Sunday, May 31, 2015

Good Poems Bleed

So, I might open a bottle of something strong and drink straight from it.
Maybe I will start paying attention to tones of voice and hidden implications.

I might go to church twice on Sunday then watch the evening news.
I could always spend time pawing my way deep inside the blackness

of back in time. I might make myself comfortable staring a little too long
at alternative venues or send a little text, hoping it gets read between the lines.

I could try sulking into a masculine kind of radio silence until my wife
starts to wonder and react and the whole thing comes crashing down around me.

While I'm figuring out a way to let the red run and wash away this dry spell,
I’m going to sing our son to sleep, just like I do every night, and watch his eyes

get heavy after his second request. I’m going to tickle him after I get home
from work and let his smile inspire another sweet nothing that languishes

through one rejection after another until I finally put a stop to its humiliation.
I’m going to cringe when she frames it and hangs it above her nightstand

so she can read it like a prayer before turning off the light and resting her head
on my chest as our bedtime breathing becomes an all night long blood harmony.

The Lake -June 2015

Friday, May 22, 2015

Poems I Admire #5


How does it feel, you ask, and all
I can say is like coming to life:
an errant seed blown into a dab of soil,
brave weed sprung staunch from a cracked sidewalk
on the West Side. An inertness that begins
to stir, a quiet chemical reaction.
Water changing to wine, cotton spinning
itself to silk, lead turning to gold.
I’m sure you get my drift: the sum, its parts,
the jigsaw puzzle solved in an instant,
the pieces flying home. The answers to the test
written in permanent ink against your palm.
The noose loosened in the nick of time.
Someone’s blonde hair blown careless in a breeze.

First appeared in San Pedro River Review – Fall 2014

Ricki Mandeville’s poems have recently appeared in Comstock Review, San Pedro River Review, Pea River Journal, Texas Poetry Calendar 2014, and other journals and anthologies. She is a cofounder and consulting editor of Moon Tide Press and the author of A Thin Strand of Lights (Moon Tide Press). A speaker for various literary events, she lives in Huntington Beach, California.