poetryrepairs #238 v17.06:066

MARC LIVANOS : Pittsburg
MARC LIVANOS : The Ballastonian Inn

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My childhood years take me back to remembrances like grabbing lemon drops from the forbidden living room. Suicide rides down steep hills on skateboards that took all day to make were worth every scrape. Mischief was the grist of tall tales, like putting Grandpa’s hat under the neighbor’s bed. Memories chiseled in stone. Grandpa’s black lunch box waited daily on the landing for the morning whistle. He’d later return raw to the bone. Grandma was our savior. She alone could get Grandpa to gather mountain greens for smothering in oil. Evenings were full of laughter, as we sat round the pot-bellied coal stove, catching up on events. All of us together, healthy with bills paid, let everyone feel good and enjoy life. Generations after us will never know these simpler days. Ah, to just step back in time.

poetryrepairs #238 v17.06:066

The Ballastonian Inn

The Inn is that rare place where stunning décor subtly portrays an eerie otherworldliness. As I enter, the winter gray melts away. Marble pilasters flank stone fireplaces. Bronze mirrors reflect lit chandeliers. All present when Grant purloined Ballastonian. I contemplate Grant’s musings at the Inn. When really fortunate, I feel an intangible shift in the musty air, a tingle all the way down to my bones. In a far corner, I discern a figure sitting stoically I shudder, murmuring – Could it be? It’s as if I walked in on Grant, who’s just waiting for my conviviality to raise his spirits. He laughs, joking about death. Taken aback, I posit - What’s death unveiled, on the meaning of life? Grant somberly responds - Oh, you’ll see hatred and war, though we’ve been promised no more. Enough “huzzas.” Nations, like individuals, are punishable for their transgressions. There is always a time when some other way can be found to prevent the drawing of the sword, a choice requiring more resolve than offense.

poetryrepairs #238 v17.06:066


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MARC LIVANOS’ poems have appeared in Straylight Magazine, Poet’s Espresso Review, Stray Branch Magazine, Old Red Kimono, Ship of Fools, Song of the San Joaquin Quarterly, Emerald Coast Review, Toasted Cheese Literary Journal, The Sunday Poet and others.