mob of one

BY NORMAL


maybe
they don’t express these things
the rye the whiskey the screaming
in the hall — the piss in front
of the door — the backhand
slapping like an angry
spanish dance
across the cheek
of a child.

every girl
holds at least
one secret
out in her palm
far from the crowd
in her own private world
in her own mob of one.

every girl
knows the land of the turtle
the language of the sickly
the chambers of the swan.
every girl
rallies a flower
discovers a feather
champions a stone
she protects from the world.

maybe
there is no word left
to express the sound
of a siren shattering the moon — 
no lighthouse bright enough
to guide your tiny vessel
out of the harbor of tears &
into the sea of an
unforgiving sorrow. maybe
there is no one left to blame.

maybe
there is no expression left
no words left
to the song you have not
written yet
that carries on its wings
a hope
that sings
your name.


The 2015 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry
FIRST PLACE WINNER

We are pleased to announce the first place winner for The 2015 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry, honoring the independent press’ best poem of the year. The winner is selected by an external panel that judges all pieces blindly and selects the full list of finalists. Alternating Current does not determine the final outcome for the judging; the external judges’ decisions are final. The first place winner receives a printed certificate, an honorarium, publication on Alternating Current’s award page, publication on The Coil, printed publication in the triennial awards anthology with the selection indicated, two complimentary copies of the journal, and our virtual medallion created by the lovely folks at Hardly Square, for personal and professional use on the author’s websites, blogs, and book covers.


With presently 550–600 pieces published between 1992 and 2015 (without the Internet), Normal remains “one of the last American primitives” [self-described] in the underground press. His most recent book, I See Hunger’s Children: Selected Poems 1962–2012, was published by Lummox Press in 2012.


Poem originally posted on 1/14/15