Poetry of Love, Resistance, & Solidarity

Posts tagged ‘Roy J. Beckemeyer’

Kiddie Pool Baptismal — by Cameron Morse

My feet dunked, I float
my Crocs, nurse

the spilt in my head
with trips to the spigot.

Heal me, sweet
mother, if you think

I’m worth it. Bless
the inventor

of water and one more
way to withstand

the summer.
Jungle cat rugs

of heat piled plush
on my chest,

I pluck off my T-shirt
and squeeze

rainbows out of a spray-bottle.
Theo empties cups

over my kneecaps, raising
the dark waterline

of soaked denim.
The more I resist the pastoral,

the greater
my urge to pastor.

 

This poem first appeared in The Gravity of the Thing.

 

Cameron Morse lives with his wife Lili and son Theodore in Blue Springs, Missouri. His first collection, Fall Risk, won Glass Lyre Press’s 2018 Best Book Award. His second, Father Me Again, is available from Spartan Press. Chapbook Coming Home with Cancer is forthcoming in Blue Lyra Press’s Delphi Poetry Series.

April Editor Roy Beckemeyer‘s latest book is Mouth Brimming Over (2019, Blue Cedar Press).

Viernes Santo, León, 1997 — by Julie Sellers

I stand
precariously
watching the Passion
from atop this narrow wall.
I teeter,
wedged beside a portly matron
casting suspicious glances
at this blonde foreigner
who dared to ascend
for just a glimpse
of the pageantry
and solemnity
intermingled in the plaza below.
Somber music;
swaying penitents
in crimson robes
and conical black hoods;
the heavy scent of so many flowers,
bright against the ancient stone walls.
Christ crucified,
La Dolorosa looks on
as the faithful lower
His broken body.
Silence.
Tears.
I find my arm around my neighbor’s waist,
hers around mine,
holding each other safe,
bound by something
that transcends all else.

 

An Associate Professor of Spanish at Benedictine College, Julie Sellers has twice been the overall prose winner of the Kansas Voices Contest. She has published in Kansas Time + Place, The Write Launch, Kanhistique, and New Works Review. Her third academic book, The Modern Bachateros, was published in 2017 (McFarland).

April Editor Roy Beckemeyer‘s latest book is Mouth Brimming Over (2019, Blue Cedar Press).

To one and several poets: — by Michael Lasater

To one and several poets:

 

“… a hundred little devices …”
– Jim Wayne Miller (I Have a Place: The Poetry of Jim Wayne Miller)

 

I read some of your poems again today –
first those colossal pieces with the hangman, the stars,
and the shroud – then the one where you rhyme the girl
to bed in a thicket thorned with sweet grief
and roses wild and red.

Really nice.

Through a teacup crack you escape down to the climbing,
plunging sea. Splendidly abroad, you wire back:
THE PLANTAGENETS ARE DONE FOR! IF ONLY THEY HAD LISTENED!
On your speaking tour you drink the Pacific dry,
and wow an army of contract bridge players
by conjuring a trick on the spot – a sestina no less –
six words breathing life, love, death.

You sing a wizard mist damp with the tears
of blowsy barmaids and part-time lovers,
some of whom may actually have known you and provided, at least,
the gift of an idea, some tiny salvation you shrewdly
invest for profit on tomorrow’s always empty page.

Magician, jongleur, troubadour –
you are wonderful.

And yet, I cannot follow you.

I come from a place where words have abandoned language,
where crows have become priests, trees no longer
can shed their leaves, and the sky itself has been set
on fire. All the old rituals have given way
to a new, bloodless communion, the sanctification of indifference.

Poetry lives hard here.
Everything tastes of copper.

It grows late.

I open a window to let the day just past
out into the night. Down the block
I can hear the voices of children playing after dinner –
double double this this –
double double that that –

some tiny salvation.

