Archives for category: I Am Waiting

lauren_pretorius
Alone Again at the Wok ‘N Roll
by Cameron Miller

The dry voice of my dead father whispers into silence,
“get your elbows off the table.”

Sunday night, eight pm
sixty years old,
flab weeping over a frayed brown belt,
bellybutton kissing the edge of pale yellow Formica
freckled with the crust of earlier diners.
Alone again at the Wok ‘N Roll.

Regretting grizzly meat
glazed in sticky sauce, now sour on my tongue,
a wad of silt in the urban river of my bowels.
I sit and stare at nothing
under flickering florescence casting
this earnest décor
in the yellow of dirty teeth.

I am waiting.
Nothing, no one
waits for me,
anywhere.
A noodle
a cashew
a gnawing hope left on plastic plate –
someone, anyone
come.

No one does
and no one will
and here I am
alone again
at the Wok ‘N Roll.

All that’s left is fortune cookie, small lifeless
prophet in a bag.
But it is a message in a bottle someone,
somewhere, wrote to me.

Cellophane crackles
over currents of fusty air
as I unfold the ribbon of paper.
Mouth agape I read, “Pick new fortune cookie.”

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: “Alone Again at the Wok ‘N Roll,” like Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s poem [“I Am Waiting”], is about the vacuum of empty space that waiting for anything seals us within.

IMAGE: “Fortune Cookie” by Lauren Pretorius. Prints available at etsy.com.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cameron Miller is a Hoosier by birth, a preacher by profession, and an author by vocation. He has been writing professionally for over 30 years as a preacher, columnist, storyteller, and professor of religion. Recently he traded fulltime parish ministry for writing fiction, poetry, and spiritual reflections, and relocated to the fabled Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. He has poems appearing soon in upcoming anthologies by Eyewear Press (UK) and Inwood Indiana Press. He is the author behind the curtain at subversivepreacher.wordpress.com.

william_franco
DEAR SUGARDADDY JESUS,
by Suzanne O’Connell

I didn’t pray to get things off my chest.
I prayed to get results.

Dear Deep Pockets Jesus, I prayed.
Please fill up my empty meat with
golden sunlight.
Please make one of the Calderone brothers
like me. I’d prefer Chris, but Phil would be okay.
Please turn my hair blonde and straight.
Please let me pass arithmetic.
When will I get breasts?
I am waiting.
Will you please hurry!

Jesus was so wise. He was my brainy Heart Throb.
I drew pictures for him
and hid them behind my dresser.
The pictures were mostly of him on the cross
with the stabbed chest, thorns and nails.
I wanted him to know we were a team,
and if he was suffering, I was too.
He never said thanks.
He never said anything.

Dear Honeycomb Jesus,
can you make me rich?
And can you stop all the arguing
in this house?
Can you make my sister run away?
Please let me live at grandma’s.

Dear Glazed Donut Jesus,
You never answer me!
I am your biggest fan!
I am waiting to hear from you.
Please send me a letter
or your autograph
or some other sign.

I was at Chung King Lucky Noodle
when I finally got my answer.
My fortune cookie said:
CHANGE CAN ONLY COME FROM YOU.

Let’s be fair. That was harsh.
I had to do this all by myself?
It took a while for this to sink in.
It took even longer for me to heal
from my breakup with Bad Boy Jesus.
But eventually,
I threw away all of my drawings of him,
and the love letters.
And I never went back to church again.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem was written about a young girl who prays that her life will change. She is shocked to realize that she has to participate in making the changes she seeks.

IMAGE: “Corazon de Jesus” by William Franco, Bogota, Colombia. Learn more at behance.net.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Suzanne O’Connell lives in Los Angeles, where she is a poet and a clinical social worker. Her work can be found in Forge, Atlanta Review, Blue Lake Review, G.W. Review, Reed Magazine, Permafrost, Mas Tequila Review, The Round, The Griffin, Sanskrit, Foliate Oak, Talking River, Organs of Vision and Speech Literary Magazine, Willow Review, The Tower Journal, Thin Air Magazine, The Manhattanville Review, poeticdiversity, The Evansville Review, Serving House Journal, Silver Birch Press, Schuylkill Valley Journal, and Licking River Review. She was a recipient of Willow Review’s annual award for 2014 for her poem “Purple Summers.” She is a member of Jack Grapes’ L.A. Poets and Writers Collective.

harlequin-and-clown-with-mask-1942
THE WAITING LIFE
by Daniel Kaczmarek

I’m waiting to come out
or go back in,
to look up at the night sky and see
more than a fly trapped in a dewy web.

