Tag Archives: poetry


In first grade
I used to play
with a girl, Sylvia.

Her older sister, Becky,
from third grade, is the first girl
to show me her pussy.

Becky danced for me
under an orange tree where
we all played children’s games.

She asked me to please
watch. She sang and
twirled under the canopy

of leaves, her short skirt
rising and falling, unveiling bare
legs and a pantyless bottom.

Suddenly, she stopped

singing and twirling, and
turned her back to me.

She flipped up her skirt
and “boom-boomed” me,
then giggled and sprinted off.

Her sister Sylvia liked
to play with matches. Her
long blonde hair caught fire.

She ran swiftly
from under the tree,
panic-stricken, across

the patio, her hair
waving in ribbons of flame
as she screamed, “Mommy!”

Her mother banged
through the back door, and
turned on the wash basin.

She grabbed Sylvia, and
shoved her head beneath
the running water.

She got cross
with me, and told me,
“You go home!”

Becky asked
me to come up
to her playhouse

in another orange tree
near her bedroom. No one
could see us up there.

She wore a flower print
skirt in the playhouse
and sat on her bum

without underwear, her knees
raised, so I could peer inside
the tent they formed

between her legs.
She picked up pine
needles and touched

herself and talked
to me as I watched
her fingers move.

“Doesn’t it hurt?” I asked.
“No, silly!” she said, smiling,
“it’s normal.”

Sylvia’s mother asked
if Becky had been taking
her clothes off for me.

“Not really. Sometimes she
dances, sometimes she
shows me stuff.”

Her mother didn’t scold or
get mad or wave me
“If she does that again,

you let me know, okay?
She’s not supposed
to be showing you ‘stuff’.”

Sylvia didn’t get hurt
from the fire. She lost her hair
but she didn’t get burned.

—Stacey Warde


Tex & I were gently drinking another
day away on Teri’s front lawn, when
the time came for him to walk the
block or so to work. But we yearned

for still more sodden camaraderie,
so it was decided that if I could throw
three plastic figures of small black
children — which happened to be

handy — into Tex’s shirt pocket, he
would quit his job, and we could
continue our revelry. One, two, three,

Tex was unemployed, and we lay
back joyously reveling in the magical
figurines and the thrill of ambivalence.

—Todd Young

God, tapering off of anti-depressants

Proclamations from the hermitage
became fewer and still more desperate
as he sequestered himself from even
the slightest affirmation or critique.

Alone at his worktable, nearly empty
bottle of rye at his feet, he doesn’t
even scribble solutions anymore,
thinking, thus it began, and thus

will it end. From nothing to nothing
again. Freed of the guilt of creation,
he slowly, hesitantly lays his head
in hand, sighing. The telephone rings.

—Todd Young



photo image by Stacey Warde

photo image by Stacey Warde

In June there was a shot—
The screen door banged open
and the race began.

All summer we were in and out
until running was a ceremony
in which we ran back and forth
across the years,
the screen door waving goodbye.

Running, you think:
“We have all summer,
and even a day can seem long.”

Some days summer lasts forever.
Mine banged open and closed.

—Nicholas Campbell

Restless Love Syndrome

PITH.RESTLESS LOVE.YOUNGWe were so in love we couldn’t sleep,
so we got up and went walking in the
severe quiet of the pre-dawn cool, warm
morning, as Paul Weller would have it.

Hand in hand or not, we walked until
we had vanquished our new section
of town. It was ours now because we
were living together, by virtue of my

never leaving. We stopped for a 6am drink
at the 6am bar. The self-proclaimed best
omelet maker in town was there, dosing
himself with gin before the breakfast shift,

some others preparing for work, a couple
of drinkers beginning their long day of self-
sedation. We were the only couple in love,
smugly & newly & in need of this incipient

morning’s cocktail to quell the jitters of
ecstasy & moment. We had our drink
and walked slowly home into the triumphal
sunrise. I remember nothing of the day.

—Todd Young


PITH.BIRD SONG.2015-06-27 20.07.46


For Daniella

Out in the pasture
today i saw
the noted birds
resting upon
the wire clefs, a
beautiful synchronicity
of music,
lilting, rhythmic, transporting,
rising up
into wider spheres,
black flashes of wing
against the deep blue
morning sky,
their song drifting
down upon
summer yellow grasses.

—Stacey Warde