Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Summer 2013    fiction    all issues


Sharron Singleton
Five Poems

Sarah Giragosian
Five Poems

Jenna Kilic
Five Poems

Kristina McDonald
Five Poems

Toni Hanner
Five Poems

Annie Mascorro
Five Poems

Brittney Corrigan
Three Poems

S. E. Hudgens
Four Poems

Ali Doerscher
Four Poems

David Sloan
Three Poems

Olivia Cole
Five Poems

Lucy M. Logsdon
Four Poems

Marc Pietrzykowski
Four Poems

Donna Levine Gershon
Five Poems

Eva Heisler
The Olden Days

Stephanie Rose Adams
Five Poems

Jill Kelly
Five Encounters

Ben Bever
Five Poems

Michael Hugh Lythgoe
Five Poems

Arlene Zide
Three Poems

Harry Bauld
Five Poems

Lisa Zerkle
Four Poems

Peter Mishler
Five Poems

Tim Hawkins
Five Poems

Marqus Bobesich
Four Poems

Abigail Templeton-Greene
Five Poems

Eric Duenez
Five Poems

Anne Graue
Five Poems

Susan Laughter Meyers
Five Poems

Peter Kahn
Two Poems

D. Ellis Phelps
Five Poems

Linda Sonia Miller
The Kingdom

Nicklaus Wenzel
Skagit River

Holly Cian
Five Poems

Susan Morse
Five Poems

Daniel Lassell
Five Poems

Svetlana Lavochkina
Temperate Zones

Daniel Sinderson
Three Poems

Catherine Garland
Five Poems

Michael Fleming
Five Poems

Peter Kahn

Sweaty Man of Lincoln Park

Pray for Sweaty Man, that his gym membership has not

been revoked. A puddle—viscous and malodorous—left

in his wake. That he is not a salty blob of Jello jolting

and jogging down Clark St. Pray that you don’t sit

next to him on the 36 bus when windows are stuck or worse,

pray you don’t place your freshly-pressed pants on the seat

he’s just left, leaving you to wonder if you’ve pissed

yourself a week’s worth of water and Gatorade. Pray for air-

conditioning and cold showers. Pray for his wife,

that she doesn’t succumb some mid-August night

to drowning when love-

making turns up the thermometer.

That some hot-blooded mermaid doesn’t lure him

under for a salt water-dance. Pray for Sweaty Man,

that Poseidon himself doesn’t claim him for his own.


We got to Tremont Park early that first time.

Laid out a checkered blanket, waited and watched.

Lara and I stickied our small hands with red,

white and blue popsicles. As the sky blackened

and white-headed zits twinkled and winked,

there was a quick pop, like a pinned balloon.

Then came the clap that shook my stomach

like a hard hiccup. I loved the color tie-dying

the dark, but the sound, the way it smacked

the ground, made me cringe and cry and kick

over the bottle of dark red wine my parents

were drinking to toast our 199th birthday.

We were the first to leave, retreating to our white

Chevy station wagon. On the drive home, Dad

taught me a game—to clap in sync with each boom,

to ready me for the big 200 when I would be ten,

too old to run from what explodes in the dark.

Peter Kahn is a founding member of the London poetry collective, Malika’s Kitchen. His poems have been published internationally and he is a prize-winner in the Poetry Society’s National Poetry Competition (UK). A high-school teacher since 1994, Peter was the recipient of the Wallace Douglas Award for contribution to the Chicago youth writing community. He is currently a Visiting Fellow at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he has launched the Spoken Word Education Training Programme.

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