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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

Writer's Site

Michael Kramer

Nighthawks, Kaua’i

Hamura’s Saimin, Lihu’e

Edward Hopper likely never traveled here,

but it’s 10:21 on Sunday; outside, yellowed light

streams across the empty asphalt to the dumpster

by the Salvation Army where pickers find the choice leavings.

They’re in the shadows, and inside the night-blue restaurant,

three late diners sit at counters: two top left,

a man and woman; alone, a man sits near the door.

Behind, an older waitress leans looking off.

The man alone, khakis, a navy golf polo,

forks noodles with shrimp, broth dripping; he considers

returning to his empty room. The couple, heads together,

he murmuring, split a won-ton appetizer. Her sarong

barely covers her cream bikini. His board shorts, bar T-shirt,

seem grimy. He drains his Bud, wants to go.

She hasn’t touched her Coke, isn’t sure, looks away.

The waitress, a glance at the clock, remembers her son in bed.

A Cycladic Harp Player, Marble,
c. 2700—2300 B.C.

The Getty Villa, Malibu

Seated, harp at rest, you’ve waited

buried, excavated, glass encased,

four thousand years or more.

Someone revered you, your words,

your melodies, enough to invest the time,

the tools, the marble. And you were treasured

and are. Before our history your histories,

your literature caught image enough

that someone invested in this sculpture.

A god? are you some god for memory

or intent or value set for times,

ancestors past, or simply a good tune,

escape from labor’s bold tyrant

of all our days? Anticipating

the view of you, not crowded to

the Cycladic art exhibit, a room,

I try to hear your music, your words.

But you don’t play, your harp at rest,

completed? yet to begin? discerning

what to play, how the audience unfolds?

And that is what we do,

you and I, with God, with life,

with beauty on an inexpressible morning,

an audience who needs the image from our past

that grants this moment holy meaning,

tomorrow sacred as we plot our play.

St. Francis Venerating the Crucifix (c. 1593)

by Domenikos Theotokopoulous (El Greco)

(to be read antiphonally)

Long-fingered and graceful his hands,   veined so like the crucified Christ,

the gray-robed monk,                                           his cloak heavy and patched,

adoring, gazes at the crucifix,                                  topping a yellowing skull.

His Bible closed and marked,                                  his grotto rock and dark,

the tonsured priest, gaunt,                                     eyes sleepless with prayer,

enraptures presented mystery:                  grace through his savior’s death.

A cloud-filled sky,                                              bare light through grotto face,

cave light echoes browns,                                                 shadows, earth gray.

His adoration sparks,                                                         his devotion speaks,

his saintly pose presents,                                             his concentration folds,

our interruption now?                                    should we speak? keep silence?

should we kneel with him?                                                 Grace extends here:

We stand in a foreground of peace,             the cave floor beneath our feet;

death conquers death;                                  resurrection engenders miracle.

The Minotaur Etchings
from Picasso’s Vollard Suite

The British Museum Exhibition, July 2, 2012

This morning, when I rose and saw you sleeping,

night passed warm, and, your side, your leg,

your thigh and hip, your arm covering your breasts,

your back exposed, I stopped and stared; I almost

climbed back in behind you. But

you were sleeping. So I chained my beast back

into his labyrinth. He’ll come out, but not

until he’s gentled, combed, mannered, calm.

After Pierre Bonnard,
“Table Set in a Garden,” c. 1908

I should like a table in the sun,

one with a cane back chair.

                  Remove the bread and even the wine,

for I shall be sitting there,

my notebook open, a pen in my hand

at my table in the sun,

                  just writing a picture in the morning

as the shadows begin to run.

All the garden in bloom I would see there

would be colored bloom and grand

                  with a rose deep violet and phlox in blue,

each flower by breezes fanned.

I should sit at my table in the sun,

the one with the cane back chair.

                  I’d eat of the color and drink of the breeze,

and I would feel peaceful there.

For thirty-nine years, Michael Kramer has day-lighted as an English teacher. He has advised the award-winning high school literary magazine, King Author, and has had work nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Kramer has been married to Rebecca longer than he’s been teaching; together they have raised four remarkable children. He has work forthcoming in Pough Quarterly. Check out his collection of short stories in verse Hopeless Cases (Moon Tide Press, 2011) on Amazon.

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