Author: Theresa Smalec

Meteorite from Saturn and Blind Spot by Leah Mueller

Installment 17 is a white-knuckle meditation on luck and its aftermath. Leah Mueller’s two poems dramatize the strikes we never see coming, and invite us to feel those misses that were nonetheless very near.  *** METEORITE FROM SATURN The objects that strike from above are always the worst. Driving my Toyota Corolla down I-5 in a 9 PM Pacific Northwest rainstorm, a few miles north of Everett. Raining so hard I can barely see. Traffic like angry bees escaping from a damaged nest. Radio off so I can concentrate. Suddenly, the heavy crash of impact so loud the entire...

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A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Border Crossings by Stephen Brockwell

Installment 16 presents six short vignettes: snapshots of care and risk that resist our age of dehumanization. Stephen Brockwell’s speaker offers tender, chilling, and at times humorous glimpses into why certain drivers are willing to go the extra mile for their human cargo. *** A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Border Crossings 1 Phil, we remarked on your broad lapels. You were thumb-wheeling home to your brother’s funeral in a vintage three-piece you bought on the Main, black wool with satin piping better suited to a gala. It had seen more years than you, more than your brother. And so, we...

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Car Kissing in the Rain and Leaving Indifference by Eileen Hugo

Installment 15 features two poems by Eileen Hugo. Both pieces travel in transitory directions and offer quick but lingering glimpses into acts that are only supposed to last for a short time.   *** Car Kissing in the Rain Rain drops made circles and moved down the windows in small rivers that branched out and down to the hood of the car heavy rain drummed the roof and our pulses it was steamy outside and in with the curtain drawn passions escalated but this was car kissing     nothing more *** Leaving From the car window I see the road that...

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Installment 14, Drew Milne’s “Defeat Devices,” takes up the EPA term for devices installed by Volkswagen and other car manufacturers to disguise the levels of real world emissions produced by their vehicles. Software recognizes lab conditions and changes the fuel regulation to suit, but once back on the road, the NOx and particulates emissions spike and far exceed regulation levels. Milne renders concrete those deadly remains that many prefer to keep out of sight and mind. *** DEFEAT DEVICES there in the software lies a tiger in the tank a cat called catalytics pumping particulates he takes a breather...

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Three Poems by Marilyn Cavicchia

Installment 13 features three poems by Marilyn Cavicchia that take our exploration of cars and remains in new directions. Each piece below is a found poem whose source material were posts in a public Facebook group called “The World’s Most Boring Posts Club.” Each day, Cavicchia visited the group and found a brief phrase to start a poem, then scrolled to find other phrases that joined it in an interesting way. Her novel assemblage of found parts departs from a simple copy-and-paste job, and puts a new spin on the traditional lyric “I”. *** My Peppers Are Still Coming...

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