Litmus Test

by Aaron Harme

I spent all morning watching a show about going to jail,
complete with the girl in orange chains
and too-small shirt demanding to know the location of her jaguar,
car or jungle cat I’m not sure.
She said she fired her Glock 17 into the air
and didn’t fire it at the same time,
and I thought about how complicated weapons must be getting these days.
One spits on the bullet proof glass,
waits for the saliva to slide onto the door,
spits again.

Just look up,
some proof of the inherent disinterest
of the world can already be seen,
your faults not etched in the clouds,
the sky only showing its emotions
when it’s ready to bring the thunder,
and even that has little to do with you.

Remember the man covered in ketchup when you were younger?
It wasn’t ketchup.
Barking at nothing is proof that dogs can think.
Dragonflies and bats will eat mosquitos,
but now you’re stuck with dragonflies and bats.

Look around but don’t get lost.
Keep moving.
One part of the test examines how you regain control.
Tell me again the one about the girl who burgles the bears,
sticks around for dinner and a nap.
Pencils down.

Aaron Harme is a writer of poetry and short fiction. He has a B.A. in English from East Stroudsburg University, and he is a recurring contributor at Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure, where his poems “Personal Appearance” and “Existentialism for Dummies” can currently be found.



by Hannah Andersen

It’s a horrible thing,
to be filled with so much poetry
one cannot sleep or eat
or shear the sheep or strike the wheat down.

The tongue runs fluid,
smoothed by the fluted bones
of past perceptions and passing poems.

And the poetry speaks like a dying man,
whispers into the shadows of the mind
with unrhymed words and deepest sorrow.

It beats its wings upon our dreams in earnest,
beckons to us from where the soul meets bone
with the promise of starting over again.

To listen is to hear your heart sing
with the soft whir of want
and the pain of a mother-language learned and lost.

Groping our way towards what we know of poems,
we are gutted like fish without fins or gills;
breathlessly afraid of what we might say—
paralyzed by what remains unsaid.

From the unspoken promise, comes the death of the poem:
nine words broken upon the spine of the world.

Hannah Andersen was born and raised in Southern California, where she currently resides with her husband and feline companions. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and works as an Advertising Copywriter. In her free time, she likes to play with poetry.



by Sandy Day

So angry
I turn on the beach
my foot in the give way
of pebbles by the shore
the crunch and squishing futility
of the foothold.

I am not
the drowned kitten
floating so long ago –
that hot summer
when the lake putrefied
and the sun held the wind open
like a pizza oven door.

I remember his red t-shirt
the sleeves ripped right out
his freckly shoulders
round and bare and burning
and the curling smile
and the sweat
that poured from him
as we copulated there
and there and there.

The ash from his cigarette fell
his hands busy
his eyes squinting
his deep inhale.
Red hot
but he turned pale
and wrote my name on the tiles
of the bathroom stall.

Cold fish in the cooler
the condensation
of endless beers –
leaving rings on the table.
And the Shakespeare
I learned then imprinted
on my soul
and he could never catch
the white petals
shaking softly from my tree
in the evening breeze lying
on the university’s shadowy lawn
the cold stone buildings
needing no A/C.

I’m switched off.
And love lies dormant
like a cough
I recognize
when it returns
to rack my body
with a summer

A staggering inspiration in the fall of 2008 compelled Sandy Day to write again after a twenty year silence. Sandy recently completed a fictional concordance to a group of 160 poems, which she plans to publish online in serial format. Sandy lives in Toronto, Canada where she writes and edits ghost content, and manages microsites for talented peeps who have no time to market. She is always looking for ways to pay the piper!

9 Responses to “Poetry”
  1. Dale Williams says:

    I feel very connected to Sandy’s poem “The Difference”. I have often silently prayed to “Love”, believing it is “God”.
    Hearing most of my life that “God” is punishing, especially if there is any sexual feelings has been so confusing. When I hear Sandy’s poem, I feel I am not alone. Because “God” to me now means total acceptance of everything human including my sexuality, an all inclusive package of “God”. Sandy, I am a fan. I really enjoy your writing. Thank you once again.

  2. Cheri Babajian says:

    I enjoy Hannah Andersen’s poem Murmur and find it very unique and inspiring.

  3. Angie Olivares says:

    Loved reading Hannah Andersen’s poem Murmur. It was very innovative and expressive.

  4. Cheryl Bolen says:

    Hannah Andersen’s “Murmur” has fresh phrasing and unique imagery. She’s a real talent.

  5. Warmest thanks for the positive comments!

  6. Linda H. says:

    I also enjoyed “Murmur.”

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] first online magazine I discovered was Sea Giraffe. A tweet of theirs piqued my interest and I started a correspondence with the editor, Mike Maher. I […]

  2. […] 5/13/2011 – UPDATE: The Martius Contest Winners, 2nd Wave has been published. Go here to see the 3 winning poems: http://seagiraffemag.com/current-issue/poetry/ […]

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