 

Hutchinson native Michael Lasater is Professor of New Media at Indiana University South Bend. A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory, Juilliard, and Syracuse University, he has performed with ensembles ranging from the Ringling Bros. Circus Band to the Metropolitan Opera, produced nationally distributed video documentaries on poetry and music, and currently exhibits art video internationally. His poetry has appeared in Kansas Time + Place, Heartland!, Cathexis Northwest Press, and The Heartland Review, where he is the winner of the 2019 Joy Bale Boone Poetry Prize.

April Editor Roy Beckemeyer‘s latest book is Mouth Brimming Over (2019, Blue Cedar Press).

The Crows Know — by Lori Baker Martin

In memory of Kerrie Ann Brown,
whose 1986 murder remains unsolved. 

A man who lived
near the edge of the woods
heard crows crying
that night. Something bad
was coming, he said. He didn’t know
about the dead girl then.

That morning, a woman
on a horse found her broken
beneath the elms.
She was like one of my own,
the woman said. She stayed
with her until the police came.

It’s a small town, and they’ve looked
at each other and at every strange face
but it’s as if a shadow took her,
her daddy says. And still,
those elm branches tremble
with a witness of crows

who spent the night
announcing his face
and they know.

 

Lori Baker Martin is assistant professor of English at Pittsburg State University. She’s had both poetry and fiction published in magazines like Prick of the Spindle, The MacGuffin, (parenthetical), The Little Balkans Review, Room Magazine, Grass Limb, The Knicknackery, and The Maine Review. Martin has taught creative writing at the University of Iowa, Independence Community College, and Pittsburg State University. She has worked as a reader for both The Iowa Review and NPR. Martin has been awarded for her work in The Cincinnati Review and Kansas Voices.  She is a graduate of Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Martin is poetry editor for The Midwest Quarterly and is currently finishing a novel set in pre-Civil War Missouri.

April Editor Roy Beckemeyer‘s latest book is Mouth Brimming Over (2019, Blue Cedar Press).

In Every Childhood Photo — by Melissa Fite Johnson

My brother wrote stiff thank-you notes
to his biological sisters in Micronesia
who mailed us chocolate macadamia nuts.
They weren’t his real sisters.
He played King of the Couch with me,
pinned my squirming arms down.

Our mother told me not to see color.
My brother showed me I must.
More than once, he shook his arm,
his brown skin, in Mom’s bewildered face.

In every childhood photo
my blond head rests against my father’s
blond head. My mother holds
my brother’s hand. Her white fingers
and his brown fingers make the church,
the steeple, a whole diverse congregation.

 

(Originally published in Stirring Lit, Summer 2017)

 

Melissa Fite Johnson’s first collection, While the Kettle’s On (Little Balkans Press, 2015), won the Nelson Poetry Book Award and is a Kansas Notable Book. She is also the author of A Crooked Door Cut into the Sky, winner of the 2017 Vella Chapbook Award (Paper Nautilus Press, 2018). Her poems appear or are forthcoming in Pleiades, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Broadsided Press, Sidereal, Stirring, Whale Road Review, and elsewhere. Melissa teaches English and lives with her husband and dogs in Lawrence, Kansas.

April Editor Roy Beckemeyer‘s latest book is Mouth Brimming Over (2019, Blue Cedar Press).

A Theory of Dance — by Gregory Stapp

A many-footed dancer stares
into her fire at the end of the year.
Poetry is the coming apart
of language. She is a poem.
Her entropic toes mimic music,

pulse, throb and ache. And how
should she call this road, at times
submerged or slick or a dry 
and crumbling line across the desert; 
what has it done to her feet that 

dancing never would? The fire
sings like a Tom Waits bawler.
She sways until her skin pinks,
her blue eyes sparkle like New Years,
like fragments of a poem as confetti.

 

Gregory Stapp received his BA from the University of Oklahoma and his MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. His poems have appeared or are pending publication with Broadsided Press, The Ekphrastic Review, Forage, The Cortland Review, The Sierra Nevada Review, and The Southern Review, among others. He is the current Managing Editor at Harbor Review.

