Tonya Eberhard 

Debuts

Recollection, 20 Years Later

 
I don’t remember.

Not the fat green grapes sitting on the
airplane tray table as my mother shook
my sleeping sister awake. Or being led up
the mocha-brown dirt path to my grandparents
house after the airport. I could never recall
for you going to the beach with my cousins,
or climbing up the bamboo ladder to my
aunt’s house where she poured us soda and
gave each of us pillows for an afternoon nap.
My head on the pillow, I didn’t peer through the wide
bamboo slits thinking—the floors in America
don’t have holes in them. I did not unknowingly
drift off, awakened by my uncle and aunt speaking
in a dialect that was gibberish to me. I don’t
remember crying when my cousins gutted freshly
caught fish, their thin blades slicing beneath heaving
gills. I never watched them scale up the coconut trees
barefoot. I didn’t play with the newborn kittens until
the mother hid them from me. I don’t recall sneaking
my hand into a cupboard for a sandwich I wasn’t
supposed to have. My grandfather’s moonish dark
brown face did not scare me. Maybe I found it strange
mosquito nets hung around me as I slept, ghostly wisps
of gauze that entered my dreams. There could not
have been a time when the electricity went out and
candles were lit. In the morning, I don’t remember
following grandma out to the water pump to fill
the bucket, or staring at her walking stick and
gnarled toes.  I don’t think I ever had chocolate
ice candy, content with the sugar. Did I cry a few weeks
later, wanting to go home to my father? Did I run
into his arms at the American airport? Maybe it was
then I waved to my mother when she went back on
the plane to go home to that foreign place,
never to return.

 
Some Moonlit Kingdom on a Beach 

 
The birds that fly above us could be stars.
Anything is true with the night.
The moon hangs on Sylvia Plath’s own verse:
Bright, white as a nurse floating down
hospital hallways. We fill our mouths with
pebbles from the shoreline to try to understand
water speak. By 2 am we give up language lessons,
spit out the rocks to the other side of the water—
filling our mouths with each other’s tongues
instead. That is to say what kissing without
consequence is. Two hours later the earth unfolds
at our feet, and the night dissolves into moonlight and
heartbeat and stars. It is then I am fooled
into believing I am healed, the answer to the question
Do you want to keep living? suddenly an obvious yes.

 

Tonya Eberhard recently graduated from the University of Missouri. She currently lives in Minnesota. Her work has appeared in Dirty Chai, Lingerpost, Yellow Chair Review, Open Minds Quarterly, Sun & Sandstone, among others.

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Nancy Scott McBride

THE DANCER

He could have been a great one,
his mother always maintained;
an Astaire or Kelly, perhaps even
a Nureyev or Baryshnikov.

Well, I don’t know about that,
but he was a great party dancer.
When he got going on “Light My fire”
or “Jumpin’ Jack flash,” people just
backed away and gave him the floor.

The only thing he couldn’t do was
partner a woman. Strictly a solo act,
he either danced alone or didn’t dance.
I should know. I married him.

Once when he was working on a roof,
he fell and crushed both feet. “I doubt
he’ll dance again,” the doctor said.
But he did, right into middle age, then
stopped when he joined a church
that said it was a sin.

Now every morning when he gets out
of bed, he does a little soft-shoe shuffle as he
puts on his slippers, and hums a few bars of
a tune I can’t remember, or maybe never knew.=

 

AGING

I eat the days whole now,
I eat them alive,
all of them,
the good and bad of them,
the in-between of them,
the gourmet and garbage of them.

Nothing gets by me.
I strip the skin with my teeth
and devour the flesh,
gobble the gristle,
munch on the muscles and
crunch the bones,
then lick the plate clean.

There’s not a scrap left behind,
nothing to turn into compost
or take to the dump,
nothing to put in the freezer or
save for tomorrow’s lunch.

I’m as indiscriminate as a pig
because, you see,
having reached my three-score and ten,
I simply can’t afford to waste
another morsel.

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Peter Magliolo Debuts

The Summer Fields Near Piscataway
Past the moon, past the shadow
where you grew  up in New Jersey
I remember the way it was with you:
the never believing,
the never caring
of your well-crafted song & dance
got you through a skewered youth
impeding your destiny

& you danced barefoot
like a sylphaamid the crab grass
of florid fields
feeling some adoration
(of sun & shadow:    touching
brows of miscreant wanderers
leering at you, your supple self –)

Beneath
sweat-tinged summer dress
“patterned by blue petals”
you danced for them, the creatures
of all assembled elements

hearing your trespassing footfalls
strike the drums of dirt
with lightness of summer breeze.

