Paul Dickey and Ira Joel Haber

from Wires Over the Homeplace

Instructions for Buying a Loaf of Bread

Walk down the stairs quietly
so not to disturb your father.
Talk about getting married.
Go to the church. Make it
look real. Make sure you have
enough change. Don’t slam
the door, or lose the house key.
You may need to get back in.
Pick a good neighborhood.
Buy a dog. Don’t go out after dark.
Make sure you have change.
The saved and the lost live
on every street between here
and there. Be wary if he says
he wants nothing but you.

Soldier Left in the Sand

They have all come home now like their artifacts, but when he sleeps on his cot, his face still folds flat in full comportment. He was too young to prove to the reporter that he needed a shave. The microwave called home base was set for 145 degrees for 12 months. I can fry bacon and scramble eggs in my helmet, SUH! There was no telling what could happen leaving an innocent bag of popcorn in your backpack. Like home, he hardly noticed the explosions at first – the risks and dangers of trying to make a game plan to go to college and making the old man say proud. Not every threat was a full mortar round or rocket-propelled grenades. If the recruiting Sarge said choice, why shouldn’t it have been true? Son, don’t say bacon. Remember where you are. Leave on the gawdamned helmet. You can be sniped picking up a child with your still good arm in the alleys of this secured town.

Incident Near O’Neill, Nebraska

The young man in the black mask
enters the farmhouse
like he is entering the family.
Today he is going hunting.
This is why he is carrying
a rifle and a knife.
The boys haven’t put away
their baseball bats and gloves.
Jessica is on the phone.
Jessica is always on the phone.
Mom paces. She needs
to make a call. Apple fritters
cool in the kitchen.
Jessica gets off the phone.
Jessica screams.
The young man in the black mask
does not why he is here anymore.
Jessica screams louder.
The young man in the black mask
would rather be
in church on some Sunday,
not listening to some silly girl
scream her head off all day.
He hadn’t figured this,
this morning when he
was feeling a little lonely
couldn’t get his truck to work,
and decided to go hunting.
Nothing freaking works anymore.
It’s life, he says. At any minute,
something terrible might happen.
Dad comes in from the fields
and recognizes Charlie
before it is too late –
Charlie, the neighbor’s son,
whose head was never quite right –
Charlie, who in the fall
had gone off to the city,
to college, and to work.

Paul Dickey's first full length poetry manuscript They Say This is How Death Came Into the World was published by Mayapple Press in January, 2011 and was nominated by the press for the 2011 National Book Award in Poetry. His poetry has also appeared recently in Verse Daily, Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics, Southern Poetry Review, Crab Orchard Review and online at www.linebreak.org, among other online and print publications. A poetry chapbook What Wisconsin Took was published by The Parallel Press in May, 2006. Biographical information and notes on previous publishing activity can be found at http://mockingbird.creighton.edu/NCW/dickey.htm.

Ira Joel Haber was born and lives in Brooklyn New York. He is a sculptor, painter, book dealer, photographer and teacher. His work has been seen in numerous group shows both in USA and Europe and he has had 9 one man shows including several retrospectives of his sculpture. His work is in the collections of The Whitney Museum Of American Art, New York University, The Guggenheim Museum, The Hirshhorn Museum & The Albright-Knox Art Gallery. His paintings, drawings and collages have been published in many on line and print magazines including Rock Heals, Otoliths, Winamop, Melancholia's Tremulous Dreadlocks, Barfing Frog, The Raving Dove, DeComp, Foliate Oak, Siren, Prose Toad, Triplopia, Thieves Jargon, Opium, Dirt, The Centrifugal Eye, The DMQ Review, Broadsided, Hotmetalpress, Double Dare Press, Events Quarterly, Unlikely Stories, Coupremine, Cerebration,Chick Flicks, Softblow, Eclectica Magazine, Backwards City Review, Right Hand Pointing, Ascent Aspirations Magazine, Brew City Magazine, Fiction Attic, Mastodon Dentist, Blue Print Review, Ellipsis,The Indelible Kitchen, Cricket, Entelechy, So To Speak, Taj Mahal Review, The Fifteen Project, The Externalist, Why Vandalism, Mungbeing Magazine, Lamination Colony, Paradigm, Lily, Literary Fever, Glassfire Magaine,The Houston Literary Review, Lilies and Cannonballs, Wheelhouse Magazine, Terra Incognita, Qarrtsiluni, The Tusculum Review, Multidementional, 34th Parallel, Wood Coin, Sacramento Poetry, Art & Music, Anti-Poetry, Divine Dirt Quarterly, The Mom Egg, Disenthralled, Etcetera,Sea Stories , Bicycle Review, , Down In The Dirt, Psychic Meatloaf, Diverse Voices, Blue Lotus, Forge, The Front Porch Review, The Blotter, Breadcrumb Scabs, Guerilla Pamphlets, Imitation Fruit, Front Range, Convergence, Meat For Tea, Grey Sparrow Press, A Handful Of Dust & Ink Filled Page,The Journal Of Unlikely Entomology, Frequencies, Orion headless, Missive, Lit n Image, Media Virus,Handful of Dust, Spudgun, Bare Hands & Up The Staircase Quarterly. Over the years he has received three National Endowments For The Arts Fellowship, two Pollock-Krasner grants. In 2004 he received The Adolph Gottlieb Foundation grant and in 2010 he received a grant from Artists' Fellowship Inc. Currently he teaches art at the United Federation of Teachers Retiree Program in Brooklyn.

Other poems from Wires Over the Homeplace have been previously published or are forthcoming in various literary journals, including Prairie Schooner, the Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, Rattle, Mid-American Review, Midwest Quarterly, and others.
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