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John McKernan

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THE THIN SCAR ON SUSAN’S RIGHT WRIST

by John McKernan

 

Under silver jewelry & light
Would point at a thread of moon

White shadow
High in a midnight sky
Off-white woven blue thread

In a red background
If ever she noticed me
Noticing that scar
She would whisper some thing

“A beautiful body
Deserves a gorgeous tattoo”

“At least it’s not a rusty bullet
Through a left ventricle”

“It’s me but it’s also not me”

 

 

 

WHY DO SOLDIERS

 

Carry
Brass knives

Where do they get
All those silver axes
In leather holsters

Who gave them
Buckets
And buckets
Of waterproof melanoma

And how come
Those gold pitchforks
With oak handles
Monogrammed
Sparkling in sunlight

When all it takes
Is a thick tree limb
Or a stone
The size of a small hand
To send a neighbor
A million miles away

 

 

 

BIRTHDAY NUMERO 47

 

My father died
When he was forty-seven

I still love chocolate cake
Chocolate frosting
Candles in a dark room

My name is
My father’s name
The same sound
But the silence is different

Spools of tomorrow
In green slats
Of sunlight
The letters are identical
Written in granite

 

 

 

PUBLIC PARK

 

A dog trotted over the orgasm sunbathing on a towel and lifted his right leg

The woman in the black dress walked up to the orgasm and kicked it

The professor whispered “Thank you   The word for orgasm in Braille is orgasm

Waving a shovel in the sand the child might have been screaming at an orgasm

An orgasm snored in a Dell computer box under the foot bridge to the Rose Garden

A large boy bounced the orgasm down the hill as if it were a soccer ball

When shadows of an orgasm floated past the young man’s heart he began running

An orgasm disguised as a prayer floated from the old woman’s lips

Twin orgasms pulled off their see-through bikinis and began giggling

An assortment of daylights loitered calmly   Each one bearing an orgasm

The man with the propane tank & a lighter waited to become an orgasm

The orgasms hovering on the motorcycle mirrors winked twice then vanished

One idea of orgasm flew from the apple blossoms to the eye of the old deaf man

 

 

BIO

JohnMcKernan2John McKernan – who grew up in Omaha Nebraska in the middle of the USA – is now a retired comma herder / Phonics Coach after teaching for 41 years at Marshall University. He lives – mostly – in West Virginia where he edits ABZ Press.  His most recent book is a selected poems Resurrection of the Dust.  He has published poems in The Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, The New Yorker, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Journal, Antioch Review, Guernica, Field and many other magazines.

 

The Writing Disorder is a quarterly literary journal. We publish exceptional new works of fiction, poetry, nonfiction and art. We also feature interviews with writers and artists, as well as reviews.

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