Robert Wynne earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. A former co-editor of Cider Press Review, he has published 6 chapbooks, and 3 full-length books of poetry, the most recent being “Self-Portrait as Odysseus,” published in 2011 by Tebot Bach Press. He’s won numerous prizes, and his poetry has appeared in magazines and anthologies throughout North America. He lives in Burleson, TX with his wife and 2 rambunctious dogs. Visit Robert on the web here.
The following work is Copyright © 2021, and owned by Robert Wynne and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.
Minutes from the Committee on Beauty
Meeting called to order at sunrise.
Light burst from the horizon in ribbons
which lay stubbornly across the lectern
no matter how many times the Secretary
tried to brush them off. Last meeting’s minutes
included the voice of a river, the great face
of a clock-like moon, a live performance
of Beethoven’s 6th Symphony, and
one possible answer to the question “Why?”
The names of the Muses were read aloud.
Earnest moved that we invite fire
to speak at our next meeting, dispel
some nasty rumors spread by wind.
Mildred seconded, and the motion carried.
A dove landed on the window ledge,
its shadow stretching all the way
to the open door. Homer moved that the sea
be given the floor, before realizing
it was roiling elsewhere. A red balloon
sank just low enough to be mentioned
in the minutes. The last motion of the day
came from Blanche, who suggested
nothing would ever be as stunning
as hundreds of ants working together
to carry an entire orange rind through
a hole in her fence. No one seconded.
A single bar of solid gold was used
as the group photo for the newsletter.
Meeting adjourned just as the bakery next door
pulled fresh rolls from their oven,
and even the stray dog padding by stopped
to watch each of us sink our teeth
into that bounty, his tongue hung in the air like an offering, a plea.
Listening to Brad Mehldau
Every note falls
from his hands
like a question
or a challenge
to the rhythm section.
There is uncertainty
to melody, just as there is
in even the most well-planned
I hadn’t expected a staccato refrain
would impinge upon the bridge,
but here it comes
backed by a tight snare,
a thumping bass, and the promise
that sound waves
emanating from a piano
will continue to vibrate
away from that moment
when a hammer
first struck taut wire
to signal the beginning
that hasn’t happened yet.
Elegy Working Two Jobs in Heaven
– for Delvin
Every morning now, you work restoring cars
for those who’ve been in heaven so long
they still envision the wet flanks of horses
when they crave the arc of a journey,
like we wish we could understand
endings – the way nothing prepares us
for memory being called into action
without a moment’s notice, and how
we always forget that rivers become
lakes and oceans when we believe
they’re gone. Everyone wants something
different, but you have an infinite supply
of accessories, and here in the birthplace of light
everything shines without polishing.
You smile and check your hair
in wheels that mirror this glittering place:
you’ve gone too long without a trim
but you’ve got to get to your other job
to teach programming to children
gifted with eternity early.
You introduce them to a system
which is universally compatible
and tell them to spend an hour
creating a database for their dreams.
You’ll be back, you say,
and slip out the bright door
to feel the wind between your fingers
as you drive the empty streets and realize
there’s so much left to do.
Cameron Morse lives with his wife Lili and two children in Independence, Missouri. His poems have been published in numerous magazines, including New Letters, Bridge Eight, Portland Review and South Dakota Review. His first collection, Fall Risk, won Glass Lyre Press’s 2018 Best Book Award. His latest is Far Other (Woodley Press, 2020). He holds and MFA from the University of Kansas City—Missouri and serves as Senior Reviews editor at Harbor Review and Poetry editor at Harbor Editions. For more information, check out his Facebook page or website.
The following work is Copyright © 2021, and owned by Cameron Morse and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.
In the temple the dark
chapel of cloudy
morning but also that other
set up against one that is
I have a bone
to pick with you
Theo literally holding
himself, his pee
a very busy young man
from my seed
a high rate
Thought you were a penne guy
now you’re going to go
Translating the hand
me down chains
of carbon from sausage
links into neuronal
currents the currencies
of language of