Poetry Drawer: Petition by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

In Arles
the citizens circulated a petition
demanding that Vincent be institutionalized
It was following that commitment that he
moved to St. Remy

The people of Arles
do not know that I am only in their town
because I escaped from a mental hospital
stole money from my mother
and fled across the ocean

to where I lived
when I was younger, stronger
and my mind was less disordered

I do not believe that disorder
warrants imprisonment

When I see the citizens in the bakeries
and cafes
giving me hard stares
and passing a sheet of paper from hand to hand
I will escape to St. Remy

where I will play my violin
on the street
for coins

Inky Interview: Author Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois from Denver, Colorado

Flash In The Pantry: Serotonin Reuptake by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Flash In The Pantry: Mandela Warp: A Moment in History by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Flash In The Pantry: Cooking Shows by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Flash In The Pantry: Still Wet by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Loch by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Photogenic by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Microwave by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Granite by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Trick by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Coal by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Coal by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Coal

I chew coal for extra nrgy
Wind turbines
blow a deadly breeze my way

In the migrant trailer
in which I live
I flex my biceps in front of the mirror
to reassure myself I still exist
and am capable of continued survival

I grin into the mirror
with my black teeth
Script for the company store
is scattered on the rug like fallen leaves

I have a woman
but I’ve misplaced her
I go looking for another chunk
of coal

Inky Interview: Author Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois from Denver, Colorado

Flash In The Pantry: Serotonin Reuptake by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Flash In The Pantry: Mandela Warp: A Moment in History by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Flash In The Pantry: Cooking Shows by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Flash In The Pantry: Still Wet by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Loch by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Photogenic by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Microwave by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Granite by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Trick by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Four Poems by Dr Carla McGill

COYOTE

He appeared on the paved path
on the old railway trail
near foothills, long slope
of the rocky wash.

Near crevices where winds form,
blast down the valley, leaves spinning,
stunned trees, even the dry river
stones stupefied by its force.

He was stock-still, the wind twisting
around his tail, and glancing my way,
ears alert. Ancient chaparral ancestors
stirring in his pale eyes, yelps
and howls from a thousand open
plains already sounding in unknown
and guarded inner places.

No one else was around but the lizard
near my feet, anticipating possibilities.
Nearby brush, rustlings, stirrings.

Then he was gone, as if by magic,
disappearing, no sound in the thickets
by the path, collecting heat as it bore down.

The winds stirred again,
a couple of blasts, no birds
anywhere that I could see, no brush
rabbits, just the dead bee I then came across,
and the dog collar, tan with gold flecks,
half-buried in the dirt.

Now I hear everything from all directions:
heavy bison steps, antelope grunts,
bobcats hissing, wind tearing through hedges.

There’s another lizard, minding his way
as we both acknowledge that today
something nearby will be devoured.

PHOTO OF MY AUNT

She was not posed, but staring off
from the gazebo at a party, her hand
almost to her head as if shielding
her eyes from the sun. Straining
to see something, she looked
curious, as if I could tell by her gaze,
as if she knew what it all meant,
as if she saw what was about to happen,
as if she knew it was there, the ultimate
end of all things that we found familiar,
the end of wondering. On the ground
behind her, at the edge of the gazebo,
her purse, silver clasp glinting in the sun.

WHAT I FOUND ON THE BEACH

Gray pebbles, ceramic shards,
pieces of plastic, rope, shell
trifles, abandoned claw tips.

Then, buried in seaweed,
it shone through, purple
with streaks of red,

shining glass, orbicular,
no cracks or chips. Wet,
cold, yet still exuberant.

It seemed to ignore being found,
and went on as it had been, silent,
on my dresser, waiting for the sun.

WINDS, STONE, ICE

Hard to get up, open to assaults
of bright winds, glossy fields
in the distance, flickering
and shimmering, blinding
and flashing with energy.

On the other hand, stone walkways
are dignified, but stable to the point
of fatigue. The gray and black flecks
run all through, repel everything,
explain nothing. They fossilize in the cold.

Glaciers on the horizon, gleaming
like answers to questions, like
ancient wisdom, like stories
that put one to sleep after wincing
and blinking and shivering all day.

