August 29 –  September 4, 2022: Poetry from Chuck Von Nordheim and KC Hill

Send us your poetry. Click here for submission guidelines.

Chuck Von Nordheim

Chuck lives in Ohio, but grew up in California. He is kept in line by a wife, 30-year-old twin sons, and a cat. In the spring, he scores academic tests. In the summer, he slings concessions at an outdoor concert venue. In the fall, he works as a substitute teacher. In the winter, he writes. More of his Inland Empire poems can be found online at Former People and The Metaworker.

The following work is Copyright © 2022, and owned by Chuck Von Nordheim and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Derrick Considers The Career Consequences of Cosplay

I walk Colton, cape draped, mask off, doing
random roundhouses since superhero-
level mixed martial arts mojo won’t stop
gangstas gathering on our fair city
streets without occasional showboating—
cosplayers willing to wallop career
criminals with kinetic kicks squelch more
misdeeds than ten patrol cars crammed with cops—
no bad guy wants to be made look the fool
by a dude in a Halloween get-up

Someday the lieutenant will see my face
after a young thug posts a cleverly
captioned Instagram of a wannabe
Avenger throwing punches at the wind,
might watch a sped up TikTok a teen
mom shot of my pirouettes and chasses
prior to hurling my signature shield
with a steel drum clang against the chainlink
Cesar E Chavez Park baseball backstop,
someday the lieutenant will take my gun.

Will she do a coffee spit double take
when my looming viral celebrity
unfurls to divulge the freak flag adrift
among sanctioned Hemet Station banners?
Will the boom of a face palm disturb the squad
room calm when awareness dawns of how she
squandered the skills of a born crusader
with an endless berth in sunless dispatch?
Will rapid-fire rounds from reporters
burst the bubble of her college arrogance?

Go ahead and ask if embarrassing
snotty bosses or monkeywrenching
muggings by bullies overwrought about
their reputations repays for bare
bank accounts, a reneged retirement,
cancelled kisses when the formerly fond
abscond after podcast pundits have each
concurred I am absurd, a silly nerd
who mistakes cosplay for a cop’s work day:
I answer yes, twenty thousand times yes

KC Hill

K.C. Hill is an accredited blogger, eclectic artist and hybrid writer who has been living abroad since 2002. Her most recent publications: short fiction, “Murder Betwixt Parallel Universes” (The Curved House), and poetry, “Not Yet” and “My ‘round Town (chemo) Toddle” (Dark Winter Literary Magazine, August 2022). K.C. is ever working to hone her craft and has just submitted her first novel of Magical Realism to a literary agent. 

The following work is Copyright © 2022, and owned by KC Hill and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Combed up Velvet

Windswept gatherings of confused moths
cloud over and flitter across
my speckled memory, moving,
candlelit flowers, held up above, hovering
white linen, rough
woven dusty with peachy
sprinkles that sparkle, sparkle
as a twinkling
glittery, and
shine. Just like
dead confetti,
angelic mysteries, spread out and about and unorganized as
this and these,
my thoughts of what was

As if there, their
unheavenly scissored up, snipped and cut
snowy cooled
insistence, unsated and sticking
to my attention
lazy, bump, thump
tacked heavy to jazzy sax beats
beating soft,
a stranger
wanting more space on the train
just tapping steady, beating softly
at my shoulders, but I blink away
your gaze and
whatever there was

Toss it, again
your smile and then
a strapped touch, thick in emotion
I do not want to remember
or consider this part
of this eventual
go away, but-. Your face (damn it)
…………………………………………….(what you said next)
and then another *thing*
that I used to like
petals down, slow and sloppy
out the window I cannot turn away
from the window and in your hair
…………………………………………….over by the window
breathing vanilla musk kisses and Daring
Your smirk should not be in my mind, dragging
through me, too much
my old unwanted memory feeling brushed up to a thick stuff,
combed up velvet
fingertips bent,
earth spinning outside our own seams
with us and I’m still
dizzy, becoming
a bubble sipped up
running away from what absolutely have to be dried-forever thoughts,
away, then
a drop, a
petaling sparkle, dusted
away, then I realized it, I can wait for
your return, your next visit,
your revenge, too
…………………………………………….your comeback
of what never really was. I can.

Fingertips bent,
I rake up and through
past you
I’m way past you
and all that
combed up velvet.

Subscribe to our weekly Newsletter: