PoetryIssue 21 | October 2014

Two poems by Mike Puican

Clark and Belmont Ghazal

Two window washers radio for help when their Sky Climber hits a scaffold
on the way down. Someone yells out: Raise it the fuck up.

Down the street, three brothers turn on every faucet in the church bathroom
then sprint for the door. They push each other into bushes all the way home.

A woman applies her makeup at a traffic light while a chanteuse
pours her heart through a crack in the window.

An old man walks his wiener dog with her swayed back, nails clicking,
nipples hanging just off the sidewalk, connecting the neighborhood.

People, says a waitress standing on a counter, are we letting perfect
be the enemy of good?
A plane flies in her left ear and out her cheek.

Commuters gather on the platform, eating their spiced meat and fries,
leaning on the heads of men who say they will cut our taxes.

We all stand in silence, facing in the same direction, waiting
for the next train, thinking that we’re not moving.

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About the author

In 1970, after hearing Jerry Rubin speak, Mike Puican hitchhiked from a little town in Pennsylvania to Chicago to join the revolution. He is still waiting for that revolution to happen. Since then, he has lived in Chicago and Toronto. His poetry has been published in the US and Canada in journals such as: Another Chicago Magazine, Malahat Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, New England Review and Parthenon West.

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok