2012 Best of the Net Nominations

The Dead Mule has submitted the following poets and their poems [published in the Dead Mule to the 2012] to Sundress Publications: The Best of the Net.  Congratulations to all.

Cathy Smith Bowers – “A Book a Day” – published April 2012

Norvin Dickerson – “NASCAR Poet” – published October 2011

Shenan Hahn – “To the Coyote on the Side of the Interstate” – published February 2012 (scroll down)

Michael Evan Parker – “Old Woman Sweeping” – published June 2012

Tim Peeler – “Drive-In 48” – published April 2012 (scroll down)

Staci R. Schoenfeld – “World Wide Web” – published March 2012

Staci R. Schoenfeld – Three Poems

Southern Legitimacy Statement:

By virtue of both my biological (Kentucky) and adoptive (Georgia, Florida) roots, I am a southerner. Born in Georgia, I didn’t really live in the south until I moved to Kentucky. (Miami, Florida, is definitely not the South, though it is quite far south when looking at a map.) I spent quite a lot of time riding around in cars as a child and teen listening to my Aunt complain about “that damn kudzu” and that invasive plant has even found its way into a poem or two.

World Wide Web

The crickets are chattering—
the original tweeters.

The moths are mooning
over the halogen porch light.

It’s half past ten, and a train is lumbering
through town, horn wide open.

In the pond the bullfrogs are calling,
and a dog is barking in response.

The stars are winking fireflies.
The fireflies are hovering stars.


Exploring the Boundaries of Comfort

It was fall—leaf crunching time.
Jenna and I went hiking,
used worn out hunters’ ribbons
around the trees as our guides.

We trekked through glowing birch,
on logs over tumbling creeks,
toward the setting sun and realized
we were lost in the woods,

and much like Hansel and Gretel—
our breadcrumbs were long gone.
We argued over how to get home,
and Jenna become more frantic.

Despite aching leg muscles
and lungs fighting asthma,
I remained calm.
I liked being lost.

The worries that swarmed
my mind disappeared.
My thoughts concentrated.
As dusk settled over the forest

and we found the way home,
Jenna gradually relaxed,
but with each step I picked up tension
like a child gathering stones.


Kentucky Woman

Kentucky reveals
herself in layers,
like a woman peeling
off her clothes.
In summer, she bares
chicory by the roadside.