Poetry Reading: David Sloan & John McVeigh

JUNE 14th Poetry Reading at the Harlow Art Gallery

 in Hallowell


read from their poetry Friday, June 14, 2013, 7:00 PM

at the Harlow Gallery, 160 Water Street in Hallowell.

Plus open readings. Sign-ups for the 7pm open mic

Start at 7:00; arrive early to snag a 3-minute spot:

(spots limited to the first five signees)

Light refreshments served.  Suggested contribution: $3.00

For further information call 685-3636


Magic—by John McVeigh

Stardust lived in a world of aromatherapy,

gemstones, astrology, goddess worship.

She gardened

and worked at the health food store.


Welter lived in a world of spreadsheets, shed projects

planned from start to finish, car maintenance.

He worshipped nothing.

He processed casualty insurance claims.


Stardust got sick.

A mass grew in her abdomen.

She breathed in Echinacea fumes, lay

with stones on her stomach,

consulted the stars,

burned incense to Astarte, the goddess

of her pagan group.

Nothing worked.


Walter got sick.

A mass grew in his abdomen.

He went to the doctor.

He had radiation.

He had chemotherapy,

A surgeon cut the mass out.

It grew back.


Desperate for a cure,

Walter went to the health food store

for herbs, candles, stones, and homeopathic tinctures

said to boost his immune system.


Desperate for a cure,

Stardust went to the doctor.

The doctor tested Stardust, gave her some pills,

and the mass went away.


Walter breathed in vapors and meditated

on a statue is St. Jude,

and the mass went away.


Stardust changed her name to Melissa,

quit the health food store,

and became a laboratory assistant at the hospital.


Walter took Stardust’s place at the health food store

and joined the pagan temple.


Both spent the rest of their lives




BAD MATH —by David Sloan

They say the handwork teacher died
of cancer because she was a hoarder—
shelves clotted with tangled skeins,
shadows of puppets, driftwood dowels,
piles of jaundiced newspapers, bird bones,
jars of beads  and regret.
Who doesn’t understand
the unappeasable urge to amass,
her addiction to textures, to graspability,
reminding us of what we are not?
She finally figured it out after hearing
the words “a mass,” clearcut a swath
through her life, not only the closet clutter—
her husband, the house, three sons.

Iscador injections, potentized, they say,
turn rogue cells docile
for a time.  She rebloomed,
traveled to Japan, resisted the urge
to buy jade and pearls, even as
the math in her went wild.

They say things are only things,
as if their calling out to us
could be muzzled, as if all the bodies
we desire to hold and hold
onto didn’t change in our grasp,
as if it were a cinch to divide
this world into the living
and the even more alive.