July 26, 2010

misconceptions of a novice copy editor

I am fact-checking a piece on a new German luxury sedan
And I easily recognize in the cover picture
Of the digital brochure where the technical specs are
The Chicago skyline in all its grandiosity

I am suddenly distracted from my job
Thrown in a burst to a time past long ago
That one time we walked down Michigan Avenue
Is this accurate?: "Hand in hand"

I smell the iron coming from The Loop
I savor the deep dish pizza
I remember I was then, still young
I descend slowly, like in a panoramic elevator

* * *

The thousand miles in Greyhounds
And frequent flyer loopholes
I squeezed through just to get there
Speed up before me and before the tinted window

The wind in your hair, the woolen cap I gave you
Those endless phone calls in the middle of the night
Your friends and, why not, that other girl I dismissed
Because of you, turnstiles, plenty of turnstiles,
Ticket booths, phone booths and obstacles.

All in all, it's a misconception
And I get back to my work:
Yes, the horse power is right
And I am tight, sweating, sitting in my desk
A deadline away from an empty home

talco fischer (Monona, WI, 1976)

July 22, 2010

poetry of rock

A rock is king of its own salt -- washed again and trembling
Malaise, early bird bonds, frustration and raspberries kept
The mineral still for thirty three thousand years
Oh, how it hurts!

Has seen infants turn into old men and women
Been climbed time and time again, defied
Was unable to help the boy who wanted to impress a girl
When he skidded, hit his back and fell flat to the ground

With a thousand legs like ghost limbs -- so real
Just trying to keep a balance and a distance
Disappointed because skin turns into sand little by little by little
Yet the soul remains a stone forever

Wet and cozy refuge for furry lichen -- clothes you might be afraid of
Becoming bread as pebbles and twisting with ice hot frenzy
Has a skeleton indeed but not a single eye
Unable to feel what time feels like but for the painstaking erosion:

A rock is queen of its own grief...

And that's about it

arthur grobb (Decatur, IL, 1991)

July 21, 2010

high 90s

lip balm grease innuendo
good times please Nintendo
calm, seduced, stupendous
bill my room, follow through

there's friction in a fraction nanosecond
air is gone and sweat is prone
I'm on, he's in,
joy, pride, rubber souvenirs
tease it and squeeze it so it flows in rivers,

undressed but by my training socks
let them go too
please let them crawl out
it's you and me making Wii
surfing the crazy heat wave
feeling full circle for the first time
feeding empty random thoughts of sorts:
Magellan's friends just called him Nando

audrey villisac (Indianapolis, IN, 1988)

July 20, 2010

accidents waiting to happen

should you walk away empty handed
remember the ants, the skills and the black paint
remain professional at all times
be righteous, courteous and gorgeous
no milk spill can make you lose temper

like a loose skateboard in the dark
plugs plugging plugs plugging more plugs
in a wire jungle coming out of that one single outlet
ill-conceived at the sudden blow,
sputtering home, sweet anger

help yourself
help others
sound the alarm
be calm, locate the exits (should they exist)

it could have been me, it could have been you
walking out of the building in flames
accidents waiting to happen
fighting fire with gasoline
lacking courage for in our chests pounded shrinking hearts

kind of we deserved the smoke and all

the blurry vision
the ugly aftermath

ruth labandera (Santa Fe, NM, 1974)