Page 1


Tipton Poetry Journal Editor’s Note Tipton Poetry Journal, located in the heartland of the Midwest, publishes quality poetry from Indiana and around the world. This issue of Tipton Poetry Journal is the first double issue. Previously, TPJ has published quarterly. We are shifting to a new, expanded format with twice as many poems published twice per year. The new expanded format will permit us to publish a perfect-bound journal. This issue of Tipton Poetry Journal is the first of our two double issues for 2013. Previously, TPJ has published quarterly. We shifted to a new, expanded format with twice as many poems in each of this year’s issues. This expanded format permitted us to publish a perfect-bound journal. Also, this issue was produced with the assistance of our new assistant editor, Nicole Adrienne Aguiniga. Nicole is currently an English Graduate Student at the University of Indianapolis. Available copies of this issue of the journal ($9 each) may be purchased either online or by check payable to Tipton Poetry Journal. Issues prior to 2013 are available online at a discount. Submissions should be sent via our submissions manager at http://tiptonpoetryjournal.submittable.com. Submission guidelines and information about past issues are also available at: http://tiptonpoetryjournal.com Barry Harris, Editor Tipton Poetry Journal P.O. Box 269078 Indianapolis, Indiana 46226 Cover photo, “Yellow Frog,” by Laura Mantke-Rosenhagen Copyright 2013 by the Tipton Poetry Journal. All rights remain the exclusive property of the individual poets and may not be used without their permission. Tipton Poetry Journal is published by Brick Street Poetry Inc., a tax-exempt non-profit organization under IRS Code 501(c)(3). Brick Street Poetry Inc. publishes the Tipton Poetry Journal, hosts the monthly poetry series Poetry on Brick Street and sponsors other poetry-related events.


Contents Richard Schiffman ............................................................................................................. 1 Robert Kendrick.................................................................................................................. 2   Holly Day ............................................................................................................................ 3   Holly Day ............................................................................................................................ 3   Elaine Fowler Palencia ...................................................................................................... 4   Gilbert Allen ....................................................................................................................... 5   Brenda Bradley ................................................................................................................... 6   Milton Ehrlich .................................................................................................................... 7   Peter Branson ..................................................................................................................... 8   Peter Branson ..................................................................................................................... 9   Shari Wagner...................................................................................................................... 9   Joan Colby ........................................................................................................................ 10   SJ Sindu ............................................................................................................................ 10   Donna Marbach ............................................................................................................... 11   Nancy Schaefer ................................................................................................................ 12   Dawn Schout .................................................................................................................... 13   Thomas O’Dore ................................................................................................................ 14   Linda Caldwell Lee........................................................................................................... 14   Linda Caldwell Lee........................................................................................................... 15   Sarah Brown Weitzman .................................................................................................. 16   Sarah Brown Weitzman .................................................................................................. 17   Jo Barbara Taylor ............................................................................................................ 17   Diana Woodcock .............................................................................................................. 18   Jane Olivier ...................................................................................................................... 19   Jeff Bernstein ................................................................................................................... 20   Jeanine Stevens ................................................................................................................ 21  


Janet Butler ...................................................................................................................... 22 Janet Butler ...................................................................................................................... 22   Judy Young ....................................................................................................................... 23   Jessica Quick .................................................................................................................... 24   Angelo Giambra ............................................................................................................... 25   Mike Donaldson ............................................................................................................... 26   Eric Halliwell.................................................................................................................... 27   John Groppe ..................................................................................................................... 28   John Groppe ..................................................................................................................... 29   Michael Brown ................................................................................................................. 30   Gerald Solomon ................................................................................................................ 31   Jay Rubin .......................................................................................................................... 32   N. A’Yara Stein ................................................................................................................ 33   Ruth Gooley ...................................................................................................................... 34   Mac Greene ...................................................................................................................... 35   Noel Sloboda ..................................................................................................................... 36   Harold Taylor ................................................................................................................... 37   erren geraud kelly............................................................................................................. 38   Mango ............................................................................................................................... 42   Anne Haines ..................................................................................................................... 44   Richard Luftig .................................................................................................................. 44   Becky Brown ..................................................................................................................... 45   Darren C. Demaree .......................................................................................................... 46   Darren C. Demaree .......................................................................................................... 46   Darren C. Demaree .......................................................................................................... 47   Neil Cain ........................................................................................................................... 47   Roger Camp ...................................................................................................................... 48  


Alex Phillips...................................................................................................................... 49 Roger Camp ...................................................................................................................... 50   George Stratigakis ............................................................................................................ 51   Gail Eisenhart .................................................................................................................. 54   James Keane ..................................................................................................................... 55   Melvin Chen ..................................................................................................................... 56   David Ricchiute ................................................................................................................ 57   Katherine Givens .............................................................................................................. 58   Matthew Brennan ............................................................................................................. 58   Matthew Brennan ............................................................................................................. 59   Jill Reid ............................................................................................................................. 60   James H Duncan .............................................................................................................. 60   Joanna Kurowska ............................................................................................................. 61   Joanna Kurowska ............................................................................................................. 61   Riley Spilman.................................................................................................................... 62   Riley Spilman.................................................................................................................... 63   John C. Mannone ............................................................................................................. 63   Ryan Bayless ..................................................................................................................... 64   John Sibley Williams ........................................................................................................ 65   Philip C. Kolin .................................................................................................................. 66   Steve Klepetar ................................................................................................................... 67   Marco Ray ........................................................................................................................ 67   Cameron Barnett .............................................................................................................. 68   Cameron Barnett .............................................................................................................. 69   Robert Demaree ................................................................................................................ 70   Jeffrey Tucker .................................................................................................................. 71   Jeffrey Tucker .................................................................................................................. 71  


Paul Stroble ...................................................................................................................... 72 Jessica Haugen ................................................................................................................. 74   Peter Solet ......................................................................................................................... 75   Peter Solet ......................................................................................................................... 75   Brian T. Robinson ............................................................................................................ 76   William Wright Harris ..................................................................................................... 77   William Wright Harris ..................................................................................................... 77   Biographies ....................................................................................................................... 78  


Tipton Poetry Journal

Little Buddha Richard Schiffman Little Buddha tight packed limbs jiggling loose from dad’s steel blue papoose. A parachute of bouncing boy agape at reefs of May foliage. Flesh-pink koi finning through morning’s pond. What pond is this? What river of inebriation? But boy-fish eyes are innocent of interrogation as past bright bays and wavy fronds of shadow they slice clean through the butter of the day. Or like a captain at the helm who knows nothing of the endless ocean. But only that the sea gives way. But only that the world is water.

1


Tipton Poetry Journal

Witness Robert Kendrick I still believe all the tales I believed, back when I still believed them: mustard seeds, a widow’s coin, yeast hidden in the dough – He’d fold you in parables until you forgot you were in Judea, forgot you hadn’t been fed in three days. I forgot myself. I passed up open pockets, even held the common purse, somehow went a full year without my hands on woman’s hips. Then the last days just lasted too long. I had waited for Heaven enough. And I had slid under carts and ducked into shadows long before following Rabbuni: following Caiaphas, I could live in the open. Heaven enough was Ceasarea. Work the docks, dig a pit, whatever would pay -but my fingers would balk at a coin pouch. I avoided the street with the temple. These hands can still hold a tool, more or less. I’m not ready to sit with a bowl, begging outside the gate – though I know that’s what I’ve got coming. My money-box holds the denarii to pay for drink or a whore, but she’d rob me blind, and new wine is too much for the old skin of my bladder. So I go to the Sabbath day meetings, an old Jew who tithes coins, who tells wandering wonder-filled tales in secondhand Greek. I watch the meekest of them as they listen: the thin-shouldered young man I’d have left cold in an alley, the lamb-cheeked fat one I’d have picked clean in the street, the almond-eyed girl that gold could have opened. An old liar should know how to stick to his story, how to robe himself in some threads of the truth, so I feed these mild ones with five loaves and two fish, let them drink from the deep vats at Cana, bring their Talitha back from the dead, shroud them in the darkness at noon.

2


Tipton Poetry Journal

Narthex Holly Day he climbed inside me even though i told him i was much too small, found a way to get under my skin past the angry bones and red, wet flesh. there was not enough room to move, but he did anyway. i was a monk curled up in a cave a book and a loaf of bread tucked against my chest, but then i was the cave, and there was no room for god there was no room for anything but angry, red flesh. he moved against me like god and bread, like monks and blood, like bones and books ripped through my folder of soliloquies took this flesh and made it read.

Zeta Holly Day I could not find my dog so I came here. I could not find my dog even though I looked and looked so I Came here. There were candles waiting for prayers and I lit two, two candles For my dog. If I look hard enough into the light, I can almost see her I could not find my dog so I asked around and a man said I should come here. I came here because I could not find My dog and I lit two candles for my dog, One to keep her safe, one to bring her home. My dog, I know she loves me and she wants To come home. Someone knocked on the door of the room asked If they could use it now, they had important prayers, too. But not as important as mine. 3


Tipton Poetry Journal

Beautiful Boy Elaine Fowler Palencia for an autistic grandson sun-bronzed straight-nosed grave lissome sculptured lips statue-blank eyes Aegean blue how came you to sit upon the bones of this Midwestern boy this boy caught in a dream of himself remote as any Greek isle I will ask the blaring magenta throat of the golden day lily I will ask the garden stones the good grey dove I will find the god hidden in the everyday the one who will tell me

4


Tipton Poetry Journal

Speed Limit Enforced by Aircraft Gilbert Allen “Fighter aces become cubicle-bound drone operators.” —Edward Helmore

Drones flown. Afghanistan unmanned. Crones moan. No more? No war? Soar o’er Route 4! Screen clear. Seen here on cue Subaru— blue ass too fast. Enforce perforce now. How? POW! Wow

5


Tipton Poetry Journal

Everybody's Got a Little Hot Pink Toe Polish in 'Em! Brenda Bradley After a 3 mile run and a cup of coffee at 6 A.M., my dog watches me spread homemade peanut butter and drip Papa’s honey on my breakfast toast; she knows I’ll let her lick my finger. I am a thoughtful pet owner. Then I tackle dirty clothes: Where’d that stain come from? floors: Who dropped this sticky mess? toilets: What is that black stuff? I am a responsible mother. This afternoon I update my fall syllabus and dream of ways to engage my students, to equip and empower them to make a difference. I am a prepared teacher. Tonight I serve crusted Dijon salmon and grilled asparagus on a candle-lit, linen-covered table because the kids are not home. I am a loving wife. Tomorrow I’ll let the summer sun kiss my skin while I sit on the patio, drink Topo Chico, and read a novel – just for fun. Then I’ll go to Mi Nail Spa and choose hot pink polish.

6


Tipton Poetry Journal

This is It Milton Ehrlich When the universe tilts my way, a voice in a passing breeze reminds me to be at ease. Petaluma-like sun shines on rows of huge sunflowers with smiling faces that never fade. Birds are tweet-tweeting as if they’re trying to wake up the dead. I breathe. My dog is at my side twitching in a dream. The sleepy Abyssinian cat on my lap yawns. In the stillness of my garden everything is all right. Cars crawl along at 25mph and the kids have all A’s. Hymns from the church waft down the street. Unbelievers are on a golf course or swatting tennis balls. Seated in my gazebo I let go from head to toe even though the world is a dangerous place. I see a robin fly up a tree with a Q-tip in his mouth for a nest he is building. I feel full of soul. Nothing else matters. 7


Tipton Poetry Journal

Children’s Rant Peter Branson Grown ups who should know better, The ones with all the say, Who’ve robbed us of our childhood, We’ll pay them back some day. The bored housewife and mother Who’s younger than she feels, Starts living through her daughter; Make up, tight skirts, high heels. Grown ups who should know better, There is a price to pay. They’ve robbed us of our childhood: We’ll do for them one day. The teachers and inspectors Who say what goes in schools, They stole away our wonder-lust With tests and paltry rules. Grown ups who should know better, No matter what you say, You’ve robbed us of our childhood: There’s this high price you’ll pay. Kids’ mags and TV programmes, With market-centred themes, Turn tots into consumers Of advertisers’ dreams. Grown ups who should know better, A terrible price you’ll pay. You robbed us of our childhood: We’re coming for YOU - and YOU - and YOU – and YOU, TODAY!

