The Morton Salt Girl • Philip Dacey

I don’t know who put me here
in this storm with only my umbrella.
Who would have done such a thing?
I hear a voice saying,
“When it rains it pours.”

Though I seem to be walking,
I don’t get anywhere beyond
the side of this cylinder.
All I can do is hope I stay dry
as I spill salt behind me,

though it’s not clear if I know
I’m spilling it. I never look back.
Sometimes I’m tipped upside down
and then righted. Does that
ever happen to you?

I am the oldest little girl in America.
I’ve been in place here for more
than 100 years, though I never
show signs of aging. Every
decade or two, however, I do

change my hair or my clothes.
I have been through many wars
but show no scars nor
stop smiling, though my salt
is distilled from decades of tears.

Two Poems • BZ Niditch

Hesitation

At the glass window
a once day dreaming student
now twenty five
and endeared to poetry
hesitates to put on
her brand new skates
until she reaches
a blind blue hill rink
invisible to the quarry,
as a visitor of graffiti whispers
in the wind as he initials
the local Elm
marked above her
that he, her former tutor
in the language department
is in love with nature forever
waits by the tallest tree
near the clearing woodland
frozen in ether
with a photograph
from winter's last welcome
of bears and foxes
now has written all over a branch
of a hundred year elm
his new poetic lines
and waiting for her to skate
at the annotated spring.


[+]


Lifeguard

Chuck, the life guard
now far away in Frisco
saved sister
from downing
she was a rainbow to us
when we were nine
dropped into a bloodshot world
from a diving board
all of us only small bodies
that summer of haunting shadows
needing rescue,drafted to Nam
we even named our cat Chuckie
after you.

Two Photos • John McCluskey

Autumn Maple in Black and White



October in Black and White



Two Poems • William Greenway

Lucky
. . . on fortune’s cap we are not the very button.
—Guildenstern

How about that Black Death?
Really tapered off, huh?

And only today I was lamenting the loss
of both my feet,
when I saw a man with no shoes.

Two satellites reentered the earth today
but missed my house.

Goddamn it.

Catholics call it a State of Grace,
one I’ve never driven through, though
I’m sure all the Highway Patrolers
are beautiful bears, fuzzy,
with brown button eyes.

But if I ever spin fortune’s wheel,
I’m betting all my bucks
on the black and bad.

And on the righteous red?
Half an egg
from the farm’s sickest chicken.


[+]


In the Personals

Aging widower seeks half-pint
woman half his age
for meaningful relationship.
Must be beautiful (long, black
curly hair preferred, olive
skin, Mona Lisa lips),
talented, hilarious.
Must love: cooking
“cheesy-peppery rice,”
writing and reading poems,
sex,
running five miles a day
on the treadmill,
singing Aretha Franklin
into the TV remote control,
dancing in the kitchen in XXXL
men’s t-shirts.

No sadness
or sickness need apply.

Rerunner • R.A. Allen

Those opening credits
superimposed over
Santa Monica Boulevard
mean it's a period piece—
Raymond Chandler's L.A.
And even in black & white
the sky is Bunsen blue.

All of the automobiles,
like my old '49 Chevy,
sport white sidewalls.
In those days
a careless barber
might etch sidewalls
above your ears;
perforce, your fedora
would be your noggin's
fender skirts.

And A-line skirts
adorn the actresses
as they sashay
across the set—
same as my first love,
a prick teaser, with
her teased-up hair,
her cultured pearls,
and her pointy bra.

First cars, first loves:
were they guideposts
destined to be cherished,
or were they landmine
markers on the topography
of an idle retrospection?