January 25-31, 2021: Poetry from Emalisa Rose and Cheryl Caesar

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Emalisa Rose

When not writing poetry, Emalisa Rose enjoys crafting with macrame and doll making. She volunteers in animal rescue. She lives by a beach town, which provides much of the inspiration for her art.  She sells her shell murals and sea art online. During the excess of down time during the pandemic, she became an avid birder.

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

my first

I had my first with him. It
was long white and slender,
its tan edge caressing my lip,

under the boardwalk
near the southern arcade.

He blew circles for me, then
blew the smoke into the moans
of my mouth, swirling the seas
with the smell of his breath.

I went coocoo for him;
we were almost eighteen.

Cheryl Caesar

Cheryl Caesar lived in Paris, Tuscany and Sligo for 25 years; she earned her doctorate in comparative literature at the Sorbonne and taught literature and phonetics. She teaches writing at Michigan State University. She gives readings and publishes poems in the U.S., Germany, India, Bangladesh, Yemen and Zimbabwe. She has won third prize in the Singapore Poetry Contest for her poem on global warming, and the “no-age” scholarship to the Social Justice workshop at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, from Indolent Books. Her chapbook Flatman: Poems of Protest in the Trump Era is available from Amazon.

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

Poem for a failed insurrection

“Show strength!” intoned their leader – he for whom
strength never had been anything but show.
“We’re marching to the Capitol!” — but then
he turned away as they began to go.

He lumbered home and watched it on TV:
the fallen barricades, the broken glass,
the painted bull behind the podium,
the selfie sticks, the guards who let them pass.

“We’re taking back the people’s house!” But then?
Nobody there to tell them what came next.
They stole a laptop, tore a Chinese scroll,
smoked joints and pissed on statues. Sent a text.

What follows “show” and “take”? They didn’t know.
Their leader had no other verbs to share.
Within a few hours they had wandered off,
leaving their garbage and their feces there.

At 1 AM, New Jersey’s Andy Kim
son of Korean immigrants, took up a bag,
began to clear the waste. The water jugs,
the pizza boxes, torn and trampled flag.

His only comment on the tawdry coup:
“It really broke my heart … what could I do?’