Dotted Line Dotted Line

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

John Glowney


What was cool

was when an older boy snuck

a girlie magazine

out of Ross’ Five & Dime

inside his shirt.

No one knew girls like this

in slips and filigreed bras

with their compromised thighs

and their bared knees,

incongruous and lovely.

What was cool

was Bill the mechanic

at Schmitty’s Garage

with the cottony white

of a Lucky Strike

between two greasy black fingers

and the time someone jacked a pack

and we watched him smoke

back of the little league field

where the local bikers

popped wheelies and burned rubber

and he hacked and hacked

because he said

he liked it.

What was cool

was the chopped Harley

we swore we’d take across the country

the summer

after graduating from laying back on our beds

with our secret urges

and our evolving plans

and our mystical trances

and our detailed seduction

of the prettiest senior cheerleader

who willingly unbuttoned her blouse

gracefully as rain outside the upstairs window

and our copies of True Detective under the mattress,

the models’ eyes blocked

with a black rectangle

so they wouldn’t have to see

what we were about to do

as we lit up and lay there

revving our engines

in the glow and the ash and the smoke rings of ourselves.


A full nelson or Indian burn, jiu-jitsu

or the flying drop kick,

we smacked each other around in the parking lot

after Sunday School.

We caught the tomcats by their stringy tails

and swung them,

we peppered the granary eaves with bb shots

killing replaceable sparrows.

Slick green frogs, and mottled brown toads

that peed in our sticky hands,

we marooned in old washtubs

until they curled up like old shoes.

We pinched any girl we liked.

The slow boys, the boys who couldn’t throw,

we shoved into their lockers.

The substitute teachers, especially the one

with the lazy eye, weathered our snickers

and spitballs. We taunted

our retarded classmate until scolded,

unashamed, the wild green pulse

of our short attention spans

fizzing in the sugary glitter

of what comes next.

And when, in the delivery room,

our first-born arrives,

howling, a boy,

we sit there and blubber

like big old crybabies.

Paradise of Wounds

I’d have done anything in those days.

Cut off my ear. Smashed

my red convertible

through the mayor’s front window.

Played strip-poker with the nuns

under the table. I had no quarrel

with the universal laws of nature

or other local customs

but I ostentatiously rejected

the Pythagorean Theorem

and flouted gravity

by floating over the bright raft

of the tennis courts at night.

I’ve crawled under the bed sheets

of their hourly-rate motels

like an amorous cockroach,

I’ve waited at their bus stops

to taste the sublimities of cocaine,

the narcotic joys

they kept in coat pockets,

I’ve been jonesing

for their hammer and nail

sex, I’ve hung out with them

in our jail cell, our belts

around our necks.

I’ve shared the clear cold vision

of the damned,

who have seen the fruits

of their pleasures

and delights sour,

whose heads are the stinging jellyfish mothers

of a thousand motives.

At The Museum of Don’t Come Back

Memory’s a stranger in a diner

eating the blue plate special,

rubbing one hairy ear with a spoon.

Don’t look back the way a train

leaves the station and the countryside

shrinks, the tiny red barns

glowing in warm yellow light. I’ve

been riding with the crop-duster,

out-dated county map in hand,

wheel and dive, wind bucking the struts,

following my instincts into the cross-hatch

of fence-rows,

the drift of forgetfulness under telephone lines

poisonous beyond the fields’ lush edges.

Each time it’s like visiting a museum,

the early years taming this mid-west

glacial till. Scythes. Old threshing machines.

Frost on all the exhibits. Some kind

of raw rust on the plough-blades.

What I have laid aside extends for miles.

Sunday Morning

And the gray in the sky today is nothing

that a fresh coat of paint

and some flowers wouldn’t fix. Violets, fuchsia

arranged in the cloud-beds,

some wanton tulips,

and the wind blowsy in the trees

cluttering the air with the smell of fresh mown grass

and gasoline

and sparrows

like the change in your trousers

scattered on a bare patch of sidewalk.

And the sun, roused like a king

who demands all attention, then sleeps

like a baby as the party carries on.

No politics, just a silence

so clear you thought

you could sing it, or somebody could,

some gorgeous voice in the scuffed static,

the needle stuck in the groove.

John Glowney has practiced commercial litigation with a large Pacific Northwest law firm, Stoel Rives LLP, for over 30 years. He is a past winner of several Hopwood Awards at the University of Michigan, a Pushcart Prize, Poetry Northwest’s Richard Hugo Prize, and the Poetry Society of America’s Robert H. Winner Memorial Award. He lives in Seattle and drinks a lot of coffee.

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