The Main Street Rag, Fall 2014


What’s Inside (Table of Contents)


Joseph Bathanti, North Carolina’s Poetry Ambassador
An interview by Lisa Zerkle


Margaret Benbow, Jim Scutti, Jerome Richard, Carolyn Cone Weaver


Joseph Bathanti, Jeff Alfier, Dennis J. Bernstein, Ricks Carson, Lucia Cherciu, James Cihlar, Darien Cavanaugh, James Daniels, Rose Mary Boehm, Carlton M. Fisher, Gregg Friedberg, Elton Glaser, Ann Howells, Scott T. Hutchison, Mike James, Betsy Johnson-Miller, Janet Joyner, Hank Kalet, Lita Kurth, Vicki Mandell-King, David T. Manning, Roger Bernard Smith, Gail Peck, W.A. Reed, Stephen Reilly, Richard Ross, Ethan Slattery, Mary Soon Lee, Richard Taylor, Lisa Vihos, Gabriel Welsch

Books Reviewed:

Over the Line by David Lloyd, The Sleep of Reason by Morri Creech, Debt to the Bone-Eating SnotFlower by Sarah Lindsay, The Tree in the Mind by Ronald Moran, All I Have in this World by Michael Parker, My Dear, Dear Stagger Grass by Susan Laughter Meyers, What Holds Him to This World by Phebe Davidson, Last Call by David Lee, In a Country None of Us Called Home by Peg Bresnahan, Bewilderment of Boys by Karon Luddy,


Jen McConnell, Eric Weil, Lisa Zerkle, Steve Cushman, Richard Allen Taylor, Mike James, Terresa Haskew, Susan M. Lefler, Anne Kaylor

Ship date: October 16, 2014

Rick Carson, Atlanta GA

I’m a wild ass galloping through heaven –
an ass divine,
a stiff-eared great-toothed saintly silver ass
braying hallelujahs round the throne
in the great house on the hill.

Shall a foreleg genuflect?
My hoof is unshod.
Shine, you old sun,
my blinders are off!

Plow rusting in a furrow?
Flies to flick?
Cold rain to stand in?
Galls to lick?
Hee-haw! no more.

Ambrosia in the feedbox,
honey in the trough,
salt-block smooth as momma’s milk.
Angels to curry me,
a molly in the husks
in my quilted stall.

Who wouldn’t want
to have kicked your traces off,
to clip your clop
on the bullion streets?


Darien Cavanaugh, Cayce SC

Crossing at flashes, pissed dry,
as rainbow blobs of glint blur
through lights lost in vicious morning sun.
If they were hoofed of pawned, we would cower.
But we are men. We know these things.
We touch them, breathe them, move with them.
At night we hear them roar and
Curse each other.
At night we hear them roar and

Rose Mary Boehm, Lima, Peru

The night came down fast
and hid in the woods.
The screeching, scratching,
and general scandal-making
of the winged and furred crowd
in the trees by the lake fell silent.

A giant low cloud
of greyish moisture
rolled in the from the laguna.
Made me think of nerve gas.
How they would have seen it coming
and there was nothing
they could do.

I remember a photo of a small girl,
her face contorted, an image of horror
beyond our understanding.
Men in silk suits talk calmly
of “collateral damage”
during the interval of the latest
production of Turandot.

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