Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Abandoned City by Thomas O'Connell

The city has been deserted, next
Year’s phone book will not include
Our last name, nor will any mailbox.
There must be some obscure relative
Remaining in a two-family house
Somewhere, but I could not tell you
Who, or where they buy their groceries,
Which weatherman they quote. We will no longer

Stand at a bar-b-q in somebody’s driveway, cousins
Shooting baskets into a frayed net
Hung over the oil stains left
By a car, purchased from a common grandmother.
I will not think of the local parish
Until retrieving a prayer card
Tucked in a pocket of some dark
Coat I seldom wear.

A librarian, as well as three time Pushcart Prize nominee, Thomas O’Connell’s poetry and short fiction has appeared in Caketrain, NANO Fiction, Elm Leaves Journal, and The Los Angeles Review, as well as other print and online journals. As of January first, he will be the poet laureate of Beacon, New York.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Two of Many by Martha Christina

They work their way across the wide lawn
by means of a Frisbee. The thinner man can

barely throw, can't catch. He drops the Frisbee
and his body to the cushion of early spring grass.

His companion kneels beside him, retrieves the disk
and turns it like a steering wheel, as if driving them

to a happier destination. If this were only about
imagining, I could create from their desire

a happy ending: restored health, long lives.
But their story isn't mine to alter as they rise

and proceed to the clinic door. Two bodies,
one shadow.

Martha Christina is a frequent contributor to Brevities and Three Line Poetry. Longer work appears or is forthcoming in the Aurorean, Bryant Literary Review, Blast Furnace, Main Street Rag, and The Orange Room Review. She lives in Bristol, RI.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Monofilament Whiskers by Al Ortolani

Dying stinks on a cat. His preening has stopped, no longer licking his paws or cleaning his coat. He slinks and crowds toward the milk plate, bones like loose bundles of fishing poles, hooked claws, sinker eyes, a jar of blood bait hardened to paste. Demanding privacy, he disappears into quiet corners of the garden. At night, he is just a small swell of moonlight behind the rhododendron. In the morning his face is turned upwards like he was searching the sky.

slow rain before dawn,
owl calling beyond
the churchyard pines

Al Ortolani’s poetry and reviews have appeared, or are forthcoming, in journals such as Rattle, Prairie Schooner, New Letters, and the New York Quarterly. He has published six collections of poetry. Currently, he is teaching English in the Kansas City area and serves on the Board of Directors of the Writers Place. His poems been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.