Chuck Wanager, author

author page 6.13.18

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China blue

The design shop owner spoke to a friend on her phone, a big brown box of Grandma’s china sat on the counter, an arc of my covenant, an opening in top where the word could get out, but not today

Yes, she would see her friend soon, the owner said. She walked around a table in burnt umber and talked and gazed to the sun and mouthed words and I faded. Could I give this up?

These willows and peacock hovering in blue jasmine on bone white? Came out on holidays  and we saw them and admired them and Grandma ran her hand across them and gazed into our past

She always said it was Blue Willow a special kind of plate with a special pattern with a  special kind of value, too. Did she know the difference? The woman and others, too, shook their heads.

My throwing-out period began a few weeks before, and I went to a shop and a crusted old man with skin bone white and dirt patina said he would give me $20 for it all.

What? I should just give away my arc? Yeah, I know it’s not Blue Willow and, yeah, I know the market has gone to hell in a brown box, but for that? Just that? I went away.

I waited for the woman. When she put down her phone, she said, yeah, not so much. And I went back to the dirt man and he was closed for the day.

Sun came up warm with a promise of even warmer as April dawned. “When does he open?” meaning that day, I asked. “Come back tomorrow morning.” A man said.

“Oh, okay, I got you. Wrong day.” “Yeah,” he said, and smiled. “What do you have?” I had a big brown box of old china. He said talk to him, the owner. “Ok.”

“Is that all you got?” the man called as I walked away. “China?”

“China? … yes,” I nodded. He looked over from his work.

“Got any pots and pans?”













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Young man

Young man

big red can

frozen to camper

big white old

ready to go – cold

Stocking cap

purple in back

stung hands chapped

bitter wind slapped

strong gray bold

temps break mode

Sleeping bag lady

large green weighty

cold type cries to many

“Out of work! Hungry!”

hurry blue groc bag

filled to top – sags

Onto Interstate

new black hard

camper pulls out

lady starts to shout

need a ride, man

young man cold slam


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Love the sun season

photo by Chuck Wanagerflower 1 McIntosch 8.23.09

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Budgie wants his tweet back, so he …

listens to music hh.jpg

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Sixteen Windows: a great book

Sixteen Windows

Poetry by Chuck Wanager


of mind and soul

Buy it now on


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Muddled mist


My mojito in La Bodeguita

my daiquiri in El Floridita

— Ernest Hemingway

Papa cradles crystal glass

channels through choices

chooses from all selections

to mingle in the mist

“Drink! It’s for you!”

Calls the proprietor of Bodeguita

A pull, a shake of the

head, a nod of approval

his poison, they say

his favorite? Maybe so

Recipe for easy copy

simple syrup, rum, lime

 Take makings

into shaker

right rum be tasty

like your writing

shake well and pour

your life out raw

a highball for numbing

for living unrestrained

Drink well great writer

drink well bearded mojito,

bearded friend

breaded fate

Top with

club soda and with mint sprig garnish


Sail Pilar

Fuentes struggles to gauge

so drink and sail in comfort

hand to lip

In shaker, lightly muddle the mint.

Bearded Mojito

Garnish your life

drink and forget

deep darkness, drown the past

drink and live

for one more sail,

one more

run down the page

Mojito, a toast

Does he know it

will send him to the rocks

a collision with reality

in the maze of a mind

Ice chill and cool

tongue mind demons

Shaken muddled mist


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