8


Tipton Poetry Journal

Retrospect Peter Branson In Bruegel’s masterpiece, Joseph and spouse arrive at Bethlehem to pay their dues, no hint, before celebrity kicks in, they’re more significant than other folk out there, soused by the snow. This makes no sense in geography nor when bowled over by two thousand years’ remorseless spin. Point is it’s what he liked to do – and understood. Those who knew Newton as a problem child, had they an inkling what he’d grow to do? Could smug contemporaries at Eton sense the Orwell rising in young Eric Blair? All things are possible. In later years, no doubt, drunk with hindsight, they drown in clues.

To the Fireflies in a Drought Year Shari Wagner Crawl out, now, from sun-struck lawns where once you slept on moist bark and horse-nettle, under jaunty May-apples, their green umbrellas. Ascend in the dusk that sealed wild sun-drops, washed buckeyes back to the cobble-gray sea. Come in that twilight when the croaking of tree frogs thickened the foliage, when chimney swifts dove into tea-scented sycamores. Flicker, cautious spirits, your tiny orbs of light. Mark the border between our backyard and the old, enchanted forest. 9


Tipton Poetry Journal

The Barn at Twilight Joan Colby Twilight. In the haymow of the ancient barn we bargain. You throw bales into the back of the pickup. An open bale falls into the open trapdoor. Below grey ghostly pigs grunt and strive, huge shadowy forms in eerie halflight, scene from a Fellini film grotesque, excessive. The dust-filled light is failing. Silhouetted high in the gothic window, a peacock screams harshly. Ornamental, grandiose, raucously noble. The swine root below our feet in the bowels of this ark. Outside in trees, the wind is growing frantic as the new moon weasels itself up, parenthetical to an awful stasis.

River Seeds SJ Sindu As the heat of the swelling morning pressed gently on her withered temples, my grandmother spread out rice on a broad palm-leaf sifter. She sat on the baked brick veranda of our one-story bungalow, under plane-free skies, shoulder leaning just slightly on a white plaster column. Her body in a worn batik housecoat, thick, rough hands moving slowly over rice grains, fingers raking, pushing rice into little rivulets that ran down the palm-leaf sifter like thoughts. The rice was brown like her skin, dry and rough, bought from the young boy with the broken teeth, filled with rocks. She raked her fingers through the rice kernels, picking out rocks and insect shells. She knew without knowing that you can't hold rice, that it slips through your fingers, slides down your skin, under your hands, consuming, hungry, leaving you just a little more empty. 10


Tipton Poetry Journal

The Girl in the Dream Alessio Zanelli Chance had it that she came into the world like her mother before: unwanted, pretty and lost, useful to everybody, good enough to nobody. Graceful swan inside, ugly duckling outside: it wasn’t her who chose which feathers to put forth. Life didn’t place her on a goose down bed, rather, pushed her to the ground when still a child, kept her against it all the time, almost squeezed, allowing just a tiny draft to let her breathe. The same life that, when it seemed that colors could all of a sudden change on her palette, betrayed her, made her finish the old painting. That glimmer, ready to burst into blinding light, blown out in a shake, put in the dark forever. She, as if never existed: vanished to opening eyes like the dream that brought on these few lines.

Transparent but not obvious Donna Marbach the sides of the fish tank, the face of a watch, a glass of water, which sits unsipped on the glass-topped table where you used to clip chipped fingernails or drop contact lenses into a plastic holder filled to the brim with saline solution your tears, my sweat the varnish on the empty chair we rescued from the trash the Scotch tape that mends your picture sliding glass doors that open on to the lake and the air into which you disappeared. 11


Tipton Poetry Journal

Burning Star #5 Nancy Schaefer When you nap in the evening, telling yourself that you’ll be able to stay awake till dawn if only you can sleep a little now, and then you finally manage to drift off, only to awaken to jarring, discordant ringing, loud and abusive, you grab the truculent alarm that you want to smash to pieces on the floor but don’t; instead, in morose darkness, you linger under the sheets in fetal position, cocooned under an expansive quilt, knowing that you must soon abandon your pleasurable, lilting dream for darker, dirtier pursuits; in fugue-like state, you finally overcome inertia, slipping on your newly broken-in Oshkosh B’gosh overalls, steel-toed boots, and denim work shirt, clean but singed (with a few burn holes clear through), exposing your milk bottle skin to the elements, to frigid temperatures that envelop your consciousness, holding you hostage to torturous thoughts of your delicious bed and wild fantasies about quitting your job, you somehow manage to override your hibernation instinct to join nocturnal stirrings on the wintry roads that night. With arctic winds whipping down from Canada, you scrape the windshield and jump inside your car, lighting your cigarette with raw fingers, welcoming the glow as you inhale, gunning the engine and turning up the heat full blast before pulling away, tires crunching along ice-crusted streets, you drive up the block, making your habitual stop at Hucks to buy a pack of Marlboro Lights and fill your thermos with hot black coffee to caffeinate your brain; you chat absently to the middle-aged woman behind the counter, the one with the dark roots and dark circles under her eyes who looks 55 but is really much younger, and she tells you her husband got laid off when the plant in Marion closed, so he lost his benefits and his pay has stopped but the bills haven’t, and they’ve got four kids, the oldest in college, and she asks you if they’re hiring where you work, and you lie and say you don’t know, urging her to get his application in pronto and you thank her a bit too loudly when you get your change back, and then you tell yourself maybe it’s not so bad working as a welder on the graveyard shift at the Burning Star #5 coal mine near Pinckneyville, in southern Illinois, even if you have to be outdoors in all weathers, and you get back in your car and speed away, wheels spinning on loose gravel, taillights fading into the tremulous night as the snow begins to fall.

12


Tipton Poetry Journal

Bridge to Nowhere Dawn Schout I look down from the 29th story at the city, so close to the edge, running in place, never getting any closer. Catch my reflection in the window, pretend the bars on the treadmill are his opened arms, me in the middle. The river separates one state from another, me from him. The bridge he didn’t want to burn crashed into the river, left me in the water’s wide expanse, far from shore, him on dry ground. Even with the sky scrapers and people, I still feel deserted, my hotel room with the king size bed too big without him, the chair across from me at every crowded restaurant empty, asking me where he is, my food as untouched as me. I want to follow the river away from all this, move to Oklahoma to have the initials OK.

13


Tipton Poetry Journal

Brain Surgery (GBM) Thomas O’Dore they open my head tomorrow expose the right side cortex slice tumor from the motor strip to quell the left side seizures malignancy and pain I fear but not that dark of closure sixty-three and not yet a man ? what would long years gain me more a failure / longer a ne’er-do-well more time to contemplate this heart and mind so frail instead \ no more to doubt and wail the beauty that I saw / the love I had may carry me now to oblivion the light unseen / love unrequited may now fall away from me I profess no faith / no hope in golden sky eternity what \ in union explosive began must \ in solitary implosion end

The Zen of Tennis Linda Caldwell Lee The neon-yellow tennis ball rises in slow motion above the net. The parting air makes a sighing sound, above the green court. Even breathing seems to stop. The ball hovers, shows fuzzy edges on its seams. It glides in an arc, but without intention. It seems to move while suspended in time, but approaches the strings. It strikes the sweet center, leaves “the now” as it rushes to be struck again. 14


Tipton Poetry Journal

Father’s Secretary Linda Caldwell Lee She stood with better posture than mother, this walnut brunette from Brazil. Evenings he’d open her drawers with the bronze key, protect her with a soft paper blotter. She welcomed his pale blue checks, bills, tax forms. She kept the books he kept for the PTA, preserved the family photographs in her bottom drawer. In two secret compartments that opened with a scrape, he kept his birth certificate, passport, and three sealed envelopes. We’d finish piano, spelling, math, and go to bed. He marked exams in red pencil. The Brazilian beauty stayed up late, supported his elbows when he rested his head. She held his whiskey as well as he did. Both resonated to Beethoven. She never complained or gossiped. He rubbed his dark lady with squares of his ribbed undershirt soaked in lemon polish until her every curve glowed like living flesh beneath his hands. Mother couldn’t sleep with him carrying on downstairs. At breakfast she’d overcook the eggs and tell us to be quiet. Now the secretary seems smaller, the surface chipped and webbed with lines like the face of an old woman. Her secret places open to me, my father’s never did.

15


Tipton Poetry Journal

Piet Mondrian Sarah Brown Weitzman From a flat landscape of ruler-straight roads and canals, tulips and brute winds, Mondrian abandoned green for this mastery of the vertical over the horizontal a balance of oppositions where primary colors behave with calibrated calm. But chaos held down is not denied. Through these grids like windows no trace of nature except the nature of Nature: red as lust, yellow as greed, blue as cruelty and the black and white of ignorance. [This poem was first published in Art Times.]

16


Tipton Poetry Journal

Blue Sarah Brown Weitzman Denim, architectural plans, veins, Concord grapes, bruises, glaciers, moldy cheese, cornflowers, indigo buntings, huckleberries, wash whitener, robin’s eggs, lapis lazuli, Kentucky grass, first prize ribbons, sadness and your eyes. Compare Orion’s foot with a gas jet flame. Or the contrast of a jay on a blue spruce branch. Or how you disappeared into the blue, then so unexpectedly reappeared out of the blue of longing.

Reading Jo Barbara Taylor The white-haired man hunches over the book, lamplight falls across his shoulder. His hand, a crab scratching for the details he wants. The book, his bible, an encyclopedia of trotters and pacers, their lineages and legacies. His legacy—a life lived in stalls, on sulkies punching a stop watch, hefting harness, breathing standardbreds. Generations of breeding handed to him, passed on. 17


Tipton Poetry Journal

Search for Desert Roses and Sea Turtles Diana Woodcock Whirling around my own axis, every sound heavenly music, soul is nourished. But in this life, one cannot whirl unceasingly. So I go to the sabkha on the outskirts of Mesaieed where swallowtail crystals form, and I dig for desert roses, marvel how gypsum composes crystalline growth into petal-like structures even as construction sites close in. Then I go searching for Biyadh, female Loggerhead turtle making her way along Oman’s coast through the Straits of Hormuz into calm waters, Arabian Gulf. But she’s laying low on the seabed feeding on shellfish. I watch for Hawksbills, Greens, Olive Ridleys nesting on beaches, feeding along the coast on jellyfish, sponges, crustaceans. There are many stations of the cross. Seagirt, I whirl right there in the spindrift and sea air—awestruck and dizzy— celebrating nearly two hundred million years of turtle life, whirl and pray through the whole night under stars and diminishing moon that I might help make things right for them and for desert roses.

18


Tipton Poetry Journal

Calligraphy Jane Olivier Sand writes the world. It always has. With skilled pen it charts sanctioned river runs, mountains are coaxed into construction, shy aloes teased out of cracks and deep caverns ruthlessly inserted. Communication airmails between deserts editing structures made by man; parenthesis trees commenting on horizons hug comma homespace for meerkats. Rephrased sunsets improve their splendour, sketched clouds beckon the weather to verse, depth lines are drawn on ocean beds and halt punctuation irritates oysters to pearl. Hidden design awaits the scholar accord highlighted, disapproval effaced. Sand writes the world and erases our mistakes.