Carla McGill earned her doctorate in English from the University of California, Riverside. Her work has been published in A Clean Well-Lighted Place, The Atlanta Review, Shark Reef, Crack the Spine, Westview, Common Ground Review, Caveat Lector, Inland Empire Magazine, Carbon Culture Review, Vending Machine Press, Nebo: A Literary Journal, Schuylkill Valley Journal of the Arts, Streetlight Magazine, The Penmen Review, Whistling Shade, Cloudbank, Paragon Journal, Burningword, Poets’ Espresso Review, The Alembic, and Broad River Review. Her story, “Thirteen Memories,” received an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train’s MAR/APR 2016 Very Short Fiction Contest. She lives with her husband in Southern California where she writes poetry and fiction.

Poetry Drawer: Trick by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Trick

The woman who claims to be my wife has a lost look
She’s holding a raw egg in her hand
Dr. Oz told me
I can lose seven pounds a week
by using Garcinia Cambogia Extract, she says

I have been away for many years
held as a P.O.W.
I don’t understand what she just said
I have no idea who Dr. Oz is
My only reference is:
The Wizard of…

In grief over my presumed death
this woman who claims to be my wife
began eating wildly
became morbidly obese
I still cannot believe she is who she says she is
I think that it is a trick
set up by my former captors
I cannot remember if they were Communists
Stalinists or Maoists
I don’t understand what any of that means
if I ever did
or why this woman sitting next to me on this couch
is stroking the blond hairs
of my arm

Inky Interview: Author Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois from Denver, Colorado

Flash In The Pantry: Serotonin Reuptake by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Flash In The Pantry: Mandela Warp: A Moment in History by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Flash In The Pantry: Cooking Shows by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Flash In The Pantry: Still Wet by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Loch by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Photogenic by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Microwave by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Granite by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Poetry Drawer: Four Poems by Alita Pirkopf

A BRIGHTER LOOK

Though the unworkable world
of my impossibility is always present,
incessant, unceasing, encircling,
it has turned ever so slightly,
causing previous decades
of different understandings,
or misunderstandings, to shift,
turning my face to the rays
of the always somewhere shining sun.

Possibility, after so long, emerges,
takes on unfamiliar shapes,
like eon-shaped, water worn rocks,
like Philip Glass repetition,
changing with continuing variation.

A SMALL TREE

stretches its branches
toward the ice night’s
cold stars. I forget
that elsewhere,
of course, is growing,

that green will come again,
turning where I stand
to tulips and tart rhubarb,
relaxing my winter will—
which now I wish
would right my brittle world.

THERE IS THIS DARKNESS

The tape
rolling
controlling
in my head
for years
showed ovens
and visits
to my
Germanic
relatives.
It plays on
the past.

Serial dreams
of a witch-
grandmother
have not
faded.
The dark closet
she placed me in
holds me forever
with my mother’s help.

But to dreams
and tapes
and documentaries
a new tape
has been added.
It plays
in the present.

A German
language
tape
I study
as I fall
asleep.

Night comes now
not always
with black fingers
or witches’ hats
but still sometimes.

WHAT I MAKE OF IT

My sons grew up
playing with their father
in summer and in snow.
They could have sailed
to Troy

            in the time
they stayed away
I wove
summer threads
into light fantasy,
and winter wool
into thicker
and heavy fabric-
ation

           until finally,
from remaining threads,
I make only this,
a story I repeat, then write,
and plan to press
between clothbound covers.
Ancient stories
in an old-fashioned book.

After receiving a Master’s Degree in English Literature from the University of Denver, Alita Pirkopf became increasingly interested in feminist interpretations of literature. Eventually, Alita enrolled in a poetry class at the University of Denver taught by Bin Ramke. Poetry became a long-term focus and obsession.

Alita’s work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Alembic, Artifact Nouveau, Burningword Literary Journal, Caduceus, The Cape Rock, The Chaffin Journal, The Distillery, Euphony Journal, Existere, Good Works Review, The Griffin, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Harpur Palate, Illya’s Honey, Lullwater Review, Moon City Review, The Paragon Journal, The Penmen Review, Quiddity, riverSedge, Rubbertop Review, Ship of Fools, Stonecoast Review, Temenos Journal, Vending Machine Press, Vox Poetica, Westview, and Willow Springs Review.

Poetry Drawer: Three Poems by John Grey

BEACH DAY

Summer’s here,
blue and cloudless,
hot and steamy
with the sun at full throttle.

A gull perches on a wooden pole,
feathers ruffling,
blood dot on its beak.
A pelican scoops some sea
up in its pouch,
sloshes down to a single gray fish.

