Pushcart Nominations 2013


W.I.S.H. was started in June of 2013, and in the short period of time we’ve existed, we’ve published some utterly amazing poets.  We’re absolutely ecstatic to the poetic bone to participate in the Pushcart Nominations this year.

We’ve included our Nominees and their poems below.   Enjoy!

To My Mother Kneeling In The Cactus Garden
by E.J. Koh

August 2013 issue

For a month I tried to think of what to say,
how many times you’ve swept a kitchen knife
across your neckline and said, This is how
you end a marriage, how many more wicks you light
for god. I could tell by your eyes you’ve never

seen him. What would you call the feeling
of abandon and caution and relief that keeps me
tethered to you? Let me be the husband
you prayed for, the son you wanted or mother
who held you. I’ll build your new patio swing

and fold your coffee linens, wash your hardened
feet in warm water. To me you have become a prison
of its own light. I’ll grow greens and the parsley
you love and wrap them into cold sandwiches.
I will place them where you can reach with ease.

If Memory Serves Me
by Anne Higgins

November 2013 issue

If Memory serves me,
she’s falling down on the job.
Very slow to retrieve,
from the crevices in the upholstery,
the names of students I taught last year.
Sloppy about dusting off
my awareness of things to be done.
She skips the sticky places of regret on the floor,
the wallet left behind in the ladies room.
She makes me travel the stairs twice,
and deserts me when I reach the top.
Not until the gnats cloud my face in the garden
does she show me the bug spray
still back in my closet.
She’s getting less reliable each year.
Slow-moving and ponderous,
she shuffles along the corridor,
thick-legged, swaying into the wall.

These Children of Poetry
by The Plastic Clown

August 2013 issue

These children mount the stage
& staple polaroids of hope
to pierce youthful breast
their blood drips with meaning
to flaunt at the spotlight
& I remember
that I’m selling poison
mixed with the sweet juice
that I squeeze
from the fruits of my subconscious
dropping the ice-cubes
of my humor
into the cocktails I serve
from the stage
dropping ice-cubes
(that’s French for stairway)
(to show that I’m cool)
but I have to pour these drinks
that will hurt you
that will cut you
that will kill you
& I remember
& can still sometimes see
the landscapes these children reveal
the brightness
of their illuminations
their light ruminations
hurt my eyes
& burn the vampire
chunks of my pride
that I keep wrapped
in an un-protective
cloth of fear
the gauze that
I wrap everything in
The gift of romance
When I’m not seeing clearly
& I will not kill these children
(to gain my focus)
nor kill my father
nor fuck my mother
to profit by the rules of psychology
or the rules of philosophy
or(to be honest)
the rules of religion
but I will kill you all
at least a part of you
this stage will be my last stand
& I will be master of the universe
or nothing at all
please vote for me
vote for me
I will make you drunk
with my words
if you can hear this
I am already manipulating
I will molest you
We will be lovers
What a friend we have in Jesus
& I am not here to usurp Him
but I will always be yr friend
vote for me
master of the universe
I promise to try not to
but if I do
then you can too
in the church of the open bar
heaven is just well-told
& we can’t achieve
heaven on earth
but we’ve certainly been
pointing in the wrong
help me help you

by Leah Shaper

July 2013 issue

I see you stumbling
in a benzo haze
wearing the fur
of a drenched cat
chewing on shadows
on the ground cast
by the overhead sun
you’ve forgotten about
not like the one you look over at
smothered from upward view
by tears of smoke dripping
from bloodied eyes
where scuffles have
shuffled the dust up
as if
could never be
and have never been
sucked away
from your sugared lips
as if
don’t shift and slough
even though
their melted water
is at your heels.

by Joel Harris

July 2013 issue

I wake and realize

my dream has frozen the rain–
it goes popping and taps

up on the window
as ice becomes coal

then diamond,
snapping, cracking

on glass and frame.
Smiling, proud, I

shake off the smoke
and shrug out from under you,
your voice now a

‘scrim of rain,’ receding:
reticent, toothless,

clipping softly in my thigh,
a distant nod of the head

but no sure command.
I smile again; and,

noting what does not belong,
I throw you off.

Aerodynamic Drag
by Melinda Dubbs

June 2013 issue

I crawl into grandma’s wheelchair, feet levitating
above the carpet. It is my racecar
and I like to go fast. I rev the motor
and thin plastic wheels moan
as I soar around the Tiffany lamp, lap
around the kitchen island and spinout in the dining
room, crashing into pine
arms and legs. The grandstand roars,
bloodthirst titillated. My car mangled,
collapsed under the table as I crawl on
naked, rug-burned knees to assess the damage:
two blowouts, bent chassis, full body
damage. Damn.

So I become
an engineer, a mechanic
in a pink jumpsuit, paper napkin
blueprints lined across my feet, air gun convulsing
in my hands. Under 5:24 and I make it all new.
Everything chrome and I am the driver once more and
this race isn’t over. But I’m loose, tires gnashing
against the coffee table, drafting
the cat sprinting in front of my Monte Carlo, engine breathing
down its fur. I speed past corner 3
but grandma barricades my path,
her diminutive blue hands clutching
the walls. We trade off and she rolls

down the hall,
oversized travel bag on her lap. We sit on the bed
and she tells me about pantyhose, smearing
cherry lipstick on my mouth,
plastic earring stickers on my lobes, my racecar
now draped with lingerie.

by Jamie Hunyor

June 2013 issue

you slept on a cardboard mat & ate
potato pancakes w/ a spork. i sat
on the stoop & watched you dream.
twenty-one long minutes passed while
you watered the gardens of yr mind w/
pitcher after pitcher of warm beer. you
woke & said, “summer is coming but
it’s just an illusion.” “February is such a
tease,” i said [w/ one pant leg rolled up,
moonwalking & eating thumb tacks]. i’m
pretty sure the middle-aged man who just
walked by muttered “fuckin’ stoners” under
his breath so i took off my shoe & aimed for
the back of his head. i didn’t realize i had
strapped bricks onto my feet until he fell
forward & man-made ponds of blood
pooled in the potholes.

3 thoughts on “Pushcart Nominations 2013”

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