Skip to main content

M.J. Arcangelini

An Absence of Snow

It doesn’t snow here, although there
Are winter mornings when the frost
Is enough to make one wonder,
Joints grind against themselves,
Skin shudders, shedding warmth.

It does not snow here, though all the
Leaves have vacated their perches
And the naked branches hang empty
Anticipating the wet weight of snow,
Even though it won’t snow here.

The calendar can tell me when winter
Has arrived or my bones can tell me,
Or the aches in muscles which never
Ached before when doing those things
Which no longer seem worth doing.

Bones know better than digital clocks,
Better than daylight savings time,
Better than the holiday displays in
Every store and on every downtown
Street where merchants ply their trade.

Snow has no power on the California
Coast, it is merely a distant relative
Who lives up in the boonies, sufficiently
Inclined to deep suspicion of outsiders
As to greet all visitors with a shotgun.


My Mother Grows Old
(1931-2019)

She hardly ever left the recliner but only rarely reclined it.
Gathered an afghan around her most of the time, always cold.

Grand and great-grandchildren visited occasionally. She told
me, “I can’t believe I have a son who qualifies for MediCare.”

The television was on all day as she nodded in and out. News, talk
shows, game shows, more news, police procedurals and sitcoms.

Memories of Santo Domingo, Las Vegas, Nashville Fan Weeks,
and the Knoxville World’s Fair weighed on her static existence.

Several times every day she had to enter the kitchen to fix her
shrinking meals. Her husband died there four decades earlier.

The rugs were removed from her house to prevent another fall.

She stopped taking all her pills and then sat alone, waiting.

M.J. (Michael Joseph) Arcangelini was born 1952 in western Pennsylvania. He has resided in northern California since 1979. He has published in a lot of little magazines, online journals, & over a dozen anthologies.  He is the author of five collections, the most recent of which are “What the Night Keeps,” Stubborn Mule Press 2019, and “A Quiet Ghost,” Luchador Press 2020. Arcangelini has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He can be reached at poetbear@sonic.net

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

David Oliver Cranmer

Not Just Another Playlist Often, I sit in my swivel chair looking out the window, while jazz, country, or rock music plays. This pleasure goes on for many hours a mystic trance of sorts streaming—the glue maintaining my soul. I turn the best songs into playlists (once we called them mix tapes) puzzling over the perfect order. Does Satchmo’s “What a Wonderful World” kick off my latest list or make it the big soulful closer? And does “Mack the Knife” go higher in the set than “Summertime?” That’s an Ella Fitzgerald duet! “Foolishness? No, it’s not” whether you are climbing a tree to count all the leaves or tapping to beats. These are the joys that bring inner peace and balance (to a cold universe) lifting spirits skyward. David Oliver Cranmer ’s poems, short stories, articles, and essays have appeared in publications such as Punk Noir Magazine , The Five-Two: Crime Poetry Weekly , Needle: A Magazine of Noir , LitReactor , Macmillan’s Criminal Element , and

Amy Holman

My mother made herself the deer with a broken leg  We saw a deer through the pane into someone else’s yard. The leg moved like a tube sock pinned to the hip  and half filled with sticks. I did not like to see it suffer, either. She was upset —my mother —that no one helped  the doe. Was it a mother, too? As if we were the first to observe the scene. We weren’t. All had been told to let her be. My mother had suffered a destruction  of the self, a divorce, and no one cared. That wasn’t true.  We were grown, on our own. I agree it was hard. Yet  in those moments of a cold November day, we watched  a doe, disabled and enduring, walk across a yard and eat  a hedge. I wish she could have seen it like that. Amy Holman is the author of the collection, Wrens Fly Through This Opened Window (Somondoco Press, 2010) and four chapbooks, including the prizewinning Wait for Me, I’m Gone (Dream Horse Press, 2005). Recent poems have been in or accepted by Blueline,

Corey Mesler

  I think of you tonight, my Beats I think of you tonight, my Beats, and I am grateful.  I walked the narrow lanes of Academia and never felt at home. There were men and women in the flowerbeds, their heads full of theorems and poems. There were teachers who could lift their own weight in prose.  I was lonely. I was too loose.  I was a lad from the faraway country of Smarting. But I had you as so many before me. I had you and I knew secret things. I could count on you like a percussion. And now I want to say: I love you.  If not for you, what? I want to say. If Allen Ginsberg did not exist it would be necessary to invent him.  COREY MESLER has been published in numerous anthologies and journals including Poetry, Gargoyle, Five Points, Good Poems American Places, and New Stories from the South . He has published over 25 books of fiction and poetry. His newest novel, The Diminishment of Charlie Cain , is from Livingston Press. He also wrote the screenplay for We Go On , which won The Me