annapurnamagazine

Posts Tagged ‘Prose’

If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough – Meister Eckhart

In Food Poetry on November 22, 2012 at 12:28 am

Louie Crew, an emeritus professor at Rutgers. Editors have published 2,229 of his manuscripts. His photography has appeared in recent issues of Rose Red Review, Meadowland Review, and The Living Church.

Crew has edited special issues of College English and Margins. You can follow his work at http://rci.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/pubs.html

See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louie_Crew. The University of Michigan collects Crew’s papers.

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FLOUNDERS’ HEREAFTER

a pound of flounder fillets
little more than puffs of sea breeze

delicate sheets rolled in flour
and tossed into burning butter
in a no-stick pan

a second life for a fish
caught in a dragnet
mass murder at sea
frozen and filleted
and offered stripped on ice at the A&P

a second life as brief as a breeze
sizzles on the stove

flounder fillets sing
a cheerful funeral dirge
to the spatula
in a tiny sea of butter
a hot new forum in the pan
while I turn them over
driven by feeding frenzy

I am the lord of a shark-size hunger
in the hellish hereafter of my kitchen
a sea beyond the sea of nets and fishermen
a mythical sea even flounders know about
only from stories

Paul Sohar ended his higher education with a BA in philosophy and took a day job in a research lab while writing in every genre, publishing seven volumes of translations. Now a volume of his own poetry (“Homing Poems”) isavailable from Iniquity Press. Latest was a winner of the  2011 Wordrunner Press chapbook contest: “The Wayward Orchard” (www.echapbook.com/poems/sohar). His prose works include “True Tales
of a Fictitious Spy”, creative nonfiction about the Stalinists Gulags in Hungary (Synergebooks, 2006). His magazine credits include *Agni, Gargoyle, Kenyon Review, Rattle,  Seneca Review, etc.*

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Labor Day 2011
Pig Out At The Park

Already I pique
You two plotting to leave me and your mothers
For new clothes and pose of seventh grade tomorrow.
Labor Day scoots in its funny nose, orange wig and big shoes
To stumble out the end of summer.
As one Loon Lake Labor Day I rowed an old skiff
With Mary my sane old lover
Who held out crosses and garlic wreaths
To the prospect of children
Twenty years before you two appeared.
Our white wine intimacies
Watching the mallard rise and mergansers dip
Certain soon snows would twist in nascent arctic air.
Now at Riverfront Park
Grandpa and these gritters
Grease out this blackjack century with expensive mini doughnuts
Caustic sausage on a bun
Foot long corn dogs with tiresome mustards
Listening to local bands bang
Welcome to the harness of bells and rulers.

Tyson West is a is a traditional and western poet whose aesthetic continually shape shifts. He watches the Northwest with veiled and hooded lynx eyes, broods among the conifers and quarrels with Coyote. He has a degree in history, but writes a variety of poetry styles, and has written a series of poems around Spokane Garry who is our local magical Indian. One of Tyson’s Western poems was published in Spoke Magazine called “Floorshow”, which is based on a picture of a 1922 floorshow in the Davenport Hotel which photo you can find on line. You can also find his work at Cowboy Poetry Press, for western longing.

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CONFLICT RESOLUTION

My son is practicing the tango to a vegetarian’s tune.
The problem is, his dancing partner is a crossbow
he wants to whisk to the woods, in search of game.
Red marker drawn all over his face signifies a kill,
and it doesn’t make sense.

His meatless objective is better spiritual awareness.
He hasn’t learned what our forefathers have known for millennia,
That the taking of life is a gift from the gods.
Not the many Greek or Hindu gods but the ones in all of us.
He hasn’t discovered how life takes life.

I remind him of the difference between bio and zoe:
the life of flesh versus spirit.
He is Hindu so I call upon the Vedas to prove my point —
as long as you treat the meat you eat with a shower of respect
you won’t be reborn a beast many times over.

My Hindu mother disagrees. Her yoga teaches something different.
Fair enough, respect has long arms. I still say
Until my son is an adult meat is what’s best for his body.
He agrees to go with a swine’s muscle, reminds me he’s Hindu.
Okay, I say, no cows allowed.

Joshua Gray is a native of Washington DC, I recently moved to the Western Ghats of India. He has been published in many journals, including *Poets and Artists, Front Range Review, The Iconoclast, The Eclectic Muse*, and *Chaffin Review*. My book *Beowulf: A Verse Adaptation With Young Readers In Mind* was published by Zouch Six Shilling Press in 2012, and one of my poems was recentlyfeatured in VerseDaily’s Web Weekly Feature. My Web site is www.joshuagray.co

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Bananaflower

To the eye you look like
an inverted lotus, a pregnant purplish
on the branch, a vertical weight.
You dip the tree down with you,
pulling like a child who suddenly
tires of being carried. Behind you,
aigrettes of green fruit fan open,
lush but not nearly ready.

I unwrap you with
my bare hands, peeling deeper,
a black sap that offends my
palms emerging wherever
I have bruised you too much.

Flower of the fruit tree,
I know there are those who
cannot touch you without desire,
but I take you the way the cruel
take – thoughtless with each layer
ripped clean, slitting each revealed
comb of small buds quickly, taking
pleasure in the violence of preparation.
I butcher you without mercy,
browning you on my stove,

and when I take you into my mouth
I take not a ripened blossom, but a
desiccated bulb, shrunken, singed,

delicious in its diminution.

Sharanya Manivannan is the author of a book of poems, Witchcraft, and is completing a collection of stories, The High Priestess
Never Marries. She has received the Elle Fiction Award, the Lavanya Sankaran Fellowship, and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her
fiction, poetry and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Drunken Boat, Hobart, Wasafiri, Cerise Press, Killing The Buddha, Superstition
Review, The Nervous Breakdown and elsewhere. She lives in Madras, India and can be found at www.sharanyamanivannan.com.

