Poem of the Week: September 23rd, 2013

Our poem of the week comes from Joel Moskowitz, an artist and retired picture framer. He’s had poems published in J Journal, Whiskey Island Magazine, and Muddy River Review. You can also find Joel’s work in our Winter 2013 issue.

By Joel Moskowitz

We don’t eat wax on purpose as do larvae of the Wax Moth
but a modicum of waxy rind goes down with our hard cheese

and it travels through our systems, where the translucent
particles combine, turning

into malleable seahorses. We melt our honeycombs,
mesmerize women by burning candles at parties,

uncork old bottles of sherry, cracking that blob of red sealing
the top, squeeze medicinal drops into our ears when alone,

to soften the stuff in there, with warm water flush,
then hear children singing. Our names fly on the wind,

our dogs whimper in the cold to come in, to sit by our feet
on floorboards we buffed to bowling alley luster.

We make reliable lovers, draw with crayons
when the moon waxes.

We die, decay from within,
leaving an imprint of our manhood in the sand.

Poem of the Week: September 16th, 2013

This week’s poem, “The House that Jack Built,” comes from our Winter 2013 issue. Kate Gale (PhD) is Managing Editor of Red Hen Press, editor of the Los Angeles Review, and President of the American Composers Forum.

By Kate Gale

We built a house of glass in the woods; the rain came in.
The rain came in through the skylight, the open windows.

We sealed the house, yet water seeped under the foundation.
We built canoes to navigate the stream from kitchen to bedroom.

All the bookshelves were up high. The cement floor wore away to gravel.
We lived in a stream bed in a glass house until the day the sun came out.

It became hot, humid; orchids filled the place, their tendrils of longing
everywhere. Visitors said our house was unnatural,

but it seemed perfectly natural to us. The children tumbled amid orchids
in summer, paddled streams in winter. Electricity

not possible, but we didn’t want it. Electricity would have forced us out
of the glass house. We’re still here

in the glass and mud, the unbalanced checkbooks, the poems and silence.
We hear water, breath, the house letting in light.


Poem of the Week

Our poem of the week is “In Spite of Everything” by Elizabeth Onusko. More of her work can be found in our Summer 2012 issue as well as in 42opus, Poetry East, and The Briar Cliff Review.

In Spite of Everything

Beetles build an empire
in an abandoned house,
scaling support beams
and advancing on vast expanses
of floor with wide-opened mouths,
sparing nothing. One level
collapses onto the next until
the basement, sighing dust,
can barely contain the ruins.
A forest seeds itself on the roof.
The winds aloft shift, pushing through
front after front and prompting
the willows to perform a ritual
dance indecipherable to all other
species but mournful enough to upset
the honeybees. The failed queen flees
in a swarm that’s never seen again.
A flash flood followed by drought
followed by an ice age that catches
herds of migrating elephants
off guard. Their frozen footprints
are mistaken for hieroglyphics
that a team of archaeologists tries
to decipher until a great thaw
relaxes the ice into water, and the water
wanders off, taking the soil and all
it holds. Standing on the sodden roof,
the archaeologists shrug and begin
a meticulous excavation.
Under a tent of eaves fallen just so,
they find a dollhouse demolished
save for the nursery,
inside of which a baby sleeps.