HomePosts Tagged "poetry" (Page 30)

by Corey Hutchins I walked by him with a light air of disdain as a mask for my unfashionable curiosity and pity. A heart-wrenchingly beautiful Mexican man, a boy whose skin the sun craved to seduce with its embracing heat, Was crouched in front of the coffee shop, picking up with working hands pieces of plastic and wire. Everyone walked past him without a second glance, if they had given him a first. The manager sternly instructed him to use the bathroom quickly because they were closing when he finally raised himself and stumbled in. But I secretly loved his chestnut skin as I quietly sipped my coffee And wished I hadn’t looked at him like I had before for the sake of my friend’s judgment. Corey Hutchins recently completed her master’s degree in Renaissance literature from the University of Edinburgh and is living and working in Plano, Texas, as volunteer coordinator for the North Texas Food Bank. Her poetry has been published by Windmill, Shinshi, and a handful of stones. About this poem, she says, "I live in Texas, and this particular piece was inspired by the ambivalent relationship a lot of people around here have with the growing Hispanic population. This is someone's first shameful realization of her own hidden racism." 

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Oxford, Mississippi by Dante Di Stefano I could die there at the Chevron Food Mart, be reborn at the Kangaroo Express, and die again at the Oxford Gas Mart. I could die eating chicken on a stick, make art from clogged arteries, and express the perfect poem in the shape of thick sweet potato fries. I could die between the aisles of beef jerky and Valvoline. When I die, the guy behind the counter has got to be named Dug, spelled D-U-G, and he’s got to smile, so as to counter the somberness of all mortality. Dug, let my life be like catfish deep fried: crisp, good, dashed with hot sauce before I die. Dante Di Stefano currently works as a high School English teacher in his hometown of Binghamton, New York. His work has appeared most recently in Poetry, Quarter After Eight, and The Hollins Critic, and he says this poem is part of a collection that connects his travels in the South and the great people he's met. 

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by David W. Landrum in memory of Earl Wade Beckwith At the sleepy station where lizards grey as dust scurried, fleet-footed, over berms of baking stone and tracks gleamed in relentless sun, the car pulled up, the Russians disembarked— grey uniforms, red stars, red epaulettes and smiles and handshakes; later you would learn they were in training at Fort Smith and would be shipped back to contested steppes to use the skills (whatever the skills were) they had learned here. One gave you his red star. Neither you nor he could speak except by smiles, except by attitudes that indicated friendship. They climbed up when the whistle blew and went into the distance wavy with heated air, fragrant with tar-smell from ties soft-warmed in sun, the caboose fading off far past the spot imagination’s line drew to a point, beyond experience. David W. Landrum is originally from Arkansas but lives and teaches in Michigan. He says this poem is a part of his family lore. "My cousin met Russian soldiers who had come to train in Fort Smith, Arkansas, during World War II and had the artificat mentioned in the poem - an encounter he related that has always intrigued me," he says. David's poetry has appeared in such journals as Gloom Cupboard, Small Brushes, The Formalist, Clapboard House, and many others. He also edits the

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by Kati-Jane Hammet High in the dark, eyes closed and stretching to listen, Listening, then, for something inside to be reflected Outwards, light flashing through the bamboo shades and the shades of eyelids, tight, moving with the tempo of tentative touches on the tin roof, skin melding with the worn leather of the couch, Slipping sideways, stuck, breath rising through the cage of ribs— Up to the ceiling, or further out, and in, then where sight stops, Even in the dark, and the gathering concussion of air and water Displaced by sound, ripping through the night. Hushed. Rain. Then the silence. Kati-Jane Hammet, a graduate student at the University of South Alabama, lives in downtown Mobile, which she has added to her collection of Southern port cities. She attended the College of Charleston and grew up making regular pilgrimages to Savannah to shop at the mall in the years before her hometown of Bluffton, South Carolina, got known and swoll up with newcomers.

