Sparks

The Nyx Café

By Ron Salisbury Day stood by our table with her eager smile,pad and pen at ready. “Today we only have two specials,” she said.“The first one includes an amuse bouche;one hour and a half of good sleep. Upon wakingyou wonder why? Then realize you’re still dampfrom a hot flash. The appetizer is a couple of hourswhen the pillows are too soft, too hard, or both,the bed clothes too heavy, cramp in your big toe,wondering if you should call the doctor aboutthat little pain in your side. Suddenly you realizeyou have been asleep because of the dream you hadfilled with people you absolutely don’t know.The main course is filled with noise—traffic, butyou live on a cul-de-sac, the overhead fan butit’s not on, a strange hum from the kitchen,the dogs rushing downstairs and you get upto check and find them both at their water bowls,you might as well see if the doors are locked….

Prompts

Hope . . . Prompt #201

Today’s writing prompt is inspired by Ron Salisbury’s poem “The Ride Southbound.” When the writing prompt is a poem, you can write about the title, a line or a word. You can also write about Hope. Just write whatever comes up for you. The Ride Southbound by Ron Salisbury When I jerked open the cab door, Hope was sitting in the back seat, Prada dark glasses and lip gloss.  This is mine, she said, but we can share until 34th street. What’s at 34th street? I asked. Just a sale at Macys.  The driver put my two-suiter in the trunk and the extra bag on the front seat, I climbed in with my briefcase and umbrella.  Is it gonna rain? she asked.  You never know, I answered.  What’s with all the bags? It’s been a long trip. You need all that stuff?  Most of it, at least I thought I…

Book Reviews

Miss Desert Inn by Ron Salisbury

Reviewed by Dorianne Laux Ron Salisbury’s poems in Miss Desert Inn move us from the poverty of Maine, to the grittiness of New York, from the glitter of Las Vegas, to the glamour of California’s coast, informing us of the truth about this life, harsh as it may be, sorrowful, and wondrous and brief as it is.  This is one man’s journey, and we learn as he does what it means to live with loss, with memory, with desire.  An accomplished first book, informed by the poetry of Gilbert, Hugo and Kowit, these are poems of the middle passage, where there’s sometimes a woman and a glass of wine, always a good dog nearby, and a bad but beloved cat slipping out the side door. Dorianne Laux‘s poems have been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, Korean, Romanian, Dutch, Afrikaans, and Brazilian Portuguese. Her selected works, In a Room with a Rag…

Guest Bloggers

So you’ve earned that MFA, now what?

Guest Blogger Ron Salisbury talks about MFA – Master of Fine Arts writing programs. “Everywhere I go, I’m asked if I think the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them. There’s many a best seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.”–Flannery O’Connor Flannery may be a little tough but not far wrong. What will you do with your MFA in poetry or fiction or non-fiction or children’s literature? Is it different from what you thought you would do before you started that MFA program? The proliferation of Master of Fine Arts Writing Programs in the United States (some 200 as of this writing) requires new crops of students every year; cannon fodder, inductees to charge over the lip of the trench into the guns of Admission Departments and Student Loans without much chance of becoming that famous author, a goal which…

Prompts

The Sadness of Ice Cream . . . . Prompt #175

Today’s writing prompt is a poem. You can write on the theme or mood of the poem, or a line, or a word. Write whatever comes up for you. The Sadness of Ice Cream by Ron Salisbury The emperor had his and  I’ve had mine,  home churned on the fourth of July, spoon after spoon after she called, gelato in Ravenna, Neapolitan–chocolate was the best– pints, bars,  Liz  Topps  said next summer let’s eat lots, plopped  a  spoonful  of  Rocky  Road  on her bare belly. No more, my doctor says.   Cholesterol, blood pressure. Besides, right at the beginning, first cone, bite, spoonful licked off the belly,  we  begin  to measure how much is left not how much there was. The sadness of ice cream. Ron Salisbury is a writer who has integrated his poetry with his business life for decades. Now, three wives deep, four children long, and assorted careers…