June evening chirps in the breath between
afternoon and old avian night.
New moon swims the city duck pond. Street lights
burr cicada-like. Taxies swoop, careen
screeching the gusted lanes – loosed parakeets.
Grubbing hours overtime, a roughneck
woodpecker goes nattering through rickrack
macadam, jacked in. Above the street
a lineman’s perched. He cocks a liquid eye
at distant crashes, cries – held not serene
but still as night grows dim. On paths that lie
along the plum wine pond, the groundsman’s cane
is pronged. He dips and spears the trash unseen,
stalks on, relentless as the river crane.
Finding the Cat
Cubist calligraph in lampblack, the room’s
a zero plashed abruptly by some master’s
careless hand. His brush strokes’ pranking whiskers
fray door frames, matte the shadows you presume
are headlights nosing through the bamboo blinds.
Sleepless early morning, you cannot hold
the pillow, and your shoes are empty. Cold
comfort creeps beneath the bed. Pay no mind,
but dream a thousand cat-faced demons wauling
murder, till your clock’s knocked off the vanity
– a thunder crash – and wake. This is falling
on your feet. Get up. Remember to keep
the box clean and bowl full. Hungry,
you eat. Sleepy, you go back to sleep.
Manny Blacksher is a teacher, writer, and editor who will soon enroll in Carnegie Mellon's masters program in professional writing. Blacksher grew up in Alabama but has lived and worked in Montreal and Dublin, Ireland. His poems have appeared in many journals including Poetry Ireland Review, Measure, Green Hills Literary Lantern, and Digital Americana.