Thursday, January 31, 2019

People Getting Divorced

By Lawrence Ferlinghetti

People getting divorced
                  riding around with their clothes in the car
        and wondering what happened
                        to everyone and everything
                           including their other
                                              pair of shoes
                 And if you spy one
                      then who knows what happened
                                           to the other
                                       with tongue alack
       and years later not even knowing
                                if the other ever
                                       found a mate
                                   without splitting the seams
                                      or remained intact
       and the sole
                     ah the soul
                                  a curious conception
           hanging on somehow
                                  to walk again
                                        in the free air
                           once the heel
                                        has been replaced

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The moth-eater

By Sarah Bigham

Alone in the attic
The moth-eater waits
For those who come calling
And just want to take

The blankets and dowries
The moth-eater keeps
Giving chase to the thieves
Who flutter and creep

Fabrics are brittle
When set against time
As are old diaries and
Books coated in grime

I do not tear at the seams
I do not leak from the core
I do not fade away slowly
Dripping conscience through pores

The moth-eater guards
The moth-eater eats
And the moth-eater growls
While I dream in my sleep

Send indictments and tweets
There is a committee that greets
Conmen and liars
And launderers and cheats

Empaneled in Washington
Other moth-eaters wait
For those who went trawling
And just wanted to take.

Sarah Bigham writes from the United States where she lives with her kind chemist wife, three independent cats, an unwieldy herb garden, and near-constant outrage at the general state of the world tempered with love for those doing their best to make a difference. Find her at

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

A Modest Proposal

By Joy Ladin

Let’s not kill or die today.
Let’s make angels out of yarn, men of snow, mashed potato animals
that smile as we spoon
their eyes of melted butter.

Instead of killing ourselves or one another,
let’s neatly stack anxiety’s sweaters
and scratch our itchy trigger fingers
by whittling turtles for our mothers,

or pretending to understand Heidegger,
or imagining the sexual embrace
through which time and space
first conceived of matter.

If we still aren’t over killing and dying,
we can search the stacks for library books
that haven’t circulated in generations
and savor the mold

that spores their spines
the way wine snobs savor the nose
of vintage wines bottled
between wars to end all wars.

Look, we’ve played all day
and haven’t spilled a drop of blood
apart from the occasional paper cut.
In an hour or two, when it’s very dark,

let’s make up stories out of stars,
and fill them with all the killing and dying
we didn’t do today, except in our imaginations.
Let’s pull our comforters over our heads

and sing ourselves to sleep
like good little civilizations.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Some Things, Say The Wise Ones

By Mary Oliver

Some things, say the wise ones who know everything,
are not living. I say,
You live your life your way and leave me alone.

I have talked with the faint clouds in the sky when they
are afraid of being behind; I have said, Hurry, hurry!
and they have said, Thank you, we are hurrying.

About cows, and starfish, and roses there is no
argument. They die, after all.

But water is a question, so many living things in it,
but what is it itself, living or not? Oh, gleaming

generosity, how can they write you out?

As I think this I am sitting on the sand beside
the harbor. I am holding in my hand
small pieces of granite, pyrite, schist.
Each one, just now, so thoroughly asleep.

Thursday, January 17, 2019


By Jericho Brown

I am sick of your sadness,
Jericho Brown, your blackness,
Your books. Sick of you
Laying me down
So I forget how sick
I am. I’m sick of your good looks,
Your debates, your concern, your
Determination to keep your butt
Plump, the little money you earn.
I’m sick of you saying no when yes is as easy
As a young man, bored with you
Saying yes to every request
Though you’re as tired as anyone else yet
Consumed with a single
Diagnosis of health. I’m sick
Of your hurting. I see that
You’re blue. You may be ugly,
But that ain’t new.
Everyone you know is
Just as cracked. Everyone you love is
As dark, or at least as black.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Second November

By Elizabeth Lorde-Rollins

Two years alive without you
day into night somehow winds a life.
Day into night in rooms where women are dying where
Mrs. Richman waits for the scary angel to come,
that last doctor who says no,
I don’t think you’re going
to make it this time.
She waits for her sons to come visit
the same ages we were
twenty eight and twenty nine,
old enough to lose their mother.

In rooms where women die and bring life
invoking your name into my face mask
I pray you’re proud of me
I wonder if I’ll ever be enough.

Jonathan got your brilliance with his violent birth
as sure as he grabbed your anger
his baby hands that didn’t care
if they were warmly regarded or slapped.
Your daughter articulate only in love,
diplomat in any conflict
running from frowns as fast as from blows.

Mother, loosen my tongue
or adorn me with a lighter burden. These people who wait for your posthumous issue
say you changed their lives, clutch
your fourteen books, the film, the poster.
They don’t know how warm your hug was at night,
how big your bites of the last Baby Ruth
what a pain in the ass you were,
the most generous person I’ve ever known. I see you Mom
cooking in the kitchen, strong brown hands on the table
a cup of chicken broth with the biggest thigh left over from last night’s supper
reviewing The New York Times.

I see you Mom, lying in that bed
finally ready, after the seasons and the surgeries
and the long long fight
the pain you almost never talked about
putting on your game face
more and more often as you,
growing into your glory even in your dying
went out like a flame
a tongue of lava pulled to the sea.

Momma, the day spins into night
I do my best work at three a.m. now
it’s twins this time, feet first
your smile sits in the smaller one’s face
I know now why ancients felt possessed by the dead
how am I supposed to let go
I need you.
The world is full
of motherless children and now
I am one of them
as the days spin into nights spin into my life
without my children’s grandmother
without your voice singing through the receiver
without that demanding woman who always
wanted what she wanted
and usually got it
but told me I was old enough
not to let my wants hurt me
now that I am forever without

This poem was first published in Mom Egg Review in 2017.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019


By Susan P. Blevins

Let’s hope
by the time we
get to 2020, if
we’re not blown
up by nuclear
weapons by then,
or rotted from the
inside out by un-
fettered pollution,
or shot while we pray,
that we are as a
nation, blessed with the
improbable gift of
20/20 vision.