The Pie Wilderness
by Karen Kelsay
There is a special wedge of hell
served up to women who slip
a store-bought pie onto the Thanksgiving
dinner table. Unaware
of their actions, they spread an annual
layer of shame across the heads of all
womankind and it sticks
like old meringue to the minds
of new generations. My mother knows
the value of baking from scratch
and it was rolled and patted into my head
before I could sprinkle cinnamon
on a cookie. Sure, men folk may
line up to partake of that Marie Calander pie
the new daughter-in-law laid down.
But, they instinctively know
not to rave over it or take seconds,
lest the “pie maker wrath” be scooped
upon their heads
and they become a cursed race,
sent with empty plates
into the wilderness
to roam among the oldies
at buffet Restaurants
on all consequent holidays,
forever and eternity.
Bio: Karen Kelsay is a native Californian who grew up near the Pacific and spent most of her weekends
on a boat, as a child. She has three children, two cats and extended family in England, where she loves to visit.
Her poems have been widely published over the past few years in journals, including The Boston Literary
Review, The New Formalist, Flutter Poetry journal, and Willow's Wept Review. Her first book, Collected Poems,
was finished in 2008 and a chapbook, A Fist of Roots, was published by Puddinghouse Press in 2009.
ANNA’S DIATRIBE FOR TODAY
by John Grey
She says sometimes
she hates men, all men,
especially when they’re without trousers,
when their heads
are soaring over mountains, clouds
while their penis is digging in the dirt.
She mentions names of men, then types of men.
She squeezes them all together with one word.
What’s left over when she tastes the sound of it
oozes out between her teeth.
Then she’s silent
but I know she’s saying the word again in her head.
Her brow wrinkles.
She lets me read it like a palm.
Then I hear bits and pieces
of what men have done to her:
strangers, her father, lovers, bosses,
the stiff she married.
With each one, her voice snaps
like elastic breaking.
And then, exhausted by her own venom,
she collapses into my arms.
She has a way of saying,
“You’re not like other men,”
that other men will never hear.
Bio: John Grey has been published recently in the Georgetown Review, Connecticut Review, South Carolina Review and The Pedestal, with work upcoming in Poetry East and The Pinch.
The Sunken Pawn Shop
by Peter Magliocco
A shore of maritime baubles is here
to walk inside the room of lost dreams
seeking unopened windows where
no one has cleaned, for there's dirt
in the truth. Even covering still
old broken glass shards dangerously
slicing the air with subtle design,
& what comes from morning now is
just an aftershock's opaque memory.
Outside the faulty neon sign flickers
The Sunken Ship Pawn Shoppe
in the bluest underwater tint,
irking any tired eyes that blur
staring at the Vegas lightscape
(of aquamarine nimbus around
icy Lake Mead surfaces
fey divers float beneath ...).
I open the door to the room of dreams
wanting to find jewels on reef shelves,
not the artifact of waterlogged yen
priceless like endangered fossils,
or an extinct love's language now
drowned in an archaeological afterlife
no man can redeem his life for.
Bio: Peter Magliocco writes from Las Vegas, Nevada, and has recent work in HEELTAP, THE BLUE JEW YORKER, and A HUDSON VIEW POETRY DIGEST. He was Pushcart nominated for poetry in 2008 ... His new novel is The Burgher of Virtual Eden from Publish America (www.publishamerica.com) ....
by Robert Demaree
You have no idea
When a poem is coming on,
Any more than spring.
Prescience are oversold,
As if one could know in advance
With whom to fall in love.
Bio: Robert Demaree is the author of three collections of poems, including Fathers and Teachers, published April 2007 by Beech River Books. The winner of the 2007 Conway, N.H., Library Poetry Award, he is a retired school administrator with ties to North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, where he lives five months of the year. He has had over 375 poems published or accepted by 100 periodicals, including Cold Mountain Review, Red River Review and Still Crazy. For further information see http://www.demareeepoetry.blogspot.com