All Poetry Issue
Four bedrooms and a two-car garage
misshapen shrubberies, a decoy goose
potted plants from which spring ragged weeds
two locks to keep you inside, four locks to keep them out:
the final resting place of
Maytag obelisks in the kitchen
held together by Velcro, locks and keys
an ice core determines what’s inside:
television dinners, insecurities swathed in
layers of sandwich baggies, wedding cake—pre Y2K—
bitter freezer-burnt meatloaf that always had too many onions.
Carbon dating is unnecessary;
landslide prone pantry shelves prove too perilous.
Timothy’s old bedroom, now
an exposition of excess and
relics of our childhood:
Rock hard Flintstones vitamins, Wal-Mart bath sets, Tom Clancy novels, puddles of butterscotch candies, jogging shoes which never hit pavement and a heap of stuffed animals
Blaze a trail through an acreage of
empty boxes and unkempt vines of candy necklaces
to the master bedroom.
The entryway gapes
distended from the catalogue of films and CD-ROMS spilling
into the hallway: Misery
The Lion King, and One Flew Over
the Cuckoo’s Nest among them;
Pavarotti and Celine Dion smile forlornly through the rubble.
Here mother lies, deep in the bowels of her tomb
the bomb shelter cellar she built to keep out
anxiety, family, scrutiny.
Four hundred pounds of scoopable Tidy Cat kitty litter,
50 cans of Great Value beets and a treadmill. All she needed to
sustain her osteoporotic frame,
tree bark skin and sinkhole cheeks, but
petrified roots immobilized her an
delved too deep into the cold earth.
mummified remains of revered companions, a copy of Cujo and
photographs of us all.
Wednesday Night Training Between Study Sessions
Inviting my students between
the ropes, I begin the lesson of
We’ve defined face and heel and
how to keep the illusion alive
like Bloom hiding love letters to keep
kayfabe with his menstruating wife.
It all starts from the lock-up,
intensity comes across in your
hyperbole, you are Kinbote and
the ring is your Zembla.
And selling makes the difference between
flat and round characters. Sell poorly
and you’re the jobber who knocked up Dewey Dell.
Sell well and you can make us
believe your mother is a fish.
You must be Mrs. Ramsay
and get a grasp on what
your dinner guests (otherwise known
as marks) are feeling. Master ring psychology,
boys, and you can be the Henry James of Sports Entertainment.
Predictions for a Spin-less Planet
In the shadow, they move
by human chain and
communicate through blood
transfusions. They echolocate
better daycare centers, where young
feelers and touch, blushing.
But in the sun, they
stop saying God
bless you to sneezes; molt
their clothes and sear
flash camouflage onto thickened skin.
They become cold-
blooded, forget how
to shiver, and bask in the slanted
light. They focus on the afterimage
and greet each other with