Rhythmically Inapposite

by Michael McRandall
Pen Shells
Honorable Mention, June 2007
Judged by Bryan Appleyard


Lana rides a pony in the
cellar
unmindful of the children
who dance circles at the
door —
she wonders if the apathy
is terminal,
or merely, chronic,
but decides it doesn’t matter
since the colors fade
regardless of the
song.

Neighbors stand in line to borrow
vapors
which serve to cover shadows
that have melted on the
floor —
plant roses in her window-box
and water them with undiluted
inference,
Then watch through shuttered
windows
as she finger-paints a
mourning on the
sky.

Lana makes an early trip to
vacant —
where every mother Mary
emulates their father’s
whore —
and withers at the
elementary portrait that is
drowning in the rearview,
as crack-pipes play
a reverential etude to a
fractured morning
buzz.



  • December 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Avaricious
      by Judy Kaber
      The Waters

      Second Place

      To James Bulger, aged 2, murdered February 1993
      by two boys aged 10 in Liverpool, England
      by Christopher T. George
      Babilu

      Third Place

      Dr. Pachango’s Mango
      by Jim Fowler
      Babliu

  • November 2020 Winners

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      by Laurie Byro
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      Second Place

      To My Old Age
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Waters

      Third Place

      Beggar’s Lice
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Writer's Block