I’ve swallowed the pills,
sang the hymns,
prayed in every sanctuary.

I’m still waiting for some realization,
for inspiration, for science books
to finish their rewrites, for man
to discover another piece of himself
and not call it God.

I’m waiting for the editor’s feedback
on the first few chapters
of my Harlequin life.

I’m waiting for the answers to download
through the endless buffering
of my programmable dreams.

I’m waiting in the line I’ve been assigned,
listening to the music of another song about waiting
as I spin through my days like a dervish
under the dimming city lights.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I discovered Lawrence Ferlinghetti in college, when I was assigned to do a presentation on the Beat Poets for an Introduction to American Literature course. I remember getting points taken away for spending too much time obsessing over “I Am Waiting” and not enough time on Ginsberg’s “Howl.” I stand by my decision.

IMAGE: “Harlequin and Clown with Mask” (detail) by Rafael Zabaleta (1942).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Daniel Kaczmarek is a native of Buffalo, New York, where he currently works as an assessment consultant to colleges across the United States, teaches developmental composition, and pines for a winning season from his local sports teams. His previous work has appeared in The Cleveland Review, The Madison Review, nibble, and the anthology Click of Time: Reflections on the Digital Age.

peacock-ii-1990

The Vanity of Waiting
by Gloria Manthos

I am waiting for
Something,
though I don’t know what.
It was so easy when every minute of every day was
Dictated for me,
Read to me.
When my thoughts were of no use to anyone
Least of all me and
My actions were a result of others’ wants.
I am waiting for
Something.
It was so easy to figure out what to do when the bombs
were falling like snowflakes from the sky
When rockets clipped tents and
the only thing that kept me from crying
was that there were a million people in the same place I was
and that there were millions more who were going to pay for it
with their lives.
I am waiting
For Something
to fill the void of my vacuous heart held captive for too long
I am waiting to attain purpose
and hope a path will form
because I have blazed all the trail I can possibly blaze
and all that lies as evidence is earth and bridges scorched, burnt to nothing
Blackness surrounds.
It crunches underfoot.
I am waiting
for Love to awaken within me
when for so long it’s only been hatred
I’m waiting for relationships that are friendships rather than
sex-crazed lunacy devoid of any passion or true feelings.
I’m waiting to become a woman as women are meant to be, filled
with grace and whimsy because that part of me is feared to be dead.
Comfort has been denied me for so long that there is nothing left that I can find.
And yet,
Here I am.
Waiting
For life to appear.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Waiting is something that always happens to me rather than something that I make occur. I move too fast for other people, think too fast, write and work too fast. They say I’m gonna “burn out like a roman candle in the night,” but if it’s not at the cost of another’s life, I guess that isn’t so bad. I feel like I have destroyed my entire life with brash decisions and even though the life I live now is “the dream” that everyone wishes to obtain of being truly free from all confines, I can’t help but notice the disdain and hatred seated behind their eyes in their souls when they recognize my hobo happiness. It makes me question and second-guess myself constantly. It makes me seek false security in the very things that will kill me in the end. Loneliness is a drug and most easily attained in a crowd of people.

IMAGE: “Peacock II” by Walasse Ting (1990).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gloria Denice Manthos is the child of immigrants who has emigrated all over the U.S. after her time in the military. She prefers living under the open stars to domestic living, and is always seeking that place where she can lay her pack down forever. She is thirty-one years old.

eight-white-fronted-geese-in-flight-full-moon-behind
ANTICIPATION
by Dustin Pickering
dedicated to Shaun Lee Anderson

I wait.
I wait for falling trains,
rhythmic expulsion of my heart.
I wait for love,
and the hour of abandon.

Strict seas surge
with the proxy of Time.
The moon has its own glow.
I leave the shadows
for the old graves.
Geese fly through golden bridges
of the heart.

The monster knocks at my door.
I catch him staring me down.
I wait for his eyes
to vanish.
Strange delusions never came to me.
Nothing ever does.

At the moment I am only
waiting.
I wait for the doctor with the needle
to draw my blood.
Haven’t I lost enough blood?

