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  • 02/03/15--07:30: S.L. Schultz - One Poem
  • Struck

    Struck but not down
       they climb the hill in staggering gait.
    Drops of red mark their panicked ascent and
       melt away white into pink and lavender holes.

    Fell now but struggling to recover
       tan legs flail as shards of bone puncture skin.
    They snort clouds in the cold.
    Bellows do erupt.
    Their wild eyes seek to catch a glimpse
       of those the metal only grazed.

    The hill they climbed and where they fell stands bare.
    No brush to blanket their shivering pain
       or tree to canopy the early morning chill.
    Fatigue descends as pain defeats
       the crumpled forms release.

     From a distance they lie broken
       limbs jutting forth in strange puzzles
    as the sun rips open the horizon.
    The first fire of yellow, orange and red spreads across the cold expanse
       crawls over the lifeless forms
    into the open eyes.
    They are still
       so still those pools of amber.

    Those they leave behind stand vigil
       shaking from the violence they avoided.
    They must move on.
    They must find cover.
    Light in the early morning air they spring into the wood.



    S. L. Schultz lives in Michigan and teaches college composition.  She has written in a variety of genres, including plays, screenplays, poetry and novel.  She has published poetry and her plays have been produced in San Francisco and Chicago. Her first novel, Little Shadow, book one of a trilogy, was published last year.  

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  • 02/05/15--08:00: Parker Weston - Two Poems
  • Terminal Optimism

    It was a bright and sunny day, and all throughout the land
    flowers were burning and bleeding
    all of the dehydrated fuzzy little creatures
    slowed to a crawl before ceasing their futile struggle for happiness
    their big cartoon eyes now as vacant and glassy as taxidermy
    only the vultures and other scavengers of death
    remained unscathed by the harshness
    the overbearing dryness the scalding but cheery day brought with it
    the scroungers made toys and games
    out of the flesh and bones from the pieces
    of the loveable little fluffy carcasses they couldn’t eat
    starting to smolder on the searing fields
    a jackal flew a rancid kite made from a bunny’s blistered hide
    they frolicked and feasted long into the merry night
    then slept peacefully like kings and queens without a single care
    tomorrow, it looked, was going to be another wonderful day.



    Six Word Stories

    We visited the combustible genital exhibit.
    Number 9, that's the fetus responsible.
    Her helicopter wound is healing nicely.
    The asshole doesn't need the head.
    Preacher launches bible at possessed cripple.
    Snack kid swallows dwarf stripper alive.
    Claustrophobic astronaut needs to air out.
    Blind cartoons never hear onomatopoeia coming.
    Lunch lady's hands look like hamburger.
    Which racing ambulance has bigger emergency?



    Parker Weston is a multimedia artist residing in Mesa, Arizona (voted the most conservative big city in the United States) mainly focused on assemblage/sculpture. He has a comic strip, Animation Taxidermy, several short animations and musical project Stembreo, to boot.

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  • 02/12/15--08:31: Ron Riekki - One Poem
  • The Burn Bin, Turkey, Classified Material

     
    A hundred paper bags
    filled with the manure of espionage,
     
    the heat like the dead
    alive, crawling their way out of phones.
     
    I’d rake the muck, take
    my time, not wanting to pick the rabbits
     
    caught in the barbed wire.
    I’d rather do this—heat.  Ensure nothing
     
    remains.  Not one word.
    The cough, a decade later, never going away,
     
    the V.A. telling me
    At least you weren’t in Iraq.  The titanium
     
    there has turned lungs
    to mud.  You just inhaled too many secrets.
     
     
     
    Ron Riekki's books include U.P., The Way North, and Herehttp://msupress.org/books/book/?id=50-1D0-3479#.VKZ4kmTF-PU

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  • 02/13/15--07:30: Anna Mirzayan - One Poem
  • Writing Time At Philz

    Dark roast is coffee that has been roasted
    almost to the point of burning.
    It turns from green to charcoal.
    Today the air smells blackened, singed,
    tinted with vast quietness of fields laid bare
    after forces have withdrawn.

