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Tuesday, August 11, 2020


by Sean J Mahoney

“Tangled Roots,” a painting by Wayne Doyle.

Offer the dark and far side of the house as stilled
prey to light and wind. Sky filled with weather
balloons, a story of openings and the dishrag
calamities of coming wars fought not between
soldiers but callous ideologies. My neighbors
crossing waters caught aflame, sown with
stench of powder, predatory hint of pheromone.
Those boat holds packed with coffins of kin.
Fragments of lovers. Loads of hurt, spray-painted
time, viral loss of speech coming fast, loose.

Clothed people with weathered skin, sitting and
waiting for apples and a humanity of eyebrows.
Decent beings most, stripped for their good deeds,
their mutual bonds and returns, for grid coordinates
of physical love and further acid rain bombs.
As though a brush stroke across the sky could
cure the vicissitudes of storms, of the prickly
aftermath where many headed in the days and
years that followed. Brush and slow stroke.
Spiritual tech and the uncaged graphic stations

of the body. This they say is art. Street magic.
Lord of hands digging trenches through rubble
and dirty clothing of unfamiliar beings. Postcards
of a land in better times; tourists, culture, and
radiant sunshine. Blue house on a block of narrow
mildewed homes. Bloated curbs and skinny
streetlamps illume familiar strain: a colored side
and the other side, a have side and a have next
to nothing side. Storm drains usher ill promises
and leprous iguanas to a cold sea amid tangles
of tree roots promulgated by water and by state.

Sean J Mahoney has had work published at Poets Reading the News, The Good Men Project, Nine Mile Literary Magazine, Antithesis Journal, Catamaran Literary Reader, and Wordgathering among others. He lives in Southern California with Dianne, her mother, 3 dogs, and 4 renters. There is a large garden and two trees with big, bitter oranges that look more lemon-like. Sean co-edited the 2nd and 3rd volumes of the MS benefit anthology series Something On Our Minds and he helps to run the Disability Literature Consortium booth at the annual AWP bookfair… lit by crips.