April 2-8, 2012: Donal Mahoney and Jim D. Babwe

week of April 2-8, 2012

Donal Mahoney and Jim D. Babwe

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Donal Mahoney

Bio (auto)

Donal Mahoney, an immigrant from Chicago, lives in St. Louis, Missouri. He has had poems published in a variety of print and online publications, including The Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey), Revival (Ireland), Catapult to Mars (Scotland), Public Republic (Bulgaria), The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Commonweal, Poetry Super Highway and The Camel Saloon. Some of his earliest work can be found at http://booksonblog12.blogspot.com/

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Donal Mahoney and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Take Me to the Taxidermist

I told my wife the other night
when she came back to bed
my feet were cold so now’s
the time for me to tell her
not to bury me or burn me
or give my body to science.

Take me to the taxidermist
and have him dress me in
Cary Grant’s tuxedo, a pair
of paten leather shoes
from Fred Astaire and a
straw hat from Chevalier.

Once I’m a Hollywood star,
stand me in the garden with
that chorus line of blondes,
brunettes and redheads
I stationed there the day she
flew home to Mother in a snit.

Years later now, my dancers still
kick high enough to lance the sun.
I plan to hold a last rehearsal
once my wife motors into town
and finds a priest who’ll say
a thousand Masses for my soul.


 Jim D. Babwe

Bio (auto)

Jim D. Babwe is a photographer, writer, and opportunistic microphone hog living in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, a community of Encinitas (CA). He was born in Los Angeles and raised in the underappreciated cultural melting salads of Compton and Lynwood, where he loved playing baseball and learning to appreciate the music of James Brown and Frank Zappa as one of the six basic food pyramids. He knows there is no such thing as a free lunch, but he maintains an abiding faith in the existence of coupons good for significant discounts on the price of breakfast.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by  Jim D. Babwe and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Queen of Leucadia Boulevard

rambling through the night
talking to the trees
singing to the cars
yelling at the bees
throwing rocks at stars
dodging fragments of the stars
she’s knocked out of the sky

chanting random commentary
listening to responses only she can hear
she remembers
she’s alone again
snaps to attention
attacks with rebellious abandon
protects herself from feeling lost
finds location
in the softest target
finds me
blames me for the war
blames me for the flu
blames me for a thousand awful
things I would never think of doing.
five feet two or three
barely 101
rattling bones
inside a simulated jaguar
patterned leotard
she calls herself The Queen
says she owns the Boulevard.

I parked next to the gas pumps
she followed like a shadow
and barked “Woof. I know you”
as I walked through the door
entered the convenience store

she veered toward the clerk
said, “scratchers. I need two of those”
snagged a penny
jammed it into a jeans pocket
with newly wrinked lottery tickets
sweetly asked nobody in particular
for help with finding cottage cheese
found me indecisive
hot dog or burrito?
hot dog or burrito?
said she quit smoking last Thursday
started up again about a day later
suddenly told me
I was in luck
grabbed my hand
promised to read my palm
for half price–five bucks
added this:
it’s a good deal
but if you’re too cheap to spend the dough
I’ll settle for a dollar per finger.
I said thanks
but no
and she checked out again
informed her imaginary companion
she would chew the head off my pitbull
in addition to the horse I rode in on buster brown
cackled see you later cowboy
ran outside to dive into the back
of a pick-up truck that slowed
for a moment
before it barely beat the train
and disappeared north
into the fog.

wandering near the curbs
casting mumbled spells
searching for the cottage cheese
calling old connections to a special spirit world
for a little magic dust
to make her happy like she used to be
and then outside
before I get back behind the wheel
I’m the one alone
almost talking to myself aloud
like this:

maybe we should change the way
we look once quickly
before we quickly look away
when we see someone’s
disconnected from at least a clock
at most–everything
and maybe there
can be good reasons
for both.
what would be the harm
in handing her a blanket
and a sweater
a pair of shoes
and breakfast
in the morning
after handing her a written invitation
an actual invitation
to a safe place
here in town
where she can spend
at least one night
with both eyes closed?

and what if
(you know who you are
and yes I’m the one who
filed a complaint)
Deputy Down On Your Knees
Hands Behind Your Back
They Picked On Me in School
You Stink
You Need a Shower
what if he
backs off a little
instead of strutting
for cadets to show them
how a real cop
works the streets?
what if he
addresses her as Your Majesty
before asking
How may I be of service?

he’s capable of kindness

enough to open a door
on the passenger’s side
why not allow her
to ride comfortably
in front?
how difficult is decency?

I can understand
a little nervousness

who wouldn’t be a little nervous
in the presence of
the Queen
of Leucadia Boulevard?


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