monsoon

by on Nov 14, 2016

 

monsoon
silence fermenting
in the prayer book

 


Goran Gatalica (Virovitica, Croatia, 1982.) graduated physics and chemistry at the Faculty of Science in Zagreb after which he entered doctoral study. He publishes poetry, haiku and prose in literary magazines, journals and anthologies. He has won several awards for poetry and haiku in Croatia and abroad. He is a member of the Croatian Writers’ Association.

@ The Limekiln State Park II

by on Nov 11, 2016

The drive from Rock City, New Mexico
          to the Chicarahua Forests

in Southern Arizona takes four hours
          if you don’t stop

for coffee in Silver City. Timing,
          you see, is everything.

Once upon a time, a man decided
          the best way to find copper

was to tear the mountains to dust
          so towns could be built

in the rubble, but don’t worry,
          the sign says, the reclamation

started in 1986, and who cares
          if this wound lasts

a thousand years. Look at this poor
          mining town that has since

disappeared. In Historic Silver,
          the art store boasts real copper wares

and we feel like our skin has been stripped
          from our skin. In the park, we rest

on memorial benches. I say, not a bad place
          to spread your ashes. You say,

I prefer something more dramatic than this.

 


Samantha Tetangco’s short stories, creative nonfiction, and poetry have appeared in a number of literary magazines and selected anthologies including The Sun, Gargoyle, PhoebeGertrude, Oklahoma ReviewStone Path Review, Vela and others.  In 2011, she earned her MFA from the University of New Mexico.  She currently teaches writing at the University of California, Merced and is serving as the Communications Officer for this year’s AWP LGBTQ Caucus.

Warm #115

by on Nov 10, 2016

I took
a lot
of time

to think
about
the epic

& when
I felt
I felt

an under-
standing,
I ran

away
from all
shelter.

 


Darren C. Demaree is the author of five poetry collections, most recently The Nineteen Steps Between Us (2016, After the Pause). He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry. He currently lives and writes in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.

Inside Job

by on Nov 8, 2016

Reaching into
a cow is some-
thing I did once
or twice it was
a really long glove
slide in where
the sun well
you know
there’s a strong glide
a peristaltic push
and slide
gain two
inches lose one
until shoulder flush
with back end
careful for swish
of manured tail
I don’t remember
now the reason
something sciencey
all I can dredge up
is the warm waves
tidal sea muscle
my arm numbing
one helluva way
to check plumbing

 


Steve Tomasko has written about himself in the first, third and possibly fifth person (don’t ask). He often verb-ifies things he shouldn’t and trips over his own dangling participles. Despite these possible disqualifications, he has published one poetry chapbook, “and no spiders were harmed.” You can read more about him and Jeanie (his wife, also a poet) at Jeanie & Steve Tomasko.

With the County

by on Nov 7, 2016

Somewhat to my surprise I discovered those who worked for the county in which I used to live were not government employees but members of a private club. One joined this club by filling out an application, taking a test and going to interviews. Once one was accepted (because “a slot opened up”) one received an employee number. I filled out the application and took the test because I needed money. I soon discovered, however, that even though I’d been accepted and had been given an employee number I was not yet a full-fledged member. Newcomers were regarded with suspicion, if not totally ignored.

Insiders called their club “the county.” The term, as they used it, had occult overtones. When speaking to newcomers, or outsiders, they would repeat, “The county issues warrants on Wednesdays…” or “The county does not loan heavy equipment…” or “the county charges .423 on a base rate of assessed value…” as though some secret inner spirit—of which they were the tangible extensions—breathed through everything that they did.

The longer one had “been with the county” I learned, the more one absorbed the county mystique. (Club members never said “I work for the county,” they said “I’m with the county” or “I’ve been with the county sixteen years” as though describing a marriage.) As a club member absorbed the secrets that defined his or her specific activity he or she became the sole authority on how that activity was to be performed. Although manuals and operating procedures were posted here and there they often were outdated or had been superseded by an authority’s ingenuity or experience.

A slot opening at a higher level triggered a game of musical chairs as lower level club members filled newly opened slots. For months—or even years—after these promotions the new slot-fillers were obliged to pry secrets of their position from its former possessors (who, in turn, were doing the same from those they’d replaced, thus creating a chain of dependency that remained unbroken except in cases of death or someone leaving the area). When that happened the new possessor simply was told, “Well, figure something out” and he or she usually did, even if what she or he figured out was inefficient, costly or illegal.

