October 10-16, 2011: Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas and R.J. Merritt

week of October 10 – 16, 2011

Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas and R.J. Merritt

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Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas

Bio (auto)

Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas is a six-time Pushcart nominee and a 2010 Best of the Net nominee. She is the author of seven chapbooks with her latest collection of poems: Epistemology of an Odd Girl, forthcoming from March Street Press. She lives in the High Country, near the base of the Sierra Foothills. According to family lore, she is a direct descendent of Robert Louis Stevenson. Visit Carol on the web here: http://www.clgrellaspoetry.com/

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


Sometimes we’d sit around the kitchen
table drinking our milk and eating snap

peas with our flank steak dressed
in truffle mushroom sauce,

discussing wrongdoings between
bites of popovers. This was no place

for tall tales or hilarity. This was
the kind of talk that ate through

dreams like a beetle on a willow
leaf. Legal jargon thrown about

between sips of purity and well
done beef and as I recall one debate

about a girl’s puppy who gnawed through
a pair of her father’s brand new Loafers…

how after weeks of bad behavior
he told his daughter to

take that dog to the mustard fields
and shoot him with my rifle─

how she unlocked the gun, and shot
herself instead. I never could manage

a worthy comment. I just sat
in silence and pondered the penalty

of refusing to polish my father’s alligator shoes.

Back in the Day

I’d like to straddle that mechanical
pony again. The one outside Thrifty’s
five-and- dime for the nickel thrill
of being tipped to and fro in the perfunctory
life of a five-year-old. My mother near
the reins, hair coifed, nails shining
fuchsia, wearing her best Audrey Hepburn
dress, me in my black Mary Janes,
white anklets with French lace trim,
curls pulled half-up, ringlets skimming
bony shoulders and pinafore
straps, pockets full of daydreams,
unknowing how much can change
when the ride finally ends and no one’s
there to lift you off that motorized
horse, place you neatly in the basket
again, squeaky casters rolling steadily
past the checkout line.

R.J. Merritt

Bio (auto)

R.J. Merritt lives in Marina del Rey, California. His poetry has appeared in Napalm Health Spa.

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

Canadian Geese

I watch common Canada geese escort their goslings
Through a field and to the river.
Hidden in high weeds ’til dusk,
They appear for guarded evening walk and bath,
Necks erect, alert, bobbing, protecting
Yellow tussles of down feathers that move
En masse in dwindling numbers safety
Eating along the way
Then goslings bedded down again,
Goose and gander return to honk
And swim and skitter about on the water ’til dark.

Coming in from a row one evening,
I found a gander near the dock
Swimming circles ’round
His goose, floating, silent,
Her neck fallen, wires showing
From broken lamp stem.
Despite her stillness,
He continued circling.


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