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Poetry Winter 2014    fiction    all issues


Debbra Palmer
Bake Sale
& other poems

Ann V. DeVilbiss
Far Away, Like a Mirror
& other poems

Michael Fleming
On the Bus
& other poems

Harold Schumacher
Dying To Say It
& other poems

Heather Erin Herbert
Georgia’s Advent
& other poems

Sharron Singleton
Sonnet for Small Rip-Rap
& other poems

Bryce Emley
College Beer
& other poems

Harry Bauld
On a Napkin
& other poems

George Mathon
Do You See Me Waving?
& other poems

Mariana Weisler
Soft Soap and Wishful Thinking
& other poems

Michael Kramer
Nighthawks, Kaua’i
& other poems

Jill Murphy
& other poems

Cassandra Sanborn
& other poems

Kendall Grant
Winter Love Note
& other poems

Donna French McArdle
White Blossoms at Night
& other poems

Tom Freeman
On Foot, Joliet, Illinois
& other poems

George Longenecker
& other poems

Kimberly Sailor
The Bitter Daughter
& other poems

Rebecca Irene
& other poems

Savannah Grant
And Not As Shame
& other poems

Michael Hugh Lythgoe
Titian Left No Paper Trail
& other poems

Martin Conte
We’re Not There
& other poems

A. Sgroi
Sore Soles
& other poems

Miguel Coronado
& other poems

Franklin Zawacki
Experience Before Memory
& other poems

Tracy Pitts
& other poems

Rachel A. Girty
& other poems

Ryan Flores
Language Without Lies
& other poems

Margie Curcio
& other poems

Stephanie L. Harper
Painted Chickens
& other poems

Nicholas Petrone
Running Out of Space
& other poems

Danielle C. Robinson
A Taste of Family Business
& other poems

Meghan Kemp-Gee
A Rhyme Scheme
& other poems

Tania Brown
On Weeknights
& other poems

James Ph. Kotsybar
& other poems

Matthew Scampoli
Paddle Ball
& other poems

Jamie Ross
Not Exactly
& other poems

Writer's Site

Meghan Kemp-Gee

A Rhyme Scheme

Your broken heart knows it’s about time,

a beat away from a healthy sense of play,

that you learned to ask for your own advice.

Please take a moment to fill out the form.

Now, all of the legalities aside,

listen close enough to realize

this is the kind of lie you could take pride in,

when truth writes itself from the outside in,

when you weave the wool pulled over your eyes

into sheep’s clothing and when, sheep-eyed,

you parade in wool rags rather wolfly worn,

or rather, rags washed in the same river twice.

Even broken hearts are right twice a day.

Listen close enough, and anything can rhyme.


The world unfolds itself at night.

It’s getting late, but I don’t mind.

This is a game I like to play.

I play these games to stay awake.

It’s getting late, but I don’t mind

explaining all the rules to you.

I play these games to stay awake,

and make the rules up as I go.

Explaining all the rules—to you,

that’s a game, too. You say I cheat

and make the rules up as I go.

I say we’ll do away with rules.

That’s a game too, you say. I cheat

at almost everything these days,

I say. We’ll do away with rules.

You let them in, they’ll eat away

at almost everything. These days

we keep them all at bay. At night

you let them in. They’ll eat away

what we don’t know we love. And yet

we keep them all at bay at night.

We fight but sometimes we forget

what we don’t know we love. And yet

I still like it. I like the way

we fight, but sometimes we forget

this is a game. I like to play.

I still like it. I like the way

the world unfolds itself at night.

Saxa atque solitudines voci respondent

Still, all we wanted was some inspiration,

and so we tuned our ears to the unknown.

We heard the one about the heart of stone,

and so we all set out to fashion one.

At heart, the change remains just what it seems.

You reinvent the secrets that you keep,

you recognize disguises, you enclose

the call inside the answer. Don’t suppose

that just because we always looked asleep,

the answers came to us as if in dreams.

We found that we were sprouting mossy wings.

We slumbered darkly, rocked by noises,

until we woke up to the sound of voices

lisping the truest sense of holy things.

Bestiae saepe immanes cantu flectuntur atque consistent

We found the things our stillness recommends,

some holy ground, a stash of songs, some new

sets of teeth that charm as sure as they cut,

new loves that wink and promise to be true

and whisper oh it doesn’t matter what

you do I’ll love you anyway, new friends,

false selves that trim the fat from fight or flight,

false faces, the ability to lie,

a new proclivity to meet the eye

of what we want to eat, a muscle curled

and crouched and looking backwards at the night,

a wicked shift that we still strain to feel,

new arsenals that could unmake the world:

the things we need to make the world real.

Allen and Greenough’s New Latin Grammar

Certain moods are required as a sign of subordination.

These methods make darling a distinction

between purpose and result,

pending the exalting so or so much.

Fostering confusion between causal and concessive

easily slips into matters of time,

time when, or maybe with.

Maybe—what is relative usually isn’t indicative.

Sometimes the truest way of things

is best expressed by a past contrary to fact—

the curse of chaos barely shuffled off

by the blessing of what didn’t happen to happen.


we less superstitious assent to utopian literature—

a future more vivid,

tricks of timetravel, tomorrows and tropes.

Doomed little things—

a beautiful excuse for the use of lest,

for the charm of this mad king’s dream,

a language full of invisible subjects.

Or like Macbeth we find

things no sooner uttered

than delivered,


nothing is but what is not, or

nothing is but what is said.

Just try it.

Just try to just say nothing.

These are the words of bestial dispositions,

a screwing of sound,

a court masquing for our panting,

the libertine’s love of letters, of reported speech.

Begin the staged exorcism of the volitional,

let the gilded butterflies laugh back,

let the speech all be an act—

this is how to do things with words.

Meanwhile, somewhere in ancient Rome,

it trembles for its antecedent.

Little does it know what the world becomes—

dreams after dreams, endless dependent clauses.

Fortunately, the partitive genitive

keeps the show going,

a part of the whole

with the whole of a thing—

synecdoche, a wet dream

of the truly infinitive,

which by definition

cannot be modified.

Here—hic, in haec re, in hoc

this is where the story might end.

The old stories don’t get along

with the new grammar.

Once upon a time,

when one thing led to another,

you wouldn’t write about your death

in perfect tense.

Nowadays, the thing you take in becomes


Everything comes home with us

to be played and replayed.

Like taking home a Christmas tree

and waking up deep in the forest,

like the end beginning,

like a dead man poised to make a poem,

this is the conceit of the complementary infinitive.

The Christmas Tree takes us from to be to praise—

brought down at last,

it couldn’t be any other way.

Meghan Kemp-Gee is a screenwriter, playwright, and award-winning poet. She lives and writes in Los Angeles, California.

Dotted Line