Walk into the room
looking for a way to leave
My history was never as
violent as yours, but it’s not
like I’m going to apologize
Christ isn’t a solution,
look at it from every angle
Why would a man choose
to murder his own child?
How much sunlight can a
beautiful woman hold
in her cupped hands?
It’s not answers any of us
are after here, but praise.
The song of love
or something for all the murdered waitresses,
all the suicides and the missing ones,
all the kids they put up for adoption in the summer of ‘92
something for the streets that
end at graveyards
for the town that floods while we sleep and it’s
nice thinking I’ve escaped my past even
when the reality is always more complicated
it’s the last day of
whatever season my father died in
crows at the foot of every cross and
along the edges of the interstate and always the
shadows of collapsing barns
always blinding sunlight and the absence of heat
the names we forget and
the bodies we can’t seem to
the faces that are never happy to see us
voices that tell us to come in
but never anyone willing to offer us
something to stop the bleeding.
John sweet, b 1968, still numbered among the living. A believer in writing as catharsis. An optimistic pessimist. Opposed to all organized religion and political parties. Avoids zealots and social media whenever possible. His latest collections include APPROXIMATE WILDERNESS (2016 Flutter Press) and BASTARD FAITH (2017 Scars Publications). All pertinent facts about his life are buried somewhere in his writing.
Resignations of my location
Aitu circles my apartment
in the form of a pelagi‘s father
walking, smoking at the edge of jungle.
Dark rain pops
as drops find shallow puddles
in pocked earth around my roof.
The cigarette smoke hangs just on the other side of my curtains.
A phantom of it slinks in, saturating the room.
I resign myself to breathe.
A snap, and a banana leaf, crashes onto the roof.
I resign myself to breathe.
What is it to sit with the tide?
The surf is not—is never a murmur.
It is a solid, constant statement, repeated and varied.
Perhaps sitting with the tide is a chance to know myself?
To understand fear—the wisdom in it.
To gain perspective. Realize my potential for change.
maybe it’s just escape
Why do I squirm inside, walking the rocks?
Is it the memory of the dog pack nearly setting on me last weekend?
Is it the spider-like quality of the crabs scuttling into cracks?
Is it the slimy shine of the things that cling to moist rocks with front legs, then flip and snake into the brine of tidal pools with their sleek hind tails?
Or is it only the fear of the surf?
The reality of the tide’s power?
The unforgiving consequences of a rocky shore?
Adelaide lives in the Midwest with a golden lab named Sam and spends time teaching English as a Second Language to more recent arrivers at an adult learning center.
Adelaide’s poetry and fiction have appeared in electronic publications including New Mystics, The Enchanting Verses, Truck, and Westview Journal.
Sometimes Sam does consider getting on a plane.
You can reach A.S. More at email@example.com.
KIDWELLY AND GOWER
He continues westwards,
a few miles at a time,
where roots recognise
the flavour of the rain.
Place of Gwenllian’s nemesis,
as a community settles
with castle, spire,
and that sense of accent.
On the horizon
the Gower emerges
a panorama of atmosphere
as salty flats
wait for the future to arrive.
Byron Beynon lives in Wales. His work has appeared in several publications including London Magazine, Cyphers, Crannog, Poetry Wales and The Yellow Nib. Collections include Cuffs (Rack Press) and The Echoing Coastline (Agenda Editions).