April 25-May 1, 2016: Poetry from Richard Widerkehr, and Michael Paul Hogan

​Richard Widerkehr, and ⁣Michael Paul Hogan

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​Richard Widerkehr,

Bio (auto)

Richard Widerkehr received his M.A. from Columbia University and won two Hopwood first prizes for poetry at the University of Michigan. He has two book-length collections of poems: The Way Home (Plain View Press) and Her Story of Fire (Egress Studio Press). Tarragon Books published his novel, Sedimental Journey, about a geologist in love with a fictional character. Recent work has appeared in Rattle, Poetry Super Highway, Floating Bridge Review, Cirque, Penumbra, Clay Bird Review, and Salt River Review. He lives in Bellingham, WA, and is one of the poetry editors for Shark Reef Review.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Richard Widerkehr, and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Plucking Flowers

………….for my mother


In the E.R. on your gurney,
you ask, “Is this real?”
You don’t
recognize Olga,

who’s cared for you
three years.
You push us away,
throw urine-soaked sheets

across the room
“I keep seeing her face
inside a vase,”
you say.

Yet you laugh
when she asks,
“Do you believe in God
or evolution?”…………


You sleep two nights
and days, then sit up,
plucking flowers

from the air. “What do
you see?” I ask.
“I see God,” you reply.

…………3 ..A Week Later, You Come Home

We let you sleep,
sleep being just sleep,
not a ghost

antithesis to breath.
My eyes rest
on my sister’s portrait.

4 ..We Tell You You Said, “I See God”

You wince and ask,
“I said that? I remember

the ambulance door closing.
I was losing everything.”

…………5 ..Your Doctor Asked, “Can We Put
………….. ..A Feeding Tube In?”

I drive home at midnight–
a gray-white scroll
of moonlit clouds unfolds.
Something behind the sky
hides its face in beauty.
I hate beauty. “Why don’t you
show your face?” I shout,
my voice, a raven’s croak.
Next morning, you sit up.
“God’s right here,” you say.
Did I pierce the night sky
for one second–
my cry more faithful
than prayer?


⁣Michael Paul Hogan

Bio (auto)

Michael Paul Hogan (London, England) is a poet and journalist whose work has appeared extensively in the USA, UK, India and China. The author of five poetry collections, he is currently working on a collection of Surrealist short stories.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ⁣Michael Paul Hogan and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Garden of Allah

The evening has smoothed itself out
like cellophane. The girl across the court
talks on the telephone in her underwear;
talks from room to room, disappearing
and reappearing, as though performing

in two plays at once: now angry, now
pleading. An actress with two leading roles
and an audience of two: one listening, the
other watching… I light a cigarette and,
strangely, she does the same. We smoke together

across the silence of the courtyard and
it’s listening she’s doing now, half-sitting
on the back of a canework chair, half naked,
twisting the telephone cord around her hand
as though reeling her lover in.

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