Tea with the Tin Man

In the 1930s, all we English society girls were mad for Munich. Unity Mitford, one of the six troublesome Mitford sisters, was living there at the time. Unity had become a Fascist and a Hitler groupie. She adopted the name “Unity Valkyrie Mitford.” UNITY VALKYRIE roaring around Munich on her black motorcycle steed. She wore a black shirt and a …

Modern Art

If you wear a suit of bees Through the Yale Art Gallery, They will think you are misplaced art – And exhibit you somewhere: Artist unknown – you and your suit of bees will be.   You will buzz with acclaim, The likes of (N.) will adore you, You and your art: one substance – Envy of Carrevagio, jealousy of …

Mark Belair

Mine   I was in the yard working when I heard, through the open kitchen window, my wife tap a spoon shank on the edge of a cooking pot.   Of course, it was my mother I heard, as if transported to years ago, me a boy, playing in the yard, dusk falling, my father clipping hedges, my hunger just …

Sam Barbee

Reversal of Fortune    That . . .   Today, I write: no brain lock or writer’s block, never idle or addled, plot upon plot. Practical prompts, writing schedules, I aspire − become renowned as scribe of insightful stanzas, presumptuous puzzles toward tour de force status, something deemed a Classic. Endowing with endearing words as adulating aficionados gnaw painted nails, …

Although I Should Not Have To

sometimes i’m wound tight like twisted twine made of bungee rope coiled like a rattler ready to spring stretched taut by the finger of an archer aimed to launch the lust of my overheated rage   then i wind my temper down and i forgive my brother for the robbery for the rape for the theft for the murder for …

“Lust Drags You Down to Hell”

                                  Highway billboard between Columbia and Kingdom City, Missouri   1. “Hell” is on fire, flames throbbing, hotter than the 98-degree day vibrating outside my windshield. I’m not convinced the sign is true. I’m one of the lost. 2. Along an extravagant street in another country I prowled the blue-lit windows, starved as a stray cat licking its whiskers. Each …

War Games

The rules are shaped and branded On to genes, down generations, Passed round in Story and in song, To make forgetting harder.   Ideas are bubbled up On home-fired cauldrons, Fuelled by a thousand years or more Of thermal layered grievance That have no taste, no smell, no colour: Yet, still, they stink.   A virtual reality of light and …

James Dean’s Pants

I always wanted to wear the pants James Dean wore, and Rebel taught me he was all wick and no wax— ghost-riding his way off the bluffs— because you know that he didn’t make it out of that car wreck, not really, not in the cold, rehearsed way his total soc counterpart did, when he cowered before the onslaught of …

Lucid Lucy Lululy

She had plugged The holes atop Her head with hair To keep the brains From knowing there Was more to life Than dark and matted skull. But if she’d once Considered the cold Bare fish tail strands A-dangling exposed To brushes, combs, Hot water, wind, Men’s clutch, she’d Maybe not have shrieked When all the hairs Sunk down to sub- …

Compass

Another of my father’s dense metal hand tools   That he’d never find or use again once we took them from the shed.   That caught the exact size of things by reach, touch, sight — not needing inches and eighths or arid calculation.   That turned perfect circles without even trying.   That had a not-so-well-oiled joint twisting between …

Memories that Wander

Recalling a melodious pitch, or forms of movement, thus Swarms of creatures the mind adventures, the swooning of the thrush And while I beckon hitherto ineffable thoughts I ponder: the motive of a person’s word and deed when that one says, what’s wrong dear? Further, have I not known the brilliance of mind on earth The one that makes me …

Golden Fields

The night breeze kisses the amber, coaxing it to twirl and dance A twinkling speck of rich medallion, melting my fingers, warming all these downtrodden souls.   Faceless fields of fire, voices both green and golden, crying for the fall of a marionette and her puppeteer To snip off the poisoned strings, once and for all.   A beautiful scene …