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Poetry Winter 2017    fiction    all issues

Cover of Poetry Winter 2017 issue


Cover Thought-Forms

Laura Apol
On My Fiftieth Birthday I Return
& other poems

Jihyun Yun
& other poems

Jamie Ross
Red Jetta
& other poems

Sarah Blanchard
Carolina Clay
& other poems

lauren a. boisvert
Save a Seat for Me in the Void
& other poems

Faith Shearin
A Pirate at Midlife
& other poems

Helen Yeoman-Shaw
Calling Long Distance
& other poems

Sarah B. Sullivan
& other poems

Timothy Walsh
Metro Messenger
& other poems

Gabriel Spera
& other poems

Zoë Harrison
Pattee Creek
& other poems

AJ Powell
& other poems

Alexa Poteet
The Man Who Got off the Train Between Madrid and Valencia
& other poems

Marcie McGuire
Still Birth
& other poems

Kim Drew Wright
Elephants Standing
& other poems

Michael Jenkins
The Garden Next Door
& other poems

Nicky Nicholson-Klingerman
& other poems

Doni Faber
Man Moth
& other poems

M. Underwood
In Other Words
& other poems

Carson Pynes
Diet Coke
& other poems

Bucky Ignatius
Something Old, . . .
& other poems

Violet Mitchell
Deleting Emails the Week After Kevin Died
& other poems

Sam Collier
Nocturne in an Empty Sea
& other poems

Meryl Natchez
Equivocal Activist
& other poems

William Godbey
A Corn Field in Los Angeles
& other poems

Don Hogle
Austin Wallson Confesses
& other poems

William Godbey


Our last great American novel has been broken

across thousands of ragged pieces of cardboard.

Scribbled on by invisible men and women

with no welcome mats, surrounded by the red glare

of neon liquor storefronts and styrofoam cup wallets.

These black marker fragments of spent time,

ripped from moving boxes and orange crates,

blow across hazy bus stops and concrete islands.

They litter beneath our smoldering purple mountains.

Phrases, pleas, prayers slouch unread by the people

white-knuckling their steering wheels

with doors locked and windows sealed, frightened

to make eye contact with anything but the broad stripes

of yellow on the spacious highways.

Rescuing these signs,

your arms full, almost bursting,

is too brave for a young heart freshly strung

on the flagpole. They’ll only become heavier

the more you lift.

Let them rest, decay.

Turn the key to your engine.

Roll over this vulnerable kindling,

the way wildfire is blind to poppies.

hide & seek

I found my voice in the bottom of a Scottish well.

Grunting the wooden cover ajar, I peered

through the gooey darkness that was muffling him.

He was draped in gray moss & crumbling poker chips,

shaking how a mouse in my palm would after a moonless night

spent in a cat’s alley.

No sunlight had turned his skin seashell white,

a stern look or warm gaze would’ve cracked him open

& loosed the stench of a rotting jack-o’-lantern.

I spotted his toes, curling black from the soggy cold

that was sucking the teaspoons of air

out of his raisin lungs.

He squinted up at me with navy red eyes, his fear a barb

into the liferaft I had scribbled his name on years ago

& kept chained to my daydreams.

His arms were constellations of pinprick bruises

contouring towards nails scraped raw from desperation

to scale this drainpipe of bricks, away from this quiet prison.

My voice opened & closed his mouth, his dissolving tongue

unable to pick the words between his crowded teeth

that wouldn’t melt from a whisper’s heat.

The goosebumps that rippled around my chest

as I had imagined our reunion, were now caught in my throat.

We stared into each other, love & repulsion thickening

into a yellow cough syrup that time refused to swallow.

The sound of a crow pierced the distance, shattering

the pink Scotland dawn around my hesitation.

I grabbed the cover & yanked

it back across the well’s grim opening.

My voice’s O of betrayal rang louder than his silence,

but I had been searching for too long, the well was deep

& it was my turn to hide.

A Corn Field in Los Angeles

I strung up my skeleton

on the front lawn sycamore,

the trunk dangling rotten bark.

my neighbors asked me what it’s for

it’s my scarecrow for the dark.

when night streaks across the 605,

his wings smother the horizon

strafing Eichlers with midnight napalm,

and while you quiver under your bed sheets

my skeleton jangles and sways,

but will not snap.

just how lamb’s blood dries, evening

passes over my skeleton

but will crash through your houses,

your bones, pecking at what eats away at you.

a lunar spotlight on whatever insecurities

you squeeze beneath your mattress,

as he drags the husk that’s left of you

out with the stalks of sunrise.

my neighbors gape as I hobble back inside

to slump on my kitchen floor, wait

to welcome my old friend,

with a bottle of gin wrapped in a brown bag,

spineless and safe.

William Godbey’s work has appeared in several publications, including the Chiron Review, Misfit Magazine, and Slipstream Press. He is currently pursuing a BA in English from California State University Long Beach, where he currently lives. He is 22 years old.

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