Yellow Mama Archives II

Richard Allen Taylor

Acuff, Gale
Ahern, Edward
Allen, R. A.
Alleyne, Chris
Andes, Tom
Arnold, Sandra
Aronoff, Mikki
Ayers, Tony
Baber, Bill
Baird, Meg
Baker, J. D.
Balaz, Joe
Barker, Adelaide
Barker, Tom
Barnett, Brian
Barry, Tina
Bartlett, Daniel C.
Bates, Greta T.
Bayly, Karen
Beckman, Paul
Bellani, Arnaav
Berriozabal, Luis Cuauhtemoc
Beveridge, Robert
Blakey, James
Booth, Brenton
Bracken, Michael
Burke, Wayne F.
Burnwell, Otto
Campbell, J. J.
Cancel, Charlie
Capshaw, Ron
Carr, Steve
Carrabis, Joseph
Cartwright, Steve
Centorbi, David Calogero
Cherches, Peter
Christensen, Jan
Clifton, Gary
Cody, Bethany
Costello, Bruce
Coverly, Harris
Crist, Kenneth James
Cumming, Scott
Davie, Andrew
Davis, Michael D.
Degani, Gay
De Neve, M. A.
Dillon, John J.
Dinsmoor, Robert
Dominguez, Diana
Dorman, Roy
Doughty, Brandon
Doyle, John
Dunham, T. Fox
Ebel, Pamela
Fagan, Brian Peter
Fillion, Tom
Flynn, James
Fortier, M. L.
Fowler, Michael
Galef, David
Garnet, George
Garrett, Jack
Glass, Donald
Graysol, Jacob
Grech, Amy
Greenberg, KJ Hannah
Grey, John
Hagerty, David
Hardin, Scott
Held, Shari
Hicks, Darryl
Hivner, Christopher
Hoerner, Keith
Hohmann, Kurt
Holt, M. J.
Holtzman, Bernard
Holtzman, Bernice
Holtzman, Rebecca
Hopson, Kevin
Hubbs, Damon
Irwin, Daniel S.
Jabaut, Mark
Jermin, Wayne
Jeschonek, Robert
Johns. Roger
Kanner, Mike
Karl, Frank S.
Kempe, Lucinda
Kennedy, Cecilia
Keshigian, Michael
Kirchner, Craig
Kitcher, William
Kompany, James
Kondek, Charlie
Koperwas, Tom
Kreuiter, Victor
Larsen, Ted R.
Le Due, Richard
Leotta, Joan
Lester, Louella
Lubaczewski, Paul
Lucas, Gregory E.
Luer, Ken
Lukas, Anthony
Lyon, Hillary
Mannone, John C.
Margel, Abe
Martinez, Richard
McConnell, Logan
McQuiston, Rick
Middleton, Bradford
Milam, Chris
Miller, Dawn L. C.
Mladinic, Peter
Mobili, Juan
Mullins, Ian
Myers, Beverle Graves
Myers, Jen
Newell, Ben
Nielsen, Ayaz Daryl
Nielsen, Judith
Onken, Bernard
Owen, Deidre J.
Park, Jon
Parker, Becky
Pettus, Robert
Plath, Rob
Potter, John R. C.
Price, Liberty
Proctor, M. E.
Prusky, Steve
Radcliffe, Paul
Reddick, Niles M.
Reedman, Maree
Reutter, G. Emil
Riekki, Ron
Robson, Merrilee
Rockwood, KM
Rollins, Janna
Rose, Brad
Rosmus, Cindy
Ross, Gary Earl
Rowland, C. A.
Saier, Monique
Sarkar, Partha
Scharhag, Lauren
Schauber, Karen
Schildgen, Bob
Schmitt, Di
Sesling, Zvi E.
Short, John
Simpson, Henry
Slota, Richelle Lee
Smith, Elena E.
Snell, Cheryl
Snethen, Daniel G.
Stanley, Barbara
Steven, Michael
Stoler, Cathi
Stoll, Don
Surkiewicz, Joe
Swartz, Justin
Taylor, J. M.
Taylor, Richard Allen
Temples. Phillip
Tobin, Tim
Traverso Jr., Dionisio "Don"
Turner, Lamont A.
Tustin, John
Tyrer, DJ
Varghese, Davis
Verlaine, Rp
Viola, Saira
Waldman, Dr. Mel
Al Wassif, Amirah
Weibezahl, Robert
Weil, Lester L.
Weisfeld, Victoria
Weld, Charles
White, Robb
Wilhide, Zachary
Williams, E. E.
Williams, K. A.
Wilsky, Jim
Wiseman-Rose, Sophia
Woods, Jonathan
Young, Mark
Zackel, Fred
Zelvin, Elizabeth
Zeigler, Martin
Zimmerman, Thomas
Zumpe, Lee Clark

