July 21, 2020

Kira Rice-Christianson — Six Poems

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Kira Rice-Christianson — Six Poems

Little White Lies     I started carrying around   these little white lies;   they live here on my face.   Like when I ask you a question and   your answer seems ingenuine but   I smile at you softly, anyway.   Or when I fix you a plate  and you give me your thanks,  and I kiss the side of your head.   While inside I scold   the woman who does as she’s told,   though I lay with her each night in bed.   Or when you don’t come home  for three nights in a row  and I lay awake cracking my knuckles and toes.  I picture her holding your body, unclothed.  The thought leaves me paranoid,   and I look through your phone.   I shouldn’t have done that, now I can’t sleep.   My body is filled with anxiety and heat.   I…

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July 14, 2020

“Another Day of Quarantine,” Poems by Michael P. Aleman

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“Another Day of Quarantine,” Poems by Michael P. Aleman

Another Day of Quarantine    The morning sun bathes our bedroom with soft light  on a morning more than serene, a real gift on another day of quarantine.  Cool March air via a slightly opened window drifts in.  I welcome the freshness of the air and the sunlight.  They bring the end of night, and assurance that darkness won’t prevail.   The true blessing, of course, is being quarantined with you,   having you beside me, the halo of your silver hair soft upon your pillow.  The morning air billows the window curtain, offering a badly needed certainty   that normalcy remains, will sustain us to the end.  I abhor the thought of living through this quarantine alone,   for you are bride, lover, companion and friend,  and if the end is at hand, we’ll weather it together.  I will, however,…

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June 22, 2020

“Up There” — Three Poems by Chad W. Lutz

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“Up There” — Three Poems by Chad W. Lutz

Up There      this one goes out   to anyone that’s   ever made me feel   I wasn’t enough    or     felt they were too good  & drifted away    I remember   we fucked   in the auditorium       your idea       & how carnal &   playful you were    wore a skirt  and it hurt  but I’ll admit  I wasn’t ready    here’s   to the loves   that didn’t last  couldn’t last  it’s all in the past now  but I still daydream  time to time    Acan Glaske  big border  you know what that means  government shutdowns  partisan bickering  sniveling banter  back and forth we go    the first settlers  built walls around their encampments  wanted to keep the threats out    the Lakota  the Apache  the Comanche  they lived on the open range  in communion with nature …

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June 18, 2020

Poetry and Prose to Honor Juneteenth

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Poetry and Prose to Honor Juneteenth

We at The Fictional Cafe are shocked, dismayed and angered by American policemen gunning down American men of color. We assume you feel similarly. Times of great stress, like the COVID-19 pandemic, bring out both the best and the worst in people. It is a time in which we must be patient, calm, understanding, even forgiving, even while we protest for change. We have no way of knowing what strife and pain, or growth and joy, await us in the endless days of this pandemic. All we have is today to be the very best humans we can possibly be, and that today, today, is Juneteenth when the world bows its head to remember the end of slavery in America, circa 1865. Of course, we know it wasn’t the end and that racism still runs…

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June 11, 2020

“Silenced,” The Poetry of Joan McNerney

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“Silenced,” The Poetry of Joan McNerney

Silenced      What is never spoken of and pushed down  becomes mold crawling over hearts.    Strangling our voices, it scuttles though   corridors, tunneling, warping each day.    My body. . .this swollen thing carried by   legs too thin and crippled to uphold it.    Pushed down, tightly clamped in now  full of pain, gasping for each breath.    Smothered, silenced.        street corners      enveloped in  exhaust fumes  slate-like formations  wait for light  to change  her carbon dress  his face of ashes    crushed within  this granite body  we eat grey food  pulling empty  air thru narrow  passageway to  ink stain train  smudged  along blurred  landscape of city    inside myself  searching a  designer  1 clear line  of perspective  which distinguishes  buildings from  streets & points  to where  the synthetic  sky ends   …

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May 7, 2020

“My Girlfriend, the Narcissist,” Poet Natascha Graham

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“My Girlfriend, the Narcissist,” Poet Natascha Graham

