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Poetry Page  4  Winter 2010





     by Catherine McGuire




“It wasn’t my old life I wanted, but the one that had eluded me.”

-- Michelle Glaser, Historic House, Astoria


As it turns out, mission statements can’t compete

with middle-aged lust; nor friendship with

weedy entanglements.


Boxed photos, slowly deteriorating landmines

in a war signed off on last year, molder in the garage.

I page through sketchbooks, listen to Celtic harp.


Old wounds fester every night in dreams

that drop me back in it, shell-shocked,

like some mud-drenched pawn

forever losing at Waterloo.


Surely someone knows the proper outcome?

As if wars just end when the paper

is signed; as if bombed-out lives, stunned psyches

pick up pre-battle innocence and toddle off.

As if.


You never were what the pictures caught;

no point in re-examination.

My trajectory spun me so fast I lost my bearings.

Picking at the shattered bits, I perform

reconstructive surgery without ether,

stitching the gaps I can see

with inexpert fingers, trembling hands.





BIO: Catherine McGuire has been widely published over the past two decades, including The Lyric, New Verse News, The Smoking Poet, Poetry In Motion, Folio and Main Street Rag. She has a chapbook, “Joy Into Stillness: Seasons of Lake Quinault”, and is assistant director at CALYX Press.








The Old Man and the Shoe

       by  Daniel  W. Davis

There was once an old man who lived in a shoe.
He just did not know what to do.
So he went to the mill and he went to the farm,
And nowhere did he do nobody no harm.

But this old man was jaded, ragged, and blue.
After all, he lived in a giant ole shoe
With some mold in the heel, and rats in the tongue.
It was hard for the old man, it was hard for his son.
His wife had died, many years before.
(She had found life in a shoe to be a bore.)

So the old man wandered all across the land.
But nowhere did anyone understand
That life in a shoe was not easy at all,
Not when you wait for the other shoe to fall.
The old man spoke, but no one understood,
That life in a shoe is just not any good.

So the old man returned to that darned ole shoe,
Feeling rather let down, beat up, and blue.
And in the shoe he stayed, until the day he died,
When he was buried down by the riverside.
His family mourned, but not deeply enough,
For what did they know about life in the rough?
What did they know about life in a shoe,
And how it could turn a red heart blue?

The son burned the shoe right down to the ground.
He moved up in the world, he got around.
A fancy new job, some fancy new clothes,
A fancy new girlfriend, and friends in the know.
The son he is proud, in his shiny new suit;
But little does he know, he lives in a boot.


Bio: Daniel W. Davis is a graduate student born and raised in Central Illinois.  He enjoys the simple and (most importantly) inexpensive things in life.  His work has previously appeared in Eastown Fiction, SUSS: Another Literary Journal, Infinite Windows, JuiceBox: A Journal of the Ordinary, The Absent Willow Review, Static Movement, The
Foliate Oak, and elsewhere.  He was recently awarded his own chapbook edition of Eastern Illinois University's literary magazine The Vehicle.




     by Sergio Ortiz



Kill a tree, un-frame the stars.

We are the grotesque setting

of unanswered questions

whose useless voice

is distorted by the sterile wind,

and dust continues to pile up.

Pity people who break

over nothing,

their moon is as white as an owl’s blind eye.




   by Sergio Ortiz


I see you as a dead tree

covered with clematis and ferns.

You laugh like an old shoemaker entangled

in shoestrings.  Nothing removes

the moisture in my eyes.  I am a prairie

let loose on the street.  We are not the same, yet we are.


Bio: Sergio Ortiz has a B.A. in English literature from Inter-American University, and a M.A. in philosophy
from World University.  His poems have been published or are forthcoming in: Autumn Sky Poetry, 3LightsGallery, The Smoking Poet, The Acentos Review, Poesia, and many other journals.  He has traveled and worked throughout South, Central, and North America.  He currently lives in San Juan, Puerto Rico.