If I call you darling . . .

. . .  will you swear 

on a stack of your best,

not the new discs, 

but your pile of vinyl,

to always look at me

with the back doors of your eyes 

open wide enough to hear

your melancholy blues,

let all subsequent music

press its magic,

touch my grooves,

coax them to sing,

deliberate and clear,

with its stylus. 

Edna's House

Out back, Edna

hangs pillowcases,

fresh as a line of sonnets.


Her rogue image, 

candid in a nightie and tramp coat,

displays robust charm,

to match her savage beauty. 

We chat over wet laundry – 

I trust her with my tough secrets, 

my edged tools.


It's easy, like having another drink, 

when you know you’ve had enough.

She tosses words like clothespins,

exhales slow, stamps a cigarette

in the grass, with a twist

of her Pulitzer shoe.


'Your heart is true,' she winks.

'You may pass.'


Surrounded by desert island books

and ever-present scorpions,

I pass coconut time, la la la,

scrubbing the ken of tombstones,

pick at the all-you-can-eat buffet.

Until something pleasant rocks

on the vacant horizon –

your unexpected boat

floats like the moon in a day-blue sky,

some far-off classical station plays Bach.

You stand as if you know me,

toss a life ring my direction.

I squint, wade out for a better view,

doggy paddle slow at first,

wonder if Picasso had a stomach ache, too.

Sea streams from my nose.

You grab me with gosling hands,

pull me on board –

feed me minestrone by osmosis,

turn me into a bouquet of roses. 

Tess Kincaid's poetical debut, Patina, a collection of poetry stemming from her love of ancestry and all things vintage, was chosen as semi-finalist in the Finishing Line Press Open Chapbook Competition 2010. A second chapbook, Unpressed, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2013.

She is author of the award-winning blog, Life at Willow Manor, where she posts lifestyle articles of her ventures in a ramshackle limestone house along the Scioto River in Dublin, Ohio. As founder of the interactive creative writing blog, Magpie Tales, Kincaid is passionate about investing in the international writing community.

Her poem Irish Madness was given honourable mention in The Ohio Poetry Association's Ides of March Competition 2011, and her poems have also appeared in Painted Bride Quarterly, Iodine Poetry Journal, and the Ohio Poetry Association Anthology.

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