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.

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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.

Weekly Write: “Colic Weather” by Gary Beaumier

Colic Weather

The wind was a bombardment
of ice and snow
that morning when
you returned from the barn
to say your old gelding
had died of colic.

Later I winched him
out of his stall
and carefully dragged him
behind the tractor
to a clearing beyond the pasture.

His plush winters coat
could not conceal
the articulated bone over
his once muscled flank
We knew his last days
we’re nearing.

As you cut off a portion
of his tail with
your pocket knife
for a remembrance
you say to me
“ I never partnered better
on any horse then him.
Too bad humans aren’t
that easy.”
You gave me a hard look
as you snapped the knife shut
and walked toward the house.

The ground
yet unfrozen
yields to the back hoe
and I pack
the earth down over him
so coyotes won’t
dig him up.

When I return to the house
you make me tea
as a peace offering
but that night I hear
the yip and cry
of a pack
over your restless sleep
and I worry things
won’t stay buried
…but then I worry
things will.

 

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: “Perfection” by Andy Posner

Perfection

I had thought I lacked for time
And spent my days frantic,
As though life were a web
And death a looming spider, his
Approach inexorable, his mouth
Large enough to swallow whole
My ambitions.

I had thought I lacked for time
And arose each dawn to make up
For yesterday’s failure,
To promise that today I would be perfect;
I bribed the gatekeepers of perfection
With my promises—
“O, let me through!” I begged.
And at night I’d rub my forehead
Where the iron had held me back,
The currency of my promises
Still glistening like anxious sweat in my hand.

For years I pressed my nose to glass
And watched sun, wind, rain, snow
As they whirled past my stationary self
Like a riderless bicycle balanced
By something, someone, I couldn’t see.

I had thought I lacked for time
And raced to outrun the bell
Whose ring might rouse me from my dream,
Only to at last find I was awake and tired
And still holding coins no deity, no therapist, no poet
Would accept—a pauper with a home, a job, a six-figure net worth,
Wanting for nothing, suddenly with time to spare,
Unable to afford even a moment of calm self-reflection.

 

Andy Posner grew up in Los Angeles and earned an MA in Environmental Studies at Brown. While there, he founded Capital Good Fund, a nonprofit that provides financial services to low-income families. He has had poems published in the Noble / Gas Qtrly, The Esthetic Apostle, and Burningword Literary Journal.

 

 

 

“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.