Tag Archives: Off the Coast

City of Bread by Marc Janssen

It was a gray day,

Unrelenting gravel clouds shouldered past Mt. Shasta and filled the sky with its dirty dishwater color when the whistle sounded.

And the mill closed to the shout of the first gobbed flakes slinking down.

Now the rusting bulk of former buildings provide the resting place of discarded beams inside wind battered walls and crumbling roofs only briefly made invisible by the smothering blanket.

On the streets everyone is gone like the jobs before them, and snow has come to salve your wounds.

Marc Janssen is an internationally published poet and poetic activist. His work has appeared haphazardly in printed journals and anthologies such as Off the Coast, Cirque Journal, Penumbra, The Ottawa Arts Review and Manifest West. He also coordinates poetry events in the Willamette Valley of Oregon including the Salem Poetry Project, a weekly reading, and the Salem Poetry Festival.

Pick for June 5: Agreements by Joan Mazza

I will not collect the hair
from your brush, nor the nail
parings you drop in the pail
to cast a spell. You won’t hear
whispered commands in your ear
while you sleep so I can have my way.
I will not call the old woman
on the mountain who sells potions
and instructs on fertility. Though
she has ways to make rain fall on you
to restrain you. We’ll keep our vows
simple, neither of us bowing.
When we sleep we’ll stay on our sides
of the bed unless beckoned. I’ll wash your
dishes, you wash mine, and deep
we’ll travel until dead.
Neither of us will iron or be ironed.

Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, sex therapist, writing coach and seminar leader. She is the author of six books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Perigee/Penguin/Putnam), and her work has appeared in Cider Press Review, Rattle, Off the Coast, Kestrel, Permafrost, Slipstream, Timber Creek Review, The MacGuffin, Writer’s Digest, The Fourth River, the minnesota review, Personal Journaling, Free Inquiry, and Playgirl. She now writes poetry and does fabric art in rural central Virginia. www.JoanMazza.com

“By reading and writing poetry, I come to terms with my obsessions.”