Three Sunflowers by Derek Pollard

     Tonight, I am again the writer

Not writing

     Janvier

     Fevrier

     There is the candle lit

And burning, there are

The three sunflowers sagging

Against the earthenware cup


     Where have we come

To where arrived

     At night and in the afternoon

The wind pushes insistently against

The windows of this small apartment

In which I have never loved you

With the violence of one thing

Longing to be another


     It is the sound of a vinyl casing

Just before it is forced apart

The glass thudding in the padded

Frame so sudden that I can only

Startle to meet its unexpected

Shudder

     There is the candle stand found

Discarded in a drawer in that other

Apartment we once shared

The blue ceramic vase left me

By my lover whose name you have

So often spoken without knowing

     And now she and I hold one

Another as if we had been cast out

From our families and must live

In that wilderness everyone has

Forsaken in their rush to proclaim

A new Jerusalem

            That burnished place that once

Held such vast promise and is now

Our home, despite our longing

For otherness in all things and in

Ourselves always

Cora by Louis Bourgeois

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When she left, there was only a white cup on the sink and a battered cobalt blue St. James Bible on the wobbly three legged kitchen table and an even more abused dog-eared paperback of Louis L’Amour’s Mustang Man.

The house had no electricity for three days, exactly the number of days it had been since the dog had been fed and since all twenty of the fish died in the algae covered ten gallon aquarium. 

I felt large and nameless. I had no friends and no money, yet, I felt strangely comfortable, as if nothing worse could happen to me.

If this is life, I thought, then this life is sacred and must be clung to at all costs. Life must be sacred if it is possible to feel this way.

I was not educated in those days, but I knew enough to know that one should lose himself in the darkest of places, that no one should attach himself to images and that inactivity is the highest expression of love.

Yet, I confess, that’s when the pen began moving across the page, when the poems began, and life began to take form….

1990

Isn’t That Nice? by Jan Jalenak

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            He knew who he was. He knew what he wanted. He knew he could have what he wanted. He loved life.

            His sister was confused. She knew what she wanted and thought that maybe someday she’d have it but someday what she wanted kept changing, because she kept changing. As she went through her life, she grew to accept so many other things, because they were tangible and transient, temporary, even though down deep they weren’t what she really wanted.  She grew to appreciate the world as it entered her existence. She loved life.

            He was given a football. He was taught to throw the football and given encouragement for his ability. He was told he was special.

            She learned to throw the football. They told her she was cute because she knew how to throw a football. She thanked them and giggled because they seemed to like it when she giggled.

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The Woman in the Rose Colored Dress by Kaj Anderson-Bauer

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            It started with a real woman in a real rose-colored dress. Roland saw her while we at the china buffet. All the while, as we’re eating, Roland is giving me this weird look. As we walk out, Roland whispers in my ear, “that woman in the rose-colored dress was staring at you the whole time.” I had no idea what he was talking about so I said, “oh yeah, the woman in the rose-colored dress, she’s been on my trail for years—she’s like a state of mind for me now.” That was sort of how the joke began.

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