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Travis Stephens

TravisTravis Stephens earned a degree at University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. A sea captain, he now resides with his family in California. Recent credits include: Stoneboat Review, Crosswinds Poetry Journal, Southword, Havik, Apeiron Review, The Finger, Night Picnic Journal, Pennsylvania English and Gravitas Poetry. Online his was a Poem of the Week for Silver Needle Press and poems have appeared in Ink & Voices, Rue Scribe, Sheila-Na-Gig online, Open: Journal of Arts & Letters, The Scriblerus Arts Journal, HCE Review and Dead Mule of Southern Literature.

Amy In the Canyon

Amy speaks in riddles.
Amy won’t tell you her name.
There once was a house
a house of closed doors
always open. She lived
for awhile in a house in the canyon
where artists drank French
wines to get the spirits then
traced recent petroglyphs onto
sheets of Japanese silk.
Sold them as kimonos in New York, DC,
everywhere good taste is
synonymous with expensive,
Amy likes her marijuana, likes
the way it makes rain feel.
She will light a candle, she will
ladle water over stones to hear
thankful giggles. She says the way
birds tip their eyes to God when
they trickle water is like smoke
into the hollows where a heart used to be.
Amy thinks coyotes are meant
to keep the canyon free of rats, of cats,
and tiny dogs, the dogs which
cannot sleep and decide no one else may.
A coyote yip is a two-tone answer.
Amy has many questions.
She appreciates the way rain
goes downhill, goes into the
best hiding places and then one day
is gone.

Little Debbie

There is, on Gulf tugs,
river boats and the big
Mississippi pushers
a shelf somewhere in
the galley for Little Debbie.
A horde of Swiss Rolls,
Cocoa Cremes, Brownies
and Oatmeal Pies.
A stash of Fancy Cakes,
Nutty Bars and, of course,
Honey Buns.
The best tugs got boxes of
Tony Chachere, dirty rice
and somebody who knows how
to make gumbo.
Lord, I know it is true.
Goddamned right.
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