    The table I choose is awash with coffee cups, hipsters,
    and books--Organic Chemistry, dental hygiene,
    and a Loeb version of the Aeneid, which I eye
    and covet quietly.

    In the story Prince Aeneas survives the siege of Troy.
    As he's sailing towards the future Rome,
    a group of his companions fall in love with a beach
    where the company has taken refuge.
    It reminds them of home before the walls were
    slathered with the blood of Trojan children.

    Aeneas leaves them on the island,
    and sails on.

    I want to turn to the person
    whose copy that is,
    and proclaim that I am the echo of Aeneas,
    hard like stone, adrift on inhospitable seas
    searching for a place to rest my ship.

    I want to say I have hoisted my sails
    to get to this place, though I was weary
    from the world, from years of battling,
    from the bodies of men and their ghosts.
    I too have lost many loved ones
    and my tears taste like a potion
    of bitterness and regret.

    I want to tell him that I too am trying
    to be an incarnation of valor fed on wolf's milk,
    that I have remade the words
    with my own body, sacrificed to them my bones and the marrow of my dreams.

    I have allowed Virgil to be the god whose instruction I followed
    along swiftly tilting seas
    in the hope of rebuilding a temple in my soul.

    I want to whisper: I have finally made it here
    through all the monsters of land and sea,
    through betrayal and hope,
    through my own wildness and fear
    and the wilderness of my heart--
    I have been courageous enough,
    or foolish enough, to land upon these shores.

    I want to reach over
    and grasp the book like a raft,
    thumb through its pulpy pages,
    take in its smell and remember the walls of Troy.

    Instead I saying nothing
    and continue to sip my quiet cup of ash.



    Anna Mirzayan is a graduate student in the Humanities and a shallow-water poet. She mostly ponders Being and sometimes, sparingly, words.

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    Pockets Full of Posey
     
    There is no saving your daughters from
    after school villains, their pockets full
    of posey;
     
    daughters will follow these boys anywhere,
    try anything to prove they're not children
    anymore;
     
    a hand will press against the back of your
    daughter's head, and her eyes shut, she will
    grow up anyhow.
     
     
     
    The Poet
     
    the poet shouts piety––
    how learned is sidewalk stank
    how some piss gold
     
    while he zips up
    leans on laurels
    laid down for twelve
    ninety-five
     
     
     
    Wanda Morrow Clevenger lives in Hettick, IL – population 200, give or take.  She’s widely published with over 300 pieces of work in 114 print and online publications.  A full-length poetry manuscript is currently stalking unsuspecting presses.

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  • 02/22/15--06:54: Nina Kossman - One Poem
  • Shadow Over the Town
    Helen's shadow on Trojan rocks
    still burdens the Greeks,
    burdens them with the highest taxes
    the loved exacts from the lover:
    middle-class teashop warmth forsaken,
    adding machines count the killed,
    a scarce spring, a fruitless autumn,
    quiet markets and barren cribs:
    see the wretched pass for the mad,
    the mad for the licentious
    shadows creeping after the main
    shadow over the town--
    the cruel nudity of the woman
    washed clean of mercy,
    memory of the guilt reflecting
    future centuries' guilt.


    Moscow born, English-language publications includeBehind the Border (HarperCollins, 1994) and Gods and Mortals: Modern Poems on Classical Myths (Oxford University Press, 2001). Translations of Russian poetry have been anthologized inTwentieth Century Russian Poetry (Doubleday, 1993), The Gospels in Our Image(Harcourt Brace, 1995), The World Treasury of Poetry (Norton, 1998), and Divine Inspiration (Oxford University Press, 1998). My translations of Marina Tsvetaeva's poetry were collected in two books, In the Inmost Hour of the Soul and Poem of the End. Her work was awarded the UNESCO/PEN Short Story Award in London (1995) and an NEA grant (1999).

