October 18-24, 2004: Michael Pollick, James M. Pinkerton and Lori Williams

week of October 18-24, 2004

This week presenting the winners of the
2004 (seventh annual) Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest:

see the complete contest details here

Michael Pollick
James M Pinkerton
Lori Williams

click here for submission guidelines

Michael Pollick

Bio (auto)

Michael Pollick was born in Akron, Ohio in 1964, but currently lives and writes in the Deep South.  His work has appeared in such outlets as Midwest Poetry Review, HART, Elk River Review, Vermillion Literary Project and the Iconoclast.  In addition, he is very active in the online poetry community, and has received recognition in contests sponsored by Webstatic, Shadyvale Press, ShowEmall’s Writer’s Block, The Creative Christian and others
His first collection of poetry on cd-rom, entitled the Collateral Damage Report, can be ordered through his website at http://www.angelfire.com/al/collateraldamage.  A more complete biography, reviews and author’s notes can also be found there as well
Michael won first place in this year’s contest with his poem “Snapshot: Kittanning, Pennsylvania 1963 “

The following work is Copyright © 2004, and owned by Michael Pollick and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Snapshot: Kittanning, Pennsylvania 1963

Looking north up South Water street,
the dying stand solid as
parking meters, finding finer spirits
underground than the ones
they were promised
The stores here are shadowed in,
windows covered in soap and relocations-
lonely mothers clutch the gloves
of those who will soon be from Kittanning A fine layer of dust grows more confident,
as the Allegheny does its best to carve
new scars through the Rust Belt’s open wounds;

The sulfur sun finally glazes over a town
that stays locked away in its own dead storage,
trapped by the ice cold promise of something
darker than coal, stronger than steel.

James M Pinkerton


James Pinkerton has a B.A in English from California State University Northridge James has worked as a pizza delivery driver, mechanics assistant, mathematics tutor, substitute elementary school teacher, and an AmeriCorps volunteer coordinator for Habitat for Humanity He is currently studying poetry with Laurel Ann Bogen James lives with a roommate in Sunland, California

The following work is Copyright © 2004, and owned by James M Pinkerton and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Birthday

This morning, as I fly into April,
the warm golden sun rises behind me
and before I know it, it snuffs out the cold mountain chill of winter
I left behind in Appalachia, where I buried my father
the snow blanket now covering his grave
Today is Easter Sunday
and my son is being born
The wildflowers are in bloom,
the migratory birds will soon return
Even the cactus sprouts bright red flowers
It is dawn as I land in Los Angeles You’re in labor, my stomach in knots But the sun rises bright,
as the streetlights close their eyes,
and the night shadows evaporate
I race to the midwife where you give birth in a warm pool
I wave goodbye to my father I see him as he is welcomed into the arms of my grandparents Just as my son is welcomed from his journey I cut the umbilical chord and celebrate the morning.

Lori Williams


Lori Williams is a born and bred New Yorker who works as a legal assistant in the publishing field She is the single mother of a 19 year old Her work has been published in numerous print and online publications, including Poems Niederngasse, Melic Review, Snow Monkey, Avatar Review, and Poet’s Canvas, and is upcoming in Mind Mutations Anthology and Miller’s Pond See more of her work at her Website (http://loriwilliams.homestead.com)

The following work is Copyright © 2004, and owned by Lori Williams and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Making Penne with Basil-Seafood Sauce

I gather shrimp, octopus, basil, clams, tomatoes,
garlic, cream I clasp my knife, a bridge to life, slice cloves
slimmer than the hopes I hold on to with every morning sip
of coffee I split the shrimps’ spine, pick out the long black thread
of its existence It feels nice to smoosh on a paper towel,
watch the darkness pile up, cram it into the trash If only
Calamari is interesting to cut-all those little legs with their stories,
those eyes begging a neat divorce, ashamed Sweet squid,
I swear I didn’t look at you as I severed your limbs My four keep me humble I think my son is on drugs Chopping tomatoes is numbing,
I could do it for hours Plums, only plums, bright red eggs made for dicing The knife slides through the thin skin — as I watch the juice spurt out,
the seeds, I remember his birth and I chop and chop and chop
until the cutting board is full of miniscule

pieces so I start again, because the recipe calls for thick chunks I think my son is on drugs you know, so I saute garlic in olive oil
until golden, that color of summers in the Adirondacks when little boys
with dark hair turned blond, and mother was someone who shined
like a new penny And I cook and cook, stir it all with grandma’s
wooden spoon while I state as a fact that I think my son is on drugs –
say it to the frying pan, the pasta pot, the cutting board Yes,
I think he is.

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