Pushcart Prize Nominees for 2014


Randy Mora, My Favourite Indepedent Bookshop, gays-the-word, 2011
Randy Mora

Pushcart Prize Nominees:

for poems published in 2014

Kelly Cressio-Moeller, “First Milk” 
Published November 5, 2014

Lauren Gordon, “Divorce Poem #14”
Published May 14, 2014

John Guzlowski, “Life Story”
Published June 25, 2014

Lynne Knight, “To My Rapist”
Published September 3, 2014

Nick McRae, “Fishing the Black Warrior with Adam”
Published October 1, 2014

Donna Vorreyer, “Views from This Tenement”
Published April 2, 2014

Randy Mora, The Amazing Truth
Kelly Cressio-Moeller

First Milk 

This is not your memory, 

Little Boy Blue. 
Swaddled tightly –
rooting pink,
newborn-swallows 
at my breast.

I thought 
you had fallen asleep 
until you turned

from powder, 
to periwinkle, 
to prussian,
into midnight 
so intense

the light went out 
in each room 
of my heart.

Randy Mora, la-pitonisa
Lauren Gordon

Divorce Poem #14

I developed sun spots
from staring into brighter things.

Then came the rickets, the hives,
welts under my skin

crimson and malodorous
like the Japanese beetles

that infested our porch one summer.
I barely survived flu season

viscous and running,
every bone hurt.

When I was laid up 
with chiggers 

and lyme disease,
the midnight train

would chuff past my bedroom window, 
the Christmas lights strung on coal cars 

casting a kaleidoscopic balm 
on the dark ceiling. 

EscapeIntoLife_RMora 8

John Guzlowski 

Life Story

He was born in a refugee camp in Germany in 1945.  
He was 1 pound 8 ounces.  He was
a leaf of grass.   He was lovely.
 
He was born dreaming his mother’s dream 
of flying like a robin through the sky 
and eating everything 
that was pure and good and golden.

And then he smashed into a wall 
and was dead, and the nurses 
wrapped him up and put him 
in the grave with all of the others.

Redemption -RandyMora
Lynne Knight 

To My Rapist

You’re old by now, moving heavily, 
too weak to hold anyone by the throat
or flee. Desire still comes in a rush

yet quiets fast. You imagine 
hunting the dark streets for
lone women or unlocked doors, 

but you’re old. Tired. Something  
like pity might arise if I saw you. 
I might think, Forgive him. But then 

I would remember all of it again, 
your hands at my throat, the pillow 
case over my head, my breath hard 

to get. Then my screams, your
Shut up or I’ll kill you
So no pity: none, at all. Nothing

but the hope that suffering
has come to you, left you shaking
with cold, comfortless.

That you remember me, so still
underneath you I might be dead
from trying to force you away. 

Randy Mora, torre-blanca-
Nick McRae 

Fishing the Black Warrior with Adam

We’re north of Tuscaloosa on the bank,
the churning river calm in our green cove
this time of day. The channel cats outflank
us, snatch our bait, predict our every move.

There’s nothing in the water here we can’t
go home without, and we’ve got Diet Coke,
two folding chairs. The water’s impeccant
in holding out on us, and so we soak 

our hooks and lines and let the bullshit flow
the way all country boys are raised to do.
Mosquitos bite. The sky and water glow
the same unblinking shades of white and blue.

On the dock, our bait—a pack of chicken liver—
leaks through the slats into the blood-tinged river.

EscapeIntoLife_RMora 9

Donna Vorreyer 

Views from This Tenement


This has been a weighty 

winter, brooding on a red 
sofa, half-filled suitcases 
piled next to the saggy bed. 

I am a saint, a disgrace 
beneath the chrome 
crucifix left behind by 
some previous tenant. 

Taunted by lies blue 
as neon, I wake to oatmeal 
soaked in cold milk, step 
out to share a cigarette 

with an eager young 
missionary just back 
from foreign parts, 
his eyes lantern slides 

of the larger world, 
which I miss. I need 
to tell you that I need 
to leave, must map out 

a new course, a better 
plan. I practice crossing 
that thin, shaky plank 
to the other side. 

Pushcart Prize Nominees for 2013

Pushcart Prize Nominees for 2012

Pushcart Prize Nominees for 2011

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