Weekly Write: “The Cuff of That One Sweater” by Mycah Miller

The Cuff of That One Sweater

one day in our future I’ll paint for you in a room filled with more color than I can see right now and you’ll come in to greet me and after we’ve kissed hello we’ll realize I left paint on the collar of your favorite shirt and I’ll laugh and you’ll sigh and I’ll tell you not to worry because in all these long years I know now to paint only with that that can be washed away, I’ve learned now the importance of solubility because what good is love if it doesn’t teach you how some things need to be dissolved sometimes in order to savor the self-professed blessed and you’ll remind me of that one sweater that I have with paint on its wrist in an entirely different color than your new additions but you’ll call it the same anyway and remind me how you’ve learned that while you’ve loved this holy thing you’ve always seen how my ink bleeds seem to leave behind more than I think they will and this too, is a type of compromise.

 

Mycah Miller is a Santa Cruz, CA-based poet, artist, and student, and most recently was a member of the 2018 Legendary Collective Slam Team, the winners of the 2018 Southwest Shootout held in Albuquerque. She currently attends SJSU as an English major. She creates art as an escape from and commentary on the outside world in a continuous attempt to both understand and connect with others. Her poetry is done on whatever paper, napkin, or phone is closest, and her art is done with various materials in various places in various bursts of sudden inspiration. In her free time, she can be found not writing enough, drinking tea, and riding her motorcycle(s). Her work is a protest, a love letter, and a canvas she has weaved herself thoroughly into. She can be contacted through her facebook page “Mycah Miller Art,” Instagram @MycahMillerArt, or emailed at mycahmillerart@gmail.com.

 

 

“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2020 Anthology.

Click here check out the 2019 Anthology:  Trumpet Call; a Swimming with Elephants Anthology available for only $12.95.

Weekly Write: “Bloodletting” by Rene Mullen

Bloodletting

When someone bleeds
the brakes of a car, nobody asks
“What’d you do to your arm?”

When a levy is drained
to keep the floods from destroying
that which it protects, nobody
says, “Hey, you know that ain’t healthy.
That ain’t natural.”

Painting on your body is both beautiful
and telling.

When I see a new tattoo
I praise the artist savior
keeping dams from giving in.
I thank the still breathing canvas
for allowing the pressure
to be bled out.

I thank my lucky stars
at least one more canvas
knows there’s a difference
between drawing out dark pigments
and tearing the canvas apart.

Rene Mullen is managing editor for a public relations company in Albuquerque, a performance and traditional poet, and a mental health advocate. Mullen is also one of two 2018 Albuquerque Slam Champions and member of three slam teams that have been on multiple regional and national stages. Their poetry and fiction has been featured in Peachfish Magazine, Poetry Quarterly, 50 Haikus, and Stronger Than Stigma: Poetry from the 2019 Mindwell Poetry Slam Team. Their poetry focuses primarily on mental health and family.

 

 

“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2020 Anthology.

Click here check out the 2019 Anthology:  Trumpet Call; a Swimming with Elephants Anthology available for only $12.95.

Weekly Write: “Red Mist” by Scott Wiggerman

Red Mist

Home is but a footprint
hardened deep in his heart.
Not a word from family
since he left Georgia for Texas
two decades ago as a teen,
not a chance he’ll seek them out—
pride tenacious as nutmeat to a shell;
his disease, the stain on the fingers.

Some nights his ache for love
is so labored, he wakes
with blood on his tongue,
a sour excretion on the sheets.
He lies for hours in moonlight,
a barren stretch of rock,
watching clouds murk away the glow.

Mornings, with arms
that can barely lift his torso,
with legs unsteady without a cane,
he stumbles to the bathroom
and slouches naked before a mirror.
Though the flesh is sexless,
a patchwork of sags and sores,
he puckers his lips
like a grand Southern belle,
stares disaster in the face,
and reaches for his favorite lipstick.

 

Scott Wiggerman is author of three books of poetry, Leaf and Beak: Sonnets (finalist for the Texas Institute of Letters’ Helen C. Smith Memorial Award), Presence, and Vegetables and Other Relationships; and editor of several volumes, including the best-selling Wingbeats: Exercises & Practice in Poetry (I & II) and three anthologies of Southwestern poetry, most recently, Weaving the Terrain.

