September 25 – October 1, 2017: Poetry from Laura McCarty and Adam Valentine

Laura McCarty and Adam Valentine

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Laura McCarty

Bio (auto)

Laura P. McCarty is pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at American University. Her work has appeared in the GW Review, Lunch Ticket, Jelly Bucket, and is forthcoming in descant and the St. Petersburg Review. In 2016, she was a semi-finalist for the Disquiet International Literary Prize in non-fiction and a finalist for the Diana Woods Memorial Award. In 2014, she co-authored and published her first book of poetry, My Mother, My Daughter, My Sister, My Self. Laura works in international development in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. She lives in Arlington, VA.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Laura McCarty and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Buffalo Bayou

The bayou overflowed,

spread like a spilled glass of wine

that kept staining my sister’s home.
The flood line rose on her walls
until it was time to go. The bayou overflowed.
Birthday photos, high school diplomas,
three medals her daughter won
washed away. On a double kayak, she floated

in her home with beds gliding, her paintings
swaying on the walls. My sister paddled out the door
with her husband and two dogs through water worth nothing.
Baby fish, she called them, and water moccasins took over.
Have it, she said. There’s nothing on this planet
we own.
For five days the bayou overflowed
until roofs disappeared and live oak
trees were drowning. When the water left
she returned to warped tables, crumbling drywall,

mattresses that took five men to move.
So little to save. Two Pyrex dishes, three plastic plates, a gravy boat,
and a Christmas cactus. Someday, it will bloom. No grief
she said. We start over. 




Adam Valentine

Bio (auto)

Adam Valentine writes poems and roams the woods near Murray, Kentucky.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Adam Valentine and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

To Everybody with Balcony Tickets

When the music picks up,
let’s gather on the flat

space behind the rows
and fall in like divers,

until we’re all signals
under water, making

new and breathless
syllables, saying

something we could never
speak of, dancing

this way until our names
quit working, until

the currents bring us

to each other, our bodies
together in waves.


What Do You Want to Talk About Later?

We used to get our baseball
cards out and wonder how
many hits a guy would get
before he got too old and after
that we’d open the newspaper
and see how many hits he had
that year and then we’d turn on
the TV and see how many
hits he had that night. Now
we watch our fantasy scores
update every few seconds,
so I asked him how long
had it been since he looked
at the moon through binoculars,
and I said how he won’t believe
it’s been right there the whole
time, near as a song playing
at the grocery, but distant
as what he might do. I said
remember when I worked
at that one place from 2000
to 2008 and then kept working
there some more? And I said
you know how cops don’t mind
about auctions but sometimes
they can’t stand a drum set?
Then I asked him: what year
did Bob Gibson quit pitching?
He said Google is your friend,
and I said yeah but you
were my friend first.


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