Monday, July 28, 2014

Paul Hostovsky

THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES

I stole a bathmat
from the Royal Copenhagen Hotel

because it said Royal Copenhagen on it
and how cool is that

for stepping out of your shower onto
every day of your life in America

as a souvenir
of a few dissolute days in Denmark?

I like to snuggle the rich velvety pile
with my ten poor stubby toes

while I’m still dripping from the shower,
which is where I get all my best ideas—

then I feel a little like Soren Kierkegaard,
and a little like King Frederick,

and a little like Hans Christian Andersen
getting out of his claw-foot tub

and getting a great idea,
and standing there for a few timeless

dripping moments,
then rushing to his writing table

and spinning the yarn, still naked,
in one inspired sitting,

his trail of wet footprints disappearing
before the ink had dried.


Paul reads "The Emperor's New Clothes":




Paul confesses: "This poem was inspired by a recent shower, which is where I get all my best ideas, and by a bathmat that I stole from the Royal Copenhagen Hotel about 40 years ago, and by a lifelong love of all things Danish."


PAUL HOSTOVSKY is the author of five books of poetry and six poetry chapbooks. His Selected Poems was published in 2014 by FutureCycle Press. He has won a Pushcart Prize and two Best of the Net awards, has been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, The Writer's Almanac, and was a Featured Poet on the Georgia Poetry Circuit 2013. He works in Boston as an Interpreter for the Deaf.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A-Z Challenge: T

To maintain the flow of submissions year-round, each week I'll challenge you to write about crimes beginning with a particular letter of the alphabet. We'll cycle through the alphabet twice a year. Notice we will come back to A in the second week of September, The Five-Two's anniversary.

This week's letter is T. That can refer to terrorism, TV crime shows, etc. The challenge is, of course, optional. The Five-Two is open to any interpretation of crime, poems about being wronged, anything that strikes you as "criminal".

Monday, July 21, 2014

Robert Cooperman

INCIDENT AT A POLLING PLACE, AFTER THE SUPREME COURT RULING AGAINST THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT

You try to politely explain that I.D.'s
from the local university and out-of-state
drivers’ licenses aren't sufficient,
but some people just won't listen.

"What would be sufficient?" the young man
demanded, in that precise enunciation
that means he's about to say or do something
he'll regret: steam practically shooting
from his ears and nose, eyes twitching,
fingers threatening to squeeze the life
out of me, for merely being the messenger.

"A local driver's license," I told him
for the fourth time, sick of repeating it.
"So we can be sure you're not perpetrating
voter fraud," and shooed sweet old
Mrs. Dile into one of the voting booths.

"How come you didn't ask for her license?"

"Young man," I scolded, "Mrs. Dile
hasn't driven in more than ten years."

"So she’s good to go without proper I.D.?"

"Now you listen here," I pointed.
"Everyone knows the Diles; we don't
know you. Go vote where you came from."

"The polls will be closed before I even
board a plane," he rolled his eyes.

"You should've thought of that before!"
Luckily, that nice police officer was right
by the door when that odious boy shouted
I was a Klanswoman. The very idea!


Kristen Chapman Gibbons reads "Incident at a Polling Place..." (coming soon):


Cooperman confesses: "'Incident at a Polling Place' grew out the Supreme Court's vile decision that money (like the Koch brothers' largess) showered on political candidates equals free speech. and not undue influence. It was just a short leap from there to imagine that the five activist judges on the Court would then vote to repeal the Voting Rights Act, since it seems to me that their purpose in many of their more malignant rulings is to start a real race war with guns and blood in the street and everyone but white, Christian males either dead, in exile, or enslaved."


ROBERT COOPERMAN's latest collection is Just Drive (Brick Road Poetry Press). He is currently working on a collection about his father's experiences in the army at the end of World War II.