Still, my wait is a secret envy.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem was a shot out of the dark about a woman, a Facebook friend, who was in a domestic violence situation and wound up in a mental hospital, where a libertarian mutual aid society rescued her and brought her back into full swing. My creative process involves full inspiration at its height, and numerous revisions, performances, and concentration. “Anticipation” [under the title”Waiting”] was published three years ago in my chapbook True Gods are Poor. The chapbook was self-published in a limited print run.

IMAGE: “Eight White-Fronted Geese in Flight, Full Moon Behind” by Ohara Koson (1877-1945).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dustin Pickering is the Editor-in-Chief of Harbinger Asylum, a literary and arts journal published under Pickering’s independent press Transcendent Zero Press. He is published in a variety of online and print journals and anthologies including Muse for Women, di-verse-city 2013, and Dead Snakes. He was a featured poet at Houston’s best public reading series, Public Poetry, in 2013, and was a Special Guest Poet at Austin International Poetry Festival in that same year. AIPF is the largest un-juried poetry festival in the country.

the-haunting-dancer-1911
Waiting as a Choir
by Lourdes Veronica

I am waiting for a choir of crows
to lay down cries on my barren belly
before my waist-line becomes a waste-line
and you give face to moonlight
and dreams bring back my grandmother
and I know I’ll always be
five and petrified
and
I am waiting
with a yellow-tongued hatred
for ex-wives to turn into lizards
or better
into smithereens of fog
and
I am waiting for a wedding dress
and
I cannot wait to shred it to become
one volcano of a woman
and
I am waiting to die as Christmas
and be reborn as Carnival
and
I am waiting to fall asleep
in a moss-peopled Rome
to wake up in downtown Moscow
mourned each razor-edged morning
behind doorways and windows
swarming with an echo
of feral cats we used to be.

IMAGE: “The Haunting Dancer” by Gino Severini (1911).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lourdes Veronica is an aspiring poet currently living in Rome. Her previous work has been featured in In My Bed magazine (Canada).

the-fish
Waiting. Baited.
by Misti Rainwater-Lites

I’m waiting in the murky wade
baited beautiful on American dream hook.
What will be caught?
I hope for heft.
I shimmer in Gulf Coast sun
a tiny tempt for any fish that may come.
Come fish.
Come nibble.
Come terrible truth.
Come mortality swallow.
I’m waiting for devour.
I’m waiting for blood and guts
and all of me contained
in something much larger
so much heavier
much more delicious
when coated in Crisco
and rolled in cracker crumbs.
I’m waiting in the warm shallow.
I’m waiting in the cold deep.
I’m inconsequential but look at my sparkle.
The waves distract me, the waves and all those
bobbing hunks of bread.
I’m waiting for capture.
I’m waiting for final.
The suspense makes me wiggle.
I like the hook, the hook that keeps me
in check
where I belong.
Come terrible mouth come terrible stomach.
I’m waiting, darling.
Baited all my little life.
Dancing my dangle as
I wait.

IMAGE: “The Fish” by Vasile Dobrian (1912-1999).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Misti Rainwater-Lites is the author of Bullshit Rodeo and several other books of fiction and poetry. She maintains a blog called Chupcabra Disco and is still waiting to be as visible and successful as Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

i-recall-the-time-when-my-feet-lifted-off-the-ground-ever-so-slightly-k-rin-chrysanthemum-2009
4:58
by Gary Glauber

My body wakes
minutes before the alarm sounds,
waiting for this new day,
the chances it brings
for redemption, vindication,
breaking from the same old same,
alive with possibility,
the excitement of nature’s do-over,
a rebirth and delivery
from the tired and staid,
the rest of everything
clichéd and stale,
life’s disappointments
to this point in time.

America’s restless disenchantment
pours forth from the radio
in headline and loud advertisement
rife with greed, racism, misogyny,
offshoots of capitalism, hatred envisioned
as violent rage expressions,
punctuated by traffic reports
and a concise five-day forecast.
The nation is waiting
for new financial data,
for statistical evidence,
market movement,
for a chance to regain lost spirit,
take positive action
to counteract warring factions
on several international fronts.

Government agents convene
in partisan gridlock,
spewing rhetoric without compromise
as big corporate interests
embody the Second Coming
no one ever predicted.
Prophets of profit and doom
are waiting for wider bandwidth,
greater storage, a means by
which to stream the sermons
to guide them, hide them,
behind entertainment
and countless videos
to distract a world from its problems.

We all wait
for such days to play out,
expired calendar pages
leaving new memes and memos
in hopes of taming chaos
into some kinder posterity.
Society waits,
driven by material gains,
poisons that drive
this glutted stalemate
into a reconstructed state
of some day’s hopeful elation.

