• Robert L. Giron

Issue 70 — W. F. Lantry, Richard Peabody

W. F. Lantry


A Forward Spring

Nominated for the 2014 Pushcart Prize



It’s time to toss the almanac aside:


this early March, our cherry blossoms swell


four weeks too soon, crocus and paperwhites


already past their peak. We walk our wood


at seventy degrees, our springtime rites


pushed forward, or just lost. Birdsongs foretell


uncertain summer, and the warming air




brings clouds of insects swarming everywhere


along the riverbank, seeking damp shade.


Bare ruined trees define a broken arc


above the current. Once a maple stood


holding the bank intact, but now its bark


hangs like torn parchment, as bent limbs cascade


in unison towards the water’s crest.




Eternal signs diverge: a sparrow’s nest,


half finished, can’t be hidden by the shoots


of leafless sycamores, and this floodplain


is scarred with angled oaks that had withstood


a hundred thunderstorms and blizzards, rain


enough to change the river’s course, their roots


intact, their trunks broken halfway, each crown




still resting where the wind had blown it down.


And under one, the white bones of a deer


lie scattered: hooves, a broken leg, a spine.


Perhaps the herd, frightened, misunderstood


a new path for the old, followed a line


leading into a fence: the signs aren’t clear


or I can’t read the meanings they’ve implied.




Copyright © 2014 by W. F. Lantry.



Biography:

W. F. Lantry, a native of San Diego, received his Maîtrise from L’Université de Nice and PhD in Writing from University of Houston. His poetry collections are The Structure of Desire (Little Red Tree, 2012) winner of a 2013 Nautilus Award in Poetry, a chapbook, The Language of Birds (Finishing Line Press, 2011), and a forthcoming collection The Book of Maps. Recent honors include: National Hackney Literary Award in Poetry, CutBank Patricia Goedicke Prize, Crucible Editors' Poetry Prize, Lindberg Foundation International Poetry for Peace Prize (Israel), and in 2012 the Old Red Kimono LaNelle Daniel and Potomac Review Prizes. His work has appeared in Potomac Review, Asian Cha, Atlanta Review, Descant, Gulf Coast and Aesthetica. He currently works in Washington, DC. and is an associate fiction editor at JMWW.


Visit this author's homepage at http://www.wflantry.com


Richard Peabody


Flirting with Disaster


more exquisite

than you can imagine


glittery plumage

in the bar mirror


impossibly high heels

and red leather


so bloody intoxicating


claims to be bi

likes to keep her options open


an equal opportunity master

eggs benedict and gin


you slip quickly into

her sensual orbit


figured she’d be rowdy


disaster saw you coming

before you were born


you shiver when she

presses her thorax


inevitably close

whispering,


“Such a good boy.”



Copyright © 2014 by Richard Peabody.



Rules for Experimental Writing



Talk to the monsters under your bed


Visit a slaughterhouse


Drink kerosene


Eat Darvon and mothballs


Burn your math books


Handcuff a lover to the bed rail


Add bacon


Watch an autopsy


Tour the Holocaust Museum


Catch an anaconda in the Everglades


Have a C–section


Dig up a coffin


Oh wait,


these are the rules

for writing realism.



Copyright © 2014 by Richard Peabody.



Shiny Time Machines


Nothing but oldies on the jukebox.

Nancy Sinatra and her feisty boots.


A sanitized 50’s and 60’s corporate mimic

of American Graffiti and Happy Days.


Neon in red, pink, and blue.

The irritating buzzing that makes


little kids scream to drown it out.


High school kids into Limp Bizkit

don—t really get with the program.


Though it’s clear management has

made every effort to appeal to Boomers.


My root beer float so stuffed with vanilla


that gravity sinks it to the bottom

geysering the soft drink over the top


like a frosty Old Faithful.



Copyright © 2014 by Richard Peabody.




Season of the Witch

Nominated for the 2014 Pushcart Prize


When they told me the seasons were changing

I wondered what they would change into.


Would seasons actually trade places?


Would summer become winter?


Did the seasons have to maintain the same order every year?


Didn’t that get awfully boring?


What if Earth seasons could swap with Martian seasons?


Wouldn’t springtime on Mars be cool?


What if spring turned into a pretzel?


Or summer into a polar bear?


Maybe the seasons could change into people?


There was the Snow Queen after all.


And Persephone.


My grandparents liked Florida because they said it only had one season.


Florida chooses to be summer all year round.


Maybe I will change into autumn. Then my leaves could blanket the ground

and crackle as the wind blows them off down the street.



Copyright © 2014 by Richard Peabody.




Biography:

Richard Peabody is a founding editor of Gargoyle Magazine and runs the small press Paycock Press, established in 1976. His latest release (April, 2015) will be The Richard Peabody Reader from SFWP's imprint Alan Squire Publishing. The 400-page collection of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, edited by Lucinda Ebersole, with an introduction by Michael Dirda, will be launched at the 2014 Association of Writing Programs Conference in Minneapolis.





Also see a sample of his work on the following page:


Poetic Voices Without Borders



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