March 18-24, 2024: Poetry from Daniel Lambert and Madeira Miller

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Daniel Lambert

Daniel E. Lambert teaches English at East Los Angeles College and California State University, Los Angeles. He was a finalist for the Distinguished Faculty of the Year Award at Colorado Technical University in 2020. Dan holds a master’s degree in English and a bachelor’s degree in history from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He lives in Inglewood with his wife (poet and educator Anhthao Bui). Dan enjoys writing fiction, essays, and poetry. He published a poetry collection, Love Adventure (with his wife), in 2017. He published his first collection of short stories, Mere Anarchy, in 2016. His fiction appears in the anthologies When Words Collide, Flash It, Daily Flash 2012, and Daily Frights 2012. His writing also appears in the periodicals Silver Apples, The Daily Breeze, Easy Reader, Other Worlds, and Wrapped in Plastic. Visit Daniel on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2024, and owned by Daniel Lambert and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Hollywoodland

After foreseeing the Second Coming in 1919
Yeats warned of the Darkness dropping again…
But could not imagine this Dark Apron of Dread
Unfurling across the City of Angels.

Indeed, in 1943 the darkness fell over Chavez Ravine
When the Zoot Suit Riots were instigated by men with clubs
carrying badges.

In 1947 the Darkness fell over the Black Dahlia
A fun-loving girl named Elizabeth Short,
Who rode West looking for fame, fortune, and a little fun…
She is still looking for her Hollywoodland, all these years later.
You can hear her mournful wails as you stand on the sidewalk in Leimert Park,
Near the field where her bisected body was left to rot in the Sun.

In 1965 the Darkness woke us once again from our Stony Sleep,
Falling over Watts this time:
Marquette Frye was confronted by the police
Emotions ran deep and boiled over the line.
Simon Rodia’s majestic Towers
Were trampled by Yeats’s Rough Beast.

The same men with badges and dark intent
Hoping Yeats’s Beast to resurrect
would return in 1991 to menace Rodney King
And drop the Dark Apron of Dread once again….

Can we imagine a true City of Angels
When the Darkness is lifted?
Only when we heed the dead man’s words:
“Can we all get along?”

Madeira Miller

Madeira Miller is a writer and poet pursuing a creative writing degree at Missouri State University. Her work has been published in various anthologies, magazines, and literary journals, including ANGLES Literary Magazine, Arkana Literary Magazine, and Barely South Review. She can be found online at www.instagram.com/madeiramiller.

The following work is Copyright © 2024, and owned by Madeira Miller and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

To Put the Gun Down

The psychology book states to me that sex is more
than intercourse.          Of course, I say. Any poet
will tell you that. No, no,          any lover will tell you
that.         I consult the textbook with its jaundiced
pages and clinical lexicon.         We relish in one
another’s presence         in the alcove of a coffee shop
on Commercial Street          immersed in our own
togetherness.          Sex (noun): glorious arms
and legs wreathed together.          Of course
it’s more than that.          His hands on the steering
wheel,          the psychology textbook chimes in.
The way he said my name in the arc of laughter
in the kitchen together, as well.          The turbulent
tremble in his voice when he told me about his
father.          Can’t forget that one.          I recount
the way he embraced me in my PJs when he picked
me up and swung me around.          The psychology
textbook concurs.          Oh, and when he promised
to teach me how to shoot a gun          so as to keep
myself safe, remember?          Sex is feeling safe
with him.          The gun, as I recall, was not in
its holster that night.          That was sex.          We
didn’t even fuck until the next morning.         That
was definitely sex.          Sex (verb): to put the gun
down.          Sex (noun): the act of forgetting
about self-defense entirely.          I place my finger
on the pulse of the psychology book’s tacit breathing
words          sensitive as an eye          just like when
he reached for my hand amidst the waning crowds
of a dive bar like a sanctum.         That was sex
all along, wasn’t it.          Two celestial bodies
that don’t need to touch in order to know the strength
of their orbit.          Sex (noun): not necessarily the touch.
The psychology book nods.          Sex (noun): the orbit.


The God Poem

Amidst an urgent wringing
of hands, you finally find
the courage to write

the God poem.
Now, suddenly, you can’t stop
writing the God poem.

Every poem you write
becomes the God poem.
You start to uncover God

in places where you never
thought or wanted Him
to be: the lampshades,

the walls, the gas station
on the corner seated in a pool
of luminous yellow,

the eye-level seat
of a public toilet.
You never noticed until now

that God was there
with a holy cigarette
tucked behind His ear,

holding your hair back for you.
Ain’t that something.