Atlas Yearns for Retirement


by Richard Allen Taylor


Zeus sentenced me to hold up the sky, penance for my rebellion.

Not satisfied, mortals added the world to my burden.


A god who willingly accepts responsibility, I bear the globe

without rancor. I have a reputation, not merely a planet, to uphold.


Men named an ocean after me, sculpted my image with a sphere

on my shoulders. So there it stays. In many places, crowds marvel


at my likeness: in Naples, Melbourne, Rockefeller Center. I appear

on the covers of map books in all major libraries and bookstores.


Online vendors offer a splendid variety of figurines and other

artistic renderings of me.


I hoped my load would lighten, as war and cruelty abated.

It grew heavier. After rotator cuff surgery, I shifted all the weight


to one shoulder. I keep turning the world to keep the hot spots—

Afghanistan, Syria, Sudan, Ukraine, Somalia—from burning


my neck. Finding a suitable volunteer to replace me has gone

nowhere. Many crave the glory, but no one wants the work. 



by Richard Allen Taylor


Your influence is everywhere, like gravity

tugging at a cloud. You insist on appearing

for every missed train or mass murder.

No tragedy big or small can do without you.


Upside-down lemon wedge, you don’t even try

to be radiant, but slip easily into radiation,

with a half-life of a hundred anchors.

You pull others into your swirling drain.


Often seen abandoned in cold streets, in rooms

shrouded with closed curtains, you have not yet

spoken of your losses. You keep your silence

like taut lips beneath drooping mustaches.  

Why is the Sky Cerulean?


by Richard Allen Taylor


It’s complicated. When I was your age, we called

this color (referring to the hue of clear April air)

sky blue, but as poets aged, they longed for a new,


less ordinary blue, and called it cerulean, replacing

one cliché with another. But we always knew

sky could be something else, gray as a dirty


vacuum cleaner bag, or maybe onyx or obsidian

at midnight. At day’s end, you might see a sky streaked

with rose-colored feathers. Always pulling down shades,


we found inspiration from automobiles, whose

blues were named by marketing departments:

Aegean, Nitrous, Artic. Blue Candy Metallic


sounded nice but couldn’t displace sky blue. For more,

we found crayons labelled Pacific Blue, Denim, Wild Blue

Yonder, Robin’s Egg, Cobalt, and Cornflower.


If you’ll step into the bathroom, I’ll introduce you

to my personal suggestions for blue sky names:

Shower Curtain Blue, Damp Towel Blue and


my favorite, Shaggy Toilet Seat Cover Blue. But

none of them got enough votes. So, don’t blame me,

but that’s why the sky is cerulean.

Richard Allen Taylor is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Letters to Karen Carpenter and Other Poems (Main Street Rag Publishing Company, 2023). His poems, articles and reviews have appeared in Rattle, Comstock Review, and Aeolian Harp, among others. A Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, Taylor formerly served as review editor for The Main Street Rag and co-editor of Kakalak. After retiring from his business career, he earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte and now resides in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

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