Poetry Chapbook Contest
Poets featured in this Issue:
Bryce Emley, John Marvin, Paul Many, James Valvis, Sudasi J. Clement, Carolyn Williams-Noren, J.T. Whitehead, Anthony Seidman, Robert Cooperman, Melissa J. Lindstrum, Charles Rammelkamp, Cassandra Dallett, Ace Boggess, John McKernan, Barbara Daniels, John W. Presley, Mary Kathryn Jablonski, John Grey, Antler, Kathleen Kirk, David Chorlton, Ken Feltges, Ron Koertge, James Scruton, Tobi Cogswell, Doug Bolling, Carol V. Davis, Robert S. Pesich, David T. Manning, Dean Shavit, Lynn Ciesielski, John Gribble, Crystal Ockenfuss, Alana Merritt Mahaffey, Jeffrey C. Alfier, George Longenecker, Michael Lauchlan, Troy Schoultz, Alison Stone, Noelle Walker Smith, Keith Dunlap, Ed Taylor, Bernadette D. McComish, Sharon Alexander, Jim Daniels, E. Michael Desilets, M. Ehrlich, Marc Swan, Jasmine V. Bailey,
Holly Guran, Chris Bullard, Dana Bisignani, Alex Streiff, Sean Thomas Dougherty, Deborah Phelps, Christine DeSimone, Tracy Thomas, Holly Day, Lowell Jaeger, Katie Daley, Livio Farallo, Jennifer Gibson, Susan Lilley, Dan Sicoli, Molly Sutton Kiefer, Pamala Murray Winters, Lyn Lifshin, Amasa Guy Larkins, Michael B. McMahon, Gerald Locklin, and Hal Sirowitz. Photography: David J. Thompson.
Photography by David J. Thompson:
Sample Poems from Issue 32
Clarity After the Crash by Bryce Emley
Back Seat by Cassandra Dallett
Five Star Motel by Paul Many
Asteroids to Whiz Harmlessly By Earth by James Scruton
Ryan's Daughter by Keith Dunlap
Clarity After the Crash
by Bryce Emley
In that full second before flight hit stillness,
before a head filled with quarters
and lungs stretched with dirt and blood,
before bone tips pirouetted through skin
and a windshield dissolved
into glistening splinters, littering
the night with synthetic stars
as a car completed its first rotation,
I learned everything I need to know about physics.
I learned about a body in motion, the way it tends
to remain in motion until acted upon by
the weight of youth, about
what happens when an unstoppable force
meets a sixty-year-old oak tree,
that only matter is immune
to being created or destroyed.
© 2012 Bryce Emley
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by Cassandra Dallett
You can see pavement
through the holes in the floor.
Sometimes a burning cigarette
blows back through the open window
causes a brief flailing panic
mostly they bounce
red sparks in the car’s wake.
The radio plays static
it’s loud back here
but the tuner is out of reach.
My chin rubs raw
leaning on the ragged
vinyl edge of the front seat.
My feet spin
Rolling Rock and Molson
Trees slide by in a green blur
of waving arms,
Daddy’s foot clicks
high beams low beams
and calls you a cocksucker
if you don’t turn yours down.
© 2012 Cassandra Dallett
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Five Star Motel
by Paul Many
In the overgrown courtyard,
lights from other rooms
shine dim on mullein and rye
crowding a filled-in pool,
its ladders inviting a climb
down into cool ground.
A rusted chaise longue
webbed by plastic and spiders
sits in the middle and
I ease into it, worn from driving,
hands behind my head in the pose
of dreamers and astronomers.
It’s the peak of the Perseids
and stars fire by the minute.
I float under that streaked sky,
hearing my breathing, vibrating
on this great engine of earth
as it careers in its orbit.
Far from lulled, I’m following
closely these star traces, feeling
they’re converging in some
big picture, some explanation
I’ve been fleeing, hidden from me
all day behind a 600 mile sky.
© 2012 Paul Many
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Asteroids to Whiz Harmlessly by Earth
by James Scruton
It seems a kind of non-headline,
like “Trains Pass Without Collision,”
or “Lightning Doesn’t Strike,” or even
“No Eclipse This Week.”
“Close but no cigar,” old-timers
used to say. As kids we declared
“Close only counts in horseshoes”
until it became “horseshoes and hand grenades.”
Only astronomers would call it a near-miss
at a hundred-thousand miles,
this “double flyby visible tonight
from anywhere in North America,”
twin streaks of light we can watch
through the harmless dark, our other dark
for a while forgotten, close as it is
and impossible to measure.
© 2012 James Scruton
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by Keith Dunlap
When I was ten and my brother eight
Our parents took us to the drive-in to see
Ryan’s Daughter. By the time we got there
The cartoons had already started,
The giant dizzy Technicolor madcap
Floating there in disconnected space.
Our massive station wagon slowly
Crawled through the shadowy herd of cars,
Its wheels crunching the gravel,
A chorus of disapproving mechanical voices
Hung in the other windows
All suddenly laughing at the same time.
My brother and I wore our pajamas
And had a kind of bed we shared,
The backseat folded down,
And blankets and pillows spread
Around. I don’t remember much
From the movie, except the scene
When the British soldier fucks
A beautiful young Irish girl
In an endless field of rye grass,
The soft green and white stalks undulating in the breeze,
As if the world were a quiet watery surface of leaves,
At which point, my mother gave a little gasp,
And asked me to cover my brother’s eyes.
© 2012 Keith Dunlap
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