November 30, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

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Mark Williams




The Blue Splash



It wasn’t a blue wave. But still, it was a decent Democratic splash.

      —Scot Lehigh, Boston Globe, November 7, 2018



Like the time a teenage boy mounts the low dive

at The Surf Club in Evansville. 1969.

Skinny kid. Longish hair. The smell of chlorine

in the air, mixed with Coppertone and onion rings.

The Beach Boys playing in the background.


Help me, Rhonda. Help, help me, Rhonda.


But it’s not Rhonda’s, it’s Cindy Capshaw’s help he needs.

That’s her in a yellow two-piece, sunning by the blue pool’s side—

water almost flush with Cindy’s towel. A cannonball

could make a wave big enough to slosh her!

he thinks. She can’t help but notice me.

I’ll tell her who I am. Then

I’ll ask her to go with me tonight

to see Tommy James and the Shondells!


Meanwhile, one bounce, two bounces,

three bounces off the board, he’s up,

wrapping his arms around his knees,

tilting back into the air while thinking,

      Cindy Capshaw.



“Are you OK? I saw you hit your head,”

she says, days later at the mall

while staring at his missing patch of hair,

replaced by ten stitches and a bandage

where he had met the board.

Intended wave become splash.


“Yeah,” he says.

“Good. See ya, Mark,” says Cindy.


Not exactly Tommy singing,


There’ll be, peace and good


crystal blue persuasion


but still…






Mark Williams

Mark Williams’s poems have appeared in The Hudson Review, The Southern Review, Rattle, Nimrod, The American Journal of Poetry, Jokes Review, and New Ohio Review online.  This year, his poems in response to the Trump administration have appeared in Tuck Magazine, Poets Reading the News, and Writers Resist.  He wrote his poetry chapbook, Happiness, during the Obama years.

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