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Poetry Winter 2013    fiction    all issues


Alysse Kathleen McCanna
& other poems

Peter Nash
Shooting Star
& other poems

Katherine Smith
House of Cards
& other poems

David Sloan
On the Rocks
& other poems

Alexandra Smyth
Exoskeleton Blues
& other poems

John Glowney
The Bus Stop Outside Ajax Bail Bonds
& other poems

Andrea Jurjević O’Rourke
It Was a Large Wardrobe...
& other poems

Lisa DeSiro
Babel Tree
& other poems

Michael Fleming
& other poems

Michael Berkowitz
As regards the tattoo on your wrist
& other poems

Michael Brokos
Landscape without Rest
& other poems

Michael H. Lythgoe
Orpheus In Asheville
& other poems

John Wentworth
morning people
& other poems

Christopher Jelley
Double Exposure
& other poems

Catherine Dierker
dinner party
& other poems

William Doreski
Hate the Sinner, Not the Sin
& other poems

Robert Barasch
& other poems

Rande Mack
& other poems

Susan Marie Powers
Red Bird
& other poems

Anne Graue
& other poems

Mariah Blankenship
Tub Restoration
& other poems

Paul R. Davis
& other poems

Philip Jackey
Garage drinking after 1989
& other poems

Karen Hoy
A Naturalist in New York
& other poems

Gary Sokolow
Underworld Goddess
& other poems

Michal Mechlovitz
The Early
& other poems

Henry Graziano
Last Apple
& other poems

Stephanie L. Harper
& other poems

Roger Desy
& other poems

R. G. Evans
& other poems

Frederick L. Shiels
Driving Past the Oliver House
& other poems

Richard Sime
Berry Eater
& other poems

Jennifer Popoli
Generations in a wine dark sea
& other poems

Mariah Blankenship

Tub Restoration

My father says I restored this 77-year-old tub

to feel like Cleopatra but I only wanted escape

from cybernetic ecology, wanted to feel

cast iron cool on my back in the winter

and I didn’t feel like a prince-ss or an Egyptian goddess

in this tub because I spent hours whittling it away.

I dumped it like my own crusted memories

on the cracked concrete driveway, mask allowing

me to breathe nothing from the past

that I am sanding away like corroding bones,

77 years of memories echoing from the drone

of a sander. It took four hours to strip the tub

clean of its memories, to peel the now elderly children’s

fingertips from the sides where they bathed

in democracy, capitalist rubber duck trying to stay afloat

while Roosevelt speaks on the radio and a Declaration

of War floats in the air pulled by little atomies

while Queen Mab is in a hazelnut flying

through men’s noses while they sleep.

Memories are dissipating and lost in the atmosphere

of a belt sander with each medium grade discard,

each rectangle tossed into the trash,

nationalism in a hefty bag, and surely the coming

and going of women (talking of Michelangelo or

Kennedy or King) was lost in the friction as well

and I can almost see one whispering Free at last

Thank God Almighty we are free at last and perhaps

the mothers memorized the ceiling above the tub

while their children slept, while their husbands slept

like dolls. When I finished sanding, I painted the raw canvas

(flushed of memories, history floating through the

atmosphere) with a porcelain white and now I soak

like a working class Cleopatra in a memory pond,

pruning away in the dull dust of humanity.

Utopia on a Park Bench

An old man wrinkled with time,

wrinkled with so many days at

Goodyear Tire, constructing tires

in an assembly line, tire population

in the thousands, communists

on a conveyer belt, arms forcefully

pointed upward. His park bench

is vast like a continent.

He, like Chagall’s wife, corner of a canvas,

consumes just a fraction of the wood

and metal conglomerate, and he

is feeding the birds, feeding the birds

as God, government of birds competing

for each seed like capitalism in a park

with leaping birds, working class birds,

open leaves in the open air of every

season of every year. Equal amounts

of seed pour onto the ground and he

knows there is no solution to equalize

their earnings, to balance the scale

with Marx perched in the middle as a raven.

He knows no socialist solution in his

steel-toed boots and windbreaker

with his beard growing downward

like the droppings of his tears to paper bag.

He knows no solution, only that he

is a giving tree in a dystopian world

and he tried to throw a pile here,

a pile there, one for you, one for you,

but the birds, the birds worked for their

profit, while the man, like God, fed them.

And Violets Are Blue

I am tired of submitting to journals,

society, men, God, tired of watching

my dog cower under my desk

after pissing on the floor.

I am his god after all, and he

is tired of submitting to me,

tired of drooping his ears

under tables and desks.

But we are all gods here ambushed

in the center of the infinite wooden

babushka doll,

clawing and crawling

and cussing and singing

all praises, all hail

the Great Babushka.

I submit now, roll on my back,

in a wooden container like

a babushka doll under a desk,

miming and suffocating and cowering

with simple movement like a puppet.

Society, I bring you clichés now.

I bring you red roses

and blue violets.

I cower under your table,

and like a dog,

I piss on your floor.


Remember, remember, this is now,
and now, and now. Live it, feel it,
cling to it.
–Sylvia Plath

It is Mother’s Day Sunday, and I have

read the chapter of Luke before opening

the dusty box of yours, my deceased mother.

Your journal is sealed with the emblem

of an asylum. Your name written, chiseled

into the top like a vintage museum piece.

I open your words, gloveless,

a box of evils sprouting into the world,

red, red apples thrusting into the open

air like sins, hope left in the bottom

corner next to a ball of lent.

Lately, I have been reading the journals

of Plath like a bible thinking they were you,

reading the chapters and verses and now,

and now, and now, I am finally holding

your words which are distorted,

which are incomprehensible

through a bell jar of tears.

Remember, remember the chapped lips

of your smile, the features of your face,

the swampy feeling of my cheek after your kiss.

And to see your journal lying here next to Plath’s,

next to mine, juxtaposed, is colossal.

We have spoken to each other now,

clung to each other now, through written

telepathy, our journals mingling in comparable

time discussing life as two old feminists

in rocking chairs, like Plath and Sexton

chuckling, rocking, like Eve reaching

for a red, red apple.

Mariah Blankenship received a Bachelors in English from Radford University and a Masters of Education. She currently teaches Creative Writing and English in Virginia where she lives with her tiny Yorkie and bearded boyfriend. She likes to read depressing feminist poetry and transcendental literature while watching trash reality television and war movies.

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