November 8-14, 2021: Poetry from Carrie Magness Radna and Candice Kelsey

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Carrie Magness Radna

Carrie Magness Radna is an audiovisual cataloger at the New York Public Library, a choral singer and a poet who loves to travel. Her poems have previously appeared in The Oracular Tree, Mediterranean Poetry, Muddy River Poetry Review,, Poetry Super Highway, Shot Glass Journal (Muse-Pie Press), Vita Brevis, Home Planet News, Cajun Mutt Press, Walt’s Corner, Polarity eMagazine, The Poetic Bond (VIII-X), Alien Buddha Press, Jerry Jazz Musician, Rye Whiskey Review, Litterateur RW and First Literary Review-East. Her first poetry collection, Hurricanes never apologize (Luchador Press) was published in December 2019. Her new poetry collection In the blue hour (Nirala Publications), was published in February 2021. She won Honorable Mention Award twice, for “all trains are haunted” (Non-rhyming poetry: 2019) and “May (a Pantoum)” (Rhyming poetry: 2021) in Writer’s Digest Writer’s Competition. Born in Norman, Oklahoma, she now lives with her husband in Manhattan, New York. Visit Carrie on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2021, and owned by Carrie Magness Radna and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


She loved how his drums
sounded like the rain.
She wished by any-known God
for some willpower,
but they blamed themselves 
on the storm.
Squeeze’s “Tempted”
played on the turntable,
followed by silky sounds
of Al Green,

& romantic jazz piano:
“The very thought of you”
played by Red Garland.

How can one understand
the twists of human lust,
bodies & hearts,
how one’s sweat smells 
like the Caribbean Sea,
outside of paradise?
The streets are quieter now
after the storm;
their hearts still beat wildly.
She’s still tempted to kiss him more,
but she doesn’t want to trap him—
all the debris had been washed away.

Candice Kelsey

Candice Kelsey teaches writing in the South. Her poetry appears in Poets Reading the News and Poet Lore among other journals, and her first collection, Still I am Pushing, explores mother-daughter relationships as well as toxic body messages. Visit Candice on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2021, and owned by Candice Kelsey and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

We Never Bothered with the Rose Garden

at the Huntington Library
we trekked toward
the tussled little squares
of horehound
licorice lavender mignonette
and heliotrope
waiting impatiently
like overgrown graves
with bamboo souls
hovering mid-trellis dance
for people like us
who strolled on occasion
when the weather was just right
past the tearoom
into the Herb Garden sustenance
of thumb and forefinger
rubbing like grasshoppers’ legs
to release the scent
of garlic chive and lemongrass
even lovage borage
or sometimes marjoram

such funny words
that seem to rub together
now and release the memory
of a time when my children
had no interest
in the predictability of roses
preferring again and again
the chaotic clusters
of sweet alyssum
which I’ve come to learn means
worth beyond beauty


Ode to My Son’s New Dirt Bike

Out in the primal and bachelor
where the rumbling rests,

where you spit and swat
the rain, I imagine you eschewing

the estuary ditches. Wide
spheres where ebony sweetens,

your blur stirs into its double
business of braking and skidding

out: —proud all-terrain tires! And
this show of handlebars. Solemn

stretch of equator like his unfurling
fists when he clumsies you into

the trunk. My son, now a shadow
who also throws speed yet shakes

like an autumn sycamore branch
any hiker could find under foot.

Out in the primal and bachelor,
a rumbling—

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