Tag Archives: 2015

“After Words” by Joseph Somoza

I open your book of words
to any page
and begin reading,
though, now, you too
are dead like the others,
another dead writer.
There’s no way
I’d be able to find you
in New York, and,
over coffee, ask you
what you meant,
where you were,
when you wrote that.
The words
have to make do
on their own now,
which is what you hoped for
in the first place
when setting them down—
ball-point in hand
in your study, looking
out at the street
through upper-story windows,
probably wondering where
you might go walking
afterwards.

Joseph Somoza retired from college teaching some years ago to have more time for writing.  He’s published ten books and chapbooks of poetry over the years, most recently AS FAR AS I KNOW (Cinco Puntos Press, 2015).  He lives in Las Cruces with wife Jill, a painter.

The Quincy County Fair Beauty Queen Quits by J.T. Whitehaed

So few are beautiful, inside and out . . .  ugliness is much more generous.  Miss Quincy County, 1983 – she was one of the few . . . carrying out the trash was a weakly task, but for us, she undertook it in a beautifully metaphorical way, once she figured out that cheap excuse for a man – who swore he’d kill her, popped tabs,  screamed at the kids – was a no-good cracker ass, just a turd she could flush with a toilet that worked more than he did . . . you should’ve seen the skids.  They were beautiful . . . she was beautiful . . . No clutch, nor crutch, church, God . . . just . . .  beautiful . . .

J.T. Whitehead has had over 160 poems accepted for print by over 75 publications.  He is a  Pushcart Prize-nominated short story author, a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet, and a winner of the Margaret Randall Poetry Prize. He is the Editor in Chief of So It Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library.  His first full length collection of poetry, The Table of the Elements, (The Broadkill River Press, 2015), was nominated for the National Book Award.