Most of the long-standing club members lived in the county seat, a debris strewn old industrial town that had waned economically as the agricultural towns surrounding it prospered. Although nepotism was discouraged many of those holding administrative and clerical jobs had fathers, wives, cousins and children who were “with the county.” Because hardly anyone ever was fired and only occasionally did someone retire or take a better job somewhere else turnover was slight.

The county complex typified what the club was about. It was built during my last year with the county on several acres of land across the river from the old downtown. The administration building, surrounded by parking lots, was partially hidden by a brick wall. The offices all faced an inner compound allowing the club members to turn their backs on the outside world. From the passageways one could look into offices where club members moved among identically styled cubicles but one had to give a password to guards (called receptionists) to gain admittance to the sacred territory.

I “was with the county” again briefly on a work-for-hire contract a few years after I left. I remember stepping outside the administration building, my brown-bag lunch in hand, only to discover that were no benches, no grass, no trees, no walkways, no paths, only the brick wall and the black-topped parking lots. A small sign warned against trespassing through the paupers’ cemetery on the other side of the entrance road. Past it I could see thistles sloping towards a swale where a few poplars stood and a road that curled past what once had been the county hospital towards juvenile hall and the jail. A rabbit burst from cover, raced down the road and veered into the underbrush again.

When I returned to work a long-time club member told me I could have come inside to the break room and eaten my lunch there. I thanked her and told  “next time” I would. But “next time” never came.

Like the rabbit, I ran.

 


Robert Joe Stout’s poems and stories have appeared in The Tishman Review, Emrys Journal, Existere, Two-Thirds North and many other magazines and journals. He lives in Oaxaca, Mexico.

We Sat Outside

by on Nov 4, 2016

We sat outside the café
stretched our legs

and soaked our feet
in the pool of sunshine

that dimpled and flickered
with the shifting

and whispering
of the sycamores overhead.

We forgot that tomorrow
the clocks go back

that wet leaves will plaster
the chairs and tables.

 

With thanks to Dave Bonta and the Via Negativa poetry blog, where this was posted in October 2015.

 


Jean Morris lives in London, takes photos, translates from French and Spanish, and surprised herself last year by seriously getting into poetry. She most recently had some micro-poems published in Otata.

One Dream Opening into Many

by on Nov 3, 2016

(Watch Marie Craven’s video “One Dream Opening into Many” on Vimeo)

Editor’s note: the text of the Kallie Falandays poem “One Dream Opening into Many” and her bio can be read at likewise folio. Full credits at Vimeo. Additionally, this video was selected for international poetry film competition, Festival Silencio 2016, Portugal and was an Official selection, O’Bheal Poetry Film Festival 2016, Ireland.

 


Marie Craven is a media maker and musician from the Gold Coast, Australia. She has been engaged in online collaboration since 2007 and has contributed to works with artists in many different parts of the world. Website: pixieguts.com

What If a Tree

by on Nov 2, 2016

examined its own rings like a farsighted proctologist? Would it recognize scars as memory, the tunneling tracks of bores, an endless winter of heaviness white on white

and again white; do the hammerings of woodpeckers continue to echo like an ache in its bark? Would the fat springs still overflow with green, swelling the air and challenging

its roots to go deeper, deeper still, filling and holding fast to the heavy damp earth.
Or would the small boy’s awkward axe its biting sting and sudden absence

hold fast? And what of the sun stalking across its limbs and leaves, pulling and pulsing and conspiring with the wind to topple while promising endlessness remain?

 


Richard Weaver resides in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. His publications include Crazy Horse, Vanderbilt Poetry Review, North American Review, Poetry, Black Warrior Review, 2River View, New England Review, and the ubiquitous elsewhere.

Two Years Ceased

by on Nov 1, 2016

She is seedpod, pinecone, nutshell,
unremarkable and legend:
windblown, dancing on dry grass,
recasting her space.

Every season is November:
pines bleed into flat light, sea stirs
as though something powerful
lies caged beneath.

Geese journey south, twin-edged
blades that slit the sky, pose
more questions than answers.
Her direction unclear.

Winds swirl through her house—
in and out its many windows.
The sky is thin, bruised,
first snow a laying on of hands.

 


Ann Howells of Carrollton, Texas, edits Illya’s Honey, recently taking it digital: IllyasHoney.com. Her publications are: Black Crow in Flight (Main Street Rag),  Under a Lone Star (Village Books Press), Letters for My Daughter (Flutter Press), and Cattlemen & Cadillacs, an anthology of D/FW poets that she edited (Dallas Poets Community Press). Her poems appear widely; she has four Pushcart nominations.