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Poetry 1 Spring 2020

 

Garden of Sticks

      by Kara Goughnour

 

My grandfather brought home marbles

found while digging for construction jobs,

delving into dirt to create new foundations

for buildings that would soon be birthed.

I washed them in the kitchen sink,

kept them in a metal wine bottle tin

of my mother’s, on it a Picasso-esque man

with a winking fold of beret,

a red-lipped rectangle sipping

the deep rust of moscato loneliness.

There were many things in the house

I couldn’t touch — my mother’s lipsticks

hundreds of black tubes like bullet-shell scatterings

in plastic vanities stained bright pink —

but the marbles were all mine.

I liked to hold them to the sun,

glittering sparks of cracked glass through them,

or summer bubbles forever unbursting.

I liked the Saturn rings of rounded color,

strung nebulous through the resin,

each twisting string its own brimming

planet. I would sit in the garden,

all dead or dying in the orange palm of autumn.

I would spread each marble out,

a Milky Way of glinting things,

each their own, each in possession

of their own space.

 

 

Bio: Kara Goughnour is a writer living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They are the author of "Mixed Tapes," a part of the Ghost City Press Summer 2019 Micro-Chap Series. They are the recipient of the 2018 Gerald Stern Poetry Award, and have work published or forthcoming in The Bitchin' Kitsch, Third Point Press, and over fifty others. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram @kara_goughnour or read their collected and exclusive works at karagoughnour.com

 

 

Talking and Listening

      by   Ute  Carson

 

An old man prattles on

about driving across country in a Model T Ford

in his twenties.

He tells of traversing the parched desert

and being robbed at gunpoint at a gas station in Nevada.

A therapist listens to a recovering addict

and nods approvingly to his progress,

then lands a sympathetic ear to a battered woman.

Talking is about self, listening about others.

The talker is the storyteller,

the listener an interpreter.

Like inhaling and exhaling,

we need both.

By exchanging stories,

we can reach understanding. 

 

 

Bio: Ute Carson has been writing and publishing stories and essays her entire life, developing her unique voice while gaining experiences around the world. www.utecarson.com

 

 

 

 

 

STONE

    by  Louis Faber

 

Just outside town

in the old dump is

a slab of concrete

its twisted edges pierced

by rusting rebar

once the floor

of the gazebo in the commons.

Etched into its surface

Jim + Marie

Janet Loves Eddie.

Their loves were undying

cast into stone to wear

slowly through the ages

not to fall victim

to the jackhammer.

Jim lies under

the simple stone

“Sgt. U. S. Army

Served Vietnam,”

Marie left for college

but came home

a nurse at the Community Hospital

now divorced with two daughters.

Eddied married Sue

three times runner up

for homecoming queen

and lives in a trailer

by the county line.

Janet waits tables

in the coffee shop

at Caesar’s Palace while

her husband, she met

at the truck stop,

deals blackjack in the casino.

Their son lives in San Francisco

with his lover, but

they haven’t spoken to him

in more years

than they can remember.

The old gazebo was replaced

years ago by the giant

steel play gym.

Bio: Louis Faber’s work has previously appeared in Atlanta Review, Arena Magazine (Australia), Exquisite Corpse, Rattle, Eureka Literary Magazine, Borderlands: the Texas Poetry Review, Midnight Mind, Pearl, Midstream, European Judaism, Greens Magazine, The Amethyst Review, Afterthoughts, The South Carolina Review and Worcester Review, among many others, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

for homecoming queen

and lives in a trailer

by the county line.

Janet waits tables

in the coffee shop

at Caesar’s Palace while

her husband, she met

at the truck stop,

deals blackjack in the casino.

Their son lives in San Francisco

with his lover, but

they haven’t spoken to him

in more years

than they can remember.

The old gazebo was replaced

years ago by the giant

steel play gym.

 

 

 

Just outside town

in the old dump is

a slab of concrete

its twisted edges pierced

by rusting rebar

once the floor

of the gazebo in the commons.

Etched into its surface

Jim + Marie

Janet Loves Eddie.

Their loves were undying

cast into stone to wear

slowly through the ages

not to fall victim

to the jackhammer.

Jim lies under

the simple stone

“Sgt. U. S. Army

Served Vietnam,”

Marie left for college

but came home

a nurse at the Community Hospital

now divorced with two daughters.

Eddied married Sue

three times runner up

for homecoming queen

and lives in a trailer

by the county line.

Janet waits tables

in the coffee shop

at Caesar’s Palace while

her husband, she met

at the truck stop,

deals blackjack in the casino.

Their son lives in San Francisco

with his lover, but

they haven’t spoken to him

in more years

than they can remember.

The old gazebo was replaced

years ago by the giant

steel play gym.