The Wit

The wit knows he is not a winner.
   Not, at least, politically.
Nor the so-persuasive sinner
   he might like to be.

But he lobs a silky spark
   to brighten where we couldn't see
only to delight the dark

by James B. Nicola

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James B. Nicola has had over 300 poems published in sundry periodicals (including this one, where he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize). A Yale grad and stage director by profession, his book Playing the Audience won a Choice Award. As a poet, he also won the Dana Literary Award and a People's Choice award (from Storyteller), was nominated for a Rhysling Award, and was featured poet at New Formalist. His children's musical Chimes: A Christmas Vaudeville premiered in Fairbanks, Alaska—with Santa Claus in attendance opening night.


The Puppy

Puppy! Puppy! Whining quite
Through the hours of the night,
What exhausted mind or eye
Can name thy doubtful pedigree?

In what distant land or isle
Grew the file of thine smile?
Where and when did it transpire,
These the questions I inquire?

And whose action, & whose parts
Produced the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What bred hands? & what bred feet?

What the sire? What the dame,
She whose oven is to blame?
Would a vet bill in my grasp
Offer answers to be clasped?

When thou, pup, wast born with peers
And nursed the bitch through whimpered tears,
Did it take thee long to flee
And then arrive upon my knee?

Puppy! Puppy! Whining quite
Through the hours of the night,
My exhausted mind and eye
Can't name thy doubtful pedigree.

by R.C. Neighbors

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As a young cowboy, R.C. Neighbors fell in love with a farm girl in Oklahoma. He won her hand and her heart by bidding on her basket at auction, and they left for their honeymoon in a surrey with the fringe on top, somehow ending up in the strange land of Texas. It's hot there, like pits of hell hot. The people name things after George Bush. And the state doesn't even have a Broadway musical named after it. Soon, R.C. hopes to gain his Ph.D. and leave to parts unknown. Maybe somewhere with winter.


Skinny Dipping

A crafty old farmer, near the edge of his land,
Had a favorite spot for the mischief he planned,
With a view of a lake and its sandy white beach
Surrounded by orchards of apple and peach.

Three lovely young ladies, impelled by the heat,
Had stopped by the water to dangle their feet.
With no one around to ogle and gape,
They peeled off their dresses like skin from a grape.

They failed to take notice, that hidden by shade,
Was the farmer who watched while they frolicked and played.
"What a great day," he chortled with glee,
"I'll try to get closer and see what I see."

Seeking to peek at firm breasts and plump tails,
He picked up a pair of rusty old pails.
The ladies, by now, well aware of the peeper
Dove under to hide where the water was deeper,

When they rose to the surface in goose pimpled skin,
They spotted the  farmer who said with a grin,
"Don't be alarmed! It's no leering sinner;
I'm only bringing the gators their dinner!"

by Tom Murray

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Tom Murray is a retired computer geek living in Princeton, NJ (in relative tranquility) with his wife and two man-eating miniature dachshunds. He finds that life in a college town is highly conducive to writing poetry while pursuing his advanced studies in Applied Curmudgeonry. Look for his soon-to-be-published book Passive Aggression for Fun and Profit.


The Lunatic

we are all subjects
in the lab of love
it is as if there is some
crazy scientist at work here
combining all of the wrong
chemicals and watching
as the contents in the beakers
change colors, bubble, and fizz
and look! there's one now
watch it as it boils over
and explodes, and listen
as the room thunders
with laughter

by Leland March

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Leland March is a college sophomore and—in his spare time—a poet, guitarist, banjo picker, and piano player. He grew up in a small town where the highlight of the school year was Chicken Nugget Day. The students would convince their teachers to leave class early to get a hold of those crisp little beauties. Believe it or not, he has also starred in a short, and inconsistent film (his acting is not on par with his writing or music). He also plays the musical saw. It never fails to amuse.