Poetry Preview

folding tablecloths

Elizabeth Cook

 

you’ll never be able to manage alone –

although there is a moment when I feel too keen,

and contemplate letting the other half trail on the floor.

 

but then I curtsey down and take it up –

step towards you in our do-si-do

raising my arms to meet yours

 

we start smiling as the corners meet

beneath our fingertips and another second passes

holding hands beneath the linen.

 

then you decide to take up the burden

and I must step back to end the dance.

 

 

The Auction

Barbara Germiat

 

Late afternoon, a mild October day,

the auction of my family’s property

is winding down. I sit in the side yard

and watch my mother’s upright piano

being hauled up the basement stairs outside.

I’m the last one left so I must sell it,

plus the two-hundred acres around it.

I threw up this morning before breakfast,

twice more during the six hour auction.

I was fine. My stomach knew otherwise.

For twenty-one years I called this my home.

 

A man tells me he’s bought the radio,

our old 1930s Philco console.

He and his wife will restore it, use it.

He says they’ll take good care of it for me.

Every December I sat before it,

listened to Billy the Brownie stories,

The Jack Benny Show, Joe Louis boxing,

Fibber McGee and Molly, my earpiece

to the outside world. I thank this kind man.

My stomach eases. Old things to new folks.

 

 

To Write Like a Man

Joan Wiese Johannes

 

I need a dick

that I can whip out

every time I want to prove

I can piss longer and farther

than manly poets do.

 

And I need testosterone

so I can smack words

against concrete,

pull them up by their vowels,

and disembowel them

with a broken bottle.

 

Don’t tell me that men

are in touch

with their feminine side,

are taking care of babies,

sharing recipes,

and arranging roses.

 

Just shut up and hand me

your hoppiest beer,

a shot of Jack Daniels,

a pool cue,

a pen.

 

 

Waiting

Tom Montag

 

Who has

the patience

 

to watch

the stars

 

all night,

counting them,

 

waiting

for the end?

 

The stones.

 

 

Driving in Wisconsin

Alicia Zuberbier

 

We follow roads that can’t decide

between pavement and gravel,

cracked like lips and curved like palms.

These roads go until

amber husks curl over them.

Caves of corn silk wait for us.

The sky matches the tie

you wore to your father’s funeral.

 

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