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Showing posts from February, 2022

Life and Death by John Grey

Death is tedious and passé,  no more than the extinction of all this old baggage, the separation of bric-a-brac to the dumpster and, after the usual faux-gothic ceremony, the body into the ground. It’s retrograde if anything. Birth in reverse. And worse, it will be permanent.  No one to love or link up with. Nothing to fear. Nothing to feel. A pain-killer that does its job too well. And then there’s life. Sure it involves other people  and sometimes alcohol is a necessity. But there’s always scenery. Even the most moth-eaten kind keeps the eyes amused. And gas stations that are open in the early hours of morning. Late-night diners and movies on big screens. It’s an adventure even if Spielberg doesn’t direct. And it gives a guy an outlet for all this breathing. The worst party I was ever at is still an improvement on the best funeral I ever attended.   That affair was in East Providence. No women. Lousy food. Dull conversation. Not near enough booze. But everyone invited made it home ok

Washing by Wendy Allen

in the bucket are rosebuds turning cordial by a stick  worn thin as marriage  a bitter raspberry tide mark the exact shade of lipstick I find  on your collar             these pink flecks stick  to the sides of the steel like yesterday’s syntax in this cold minuscule light you are madly morning frantic  your ink laced fingertips  dip yesterday’s sheets deep  into our steel rimmed estuary the water is bridal cold  as you hold the sheets under --- Wendy Allen has been published in Atrium, Re-Side, Brunel Writer and Northern Gravy. She has a Legitimate Snack coming out shorty from Broken Sleep and is about to start an MA in Creative Writing at Oxford Brookes.

Castaway by Peggy Hammond

Memories flit close, dart away: I’m sitting at the kitchen table bony knees to flat chest,  feet on chair’s edge, chair on curled linoleum.  My mother pours coffee  to include me, my cup  small, mostly sugar. Her brisk movements, a butter churn, a bubbling pot, a universe she kept on course. Older, I see weary eyes,  Note her smile stalls,  half formed. Older, in dark nights, I hear  jealous rages, threats  of damage or death. Older, I know her heart  broke long before I  washed ashore, one more  girl seeking safe passage  through a world seething with men. --- Peggy Hammond’s recent poems appear or are forthcoming in  Pangyrus Literary Magazine ,  The Comstock Review ,  For Women Who Roar ,  Fragmented Voices ,  The Sandy River Review , Moonstone Arts Center’s anthology  Protest 2021,  and elsewhere.  A Best of the Net nominee, her chapbook  The Fifth House Tilts  is due out fall 2022 (Kelsay Books).