Tag Archives: Texas

scott wiggerman | our last night together

starting with a Dickinson line (#1123) A great hope fell, you heard no noise. Here, where cicadas once chirred, no noise. Can you sense the rats in the bedroom walls? The cat drags in a mangled bird, no noise. Something cracks, then a thud on the roof. A sound of heaving. Afterward, no noise. A stupor of pain descends on the house. Your drunken words slurred—no, noise. Can a hangover last a month or more? On one thing we both concurred: no noise. A clamor of insects, a rustle of leaves. You cry, “Shut up! Not a word! No noise!” Three things: first, oppressive heat; second, a slight prickliness; third, no noise. An alarm peals out, shrill as a scream. You open an eye, dreams interred. No noise. Hear the remains of midnight in your blood? Remember when you preferred no noise?
The poem was originally published this spring in Tilt-a-Whirl, issue 9 (Winter/Spring 2013), a wonderful journal of repeating forms; alas, this was their last issue. The last 18 months or so, I’ve written about two dozen of these ghazals, each starting with a line from an Emily Dickinson poem.
Scott Wiggerman is the author of two books of poetry, Presence and Vegetables and Other Relationships, and the editor of several volumes, including Wingbeats: Exercises & Practice in Poetry and Lifting the Sky: Southwestern Haiku & Haiga. He recently received his third Pushcart nomination, his second for a sonnet. He is founding editor of Dos Gatos Press in Austin, Texas, publisher of the Texas Poetry Calendar, now in its seventeenth year. His website is swig.tripod.com.

loretta diane walker | poetry’s assassination

Poetry’s assassination was not in the newspaper this morning nor did I see a script of its demise scrolling at the foot of CNN’s news broadcast. But I was told it is dead—dead as Latin. Could it have accidentally drowned in the small lake where poets fish? Could the media have missed its exhumation? I doubt if it was suicide. It would not hang itself with rhythmic phrases or overdose on syntax or imagery. I cannot imagine poetry cutting into its soft wrists until the blood of alliteration drained, leaving it lifeless. I could not find its multi-faceted face in an obituary anywhere. Wonder if there is an autopsy on record somewhere, waiting in a “to be filed” box before its official release. I don’t know the origin of this rumor, but I was told poetry is dead— dead as Latin. Poetry (poetica) is not dead (decessus)! It lives. I saw its round belly protruding through my neighbor’s red blouse; she thinks it is a boy, but it is poetry.
"Poetry's Assassination" was first published in The Poetry Society of Texas Book of the Year Prize Poems (2008) and also is published in Loretta’s book Word Ghetto (1st World Publishing, 2011).
LorettaDianeWalkerLoretta Diane Walker is a Pushcart nominee and an award winning poet. She has published two collections of poetry. Her manuscript Word Ghetto won the 2011 Bluelight Press Book Award, (1st World Publishing Press, 2011). Walker’s work has appeared in a number of publications including The Concho River Review, Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, Illya’s Honey, Orbis International Journal, San Diego City Works Press, and most recently Lifting the Sky: Southwestern Haiku & Haiga and The Texas Observer. She teaches music at Reagan Magnet School in Odessa, Texas. Loretta received a BME from Texas Tech University and earned a MA from The University of Texas of the Permian Basin.

michael jennings | remains

My son guides me up the long hill squelching in run-off, along trails narrow as goat paths through the trees to show me the strewn bones of a deer nested in her shed shreds of fur, almost golden, where some wood spirit laid her to rest, and the coyotes and crows stripped her, leaving only a hoof and furred knuckle intact among a clutter of collapsed ribs. He shows me the clean white vertebrae, the pelvis with its odd eye hole, the knee still attached with some last rope of sinew.                This is his find, stumbled on as he tried his new spring legs in a downhill, helter-skelter run, and stopped, and stared, and in his eleven year old mind knew that this was the stuff of running undone, something the receding snow left for him personally, a sign of winter’s weight.                               We eye it together. We go down on our knees to gather pieces of the witchcraft mystery. The grey trees around us are also bones that click and chatter in the wet wind of almost spring. The brown limpid eyes are gone. The crumbling gnarl of spine, once nerved and tremulous, is now only a train wreck the grass will hide in a month’s time. We feel the doorway of earth opening. We feel the thinness of our skins and the prickling of short hairs rising. We know what’s at the bottom of things, how soon the mayflies will be dancing their measured reels of the evening.
jennings-photoMichael Jennings was born in the French Quarter of New Orleans and grew up in east Texas and the deserts of southwestern Iran before graduating from the University of Pennsylvania and the Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Syracuse University. He is the author of eight books of poems, most recently Silky Thefts from Orchises Press and Bone-Songs and Sanctuaries: New and Selected Poems from The Sheep Meadow Press. He is also an internationally recognized breeder and judge of Siberian Huskies and the author of three books on the breed.

larry d thomas | san antonio zoo

The peacock faces us in a splay of lust, prompting the unconscious holding of our hands, blinding our eyes with iridescent blue collapsing our lungs with breathlessness. Hand in hand we enter the penguin exhibit, and we see them standing erect, motionless, their backs to the glass, their heads tilted upward among outcroppings of fake gray rocks rising to a concrete wall of painted Antarctic vistas. We stand for several minutes and not a penguin moves, each brooking the bitter cold, keeping its back to viewing humans, living with every bit of possible dignity the dire little fictions of its life.
Larry Head ShotLarry D. Thomas, a member of the Texas Institute of Letters and the 2008 Texas Poet Laureate, has published twenty collections of poetry, most recently Uncle Ernest (Virtual Artists Collective, Chicago, 2013). His Larry D. Thomas: New and Selected Poems (TCU Press, 2008) was short-listed for the National Book Award. Visit his website at LarryDThomas.com.

rosebud ben-oni | the appetite of plastic flowers

She flits through morning rounds Purse shoulder slung Like one of those gunmetal aunties Who waylay the dim sum carts At flying kitchen doors They eat so little themselves The tables large and round Not for two All the things I say I loved Phoenix claws and turnip cake Dumplings dripping with chili oil I chew and chew Into broth and rubber Burning me through Our mouths were full I couldn’t tell you Until that child Asking the room And you flick away the news We never exchange a word Or sweep the curtain between We watch Sesame Street As the old man surrenders The last dry heave Cookie Monster She whispers Rocking him to sleep Never actually eats Crumbles all for show Someone you never see Has to clean it up
"The Appetite of Plastic Flowers" first appeared in Sundog Lit: Issue Two.
Rosebud Ben-Oni 2013Born to a Mexican mother and Jewish father, Rosebud Ben-Oni is a 2013 CantoMundo Fellow. A Leopold Schepp Scholar at New York University, she won the Seth Barkas Prize for Best Short Story and The Thomas Wolfe/Phi Beta Kappa Prize for Best Poetry Collection. She was a Rackham Merit Fellow at the University of Michigan where she earned her MFA in Poetry, and was a Horace Goldsmith Scholar at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. A graduate of the 2010 Women's Work Lab at New Perspectives Theater, her plays have been produced in New York City, Washington DC and Toronto. Her work appears in Arts & Letters, B O D Y, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review and Puerto del Sol. She writes the series "On 7 Train Love" for the blog of Sundog Lit. Nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize, her debut book of poems SOLECISM was published by Virtual Artists Collective in March 2013. Rosebud is a co-editor for HER KIND at VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. Find out more about her at 7TrainLove.org.