December 6, 2019

“Temporary Graciousness,” a Short Story & the Eclectic Poetry of KJ Hannah Greenberg

“Temporary Graciousness,” a Short Story & the Eclectic Poetry of KJ Hannah Greenberg

Editor’s Note: We welcome Channie Greenberg back to the Cafe today with new poetry and fiction. Channie never fails to surprise us with the interesting directions her art takes – nor to delight us. My Etsy Site  My Etsy site’s full of objects made from century eggs, sannakji, and puffin hearts,   But not fugu, or hákarl, especially not shark meat served alongside surströmming.  See, I couldn’t, hereafter, entirely disconnect all of my offerings of fins and tails,  Give up completely trucking with evil, especially lads revealed to be key criminals.  No lack of midwifery of unhealthy scions insures my partners keep their beds clean;  Outlandish creatures show up in my life, regularly, despite my doughty efforts.  What’s more, since I’m temporarily ineligible for base jumping, given my gestation,  I dusted off my teacup collection. I like porcelain, locally sourced,…

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November 27, 2019

Introducing the Poetry of Jessica Lovett

Introducing the Poetry of Jessica Lovett

STRING OF LIGHTS     Our hands go like this  they go up  I’m so proud of us    all of this us,    and the things that kept falling out,  the sharp hooks  of twisted girls’ mouths  are lights on a string    they’re just lights on a string.    I guess it’s probably spring  but I’d find that out at your house    look at you, with all your time        SEEING THINGS FOR WHAT THEY ARE    On the edge of a bench  the sun mutters a breeze  look at the trees; look at guy in red hat and capris  my body’s a cylinder placed on top of a moving submarine, this you’re better to believe  performative pigeons and their soliloquies  you could have me, here,  in a lot more ways than one …

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November 22, 2019

The Heartfelt Poetry of Ana M. Fores Tamayo

The Heartfelt Poetry of Ana M. Fores Tamayo

Home, Through the Muted Screen   Home?  My black bear dog sleeping all day long Nestled in a corner of the kitchen, yellow Against the green leaves of potted plants, Overgrown as window shades To hide the heat of summer Or glare of winter’s day.  Or is home a memory of days With siblings running on the beach of waterfronts, On boardwalks laughing, eating cotton candy, Talking of our daily conquests?  Heat radiates through windows, Warmth fills the sun drained dusty day.  The laughter of my daughter’s eyes glitters miles away through computer graphics. Glaring pictograms, even as warm and fuzzy rays Wrestle my despondent doldrums, tussling the muted screen that wrangles fuddled images. Yet suddenly, her singsong voice, her vale, Her voluptuous vapor bantering  force me to forget my mundane life, and she comes alive, splendor in that little box, electronics transforming me into completion at the sound and chatter of her song.  In answer to your Battle Lines   As I read your battle lines, I am consumed by the…

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November 18, 2019

The Joyous Poetry of Kufre-Udeme Thompson

The Joyous Poetry of Kufre-Udeme Thompson

I Feel Like Dancing  I woke up this morning–– when the night was making love with the day: Mbodibo all over my body! when the sun was about to be conceived; I felt my spirit yearning; my pulses ticking, for a thing I fought in vain to understand.  Then just when the tiny sweet voices of birds–– Ebomo nkuku, kuku! began to escape the thick bushes behind my hut, resounding new songs of joy and laughter–– my feelings became clear as the mirror; I understand now my long deepest yearning:  I really, really feel like dancing! The urge far surpasses the desire for a woman, but `tis with a woman I want to dance–– Nka iferi, to be precise: the smartest and darkest of all, who’ll twist to my desired feat.  I swear, I feel like dancing! Play me the evil drum made with human flesh–– the flesh of an old woman will give a spirited rhythm; Ntap nkanam, ntap nkanam nkanam. Let Anansa sing me the tune–– Anansa, the water goddess of the Ifa Ibom nation.  I want to dance ekombi; Oh, ekombi itiad ntokon! Let me return to the past. Oyebap, oyebap Bokondo! I want to sway with the ancient; Fetch me my wrapper!  Ekombi is…