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  • 02/23/15--07:30: Megan Merchant - One Poem
  • Tulips by Your Bedside

    I don’t know if you see death
    as a blood-blister, or a sky-drawn
    curtain, but the javelina
    dug up every last tulip seed
    we planted.

    Your refusal to fight
    is already a hole in the ground
    where a bright seedling should be--
    firm in the soil--and my boys
    should get the chance to swerve
    their red tricycles around
    your reply to spring,
    not ask questions to a slab of marble
    wearing mute letters of your name.

    This is not how
    I want to teach them
    to read.

    But I get that drugs brine
    your taste for survival
    and knives cannot untangle
    a whole parade of clots.

    And that this is the lease
    we all enter into--

    and such love
    is the security deposit we never
    get back.

    So, I’ll rake over patches
    where that wild beast
    tusked the dirt.

    Tuck any waylaid seeds
    into the lip of my shirt,
    for another season when
    the ground will accept
    such disturbance.

    It’s better than waiting
    for the first really good rain
    to puddle and a swarm of bees
    to belly up for a sip, accidently sting
    a fat knee or elbow--a sliver so small
    that I won’t see and will have no idea
    how to calm my son from crying.



    Megan Merchant's chapbook, Translucent, Sealed, is forthcoming though Dancing Girl Press. Her first full-length collection, Gravel Ghosts, is forthcoming though Glass Lyre Press. Her first children’s book, These Words I’ve Shaped For You, is forthcoming through Philomel Books. Her future is bright. She wears shades.

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  • 02/24/15--07:00: John Jay Flicker - One Poem
  • The Business of Being Introverted
    All modes of thought become wall flowers
    beating to the quiet rhythm of the dulcimer
    in a melody of pine and aerosol
    Composure through an immodest retreat
    peeling off the side walk scabs
    all mortality in the Achilles’ heel
    Pity is best given in care packages
    wrapped in the scent of camphor
    and tasseled in the hickory root
    The commands come from timbre
    the hidden meaning in the voice
    Vaudeville and modes of humiliation
    Grape withheld by the wrathful deity
    the Stygian reflections of a last chapter
    in a pantry filled with bitter fruit
    Choice becomes the only modicum of composure
    when the delicacy of friends goes away
    and walks into an apex of solitary reading
     
     
     
    John Jay Flicker has previously published poetry in Haggard & Halloo, Egg Poetry, Carcinogenic Poetry and LabLit Publications. He currently works in the veterinary industry as a doctor’s assistant and holds a bachelor’s degree in molecular and cell biology from the University of California Merced.

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  • 02/28/15--09:58: Joseph Saling - Two Poems
  • Reading Other People's Poems
    March 19: Today Lisa brought me a book of her poems and asked me to read them.

    I
    I was not impressed
    She was honey, sweet fruits falling, warm fleece
    and down, packed around shards of fractured china.
    She stood naked before gods, pleasing them
    fellating each in turn.

    II
    Other men's penises leap from the page,
    spraying the air. You boast, and I think you tease.
    You are a wanton, an incestuous
    female ram screwing your father before
    a stranger's eyes, bowing before a picture
    of Jesus as you wail coming for your
    dead dead grandfather.

    III
    I have something for you, she said, slipping
    away and leaving the black book falling
    open so effortlessly that if she
    had stayed she would already be mine.
    Instead, I am left with a piece of her soul,
    broken so painlessly it might never
    have been attached.

    IV
    I reached for your voice but I found nothing,
    only the lines splintering in my ear.
    This black thing kept you from me as if you
    had come to me sealed in a box for which I
    had lost the key.



    A Visiting Poet Explains a Poem as a Hexagram

    1) There is unity that defies the order we impose on nature.
    Such is the object of all attempts at poems, and also their source.

    We want to know what there is that wants knowing.
    Why the lovers fuck and teenaged boys jerk;
    and why rich people eat, their sideboards covered
    with flowers and food; why children become adults;
    why the poor suffer; how the meek inherit;
    how the pure of heart see God.

    2) A poem is a language that goes beyond words.

