New Poetry, Fiction, Essays

Selected poems from submitted chapbooks – 2: Mellisa Mulvihill, Marcy Clarke, Akshaya Pawaskar, Polly Richardson (Munnelly) and Gregory Broadbent

Circle Logo

The police probably know
better than anyone that
life and death
are full of obligations

like how they must decide which parts of your car
should be photographed
from different angles


how they decide how tightly to cinch the cuffs
around your wrists drunk with the pulse
of whatever alcohol
has numbed you


how they figure out how to comfort my papa
in the presence
of so much blood
and in the
absence of his wife who was
a moment before
so essential
so irrevocably indissoluble
so alive

When they bring you coffee
in that grey room
next to the evidence room where
tragedy reposes
where truth is defrauded
and deceased
do they wonder
who made your eyes unseeing
who fermented your humanity
what erased you
pint by pint

Do they ask you what part of you
that her rings, her clothes,
her scent sealed in a bag
for permanently expired things
does not
perish you instantly
vanish you

Does the sweat gathering
at the nape of your neck
yeasty and rank
hush you
drag you
chain you

Does your raging
squeeze your lungs empty
burn adrenaline in your extremities
when they offer you
your phone call

Inexorably scraping my soul
exposed forever
your story
in muted mutterings
screaming in the distance
a siren that I dream is not for me

I am fooled with slumber
when my phone call comes at 5 am
with word
that you
my Nana

Mellisa Mulvihill




detour delivered a lie
stung her tire in a hollow part of town.

the cell laughed a fade
and she kicked herself
for driving through the night
instead of stopping at the Holiday.

her pulse popped the truck,
flashlight scrounging past the donut
seeking a needle-nose bottle filled
with treasures
its map scrawled in miniature.

twilight nudge throttled her heart,
dropping the flash she fumbled
the lug wrench out with a tremble,

a skinny carpet, its ribs a xylophone
wagged a mossy tail and took another

heartbeat stuttering she felt the empty street whisper
take this dog and run.

boney haunches settled,
she fed the tire and squealed out of town,
a Sunoco landmark sighed in the sunrise
and the two of them smiled.

Marcy Clarke


Suicide bomber

A fire eater I have swallowed
Kerosene fueled candy floss

From a top hat I am delivered
I crawl out like a meek rabbit

A lad walking in jauntily with
A honeyed smile likeness of

Painted clown with a mouth
Dripping crimson fleshy clots

Beneath my leather bomber
Jacket, I am conduit of death

Detonating, a galaxy of limbs
And entrails and eyes spiral

Like saucers, swallowed by
Black hole to dust, all smiles

Blink and they are bitumen
But I no longer live to regret

My soul wakes up to realize
World is better place sans me.

Akshaya Pawaskar




Polished toes crusted from
morning castles, lost factor
flying frisbee melting skin to lobster overdone,

sink under rolling water-break
in hailing tomorrows,

Eyes blink in floating cotton balls
shaping evening descent,
duelling warmth and dusking skies,

last rays kiss skin, wrapping hugs
supping summer wine
coursing through each pore,

stretched to finger tips.
And that one plucked from sands
for the memory box.

Polly Richardson (Munnelly)




On the bridge over fear and death you might happen to meet yourself as an old guide
withered by patience

Look down on the river under this golden thread
And you will see countless beginnings
All swallowed by the gargantuan universe
Carried to the great sea out of time
In symbol this bridge stands above death
But your mind feels the rivers presence
Sometimes overflowing with despair
Or, in a moment of kindness,
When it seems to trickle quietly with fresh beauty

Then, old thing, why are you withered so. Your skin sucked into gravity. Your body rolled
by time’s severest winds?

I am your guide only and cannot drink the water under us, for then I would be released into
the sea
With all your memories
I see you and my wrinkles disappear
I have seen so many beginnings wither before me
And become part of me
So my patience grows.
You are not a beginning
The bridge you stand on sits between
The beginnings and ends of all existence
Down there is an ending

Up here I have seen the ghost of Cicero
Walking with the Vandals
I have seen Kennedy, Oswald and Ruby
Talking of their emasculation like old friends
And Wellington with Napoleon
I have seen them too,
Walking together toward an uncertain place somewhere east
All manner of enemies reduced to bewilderment
In the light of death
They were beginnings
And industry churns and turns around them now
In the great pit under us.

I am glad for my patience
I am glad for the marks of time
Etched to my skin by laughter
I am glad I am neither dead nor alive
So I can lead you over death
For you are clearly living.

Gregory Broadbent




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