Two pebbled knee caps
Tented by quilted cotton.
An outstretched forearm,
With five freckles, two scabs, one scar.
Shadows of perched lips mark the stucco wall
As the light from the chandelier radiates a citrusy-yellow.
Flicker and dip as they follow the orbs on the screen.
Bits of torn skin
And gnawed-down nails
Scratch across my hands,
Mapping out my fingerprints.
Curls of hair twitch under the puff of the ceiling fan
And across alabaster skin,
Stretched taught by a sinewy chest.
Exhale of exhaust,
Then the inhale of slumber.
My name is India Debe and I’m a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside with a degree in Communication coupled with a Creative Writing Certificate. I have always had a passion for writing and I am certain I will continue to write creatively for the rest of my life.
A mirror is meaningless to the black-lace-weaver,
for she might as well be her own reflection.
Spider lady with neither past to remember
nor future to regret.
The ultimate unexamined life,
yet she lives it on her own woven silk
calling forth her hungry spiderlings,
goading them by plucking silver strings,
playing her own dirge till her brood is roused,
and a shroud of a hundred devours her.
She who never really was, never really dies
for she segues into the next generation
and is exuded through their spinnerets
as liquid silk drying in air.
And they in turn play harpists
each plucking their own silver strings
replaying the timeless tune of maternal sacrifice.
But the black-lace-weaver
is neither mother Mother Mary nor Medea
for mother nature casts her in a most primal production,
offering no choice but to play the curtain-closing scene by rote.
Surprise endings are reserved for more difficult plays,
that star human actresses free to gaze into mirrors
and apply the appropriate make-up
for whatever maternal roles they choose to play.
Richard Fein was a finalist in The 2004 New York Center for Book Arts Chapbook Competition. A chapbook of his poems was published by Parallel Press, University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has been published in many web and print journals such as Cordite, Cortland Review, Reed, Southern Review, Roanoke Review, Green Silk Journal, Birmingham Poetry Review, Mississippi Review, Paris/atlantic, Canadian Dimension, Black Swan Review, Exquisite Corpse, Foliate Oak, Morpo Review, Ken*Again Oregon East, Southern Humanities Review, Morpo, Skyline, Touchstone, Windsor Review, Maverick, Parnassus Literary Review, Small Pond, Kansas Quarterly, Blue Unicorn, Exquisite Corpse, Terrain Aroostook Review, Compass Rose, Whiskey Island Review, Oregon East, Bad Penny Review, Constellations, The Kentucky Review and many others.
The weather will be
grey and weary as an old sailor
sweeping the decks of complaint.
That weather kicking up fangs
white as Jack London’s seadogs
steers a ship heavy with allusion
to the whaling grounds
off the Galapagos where the old bull
sank the Ann Alexander inspiring Melville
to seize his pen from among the wrecked spars.
How the ambergris of his imagination
raged from the Grand Banks to the Azores.
where Queequeg posed with a harpoon
and Starbuck cautioned
against the fearless man
who endangers us all
Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review,etc. Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards, an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She has published 14 books including Selected Poems” from FutureCycle Press which received the 2013 FutureCycle Prize and “Ribcage” from Glass Lyre Press which has been awarded the 2015 Kithara Book Prize.Colby is also an associate editor of Kentucky Review and FutureCycle Press.