    Consider the word, what it means to know the word,
    what it means to have the word. Consider
    who it is that makes the word.

    Does the word create evil? Then the word
    is evil. Does it seem dark and immoral? Then it is immoral.

    The word is what dwells inside you.
    It is your secret, masturbating mind.
    Nothing is darker or more forbidden.
    The word is the thunder of rockets, the force of war.

    It is Lebanon, Sarajevo and Mecca,
    Aleppo and Damascus. It is the spirit of Rome.
    It is anarchy.
    It is every structure built that is not conceived.
    The word is the whine of turbines, or it’s the hiss
    of burning flesh. It is millions dead.

    The word rapes. The word is a temple whore.
    It offers children as a sacrifice.
    The word is with you always, but is it your soul?
    It is the substance of your mind.
    And you are its creator.

    Consider language and its effect on the word.

    Language is neither moral or proper
    nor immoral or evil. Language is the way
    the word is made flesh, an act of conception.
    Language is the force that explodes the tips of trees
    each spring and turns migrations while it breaks
    the frozen ground with purple croci.
    Language is the dance inspired
    by the music of the spheres.

    3) Don’t always expect to understand a poem. Experience it.

    Say the lines aloud; shout them out, or act them out,
    or let them intrude into everything you do.
    Let them become like a spouse.

    Start with an image. Compress it with words,
    always expecting to find the accidental.

    4) Poems are not ideas, but rather their source.

    Go walking outside. Sit by yourself at a desk
    in a dark bedroom. Place yourself with friends
    outside the doors of a church. Suspend all you know
    and assume nothing. The poem will yield itself
    only when you yield.

    Listen, for poems are sound.
    Look, for poems are vision.

    5) A poem lives by the force wonder and delight give to images.

    An image can be intercourse between strangers
    in a crowded room. It can be texture that’s pleasing or repulsive.
    It can be matter that entwines itself
    like a cage full of black snakes, or that resembles
    a convoluted cactus that looks like a brain.

    It can be abstract. It can be concrete. It can be terrifying
    or be comforting. It can reaffirm belief or undermine
    all our myth. Allow the image to expand to its fullest
    possibility. Give it the freedom of children playing.
    Let it invent its own rules as it goes along.
    Exclude nothing from what you’ve not already found.

    6) Poems aren’t always what you want them to be, nor what someone has said
    a poem should be.

    This is how poems can die: if they are made to fit
    molds that are too small, or if they’re stretched past
    limits they were never meant to pass.
    Poetry can be motion of either the soul or the body’s parts.
    Poetry can be intense stillness or silence.
    A poem can be your body, or the way
    I respond to it here in front of this class.
    It can be your body nude, or your body clothed,
    your body asleep, or your body on canvass.

    Poetry can be your body caressed by love,
    your body grown old, or your body rotting.

    Poetry can be the seed that forever blooms within you
    and no one ever sees.


    Joseph Saling's first book of poems A Matter of Mind is available from Foothills Publishing. His poetry and stories have appeared widely in such journals as The Raintown Review, The Formalist, Poet Lore, Ohio Journal, The Bacon Review, Nothing No One Nowhere, and Carcinogenic Poetry. He lives in Metro Atlanta with his wife Sandy and their dog Yeats where to pass the time between poems, he writes stories, paints with acrylics, works on a novel, and makes a living as a freelance health writer and editor.

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    Parfait-.
     
    yes
    perfect.
    parfait-
    ideal.
    your mind
    and your soul.
    perfect
    a creation
    of sure grace
    by the most
    intelligent being of all.
     
    yes
    brilliant.
    to the touch.
    to smell.
    to taste the sweat
    licked
    from your glistening lips.
    brilliant-
    eclatant.
    like the day
    turning into night.
    like the dead
    rising in paradise:
    your radiance
    (I hope someday)
    will show its face
    again
    and enter
    into my life.
     
     
     
    Keith Wesley Combs is a union painter who likes to write poetry and short stories
    in his spare time. His work has been published in Struggle, Main Street Rag, Dead Snakes,
    Atlantic Pacific Press, Pearl and many more.

