Carcinogenic Poetry Recap No. 5

Stumblebum Dawn

To some, dusk is a stumblebum dawn tripped on the stairs.
A grand entrance was planned, the staircase fabulous,
the dazzling sunlight behind the window atop the stairs
half blinding all the upturned eyes awed by the sight
of that top-floor prodigy prepared, preordained to gracefully descend.
But reckless feet tangled in the folds of the poorly laid red carpet.
The sharp edges of each step made for a bruising fall.
Of course the banister was grabbed many times,
but the sheer momentum of the tumble
yanked the arms like an inquisitor’s rack.
The torso turned over and over until it hit bottom,
its potential and kinetic energy spent.
Finally the falling body was at rest
on the cold naked floor beyond the reach of the chintzy red carpet.
Inertia forbade any attempt to rise and try again,
and pain deterred even the thought of it.
There can be only one descent from beginning to end.
And now Stumblebum’s eyes are closing but can still see up the stairs
all the way to the top window no longer filled with sunlight,
but dim and growing dimmer, the grand entrance reduced to pratfall

 

 

The Same Chemistry of Tears

Dad let me stay up late medicating with eyedroppers full of milk, a hopeless remedy.
Next morning I cried when dad and I in solemn procession carried the garbage bag coffin.
There by the front-lawn bush was the funeral.
Dad offered a parody of prayer.
But I, a six year old who nursed then lost his pet, really cried.
Years later I said prayers for my father and cried the same chemistry of tears,
for all tears of grief are for washing out not motes from the eyes, but sorrow from the soul.
Grief-laden tears, all tears of emotion, share the same concentrations of proteins and salts.
Of course for dad I still cry, sometimes.
Now I’m here again, and once more there’s a congregation of two.
I am the father now; my son is bored.
He proclaims that all old bones are dust; and so they are.
He scolds that there’s nothing to find here,
and claims I’m being silly, no worse—sappy.
He wants us to get back into the car and move on.
But I recall exactly where the ancient grave is,
there to the right of the door under that tree that was once a bush.
Father and son—I recall. Father and son—now. Father and son—someday
How selfish of me, ridiculous, cruel even.
Decades from now, I will want him to remember this futile visit
and cry the same chemistry while boring his son to tears.

 

 

Richard Fein was finalist in The 2004 Center for Book Arts Chapbook Competition. He has an upcoming chapbook to be published by Parallel Press, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Richard has been published in many web and print journals, such as Southern ReviewMorpo ReviewPerigee, SkylineOregon East, Southern Humanities Review, TouchstoneWindsor ReviewMaverickParnassus Literary ReviewSmall PondKansas QuarterlyBlue UnicornExquisite CorpseTerrain Aroostook Review and many others. Richard also has an interest in digital photography and has published many photos.

Originally published on December 12, 2009 at Carcinogenic Poetry.

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Carcinogenic Poetry Accepting Submissions

Carcinogenic Poetry is a brand new poetry blog publishing poems of the absurd, non traditional and new thought writing as well. The truth is to lies like cancer, and with this fact in mind, Carcinogenic strives to bring voices that radiate among the independent and underground lit realm. The work at Carcinogenic Poetry speaks. Already a number of poets and writers have lined up to share their work in a presentation of indiscriminate creativity and truth.

 

 Some poets who’ve been featured at Carcinogenic Poety:

Peycho Kanev

A.J. Kaufmann

Carly Bryson

Holly Jaffe

Kevin Reid

Richard Fein

Michael McAloran

Howie Good

Si Philbrook

Michael Lee Johnson 

There is more  great work to come from Carcinogenic Poetry. If you’d like to share your work, please send an e-mail to michael (dot) aaron (dot) casares (at) gmail (dot) com. You may send up to five poems in the body of your email. Please include a two to three line bio. You may submit previously published work, but you must inform us of where this work has previously appeared. Simultaneous submissions are fine as well, but please let us know immediately when any work in submission has been accepted for publication by another entity. Authors and poets keep all rights to their work, but Virgogray Press & Carcinogenic Poetry reserve the right to archive your work and use in future print editions and/or publications. At Carcinogenic Poetry, we are not concerned with your publishing history or acquired degrees, we just want the stuff you believe in.

 

Other Publishing Opportunities

Though Virgogray Press is closed to chapbook manuscript submissions for the time being, we are still accepting submissions of work for the above mentioned, Carcinogenic Poetry, and our Virgogray Press Chapbook Anthologies. The VGP Chapbook Anthology Series has a new publication scheduled for release in the first months of 2010 called “America Remember” and is an anthology of poetry about the philosophies and ideas that founded the United States of America. If you have poetry or prose or polemics in this vein, you are welcome to submit your work to Virgogray Press. Those accepted for publication will receive two contributors copies. Unfortunately we cannot offer monetary payment for the publication of author’s work. Work considered for publication in any of the Virgogray Chapbook Anthologies must be previously unpublished and simultaneous submissions are discouraged! The new deadline for “America Remembered” is January 22, 2010 so please send in your work soon!

Virgogray Press Chapbook Anthologies are released quarterly and collect poems thematically calculated to fit the vision of the issue. The next anthologies will have the theme of “mothers” so prepare your poetry and prose and get it over to us.

If you’ve read or purchased any of our previous anthologies, you know it is a collection of voices that has no bias to style or development, but ring through with a clarity that originates with the gifts of the creative. Submit to the Virgogray Press Chapbook Anthologies… “America Remembered” is waiting to hear you.