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by Heather Wilkins There is a swing upon the boughs of a snow-laced southern oak tree, and painted on its seat does smile a red-faced strawberry. The stark contrast does give away its hiding place in white; to catch a glimpse of such bright red is quite a lovely sight. What gentle bout of loveliness this little fruit does shed— to sit alone against the cold and still to burn so red. So keep your smile every day until the summer you see, and watch the ashen snow give way to the red-faced strawberry. Heather Wilkins is a native of Alabama and currently a graduate student at the University of South Alabama in the English program. She enjoys writing poetry dealing with animals and environmental concerns.

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by Erren Geraud Kelly there's nothing sadder than looking at the paper and seeing a picture of brown pelicans covered in progress this summer, kids will collect tar balls like they collect seashells the flood that came to new orleans came to nashville, too but it was just god's tears he cried in anger as he exacted  his revenge on us karma is a bitch and she always wins so, taste this toxic gumbo and enjoy it we won't care if the headphones from our cell phones give us cancer in a few years it's just a small price to pay for keeping up with the joneses isn't that what cancer is anyway, a growth that doesn't stop? enjoy your oyster po-boy while you can

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by Nicholas Ward for Mark Edmundson and the Homeric heroes At the University they call it narcissism. But pride tastes like metal And blood. Smells like gun powder And gasoline. Sounds like hounds On a scent. Granddad said He could listen to dogs run Forever and die a happy man. It looks like nothing, eyes Closed kissing. Feels like Sweat burn, true grit, victorious. And I won’t even mention That where I’m from, they Can’t even spell narcissism, Or care to. Neither could Achilles. Nature only cares For strength and beauty, And some can’t spell beauty Either. But they know pretty And they howl righteously, Free from chains and shame, collars Gnawed off, wolves not yet forgotten. A native of Greene County, Virginia, Nicholas Ward currently lives in Charlottesville, where he is finishing his undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia. His experiences in rural central Virginia influence his work, and he is interested in bridging the gap between the world of academia at Mr. Jefferson’s University and the nearby rustic foothills of the Blue Ridge.

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by N. A’Yara Stein One night on the crunchy sand of Biloxi my mother lay with my father and i became I. The stars, she said, whispered; her husband was a distant silken conspirator. Afterwards, they returned to their sparring and to the delta with its raped cotton plants in reddened soil. They toiled, oiled the machines almost ferverishly as the doomed do. Don't you? Haven't you? Never? I have want of luxury but not fury. Easy promises slipped bee-like from tongues and children's ears grew numb with fear of the way things fall apart and people disappear. N. A’Yara Stein is a Romani-American poet and writer living on a chicory farm and has been nominated twice for the 2010 Pushcart Prize. Born in Memphis, she holds an MFA from the University of Arkansas and has been published in The New Orleans Review, The Birmingham Poetry Review, The Oxford American, California Quarterly, Chiron Review, Crossroads: a Journal of Southern Culture, Great Midwestern Quarterly, and Poetry Motel. She currently lives near Chicago with her sons and is looking for a book publisher. 

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by Darryl Willis Pedestals are designed for urns and figurines but not for priests and parsons. Stained glass and sacred art cannot hide a heart stained by greed and pride. And I so long ago seemed far too strong to fall victim to the lesser sins of lust and rage and drunkenness. My flock held me in respect (and I confess, not without a little awe). And when I walked into a room they turned to me and gave a smile and nod of deference. When the parish built for me a brand new parsonage to honor my long years of service I could not see what was plain as the pious look pasted on my face: how I manipulated and cajoled to get what I thought I deserved. Now as I gaze into my avaricious eyes (as in a mirror darkly) I can see all so clearly now: my glass house is filled with stones. Darryl Willis lives in Texas, and this poem was originally published in Eclectic Flash Literary Journal, Volume 1, September 2010. More of his work can be found on his blog at www.poema2009.blogspot.com.

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by Tracy Sopko As summer painted the night with thunder, Time collapsed down on the grass, his legs akimbo, his white hair mussed about his head like the stuffing pulled from a too-loved teddy bear. Soft flashes of fairy light danced in and out of the subtly bruised clouds. Death grew roots out of his walking shoes, buried his toes into the dirt, dropped his hood and made the decision to take the night off. The stillness of the Southern night was complete. Tracy Sopko was born and raised in small Florida town, hovering, like the state itself, on the fringes of Southern culture. She currently lives in Jacksonville and attends the University of North Florida.

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