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Poetry Summer 2014    fiction    all issues


Anne Rankin-Kotchek
Letter to the World
from a Dying Woman
& other poems

Sara Graybeal
Ghetto City
& other poems

Tee Iseminger
& other poems

Lisa Beth Fulgham
After They Sold the Cows...
& other poems

Mary Mills
The Practical Knowledge
of Women
& other poems

Monika Cassel
Waldschatten, Muttersprache
& other poems

Michael Fleming
To a Fighter
& other poems

Daniel Stewart
& other poems

John Glowney
& other poems

Hannah Callahan
The Ptarmigan Suite
& other poems

Lee Kisling
How the Music Came
to My Father
& other poems

Jose A. Alcantara
Finding the God Particle
& other poems

David A. Bart
Veteran’s Park
& other poems

Greg Grummer
War Reportage
& other poems

Rande Mack
& other poems

J. K. Kitchen
Anger Kills Himself
& other poems

Jim Pascual Agustin
The Man Who Wished
He Was Lego
& other poems

Jessica M. Lockhart
Scylla of the Alabama
& other poems

James P. Leveque
Three Films of Jean Painlevé
& other poems

Kelsey Charles
& other poems

Therese L. Broderick
& other poems

Lane Falcon
& other poems

Ricky Ray
The Bird
& other poems

Phoebe Reeves
Every Petal
& other poems

David Livingstone Fore
Eternity is a very long time...
& other poems

Tim Hawkins
Northern Idyll
& other poems

Abigail F. Taylor
On the Pillow Where You Lie
& other poems

Joey DeSantis
Baby Names
& other poems

Cameron Price
Every Morning
& other poems

David Walker
Sestina for Housesitting
& other poems

Helen R. Peterson
& other poems

David A. Bart

Veteran’s Park

I walked there at daybreak

to view the colossal bronze

of a young ensign, bereft, his rifle

capped with another’s helmet.

May thirty-first. This was once

observed as Decoration Day

but today there are no starry pennants

or tri-colored sashes pinned across

men and women who rise from folding

chairs to gingerly salute. This place is empty,

almost. A teenager is learning to drive.

Sparrows make their ablutions in the sand.

And there. My dead father, standing away,

teeth and glasses restored since I saw him last.

But it’s someone else, of course,

some other elder serviceman

yet to be taken Over There.

Bicycle parts and a broken cement

culvert lay in the creek—mortar and caisson.

Struck by its lanyard, a flag pole is ringing.

Somewhere a lawnmower idles—

my father’s song—the droning made dulcet

by distance and wind and how I like to imagine

it is the sound made by the morning star.

This Week

Our daughter lost her incisor.

It rattled in the plastic bite-size

treasure chest her school supplies.

      Baptists examine their thirty

      foot steeple taken down

      for repair.  It rests on its side

      across the parking lot.

Instead of sleeping on it

she buried her tooth in the yard.

Soiled fingernails, a red gap

between thorn canines,

like a novice vampire

interring a fang.

      Without its mitre, the house

      of God resembles any other

      middle class dwelling.

      On the church roof, spotlights

      hit a white spire of moths.

My wife found only sleeping hands

tucked under the pillow.

Regardless, the tooth fairy left a dollar.

      After work I drive

      past the church.

      Sideways, the steeple

      points the way home.

The Game

The drill team built a half-time prop,

some sort of rickety fuselage parked

in front of Wildcats spelled with Solo

cups pushed into chain link fence.

Wind carries the clatter of drum practice

across the street to this coffee house

buzzing with after-school girls.

A petite scholar pouts for a boy on her laptop,

hands cupping her au lait, taking the brew

like a philter. Bedheads peruse an art book

trying hard to be unimpressed by 1000 nudes.

When an unfamiliar classmate enters

they turn but pretend they don’t see her,

even though they are dying to be noticed.

There is a father sitting with his very little girl

who’s eager to greet them all but it’s time

to leave for the game. As he helps put on her coat

he recites, with each button, an oracle

assuring his daughter that every closure

will bring something unexpected and new:

a gift

a ghost

a friend

a foe

a letter to come

a journey to go

Green Ghost

Her hand made spontaneous scribble

of things to come. On the grocery list

our grandmother wrote no not him

not the one. Moments later Oswald

shot the president.

She miscarried seven times.

She claimed their spirits awoke

and could be heard after dark.

At dusk she smelled cigarettes,

said the revenant of a smoking paramour

had come to her kitchen window.

She once pursued a sad infatuation

to Mexico, returned with a photo

of the catholic priest and a devil mask

she hung above her bed.

She put grandchildren in the guest bed

to sleep but we stayed awake to play

the board game stored underneath.

The glowing phantom spinner pointed

its finger at whoever had a turn but

we never learned to play. We just watched

Green Ghost spin phosphorescent

then jumped into bed before our grandmother

looked in, dabbing her red-rimmed eyes,

muttering about missing pieces,

the lack of rules and small voices

in the night.

December 13th

She wears a pair of pink strap-on

marabou wings and whatever she’s staring at

is something most of us hope we never see.

I recognize her from Cora street’s wildflower

median. She knelt there for days last summer

and announced Do Not Mow

repeating the posted phrase as if to teach

a bird to talk. She looks like she grew up

from a fifth grade classmate I remember,

one who skipped cracks to save her mothers

back, a girl with boy’s glasses and breasts

too soon. Shoppers skirt the sidewalk

where she stands this evening in a stained

white formal, a store window at her back

as if she’s part of the display. Her perpetual grin

reminds me why mannequin smiles show no teeth.

This displaced bridesmaid shuffles into the street

where her damp hair gleams red with Christmas light

and she becomes someone else. A serene ingenue,

ecstatic in her ordeal—Saint Lucy, unaware

she has been crowned and the crown is fire.

David A. Bart is a writer from Arlington, Texas. His poetry appears in the journals Poet Lore, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Margie, Cider Press Review, Illya’s Honey and The Weight of Addition (Mutabilis Press).

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