Fall 2008, Volume 5

Poetry by Fred Longworth

Just Like in the Song

He has the whole world in His hands.
Disgusted, He hurls it in the dumpster.

Lucifer, brimming with misadventure,
rummages through the garbage.

Finds the earth. Cradles it in his hands
like a newborn. Strokes its little head.

Put it back! God commands.
Lucifer nods, hides the earth in a fold

of his robe. He puts a rotting cabbage
in its stead: As You wish, my Lord.

The Interview

First they extinguish the lights.
Then they take away the simple table
and straight-backed chair.
Someone grabs you from behind.
They undress you, leave you naked.
It's cold. You start to shiver.
Wrap your arms around your torso.
You hear a click: a fan
begins to blow. Suddenly—
the sound of people screaming
a terrible stench like a battlefield
filled with the dead.
You have a holy book. Someone
reads from it, passage after passage,
so loud your eardrums nearly burst.
Every phrase punctuated
with mockery, with laughter.
You are soldier, you are captive.
You must reveal all you know.
You must even reveal
what you do not know.
You are twelve years old.

BIO:  A lifetime San Diego resident, Fred Longworth restores vintage audio components for a living. His poems have appeared in numerous print journals, including California Quarterly, The Pacific Review, Pearl, Pudding Magazine, Rattapallax and Spillway. Online publications include kaleidowhirl, Melic Review, miller's pond , Poetic Voices and Stirring.