Sunday, February 22, 2009

Scott Kaestner

SMELLS LIKE SUBURBAN ANGST

omnipresent suburban slush piles
made kurt cobain scream for mercy
at the top of his mighty lungs;
i used to scream along
for that’s where i’m from
which is why i ran away
into the arms of a fertile metropolis
labyrinth with no limitations, no out of bounds
freak show filled with children of the damned
the doomed
merrily at play while the others just fade away
into the anonymity of one in the same
fast asleep in their picket-fenced
four bedroom
vacuum
of space.
Sharmagne Leland-St.John

PEARL'S SONG

They came to mourn
They came to cry
They came to wonder
How someone so young
Could ever die

She had fame and fortune in her youth
The songs she sang were songs of truth

The moon it waned, the moon it waxed
Her train was slippin' down the tracks
The sky was dark the clouds were pale
When she rode out on a midnight rail

I remember her in the studio that night
Restless, and her voice was tight
All in a knot
Yet when she said goodbye who would have thought
She'd never see the morning light
But the sky was dark and the clouds were pale
And she rode out on the midnight rail

They came to mourn
They came to cry
They came to wonder
How someone like her
Could ever die

Although it's been over 30 years
Since we shed our loving tears
Since that night
When we kissed and said goodbye
Your star has never dimmed
Your ashes were scattered in a gentle wind.
The sky was dark and the clouds were pale
When you rode out on the midnight rail


For Janis
1943-1970
Joanne Merriam

HICCUPS

I tell her about an article I read about hiccups,
how they may be an evolutionary remnant --
the same muscular contraction some frogs have
when they switch from gills to lungs --
and she rolls her eyes, very Southern, unconvinced
and says, "Oh, so now we're descended from fish?"

Below our skin, rivers, yes, fluid existence.
My mother's voice embedded in mine.
(When Mom calls that night, long distance,
we talk about that trick that makes me feel sick
every time I eat jello lime like the hospital's,
that makes her smell rain when
thinking of prom: this insistence on memory.
Who can guess what will save us?)

I turn from her cubicle to the window.
Behind my ghost in the glass it's starting to rain.
If you go back long enough,
I want to say,
we're all related, and isn't it wonderful,
what it can teach us about persistence.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Michelle Angelini

I STILL HAVEN'T FOUND WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR

immovable mountains
stack themselves against
my passions
i'm not discouraged
i push back
sooner or later
beneath this pile
of dirt and foliage
i will discover
what i set out to find
Ann J. Brady

HOT FLASH

I woke up drenched
bothered by my faulty hormonal thermostat.
“This is worse than living in a swamp.”
The heat lasted longer than a flash.
“Must have been a man who named them.”
What do men know?
I told my doctor about them
he didn’t look up as he scribbled,
my hot flashes permanently recorded.
I picture
some unhappy male insurance clerk
with a vendetta
denying me coverage
because I bitched about hot flashes.
“Screw him.”
I flipped my pillow
let the underside cool my cheek.
My husband sighed in his sleep.
He didn’t hear me either.