width=61 height=87> Voracious Verses
Summer / Fall, 2013


Joan McNerney


The Subliminal Room

The Subliminal Room
That weepy October
marigolds were so full.
I made an omelet with
them.  Do you remember?
All November, leaves
mixed with rain, making
streets slippery.  We
listened mostly to Chopin.
Leaves droop in September
too ripe and heavy for
trees.  I was careful
not to slip, dreading
when leaves would grow
dry and crumble.
Some live all winter
through the next spring.
Chased by winds, they
huddle in corners,
reminding me of mice.
I confessed to you
how I loved Russian
poets and waited for
a silent revolution,
revealing my childhood
possessed by rosaries
and nuns chanting Ave,
Ave, Ave Maria.  "Your
navel exudes the warmth
of 10,000 suns", you said.
We still live in this
subliminal room.
Jonah did not want to
leave the whale's stomach.
We continue trying to
decipher Chopin.  Your
eyes are two bunches of
morning glories.  Sometimes
the sky is so violet.
Will we ever live by the
sea, Michael, and eat
carrots?  I do not want
my sight to fail.  Hurry,
the dew is drying on the

© 2013 Joan McNerney



That was the name of a paint
can from J&M Hardware.

With sweat lingering on her
face, she colored her room.

Tinted now like insides of
ripe plums, like perfect grapes.

When the sizzling lemon sun
dropped from heaven...night

became moist and black.

Her fan whirled thick air
stained with cigarettes

coffee, turpentine, white wine.

She sank into her wicker couch
as fog horns trail the horizon.

Lotus screech relentlessly for water
always wanting more more more water.

Closing her eyes, remembering him
now tasting the feast of his smile.

© 2013 Joan McNerney


BIO: Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Camel Saloon Books on Blog, Blueline, Vine Leaves, Spectrum, three Bright Spring Press Anthologies and several Kind of A Hurricane Publications. She has been nominated three times for Best of the Net. Four of her books have been published by fine literary presses. She has recited her work at the National Arts Club, New York City, State University of New York, Oneonta, McNay Art Institute, San Antonio and other distinguished venues. A recent reading was sponsored by the American Academy of Poetry. Her latest title is Having Lunch with the Sky, A.P.D. Press, Albany, New York.

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