I've stayed in the front yard all my life./ I want to peek at the back/Where it's rough and untended and hungry weeds grow. Gwendolyn Brooks


James Wren has published four chapbooks:
Encounters Abroad,

Virtuous Women. . . and Other Circumstances,

Anxious Reading,

Petroglyphs:A Dictionary of Social Ills.

For information on ordering, contact

James Wren
412 Argonne Drive, NE
Birmingham, AL 35215

or email

James Wren

A Self-Basting Turkey

after twenty-seven years and three children
an exponential number of infidelities
one dead dog and something like a fistfight
my mother packed her bags
and left my father to
an empty house
and his peculiar brand of self-loathing
she'd thought of everything in advance
down to the minutest of details
(three decades had provided ample opportunities for that)
a self-basting turkey strategically kept warm in the oven, for example,
complete with what would become a secret family recipe for laxative stuffing
Alabama, you see, has no alimony
and it would be a long time before he'd have a leg to stand on


my hungry bull
from that moment when I was felled by your approach, onto your lap
I became your constant companion.
Upon your massive thighs, climbing passed all else
Again, again rising from between two horns
I have seen the distant seas
On the wind, the brilliant wind, from field to field
Together we galloped
You reared your proud head
My hand whipped through your unruly mane
And all night long we embraced in slumber.