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Poem by Joey Gould

 

In the Bedroom the Moon is a Dented Spoon
          after Meghan O’Rourke

Were you cantilevered
was the moon a pea on the ceiling

was it inverted
& could you see the peppercorns blinking

how does it not drip

were the slats closed
& did you stop to shatter the bedsheets

did you remove all the metal
& did the quitting hurt

was the weld weakened
what was the sound that hit the floor

was there wind
were you gasping
did it smell like leaves

were the leaves raked
                                      & were they burning

did he have hands
& were they scarred

did they remind you of your father
did you shake them

even still was there a skylight
how did you even see

did you even look
                     or listen
                     or accede

do you intend to come back

can you name them

will you stay the night

 

Joey Gould is a writing tutor from Hopedale, MA who has been working for Mass Poetry since 2011, teaching workshops across MA, facilitating the Mass Poetry Festival, & volunteering for Louder Than a Bomb MA. His work, which has been nominated for Bettering American Poetry (twice) & a Pushcart, is easily Googled.

Glenn Bowie is a published poet, lyricist and photographer from the Boston area. He also owns and operates an elevator company that supplies custom-built elevators for clients from New England to Hollywood. Author of two poetry and photograph collections (Under the Weight of Whispers and Into the Thorns and Honey) on Big Table Publishing, he donates all profits from his books to various charities for the homeless and local animal shelters. Glenn is also the official photographer for the Newton Writing and Publishing Center.

 

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Poem by Joan Colby

 

Tomcat

His days hunting, his nights fighting and
Fucking. Lord of the barn. Harem of pretty cats. He

Kills bats and swallows, songbirds and shrews. Gifts us
With mouse heads delivered to the side porch. Rumbles

With a rough purr rubbing his scent on our pantslegs.
Swaggers the aisles like a Bishop. Brings in adolescent

Females like a street pimp, beats up their swains,
Murders all kittens not his own so their sluttish mothers

Will come in heat. Drives his sons out like an old testament patriarch,
Battered and scarred. Defends his territory with cannonades of

Acrid piss. Old pirate now:Three-legged and one-eyed.
Wailing saxophone of midnight jazz battles.

Abcessed in a buccaneer’s patched coat commanding a loft of
Scattered bones. Emperor on the high throne

Of sweet bales. Watchful. Guarded. Greets us
Gravely at morning chores. Claws sheathed and unsheathed

In the pleasure of being stroked. His due acknowledged.
One unblinking yellow eye. Big head. Barbed penis.

 

Poet Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review, etc. Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards, an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She has published 16 books including Selected Poems from FutureCycle Press (which received the 2013 FutureCycle Prize) and Ribcage from Glass Lyre Press which has been awarded the 2015 Kithara Book Prize. Colby is also an associate editor of Good Works Review and FutureCycle Press.

Glenn Bowie is a published poet, lyricist and photographer from the Boston area. He also owns and operates an elevator company that supplies custom-built elevators for clients from New England to Hollywood. Author of two poetry and photograph collections (Under the Weight of Whispers and Into the Thorns and Honey) on Big Table Publishing, he donates all profits from his books to various charities for the homeless and local animal shelters. Glenn is also the official photographer for the Newton Writing and Publishing Center.

 

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Two Poems by Alyssa Trivett

 

Spewing

Pockets full of paperclips,
fingertips tip-tapping at the typer
like jiggling a toilet handle,
I’ve got some words, one or two
to spew, a Dilophosaurus mish-moshing
misplaced lines at myself in the mirror.
I have crumpled notes missing the
wastebasket backboard,
and a heart and head, chaotically
pushing my corpse through each day.
And I cliff-hang to my commas as margins,
and spew a smile. On some days,
that’s all we have.
Let the lines seep under the door frame,
even at ungodly hours,
I let ‘em in.

 

Red Bull Laced with Vodka

There is a fire-breather in my throat,
the soppy liquid poured and asked if
it was home. I want to book it,
but the calendar was full.
I tip-tapped a fork on the glass
and sung a poem, instead.
I have moved on,
from those garage sales of one-story homes
to multi-million dollar estate sales,
and siphoned overpriced coffee beans
while on this rant,
yet it only added more chaos,
imagine elephants jumping
through a hoop of fire as the kinetic.
Or strep on balancing beams
about to crash in an empty pool
of your body.
Even my nerves rollercoaster jolted.

