Roy J. Adams has been a short-order cook, a professor, a poet and, although not a pirate, he was a private in the U.S. army. He has a black belt, paratrooper wings, a scuba certificate, an honourable discharge, a driver’s license, a Ph.D. and a Philly accent. He’s touched mountain peaks, ocean deeps and steaming jungles. He’s run for office and for his life. He writes whimsy, song and darkness. He is the author of the poetry collection Critical Mass. His poetry’s been published in America, Europe, Asia, Aussie and Ireland, the land his mother came from.
The following work is Copyright © 2021, and owned by Roy Adams and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.
Blasting Elvis and Buddy Holly
I rocked down Route 66 quashing
sleep with fists full of wide-eye wake-me-ups
–swished by wacky Wigwam Inns,
tore through insect tempests; flirted
with mini-skirted Marilyns at roller-skating drive-ins
I was neon
I was come on
I was Major Betucan
Anita Lerek, a Toronto resident, has publication credits (as of Feb 1, 2021) with Visual Verse (Jan, 2021), First Literary Review-East (Jan, 2021), Verse Virtual (Oct, 2020), Ygdrasil (Sept, 2020), Persimmon Tree, and Split This Rock. She is author of chapbook of History and Being (2019), and co-founder of ChangeArtists, a start up online hub for quality poetry related to political engagement and social action. The visual arts, jazz, and social justice are strong influences. She has spent her adult life juggling business and the enchantment of her most faithful lover, her poetic muse. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram.
The following work is Copyright © 2021, and owned by Anita Lerek and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.
You start your job early morning.
Teeshirt, barefoot, you get
into production. Kicking Horse
Cliff Hanger expresso, so simple,
a 3-year old can master it; but
it is your indicia of failure.
Turn machine on, lights, grind,
add filter, sugar-fine coffee, water,
press the button.
You must leave for work soon.
How long will this one last? It’s as
if you bear a mark that everyone
sees but you.
If only you could drink in the
unseen, or see the mark through
the swollen, moist grounds: throw
them on the floor, shaman-like,
and read the objects for explanation.
Nothing there . . . yet. Foam up the milk.
Your cup is a dark ocean filled with
feathers, beads, songbirds, sighs,
lullabies: all mouths in the
performance of your life. You pose
your question, always the question.
The cup toggles between your hands
making the pieces shift patterns,
different pictures, like the wash
from a boat caused by each motion.
You grasp the cup firmly, full and hot,
with steamy froth: unreadable. Afraid
to sip, you command the actors to speak.
Now you must return to the spectacle
of daylight, to be assaulted by rusty
waves and metallic geese. No murmurs
or breezes or licking sun, just a vast
parking-garage loneliness of slamming
and honking whenever you come and go.
And the hours in between, you wonder
what to do when others, bird-like, smash
into false landscapes reflected at glassy
heights of ambition; when, as they limp
away, cry out to you to try harder to make
The nightingale so small and brown
fills the air—
just drink the coffee, listen.