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Gumbo

We went to a hole in the wall café; no tourists, but two dozen locals. This was my first time in New Orleans and my host promised  me some authentic food. We caught up on old times as we waited. When our food came my friend held up his hand to stop me from taking a bite. With his fork he took a generous mouthful. His eyes immediately glazed over and his hands began to shake. Tears splashed down his cheeks, and his nose began to run. He gasped several times; beads of sweat popped out on his nose He blew like a dragon breathing fire. He stayed that way for more than a minute; I was becoming quite concerned. He finally shook his head to clear his eyes, and he uttered, “Damn that gumbo is good.”

Mike Berger has a MFA and PhD in creative writing. I write poetry full time. He has only been writing for three years. I have had good success
publishing and have authored nine poetry chapbooks.

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Making Whole Hive Mead

The hive was dying anyhow:

the queen laid only sterile eggs,

though scouts still scanned the fields

for purple beesbread,

almond trees in bloom.

The workers kept carving out

their perfect hexagons, marble-white

cathedrals  filled with golden light.

So veiled and suited, we first

boiled the water in a cast iron pot,

then caught the bees up in a smoky

stupor,  hive humming

like a chapel full of monks.

Too stunned to even swarm,

they kept their posts, fanning

the queen,  who barely stirred.

On our knees before the hive,

we paid her court, lifted out

the frames, emptying the hive,

honey, bees  and all,

into the pot, a catastrophe

of broken bodies, melting wax.

We kept on crushing corpses

with a spoon, until the cloudy brew

had cleared to amber, tasting

of summer fields, but with a sting.

We raised our cups like lords, and drank

to time and fermentation, bringing

everything at last to proper sweetness.

Robbi Nester is the author of a chapbook, Balance (White Violet 2012). She has published poetry in Poemeleon, Inlandia, Lummox, Philadelphia Stories, Northern Liberties Review, Qarrtsiluni, Floyd County Moonshine, and Caesura. She has published reviews in The Hollins Critic and Switchback. Her essays have appeared in two anthologies: Easy to Love but Hard to Raise (DRT Press, 2011) and Flashlight Memories (Silver Boomer Press, 2011). She is an Executive Editor at Spillage, a new journal of science and the arts.

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Camp Coffee

When we fished the Pine River, Ed LeBlanc, Walter Ruszkowski, and I, for thirty-some years, coffee was the glue; the morning glue, the late evening glue, even though we’d often unearth our beer from a natural cooler in early evening, a foot down in damp earth. Coffee, camp coffee for your information, has a ritual. It is thick, it is dark, it is pot-boiled over a squaw-pine fire, it is strong, it is enough to wake the demon in you, to stoke the cheese and late-night pepperoni. First man up makes the fire, second man the coffee; but into that pot has to go fresh eggshells to hold the grounds down, give coffee a taste of history, a sense of place. That means at least one egg be cracked open for its shells, usually in the shadows and glimmers of false dawn. I suspect that’s where scrambled eggs originated, from some camp like ours, settlers rushing westerly, lumberjacks hungry, hobo’s lobbying for breakfast. So, coffee has made its way into poems, gatherings, memories, a time and thing not letting go, like old stories where the temporal voices have gone downhill and out of range, yet hang on for the mere asking.

Tom Sheehan served in 31st Regt., Korea, 1951-52 and graduated from Boston College in 1956. His books are Epic Cures, 2005, and Brief Cases, Short Spans, 2008, Press 53; A Collection of Friends and From the Quickening, 2009, Pocol Press. He has 19 Pushcart nominations, in Dzanc Best of the Web 2009, has 315 stories on Rope and Wire Magazine and work in a 5th issue of Rosebud Magazine, 5th issue of The Linnet’s Wings (Galway) and 8th  issue of Ocean Magazine, and other online sites, which include Nervous Breakdown, Faith-Hope-Fiction, Subtle Tea, Nontrue, Danse Macabre, Jake’s Locked-Room Anthology, Deep South Magazine, The Best of Sand Hill Review anthology, Wilderness House Literary Review, Dew on the Kudzu, Blue Lake Review, Eskimo Pie, Slice of Life, MGVersion2datura, 3 A.M. Magazine, Literary Orphans, Nazar Look, Stepping Stone and Qarrtsiluni, etc. His newest eBooks from Milspeak Publishers are Korean Echoes, 2011 and The Westering, 2012, the latter nominated for a National Book Award by the publisher.

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And because these needed to be shared at our table…

CRANBERRY SAUCE

Cranberry sauce—Thanksgiving Day

The tangy taste of shame and loss

Tart God ignores the grace I pray

Cranberry sauce

Dad’s knife cuts through the turkey’s gloss

Splayed out on mother’s silver tray

I am served with sharp words they toss

Reminding me of how I stray

From blessings of their double cross.

But still we laugh and savor gay

Cranberry sauce

Tyson West (see above)

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I Will Come Bearing Mangoes

(first published in Rougarou, Fall 2011)

I will come bearing mangoes,

wearing the war-paint of a whore
and the anklets of a thief,

a sunburst, spilling nectar,

summer-kissed by the yellow
blossom that fell from a tree
and into my braid.

Sharpen your knife
and hold out your tongue,
for life is sweetest in small pieces

and I could feed it to you in the
white wicker-plaited shadows
of your sun-flooded veranda

while we drink to beauty
and wait for the fire flowers
of the year’s first rain.

Sharanya Manivannan (see above)

Submissions open for Spring 2013, 20 March- annapurna@cookappeal.com

Seasonal, as the earth offers it up…