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11. Featuring: Ashley Welch

+ Yu-Han Chao + Bill Drennan + Gordon Scapens + Stephen C Middleton +

   Arun Gaur + Misti Rainwater-Lites + Graham Burchell + Mathias Nelson +

   Geoff Stevens + Paul Tristram + Helen Kitson

 

 

Flush

 

I               am

obsessed   with

evens   he

said         I

won’t   even

put         toothpaste

on         the

brush   without

flattening   it

smooth   with

the         thick

of         my

thumb   or

eat         toast

with         clumps

of         butter

hanging         at

the         top

left         corner

un-         melted

I               said

                     But

                             we

                                        are

                                                    all at

                                                                 odds

Into

 

All our words from loose using have lost their edge

-Ernest Hemingway

 

Edge Edge Edge Edge into into Edge Edge

 Edge Edge Edge e d g e into Edge e d g e

                   of the abyss

                 we slip slope

                 stumble slant

                 into

                 recession

                 deformation nation  

                 on the

Edge Edge Edge Edge into into Edge Edge Edge

E  d  g  e    e   d   g   e   into      e     d     g     e

Erie Basin

 

We sat and watched as

the thick rusted chains lay

against the moss that

we had carefully tread to the

place

 

where we once watched

an old man with a gnarled smile

fish under a green umbrella by the

water that was suggestively low

and glassy, peddling

 

against

the concrete that had greyed all

too quickly.

The rain

misted at my ears as you

told me it was gone.

To Take Home

 

On the way home from the Lake House there was a Caravan

on the side of the road. An old woman lived there. She made

Tamales all day and sold them to the passing traffic. Authentic Tamales, wrapped in

corn husks, $2 each. My mother usually bought 20 and would freeze half.

We sat on the plastic chairs laid out as a road-side

restaurant and ate a Tamale each. The masa that held the shredded

meat was soft and warm. The best bit was peeling the corn

husk from the dough. After, we would drink a glass of lemonade

and the old woman would give us each a fat pickle wrapped in

a paper towel to eat on the drive home.

Lake Fork

 a memory

 

3 pronged coves

and Texas BBQ

sauce and

a hacked-up

catfish coated and

fried / Fire

ants nipping

at ankles

and the murky

push of mud under

the water / Smores

of sticky mallow

and Graham

crackers

on a rotting

log where the

smoke

fogs your eyes.

Modern Charity

 

He sits under

a soiled cloth in

the thick rain that

daily coats the

streets reminding

him to appreciate

the sun

 

when it

peeks out and the

bare legs will tread

his drier home. One

copper coin and a

jam sandwich from

Martha who visits

before catching the

42 back

 

to the place

she hates, the one with

square desks,

paper stacks and boxes

of bics. She taped a

copy of Larkin’s Toads

to her fading

computer screen,

 

and reads it again,

thinking of herself

and him and the

difference between

hoping someone

will buy

him a cup of tea.

First

 

Where do you belong? I was born in Texas...but

I moved to...always leaving Texas. I don’t admit it

readily now, Texas has too much bad press. It invites

more questions from people I don’t really want to

talk to. I have more memories of Colorado so

sometimes I think that’s where I belong.

Thats where I met my best friend,

had my first kiss, got drunk for the first time. But

there are other firsts in my life that can’t escape the

Texan heat. My first shoes were pink cowgirl

boots, decorated with glitter. I caught my

first firefly, met my two brothers and ate

the Mexican food I still love for the first time in

Texas. I’m told the first colour I could name was

turquoise, not blue or green or red. I picked

my first bunch of Indian Paint Brushes in my

first back yard. In Texas.

But I won’t go back there.

Paranoid on 31st Street

 

The man that

stared at

me before

we left for

the place that

you were

taking me told

me to beware

of fences and

my mind

turned upside

down counting

the planks and

the spokes

through the

condensed

window and

the gaps and

awful ticking

eyes were

following and

you were

yawning that

horrible gaping

yawn of yours

that spreads

like bleach

on a

fluent tile,

rancid.

Chemical Ali

 

Anfal genocide

and a cartoon

name to take

the sting out

of the war

crime smell

being the

2nd best for

Them will do

when the

rope is craving

and we

stand impassive

and announce

the toll

Descend

 

We fade with each day

The indigo sky still burns

On shadows that fall

Instant

 

Split /So

it comes/

under the

murmur of faint

machete cries

and

the blistering

 

Second /So

it goes/ with

the flesh

eaten in dry

crackers with

a china white

smile

Currents

 

Glinting in my eye

The cold river ripples gold

We ebb and vanish