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  • 03/14/15--17:20: Richard Schnap - One Poem
  • Postmortem

    He woke up one day
    And decided to write
    A letter to himself

    That came back unopened
    With a stamp that said
    No one at this address

    So he found a pay phone
    And called his house
    But got a recording

    That said the number
    He was trying to reach
    Had been disconnected

    It was then that he looked
    At the ground and saw
    He had no shadow

    As he felt the hand
    Of the invisible wind
    Passing right through him



    Richard Schnap is a poet, songwriter and collagist living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His poems have most recently appeared locally, nationally and overseas in a variety of print and online publications.

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  • 03/15/15--11:00: Bronwen Manger - One Poem
  • Tricks of the Light

    I think we've met in wildflowers,
    and lay somewhere unpoisoned
    before now; I think I've seen you -
    thrown from muddy mountains;
    sometime frightening I held you -
    heard your whisper in the tatters
    of a dream before the answers
    overtook the mysteries. I think
    we've loved as children - spoke
    in colour, not in language,
    touched in song but not in body,
    through the curtains of a moment.
    I think we've been the royalty
    from a kingdom of the half-light,
    where our memories ran together
    in the cadence of the pine trees.
    In long shadows of the evening,
    in the lyrics of the magpie,
    on stone bridges in our midday,
    I think we may have met.
    And I think that I believed them
    when they said you were a figment,
    that I'd never ever find you;
    sincerest fool I've been.



    Bronwen Manger is a 27-year-old poet and spoken word artist from Melbourne, Australia. Her poems have appeared in a number of anthologies, literary journals and other publications, as well as on TV and radio. Bronwen has featured at various poetry readings around Melbourne, Perth and Canberra, often alongside her identical twin sister. Outside of the poetry world, Bronwen works for Deakin University in the area of investigative interviewing research.

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  • 03/17/15--07:00: Kurt Nimmo - One Poem
  • Never Ending

    that’s what they say now
    the people who study such things. the universe
    has no beginning and probably no end.
    it is infinite.
    I am unable to wrap my mind around that one.
    no beginning.
    no end.
    a line that shoots out into space
    and travels forever. here on earth we are
    shaped by time.
    born here. died there.
    remembered or forgotten. celebrated or reviled.
    some people would like to live forever
    like vampires walking the earth.
    how tedious that would be.
    eternity spent
    with the same
    co-workers
    relatives
    neighbors
    presidents
    television shows
    broadway productions and concerts
    the same advertisements
    the same telemarketers
    and one-time deals
    the same books with blank pages
    the same masterpieces that are not masterful
    the same bloating and crab grass and tax forms
    and love affairs where love has evaporated
    or never existed at all.
    the same thing
    every day forever. this would be
    an infinite horror show.
    the infinitesimally short time
    we have is a blessing. it allows for another chance
    another set of variables
    and maybe the slim chance a new
    species might come along
    and get it right
    where we
    have
    fucked
    everything up.



    Kurt Nimmo born in Detroit, Michigan in 1952. In the late '70s, he co-edited the successful literary magazine, The Smudge. In the '80s, he edited Planet Detroit. Kurt has been nominated for several Pushcart Prizes for fiction, and two of his books were selected as "modern classics" by the Wormwood Review. He lives in Texas with his wife and two cats.

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  • 03/30/15--10:07: Timothy Pilgim - One Poem
  • Mourning Becomes Eclectic
     
    Call it the spawning of grief.
    Brother, enemy, mother, niece,
     
    dad, sister, cousin, friend  --
    deceased, all but memories gone.
     
    Lover too on the run, vanished, lost,
    no longer fondled, kissed. 
     
    Spouse of abuse, absent -- bruises 
    weirdly,  also missed. All the beloved
     
    mourned like unsung hymn, lost limb,
    stolen gun, burned-out sun.
     
     
     
    Timothy Pilgrim is a Pacific Northwest poet with a couple hundred published poems in journals such as Windfall, Cirque and Carcinogenic Poetry.

