New Poems by Jackie Chou

black pen on white printer paper

Pen Pals

I miss the sinuous curves 
of our words-
the way our blue ink
pitter-pattered 
onto scented pink stationary
filling it with stuff
we can now google online
Bohemian fashion
Lady Chatterley's Lover
the special stamps we bought
of paintings, birds, celebrities
to put on floral envelopes
cardboard photos 
we kept in albums
like we were real
flesh and blood friends.

Creature

I cringe at your touch
spikes under your soft-spoken words
pricks of sharp objects
like thistles, knives
shards of broken glass

How I shrink away from you
porcupine man, porcupine man
no symbol of what you are
marked on your forehead

You hide in the shadows
sneak out when I most need a hand
a black hook there instead
lethal by mere contact.


You Come Back in One Piece

Your hands,
which waved goodbye,
now ask for a second chance.
But the wind seldom brings people back
the way they were,
after their eyes have glimpsed God's face,
their souls scooped out of their bodies
and put back.

I can never understand you completely.
All those years I pretended
to let you pull me into your dark water,
I was only swimming in the shallows.

Now the trees are singing 
of your homecoming,
as a different person,
a tattered stuffed dog whose tears
are all stitched up.


Bio: Jackie Chou writes poetry because it makes life more colorful. It turns the common birds and flowers of the urban landscape where she has lived all her life into heroes. Her poem "Cycle of a Tree" was nominated for a Pushcart by Highland Park Poetry.



Memories by Shaheer Pulikkal

Memories

I waited for you in the
Dark of the new moon.
Near the Black Stone and granite wall,
I still hold you in the same place where you always rapt with me
And became us.

The kisses you fill in the deep
Pit of love overwhelm me.
I jump to the ground through
The roots deep into the soil.
You are so everywhere in
Its natural creation, in the 
Subsoil that has eaten the
Carcasses of human beings.
I do not want rebirth. I only
Wish this birth could be close to you.

You have a lot of features that
You can't claim for the pride of the rising sun -
and the coolness of the streams.
I see your name clearly in the midst
Of all the names engraved on
The layers of the earth.


Bio:
Shaheer Pulikkal, a young Indian writer, was born in Kerala on December 16, 2001. He is a Malayalam writer. His works published over Fifteen Times. 

Poem by Ryan Bozeman “Post Mortem of a Night on the Town”

road during nighttime
photo by Dale Nibbe

Post Mortem of a Night on the Town

I squeeze my hands so tight
that I bend the bones until it hurts
They serve as shock absorbers
for the feeling of every eye laid squarely on my character

My jaw, clenched like a vise,
I don’t even realize till my teeth ache

(Unhinge, deep breath, center)

Thank god for this drink in my hand
Better than a Marlboro Light
Though I miss that
When in doubt
Drink
Conversation lulls?
Find an out. Take cover! Disengage.

A sweaty baptism of spilled swill
and sticky skin that reminds me again
of my shortcomings. They are limitless. And I hate this. I’m nauseous.

Died in my bed again to the sound of the wobbly fan. My love, my closest friend. I’m sleeping in.

Bio:

I love to create scores for others’ poems (you can hear a few on my SoundCloud link below) – let me know if any poet/poem comes to mind. I love collaborating and creating and view it as free therapy. 

I’m a songwriter and (occasional) poet from St. Augustine, FL. Just now finding the courage to actually put a poem out there to the world. Only took me 39 years. 

My SoundCloud link – 

https://soundcloud.app.goo.gl/Nv5mf9ksap7t6GBC6.

My FB page is @brotherwellmusic