19


Tipton Poetry Journal

Not Always Such Shy Sisters Jeff Bernstein Des Moines and Omaha are quiet siblings. Each weekday at five they roll up their sidewalks like the red carpet on the tarmac of some rinky-dink airfield, then stroll through the evening. The proud old buildings ignore the scattered glass skyscrapers some local boosters erected to make the citizenry feel that they’d really arrived. Back, way back then, Des Moines was the wild one. She liked being the only girl in the group out for a midnight skinnydip in the farm pond. Each boy tried hard to conceal how carefully he studied her in whatever light the moon could afford. She’d toss back her mane, the boilermakers on Friday nights until her head felt so funny she wasn’t sure how she’d get home. Now the two sisters read silently, seated cater-corner in the underlit parlor between rivers, draw as little attention to themselves as possible, listen for the trains that pass every now and then, wait for callers who will never come. Every four years or so they stop by to watch the crowd gathered in front of the Register, afterwards visit a lunch counter for the Ladies’ Lunch of broth and popovers with jam, shadow the national press as the day turns cloudy. 20


Tipton Poetry Journal

Leaving Ella Jeanine Stevens On summer nights, Dad drove around the city while the house cooled. Windows rolled down in the old Buick, we licked the last of our raspberry sherbet. He turned up side streets, with small bars. Front doors opened to the sound of jazz in a blue Chesterfield haze, summer jazz, maybe a sax or a single low horn in no hurry, notes muffled like a grown-up lullaby. No surprise my first record purchase— Ella’s Tea Leaves, her bouncy version: sparks of Romany fires and golden earrings. We packed for the move west. “Records are too fragile!” At our “basement sale,” it lay on the table next to Mother’s carnival glass. I was in a grief that stayed through St. Louis, Lincoln, Gallup, Tucson and Blythe, the border crossing. Eventually, I dated a bass player in the high school combo. Ella sang on the Perry Como Show, older than I imagined. There were trips to the Hollywood Bowl featuring George Shearing’s Quintet and progressive trios at the Hat and Cane Supper Club on Lankershim Blvd. Tonight it’s warm in the valley. I could be enjoying the scent of new orange groves, yet it’s the old blue notes that satisfy, the back streets and Dad driving us into dreaming.

21


Tipton Poetry Journal

Figure drawing class Janet Butler The model stands in stoic pose while we covet the curves and swells of her body, our eye and hand one in graphite strokes that condense her graceful lineaments. A slight heave of breast her only sign of nerves as our eyes rake her, virgin land to subdue with pencil and paper snowy whiteness breached with charcoal traces invading, breaking boundaries, nature mimed in design of contour drawing, soft flesh, warm blood sacrificed to a sharp silhouette of line.

White Fire Janet Butler According to Jewish tradition, black fire is the written word, white fire is the unsaid, what we read between the lines.

Our bodies dance to a private song a language of gesture and glance inflamed by white fire. They obey hidden laws of counterpoint, compositions choreographed by fate a murmur beneath the stolid notes of plainsong.

22


Tipton Poetry Journal

Vacation Judy Young A riot of cicada and katydids Screamed from the trees Late August toasted the sky Deep yellow dust in the land Powder fine between my toes The taste of it on my tongue Tulip poplar leaves turned golden Flutter gently to the earth So another squirrel season My father hunting in the woods My father’s vacation Timed to arrive as squirrel season opens A step back in time My father’s time A time if you missed your game You missed your supper I watched the lane intently Where the curve hid the lane In its deep green dimness He usually came that way Stepping from the shadows No rush in his step His gun across his shoulders soldier-style Hunting jacket hanging low I am the oldest It is my duty to hold the game While he dresses it with a practiced hand Hide and guts flung to the woods’ edge For the yellow-jackets’ feast

23


Tipton Poetry Journal

Revising the Universe Jessica Quick I'll tell you the story of two birds that live forever. They sit on top of an old tree and sing a song unheard by skeptics. Their cadence breathes soft through a chaos of orange on blue. It is the longest song in the room, but it's sweeter than the sound of kitchen clanks and it drowns out the beat of a body falling down below. It raps: your smile, your smile, your smile, around the easel of my unfinished paintings and a stack of a diner's lost guest checks. Tap, tapping out the notes on a silent masterpiece. Scrawling punctuation (ellipses) on the greatest novel known to none. Played subtle, with ascending intensity. Written softly, bound with a hardcover. Under the influence, I've said stranger things. Your face: that is what I know of San Francisco. I've crossed the highest point in Asia, traveled tired through water buffalo waters to have finally made it here, earnestly, to count the creases within your hand. In the future, no one will ever say "When You are Old." When we are kids again, I will take you to a place I used to play. It's an old tree that grows on a hill, with a trunk as big as the universe and a spot to place the rocks we find.

24


Tipton Poetry Journal

The Huge House on Hampton Angelo Giambra After the divorce he still lived in the huge house on Hampton, a two story with a staircase in the foyer that corkscrewed its way into air where rows of rooms upstairs lay vacant along bare hardwood floors. His address, 1781, was strangely boxed between 1803 and 1801. He explained how a clerical error, a misfiling, had set his house apart, the number like a song you can’t forget, a bruise that won’t heal. After my visit, he stood by the front door and waved. As I drove off, he lingered in the hot Florida sun before turning to go back in. In the rearview mirror, I noticed how the house was a dark grey, unlike the neutral beige of all the others, which made it easier to find once you understood the address oddity, but at the same time gave it a weary, drab look, like a shirt you find buried in your closet that you used to wear way back when you were dating.

25


Tipton Poetry Journal

Water Stained Diaries and Tattered Novels Mike Donaldson what compliments being on the road itself is a Kerouac knapsack full of water stained diaries and tattered novels that tell the story of an empty black suede handbag that handbag that we climb inside of when called upon by a tidal wave in Sri Lanka a riptide in Thailand or when pummeled by thugs in Sennaya Plochad’s midnight St Petersburg or when a Czech lover wanders in a stormy Istanbul or when a grandfather is lost via long distance call from the St Lawrence River or even when appalled by three mangy puppies in Kolkata lapping up the remnants of a human tibia ravaged from the local Hoogly Riverside crematorium that would bear no shame in burning Kerouac’s knapsack and a black suede handbag

26


Tipton Poetry Journal

I Was a Prince Eric Halliwell I was a prince who found you in a pond, Secure beneath a lily pad to hide Your creamy body from the sun and me. You squirmed out of my grasp and dived so deep I dared not follow so I placed a net Which looked quite like a lily pad and I Disguised myself and sat on top, a frog As any fool could see--when you came up I quickly kissed your lips and magic things Occurred like in the fairy tales, to wit I did become a frog and it turned out You really fancied frogs' legs but I squirmed Out of your grasp and dived down deeper than You dared to follow so you placed a net Which looked quite like a lily pad and when I came back up again to sit on it, You kissed me back into a prince once more. And it turned out you fancied princes too. So you, apologizing for the frogs' Legs dinner episode said, "Still, it was A lot of fun." And so we lived and dived Quite happy ever after til one day. You were especially hungry and you knew That when I was a frog you were supposed To kiss me but you ate me and you said, "It was a boring game, after a while." [This poem was first published in wordcatalyst in 2009]

27


Tipton Poetry Journal

A Prophet Came to Town John Groppe A prophet came to town last week and looked in store windows chatted with Jack, the barber who cut his hair had coffee at McDonald’s with a widower and went with him on a visit to the grave played cards with the senor citizens and shared their soup had a beer at the VFW with a vet, whose daughter was killed in Iraq told the pastor of St. John’s Lutheran he had given him a new insight into the prodigal son, each day in the library read the newspapers and helped at the food pantry. He was last seen at the market buying hard rolls, cheese, apples and wine—a merlot I heard. When he left and where he went or why he came, we do not know. Still, we feel the difference now that he is gone.

28


Tipton Poetry Journal

A Response to Joseph Cross’ ”Morel” John Groppe Stark, yet alive, a pen and ink morel emerging from its cream parchment, from the blankness of creation, against black scratches suggesting the darkness that nurtured the spore of its being, its ridges extending, its dark recesses deepening and darkening, its head engorging with sweetness having thrust through the dark earth of its birth as if in response to some cosmic command— “Let there be a morel,” and so it was, and it was good, and so we rested in the cosmos.

Illustration by Joseph Cross used with permission Indianapolis Indiana josephcrossstudio@gmail.com

29


Tipton Poetry Journal

Life Michael Brown

Yesterday Came without the promise Of today; I never look back When I’m living so close To tomorrow; Looking is relative anyway When things are gone And here And coming.

30


Tipton Poetry Journal

All The Time Gerald Solomon We no longer see that man that crazed old misfit wander up our house-proud street. Camped all winter on the subway's iron grates, trusts in body-heat, a paper cup for coins. Stutters to himself some repeated sorrows. A mutt on a knotted string, always with him, bored. Filled with his stuff, a borrowed market-cart. Perhaps he planned to ignore these cold nights just to get his normal sleep. I've often passed him there. The system doesn't work for him. Seems our all-too-human pity — arms spread wider than savvy caritas or bandaged justice will — likewise lets down a guy in woman's caftan, broken shoes. I tell you I saw another one, in antique Rome, under the plane-trees on crowded via Formio, unlikely squalls of rain in June throwing down whole bunches of young leaves on darkened stones. I remember still. Wouldn't it be the same long ago? I've read that hard on ninety, Sistine done with, far from his giant boy-David — infirm, appalled, sank down on those steps by the tourists' burbling fountains, in deaf tears for all the friends he used to know.

31


Tipton Poetry Journal

Sportsman’s Lodge —Studio City, 2011

Jay Rubin Alone with a list of friends to see hoping to hear a Come on by mostly, waiting on you—again I don’t want to call my wife to lean on her naive support not as we straddle our son How nice to open up the shades to glance at our familiar past same old sunset, same old sky My own reflection on the glass its overdue apology dust of my own indecision Someone said, Just live your life as if life were some amusement park and me in a massive crowd So here I lay: a hotel bed clouds outside my window salty pepper tree Does every Adam pluck the fruit that pleases Eve I fear such snaky pleasure Afraid that I might slip—again my ticket floating free a crowd of opportunity

32


Tipton Poetry Journal

La Nuit Blanche N. A’Yara Stein An unsuitable passion keeps me aware; the dark viridian of these antique trees form shadows that falls like a conscience. A quiet parochial slowness broken by the dry wind and the changes it brings, a quality of attenuation of light. The moon’s wicked cat eye, palpable in its sidereal isolation, slices through the night in a hard arc to find a place among what remains laced with adrenaline and shame; I search for some anemic little lie, to get out of the house, to breathe. I stumble over and over a dark and bloody frontier I only dare to cross at night; the weir on the mill flows over and around, life slips through the gaps. A faint brightening in the east tunnels through the trees, a miasmic morning mist conceals what do in secret and alone. Foxed at the edges, meretricious, Fleeting and derivative -the ethics of memoryAs the light moves it changes everything: a street of mixed associations, a city of dark nights and darker morning ablutions.

33


Tipton Poetry Journal

6th Grade Ruth Gooley Lesson 1 I flub the serve, crop the volleyball into the net, lose the set for my team. I sink into the dimness of church, stained red, yellow, melted wax, cool the burn of my face with holy water, the incensed scent of the pews. I kneel before Our Lady, sip tears. Pure and silent as a falling star, she looks down on me, blesses me. My classmates snub me. Lesson 2 Sister Marie Therese pins our drawings on the wall, mine fish, crayoned in black and orange, turquoise, eyes brilliantine, blue, bright. Billy gawks, asks, Who did that one? I leap into the flash of his words, flame at his laugh, the other boys too. I pass Billy’s house, bear his look at every step, the thickness of my hips, curls that limp across my neck, bag that welts my shoulder. His regard scars my back.

34


Tipton Poetry Journal

A True Tale from Pleasant Run Manor Mac Greene In Room 14N Edna Barnabas called for the nurse. “I need your help… with Margaret Ellis.” “Who’s she?” “She’s in the closet.” The nurse paused and looked at Edna more closely. “She’s on the shelf. “Been there for four years, since I got here. “I said I’d scatter her on a lake. “Can you do that for me?” The nurse couldn’t do that, but she did take Margaret Ellis to the cabin on the river. Edna said that would do. Margaret floated downstream, and Edna kept her promise. Three months later, it was Edna’s turn to be put in a box. Her daughter, Jenna Jae Jenkins, came from Ohio, with a round-trip Greyhound ticket, and seventeen dollars in her purse. She carried Edna’s cremains in a pink and yellow floral patterned plastic tote, all the way to her modular home on a gravel road next to a corn field. Edna found her place on a shelf in a closet waiting to be scattered on a lake.

