Monday, May 2, 2016

Bill Baber

UNCASHED TICKETS

Making a huge move
around the clubhouse turn
The seven horse
grabs a lead it won't let go.
14-1 and the thousand dollars
worth of win tickets
that Tony D. held
could of gotten him
out of a real bad jam.
But they won't
because just before
the sixth race
they whacked him
for being five grand behind
on a two month old debt.
With turquoise silks shining
in the late afternoon sun
Fates Right Hand
crosses the wire
five lengths in front.


Bill reads "Uncashed Tickets":


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Bill confesses: "This poem was inspired by my love of crime fiction and The Sport of Kings and the desperate people who have been known to inhabit both of those worlds."


BILL BABER has had over two dozen crime stories published and his stories have recently appeared in Rogue from Near to the Knuckle, Hardboiled Crime Scene from Dead Guns Press and Locked & Loaded from One Eye Press. He has also had a number of poems published online – one of which is being considered for a Best of the Net Award- and in the occasional literary journal. A book of his poetry, Where the Wind Comes to Play was published by Berberis Press in 2011. He lives in Tucson with his wife and a spoiled dog and has been known to cross the border for a cold beer. He is working on his first novel.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Day 30: Mystery Playground features "Facts" by Robert Cooperman

Deb Lacy and Bob Cooperman help us face the facts of National Poetry Month and this year's blog tour ending. Thanks to all the participants, especially Deb, who featured a poem each Saturday of the tour.

Unlike National Poetry Month, The Five-Two is year-round, always open to submissions. See you Monday for a new poem by Bill Baber.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Day 29: Elizabeth Lash on "Minnesota jump" by Kurt Nimmo

I must have looked at Nimmo's poem a dozen times or more by now—I keep returning to the grey and frozen landscape into which the poet drives, which undoubtedly represents his own mortality. Each time, I am struck by how he holds up Berryman's life as a mirror to his own. Perhaps Nimmo wonders how he will choose to let go when he finally finds himself staring down death's barrel—will it be with notoriety, winning himself post-mortem fame, or will it be into obscurity, with a long, slow decline? (One wonders, why is it the jump into the unknown, and not the work itself, which seems to help achieve true notoriety?)

The essence of this poem's beauty is in its evocation of illness, suicide, and a frozen, isolated landscape with just a few penstrokes. But I most admire the simplicity in the way he frames the subject matter at the outset ("another trip to the doctor"); the image of the "turgid, green" Tallahatchie with the contrasting frozen Colorado, as pictured in his mind's eye; and the visual aspect of the final two lines. Simply by distancing the last line from the body of the poem, one hears the thud of the body falling onto solid ice. It is an end to the line and to Berryman's life, and an elegant and shattering way to end the poem.

—Elizabeth Lash