XI: Poetry by David Spicer & Photography by Natalia Drepina

"Blood," by Natalia Drepina

Waiting for the Needle Rain

The homeland burns and grasshoppers rage.
I’ve lost my wedding ring in the dunes,
and some plutocrat stole my vest in this
dystopia of Monsieurs with briefcases
and top hats who stroll the crossroads.
I’m supposed to meet one here, who’ll
just dismiss me after he views me
in undershorts and slippers. So, I think
I’ll suck my last mint, plan to sing
a protest ballad, and wobble my lips
on a harmonica. He’ll stop me
at the bridge, where turnips can’t grow,
much less bleed, for the weeds.
I might as well be a woodpecker
in a muzzle if I can’t stiffen my saffron
dick and boast of the belted hips
I’ve unbuckled and busted to fit
the mold: they pose in ashtray factories
before I knock them up and mark them sold.
I’ll stop now, because I’m waiting
for the needle rain to trickle on my shoulders.
Then I’ll scatter like a baseball player
from a dugout, shine with my medals
illuminating me, and ascend past the clouds
like Jesus did way back when.


David Spicer has, in pursuit of the word, worked as paper boy, dishwasher, bottle loader, record warehouser, carpet roll dragger, burger flopper, ditch digger, weather observer, furniture mover, temporary flunky, gas pumper, bookseller, tutor, 11th and 12th grader babysitter, magazine and book editor and publisher, typesetter, medical journal proofreader, and librarian’s assistant. The author of one full-length collection of poems and four chapbooks, plus eight unpublished manuscripts, he has published in slicks, non-slicks, and online journals such as American Poetry Review, Curly Mind,  Jersey Devil Press, Ploughshares, Reed Magazine, The  Slim Volume, Yellow Chair Review, and others.

Natalia Drepina, born 1989, is a photographer, poet, and composer/videographer from Lipetsk, Russia. Her work has been previously exhibited in galleries across the Russian Federation, including in the interactive photography project “Perfumer,” and also within the European Union, at the MacS | Museo Arte Contemporanea Sicilia. A forthcoming exhibition in the EU, at the Animalia Art Expo in Diksmuide, Belgium is slated for this month, on April 22, 2016. Be there! Or, enjoy your own exhibition of Natalia’s work, by taking a stroll through her Deviant Art and 500px galleries.


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