Issue Thirty-Nine - Winter 2022

Three from Rich Ives

By Rich Ives


May/June Beetles
Largest of the white grubs, Captain Pink has a stout body. Someday, he will be chocolate brown and feed at night on trees and shrubs.

If I eat without looking, I taste heaven or surrender.

The window of a footprint doesn’t allow returning. Follow what you see.

The small piece of gravel stuck in the pheasant’s craw proved you can still be useful to others when your own stomach’s full.

Ever since the lottery released him, he’s been unable to count.

I held myself private in public.

This time I said nothing. It flattered me.

I was stuck to a verb. I sat on my sonnet and shivered.

I conquered several loaves of bread and became aware of my tendencies.

I’m truly sorry that I’m able to think of this.

A couple of the island monks might allow the boisterous tide more freedom.

With all that I’ve fallen, I’ll have to learn to captivate slower.

There are many ways to address beauty and they are not exclamations.

Wooden chimes softening the hour but counting.

Captain Pink doesn’t know about his three year life cycle.

Nature is not the only limit placed upon us.



Meadow Spittlebug
In Detroit, travel is manufactured and mostly returns to its point of departure before anything significant happens except debt. Andy and I start out with a job to do but seem to prefer doing it over and over again, as if money were an answer to unasked questions.

But money is only better food and a home that doesn’t travel and a reason to pay part of what you have to others as seldom and small as possible, which turns getting up in the morning into getting out in the evening with a brief rest and a marker placed like a stone you can own just a bit longer than memory. So we start producing spittle mass in our spare time after eating. We introduce air bubbles. We stay entertained.

You’ve never really lived in Detroit, but your car has, or your neighbor’s car. Have you misunderstood patriotism or the foreign ownership of financial assets, or the war wealthy people keep in their pockets and toy with every time they pay for something that doesn’t really have a price?

I started over then and moved to myself, a place I hadn’t wanted to live in because of the memories, but now the memories are someone else’s although I really do care about what happens to him. So I move him first to the northeast and then to the Pacific Northwest. I stay in motion. I am seldom observed because the motion is copied from others like me. They are straw colored and anonymous. We find the pale green children, you and I, in spittle masses that seem to be natural and not an illness at all.

Can you taste it? This is what I’m saying, not what I’m seeing. This is hunger banished to Tuesday. This is a good feeling that crawls inside and curls up. Andy and I are not pets anymore, but life’s still like a faithful dog.

But it’s not a faithful dog.

Can you come home now?



Minute Pirate Bug

I’m small. I eat spider mites, thrips, and aphids, as well as insect eggs. I do not consider it cannibalism. I’m mature now, with black and white markings. My kids are straw-colored.

I do not have a complex. My size is appropriate to my needs. I am better at living inside it than most people would be.

I had an interesting father for just a little while. He shot and killed a small portion of the air. My mother was confusingly generous. She offered facial expressions instead of flowers. She broiled parrot with crocodile slivers. (Okay, I made that part up.)

In my wisdom voice, I said, Cupping our love-strained testicles in handfuls of warm brine. I didn’t make that up, but nobody was listening. There was this guy. His belated fetal warmth had escaped recently from a soured milk can.

You can call me Ash, but I won’t tell you why. The wealthy chef had already scattered too many peasants over the birthday cake. My lap dog was slithering right out of the carefully knitted limitations of a misconstrued boyfriend.

I think that I don’t want to do anything that I’m doing, but I don’t really know what I’m doing. Neither do you, know what you’re doing fully I mean, and you really should take a look at how much you don’t know, which is difficult when you don’t know what to look for.

When the boyfriend returned, I tried choking the metaphor, but it wouldn’t die.

This blue I was living in was richer and spent itself freely. It didn’t linger the way green did, but you weren’t going to forget it.

As if blame could create some kind of supplement.

A bit of alligator poop in the moist conclusions.

As for the kids, well, they’re the source of much that I say, but of course, I’m the source of much that they say.

So we just try to say the unexpected, which soon enough becomes what we don’t say anymore.

Copyright Ives 2022