January 31-February 6, 2011: Christopher Mulrooney and Amy Tyler

Christopher Mulrooney


Bio (auto)

Christopher Mulrooney (Los Angeles, California) has written poems in West Wind Review, 322 Review, Paragon, Rhythm, Turbulence, The Delinquent, and holland1945.

The following work is Copyright © 2011, and owned by Christopher Mulrooney and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Mid the blank miles round about˜ Browning

she remembers a small funny man
catching moths in a white sheet
in black night out in Arizona
and that she says was Nabokov
I can’t argue with that really
an honest girlhood memory
I myself found a rock on Paradise Cove
shaped exactly like a penis





Amy Tyler


Bio (auto)

Amy Tyler lives in Austin, TX where she secretly writes poetry sometimes.

The following work is Copyright © 2011, and owned by Amy Tyler and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Nursing Home Catacomb 

it’s still visiting hours
at 8 pm
I clip on a laminated badge
and head through the old hallway
that seems at once sterile and filthy,

I find your room,
you sitting there
with your oxygen in,
watching the evening news

you switch off the tv
move to your bed,
offering me your chair

I see slivers of your roommate
through the heavy, brown fabric barrier,
suspended like a fossilized wave
between your beds
he sits in a wheelchair
the tv echoing flashes of blue and yellow light
off of his face and the tight walls around him

at one point you think it’s lightning we could only be so lucky
to have such a show here
in this quiet rainy
northwest winter, our days
short, damp, and un-electric

you tell me how things are going
and that you like the food here,
showing me your secret stash of
candy bars and chocolate chip cookies
in the drawer
there’s an O-henry wrapper on the floor
next to my feet
we talk submarines
we talk battle ships
the SS Swenning named after your brother
after he saved those men
the SS Brown that dropped you off at a port, turned around,
was hit, and sank- how they tried to bring one man up
and he melted like butter
falling apart
in the atmosphere so loose
it couldn’t hold him together

you tell me about
a tornado in Texas
that took all of the feathers
off of the chickens, who were left alive,
(and the big freezer that was uprooted from
a house, landing
somewhere in the desert)

you tell me about the whale
just discovered
beached near Neah Bay
and the 68 baby whales she birthed,
all of them dead,
or maybe it was 86, you can’t remember,
but either way,
it was a lot of whales,

you tell stories
that would be lost

we have a good laugh
about the sign in the bathroom
that says you need to be accompanied
by a nurse
you tell me it’s ridiculous and
you’re breaking that rule

we joke about how
it takes them 10 minutes to reach you
when you call,
and you would wet your pants
in the time you waited
for someone to escort you

a nurse comes in
to check on your roommate,
we hear the ripping sounds
of gauze and changing,
smell the odors of body fluids oxidizing,
pus and urine
as though someone were turned inside out

I catch a glimpse of your roommate’s eyes
as he’s lying on his bed,
he looks out at me,
his eyes two projectors,
flashing images of himself
as a younger man,
eating dinner with his family, wife and kids
in a house he bought,
home from work
young sturdy and proud,
life so full
and ripe

after an hour or so,
you walk me out to the hallway
supported by your walker
with two tennis balls attached to the
bottom legs

you walk me about 8 steps,
as far as you can comfortably go
without your oxygen

like the inscription on the roman catacombs:
what I am now, you once were,
what you are now, I will someday be





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