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  April 2019
volume 16 number 1
-table of contents-
  home   (archived)
  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
  mailing list
Rich Follett April 2019



art by sonjaye maurya

    Rich Follett is a High School English and Creative Writing teacher who has been writing poems and songs for more than forty years. His poems have been featured in numerous online and print journals, including BlazeVox, The Montucky Review, Paraphilia, Leaf Garden Press, and the late Felino Soriano’s CounterExample Poetics, for which he was a featured artist. Three volumes of poetry, Responsorials (with Constance Stadler), Silence, Inhabited, and Human &c. are available through NeoPoiesis Press ( He lives with his wife Mary Ruth Alred Follett in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where he also pursues his interests as a professional actor, singer/songwriter, playwright, and director.



Wrack (2016 - ?)

truth is fluid
reason goes begging
hope is poverty and
fortune follows the imbecile

pundits are lepers
enmity blooms
ignorance is airborne and
opportunity courts privilege

when fear drives decisions
democracy dies
dreams are defiled and
bedlam ensues

It doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was. ~ Anne Sexton

copyright 2019 Rich Follett



Didelphis Virginiana

just before bedtime,
barefoot and nightshirted,
cursing an early frost,
i was tipping kitchen trash into
a bin outside the house
when something inside the bin … moved.

time stood still
(no other way to say it)
and ‘zero at the bone’
became real.

survival instinct
put a nearby spade in my hand;
blind panic
drove me to wield it like a shackled convict
digging post holes in blood-red clay
at the height of a southern summer
under the foreman’s rifled gaze.

my victim was silent
(i could have weathered anything but that):
to this day, the briefest stagnation of night air
reanimates that voiceless black and
it is i who cannot scream …

i did not –
could not –
revisit the scene
until daylight
breached my chrysalis of terror.

gingerly peeling back detritus,
i peered into the vinyl abyss
expecting to find, perhaps,
fragments of furry hide or,
at the very least,
a deflated rodent balloon;
i was not prepared for
the infant opossum
which seemed merely to be asleep until
i noticed the gaping crimson crescent
where its right side should have been.

for the record,
i have never liked opossum
(ever since child-i startled one
while climbing a hollow tree and
it hissed me into
acrid saffron self-saturation).

many times since
i have allowed my car to drift toward
a headlight-dazed midnight marsupial,
secretly coveting the satisfying crunch
i knew would follow
of this i am not proud, but
the facts remain.

having been born between wars –
too young for one, too old for another –
i had no referent for
myself as assassin;
this infant rind of mangled fur
had broken, in death,
my steely resolve –
my seething animosity.

compassion and guilt
flooded me,
hollowed me,
and so it is that
twenty years on
i dream the spade untouched –
the creature, whole …

copyright 2019 Rich Follett