January 29 – February 4, 2018: Poetry from Charlie Brice and Nicholas Petrone

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Charlie Brice and Nicholas Petrone

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Charlie Brice

Bio (auto)

I am a retired psychoanalyst living in Pittsburgh. My full length poetry collection, Flashcuts Out of Chaos, is published by WordTech Editions (2016) and my second collection, Mnemosyne’s Hand (WordTech Editions), will appear in 2018. My poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in The Atlanta Review, Hawaii Review, Chiron Review, The Dunes Review, SLAB, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Sport Literate, The Paterson Literary Review, Plainsong, and elsewhere.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Charlie Brice. and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Deal Me In

During a night of failure-to-grow-up
daddy, drunk and deluded, sat with hoodlums
at a poker table and said, “Deal me in.”
He was the big fish in our small Cheyenne
pond. Next day, Sunday, he delivered
his hungover homily: He’d written
a check for ten thousand dollars to cover
his wayward wagers. Mother nearly lost
what balance she had. “Jesus Christ, Ward,
we don’t have that kind of money,” called
the president of the bank in our little pond,
and stopped payment on the check. Monday
the phone calls began: “Is your dad at home?”
The man on the phone brushed his teeth with gravel.
Cigar smoke wafted through the receiver.
Mother made a deal with Jesus:
If my bone marrow tests were negative,
she’d send me to Catholic School
where I learned it was a sin to lie,
but in a house that pulsed with Daddy’s
malfeasance, my charge was to say that
our big fish had jumped his pond, gone
to his favorite destination, Nowhere, which,
a hippie friend pointed out years later,
was Now and Here. That’s where he was
now, here, in our house, chain smoking, fighting
off the shakes, banking on me, his little fish,
to swim in the spume of his big lie
until our pond went dry.


Dan found his 86 year old aunt sitting in a chair,
breakfast tray on her lap, a fork
in her left hand that broke the yoke
of her fried egg. Her head bent to one side,
eyes shut, and on the floor next to her bed
her golden retriever, Fuji, who waited there,
hungry and having to pee, for five hours
until Dan discovered his aunt.
Fuji hadn’t thought to disturb the egg
his mistress had made for her last breakfast.
A great blue heron walks across our yard
one stately leg placed resolutely in front of the other.
The essence of dignity. A kingfisher falls
madly out of an aspen, hits the water
in a splash of chaos, finds a fish,
and carries it off with grace.
This rill called life keeps running, running—
sometimes placid, other times weltered, rushing.
Still, the rivulet bends toward the sea.
Somewhere Jim Harrison wrote that
if there were no dogs in heaven,
he didn’t want to go there.
And there was Fuji, hungry,
needing to pee, for five hours
beside the one he loved most.
My guess: heaven houses nothing but dogs,
cats, herons and all the birds. Once-a-death
they convene to decide which humans get in.



Nicholas Petrone

Bio (auto)

Nicholas Petrone’s poems can be found in many places, including The View From Here, Willows Wept Review,The Ranfurly Review, Poetry Super Highway, 3 Elements Review, Weird Cookies, Straight Forward Poetry, The Tower Journal, and in many other fine publications. You can also read his poems and essays on Medium, on Google and on Facebook. He teaches American history in Syracuse, NY.

The following work is Copyright © 2018, and owned by Nicholas Petrone and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

On Our Way Home

All our Big Bombs
All the Big Men behind our Big Bombs
All our Big Men who bravely give speeches
and tweet out the Answers
All our heroes who drop Daisy Cutters on daisies
All the far-flung baby body parts & patriotic stamps
All our beefed up batting averages
All our World Cup vuvuzela prayers
All our remedies for Nothing
All our pointless Poems
All our unexplained stanza breaks
All our unexamined dance crazes & breakfast cereals 
All our unexcused absences
All our undiscovered origins
All our fracked up countryside
All our unCapitalized forests
All the Jesus Freaks and Wall Street Free Loaders
All our solar energy
All our mass graves & rebate checks
All our protests & counterinsurgencies
All our endangered species
All our One True Gods
All our other random stanza breaks
All our crossword puzzle sonnet mongers & grandmother Internet poets
All our unpaid blues bands
All our unheralded single Mothers
All our trashcan babies & tennis court Buddhas
All our Bigger Bombs
All our Grace & Goodness
All our fallen angels
All our born again garbage piles
All our Super Bowl Hangovers & paperless stock bubbles
All our post-war rubble & Robber Baron Reconstructions
All our normal shits
All our enemies of the hour
All our high speed chases & low budget philosophers
All our lovemaking
All our Touch Down Dances
All our sibling rivalries & fast flowing beer piss
All our Fear
All our letters to Santa
All our lessons from Satan
All our quite meditations
All that purple haze
All our Moon Landings & soap operas
All our incantations & Genocides
All our banners & bunting
All our karma
All our goddamn bosses
All our grown up tantrums & great Fourth Quarter Comebacks
All our Jails & Churches
All our Churches & Jails
All our children & pets
All our hapless victims
All our TVs
All our TV Dinners
All our TV Dinner Dates
All our garage sales & holidays
All our wineries & porn sites
All our pompous funerals & prom nights
All our prom night porn sites & funeral hangovers
All our wealth
All our inner poverty
All our public introspection
All our Facebook friends & long lonely winters
All our springs
All our Marathon Training
All of our beauty
All our hugs
All our Abuse Shelter Blankets
All our radio jingoism
All our wombs & gravestones
All our genuflections & foursquare twilights
All our magazine covers & secret decaying lovers
All our dreams & day jobs 
All our tanks & diaper rashes
All our proud mountains & scattered ashes
All four winds
All good time
All our flirting with the End
All our rhyming & irrational typing
All our motorcycle sunsets
All our vacuum cleaners & time zones
All our Rugged Individualism
All our Universal Joys
All our grand prizes, gift certificates and noisy mufflers
All our sidewalks
All our horny evangelists
All our sidewalkless suburbs
All our Hurricanes
All our innies & outies
All our cell phone addicts & cocaine pioneers
All our music resonating past the planets
All the aliens digging Hendrix
All our necktie factories & televised witch hunts
All our Saints and Saviors
All our ducks in rows
All our child laborers & corporate pimps
All our love
All our will not to write hate
All our failures of will
All the Bombs are back
All our railroad deities & lost crumpled pages
All our motherless trout
All the poets that never made it out of the cubicle
All our missing adjectives
All our applause & Creation Myths
All our caves that were home
All our painters who could not speak so painted caves
All the cartoons we watched as kids
All the souls up in the attic
All our stable genius
All our shiny new stanzas
All our fossilized orgasms
All our crude words
All our censored animals
All our Glory
All our far-flung theories & ordinary actions
All our vain memorials
All our worthwhile endeavors
All our flesh & bone
All our Ideas & Heavens
All our gold crosses and Hells
All our flowers & bloodstains
All our idiot politicians
All good times & toasting
All our whiskey lucidity
All our boasting & marshmallow roasting
All our nursery rhymes
All our toilet paper haikus
All the ways to start a War or end a Poem
All the homes we wrecked along the way
All our sisters & brothers
All our families
All our hot air
All our modest accomplishments & mortgage payments
All our Foolish Pride
All our inevitable triumphs
All our futile efforts to avoid returning

to the single point from whence we came.





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