Five Fleas Merch

Afternoon of March 1, 2023



 

braving the elements

he tests the river

lead and mercury

~Robert Witmer


The Wrong Library

A wooden room. A guitar with nine strings.

The books show no titles, just naked spines.

A poet walks in still stiff from driving

his nine-foot bus. The wooden guitar’s strings

are rusty and the neck’s short. All those things

wrong with it draw you like a shot that strikes

a wooden room’s wall. The guitar’s nine strings

form a blank book. The title is your spine.

~Mark J. Mitchell



growing in the dark

rootless

food for thought

or a madman's cloud

mushroom

~Robert Witmer



chipped porcelain —

the antique dealer

cracks a smile

~Rhoda Tripp



Wink

sometimes

a star winks at us

and

we are so small

that it is insignificant

if

we wink back.

~John Tustin



Mask Workshop


With all these still faces, what masks

get shaped? Common gray clay can blind

unclosed eyes. Small mouths don’t close fast.

Some faces won’t hold still while masks

harden. Much stays hidden. You ask

your loose questions and wait for time

to still faces into stiff masks.

They’re shapeless, uncommon and blind.

~Mark J. Mitchell



Watering dead plants

We all do it, hoping to

Revive the lost cause

~Jennifer Gurney



a string of caesuras white-knuckled the broad Himalayan mountains

~Julie Allyn Johnson



silence 

seeking, 

hungering,

digging 

for more

              then

bumping 

into shadows

~Julie Allyn Johnson



A Plucked Flower

I refuse to be a plucked flower

That is pulled from the ground,

Clipped, sprayed to look shiny

And put in a bouquet or garland


With the others.

~John Tustin



old donkeys

the sadness of days without rain

in their eyes

~Fran├žoise Maurice



confusion over cocoa, coca, and cacao

is a distraction

~Harrison Fisher



Rosy


So we come again

to the ancient pretzel.


The moon breaks

a city window.


Your glass is half-full,

my bottle, half-empty.


The pretzel twists but

who cares?

~Mark J. Mitchell



The moon doesn’t pay taxes.

It floats free

beyond the safety net.

~Noah Berlatsky

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