Harold Lloyd

Body pressed
against the clock,
hanging by the end
of one hand, again-
suspended, dangling over
chasm: nothing above
you except broken numbers.

No one hears the dialogue,
the twisted mouth moving
or notices the comical
spasms of lips, the legs
flailing like an insect’s.

The ribbon flickers, repeats.

I am the audience.
I have seen the film
many times. I remember
what happens next.

Rescue is useless,
the cop not far behind. Each time
you discover a surface,
it vanishes under your feet.

Somehow, you climb higher,
even as you fall.
You land, embrace.
Beneath you,
the indifferent traffic
passes without comment.

Suit still pressed, you
saunter off in search
of a rare steak
and a double martini,
to celebrate your survival
in spite of everything.


Photography © Jennifer Matthews


Leah Mueller is an independent writer from Tacoma, Washington. She is the author of one chapbook, Queen of Dorksville (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2012), and two books, Allergic to Everything (Writing Knights Press, 2015) and The Underside of the Snake (Red Ferret Press, 2015). Leah was a winner in the 2012 Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest, and a featured poet at the 2015 New York Poetry Festival. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Blunderbuss, Outlook Springs, University of Chicago Memoryhouse, Atticus Review, Open Thought Vortex, Sadie Girl Press, Origins Journal, Quail Bell, Silver Birch Press, and many other publications.

Jennifer Matthews’ poetry has been published in Nepal by Pen Himalaya and locally by the Wilderness Retreat Writers Organization, Midway Journal, The Somerville Times, Ibbetson Street Press and Boston Girl Guide. Jennifer was nominated for a poetry award by the Cambridge Arts Council for her book of Poetry Fairy Tales and Misdemeanors. Her songs have been released nationally and internationally and her photography has been used as covers for a number of Ibbetson Street Press poetry books and has been exhibited at The Middle East Restaurant, 1369 Coffeehouses, Sound Bites Restaurant in Somerville and McLean Hospital.