35


Tipton Poetry Journal

Advice from an Opossum Noel Sloboda Ignore your brothers and sisters until you secure your place in the pouch. Then grow up quickly. Once you step out on your own, devour everything in your path, from acorns to carrion. Revel in delicacies to be discovered in garbage cans. Sleep all day. Develop the wiry muscles in your pink, prehensile tail: seeing the world upside down is sometimes inspiring. Scavenge country roads, but beware white lights cascading across the blacktop. If they approach, bare all fifty of your teeth. If that fails to stop them, perform an Elvis: bask in the glow as you bloat and stiffen; secrete a horrible smell; hold perfectly still; and dream of swallowing the moon. [This poem previously appeared in Philadelphia Stories]

36


Tipton Poetry Journal

Autumn Equinox Harold Taylor The atmosphere rounds cool and gray; The shedding leaves in tumult tumble, or spent they cling and tremble. Ubi sunt is never asked of faded greenery once passed, or gridiron heroes never humbled. Friday, Saturday, Sunday squads, Mondays clash the titan gods; They’re only here five months a year; It stands to reason no one wants to say, “next season.” Although they do. Boy joins youth joins man joins all, upon the field, wills are tested not to yield. But like the leaves drift and decay to feed and mulch another day. November roughhouse winds all chide; Their rounds declare strong oaks abide.

37


Tipton Poetry Journal

Love is not a four-letter word erren geraud kelly For Louella & Lolo Rogers My Grandparents who have been married for 50 years I hope this will suffice Forgive me For not coming to the Anniversary celebration But I haven't been feeling Too optimistic about Love I know man is a walking contradiction And though I claim to be an unapologetic cynic Love is the only fire That gives life To my heart But lately I've been getting tired Of writing love poems Tired of seeing love Only as an equation to money Tired of seeing women cling to one man yet willing to peddle themselves to another If they had more to offer I wish today was like The old days Not because I'm nostalgic But because I would give anything To see you and Granddaddy My age When Zoot suits Made men Made cars made of steel To last longer Like love made you two, To last

38


Tipton Poetry Journal You are one of the few Who tried and got it right You and Granddaddy Built your love Like he built your house Built it to withstand Catastrophe Anarchy And the Cacophony Of Ordinary days How I wish I could've been That serviceman Fighting off in a foreign land Disregarding the bombs Whistling over my head Every night I'd go to bed With your picture to my chest A smile on my face And a song in my heart I know what Louis Armstrong meant When he sang What a wonderful world But no one wants to build Love any more Love is now mergered Legislated Compromised and Orchestrated Love is forever a top 40 staple Love is dysfunctional On a talk-show table How I long to have a love Like yours Grandmother your love Overwhelms me

39


Tipton Poetry Journal Makes me afraid to see you Sometimes Because between you and Mama I'll never be skinny I remember you used to come over and dig bait, took me and my brothers Fishing, And with a machete you hunted snakes With no fear When I stole, you beat me until I cried To heaven to save me Yet, you always fed me Cos the only thing you hated worse than me thieving was seeing me hungry Granddaddy dropped out of grade school But got his high school diploma by mail learned how to fix anything Electrical or Mechanical If only he could've fixed Hearts Like he fix cars Toasters Electrical outlets Then Mama wouldn't have ended up alone And some black men are dogs A dog's life is what my Daddy lives Is not my Granddaddy's life And will never be mine Cos love shouldn't be a bargaining chip In bedroom whispers Love is not a football tossed around by brothers who only seek to score at the expense of another's affections

40


Tipton Poetry Journal I want a love like the house Granddaddy built I want a love that makes a liar out of statistics I want a love that makes Old-school Rhythm and Blues song Ring true again It was your love That put Uncle Pappy in check And brought him back from Vietnam a man It was the same love Cousin Marlon shit on And will never know As he sits in an iron cell It is the same love I Fear/respect/envy and appraise No sonnet could ever know of the dog days When the two of you went to church and swore devotion to God So ya'll could Stay around longer and devote Yourselves to each other I want a love like the house Granddaddy built One that can't be dissected by analysts Defecated on by MTV Madness Or belittled by Mack Daddies Whose calloused hearts make them think with little heads Instead of big ones I want a love like the house Granddaddy built Because though I sleep alone now doesn't mean I'll sleep alone forever

41


Tipton Poetry Journal I may be mars and she may be venus but we'll end up together And I'll think of my Grandparents How ya'll argued and backbite Yet always lay together in a home never fearing the night

Would you walk around if you didn't have hands? Mango We can live the life of a sun outside of the narrowing flashlight beam. Broken clocks save the world just that much by removing their batteries in the morning. Hospital visiting hours can last maybe a little bit later tonight. We could all bear to breathe just a little deeper. Alligators aren’t concerned about weighing over eighty pounds. Nightmares never hurt once you’ve struck the ground. Computers turn on by the time you’ve brushed and dressed. What does it feel like to give birth to a baby? Tell her the sunshine emerges from her face. We could eat healthier foods and they taste better anyways. We hallow our own ground; Yes, you would still walk around.

42


Tipton Poetry Journal

Ribbon of Letters Gene Fehler Three miles from home on a strange road at the edge of woods seldom visited, the house stood silent, dust windows webbed across the crack of glass. Curt and I, coming home from fishing, stopped to explore. The inside - empty, except for a tilted table, two wooden chairs, a broken chest of drawers. The drawers contained only spiders and this: a packet of yellowed letters, tied by red ribbon. I reached for them, was chilled by what felt like a whisper. We left the letters untouched, undisturbed bones in a coffin.

43


Tipton Poetry Journal

Crash Anne Haines When we heard the news the world around us became like a restaurant in which someone has dropped a tray of glassware: not shattered silence but the shattering, and then the silence. Every head in the place turned to look. The atmosphere felt breakable and none of us breathed. Then the nervous laughter and the world resumed, except for the person in the kitchen with a red face and an armful of breakage, one person trying to piece together what is lost.

Archeologist Richard Luftig He has become an expert in peeling away each layer of his life, sifting, silting, so carefully as not to lose a single grain of this most vital record that he hopes to preserve. Each stratum leads him to drift down though the earliest years to that place where shale becomes sand, sand shallows to dust, leaving only those faintest fossils where a love once, first lived.

44


Tipton Poetry Journal

Wine-making Becky Brown Our own wild-grape wine sounds a one-note melody Mildew on mildew It is the dignified aunt at a white trash wedding, Shouldering its way between the Frozen grape juice, and A jigger of Bubble-Up over ice A dour foot tapping under All that noise On a Sunday morning in late September We hunt the frosted black droplets Hanging from the vines in Upper Park Crowing our delight to find them In among the star-thistle and poison oak You cut them down from your perch On the painter’s ladder, filling the Bucket I wield like a fireman’s net You whistle and swear to nick the web Of your thumb with the clippers But we go on just the same Later, I stomped the berries Down to a pink froth Clinging to your back and laughing But we fought again as I rinsed the Lees from my feet and ankles Red where the acid had chafed What we argue about on Sundays I never can remember Next morning, we’d forgotten And it was the old one-two With me bent over the bathroom sink Where you’d caught me brushing my teeth On a Monday morning, no less The water running so the kids wouldn’t hear Us grinning I’d carried you around with me that day In my heart, yes, all right But also on the top of One of my black boots Which were still on When you slung your love

45


Tipton Poetry Journal

Firework Over the Retention Pond #13 Darren C. Demaree Fifth dance of the night, the bottle is on its last leg & yet we hop, happy that here there is no tide, happy the legend of the light is to be believed all through the night, only to have the sun destroy the new romance of a proper frost, a man & the glittering scatter of a deep dip in spirits.

Firework Over the Retention Pond #14 Darren C. Demaree This is the center of time & as an individual, I thought there would be more motion to confront, a profundity worthy of arms & a full passion, steadier than the lift of a morning shot, rattling the birds free of their questions. Monsters, I thought the only arms here, would be racing to clean raw the philosophy of the day. 46


Tipton Poetry Journal

Firework Over the Retention Pond #15 Darren C. Demaree One cough & back, another body in the wild calling clear the air, declaring nostalgia for remedy & the diction to heal a dirt voice.

Untitled Neil Cain for Henry Braun

you thought I forgot you because I was slow to Reply and answered a different question in a different voice, but I’m outside your window cackling, stalking your prowess like a zen priest stalks the still and the abyss of abundance that there abides 47


Tipton Poetry Journal

A Matter of Degree Roger Camp Escaping the rain above riding down this human sized wormhole. Head down hands to the side the coal car’s jarring ride. The pitted ceiling sliding by clearance in inches each passing light marking downward descent. Squashed in this dusty carriage its punchy metal sides distended by its past crushing loads we stop an hour hence so the miner can inform us we are a mile deep underneath the ocean. My fearful brain conjures up cataclysmic floods, disasters a massive weight of earth, rock pressing down. My entombment at hand I miss the part how the miners were not paid for the trip down and back only when their picks struck earth. Arriving at the surface gulping air, embracing the light I make a promise

48


Tipton Poetry Journal never to return, forgetting that most likely this is where I will spend eternity underground though not as deep. Why should a matter of degree make such a difference?

Negotiations Alex Phillips He kneels in mud, ringed by oaks and ash, wind hissing through the leaves. He pops the clasps. Marsh weeds lean over the guncase. A chill spreads up from his knees. From the hill his wife pleads, whispering his name down the cup of her hands. A dozen squad cars, five jurisdictions, deploy. A crow hops on a branch and calls, calls. A mosquito whines in his ear. The gun lies in the foam cradle. He is a man as if at prayer, a negotiation between two worlds of surrender. A siren rises and falls, and another, and a third, the wavelengths dueling for pitch. Earthworms writhe, emerge from the mud, recoil in the presence of air. Beyond a perimeter radios crackle, the garbled tongues of another world, a chant in his name. The crow flies. Snapdragons nod at the edge of sight. The mosquito, sated, withdraws. He bows over the guncase, as if to give thanks, and touches the cold chrome barrel.

49


Tipton Poetry Journal

Ghosts Along the Wabash Roger Camp Driving along leveed fields of skeletal cornstalks steam rising from these wintry remains an isolated island appears preserving a vacant Victorian. Gingerly opening the kitchen door eyes record the white enamel stove the scattered empty pots the oilcloth table set for four a silent census taken. Below in the cellar a pantry the hand built shelves crammed with preserves jars of peaches, plums, cherries and pears the lids still flat invite one for a taste a fruit cocktail dosed with botulism. Threadbare black suits in the bedroom closet dance in tandem with modest housedresses. What disaster caused such quick abandonment? I think, climbing the attic stairs. Vulnerable, this is the part I fear lifting blindly the attic door sticking my head once more where it doesn’t belong my face collides with a flock of pigeons. Falling backwards, my neck in space a desperate clawing saves me. The only trace the ghosts of two hands dragged across the dusty floor joining those already in this place.

50


Tipton Poetry Journal

Something Over Its Head George Stratigakis When the Queen Frederica arrived in New York, I didn’t know it had. We were at Breakfast in the Salon. Gone were the china shards and foods strewn over the floor the night before. The crew had scrubbed the planks raw the wood fibers stood taught and tall. Layers of disinfectant and stomach smells hung in the air. Dull spectrum glints still managed from the chandeliers. The tables had been freed of the bindings that had held them from careening across the room. Someone looked in and said, You’ll miss the statue. I would have better understood, We've arrived, and rushed to see. There’s time, another replied Having seen it before. Once on deck we floated past thousands of squares set onto narrow tall crates of concrete (years later I think of them as Protestant windows) gray and lifeless lining the canyon sides of gray sand and no color anywhere. And behind in the distance where we’d just passed, gray in the haze, a figure held something over its head.

