September 7-13, 2015: Seth Howard and Ralph Monday

Seth Howard and Ralph Monday

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Seth Howard
bukoku@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Seth Howard is a graduate of The University of Connecticut, where he studied English and Philosophy. Lover of things Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Taiwanese, he has traveled extensively across East Asia. His poetry has appeared in Unarmed Journal, Big Hammer, The Scope, Elephant, Burp, Sassafras Magazine, and Chronogram. He is the author of the chapbooks OUT OF THE EAST and WATERS FROM A WELL, and is working on a third surrealist influenced collection entitled CELEBRATION IN SOLITUDE. In his spare time he co-edits the literary zine CAPSULE, translates contemporary Japanese poetry, and practices Zen mediation. He currently resides in New London.

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

Layover at O’Hare

A certain numbness in my toes
Rather a fold of silk where I thought my shirt to be
A number of terns
Flock in the index of memory

You’ve been here before, at least
Once, the smell of airports, light from a high window
You recognize me in my disguise
Are you pleased?
What may I ask of she who listens…
I grow sad in the light

Rather a few leafy pages wrapped in thread
Corpuscle of all my days
She was given to ruminations quite unlike her
A certain immediacy
Coffee please
It’s not so bad black every now and then

You turn over in your sleep
And as I try to wake you
Your stomach
Swells, a melon in the moonlight.

 



Ralph Monday
mondayrw@comcast.net

Bio (auto)

Ralph Monday is Associate Professor of English at Roane State Community College in Harriman, TN., and has published hundreds of poems in over 50 journals. A chapbook, All American Girl and Other Poems, was published in July 2014. A book Empty Houses and American Renditions was published May 2015 by Aldrich Press. A Kindle chapbook Narcissus the Sorcerer was published June 2015 by Odin Hill Press. Visit Ralph on the web here: http://www.ralphmonday.com/

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

Nostalgia in the Bones

Something strange is going on in these bizarre
times. Like glass with colors locked in the center,
something is vanishing the way worn relationships
wind down like a needle scratching out grooves
on an old LP platter.
Bits of nostalgia fall everywhere, fine bone dust
like flour a grandmother kneads for dough—
once the debris of deceased sea creatures on
ocean’s floor, resurrecting from that gray, blind
mud. An opening at the end of a tunnel, past
moons waxing round, growing larger in city
streets, town halls, fields and alleys, the sullen,
unrequited, confused thoughts of men and women
carried as a slow car shifting gears, speeding up,
slowing down to read the text scrambled upon
black asphalt.
The shift— hungry seismic waves settling through
houses, signs everywhere: in traffic lights, shopping
malls, frozen food, church pews and brothels, clothing
and tools, toilets and faucets dripping old water.
Patsy Cline coos about lost love on the radio.
Johnny Cash coos about nothing.
The Andrews Sisters revive WWII heroes.
Lucy and Desi, Jim and Margaret, Ward
and June, television tropes of a tender age—
the girl next door not the whore on the street.
Trees are talking about it, rocks sing arias,
the grass twirls the radio dial and searches
for white picket fences to plant near the sidewalk.
Even today’s rapping young are hungry for
a banquet from the past. An empty half century
has passed, substance lack, devoid of keys,
Michael and Brittany and Lady Gaga, false
idols, empty urns that cannot slake the thirst
for something greater, something that shakes
the bones, creeps like a slow growing vine
across the land, stirs from its slumber—
resurrects car hops, drive-ins, poodle skirts,
mother at dinner, father at work,
apple for teacher, class ring for the girl.
What is it this thing that coils around
the mind—remembrance of times past?
Momentary illusion in the ripples of time?
The tree is not yet stripped bare. Brown
leaves hang as tiny ghost tufts waiting
for winter’s end.

 


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