Yellow Mama Archives II

Michael Keshigian

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
Fortier, M. L.
Fowler, Michael
Galef, David
Garnet, George
Garrett, Jack
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.
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.
Steven, Michael
Stoler, Cathi
Stoll, Don
Surkiewicz, Joe
Swartz, Justin
Taylor, J. M.
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



by Michael Keshigian



She looked so good that morning.

She seldom looked that good so early,

like she made herself up the night before

to look as fine as the sunrise,

gold tresses surrounded her peaceful, pale face.


So I stared at her instead

as she shook dawn from her brow

and I whispered between the rays,

“you’re the light of my new day.”

She smiled


and opened her eyes enough

that I fell into her trance,

a marshmallow float

in the blue cube

enveloped by sunshine.



by Michael Keshigian



This is how it used to be

with him and his lover,

she taught him

a new song

every morning,

a different line

with her head

on the pillow,

climbing the stairway

of his spine

with a weightless melody

until it filled his brain

and he sang

as he rolled over

to lock his lips

around hers

so she might sugar his mouth

with more honey,

her tongue tipping sweet melodies

backwards in his throat.

The day was longing

after mornings like that,

sunlight a lonely companion,

though the song droned

like bees in the hive

all day in his head.



by Michael Keshigian


What is love

but the dried-up bulbs

the gardener insists on planting

to everyone’s objections

that irrationally burst

into magnificent dahlias.

The lunacy of uncertainty,

a fascination of delight,

most often unpredictable.

Wild grow

the flowers of the heart

in the garden of our lives,

wilder still

blooms affection.



by Michael Keshigian



He imagines us on the beach,

soft sand at our feet

just after lunch

when warm rays and a delicate breeze

bid us rest.


He considers my arm around her waist,

my body sideways against bikini curves,

surrounded by seagulls

that squawk for attention

and the litter seas throw.


It’s been so long for him. 

He has difficulty deciding

what may be real

and occasionally doubts

the idea of our very existence.



by Michael Keshigian



Because he was terrified of loneliness,

he granted me life

and the ability to share with him

what little time he had remaining.

I placated his hours of isolation.

With no mobility,

he carried me everywhere,

onto the veranda with its view of the lake

on most sunny days

and nightly, in front of the television.

I could hear him limping

as he approached from the hall,

his gait, a telltale sign of concern.

Will he discuss his wife’s departure

or the considerable ineptitude

of political leaders?

Neighbors never visited,

they thought him odd, reclusive,

yet I know he would have welcomed

even the most abbreviated conversation.

No one complained about him,

he once entered a burning house

across the street

to save the wailing dog,

observation, his forte,

he knew no one was home.

The woman, living there,

who sobbed incessantly,

occasionally waved as she pulled

from out her driveway.

These midnight thoughts

are my only escape

from his ceaseless chatter.

I stare at him as he sleeps.

In the morning, he will open the blinds

and the sun will continue to melt

my button-black eyes to a faded gray.

How I envy him. I yearn for eyelids

and a single night of obscurity.



by Michael Keshigian



In the beginning it must have been

that the Neanderthal

emerged from his cave

early one day

into a cold and ruthless world


and noticed for the first time

sun’s reflection glistening

upon lake serenity

between twin peaks

of a snow-covered summit.


And speechless

as he might have been

for images never seen,

he fell to his knees,

stared mutely,


unable to excise

the swell in his soul,

and realized

each morning thereafter

would speak differently.



by Michael Keshigian



He was caught in an endless day,

persistent sunshine, no darkness,

a day that curdled

green leaves falling,

rotting upon dried lawn

spotted with insects desiccated,

fragile carcasses littered

beneath the lessening shade of trees.

He walked between sagging sycamores,

crossing the street,

asphalt which singed his soles,

his face aglow,

burnt to a crimson hue,

on his way to the river

where others must be waiting.

