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  April 2019
volume 16 number 1
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  featured poets
  Rich Follett
  Dani Raschel Jiménez
  Terry McCarty
  Simon Perchik
  Kevin Ridgeway
  Opalina Salas
  Annette Marie Smith
  Jan Steckel
  Lois Michal Unger
  Amy Uyematsu
  Viola Weinberg
 
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Jan Steckel April 2019
   

 

bio


photo by tess. lotta

    Jan Steckel is a former pediatrician who stopped practicing medicine because of chronic pain. Her latest poetry book is Like Flesh Covers Bone (Zeitgeist Press, December 2018). Her poetry book The Horizontal Poet (Zeitgeist Press, 2011) won a 2012 Lambda Literary Award for Bisexual Nonfiction. Her fiction chapbook Mixing Tracks (Gertrude Press, 2009) and poetry chapbook The Underwater Hospital (Zeitgeist Press, 2006) also won awards. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Scholastic Magazine, Bellevue Literary Review, New Verse News, November 3 Club, Assaracus and elsewhere. Her work was nominated three times each for the Pushcart and Sundress Best of the Net anthologies, won the Goodreads Poetry Contest three times, and won various other awards. She lives in Oakland, California.

   

 

Quixotic Dancer


The ghost stripper peels off layers of ectoplasm,
shimmies till you get the willies.
She teases you as if she were a live girl,
grinds her nonexistent fanny against your thighs.

She sighs for her lover, a coal miner
who trudged underground and never came up.
His bones are turning to diamonds in the shaft.
Hers are ground into ecru powder for North Beach girls.

The wallpaper’s peeling with heat and damp.
Velvet to the touch, it’s embossed with sad roses.
In 1906, the room she shared with two
Cantonese hookers shook, then burned.

You make it rain silver dollars right through her.
She lifts her face like Danae in the shower of gold.

copyright 2019 Jan Steckel

   

 

Danse Bataclan

In Paris catacombs, bones shiver with each explosion.
Walls of femurs and skulls disassemble,
reintegrate into skeletons sucking off, scissoring,
doing it doggy style, the reverse cowgirl,
sixty-nining away as though juice dripped
from powdery mandibles. The devil flosses his teeth
with wire from suicide vests, picks his molars
with a jammed AK-47. The Eiffel Tower’s going dark,
its light dripping down into the tunnels,
firing up the old widow maker once again.


*Terrorists killed 89 people at the Bataclan theater in Paris in November of 2015.

copyright 2019 Jan Steckel