September 21-27, 2015: John Tustin and Tim Wenzell

John Tustin and Tim Wenzell

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John Tustin
johnhtustin@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

John Tustin graduated from nowhere, edits nothing and has no awards. He is currently displaced from his New York City home and houseless in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and his poetry is forthcoming in Poetry Pacific, Your One Phone Call, Bare Back Magazine, Newtown Literary Review and others. fritzware.com/johntustinpoetry is a link to his poetry online.

The following work is Copyright © 2015, and owned by John Tustin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Blame the Sky

Every morning when I look up
I see less colors in the sky
Than I did
The morning before

And I don’t know whether
To blame the sky
Or to blame
My eyes.

 



Tim Wenzell
timwenzell@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Tim Wenzell (Richmond, Virginia) is widely published, including a novel, a book on Irish literature, personal and literary essays, and many poems and short stories.

The following work is Copyright © 2015, and owned by Tim Wenzell and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Wrong Answers

I wasn’t certain of square roots and things
Sister Joseph threatened we’d better know
for the oral exam she said would show
our little ears who were those studying
our decimals and fraction lines: dividing
large into small, endless digits below
zero. I tried hiding in that back row
from her stare, waiting for my bell to ring.

Sister Joseph eyed my crouch right away,
hiding with my long jumbled numbers in
my head. She rained tough problems down on me,
full of evil intention. “Don’t dare say
a thing,” I told me, “hold your silence. Sin
walks down the aisle, with zero mercy.”


Times Tables

Being W
they put me
in the ninth row
second to last
in front of Maria Zimmerman.

A is easy, ones and two times twos
but nine times sevens and nine times nines
come down the aisle of V’s and W’s and Y’s

Wait this isn’t fair to think so much more
sixty-two no sixty-four or wait is it sxty-five
with rows of eyes turned backward
to you as you finally answer dead wrong

and Sister sends you to the coat room
to collect your proper thoughts.”


Coat Room

Through the partition window
the light showed me
several black birds
putting themselves
upon the iron railing going down
one of them looking beady-eyed up
noticing me trapped
in the coat room.

It smelled like suffocating camphor
when the bulb flickered cold
leaving only the dark stranglulation and
the little pencil light
on Miriam Mackey’s red tweed.

“Sister get me out of here
I’m ready to learn some Math again”
I whispered through the wall
as the boys in the last row
recited their nine-times tables.

 

 


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