Archives for posts with tag: pop art

I am waiting, still
by Yvette Viets Flaten

for that rejection I know is coming,
but why so long, I ask? What can
possibly take this long to decide?

I’m waiting, still, for the mousetrap
to spring, and the neighbor to haul
his garbage cans up the driveway,
and get a leash for his nosing dog.

I am still waiting for spring, for
daffodils, for party dresses and favors,
for church bells and peace.

I am still waiting for a decent night’s sleep.
For I’m sorry. For the right moment to get
started on sorting out the boxes of years
that got stacked up, somehow, without labels.
I’m sorry.

I’m still waiting for all the right answers. Still
sorry about all those waiting boxes with no labels.

IMAGE: Yellow Candy Box by Andy Warhol (1983)

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I am always fascinated by the interweaving of the small and the large issues of life into one day’s fabric, from the scratchings of a mouse to the search for justice, and back again. And the need to be awake to what is in front of our eyes.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Yvette Viets Flaten was born in Denver, Colorado, and grew up in an Air Force family, living in Nevada, North Dakota, and Washington State as well as France, England, and Spain. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish (1974) and a Master of Arts in History (1982) from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She writes both fiction and poetry and her award-winning poetry (Muse Prize, Jade Ring, Triad) has appeared in numerous journals, including the Wisconsin Academy Review, Rag Mag, Midwest Review, Free Verse, Red Cedar Review, and Barstow and Grand. In May 2020 she was interviewed by Garrison Keillor as part of his Pandemic Poetry Contest. Yvette’s poem “Riding It Out” was one of 10 winners. Find her interview with Garrison Keillor here.

How to Fix a Faucet That Drips
by Sheila Wellehan

Smirk smugly after you repair your faucet
with a few emphatic wrench twists.

Sigh deeply when it disappoints you
and reverts to its watery tricks.

Become transfixed with your faceted reflection
as you will the faucet to cease and desist.

Touch up your lipstick
in its chipped stainless steel body

as you imagine kisses
and inappropriate trysts.

Admire its rhythm,
note its resemblance to percussion lines

in symphonic poems by Liszt —
especially first thing in the morning,

when the furnace beside it
fires on with passionate clicks.

Dream of schooners sailing in your basement
when hardware loses its tenuous grip.

Scribble Call plumber! on a scrap of paper
or your faucet will spit and dribble

until the solar eclipse.

PAINTING: Faucet by Edward Ruscha (2009).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I’ve tried to repair things myself during the pandemic to reduce transmission risk. Some repairs have been more challenging than others. I had a battle of wills with my dripping faucet, and I lost.

Wellehan - author photo

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sheila Wellehan’s poetry is featured or forthcoming in The Night Heron Barks, Rust + Moth, Thimble Literary Magazine, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Whale Road Review, and many other journals and anthologies. She lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Visit her at

How to Build a Lifeboat Out of Peanut Butter
by Kathryn Almy

First make a mold. Construct a mound at least twice the size of your body using whatever you have on hand: sand, driftwood, old clothes, a large boulder, or the bodies of your dead companions. Spread with peanut butter to an approximate depth of one-half inch and allow to dry in the sun for two weeks (three to four is better). Ideally you will have enough food, fresh water, and means to shelter yourself from the sun that you will survive until the peanut butter has cured. Pray it doesn’t rain. When the hull has dried, carefully lift it off the mold and fill in any cracks or holes with fresh peanut butter. Secure the hull to something buoyant such as a raft.

IMAGE: Double Mona Lisa (Peanut Butter and Jelly) (After Warhol) by Vik Muniz (1999).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I wrote this for a prose poetry workshop taught by Kathleen McGookey. The assignment was to write a surreal poem, and I was intrigued by the notion of apparently useful instructions that are in reality entirely useless.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kathryn Almy lives in Michigan and works in a public library when not sheltering in place. Her poetry and essays have appeared in various print and on-line publications, including  Panoply, The Offbeat, Star 82 Review, New Verse News, The 3288 Review, and previously on Silver Birch Press.

by Adelle Foley

An infectious smile
Tapping out daily Haiku
Pretty good figure

IMAGE: “Mona Lisa” by Dean Russo. Prints available at


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Adelle Foley is a retirement administrator, an arts activist, and a writer of haiku. Her column, “High Street Neighborhood News,” appears monthly in The MacArthur Metro. Her poems have appeared in various magazines, in textbooks, and in Columbia University Press’s internet database, the Columbia Granger’s World of Poetry. Along the Bloodline is her first book-length collection. Beat poet Michael McClure writes, “Adelle Foley’s haikus show us humanity. Their vitality and imagination shine from her compassion; from seeing things as they truly are.” Visit her online at

by Eddie Stewart

My body is a bear heavy and ready to hibernate.
My arms are so stretchable they can stretch up to ten miles.
My head is a red balloon being lifted into the air flying high.
My feet are motors running through the icy cold sea.
My teeth are bigger and sharper than a great white shark’s.
My hands are exit signs saying, “Back off or I’ll strike.”

