January 23-29, 2023: Poetry from Patricia Carragon and Mark Henderson

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Patricia Carragon

Patricia Carragon’s most recent publications include Arriving at a Shoreline Anthology (great weather for MEDIA, 2022), Bear Creek Haiku, Beat Generation Anthology 2022, Clockwise Cat, I Wanna Be Loved by You: Poems on Marilyn Monroe, Jerry Jazz Musician, Moonstone Press, Out Loud, an LGBTQA Literary Arts Anthology (Red or Green Books), The Rutherford Red Wheelbarrow anthology, When Women Speak Poetry Anthology, Vol. 1, et al. Her debut novel, Angel Fire, is from Alien Buddha Press. Her books from Poets Wear Prada are Meowku and The Cupcake Chronicles., and Innocence from Finishing Line Press. She hosts Brownstone Poets and is the editor-in-chief of its annual anthology.

The following work is Copyright © 2023, and owned by Patricia Carragon and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Birth of the Blues

(inspired by Frank Sinatra)

Every time it rains, the blues
are born—even when it’s sunny.
Rain isn’t limited to the weather—
there are days when our clouds
can’t hold back how we feel.
The blues travel down our cheeks,
say things that shouldn’t be said,
do things that shouldn’t be done,
opt for a place to be alone.
The blues are what they are
because they are born from our blues.
The blues seek solace amid rainbows—
we pick up our horns, play tunes
for rain-washed trees.

Mark Henderson

Mark Henderson teaches English at Tuskegee University. He earned his Ph. D. at Auburn University with concentrations in American literature and psychoanalytic theory. He has poems published or forthcoming in Cozy Cat Press, From Whispers to Roars, Defenestrationism.net, Bombfire, Former People, Neologism, Broad River Review, Rune Bear, Flora Fiction, Flare, Visitant, Blood Tree Literature, The Closed Eye Open, Last Stanza Poetry Journal, Burningword, Better Than Starbucks, The Racket Journal, Torrid Literature Journal, Sunspot Lit, Writer’s Digest, W-Poesis, and Red Ogre Review. He was born and raised in Monroe, Louisiana, and currently resides in Auburn, Alabama.

The following work is Copyright © 2023, and owned by Mark Henderson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Viral Meningitis

My brain started swelling
before I was a year.
My parents had told me
to stop crying, so I did.
Breathing too.

Mom swears I flatlined.
Then again, she’s Catholic,
and may have wanted
a resurrection.

She says my father,
nonreligious, couldn’t
stop praying. The doctors
pumped my head full of drugs.

Grandpa couldn’t sleep.
I was the only one
of thirty-something grandkids
he’d ever get to see
(heart attack, months later),
boasting my recovery:
“Like a brick shithouse!”

Dying would explain a lot;
there might have been something
more conventional there,
something that had to leave,
replaced by something else.

 

Hide and Seek

Home for the holidays.
…………I’ve been away some years.

I don’t look in the windows
……………………of places I’ve been

or lift lids off of boxes
……………………in which I have hid—

for both, out of fear
…………I might still be in there.

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