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November 9, 2019

The Contemplations of Kathryn V. Jacopi

The Contemplations of Kathryn V. Jacopi

One of Us    A sucker-punch thought,  we will end.  The assault turns into a cold sweat  from the contours of my couch.    One day we might fight over  the over-due mortgage,  you promised to pay.  The dent in the new hallway’s paint,   I never denied.  Who keeps the dog   when we sell the house?     We fought the morning  a bus crashed into the glass store.  The highway exit was blocked  and first responders’ lights spun.  I read on my phone that no one’s hurt  and we held hands the drive home.  What if we’d decided   to replace the glass in the tv stand  an hour earlier.    The first time I wrote this  you sat next to me on the couch.   TV commentaries must-know insight,  scores on your phone,  notes for a fantasy,  but you…

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October 24, 2019

“Variations on the Trolly Problem” and Other Poems by JP Mayer

“Variations on the Trolly Problem” and Other Poems by JP Mayer

de rerum natura and I realized I was the pieces  I was picking up, all scattered  across the floor,     all technicolor  fragments of static jettisons from  far away;  I am a farmer in Kansas. I am a  doctor in Nairobi. I am a prisoner  in Beijing and a pilot in Lahore and  a fisherman off the coast of Jeju  Island;  the saltwater pulls at them with its    ebb tide     but all the same the         lines on my hands   are not ones that can be washed away  ** love in lost time    I shot Proust dead in an alleyway on  my way home from work. It was something  he said it was   love is a reciprocal torture  his body hit the pavement with a thud. It started   raining on my walk home and I…

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October 2, 2019

Your Habit or Mine? Two Poems by Chad Lutz

Your Habit or Mine? Two Poems by Chad Lutz

859 Years they were singing Ave Maria in the streets when the flames leaped out of its crown like a scurry of small animals glass popping wood hissing from years of accumulated moisture they’re calling it a shared sadness it’s madness what we find in the losing ** If Anything, We Played Each Other you only smoke on occasion you smoke every day of your life fingers caked with the cancer you’ll contract the Turkish spices and menthol chards your lungs draw deep your mouth purses saying you’ll quit tomorrow telling me you’ll quit today we share a Size 8 waistline & every order of nachos you plant kisses on my earlobes & tuck your hands into the seat of my pants we dance but that’s it you’re everything to me a habit to pass…

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September 28, 2019

Posing the Tough Questions — Poetry by Casey Aimer

Posing the Tough Questions — Poetry by Casey Aimer

Lawrence Sullivan Ross In Aggieland where the Kool-Aid is laced with bled maroon were they conscious of the irony in 1918, preserving their confederate general in bronze skin? Today, Sully, I mapped out your statue like you mapped out the west, legs dangling as I sat on your copper head and Van Dyke beard. All so I could say this: That when the immigrant sculptor, Pompeo Coppini, was re-forging your sole into existence I bet you struggled and resisted your creator. When your fingers were being hammered into submission you clutched in desperation didn’t you at the white work floor lights before being carted away in a colored wheel barrel. At your dedication you protested the brown and black pebbles underneath your podium. They reminded you too much of the people screaming freedom amid reconstruction…

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September 23, 2019

Dark Poetic Visions of Nigeria by Batunde Babafemi

Dark Poetic Visions of Nigeria by Batunde Babafemi

Reminisce   You remember when   we were too beautiful to smile?  savoring the tears for another day?  How we search our breath   In our nose?  You see the prophesy was true;  we will all die  But my lover’s death  took away my spine.  I crawl all night and wonder   about the shadow of a man  buried inside a plank—The day I heard his demise,   I thought it was a prank  Until I see tears from my eyes.  My love,  How long have you been cold?  Alone,   I buried my pain inside my gaze  looking through our memories  I heard your voice inside my speech,  & when the clergy summoned me   My words become flaccid  Like this I know how   much death took from me.   Abigail  Her silence has words burning inside her   Same as a…

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September 19, 2019

“Gods of Death” and Other Poems by JC Mari

“Gods of Death” and Other Poems by JC Mari

gods of death field of clover spread like multitude of hands extended out for you, and they trot a mild-paced approach river-stream of manes and tongues and eyes and belly and hoof breathing out a strength you’ll never know, like stained-glass mandalas pierced by dawn or storm on the eagle’s beak. strangers to each other and ourselves we limp and gaze our puzzlement away befuddled, secret enemies of the wondrous empty all around. this is also how they will approach and enter death. you’d have to be a god to live even a minute of your life this way. ** for the 2 or 3 who read my poems when you ask to read one of my poems i’m 12 again, untouched by whore and booze. when you pick up a copy of my book…

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