April 4-10, 2011: James D. Babwe and Jack Conway

James D Babwe

Bio (auto)

James D Babwe currently lives on a significant earthquake fault at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains in Azusa As a photographer, he has an unreasonable fear of not having at least one camera with him almost all the time.

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


Large enough
to represent
some vast national cause
her cotton dress
fluttered with the wind
of her walking
toward an old Ford
with adhesive vinyl
imitation wood
peeling away from yellow paint
like wallpaper
between wounded chrome strips
stapled to the side of the station wagon She aimed
her shiny cart forward
and one rubber wheel wobbled
like a disobedient child
playing with food
at a family picnic.

A swift kick
in the manners
aligned the delinquent
but a purse strap broke
and keys fell.

Her left hand swooped
to retrieve lost objects
from the asphalt
while her right
provided the cart
no chance
of escape.

Never looking
toward passing strangers
for help or sympathy
she tossed dog food first
a fifty-pound bag
lifted and stowed
with personal will
not magic.

Baby food
a dozen cantaloupes
two ten-pound bags of potatoes
and two cases of canned soup followed
but before loading
eight full paper bags
she caught me
taking photographs.

Too far away
for conversation
I wanted to say something
about admiration
or guilt I ducked
when she hurled
gum past my head
and she shoved her empty cart
into noisy metallic collision
with a parking lot lamppost’s
concrete base.

She could have torn
the car door from its hinges
I thought
as she slammed it shut
and drove away
without looking back again
and I wouldn’t blame her
for cursing or hating
the intrusive stranger
who better not
publish those pictures She was gigantic.



Jack Conway

Bio (auto)

Jack Conway teaches at the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth He is the author of eight books including a trilogy on New York City during the Gilded Age — King of Heists(2009), The Big Policeman (2010) and Bag of Bones (2011) published by The Globe Pequot Press His poems have appeared in Poetry, The Antioch Review, The Columbia Review, The James Dickey Review and several anthologies including the Norton Book of Light Verse, among many others.

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

Dear Cupcake 

Dear cupcake,
I know that if I
spread you open wide
and stick my tongue inside
you’ll surrender
your sweet cream
surprise to me I will eat you slowly
and lick your sides You’ll crumble
in my sticky fingers And long after you’re gone
the taste of you will linger.


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