Sunday, August 1, 2021





Po’ Em’


She fancies herself in fiction

Fleshing out her story

Donning floor-length paragraphs

Playing peek-a-boo with Prada shoes


"I'm a talker; I admit

With a voluptuous vocabulary

I'm ready to strut my stuff

On the stage of the page


No 'economy' of words

I deserve to be heard"

But the poet (double dissed)

Disagreed, tsk tsk


Poor Emma, he penned


She was

She wished

She whined


She went



For Your Folly


I am eternally caught in the poisonous web

of your personal tragedies,


floating in the eye of the tornado

of your hatefulness –


and inevitable eating

of me.


Still, somewhere between your fast,

your frequent, your furious


back-and-forth feedings, I can feel the beating of your heart

as it turns from crimson to black


along each dying petal. This,

but a pressed remnant of the love we could have shared.


You would have done me better

to do me in swiftly, mercifully


disabling my senses. But I was made to hang there,

stuck and imprisoned


with full consciousness,

for your folly.



In That Said-Same Second


In that said-same second


life and death,


a child is born to a


not quite ready.


Ribbons are awarded

to winners of the

McCarthy County Spelling Bee.


A bottle of bubbly is


in Paris,


while a man in Colorado is


to prison (though innocent of his crime).


The world contemplates,

realigns its incongruities

in a misaligned universe,


tentatively raises the shade on morning

and blows out the candle—

signaling night.


The moon




The second


life and death is an unending continuum,


one that does not decipher laughter from tears

or as in this passage—

poetry from prose.




KEITH HOERNER lives, teaches, and pushes words around in Southern Illinois, USA. He is no stranger to literary journals and just recently published his memoir, The Day The Sky Broke Open, with Adelaide Books, New York / Lisbon. A second book, a collection of short stories and poetry, is scheduled to publish with Adelaide in Spring of 2022.

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