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Special Issue of the Adelaide Literary Magazine. Best poems by the Winner, 6 Shortlist Nominees, and 100 Finalists of the Third Annual Adelaide Literary Award Competition 2019, selected by Stevan V. Nikolic, Editor-in-Chief.

THE WINNER: Andrea Bernal

SHORTLIST WINNER NOMINEES: Pedro Xavier Solis, Cathy Essinger, Martin Golan, Nikolas Macioci, Gabrielle Amarosa, Heide Arbitter

FINALISTS: William Pruitt, George Gad Economou, Abby Ripley, Andrea Cladis, Lael Lopez, Richard Weaver, Peter Scheponik, Holley Hyler, Patrick T. Reardon, Phil Kemp, Martin Willitts, Jr, Helen Hagemann, A. Elizabeth Herting, Fred Pollack, Lazar Sarna, Mary Jane White, Austin C. Morgan, Jan Napier, Edward V. Bonner, Donny Barilla, Monique Gagnon German, Susie Gharib, Carole Langille, Lowell Jaeger, Sandra Kolankiewicz, Marc Frazier, Daniel King, Bikal Paudel, Richard Fein, Korkut Onaran, Kevin Keane, Ann Pedone, David Dephy, Samantha Zimbler, Christine Tabaka, Lauren Bishop, Mickey J. Corrigan, Mark Hurtubise, Rabbi Steven Lebow, Karen Schnurstein, Jesse Domingos, Jonathan Andrew Perez, Greg J Moglia Jr, Kimberly Crocker, Clarke Owens, Stella Prince, Clay Anderson, Tamara Williams, Tim Suermondt, Keith Hoerner, Steven Goff, Frannie Gilbertson, Peter Crowley, Mukund Gnanadesikan, Megha Sood, Sophie Chen, Debbie Richard, Linda Casebeer, Gail Willems, Craig Kennedy, Ernest DeZolt, Susan Cossette, Byron Beynon, Allie Rigby , Jessica Sabo, Jeremy Gadd, Maria Golgaki, Terry Boykie, Martin Altman, Jonathan DeCoteau, John Sweeder, Patrick Hurley, Midori Gleason, Rosangela Batista, Felix Purat, Caleb Dros, Belinda Subraman, John Casey, Idalis Wood, Laura Dunn, Ingrid Blaufarb Hughes, Catherine Cates, Robert René Galván, Whitney Judd, Catherine Rohsner, Shari Jo LeKane, Jack Brown, C.H. Coleman, Philip Wexler, James Christon, Jules Elleo, Jan Little, Chani Zwibel, Sarah Conklin, Katharine Studer, Larry Hamilton, Christopher Di-Filippo, Riley Bounds, Angela Shepherd, Rees Nielsen, Mike Jurkovic, E. P. Tuazon, Nate Tulay, Tony Tracy, Chic Scaparo, Kelsey Berry, Tina Weikert, Tom Laichas, Miller Lawrence-Fitzpatrick, Ryan Kovacs, Jeremy Ford, Elena Petrovska, Peter Freeman

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Published by ADELAIDE BOOKS, 2020-04-07 19:51:43

Adelaide Literary Award Anthology 2019 - POETRY

Special Issue of the Adelaide Literary Magazine. Best poems by the Winner, 6 Shortlist Nominees, and 100 Finalists of the Third Annual Adelaide Literary Award Competition 2019, selected by Stevan V. Nikolic, Editor-in-Chief.

THE WINNER: Andrea Bernal

SHORTLIST WINNER NOMINEES: Pedro Xavier Solis, Cathy Essinger, Martin Golan, Nikolas Macioci, Gabrielle Amarosa, Heide Arbitter

