HomePosts Tagged "poetry" (Page 37)

by Lydia Ondrusek He takes the hatband off, unspools a Mississippi of black grosgrain; too long alone in the dim back room, he talks. Tells about learning to make hats, shape them to fit people to whom it was important, a good hat. A sign of who and what you were. Tells how gents wore boaters once, all summer, cool and shady. “Punched the tops out when the season ended!” I put my boater on, with its new black ribbon; tip it to my grandfather, watching from the past’s dusty mirror. He raises his own black-banded boater in salute to summer, and to me. A good hat is important. Lydia Ondrusek lives in Richardson, Texas, and often writes about Southern experiences and locations. She has had fiction and poetry published online and in print since 2008 in a diverse range of publications that include Flash Fiction Online and Falling Star Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @littlefluffycat.

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by Timothy Perior My wife and I began in Maryland and ended up in a small town in Georgia. The house is one of those large, almost mansion things on a couple of acres, built pre-civil war. It is great for writing. We love it. This morning I was rummaging about in the attic. In an obscure corner I came across an old disintegrating cloth wrapped package. Between the darkness and the dust I almost missed it. I unwrapped the remains of a shawl to find a brittle leather portfolio. Inside I found a quarter inch of family financial records; among them a hand written sheet of aged, fine stationery. This is what it said. Oh my darling may I write Of the worry and the care tonight; For in the wind a rumor swirls And twists the soul of all the girls. For no man is here to save; No strength of army brave. What color will we look and see? Not gray with red striped lovely. Will the coats of color blue Come to wreak the devil's due; To march into our happy home And cast us to forever roam? Oh, gallant love, this verse is better Than if I penned a fretful letter. My breaking heart could stop this time If I don't fight my mind for rhyme. I think of you that storm inside Of those that

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by Kevin Heaton Levitating apparitions hover in misty vapor, troubling the face of cypress waters; suspended between rapture and mortality, concealing wispy souls of southern sons not yet at peace. They seek their general, mounted on a ghost stallion snorting humid gunpowder haze, charging at victory; his sword casting lunar reflections into Yankee eyes. Troop remnants mark cadence on gator, and snapper backs; scouting front lines long ago fallen, and battles; long since lost. Kevin Heaton lives and writes in South Carolina. His latest chapbook, "Measured Days," was recently released from Heavy Hands Ink Press, and his work has appeared in Foliate Oak, Elimae, Hanging Moss Journal, Pirene's Fountain and many others. He is listed as a notable poet at KansasPoets.com. To read more of his work, click here.

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by Michael Gebelein It’s always been hard for me to identify with things that are unknown. To feel the embrace from a different plane of existence or consciousness seems incorrect. I’ve made a show of tolerance and acceptance so hopefully actions really do tell more to the world than words. Leaning in closer to see the world with eyes like a fortune teller on Miami Beach, or a Baptist preacher in a small Southern town, a gas station attendant in Cleveland. Maybe they’ve got it figured out, but for now I’ll just lay in this bed with this piece of paper on a Monday morning with the snow coming in from outside and a ring of cigarette smoke over the end table. Letting the world have a short glimpse before throwing the curtains wide. Michael Gebelein is a writer living in Asheville, North Carolina. 

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by Tammy L. Beevers I watch him each morning, this blue heron statuesque in his indigo feather suit. He crouches, legs folded precisely waiting. and watching as fish flirt with the water’s edge and death. The heron strikes, his beak instantly a skewer, his neck elongated, beautiful as an orchid stem. Startled by sound, he stretches his wings, soars, then dives and disappears into the dense green. Tammy L. Beevers hails from Seneca Falls, New York, but says she's really a born-again Texan who's called Central Texas home for over 30 years. Her poem "Aspen" has been chosen as one of 10 winning poems for San Antonio's Via Metropolitan Transit's “Poetry on the Move” contest during National Poetry Month 2011, and “Texas Panhandle Slow Drive” appears in 2011 Texas Poetry Calendar.

