Category: Old MP

“On Emigrating To Iceland After Iraq,” Donal Mahoney

Consider first the Alabama heat,
consider next the toad

still as a turd on this rural bridge
rupture slung across a stream

where offal floats,
where clumps are belching.

Note the toad, the reeks
that genie up beside it.

Then remember Iceland
and the freshets of its Spring.

Iceland had no toads,
no reeks to genie up beside them.

“Tommy,” Ray Scanlon

     Tommy was an Irishman, easily two or three times my age, indoor-pale, with a shy smile, reputed to be drunk twenty-four/seven. He worked with dangerous pre-OSHA machines in the bindery. The massive trimming shears had a safety interlock you had to physically span with both arms spread wide. This effectively prevented inadvertent hand-chopping, but I suspect a determined suicide might have been able to behead himself.

“a sandpiper is a nested tanka,” Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé

all nine wear caftans

the whirling dance of cornsilk –
someone’s always counting heads
stopping at ten-to-seven

november, month of podiums

circling, an albatross
landing on water for krill

the pilgrim dragging cymbals
elfin, dinky hopes
in a footfall trail

a glistening in the dark

they shimmer beyond rituals
in strobe, withdrawal

and prime lights like love

“Two-Wheeling,” Robert Vaughan

“To the top of Park Lane,” Dad cautions. My neighbor pals and I cycle furiously up the hill. “Stop in front of the Eckbergs,” Dad yells. He’s huffing, puffing, too fat. We stop, wheezing at the top. Turn our bikes to face the hill, traffic whizzes behind us on Penfield Road. The Eckbergs aren’t home; probably at church. We wait for Dad to catch up. “Watch yourself on the way down,” Dad cautions. “Danny, it’s your first time.” “I know, Dad.” I start first, push, roll, pedaling. Rush past the Fabers, zoom past the Whitmores. My raccoon streamers fly horizontally from my handlebars, my Tony the Tiger seat groans. I hear Brad at my heels, so I pedal, pedal, pedal. We zoom closer to our
house at 76. Click here to finish Rob’s story.

“UBEKEY,” Alex Warble

“These Supples of Clean People,” Ray Succre

The sprawling hug of warmth wills me pet,
and calls to me caress hair, head and shoulder,
these supples of clean people,
articulated rollicks of waves washed up,
of water boiling, of muscle and sinew
and tissue and organs freely fit and daughtered
to embraces like milk in a cup. Click here to finish Ray’s poem.

“Relics,” Rafael Gamboa

Our living room is full of priceless artifacts.
A pair of white boots;
a handful of weathered books;
a pile of pitiful poetry and prose,
printed years ago by other hands. Click here to finish Rafael’s poem.

“You Here/You Gone,” A.K. Jackson

Rage is a craving.
It stretches for my body when it is still enough
to feel for you. Fills my bloodstream
with bits of broken starfish, dead flowers,
anything. My mouth is acid hot
and full of grit. Click here to finish A.K.’s poem.

Alex Warble

“At the Home 70 Years Later,” Barry Basden

     The bomber pilot remembered coming back to London’s East End, his house gone up in smoke and ash. Sirens, the crunch of broken glass, fire hoses, men in tin hats. Strawmen sitting cross-legged in saffron robes, chanting, the smell of gasoline in the air. The little girl running toward him, arms outstretched, howling, skin peeling from her body. And his grandsons, something about the Khyber Pass.