Saturday, September 15, 2012

Lascaux Flash

There's an exciting flash fiction contest happening right now I wanted to tell you about. Using the photo prompt above, submit a piece of fiction (250 words or less) by midnight, September 22 for the chance to win the grand prize: $250, a virtual medal and publication in The Lascaux Review. Instructions for entering are here

I submitted a guest entry--titled "Orange Juice"--which can be found here

My thanks to Stephen Parrish and Wendy Russ for running such a quality contest and literary review. Good luck to all the participants!  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Autumn Rhythm

(Autumn Rhythm No. 30 by Jackson Pollock)

Again, September 

where the leaves begin their long surrender

and I hold fast to every before and after. 

Above me, a cacophony of geese, recycling their

rites of spring, fashion themselves into a lopsided 

victory sign, sticking their faith in the future's eye, 

and I salute them, metaphorically at least. 

Remember when poetry was something that happened to you, 

when it pierced you through and through and through? 

When it kissed your knees and encased you in light? 

An apple of Newton’s, God’s own Eureka! 

Of course you do, and I’m happy— 

so pitifully glad to be a part of the mad, happy dance—

yet there’s something to words that makes one a surgeon, 

prone to the dissection and rearranging of miracles. 

So that even as sunshine slides down my sleeve

and empties my pocket of gold and debris, 

a part of the self hangs back, detached,

making of the present a more beautiful past. 

“It was different back then,” 

but the difference is in the remembering,

as we stuck each moment like buddhas on pogo sticks, 

so Zen we thought eternity could be numbered in 

the days before Christmas.

Players on an infant stage, not knowing such

scenes would grow heavier with replay,

we ignored the warning in our grandparents' examples

—bodies bird-light, faces sharpened into arrows—

backs bowed over with layers of sediment.    


Is it possible the phoenix looks to us for inspiration?    

We are the only backward-looking, forward-driven creatures of nature

and autumn is our renewable feast, a creaky time machine set on ache 

one more chance for the leaves to scatter  

so we might leap backward and fore, transitioning

forever, into our piles of lukewarm nostalgia, waiting to 

see where the colors will land so we may jump