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Poetry Winter 2018    fiction    all issues


Cover Elena Koycheva

Bryce Emley
Asking Father What’s at the End
& other poems

AJ Powell
& other poems

Faith Shearin
& other poems

Claire Van Winkle
& other poems

Sarah W. Bartlett
Summer Cycles
& other poems

Nooshin Ghanbari
& other poems

Meli Broderick Eaton
The Afterlives of Leaves
& other poems

Jeddie Sophronius
& other poems

Paula Bonnell
In Winter, By Rail
& other poems

Addison Van Auken Waters
& other poems

Daniel Sinderson
& other poems

Andrew Allport
All Nature Will Fable
& other poems

Marte Stuart
What an Insult Time Is
& other poems

Matthew Parsons
My Father as an Inuit Hunter
& other poems

Emily Bauer
Gently, Gently
& other poems

Bruce Marsland
A once lovelorn bard’s final journey
& other poems

Beatrix Bondor
Night Makers
& other poems

Isabella Skovira
Lawless Conservation
& other poems

Juan Pablo González
Colombia, 1928
& other poems

Molly Pines
The Pillbug
& other poems

Jamie Marie
On the Lake
& other poems

William A. Greenfield
If You Show Me Yours
& other poems

Bill Newby
Tuesdays at The Seagate's Atlantic Grille
& other poems

Elder Gideon
Male Initiation Rites
& other poems

Joel Holland
Dear Gi-Gi
& other poems

Martha R. Jones
How Lewis Carroll Met Edgar Allan Poe
& other poems

Writer's Site

Matthew Parsons

Mountain Roosters

Woke in the morning, weak in the mind.

Grabbed the grain but could not find

one benny hen of my whole damned passel

and begun to think of the last night’s hassle.

The cock on the hill, crowing at two

saw me sipping the morning dew.

Hung up and over, I woke at eight

to find the bastard crowing late.

In the night he stole my good Domineckers.

Mountain roosters—clever peckers.

The Tools

I’m a drunken fool

with a trunk of tools

and not one was stole nor borrowed.

Each one is mine,

both beer and wine,

and I walk the hill tomorrow.

The crest and fall,

the walk and crawl,

the holler calls me waken.

The moss and creatures,

the early peepers;

lost features frost has taken.

Does the man on the mount

make a sound

or does he ride one down around there?

Just let him ride,

of his drink, abide.

Let him drink his pride and founder.

I’m a drunken fool

with a trunk full of tools

and not one rule between them.

When I die, oh Lord,

take my shield and sword,

for I fear the Devil’s seen them.

My Father as an Inuit Hunter

He chews the bones to make the boat.

He sews his jacket down to its leathery top

and looks a lot like a sea dragon,

dragging his pride behind him;

losing himself in the frozen water.

Gone huntin’,

running reindeer down stream

until they collapse like a dream

on a rocky shoreline.

By the time he drags it home,

it’ll be past supper.

He won’t mind

and he’ll skin the deer in the dark

to hang overnight like a roof over our heads,

which we also have him to thank for.

Lord knows he gets shit done.

And I grew up thinking

my father was a native.

Haystack, Highlights, and Silk

Ain’t she a wise woman?

A sly woman.

A know-your-own-shoulders,

sit back and sigh woman.


hard hands,

right for making a man.


She done made me, didn’t she?

There’s more down the line.

They’re thick as thieves.

Haystack and Highlights,

them cackling hens,

I wonder what they believe.

Silk is still sitting,

the prettier she’s getting.

It’d put a good wine to shame.

Haystack and Highlights

would kill a man outright.

But Silk rubs her shoulders

and turns the world over

and surely I knowed her

by the back, so I told her:

Ma’am, I’m obliged

just to sit by your side.

Her face is hiding

but I know she’s smiling

a mile wide and wiling

her whole life away.



Genghis rings the doorbell

and straightens up his robes

and precious jewels dangle from his ear lobes.

When the door opens, he enters.

He don’t need no invitation ’round here

and ’round here is everywhere, in case you didn’t know.

Genghis has his son,

and his son has his son

and so on and so on

until we reach the now.

Genghis likes culture

and by god, he’s vulture

picking the bones of our holy cows.

We got our own Genghis

like everyone else.

Maybe you’re too afraid

to see the Genghis in yourself.

But if you’re scared of Genghis

remember he’s long gone.

Praise be to our emperor,

the little Jubal Khan.

He’s a ruler of rulers,

giving orders to yard sticks.

He’s playing with oranges

in the floor at the market.

By god, he’s a baby

who’ll soon be a man.

He’ll have no emotions.

He’ll not give a damn.

If he scrapes his knee,

he’ll not cry like a girl.

He may never love,

but he’ll soon rule the world.

And that’s the trade

that old Genghis made

when he conquered the countries

on a quest to get laid.

He don’t talk about feelings.

He don’t say I love you.

He don’t think there’s a God up above.

He might think it’s him,

or the fate of all men,

who don’t know what it is to feel love.

Matthew S. Parsons is a homesteader from eastern Kentucky. He is an instructor of traditional music at Morehead State University’s Kentucky Center for Traditional Music. Parsons is currently serving as an acquisitions inter of University Press of Kentucky and earning his MFA in Creative Writing from Eastern Kentucky University’s Bluegrass Writers Studio.

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