Monday, April 27, 2015

#166: Three Poems by Kim Roberts

~This poem was originally published in Junctures: The Journal for Thematic Dialogue (2008).


Painted in 1805, part of a retrospective of the works of J.M.W. Turner
 exhibited at the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

In Turner's painting The Shipwreck
everything leans and moans,

even the glowering clouds.
Three small wooden craft

are flung from the drowning ship.
The striped cap of the sailor at the tiller

looks like exposed ribs,
while in the other life boats

men drape agonized atop one another
and waves hoist

their hummocks of foam.
The young genius, the painter,

lingers lovingly, reaching
over each violent wrench of water.

The Shipwreck is his first large-scale oil,
his palettes and knives and brushes reaching,

desperate, through a vortex of small men
centered on their unfolding disaster,

two dozen hopeless figures
hemmed in by a dense black sky.


Monday, April 6, 2015

#165: "Anything You Want It to Be" by Jamie Holland

~This story was previously published in Antietam Review (2001).

              Two days after her father’s funeral, Maggie found herself on a Washington, D.C. tour bus next to a man who wore a leather jacket, combat boots, and a black beret.
              “How’s it goin’,” he said, zipping open his knapsack.
              She looked away. “Fine.”
              “Where’re you headed?”
              “It’s a tour bus,” she said to the window. “I’m just headed around the city.”
              “You live here?”
She turned to him. He’d taken off his hat. Perfectly bald. No hair whatsoever. And very pale with dark blue eyes. He looked like a grown baby. His eyes were that blue.
              “My parents do. Did, I mean. My mother still does.” She had to concentrate to focus only on his face and not let her eyes explore the globe that was his head.               
He stared at her, waiting for something, it seemed.
“My father just died.” It was the first time she’d actually said it.
              “Oh.” He took out a paperback book and began to read. She watched his eyes go from left to right, left to right, reading the lines.
              “He killed himself,” she said.
              He looked up. “Who?”
              “My dad.”
              “Oh. Was he sick?”
              A wave of relief washed over her. “Sort of. He’d been depressed.”
              He raised his eyebrows. “I guess so.”
              She felt her face curl into a snarl. What was wrong with people?