We’re seated under an umbrella,
with just our feet in the light’s flame,
toes baked like bread.

A crab darts across the sand,
seeks shelter under my chaise lounge.
Your arm reaches up
to caress a cool glass,
filled to the brim with pina colada.
This is paradise as we know it.

Waves flop on shore,
retreat and flop some more.
A surfer paddles way out,
then returns to us
on the crest of a swell,
tall, erect, well-balanced,
like a statue on a fiber-glass base.

Everything is happening.
There’s movement in all directions.
And yet it all adds up to a calm.
I close my eyes, begin to doze.
The action never lets up.

SONG ON MY LIPS WHERE IT BELONGS

Songs come out of nowhere.
The mood is music-ripe.
I hum.
I make up words.
Initiate a melody.
I’m loud.
People stare at me.
But it doesn’t bother me
to be strolling along
and singing.
Why not?
There has to be a piano playing somewhere.

SURROUNDS

The woods are thick and the trail is narrow.
I smell the piney closeness, almost overpowering.
And my feet look for their place
on this tiny gauge track.
The warblers have all the sky for palette,
fill it with song.
Wildflowers, yellow and pink and blue,
take up the space their roots endow,
always room for one more blooming.
So much green, so much trunk and bark,
and breeze and sprouting,
my identity holds fast
to the next thought and the next.
Better to give myself up to the surrounds,
whisper the cinquefoil and the tortoiseshell.
My breath concurs.
My soul vacillates.
My heart takes one more step..

Inky Interview Special: John Grey, Australian Poet, USA resident

Poetry Drawer: An Awkward Meeting in a Coffee House by John Grey

Poetry Drawer: Two Poems by John Grey

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in the Homestead Review, Poetry East and Columbia Review with work upcoming in the Roanoke Review, the Hawaii Review and North Dakota Quarterly.

Poetry Drawer: Seems There Are by Joel Schueler

Seems There Are

less people you can call friends
money can’t buy you back again,
you lost you
you’re losing me too,
fourteen angels and fourteen more
cannot untie the you from before.

Joel has a BA (Hons) in English Literature & Creative Writing from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. He has just finished his first novel and his works have been accepted across eight different countries in over two dozen publications including the Pennsylvania Literary Journal, The Bangalore Review, & The Brasilia Review.

Poetry Drawer: Two Poems by Anne Mikusinski

Bedtime Story

Our tale

For tonight

Is
Submitted for your approval

And
Brought to you
By the overtired
Spaces in my brain
Embellished
By imagination’s
Wishful thinking
It’s beginning simple
Two people
In a room
One reading
The other playing some
Sort of music
That fits the scene

Or not.

Eventually the music stops
The book is closed
There might be an embrace
Or, maybe more
Before it fades to black.

Interlude

Tonight’s pipe dream
Is littered
With tiny notes
Written in my second language
Hidden
In different rooms
When found and read aloud
You laugh at my accent
Soon silenced by a glare
You draw close
Removing them from my hands
To kiss my fingers
All is forgiven

And Again..

Tonight’s pipe dream
Is sponsored by
All the lovely pillow talk
We haven’t had
Those idle

Conversations
Delivered softly
Your voice a rumbling purr in my ear,
Sleep is overrated.

Anne Mikusinski has been writing poetry and short stories since she was seven.
She finds inspiration in music and art, and sometimes, even little things that happen every day. Her influences range from Robert Frost and Dylan Thomas, to David Byrne and Nick Cave

Poetry Drawer: A Dancer’s Day Off by Raine Geoghegan

A Dancer’s Day Off
Early September 1975
(For my fellow sisters/dancers, Bev and Elayne)

Being a dancer I have to endure
late nights, sore feet,
travelling in a stuffy van,
doing two or three shows a night
and not getting paid my worth.
I’m constantly on the move.

Sunday is my day off,
I lay in bed late,
eat a bowl of cornflakes,
a piece of toast,
wash my fishnets and G strings,
luxuriate in a long bubbly bath,
put a face pack on
and weather permitting
sit outside
which is where I am now
sitting on the doorstep
sipping English Breakfast tea while
my face hardens under the mask.
My mum whistles an Al Jolson song
as she peels vegetables for the Sunday roast.
The sun is shining,
the breeze fresh,
my fishnets rise then fall
on the line like a dancer’s legs
doing the can can.
My dance costumes, hung out to air.
swing graciously, the soft wind
bringing them to life.

