of Joe Nolan
—Poetry by Nolcha Fox, Stephen Kingsnorth,
Tim Goldstone, Joe Nolan, Sayani Mukherjee,
and Michael Ceraolo
—Public Domain Photos Courtesy
of Joe Nolan and Tim Goldstone
—Nolcha Fox, Buffalo, WY
I’m that weird girl
eating with my hands
under the trees in the park.
Grease drips down
my face and arms.
My lips are stained
from berry kisses.
Crumbs and clutter
flutter in the breeze
and fall around me.
Mothers pushing strollers
without a wave.
Birds and squirrels
and join me in the feast.
A bakery of cakes
and other sweet delights
prompts me to order
one of everything.
A bad idea, my eyes
than my aching tummy.
—Stephen Kingsnorth, Coedpoeth, Wrexham, Wales
What should we say to seem discreet,
avoid hard swallow, bitter pill;
or valour choose, in it, both feet—
‘repast is calorific, high’?
It’s less the past as current style—
what we would wear, what overflows;
old wardrobe, tallboy, girth and guile,
a metabolic rate to score?
’Twas pious-sounding (cherry-bake?),
our grateful grace before the meal;
but afters, totting up heartache
of courses, two too obvious?
It is our just deserts re-viewed,
a dish better served cold they say;
that mess of potage, lentil stewed
in place of long term diet plan.
Or Luther nail, Diet of Worms,
his constipation, Osborne’s script;
gut reformation, wrenching squirms,
the priest soon countered on his way?
Obese is rendered verbal stock,
mere slim excess in ratio;
red meat to those whose tactics shock,
but psychologically misfires?
In all things, moderation’s wise,
in scaling grades, exam papers;
curating what the poet plies,
as in consuming what appeals?
But globally, of humankind,
while half the world knows hungry child;
we’re blind as we are wined and dined,
dietary indiscretion stark?
—Tim Goldstone, Castellnewydd Emlyn,
For his birthday he got Action Man.
The one in a classic military costume
with a scar on his face.
Dad got cross at him again, said it wasn’t a
It’s a bloody uniform.
His sister laughed exaggeratedly loudly at him
and no one told her off
even though she was younger than him.
She called him a sissy again, in that way she had.
She had a Barbie. He longed to stroke its hair,
and its excitingly smooth tanned unblemished
He put some ointment and a little circular plaster
over Action Man’s scar.
But that scar still made him uneasy. He told his
She explained in the special, patient voice
she used just for him
Action Man had that scar because he was tough,
and didn’t he want to be tough?
He nodded. She seemed pleased. She said—
“Let’s take your plaster off before
Daddy comes home, shall we?”
He agreed. He knew it wasn’t a question.
He was sleeping less and less every night
because of Action Man’s bullying.
Eventually, desperately, he decided to show
then they’d all just leave him alone.
He sneaked into his sister’s room
grabbed Barbie by her ankles and began
They found him curled up on the floor,
a bright red slash on his cheek
made from his mother’s lipstick,
Action Man in his arms,
both of them fast asleep.
Two tough men together.
—Joe Nolan, Stockton, CA
I never could sustain
A constant veil of sadness
Behind which, I’d remain,
Untouched by the melee
Of newsreels of the brain—
Recounting all my tragedies
I could not explain,
Except to say,
“It wasn’t my fault!”
Or else, “Maybe it was,
In part, but it took
No major place
In my heart.”
I have sufficient reserves
The brunt of distant travel
In my brain,
Delving into breadcrumbs,
To erase the pain
Of humble things
I’d come from,
Long ago and
“Just a little more,”
Termites do implore,
“I can’t believe
How tasty is your wood.”
“At our wits end,
We’ve been eating
Through your walls and floors.”
“Please don’t make our
We’ve nowhere else to go
And if we hit the air,
We may die.
It’s time to sell
Your worthy home and
We’ve been all so well
Eating through your wood.”
Everything has turned sideways,
Normal chords won’t resonate.
Harmony can’t be found.
Relegate to twisted fate—
A joker and a clown,
Each painted up in brilliant colors
To hide their shadowed frowns.
No viable expectations.
Sermons read in expletives.
Music all discord.
Everyone ready to riot,
If only given the word.
—Sayani Mukherjee, Chandannagar,
W. Bengal, India
Kernel of a wallflower
My moonstone dream
Opulence of bright yellow
Sometimes a shady blue
The trinkets of merry-go-round
Probably higher altitudes
Waves after waves
They crash down
Soul of a shining sitar
Day and night
Twinning of my forever spring
Sometimes London walks
Show you how far you can go
Still my home is Unbruised
A daisy flower.
Midwest amongst my July days
Some stayed and some left
My bouquet of autumnal florals
Smelling of hydrangeas
And forgotten bleached scarlet
My red red heart
Overthrown at your beautiful decay
Like I am owning
My Monalisa Smile
And my Beethoven dreams
Where we hide in our
That's why the autumnal bliss
Is always my own
Where I can own my
And my red red heart
Speaking of safekeeping
And the mystical night jewel.
—Michael Ceraolo, S. Euclid, OH
Upcoming is a special election
in Ohio, one issue only,
that aims to change the state constitution,
raising the threshold for amendments
prescribed by a plebiscite
from a simple majority
to a three-fifths majority
The proponents foresee a future vote,
a vote they know they have no chance to win,
and like all soon-to-be poor losers
when defeat is on the horizon,
they're trying to change the rules of the game
of Joe Nolan
He knocked on the next-door neighbor's door,
in the attempt to deliver a package
There was no answer so he left the package,
and took a picture to prove delivery
I said to him
Make sure you also take a picture
of your car parked on the wrong side of the street
and in front of a fire hydrant to boot,
but I don't think he listened to me
In no known language
does the phrase "speed limit" translate to
"suggested minimum speed"
* * *
"DID YOU WANT YOUR PENNIES
I do not make donations
to for-profit corporations
Welcome to the month of August in the Kitchen! Autumnal poems are starting to come in, and rightly so; our thanks to all of today’s contributors for kicking off August in proper style. Our Seed of the Week was Dietary Indiscretions, so there’s talk of those, too—we’ve all had adventures in that department… Be sure to check each Tuesday for the latest Seed of the Week.
Newcomer Tim Goldstone has roamed widely, and currently lives in Wales. Published internationally in numerous print and online journals and anthologies, his prose sequence was read on stage at The Hay Festival, and his poetry was presented on Digging for Wales. He also has scriptwriting credits for TV, radio, and theatre. Welcome to the Kitchen, Tim, and don’t be a stranger! Twitter him at @muddygold
Tim writes: … although I live in Castellnewydd Emlyn, our cottage is actually part of a small collection of dwellings in a swampy outpost a few miles out of the village, where Welsh mud-squirrels steal pieces of the internet to line their nests with, and feral bell ringers break into the abandoned chapel every full moon to ring out the entire Bat Out Of Hell album.
Click on Medusa's UPCOMING NORCAL EVENTS (http://medusaskitchen.blogspot.com/p/wtf.html) for details about this week’s poetry events in the NorCal area, including readings, workshops, and Thursday’s Poetry Unplugged at Luna’s Cafe in Sacramento, which will be closing its doors so dreadfully soon. Keep an eye on this link and on the Kitchen for happenings that might pop up during the week.
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