My Girlfriend, the Narcissist   She’s called Gillian. She’s got brown hair, and eyes the colour of a bleached winter sky.  She’s about 5’5″, but she’s tough.  My girlfriend was a narcissist. She didn’t like me having friends, or seeing family.  So, I didn’t really.  Gillian stuck around, though.  In fact, that’s when I first met her.  A few months in.  I met her on the school run.  She was standing in a driveway nudging gravel with the toe of her Converse.  I asked her if she’d lost something.  Her wedding ring, she said. Not that it mattered.  He was a cheating bastard.  We walked to school together, her black wax jacket similar to mine, though I envied its collar, and the zip doesn’t work on mine. It broke on Melton playing field when I bent…

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April 26, 2020

“Carson McCullers,” Poetry by Abigail George

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“Carson McCullers,” Poetry by Abigail George

Carson McCullers  I will always love music, she said to me. Turned her   face away and became a sad ghost like all the people  that I have loved in my life. The sad ghost, dead snakes,   the religious, the ordered hide mischief in plain sight.   The geranium has a tongue and the sky appears to be   falling. The moon walks wider now. It curls up. The   red-haired sun does not know how to travel lightly in   summer. She swoons. She will fall at your feet if you  remove articles of your clothing. I travel light in these  heavy years. Waving earlier to the good women who   pass me by. With their white teeth and their sweet   breath. Bread to the soul. And the wind is sunburnt from  the form and shape of the river, to the…

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April 16, 2020

“Mythomane’s Truth,” Poetry by Sanjeev Sethi

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“Mythomane’s Truth,” Poetry by Sanjeev Sethi

Mythomane’s Truth    If we could retrofit ourselves?  I would not be me nor you, you.    Imagine me without infirmities.   I would no longer be po-faced,  pudgy and potbellied. My eyes  wouldn’t swim sans Adam’s ale.    If any of this gladdens your gut:    I reckon, you aren’t for me.  ** Flux    From entanglements of existence   I’m in firmament of my own.   In roll-call of needs anamnesis   mitigates. Past is polished with   coats of one’s inner complexion.   Peeps are like diaries different   page different piece: same smell.  ** Vision    When you unself   from a situation or skein:   you deliver lavish   dividends for yourself.    Opportune distancing   mends the ache:   of the eventualities  of our exploits.    Propinquity bedims   the perspective:  leaving us to lust   after our parakeet or pelt.  *** Sanjeev Sethi is published in over 25 countries. He has more than 1200 poems printed or posted…

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April 6, 2020

“‘The Misfits’ Revisited,” Poetry by Stephen Mead

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“‘The Misfits’ Revisited,” Poetry by Stephen Mead

“The Misfits” Revisited*   When you chased, lassoed the mustangs,  tying hooves to necks of down  weighed by tires heavy as trucks,  you wrenched the galloping out of me  till I found my rage…    Butchers!  What is the spirit if not these horses  wild first to last, these zeniths, comet-  tailed, free as the sage, the mountains,  the thousand miles of it?    That is me down there in the dust.  That is you who cannot see yourself  for the sign of dog food dollars,  a cowboy’s wage, the dream  gone to blood.    Put my blood on your fingers.  Lick clean.  Let whiskey drown the taste.  The taste will come back, the beleaguering   fever and freedom here truly trotting  beyond your ropes which shake and shake.    Lost boy, lost cow poke,  I will…

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March 19, 2020

“The Woman of Kutch,” Poetry by Jonathan Lloyd

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“The Woman of Kutch,” Poetry by Jonathan Lloyd

The Woman of Kutch    The woman of Kutch,  Living in grasslands  Favored by raj  And ibis, flees   The earthquake and  Monsoon that leveled  The Gujarat  Three or four   Thousand years ago.    For this occasion  She wears a dress  Embroidered in red  And yellow cotton  An aba covers  The sakral which  Begins the stem   Of a sunflower rising   To a shower   Of light, all in  Mirrors, surrounded   By grassy fields.    She carries three  Steel pots of water  On her head and   With her left arm  She caresses another.  With her right arm   She shields her eyes   Against the sun,  Into which she races.    ** At  the Track  She crosses her legs, this girl of twelve, her hat  A crown, brim bouncing in a breeze. She reads  Her book, maybe–maybe not–lost in thought  Or reverie, a boy…

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