IMAGE: “Exit” by Ed Ruscha (1990).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Eddie Stewart is a student at Marcus Garvey Academy in Detroit, Michigan. His poem was written as part of the InsideOut Literary Arts Project of Detroit.

by Angela La Voie

Most of the lines are curvy, even with angles of limbs, energy,
except for the nose I get from my mother’s mother.
It’s small and straight, just flares at the end.

I like to hold my spine straight,
shoulders back and down, but even then
there’s that curve at the spine’s base.

You’ll more often find me smiling than frowning.
Often I’ve worn my blonde locks in a bob,
but look better with my hair shoulder-length.

Days find me bent at my cherry desk
forming questions about the graphite strappy sandals
I wore dancing in New York, a bowl of green apples, or

the human condition. I compose questions;
my pen, my computer—they deliver poems, essays,
meanderings. I write less often at night.

You might draw me with my two dogs,
black and tan, both convinced my chief purpose
is to rub their chests, pat their bellies.

You might draw my feet pressing the sand
at the sea’s edge, or callused and blistered from hiking.
These feet, they once climbed a 14er.

So many poses from which to choose,
there’s me, standing on a step,
tilting slightly up to kiss my husband at eye level.

What I relish most about me now:
my capacity for love and the sparkly knowing look
that’s followed me in pictures since girlhood.

That might run a bit sappy; I wouldn’t risk that
when younger. But that was before I understood
life’s wealth, that the rest is just pleasure.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Often I begin a poem with a line or an image that’s been following me. I proceed from that impulse until I find what the poem is about it. Then I create a shape, find the rhythm, remove the clutter. After that, I allow some time to find what’s missing and build texture.

IMAGE: “Shoe bright, shoe light, first shoe I’ve seen tonight” by Andy Warhol (1955).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A former journalist, Angela La Voie’s stories have been published in The Chicago Sun-Times, Detroit Free Press, The Dallas Morning News, on, and elsewhere. She is an MFA candidate in creative nonfiction and poetry at Antioch University Los Angeles. Recent essays have appeared in Skirt! magazine and Catharsis Journal.

(After Adam Zagajewski)
by Linda Pastan

I am child to no one, mother to a few,
wife for the long haul.
On fall days I am happy
with my dying brethren, the leaves,
but in spring my head aches
from the flowery scents.
My husband fills a room with Mozart
which I turn off, embracing
the silence as if it were an empty page
waiting for me alone to fill it.
He digs in the black earth
with his bare hands. I scrub it
from the creases of his skin, longing
for the kind of perfection
that happens in books.
My house is my only heaven.
A red dog sleeps at my feet, dreaming
of the manic wings of flushed birds.
As the road shortens ahead of me
I look over my shoulder
to where it curves back
to childhood, its white line
bisecting the real and the imagined
the way the ridgepole of the spine
divides the two parts of the body, leaving
the soft belly in the center
vulnerable to anything.
As for my country, it blunders along
as well intentioned as Eve choosing
cider and windfalls, oblivious
to the famine soon to come.
I stir pots, bury my face in books, or hold
a telephone to my ear as if its cord
were the umbilicus of the world
whose voices still whisper to me
even after they have left their bodies.

SOURCE: Poetry (October 1997).

IMAGE: “Ohhh…Alright…” by Roy Lichtenstein (1964). In November 2010, “Ohhh…Alright…” sold for $42.6 million during an auction at Christie’s in New York.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Linda Pastan has published a dozen books of poetry and a number of essays. Her awards include the Dylan Thomas Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award (Poetry Society of America), the Bess Hokin Prize (Poetry Magazine), the 1986 Maurice English Poetry Award (for A Fraction of Darkness), the Charity Randall Citation of the International Poetry Forum, and the 2003 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. Two of her collections of poems were nominated for the National Book Award and one for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. From 1991–1995, she was Poet Laureate of Maryland.

contemporary literature, one (excerpt)
by Charles Bukowski

…I saw some newspapers
on the floor
I was out of writing
had long ago hocked 
my typewriter
I noticed that 
each page of the
newspaper had a wide white
margin around the 
I had a pencil
I picked up a 
newspaper and with
the pencil stub
I began to write words 
on the edge
sitting in the doorway
freezing in the moonlight
so that I could
I wrote in pencil 
on all the edges 
of all the newspapers 
in that shack…

SOURCE:“contemporary literature, one” appears in Charles Bukowski‘s collection Dangling in the Tournefortia (1981), available at

IMAGE: “Pop Art Bukowski” by Terry Collett. Prints and cards available at

by John Milton (1608-1674)

Now the bright morning star, day’s harbinger,

Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her

The flowery May, who from her green lap throws

The yellow cowslip, and the pale primrose.

Hail, bounteous May, that doth inspire

Mirth, and youth, and warm desire;

Woods and groves are of thy dressing,

Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing,

Thus we salute thee with our early song,

And welcome thee, and wish thee long.


Painting: “Flowers” by Andy Warhol (1970)