Don’t Walk

Don’t Walk

We drink from lidless cups on our break the pavement wet from the rain

Three cigarettes for him in fifteen minutes but I simply take coffee
reminded of all of the reasons this beverage is bad for me he doesn’t care at all not about the hacking cough
that makes his barrel chest bellow
not about the fact he started when he was eight

Who says we’re gonna live long lives? Who says but my doctor I gotta quit? Think I’m going to be doing this shit to the grave? He laughs, yeah, I do

From where we’re standing I see London Place that old crone in the clouds
there’s an office up there where they hold my mortgage its blue glass dripping a dismal grey not me, I say
and look at three men
old, older, oldest leaning against the loading dock door

They’re like a covey, a set of marks
on the corner the sign says Don’t Walk.

Jeremy Nathan Marks

Note: This poem appeared in Morel Magazine in January 2017.

Fold’s point

Fold’s point

When I was thirteen and we first went to Boston
I met RFK’s silhouette

What the impact was
what that profile meant
introduced a certainty that
I could go on to The Kennedy School
staying true to kismet

My father said get perfect grades
you should never err-

Yes, dad.

But none of it happened;
the tests didn’t ask rhetorical questions
such as

Is it right to hold private what
your public plan

Or

Is want a foot pressed down
like a blindfold

I was merely a teen
and thought I could gain hold
of a disposition

But disposed to further dreaming
I see the fabric’s fold from the fold’s point
of meaning.

Jeremy Nathan Marks

This poem appeared in the Spring/Summer 2017 edition of Word Fountain. You can hear me read it here: https://wordfountain.net/2017/06/30/jeremy-nathan-marks-spring-summer-2017/

Wrinkled Legacy of Elder Hands -Kevin Ridgeway

Wrinkled Legacy of Elder Hands

made of paper
from depression era grit
and hard fought survival in the
wisdom
of their raspy breath,
survivors of tent cities
and bread lines and proud
service
their sweet rock candy
mountain optimism
their don’t get fresh sense of
decency
their cosignature of the New
Deal
and their gypsy bonnets in
black and white
scrolls of their humble houses
built with
their bare hands
triumphs over greed
that gave me something
to worship,
their medicine show
power of the people
who built the great nations
and their unwavering
optimism in the
face of bad political machines
they fought
to dismantle from the desire
to
bury what can never be
undone in the minds
of grandchildren who cast
ballots and remember,
always remember what the
old folks said
was right and just and for us
all.

Kevin Ridgeway

Kevin Ridgeway lives and writes in Long Beach, CA. A two-time Pushcart Prize Nominee, recent work has appeared in Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, Trailer Park Quarterly, Big Hammer, San Pedro River Review, Lummox, Spillway and Cultural Weekly, among many others. He is the author of six chapbooks of poetry, including All the Rage (Electric Windmill Press), On the Burning Shore (Arroyo Seco Press) and Contents Under Pressure (Crisis Chronicles Press).