2

Ballast

Sailor boy, lover of the sea—
I harbor my own notion
of the way you see me:

vast-eyed and open,
still, broken as a sunken ship,
unstable as your waves—
sun-bleached victims
of the wind.

Of you, I see a tide;
a clear-eyed student
of the ocean’s teaching:
rising
and falling
to the occasion.

 

Originally published in Volume 3, Issue 1 – Spring/Summer 2014 of Angle

3

Eleven Years

He gets confused sometimes—
gets up, walks a few steps,

–pauses–

looks blankly ahead
then turns around,
sits back down

slowly.

The doctor says it’s dementia;
it’s just the beginning, really.

It’s in his eyes, though:
everything.

He’s not forgotten
anything;

I’ve not, either—

not the way he sat
with me quietly
through the years:

my parent’s divorce,
failures
in efforts that could’ve given me
a way out,
losing my grandmother,
missed opportunites
that might’ve mattered.

He’s been there for all of it—
the last eleven years that settled me
into adulthood.

He’s graying now;
the black hair he had once
has lightened around his chin
and above his eyes.

He’s handsome as ever, though,
when he grins,
and that’s what makes it
alright—
his aging.

We’ve been happy
along the way,
me and Dylan.
He’s been a good dog.

Originally published in Issue 69 of Burningword Literary Journal, found here.

dylan.jpg

0

Swallow

I forget my reasons
for staying, saying
instead it’s what’s right– 

          wrong, again.

Again, I swallow it all:
the anger, the regret.

But it won’t stay down,
as I do. It rises,
likes the hot air you speak,
corrodes the ceiling,
takes my breath, leaves
me gasping, choking
on what you could not
swallow. 

          The indignant,

after all, have no room
for their own mistakes.

 

Originally published at Melancholy Hyperbole, found here.

5

Interview with Rachel Nix, Issue 6′s Poetry Contest Winner

Rachel Nix:

I’m so stoked to have won the contest for Issue 6 at Bop Dead City! Also, it was such an honor to have Kevin Rodriguez interview me for the site. Please head on over there and show them some love. Or even better, buy a few issues here!

Originally posted on Bop Dead City:

Our first interview for this go-around is with Rachel Nix, who was so kind as to give us two poems: “Kathryn,” which won the contest, and “Acreage.” It’s always nice to get submissions from fellow Southerners (even though I’m really just a carpetbagger), especially gracious Alabamians like Rachel.
Rachel Nix
Describe your work in 25 words or less.
I aim to convey the human condition; be it through my own stories or opinions of other things, and hopefully with a little Southern flavor.
Congratulations on winning such a prestigious contest! Is this your first time? How’s it feel?
 
Thank you! It is my first time and it shocked me, to be honest. It really gave me the nod of approval in wondering if my narrative approach was getting me anywhere. And to win with “Kathryn” is the best part of it all, as that poem is so personal and nostalgic for…

View original 503 more words

0

On Preparing For A Date I Don’t Care To Go On

Originally posted on Melancholy Hyperbole:

rp

On Preparing For A Date I Don’t Care To Go On

I debate with myself how to dress:
casually, so as to hint at my lack of interest;
or with care, to show him the shape
of my body — the one he won’t be touching.

 
 

Rachel Nix is from Northwest Alabama. Despite an irrational fear of frogs, she’s declared herself pretty content with living in the boonies. Her work has been recently published at The Summerset Review, Spillway, and Bop Dead City; Rachel can be found at: http://chasingthegrey.com/

 
Photo found here.

View original

2

Unsettled

Rain taps on the tin roof
and I am in an unlit room
not thinking of you.
 
The air is cold, not like winter;
it feels like your arms
when they’re not
wrapped across my ribs,
your hand curling
next to my lips,
catching my more quiet breaths.
 
1:24 AM – the clock
sits on the table
next to the right side
of my bed, where you slept.
 
I am not lonely;
morning will be here soon.
 

Unsettled originally published at Melancholy Hyperbole – 2/8/14

10

Olene’s Elegy

Image

Oh January, you cannot bury
the beauty of the worth born
into your care, more than many
years ago. End all you like, but
your last day will be celebrated
evermore and everafter the end
of September attempts to steal
your glory. You see, hearts know
nothing of calendars or finality.
February will follow you with love.

Rachel Olene Woodard
[1/31/1941 – 9/28/2011]

2

Split

I draw fault lines in your quake, shaking
at the symmetry in which we are divided;
you are not the world I once woke to,

and I am no more the earth
you dug into with callused hands
that craved our growth.

There is only air between us, dense
as it is, obscuring our views, waiting for
onlookers to see the mess we’ve made.

 

Originally published in Issue 23 of Up the Staircase Quarterly:
http://upthestaircase.org/rachel-nix.html

8

Airing

I can hear the television blaring
and I just want silence
or chaos
or maybe
just a cup of coffee; 
the kind you’d tell me
to go make a fresh pot of
when I would drop by, 
without knocking, and
without an invitation
to sit in that chair, 
the one with the not-hardly
but probably-once-was
tan fabric
worn on the sides
from how I’d sit: 
comfortably, but not how I ought to, 
you’d say. 

We’d watch television
for hours on end—
that is, when we would
actually break from chit-chat
to pay attention to
all those dumb shows
with people
far worse off than you or me. 

Watching television there, 
in that chair
across from you, 
made my going home
seem something less like
grieving.

 

Originally published in the Winter 2014 issue of The Summerset Review

http://www.summersetreview.org/14winter/nix.html