December 16-22, 2013: JoyAnne O'Donnell and Justin Hyde

JoyAnne O’Donnell and Justin Hyde

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JoyAnne O’Donnell

Bio (auto)

I live in Ocean City, Maryland, was published in a lot of online poetry magazines such as Leaves of Ink and others. Visit her on the web HERE.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by JoyAnne O’Donnell and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Winter Snow

The winter has a white halo of kind deed,
With clouds fallen indeed;
When the day began to grow,
Was like a twinkle of a star show;
When the snow began to gleam,
Was like the matrix steps to a moonbeam;
When the twilight came,
Was like a snowy owl, tame;
When the winds began to soar,
Was like a polar bear near my door;
When the sky turned midnight blue,
The north star shined through;
When it was quiet enough,
Winter turned into a blanket of fluff.

Justin Hyde

Bio (auto)

Justin Hyde lives in Des Moines, Iowa.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Justin Hyde and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

another morning in iowa

the crew is all here:
three guys from the homeless shelter
playing cribbage
at the table behind me.
the old bag
with no color in her hair or face
over in the corner
complaining to somebody about something
into a cell-phone. me
in the other corner
listening to george jones
and watching human movement
out the bagel-shop window.
at the moment
three girls walk up tenth street
holding each other tight at the waist
against this biting december wind.
that middle one looks like judy cox. jesus,
there’s a face and a name.
i must have been nine or ten
when you and your mom moved into the trailer park.
‘if i can touch my fingers it means
you have to support me for life,’ was the first thing you said,
walking up to me at the little wooden bus-stop
and clamping your hand around my wrist.
a few nights later the guy on the motorcycle
with tall silver handlebars
who came to see your mom at night
opened your bedroom door. ‘hold on tight,’ he laughed,
tossing me a condom. you chewed on my ear,
i chewed on yours. that’s about as far as we got.
the night before you and your mom
moved away to saint louis
i gave you the chintzy pocket knife i’d won at the fair.
we decided you’d keep it until we saw each other again.
in the meantime we’d write letters. pinky swore on it.
i doubt either of us even knew our own address,
or what a zip-code was. certainly not this feeling
of having made and broke a thousand promises
at thirty five years old. i hope
this life has leaned on you
gently. wherever you are.
whoever you’ve

for thirty-five years

i kept something in my hand

behind my back

came my son


he holds the same thing
in his hand

but he doesn’t keep it
behind his back

he beats
the hell out of me
with it



under the skin

we fart in front of each other

pee at the same time

like pirates

with no wax
in our veins.

he needs a father
not a best friend,
my ex-wife
slings another arrow
down her nose.

fuck off
you bloated
horseshoe cunt,
i think to myself.

but over the years
i’ve learned to
this woman:

you bring up
a good point,
i tell her

solemn tone

nodding my head

just right.

contract’s up

three people
from a landscaping crew
are outside the panoramic window
of the bagel shop

pulling flowers out of the ground

stuffing them
into black garbage bags.

i walk out
and lean against a light pole.

the boss
is a tall weathered white lady

the other two
are young hispanic guys.

not in a hurry

not taking their time either

they efficiently clear out a bed

leaving nothing but a perimeter of cat-tails

then smooth it down with a rake.

the lady
catches me watching her
a friendly smile.

"what do you
do with them?"
i ask.

"mulch pile’s not big enough
so we just burn em

it’s sad

i hate to do it

they got frost
north of downtown

these are fine

but the contract’s up,"
she says
walking past me
to the next bed.

"what kind of flowers
are they?"
i ask
following behind.

she says
running her fingers
over the red white and yellow tops.
"hate to pull em."

the two hispanic guys
are smoking cigarettes

one of them
says something to himself
in spanish

and softly taps the flowers
with his foot.

she calls out
breaking the silence.

"we got
a hundred city blocks
to go."


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