Paul Ilechko: “Five Fragments of a Narrative”




Five Fragments of a Narrative

Arriving by plane
at a western airport     somewhere
below in that spreading purple

and orange wilderness     there are people
searching for whatever
it is that means freedom to them

*     *     *     *     *     *

sandstone being the inevitability
of erosion     an elementary
exchange from water to air

as the wings wobble very slightly
from side to side     a silent salute
to the vast expanse of mountain

*     *     *     *     *     *

the people of the desert follow
at a distance     their boots leaving
tracks in the tainted earth

above them     a sudden glint
of sunlight on metal     a quiet hum
and a flash that trails the range

*     *     *     *     *     *

tired passengers press their faces
to the glass     watching for a plane
that never arrives     the desert

burning red and gold beneath
a setting sun     the walkers holding
close to the memory of a shadow

*     *     *     *     *     *

in Black Diamond Bay     Dylan sings
of Walter Cronkite as a metaphor
for honesty     vestigial     as we

no longer have his equivalent
we must realize that the fate
of the plane may never be determined.



About the Author: Poet and songwriter Paul Ilechko is the author of three chapbooks, most recently “Pain Sections” (Alien Buddha Press). His work has appeared in a variety of journals, including The Night Heron Barks, Rogue Agent, Ethel, San Pedro River Review, Lullwater Review, and Book of Matches. He lives with his partner in Lambertville, NJ.


Image Credit: Chase Dimock “LAX At Sunset” (2021)

Paul Ilechko: “Lemonade”




A summer day     hot as lemonade stand
and there she was    a mere child     learning

capitalism from first principles     a folding chair
and a rickety desk     a stack of paper cups

or possibly plastic     who remembers such
details at this distance     and the honeyed jug 

ice cold in the quivering breath of heatwave 
continual now for days without respite

and there we appeared     to spend our quarters 
assisting in the catechism of commerce 

of location  location  location     as she pounced
on the closure of the general store

on this holiday     that suffered through 
the dazzling whiteness     we also suffered 

sweaty and parched   we dismounted from
our bicycles     first in dismay     and then relief

now     some years later   we observe 
                                                 in our rear mirrors

not weather    but a prophecy     
                                          speeding to fulfillment.


About the Author: Paul Ilechko is the author of the chapbooks “Bartok in Winter” (Flutter Press, 2018) and “Graph of Life” (Finishing Line Press, 2018). His work has appeared in a variety of journals, including Manhattanville Review, West Trade Review, Cathexis Northwest Press, Otoliths and Pithead Chapel. He lives with his partner in Lambertville, NJ.


Image Credit: Digital Art made from “Iced lemonade: cool & refreshing” by Currier & Ives (1879) The Library of Congress