Ann Arbor Review: International Journal of Poetry

Issue Number  22

Ann Arbor Review

Southeastern Florida                                                                                                                 Ann Arbor Review


Paul B Roth
Duane Locke
Alan Britt
Silvia Scheibli
Steve Barfield
Duane Locke
Alex Ferde
Kristina Krumova
Richard Gartee
Lyn Lifshin
Gale Acuff
Alicia Mathias
Sunday Eyitayo Michael
Running Cub
Laszlo Slomovits
Shutta Crum
Solomon Musa Haruna

Elisavietta Ritchie
Yuan Hongri
Helen Grigya
Fahredin Shehu
Karyn M. Bruce

Robert Nisbet
Deji W. Adesoye

Michael Lee Johnson
Keith Moul
Jennifer Burd

John Grey
Rekha Valliaypan
Fred Wolven

Ann Arbor Review

is an independent

International Journal & ezine

Copyright (c) 2019 Francis Ferde
All rights revert back to each poet.
--editor / Southeastern Florida

AAR history note:  in print 1967 - 1980.  Irregular publications 1980 - 2004.  As ezine 2004 - present. Most of 51 years all together....

Francis Ferde
Silver Grey Fox
Running Cub

Fred Wolven

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YOUR DEATH PRESENT                          for Duane Locke  (12/29/21-2/17/19)

                      The obituary’s blurred by a pink flamingo’s reflection staining pond water your skin color. A great golden condor your mind trained all those decades for this very moment, swoops in and pecks the carcass left of your existence to bits of blood-stuck hair on the bone. Everything joins the feast of your death. All have waited almost a century for you to be the water a frog sprays upon fleeing shore for its pond at night.  All have waited to marvel how the moon catches the highlights of your hair in this frog’s splash, how it brightens the water’s surface that’s seen nothing but the undersides of overhanging oak leaves. Here, it’s still winter. Tracks we see crossing our yard in the snow are without the fox who left them. Cracked remains of sunflower seeds are without the squirrel who twirled them over and over between his paws and mouth. Clouds without a sky. Off our windowsill gravitates a green apple in place of your face while Magritte’s black locomotive steams towards us. Dalí invites us to dine, brandishing a knife and fork gripped by dungeness crab claws his hands have become with the snap of his fingers. Miró slides down the bannister carrying above him on a waiter’s tray, stacks of colorful presents wrapped in each of his spontaneous compositions. Everyone’s here to celebrate your death, everyone that is, but you. Even though it’s unlike you to be absent, we know those few scattered ashes as they settle gently around casings earthworms shed in this unturned earth will from now on say it is. 

         (For Duane Locke)

He parted the wall
so that we could enter.

He melted mortar from the bricks
supporting our future superstitions.

Ultimately, this allowed us to enter.

But, once inside,
we realized that genocide is a disease
more rampant than AIDS,
genocide ancient as DNA.

And now we’re petitioning
what new stadium, exactly,
which new sports franchise,
while our children
slumped in overcrowded classrooms
are herded by underpaid sheepdogs?

This can’t be why Blake
parted the Red Sea.

I’m telling you,
Blake was an escaped convict
from the 18th Century
with nowhere else to go.

He reminds me of a poet
who once watched pale blue parakeets
blistering the pine trees
of St. Petersburg, Florida, 1969.


 Paul B. Roth, Fayetteville, New York


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