For Sale: Memory for a Song
My grandparents’ house has been sold and moved
to a remote corner in the left hemisphere
of my brain, but Chopin’s Nocturne in e minor has never
left my fingers. My cousin lost her alphabet, the evil
joker Stroke erased the board, but the words
married to melodies remain on her lips.
Funny how I can’t retrieve the data file of our second
kiss. But I recall vividly the first one, because “Wake Up,
Little Suzie” was on the radio. Yes, I’m laughing, thinking,
hypnosis might do the trick—forget it all, forget
I ever met you…
But when I am old and you are still
let me ride back in time on the verse of a song—
let me think
*Wynne Huddleston is a music teacher whose poetry has appeared in nearly 40 publications. Visit her here: wynnehuddleston.wordpress.com
of absolute helplessness
when the flash
of revolving lights
appears in the rear view mirror
or when you’re lying naked
on the white sanitized tissue
stretched across the green exam table
and the doctor commands you
to roll over on your side,
knees bent, facing the wall
and you comply
like a well-trained dog
followed by the uncomfortable pause,
that blatant hesitation
as if time had suddenly frozen
or this was the day
when the earth actually stood still
until the smack of latex
against the fisted hand
snaps you back to reality
and alerts you to what is coming
yet still you are not prepared
for the lubricating jelly
that feels like cold dog slobber
as you clench your gluteal muscles,
muscles you never realized existed
until this very moment
when you sense that
the very hand of God
has reached up inside you
and it is then you realize
your life is not yours to control;
to hear yourself
speaking in tongues.
*Ben Rasnic crunches numbers for money; words for contrition.Read More
*Poem by Helen Pletts
whose two collections, Bottle bank and For the chiding dove, are both
published by YWO/Legend Press (supported by The Arts Council) and
available on Amazon. ‘Bottle bank’ was longlisted for The Bridport
Poetry Prize 2006, under Helen’s maiden name of Bannister. You are
welcome to visit www.stem-of-quietly-disarrayed-fertility.com.
*Image by Romit Berger who says “I am a graphic designer and artist, living in Prague for the past
ten years. In 2008 I joined a writing group – English is not my native
language but I graduated from an international school, so it is a part
of my life ever since. I feel that the dual process of finding words to
describe mind images and illustrating written words, opens a new
exciting dimension of creativity for me. My work can be seen on www.romitcom.com“
In our palms, small talismans. In our palms, small found objects: a photo, a gemstone, a discarded note. Hand to hand we pass back and forth these tokens as substitutes for love. Here we do not mention the cold — our words are only for our own ears and we ration them carefully.
Once a mute man placed a lotus flower in my hair, walked away. Once somebody's mother took the earrings she was wearing, threaded them through my lobes. We have no common language of words. We make do. We better than make do.
*Roberta Lawson lives in Brighton in the UK. Her writing can be found in places such as Sein Und Werden and Prick of the Spindle.
Lotus first appeared in the '52|250: A Flash Year' project.
That Goat Man
So you have a goat do you,
a strange animal that cuts your grass
with relentless teeth
and smells like ten goats.
And then, when the grass can go no lower,
he’s into the purple vetch,
and the dandelions and even the garden itself
when he can squeeze his head
through the protecting wire.
And he bleats, oh how be bleats.
With no other goats to speak to,
he’s in constant conversation
with the maple trees, the finches,
the back fence, the neighbor’s dog.
Odd nose, strange pale eyes,
and a garbage disposal gut,
he’s not a creature man could easily love.
And yet he’s yours,
his hard hoofs prancing
on the gravel path,
his rough beard swaying
to the beat of his chewing,
his prick ears listening in
to a neighborhood of sounds.
Everyone else has a dog or a cat.
One even owns a bird.
But you have to have a goat don’t you.
And only because someone has to.
I hear they’ll eat anything.
And yet, when they’re done,
there’s still everything.
*John Grey is an Australian born poet, US resident since late seventies. Works as financial systems analyst. Recently published in Xavier Review, White Wall Review and Writer’s Bloc with work upcoming in Poem, Prism International and the Cider Press Review.
The grocery clerk turns red
as my wife yells at me
something about not enough money.
But, I don't react
till we get back to the car
then we have at it.
I don't like arguing in public
that's just what the people want
something to talk about at home
some excitement in their empty
grocery store lives.
I'd rather write it down
so that it's just between you
and me and only you
will know how I truly feel.
don't need a wife
don't need a friend
two sweet dogs
cupful of silence
a brand new hat.
*Larry Jones lives in Utah. His poetry appears at The Literary Burlesque, Breadcrumb Scabs, Clutching At Straws and others.
There are a lot of cities I would like not to remember. To talk of them as if they weren’t. As if those cities had not existed before. There has to be a hole in the membrane of memory this way. Through which these places can escape into the atmosphere and spill. And refill themselves as memories of no-one and find their home in nowhere. As long as the atmosphere does not eject them. It depends on how many names I could fail to give them. The sunset is not a word, either. Only an incision. Into rocks of greaseproof paper. The sunset is a crater on a photograph. Once upon a time. I didn’t want to remember. A city with a river. This city has not got a name, and the river too, is anonymous. He or she dwelt. A town-dweller, non-significant, that could be I. It is called skinning a white wall. And painting over it again. Depriving space of space. In the end space swells up and all the edges grow together. And there isn’t a millimetre of white left on the page to fill with inky hieroglyphs. The strata of all definitions stamped on greaseproof paper. If only I forgot names. I would be back in the same cul-de-sac. What’s the point of knowing? What it was I met. I could dwell in here. It would be practical. Names overlap. The topography of memories. Reliefs of the mind, the mini-planet. Each a different colour. The earth’s unpeelable skin. They may extend over hundreds of thousands of square kilometres of its surface. And in the end no-one knows. Who I talked about. I could dig down and find the core of it. I could memorise what is not. What not to remember. The sunset is not sunrise. The concave not the convex.
*Agnes Lehoczky an Hungarian-born poet and translator, was born in Budapest in 1976. She holds a PhD in Critical and Creative Writing from the UEA. She has two short poetry collections in Hungarian, Station X (2000) and Medallion (2002) and her first full collection, Budapest to Babel, was published by Egg Box in 2008. She was the 2009 recipient of the Arthur Welton Poetry Award and the winner of the Daniil Pashkoff Prize 2010 in poetry and has recently won the Jane Martin Prize for Poetry of Girton College, Cambridge. Her collection of essays on the poetry of Agnes Nemes Nagy Poetry the Geometry of Living Substance was published in 2011 by Cambridge Scholars. Her second collection of poems in English is out it the autumn published by Egg Box.