January 7-13, 2019: Poetry from Shawn Anto and Mary Shanley

Shawn Anto and Mary Shanley

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Shawn Anto

Bio (auto)

Shawn Anto is 23 years old from Bakersfield, California. He’s originally from Kerala, India. He currently studies at Cal State Bakersfield looking to receive his B.A. in English & Theatre. His writing has been featured or are forthcoming in The Paragon Press, Edify Fiction, Susan/The Journal, Internet Void, Ink & Voices and Mojave Heart Review.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Shawn Anto and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

We, the Thorny Fruit

for Kerala

this history: sweet jackfruit
thorny like us
yellow bulb prideful fleshy like us
something caught in light
versatile & adaptable
sweet—like us.
we house memories
my aunt Lissy in Thumboor
sharing jackfruits with the neighbors
the smell when they fell
to the ground cracked open
flies would cover
the rich smell fruit aroma
decomposes like us, every journey
through distance
now us, the hardened ones here in California
for us there is no exile only exit
waiting for a summary of times
sweet, endless, wafting straight through us.


Mary Shanley

Bio (auto)

Mary Shanley is a poet/storyteller living in New York City. She has had four books of poet and short stories published and frequently contributes to on-line and print journals. A sample of the publications in which she publishes: Long Shot Magazine, Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood, StepAway Magazine, Edge, Foliate Oak Literary Journal, Underground Voices, Anak Sastra Asian Journal, Mobius, Visitant Literary Journal, Modern Literature Journal, Blaze Vox, Metaworker, Literary Heist, Indicia, Ginosko Literary Journal. Mary has been nominated for a Pushcart Award and was featured on WBAI, Pacifica radio in NYC. A film, based on her poem Times Square Shuttle, is in pre-production.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Mary Shanley and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


The fluorescent lit,
 hot sweat
downbeat aura
of the local OTB
where fugitives from
the straight world
scratch their five o’clock shadows
and delve deeply
into the science
Of handicapping a horserace:
Checking out the owner,
The trainer, the jockey,
And the horses’
Previous performances.
A cigarette dangles
 from the lips
Of the overtired
cabbie who just ran
In from the street
 with a fistful of green
And a sure thing
in the sixth at Belmont.
Seasoned handicappers,
all gambling pros,
Offer advice to confused
looking retirees
praying to make a killing
so they can retire
to the coast of Florida.
Down on their luck
drinkers and drifters
shuffle nervously,
hoping to recover losses
from the last race.
Their hopes rise
and fall on the nose
of the next horse to
cross the finish line.
The fleeting bravado
of the latest winner
as he struts away from
the collection window,
counting his money
and chomping on an unlit cigar
while “lifers” check the
board for the next race
Review their picks from
The Racing News
and, with tiny yellow pencils,
they push their luck one more
time before they finally leave
for the day.


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