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Five poems by Clarence Wolfshohl article

 Panhandle Surfing

For Stanley Seagler

 

Five hundred miles from the Gulf,

he drives his combine on the bed

of the ancient inland sea.  The wheat

stretches forward like golden beaches,

waves in the wind like the relentless tide.

 

A dove scurried up by the onrush

of the gleaner rides those waves,

seeking the sweet curl, buffeted,

then swooping in a long bend on the wind.

 

The crop rolls over this dry ocean

for miles toward the low horizon

hazy with the winnowing of grain

offered to the blue heavens.

In the distance, green circles of corn

and cotton are island among the waves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Jesus Karate Glove

Advertisement on a billboard,

Gone by too fast for the fine print:

 

Is it possessive, Jesus’,

the karate glove of Jesus?

 

Or appositive—Jesus, the Karate Glove?

 

Why does he need it?

To protect his hands?

 

To soften them for his opponents

when he smites them

with crushing bad budo?

 

To give him a better grip

so that the Others cannot

slip away, perform a shotei uke

and get the upper hand

with their karate gloves?

 

To keep his hands dry

of sweat that he always drips

when he gets in a tight fix

like when he hangs on the cross

and drips on the centurions

in their dice game?

 

How is he a glove, the Karate Glove?

Does he protect us?

Soften our karate chop

into the world?

 

Help us get a grip?

 

Keep us dry under arms

and on brow in our tight

situations?

 

Or is he just a spangled

accessory like Michael Jackson

wore so we can sing

and dance his praises

more fully, joyously,

gaily, gloriously?

 

Or is it a brand?

And did Jesus sign a contract

to endorse these gloves?

 

Are they the best karate glove?

 

Compassionate karate gloves?

 

Miraculous karate gloves?

 

Do they have his signature

on them like a Pete Rose

catcher’s mitt or Barry Bonds' bat?

 

Are they really the best

or is he cashing in

before the public tires

of his kata?

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Creation of Chupacabra

For Larry

 

On full moon nights

it takes shape in the depths

of measureless caverns

from the very darkness,

a spectral creation jealous

of hot-blooded wanderers

under the sun .

 

At moonrise

I hear its clawed paws

thumping in the dust

of dry South Texas fields

as it scurries among the mesquite

toward the restless goats

in Esperanto’s pen.

 

Its mangy coyote body

and bat-eared cabeza

smell of the vampirish diet

he sucks from goats and careless children.

The credulous search for him,

but wise abuelas shut their doors,

hush their grandkids,

and tell their rosaries against

this smarmy and hornless devil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Trudy the Cosmetologist Gives Chupacabra a Make-Over

 

Now, sweetie, we can take

advantage of your gaunt

and hollow face.  A bit of liner

under the eyes, more blue

than that raw red.  It will

accentuate those lashes, give

them more body.  Some subdued

blush on your cheeks.

 

We really need to do something

about your hair.  Luster

is what it needs, and volumizer

because, honey, it is lank,

and lank is like a skank, they say.

And perhaps tip in some highlights.

 

Let’s work on that posture. 

Don’t stoop.  It juts your head

forward, and that just ruins

your aura; that seems to invade

others’ personal space, you know.

 

And those razor lips,

even with that  Flame-on Red

lipstick, are just too severe,

as if nights were for work

rather than fun.  Let’s use

Demur Pink lip liner—it says,

“let’s dance the night away.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Confluence

Where the Tygart Valley and West Fork meet,

 rats gather in rapture. The Monongahela flows

in its clay-crumbling banks from there to Pittsburgh

with rats as big as possums waving to coal barges

plying downstream.

 

                                    We lived a block up the hill

from rat local #100, and the union hall

was a jumping place.  My wife, bless her soul,

encouraged the cats, any strays, in the neighborhood.

She placed pie tins of Meow-mix outside the back

porch door.  The food always disappeared overnight,

but she never saw the cats, assumed they patrolled

the streets and alleys, vigilant as cops

at a doughnut shop.

 

                                    One night when she set

the catfood on the steps, she heard a rustle

in the shrubs against the house.  Without her glasses

but with love in her heart for the cats she knew

protected her and our house from the rowdy rats

from down on the coal docks, she peered around

the door to glimpse the cat she had heard.  It came

at more a slither than a feline stalk toward the tin.

 

Rats must be nearsighted, too, or just intent

on Meow-mix.  Not until my wife eased her head

toward the partially opened screen door did

the animal from the bushes realize it was not

alone, rear up, flip the pie tin as it pivoted to flee

and disappear down the hill with my wife’s screams

rolling down the Monongahela’s clay-crumbling banks.