 

 

“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2020 Anthology.

Click here check out the 2019 Anthology:  Trumpet Call; a Swimming with Elephants Anthology available for only $12.95.

Weekly Write: “49 years of bargaining” by Scott Ferry

49 years of bargaining

8: I don’t believe in Santa Claus anymore, so why
should I believe in you? Old man with a white beard
holding a stick. One has a red coat, one has a golden coat.
I know my dad doesn’t think you are real.
Are you also the God of aliens? Of dolphins?

12: I will have better luck in a swim race if I do good things,
like pick up gum wrappers, discarded A & W cans
on the pool deck before the race. I don’t care
if people think I am weird if it makes me go faster.
God, that race did not feel different, it felt terrible.
I did those things and I didn’t better my time. Where did I get
the idea that God rewards good deeds? I’m never doing that again.

17: There has to be something more
than just praying to get things. Everyone
is so focused on their chicken sandwiches, or their car’s new rims,
or their Ivy Leagues. I am rarely lucky and I have to grind
my ass off in the pool to get a scholarship and maintain a 4.0
and try to ask out Katy but I know she doesn’t like me
because I look like I am 14. I roll the rock up…

18: The sky is clicking and the incense tastes
like lemon lavender and the asphalt ripples under my legs.
How do I speak with this LSD silvering my sinuses?
When do the doors open to see the Grateful Dead?
The sky blooms inside veins and cherry stems pulse.
Someone looks at me and she looks like God with echo pupils.
I was wrong. Every molecule springs with words.

21: I can’t have a baby now. Please, whatever Old Man
with whatever robe. Forgive me. I am going to ask her to end it.
I will have to find money. She cries, I harden and dry in the parking lot
next to her car. I know people do this. I never thought I would be one.
Now I have something to cut off my body to repay.
I bury my reasons for praying. I promise nothing.
I blame and remember, even though I leave myself for a while.

24: Father, you are going. Where? I saw you deflate
as I gripped your shoulder. Your presence around me
deafens the blinking machines and crow-call alarms.
Let him go, nurses. Let him go to wherever he is going.
He rejoins where nothing can be broken.

28: I have tried to open every image for my students
by reading novels out loud, by using all of my light
to shine out until, Lord, my liver and lungs and kidneys
lie empty as damp shells and my hands shake.
This is not why I came here, is it?

35: My wife cheated on me
and I have been a good husband and she loves someone else.
God damn you! Why did I love and waste years?
We did laugh but she never wanted to have sex.
Why didn’t I realize? Why, God, did I have to witness
every vow starve on the ends of wires?

36: This glowing girl? She is interested in me?
The starlings bring each crushed bit of wing into
a bright body, three hundred birds turn in unison
over the rocks of the jetty at Westport,
our feet red and brown in the evening sun.

41: Nausea and waking to a well
that bounds with heartbeats. If this anxiety persists,
I don’t know if it is feasible to continue.
Why did you place me in this terrible workplace?
Do I believe in you enough to blame you?
I cannot reason with the howling and thrashing. I cannot eat.
This is the only time I don’t want to live.
And every morning I wake again.

42: My daughter, pink twisted scream of glass
coming out of her uterus and into our hands.
Thank you, God. I can’t swallow all the passion.
Our boat tips in the swell, tears and milk pour off the deck.
I forgive by virtue of drowning.

45: The screen cracks because of my addiction.
All lies open and darken our new house,
the windows full of flies, the basement and attic
full of rats chewing on our bonds like spies.

46: I will clean and promise again.
Salt into gums, rat feces under nails.
Years of telling the real truth
and tearing the groin from its fixations.
My love, my God, all the soiled covers come off the words.
I did this myself, God. Don’t take credit.

49: Pregnant again?
I don’t know whether to curse you or praise you
for delivering on our wishes so quickly.
Please God, let the child be healthy and whole.
I won’t tell you what I am willing to sacrifice to make that so.
You might just demand it.

