Tony said with a smile,

“they’d like

to vent volcanoes.”

“Drill into them

to relieve the pressure—

imagine

gas escaping.

like steam

from a giant’s teakettle.”

We were drinking coffee

at the counter of Abe’s

on Bristol Street.

Two eggs up, bacon,

and a toasted bagel.

Tony had given up

on the bagel.

He was missing

two front teeth

and his face looked like

he had lost an argument

with a Mixmaster.

He was tall and dark

with a laugh as contagious

as measles.

But somewhere,

in the tangled machinery

above his eyes

he had a screw loose,

and out of the blue

he would blow.

Then, for a few

frantic minutes,

Tony was a human

wrecking ball.

Last night,

he had hunkered

out of the way

as his ex parked

her dad’s car,

then he took a baseball bat to it—

sweating and swearing,

he shattered

windshields and lights.

The dad and two friends

caught up with him later,

as he walked home alone.

“They will kill you,”

offered Abe,

“If you keep

that crap up.”

“Sooner or later,”

I thought.

Everyone did.

“But the drilling

is more than likely

to set it off,”

Tony said,

squeezing his napkin

into a quarter inch ball.

“The eruption,

that is” he said,

sweeping his

meaty hands

up over his head

to show

how the volcano,

when tampered with,

would blow.

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“Perhaps You Can.”

My first book of poetry, “Perhaps You Can,” was just published by KelsayBooks. Click here.

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Stevieslaw: New Poem in Third Wednesday

My poem, Saul and Sam, was just published by the print journal Third Wednesday.  I’m in good company Sarah Russell, Majorie Maddox Hafer and Ted Kooser also have poems in this issue.  Here is the poem:

 

Sam and Saul

 

The twins were prodigies

in math and music.

Saul played cello,

Sam the violin.

By the time they were three

experts were measuring

the elasticity of their brains

and listening

to their rendition

of Pachelbel’s Canon

with tears in their

calculating eyes.

 

We preferred The Stones

to Pachelbel

and treated the guys

as if they were normal.

Mostly they were,

as long as you didn’t invite

them to play poker

at stinky B’s after basketball

or try to beat them

at Scrabble or chess.

 

Saul sickened and died

the year they were to start

at the Institute for Advanced Study.

Our parents spoke of leukemia—

murmuring “blessedly quick,”

as if a mantra to ward off evil.

They buried him on a day in March

so raw, it was a relief

to be in the overcrowded synagogue

listening to sorrow

recited as it should be—

in the ancient language

of Torah.

 

After the service,

Sam sat all alone

in the bitter cold

outside their apartment building

and played his brother’s cello—

it was the most beautiful thing

I’d ever heard.

He played through the sunset.

He played until

his father gently took his hand

and helped him up

to their half-empty home.

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Stevieslaw: My poem, As One,

My word poem, As One, was just published by Eclectica. Here is the poem:

As One

Only yesterday, I found
the seeds you bought me,
on a sagging basement
shelf—miraculously dry.

There was no note,
might one have said—
with these, the past and present
exist simultaneously?

There are dozens of packets—
a well deep with flowers to bed,
many with names
and shapes I do not know.

I will plant them as closely
as we were once.
A skein of color so entangled
it dissolves with distance to a singular blaze.

And here is a link to the issue:

http://www.eclectica.org/v23n2/toc.html

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Stevieslaw: Lion’s Breath

My poem, Lion’s Breath, is the spotlight runner up in poetry in the new April/May issue of Ecelectica.  Here is the poem:

Lion’s Breath

At yoga yesterday,
while downward dogging,
our instructor asked us
for five rounds of lion’s breath.

It’s easy—
when you exhale, stick your tongue
out as far as it will go
and with the gruesome face
that pose ensures
make the most godawful
rasping noises.

After two repetitions
I began to laugh.
I thought how wonderful
my father would have found the practice.

I imagined him lion-breathing
on the checkout line at Walmart,
during a sappy love scene
at the local twelve screen,
and at the insomniac’s gin game
under the lights at Century Village.
He’d teach technique to every child
that crossed his path
and one hundred years from today,
his descendants would still be
disrupting kindergarten nap time—
picture the peals of pure joy,
as a room of five-year-olds
discovers lion’s breath.

And here is the link to Eclectica:

http://www.eclectica.org/v23n2/toc.html

 

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stevieslaw: Icarus—a new poem

My poem Icarus was just published by The Blue Nib. Here is the poem and the link

Icarus

“That blue,”

he said again and again,

finger pointed at the dingy hospital wall.

His body trembled

as if he lay on a “magic fingers” bed

on high—on the derangement setting.

 

Yet, later, he sang

softly, and so sanely,

we hoped he was coming around

 

“And I was feathered—

he screamed.

And I flew”

 

They found him walking on the railroad tracks

twelve days ago.

He was clutching what was left

of his Gibson twelve string.

He said his name was Icarus.

God knows what he had dropped.

The docs didn’t.

 

They waited two weeks,

then warehoused him for the long term.

His parents had means—

so it wasn’t a bad place.

For a while, we’d go to visit.

But, he would just stare at the sky

as if it held an invitation—

a summons to the day

he had flown so high

he had almost touched the sun.

https://thebluenib.com/article/other-voices-1-individual-poems-selected-by-shirley-bell/

 

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