 

Poet Alyssa Trivett is a wandering soul from the Midwest. She chirps down coffee while scrawling lines on the back of gas station receipts. Her work has recently appeared at In Between Hangovers, Apricity Magazine and The Rye Whiskey Review.

Glenn Bowie is a published poet, lyricist and photographer from the Boston area. He also owns and operates an elevator company that supplies custom-built elevators for clients from New England to Hollywood. Author of two poetry and photograph collections (Under the Weight of Whispers and Into the Thorns and Honey) on Big Table Publishing, he donates all profits from his books to various charities for the homeless and local animal shelters. Glenn is also the official photographer for the Newton Writing and Publishing Center.

 

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Poem by Marilyn Rea Beyer

 

Old Shirt

She came apart at the seams
Of that old flannel shirt she could never
Part with.
It was all that he had left her with when he dropped her off
At the shelter, saying,
“I can’t do this anymore.”
And she watched him take off like
Birdman.
No
wings
No strings.
That’s how he wanted it.
When the pills ran out, so did he.
She
sewed, sewed and sewed again
With every kind of thread, but she could never
Mend it.
It was what kept her going when she felt like she’d drop off
The spinning earth, crying,
“I can’t do this anymore.”
She let us watch
her take off
That shirt.
No shame.
No blame.
That’s how she wanted it.
When the cloth gave out, so did she.
And so wouldn’t we

 

Poet Marilyn Rea Beyer has been reading poetry in public since the 1960s but only began writing her own in the 2000s. She holds a Master’s in Oral Interpretation of Literature from Northwestern University and has had a varied career in teaching, high tech, folk radio and recently retired as PR Director at Perkins School for the Blind. A native Chicagoan and long-time resident of Lexington, Mass., she now lives on Massachusetts’ North Shore in Salem with her husband, history author and filmmaker Rick Beyer.

Glenn Bowie is a published poet, lyricist and photographer from the Boston area. He also owns and operates an elevator company that supplies custom-built elevators for clients from New England to Hollywood. Author of two poetry and photograph collections (Under the Weight of Whispers and Into the Thorns and Honey) on Big Table Publishing, he donates all profits from his books to various charities for the homeless and local animal shelters. Glenn is also the official photographer for the Newton Writing and Publishing Center.

 

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Fiction by Annabelle Blomeley

 

An Ode to the Imaginary Intruder in My House

I imagined that you wore all black. Black pants, black long sleeve shirt, black shoes (light ones so you could tiptoe around without being heard), black hat. Your face changed every day though. On rainy days, you looked mean; maybe you would have a scar on your cheekbone and a snarl on your lips. But on sunny days, you looked nicer; on these days I imagined that you wouldn’t bother me if I didn’t bother you. I was right. You never bothered me.

On a Tuesday in December, I thought I heard your footsteps in the basement. I had skipped home from the bus stop at four, unlocked the front door with the secret password that only my family knew (082497) at four fifteen, then at four seventeen I was on the couch calling my dad, letting him know I was home, asking him where he was. Then at four twenty five, I called my mom, told her I was home, sitting on my couch watching reruns on the TV and drinking chocolate milk out of my favorite mug. They both would get home at five thirty because that’s when they always got home.

But at four forty five, I swear I heard your foot beating into the concrete floor below me. My eyes got wide and I grabbed the remote, pausing the TV so I could hear better. I sat in silence until four forty nine, hearing nothing but my shallow breathing rushing in and out of my lips. I was about to turn the TV on when I heard something else in the basement. I could’ve sworn you were coming up the stairs; hand on the railing, stepping over the piles of mail on the third to last step that we walked by every day like we didn’t even notice it was there. I imagined that you had walked by it, too, because you didn’t care about the coupons in the Piggly Wiggly ad newspaper and you didn’t care about the letter from my uncle that I had forgotten about. You went straight past it all, continuing up and up.

