This is where I post my poems that have been published in print and on-line journals. This is also where I curate a collection of previously published poems I admire and, beginning in January 2018, the Galleywinter Poetry Series - a poetry series composed of previously unpublished poems solicited by yours truly. Enjoy!
You always wear men’s pants, un-tucked
work shirt. I once asked my dad why. He
just grinned, said “More comfortable, I guess.”
A Camel hangs from the corner of your mouth.
You chalk your cue, tell old man Solis again
what a lousy eight-ball player he is, smirk, hunker
over; line up your shot, grind your cigarette
into the floor; stretch over the table.
Your hair falls in your eyes, a comb-over,
barber shop style, same sandy-brown color
as your scuffed men’s shoes. You tilt onto your
toes, the shirt falls away and I see a hint
of slender waist. My illusion of you as shapeless
falters a bit, but then you straighten up, spit
reality into your empty beer bottle, shift
the chaw around in your cheek.
How can you be real here, in this no-stoplight
small town? In the tavernous darkness you are
swaggering, boisterous, cussing real,
But you walk home alone every night,
down cindered alleys to the barks of dogs
who should know you by now, under stars
lost in sultry air; barely glancing at all those
windows open to the breeze, where curtains
flutter like white moths and wives in sleek slips
toss and turn and stir in their sleep.
Roy Beckemeyer was born in Illinois
in 1941, earned a BS in engineering in 1962 and served in the United
States Air Force. He moved to Wichita, Kansas, in 1966 and has made the
state his home ever since. He received an MS from Wichita State
University and a Ph.D. from The University of Kansas, both in
engineering. He worked almost 30 years for Boeing, retiring in 1997.
He has written poetry most of his life, but began a
period of sustained and consistent writing in 2009. His work has
appeared in a variety of mostly regional literary journals, including Gazebo,
Beecher's Magazine, Kansas City Voices, The Midwest Quarterly,
Straylight, The North Dakota Quarterly, Nebo, Mikrokosmos, Coal City
Review, and The Bluest Aye, as well as in the anthologies Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems (Woodley Memorial Press, 2011), and To the Stars through Difficulties: A Kansas Renga (Mammoth Press,2012). He was the Kansas Authors Club poet of the year for 2013, and won first place in Beecher's 2014 Poetry Contest. His first book of poetry was published by Coal City Review and Press in 2014.
I do not pander, I do not preen. My mother always said my taste for solitude
would starve me. Parch me too. I have my Schubert and I have my Liszt and
centuries of others, Chopin for joy running down the keys like water, Beethoven
for rage. But music is not the laying-on of hands. I bought a massage once just
for that; oiled and stroked, finger fluttered, palmed, I could feel the what is
it, cortisol? frolic in my brain. Not cortisol, adrenalin, what is it, what? A
compound that comes to the surface where you’re touched. Days without talking
no wonder I put my plimsoll on. No, that’s not right. My riot. No. What am I
trying to say. Floaters block the words. when I dream I do it big: Who would I
want to ride me? Holy cannoli, the bakery man. George Clooney with those
raccoony eyes and I’ll bet some hands. My mother always said Go mingle, get
your blood up. Well. How do they do it, the lovers in the woods, on their bed
of leaves, how do they ever decide on who. The boat went out, years ago this
was, and I wasn’t on it. Is there someone to forgive?
Rosellen Brown has published widely in magazines and her stories have appeared frequently in O. Henry Prize Stories, Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Prizes. One is included in the best-sellerBest Short Stories of the Century, edited by John Updike.
She has been the recipient of an award in literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the Bunting Institute, the Howard Foundation, and twice from the National Endowment for the Arts, and was selected one of Ms. Magazine’s 12 “Women of the Year” in 1984. Some Deaths in the Delta was a National Council on the Arts prize selection and Civil Wars won the Janet Kafka Prize for the best novel by an American woman in 1984.