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by Tracy Sopko Dust isn’t so hard to come by in the South. What with so many sources: The powdered sugar remnants of primordial bodies, The sun-burnt flaking paint of seven thousand and thirty two Condemned once-homes, And the equally scorched and peeling remnants of once-people, There is enough dust here to inter a culture. Under the auspices of an isolationist Mason-Dixon We would coalesce. State lines soften, Then give way entirely - weather patterns and jet streams Melding misshapen clods. Swept behind the Mexico-couch And best left forgotten. These aren’t memories in the attic to be brought down a rickety flight of stairs, and Picked through with the grandkids. These aren’t the Ill-fitted pieces of nostalgia. No, this is skin, twelve years old, with a dust bowl haircut Nothing approaching style, but with a hint of Pizzazz in the economy of it. No, This is dust like Nuclear fallout, Or triangular trade runoff. This is dust like war, Dust like war paint, This is the dust of the survivors. 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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by Hastings Hensel Each ring a year we cut into, open up, hacking back every hour the decades. We keep on, stroke after tiring stroke— wedge, push, cuss, talk about chainsaws that would show the tree’s history as cleanly as a timeline in a textbook. What makes us want to labor in camp— an afternoon through blisters, bees, heat— for a climax so brief? Half an hour in, and what? We chop through to 1998: Sosa homering, McGwire homering, James Byrd dragged through Texas by four white men in a pickup truck, and the two of us, fifteen, learning how to unclasp our girls’ padded bras in empty dugouts on a Friday night. It is concentration honed by the blade, and these damp chunks of brown wood that splay out like seconds with each chop. Tell me, friend, what hard knot keeps it up? Why does this hemlock not fall down until your last tragic swing of the axe and the quick, loud crash of a thing the same dead age as our grandfathers? Tell me again what we are left with but a stump, some kindling, the half-life of a life? We are left with our voices drifting like ash by the necessary firelight. Hastings Hensel lives in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, and his writing has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Shenandoah, Gray's Sporting Journal, The Hopkins Review,

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by Erren Geraud Kelly A place i head back to That i'll never belong to again It's growing My family accepts, if not Love me for what i am The streets are always the same Summer heat makes crepe myrtle Trees wilt And gumbo tastes good With beer on a hot night I look on the parade ground For the person I used to be I wonder about shannon sometimes, I refuse to believe she didn't love me Funny, i don't take the advice I gave to my mother To "simply let go" I see my barber Though we know I don't need him anymore The streets are still the same But not me Erren Geraud Kelly is a poet based in New York City by way of Louisiana. A graduate of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, he has been writing for 21 years and been published in Hiram Poetry Review, Mudfish and Poetry Magazine. Most recently, he was published in " In Our Own Words," a Generation X poetry anthology. "The themes in my writings vary," says Kelly, "but I have always had a soft spot for subjects and people who are not in the mainstream. I never limit myself to anything, I always try to keep an open mind."

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by Gregory Luce "I remember the way the mimosa tree buttered the shade Outside the basement bedroom, soaked in its yellow bristles." - Charles Wright I too remember mimosas two of them in my grandparents’ yard the pink bottle-brush blossoms helicoptering down the almost-not-there scent trailing and how I had to sweep them off the driveway or scrape them when the rain glued them down to the concrete how hateful the labor and how much would I give to do it again now as my grandfather finishes mowing the lawn after dinner and starts the sprinklers and we go inside for one last iced tea cicadas burring the evening air. Gregory Luce was born in Texas and still resides below the Mason-Dixon line in Washington, D.C., where he works as production specialist for the National Geographic Society. He is the author of two chapbooks, "Signs of Small Grace" and "Drinking Weather." His poems have appeared in Kansas Quarterly, Cimarron Review, Innisfree Poetry Review, If, Northern Virginia Review, Juke Jar, Praxilla, Little Patuxent Review, Buffalo Creek Review and in the anthology, "Living in Storms." To find out more, visit his blog or follow him on Twitter @dctexpoet. 

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by N. A’Yara Stein Life. Domain. Kingdom. The embayment alongside the alluvial plains Is where I was born and where I grew up. It’s a trip to see some rare November cotton: Commissioned to collect, record, and describe, Identify by name each rigid principal of tribe. We get out and stand around. No one there knows me now. Extinct, I’m just going through the motions. I tell you a secret even I don’t know Showing you the succession of great-greats On tombstones that begin to begin in 1753. Phylum. Class. Order. Rank is relative, restrictive to schema. By summer’s end the boys in these towns Will molt, farmer’s tan and all, into men. Without the built-in checks to help You keep the many names straight, That rudimentary or basic knowledge Important to survival, you talk with no one. Family. Genus. Species. In the antebellum kitchen we cut onions. Developed from a common ancestral form, Monophyletic, some places we never reach. We eat in silence. You say you love the food. Everybody does. We are both crying tears we don’t mean. Hybrid. Variety. Aberration. Between me and you, a distinction is to be made; I've crunched all the numbers, culled the statistics. A tiny mass of Latin rattles in my brain; Words scribble like wasps on the water’s surface. Somewhere between this moment and forever, Somewhere between the two extremes, There is some kind of common

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