My Poetry

Haiku With Sugar & Cream

by Jess E. Stork
These are haiku inspired by inhabitants of a Coffee House in Cleveland, Ohio.

iron studded belt like
acid raindrops fallen from
chunky layered hair

sturdy glass pressed
against highlighted text---
the scholar prepares

baby tapping on
the counter implementing
morse code to order

cops interrogate
the menu board solemnly ---
milk or two sugars?

tall, thin and a tan,
she strikes a breath-taking pose
before the menu

a smoky dragon
stretches across her shoulders
exhales in the cup

white paint infecting
faded jeans with a toothless grin,
he strokes his mocha face

open leather jacket
sun dances around beads on
his open chest

torn jeans sighs
folds his laptop and fades
softly out the door.

Westside Market: Butcher's Stand

by Jess E. Stork

A poem from the Westside Market, a local grocery market in Cleveland, Ohio


Passing among the market stands,
they locked your gaze.
The raw lamb heads
were there,
staring out of the glass display case.
They were missing skin,
casually,
like a lost sock
that disappears in the dryer.
Opaque eyeballs,
hanging loose in the eye sockets.
It was as if the heads had simply
wandered by and decided
to rest their chins
among the kielbasa and chorizo sausage.

The butcher swiped a hand across her apron
and told me
they made fine stews
these eyeballs
a treat that are juicy at the first bite.
I wondered if while simmering,
the eyeballs rose to the top of the broth
and blinked in the steam,
with one last defiant glance to the world.


Sails Over String Beans


by Jess E. Stork

A poem about riding bikes at sunset.


We used to ride bikes up and down our street
in the last moments of dusk.
I pedaled fast,
keeping the boys in sight
white lacy sandales
catching on the rough jaws enveloping my feet.
The pedals would circulate in spurts
miniature ferris wheels
catching the glance of passing headlights.
The constant chink of neon plastic beads flew across the spokes
a blur of bright missionaries.

The wind strained through my pigtails
eradicated neat ribbons in bows.
They inflated like broad sails over a sweaty sea
carrying my string bean legs along.
Through the darkening calico patterned light
I could see the flash of porch lights
the finish line
blinking in the skies.