The Lost Divorce
If your Grand Canyon is man made
A creation of concrete and glass
If you are surrounded by pavement
And the gardeners use spray paint
If you will upload your brain into a website
Live forever or until McAfee mistakenly erases you
When all the promises of religion
Are subsumed by technology
Drugs will comfort you
Computers will let you live forever
Facebook will absolve you.
In that world
The old god is an itch between your shoulder blades
The inopportune rain
A night time cat that disturbs garbage cans
And weeds that grow in sidewalk cracks
Marc Janssen lives in a house with a wife who likes him and a cat who loathes him. Regardless of that turmoil, his poetry can be found scattered around the world in places like Penumbra, Slant, Cirque Journal, Off the Coast and The Ottawa Arts Journal. Janssen also coordinates the Salem Poetry Project, a weekly reading, and the annual Salem Poetry Festival
We are gone now. No second yesterday.
Spring sun runs, melting fast into summer.
Copper butterflies jig then lilt away,
leaving petals, frail blue wings, in tatters.
Breezes brush a sword lily’s unsheathed head;
through bows and shudders, shifting thoughts unread
when streams plaited woods splashed in rain.
Wrapped in holm oak’s dusty shade, here again:
We walk with bees on our toes, fear undone,
breathing together crushed pink silver thyme.
Across the meadow our paths, scented, climb
to overlook hills hung in stippled sun.
Clouds pass. No second yesterday will come,
for we were not there, dearest friend. Just one.
Jane Angué teaches English Language and Literature in France. Writing in French and English, work was longlisted for the Erbacce Prize 2018 and 2019 and has appeared most recently in Le Capital des Mots, Ink Sweat & Tears, Acumen and Poésie/première. Her pamphlet des fleurs pour Bach was published in August (Editions Encres Vives).
Prayer for Inflorescence
A single red spider lily, Lycoris radiata,
appears suddenly one September day,
its leafless bloom a tiny burst of fireworks
in my back yard. I planted the bulbs
twenty years ago; a few bloomed,
then disappeared beneath the soil,
presumed dead until now.
I, too, disappeared those twenty years
ago, into a life I would come to regret,
a life that would lead me into a dark place
where even the brightest blossoms lie dormant.
Now I stand in my yard, alone, soaking
up sunshine, like the Naked Lady, waiting
for the same process that coaxed the lily
into its fiery glory to gently force me
into plain view and restore my faded colors.
Diane Elayne Dees’s chapbook, I Can’t Recall Exactly When I Died, is forthcoming from Clare Songbirds Publishing House; also forthcoming, from Kelsay Books, is her chapbook, Coronary Truth. Diane also publishes Women Who Serve, a blog that delivers news and commentary on women’s professional tennis throughout the world.
The short-order cook
prepares his spiritual homage
in a sacred kitchen
between the grill
and deep fryers.
His ambition is full of flavor,
adding just the right amount of salt
to his tireless concoctions.
With eyes as bright as the sun,
he creates culinary magic
in his little cove of the paradise
with crispy home-fries
and Caribbean spices.
He flips the meat
into a garnished plate;
a grateful offering
to the Gods of appetite.
He spins his Dodgers’ cap backward
and prepares for the breakfast crowd,
topping off the omelet
with fresh hollandaise
that’s poured over
a perfectly cooked egg
in a drizzle of eternity.
Mark Tulin is a former therapist who lives in California. He has a chapbook, Magical Yogis, and two upcoming books: Awkward Grace, and The Asthmatic Kid and Other Stories. He’s been featured in Fiction on the Web, Ariel Chart, Leaves of Ink, among others. His website is Crow On The Wire.
Mired in itself, the circuit goes:
All of the gods have died.
Here, in this ring, we worship,
not only them, but all of nothing.
Our mates are ourselves, centered
in a void. Outside the ring, yet in it.
All momentum is the same.
It will go. It will go nowhere.
The pianist forgot her strokes –
the birth of jazz. She is dead now.
Her child repeats. So does his.
No one clamors for salvation.
Patrick Key started writing seriously later in life, thanks to the help of a poetry class during his undergraduate years. His interests revolve around the absurdity of life and love, disillusionment, and the human tendency to struggle with impossibilities. His works have appeared in The Corner Club Press, The Penwood Review, and Argus.
beating of wings,
sky widens in iris
ears perk goosebump pent-up, is it sighing
wondering wave of prayer to the streetlamps
from below, where the life is orange!
…too many fruits.
Henry Brown is a student/activist from Austin, Texas currently involved with the Democratic Socialists of America at Carleton College, where he is a Religion major/Spanish minor. His poems have been featured in Amethyst Review, Isacoustic, and Eleventh Transmission, and will appear in upcoming issues of The Bitchin’ Kitsch and After The Pause.