Clark Zlotchew has had academic books published, but has also had three books of his fiction published: an award-winning short-story collection, and two espionage/thriller novels (2010-2011). He has had newer stories published in digital and print literary journals in 2017 and 2018. He is new to poetry, but has had five poems published in Baily’s Beads, print and digital literary magazine of U. of Pittsburgh, Bradford, on January 23, 2017. His poetry has also appeared in The Fictional Café 12-3-2016, and in Irisi Magazine (U.K./Australia), in Sick Lit Magazine and in Harbinger Asylum, (Anthology of Transcendent zero Press) in 2017. His experience at sea and in ports of call have influenced his writing.
Song of Sirens
We burst through
The green swinging doors,
Stride past the bar, bartender, bar patrons,
Past bottles cheery, warm with secret glow,
Through yet another door.
A large, square room:
Glossy black tile
halfway up the walls,
Then plaster painted red.
Old-fashioned juke box,
Heavy, solid, brightly lighted,
The center, the focus, the heart,
Of this room.
Currents of cigarette fumes
Through what passes for air.
Young women in brightly-hued gowns
Through the streams of smoke
Like tropical fish in an aquarium.
Their keen-alert eyes detect us
Our white uniforms,
Our faces of leather.
We’re fresh from the sterile salt sea.
They perceive this at a glance,
As we swagger-stagger
Through the door.
They cast their eyelash nets,
And catch us in the mesh.
They sail toward us,
Beautiful, lovely, graceful, swift.
A school of piranha.
© 2018 Clark Zlotchew