Anna Cates


Masonic lodge—
the compass measuring
shifting zodiac

megalithic rock
erections masterminded
by megalomaniacs

elongated skulls—
mysteries of Stone Age

September sun
sinking beneath the waves
to lost Atlantis

E. M.

he was man
of clever disguise—
a burlap bag

he braved the spotlight
and the crowds—
a solitary star

he made teen girls
his trunk hung low

he lived fast
and died fast—
the Elephant Man


you can live on Ramen noodles
you know because they’ve told you so
that if the glass ceiling broke
you’d have only shards and shit
to deal with

those lucky bastards
bask in propitious waters
like Japanese macaques

how the wheel of fortune ever turns
monstrously like the gears at Cern
where physicists probe the import
of the smallest particles of existence
smashed yet farther apart

in wide white space
questions linger . . .

forgive me
the tired reel of my life grinds on
an old film nobody wants to see
I am, like you,
but 1 of 4 and 20 blackbirds
baked in humble pie
silently screaming for cesarean

excuse the dust I make
the death I die
the dwarf woman within me
fighting to break free

Anna Cates is a graduate of Indiana State University (M.A. English and Ph.D. Curriculum & Instruction/English) and National University (M.F.A. Creative Writing). Her first collections of poetry and fiction, The Meaning of Life and The Frog King, were published by Cyberwit Press, and her second poetry collection, The Darkroom, by Prolific Press. She lives in Ohio and teaches education and English online, including graduate courses in creative writing.

Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/A.-Cates/e/B006TGBCT2
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