Dr. Ralph Monday

Evening’s Muse

A classical traditionalist would call

on the ancient muses. Updated to

postmodern times Calliope would

be heralded to inspire narcissistic

Facebook or relationship epics.

Feeling really hot and onto that

girl whose drunken number he got

at the bar, he might hit up a thonged

Euterpe for some love advice.

Poor poet indeed.

Imagination blunted by pop culture,

Americanese, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga,

such a wordsmith has no connected antenna.

Poet in name only, such as these do not

recognize that the muse takes more

complex forms:

a crimson falling leaf, rotted end of a log,

a cloud telling a tale of past experience,

fire smoke signaling end, fish bent

backwards leaping a rapids, reflection

in another’s glasses, morning fog

carrying ancient ghosts, a burning desert

full of life, the mind as connected messenger

to all that is, has been, or will ever be.

This is the poet of the mind,

spirit’s bard.

This the herald through which the world

takes tongue.

New Acquaintance Yellow Stripe Optional

She                                             He

stopped at the gas station                      a stranger filled her up

stared through the windshield           made the glass wet

pointed to her hood                             opened her up

raked fingernails on the horn                   pressed the button

settled on the seat                             made her comfortable

eyed his wrench                         torqued her tight

paid with her eyes                              closed her trunk

drove away                                      wished for another ride

Dr. Ralph Monday is an Associate Professor of English at Roane State Community College in Harriman, TN., where he teaches composition, literature, and creative writing courses. He has been published widely in over 50 journals including Agenda, The New Plains Review, New Liberties Review, Fiction Week Literary Review and many others.  His poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Houghton Mifflin’s “Best of” Anthologies, as well as other awards. A chapbook, All American Girl and Other Poems, was published in July 2014. A book Lost Houses and American Renditions is scheduled for publication in May 2015 by Aldrich Press.

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Pushcart nominee Jeanette Cheezum has been published on several online writing sites and in fifteen Anthology books and four poetry books. Three of these books have made the New York Times Best Sellers list. Awarded The Helium Networks Premium Writer’s Badge, Bronze Creative Writing Award and a Marketplace Writers award. Recently she has published thirteen ebooks at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. You may find a list of some of her work at www.hamptonroadswriters.org
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