Poetry: “Intermission” by Esteban Rodriguez

Intermission

Semi-shrouded behind the tent, and they linger like flies, a half-circle of a handful of clowns, chit-chatting and spitting bits of their red painted lips on the mud-worn ground, nothing like the movie image of their crazed chuckles, defiled teeth, poison-squirt flowers and rusted mini-tricycles squeaking from house to house, snuffing little boys every night before sleep. These weren’t the colorful demons feeding off our flesh, or the fools who jumped, smacked, and piggybacked till cartoon stars sprinkled in the air, but merely men yanking off their wigs, ‘shooting the shit’ like Pa and his boys on Sunday afternoons. Like the way I’d watch my father spew spit and speech inside his old spittoon, I watched these seasonal entertainers smoke and swear, jaw about anything not about the show, because the show was nothing fancy to jaw about, more a reason for me to sneak out, see the act behind the act, the life that makes the life on stage seem like the life they always live, a sense that their painted faces are never taken off, that when they’re off the clock, they go back to being the backyard clowns hired for magic tricks, the famed harlequins of European descent, or the master hobo, tramp, and bums juggling what can’t be juggled by anyone else but them. Which is why when I sneak back in, I don’t mind no attention to the net-less tightrope walkers, the scent of elephant manure, the fire-breathing sword-swallowers, or the glittery ringmaster shouting that we should all be prepared, now that I’ve witnessed the performance of non-performance, the art of intermission, the echo of their human laughs I have no reason not to trust, this newfound feeling that as they taunt the focused tiger-tamers, stop and bow, I’m the only one amongst the crowd with the right to applaud like a shill.

Esteban Rodríguez holds an MFA from the University of Texas Pan-American, and works as an elementary reading and writing tutor in the Rio Grande Valley, promoting both English and Spanish literacy. His poetry is forthcoming in The Los Angeles Review, storySouth, The Country Dog Review, and Huizache. He lives in Weslaco, Texas.

Poetry: “If I Don’t Get Out There Soon I’ll Die” by Thomas Pescatore

If I don’t get out there soon I’ll die

Close as many roads as you like
I imagine one straight golden line
leading out to the coast through
leaning wheat stacked plains and closed
snow covered mountain passes,
trees taller than the buildings
sent to suffocate and teach me
to keep my head down, teach ya to ignore
the sky, walk on walk on walk on
searching aging dying calling
out into the sweet dark American night
that still smells sometimes like that
greasy sweat we used to know
and weren’t afraid enough to ignore, labor
sweat and poet’s sweat and jazz-man sweat that’d seeped into
the life blood of the continent unnoticed—
before it was paved and potted with
new factory blend soil and re-branded
old, meaningless, bygone and tired,
meant to be looked at out the periphery
of embarrassed eyes and dry throats.

Tom Pescatore grew up outside Philadelphia dreaming of the endless road ahead, carrying the idea of the fabled West in his heart. He maintains a poetry blog: amagicalmistake.blogspot.com. His work has been published in literary magazines both nationally and internationally but he’d rather have them carved on the Walt Whitman bridge or on the sidewalks of Philadelphia’s old Skid Row.

Poetry: “Loop” by Thomas Pescatore

Loop

I was traveling in a car on
a street that was an endless loop
like Flintstones background of
the same few windows
same few doors, I was supposed
to do something that I couldn’t
—I couldn’t—figure—I stopped and gave
a ride to a girl with no face and no memory,
when she got in we were walking
different streets.

there was no car.
Tom Pescatore grew up outside Philadelphia dreaming of the endless road ahead, carrying the idea of the fabled West in his heart. He maintains a poetry blog: amagicalmistake.blogspot.com. His work has been published in literary magazines both nationally and internationally but he’d rather have them carved on the Walt Whitman bridge or on the sidewalks of Philadelphia’s old Skid Row.

Winter 2014 Cover Contest

Euphony Journal’s Winter 2014 issue is underway, and once again we are in need of a cover! Anyone and everyone is invited to submit their photographs or other visual art pieces for consideration!

Please send your images to euphonyjournal@gmail.com by next Friday, January 17th. You are welcome to submit multiple entries. We look forward to seeing your work!
-The Editors

From the Archives: “Mixed Blessings” by Stephen David Glover

My friend Kate makes fun of me because when we go to the grocery store together, which is often (since she has a car and I don’t), I’m always smelling things. I smell the marshmallows through the bag. I smell the circus peanuts and the maple nut goodies and the Necco wafers in the candy aisle. At the checkout I lean in close to the minty gums—spear, pepper, double, winter—and try to inhale their brisk, crinkled scent. I’d open the bleach and sniff if I wouldn’t have to buy it afterwards.

When we get to the bread aisle I’m hopeless. I crouch a bit and skirt along the shelves with my nose just centimeters from the plastic bags; I hyperventilate in the effort to get as much yeasty musk in my head as possible. I want to gulp in the air, but it’s not a smell you can taste. I want to hold it in forever, but lungs don’t olfactorate either, and they must be emptied to get another whiff through my nose. Kate just laughs and keeps a safe distance so strangers won’t think we’re together.

The truth is that my sense of smell is very weak, and I’m so excited by the few things I can smell that I can’t help myself. For me the world is a mostly colorless smellscape. I can go on breathing for days without being reminded of my nose’s other function, but when I am, I’m as happy as if I’d been kissed.

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