The song became you    & female forms
growing like a shoot
through your intemperate
Being,

shaking roots & tendrils
of old nature attacking
your young legs     with earthy

hunger for
a free spirit’s
breed

BIO:

— Peter Magliocco writes from Las Vegas, Nevada, where he’s been active in small press circles for several years. His latest poetry book is Poems for the Downtrodden Millennium from The Medulla Review Publishing.

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Bobbie Troy

I Do Not Mind

I do not mind
that you have forgotten
my name
I do not mind
your sleepiness and silence
I do not mind
that you cannot dance
as we used to
all those years ago
I do not mind
any of this
because you are still
here with me

 

Flowers Are for the Living

the church
and the graveside
were bedecked
with flower arrangements
that seemed
to vie with each other
for most important
prettiest
the ones she liked best

when she
could no longer
appreciate them

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Richard King Perkins II Debuts

Twenty Thousand Skies

Twenty thousand skies
could have gone unnoticed

but from the warm shallows
an unintentional awakening—

air thickens with goodness
the land aches with philanthropy

a vivarium arises from lifelessness

handing itself over again and again
downward though time

unto my callous fingertips
and I would have never noticed

the intention of every previous sky
but for the happenstance of you.

 

Skinned Savanna

If I were younger,
than there would be a younger man
coming to find you
across the skinned savanna
and when he found you
he would stake his spear
in the ground outside your hut
and importune you with great magics
and togetherly you would
build tiny canopies of imago
across plains of dust and straw;
if I were only a younger man—
but before me now, yellowing,
is the fresh core of an apple
I don’t remember eating.

 

Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL, USA with his wife, Vickie and daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee whose work has appeared in more than a thousand publications.

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Joe Russo Debuts

Actors –

Actors,
We were,
Onstage,
Reading lines from a script,
Old lines,
We all knew the words,
Form the mouth,
Everyone claps you on,
You were great,
As always,
But me, background, OFFSTAGE RIGHT
You, the shining star, CENTER STAGE,
Had me,
Hoping,
That a little of your light,
Could shine
On
Me.

Joe Russo has been published in Linguistic Erosion, Farther Stars than These, Leaves of Ink, Typehouse Magazine, Door is A Jar Magazine, Spillwords and is included in Centum Press’s anthology “100 VOICES AT CENTUM.” Joe is currently working on his first chapbook collection called, “Manhat” about the greatest city in the world – New York. You can find more of his work over at his website – http://joerusso8writer.wix.com/creativewriter

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Issa Ruci Debuts

The melody in lines

The spirit’s melody inside
Is the recreation of the human is his art
The discreteness of the endless sight
Merged in sensations.

The wine’s taste like woman’s scent
Strong
Dazzling
Piercing
Till the madness of thought
(…drink is consumed after you tried
the nectar of life
in sweetness of ever – ending moments!)

Lucid is the deepness of red, like the girlish virginity
In that body of dreams
Knitted with the strange
In the soft lip of a lady bug
Who gets drunk by wine drops.

They say that the best poems are written
When the foolish poets betray their lines
For a glass of wine…

© Irsa Ruçi

No words

You created the words and you put silence over it
Eloquency turned in the music of the soul
Where only the noise of the sights…
And the longing
And the being’s absence
Which melted through lines in bohemia!

You are the silhouette of stars on earth
Made by cheating, like an antique clock
Remained somewhere in nostalgy
Carelessly
Unconsciously
Restlessly
Without expecting the future with fireworks
And half – drunk;
…that simply
That time is composed by oblivion!

© Irsa Ruçi

Irsa Ruçi is an Albanian Writer, Speechwriter and Lecturer. She was born in Tirana (Albania), in 1990. Her books of poetry include Trokas mbi ajër (poems and essays), 2008 and Pështjellim (poetry), 2010. She has been published in anthologies: Antologji, 2007; I kërkoj agimit vesën, 2008; Antologji poetike “Kushtuar dashurisë”, 2014; Antologji poetike “Udha”,

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