FINALISTS: William Pruitt, George Gad Economou, Abby Ripley, Andrea Cladis, Lael Lopez, Richard Weaver, Peter Scheponik, Holley Hyler, Patrick T. Reardon, Phil Kemp, Martin Willitts, Jr, Helen Hagemann, A. Elizabeth Herting, Fred Pollack, Lazar Sarna, Mary Jane White, Austin C. Morgan, Jan Napier, Edward V. Bonner, Donny Barilla, Monique Gagnon German, Susie Gharib, Carole Langille, Lowell Jaeger, Sandra Kolankiewicz, Marc Frazier, Daniel King, Bikal Paudel, Richard Fein, Korkut Onaran, Kevin Keane, Ann Pedone, David Dephy, Samantha Zimbler, Christine Tabaka, Lauren Bishop, Mickey J. Corrigan, Mark Hurtubise, Rabbi Steven Lebow, Karen Schnurstein, Jesse Domingos, Jonathan Andrew Perez, Greg J Moglia Jr, Kimberly Crocker, Clarke Owens, Stella Prince, Clay Anderson, Tamara Williams, Tim Suermondt, Keith Hoerner, Steven Goff, Frannie Gilbertson, Peter Crowley, Mukund Gnanadesikan, Megha Sood, Sophie Chen, Debbie Richard, Linda Casebeer, Gail Willems, Craig Kennedy, Ernest DeZolt, Susan Cossette, Byron Beynon, Allie Rigby , Jessica Sabo, Jeremy Gadd, Maria Golgaki, Terry Boykie, Martin Altman, Jonathan DeCoteau, John Sweeder, Patrick Hurley, Midori Gleason, Rosangela Batista, Felix Purat, Caleb Dros, Belinda Subraman, John Casey, Idalis Wood, Laura Dunn, Ingrid Blaufarb Hughes, Catherine Cates, Robert René Galván, Whitney Judd, Catherine Rohsner, Shari Jo LeKane, Jack Brown, C.H. Coleman, Philip Wexler, James Christon, Jules Elleo, Jan Little, Chani Zwibel, Sarah Conklin, Katharine Studer, Larry Hamilton, Christopher Di-Filippo, Riley Bounds, Angela Shepherd, Rees Nielsen, Mike Jurkovic, E. P. Tuazon, Nate Tulay, Tony Tracy, Chic Scaparo, Kelsey Berry, Tina Weikert, Tom Laichas, Miller Lawrence-Fitzpatrick, Ryan Kovacs, Jeremy Ford, Elena Petrovska, Peter Freeman

Keywords: poetry,literary collection,essays,short stories

POETRY ANTHOLOGY

While living in that house,
that only had pink lights,
Dylan and Ginsberg
discussed having sex
but decided to forego the experience
so as not to sully their relationship.

The day before the poets arrived
Dylan had breakfast one morning
in a café that had no name.
It was called “The End of the Line.”

That morning at breakfast
Dylan was served by a waitress
Whose name tag read
“Days of Rage”.

It was 1968 and
In support of the war
people frequently gave themselves
nom de guerre,
military names.

When he found out that morning
that the waitress was actually named
“Sadie Goldstein”
all Dylan could do was laugh
and sputter
“You must be some kind of Jew,
Little Sadie!”

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

In any case it was all in good fun
and Dylan, Sadie and the poets
spent the winter holed up
in that house without heat,
just beyond the desert.

It was at the blue house
that Dylan wrote his classic album
“Mud on the Cross”,
the story of his troubled relationship
with man and God.

And so, it’s now been forty years
since Dylan joined up with
brigands and viziers
and in that time not much has happened,
except for one thing;
two writers are approaching
and the sun
burns cheek to jowl.

Rabbi Steven Lebow was the first Jewish clergyman to perform
same sex weddings in the Deep South. His life and work in
civil rights has been profiled in the New York Times and the
Washington Post, the Atlanta Journal Constitution and the Wall
Street Journal, CNN and NPR.

150

Sunflower in August

by Karen Schnurstein

She walks the lovely gravel one-lane road
to the gardens at the farm. Where
are the goats? she wonders as she passes
their quarters. She saw the donkey
as she drove into the farm—all alone
as usual, meandering around.

The horse couple, in their usual field,
doing their horse thing.

As usual, the geese made a lot of noise.

In the gardens she remembered the quick, black snake
that slid between her feet there the other day.

No peacocks today.

Just one sunflower stalk down
from yesterday’s heavy rains.

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

She staked it back up with a piece of wood
cleared from of her plot
in the beginning.

How she admired the sunflower plant
with the thickest stalk. Some redness to it,
hairy. How she appreciated that so many
had withstood the rain and the wind.

A small lustrous crop of zinnias coming up
in the late August light, not yet in bloom.

How she enjoys gravel now
and prefers it.

No jet skis in the background today.
No motor boats.
Just a little bit of noise from a small group
of cattle nearby, most of them lying around
enjoying the weather.

The cattle take interest in her
as she approaches their fence
to toss her weeds.

She speaks sweetly to them, but obviously
no one else speaks to them.

A day like many others,
yet different. The light has changed.

152

POETRY ANTHOLOGY

It is cooler. One can feel the fall
sweeping in on its reliable schedule.

