Down the Road
At the End
by Julie Carpenter
To win the game
You must work with him
Become hollow before it starts
Scrape out your own insides
It will be less painful to do it now
Now he can wear your skin
Like a suit
Stretched and reshaped
The very little that is left of you
Is pushed to the edges
The boundary, your own skin
Your existence still
stains the exterior, a thin coat of paint
His lips must stop at yours
His sense of touch
Must end inside your fingertips
The victory of inhabitation is finite
The triumph smaller than you would have thought
The trivial price of playing the game
by Jeff Weddle
Without further introduction, enjoy some poems by one of our favorite poets, Jeff Weddle! Links to books appear below the poetry.
Poetry for Quarantine
by John Patrick Robbins
Nothing Changes But The Weather
Most the world was in a self imposed quarantine, and here I was hooking up with a semi stranger in the backseat of a car.
A life lived dangerously had been my mantra so just because the apocalypse was near why stop the party now?
She was a second date and beat nothing at all.
I was a drunk and not in the least bit picky.
She took the ride and I watched the traffic from the view of the parking lot and thought up this little ditty I'm sharing now.
You know it's memorable, when you're penning poems in your head with your pen in someone else's ink.
She was a second date and I just another empty soul to share space and grind against for the lack of anything better to do.
Never polish off the edges, leave them hidden in poorly penned poems for everyone to read.
I never high five myself for it's far from an achievement.
We all need something and I wasn't under the delusion they ever needed me.
We had our moment and went our separate ways.
I ended up with a poem and she simply got a goodbye.
Nothing changes but the weather.
by Brian Rihlmann
BATTLE OF THE BULGE
because of vestigial tooth and claw
the raised hackles and the roar
the avarice, the acquisitiveness
that served us well
through thousands of forgotten years
millions of atrocities
swept under the proverbial rug
this world will not conform
to our foolish images
there’s a mountain of dirt under there
bulging the stitches
of our carefully woven mandala--
how the roots of trees
shatter concrete beautifully
as drunken spiderwebs
and we, scampering
with darning needles
trowels in hand
by Ryan Quinn Flanagan
Half in the Bag
A single brass antique candle holder,
the top protruding out of a passing floral patterned
purse that rushes by in a hurry,
she must be late the same way pregnancy scares
are late, rushing around in flushed chubby panic
like that; with the bottom part of her new
brass candleholder half in the bag
slung over boney shoulder…
I can only see the top,
the various arms in need of dusting;
not quite Menorah or octopus,
but enough arms to do the job
which is all any of us can really ask for
on this living breathing Earth.
Author, Lane Mochow
by Julie Carpenter
If you go to Lane’s Author page, the review of this book is deceptively simple. It begins with a few lines of poetry from this sharp, sweet, and far too short book.
In the Cemetery
In the cemetery, I was standing on my knees,
reading verses of the holy book to the tombs
I was praying with tears on my cheeks
until the graveyard stopped me and asked me if
I was reading verses or reading sorrows
with an emotionless face, he asked to repeat
I started reading again and, his face was getting
red as his eyes were dropping my unrhymed tears
he stopped me with anger and screamed out
why more grieves, why more death, and less peace
I responded to him, why did hope sold us to traitors
why life is struggling with us, why did the wars rape us shamelessly
we cried together as he was saying that he’s listening to
spirits weeping with us, as the clouds will rain again
he asked me again, why our world is no longer bright
instead, it’s full of darkness and lots of bloody cuts
our grandparents were the farmers, who lift the sunshine
and brunt themselves to death, just to protect the seeds
our mothers stole the moon from the wall of the night
they hid in their coffins and the stars after our fathers
turned the rainbow into a solider in the zone of death
and made the snow into a drinkable water to survive
that James Cameron
made a movie about me
that had nothing to do
with my life
I was only referenced
the special effects making me
and it was a box office failure
even with 26 explosions
in the first three
and a woman
who jumps off a building
that used to be her
in an alternate
Phoenix Rises Again
There’s no logic in the land of emotions where tears drop
without explanation. I am attached to my past, keep pushing
my present into it; sucking my future into my present time.
When I saw him trying to severe himself from his past, I felt the pain
of his effort in his words and at his face. A sure connect, I lived
that pain and then it happened. Emotions swept my feet
clean from under me as I observed them flow silently, fiercely. They came
and I embarrassed myself in public, after a long time.
But men don’t cry!
I knew they’d come, those tears, just a second before they came
There was a chain of reactions that drew drops out and logged them
on the lenses. They’d leave their outline on drying, so I wiped
the lenses clean while the liquid and the emotions that sent
it there were fresh and alive.
From premonition to the actual wiping live emotions.
What stays behind is the guilt of letting the secret out; the
fear that someone would ask about it.
For men don’t cry.
It’s only thrice, or four times in his adult life that a man cries.
How many times can a phoenix die, and rise from the ashes?
by Lane Mochow
When I met the Jesus
He took my hand, kissed it.
He told me He was Jesus
Born with black skin.
He didn't tell me to follow Him,
To fall before his feet, to kneel low.
He told me my name
Meant "Heaven on Earth".
He didn't tell me I was hell bound,
Destined for smokey flames and torment.
He told me my nose hairs
Helped me smell the supernatural.
He told me I would be His
Sixteenth consort and bear His first child.
He told me He never truly died,
Just fell into an unconscious dreamscape.