Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Summer 2017    fiction    all issues


Cover Marija Zaric

Kathryn Merwin
For Aaron, Disenchanted
& other poems

William Stevens
Celestial Bodies
& other poems

Kendra Poole
Take-Off, or The Philosophy of Leaving
& other poems

AJ Powell
Mama Atlas
& other poems

Matt Farrell
Waves in the dark
& other poems

Timothy Walsh
Eating a Horsemeat Sandwich at Astana Airport 
& other poems

Nancy Rakoczy
& other poems

Joshua Levy
Venezuela Evening
& other poems

Ryan Lawrence
Vegan Teen Daughter vs. Worthless Dad
& other poems

George Longenecker
Yard Sale
& other poems

Susanna Kittredge
My Heart
& other poems

Morgan Gilson
& other poems

Jim Pascual Agustin
The Annihilation of Bees
& other poems

Taylor Bell
Browsing Tinder in an Aldi
& other poems

David Anderson
Continental Rift
& other poems

Charles McGregor
The Boys That Don’t Know
& other poems

Cameron Scott
Ashes to Smashes, Dust to Rust
& other poems

Kenneth Homer
Inferno Redux
& other poems

Alice Ashe
& other poems

Kimberly Sailor
Marriage's Weekly Schedule
& other poems

Kim Alfred
Soul Eclipse
& other poems

Joshua Levy

Venezuela Evening

Sweat and sea salt

glitter in the hairy vines

of the old man’s beard:

Venezuela, Christmas day, 2016.

His guitar is a lemon slice

he squeezes against his ribs,

pouring his audience blues lemonade.

Between his sun tan and the restaurant tables

a local woman dances, caught like a fish in his song.

Her good looks flap against an orange sky.

When he goes to the bathroom abandoning his chair,

freckled girls search the hollow of his guitar

for rabbits, moonlight, magic.

I’m lying at the other end of the beach

—the shadowy end—feeling the ocean hurtle

crab dust on to my back.

Musing about the stork I saw this morning

stab the water

like scissors through an ancient mirror

and feeling happier because I saw it.

Now I can hear the tourists

guillotining their burgers and fries.

The wind reeks of banana rum, lobster.

A toilet flushes and the man’s

fingers find the Spanish chords,

warm as blood.

I ask the clouds for messages.

Kibbutz Hazorea

The size of Canada makes me shiver

as I rest on this sliver of a country.

On days off we change colours

on Haifa’s Carmel beach,

gamble with ear-marked cards,

throw down 10 shekel bills for large

mixed drinks of fruit and milk

and compare Hebrew expressions

culled from restaurant napkins.

We watch the waves crawl to sand on shredded knees;

exhausted from splashing with Spanish fleets,

swimming under French bathers’ legs,

being kicked by Italy’s boot,

and melted by Greek sunsets.

Final stop of the Mediterranean.

I’m sitting to the side of the group

a guitar on my hip,

Pia’s lips curling around the edges of my song.

Grooves line her brow. A trench between

her upper lip and nose deepens when she eats.

The pale skin under her eyes always has a veiny blue hue.

In short, I’m in love.

Pia, why do you have a boyfriend

tucked away back home

like a bookmark?

The Beach

Life is simple on the beach.

Seagulls are kites tugged by mermaids.

Jellyfish lie marooned in blue heaps, deflating their poison.

Seashells remind me that bodies are temporary homes.

I surrender my sandcastle to the waves’ kisses

and smile back at a couple jogging by. Love cannot be hoarded.

An ocean breeze leafs through my book like a very old woman

licking her fingers before flipping each page.

There is commerce in the ocean:

a frantic swapping of fish and shells and secrets

but no luck for the fisherman

who throws up his arms, and says to his son: “Nobody’s home.”

Boat after boat falls

           over the horizon’s harsh plank.

Joshua Levy tells stories on CBC Radio, creative non-fiction in The Rumpus and the Oxford University Press, and poetry on magnetic fridges. He splits his time between Canada and Portugal, with his wife.

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