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Poems published in the 2004 Summit Avenue Review

2003 Summit Ave. Review Cover


Culture Wars
by David Angus

Bogota, Denver, and Dien Bien Phu
Sat at a table in County Goodhue.
"Blackjack pays three to two."

Reds, Greens, and blacks,
Barber pole stacked.
Two quarters placed three times.

Burn one, shoe's hot,
Ace, eight, nine. Up card deuce.
Four, three, hooker, and hole.

Double-down three.
Double-down eight.
Third base waves it off.

Deuce, trey, and truck.
House turns a Johnny,
And takes nine.

First blood dealer, or is it last?
Boss with the braids just grins
'cause it's all white meat tonight.

A Child To Somebody
by Jeremy Wenisch

"Somebody take this tape off my mouth
somebody peel it off
I can't breathe
or speak
or dream

Somebody take this tape off my mouth
let me bare my own teeth
and my red gums
feel my bite
our nightmare

I write these words with my jaw fixed shut
my eyes fixed to a wall
red bricks and mortar
a division
a parry

Somebody take this tape off my mouth
somebdy unlock this collar
let out my tongue
wet with Truth
and hunger

Somebody take this tape off my mouth
untie the black balaclava
and show my face
my pepper spray
tears

Somebody take this tape off my mouth
undrape the chador
from shoulders
slumped
and unfed

Somebody take this tape off my mouth
my throat is dry and yearns
for strawberries
or clean water
or a scream

Somebody take this tape off my mouth
somebody teach me an alphabet
without UVF IRA
PLO IDF
or NRA

Somebody take this tape off my mouth
let me whisper in your ear
a prayer for peace
or hope
or food

Somebody told me it's Their fault Their hate
I don't care Who hates Whom
let loose my lips
love me
be loved

Somebody take this tape off my mouth
secure it to Their smoking barrel
all together now on three
one two
three"


Vinimos Vimos Destruimos
by Erica Johnson

she said they could still see
      the lines in the sand
      in Africa
      from World War II
like scars
      they pierce the sand
      leaving their mark
      "we have been here"
      vinimos
      vimos
      destruimos



Wasted
by Tricia Lowe

A trail of smoke spirals around in patterns,
choking the air,
choking the lives of those wasting their money
who invest their faith in a slot machine.

Walk away while you have a chance,
the chance to walk away.
They're always watching your pitiful life
camoflaged in a bucket of quarters.

Cash it in.
There's a veteran outside with no arms or legs,
invest yourself in him.


2001 Summit Ave. Review Cover
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Copyright © 2004 Renee Kelly