INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
Karyn M. Bruce
Paul B. Roth
Michael Lee Johnson
Ann Arbor Review
is an independent
International Journal & ezine
Copyright (c) 20151
All rights revert back to each poet.
--editor / Southeastern Florida
note: in print 1967 - 1980. Irregular publications 1980 - 2004.
As ezine 2004 - present. Most of 51 years all together....
Silver Grey Fox
Grief washes over us in waves,
waves rolling at erratic intervals.
Some tiny ripples creep along our arms & neck,
while the undertow of large ones
causes us to disappear for a while.
Grief takes up residence in our bodies,
inside our shoulders, torso, legs,
& distorts our faces into alien beings
that spelunker the somber caves of our arteries..
Grief brings us face to face
with what we love
with what we didn’t know we love
with what we wish we didn’t love—
with an irony that the dead
will never understand.
Grief is collapsed silk,
a blue monkey dreaming beside us
in a wicker chair.
Like our soul squeezed through the cracks
of life, our bodies drift in & out
of smoky rooms
while our blood :ows to depths
far below our feet.
Ahh, this grief is an unwelcome visitor,
someone we should have made peace
with long ago.
But that visitor appears, tonight,
despite heavy protests,
passing the twisted loaf of bread
& turning up Count Basie’s “One O’Clock Jump,”
before rising toward the door,
overcoat folded neatly over bony left arm,
preparing its exit
into the thick night,
leaving us all too exhausted to speak.
To sacrice one for the other?
If you’re an executive, you have choices.
But if you preside over anything, be
careful what you wish for, as life, as
life is wont, is a polar bear crunching
frozen penguins & will crush you when
nothing remains but a waiter in gleaming
vest & onyx bowtie with a starched white
napkin over left forearm delivering divorce
papers as aperitif at your favorite Italian
ristorante—still, persistence like magnesium
pulverized into limestone gets sprinkled
over the bones of our most neglected saints
throughout generations, alcohol induced,
perhaps, but a damn sight closer to the
truth than what most folks imagine
or ever will imagine, god willing.
SONGS OF A WAYFARER
Mantis twitches to a :ock of
angels harmonizing to Mahler’s
Songs of a Wayfarer.
Moth with celery wings,
Luna, perhaps, coal dust
spotting each wing.
Autumn spruces with Georg
Trakl wandering drunk
through the dusking woods
& angels :ashing armor
handed down for millennia
before settling like wasps
in the soCit of a backyard
shed awaiting the arrival
of the emperor of empathy.
FIRST SNOW WITH AN ECHO OF
Falling in proverbial clumps of cotton,
Styrofoam packing peanuts, or stuffing
from child’s teddy bear shredded by a pack
of wild republicans (dems―lacking spines
& unable to stand upright―cannot reach
teddy bears from top shelves of closets).
Alas, it’s a veritable snow globe morning
with globs of white poppies glued to
leafless branches of forsythia & roses-of-
Sharon, plus four-inch layers of ivory on
each horizontal rib of the split-rail fence,
power lines frosted, wisp of wind coughing
pearl dust from shingled rooftop as
snowplow mimics a kitchen disposal &
empty pecan school bus crunches a side
* * *
Two days later muscular snow like
icing—icing melted over gingerbread
patches of sunny lawn.
* * *
The Moldau gives way to Mozart suite
with violins igniting piano bones followed
by periodic punches of cello . . . piano
icicles guiding a sleigh through snowy
woods . . . icicles harnessed to red ribbons
dotted with brass bells . . . icicles teasing
violins like the tongues of Irish Setters
yawning on tartan rugs before the
bellowing square mouths of granite
fireplaces . . . icicles lamenting the death
of shadows . . . icicles that dream of
Brazilian jaguars blazing alto notes . . .
each note steeped in a crystal beaker of
the warm South.
This rabbit appears from nowhere, as he
or she often does, & settles midway between
an overgrown magnolia stump & semi-dwarf
apple tree. On a spot of satin sunlight
smeared by sudden rain appears this
cinnamon with snowy underbelly rabbit,
barely smaller than my two bichons, Avery &
Phoebe, who greet the split-rail fence with a
couple of hello barks to our neighbor’s pinto
pit & black lab mix released into an adjoining
yard. So, twenty feet from bichon brother &
sister, this cinnamon rabbit stretches like
taffy then slowly arches his/her hind legs
beneath snowy underbelly once, twice, three
times in slow motion to obscure him/herself
behind an overgrown magnolia stump. &
when bichons bounce the yard to yap at
pedestrians along the boulevard, this rabbit
makes a U-turn & twosteps inside a rose-of-
Sharon at the base of the split-rail fence. How
clever I think. But before my brain clarifies, I
spot that rabbit like Houdini on the opposite
side of the fence! Wait a sec. No holes in my
fence; no holes for my diminutive dogs to
squeeze through, or foxes in a meat grinder
to ooze through! I investigate the very point
of vaporization behind this rose-of-Sharon at
the base of our split-rail fence. No hole in
sight! Yet that rabbit, stretched like taffy &
without a care on this godforsaken blue
marble, now nibbles clover in a puddle of
sunlight ebbing & flowing on the opposite
side of the fence.
Alan Britt, Reisterstown, Maryland