Sunday, 5 November 2017

Killing the Brown Snake by John Grey

Western Brown Snake
By Andy (originally posted to Flickr as Western Brown)
via Wikimedia Commons


It was a hot summer’s day
and my father killed a snake,
smashed its head
with a shovel,
as two foot of brown body slithered
this way and that
as it lost all connection to its brain.

I wanted to bury the reptile
but he tossed it
into the woods behind the house
where the ants could make a meal of it
as it decomposed in the searing weather.

I checked it out later
when the insects had already moved in,
got close up with venomous fangs,
a flattened forked tongue.

“If one of them bites you,” my father said,
“you’d get very sick.”
He didn’t mention death
but, even at the age of eight,
the implication didn’t escape me.

I shuddered as I stood there.
imagining the snake
coiled around my body,
piercing my legs, my arms, my chest,
with those vampire teeth,
flooding my body with enough toxin
to drop me like a rifle shot.

But, that day,
the snake was the unfortunate boy,
my father was the viper.
I was just an ant
nibbling with my curious eyes.

*****

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident in Providence RI. Recently published in the Psaltery and Lyre.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Africa by Mitchell Grabois

Ebola virus by NIAID

I’m starving myself to death. I have quit my position in the Obese Liberation Army. I am a Deserter. I no longer eat desserts. I go from supermarket to supermarket, sabotaging ice cream freezers. The aisles are a soupy mess, but before the store managers have realized what’s happened, I am long gone.

Cheryl dreamed she was playing scrabble. She put down the word ‘zulu’ for thirty-two points. When she awoke, she lay in bed, her limbs sore, and heard the newspaper skid across her porch. She went to get it, barefoot, in her nightgown. Coolness announced that winter was coming. She bent to pick up the paper and the giant headline glared at her: Africans Extinct. Overnight a mutation of Ebola had killed them all.

Once the stench of the dead cleared, Cheryl realized, there would be vast resources to exploit, new countries to found and populate, with new, white Africans. Maybe, to dispel the bad luck, they would burn sage for weeks or months and rename the continent. She went to pack her bag. It would be like the Oklahoma Land Rush—the first to arrive would get the choice chunks of spiced goat meat.

*****

Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over twelve-hundred of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad, including BEAKFUL. He has been nominated for numerous prizes.  His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition. To see more of his work, google Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois. He lives in Denver. 

Monday, 23 October 2017

Sunset by Robert Ronnow


Sunset, quiet, except
for happy birthday to neighbor’s child,
virgo, and all that means, purity
of morality, inability to scheme,
whatever else the stars dictated.

Woodpecker climbs oak, Connecticut.
Not ten years ago this mountain was
completely forested, untouched
since early arrival of Europeans.
Now my parents’ home and others stand
in new clearings. The birds
do not seem to mind. Sing,
and deer occasionally visit, from where?
Out of the pre-historic past.

That I must die
is my every third thought.
On my hands and knees, cold sweat,
my own body murdering me.
I meet death with the philosophy
I lived in life. Acceptance
of the loneliness, the unregarding
beauty. There is that shoreline
along the straits to Puget Sound,
in mist, the generations
of sea birds nesting on the water.

*****

Robert Ronnow's most recent poetry collections are New & Selected Poems: 1975-2005 (Barnwood Press, 2007) and Communicating the Bird (Broken Publications, 2012). Visit his web site at www.ronnowpoetry.com.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Avis de parution : SURSIS - micro-fictions poétique et collages de Cathy Garcia

Couverture de Sursis de Cathy Garcia

Treize micro-fictions poétiques, bizarres, décalées, dérangées….

Dérangeantes ?


« Je l'observe avec étonnement et soudain, je vois ses lèvres venir s'écraser contre le rempart de verre et son regard virer au gris. Je la vois se retourner sur elle-même, cette crispation soudaine qui ne trompe pas. Je me demande l’espace d’un instant, si elle pourra obtenir rapidement son sursis, puis je m'éloigne, je voudrais profiter du mien. »

Dédale, collage de Cathy Garcia

Tirage numéroté, édité et imprimé par l’auteur
avec neuf collages papiers originaux réalisés par l'auteur
De cet ouvrage, est prévu un tirage de tête limité et numéroté à treize exemplaires avec illustrations en couleur le reste sera en noir et blanc
28 pages
sur papier 90g calcaire
couverture 250g calcaire
100 % recyclé


dépôt légal : octobre 2017

Le rire de l'attardé, collage de Cathy Garcia

15 € pour les treize exemplaires du tirage de tête
10 € pour le tirage en nombre
port offert jusqu'à fin octobre
chèque à l'ordre de :
Cathy Garcia
Létou
46330 St Cirq-Lapopie

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Chrono Car by Steven Translateur