April Editor Roy Beckemeyer‘s latest book is Mouth Brimming Over (2019, Blue Cedar Press).

Climbing Mount Sanitas — by Tayler Klein

Another turn and incline, and I pause,
red hands on ice and rock,
boots packing snow two feet deep.

A snowbank slips down
a sloped burnt-red flat-iron
and an osprey appears and ripples
along the bottom of the sky.

Gray haze sets in like water to paint,
drawing the tips of distant pines
further up and up.

These swaying places,
these turns before the ascent,
suspend my forward movement
just long enough.

The osprey flies downward,
its nest imaginary
warmth somewhere in the trees.

 

Tayler Klein is a writer and teacher from Kansas City, Missouri. She has been published in journals such as Nimrod, The Midwest Quarterly, and Glassworks Magazine. She received her MA in Creative writing from Pittsburg State University, and she now lives with her husband and her dog in Kansas City where she teaches at a Montessori school.

April Editor Roy Beckemeyer‘s latest book is Mouth Brimming Over (2019, Blue Cedar Press).

Controlled Burn by Robert L. Dean, Jr.

And God said
Shall these bones live?”
            —T. S. Eliot, Ash Wednesday

snot rivers down my lip
cinders singe my eyes
air toxic with
hellfire, brimstone
Flint Hills ranchers
striking matches
tall-grass Zeuses
with scorched earth policies
not even a zephyr
whispers against them
up the narrow low places
creep their progeny
Stygian fingerprints staining
lilies of the field
down the street
the neighbors’ houses
Bataclan Theatre
Maalbeek Metro
Splendid Hotel
all smudged out
as far away as
Chicago, Fayetteville
rogue sparks ignite
bullet-hole a boy’s body
sucker-punch a protester
and what of these, my
fistfuls of embers
hot words you and I didn’t speak last night
cold naked back to cold naked back
how many tears
to drown a world

First appeared in Illya’s Honey (Fall, 2016).

 

Robert L. Dean, Jr.’s debut poetry collection is At the Lake with Heisenberg (Spartan Press, 2018). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Flint Hills Review, I-70 Review, Chiron Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Shot Glass, Illya’s Honey, Red River Review, KYSO Flash, River City Poetry, Heartland! Poetry of Love, Resistance & Solidarity, and the Wichita Broadside Project. He was a quarter-finalist in the 2018 Nimrod Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry. He read at the Scissortail Creative Writing Festival and the Chikaskia Literary Festival in 2018 and will return for Scissortail 2019. He is event coordinator for Epistrophy: An Afternoon of Poetry and Improvised Music held annually in Wichita, Kansas. He has been a professional musician and worked at The Dallas Morning News. He lives in Augusta, Kansas.

Guest Editor Roy J. Beckemeyer is from Wichita, Kansas. He was President of the Kansas Authors Club 2016-2017. His latest book of poetry, Stage Whispers (Meadowlark-Books, 2019), contains “…handsomely crafted poems…Dense with images, intimate and honest…” (Kathryn Kysar). His chapbook, Amanuensis Angel (Spartan Press, 2018) comprises ekphrastic poems inspired by a variety of artists’ depictions of angels. His first poetry collection, Music I Once Could Dance To (Coal City Press, 2014), was a 2015 Kansas Notable Book. He recently co-edited Kansas Time+Place: An Anthology of Heartland Poetry (Little Balkans Press, 2017) with Caryn Mirriam Goldberg. That anthology collected poems that appeared on this website from 2014-2016.

