May 27 – June 2, 2024: Poetry from Jeffrey Spahr-Summers and Michael Dwayne Smith

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Jeffrey Spahr-Summers

Jeffrey Spahr-Summers is a native of Colorado. Jeff’s poetry and photos have appeared in numerous print, online magazines and anthologies. He is the former publisher of Poetry Victims (2004 – 2014) and Snapping Twig (2013 – 2015) online magazines. He has published 22 books. He currently writes and publishes poetry, flash fiction, memoirs, and historical articles. Jeff is the founder of Cherry Publications in Boulder. He is also the editor and publisher of Jasper’s Folly Poetry Journal.

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

accomplice

he shoves a rusty crowbar into my hands

i want you to climb up on the roof
tear up some of the shingles
make it look like storm damage

he guides me to the battered
aluminum ladder leaning against the house

hurry before a neighbor sees you

 

mothers intuition

over maxwell house coffee
and all the fixings
and toasted cinnamon raisin bread
sagging under heaps of no salt butter
i knew i was dying she said bluntly
as she sawed a piece of toast in half
like a butcher attacking a carcass

 

finalities

your life is like a sweater
she wheezed weakly between
stolen gasps of oxygen from
those goddamned plastic tubes
pull a string and you never
know what will unravel and
then i found myself laughing
there was never a time when
i didnt love you she said
as if i didnt already know

Michael Dwayne Smith

Michael Dwayne Smith haunts many literary houses, including The Cortland Review, New World Writing, Third Wednesday, Gargoyle, Chiron Review, Superstition Review, Monkeybicycle, and Heavy Feather Review. Author of four books, recipient of the Hinderaker Prize for poetry, the Polonsky Prize for fiction, and a multiple-time Pushcart Prize/Best of the Net nominee, he lives near a Mojave Desert ghost town with his family and rescued horses. His latest full-length collection goes from apparition to publication in 2024.

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

Alison

Smell of fresh-plucked lemon, braided
scent of citrus and grazing horses and the back
of your neck in mid-afternoon.

Impasto-green fruit tree leaves
sticking to every scene,
San Gabriel valley breeze a brushstroke
on the little brown curl of hair behind your ear.

The road in and the road out the same.

Northside train tracks in mud, dust in my hat.
Sleepy highway at grove’s edge,
sometimes the orange summer foothills

on fire, sunset
whirling around the dirt path, you spinning
and spinning in that orange-blossom print dress

your mother sewed you, nimble, near dancing,
the valley flooding with calm,
my hands, tart fingers, my history and being,
the dry mouth of my future

all fallen out of fear, my heart unwashed.
Creaky wood house, straw-tinted at sunrise,
leaning slightly southward,

my blanket melancholy for your heat,
for the shape of you,
me hungry for the pink grapefruit of your mouth.

The road in and the road out the same.

Once-sweet groves, like me, like the lake
nearby, have soured in drought,
but I do still spin at the thought of us, and every
highway, every fire, still runs to you.


First appeared in print in 2017 (San Pedro River Review)

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