All posts by Dale Wisely

J.R. Solonche

On the Wall of the Hospital Room

On the wall of my hospital room,
above the mirror above the sink,
there is a wooden crucifix
with the figure of Christ in pewter,
arms stretched outward and upward
and forward slightly in benediction
or as though ready to execute a swan
dive, preparing himself mentally,
finding his balance on the balls of his
feet, wearing a strange robe that seems
to give to his back a closed set of wings,
like the carapace that beetles have over
their real wings.

J.R. Solonche is the author of 23 books of poetry and coauthor of another.



J.R. Solonche

My Shadow

After all these many years
of following me around and
leading me by the nose and for
just a minute without movement
disappearing under my skin,
today my shadow finally
introduced himself to me,
but under threat of death,
I cannot speak his name.

J.R. Solonche is the author of 23 books of poetry and coauthor of another.



Frederick Charles Melancon

Apartment’s Sonata

The voice next door belongs
to a former music student,
current banker, whose words
ring staccato in the morning:
legato at night.

Frederick Charles Melancon lives in Mississippi with his wife and daughter.



Jon Densford

A Poem As a Precipice

The point is not to understand,
but merely to appreciate
this one last idea … that
our minds whirl around
a veined outcrop which is both
the stone altar of time
and the ledge of our letting go.

Jon Densford agrees with Jeff Tweedy of Wilco when Jeff sang “Maybe all I need is a shot in the arm.”



Gwen Hart

Living out West

becomes real to me
when the horses
I thought were painted
on the Wells Fargo
billboard step out
of the frame
and gallop past me
down the long hill
toward town.

Gwen Hart lives in Havre, Montana, near the Bear Paw Mountains.



Misky Braendeholm

Too Early

First crocus
as bright as a struck match,
a blinded flame
in the frost, and robbed
of its thin white dress.

Misky Braendeholm lives in the UK surrounded by flowers, grapevines, bubbling sourdough starter, and she never buys clothing without pockets.



Ali Salzmann

We’ve Lost So Much

You could smell the dead fish
and grit-thick coffee from a mile

away, and the old women stared
out to sea, hoping for the dead’s

safe return, scraping scales, cleaning
feathered flesh one filet at a time,

telling stories about their father’s
friend’s cousin’s lovers, the taste

of the clouds, the smell of their sons’
heartbeats and sometimes, reprieve:

obsidian eggs, pearled in a young
mother’s belly—all gifts, unhatched,

that were once devoured.

Ali Salzmann teaches at Texas State University and Austin Community College.