L.B. Sedlacek (Western Voices 2020)

Exclusive: Western Voices, 2020: Edited by Scott Thomas Outlar
Bio: L.B. Sedlacek has had poetry and fiction appear in different journals and zines. Her first short story collection came out on Leap Day 2020 entitled "Four Thieves of Vinegar" published by Alien Buddha Press. Her latest poetry books are "The Poet Next Door" (Cyberwit), “The Adventures of Stick People on Cars” (Alien Buddha Press), “The Architect of French Fries” (Presa Press) and “Words and Bones” (Finishing Line Press.) She is a former Poetry Editor for “ESC! Magazine” and co-hosted the podcast “Coffee House to Go.” LB also enjoys swimming, reading, and playing ukulele. 

17 x 12 x 8

I spent all day in the ER waiting
room watching a Spanish boy beat his
fist against the window.  His Mama
kept yelling in Spanish.  He would
just giggle and keep pounding.  The
noise made my knees knock together.
It was Sunday.  The cafeteria was
closed.  The TV screen was green.
The picture reminded me of the
Pong game that you could play on
your TV.  Two long white blips
for paddles and a white square
ball.  Someone threw up in the
Ladies Room.  An orange sign
told me to turn off my cell
phone.  It was not a problem.
I don’t keep it charged.
My voice mailbox is always
empty.  A few years ago I
used to get hotel reservations
when their number was one
digit off from mine.  I watched
a couple use a cell phone
underneath the sign.  I heard
about people’s migraines and
UTI’s and high blood pressure.
I had cookies from the vending
machine, stale peanuts from my
pockets.  I made a stick from
straws when the fan in the
vending machine room blew
my dollar underneath the soda
machine.  It was a lot of work
to get that dollar back, but
it paid for half of a turkey
and swiss cheese sandwich.  I can’t
sleep when I worry so I read
magazines upside down and
closed my eyes and opened them
again to see if the light had
changed.  I couldn’t read my
own handwriting.  I filled out the
forms too fast.  It was Sunday.
There’s nothing you can do about that.

When Democracy Became all the Rage

Your lip gloss
your balloons unfilled
your t-shirts cracked
with ink
guard huts
metal barricades are your
lies in sidewalk cracks
or uneven brick paths
your eye liner
your blush splotched
your mascara absolute
oh how your smile
fades in the background
of cannon firings and fireworks
a display of attention
hawking back
put on face
of pressed powder


Burning the contents of boxes
paper flying
as quick as a hummingbird
and oh

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