Monday, October 8, 2018

October 8, 2018

Each life a novel
Beginning, middle, and end
Last pages left blank

No two blanks alike
Nor where and when they get filled
Ghost writers take note

by Sharon Wood Wortman
in volume 6 issue 2

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Monday, October 1, 2018

October 1, 2018

Characters in Horror Movies
with a nod to Dorothy  Parker
The Babysitter

There's two types of these we've come to know.
    The first is the irresponsible one,
the girl who spends her time on her ass and on the phone,
    inviting her boyfriend over the instant the parents are gone.
She dismisses screams as the wind starting to rise,
    the killer's steps are the skitters of a mouse,
and she's the only one who's surprised
    to learn the call's coming from inside the house.

And then there's the second kind,
    who to me seems the much better hire.
No matter the slasher, she keeps her presence of mind
    and exhibits at least some flustered grace under fire.
She doesn't investigate upstairs, as countless others have done;
    such prudence serves her well.
At the first sign of trouble she grabs the kids and runs
    and lives to die in the sequel.

Some are doomed to get picked off before they can get paid;
others manage to make it through and die another day.

The Hero

He has a name like Tom or Chip or Clay,
    an incredible head of hair and a square jaw,
a smile that could brighten any cloudy day
    and eyes made for close-ups, objects of awe;
the camera's just waiting for his shirt to come off,
    as are the fangirls who flock to the theaters in droves.
He's perfectly built for some gore-laden popcorn fluff,
    plucked probably from the cast of some CW show.

Tom-Chip-Clay is often on a quest of some kind,
    seeking some lost sibling, loved one, friend,
but there's also usually a love interest that he finds,
    and we have to wait and see if they make it to the end.
He's the kind of guy who no matter the danger refuses to waver,
    the kind of guy who's kind to everyone;
of course, the machete-wielding maniac won't return the favor,
    but damn, does Tom-Chip-Clay's ass look nice when he runs.

It doesn't matter by what monster you're being chased
as long as you still look good with blood and dirt on your face.

The Kid

They're either innocent little angels or the spawn of Satan
    (and around here that can be frighteningly literal);
if one suddenly develops an imaginary friend,
    then the whole family's in deep trouble.
They're often the way that evil gains entry
    to the home, preying on their friendship or fear,
and it's not a good idea for them to watch too much TV,
    especially if they turn around and say, "They're here."

Some of them can see dead people;
    others have what they call "the shine."
Sometimes one's head will spin around like an owl's,
    and some hear voices that aren't theirs in their minds.
Some are bad seeds and some are creepy as hell,
    like the ones that live out in the corn,
and though some of them turn out rather well,
    for every rose there's always a Thorne.

No matter the movie, the kid rarely dies,
unless it's Stephen King—what's wrong with that guy?

by Sarah Cannavo
in volume 6 issue 2

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Monday, September 24, 2018

September 24, 2018

The Perfect Enjoyment: A Lesson for John Wilmot
with a nod to J. W., Earl of Rochester
Fair Corinne,
Let us lay our lines together in a poem.
Let me lay my bilabial plosive
On your sweet rhyme,
And time, and we united,
In strophe and antistrophe,
Shall sing and dance into the climax of our air.

Free verse and metered lines we'll use,
And undulating rhythms too will fuse
With metaphor, the motive and the music,
And what's more, like a sword thrusting

Tirelessly, ever true and keen,
In the vast redeeming underbelly of the sea,
Received in constant motion, rising
And falling onward to the shore of ecstasy.

In spume and froth sweet Aphrodite come
Naked on your clam shell, and once again
Repeat the long lost words of love and lease
A moment of your tide to our soft charge,
For when those sounds we've married to our own,
Our poem's complete, and we, though emptied,
With your rhyme replete.

by Robert Witmer
in volume 5 issue 2

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Monday, September 17, 2018

September 17, 2018

Trolls: Three Haiku
"...remember, there will be trolls
 who move in. Also remember, sunlight
 is their bane."
—Jane Hawkner
In the dark of night,
Trolls gather to celebrate.
Sunlight is their bane.

Bugs under a rock
Are always surprised by light.
Turn the rock over.

Trump is elected.
We have four years of sun.
Pick up the rock now.

by Jane Yolen
in volume 6 issue 1

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Monday, September 10, 2018

September 10, 2018

Ode to the Bagel Eaters

hearing the express toaster ding ding
letting the waitress know the bagel is done
time for the cream cheese
spread a schmear so thick
that it looks like a glacier formed
one lucky customer receives the bagel
and takes a big bite
and now has a cream cheese mustache
which he doesn't notice
and no one in the restaurant cares enough to tell him

another one is ready for the schmear of a lifetime
a customer takes the two halves apart
and licks the cream cheese first
as if this were a giant vanilla Oreo
the glacier melted quite quickly
what's left looks like the frothed milk of a cappuccino

a rabbi came in for lunch
ordered an onion bagel
with a medium schmear, not too much now,
because it gets everywhere, but not too little because then
the bread gets lonely
when asked what he wanted to drink he ordered
a smallish coffee, not too large, not medium, but bigger than a small
with half and half, and sweet-n-low
it must be the sweet-n-low because it's sweeter than sugar,
which he can't have because he's diabetic but that doesn't matter
because it tastes like dreck in coffee anyway
the guy behind the counter waited to see if the rabbi
was going to say anything
"nu? what're you waiting for?"

a very handsome man with a black beard came in
had a yen for an uber-thick schmear,
you know, where there's so much cream cheese
between the two halves of the bagel that it looks
like two humongous snow mounds, not made to scale
his beard enjoyed the sandwich as well
he had to beat the crumbs out of his beard,
the way one beats a carpet

a woman comes in asks for a toasted bagel with butter
she shamed the cream cheese
it should be noted that the cheesy spread of goodness
committed no crime
other than to be delicious
the other customers stared at her as if she committed
a mortal sin
she took a bite and all eyes were upon her
she smiled and all the poppy seeds in her teeth
looked like she hadn't seen a dentist in years
served her right

by Lady Samantha
in volume 6 issue 1

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