51


Tipton Poetry Journal

Tercets Gone Wild Ron McFarland They strip their shirts. They shake their breasts naked in the south-of-theMason-Dixon-Line heat. They do not care one whit about either of their parents. They are going totally wild on poetry, most of all tercets. Too much beer, too much wine, Demasiado tequila, ¿no? Too much Dante can do this even to a nice, decent girl. They are cradling their tits in their sweaty palms as if they were promises they really meant to keep someday, when the right guy happened to come along. They might lick each other’s pink nipples just for fun and maybe fifty dollars. All of them have come to love poetry. Consider the villanelle, the terza rima, the triolet. They cannot seem to keep their perky breasts out of it. They must have Dylan Thomas, Theodore Roethke, even Sylvia Plath. It’s not at all fair to Allen Ginsberg and Adrienne Rich! These breasts were meant for satin bras, glossy magazines, the wise mouths of babes.

52


Tipton Poetry Journal

Regrets Ron McFarland That bottle of nice pinot noir we knew we could not afford has turned to vinegar, and the honey locust weeps across the east lawn. That three-quarter-ton pickup across the street roars around ten night after night as if it were taking credit for running you off. Someday, I tell myself, I will pour a five-pound-bag of sugar down its spluttering diesel tank, but being full of bluster, I know better. Your Steinway awaits your tapered fingers my love, and if pianos had souls of their own, yours would call out from the shadows where that oil featuring a mountain stream in its full spring turmoil threatens to spill from its narrow gilded frame. The whole house, from the great blue heron you named Gabriel, to the three Graces dancing from the dining room ceiling, to the old Muslim prayer rug at the front door, misses you, laments your absence.

53


Tipton Poetry Journal

Language Volleyball Gail Eisenhart She grips a word with her mind, holds it in her cheek until measured breath heats it to boiling, then tosses it into the air and swats it with venom. Rancor sails across space vacated by strained silence and commands his full attention. She waits for a retort. Game on!

54


Tipton Poetry Journal

My Hero James Keane While you were busily absorbed in dirt and spade work, I was the clean one, gardener of the barely begun, who, hapless eyed your radiant smile, grown expectant, grow sad, and sorrow churn whatever warmth soothed your heart to dread. Too warm to be numbed dead. Your tears would blossom when I least expected them, and anger threw me every time they did. So when a child only of God came true, plucked by you, virgin mother, from a squalid death at the end of squalor, my resolve to be worthy of the hero in you grew. And so, thank you for the dirt and spade work. For the bitter weeds you sadly churned to flowers. For exulting in words that sprouted oh so quickly when I asked you, somewhat rudely, “Well . . . how is he?” “He’s ours.” [Previously published in Contemporary American Voices and James Keane’s poetry chapbook, What Comes Next]

55


Tipton Poetry Journal

Ekphrases Melvin Chen To Penelope, without whom all art would be mere artifice

Rothko Your violet, red, and green Have been anticipated by Heliogabalus, The summit of whose art Is to be found In red blood on green grass. Bodies as the means To art as an end; Aesthetics, Raised to the severity of a principle, Is little more than Fascism with a human face, As Benjamin well knew. Picasso From two figures in your Demoiselles d'Avignon Comes the stare of African masks, That wordless stare of an entire continent Cast aside by Hegel and history. The true – unnamed – brothel is Africa, from whose womb Were untimely ripped The exhibits at Trocadéro That inspired your vision. Cubism and jazz are but two Of the miscegenations That stare bears Silent witness to.

56


Tipton Poetry Journal Klimt With a Judas kiss Your art commodifies itself In gold leaf on canvas, After the manner of Hirst's Beautiful bleeding wound. Art ceases to be art When aesthetic pleasure Is reducible to Commodity fetishism (Which is not to say That more should be said With less).

A Blind Eye David Ricchiute The way that turning a blind eye is from what we saw is the way I turn from my daughter’s fall. There is a way that whatever we turn from becomes something more. The pirouette is gradual.

57


Tipton Poetry Journal

Force Katherine Givens Forcing creativity is like commanding the stars to fall, the disappearance of gravity, the skies to bleed, the freezing of fire, the earth to stop spinning, the stillness of light the oceans to become deserts and the pausing of time.

Abandonment Matthew Brennan Against the garage, adjacent to the pot-holed alley of asphalt and grit, a TV engrafts itself amid a crop of ragweed and wrappers. It’s a console from the Sixties, its old wood warped, its screen caved in, glass scattered everywhere. But once, like an uncle drunk on punch he spiked himself, it entertained kids at cardtables eating cardboard pizza, and now years later, its cord unplugged, it lives in isolation so bitter and so silent even the trash truck drives past on its way each week to the city dump.

58


Tipton Poetry Journal

Deliverance Matthew Brennan October 13, 2010 For My Grandson, Cannon Far below the surface of earth, where darkness drowns whatever sinks into its still waters, the miners waited, week after week, while villagers gathered in vigil above them in the Copiano square. Here, they squinted through the heat at a screen streaming live, hoping for deliverance, but holding their breath. And then a capsule rose like a bucket above a well, bearing upward the first survivor: vuvuzelas blared. Just so, on the same gloried morning, under the same copper sun shining alike upon men born again in a mine shaft and a birthing room in Memphis, a boy emerged, as if from a tunnel drilled through two-thousand feet and eons of rock, gasping for air, blinded by light. And he too rose up, dusted, from a rift of gold.

59


Tipton Poetry Journal

might have Jill Reid I certainly am not the one to ask about bravery, mainly about letting go of the broken things, all those porcelain moments cracking in our hands, our tongues chopping up the future before it could break free of its hard hull release the seeds that might have begun to bloom so soft and ripe this fine spring.

A Blue Cat Named Tao James H Duncan real jazz is the prairie grass thousands of eternal cats hiding in the green-wave the eternal hum of it plastered and dripping from the ground to the sky, the eternal sky yawning at jazz it doesn’t care, just embraces the world whole duel and complete, a Taoist heaven sifting through yellow gold grass where sacred cats crawl by at the pace of time

60


Tipton Poetry Journal

Theology Joanna Kurowska Words—green algae the rash of leaves and water lilies sermons’ fleshy flowers greatness’ breeze Harmony—seemingly but immersing yourself you feel that leaves are fastened to long, twisted stems amid sticky waterweeds Everything rises and falls as befitting the nature of things: fat fish, argument-leeches, the weight of feet sinking deeper and deeper in slime [This poem was previously published in The Wall & Beyond, eLectio Publishing, 2013]

The Wall Joanna Kurowska the wall does not come forward it smiles in the door, refined its polished eye glittering, it puts on a white shirt and a silk tie it decorates itself with a cross, all the saints, a mother of god it knows well gospel’s tender love becomes it

[This poem was previously published, as “Dressed Up,” in The Wall & Beyond, eLectio Publishing, 2013]

61


Tipton Poetry Journal

Recruitment, or Joining the Workforce Riley Spilman I was a pretty man or so I thought before the pigs came in shook me with their muddy feet Their eyes were the eyes of televisions and teachers dressed in corduroy they teach you how to be beautiful on paper Successful with a pocketful of calendars all marked up with important dates like yesterday and tomorrow like mom said like the pigs said like all the magazines in bold lettering What I want, gold in bold what I need is what I want and everything I never before means everything to me now Who made this body? not me it was never me I just gave it a hairdo and some witticisms

62


Tipton Poetry Journal

This is how my blurring happens Riley Spilman It would be nice to sleep with the friends of my friends and slip into their dresses when they sleep It would be nice to parade without irony or even other people just me and all my colors It can be 4am all the time god sits in the corner of my bedroom dumb and useless people call it the light wouldn’t it be nice not how it fills space with triangulations of shadow

Mulberry Leaves John C. Mannone An autumn view outside a nursing home As if an aftermath of calamity, the leaves lay their hearts splayed on weathered planks of Douglas fir. The wood striated — a vestige of arteries. Hardened grains pressed flat; pulp, long gone. Aged pine, a fitting mausoleum for the fallen leaves withered on their arched backs, twisted. Morning light casts amber against the graying wood; shadows of sandpaper leaves, smoothed. Their own medicinal miracles, useless. Sweet fruit, gone; wine, too, some vinegar the ground. Only indigo stains remain.

63


Tipton Poetry Journal

Poverty Ryan Bayless I can’t see what I think about the weathered tree useless in its dying state until it dies completely and becomes rich with possibility. I can’t hear what I know about the formation of clouds which form only to unravel, break apart and descend back into air. I can’t feel enough to contemplate the currency of rivers the poor profits of shallow pools where little fish look up and leap into sparkling diamonds of the sun setting on the surface. In the midst of so much poverty, in the company of such useless things, I can’t find a way to tell you just how little I have to tell you. Then the pigs came and told me to be beautiful green and gold lettering beautiful So I was

64


Tipton Poetry Journal

America VII (The Sacred Wall) John Sibley Williams The wall is most likely air Still I slip between its cracks notes to accompany all the others We are finally equal in these pleas heeded or left to silence by one who is overhead or empty between our hands I do not recall the content of my voice We are all ritual and remain so Without this wall always red to touch and expanding skyward with each new question asked where would we unite under one blank banner which thrashes patiently even in this windlessness Immovable things have no depth Depthless things have no color My heart is a colorless basket containing your letters Your heart knows what I mean to say The wall is most likely stone carrying us back to ourselves under the guise of prayer and hope where the notes are unwritten through the gaps here comes the air

65


Tipton Poetry Journal

The Printers' Mass Philip C. Kolin 2:30 am, 32nd St. Manhattan, 1934

The Mass for souls who cross liminal boundaries of night and dawn, work and revelry, ink and space Typesetters printing tomorrow’s stories of loss and love, sky and sorrow, their hands immersed in mutabilities, escape an off-key time clock that clicks as much forward as back. Cabbies, wiping fatigue off their meters, stop seeking fares and faces in this city of clouds and fumes, leave their headlights on, double park, double park on a narrow street of horns Still playing for inebriated and transient parishioners in tuxedos and toupees, swishing taffeta skirts perfumed with rum and cola slope toward an encounter with eternity in this yawning hour. Finally, come the actors seconded from Broadway stages their roles still visible, costumed for another century, another epiphany.

66


Tipton Poetry Journal

In the Circle of the Sun Steve Klepetar I woke a crow just before dawn stroked the eastern sky and watched it wheel away in blessed dark. I breathed a lightning trail. Somewhere rain hammered on the sleepless and the cold. TV’s flickered and the bad news began again. In the circle of the sun I held a hammer in my hands kneeling on the rough-shingled roof. No one blessed me then, or found a strand of my gray hair. Whenever I ate, food tasted of salt and straw. All alone I made a nest of twigs. No one opened a secret door. Here in the season of colorless skies, I embrace chill and a little swirling breeze. What thirst! Twice I nearly curled around your feet, purring my velvet tones. Everything changes. I breathe and the world disappears. Cats come home and I hear nothing but hard bare claws skittering on the kitchen floor.

Meteor Marco Ray We took to the swings the last few summers, my daughters reaching as high as they could, while I stared at the canopy of leaves and sky. We explored the wooded paths like Indians on a hunt, searching for the perfect rock or stick that would tell us its story. Now they're doing homework, wearing uniforms, and thinking serious thoughts. The memory of those summers flash and sizzle before my wife and me in the early morning of our remembering until the present moment of their growing up reappears, and a vapor trail hangs alone in the sky, as everyone enters the streets wondering what happened. 67


Tipton Poetry Journal

Celestial Cameron Barnett “This time should be mine,” she said, each syllable slicing deep into every day of my raw, splintered life. I knew I had caused the tears on her face; it was me who caused her frame to quiver. “I have forgotten everything I wrote for you,” she uttered⎯ I shuddered. Waking up with good intentions the night restores faith and promise. I visit her again—her glazed visage, her eyes are copper with change. Grazing a finger over her shoulder, she flinches. I retract. “Jesus was born to forgive our sins,” she says. She faces toward the window, glass panes containing her, and I watch her as she watches snow fall on daydreams. I sit at her bedside while she lies, hip high. In her eyes I see ghosts⎯ specters locked away behind her stare. Then, the poison came to kill, and I, just a child following his relevance, bereft of time I may or may not have, could do nothing. She escaped the glass panes that night, leaving behind but a shadow of the hero. But she had taught me that longing does not originate only from the heart but from the eye, the throat, the fist too. The splinters in my life receded into emptiness.

