Wednesday 5 February 2014

2 Poems by Alinda Wasner

Life on Harding and Kercheval Streets

Though our parents thought it was a nice enough place and we were happy exploding water balloons on the back lawn then came gasoline in 7-up bottles

finding their way through the neighbor’s window and their house blackened its eyes and teeth missing though over time we sometimes forgot about it there was

always an undercurrent a darkness on the brightest day little stresses and inlets of worry we could read in the grownups’ faces despite the happiness we

allowed ourselves making chalk flowers on the driveway pretending we didn't see the gangs of boys sauntering through the alley, cutting through our side yard

to the street as if they owned it which they pretty much did but sometimes we went to their parties knowing they weren't allowed to carry their guns into the

house so hiding them in the bushes by the front porch would have to suffice our mother standing nervously on the sidewalk the whole time keeping her eye on

so many situations and sewing yellow curtains for the dark kitchen so there wouldbe a thin slant of light in addition to the ceiling fixture with its hoard of dead

flies and mosquitoes and we scoffed at her over our soup because we figured she so often worried unnecessarily and the guys with Saturday Night Specials

usually shot themselves in the foot anyway and I loved James Freeman and he loved me back so I tried my very bestnot to ask too many questions though there

was always the outline of something heavy in his jacket but I promised myself I wouldn’t turn into my mother.

Say What You Want

I didn't know he wasn't Hungarian,
called him Hunkie because
I thought it endearing
the way he smiled over his shoulder
almost shyly as he teased Becky Hipsher  about her "sure hips"
and the alley between houses
where the teacher worked her garden
but always looked up as we passed,
smiled as if it never occurred to her
or to me!
that she thought I might have meant myself
the time I told her
others were cheating when she left the room during tests
but I'd only just figured out
the importance of getting out of there myself
before being trapped
another whole lifetime
though I'd miss
the way we trusted the dark,
the first sun on the raspberries
and the train whistle as the cattle cars
barreled through town.


Alinda’s work has appeared in Fresh Water: Women Writing About the Great Lakes (a Michigan Best Book), Avatar Review, New Millenium Poets, Passages North, Wayne Review, Wittenberg Review, Corridors, Blue Lake Review,  Comstock Review, UpStreet, Paint Creek Press, Outsider Writers, Inkwell, InSpirit, The MacGuffin, Up the Staircase, The Detroit Free Press, The Detroit Metro Times and Michigan Natural Resources, and Southward, (Cork Ireland Review) among others.

Winner of the Tompkins Prize for Poetry, Fiction and Essay, Alinda has also won an Amelia Press Award, The Wittenberg Poetry Award, a Mr. Cogito Press Award, and Archives Bookstore Poetry prize, a Port Aransas Poetry Slam prize, a Chicago Poetry Center juried award, a 2007 Prague Writer’s scholarship, and was semi finalist in the 2010 Paumonok Poetry Prize, a finalist in the 2010 Atlanta Review International Poetry Award and has been nominated for the 2011 Best of the Net Award.

Out of 1700 entrants, she placed second  in the 2010 Cork, Ireland Munster Poetry Center International Poetry Prize.

A collection, Kissing the Ikons, has been published by Finishing Line Press, and

When You Don’t Know Who You Are by Cleveland’s Crisis Chronicle Press, and

Extraneous by Poet’s Haven Press will be published in 2013.

1 comment:

  1. Quite inspired of the poems you post. I myself have a special interest in poetry, but I'm just a beginner. Post some related to nature please, I love the work you've been posting so far, contains both quality & quantity.