POSTCARD TO MY SISTER FROM RUE DE TURENNE
It’s gray again and I feel I could do anything today; gray takes the edge off, softens the world, makes me feel invisible, invincible on this bench beneath a canopy of old poplar, eating pain au chocolat, shooing sooty pigeons from my feet. A miniature street park, so Parisian: wide boulevard, painted wooden bench, statue – this one a bronze of Turenne Enfant - and the trees, the trees I know by heart: buckeye, maple, poplar,
and apple. Our apple trees in the spring – opalescent showers, cave of green we crawled into, our refuge, me with that leatherette accountant’s journal, even then a fountain pen.
You, fearless, freed those brief hours from perpetual scrutiny, graceful arabesque on the tire swing -
A young woman has just ridden by on a bicycle, long brown hair, silk scarf, pedals tucked in the arch of black stilettos.
Oh Dawn, for a moment I thought it was you.
-Southern California poet, Kim Noriega, reads locally and abroad, most recently at the Ugly Mug in Orange, California and Shakespeare & Co. in Paris. She teaches poetry at Crossroads Women’s Recovery Home and workshops for teens through public libraries. Her poem, “Heaven, 1963,” was featured in Ted Kooser’s syndicated column, “American Life in Poetry.”
Contacted Tree. Empty Road. Waited Evening.
You don’t have shoes
to take off. If you’re not fond
of the sky, there isn’t one.
In theory, we are likely trading
it for the idea of falling.
I come prepared to catch
myself in the act
of being someone else,
of holding the incapable
birds in my shirt
and surprising everyone
by showing them
what magicians are like
and how often
-Jennifer Denrow lives in Denver, where she is currently pursuing a PhD at DU. She is the poetry editor at fireHabit Press and has stories forthcoming in Thermos and The Iguana Review.
In the Moment Before Waking
they stop their wandering,
make a brief appearance.
Maybe you’re in the kitchen,
and you’re the you you are now,
but the house is of your childhood,
only brighter, more lights,
the paint somehow bolder
than you’d remembered. Or is it
the living room, you sitting
on a white sofa, toy horse in your lap,
stroking its goat’s hair
mane, braiding it’s tail. Sometimes
you’re in the blue
bed and they’ve gathered
at the foot of it. You begin to say
how glad you are
they’ve come home again,
how well they look –
the dead – always glowing
after a long sabbatical.
But you find there’s never enough
time for chit chat, and they wish to offer
advice, hand you a packet of papers –
and you’ll be damned
if you can remember the words
when you wake.
-Ronda Broatch is the author of “Shedding Our Skins,” (Finishing Line Press, 2008), and “Some Other Eden” (2005). Five-time Pushcart nominee, Ronda is the recipient of a 2007 Artist Trust GAP Grant. Her work has appeared on Verse Daily, and in the Atlanta Review, RHINO, Blackbird, and Rattle.
Some poems read like a bookshelf.
The poets carefully putting each word
in its place, snug and sure and right.
And other poems feel like Polaroids,
poets waving them about in the air
to make the scene come into focus.
Still others feel like a come on,
something you can’t believe still works,
and yet here you are, in bed with it.
My poems are like the panic
you feel when you’ve lost something
and dump your bag on the table.
My poems are the things which
tumble out of the bag: the menus,
the post-its, the articles your mother
cuts out and gives you at Christmas,
the books, the receipts, the leaky pens,
the old gum, the unflattering photo,
the lint, the dust, the dirt, until…
there it is. You find it.
-Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in McSweeney’s Internet Tendancies, Barrelhouse, Monkeybicycle, Pank, decomP and The Other Journal, among others. Her latest book, “Words in Your Face: A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam,” was published last year by Soft Skull Press.