Now I must ravage from spring what feels like fall; I look to the moon and find her smile. [This poem was previously published in The :Lexicon , the literary arts journal of Duquesne University]

68


Tipton Poetry Journal

Canyon Cameron Barnett every now and again I pass the canyon where we purged our innocence, kicked alongside the seven empty beer cans. her love was like a crawling tingle, warm and marrow-moistening a tactile bliss with an atmospheric destination: we were lost in the clouds our sinful union was a clot, pulsing along to the heart(beat) of a bloody, white nation unaccustomed to interracial love, and too addicted to intra-racial tradition: that canyon echoed with every moan and misplaced kiss as our chapped lips smacked like rusting smoke stacks every now and again I hate that canyon and I bite my lower lip in longing for the long-deceased love of all-too-forgotten Eden and woe the era—this era—when warriors became subjects of the masses: we were warriors until that day, when I rested my spear upon her shield and around the time I found Eden in that canyon the Bible on my desk started to collect dust-to-dust: though the earth’s breath still speaks to me, words have lost their resonance

[This poem was previously published in The :Lexicon , the literary arts journal of Duquesne University]

69


Tipton Poetry Journal

Ohio Song Robert Demaree We sit toward the back Of an old church In a gray downtown, Watching As the family is ushered in: Our daughter, her boys, Her husband, his mother: They lay to rest this day Another grandfather. It comes to me again They have other lives, Other families. After the service, waiting for lunch, The boys cling tightly. The Methodist ladies have fixed Congealed salads, Casseroles of comfortable Broccoli, green beans. The minister does not stay for dessert, Passing up lemon squares. He has a wedding this afternoon.

70


Tipton Poetry Journal

Hymn at 33,000 Feet Jeffrey Tucker After Jay Hopler

Let’s make something brilliant together, an exhaling, a way to bring the lights below higher. Do not misunderstand—the darkness is fine, how it rests upon your knees and sharpens my cheeks. Take another sip of whatever this is I’m having. Somewhere above new constellations wait for names. Call them after us. The way the dim spots take so long appearing, how they circle and gyre and craze— yes, after us: your lips parted and dry, your reflective hair. Hallelujah.

First We Spin Jeffrey Tucker When I was young, when earthquakes rubbed against Orange County my parents called me to join them inside doorjambs, away from windows, nearly always at night. I’d bolt from bed stumbling on uneven floors, or not, if I slept deeply. I tell myself that it was not evil to cheer for the hurricane, to create a T-shirt reading Gustav Is My Homeboy and wear it watching clouds approach on television. Survivors say tornadoes sound like freight-trains, earthquakes echo car crashes which in turn feign crushing cans underfoot. Gustav came with six inches of rain and static: on channel nine, in the air. I kept watching, rapt. 71


Tipton Poetry Journal

She's Barefooted Paul Stroble And it feels great, Believe you me: old straight jeans Tickling tanned ankles, Bare heels making gentle, Jarring thuds upon the kitchen floor, Except not the floor: today She’s running errands, New purse over her shoulder As if this pleasure of home Relaxation were suitably expressed Out and about on this Gorgeous day, walking to her Small downtown. She can tell you What you didn’t know: That hometown sidewalks Feel warm, grainy, like A safe back porch, that you Remember the cracks in the walk And you especially remember to trot Across hot summer streets As she follows her strolling toes To the utility office to pay her bills, Then the library, with its carpet's Smooth low nap, and then The store, with its smooth tiles, But not the shoe shop, lest Someone think she's merely Starting from scratch. Picture A reliably free spirit who thinks Unencumbered feet go well With most any outfit: jeans, Tees, print skirts, shorts, Funky combinations. No Sandals tan lines! Picture A silly spirit who believes That adults can set forth With light steps with the goal Of a fun-filled day, at least, Sometimes, on a whim, For the sake of a mischievous 72


Tipton Poetry Journal Memory, her shown-off toes Lolling in remembrance of beach As she stands in the checkout line Committed to being cheerful Amid difficulty, with feet that run But cannot hide. Picture The outdoor hero allowed To stay barefoot for adventures, Plane flights, train trips, Forest hikes and high level Meetings. Think an historical Hippy on a road trip. Think Of Jesus who, otherwise well robed Is barefoot in all his paintings As if this is just another way Of gaining His peace and joy As she made her way home For the rest of the day's tasks. Think of the year: of winter days Barefoot only inside, Of Spring days when it’s finally Warm enough, and humid Summer mornings, swinging In the park with children who’ll Never forget their summers Before school starts, The bus shop, the gathered Parents, the tying Of last-minute laces You’ll be fine! Love you! See you this afternoon! Love you! And think of Wading through cool air And autumn leaves when She dons sweaters, rakes, Tends mums, chats with Neighbors, laughs, assures She’s warm enough.

73


Tipton Poetry Journal

Waiting for April Jessica Haugen After a while, I have learned the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul. I waited for a beautiful boy to save me from my old ways. I fell too hard. Now I was nineteen. My best dress was pressed, hair perfectly placed, my green eyes searched for a man in a crowded coffee shop, I told myself I wouldn’t do this again, wouldn’t wait for an absolution that may never come, I said Wait— I sat with the blushing roses he bought and his eyes answered. We sipped through four cups, not nearly enough. Then he brought me to the riverside garden. Its fence gate unlocked, weathered but strong, and the grass glimmered from last night’s rain. His hand caught my doubt, his kiss a contract. I was a sinking boat.

74


Tipton Poetry Journal

Family Portrait, Brewster, Mass, 1980 Peter Solet In that moment the camera seizes Cape Cod pines in their sandy, shallow beds-roots frantic for purchase, forever mining for water-straighten and rise, as though a crooked world could be righted, a frame for us who could only face the camera and hope.

Rosenberg Brothers, 1953 Peter Solet In this hard-grained photo from the Daily News, you don’t know that you walk for the final time across the iron-curtained courtyard of Sing Sing, where your parents wait. You are six and ten. Your wear dungarees and polo shirts. A heavy-bodied lawyer is holding your hands, as if you were skipping in the park. Dodgers is emblazoned on your caps. You are smiling.

75


Tipton Poetry Journal

Slope Brian T. Robinson Add some Coltrane to y=mx +be. Grace notes rise and fall, come and go, like dragonflies by the riverbed darting in and out of the grasses. The tallest reeds spared and left to grow blow softly, bow humbly beneath a trumpet’s calculated breath. No slope is a line, and no lines hold water. The x and y will drift, together, fall apart, forget and remember, spill into the bay, the sea, the ocean. No slope rests; rather, they lead m by the hand, dancing with syncopation, swing, and fear— a formata knows no laws.

76


Tipton Poetry Journal

Ode on a Fortune Cookie William Wright Harris Tearing off the plastic wrapper- a cheap dress. Crackcrackcracking the beige exoskeleton. Fingers plucking out the piece of divinityonly to find blank paper looking back.

Ode to pie a la mode William Wright Harris for jack kerouac

15 ounces 9� pie crust 6 cups sliced apples 2/3 cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

the american night a blanket jazz leaping off pages buddha found under a tree san francisco america reborn a holy hiking pack boots mingling mud drunk again

a scoop of ice cream

allergic to cans of tuna

77


Tipton Poetry Journal

Editor Barry Harris is editor of the Tipton Poetry Journal and has published one poetry collection, Something At The Center. He lives in Zionsville, Indiana and is retired from Eli Lilly and Company. His poetry has appeared in Silk Road Review, Saint Ann‘s Review, Grey Sparrow Journal, Boston Literary Magazine, Night Train, Hiss Quarterly, Cherry Blossom Review, Flying Island, Lily, The Centrifugal Eye, Flutter Poetry Journal, Wheelhouse Magazine, Houston Literary Review, Snow Monkey, Fissure, Awaken Consciousness and Writers‘ Bloc. One of his poems is on display at the National Museum of Sport and another is painted on a barn in Boone County, Indiana as part of Brick Street Poetry‘s Word Hunger public art project. His poems are included in two anthologies: From the Edge of the Prairie and Twin Muses: Art and Poetry.

Assistant Editor Nicole Adrienne Aguiniga attended the University of Missouri-Kansas City for her bachelor’s degree in English; creative writing. Now, she’s currently an English Graduate Student at the University of Indianapolis. Editing experience includes: The University of Indianapolis English Literary magazine, Etchings 2012-2013. Her hobbies include: reading, cooking, and writing.

Biographies Gilbert Allen is the Bennette E. Geer Professor of Literature at Furman University. His sequence of poems, The Assistant, received the 2007 Robert Penn Warren Prize. A long poem, “The World of Tomorrow,” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by The Southern Review. Some of his newest poems and stories have appeared (or will soon appear) in The Georgia Review, Sewanee Theological Review, The Southern Review, undefined magazine, and the final issue of Free Lunch.

Cameron Barnett graduated from Duquesne University in 2011. He earned degrees in English and Spanish, and is a member of Sigma Tau Delta, the English honors society. Upon graduation Cameron was honored with the O'Donnell Award of Excellence in Poetry, distinguishing him as the most outstanding poet in his graduating class. He will attend the University of Pittsburgh in the fall of 2013 to pursue an MFA in poetry.

78


Tipton Poetry Journal Ryan Bayless lives in Austin, Texas and teaches English and Fine Arts at Texas A&M University-Central Texas. His work has appeared in The Wayfarer, Hawk & Whippoorwill, Alba, Willows Wept Review, Right Hand Pointing, and elsewhere.

A lifelong New Englander, Jeff Bernstein divides his time between Boston and Central Vermont. Except on summer days when his beloved (now bedraggled) Red Sox are at Fenway, he finds back roads preferable to the city. Poetry is his favorite and earliest art form (he can’t draw a whit or hold a tune). Recent poems have appeared in Ballard Street Poetry Journal, Birchsong – A Poetry Anthology (Blueline Press), Hobble Creek Review, Loch Raven Review, Main Street Rag, San Pedro River Review and riverbabble. His chapbook, Interior Music was published in 2010 by Foothills Publishing. Jeff’s writer’s blog is www.hurricanelodge.com. Brenda Bradley is an Associate Professor of English at McLennan Community College in Waco, Texas. She is now in her 30th year of teaching. When she is not grading papers, she enjoys cooking, reading, writing poetry, watching movies, making music, traveling, and being with her family and friends. She especially enjoys foreign travel and has been to Canada, Mexico, Kazakhstan, China, Europe, Ireland, Argentina, and Kenya. Brenda lives in Waco with her husband, two children (Hannah and Isaac), and dog (Zippy). Peter Branson’s poetry has been published or accepted for publication by journals in Britain, USA, Canada, EIRE, Australia and New Zealand, including Acumen, Ambit, Envoi, Magma, The London Magazine, Iota, Frogmore Papers, The Interpreter’s House, Poetry Nottingham, Pulsar, Red Ink, The Recusant, South, The New Writer, Crannog, Raintown Review, The Huston Poetry Review, Barnwood, The Able Muse and Other Poetry. His first collection, was published in May 2008. A second collection was published at the beginning of last year by Caparison Press for ‘The Recusant’. More recently a pamphlet has been issued by ‘Silkworms Ink’. A third collection has been accepted for publication by Salmon Press, EIRE. He has won prizes and been placed in a number of poetry competitions over recent years, including firsts in the Grace Dieu and the Envoi International. Matthew Brennan recently had poems appear in South Carolina Review, South Dakota Review, and Poem. In 2011 Finishing Line Press brought out his chapbook, The Light of Common Day.

Becky Brown lives in Chico, California with her husband, the poet, H.D. Brown. She teaches English and Creative Writing at Inspire School of Arts and Sciences, where she publishes the student poetry anthology, Incendio.

