Friday, February 9, 2018

Oblivious, by Misty Skaggs

Oblivious

If you try and convince me
you can’t smell the rain coming,
I’m liable to conclude
you’re full of shit.
Or else I’d shake my head
and bless your heart.
It’s hard to imagine existing

with your nose stuck in the air
and not a clue what the wind
is trying to tell you.
Listen. The rain crows
are cooing soft warnings
as they pick through the grass
waiting for the worms to wake up.
Look. Every little leaf
turns its pale belly skyward.
There’s a storm coming
and they’re ready to drink it all in. 


Misty Skaggs is an author, artist and activist hunkered down at the end of a gravel road in East Kentucky. Read more of her poems and see pictures of her favorite tree on Instagram @mistymarierae.



Friday, January 19, 2018

Hunger by John Grochalski

hunger

he’s eating something italian
out of a styrofoam container
over a blue garbage can that matches his coat
occasionally he lifts up a plastic jug to his mouth
and takes a big drink
of something cloudy that has noodles in it
he’s a discerning and somewhat picky eater
picking things out of the can
and discarding them at will
he likes the half-eaten bacon roll
but isn’t much for the unwrapped snickers
a few blocks ago i had a hunger that i couldn’t stand
and had to stop and split a butter bagel with my wife
after all, it had been ten hours since my last meal
and i wasn’t sure if i could hold out for lunch
he goes back to the italian food
which might be beef or chicken or, god forbid, veal
there’s not even an italian joint around this block
so someone had to go far to toss this out
but it’s his good luck that it was sitting there
on top of the half-drunk tub of coffee
and the barely touched pork fried rice
he has a beard like santa claus
that is wet from the cloudy noodle concoction
just like the front of his coat is soggy too
and as he chews he doesn’t even watch the crowd
glide by playing on cell phones
while i think for a single moment
about buying him a bagel and a coffee
but don’t because i’m a chicken
and i’d probably be doing it more for myself than him anyway
so i walk off and head into sunset park
so proud of my imaginary altruism
astounded that my stomach is still growling
taking pictures of that beautiful skyline of manhattan
there in the distance
looking fat enough to feed off of everyone
looking like a crystal or golden palace of plenty
depending on your position
and the tilt of the morning sun.


John Grochalski is the author of The Noose Doesn’t Get Any Looser After You Punch Out (Six Gallery Press 2008), Glass City (Low Ghost Press, 2010), In The Year of Everything Dying (Camel Saloon, 2012), Starting with the Last Name Grochalski (Coleridge Street Books, 2014), and the novels, The Librarian (Six Gallery Press 2013), and Wine Clerk (Six Gallery Press 2016).  Grochalski currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, where the garbage can smell like roses if you wish on it hard enough.