She is tired, and sick of missing
a man she loves. She wonders
if there will ever come a time
when she will introduce him
to her small but thriving garden,
the sweet goats, the somber donkey,
the gorgeous peacocks—the glory
of the whole farm.

She wonders if she will write a poem
when she goes home—will the universe
speak to her then as it does as she is gazing
upon sunflowers about to bloom?

Will she remember her own grandeur?

She grows restless with each day
as she waits for love, but is grateful
for the black and brown cattle, the pigs clunking
at their metal food station, the overcrowded
tomato plants in someone else’s plot.

She is grateful for the coffee she drank
with breakfast. For the dramatic clouds
passing by. The push and tug of the wind today.

In the August of her life now,
she wonders what’s to come.

153

Adelaide Literary Award 2019

Karen Schnurstein lives in the Kalamazoo area of Michigan.
She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from Western Michigan
University. Her work has also appeared in The Ibis Head Re-
view, Bi Women Quarterly, and Adelaide Literary Magazine.

154

Give Us Days,
Give Us Nights

by Jesse Domingos

Give us Days, Give us Nights
The sky hangs with starlight like a hollow rain that
drips down with nothing but an echo of words.
She sits on the edge of the starlight. I stand next to her
She says with tears,
“I can’t think about space too much. It bums me out.”
Then I say,
“Don’t worry it’s just a sky of dead light up
there, nothing matters, only us down here.”
And I cry with her.

Then we dance across the grass until
the last star sings its last song.

The sun cuts through the horizon, blood mist
dripping on the porch steps and the mountains
start to sizzle with orange warmth of silence.

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

I stand up looking to the edge of the
And I say,
“Red in the morning, sailor take warning.”
Then she says,
“There’s no rocky shores here. Only us.”
And she stands next to me.

We close our eyes in the warmth,
blood washes from our hands.

Jesse Domingos grew up in a small town in the San Luis
Obispo County, where he started to write poetry and short
fiction. He continued to work on his craft as he went to col-
lege in Cuesta Community College earning is degree. Then he
took a break before pursuing his Bachelors in Creative writing,
by joining the US Coast Guard. While serving in the Coast
guard he traveled to Maine, Virginia, Alaska, and Massachu-
setts. After he served for eight years, Jesse earned his Bachelor’s
degree from Utah State University. He now lives in Utah with
his finance happily and still writing.

156

These Signifiers as a Flock
of Bobolinks

by Jonathan Andrew Perez

This neighborhood map thrives on rising sentences,
arbitrary Icterid with signified arms; Ventriloquist!

shook-throated, a rock-hard reed-
lance thorn by the landfill—
a bird almost-mistook-for erasure shared in a thin migration,
like marauding packs of boys who fight
or make out, discover song, hinge:
on the talk or sheen of feeling, grass-rooted as if
contra-the-wind enough to prevent erasure?
Its moat of fear, reinvented burps, throbbing
streetlamp burst on the fritz,
the self-appointed-like throat, chewed on
ambition, held choked as a corn-flavored chip,

fed and left to dust the milk of the park, where
seaward, another earth throws shade:

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

the moon, almost, or a hurricane, we dawn
and we signify our own sentences’
justice, justice, built on migration from conjugations
the winds once institutionally appointed:
at last – this hurricane!

Jonathan Andrew Pérez is a trial lawyer and the author of Car-
tographer of Crumpled Maps: A Justice Pastoral (Finishing Line
Press, 2020). He has taught race and poet- ics at Hunter College.

158

Climb High

by Greg J Moglia Jr

Listen and it’s all good
The right causes
Right things to do
Right ways to act

Makes it hard to interrupt
To get a word in
His climb so high
He can’t get down

Ideas that protect
As if he can gain
happiness by holding
it at arm’s length

Twist it, turn it
to that tree

Try to explain it

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

When he doesn’t
he can’t admit it

And happiness waits
With its hand out
Begging for a walk
That has grown
so well
It whispers
Know that you love

and with what
you love
as you give
you will lose

Greg Moglia is a veteran of 27 years as Adjunct Prof of Philo
of Ed at N.Y.U and 37 years as a high school teacher of Physics.
He debut chapbook of poems LOST BUT MAKING GOOD
TIME is from FINISHING LINE PRESS - 2017. He is 10
times a winner of an ALLAN GINSBERG POETRY AWARD
from the PATERSON LITERARY JOURNAL. His first book
of poetry A MAN IS NOT SUPPOSED TO GIVE IN TO
TEARS is from CYBERWIT PRESS-. 2019

He lives in Huntington, N.Y.

