Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Winter 2014    fiction    all issues


Debbra Palmer
Bake Sale
& other poems

Ann V. DeVilbiss
Far Away, Like a Mirror
& other poems

Michael Fleming
On the Bus
& other poems

Harold Schumacher
Dying To Say It
& other poems

Heather Erin Herbert
Georgia’s Advent
& other poems

Sharron Singleton
Sonnet for Small Rip-Rap
& other poems

Bryce Emley
College Beer
& other poems

Harry Bauld
On a Napkin
& other poems

George Mathon
Do You See Me Waving?
& other poems

Mariana Weisler
Soft Soap and Wishful Thinking
& other poems

Michael Kramer
Nighthawks, Kaua’i
& other poems

Jill Murphy
& other poems

Cassandra Sanborn
& other poems

Kendall Grant
Winter Love Note
& other poems

Donna French McArdle
White Blossoms at Night
& other poems

Tom Freeman
On Foot, Joliet, Illinois
& other poems

George Longenecker
& other poems

Kimberly Sailor
The Bitter Daughter
& other poems

Rebecca Irene
& other poems

Savannah Grant
And Not As Shame
& other poems

Michael Hugh Lythgoe
Titian Left No Paper Trail
& other poems

Martin Conte
We’re Not There
& other poems

A. Sgroi
Sore Soles
& other poems

Miguel Coronado
& other poems

Franklin Zawacki
Experience Before Memory
& other poems

Tracy Pitts
& other poems

Rachel A. Girty
& other poems

Ryan Flores
Language Without Lies
& other poems

Margie Curcio
& other poems

Stephanie L. Harper
Painted Chickens
& other poems

Nicholas Petrone
Running Out of Space
& other poems

Danielle C. Robinson
A Taste of Family Business
& other poems

Meghan Kemp-Gee
A Rhyme Scheme
& other poems

Tania Brown
On Weeknights
& other poems

James Ph. Kotsybar
& other poems

Matthew Scampoli
Paddle Ball
& other poems

Jamie Ross
Not Exactly
& other poems

Harry Bauld

On a Napkin

Imagine the table-bards

of yore, filling the scraps

with blotty elegies and kennings

depending so much on the unfolding

wheelbarrow-thoughts beside

the chewed white chicken bones. I pine

for the lost scop world of prescription

pads, envelope backs, menus, telephone pole

fliers and stub pencils borrowed

from fat salesmen on trains,

the crushed index cards

with jam stains retrieved from deli trash.

But now I’m back in front

of a moony screen, touching my eyes

and fingers to what can never

also be used to clean

that dollop of cream cheese

off your beautiful, hungry lip.

Swift River

Two brook trout flash in the current,

their iridescent shimmer a surrender

to the veiled hymn of gravity

and light. How small the self is.

Their bright wrinkling knows

they and the stream’s contralto

were born to the same tune,

as if their flicker and gleam

fires not just a stippled kinship

but the synapse between, invisible

gate of their own depths. Trout linger

in the rill but don’t know why or how long—

a while, with animal confidence, to turn orange

and find out why they stay. That is marriage.

The water has no words; I only imagine I hear

the pink and blue rings brookies wear

ping an ancient set of vows, history

of the recessional promise they whisper

to each other through the tips

of themselves: to face up

into the flood current that feeds

us minute particulars, the future’s

freestones ringing beneath us like bells.


In the trivia contest blaring in the next room

at An Beal Bocht the question

seems to be Which states touch

other states? and after a 5th black pint I’m in a state

that touches several other states I will never

be able to name and the first rock&roll song was—————————?

and a vicious dispute breaks out over the number

of overtimes possible in some type of game

as outside the traffic waltzes by

like a tipsy girl in the night

and the college students smoke and wish

they could get served by the biceppy bartender with the Cork accent

while a Mexican cook makes more Irish curry

and then runs out (thanks be to God) of Irish pizza

and you drink under the glare of a big painting of Behan

and Beckett and Joyce and Flann O’Brien

and Patrick Kavanaugh, who in the painting

looks like someone (perhaps one of the Beatles, maybe Ringo)

playing Patrick Kavanaugh, and you are trying to remain

aware you are writing in a very small notebook

this five-pint poem and suddenly dreaming (One minute!

warns the quizmaster) in your remaining minute

of that Irish girl with waterfall hair

when you were sixteen, the two of you

trembling together in your trembling station wagon

in her driveway outside the barn

where her quarter horses trembled in their withers

in the suburbs and every synapse you had

fired with the electricity of her skin

and now—right through the stout and dried curry dustings

sparking under your nose—you can smell

that girl’s hair and you look in yet another unnamed state

toward the two sad white frosted cakes squatting like stones

on the shelf between the bar and kitchen

and you think, in spite of everything, no.


Two hours old, my son fingers

his monk’s cap like a conjurer

fanning four aces. Through the perfect feather

of a mouth, the quill of his cry

still echoes in the other cave

he came from that illuminated our margins

before the printing press was even

dreamt with its poisonous text,

its heavy leading. In a dawn light

flimsy as tissue I write

standing up with one finger

in his mouth while he pedals

and grabs for invisible boughs

under a flight of strong tubes burning

with their own full name—Biliruben

to void the blood of what is

golden and deadly, this new pen

leeching its own dark cargo.

Harry Bauld graduated from Medford High School in Massachusetts and studied art history and played shortstop at Columbia University. Selected by Matthew Dickman for inclusion in Best New Poets 2012 (University of Virginia Press), he has taught and coached at high schools in Vermont and New York.

Dotted Line