April 7-13, 2014: Mike Meraz and Shelby Stephenson

Mike Meraz and Shelby Stephenson

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Mike Meraz

Bio (auto)

Mike Meraz lives and writes in Los Angeles, Ca. He has been published online and in print. His new book "43" is now available at Amazon and Epic Rites Press.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Mike Meraz and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Poem 1

My grandma
Calls the
Sexy parts
Of a woman’s

She sits in
Front of me
Using a
Pie tin
For a

She has
Never been
Nor in a

Yet I still
Learn from

The art

Poem 2

She is a
And a

She is
Bette Davis
All in one

She is
The light
At the
End of the

To find

It is the

Shelby Stephenson

Bio (auto)

Shelby Stephenson’s The Hunger of Freedom (2014) is available from Red Dashboard (www.reddashboard.com) He lives on a small farm where he grew up and where he was born at home, on Paul’s Hill, in the coastal plain of North Carolina, near the town of Benson.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Shelby Stephenson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Banana Split Cake

I said I will make what we never had, my Whirl the page, and shout from roots to cloud-head
high over tree-tops where the tropics hold the bananas stalked free of mites, for the groomer

has left his mark on us, my family, I mean: bananas we considered luxuries, since we didn’t
grow them for the table: when I’d go with my father to Mr. Charlie Parrish’s Store I would

get as close as I could to the stalk of bananas swaying slightly under the twirling ceiling fan
near the drink-stand idling with water: I said a banana split sounds like a dance, ballet, skit.

I was talking to myself, as now I want to chance the game fair and square, stick with my family
at home, let my mother rise up out of her grave and let my sister Rose − named for my mother −

Maytle Samantha − my Rose − Maytle Rose − this recipe in her hand, for in the fifty-eight years
of marriage to my father, the closest my mother came to a banana split was when she’d cut

a whole banana in two for my brother Marshall and me to share; so I said I’ll allow her to make
a Banana Split Cake just once − to fulfill the recipe Rose wrote on an index card and placed in the

Box of the “Tacking Eagle” (metal eagle attached with a thumbtack):

2 cups Graham Crackers (crumbs)
1 stick butter − room temp

Press into 9 x 12 Pyrex Dish
2 sticks butter − room temp
2 eggs
2 cups confectionary sugar

Mix well 10 minutes with mixer and pour over cookies

1 layer sliced bananas
1 layer crushed pineapple

Cover with Cool Whip
Sprinkle with cherries and nuts

My mother was a Whiz at making Banana Pudding.
I don’t recall her ever making Banana Split Cake.
I can’t picture her as a Confectionary or a Cookie.
She was my mother, Auriba’s daughter.
She learned that her father had hanged himself when she was six.
Somewhere between her scuffling Oxfords and Now the true story’s telling.


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