December 26, 2016 – January 1, 2017: Poetry from Russell Brickey and Robert Wynne

​Russell Brickey and Robert Wynne

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​Russell Brickey

Bio (auto)

Russell Brickey (Boardman, Ohio) has collections out from Wild Leaf, Spuyten Duyvil, and Aldritch Book.

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


How Monstrous the Sunflowers

Bearded sun-eyes lunge at the garden.

How momentous the wind
Quaking in their fractured shoulders,
Yawing their monastic chaos.

The reign of white muddy feet
Anchors the kingdom.


What Time Means

There is no way the young bison
Will outmaneuver the wolves
Which scatter him from the herd.

For months I carried grit
From a playground brawl
Under the translucent skin of my palm.

Despite your best efforts,
The naked chick fallen from the bough
Dies parched under the cover
Of a Mayberry Bush.

A dragon wades to the sea shore.
No one will ever know.

Eventually the sea will win.
It must.
Its old enemy cannot withstand.


Glaciers calve hearts of ice
That turn the salt sweet.

Nothing beautiful, nothing terrible remains.
This is what the hours mean,

So familiar it frightens us both.



Robert Wynne

Bio (auto)

Robert Wynne sends greeting from the abstract wastelands of Endicott, New York. He is a firm believer in writing as catharsis, and in the need to continuously search for an unattainable and constantly evolving absolute truth. His latest collections are Approximate Wilderness (2016 Flutter Press) and A Nation of Assholes With Guns (Scars Publications). All pertinent facts about his life are buried somewhere in his writing. Visit John’s blog here.

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

Cargo Shorts in Peril: The Button Speaks


The cheese is noticeably frowning
across the burger’s greasy horizon
in another sheepish victory for gravity

only the roof of your mouth
fails to acknowledge. This is how lunch begins:
with the quiet whimper of my brittle plastic

keening low at your waist, hot fat
sliding down fingers slick enough
to fumble that ironic Diet Coke

into a light brown puddle
next to the fries. Consequences
are never on the menu

but this is the meal that will finally
split the tiny threaded cross
at the heart of me, until I fall silently

like any sacrifice made to stave off
life’s perpetual parade of damage.
Today, the belt earns its keep

and I land face down near your shoe,
my broken back still arched
like Atlas, unburdened but so lost.


What walks down stairs, alone or in pairs?


Silver spring casts no shadow
descending methodically step by step
to plant a cold metal kiss

on the nose of the curious dog
as if she were the Queen herself.
More active than any pet rock

the coil stretches like a worm
escaping train tracks, tail whipping
up and away from each moment

into a future where Sea Monkeys
run the government, a Spirograph
explains how to read palms, and robots

face off red vs. blue, one always
failing to keep its head intact.
Dancing from one hand to another

it wears no shoes, kisses no frogs,
eats nothing at all – not even pie!
Only a hum, a ringing thrum emanates

as it slides smoothly away
like any wondrous thing
that’s already obsolete.


Running from Writer’s Block


But my shoes are mismatched:
a blue and white Nike Air

and a Marvin the Martian slipper.
My left knee is so swollen

I am no longer allowed to enter
Indonesia or Ukraine, for fear

that elective knee enlargements
will skyrocket. I rub dill on my joints

as I hobble forward, announcing
I’m now a seasoned sprinter

with a bad sense of humor.
I pass a yogurt shop in the midst of

a melting out of business sale.
I’m chasing the sun, so I can reach up

and squelch that hot, bright bulb
after coaxing smiles from the stern lot

that guards the Queen, particularly Brian
because he’s acting like the last man

in the dugout during a blowout win.
Pain can be the aftermath of choices

in favor of distance and new shoes,
or to use air hockey as a distraction

to avoid the inevitable. Words fail
when used to heat soup, or to open

another envelope with a Rejection.
The instructions are simple: run

until you can’t run any more, write
because in truth you can’t stop.


The Cosmic Eclipse Tomato


Indigo and dark green, impressionistic orb
filling an empty palm like proof

that creation myths are still being written.
Brad Gates breeds heirloom tomatoes

like a vegetable God, painting thin skin
with each new vision, giving life

to world after world: deep red and green
Berkeley Tie-Die Heart, yellow flickering

in a Solar Flare, orange speckles
dotting each Dark Galaxy. Sliced open

they flower into such sweet bruises,
all creation laid bare like an apology

to the salad sitting silent, stunned.





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