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Loof Life
Painting by Andrew Purchin
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2012 Morton Marcus Poetry Prize:

Runner-up: Curt Anderson
The Bell

since you moved away
to a town none of us can pronounce,
we sit on twin couches awaiting your arrival.
O the long interstate of that.
you’re never here to be
the reach of every word.
our stories pause at a passing car.
we watch the television tell us what we don’t have,
waiting for the bell you have become.

or we open the door to darkness,
the folding moment in which you will not appear,
a slant of streetlight or hiss of rain.
we wonder why you refuse to wash away
the wreck of our chatter, the mixed nuts.
even the dour children hang on a twig
scratching the blackened window.
we hear footsteps on the gravel,
an old car door clucked shut.

but it is never you,
only the telephone rattling in the kitchen,
coffee grumbling in the background,
an explanation dragged out on a tray
with chalk white cups,
our hands crumpling in our laps.
and now you are the silence we sit in,
the old stories appearing one by one,
threadbare and homeless.

Curt Anderson

Curt Anderson lives in Ben Lomond and works for UC Santa Cruz. His work shifts between experimental and mainstream poems. One of his poems appeared in The Poetry Anthology, 1912-2002: Ninety Years of America’s Most Distinguished Verse Magazine (2003).  Others in Poetry, Poetry East, The World, Bitter Oleander, Caliban, Talisman, Exquisite Corpse, lower limit speech, First Intensity, Disturbed Guillotine, Shampoo #26, Barrow Street, Washington Square Review and Pong. He has an MA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University.


Spring 2012

Vinnie Hansen
Clifford Henderson

Vergere Street
Dena and Becky Taylor

Bri Bruce
SA Smythe
Debra Spencer
J. Zimmerman

Morton Marcus Poetry Runners-Up
Curt Anderson
Catherine Segurson
David Sullivan

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