Pushcart Nominations in 2019



Kelly O’Connor, Wonder

Please join us in congratulating the poets listed below, who are nominated for a Pushcart Prize for their work published at Escape Into Life during the calendar year of 2019. Click each link to see the poem in its context as part of a solo feature or a multi-poet themed feature at EIL. See the poems, whole, below the list.

The Poets

Karen Craigo, “Ex Ornithomancer” on September 4, 2019

Jessy Randall, “Honor Fell (1900-1986)” on September 2, 2019

Jim Moore, “Useless Shovel” on August 7, 2019

Angela Narciso Torres, “Pantoum with Lines from Elizabeth Bishop’s Letters” on April 17, 2019

Sandra Marchetti, “Immortality” on February 20, 2019

Sandy Longhorn, “Ruby Rants to her Roommate Lucille at the Sunset Living Center” on February 13, 2019

The Poems

Karen Craigo

Ex Ornithomancer

He thinks one time he spotted
a frigate bird by the cove, way 
off course, but maritime winds
might pull anything his way. 
He shows me where he saw 
the mandarin duck, the albatross, 
though all I see are gulls that may 
be terns. When we go to the site
of the famous painting, a woman
dragging herself home through grain,
the place is so charged we stay
quiet and listen as wind parts
the descendants of her grass
and we breathe in salt and pine,
and then I see him point: above us
two birds, a pair, circle together
on a kettle of air, and they seem
to acknowledge each other, dip a wing
in deference or salute, white heads
and tails giving them away, and I see
the sky as he does: how anything 
might fly our way in time.

Jessy Randall

Honor Fell (1900-1986)

It’s true I brought an animal
to my sister’s wedding. It wasn’t
a large animal. It wasn’t a
loud animal. I don’t see why
everyone made such a fuss.
Ferrets are friendly!
But let’s talk about cartilage. And skin.
Let’s use the word histological.
Let’s leave the ferret in the past
and move on to chickens and pigs.
The avian knee-joint. An occasional
rodent. I directed the Strangeways Lab
for forty years. I earned “Doctor”
and was rewarded with “Dame.”
My bibliography goes on for seven pages.
It’s not my fault you don’t know this.
It’s not your fault. It’s not the ferret’s fault.
Let’s agree to laugh about it while we do our work.

Jim Moore

Useless Shovel

It is not easy trying to make peace
with the fact that I am one of the lesser ones.

How exactly is that supposed to work?
I know I love this February blizzard

as much as anyone. So that is something.
And Sally, who has lost all language

and smiles out of habit not pleasure
or understanding, Sally is not lesser:

if there is a God Sally sits with her silence
at that God’s table. One way to see it

is that Sally and I are somehow partners,
like this blizzard and its man in an orange vest,

carrying a shovel, walking through it.
I can assure you, that shovel is completely useless

in this unending snow. How beautiful he is, though,
that man walking through falling-snow-light,

carrying over his shoulder his useless shovel.

Angela Narciso Torres

Pantoum with Lines from Elizabeth Bishop’s Letters

Everyone feels her best poems are lucky accidents.
I should learn to be more articulate.
Can’t seem to say the things I’d like to.
I’m leading up to a joke.

I should learn to be more articulate.
What does poetry get anyway but bad treatment?
I’m leading up to a joke.
Please don’t think I’m suffering from paranoia.

What does poetry get anyway but bad treatment?
It’s strange to be so old.
Please don’t think I’m suffering from paranoia.
You’re right to worry about me, only please, Don’t!

It’s strange to be so old.
I feel I must write a lot of poems.
You’re right to worry about me, only please, Don’t!
There’s a thunderstorm and I just lit my Aladdin lamp.

I feel I must write a lot of poems.
It’s spring—first one I’ve seen in years.
There’s a thunderstorm and I just lit my Aladdin lamp.
Oh, this incredible country!

It’s spring—first one I’ve seen in years.
Lunch and a swim in this full, clean pool—delicious.
Oh, this incredible country!
I’ve typed myself into a fine nostalgia.

Lunch and a swim in this full, clean pool—delicious!
Can’t seem to say the things I’d like to.
I’ve typed myself into a fine nostalgia.
Everyone feels her best poems are lucky accidents.

Source Text: Elizabeth Bishop, One Art: Letters. Selected and Edited by Robert Giroux, Farrar Straus Giroux, 1994.

Sandra Marchetti

Immortality

          for the left-handed pitcher

He pointed
to me
and said:
never
underestimate
a veteran
who might
have a little
magic left.

Sandy Longhorn

Ruby Rants to her Roommate Lucille at the Sunset Living Center

                                      ~after Kenny Rogers

The wants and the needs of a woman of any age
were beyond him. So he wasn’t “the man”
he used to be, but it wasn’t the wheelchair
that broke me, not even the piss & the shit.
It was the booze & the rants, the nightmares
& his hands wrapped round my throat—
PTSD they’d call it now, just his lot in life
we thought then, mine, too, for marrying young,
taking pity. Of course, I dyed my hair & slicked
my lips red. I was going out with the girls
from work, couldn’t have them feeling sorry
for me. One of them, Michelle, had a college
degree, brought me books to read – Margaret Sanger,
Evelyn Reed. Then, Gloria Steinem & Betty
fucking Friedan. That’s when I made up my mind
to leave. I don’t know, maybe if we’d had kids
it’ve turned out different, you know?

Pushcart Prize Nominations in 2018

Pushcart Prize Nominations in 2017

2019 Best of the Net Nominations

More Collage Art by Kelly O’Connor