Poetry: Licorice

Issue 1.2

by William C. Blome

She got on the sailboat, then she got off,
and she looked so, so worried, like a bumblebee
showing doubt it might ever again find its pine-knot
home inside a plank of Andrew’s aging fence,
and so I walked out a-ways and shouted to her
that no pink octopus had ever been known
to ingest licorice; that what we knew her overbearing
husband had done yesterday in northern Australia
was to fill one of her bra cups with licorice drops
and do nothing with the other cup except ice-pick
it through and through so there was no way it could
play puffball on the surface of the sea. He had
thereby given the whole brassiere a genuine chance
to sink in the vicinity of a giant gray octopus. Well,
thus assured (though such assurance was hardly
achieved very quickly), she hefted herself back
onto Andrew’s boat and held tight to its one indigo
sail. I watched her bravely stand beside the mast,
and I noted how she kept rubbing the coarse canvas
between her fingers; it was as if I could hear
the dial of some rotary telephone clicking past
the numbers a caller hadn’t chosen, or spy the bag
of candy I guess she forgot she’d left on the pier.
I imagine the candy now became a factor in her
jumping off the sailboat yet again (i.e., to keep
her licorice safe from the seagulls overhead).


William C. Blome writes poetry and short fiction. He lives wedged between Baltimore and Washington, DC and is a Master’s graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars. His work has appeared in Amarillo Bay, PRISM International, Fiction Southeast, Roanoke Review, Salted Feathers and The California Quarterly.

Poetry: Fantasizing in Memoriam With Nancy D. (1942 – 2012)

Issue 1.2

by William C. Blome

I forget how much she could make a collar itch,
and I slipped her an invitation to join me watching shadows
jumping rafters in the bunkhouse, though in practically zero
time, we took off our boots and socks and stretched out to edit
herky-jerky pictures of her coming out of loud blue water
at the country club pool and soon losing her swimsuit top
to an aluminum-siding huckster. I can’t detour bragging about
her paint-chip green eyes and tits that pushed out to the county
line, though in a heavy voice she assured me “being semi-naked
among the rich and poor is almost never a problem,” and so
we looked at and listened to her engage the huckster
in pornographic conversation about Prince Souphanouvong
and his two worthless brothers, and the Charles-Atlas-strong
need for better roads in and out of Vientiane, in and out of all
of Laos, for that matter. O I sympathize with the scratched-up
salesman as he tried mightily to widen the discourse to include
bits-o-banter about which recent years had produced
swell vintages in far-off, well-known Burgundy, but of course,
it really didn’t have to be me, anyone could have seen Nancy
stay stubborn in her radical and happy way and heard her
refuse to let the tin man consider “any year later than 1954
and the glory months of Panmunjom and Dien Bien Phu.”


William C. Blome writes poetry and short fiction. He lives wedged between Baltimore and Washington, DC and is a Master’s graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars. His work has appeared in Amarillo Bay, PRISM International, Fiction Southeast, Roanoke Review, Salted Feathers and The California Quarterly.