At 4:58, I wait
and in a few minutes,
as last night’s dreams dissipate
into mist of morning,
daylight breaks
over what is broken,
yet the past drives me forward
and music and words
charm me forth into
an ever brand new universe,
a perpetual play
of grace, mystery, and wonder.

IMAGE: “I Recall The Time When My Feet Lifted Off The Ground, Ever So Slightly” by Takashi Murakami (2009).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gary Glauber is a poet, fiction writer, and teacher. His works have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize as well as “Best of the Net.” He is a champion of the underdog who often composes to an obscure power poP soundtrack. His first collection, Small Consolations, will be published in 2015 by The Aldrich Press.

donna_corless
TRULY WAITING
by James Ciletti

I hoped my ticket was punched, but. . .
so I truly waited for the Pope to
hammer the nails back into Noah’s ark;
WOW! The true poem stomped in
with muddy boots from
planting garlic in the Garden of Eden.
Now, I’m waiting for Lucifer
to apologize to Eve and
for my truly holy holy
first holy communion wafer
to get unstuck from
the roof of my mouth, then
give me a truly ecstatic
experience of God. Ever waiting
to kiss God, full on the lips.

I’m waiting for the light
at the end of the tunnel
to pierce the darkness of
America’s gun-toting soul
and shape all the metal
into water pumps, plows,
to relieve third world
drought and hungers.

Waiting to know what was said
to the V flying geese, then
I too can row my prayers
across the face of heaven,
kiss sweat off the armpit of my angel.
Waiting for redemption with my
eyes open in the morning sunlight.

Forever, waiting to see all my great-great-
great-great-great-grandparents who, as
Columbus sailed out of the harbor they
sailed into one another in procreative
lovemaking; centuries later
I wait to play bocci with them.

For years I’ve waited
to see Santa Claus, tell him,
“I don’t want a Daisy Red Ryder

BB Gun; I’m waiting for my parents
to reach through their burial vaults
and touch hands —
sit up — return
with my lost childhood.

If I wait long enough
I’ll forget about waiting
to shape-shift into
a singing gondolier
straw hat and all;

Waiting, waiting, waiting
for the Little Red Hen to drop
her golden egg into my cupped hands —
winning the lottery
will not feed
every hungry child.
Jesus? With your loaves and fishes —
where are you
when we need you?

I’ll forget waiting —
when my hands are empty
they are truly full. Yes, I am
truly waiting for you, my angel to
punch my ticket and kiss me
until my toes curl, my ears burn red.
Truly pure. Redeemed.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: For me, creativity is in the doing. The joy of writing the “Truly Waiting” poem was discovering again — aspirations, desires, passions, that had been swept under the rug of my daily life.

IMAGE: “Waiting for Business” by Donna Corless. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: James Ciletti was the 2010-2012 Pikes Peak Poet Laureate. His poems and stories have appeared in regional and national publications. As a volunteer, each Thursday he mentors a creative writing workshop in a Colorado prison, and this year was honored as the Fremont Correctional Facility “Volunteer of the Year.” Ciletti’s latest book of poems is, Sunfire, and his poetry blog is www.plumlover.wordpress.com.

susie_weber
SOMETHING
by Brenton Booth

waiting on the words to come
waiting on the constellations to fade
waiting on the purple armadillo to scream
waiting on the toy soldier to cry tidal waves
waiting on the tumbling bee to paint the walls green
waiting on the composer to fail
waiting on the char-grilled bullet to pas de deux
waiting on the millionaire to smile and fade
waiting on the true face of the deity
waiting on the nervous buildings to crack tumble and drown
waiting on the children to begin to listen
waiting on the midnight boogaloo to really swing
waiting on the ignited glasses to see clearly
waiting on the home to invite me in
waiting on the empty bottle to bring happiness
waiting on the sunday afternoon grand final victory
waiting on stevie ray to sing again
waiting on the scar to finally heal
waiting on the new philosophy to free the ages
waiting on yesterday
waiting on tomorrow to find today and join as one.

IMAGE: “Psychedelic Armadillo” by Susie Weber. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Brenton Booth lives in Sydney, Australia. After over nine years of rejections, poetry and fiction of his has appeared in a variety of publications including Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, Lummox, Out Of Our, Poetic Pinup Revue, 3:AM Magazine, Van Gogh’s Ear, and Tree Killer Ink.