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Mark Hammerschick

Mark writes poetry and fiction. He holds a BA in English from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and a BS and MBA. He began writing in grade school and has contributed a number of poems to literary journals over the years and has been published sporadically. He is a lifelong resident of the Chicago area and currently lives in a northern suburb near the shore of Lake Michigan and in Naples, Florida. His current work will be appearing in: Calliope, Former People Journal, Sincerely Magazine, Mignolo Arts, Blue Lake Review, Naugatuck River Review, East on Central, Grey Sparrow Journal, Griffel, and The Rockvale Review.

Shifting Sands: Memories of George

…Mr. President live aboard Air Force One
Aboard Air Force One
Bush reads his lips again
sweeping through apprehensive white clouds,
words reaching deep into the silence of desert
66 miles east of Riyadh,
early morning cool, 111 degrees,
horizons on the move
where crags shift in Tanguy shapes of granite
distorted by M1 tanks lizard like
in this primordial dawn
so hot that we fry eggs on the turret.
It is ultra still, no wind, no water only air
and twenty mechanized armor units
squatting in the sand like children in mud
molding gooey mudpies.
Behind Bush, cabinet members sway
on the live satellite hook-up
drunk with wayward motion
like so many neat rows of Iowa corn.
These men are hard, metallic, rusted,
who cannot taste corn anymore
staring with blatant snake eyes
worn by years of political porridge
recalling fragile cocktail conversations
and deals over steak dinners,
while I wade through waves of sandstorm
in the cradle of civilization
knowing that 24 inches of steel
is not always enough to deter an RPG.
“Mister u will not be missed”*
as you chatter and pratter your mumbo gumbo slop.
Elected officials the tag,
mindless mutants the reality.
And now with Maggie, the Wall and Gorbie gone
and the Clinton-Carter clone in place
it’s just not worth it.
And so, the world changed
in the deep hollow of November night
foreshadowing portents of Armageddon.

*ee cummings
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