Friday, April 19, 2019

Nathan Graziano

Sunday Morning in Middle Age

Before stepping into the shower I remember
a segment from the Nightly News where researchers

in some prestigious university discovered the number
of push-ups a man can do has a direct correlation

to the likelihood of developing heart disease  
so as the shower ran and the mirrors misted up

I hit the deck to determine when I would die,
my palms pressed to the tiles, my arms shaking.

If I could hit twenty, I’d reduce my chance of a stroke
by sixty-four percent, according to the researchers.

There’s no suspense here, folks. After ten push-ups,
I dropped flat to my belly on the bathroom rug, done.

A forty-three year old man, found dead in a bathroom
in his boxer shorts beside a toilet—an ugly obituary.


Nathan Graziano lives in Manchester, New Hampshire, with his wife and kids. His books include Teaching Metaphors (Sunnyoutside Press), After the Honeymoon (Sunnyoutside Press) Hangover Breakfasts (Bottle of Smoke Press in 2012), Sort Some Sort of Ugly (Marginalia Publishing in 2013), and My Next Bad Decision (Artistically Declined Press, 2014). Almost Christmas, a collection of short prose pieces, was published by Redneck Press in 2017. Graziano writes a baseball column for Dirty Water Media in Boston. For more information, visit his website: www.nathangraziano.com.  

Friday, April 12, 2019

David Bulley

Business lessons
At times, in my travels through the wild snowy places
I’ve stepped on the nothing about half an inch above the snow
So that I left no track, disturbed nothing,
ghosting past exhausted deer and moose huffing through chest deep drifts
Searching out that last spruce bud within reach.
By sheer coincidence, I happen to always be alone
On these sorties so that, having left no track,
I’ve also left no proof of my passing.
One time I stomped through deep snow from
One copse to another, sweating and heaving
Behind me, single file, a herd of deer picked and snickered in my wake.
When we arrived, they frolicked at
an ecstatic pace until all the snow was tamped down and walkable
Cleverly lifting their reach to the tiny buds, they could not touch before.
I tasted a tiny maple bud
masticating, zen-like and found it good.
We all chewed for awhile and contemplated Thoreau

David Bulley writes poems and songs and stories and shares them with people he thinks might enjoy it. He is an administrator in a high school. Also he can stand flat footed and piss over a dump truck.

Friday, April 5, 2019

James Croal Jackson


Condensation

We used to be the same, used to
dance in living rooms in Grandview
houses, drunk on homemade Moscow
Mules in copper mugs, and then
you said you would no longer
drink, but you’d watch with
a glass of empty icewater,
drip out the fronts of bars
without a noise.


James Croal Jackson (he/him) has a chapbook, The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017), and poems in Columbia Journal, Rattle, and Reservoir. He edits The Mantle (themantlepoetry.com). Currently, he works in the film industry in Pittsburgh, PA. (jimjakk.com)