Spring 2010

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Editor's Note



Three Poems

by William L. Alton

The Sky was Full

My mother carried me in her stone belly. The sky was full
of oak leaves.

He will be a boy of words

She washed me with a vodka tonic.


She died of a stroke before I could remember her I’ve found
nothing to talk about since.


The black Bug has died again. The Bug dies a lot.
The Bug is prone to random death.

You kneel behind it like obstetrician catching a babe.
You wear red and gray flannel and wipe
your hands on your thighs.

You are more than a teacher now. You are a messiah
raising the dead.


Flowers rise from your feet
while you walk into the mountains.
Your legs are ferns.

Disciples will follow and camp
in your site. They will raise corn
and lettuce. Build compost bins.

Downhill and downstream
your disciples will build latrines
because everyone needs someplace
to keep their shit.

William L. Alton started writing in the Eighties while incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital. Since then his work has appeared in The Oklahoma Review, The Red River Review, Poet’s Corner and Whalelane among others. He earned both his BA and MFA in Writing from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon where he continues to live.

Copyright 2010, William L. Alton. © This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws. It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author.