Two Poems by Patrick T. Meighan

Broken Echoes

A child may manage
To sing
A small birdsong
On a small branch
Above a grave
Clamoring
With bone and ash
Within a flock of
Tombstones.


We’ll Make Fine Corpses

An old man’s skin blossoms
with faded tattoos, his wrinkles chisel into dust.
His flesh full of prayers sloughs
To join the dead
Unannounced
as ghosts steal the moon’s lies,
Tracing askance geometries of light.
How lovely the dead must be.

Patrick Meighan lives the life of a nomadic adjunct, teaching poetry, journalism, and composition courses at New England College, Saint Anselm College, and Manchester Community College. His poems, reviews, and translations have appeared in online and print journals, and his second chapbook “Poems for a Winter Afternoon” was published in 2018. He is the co-editor of “Images from Ruin,” an anthology of 9/11 poems and art, and his first chapbook “Jurisprudence” was published in 2014. He earned his MFA in creative writing from the low-residency program at New England College in 2013.

Three Poems by Carlene M. Gadapee


“Yet, If I Picture the Face of Jesus, I Can’t Shake the European Blue Eyes”
after Shane McCrae

I know it to be false              this image Godhead
with flowing blond locks     sad blue eyes, searching

the face should be of a man whom I know is Semitic     I look around
no one else seems troubled

it’s not at all like the wan, somber, bearded face
of someone who is deeply disappointed        or
pained by a loss I didn’t cause      this face makes little sense
in the sense that it’s not historic, but
it’s the one I grew up with, framed, burning heart
looking like it might burst             that open heart
surrounded by flames scared me

when I first heard the phrase heart burn all I could think of
was this picture on the wall            electric blood glowing

I wonder aloud: what do you see in me?   There’s a silence
a long pause             

my own burning heart          is it sacred

too?  


Nana Cleans Out Her Desk

Old, scarred, and scraped, chipped veneer flaking
from corners rimmed with dust and broken, beaded
edging. There was treasure: pens and pencils,
paperclips, old metal curlers, red elastic bands. Tiny
pearl buttons rattled in the center drawer alongside
dark wheat pennies and brass fasteners. The only drawer
off limits was the bottom one, stuffed with old bills,
punched time cards, a few letters, and flimsy
air mail envelopes, the ones used for overseas.

Nana sorted papers, sitting on the worn rug, making piles.
She checked razored-open envelopes, one by one,
each as empty as the last. What she was looking for:
Support money.
Just in case.
She might have missed some. I didn’t know
what abandoned meant, I didn’t know about divorce.
When I think of loss, it looks like empty envelopes.





1984

I didn’t tumble down the stairs, my wrist caught in the grasp
of a boy-man I’d just met. Get to know you a little, let’s get out
of this crowd seemed reasonable. Inexperienced, a little more
than a little drunk, too easily led. I remember a muddy parking lot,
sheets of rain, oily grit in my hair. Blurry streetlamps weakly
illuminated the bumpers of the cars, rusty rocker panels,
my friends’ reaching hands. Are you okay? Here, eat this.
Give you something to throw up. I didn’t throw up.
Self-disgust doesn’t come up that easily.
(My fault?)
Did I know how I got there? Yes, a car load of us went.
Did I know where I was? No, I didn’t drive and
It was dark. Do I remember the date? The guy’s name? No.
Did I ever see him again, anywhere? Everywhere, nowhere.
No. I don’t remember, sorry, I don’t remember. I remember
the gravel, and which was rain and which was tears.


Carlene M. Gadapee is a high school English teacher and community college adjunct instructor in northern New Hampshire. She shares her small New England home with her husband, a bossy Chi-pin dog, and a few beehives. Carlene is a devoutly sports-addicted bibliophile and her work has been published in the Aurorean, Postcard Poems and Prose, the Northern New England Review, and Sojourn (UT-Dallas).

Two Poems by Simon Anton Diego Baena


AL-ANDALUS
 
I go far         inland
away from the coast 
of gulls       a trail
 
the wolf dare to follow
the calligraphy          in the stone 
shaped          like dried 
      curving rivers
 
                an echo of some 
voice                           I trace back 
                                           to the beginning
 
           before the first word
 
like a poet reaching 
      for the stars
 
                  by midnight
    the throat:            a desert
 
washed 
    with wine
 



THE GOSPEL OF NO ONE
 
Read closer: a man hikes back and forth
his path ends where he begins over
again he whispers to himself
another psalm made of ash:
More bombs have fallen this year
more fire
more casualties
the harvest is only a memory now
the man hopes for a miracle, searches
the earth he believes his god
and the grain are both out there somewhere
but the days just come and go
like cigarette smoke
and the wound, yes!
His wound shaped
as the moon is enough
to enter


Simon Anton Diego Baena is a poet. His work has appeared in The Cortland Review,Fifth WednesdayThe Bitter OleanderCider Press ReviewCatamaran Literary ReaderOsirisSanta Ana River ReviewChiron Review, and elsewhere.

Two Poems by Jesse Lee Kercheval


Ghost Parent

Forty years has passed
more time than was necessary
for me to dream I am sitting beside you
and happily holding your hand. 
You tapping my head is if you were
testing a melon.
Saying, Sounds hollow—must be ripe.
My father, I think now, though then I would have thought
Dad or Daddy, words that never come
to me now.
 
I wake up
imagine I am walking with you
down to the water
along the sand beach a block from my house
in Montevideo, though this one
is on a continent you never set foot on—
or I don’t think you did. You were stationed
in Panama, which is in Central America
not South America and is over 3000 miles away
from Uruguay.

But I pretend you are here. 
Ask you what you think of the cruise boats
and container ships that hover on the horizon
I imagine you asking about my children
though I cannot really imagine what you would say
about either of those things.
I tell you we are all mostly happy, working hard.
 
In this waking dream, I hear you say:
Don’t worry, keep walking, I’m right beside you 
and you are, my imaginary father.
We’re never alone after all.  


I have not been Loud

enough. Have not
raised my voice
raised my hand

Now I shout
STOP!!

& everyone in the meeting
stops. Power point
frozen
projecting only silence

no one reading off
each bullet point  
each agenda item

Yes, someone says
Stop. &
switches the computer off
Someone else turns on the lights

One by one
we leave the room
without a motion
without debate without a vote
without adjourning

Outside it is still winter
but the sun is
brilliantly
cold

 Jesse Lee Kercheval was born in France and now divides her time between Madison, Wisconsin and Montevideo, Uruguay. She is a poet, fiction writer and memoirist, author of the poetry collections Dog Angel and Cinema Muto, winner of the Crab Orchard Open Selection Award, as well as The Alice Stories, winner of the Prairie Schooner Fiction Book Prize and the memoir Space, winner of the Alex Award from the American Library Association. Her poetry collection America that island off the coast of France won the Dorset Prize and is forthcoming from Tupelo Press. She is also a translator whose translations include The Invisible Bridge/ El puente invisible: Selected Poems of Circe Maia. She is the Zona Gale Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.