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  November/December 2012
volume 9 number 2
-table of contents-
  home   (archived)
  featured poets
  David Cravens
  Ivan Jenson
  Walter Ruhlmann
  Maryann Russo
  John Saunders
  David Scriven
  Apryl Skies
  Julia Stein
  mailing list
David Cravens December 2012



photo by james barros

    David R. Cravens received his undergraduate degree in philosophy at the University of Missouri during which he spent a semester in West Africa studying eastern philosophy. Afterward, he spent several years working as a scuba-diving instructor in the Bahamas, the Florida Keys, the Turneffe Islands of Belize, and the Channel Islands of Southern California before returning to Southeast Missouri State University where he earned his master's degree in English literature. He's a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Magna Cum Laude, Sigma Tau Delta, The National Eagle Scout Association, and Mensa. He received the 2008 Saint Petersburg Review Prize in Poetry, the 2011 Bedford Poetry Prize, and was a finalist for Ohio State University's The Journal William Allen Creative Nonfiction Contest. His work has also appeared in The Houston Literary Review, Albatross, The Monarch Review, EarthSpeak Magazine, and Mension: The Newsletter of Mid-America Mensa. He's an adjunct Professor of English Studies for Central Methodist University as well as an English Instructor at Mineral Area College where he teaches literature and composition. He lives in Farmington Missouri with his dog Tenzing.



Last Judgment

Ars Longa, Vita Brevis

when the Last Judgment was nearing completion
Pope Paul III brought Biagio da Cesena into the Sistine Chapel
and when Biagio saw St Blaise bent over St Catherine
in something of a sodomitic pose
(her naked breasts dangling over a portion of her breaking wheel)
he said it was “disgraceful that in so sacred a place
there should be depicted such vile nude figures—
it is rather more suited for a bathhouse or tavern”
(Pietro Aretino said it belonged in a brothel)
overhearing Biagio’s comment
Michelangelo painted the man’s portrait
in the figure of the ass-eared Minos surrounded by devils
on the damned side of the fresco near the shore of Styx
(his fat torso constricted by a serpent biting into his penis)
for years Biagio implored the Pope to remove it
“I have some little influence in Heaven” Paul would always tell him
“but I’m afraid I have none in Hell”

copyright 2012 David Cravens




(on game theory)

there are hawks and there are doves
but I’ve always liked tortoises
because of their stoic determination
and that story about the race—
I see hares everyday
at the grocery store
at the gas station
frantically scratching lotto tickets
guzzling coffee and filling tanks
screeching and wheeling like gulls at a landfill
all hastening to the same grave—
so a tortoise I’ll be
trudging along in my armor
all soft tissue and organs on the inside
just trying to get through life
and avoid the next car

copyright 2012 David Cravens