I want a book injection that
shoots into my brain like the Big Bang
with furor legendi.
Not a dribbling word-dropper,
not a paragraph pill,
not a book-a-week, time-release capsule.
voracious like a sucking-book volcano,
whirly-twirly with coffee-stained novels,
purple prose, abstruse poetry.
Maybe lasers pregnant with embryos of clunky leather-bound
Russian classics, spunky paperback spy stories,
yellowed, musty historical fiction.
A never-sleeping genie pumping pages and pages:
best-sellers, whodunits, works in translation. Where all fits.
Where all expands. Where all breathes inside my head.
May I drink these pages while yet I live.
–Lynda Pinto-Torres, July 2020
I want each day to open like a butterfly’s wing, to be a freewheeling pathfinder,
rafting equatorial currents.
No doldrum soup of lizard tails. No ants in systematic symmetry.
Bis! Encore! Bis! Encore!
Not the repetitive rat-tat of the woodpecker’s hammer,
nor a cacophony of caterwauling crows.
More like the daredevilry of leapfrog beneath a spider’s
web spun into trees full of ravenous birds. A gun-slinging gambler,
a true-grit gypsy of the open range, refusing to parrot the humdrum.
Perhaps a twisted take on ‘take no prisoners’,
Zip it! Can your negativity!
It will be a jaw-dropping sun shower of leaping lemurs.
A Pop-N-Wow, Snap & Crackle Joie de Vivre.
May I launch each day a light-footed Mantis Carpe Dieming,
snatching a ride on quick-silver winds to never-say-never lands.
Diana Noble, August 2020
HOIST YOUR COAT
All any man can hope to do is to add his fragment to the whole.
– Robert Henry
Blushed pinks wither to dusty mauve,
petals turn papery crisp,
delicately fall off the stem.
Scents hang in recollections,
talents on a coat rack.
You gifted your coat with a congenial fit,
pushed up the concrete of odds like a blade of grass.
Your life is a cubist collage,
painted with Picasso’s psyche.
Under the night’s rainbow,
you see into the eyes of ghosts,
you speak of ancient astronauts.
By-gone Guernica pandemonium, fires doused.
Cast-off your doubts,
let the forest-breath breathe you,
hear the red sea pulse in your veins, taste its salt.
Hoist you coat and sally on.
A tribute to Mikulas Kravjansky
Romi Tarlamis, August 2020
The five AM train whistle echoes hollow, in the last of night.
I ponder what the pastry’s like in Amsterdam,
is the coffee really Viennese?
Wanderlust teases as I bend down to feed the ferals at the gate.
A full spring moon spotlights the sky.
Illuminati, black and white, mosaic street corners trick my eyes,
shadows playing hide the night.
I still live by the clock, but the day approaches when I’ll not.
Now, I wonder what’s for breakfast in Bangkok,
tending work and home front in quarantine.
Your syllables invite me
to a land under
through Tierra del Fuego.
If Magellan only knew,
Pacific wasn’t half of the story.
Pigafetta told the Spanish king, straight
once the liars left the court.
All for spice. The siren song of those islands,
that maiden voyage ‘round the world,
a Portuguese captain stricken
before the arc of destiny.
Sailor’s diary: published, 1550.
Pat Draper, Augustn2020
The air is dense with heat and aromas of a hundred ethnic kitchens
mixed with bus exhaust and perfumes smelled only
when people pass too close.
The energy intoxicating, foreign, yet inviting.
My face blushes and pulse hastens.
Colossal concrete catacombs, like giant ant mounds,
crawl with streams of people,
in and out the glass doors, up and down the elevators.
Dwarfed by shadows and lights, I drink in the motion.
Musicians rushing to a gig leave their brassy staccato on the cobblestone.
A cackling gang of teenage girls bumps into me, two toddlers dragged by their hands,
scream into the shadows of the subway.
A devilish pink mohawk peers into my eyes and growls: “Hi babe!”
I gasp and scramble to reply, but he is swallowed by the crowd.
It’s Bleecker Street.
Goodbye home, Goodbye sweeping sun-kissed fields, and fragrant rain.
Not in Kansas anymore, lost in the magic. I surrender to chaos. Hello, New York.
Tsila Blomberg, August 2020
RIFA: RED IMPORTED FIRE ANT
Arriving on cargo ships from Peru in crates shipped
to Alabama, they now sting
in 13 states. A few travel Australia & Hong Kong.
How I hate Fire Ants, those Solenopsis Invicta.
The evil Jokers of insects, they bite and sting
like the hottest red pepper: a Carolina Reaper.
Should we send Flash or Batman after you?
Flies lay eggs on top of a RIFA’s head and when they hatch,
those baby flies start to chew. They crunch that RIFA’s head
right off. Some say, yuck! But those baby flies say, yum!
Oh, RIFA, tell me, what does your future hold?
Will your children lose their heads, too?
Will they keep the venom hot and tunnels long?
Will your children love dancing six-legged to Invictus songs?
Nathan Naylor: age 6
RIFA published in the August, 2020
Creative Communication Poetry Anthology