Contributor Notes

Dave Hardin

Dave Hardin

Circus Comes To Town


They roll into town in the dead of night 

on a blade of track that slices clean across 

the prone rib of Main, quick striped gates neatly 

chop a graceful swell of cool damp air clean 

at the knee, towering starless boxcars 


draw up for a chaste kiss, duty bound ranks closed

at parade rest, sweating angle iron and plate 

tick off the mounting minutes until swarming 

gangs of roustabouts, cropped drop forge faces gathered 

into new moon clefts, throw back the doors on 


The Greatest Show On Earth; my bundled dreams 

Secured in broad canvas and plastered steamer trunks,

Pace the length and breadth of clattering 

iron cages, Grin manically behind

cracked stricken pancake plaster, Hobbled 


in a steel corral, rolling eyeballs set to rim

twin cups of flared nostrils, Murmur silent 

prayers of thanks for the net beneath, Spit 

shine their tall black boots to a high gloss gleam 

that mirror the tiers of jeering towners 


lured here night after night by the cool clear

tone of the feathered air horn, keen for some 

three ring thrills and chills under the Big Top; 

perhaps a nervous elephant perched high above 

a still glass of water in a small pool of light. 






Crazy Horse Waits For Neil Young



Working their way through the Harvard Classics 

half-moon reading glasses perched precariously 

on their noses, dozing off from time to time, 

myoclonic twitches jolting hands and feet

that pine to plug in and mark time, dreaming 


of that bait shop in the Maldives with a cooler 

full of Bud where a man could do some combing 

on the beach and wait for the sea to rise

or the pending call that sends them up the attic 

stairs on a frantic search for their carry on 


luggage and the worn out Converse and that  

lucky tee shirt from Rust Never Sleeps.  Never 

a doubt, not one; well maybe a few but 

the changes and chords will come wandering back 

and the chorus to Fuckin’ Up practically 


sings itself, but in the meantime the checkbook 

needs attention and a grandson’s home from Helmand 

and isn’t the Lipitor running low?  

Two chapters left in Moby Dick, they eye the 

phone convinced again tonight’s the night.  






I Posed For Matisse


He uncoils me slowly like a skein of yarn 

paying out a beat behind his eyes, 

worn panes of beach glass that scour 

the days remaining for feeble sifted light 


drawing his hand along like a merry piper

through winding Hamlin streets, 

unruly fingers confounded by buttons 

hale and nimble once again, fat


graphite rolled and balanced, grip loose

and brash floating just above an empty ballroom 

floor to strains of a silent waltz 

fancied played in some distant place 


while my skin pools in goose flesh, my 

bobbin spun free of thread hip, breasts and neck

described in a perfect dearth of line, 

God struck mute as I slip demurely behind the screen.