My name is Eileen Hugo and I am retired and doing all the things I love. I have been published in various anthologies. I won first prize in the David Osgood Poetry Contest. I also served time as the Poetry Editor for The Houston Literary Review. In April 2015 my book Not Too Far was published.
Available Space Inside
It doesn’t matter what I wrote before
this page is vacant, it waits
enduring the seconds it takes
to create that love song,
set up the scene of the broken baby bird
invent that conversation I never heard
picture an audience so swayed
Softness is the weapon of choice
I use it in times of war
someone is raining hate on me.
I retaliate unleash the umbrella
of soft voice soft words soft eyes
it bothers them, throws them
out of their game.
Amusing to see the change.
Victory is mine.
Wanda Morrow Clevenger is a Carlinville, IL native. Over 454 pieces of her work appear or are forthcoming in 159 print and electronic journals and anthologies. Her flash fiction “Roses and Peppermint Candy” won the 2014 Winter Short Story Contest in The Holiday Café. Her poem “corsage” won the 2014 Black Diamond Award for Excellence of Craft in The Midnight on the Strollpoetry contest. Her nonfiction “Big Love” was nominated for 2016 Best of Net by Red Fez. A full-length poetry book is scheduled to release before the end of 2017.
hen and chicks
crunchy half way
to the crowns
the hen and chicks
that last summer
her whole world
at last giving out
in more ways
Jeremy Nathan Marks writes, reads, teaches, researches and talks to folks about things which interest them and which interest him. He has had editorials, essays, poems and photographs published in various places in Canada, the United States and across two ponds. He makes his home as an American exile in London, Ontario, Canada. A town that, while not having a left bank or much intellectual ferment, does offer a wide selection of craft beer.
Message from Bongo Brown
‘Detroit is just like everywhere else, only more so -a lot more so.’ -Jerry Herron
‘He was the spice.’ -Uriel Jones
‘But in the end it wasn’t up to me. The big things never are. Birth, I mean, and death. And love. And what love bequeaths to us before we’re born.’ -Jeffrey Eugenides
I nearly always believe what I hear if the singer is sincere
past Dearborn on the 94
I hear Diana Ross shout Stop!
In the name of love turn about go back and say
the best is yet to come
and this is my kind of town
Since ‘There’s plenty of work and the bosses are paying.’
Eddie Brown came up from Clarksdale
drawn like the folks Jacob Lawrence drew
he went from being Marvin Gaye’s valet
to making music history
Sitting in on instinct
unable to read music
he made Boston-Edison
and then the Donovan
a centre of percussive innovation.
Here, too, that Mexican
portrayed as no one had previously
that American transubstantiation
must be taken seriously
And Ford said
it’s a blessing to welcome a Red
into the cradle
of the American fable.
should we take it to be
a city of men
or a metropolis of women
Or if that distinction puts us in a fix
how about calling it
a city of the middlesex?
Woman now heads a plurality of houses
so shouldn’t she be the one to issue promises
on behalf of the city Fathers
to the nomads delinquent in their payments?
But the best minds haven’t found a formula for an era beyond the auto
and ingrained civic habits try and pull rabbits from hats that don’t trick
There were so many patrons to fill the Hudson’s on Woodward
and the Grand River busses teemed with shoppers
But even then
the real estate boards,
brokers, and city councillors
the sheriffs and the county executives conversing over their lake perch
and filet mignon dinners
said they had to maintain the integrity of their investments,
that American right to property
So what if that property now is, in some ways,
a salad of weeds where coyotes and geese graze and feed
off the land Ford wanted so badly to turn into concrete?
Much of it has reverted to that same Michigan mud he used to curse
and pick from off his feet.
The people I meet are more eager for belief
than they are for relief
Their hope is as driving
as the winter rain
which keeps Lake St. Clair open water
They make the rent go for groceries
brave the bus
lock the window then the door
then the fire escape
until there are more
than five latches
barring even the landlord
They can tell you which lights have to be run
red and green, either one
But if you think that this is a new phenomenon
just listen to ‘Bongo’ Brown’
or Marvin Gaye and his Twelfth Street sound
they told you what was going on-
I almost cried
when I thought how they died
but was revivified
listening to Bobbye Hall eulogize.
As smoke from the Rouge reaches the sky
a long line of Sheeler’s shadows
draws the eye towards the tambourine
its metal mimicking a rhythm local musicians learned to tame
I go and listen again
to a recording of a Mardi Gras Indian
whose brother made his migration
out from a grove of strange fruit
to the lights of Muskegon,
Toledo, Flint, and then Wayne County
come to the open stoops,
of Black Bottom and Paradise Valley
He heard his gospel translated from the feathers
and taut skin slapping
of his hand
the roll of the cymbal
a shake of the wrist
and every thumb print left
by a bent back digit impressed with beeswax
I cannot help but see
in the Penobscot, the Book,
the Fisher, and the Lee
a reminder of the shopkeepers who scrawled ‘Soul Brother’
on their windows and doors
calling to mind the paschal lamb, the bitter herb,
but also every untutored player: field shouters, barrel kickers, harp blowers
who jigged the streets with sequins and lace.
Untutored they were
but not unschooled
for while the Muse may be rude
her fruits are hardly crude.