 

 

 

 


Clarence Wolfshohl is professor emeritus of English at William Woods University.  He operated Timberline Press for thirty-five years until the end of 2010.  His poetry and creative fiction have appeared  in Concho River Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Colere, Rattlesnake Review, Cenizo Journal, San Pedro River Review, and Melic Review, Houston Literary ReviewRight Hand Pointing  and Red River Review online.  He was a featured poet in the August 2013 Red River Review.  A chapbook of poems about Brazil, Season of Mangos, was published by Adastra Press (2009) and a compilation of three earlier chapbooks, The First Three (2010) and Down Highway 281 (2011) were published by El Grito del Lobo Press.  In Harm’s Way:  Poems of Childhood in collaboration with Mark Vinz was published by El Grito del Lobo Press in early 2013.  A native Texan, Wolfshohl now lives with his writing, two dogs and two cats in a nine-acre woods outside of Fulton, Missouri.




Poetry

Caps and Gowns by VICKY SMITH article
Three poems by MICHELLE HARTMAN article
THE NIGHT RUNNER by Richard Dixon article
Two poems by Ann Howells article
Two poems by Joan Colby article
Two poems by DAVID BOWLES article
Three poems by TYLER SHELDON article
Two poems by Kenneth Pobo article
Two poems by Brian Burmeister article
/emotions tough to navigate/ by CLARA B. JONES article
Two poems by Roger Still article
Two poems by Walter Bargen article
Five poems by Terry M Gresham article
Gumbo, Late by Paul Medus article
The Age of Tenderness for Walker Percy by Richard Louis Ray article
Three poems by Jennifer Lagier article
Two poems by Travis Blair article
Two poems by Clarence Wolfshohl article
Strong by Mikayla Riddles article
Four poems by Alan Gann article
Two poems by Sandra Soli article
Two poems by Walter Bargen article
Touring Mausoleums with Vincent Price by Michelle Hartman article
Four poems by Larry D. Thomas article
Arroyo Piño by Jeanetta Calhoun Mish article
SANTA FE FALL AND FOOTHILLS by Richard Dixon article
Three poems by Norbert Krapf article
Hometown, Louisiana: Men by Brent Newsom article
On Jackson Square by Ron Wallace article
Two poems by Clarence Wolfshohl article
Two poems by Ann Howells article
Close Kin by Hank Jones article
Five poems by Abigail Keegan article
Witch Hazel by Norbert Krapf article
At the Center of Holy for Matthew Fox by Norbert Krapf article
Winter Elegy by Norbert Krapf article
Canyon de Chelly Reflections for David Paladin by Norbert Krapf article
Mr. Blues and Etheridge Knight by Norbert Krapf article
CINQUAIN: FIRECRACKER for Laverne Bobbitt by Kenny Fame article
KWANSABA: DONNA SUMMER by Kenny Fame article
She dreamed of running by Jessica Isaacs article
Hide And Seek by Gene McCormick article
Play “Melancholy Baby” by Gene McCormick article
Group Portrait with Backdrop 1999 by Alan Catlin article
A Natural History of Destruction after W. G. Sebald by Alan Catlin article
Keats Walking by Alan Catlin article
One Man’s Garbage...by Alan Berecka article
After the Roll by Alan Berecka article
Blue Dress on a Hanger by Joey Brown article
Blue Dress on a Hanger, Second Take by Joey Brown article
Making by Joey Brown article
Birds Talking Place by Joey Brown article
On the Last Hill Before Oklahoma by Joey Brown article
The Child In The Painting by Samantak Bhadra article
Let's Be Quiet by Samantak Bhadra article
I Didn’t Think it Through by Mathieu Cailler article
What Nobody Knows by Mathieu Cailler article
Gold Watch by Mathieu Cailler article
Somewhere by Mathieu Cailler article
Distance Formula by Robin Scofield article
Learning Spanish Accents in Zacatecas, Mexico by Robin Scofield article
Going Across Paso Del Norte 1992 by Robin Scofield article
Daubigny’s Garden by Robin Scofield article
Nocturne by Nettie Farris article
Toast by Sandra Soli article
Concert Tour by Sandra Soli article
Blue Jay in April by Sandra Soli article
Mosaicist by Patrick Ocampo article
Drowning by Patrick Ocampo article
Surprised By High School Football Practice In May While Listening to Bessie Smith Sing the Blues on Compact Disc by John Graves Morris article
Feeder On Clearance by Scott Kinder Pyle article
What My Wife’s Ex-Boyfriend Said To Me In The Receiving Line, And What I Hear by Scott Kinder Pyle article
Déjà Vu by Jessica Guzman article
Dinner for Two by Jessica Guzman article
Yellow by Jessica Guzman article
City Arithmetic by Jessica Guzman article
Hurricane Charley by Jessica Guzman article
A Star by Kevin Rabas article
Whatever Happened to Her By Tracy Haught article
Reading Answers by Alan Berecka article
TALKING TO MY RACIST FRIEND by Benjamin Myers article
Near the Channel Islands by Paul Bowers article
NOTES FROM THE LAST WEEKEND OF SUMMER by Jonas Zdanys article
THE WANDERING LIGHT by Jonas Zdanys article
THE COLD STEEL OF MORNING by Jonas Zdanys article
THE MIDDAY SUN by Jonas Zdanys article



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