Meet the Poets of Issue Two:
The Seven Sorrows | To the God-daughter, who forgave you
Yes, she knows/doesn’t know:– from “The Seven Sorrows“
those small lips that suckle and cry,
hiccup and sigh, will one day scream,
“Eli eli lama sabachthani.” Her mama heart,
already crowded with ponderings,
has only enough room for nursing and burping,
for counting the toes of the Sacred—
Picasso, Elvis, and Robert Johnson felt the blues. I have. Likely, you,– from “Singing the Blues“
Too. When we plunge into despair and sell our souls;
When we’re in our blue period, fashioning an old guitarist, blind,
Poor, and as somber as church communion; or when we put on
Our blue suede shoes and make soulful sounds on street corners.
In juke joints. In churches. In solitary realms. When we gut
The heart and, like Louis A, spill out its recesses in song.
Senior Prom, May 1972
It goes well enough for an evening– from “Senior Prom, May 1972“
in the gym: photos, cookies, punch,
chaperones, and then after, bottles
clattering around on the backseat
floorboard. After dinner, where I
mispronounce filet mignon, the six
of us go parking. I barely know my
date, and hesitate kissing her, but
Caron Freeborn with Steve Armitage
Yeah, I go there now
In the name of the Father, Son &– from “Yeah, I go there now“
Holy Spirit – though round our way, if you
know your father’s name
it’s a miracle and the spirit’s
only holy on account of the swearing
to God it’ll be the last.
Jennifer Leigh Paccione
colors cut under the surface– from “Stained Glass“
weaving leaden webs inside us
pieces locked into the past
delicate as glass
Angels of swamp and ghetto,– from “Some Angelology“
hovering beside a fogbound car crash,
possessing a flower’s temperament and temper.
The angels of indigestion and football.
The angels of stones dropped
in the ocean or flung at the sky.
We Did Good? | Hope
A holy anger rises within me– from “We Did Good?“
I feel your pain, I feel you mourn
I groan along with you
Your spirit one with mine
Why the hunger, pain, hate
The heart of man so desperately wicked.
The russet strangers– from “Song For Those Who Can Hear Only Noise“
stressed not singing
picked up the chicken
like thousands of others
the whitewashed dazzling host
Fallen Apple | Encounter in Chiesa del Gesù
Eventually, I knew. He’s married.– from “Fallen Apple“
He massaged facts convincingly as if
Virility depended on falsehoods.
Blending | Spirit
The art of healing is studied by examining– from “Blending“
the amount of mourning left within the man,
a craft best appreciated by those
keen enough to understand
there’s no set recovery time for growth
Seven Ways to Sunday | Make Like a Tree
It was Jesus we sang, Jesus gone– from “Seven Ways to Sunday“
make up our dying bed,
Jesus gone give us another pair
when our wings give out.
O my Jesus we moaned like we were coming
instead of going, O my Jesus
from the seat of daddy’s John Deere,
over the groceries we sacked at Safeway,
in the backseat under summer
angels and stars on the levee—
ringing up Jesus, let me in Jesus.
In my garden, Mimosa tree grows– from “Wishing Tree“
delighted I watch her
dancing with breezes or
nearly double under
lightning lash storms
then up she bounces
Sand | Stinson Beach
Landmarks of life appear as though– from “Sand“
etched in broken rock and stone.
Areas exposed to sun, wind, rain
and all seasons no longer hide their days
of adventure, or long nights of
Irreversible | Hope Chest
You told me from the age of three,– from “Irreversible“
God has blessed you;
got others to believe.
When you told Aunt Veronica
I could see angels,
she fell to her knees.
Absolution | Your Stare
I’ve seen the scars of your– from “Absolution“
they match the knuckles
of your guardians.
you are an innocent perpetrator
of the darkest of sins
She stood upon a serpent’s head;– from “Handmaiden“
in its mouth an apple. Her hands
would have been in low orans –
but both were missing, lopped off.
On the pedestal, worn, carved words:
Let me use your hands and bring …
then three words too eroded to read.