 

Scott Ferry helps our Veterans heal as an RN. He has recent work in Cultural Weekly, KYSO Flash, Slippery Elm, Prometheus Dreaming, and many others. He was a finalist in the Write Bloody Chapbook Contest in 2019. His first collection The only thing that makes sense is to grow comes out in January 2020 from Moon Tide Press.

 

 

 

“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2020 Anthology.

Click here check out the 2019 Anthology:  Trumpet Call; a Swimming with Elephants Anthology available for only $12.95.

Weekly Write: “The Dimensions of Your Soul” by Gary Beaumier

The Dimensions of Your Soul

Your body ate itself in your final days
temples hollowed as
food diverted to your lungs
the doctor said it’s like drowning
–shallow panicked breaths–
morphine pumps to soothe your passage
administered by your children
I kissed your forehead
and told you I loved you
hoping it would get past the drug haze
so you’d take my feeble expression
with you

Then I drove to open spaces
and followed a braiding of clouds
at the far edge of the lake
that made me think of your spine
when I washed your back a week before
each knot of clouds
your vertebrae
I watched you join the sweep of sky
as it made its procession North
to a dark unpeopled land
elk herds migrating across starlit tundra
and you there in all of it
I spoke to the moon that took your face
and the constellations that outlined you
and this time I felt like you could hear me…

 

Gary Beaumier has a degree in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He has been a finalist for the Luminaire Award for his poem titled “Ten Cents” as well as the Joy Bale Boone Award for his poem “The Migratory Habits of Dreams in Late Autumn”. His chapbook “From My Family to Yours” has been published by Finishing Line Press. His poem “The Rio Grande” was nominated for the “Best of the Net” award and he won first prize for Streetlight Magazine for his poem “Night Train to Paris.” He was a finalist for the New Millenium Writings for his poem “From Certain Distances in Space I Still See My Brother”. He was recently shortlisted for the Charles Bukowski contest from Raw Arts Review for his poem “Ghosting”. He has been a teacher, a bookstore manager and a gandydancer for one summer a long time ago. He used to build wooden sailboats.

 

 

“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2020 Anthology.

Click here check out the 2019 Anthology:  Trumpet Call; a Swimming with Elephants Anthology available for only $12.95.

Weekly Write: “Adrift” by Gina Marselle

Adrift

I lost a world the other day.
Has anybody found?
You’ll know it by the row of stars
Around its forehead bound.
—Emily Dickonson

an entire moon cycle of loneliness
colliding in quiet array.
Standing here, inside an art gallery—
in a room, full of people—
she’s holding a cup of ginger tea,
a page of poetry.

She looks brave.

She’s in a box
trapped
inside a midnight sky without stars.

Over there—
a lone cottonwood stands
on the banks of the Rio Grande.
It looks strong, capable of holding common ravens
or shading a weary runner.
But if you touched it, it is hollow inside.

How can one explain
loneliness
to someone who has never felt alone?

You can’t, it’s one of those things that
can’t be explained.
When wrapped in anxiety
or depression
or anything, categorically.

There isn’t anything more sad
than in bed with a pristine white,
goose down comforter over her head
imaging her coffin nailed shut.

NPR’s headlines don’t help.
The divide of the country doesn’t help.
The lost souls of immigration don’t help.
Her husband fighting alcoholism doesn’t help.
You’d never know the sadness
felt inside her battle.
Unless she wrote about it
and read it out loud.
Allowed the words
to blast the page.

But only if she does that.
She’s vulnerable, alone on a stage.

an entire moon cycle of loneliness
colliding in quiet array.
Standing here, inside an art gallery—
in a room, full of people.
She’s holding a cup of ginger tea,
a page of poetry.

She is brave.

Gina Marselle resides in New Mexico with her husband and children. She is a teacher, poet, and photographer who happily owns a rescue horse and dog. She has published a number of poems and photographs in many local anthologies and has a full length published book titled, A Fire of Prayer: A Collection of Poetry and Photography (Swimming with Elephants Publications, 2015). Please find more information about Gina’s work from her publisher at https://swimmingwithelephants.com/ and/or follow her on Instagram @gigirebel.

 

 

“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2020 Anthology.

Click here check out the 2019 Anthology:  Trumpet Call; a Swimming with Elephants Anthology available for only $12.95.