Each quarter-turn carries an invitation.
Spring’s on-again, off-again wind calls for séance,
candlesticks and musky incense, perhaps sage.
My mug of coffee cools fast. I do not fight
in-between-ness, transience set in scarcity.
No angels, fireworks, zombies or astronomers’
star stampedes. The clay pots hold slime browns
of marigolds and geraniums that bloomed
last August. The glass table for al fresco July
dining is spread in algae scum. Alder catkins
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clog the birdbath. A one-inch Japanese maple
sprouts from the pot that once waved gold feather grass.
The anniversary of his death is the cruelest fishhook. Yanking us back, violently. When the days turn crisp, as they have now, when summer fades and autumn crawls into our tiny farming town—that’s when we most grieve our fallen classmate. One year we tried to ignore the date, but the hook came anyway and somehow was even more brutal. So now we meet it head on: we make a day of it. The downtown is strewn with somber-black ribbon. Coffee is shared and then, later, whiskey. We pass the yearbook, we muse, we moan. If a stranger such as you wanders by, the story is told in fullest detail.
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Coffee Unctuous First sip, last drip, scrumptious No drink can comfort, the parched dry mouth Recover from mornings, the sentient self Quite like the demon bean Devilishly moreish, whoreish even as I sip her wares With cinnamon toast for company Not love, nor utopia compares Arabica, I shout, the cavernous yawn expectant Smells the roast, hears the china cup And like magic the corpse is resurrectant Then with a thank you God and a splash of cream I do baptize the demon bean
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The resemblance another existential morning and I’m having a coffee peering through the blinds at the chittering sparrows surveying the camellia bush at the centre of my lawn which the gardener has shaped into a giant ball dotted with blooms pink buds quivering like sea-anemone in the mild April breeze then it strikes me in […]
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Patti Smith (Lost Objects) kitchen shrinks the mind small framed pantry quietly slowing tiny black fish breathe briny oxygen alive frying in the pan sound scratched lungs aplenty but minute breath sink drips sit herself stay herself smaller sippy widen water hotter daughter husband coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee small photograph for the camera sit […]
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Personify Me The trees speak in Shakespearean sonnets; The tulips write short memoirs. The honeysuckles smell of metaphors and similes, Vines are smirking complex sentences. The sun has these exotic eyes— The moon tells of faraway lands; The ocean never leaves you… Grass has flushed secrets. This earth keeps you stirring coffee. The seeds have […]
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Helena Lipstadt was born in Berlin and lives in Los Angeles and Blue Hill, Maine. Lipstadt’s poems have been featured in Rattling Wall, Lilith, Bridges, Sinister Wisdom, Trivia: Voices of Feminism, Medium and Common Lives, Lesbian Lives. Her writing has also appeared in the following anthologies: The Challenge of Shalom, From Memory to Transformation, and Every Woman I’ve Ever Loved: Lesbian Writers on Their Mothers, Lipstadt is […]
Read more "Pleated Skirt (Tante Fela)"
Glenn Ingersoll works for the Berkeley Public Library where he hosts Clearly Meant, a reading & interview series. He has two chapbooks, City Walks (broken boulder) and Fact (Avantacular). He keeps two blogs, LoveSettlement and Dare I Read. Recent work has appeared in Poetry East, Askew, and Hearty Greetings. The Rarity of Snakes Once […]
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Colin Dodds is a writer. His work has appeared in more than 250 publications, been anthologized, nominated and shortlisted for numerous prizes, and praised by luminaries including Norman Mailer and David Berman. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and daughter. Leasing in the Leviathan Everyone aspires to reality Toothpaste coffee nausea spiked […]
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Scott Laudati lives in New York City with his Tomato Frog, Bob. He is the author of books Play The Devil (novel) and Hawaiian Shirts In The Electric Chair (poems). My First Night Back we were far apart once but you can hear my heart now in this chest, and your hair used to itch my skin […]
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