June 13-19, 2016: Poetry from Suzanne O’Connell and Ed Ahern

​Suzanne O’Connell and ⁣Ed Ahern

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​Suzanne O’Connell

Bio (auto)

Suzanne O’Connell’s recently published work can be found in Forge, Atlanta Review, Crack The Spine, The Louisville Review, Found Poetry Review, Chiron Review, The Hollins Critic, and Burningword Literary Journal among others. She lives in Los Angeles. O’Connell was nominated for The Pushcart Prize and for a Best Of The Net Award in 2015. Her first poetry collection, “A Prayer For Torn Stockings,” was published by Garden Oak Press in May, 2016. Visit her on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Suzanne O’Connell and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Freeway Messenger

It must have been done at night.
From what I remember, there was a full moon.
It would have shone on him like a searchlight
as he leaned over the railing of the freeway bridge,
spray can in hand. Maybe a friend held his ankles.

The traffic continued under him in both directions.
Cars merged onto the 10 freeway or exited from it.
Did the passengers look up and wonder
if the guy on the bridge was about to jump?
Or did they keep driving,
turn the radio up,
forget about him?

I understand the freeway messenger.
I have messages to send too,
but I wouldn’t risk my life to send them.
I once read that Adolph Wolfli,
in a mental institution, made paper airplanes
out of his writing and flew them
out the window to pedestrians below.

Our tagger risked his life to send us his message.
It took time and two colors of spray paint.
LIFE IS FULL OF B_ _ _ _ , he wrote.
The last word was shaky.
Maybe he was tired, or dizzy from spray fumes.
Maybe he heard a police siren coming.
We will never know if he wanted to tell us:
Life is Full Of Bumps, or Burps, or Bombs, or Bums.

The Science Lesson

Last night, my grandson explained
that gravitational waves exist,
an extra ocean up above.
I didn’t understand him.

As he spoke, I pictured
my ankles in the ocean,
waves rippling around them
like waves might flow
around the black holes.

Our transparent nature
is but a skinny voice,
a wisp of wire that connects us
to the universe.

My grandson,
my teacher,
my miracle,
I don’t understand him either.

He pastes his used contact lenses
to the bedroom wall,
creating a new universe,
an ocean of tiny sparkling mirrors.





⁣Ed Ahern

Bio (auto)

Ed Ahern resumed writing after forty odd years in foreign intelligence and international sales. He has his original wife, but advises that after forty eight years they are both out of warranty. Ed’s had over a hundred twenty poems and stories published so far, and two books. Ed lives in Fairfield, Connecticut.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ⁣Ed Ahern and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


We called him Digger
because when he wasn’t too drunk
he dug graves.

We called him Digger
because he thought poorly
and a dog’s name seemed apt.

We called him Digger
because we needed to isolate
his sickness from our own.

We called him Digger
because he smiled as
his addiction betrayed him.

We called him Digger
because our help
failed each time.

We called him Digger
because when he went missing
we didn’t remember his name.


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