June 16–22, 2008: Justin Hyde and Terry E Lockett

week of June 16-22, 2008

Justin Hyde and Terry E Lockett

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Justin Hyde
jjjjhyde@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Justin Hyde lives in Iowa where he works as a correctional officer His first book of poetry Down Where the Hummingbird Goes to Die is available from The Guild of Outsider Writers.

The following work is Copyright © 2008, and owned by Justin Hyde nd may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


the lathe

was the most fascinating
machine in my grandfather’s
wood-shop he said i needed more grip
before i could handle it,
wasn’t until my visit
summer after seventh grade i
came in from plunking sparrows in the backyard,
grandpa called me to the kitchen table
showed me a small block of wood made from
five lengths of different colored birch glued
together
he sat me down and explained how
we’d do it after dinner,
he put the smooth wooden handle of
the blade into my palm,
wrapped his hands around mine
steady pressure he said and it
had to be just so
at such an angle
not to loosely
or it’d fly out of my hands he flipped it on and i held tight
carving out a little rough edged bowl
we sanded down and
lacquered he glued it to the dash of his suburban
used it as an ashtray for twelve years
until he died of cirrhosis
on a hospice bed
in the living room and
don maas bought all of it
off grandma
in the auction.

edith

she had ankles
like telephone poles

butcher’s forearms

whale gut

stench of formaldehyde
from beneath a
billowing
denim skirt.

i couldn’t decide if she was retarded
or just a little slow we were cleaning
a street full
of college apartments
between summer
and fall lease.

they randomly assigned us in tandems
paid us by the apartment,

i thought she’d be a liability
but she worked like a clydesdale.

right then
we’d been at it
thirty-six hours straight.

she leaned against a sycamore
picking a scab on her forearm
and i sat on the front steps
while the apartment manager
checked our work.

she’d go hours without saying anything
then she’d ask my favorite color
if i’d ever kissed a girl
what kind of cake i liked on my birthday.

i’d gathered
she lived with her dad
out in the country
near gilbert

she liked giraffes
her favorite color
was green.

she pulled her sleeve down
wiped blood from the scab
then she asked
if i wanted to get married.

just like that.

told her
i wouldn’t make
a very good husband.

she told me
her dad said
she was rotten fruit

that she’d never find a husband.

i told her
that wasn’t true

that she’d make a beautiful wife.

her face went red.

the apartment manager came down
flashed thumbs up
said head over to that complex
across the street.

days like anvils

after three years
mother in law
finally snaps on you.

nothing particularly funny about it
but it’s all you can do
not to laugh in her face.

your wife is on the couch
crying

your son is in the backyard
with your father in law.

think this is funny?
your mother in law
slaps you across the face.

you stand up
calmly walk out the front door.

mile down the road
hands in pockets
your wife and son
pull into a driveway
in front of you.

you walk around
wave them off.

they follow a few blocks
at low speed
then disappear.

ten-thirty in the morning
on a saturday.

suzy Q’s is open.

pauly the bartender
grabs your chin
low whistle
takes a look at your face.

tell him
you just got done
taping an episode
of jerry springer.

you both laugh.

you ask him
to close the shades.

since when
are you a fucking invalid,
he smiles
and hands you the plastic wand
and pours you a
black velvet.

Terry E Lockett
terlane@fairpoint.net

Bio (auto)

Terry fell in love with the sound of poetry as a small child and began writing poems before she learned cursive Terry earned degrees in Sociology and English from Central Washington University She has provided services to foster children and their families in Central Washington for over two decades Terry was the winner of the 2007 Yakima Valley Allied Arts Juried Poetry Contest Terry has had recent publications in the WPA´s Whispers & Shouts, The Ahepa Mentor and Birds On A Line Her poems will also be featured in the summer edition of Weber: Journal of the Contemporary West
Visit Terry on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2008, and owned by Terry E Lockett and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Matriarch

We drew our light from her
Like a Pascal candle in a dark cathedral
that flickers at each lending and buds into yellow flame
again and again and again


Resolute

For Kareena

Nobody in my family dies easy Though their spines may fail
like drouth roses
and the thrush mould
their blue fissured throats.

Their hearts just hammer louder.

Annoyed by all that rasping and rattling,
the doctors give their charts a once over And we…we just hover around their bed,
avoid each other’s glances,
watch their eyes tick-tock
under their lids,
and take turns
checking their pulse like
a mailbox—
waiting on a late delivery.


Bounty

When I was five maybe six
a neighbor’s hen got out.

It was a hot reservation day
paved roads like clotted lava.

She asked me to catch it I sped away, barefooted.

That big red hen was a scrambler
made choppy flights over pavement,

gravel alleys, rose gardens It took me all morning.

Welts on bantam arms and legs,
Blisters on my feet, hair soaking wet

a shiny quarter warm in my fist
confetti of scarlet feathers

As I flew home.

Typed

The woman next to me
dentures click at each word
as her head slides left to right
hammering out her story.

She talks about an owl
who nearly killed her toy poodle
swept down she says
in broad daylight, half past noon!
She scared him off with a broom

But this one’s “a cutie” she says
as she points to the pigmy owl
tethered to his perch “Just look at those adorable eyes!”

I kneel next to the tiny owl
impervious to me or the crowd
and do, noting how those yellow eyes
fluorescent as a scope, and pupils
have locked in their crosshairs
her grandson’s bobbing red balloon.

Cat’s Paw

When the snow thawed
My daughter heard mewing,
Found them in a woodpile; gingerly stacked
Five in an apple box on the porch–
Their last concession to human touch.

At the height of summer, in the morning
I’d find their spoils on my steps-

Quail down, mouse-tails, sparrow skulls Evenings under the porch-light they’d hunt
Crickets, frogs, and elm beetles, then leap
Like flying squirrels, scramble screens for moths Late August the females turned sassy

Rubbed their haunches and quivering tails
Against any ankle, stone or tree,

Rolled in wet grass, with mouths open-pink,
Throats churning like percolators They could mock the wail of newborn babies
Kept us awake at night-
The hiss of Toms, their spray lacquering shrubs;
drifting in through the acrid windows.

Come October I’d had enough-slid
The squirming cage in the back of the truck When I hit the gravel and the cage rattled
I knew I couldn’t do it I saw them, without looking,
Crouched in the corner, blown up like puffer fish
The flash of their orange neon eyes in the dark.

Feral, It was not in their nature to be held,
But it was, evidently, in mine.