Stuck Inside the Supermarket with the Beautiful Blues Again
My wife told me to find the onion crisps
for a green bean casserole she was making
for Easter dinner at my parents’ house.
Perplexed, I confessed I had no idea where
to start the search for the onion crisps
and suggested we sauté a raw onion instead.
“Don’t be a smart-ass,” she said and rolled
her eyes and sent me on the quixotic quest.
So I roamed the aisles, Ancient Mariner-style,
and found myself behind a beautiful couple
in their late-twenties, olive-skinned and fit,
as they whisked past the chocolate cake mix
holding hands, their shopping cart filled
with fresh vegetables and fish and goat cheeses
but no onion crisps or cream of mushroom soup
or any hint of the makings of a casserole.
Then Bob Dylan’s “Stuck Inside of Mobile
with the Memphis Blues Again” started to play
in my head, entering like a silk-footed thief,
and I hummed it a decimal above the soft-rock
that fell like syrupy summer rain from the ceiling.
The beautiful couple turned at the end of the aisle
and went on to live beautiful lives and birth
beautiful kids, and I never found the onion crisps.
About the Author: Nathan Graziano lives in Manchester, New Hampshire, with his wife. A high school teacher, he’s the author of nine books of fiction and poetry. Fly Like The Seagull, his most recent work of fiction, was released by Luchador Press in 2020. Graziano also writes a column for Manchester Ink Link and was named the 2020 Columnist of Year by the New Hampshire Press Association. For more information, visit his website: www.nathangraziano.com.
Image Credit: Thomas J. O’Halloran “Shopping in supermarket” (1957) The Library of Congress (Public Domain)
Taken Up By Song
You were singing
in your sleep,
and I chose not
to wake you.
It was the way a person sings
when she is wearing headphones
in the music department of the bookstore
and is taken up by a song.
It was the singing of a deaf woman
who is so happily carried off
by the rhythm she feels but will never hear
that one would never think of asking her to stop.
It was the singing of the spheres of space
that even in their discord suggest
places so distant and free of human grief
that they are populated by souls
that have traveled far enough
from what we are
the most distilled peace.
About the Author: Mike Cole studied poetry at Fresno State College (1967 to 1971) and received an MA in poetry writing in 1992. Over a sporadic 50-plus year publication history, his poems have appeared in Antioch Review, Laurel Review, Midland Review, Blast Furnace, diaphanous micro, Thin Air, and other magazines, and in the anthologies Highway 99, by Heyday Press and Some Yosemite Poets, by Scrub Jay Press. He lives in the Sierra Nevada mountains near Yosemite National Park.
Image Credit: Hilma af Klint “Group X, No. 2, Altarpiece” (1915) Public Domain
My guitar has lost sound
shed like snakeskin
in a desert of neglect.
Wood and strings longing
for touch dry up and
barely whisper their song.
And I beg forgiveness,
shoulder in embrace,
fingertips stroking the pain
into song. Each day,
each hour, each moment
our love revives.
About the Author: Larry Smith is the editor-publisher of Bottom Dog Press in Ohio, also the author of 6 books of fiction and 8 books of poems, and most recently Mingo Town and Memories: Poems. A retired professor of humanities, he lives and works along the shores of Lake Erie in Huron, Ohio.
More By Larry Smith:
At The Country Store
Image Credit: Juan Gris “Still Life with a Guitar” (1913) Public Domain