79


Tipton Poetry Journal Michael Brown is an American English professor teaching in China. Author: 16 books including 6 volumes of poetry. Recipient of the NYS Senator, John DE Francisco award for poetry. Numerous poetry credits as well as reviews and articles. Janet Butler returned to the United States after more than 20 years in magical Italy, which still tugs at her heart. She settled in the East Bay, and lives in Victorian Alameda with Fulmi, a beautiful Spaniel mix she rescued in Perugia and brought back with her. Her passions, other than Fulmi, are poetry and watercolors. Searching for Eden was published by Finishing Line Press in 2012; Upheaval was one of three winners in the Red Ochre Press 2012 Chapbook Competition, released in January, 2013. Neil Cain is a poet, musician, and organizer of the arts who was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Roger Camp has published poems in the The Evansville Review, The North American Review, Hiram Poetry Review, South Carolina Review, The Dalhousie Review (The Hopkins Review forthcoming). He also has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and the Danforth Foundation. Melvin Chen is a Singaporean painter, philosopher, and poet. He is a firstyear PhD candidate in Philosophy at Cardiff University, undertaking a thesis on the limits of ethical philosophy. When not philosophizing, he may be found traipsing around Paris with his Slovak muse and one true love.

Joan Colby has published seven books: The Atrocity Book, The Lonely Hearts Killers, How the Sky Begins to Fall, The Boundary Waters and Blue Woman Dancing in the Nerve, Dream Tree, and Beheading the Children. She has over 960 poems in such periodicals as Poetry, Atlanta Review, Hollins Critic, Portland Review and Barrelhouse. Recipient of a fellowship in literature from the Illinois Arts Council, Joan works as editor of Illinois Racing News, a publication for the Illinois racing and breeding industry and lives on a small horse farm in northern Illinois.

80


Tipton Poetry Journal Holly Day is a housewife and mother of two living in Minneapolis, Minnesota who teaches needlepoint classes in the Minneapolis school district. Her poetry has recently appeared in Hawai’i Pacific Review, The Oxford American, and Slipstream, and she is a recent recipient of the Sam Ragan Poetry Prize from Barton College. Her book publications include Music Composition for Dummies, Guitar-All-in-One for Dummies, and Music Theory for Dummies, which has recently been translated into French, Dutch, Spanish, Russian, and Portuguese. Darren C. Demaree’s poems have appeared, or are scheduled to appear in numerous magazines/journals, including the South Carolina Review, Meridian, The Louisville Review, Cottonwood, The Tribeca Poetry Review, and Whiskey Island. He is the recipient of two Pushcart Prize nominations. His first full collection of poetry, tentatively entitled As We Refer To Our Bodies is forthcoming from 8th House Publishing House. Darren currently lives and writes in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children. Robert Demaree is the author of four collections of poems, including Fathers and Teachers (2007) and Mileposts (2009), both published by Beech River Books. The winner of the 2007 Conway, N.H., Library Poetry Award, he is a retired school administrator with ties to North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, where he lives four months of the year. He has had over 600 poems published or accepted by 130 periodicals, including Cold Mountain Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Homestead Review and Tipton Poetry Journal, and in four anthologies including the 2008 and 2010 editions of Poet’s Guide to New Hampshire and Celebrating Poets over 70. He lives in Burlington, North Carolina and Wolfeboro, New Hampshire For further information see http://www.demareepoetry.blogspot.com. A tramp, a gentleman, a poet, a dreamer, a lonely fellow, always hopeful of romance and adventure. James H Duncan is a freelance writer living in New York City, and is the founder of Hobo Camp Review, an online literary 'zine dedicated to the traveling word. A Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominee, his poetry and short stories have found homes in dozens of publications, including Pulp Modern, Red Fez, Underground Voices, and Poetry Salzberg Review. More at http://jameshduncan.blogspot.com.

Gail Eisenhart’s poems can currently be seen in Assisi, Cantos, Generations of Poetry, Specter, Jet Fuel Review, New Verse News and New Mirage. A retired Executive Assistant, she works part time at the Belleville, Illinois Public Library. She travels in her spare time, collecting memories that show up in new poems. Milton P. Ehrlich is an 80 year old psychologist who has published numerous poems in periodicals such as the Wisconsin Review, Toronto Quarterly Review, Antigonish Review, Shofar Literary Journal, Dream Fantasy International, Pegasus, Blue Collar Review, Chiron Review, Parnassus Literary Journal, Xanadu, Mobius, Christian Science Montor, and the New York Times.

81


Tipton Poetry Journal Gene Fehler’s poems have appeared in numerous periodicals, including The Nebraska Review, Rattle. Willow Review, Soundings East. Gene’s most recent book is When Baseball was Still King (McFarland, 2012). His website is www.genefehler.com.

Angelo Giambra's poetry has appeared in Southern Poetry Review, South Dakota Review, Atlanta Review, Tipton Poetry Journal and several other journals. His poem "The Water Carriers" was recently featured on Ted Kooser's national web site American Life In Poetry.

Ruth Gooley, a native of Venice, California, published her dissertation, The Image of the Kiss in French Renaissance Poetry, and has published poems in Pure Francis, Poecology, The Red Poppy Review, vox poetica, nibble, Common Sense 2, The Corner Club Press, Apollo's Lyre, and Hobble Creek Review. She has forthcoming poems in Snowy Egret, Literary Fever, Up the Staircase, and the Ibbetson Street Press. Mac Greene is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Indianapolis. He hopes to become an emerging writer. He has published Haiku in bottle rockets and Frogpond, a Haibun prose poem in the Hawaii Pacific Review, and a brief memoir piece in Marco Polo. John D. Groppe is a retired English professor from Saint Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Indiana and a co-editor of the Prairie Writers Guild's annual book, From the Edge of the Prairie. A native of New York City, but a convinced Hoosier since 1958, his poetry has appeared in the Tipton Poetry Journal, Snowy Egret, The Flying Island, Crossroads, Embers, The National Catholic Reporter , and other journals.

Since Anne Haines’ last appearance in Tipton Poetry Journal (2010), her poems have been published in New Madrid, Rattle, Diode, The Cossack Review, Bluestem, the anthology And Know This Place: Poetry of Indiana, and elsewhere. Anne lives and writes in Bloomington, where she works as the Website Editor for the IU Libraries.

In his youth Eric Halliwell heard the Russian poet Yevtushenko compare poems to ambulances. By coincidence his favorite poet was former ambulance driver E. E. Cummings, who rescued him from a dreary adolescence. Now, on Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, where there are no roads, he’s learned to drive his own ambulance. Eric’s poetry has appeared in Penwood Review, Ascent Aspirations, Umbrella, Shine Journal, Ashé Journal, and Berkeley Poetry Review.

82


Tipton Poetry Journal The poetry of William Wright Harris has appeared in six countries in such literary journals as The Cannon’s Mouth, Ascent Aspirations, and Write On!!! He is a student at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, where he has been lucky enough to study poetry in workshop settings with such poets as Jesse Janeshek, Marilyn Kallet, Arthur Smith, and Marcel Brouwers. Jessica Haugen is currently a student at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse majoring in Rhetoric and Writing. She worked as Poetry Editor for the May 2012 issue of Steam Ticket: A Third Coast Review.

James Keane resides in northern New Jersey USA with his wife and son and a shrinking menagerie of merry pets. Recently, his poems have appeared in two Silver Boomer Books anthologies, Freckles to Wrinkles and The Harsh and The Heart: Celebrating The Military, and the Ragged Sky Press anthology Eating Her Wedding Dress: A Collection of Clothing Poems. Most recently, his first chapbook of poems, What Comes Next, has been published by Finishing Line Press.

erren geraud kelly's work has been published in pulsar poetry journal, gloom cupboard, radius, hiram poetry review and in over 80 publications in print and online. erren received his b.a. in english-creative writing from louisiana state university in baton rouge... mr. kelly lives in Chicago...

Robert Kendrick teaches rhetoric and creative writing at D.W. Daniel High School in Central, South Carolina. He has previously published in The Iodine Poetry Journal and Illuminations. Steve Klepetar teaches literature and creative writing at Saint Cloud State University in Minnesota. His work has received several nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and his latest chapbook, My Father Teaches Me a Magic Word, has recently been accepted by Flutter Press.

Philip C. Kolin is the University Distinguished Professor in the College of Arts and Letters at the University of Southern Mississippi where he is also

83


Tipton Poetry Journal the Editor of the Southern Quarterly. He has published five books of poems, the most recent being Reading God's Handwriting: Poems (Kaufmann Publishing, August 2012). He is also the Publisher/Editor of Vineyards: A Journal of Christian Poetry. Kolin has also published extensively on Tennessee Williams, Shakespeare, and contemporary African American drama.

A bi-lingual poet-immigrant, Joanna Kurowska, has lived in the US since 1988. Her poems have appeared in American Tanka, Apple Valley Review, Bateau, Christianity and Literature, Concise Delight, Dappled Things, International Poetry Review, Illuminations, ken*again, New York Quarterly (forthcoming), Oklahoma Review, Penwood Review, Room Magazine, Solo Novo, Strong Verse, Vineyards, and Write From Wrong. Kurowska’s first poetry collection in English, Inclusions, is forthcoming from Červená Barva Press. Previously, Joanna published two books of poetry in Poland (Ściana : The Wall, 1997; and Obok : Near, 1999). Polish translations of her English poems have appeared in Fraza (Poland). Joanna holds a doctorate in literature. She has taught at SWSEEL, Indiana University, since 1995. Linda Caldwell Lee leads two independent writing groups. Her poems have been published in Flying Island, New Laurel Review, Hopewell Review, Branches, Poetry on the Bus, Arts Indiana and some other places. She published a chapbook, What Happiness Required, in 2006.

Richard Luftig is a professor of educational psychology and special education at Miami University in Ohio, a recipient of the Cincinnati Post-Corbett Foundation Award for Literature and a semi finalist for the Emily Dickinson Society Award. His poems have appeared in numerous literary journals in the United States (including Third Wednesday) and internationally in Japan, Canada, Australia, Europe, Thailand, Hong Kong and India. One of his published poems was nominated for the 2012 Pushcart Poetry Prize.

84


Tipton Poetry Journal

John C. Mannone, nominated three times for the Pushcart, has current and forthcoming work in The Baltimore Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Linden Avenue Literary Journal, Ayris, Prairie Wolf Press Review, Imagination & Place Press, Tipton Poetry Journal, Pedestal, Rose Red Review, The Hellroaring Review and others. He’s the 2013 Rhysling Chair, the poetry editor for Silver Blade, an adjunct professor of physics, and a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador. Visit The Art of Poetry at http://jcmannone.wordpress.com. Laura Mantke-Rosenhagen grew up and lives in Berrien Springs, Michigan on the same farm her family has lived on for 6 generations. Her spare time is spent enjoying and photographing the old woods, wildlife, and gardens of her "Fairland Farm". This frog (in the cover photo) was kind enough to allow a picture of himself in one of the birdhouses her husband Scott crafted for their little farm. Both a visual artist and a poet, Donna M. Marbach has published non-fiction, fiction, and poetry in a variety of anthologies and periodicals. She is a past poetry editor of the national writers' magazine, Byline. and has also edited for FootHills Press. In 2002, she started her own small poetry press, Palettes & Quills. Co-founder and past president of Just Poets Inc. a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the celebration of poetry and poets, her work has appeared in such journals as Blueline, Hazmat Review, Homestead Review, Quercus Review, Sea Stories, The MacGuffin, The Red WheelBarrow, Silk Road, Limestone, Willow Swept Review, Halfway Down The Stairs, Breadcrub scabs, Waterways, and Pearl. Most recently, she and Dave Tilley co-authored the chapbook, Twisted Pair, a collaborative effort in experimental poetry. Mike McDonald typically refers to British Columbia's Okanagan Valley as his Canadian home. Nonetheless, he has traveled extensively both within Canada and abroad, and is currently organizing cultural tours of the Indian Subcontinent. His book of short fiction remains a work in progress while his poetry has appeared in Jones AV, Windfall, Misunderstandings Magazine and The Smoking Poet. Ron McFarland teaches at the University of Idaho. Pecan Grove Press released his fourth full-length collection of poems, "Subtle Thieves," in spring of 2012.

