a pristine little girlThe next poetic offerings are three pieces by Akua Lezli Hope -- "Routine," "Dentist Visit," and "I fly into your indifference." The villanelle, "Routine," uses the form to good effect as the hypnotic repetition of the first and third line of the opening stanza carries the reader into the narrator's musings on the slowing of life with a new disability:
[which] ripped the daisies
from her hair
I sleep to wake and take my waking slowC.R. Reardon makes his debut in Breath & Shadow with "No Lie," a hip-hop flavored poem primed with rhymes. The piece takes on sex, sexism, and pity -- leavened by humor and playfulness with lines like these:
I fear my fate in what is no longer there
I get nowhere that I used to go
Go ahead, show off your lexiconMaine resident Carol Mackey contributes two poems to the current issue of Breath & Shadow. "Differences" and "Life's Friends," the latter using the metaphor of walking in another's shoes to connect with the reader:
With words like “lexicon”. Tell her
How King Kong ain’t got shit on you; that will
Make her weepy, all touchy-feely. Take her
To your room, go boom boom or do what you do,
And say tutaloo.
You have walked in my shoes,the festering blister,the too tight arch....
The birds have no voices,dogs do not bark.
Anchoring the poetry in this edition of the literary journal is Cody Vander Clute's "Choosing Between the Long Jump and the Short Drop." A fast-paced sensual poem, rich with sensory detail, each stanza reveals a surprise as the narrator decides whether to take a lover home that night:
does he want to knowifnot having the signs fortalking with me will stopthe mystical unionof being wet and stickyRead the diverse and delicious poems in the current edition of Breath & Shadow!