“. . . until someone finds you / something else to do.”
The anchor is a victim
no more than the dripping oars
or the lines made taut
by soft lead sinkers.
The anchor is not a poem
but a guide with sand in its eyes
and a hook too big and blunt
for any mouth.
The anchor is a contract
not of glory but of patience
between surfaces and hours,
flashing lure and fading light.
The anchor is a prayer for the father and son
and for the boat kneeling before the reeds
as it reaches for each shore
carrying its own lake and a coiled rope.
Jeffrey Thompson was raised in Fargo, North Dakota, and educated at the University of Iowa and Cornell Law School. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, where he practices public interest law. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Neologism Poetry Journal, North Dakota Quarterly, The Main Street Rag, Passengers Journal, Tipton Poetry Journal, The Tusculum Review, FERAL, and Unbroken. His hobbies include reading, hiking, and photography.
Zero is a beginning and one is a beginning too. I was once a zero and became one after one year. It was then I began to walk and talk. Early, they said, but for me not soon enough.
At five I was flying, off to other States, which gave me a taste for adventure. When I was only one decade old, I spent most of my time in the woods, eating wild plants and hiding, having developed a knack for hating indoor school, which continued for many more aggregates.
At 16, I became what they call a professional (got paid) and at 1 and an 8, left home for good. Off to the big city of New York to become a ‘real’ actress, where I mostly stumbled and stopped flying. I found it difficult to maintain flight throughout my 20s and 30s with so many men telling me what to do. Directors and producers all had so much to say, like lie down and don’t tell anyone.
At 3 followed by an 8, I found God, only later to discover it was a cult. This was after 16 grueling years of hardcore belief. I was now in my fifth decade ‒ 5 followed by another 5. At this point, I fell in love and rediscovered I had a body with desires. This sent me flying again, back into my body and remembering I hated school, however disguised.
Now in my 7s followed by a zero, seven decades, I mostly live outdoors again, riffling through weeds, kissing peonies, writing essays, and witnessing too much death. Friends and otherwise. But I still have love, my body, and trees.
I may live to a one followed by two zeros. Ten decades! Back to one, followed this time by two zeros. Hopefully I’ll still be in my body on hands and knees in the dirt. Or, lying in the earth, scarred and resting, with all those zeros and ones spent.
Dian Parker’s essays and short stories have been published in 3:AM Magazine, The Rupture, Critical Read, Adelaide, Epiphany, Memoir Monday, Anomaly, Westerly, Channel, Capsule, Tiny Molecules, Sky Island Journal, Hotazel Review, among others, and nominated for several Pushcart Prizes. She trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and lives now in the hills of Vermont.
[28401 – 28500]
“What sclerotic bibliomaniac,
coincidental with his psychologist,
bussed in these upflung glossaries & down-
loaded them to the icebox?” abridges
a crapulous Nigerian who yaws
again to sidestep a hyperbolic
Swazi cannonball. (That was touch-&-go.)
What a worrier! What a temerarious
ranter! (Here he yorks in order to toughen
his sphincter.) What a miniscule klepto-
maniac! “Must they all, on a bender
of mayhem & abomination, gimp
at the bloodroot of organizational
racism, interacting only to
revitalize their blurry egos?”
[28601 – 28700]
Now, at mid-May in Trapani, plangent
stickleback, with scalene asymmetry,
sheave the seaway in free-for-all bonding
& fusiform interrelation. Was it
Polyhymnia that gelt Castrato?
Does dialog desktop shareware outrank
the monochromatic brume of all this
iconography? Was it wrongheaded
accountancy or simply numismatics
that overlie the Oslo Olympics?
Would’ve anything kept the pterodactyl
from the piglets? Would’ve it been so
for the oligarch to misplace his Jeep?
[23601 – 23700]
One AM in the insectivorous
Maldives where busybodies dismantle
their esculent lingerie glumly
& etymologically, yet uncontested.
Ah, cohabitation. . . . Crap! A matchlock!
Pappy, oh Pappy! A motorcycle
advertises such vulgarism &
wastage while hare-brained tom-tom outbid them,
nog upon nog, & coagulation
of the Eucharist actuates
zodiacal, agnostic sciatica.
For colophon, the bravura, baroque
nocturne of a fledgling saleswoman:
Best to lacerate then sprint away.
[23901 – 24000]
Relight the astrolabe fey Netherlander,
for I’m conflicted. Though I peddle my
unheroic tricycle, all godspeed
& weirdness, at evensong a bullfinch
deadens the seamless margrave with saltpeter.
Relight the handspike, for this nerve-racking
snapshot is mushy & insubstantial
as a puree of bumptious Newtonian
transcendentalism. Mime on moony
stammerer. Relight the ovule, gullible
ventriloquist, & outflank the buttock of
coronary morbidity: for screed
is pottle to the teetotaler, as
instrumentation is prophylactic
to the wolverine.
[33001 – 33100]
Pocked with paintwork, Lulu mighta been
moonlighting. No tomboyish shogun, but
no sadist, either, she was as left-wing
& luminescent as the Erinyes
on the freeway. She could scam a Rodin
out of a hexahedron. She mighta
been a godforsaken luddite, but her
mega-wonky weathervane, as much as
her hedonic headwind, was undepraved.
We getup to publicize the “gotcha”
lovage of salami knackers &
overplay the Maharashtra back in
Muskogee. What mighta been! Instead we’re
goners for gimlet-eyed ophthalmology.
Peter J. Grieco
Peter J. Grieco is a retired English professor and former school bus driver. His poems are widely published in small magazines on-line and in print. His blog “At the Musarium and Other Writings” [https://pjgrieco.wordpress.com/] archives much of this work. His chapbook collection of ekphrastic verse, “The Bind Man’s Meal,” is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.