February 20-26, 2017: Poetry from Mike Jurkovic and Taylor Graham

​Mike Jurkovic and Taylor Graham

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​Mike Jurkovic
mjpj55@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

A 2016 Pushcart nominee, poems and music criticism have appeared globally but have yet to generate any reportable income. Full length collections, smitten by harpies & shiny banjo catfish (Lion Autumn Press, 2016) Chapbooks, Eve’s Venom (Post Traumatic Press, 2014) Purgatory Road (Pudding House Press, 2010) Anthologies include: WaterWrites & Riverine (Codhill Press, 2009, 2007) Will Work For Peace(Zeropanik, 1999). President, Calling All Poets, New Paltz, NY. Producer of CAPSCASTS, archival recordings from Calling All Poets, available at www.callingallpoets.net. Music features, interviews, & CD reviews appear in Elmore Magazine & the Van Wyck Gazette. Visit Mike on the web here: www.mikejurkovic.com

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​LB Sedlacek and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


breathing machine

It’s all lumped in my brain right now
but I do recall another poem
you didn’t read about the mayhem genius
who took great lengths
to insure each mourner
had enough rope, scotch tape,

and a six foot ladder.

Small provisions, admittedly.
But he was running out of tricks.
The old brain didn’t click
like it used to. You reach a point

where the ground gives way

he told his nurse. A bright, young gal
w/a bright, young future. Until, y’know,
they turn out the lights and the breathing machine

 

 



Taylor Graham
poetspiper@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Taylor Graham is a volunteer search-and-rescue dog handler outside Placerville, CA, and serves as El Dorado County’s first poet laureate (2016-2018). She’s included in the anthologies Villanelles (Everyman’s Library) and California Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present (Santa Clara University). Her latest books are What the Wind Says (Lummox Press, 2013) and Uplift (Cold River Press, 2016).

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Taylor Graham and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Gold Rush Days, The Divide

She peeled off her dress with its chain-
stitch embroidery the camisole & petticoats
bone stiff corset
she had to get out of this century this shackle
of fashion chemise & pantelettes
the whole plaster cast
of clothes molding
how a woman was supposed
to be held together till she fainted dead
away white as porcelain

no
she had to slip
into mens trousers stolen off the line
blustering in a change-of-weather wind
a roomy shirt
that let the shoulders work
unbutton the collar
had to get out
in the open, run free before all the
gold the life the breath of it
was gone


Off the Forest Road

The 10-point buck, gray squirrel,
jackrabbit, cougar must have thought
the world was ending

when miners felled the tall pines and cedars,
aimed their Monitor
to water-blast the earth into craters.

A hundred years ago and more.
Miners took what they could
and left

the craters still there.
Logging roads dodge around the old
pocked mine-field. Scars

overgrown with bear-clover,
tall pines rising from the mined-out depths.
Watch your step.

My dog shows me coyote scat
along the way. Raven says Man comes
and goes, the forest stays.