“Sunday Mourning” By Mike Acker

 

 

Sunday Mourning

Real butter for a change, melts on my toast
with apricot jam thickly spread like I like it.

Cold, caloried cream swirls in freshly brewed coffee
with a teaspoon of real sugar.

Habits die hard; having just cooked an omelette
for two now only one will eat.

Glasses slide low on the bridge of my nose;
Sunday paper ready to go.

The pool’s blue tiles glisten under
the early sunshine.

What a glorious morning
this could have been.

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About the Author:Mike Acker lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. He has lived in various parts of the world; his early education was in German and French. While living in California, he worked as a professional translator. Mike enjoys writing short poetry, especially with the intent of exploring the possibilities latent in a single image.

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More By Mike Acker:
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Image Credit: Esther Bubley “Washington, D.C. Hugh Massman, second class petty officer who is studying in Washington, must leave the house very early, so Lynn has breakfast alone while Joey sleeps on the table” (1943) The Library of Congress.
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“Why Answers Are Never the Answer” By Ryan Quinn Flanagan

 

Why Answers Are Never the Answer

You could go your whole life in a fog,
kicking up blanks with some of the cobbler’s
best attire, tugboat brinkmanship just out of sight
and still you are pleased, joyous even, sidewalks
leaping up into your arms like a bouquet of flowers,
briefcases rush by with the secret plans, intricate actions
that will never be taken, and the song in your throat
has already found radio, crank calls to the pharmacist’s wife
because she always picks up the phone, just as indignant as
the last time, never letting you down; why answers are never
the answer, and later outside the arcade you finger around
your pockets for coins, stuff a handful into the machine
and try for the high score.

 

About the Author: Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many mounds of snow.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, Cultural Weekly, In Between Hangovers, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.

 

More By Ryan Quinn Flanagan:

“Robbie the Owl”

“He Brought His Canvases Over”

“Before Evening Med Pass”

“It’s a girl I can tell, we’ve had nothing but trouble”

 

Image Credit: Henry Pointer “Cat on a stool “playing” a violin” (1872) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

“Out of the Blue” By Mike Acker

 

Out of the Blue

Out of the blue, I hear your rustling in the back
of my frontal lobe among the cellular boxes,
caved-in and heavy with sediment.

When I pull the yellowed, frail strings
leading to you, covers are nudged open
and you appear.

Forty years have worn down your features like
pebbles in a stream; past passions are now
but faint, electrical pulses, barely registering.

But, in this commotion, a crumpled neuron nearby
opens releasing apparitions of you and me standing
over a spot in our favorite park,

searching for the golden snake ring I had thrown
into some bushes after a jealous fit over a once-
sharp reason, now too pointless to recall.

But it is not really you and me; it is aged molecules
that oscillate into a semblance of our shapes
and then shift back to forgetfulness.

As quickly as these stirrings of recollection had come
to life, they fade; the dust of the past settles
back down, like lazy snow.

I will hold on to your shadow
but you, you are now forty
light-years away.

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About the Author: Mike Acker lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. He has lived in various parts of the world; his early education was in German and French. While living in California, he worked as a professional translator. Mike enjoys writing short poetry, especially with the intent of exploring the possibilities latent in a single image.

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Image Credit: “Two Men on Banks of Stream” By Arthur Brown (1878) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program

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More By Mike Acker:

The Selfie

What Do You Call This? Bubba Ganush?

“It’s a girl I can tell, we’ve had nothing but trouble” By Ryan Quinn Flanagan

 

“It’s a girl I can tell, we’ve had nothing but trouble”

They had only just found out a few months before.
The mother was happy, if apprehensive.
The father was accepting.
And I remember him saying to me
with the mother out of earshot:
“it’s a girl I can tell, we’ve had nothing but trouble.”
And I thought to myself what kind of trouble
can a tiny blob in a belly make?
He gave me that if you only knew face
that parents of children give to those without children.
Then the mother called him over and he
put his hand over her belly as though he were
trying to keep something from escaping.
I smiled to the mother who really did have
a strange glow about her.

 

About the Author: Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many mounds of snow.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, Cultural Weekly, In Between Hangovers, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.

 

More By Ryan Quinn Flanagan:

“Robbie the Owl”

“He Brought His Canvases Over”

“Before Evening Med Pass”

 

Image Credit: Jacob Byerly “Family Portrait” (1855) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

 

“Plus Ten” By Jeremy Nathan Marks

 

Plus Ten

Tonight fish
perch, whitefish, bass
even smelts
occupy spacious shore houses
while children bed down below ground
in clay beds said to hatch prodigious numbers
of tadpoles.

It is February
and the coyotes take the old swimming hole
and pretend it is Christmas Day in Australia.

Our hemispheres are flipped.

The river fills with ice.
Then it thaws.
It goes and floods in ways farmers say
it never used to.
Rain. Snow. Rain again.
The coyotes now go hunting in packs with dogs
and give the bum’s rush to gun enthusiasts at a Valentine’s Day sale.

Here in town we all sing
‘The Good Old Hockey Game’
as though pucks survive the winter wet
and jive with industrial sized climate controllers.

They do. Digitally.

Out in the muck I haven’t met a single bear that didn’t share
my exasperation at the tartness of mushed berries
or the way some satellite ref keeps moving the goal line.

Robins dine on February worms.
Crocuses laugh at snowdrops come out to see what’s up
and go down broke backed.

Ice again. Wait a day. It will be plus 10.

 

About the Author: Jeremy Nathan Marks is a London, Ontario-based writer. Recent poetry appears/is appearing in Unlikely Stories, Writers Resist, Poets Reading The News, KYSO Flash, Poetry Pacific, Rat’s As Review, The Wire’s Dream, NRM Magazine, Cajun Mutt Press, Eunoia Review, The Conclusion Magazine, Bravearts, and Runcible Spoon. His short story, “Detroit 2099,” will appear in The Nature of Cities Anthology later this year.

 

Image Credit: “Chûte du Niagara” Unknown Photographer (1860s-1880s) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program