Saturday, May 28, 2016

Linus van Pelt at Thirty-Eight

He still carries it, more gray than blue these days,
but blue, nonetheless. He sticks it on the passenger seat
each Friday after work on his way to the liquor store,

then curls-up with it on the couch as he waits for the sun to set
and the ice to melt the sting out of the four fingers he nurses
until he falls asleep in front of the shifty glow of the television.

He awakens early on Saturday caressing the threadbare silky
of the edges and thinks about Sally, how she let her hair grow out
and the first time she let him touch every long blonde curl.

He rolls onto his other shoulder, pulls the soft old comfort
to his chest, and tells himself he deserved the ass-kicking
Charlie gave him. The rest of the morning he spends drowsy

with wishing and finding the next cold spot his thumb can rub.
He drags himself up by noon, eats a little toast, flips through
his record collection, flings the gray-blue thing over his shoulder,

and grieves again the loss of the pesky little mutt next door
who always knew how to snatch it from his hands.

First appeared in Chiron Review - Spring 2016

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Poems I Admire #12

After Her Affair
Lynne Knight

Here’s what he does to reclaim the ravine:
He puts on leather gloves and strips
the bank of brambles. This takes weeks.
He burns the debris in a pile late one night
while sparks shoot out like stars into the dark.

Then he digs for hidden roots and rakes
the bank clean. By now it’s summer.
He plants spider yarrow, witch hazel,
arbutus and wild ginger. Lady’s mantle,
slender hairgrass, wild lily of the valley.

Hellebore along the narrow path above,
fireweed by the creek bed. All winter
under rain the ravine readies itself.
Buds, bursting. And when the flowers
come, the ravine studded with yellows

and whites, reds and grape blues,
he stands at the window, his hands
still sore from the digging and planting,
the tending, his bones aching a little
deeper, the brambles nowhere to be seen.

First appeared in Rattle – Winter 2013
Also included in Lynne’s forthcoming collection The Persistence of Longing  (Terrapin Books).

 Lynne Knight grew up in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York. Knight graduated from the University of Michigan, where she won two Hopwood Awards, and from Syracuse University, where she was a fellow in poetry and received her MA in Creative Writing and Literature.

After teaching for four decades at both the high school and college levels, Knight now works as a poet and translator. She lives in Berkeley, California.

Her work has appeared in numerous journals, including Beloit Poetry Journal, Georgia Review, Gettysburg Review, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Ontario Review, Poetry, Poetry Northwest, RATTLE, Southern Review and ZYZZYVA.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

How Do I Love Thee

I love thee

I love thee
disco ball sweat like it’s 1979.

I love thee
Tito Puente timbale rhythms
grooving almost as fast as the space
between our first kiss and infinity.

I love thee
black leather vest
and chaps on a chopper.

I love thee
warm apple pie
sweet a la mode
hot right off thy belly.

I love thee
six ways to sundown
and one long ride all the way back.

How do I love thee?
How do I not love thee?

I love thee not
like twenty layers of fine white lace
hanging between thee and me – unless
it’s the very last layer so thin against thy skin
it begs the question.

I love thee not
down on one knee
asking please.

No. I love thee
down on both knees
pleasing the center of thy tease.

How do I love thee?
Just try to count the ways.
I dare thee.

First appeared in Chiron Review - Spring 2016