Cover Illustration by Kelley Simons

Cover Illustration by Kelley Simons

Clockhouse’s calls for submission brought wonderful poetry submissions for Volumes One, Two, and Three and the first honor for a Clockhouse-published work:  A Pushcart Prize Special Mention for Amy King’s “Rolling Deep” (Volume One) was in this category.  Needless to say, we’re eager to read what the call for Volume Four will bring.

Clockhouse’s national open-submissions period ends on December 1 at 11:59 so, again, please do spread the word and consider submitting yourself, so long as you are not currently a student in Goddard’s MFAW program.  We accept  submissions in Drama, Creative Non-Fiction, Fiction, and Poetry, and we submit work for awards.  And now, here’s a poem we were honored to publish in Clockhouse’s 2015 issue, Charlie Bondhus’ “George Zimmerman Signs Autographs at a Florida Gun Show.”  You can find this and other excerpts at Clockhouse’s website and find our submissions guidelines and purchase the current and past volumes there as well.




Charlie Bondhus George Zimmerman Signs Autographs at a Florida Gun Show

Don’t be ashamed of the fear
which makes us godful men
defending neighborhoods
besieged, like the truth:
our kind—the last heroes.
Bearing black-washed guns,

we storm gunmetal
darkness, cleansing the fears
night imposes. Like comic book heroes
we loved before we were men,
we stand sure in the bullet-blunt truth
that there are good men and hoodlums

and nothing in between. Who’d
have known so many love black and hate the gun
which drives it out? Why do they deny truth?
Knowing won’t make you less afraid;
fear won’t make you less a man.
That’s why you’ve made me your hero.

“But I’m not a hero,”
I say, fooling no one, “just a falcon unhooded,
my beak yellow as muzzle flash. A good man
with a gun
who happened to be tougher than fear,
and that’s the simple truth.”

You laugh and say the true
George Zimmerman is American hero,
neighborhood protector, slayer of fear,
the only guy who tore back the hood,
and that’s why you come with your guns
for me to sign. Ask man-to-man

and I’ll tell you—I was a man
in the right place. Any guy who sees the truth
and can fire a gun
knows how to be a hero.
You’re here, so you too see beneath the hood
and know the importance of being afraid.

These days, evil men get called heroes.
But the truth is that no hood
can stand against a gun. Teach them our fear.