Category Archives: Serials

Alan Toltzis (series)

Goldfish

They grew waddling fat—
orange and white globes
gliding through green waters
to feast on insects and algae,
flakes and pellets tossed into the pond,
their own eggs and fry.


Beggars

Habit taught them greed
gulping at food’s satisfying promise
whenever I neared
sending shadows across the surface
that drew their pleading lips
into the alien air asking
more, more, more.


Binge

Where I saw thin and yellowing locust leaves
skittering through air like celebration,
they saw something that might be gorged upon—
swallow, spit, swallow again.


63.8 Degrees North

Earth angled into its inhospitable orbit
tilting farther from the sun
the water stiffened
as its molecules expanded, aligned, slowed,
crystallizing from the rocky edged shore
inward towards its core,
zeroing past zero.


Deep Winter

Locked below a thickening block of ice,
the fish
slowed
too,
drifting
downward
to wait, weightless
in watery space,
amid cold blankets of sludge and debris,
the rotten remnants of their waste,
time rotating forward all around them.


Alan Toltzis (alantoltzis.com), the author of 49 Aspects of Human Emotions and The Last Commandment, had a lovely goldfish pond once upon a time.

5 of 5 in a series

Alan Toltzis 

Deep Winter

Locked below a thickening block of ice,
the fish
slowed
too,
drifting
downward
to wait, weightless
in watery space,
amid cold blankets of sludge and debris,
the rotten remnants of their waste,
time rotating forward all around them.


Alan Toltzis (alantoltzis.com), the author of 49 Aspects of Human Emotions and The Last Commandment, had a lovely goldfish pond once upon a time.

4 of 5 in a series

Alan Toltzis 

63.8 Degrees North

Earth angled into its inhospitable orbit
tilting farther from the sun
the water stiffened
as its molecules expanded, aligned, slowed,
crystallizing from the rocky edged shore
inward towards its core,
zeroing past zero.


Alan Toltzis (alantoltzis.com), the author of 49 Aspects of Human Emotions and The Last Commandment, had a lovely goldfish pond once upon a time.</em

3 of 5 in a series

Alan Toltzis 

Binge

Where I saw thin and yellowing locust leaves
skittering through air like celebration,
they saw something that might be gorged upon—
swallow, spit, swallow again.


Alan Toltzis (alantoltzis.com), the author of 49 Aspects of Human Emotions and The Last Commandment, had a lovely goldfish pond once upon a time.

2 of 5 in a series

Alan Toltzis 

Beggars

Habit taught them greed
gulping at food’s satisfying promise
whenever I neared
sending shadows across the surface
that drew their pleading lips
into the alien air asking
more, more, more.


Alan Toltzis (alantoltzis.com), the author of 49 Aspects of Human Emotions and The Last Commandment, had a lovely goldfish pond once upon a time.

Laura Gregory (series)

When They Ask Why You Didn’t Stop Him

You’ll want to explain how the alarm sounds
like a dishwasher looping
in the next room, hushing
“not you, not you” and who
would run from that,

but why is a blade,
a slap, a whip
that cracks in your ears
and echoes until white noise wails
like sirens.


Imperative

You understood
when his smile said don’t
poke holes in the boat
and blame the river.


Decisions, Decisions

Thrashing or still
weeping or carrying on
unarmed or disarmed,
silenced or willfully mute,
deft or dull, a razor
cuts either way.


On Good Days

For long stretches you’ll forget
when breath finds an easy loop
from lips to lungs,
when legs glide,
when both knees hinge
like greased cranks on a carousel
and feet float like pretty horses
that never touch the track.

___________________________________

Pull

Years later when you pass steep stairwells,
empty elevator shafts gaping black
and bottomless, wood chippers gnashing,
train tracks vibrating invisible math—
distance over time equals

what if

there’s a jolt and your feet
slip, leap, attach however briefly
to nothingness, to one
unsheathed flash of it before

you catch yourself,
straighten your coat, laugh
for the stranger who sits
in your blind spot,
finger on the trigger.


Laura Gregory likes to aim high.

 

1 of 5 in a series

Laura Gregory

When They Ask Why You Didn’t Stop Him

You’ll want to explain how the alarm sounds
like a dishwasher looping
in the next room, hushing
“not you, not you” and who
would run from that,

but why is a blade,
a slap, a whip
that cracks in your ears
and echoes until white noise wails
like sirens.

Laura Gregory likes to aim high.