I cheated death, and it was such a thrill--
that day in 1960 when I sped
my brand-new bright red Schwinn down Beaumont hill
right through the intersection, and instead
of braking, glided to a fateless day.
I don't know why I did it; I was one
who brushed her teeth and put her toys away.
Perhaps I thought abandon might be fun.
And so it was. Until the guilt set in--
grim thoughts of crowds around a mangled waif,
and worse--my disobedience, a sin
I never did confess. I've played it safe
since then, and took the road most traveled by.
Easy rider. Would-be butterfly.
by Catherine Chandler
Catherine Chandler was born in New York City and raised in Wilkes-Barre , Pennsylvania . In addition to her work as a French and Spanish translator, she has lectured in Spanish at McGill and Concordia Universities in Canada .
A Pushcart Prize nominee and finalist for Best of the Net, Catherine's poems and translations have been published or are forthcoming in numerous journals, magazines, anthologies and ezines in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.
A relay in the brain goes on the blink,
and some poor sod hears voices, or the world
goes psychedelic on him--and he morphs
until his friends seem strangers. Going, gone.
Deep in the delicate complexity
of neural transmitters and vesicles,
synapses misfire, somewhere: only one,
and then crescendo: quick, hallucinate,
until the world blinks--stop.
It happens, folks:
routinely, like the morning coffee cup.
We're ornamental eggshells, suctioned out
so that we crack and fracture at a touch.
So go on, paint us: sculpt your tissue-house,
And balance us on little plywood cups.
But touch us oh-so gently if you must--
and neighbor, hold your breath.
by Kathryn Jacobs
Kathryn Jacobs is a poet from Harvard teaching at Texas A & M - C. In November (08) her chapbook, Advice Column, will be appearing at Finishing Line Press. She has also had over 65 poems accepted in the last 16 months, at journals such as The New Formalist, Measure and the Washington Literary Review. She has a husband and two daughters; her son Raymond died in 2005, at 18.