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.

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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.

Weekly Write: “Trauma Wagon” by Jason Youngclaus

Trauma Wagon

The city council is voting on funding
To renovate the park off Visitation Pl. soon
A father will teach his son the crossover step back
Whether or not that cash comes in
A mother will walk with her daughter on the grass path
And remark on the beauty of a tree that’s been there
Since Before Joey Gallo was born
Regardless as well.
The equipment at the newly built batting cages
Will need to be intermittently fixed by a mechanic
Many, many times to ensure
That the sluggers of tomorrow get their swings in.
The mayor won’t have a say in that.
People will move in and out of rent stabilized apartments
No matter what is decided at that table.
An ever increasing number won’t need to bother
With how “rent stabilized” is defined;
Others livelihoods will depend on a few words in a statute.
The local community board will propose improvements, amendments
Respond to noise complaints
And attempt to litigate just about anything else you can imagine
For a long, long time to come.

But here today a rusty scratched cornea on 4 wheels
The deformed, inbred cousin of the prison wagon
Pulls up curbside in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
Out steps a skinny-fat white guy in a stained shirt
He stumbles off the top step
Lights a cigarette and nods at his partner
Who is about to cast another net into a broken home
The familiar Kafkaesque deed that pays his bills, he justifies inwardly.
“Lets do lunch at the Lobster Pound,”
He suggests to the other.
“I should have been a fisherman,”
The other replies.

The innocent are strapped in with an iron padlock
Which forms an incredulous X across their chests
Crossing them out of normality
Crossing them out of whatever stability they had left
Crossing them off the daily list of deliverables for
Of these two roadside bureaucrats
The trauma wagon only goes one of two places:
Group home or foster home.
Many benefactors in the latter category have entered the arena
For the tax write off
And they’re looking for their prize catch.
Sure there are some decent folk out there too but
Would you want your future coming down to
Such a subhuman, crass roll of the dice?

This was all necessary because a yuppie invader,
Organizing with her friends
On numerous occasions picked up a smartphone
Thinking she was doing the right thing —
Because their parents liked to do cocaine and frankly
Had gotten tired of doing it in the bathroom out of sight.
But really because they were noisy
And brought around unseemly characters.
A yuppie who could not tell you the first thing
About rent-stabilization laws.

There are no winners here
Except the yuppies, of course,
Who are now off to brunch to bemoan trivialities
In the company of nobodies.
“I’m proud of myself,” she boasts
As she sips from her third mimosa at 11:00 on a Sunday morning
Imagining those kids frolicking around a lily field at a picnic
And taking pictures with Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.

 

Jason Youngclaus graduated from College of the Holy Cross in 2005 with degrees in English and Philosophy. In 2006, he moved to Washington Heights, Manhattan to work as a political operative. He has stayed in NYC ever since, continuing work in this field — and forming the Brooklyn based indie rock outfit, Cuba in 2008. Follow him on Instagram @Jyc_music.