 

Grandpa by Will Hagman

dust of those
western roads
still rests in
his lungs
where it tells
its tall tales
to at least seven
decades of
tobacco soot

its favorite is
about Betty Lou
who can bring
most anyone out
of their blues
with her smile

and how the
cloudless prairie sky
has nothing on
the hue of her eyes

and how Mr. Williams
took the words
right out his mouth
when she was cooking

and how she is still
willing to help out anyone
needing it even though
she needs it more
these days

and how she helped
him the most
pretty near all
his life and still
does simply by
being there

guess not all the tales
dust has to tell
are tall ones

 

Will Hagman works as a customer service representative in Sioux Falls, SD where he lives with his husband Bob.  He has found writing to be therapeutic throughout his life and continues to write poetry as a venue to connect with others and himself.  Additionally, Will enjoys gardening and dabbling in various mediums of art.

Guest Editor Roy J. Beckemeyer is from Wichita, Kansas. He was President of the Kansas Authors Club 2016-2017. His latest book of poetry, Stage Whispers (Meadowlark-Books, 2019), contains “…handsomely crafted poems…Dense with images, intimate and honest…” (Kathryn Kysar). His chapbook, Amanuensis Angel (Spartan Press, 2018) comprises ekphrastic poems inspired by a variety of artists’ depictions of angels. His first poetry collection, Music I Once Could Dance To (Coal City Press, 2014), was a 2015 Kansas Notable Book. He recently co-edited Kansas Time+Place: An Anthology of Heartland Poetry (Little Balkans Press, 2017) with Caryn Mirriam Goldberg. That anthology collected poems that appeared on this website from 2014-2016.

 

The Race by Laura Lee Washburn

I catch foul balls on my tongue:
words like “Get ‘im out of here” USA
“Go back to China” USA, “Make America—”
USA I wash my hair
in the shower with soap that smells like berries.
On the corner, a panhandler
asks for food, “Every Little Bit
Helps. Peace.” As-salamu alaykum.

I drive by, the food bank six blocks north,
the county shelter closed, funds moved
west where Kansans vote Republican
harder than here—GodBlessAmericaJakesFireworks
signs on Forest, on Jefferson, on Adams.
I can no longer tolerate words: USA USA
balloon launches, USA the simple wish
peace be with you, and prayers (Jake’s Fireworks),
that choke fledglings, twist
in the guts of opossums.

You can make a hen tell the truth
no one hears. You can’t fake an egg.
They come honest from the hens,
a kind of fragile truth. Eat spaghetti
by the ax full, carry water
in a berry basket, eat bullets, breathe
turbine—Make America great.

A screwdriver helps a Carpenter Joe twist
screws into holes. If I could,
I’d go back to sleep, great again.
Don’t cut off your tail USA USA; drape it over your
arm, USA wear a top hat USA before it’s too late
make America catch the foulest balls
on their tongues and swallow.

 

Originally published at The New Verse News (https://newversenews.blogspot.com/2016/03/the-race.html).

 

Laura Lee Washburn is the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the author of This Good Warm Place: 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize).  Her poetry has appeared in such journals as TheNewVerse.News, Cavalier Literary Couture, Carolina Quarterly, Ninth Letter, The Sun, Red Rock Review, and Valparaiso Review.  Born in Virginia Beach, Virginia, she has also lived and worked in Arizona and in Missouri.  She is married to the writer Roland Sodowsky and is one of the founders and the Co-President of the Board of SEK Women Helping Women.

Guest Editor Roy J. Beckemeyer is from Wichita, Kansas. He was President of the Kansas Authors Club 2016-2017. His latest book of poetry, Stage Whispers (Meadowlark-Books, 2019), contains “…handsomely crafted poems…Dense with images, intimate and honest…” (Kathryn Kysar). His chapbook, Amanuensis Angel (Spartan Press, 2018) comprises ekphrastic poems inspired by a variety of artists’ depictions of angels. His first poetry collection, Music I Once Could Dance To (Coal City Press, 2014), was a 2015 Kansas Notable Book. He recently co-edited Kansas Time+Place: An Anthology of Heartland Poetry (Little Balkans Press, 2017) with Caryn Mirriam Goldberg. That anthology collected poems that appeared on this website from 2014-2016.

 

 

 

 

 

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