160

Fireflies in Jars

by Kimberly Crocker

The fireflies in jelly jars,
belly laughs that caught like fire,
horizontal foot fights for
real estate on the couch.

The hushed, sweet conversations
on summer nights through
webbed windows at caddy corner.
The coming of age questions.
The whispers under blankets–
urgent questions softened by shame.

The conspiracies shared, secrets sworn.
Your trust in me as I cut
those Alexandrian locks with
Mother’s scissors.

You fell in love with a false idol at age 18.
Three times you walked away–
I picked out glass from your hair and
from your forehead.

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

How clean you kept things.
They didn’t look under the rug,
or in the closet, for the glasses you had
bottled yourself in.

I thought I got the lid off the jar
before your light went out.

I fell to the floor like the tresses
when I saw you—wrapped
in a white sheet, boxed in ice.
The funeral director told me
not to touch you.

I couldn’t touch you.

Now, I hold a locket of you.
In it, curls kept from the viewing,
Your locks—mementos of the man
you could have been.

Kimberly Crocker is a newly published poet. Her first submis-
sion, “Words Unspoken”, was published in Adelaide Literary
Magazine in May 2019. She is an active student and contrib-
utor at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland. She is cur-
rently working on a book of poetry and a novel about neuro-
physiology, creativity, and spiritual transformation. She lives in
Chevy Chase, Maryland with her husband, two children, and a
menagerie of animals rescued from around the world.

162

Riderless

by Clarke Owens

Out of the starting gate,

the racehorse

threw its jockey,

who collided with the dust

and watched as his mount

shadowed the field,

riderless, like someone

trying to remember

where to go, and why.

Thoroughbreds in their colors

raced the oval track, and the winner

received his bouquets,

but I fastened on

the riderless horse,

who ran all the way,

not knowing

who its guide was, or why there was no guide,

or why the other horses ran,

or where the horses will be

tomorrow, or the day after.

163

Adelaide Literary Award 2019

Clarke Owens writes poems, stories, nonfiction and novels.
His poems have appeared in dozens of literary journals, among
them Slant, Convergence, Plainsongs, Poem, and Bryant Lit-
erary Review. His short stories have appeared in Chicago Quar-
terly Review, Cimarron Review, and elsewhere. His second
published novel, The Veteran, is coming out from Adelaide
Books in March, 2020.

Clarke grew up in Sacramento, California and currently
lives in rural Ohio. He has a Master’s Degree in creative writing
from University of California, Davis, a PhD in English from
Ohio State, and a law degree. His DNA is 24% non-white.
www.clarkewowens.com

164

Half of Me

by Stella Prince

Each day you see me like the first time we just met
and I keep hoping that this good life might last.

But something always pulls me down when I try to
come around and I just keep on hoping this won’t last.

Why do I feel that half of me is gone?
What is this haunting that’s followed for too long?

Underneath my life somehow feels wrong.

Each day you notice I keep everything locked up
inside and I keep on hoping you won’t tell.

But something always brings me down, and I can’t easily
come around even if you’re standing next to me.

Why do I feel that half of me is gone?
What is this haunting that’s followed for too long?

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

Underneath my life somehow feels wrong.
It feels that half of me is gone.

Stella Prince is a young poet. Her poems have been published
in magazines such as Cliche Teen Magazine, The Daphne Re-
view, Amazing Kids Magazine, Seshat Literary Magazine, and
Good Life Youth Journal. She was recently given the role of Ju-
nior Reporter for the Blue Stone Press, and has won the Creative
Communications Poetry Contest in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

166

Last Night

by Clay Anderson

Lady in my dreams last night
We talked and we were ease enough
The world was drowning in your eyes
You saw me see, with no surprise
You said it’s the way when someone dies.
Lady in my dreams last night
I dreamt you still loved me

And some devote themselves to gain
And some have ledgers just for loss
Some never lose their love of pain
Or rise up from their old remorse

All was spoken, nothing said
Some things dying, some things dead
Something stopped your heart with dread

167

Adelaide Literary Award 2019

Clay Anderson is an Adjunct Professor of History at Reinhardt
University in Waleska, Georgia. He received his BA in History
from Kennesaw State University and MA from Mississippi
State University. He’s published a nonfiction journal article
and two book reviews. He is currently an MFA student in
Creative Writing at Reinhardt University. His first novel, The
Palms has been published by Adelaide Books in the Fall of
2019. He lives in the mountains of North Georgia with his
two dogs.

