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  November 2017
volume 14 number 2
-table of contents-
  home   (archived)
  contributing poets
  Gary Beck
  Jack G. Bowman
  Sir Mark Bruback
  JR Campbell
  Adrian Ernesto Cepeda
  Darren C Demaree
  Amitabh Vikram Dwivedi
  Raymond Fenech
  Gerda Govine Ituarte
  Grant Guy
  Hedy Habra
  Danielle Harper
  JD Hart
  Tom Irish
  Kait Jensen
  Michael Lee Johnson
  Elisabeth Khan
  Ron Lucas
  Suzanne O'Connell
  Scott Thomas Outlar
  E. Martin Pedersen
  John D Robinson
  Miriam Sagan
  Rishan Singh
  Spencer Smith
  Ann Christine Tabaka
  Viola Weinberg
  Cade Williams
  Terry Wolverton
  Bill Yarrow
  mailing list
Suzanne O'Connell
November 2017



photo by mauricio alejandro ramos

    Suzanne O’Connell is a poet and clinical social worker living in Los Angeles. Her recently published work can be found in Poet Lore, American Chordata, Alembic, Forge, Juked, Existere, and Crack The Spine. O’Connell was nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize. Her first poetry collection, A Prayer For Torn Stockings, was published by Garden Oak Press in 2016.



Do Not Play Dominos the Night You Die

Death is a career, not a game or hobby.
Curses and strikes of lightning can be expected.
Clouds will scurry forth and dress the moon in a fuzzy frock.
Look upward, meteors will spell out which game is best.

Hopscotch maybe.
The coins and lost teeth will rattle in your pocket as you jump,
sounding like beans in a gourd,
marking time to a last rhumba.

Avoid the Ouija board. The big questions
have already been answered.
A songbook could be nice but avoid
Christmas songs that remind you of
family. Why aren’t they here, anyway?

Leap from your bed with ballet arms!
Shake your hips like you are Elvis.
Remove your pants under God’s supervision.
Your clothing will be removed soon anyway.
Raise those jazz hands to the sun that may not rise again.

I think it’s someone’s birthday today but not mine.
Let the candles on their cake burn with a fury
as I flame out in a frenzy of my own.
I will curse and dance with every pulse
until I snuff my candle out
and journey into the dying light.

copyright 2017 Suzanne O'Connell