Richard Krawiec, US




Free Verse




A yellow jacket
buzzes my bare legs,
crotch and chest,
I stiffen;
the porch swing
rocks gently.
Slow as stone
I raise my head
to notice for the first
time the eye-succulent
white and pink dogwoods,
the tulips sodden
with red and purple.
When I try to see
the hornet
hovers closer
to my dry,
open mouth.



a gray tangle


of branches cramp
the window unfold
to graceful spires
that tendril
the open blue sky

a flash of red
perks above
the window sill
to slender limbs
leaves which cling
sway like the last
drops of martyr's blood

the world changes
as you rise sit stretch walk
truth contingent
to your position



Prose Poem

Can't Get Anything Done


Kids screaming, dog barking, and the train in the distance hooting its angry moan. When he pours the scrambled eggs into the heated cast iron skillet, the flames of the gas burner finger the sides then erupt through the middle of the dark metal pan. A thick, plume of gray smoke coils then whirls into a tornado, rips the ceiling off to a vision of splintered beams and thunderheads. He stares at the few charred crescents left in the pan, the last bone fragments, black and pitted; the cremated dog.

Everything is sizzling. Flapping. Pulsing. Contracting.

His shirt sleeves slide forth to seam shut against his hands; his pant legs slither down to wrap and bind his feet; the watch cap widens, swallows downward. He staggers about, like a blind man trapped inside a

And Listen!

The soft, hissing crackle as the fire perches, ready to spring...







About Richard Krawiec, US


Richard Krawiec's first chapbook, Breakdown, was recently published by Main Street Rag Publishing. He also published 2 novels, a story collection, and 4 plays. His work has appeard in Shenandoah, Witness, many mountains moving, Artful Dodge, Negative Capability, sou'wester, Blue Moon Review and elsewhere. Richard received fellowships from the NEA, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the NC Arts Council (twice). He directs VOICES, a non-profit that teaches writing to people in homeless shelters, literacy classes, prisons and elsewhere.

Check out Richard's website!

This is Richard's first appearance in Sketchbook.







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