That’s when I bolted at exactly four fifty two, throwing the remote onto the couch and hearing it bounce off and crack open on the floor. Batteries rolled onto hardwood like they were trying to run, too. I jumped over my little sister’s shoes that lied in the middle of the floor even though I could’ve sworn my dad told her to pick them up. I ran past the Christmas tree that had one light flicking on and off like a star in the sky at night, bursting into my parent’s room and running to their closet at four fifty three. It was dark and smelled like clean laundry. One side was my mom’s, the other was my dad’s and it was at the far end of the room. So I walked there and on the lowest level of hanging shirts, I pushed them aside and sat in the corner, covered in dress shirts on one side and a dresser on the other. I imagined that at four fifty five, I would feel thousands of spiders crawling all over me, and then at four fifty six maybe a mouse would brush across my toes like the wind. But by four fifty seven, none of those things had happened. It was just me in the dark, huddled like a baby in the corner of a closet, waiting to be found by you. I prayed at four fifty nine that you wouldn’t find me, even if you did happen to walk into the room. I thought that hiding place would work because it had worked before in a game of hide and seek with friends. They looked for me for thirty minutes until I came out because I was tired of just sitting there. I hoped that you were as bad of a seeker as they were.

I sat there for awhile, not hearing a peep. Maybe you had went back to the basement at five o five because there wasn’t much to steal but old picture frames and a flat-screen TV that you could’ve never carried away by yourself. Or maybe you thought I was up there but then you couldn’t find me so you left. I didn’t care where you had went as long as you weren’t with me.

At five fifteen, I heard the garage door rambling open beneath me. I strained to listen to you bolting out of the house or trying to hide but once again there was nothing. Then at five sixteen, a car door slammed and more steps were coming up the basement stairs.

My dad walked up at five seventeen. He yelled for my name in the living room and then upstairs. You weren’t there to scare him so I figured I was safe at around five eighteen. I crawled out of the closet and walked through my parent’s room again. My dad asked me why I had been his room and I just shrugged and said I had heard something in the basement. My dad nodded because he was used to me being paranoid when home alone.

After that, I heard you less and less. I knew that some sounds were the air conditioning or the water heater turning on and off, or maybe it was those squirrels that lived in our attic for a year. Either way I figured it wasn’t you. You had left a long time ago.

 

Annabelle Blomeley is studying creative writing at the Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham, AL. She has been published in Cadence Literary Magazine and Aura Literary Magazine.

Glenn Bowie is a published poet, lyricist and photographer from the Boston area. He also owns and operates an elevator company that supplies custom-built elevators for clients from New England to Hollywood. Author of two poetry and photograph collections (Under the Weight of Whispers and Into the Thorns and Honey) on Big Table Publishing, he donates all profits from his books to various charities for the homeless and local animal shelters. Glenn is also the official photographer for the Newton Writing and Publishing Center.

 

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Poem by Ken Tomaro

 

As I Walked

The sun was humming through the clouds
just enough that
this particular morning
felt brighter but still gray
and the snow was in piles
touched with dirty footprints
the people looked miserable
and rightly so
clumps of ice and dirty snow
fell around me
as I walked
all was calm yet
dull
and steam was rolling off the rooftops
the coffee was settling in
tomorrow would come
without fanfare
without punctuation
but it would come,
none the less
and I would greet it
as any other day
with as much enthusiasm
as it did me

 

Ken Tomaro is an artist and writer living in Cleveland, Ohio. His work has been published in The Light Ekphrastic, Tipton Poetry Journal and Sincerely Magazine. He has published two collections of poetry and most of his work is the result of living with depression.

Glenn Bowie is a published poet, lyricist and photographer from the Boston area. He also owns and operates an elevator company that supplies custom-built elevators for clients from New England to Hollywood. Author of two poetry and photograph collections (Under the Weight of Whispers and Into the Thorns and Honey) on Big Table Publishing, he donates all profits from his books to various charities for the homeless and local animal shelters. Glenn is also the official photographer for the Newton Writing and Publishing Center.