     Gavin and Aubrey Githors entered a car dealership looking for a sedan.  They came with the $8000 bonus Gavin earned at his job as a watch designer.  He had invented the mountaineer precision chronograph - a doohickey that could keep time almost as well as an atomic clock.
     Rolland Cemt, a salesman gave a complete tour of the showroom.  He introduced they to the company's nifty compact, roomy wagon, luxurious mid-size, commode SUV, and magnificent van.  It enthralled they.
     "What vehicle do you want?" asked Rolland.
     "We have triplets on the way.  We need a spacious sedan," replied Aubrey.
     "What vehicle has a good clock - factory direct in it?" asked Gavin.
     "I recommend the mid-size Landerlux.  It can accommodate a family nicely and it has an excellent time keeper in its dashboard," said Rolland.
     "How much is it?" asked Gavin.
     "$15,000" said Rolland.
     "Too much," said Gavin.  "Can you come down to $8000?"
     "I can make it $13,000," offered Rolland.  "Beyond that I cannot haggle.  You see, I am not really a full time salesman.  I am actually a poet.  So I know rhyme and alliteration and not wheeling and dealing."
     "Ok," said Gavin.  "Let us hear a poem."
     "Very well," said Rolland.  And he took them into an office and read them this:

THE ENGINE OR THE BODY

Silvery sleek fiberglass dream vehicle;
sun roof, fins, unspoiler, fuel tank that is full.

If you are ambitious you can go so far
in a magnificent gorgeous new job car.

Trip after trip, wonderful fun all the way
until the motor bursts and burns to decay.

Swapped the engine with other manufacturers.
Whether it would be noticed, I was not sure.

Who is the maker of an automobile -
engine-er or bodyer or both equal?


     "Ok," sighed Gavin.  "We shall purchase the automobile for $13,000 but we must finance it."
     "Deal!" exclaimed Rolland.  "What color would you like it in?
     "What do you suggest?" inquired Aubrey.
     Rolland proclaimed:  "Red is and must always be for royalty.  Orange is for the unbelievably and courageously outrageous.  White is for winners.  Yellow accommodates yearnings.  Blue is for the beautiful people.  Black is for the very best.  Indigo is so rare that it is certainly interesting.  Purple is for the exceedingly polite.  Burgundy is for the precious blondes and brunettes.  Chartreuse shall get you noticed and appreciated and thought of as original and daring and trend setting.  Brown can get you around town in style and class and show you a great time.  Pink is unquestionably and considerably nearly perfect.  Violet is almost absolutely virtuous."
     "You are somewhat of a bizarre sort?  Are you not sir?  But we like you anyway, "said Gavin.
       "In any case," said Aubrey," we shall take the motor car in the hue of yellow.  Because we are all bananas!"
     "Yellow it is!" said Rolland.  "The car shall be here in a week for pickup.  Good luck with everything."
     The Githors left the dealership smiling.

*****

Steven Translateur's work has appeared in a variety of publications including MEMES, MIND IN MOTION, and NEXT PHASE.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Crosswise Gaze by Caleb Puckett

Random Words Make A Sentence by Steve Snodgrass


At the behest of heavy appendages, close in. Now that crushed carapace on the roadside,
now those fallen chips on the poker table. A pile of eyes scattering as red trumps green, barrels opening to the thinnest of impossibilities in that crosswise gaze.

Panning wider, we realize we’ve made a rhyme of graven images to serve a less tangible theme. We’re told that death’s jokes rely on making a symmetry of the incongruous. So, a gambler and a turtle walked into a bar…

During the supposition, we arrive at a motto: Deus Vult. Now to assign a moral to the blank before you. Instinctively, each actor felt free to think. Intellectually, we felt bound to deviate. Living this way on paper is no small feat.

***

Caleb Puckett lives in Kansas. He's published a few books over the years and edits the lit journal Futures Trading

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Fallen to Dust by Fabrice Poussin

Northern red oak (Quercus rubra) fallen leaves by Dcrjsr


A snapshot of two scores should not collapse,
corners ripped, creases and coffee stains,
willing to remain on the rusty hook,
unable to keep a horizon, blind to a future.

A grave space saw the light of day where shoulders
used to touch.  A thin mist has made a wart,
so faces look away from a previous goal
shared.  Flakes of fall leaves die on the musty floor.

It seems no magic wand can bring together what
two hands failed to protect from the morrow;
walls cold and alone squeeze in a little tighter
the worm devoured frame cracks in deep distress.

It will not be long now, for all the parts conspire,
exhausted by a journey of sparse rocks and muddy puddles;
the soiled canvas begs for a moment’s reprieve;
it tilts a little more hanging to its last inaudible breath.

Two scores and no more, kindness is the only glue,
cruelty forgiven; purity of soul in the balance
is of no weight to the vengeful heart. Thus go my friend
into the dark shadows that curdle the blood to still ice.

Your partner in old crimes will go on to capture in the folds
of the old image, a smile or two, perhaps some fear;
it is done, broken, mirror of decades full of giddy life,
among cuts of another year’s news, it lays now a corpse.

*****

Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and dozens of other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review and more than 250 other publications.