Category: Poetry

Our Basket of Familiar Wicker

By Joe Bisicchia

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And like a sailor, he lifts the blinds. In the distance, no matter how far he is in that VA nursing home, he sees us out here somewhere as we glide. Your elderly father sees you and me, our hearts as one woven kite on the porch swing just as night seems to nudge the sun aside. He knows we are falling in love.

After all, all our footprints in sand and snow and cinder and everywhere we go, we go two by two by love but look at how the world blends so small. He knows. Widowers may have a way of seeing all the power in believing, as somewhere way out there is yet a heavenly mother near her child.

He may remember his younger sky, and her beautiful eyes, and likely can see them still when you laugh and when you cry. And for this, you should drop a line, for not too long ago he lifted you as that child, and you reached upward.

 Joe Bisicchia

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By Apollo Papafrangou

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It’s one kind of delirium
the state of these bed sheets
state of the union
after the fever breaks amid the folds

honey bees through the window
summoned by the sweet musk
they find moisture
in the crevices
and buzz about the tiny bud beneath the curtain

The linens bare your teeth marks
Cresent indentations like moon shadows

The fever broke
amid the shadows
behind the blinds
and the ecstatic mess
the delicious delirium of bedsheets
a home

Apollo Papafrangou

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Spring is here and we’re all going to die

By Jane Rosenberg LaForge

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In the spring, planting
commences, the roots of
verbs and gerunds
are persuaded to cloak
themselves in new
soils and stretch
into blank territory
without the sun’s
compass; the weeds
that hold as fast as skin
distracting the soft and
hairless on their route;
to thicken and thickening,
rinds and lemons,
the oranges trees
souring at the twigs
without ever flowering:

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Writing Donna

By Kevin Rabas

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Donna asked me
to run off to the farm,
raise goats and sheep and turnips
with her. Seventh grade,
   and I don’t know, don’t go,
though china doll Donna
   with her hair
like a central Kansas night
is still a Helen
   in high school,
every guy wants her,
  and I’m no different,
though I love
   what she writes me
in her letters
   as much as her looks.

I kept that one
   about the goat farm,
take it with me
   when I travel,
and sometimes I write back,
   cursive script
into the past,
letters to the girl
from that boy
back in junior high.

And she never
   writes back.

Kevin Rabas

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Leiber and Stoller Experience the 1960s as Heraclitean Flux

By Benjamin Goluboff

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The ‘sixties went by in a blur for Jerry and Mike,
remembered in fragments, bright and discontinuous.

Phil Spector shadowing them in the studio,
his head swiveling like a bird of prey.

The Dixie Cups, Jewish Valkyries, setting up
harmonies that made Mike’s scalp cringe.

Hearing in ’64 The Beatles’ version of “Kansas City,”
knowing then something of the curve and contour of time.

Jerry at dinner with Motherwell and DeKooning.
Jerry wrestling with Mailer by the bar at Elaine’s.

Mike at the Village Gate hearing Stan Getz
blow long and long into the coming dark.

The stone-faced Customs man at Heathrow
who liked to say: “If you’re Stoller, where’s Leiber?”

These were not, like the fifties, the time of their time:
the days in diminuendo, a falling away.

It was in these uncertain years that the boys bought copyrights,
a hefty portfolio, in the songs of other writers.

– Benjamin Goluboff

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