Tag Archives: Rattle

“Rehearsal Hall” by Diana Rosen

She loves hanging out in Wattles Park gazing
at the lush community garden tilled by urban dwellers
eager for the primitive feel of dark, moist earth. It’s an anomaly,
this patch of tilled land among the apartments with character
and never enough parking of contemporary Hollywood. She
comes to play her pear wood recorder, mouthpiece worn smooth
as velvet, sharp edges of note holes melting into her fingers
as the motets and minuets dance among tomatoes, bok choy,
mustard greens. She sits among ruins of an edifice with a half column
there, stone bench here, rain-washed cement floor of barely visible
hand-painted fleur-de-lis. Stars of the movies, decked out in tuxedoes
and satin gowns would arrive here in long black limousines,
like a shiny line of ants, to take their places under the moon applauding
for performances without the ever present camera. She imagines
Isadora Duncan dancing across the stage, her signature white silk scarf
floating behind her or Paderewski, playing sending thunderous notes
on the ivory keys, soaring up the heavens. Her own music seems so small
against the memory of these great talents but she continues for the pure
pleasure it brings her, laughs when the cornstalks undulate as if to say,
Encore! Dusk falls as she packs up, walks down the sloping dirt path,
stopping every few trees to crush pine needles in her hands for the burst
of scent. She detours to re-visit ancient yellow roses struggling to stay
alive, peers into the dilapidated teahouse where a once-vivid scroll hangs,
its faded calligraphy a glimpse of disciplined beauty. A rusted brazier
awaits honored guests. At the bottom the hill, she turns to gaze up,
wonders what Duncan and Paderewski thought about entertaining the elite
of the silver screen on summer nights redolent with rose and pine.

Diana Rosen’s flash fiction and poetry have been published in anthologies and journals including, among others, Kiss Me Goodnight, Altadena Poetry Review, Rattle, Tiferet Journal, Silver Birch Press, Ariel Chart, and Poetic Diversity. She has published thirteen non-fiction books. and teaches free-write classes at senior citizen centers.

 

 

 

“Of Things Past” by Lenny Lianne

A long time, too long, since we have done — this,
he said and plopped a fat bottle of Mateus
and two small paper cups from the bathroom
onto the table. He took out a maimed box
of Jolly Time Blast O Butter popcorn
from a grocery bag, and grinned at her.

She could tell that this was a campaign
to coax her to laugh, to forget
about the future. The distant past
would be the tactic tonight, the way
they used to take turns telling
each other about what had come before

— about those freakish Christmas gifts
from screwball aunts, sibling pranks,
his teen summer by a cirque-cupped pond.
And after a third refill of new wine,
they spilled out stories of lapsed romances
as though, by sharing their own secrets,

they’d earned whatever alighted afterwards.
Shag carpets, concrete block with wood
plank bookcases and black beanbag
chairs, each had departed by now,
passing away for better or worse,
like something familiar that’s lost its way.

     after a line by Lucia Perillo

Lenny Lianne is the author of four full-length books of poetry. She holds a MFA from George Mason University. Her poems have appeared in Rattle, California Quarterly, Third Wednesday, The Dead Mule of Southern Literature, and others.

“Stop The Clock” by Bruce McRae

I remember,
you were pointing a stick
at the moon.
It was the day before
the wolf bit you.
Near to that incident
with the toothpick.
You were with a girl
who rubbed brass for a living.
I remember,
you had a signed edition
of a box of bags
and were dating an ex-nun.
Around the time
of the break out.
Sure, and as I recall,
you were studying wych elm,
or was it moonwort?
Either way,
that was the same summer
they moved the graveyard
into the secret forest.
Remember?
You had that awful sunburn
and a lung had collapsed;
the very same day
as the mudslide . . .
Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
Makes you think
real hard.

Bruce McRae, a Canadian musician, is a Pushcart nominee with over a thousand poems published internationally in magazines such as Poetry, Rattle and the North American Review. His latest book out now, ‘An Unbecoming Fit Of Frenzy’ is available on Amazon and through Cawing Crow Press, while in September of this year, another book of poems, ‘Like As If’, will be published by Pskis Porch. His poems on video can be viewed on YouTube’s ‘BruceMcRaePoetry’

 

 

 

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.”