Guys like Tom O’Dore do not have bios.

85


Tipton Poetry Journal Jane Olivier, born in Canada, traversed Africa on business, as a journalist, and writer. Spent the last seven years travelling the world trying to make sense of it, and still hasn’t managed, but the words don’t fail. Currently resides in Quebec or a suitcase. Elaine Fowler Palencia is the author of two short story collections and two poetry chapbooks. Her third chapbook, The Big Woods, is forthcoming from Pudding House Publications. Elaine has received three Pushcart Prize Nominations, two for poetry and one for short fiction and has work forthcoming in The Heartland Review.

Alex Phillips lives and writes in Mankato, Minnesota. Jessica Quick was born in Simi Valley, California. She completed her BA in English with a minor in Creative Writing at the University of California, Berkeley. Since then, she has lived and taught in San Francisco, Stanford, Harlem, Seoul and now, Madrid. She is currently completing her MA in English Literature in Madrid, Spain through Saint Louis University and Universidad Autónoma. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Hobo Pancakes and A Few Lines. Marco Ray lives in Indianapolis with his wife and two children. He teaches high school English and enjoys attending poetry readings.

Jill Reid lives among the pines and bayous of Pineville, Louisiana with her four year old daughter and too many books to count. She is an instructor of English at Louisiana College and is currently pursuing her MFA in poetry at Seattle Pacific University’s low residency program. Her poetry has been published in Ruminate Magazine, Relief Journal, The Fourth River, The Penwood Review, Catapult Magazine, and Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley. David Ricchiute lives in Indiana. Fiction and poetry appears or is forthcoming in NOON, The Quarterly, North Atlantic Review, Tampa Review, Red Rock Review, First Intensity, Interim, and Boston Literary Magazine. James “Mango” Eaton Riley vowed to publish a poem, like his father, before leaving college. Mango will soon graduate with his master’s degree in music therapy, now that this poem has been published; Thank you Tipton. So much love for family. Brian T. Robinson has lived in-between the suburbs of Philadelphia and Japan for several years now. Some of his work has appeared in Existere, Prick of the Spindle, and the Philadelphia Inquirer—before the paper was bought out twice. He also received a couple small awards, one during his undergraduate career, the other in a national amateur poetry contest. He supposes this qualifies him as more as a poetry hobbyist and is proud to be one. Jay Rubin teaches writing at The College of Alameda in the San Francisco Bay Area and publishes Alehouse, an all-poetry literary journal, at www.alehousepress.com. He holds an MFA in Poetry from New England College and lives in San Francisco with his son and Norwich terrier.

86


Tipton Poetry Journal Nancy Schaefer is based in Moline, IL where she lives with her husband, dog and three cats. She is a member of a local poetry group in the Quad cities, and was a finalist for the 2011 Max J. Molleston Award, with recent poems (or forthcoming) in The Rockford Review, Off Channel, Outloud IV, Struggle, and Women's Voices Journal. Nancy is currently working on a chapbook. Richard Schiffman is a writer based in New York, and a former journalist for National Public Radio. His poems have appeared or are upcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, Poetry East, The North American Review, Southern Poetry Review, 32 Poems, Rattle, Valparaiso Poetry Review, The New York Times and many other journals. His “Spiritual Poetry Portal” can be found at: http://multiplex.isdna.org/poetry.htm

Dawn Schout’s poetry has appeared in more than two dozen publications, including Breadcrumb Scabs, Fogged Clarity, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Muscle & Blood Literary Journal, Pemmican, Poetry Quarterly, The Centrifugal Eye, and Tipton Poetry Journal. She has a B.A. in Creative Writing and lives near Lake Michigan.

SJ Sindu received an MA in English from the University of NebraskaLincoln. Sindu’s creative writing has appeared in Brevity, Water~Stone Review, The MacGuffin, Harpur Palate, and elsewhere. Focusing on traditionally silenced voices—the immigrant, the poor, the queer, the femalebodied—Sindu is working on a novel and a collection of nonfiction essays. Her facebook site is: facebook.com/sjsindu.

Noel Sloboda is the author of the poetry collection Shell Games as well as several chapbooks. He has also published a book about Edith Wharton and Gertrude Stein. Sloboda teaches at Penn State York and serves as dramaturg for the Harrisburg Shakespeare Company.

87


Tipton Poetry Journal Peter Solet is a retired clinical research monitor living in the mountains with his wife Katherine and the requisite three cats. His publishing credits include: Quiddity, Argestes, Ars Poetica, and the Asheville Poetry Review (poetry); Fresh and the Online Great Smoky Mountain Journal. Gerald Solomon was born in London and studied English Literature at Cambridge University. After a short spell as sales assistant at a bookshop in London's Charing Cross Road he worked as a producer at the BBC. Subsequently becoming engaged in education, he helped found General Studies courses at Hornsey College of Art, and this led eventually to an enjoyable period teaching poetry courses at Middlesex University. He retired early in order to paint and write. His poems have appeared in numerous magazines in the USA and UK as he prepares his first collection. He is married, with four children, and lives in Manhattan. A student and a poet, Riley Spilman is a twenty-one year old aspiring writer from Sacramento. He has work published in Underground Voices and now Tipton Poetry Journal. N. A’Yara Stein is a nominee for the 2011 Pushcart Prize and was a finalist in the 2011 National Poetry Series for her manuscript, Saudade. Nominated twice for the 2010 Pushcart Prize by Apparatus Magazine and Vox Poetica, she holds an MFA from the University of Arkansas and is a grant recipient of the Michigan Art Council and the Arkansas Arts Council, among other honors. The former editor of the arts quarterly Gypsy Blood Review, she’s recently published in Verse Wisconsin, The Mayo Review, Ping Pong: The Journal of the Henry Miller Library, The San Pedro Poetry Review, The Delinquent (UK), among others. She lives near Chicago with her sons. Jeanine Stevens has graduate degrees in Anthropololgy and Education. She has five chapbooks, the latest, Caught in Clouds, from Finishing Line Press. Her poems have appeared in Poet Lore, Ekphrasis, Ibbetson Street Press, South Dakota Review, and Poetry Depth Quarterly, among others. She was raised in Indiana and currently lives in Northern California where she divides her time between Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe. George Stratigakis was born in Sparti, Greece. He has taught at the Center for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Studies in Athens, and Northeastern University in Boston. He has translated Ernest Hemingway’s Short Stories and A Moveable Feast into Greek, and translated Greek lyricists into English. His poetry has appeared in The Innisfree Poetry Journal and Contemporary American Voices. Paul Stroble teaches at Webster University in St. Louis. He has published several books in religious studies, and articles, reviews, and poems in numerous magazines. His website is http://paulstroble.com.

88


Tipton Poetry Journal Harold Taylor has lived in Indianapolis for twenty years, and has been married to wife Cynthia for thirty-seven years and has four grown children and five grands. Harold has worked at St. Vincent Hospital for fourteen years, the last six as a hospital handyman. A few years ago he began to read poetry seriously and to attend writer's round tables. Writers Speak Volumes with host Lylanne Musselman in Indianapolis has been his favorite, with his favorite poetry reading being the Poetry on Brick Street in Zionsville. His hope is to continue developing his craft and eventually publish books that will lift people’s spirits. Harold believes we are due for a renaissance of poetry in this country and he wants to be part of it. Jo Barbara Taylor, a Hoosier native, now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her poems have appeared in Bay Leaves, Ibbetson Street, Bee Culture, The Broad River Review, on New Verse News and in and several anthologies. Her chapbook One Or Two Feathers was released in fall 2010 by Plan B Press; Jake and Jill, the story of a marriage, summer 2011 by Ridgeline Press; and Cameo Roles, in October 2011 from Big Table Publishing.

Jeffrey Tucker teaches creative writing at Hampton University in Virginia. His work has appeared in Inscape, Saw Palm, Poetry South, Swarthmore Literary .Review, Mason’s Road, and elsewhere. He is also one of the faculty advisors of Saracen, Hampton University’s literary journal. Shari Wagner is the author of a book of poems, Evening Chore (Cascadia, 2005) and has published poetry in The North American Review, The Sow's Ear Review, Black Warrior Review and Shenandoah. Her poem, “The Farm Wife Sells Her Cows,” was chosen for Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. She teaches for the Writers' Center of Indiana and lives with her husband and two daughters in Westfield, Indiana.

Mike Walker is a writer, linguist, Slavist, and poet. His original research and other academic work has been published in: Tottenville Review, Gently Read Literature, Goldenseal, EcoFlorida, BrightLights Quarterly, the ATA Chronicle, Translation Journal, Multilingual Computing and Technology and other journals. His journalism in: The Florida Times-Union, The North Florida News Daily, Satellite Magazine, Twisted Ear, and other publications. His poetry is in: Meanie, the Church Wellesley Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, and other publications. He lives in High Springs, Florida.

89


Tipton Poetry Journal Sarah Brown Weitzman has had well over 200 poems published in numerous journals including The North American Review, American Writing, Potomac Review, America, MidAmerican Review, and The Bellingham Review. Her second chapbook, The Forbidden (2003) was published by Pudding House. Weitzman received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. She was a finalist in the Academy of American Poets’ Walt Whitman Award twice, and more recently was a finalist for The Foley Prize in 2003 and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2012. A former New York academic, Weitzman is retired and lives in Florida. John Sibley Williams is the author of Controlled Hallucinations (forthcoming, FutureCycle Press) and six poetry chapbooks. He is the winner of the HEART Poetry Award, and finalist for the Pushcart, Rumi, and The Pinch Poetry Prizes. John serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review, co-director of the Walt Whitman 150 project, and Marketing Director of Inkwater Press. A few previous publishing credits include: Third Coast, Inkwell, Bryant Literary Review, Cream City Review, The Chaffin Journal, The Evansville Review, RHINO, and various anthologies. He lives in Portland, Oregon. Diana Woodcock's first full-length collection, Swaying on the Elephant’s Shoulders, won the 2010 Vernice Quebodeaux International Poetry Prize for Women and is forthcoming from Little Red Tree Publishing. Her three chapbooks include In the Shade of the Sidra Tree, a nominee for the Library of Virginia Poetry Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award (Finishing Line Press), Mandala (Foothills Publishing), and Travels of a Gwai Lo—the title poem of which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Toadlily Press. Diana is the recipient of numerous awards including the Distinguished Achievements in Research Award from Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar; the Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Poetry Contest, 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes from Artists Embassy International, an International Publication Award from Atlanta Review, the 2007 Creekwalker Poetry Prize, Best New Poets 2008 (selected by Mark Strand). She has been published in Nimrod, Crab Orchard Review, Portland Review and other journals. In May 2010, her poetry was exhibited with Li Chevalier’s paintings at the Today Art Museum in Beijing, China. Since receiving an M.F.A. degree in Creative Writing in 2004, she has been teaching writing courses at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar/School of the Arts. Previously, she spent nearly eight years working in Tibet, Macau, and on the Thai-Cambodian border. She is a PhD candidate (creative writing/poetry) at Lancaster University. Judy Young is a member of Last Stanza Poetry Association and attends Brick Street Poetry events in Zionsville, Indiana. Judy has been writing poetry since childhood but, until recently, had kept all of her writings private. She spent every weekend in a small cabin in Brown County, Indiana as a child and teenager, one without electricity or plumbing or any modern conveniences. It was nothing she would have lived through by choice, but it added a raw flavor to the beginning of her life that she still can recall so many years later, like a perfume or powerful dream. Alessio Zanelli, Italian, has long adopted English as his writing language and his work has appeared widely in literary magazines from 12 countries including, in the USA: California Quarterly. Concho River Review, Italian Americana, The Lyric, Main Street Rag, Potomac Review, Tipton Poetry Journal and World Literature Today. His fourth full collection, Over Misty Plains, was released in the UK by Indigo Dreams in 2012. He is poetry editor of Private Photo Review and the Italian Stanza Representative for the Poetry Society of London.

90

Tipton Poetry Journal - #25  

Winter-Spring 2013

Tipton Poetry Journal - #25  

Winter-Spring 2013

Advertisement