Soon he will swim under the soundless sun,

water easing his burns,

submerged in the cascading current

in order to survive this day without end,

dressed in a white shirt and shorts,

a luminosity that mimicked the sun

as he approached the shoreline

where the crowd swam,

he whispering how the sun

became a threat,

that all will suffer then dry,

so we must sing

before our remnant ashes disperse,

that an earnest song

will bear us wings to embark

on our journey from earth,

for due to our negligence,

the rules have changed

and our bodies can only go so far.






by Michael Keshigian


Mindless, aimless,

devoid of harm,

somehow an amoeba

ingested me,

wrapped its protoplasmic

single cell

around my world

with one pseudopod stroke

and stuffed me into

a vacuole

where I was maintained

with digestive acids

that burned my skin

and cleansed

with random enzymes

that floated in front

of my eyes,

my psyche reduced

to its lowest denominator,

a fraction of the computation

that was me.

I lost my arms and teeth,

my laugh and travails,

left with only a nucleus

until mitosis,

when I was born again

with a gelatin brain

and no definite shape.

ready to ingest

without prejudice.



by Michael Keshigian


Beneath the dock

from which he casts,

the water is shallow and clear,

the sodden earth

that bears the weight of liquid

is speckled with shoots

that will eventually surface

into a stage upon which

the basso bull frog

will perform his aria.

Occasionally, a cloud of dirt

smokes the clarity

of the transparent lake

and his searching

reveals the tail fin

of a scampering bass

near the shore to spawn.

He sits and watches

amid the Spring warmth

and delicate breezes

which incite the lake

to gently slap the dock.

He no longer dangles the bait

to tease the unsuspecting,

no longer allows temptation to linger,

that same lure

which spurred him to seek

refuge and the simple poem

this silent swimmer

strokes with her fin.

To read her verse

within the enclosure of this cove

is the remedy by which

he turns from the commotion

in his own life,

a commotion he has no desire

to impart.



by Michael Keshigian


Two days ago

the sun caught me stealing light

to illuminate a poem,


demanded restitution,

then reported me to Mother Nature

who posted my likeness about the land.


Soon, the ocean, forest, birds, flowers, et al.

filed suit for substantial abuse

and complacent philandering without permission.


I pleaded guilty;

admitted taking breath from wind

for deliverance,


marshmallows from the sky to sweeten song,

and rage from the ocean

to instill a sense of urgency.


Convicted and confined to a windowless room

no writing, visitation

or glimpses of stolen sights,


I was sentenced to imagine beauty

without embezzlement

and the wholesale exploitation of words.



by Michael Keshigian


Sweet little chocolate

in the candy shop,

I gave your brown shell

a bite when no one saw,

took your creamy filling

for a ride in my mouth,

on my tongue

to all those secret places

where I might sense the nuance

of your flavored butter breath.

As you awakened my palate,

I tried to appear innocent

from the guilty pleasure

your confectionary sin availed,

greeting the clerk

with a tight-lipped smile

as I perused the display

with you discreetly perched

behind my teeth,

slowly melting away.



by Michael Keshigian


She handed him his heart

after she found it amid the rubble on trash day.

He gave her eyes,

a pair she lost long ago on the beach

under the boardwalk.

She gave him skin pulled from the air,

cleansed and dried it

to replace the layers of back-alley soot.

He was stunned by the purity.

She found hands for him, discovered hers

as she sewed them on his empty wrists.

For the first time in his life

he could feel as he then continued

to carefully assemble her spine,

spit shine every piece

and set it in perfect order.

It was a massive undertaking,

but he was inspired.

He attached it to her brain

and she perceived subtleties,

laughed and twisted her torso.

She attached his feet,

he stood proud and fashioned her hips,

buffing each piece in place,

they gleamed, renewed, and working well.

Finally, she mended his skull,

closed the soft spot,

tended the wound till it was smooth all over.

He fastened her throat,

and attached her breasts.

She cooed, then oiled the tips of his fingers,

he wiggled them and mended her tongue

with a delicate silk thread.

She traced his neck with soft pink scrolls,

he sunk into place between her thighs.

Two souls discarded, they gasped

as they brought each other to perfection.

Michael Keshigian is the author of 14 poetry collections. His most recent poems have appeared in Muddy River Review, Studio One, Jerry Jazz Musician, San Pedro River Review, Young Ravens Literary Review, Tipton Poetry Journal. He has been published in numerous national and international journals and has appeared as feature writer in twenty publications with 7 Pushcart Prize and 2 Best of The Net nominations. (

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