Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.

Poetry

Bones

They came upon some bones in the forest. She saw them first in the shadows and thought they were ferns forcing up fiddleheads from a bed of leaves. But he saw them first for what they were, bones of a small creature. It looked like some carnivores had shared a meal. Hollows clawed from decaying leaves told a story of a tragic scene unseen.   He was a police officer […]

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A sluggish morning

My day begins as usual, woken by click-clacking tracks as the 6.56 from Paraparaumu passes. I can hear birds in the garden bed below my bedroom window. They’re scratching at the mulch, uprooting the seedlings I planted yesterday. I’d thought of protecting them, placing sticks and weaving cotton thread strung with milk bottle tops, as my mother used to do. But milk doesn’t come in bottles any more; there are […]

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A wanderer returns

Lichen patches and rust almost erase my family name from the kerosene can letterbox.   Rata twines around the gate, kikuyu fingers stretch and join across the track.   The milking shed, roof broken by a weight of stars, crouches sway-backed against the sky.   Moonlight fills its windows, spills through gap-toothed walls, lies in lozenges along the grass.   Creamy fog pours down the creek, circles the swamp, backs […]

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The Columns at Karnak

He once used a ring to prolong his erection, and panicked, rock hard and throbbing, when it couldn’t be removed.   I thought of the columns at Karnak, their sad priapism, blunt thrusting unable to detumesce once frenzy had passed and all the gods were gone.     Mercedes Webb-Pullman: Victoria University Wellington MA in Creative Writing, 2011. Her poems and short stories have appeared online and in print, including […]

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Syndromes and Lies

Once, it was glorious — lithe, flowing, carnal, capricious. So effortless, moving with abandon and finding fault with hips and lips and hair and thighs now mourned.   Watching through eyelid slits as charts become tomes of words and terms and treatments that are hard to bear, but for the alternative.   Contemporaries arm themselves with creams and steams and fillers to smooth grin crinkles, instead of saline streambeds and […]

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Momma

I am sick. Not the dying sick, but the perpetually sick, the we-can-help-you-manage-your-pain-but-we-can’t-cure-you sick. I need a lot of bloodwork and my phlebotomist calls me Momma.   But I never felt that primal need some other women have, the urge to grow children inside and deliver them to the world.   I am a Teacher, and a good one. I help dry tears and give advice and attend youth sporting […]

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Apology Letter To The Man I Cried Next To All The Way From Oakland To LA

I AM SO SORRY! Your fleece—did my feelings wash out? They did though, right? For ten hours on a one-hour flight. That’s cat-year math…I never told you anything about me (like that I’m crazy for the superior pet) or asked your name. Nobody wants that though, yea? Just to not get projectile- feelingsd all over the whole flight—or at all. I know. Sorry, Sir…   Sir feels apologetic, subservient even, […]

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time machine

when I boarded a Pan Am 707 in Dakar Senegal forty years ago leaving Africa for America not knowing I would never return I entered a time machine filled with more people than my village I found myself among forgotten comforts air conditioning fresh water clean toilets where I could sit instead of squat   the quiet and scents of my village returned when I opened the sack lunch friends […]

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Pre-Order: “Exactly Like Love” by Alan Walowitz

We’re pleased to share this information, as we have published Alan many times. His poems have always been among the most popular on our site, continually drawing the highest number of views and encouraging the most commentary. If you order his book we’re certain you’ll see why. If you aren’t familiar with his work then take a look around the e-zine and leap on your chance to own this book, […]

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Wanting

Does age give us grace, or do we surrender into it ourselves? And when we get that grace, is it a blessing or is it a tool?   Whatever you’re looking for, it won’t come now. Not in the long-lasting beginning.   I want to not want and maybe someday when I’ve stopped wanting, every item I ever wrote  on my Christmas wish list will show up on my doorstep.   And […]

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