It’s Poetry Week!

By the Sea, By the Sea

by Gerard Sarnat

Dawn fog aslant, the blob bobs,

slipslides, waddles, slumps its neck underneath

our condo. Tangled in kelp,

the elephant seal’s gargantuan gray

flab slaps her glistening new baby pup

then nuzzles his proboscis.

Here for a moment, soon the marine gypsies

will flip-flop slate topaz,

paddle past the sandbars to battle the shoals.

For an instant, the mom’s

glassy eyes shine through the window into mine.

I signal to my wife,

“Come quick!”  She who called herself Harbor Seal

carrying ours, reaches shore

first. Each mother bellows and barks

but nothing happens.  Dogs and bipeds

gather near; pelicans flock to check out

this pregnant incoherence.

Against seas of dirty diapers and sunscreen

we sense deconstruction —

a mammal’s mammary expectations

going wrong, terribly wrong.

The bluish translucency untethers

from blubbery hips, plopping

among tarry feathers, candy wrappers,

and stiff fish.  A cartoonish

hero materializes to shoo

the beached mama back into

the breakers. The crowd grimaces

as she wades out. When the dune buggy

pulls up, stragglers shrink away

as lifeguards wrap up the colloid remains

in mourning papers.  Pleasure

not syncopated yet drawn together,

we phone the kids over a tasteless

breakfast. After which, diving back

in my inkwell, seeking a brush

with redemption, I capture my mood.

Photo Credit: AAK

Photo Credit: AAK

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Triolet in Winter

by Yvonne Gonzalez

Sometimes things don’t fit, like my hand

when I wore your old gloves at the beach.

You, with crook tooth smile, face tanned.

Most times we didn’t fit, left near the ocean’s edge of sand.

I want to square myself to fit under your shoulder

and find your hand every time I reach.

Sometimes things don’t fit as well as our hands.

So I sleep with your old gloves found at the beach.

Photo Credit: Gonzalez

Photo Credit: Gonzalez

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and green.

by Daniele Walker

vii. daniele walker is dead.

not actually dead.

i’m just sleeping deeply and roughly and fakely on a cold table

because

the doctors who have ripped open my scalp and my skull

have their hands and their metal

in my brain.

i. daniele walker is dead.

wait, i’m not, though.

i just blacked out

again.

the vertigo was just too much.

i couldn’t cling to light, couldn’t find a place

to plant my feet, couldn’t embrace gravity, had to let go

and now i have to admit that something is wrong with me.

the reeling

was too much for me

and all i did was move my eyes.

v. daniele walker is dead.

no, in fact, i’m just waking up.

not that i can tell you so.

not that i’ve ever been this cold in my life,

this confused,

and i can’t see anything but splatter paint—

splotches—green and green and red

and green and red and blue and green

and green

and green

and i can’t even talk

can’t even say come back, can’t ask

for my mom, can’t see, all the green, can’t

tell them to roll me off of my fucking incision

before it rips again and i gush right out of my skin and splatter

on the floor like the green—

not that i can talk,

but i can’t stop screaming.

ii. daniele walker is dead.

i’m not dead yet

but if i live, i will never again be able

to look at a nectarine,

because the surgeon with the ochre eyes and the steady handshake

just compared the size of the tumor in my head

to the size of a nectarine

and now i can’t rid the image of

a nectarine made of fear and grey and cancer.

vi. daniele walker is dead.

i’m not dead.

i’m not going to die.

i’m not going to die

but before the blue mask chokes me out of living and running

i say goodbye to my mother

i try to thank her

just in case.

iv. daniele walker is dead.

nope, not dead.

but not sleeping either

even though it is 3:38 in the morning and i’ve never heard the hospital this quiet.

they’re going to cut into me when the sun rises.

all i can hear is some machine beeping.

all i can see is some light glinting in the river outside my window.

and all i can do

is shake my head up and down and back and forth

as violently and silently as i can

to see if i can feel the impostor.

iii. daniele walker is dead.

I’M NOT DEAD

but i’m lost

in a wheelchair in some blank hallway staring at

some blank wall where some nurse,

a nurse much more bored than i can be,

abandoned me when i was supposed to get an x-ray,

the x-ray that will tell us if

there are more nectarines sucking the life out of my spine,

and i’m just

lost

and i just want to know.

viii. daniele walker is dead.

but not dead.

the tumor

was

benign.

so not actually dead.

at least not yet.

Credit: Walker

Image Credit: Daniele Walker

About the authors:

Gerard Sarnat is the author of two critically acclaimed poetry collections, 2010’s “HOMELESS CHRONICLES from Abraham to Burning Man” and 2012’s “Disputes.” His short stories and poetry have been published in over 60 journals and anthologies.  Harvard and Stanford educated, Gerry’s been a physician who’s set up and staffed clinics for the disenfranchised, a CEO of health care organizations, and a Stanford professor. For “The Huffington Post” review of his work and more visit GerardSarnat.com.

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Yvonne Gonzalez is a graduate of Texas Tech University with degree in English Studies. A secondary English teacher at William Brennan High School, she has taught the Wordsmith Creative Writing Club for the past three years and plans to continue to cultivating young writers. She resides in the San Antonio area with her Chihuahua, Thor, and a host of brilliant students and friends that inspire her. She writes daily and is currently working on a collection of poetry entitled things that are Brown which includes
“Triolet in Winter” and a memoir 100 Days of Me, a story of re-inventing yourself by appreciating being you.
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Daniele Walker is twenty-two years old, and graduated Summa Cum Laude with editorial aspirations. She describes herself as deeply serious, impossibly quirky, fiercely loyal, and endlessly surprising. “and green.” was previously published, in print, in the inaugural volume of The Writers Circle Journal in December of 2012.

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