168

The Real Love Story Iii

by Tamara Williams

The ending is just a grand way to say a new beginning
because the ending wouldn’t be the ending if it would
end. Love can never decease if it has never lived. I glisten
because I am the sun while you tint because the stars
only listen when they shouldn’t be listening at all. I found
shelter in the coves of your lungs. Both like me, essentially
to your living and loneliness. I cover myself not with
warmth, but with coldness because I know cruelty is

the only definition of love that love does not know.
I sit in small quiet pockets of your body with
a lighted candle crutched down.
Waiting for you to leak again.

Tamara Williams was born and raised in the Bronx, NY. She
believes in love and writing from her heart space.

169

In the City Museum I
Stepped Right into
a Painting

by Tim Suermondt

Quite easily—I was surprised
and surprised again when I walked
on the river water—oh ye of little faith,
it can be done! I waved to a couple
of herdsmen, the sheep baaing for the sake

of baaing. A woman driving an oxcart
called out “Stranger” and asked if I’d like
to have dinner with her. I did, but I knew
I couldn’t, I had to get back to the city,
the streets—my city, my streets.

She went on her way after I declined
and I backtracked down the river,
landing on the museum’s floor,

170

POETRY ANTHOLOGY

assessing what it was I’d done and seen.
Droplets of water slid from my shoes
but no one noticed—the paintings had their
full attention. I shook off most of the water
and exited onto the street, peopled and trafficked
as if it were rush hour, the tall buildings
throwing shade on everyone below. I was home.

Tim Suermondt is the author of five full-length collections
of poems, the latest JOSEPHINE BAKER SWIMMING
POOL from MadHat Press, 2019. He has published in Poetry,
Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, The Georgia Review, Bellevue
Literary Review, Stand Magazine, december magazine, and
Plume, among many others. He lives in Cambridge (MA) with
his wife, the poet Pui Ying Wong.

171

Your Promise

by Keith Hoerner

your promise

you were there, when
mother and i toured
the dana house
built by frank lloyd wright in springfield, illinois

commissioned by a woman who
dabbled in the occult
believed
in reincarnation

the dining room’s
stained glass windows
trace you
in all stages of existence

suspended
betweenleadveining

172

POETRY ANTHOLOGY

egg
caterpillar
chrysalis
full-flighted fruition

at ten a.m., when southeastern sun shines through
it bears you on each beam – gives
birth to you on each surface
transcendent
you alight on

our arms
our faces
transform
our white t-shirts into impressionistic paintings

we stand
as if inside
your self-made sarcophagus
preparing for a life thereafter

*

rest now
on the chest
of my dear mother
laid out on our dining-room table for burial

your promise

173

Adelaide Literary Award 2019

encrypted
on that
angelic
wingspan

Keith Hoerner (B.S., M.F.A.) lives, teaches, and pushes words
around in Southern Illinois. He is the editor of The Dribble
Drabble Review, featuring all things “little-ature.” Visit it at
thedribbledrabblereview.com

174

The Fountain

by Steven Goff

Money skims velvet rock. An eye’s thirst
is met with coins as a fruit wedge may
be met with a spritz atop a highball glass.
From an eminent position at the center
of the town square, each moment finds
the fountain lay its shadow down
wherever a dime and a hand might be
willing to part.

Tongues long for friendly conversation
with the fountain’s lip. Conscripted
to new depths, change is bathed in rays
of blue tinted light and when the sun
ripples glibly across the water’s surface
the coins wink.

A penny sips from the pool. There is an
urgency to this kiss, in the still features
of the drowned copper face.

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

I wish to loiter along the stone sill, to be
the sole heir to a wealth of idle thought,
to toil away the hours writing poems
and to calcify unabashedly besides
artful nudes of Neptune or a pissing boy.

Steven Goff is a poet and playwright who studied psychology,
creative writing and publishing at Drexel University. He enjoys
writing personal poems indicative of life in the Philadelphia
area as well as ekphrastic and literary leaning poetry.

