Weekly Write: “Birth Mother” by Michelle Dobbs

Birth, Mother

“I drew my first breath,
went back to work the next day,
walked through the threshold,
and never came back.”

– A Figment Of My Imagination
 

Wednesday
September 19th, 1990
2am,
I drew my first breath,
in a room full of strangers.
No one there wanted me.

I was purged,
as if my mother was absolved from me,
as if one night stand was rewritten to just one night,
as if she was pure again,
after the umbilical was severed.

My mother,
went back to work the next day,
I was hours old.
She left,
and never came back,
for me.
I rendered her breathless.
I knew nothing,
of breathing,
just that it had to be done.

I dreamt of it as if I remember
seeing her
get out of the hospital bed,
put clothes on,
tie shoes,
kiss my forehead goodbye,
she                  walked through the threshold
not my mother,
just a passerby.

That day,
I breathed in all the goodbyes I could ever need.

 

Michelle Dodd is a spoken word artist based out of Richmond, Virginia. She has performed for TedxWomenRVA in 2016. She is a fellow of The Watering Hole Writing Retreat. She was a member of The Writer’s Den Slam Team in 2016 and 2017; a team placing among the top teams in the USA. Dodd has been published in Whurk Magazine, K’in Literary Journal, The Scene and Heard Journal, SWWIM, and Wusgood online magazine. She has self published two chapbooks of poetry in 2017. She is one of the coaches, for the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) CUPSI slam team for 2018, that placed 3rd internationally.

 

 

 

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Weekly Write: “From Certain Distances In Space I Still See My Brother” by Gary Beaumier

From Certain Distances In Space I Still See My Brother

Somewhere mother holds you against her breasts in a Chicago flat
— the war winding down —
while she warms a bottle and tests the milk on the tender of her wrist;
“you are my sunshine,” she sings.

Somewhere you sit in a quilted coat
upon a tricycle in front of a red house,
and later still your fastball hisses over
home plate into the strike zone.

Somewhere a man says we all derive from stars,
while a holy person declares we will live forever.

You still succor your fractious babies as you pace a midnight floor.

Only just now a distant planet watches you bend to help a student
or soften your embrace to your wife in the utter dark.

Somehow you glide out of a fifth floor hospital room into a painted twilight,
into streams of cars and trucks and exhaust
as your family holds your emancipated body and rides with you to the edge of life

and somewhere a medical student
peels back what remains of you
to learn the human clockwork.

 

Previously published in Third Wednesday and also The Esthetic Apostle.

In his later years Gary Beaumier has become something of a beachcomber and has self diagnosed with “compulsive walking disorder.” On a number of occasions he has cobbled together wooden sailboats. He is a finalist and semi finalist for the Luminaire Award for several of his poems. He has had three poems published in Flumes Winter 2017 and one poem in Third Wednesday as well as one poem in Chaleur Magazine, The Piltdown Review, The Esthetic Apostle, The Internet Void, an upcoming issue of Raw Arts Review and a recording in Lit_Tapes. He taught poetry in a women’s prison.

 

 

 

“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2019 Anthology.

Click here check out Parade: Swimming with Elephants Publications Anthology 2018 available for only $10.95.

Weekly Write: “Leavened Bread” by Katie Barnes

Leavened Bread

Under the fog of mountains high and cold
My mom decided we would go to mass.
We drove far up the well beaten path of old
To the stone church above the rocky pass.
The congregation stared as we walked in
And lit our melting candles for the dead
Just in time for the service to begin.
The priest screamed out that we were beloved;
Men in the chorus wailed to God their prayer
While folk in the pews tried to reach His ear.
White smoke from the incense strangled the air;
All of us were struck dumb with holy fear.
The priest brought out the icon and I bent
But did not want to take the sacrament.

 

Katie Barnes is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree at Boston University. She splits her time between Boston and New York, but her family is from Greece.

 

 

 

“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2019 Anthology.

Click here check out Parade: Swimming with Elephants Publications Anthology 2018 available for only $10.95.

Weekly Write: “Family Planning in the Twenty-Second Century” by Keith Mark Gaboury

Family Planning in the Twenty-Second Century

Scrub out mutated genes
giving rise to mutated bodies,
bodies we don’t want
circulating in our better society.

Lewy minds and cancered lungs
float in history, twenty-first century
deaths we’ve vaulted beyond.

Are we ready? Start
with the perfect embryo.
Cells divide
into an engineered self

offering cognitive muscle
and equidistant attractiveness.
This will be our son.
We’re no chickens.

Do you want college achievement
or adaptable intelligence? A love
for ghost peppers and ghost stories?
Wisdom in alleyways?
Fluid improv on the jazz floor?

In the reflection of a customer
picking a rooster to consume,
we pick the pure blueprint
promising sidewalk punch.

 

Keith Mark Gaboury earned a M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College. His poems have appeared in such publications as Poetry Quarterly, New Millennium Writings, and on the podcast Who Do You Think You Are? Keith is a poet and preschool teacher in Oakland, California.

 

 

 

“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2019 Anthology.

Click here check out Parade: Swimming with Elephants Publications Anthology 2018 available for only $10.95.

Weekly Write: “To the Mountain” by Ann Huang

To the Mountain

To the mountain you run from disquiet, listen to the plane overhead,
like road dust on a runway of fallen umbrella-masked men,
all earth’s riddles unite and foreshadow what it contains,
unlike bare maidens with pearl chains on their necks.
The mountains await the animal spoor that might come,
you know a body can expose age and timeless aging,
your mind can dissipate without meeting dark and mundane,
When it hinders a waking soul with whose life it echoes.

Ann Huang is an author, poet, and filmmaker based in Newport Beach, Southern California. She was born in Mainland, China and raised in Mexico and the U.S. World literature and theatrical performances became dominating forces during her linguistic training at various educational institutions. Huang possesses a unique global perspective of the past, present, and future of Latin America, the United States, and China. She is an MFA candidate from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and has authored one chapbook and two poetry collections. Her surrealist poem “Night Lullaby,” was a Ruth Stone Poetry Prize finalist. In addition, Huang’s book-length poetry collection, Saffron Splash, was a finalist in the CSU Poetry Center’s Open Book Poetry Competition. Her newest poetry collection, A Shaft of Light, is set to come out in 2019. Huang’s poems follow the surrealistic gestures that weave between reality and divergent realms of perspective and perception. Her debut experimental short film Palpitations of Dust won Best Experimental Film at the 2017 POPAA (Prince of Prestige Academy Award), Best Film Award at the Los Angeles Film & Script Festival, and Best Experimental Film at the LA Cinema Festival of Hollywood. For more information about the experimental shorts by Ann Huang, visit SaffronSplash.com.