The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Larry Thacker

Concerning the Andersons


It’s four blue-bagged newspapers
in a loosely plopped little pile
at the road edge of a driveway
in a well-to-do neighborhood
where we enjoy taking a shortcut.

Those newspapers seemed so
out of place. I wondered if we
should stop and go up and knock
on the door and see if anyone
was home. At least gather up
the papers, set them on their porch
in case some thieves are tempted
by what seemed an obvious
absence by a well-to-do family.

I slowed the car with all this
internal conversation hesitating me,
but then continued on, passing
the mystery I’d imagined,
probably like everyone else,

preferring their true neighbors
handle the heavy work of wondering
what to do with the remains
of the rest of conversation:

I haven’t seen the Andersons
in days. Have you?
Maybe they’re on vacation,
and, But isn’t that Sheldon’s
Lincoln in the drive, honey?

They usually let us know
when they’re going away
for a while, don’t they, Bill?



Larry Thacker

Enter the Feasts


Ocular: Gradually
I can’t see the first half
of each new line I type.
A dark spot grows.
                                In the periphery.

What has died in the eye,
in and of the vision, collapsed,
allowing nothing to escape
the event horizon?

Then looking down at my fingers,
typing, most of my left hand
                        goes missing,

slowly, in an elongating

stringed mix of dull blankness

that eats light
                                    next door
                                    to strange
                                    strobing stitches
                                    of pulsated

And the Lord went before them by day
in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way;
and by night in a pillar of fire, to give
them light; to go by day and night.

I thought I was having a stroke
the first time it happened.
I was in a music store talking guitars.

The salesman’s face vanished,
starting with a pinhole blank grayness
following wherever I glanced.
It grew to cover half my sight field
before the streaks of light chimed in.
I kept talking through it, curious,
but paranoid I was about to experience
something terrible that never came.




LARRY D. THACKER's poetry can be found or is forthcoming in over a hundred publications including The Still Journal, Poetry South, Tower Poetry Society, Mad River Review, Spillway, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Mojave River Review, Town Creek Poetry, Jazz Cigarette, and Appalachian Heritage. His books include Mountain Mysteries: The Mystic Traditions of Appalachia and the poetry books, Voice Hunting, Memory Train, and Drifting in Awe. Visit his website at:



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