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Since 1996 Volume XXI

2014 & 2018


David Allen Sullivan
David Allen Sullivan’s first book, Strong-Armed Angels, was published by Hummingbird Press, and three of its poems were read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac. Every Seed of the Pomegranate, a multi-voiced manuscript about the war in Iraq, was published by Tebot Bach. A book of translation from the Arabic of Iraqi Adnan Al-Sayegh, Bombs Have Not Breakfasted Yet was published in 2013, and Black Ice is forthcoming from Turning Point. He teaches at Cabrillo College, where he edits the Porter Gulch Review with his students. He was awarded a Fulbright, and taught in China for one year (yesdasullivan.tumblr.com). His poems and books can be found  at http://davidallensullivan.weebly.com/index.html

Life and Death Before Breakfast
My mother edges
out along the low stone wall
holding Mina’s hand
to show her the ripe
blueberries deer couldn’t filch.
I’m on the other
side when my daughter
slips and they’re going over,
slow motion ballet
where my mom folds arms
across her chest—Pharaoh of
falling—rolling in
the long grass beneath,
face calm, unconcerned. My girl
pops up then kneels down
beside grandma’s form:
Are you alright? Let’s do that
again. Mom is fine,
but for a second
she wasn’t: her hip shattered
I was driving her
to the hospital
emptying her bedpan holding
her hand kissing her
goodbye. She picks up
the bowl, rejoins my daughter
to recoup spilled fruit.


David Sullivan

David Allen Sullivan’s books include: Strong-Armed Angels, Every Seed of the Pomegranate, Arabic co-translation in Bombs Have Not Breakfasted Yet, and Black Ice. Seed Shell Ash, is forthcoming from Salmon Press. He teaches at Cabrillo College, where he edits the Porter Gulch Review with his students, and lives in Santa Cruz, California, with his family. 

Wasn’t There When She Died 

—for Wang Manliang

The translation professor 

with his rich baritone

takes me hiking 

in Xi’an Qinling mountains.

We find a squeaking silk moth 

(Rhodinia fugax). 

He urges it 

to perform by singing in Chinese, 

but it’s only when we warble

out Cat Stevens’ Moonshadow

that it sounds its shrill alarm.

Next morning’s red porridge 

and hard boiled egg

remind him of his mother. 

She pulls up a chair

to sit across the table

as he begins to cry. 

The wings of the dead 

brush our wet faces.  

I take his hand in mine but 

he pulls away, wipes behind

glasses: Sorry. Don’t want. I . . .






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