Saturday, April 18, 2009


Here is my "clean" poem (Day 7)
Today at 8:45am
On April 6, 2009 the body of 8 year old Sandra Cantu was found 
inside a black suitcase floating in an irrigation pond in Tracy, California. 
Sandra had been missing since March 27, 2009

My Own Beloved Child

I do not know you but I shall hold you like my own beloved child
I promise once I’ve cleaned you I will cover you like my own beloved child

From the black case I lift you and lay your modest form upon a white sheet.
Painstakingly, I comb through your tawny hair, like my own beloved child’s

Gently I hold each hand and scrape foreign matter from under your pink nails
Your tiny breathless nostrils and still breast make me ache for my own beloved child

I photograph your cuts and bruises, set your twisted limbs aright,
Map every inch of your lovely form as I might my own beloved child’s

I swab where I must, reassuring you that this will be the last assault upon you. 
I eliminate all infection from you as I would from my own beloved child.

Every fiber and hair, is combed from your hello-kitty top and black leggings,
as if I were grooming the lovely angel wings of my own beloved child.

You are clean now, though no amount of wickedness could ever really stain you.
Dearest, you are my angel, my angel; forever my own beloved child. 

Meg Harris

Winter Night
let your streets fill with water
puddle up to the grocery store, the taco cart
sell your beer past three,
drop a coin in a coffee cup.
give a man a fact: a real hand on his real lap
in a musty taxi cab
weight of a woman on his thighs
a sigh, a whiskey drink on the bed stand.
it takes a long time to hear the streets
to know screeching and romance,
the wind-whipped lovers at the corner café
hair tangled over eyes sip sip
you know I can’t love things right.

Laura Jo Hess

Only the Hurricane
by Timothy L. Campbell


All nameless bringers of destruction and grief.
Only the hurricane, the sea’s mighty fury,
Earns itself a name for posterity.


Dream in Technicolor

Black water flowed
Through the streets
Eager crows spread their wings
I was drenched in Desire
There was fire in the trees
Syllables twisted knots
‘Round the neck of the guard
Where I ran down that train
All a-flame spinning death
Gasoline in my pores
But I ran for the life
Of my velveteen bride
All the while
Drunk with fear
Through the river with the Sirens

I saw your face
Drank the pain
That dripped off your tongue
While your hands
Were ablaze
“By the Swift Heavy Sun”
Was a song from a dove
That you played with my heart
Revelry, Revelry
In a rolling wave
I was saved
Crying: “Grace!”
By the words that you spoke
With your gun
A thirty-two twenty, I believe it was

You were never just
As you were
Shifting shapes in the dark
But I would have-
followed you-

The cattle sob
Night grows long
Over pastures too soon
Now and henceforth
West and North
By the Alabaster Sea
In some ramshackle ship
What cosmic blinks
In yonder skies!
Be you our guide through the mist?

Kenny Lee

A Woman Turing Forty Stops Wearing Underwear

President William Jefferson Clinton was on trial that year,
accused of having an affair with a collagen-enhanced
Valley Girl turned White House intern.

Two capitol guards were gunned down
Two U.S. embassies in Africa were blown up
Taliban Muslim extremists cut off the hands of Turkish thieves.

John Glenn readied himself to fly the Shuttle into space,
at 77, the oldest man to leave earth’s atmosphere.
Frank Sinatra died. So did Sheri Lewis and Buffalo Bob.

Politicians argued that no one cared --
that we’d given up our right to sue HMO’s:
We just wanted cheaper rates.

My husband spent his evenings
dead-heading the petunias in our garden.
He’d spent the mornings weeding marigolds.

He’d given up on the American press.
So had I.
They’d given up on America.

Truth seemed hard to find, sincerity scarce.
Despite mild evenings and rainy afternoons
our garden blazed with color.

I sat on the deck and counted squirrels in the trees
until the bats began to flit above the chimney.
None of them knew that I’d thrown away my bras and panties.

Neither did the shoppers at our local supermarket
nor the secretaries in my office or the clerks at the post office.
My psychologist was oblivious. So were my next door neighbors.

No one knew how close I was to anarchy
the soft and wrinkly truth of butt and breast.
I could feel them pushing through my shorts and shirt

Like weeds through asphalt, green and lanky
tipped with rubber heads,
I loved to feel my crotch against my jeans.

That’s the summer I discovered dark matter,
the pull of something invisible and obscene.

Nancy Grace


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