Christina Buckman

Sequence

5:50 am 

A dream vignette splintered into reality. 

Sore muscles of last night’s workout.

A daily success, even before dawn. 


Eyes half closed, coffee on my mind. 

Reasons to call in, rejected by fierce routine. 

“Alexa, play KEXP.” 

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Jonathan Shipley

ROLLY CARTS

I want an IKEA life with you.
One with gifts untold. I want
a life with one of those big
rolly carts - piled high with the
small things that will make our
lives maybe a little more
comfortable. I accept the challenges
of IKEA assemblages later. 

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Samanthe Sheffer

Looks Like Faith                                                      

Chill southern winds shove and pummel grand 

leafing maples, stately cedars, day after day from 

one month into another, cracking off thick limbs, 

hurling them to sodden ground impaled 

by deadwood spears, strewn with ragged branches,


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Chris Jarmick

Mostly

Now that I’m nearly grown up
sometimes the acid rain from years ago
burns my eyes
reminding me of how far we’ve travelled
first together
then apart
forever connected
and I won’t insist it is more bitter than sweet.
There was and remains too much good
through all of it.

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Willie Smith

DATING THE INFINITE

I went out with the infinite.
We swapped spit
in the backseat of a jalopy.
Explored ourselves
while ignoring the movie.
Walked home from the parkinglot,
falling all over each other.
Detoured through the park.
Dallied on a bench.

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Matt Briggs

This is not the person alone in the room. He woke early, before dawn although it was summer. The thought of talking to other people was not something he had to ruminate on. He knew if he did not leave his room, or if he walked down the steps of his building, closed the gate behind him, and then walked down the block along the busy morning street that people used to get from the sleeping neighborhoods to the south to the steam plumes and dawn glistening towers downtown that no one would say to him as much as good morning. He was himself an individual. He looked at his hands. Uneven fingers. Fingerprints that were not shared by anyone else. In his bones, DNA that was his own, and he kept all of this to himself. This is not this person, but the opposite.

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John Olson

How To Get Rich Writing Poetry

That’s right you too can be a Donald Trump

A Warren Buffett of poetry

A buffet of trumpets a warren of infinite crisis

Just follow these easy steps

To a cocktail lounge sit down and employ

A ceremony of words in a roiling brook

Of magnetic obscurities. An angel

     of the morning

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Paul Nelson

86. Paulownia Tomentosa

 

His “Good Day!” was always overcast.     - Ramon Gomez de la Serna

 & yes, he was from Seattle. & yes, the sun was shining that particular Friday in the season of lilac blossoms and a full bloom Empress Tree, Princess Tree, Paulownia tomentosa, stolen from central and western China but an invader here loving the lack of competition for what sun there is, shaping purple hanging bell blossoms and leaves in whorls of three. We sit under it, take fotos,  are there if we think about it, Lakewood Park.

& by good day he meant, in Seattle nice, courtesy and not much else, will wait for your street crossing, will not honk, “a city of the mind . . . a city of geeks. People here . . . totally blow you off ” the newcomer’d say in The Times. But not at the stop sign beyond the Empress Tree. Not at the four way stop where you go no you go no you go & the guy from Chicago goes knowing your M.O., knowing driving the car “is personality enshrined.”

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Mike Hickey

Service Dog
I could be a Schnauzer, a Black Lab, or a Dalmatian, but I’d prefer to be a German shepherd, and you could name me after a Greek god or your great grandfather or that punk/funk band you really like. When we go out, I would start wagging my tail like a pendulum in heat and you could dress me in one of those neon orange vests with the silver stripes (maybe neon yellow on special occasions) that says in big block letters: SERVICE DOG. 

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Thomas Hubbard

The real uncle sam

GIs came home after WW2, raised hell for a while,
then found a wife and looked around for a house. 
Markets provided prefabricated house kits, delivered to your lot.  Pre-fabs. 
Buy them on the GI Bill. Put them up in a few days.  Crackerbox houses. 
Square, plain, two bedrooms, kitchen, bath and living room.  Plywood.  A
few of them are still around.  Crackerbox houses.

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Judith Camann

Thoughts Are Not Feelings
 

Between blankets and sleep, sleep and death rolls hard red apples, day old
bread, liverwurst, fingerless gloves, frayed shoelaces, nine pregnancies, six live
births, red-brick walls, tarnished forks with bent tines and a topless jelly jar where flies
procreate. My thighs wake to cold.

Not snow-cold children pray for with carrot nose snowmen sledding down hills.
Not ice cold cubes clanging against sides of a sparkling tumbler swishing an orange rind,
maraschino cherry, barrel-aged rye, and a sugar cube. Not chills or sneezes.

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Sam Roxas-Chua

A BEAST IN THE CHAPEL

Several times I asked my father
to pull on my ears
until my feet were lifted off the ground.

Several times I asked him
to look into my eyes
and blow out the red lanterns—

those soft pendulums
that keep me up at night,
twin stars of vermillion arias.

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Margaret Roncone

I Fall in Love with a Photo of e.e. cummings in a New Yorker Magazine While in the Waiting Room of an Opthamologist’s Office

it's black and white

he's looking intently

away from the camera at

a parade of lower case 'i’s

a hyphened world

linear time and rhyme

disappear in a desert

of white stallions

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