July 18-24, 2011: C.W. Emerson, Kathleen Tyler and Nick Petrone


week of July 18-24, 2011

C.W. Emerson, Kathleen Tyler and Nick Petrone

the judges of the 2011 Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest

click here.for.submission guidelines

C.W. Emerson

Bio (auto)

C. W. (Chris) Emerson is a Los Angeles-based poet, psychologist, reader, writer, and teacher. After first braving the local poetry scene some two years ago, C. W. began reading publicly and submitting poetry to journals and publications of all kinds. He studies with Laurel Ann Bogen and Jack Grapes, two fixtures of the creative writing scene in Southern California. He is very pleased to be participating as a judge in this year’s Poetry Super Highway Contest.

Visit him on the web at: www.drchrisemerson.com

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

At Playa Iguana

All night I waited
for the next wave to come
and the next––

in each catch
of your in breath,
out breath.

The world had turned
sideways. There was a
storm. The clouds were

raining down seawater
like fishes’ tears.

The Nature of Forgiveness

If you are still out there
somewhere, still breathing air,
and ever think of me again
won’t you please forgive me?

I was not yet myself
in those days of tooth and nail.
I was liquor-varnished, calcified,
and couldn’t hear your nightcall

for the awful constant
clanging in my head.

Those were the amber days
that spun themselves out
like comb-honey, crisp with
the parchment of telegram,

the crack and pop of vinyl,
the slanted light that sifted through
the smog as we walked along
the great Tujunga Wash.

Your invitation so succinct
it scared me some, I guess.
I could only turn away, undress
quick and come in a beat.

I would know to lay a bed
of roses now, and send bunches
of smooth-lipped callas
day after sunswept day.

No one thought to tell me I was
living then. The wind breathed
not a word. It’s only now I ring myself
into the world each morning,

and fold myself back into the
canopy of every star-glazed night.

So if you are listening,
still sentient and breathing
and not yet dead, won’t you
please forgive me?


Kathleen Tyler

Bio (auto)

Kathleen Tyler lives in Los Angeles where she teaches English at a local high school. Her publications include The Secret Box from Mayapple Press, and My Florida from Backwaters Press. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including The Rattling Wall (Pen/USA), Visions International, Runes, Solo, Poetry Motel, Margie, Seems, Cider Press Review, and others. She has been the featured reader at many Southern California venues. A poem from My Florida was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

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

First Abstraction

The creation of the work of art is the creation of the world.
………………………………………………………–Wassily Kandinsky

because you were hungry
when the first human
cry collapsed the world —

the hood of your perambulator a canopy of vines

then the great flood
of color you felt
more than watched your eyes margined
with black

cilia sweeping the sky clear
of blue little clouds attached to your lids

the naming began
what had been silent burst
into song deep-notched

the wing bone of a mute swan held
to someone’s grief

a great slash

lush in its desire

there have been other singers

many once

figurine cast in the dust iconic
vagina a great sideways song

meditating on the one
sound that called you into being
you grasp yellow as if
centuries had not slipped past

its irresponsible appeal
the only answer possible
to this endless profusion

— you woke to color
exploding the canvas
no longer
a soft pillow for your eye

all encompassing
image that plies the universe

artful forest of our beginning

(The Rattling Wall, Issue 1, Spring 2011)

Small Dream in Red, 1925

my body a boat
little son
that bears us

the last
birthday in the world

the only gift I can give you
of hungry birds
their song a dropped

has no synonym
its slim fingers cling
to a red arc

mortal chinoiserie

on shore
cherry trees in the orchards blooming
tiny couches of dew

where will we rest
when the yellow red & blue diagonals that pin
us to the painting

Nick Petrone

Bio (auto)

Nicholas Petrone lives in Syracuse, NY. In his spare time he enjoys long walks along the shores of Onondaga Lake (now only the nation’s fourth most polluted body of water) and teaching his kids how to write poems about toilet paper. His poems have appeared in a bunch of places (including Poetry Super Highway) but all the good ones are being saved for posthumous publication.

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

Taxis Smell Like Midnight

I wonder what my elementary teachers are teaching the daisies –
I wonder what my cat looks like naked,
what the purpose of Lent is when Mother forgives me after fifteen minutes in my room,
what the opposite of airport might end up being –
I wonder if this is a free-range sausage patty –
whether everything will eventually be written
and why we can’t see that we are just successive generations of neophytes
and that books are baby babble passed down from one beginner to the next –
I wonder why we have to be doomed –
I wonder about the people who think they deserve an afterlife, a deliverer
and the others who jockey for a place in the center of the blink –
I wonder why midtown woke me at 4:00am to stare out at Manhattan’s not-quite-night –
I wonder what that warehouse where the band played was before the pills were popped
and the amps plugged in –
I wonder what the Triangular Shirtwaist girls sounded like as they hit the ground.

I told you we are all beginners
and I wonder why we need more proof of God’s
nonexistence –
I wonder what type of wood George Bernard Shaw would have burned on
if Christopher Columbus was President –
I wonder whether there is more to me than matter –
I wonder how much more matter there is in America than Tibet –
how many more pounds of anxious self-importance
how many more millions of milligrams of depression
how many more millions of McDonald’s toys
how many millions more pounds of pounds –
I wonder why organic food is a novelty in an organic world –
I wonder why the cat always runs away when I walk in the room,
what I’m going to wonder next
what I was before I become this momentary combination of atoms telling each other to type –
I wonder when the well will run dry
and what teacher daisies smell like after it rains.

The Enlightenment

Brother, I don’t need salvation –
shit I don’t want……………………………..salvation, holiness, meaning

just make me part of ..everything
let me evolve with the other molecules
let me bounce from star to star. eventually.

Brother, I don’t need no….symbols
no sacrifices, no selfish….solace
no books by blessed cavemen.

I’m sorry but the clouds.just rain
the sun just burns
we are all just used andrecycled.

We are holy like potato bugs
we are blessed like potatoes
we are special like grass
we are immortal like ..now
we are passing on our ….wisdom
we are the seekers oftruth
we are the affirmation of ….sunrise
we are the sole cause of….consciousness
we are the creators of ….cheeseburgers & gods.


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