176

For My Joe From Your
Norma Jean

by Frannie Gilbertson

Oh Joe, ‘tis one of those nights again.
A night where my heart feels vacant
and my body is stained with sin.
My body, oh what a beautiful little thing
it is,
Say the public, politicians, and critics
But is it really, Joe?
Is it as lovely as the world believes?
I think not.
I think it flares in all the wrong places
and is formed in such a malicious way.
My body, I have killed with opiates and
drinks, shiny and dangerous
But I enjoy the taste.
The taste of wine so fine upon my ruby lips
Sometimes a drop falls upon my breast or lap
I laugh and wipe it away as I did a tear

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

the previous night.
Oh Joe, what have I done?
The mirror of my eyes reflects the anguish I
feel inside
I want out of this form, out of this place.
You loved me once, and perhaps still do.
I will never understand how a man like you
could ever look at a woman like me
My hands are small, and my eyes are narrow,
My nose is wide and my stomach rests over my waist.
I am not perfect, and you deserve perfect, Joe.
Yes, you do, surely you know
that the girl standing here in front of you now
is not who you deserve.
Oh Joe, my love, tonight is the night
The night where my hair falls and
my cheeks fade.
Please know that I will feel no pain, for I have
felt enough while I lived.
To feel pain as I die would be cruel.
I shall sleep peacefully this last evening
and I will see you in my dreams as I
float away happy and free.
Oh, how I wish to feel free.
Free of standards, free of shame, free
of lies, but most of all, free of pain.
Oh Joe, I will never be able to express
My gratitude for you and for our time together.
You’ve been my biggest fan, my greatest
Treasure.

178

POETRY ANTHOLOGY

My, my, tears are falling now as I wish
you the best and say goodbye.
Don’t forget about me now. Remember my flowers!
Remember my kiss! Remember how much
I loved the city lights and my auburn hair!
Remember me, Joe. Please never let me fade
into the wind and remember me as who I
really was.
Oh Joe, you have made my eyes twinkle with laughter
and my heart swell with adoration once more.
But this is my final goodbye and know that
the hardest thing is leaving you alone in this world.
The world…such a funny place the world is.
It loathes me, but will love me enough to write me
one final review:
“Marilyn Monroe Found Dead.”

Frannie Gilbertson is Texas author who enjoys writing fiction
and occasionally poetry. Her future plans involve graduating
with a Bachelor’s in English to each high school students, and
to become a novelist. When not writing she can be found
reading and spending time with her wonderful boyfriend, Josh.
She also enjoys watching true crime shows with her dad and
90-Day Fiancè with her mom.

179

Train This Machine to
Replace You

by Peter Crowley

We bring you up
to bring you down
so pyramids can be built
and afterwards you’re cast into the Nile

155,000 data points a day you glean
to train this bloodless orifice,
with data architects are worshipped
and the rest shat on

We bring you up
to bring you down
It was never really up, was it?
More like the terminally ill,

in catatonic coma and kept
alive for religious reasons
and, religion, not God but the cold,
condescending glare of king profit

180

POETRY ANTHOLOGY

We bring you up
To bring you down
The Nile’s crocodiles await,
saw-tooth mouths ajar

And after mangled in post-layoff gloom,
corporate health insurance lost,
you go to the ER and hospital debts amount,
court cases accrue but the money’s gone

We bring you up
To bring you down
because, at some point, bank accounts diminish
and, eventually, we become unemployable.

So, keep at it, instructing our cloud behemoth
Stand in awe at the rain it will bring down upon
your household some fateful day…
For, slowly, the figure at your desk will recede into a phantom

Peter F. Crowley is an independent writer and scholar with a
M.S. in Conflict Resolution, Global Studies from Northeastern
University. His writings can be found in Boston Literary Mag-
azine, 34th Parallel Magazine, Counterpunch, Foreign Policy
Journal, Work Literary Magazine, Znet, Opiate Magazine,
Truthout, Antiwar.com, Peace Review and several others. His
poetry book “Those who hold up the earth” is scheduled for
publication by Kelsay Books in the first half of 2020.

181

Life Ends in Immolation

by Mukund Gnanadesikan

Just a footnote in Monday morning’s paper
I recognize the picture
From grocery store encounters
A haunting posthumous association

Why would you choose
To go that way
Licked and swallowed
By flames’ relentless tongues?

When did hope surrender?
It calls for speculation
But no clues remain
Amid bone and ash.

The newsprint says
You gave up hope
When motherhood was lost,
Your infant taken from your arms.

182

POETRY ANTHOLOGY

I, but a stranger
Bear guilt and grief
For words of solace
Not requested, nor ever offered.
The empty swing set creaks
Chain links glistening,
Blowing in the wind.
None comes to push it.

Mukund Gnanadesikan is a poet and novelist currently based
in Napa, CA. A 1992 graduate of Princeton University, his
poems have been featured or are upcoming in Sheets: For Men
Only, Adelaide Literary Journal, The Ibis Head Review, Tuck
Magazine, Junto Magazine, Streetlight Press, The Bangalore
Review, Blood and Thunder: Musings on the Art of Medicine,
Junto Magazine, Poesis Literary Magazine, and The Cape Rock.

