Friday, February 15, 2019

How to Tie Your Shoes by Darrell Petska

Throw on your cap and sneakers,
grab yesterday's news and bike
fast to the wide irrigation canal
before big Sis spots you,
scoot down the weedy bank,
bracing yourself so you don't slip in,
make a newspaper boat and watch it
ride the flow till it's gone,
send another downstream,
and another and another—
pausing as a rusty pickup rattles to rest
up-canal where the grizzled ditch rider
tramps in high boots and muddy clothes
to crank a flowgate and scan the banks
where you squat like a cornered beaver,
count the clonking approach of his steps
until they halt at the lip of your perch,
manage a casual “howdy”,
clambering up the bank so he won't seem
ten feet tall, and attend his words
raspy from the smoke of a cigar
clenched in his bad teeth as he eyes
your shoestrings lolling like snakes in sunlight:
"Now looky—that won't do!"



Darrell Petska's poetry has appeared in Verse-Virtual, Chiron Review, Star 82 Review, Muddy River Poetry Review and widely elsewhere (see conservancies.wordpress.com). Darrell has tallied 30+ years as university editor, 40 years as a dad (six years as grandpa), and a half century as a husband. He's a Wisconsinite. 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

unsettled minds by J.J. Campbell

tossing and turning

unsettled minds
never sleep well

of course, there's a
woman involved

and an amazing
tattoo and quite
the ass

i'm sure this will
end in misery

for one of us



J.J. Campbell (1976 - ?) is old enough to know better. He's been widely published over the years, most recently at Synchronized Chaos, The Beatnik Cowboy, Ink Pantry, Horror Sleaze Trash and The Dope Fiend Daily. You can find him most days on his mildly entertaining blog, evil delights. (https://evildelights.blogspot.com)

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

the damn vixen by J.J. Campbell

she saunters into
my dreams like
the damn vixen
she is

tells me what to
do and i comply

she tastes like
warm sunshine
on a perfect day

one day i hope
i will actually
get to know
for sure



J.J. Campbell (1976 - ?) is old enough to know better. He's been widely published over the years, most recently at Synchronized Chaos, The Beatnik Cowboy, Ink Pantry, Horror Sleaze Trash and The Dope Fiend Daily. You can find him most days on his mildly entertaining blog, evil delights. (https://evildelights.blogspot.com)

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Video Cassettes by Robert Demaree

Emptying the particle-board cabinet
That housed our prehistoric VCR:
VHS cassettes of high school commencements,
Grainy wedding receptions,
Caroline in Oklahoma!, 1986,
Vouchsafed to us in sacred trust,
Even without a means
To live those hours again.
We could, I suppose, have them
Put on DVD,
Assuming there will be a means
To live those hours again.
If not, who will ever know
What her children looked like,
Crawling on the floor,
In New Castle, Delaware,
In 1999.



Robert Demaree is the author of four book-length collections of poems, including Other Ladders, published in June 2017 by Beech River Books. His poems received first place in competitions sponsored by the Poetry Society of New Hampshire and the Burlington Writers Club, and have appeared in over 150 periodicals. A retired educator, he resides in Wolfeboro, N.H. and Burlington, N.C. 

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Reserved Reading by Robert Demaree

          for Harry Brown

The professor is downsizing, a juncture
He had known would come,
And so he passes on folders of readings,
Articles xeroxed, underlined, annotated, stapled—
Whitman, Dickinson, Cummings, Frost—
To a friend who fancies himself a poet.
And here are the names of
Bill Keith and Allison Jacobs,
Who availed themselves of
The reserved shelf
In the college library one afternoon
In 1988.
They may have found life to be a paragraph,
Roads taken or not.
They will not know
They have wound up in my files.

My friend says I can discard the folders
But I will not do that.
One day someone will find his name
And Bill’s and Allison’s
In my papers, articles of trust, the tenuous thread
Linking us together,
Through Whitman, Dickinson, Cummings and Frost,
Back to Homer, whose wandering hero
Gave us that sense
Of a search for home.



Robert Demaree is the author of four book-length collections of poems, including Other Ladders, published in June 2017 by Beech River Books. His poems received first place in competitions sponsored by the Poetry Society of New Hampshire and the Burlington Writers Club, and have appeared in over 150 periodicals. A retired educator, he resides in Wolfeboro, N.H. and Burlington, N.C.