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QUESTIONS FOR A BLIND DATE


Have you ever broken your neck with a tie?
Do you reach for the petal or the thorn?
Do you twitch on purpose?
Is the subway a place you like to go?
Are your hands willing, are your fingers able?
If you call me a poet, can I call you a poem?
May I see you again, may I ask you other questions?
Do you always walk in the direction you're going?
Do you confuse falling with flying?
Can you bend in all directions?
When you hold a child's hand, do you pull into the
future, or are you pulled into the past?
Is your whisper wet?
Will you call me a poet, if I call you a poem?
May I see you again, may I show you all my questions?

                               Phillip Levine
_________________________


VILLANELLE

It's the second season of the year;
the line grows thin and blue...
you see yourself sitting here

filled with sounds you love to hear;
the words seem to stick like glue.
It's the second season of the year

waiting a sign to appear
would be fun to try something new;
you see yourself sitting here.

To approach increasingly near
the subject will be up to you.
It's the second season of the year.

Please hand me a lovely cold beer!
You see yourself search for a clue;
you see yourself sitting here.

It all becomes perfectly clear
from a subconscious form of cue
it's the second season of the year
you see yourself sitting here.


                              Joan Payne Kincaid

WHAT HIS HANDS WERE LIKE

He has been cruel to women
How I know
Is by the looks of his hands

Like naked fish
Hairless and large
With odd angles
And penile nails

Something about the
Oversized military watch,
And the long, muscled fingers
Smooth and cunning

A strong grip, no doubt
Lips that smile
And later, for the woman,
Painful bruises,
The outline of his fingers.

                      Nina Jecker Byrne
_________________________

CAUGHT FALLING


Time runs itself out
As I sit in big white
cement room
Pondering 11 abstracted
pieces of art
&
painted muses

Gallery sitting
&
Spider watching
Outside noise will
bring the biggest of the
orb-weavers
Quickly spinning webs
so words have a place
to fall
& poems
are caught short,
of falling.
                      Teresa Marta Costa

_________________________________

WHEN ITS TIME TO RETIRE, ALL ASSETS WILL BE TOXIC
In memory of Steve Mohr


Retirement is obsolete, you told me, bankruptcy's the work of the future
Surrounded by empty seats, we lounged in swivel chairs, each in a cubicle.
Testing funds transfer systems, fluorescent light haunting the ceiling and walls.

You hadn't worked in over a year. Robber barons took all, aiming for the future.
We fall down tired as we age, defeating old angers, ruining the safety of walls.
I got the message about your memorial service while lingering late in my cubicle.

You were looking for clues, rooting around the desk drawers in your cubjcle
Empty store windows, the Federal Reserve castles, picketing of Wall Street's walls
Announcing the world's end, crowds out of work, pushing against the future.

Released, you drift through walls, above the bankrupt cubicle that cannot be your future now.

                      Elizabeth B. Morse
______________________________________________________________

WE LIVE ON LOWER BYRDCLIFFE


we live on lower byrdcliffe among the blue jays and fawns crossing the road,
it's been a long summer, every possibility came up to the gate and nudged
its head in. sometimes it was so dark and cold i thought I would holler
I quit, other times the sunlight baked this place to more than a hundred
degrees and all that was needed was a jump into the cold creek and lot of
splashing around, this poem was written with you in my eyes. I can't imagine
what I could have been before you opened the door and came in. I've loved
you since the moment we met but you've always known that, now sit by my
side and listen to the crickets sing and the heat begin to rise, sometimes
you need to have life dragged out of you to know what you don't want to
give up. let's keep things simpler in our lives, let's go for a swim down
by the old mill stream, let's listen for the voices of the forest and the scuttle
butt of squirrels chasing each other up trees.

                       Bruce Weber
____________________________