183

Interchangeable

by Megha Sood

Silence lives on the other side of the lake
where the death has yet to reach
it can count the footsteps of the sunlight
​falling in the dried petals and
can trace you near the creek

Death is a slithering snake
it has no legs
/or a million tiny ones/
you can feel its ominous presence
it’s vibrations
in the earth beneath you
like that phantom pain
my granny has in her knees
every monsoon

Silence is hidden
between the shards of the broken glass
screeching from every flake

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

heartbroken by the loss of its identity
and mourning the loss of the one it has

Death is the unspoken prayer
at the cemetery,
where it rules the territory
boisterously:
chest-thumping and watermarking
everybody for its destination

Silence and death are interchangeable
the moment you part your lips.

Megha Sood is a contributing editor at GoDogGO Cafe, Free
Verse Revolution, Heretics, Lovers and Madmen, Sudden De-
nouement, Whisper and the Roar and poetry editor at Ariel
Chart. Over 300+ works in Better than Starbucks, FIVE:2:
ONE, Mojave Heart Review, Adelaide, Foliate Oak. Visitant
Lit, Quail Bell, Dime show review, etc. and works featured/
upcoming in 28 other anthologies by the US, UK, Australian,
and Canadian Press. Two-time state-level winner of the NAMI
NJ Poetry Contest 2018/2019.National level poetry finalist
in Poetry Matters Prize 2019. She blogs at https://meghas-
worldsite.wordpress.com/ and tweets at @meghasood16.

185

Misconceptions

by Sophie Chen

Misconceptions

daytime arrives
and you look for
the definitions of my words
under the couch
in the refrigerator
on the coffee table;
nighttime passes
and you frantically search for
the meaning behind it all
the allusions I made
the connections to you
the unbearable reason
why the love between us
abruptly decided to
get up and leave

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

Late

eight months later
you find yourself
searching for my scent
in the coffee shop
on sullivan street
seeking out my voice
in a mob of poets
all yearning to scream
metaphors that make sense
to their ears only
strung together by pain
linked by confidence
that their voices will be heard
as distinctly as mine is to you

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

I’ll Do It For Us

tomorrow at noon
I’ll summon all the males in this universe
fathers and sons and brothers
who hurt sisters and mothers and daughters
in any way shape or form
who robbed us of our maidenhoods
while we sobbed and sobbed
and trembled with fear
when demanding they stop
I’ll discipline all the males in this universe
who think it is their privilege to
take what they want without permission
I’ll make them cringe as they look in the mirror
I’ll leave their hearts beating for life
I’ll smash their cars with my laughter
I’ll break their bones and kick their egos
and drown their emetic smirks
by midnight
all these discourteous males
will be crawling at our feets
begging for vindication
and we will tell them no.

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POETRY ANTHOLOGY

At Liberty

like vines strangling their own kin
his arms gripped her tightly
slashing her rights and
choking her freedom
leaving her grasping for life
like a bullet soaring out a cannon
she clawed at his contempt
in an effort to alleviate the pain
she jabbed at her own will
smiling as she collapsed
knowing she won the battle

Loud

she was so used to clenching her teeth
jamming her lips against each other
daring herself to speak
she was always holding her tongue
bottling up her feelings
resisting the need
to fight for herself
ignoring the urge to talk back
but that was then

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

she now neglects those who
bring negativity to her life
she no longer holds in
what she wishes to say
she says it loud and clear
for the ones who
don’t want to hear her
she bellows in their ears
until they go deaf
she knows her worth
and she won’t let anyone
degrade her value
she has a say in everything too

Sophie Chen is an eighteen-year-old poet who attends Fordham
University. She is passionate about writing, research, and med-
ical literature and serves as a News Staff member and interviewer
for The Fordham Undergraduate Research Journal. Writing po-
etry is very therapeutic for her and gives her the power to mark
her words.

190

First Time in New York

by Debbie Richard

First Time in New York
Tall steel buildings in Manhattan,
flanked with windows, loomed over us
as we attempted to keep up with the crowd
bustling through the streets.

Yellow taxi cabs vied for our fare,
their driving causing us to gasp
as they madly darted in and out of traffic.

Some streets were lined with garbage,
contrasting with the pristine golden clad frontage
of the Waldorf Astoria, or Fifth Avenue’s
enchanting window displays.

Brightly lit marquees displaying morning news
personalities, live music and shows,
along with the latest fashions,
added to the appeal of Times Square.

