Vector illustration of Frank Sinatra
Fly Me to the Moon (Alternate Take)
Take tonight, for instance.
I can’t ask you for the moon
the way Sinatra commands it
with his first-class confidence.
Let alone Jupiter or Mars.
Not that I haven’t gotten my kicks
mooning about you
or that I renounce forever
Blue Eyed ambition:
king of the hill, top
of the heap—all that jazz.
Just now I’m not up
for being spirited away,
weaving my flush ego
in and out of the stars
on an illusionary bender.
In other words, take me up
to the patio, our plastic all-weather
table for two, Russell Gunn’s
muted trumpet humming
from the outdoor speakers.
Let me know what life is like
in St. Louis on a breezy
Saturday evening with nothing
better to do.
Through the oaks we can toast
the man up there
on the crescent moon
in his tuxedo with his girl,
spinning a universe around
the sun of his colossal desire.
by Chuck Sweetman
I’ve Got You Under My Skin
……………(inspired by Frank Sinatra)
Her mother’s Art Deco mirror,
once her best friend,
now her worst enemy.
Years of disgust and hormonal discord
took their revenge out on her.
Time lacked compassion for women’s feelings,
especially the pretty ones who lived alone—
even the mirror’s silver-plated Aztec design
had its own nicks and scratches.
The daughter used the mirror’s comb
and brush sisters
to groom her faded curls.
Like the comb, the daughter also lost a few teeth.
Like her mother, she grew stout—
her skin outlined from too much sun,
alcohol, and cigarettes.
She lost her boyfriend to friendly fire—
her happiness sacrificed,
being alive got under her skin.
She no longer crossed her legs—
her posture stiffened, her lips clenched,
her vulva shut tight.
The daughter’s favorite song
had a warning voice,
caused her to lose her grip.
The mirror landed facedown
on the hardwood floor.
The daughter picked it up—
a puzzle on dead glass.
by Patricia Carragon
Chuck Sweetman earned an MA in Creative Writing from The University of South Alabama and a Ph.D. in American Literature from Washington University in St. Louis, where he taught as a senior lecturer for years before moving West. He is a senior editor for december Magazine. His essays, stories, reviews, and poems have appeared in such places as Verse Daily, River Styx, Poet Lore, Black Warrior Review, and Notre Dame Review. Lake House and Other Stories (Texas Center for Writers Press 1993) is the title of his chapbook of fiction. His chapbook of poems, Incorporated, won the 2007 Dream Horse Press Chapbook Prize and was consolidated into the book Enterprise, Inc. (2008) for which he was awarded a Tennessee Williams Scholarship to The Sewanee Writers Conference.
Patricia Carragon’s poem “Paris the Beautiful” won Poem of the Week from great weather for MEDIA. Her fiction piece “What Has to Happen Next” is nominated for Sundress Publications Annual Best of the Net Anthology. Her latest book from Poets Wear Prada is Meowku. Her debut novel, Angel Fire, was recently released by Alien Buddha Press. Patricia hosts Brownstone Poets and is the editor-in-chief of its annual anthology. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Listen to the 1964 recording of Frank Sinatra (with the Count Basie Orchestra) singing “Fly Me to the Moon” [Universal Music Group]
Listen to the 1956 recording of Frank Sinatra (with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra) playing “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” [Universal Music Group]
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