I consider how my body slips into them
every night, Monday to Saturday,
how it takes at least twenty minutes to apply my make-up.
Pan stick, rouge, false eye-lashes, and red lipstick.
Then there’s the hairpiece which I curl every night with sponge rollers.
I fix it to the top of my head where it sits like a nest of curls.

Today I get to do whatever I want.
As the sun warms my legs and the smell of roast chicken prickles
my nostrils, I pour myself another cup of tea,
dip a dark chocolate digestive in, then
go back to watching my fishnets swinging on the line.

Raine’s Website

Poetry Drawer: There is a River by Raine Geoghegan

Poetry Drawer: The Last Day by Raine Geoghegan (for my father James Charles Hill)

Poetry Drawer: Sunday Mornings by Raine Geoghegan

Poetry Drawer: Four Poems by Jodi Adamson

Jodi Adamson received her BA from Huntingdon College and her pharmacy doctorate from Auburn University Pharmacy School. She works at a local retail pharmacy as a staff pharmacist. Along with her illustrator, Stacey Hopson, she has published an illustrated book entitled The Ten Commandments for Pharmacists, a humorous look at the world of pharmacy dos and don’ts.

Jodi was the Alabama State Poetry Society Poet of the Year 2015. Her poem “Lost Civilizations” won first place in the Alabama State Poetry Society Fall Contest. She also had her poetry reviewed by NewPages.com. New work has appeared, or is forthcoming in Amarillo Bay, Chantwood Magazine, Clackamas Literary Review, The Coachella Review, Crack the Spine, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Existere Journal, Forge, The Griffin, Juked, The Old Red Kimono, The Prelude, Rio Grande Review, riverSedge, Rubbertop Review, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Slab magazine, The Starry Night Review, and the anthologies Dreams of Steam III, It Was a Dark and Stormy Night, and New Dawn Unlimited.

AN APOSTROPHE: WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS, THE ARTIST

Dr. Williams,

We have walked the same corridors,
both halls of poetry and the health profession.
Decades separate us, but you and me, we are alike.
Analytical imagination, duality of my personality,
caused a lot of consternation.
Can creativity breathe with such practicality?
Free thinking not be hampered by science?
Feeling be expressed through exact line spacing?

It was you, your calling, your regular wording,
shared your answers with the world.
Poetry, emotional wealth, not betrayed by compression,
extraordinary depth in precision.
Science, an inspiration,
not a limitation on the imagination.
Both allowed waltzes on prescription pads,
taking turns at the lead.

Pediatrician poet,
imitation, the highest form of flattery.
Please remember my parodies of your work were but
empathy and accolades
and you taken by surprise
was left speechless.
Clap, enjoy absurdity, this world, that bewilders us both without poetry.

MAILBOX ETHEREE

Poor
Mailbox
Standing there
Useless until
Communications come.
What does it do all day?
Shiver in the cold weather?
Bask in the warmth of the noon sun?
Perhaps, it picks a fight with the mailman.
That would explain its crippled black back.

MIGRAINE

I’m
Trying
To stop
The slow slide
Of my sanity as the
Throb in my head escalates
And life blurring and chilling as
I approach the slope of no return.

THE SHOWDOWN AT THE HARD ROCK CAFE

Waiting in the restaurant lobby, opposing fandoms
Sought sustenance and maybe alcoholic beverages.

To the left, Atlanta’s Labor Day weekend’s Chosen, the geeks
Their weapons peacebonded except the distinctive ire on their faces.
To the right, interlopers, confounded, frightened, football fanatics
Had fallen into the Twilight Zone with no clue how to proceed.

Jocks, stiff standing like their spiked hair, huddled while stone angels waited for them to blink.
A blond Slayer, her honey, readied their stakes; a tiny fairy spiraled pink curls round her finger.
The steamy couple surveyed the scene behind their brass goggles; a stilettoed, spandexed superhero smirked.
A corseted buccaneer changed her “arrg” to awkward, turned to her witchy friend,
“Remember they are more scared of us than we are of them.”

Flashing red dots, buzzing box interrupted, Princess Elsa waitress appeared, with icicles and snow flurries.

Let it go.

Hovering past memories of victimization faded.
After all, they all were fans, loyal and brave in their respective uniforms,
Who sought sustenance and maybe alcoholic beverages.