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

Brooklyn Bridge’s multiple cables were
draped like string on a model ship,
twinkling at night, adding to the magic of the city.

Yet among all the steel, and glass, and noise
is an oasis, Central Park –
fresh and green, awaiting those who jog,
or picnic, or perhaps just relax under a tree
with a good book.

Debbie Richard is listed in the Directory of Poets & Writers
as both a poet and creative nonfiction writer. She was shortlisted
for Best Poem in Adelaide Literary Award for Poetry, 2018.
Her poems have appeared in Torrid Literature Journal, Ade-
laide Literary Magazine, WestWard Quarterly, Halcyon Days,
and others. Resiliency, a chapbook of poetry, was published in
2012 by Finishing Line Press. Hills of Home, a memoir about
growing up in Appalachia, was released in 2014 by eLectio
Publishing. An AudioBook of Hills of Home was released in
October 2018 by Sweetsong Productions. PIVOT, an illus-
trated volume of poetry, was released in January 2019 by Ad-
elaide Books of New York. For more information, visit her
website: www.debbierichard.com

192

The Way of Happiness

by Linda Casebeer

The year Trump fell in love with Kim Jung Un
and the planet’s hyperbolic trajectory tilted
more than a little towards crazy I fell in love
with Asian tree peonies a gift from the gods
the attraction began with one plump bud
on a shrub abandoned by the previous owner
when love leaked out of the house into divorce
leaving the sale of the property to us to us
to us in the way of happiness displayed
in the leaf ’s shape of a hand with a thumb
and three fingers I recognized as a peony
imagine a pink Sarah Bernhardt double
ruffled fancy peony pronounced pe OH ny
by my college friend Harriet Parham
from Virginia the bud that I cut and set
in a clear water glass slowly opened
instead into a single petaled bright bloom
my mother would have called shocking pink
the outer petals spreading wide to yield

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

a hundred shredded white petaled center
a fireworks’ display named Bowl of Beauty
in a season when I ordered enough plants
for an entire peony garden the embodiment
of romance and prosperity an omen
of good fortune of a happy marriage though
how to assess a marriage by length breadth
or depth or else by what magnetizes then
pulls us apart and back together again
like the reunion where a woman reflected
on her life as driven by med school
breast cancer research and a thirty year
marriage to a fellow student her husband
now forgetful but for the most part
a good marriage she repeated a good
marriage though it had not been her first
unqualified thought from south Texas
planting zone 9 where peonies require
a little extra effort to flourish without
the benefit of a winter chill

Linda Casebeer lives in Birmingham, Alabama. She has pub-
lished one collection of poems, The Last Eclipsed Moon, from
Cherry Grove Collections, and poems in Slant, Earth’s Daugh-
ters, Chest, and Hospital Drive, Knowing Stones and The Light
of Ordinary Things among others.

194

Surgical Theatre

(In Two Acts)

by Gail Willems

I

A modern Michelangelo
he was good at cutting
with his sculptor’s fingers
tools scissors and scalpel.
The students spoke of him as a short fuse
(the odd scalpel hitting the floor didn’t count
unless it came with a strangled expletive)
the staff highlighted his body count
(nil at the time of writing)

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

II

At night on call he sifted
through student reports, patient notes
(his last in ICU but would pull through)
This night he’ll drink too much red wine
hope no one rattles his doorknob
keep an eye on the clock
vulnerable in that quiet moment
just before his hands start to shake

Gail Willems, A retired nurse, currently living in Mandurah,
Western Australia, swims, beach walks, does yoga, likes good
shiraz. She writes from life experiences and what happens
around her. Her poetry has been published in Australia, United
Kingdom, New York, Lisbon, Belgium, New Zealand, in jour-
nals, magazines, anthologies, and 5UV Writers Radio. Haiku
translated into Chinese and published. First poetry collection
“Blood Ties and Crack Fed Dreams (Ginninderra Press 2013)

196

Final Journey of a Rose

by Craig Kennedy

An impregnable
lavender
rose

drops
to the ground

defeated
by the dark breeze
the malice of time,

desolate
screaming
forsaken

driven
to a sadness

guarded
no longer
by the thorns,

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Adelaide Literary Award 2019

prey for
the feral cat’s
yellow flashing

eye
dusted by the sandy soil

sacrificed
to the world at the
close of the day.

Craig Kennedy lives in the New York City area and writes po-
etry and short fiction. Recent poems have appeared in Adelaide
Literary Magazine, Blue Mountain Review, Scarlet Leaf Review
and Mojave He[art] Review.

198


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