Accents Publishing Blog
“Thanksgiving Eve” by Marianne Worthington

Bigger Than They ApearMy mother sleeps in my bed,
my father sleeps
in a ground starting to freeze.
I wake in a moon-lit room
not meant for sleeping.
What else to do but let go
of his wheelchair and inhalers,
his starched pajamas pressed
and resting in his cherry dresser?

Marianne Worthington,
Bigger Than They Appear:
Anthology of Very Short Poems
(Accents Publishing)

“What’s the Ocean for” by Petja Heinrich

The Season of Delicate Hungerif there is nobody

to contemplate it
to lick its salt and to bring back
the discarded whales

to be vulnerable and small

to be swept with a single wind gust
a single wave to cover it whole
and carry it away

what is it for
if there is nobody

the ocean hangs on your little finger

Петя Хайнрих
(Petja Heinrich),
translated from the Bulgarian
by Katerina Stoykova-Klemer,
The Season of Delicate Hunger
(Accents Publishing)

“Lowering” by Patty Paine

grief & other animalsLeaving hour, how quick
it came. The train echoed
across the valley, over Tickfaw Creek,
trembled the ryegrass at the edge
of town, then further
still, beyond Black Mountain
clear to strange weather.
Now, six days from land
the compass has gone out of me.
These cursed waves thrash
like thieves, and what a mockery
of song the wind is making. Dearest,
the sea is another tongue
for loss, for misery, for coffin.
For grief: the rusty hinge of it,
the knife stab sudden of it.

Patty Paine,
Grief & Other Animals
(Accents Publishing)

“Don’t Call Him Ishmael” by Frank X Walker

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Hard time didn’t make Brother wiser
like it did Etheridge Knight.
He returned home from prison
with a pocket full of excuses, not poems.

You’d thought he’d read Moby Dick
while on lock down, the way he chased
great whites, each encounter separating him
like Ahab from his leg, first from his own
children and eventually from    himself.

Regret is for families forgiving enough
to break their own promises,
not realizing that even if the harpoon
is made of love, it can still drag
the whole boat down with the whale.

We might have understood revenge
and even obsession, but addiction
is more unforgiving than the sea.

Frank X Walker,
About Flight
(Accents Publishing)

“The Day I Crossed over to the Dark Side” by Andrew Merton

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My friend Peter and I were six.
We wore cowboy hats, sheriff ’s badges,

and holsters with cap pistols in them.
We pretended we were at the top of a cliff

in the Badlands
(because they’re full of bad guys, Peter said)

waiting to ambush some train robbers.
We must be a thousand feet high, said Peter,

from here those people down there look like ants.
There were three possible responses to this:

—They sure do.
—Those are ants.

—(I said): None of my aunts looks like that.
Sensing a change in me, Peter made new friends.

-Andrew Merton,
Lost and Found
(Accents Publishing)

“Dust” by Nana Lampton

Wash the Dust from My Eyes by Nana LamptonWash the dust from my eyes, out of my ears,
from all pores where the wind has lodged it.
Wash it away—whatever is left from dusty roads
of childhood Rockport, dust of dead parents.
Let me go to Mess Hall clean,
to feed as well as my horse
for tomorrow’s ride.
Break this monotony with abundant splashing
from fountains in Renaissance Rome.
Break this dead dusty road. I am going somewhere
lined with apple trees and red rose bushes.


Nana Lampton
Wash the Dust from My Eyes
(Accents Publishing)

“The Snake” by Daniela Mihaleva

The Season of Delicate HungerI’m as poisonous as an apple
the snake told eve
everything in this world is halved
believe me
I’ve long been sneaking
among the fig leaves

and I always survive
I’m attracted to heat
to the smoke ring behind your ebony lashes
to adam’s neck
to the monkeys on the tree

I lie still

the falling dusk
lulls me to sleep
ever so steadily

I slip away

I can undress
as if I’m about to bathe
in something familiar
but I never remain naked

who is to tempt the snake

I sink
into the apple

Даниела Михалева
(Daniela Mihaleva),
The Season of Delicate Hunger:
Anthology of Contemporary Bulgarian Poetry
(Accents Publishing)

“Arrivals” by Andrei Guruianu

Bigger Than They ApearThe clock in the plaza
showed the wrong time,
which was just right for somewhere else.

And why were you so surprised
that at that hour
we simply did not exist?

It wasn’t our turn yet.
The clock had three other faces—
each for a different hour of need.

Andrei Guruianu,
Bigger Than They Appear:
Anthology of Very Short Poems
(Accents Publishing)

“Draw” by Jay McCoy

occupation_cover-250x387She must be new. I’ve never seen her
here before—a vision in white, all
business except when she smiles
her crooked/coy grin, says I have pretty

veins. Her hazel eyes hold steady
my gaze as the cold needle plunges
into raised blue lines traversing
the bend of my right arm. Now

just hold this tight.

Jay McCoy,
The Occupation
(Accents Publishing)

“Aunt Cordelia to John Mason” by Nana Lampton

Wash the Dust from My Eyes by Nana LamptonYour father told you, you trust too much.
You believe the generals. French and Milner
for the British, Joffre for the French,
Von Kluck of Germany, speak of themselves
as well-schooled nobility, a notch under all-knowing,
bred of kings with better boot legs, finer noses,
better posture in the saddle.

Look at the results! They make their private decisions, so jealous
they won’t consult. One army passes another allied army
in the night, by mistake, squandering troops’ energy,
too late to reach the battle, to hold the line.
Soldiers march twice the needed distance.
Infantry—the lowly troop—lacks water, rest, and food,
expected to fight next morning. (This happens, I read,
more than once.) Exhausted soldiers die, wounded are left
behind—the victims of generals’ bull-fighting.
Joffre fires 58 generals.

For glory of the battle, the lances and the pennants fly,
horses leap the shell holes, until they, too, are
hanging their heads for lack of food and water.
Fodder follows a week late, across the sea, then by rail.

Look, John Mason, we have to stop this insanity!
Listen! You’re not any better bred than the fellows who
can’t speak the language, than recruits who
might be born a different color.
Pay attention! Find the meaning of your life.
You are training first generation boys.
Teach them to go forward as Americans,
with respect and common sense. One of them
could be President one day. Try not to lose him.


Nana Lampton
Wash the Dust from My Eyes
(Accents Publishing)