Sunday Oct 25

Smith-Soto-Poetry Mark Smith-Soto has been editor or associate editor of International Poetry Review at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for over twenty years. Along with four prize-winning chapbooks he has authored three full-length poetry collections, Our Lives Are Rivers (University Press of Florida, 2003), Any Second Now (Main Street Rag Publishing Co., 2006) and Time Pieces (Main Street Rag Publishing Co., 2015).  His work, which has appeared in Antioch Review, Kenyon Review, Literary Review, Nimrod, Rattle, The Sun and many other publications, has been nominated several times for a Pushcart Prize and was recognized in 2006 with an NEA Fellowship in Creative Writing. 

Game Time

“Recorded Earlier” at the corner of the screen
caught me off guard—a blank second elapsed
before the fact settled in my chest and I sank
back in the couch, part of me still exalted from
the impossible catch, that lone hand reaching

above the bobbing helmets to snag it, the Hail Mary
of Hail Marys, in the end zone. Why did I imagine
the coverage was live? Hell, it couldn’t be, given
the lateness of the hour, but then, as I let myself sag
back into the couch, I turned to the TV in a new way—

my eyes, gauzed by a sensation of distance, of peering
down, drew a slow arc above the players stunned
in the middle of the field, my drifting gaze a pass never
to be caught, and as I took in the referee striding
arms in air under the bleachers roaring with joy,

from my high perch I felt God’s pity for us, so
lovely in our hope, doomed to having done it all.

Primrose Path

Can those be primroses traveling the cement
that winter cracked from one side of the driveway
to the other?—Two, three, four lilac-tinted blooms
sprouting from the jagged stretch of shallow dirt  
as yet spared by random traffic and blind shoes,
not just surviving, in fact, but lavish in well-being,

awash with sun and dots of rainbow dew, twisting
this way and that in static dance, faces twisting

up as if to say, You see, you misguided being,
who needs kingdoms galore, who needs shoes
or love?—see us teeter here no hands! along the dirt-
filled crack like kids on the loose, tilting in the bloom
of an April morning, death a lifetime of hours away
for any rogue primrose traveling the cement.