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  • 03/31/15--15:50: Tom Pescatore - One Poem
  • Happy Ever After

    Sometimes Bukowski is
    just too sad for me,
    harping on death,
    thinking about death
    all the time, sitting and drinking
    and angry growling
    at the page,

    Kerouac, too, with his death
    and compassion and poor Gerard's
    death so young and frail, and Joyce talking
    of death writing about death death
    death dublin and death and sadness,

    sometimes I'm too sad for myself,
    blank pages make me sad
    and pages filled with text, thoughts,
    any sad thing just stacked
    like boxes in old gray warehouses
    where people die and go to
    die and waste their sad lives dying,

    sometimes sadness and death
    is all there s to write about,

    every story ends with death
    even the ones unwritten.



    Tom Pescatore grew up outside Philadelphia dreaming of the endless road ahead, carrying the idea of the fabled West in his heart. He maintains a poetry blog: amagicalmistake.blogspot.com. His work has been published in literary magazines both nationally and internationally but he'd rather have them carved on the Walt Whitman bridge or on the sidewalks of Philadelphia's old Skid Row.

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  • 04/01/15--09:40: Ivan Jenson - Two Poems

  • Unadulterated Facts
     
    I am discontinuing 
    my subscription
    to the periodic 
    delivery of glossy
    fleshy fantasy
    and I am instead
    facing full frontal
    reality 
    cellulite and all
    and I am no longer
    photo shopping
    around for 
    doctored 
    perfection
    instead
    I am accepting 
    the crow's feet
    of nature
    and the slow
    sag of time
    and I hope 
    you too will
    accept my
    body
    mass 
    index
    and love me
    like 
    good 
    cholesterol 

     
     
     

    Writing on the Wall
     
    I once saw 
    a numerological 
    configuration
    which mathematically
    explained 
    the physics of 
    the physical feeling
    one gets with 
    psychic pain
    and offered
    multiple solutions
    to the inherent 
    problem of 
    the
    singular 
    human entity 
    when juxtaposed
    against the 
    multiplicity
    of others
    and I was going 
    to take a cellphone
    shot of that 
    blackboard
    and its chalkboard
    revelation 
    but the battery 
    was dead
    and when 
    I came back 
    to that room of 
    higher learning
    it was gone
    and was replaced
    by a basic recipe 
    for apple pie
    which I later
    came to realize
    was just
    as profound 
    an answer
    for the
    lonely 
    hungry  
    soul



    Ivan Jenson has written two novels, Dead Artist and Seeing Soriah, both of which illustrate the creative and often dramatic lives of artists. Jenson's poetry is widely published (with over 450 poems published in the US, UK and Europe) in a variety of literary media. Ivan is also an accomplished fine artist. His artwork was featured in Art in America, Art News, and Interview Magazine and has sold at auction at Christie’s. Ivan Jenson's website is: www.IvanJenson.com

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  • 04/02/15--20:59: Carl Scharwath - One Poem
  • Aphonic

    She is the lament
    of the voiceless
    consuming silence
    onto parchment
    into the psyche, 
    histories skirmish
    chains of the enslaved 
    loosen their duress

    to her words– 
    we together manipulate
    the pendulum
    to rebuild our most treasured

    commodity-

    hope.



    Carl Scharwath's work has appeared internationally with over eighty publications selecting his poetry, short stories, essays or art photography. He won the National Poetry Contest award on behalf of Writers One Flight Up. His first poetry book “Journey To Become Forgotten” was published by Kind of a Hurricane Press.

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    Tying a Strong Knot

    To pull it taut
    snug rubber wrapped wire
    to test the anchor
    deeply seated, sheetrock and stud
    You have to
    give no flying fiddle sticks
    the mess you leave

    On the cusp of winning   it’s
    a hotel room
    Clarksburg
    as close as you can stomach

    Trite, burning the bacon
    catching the last 58
    shamed by your
    waning curiosity
    If she didn’t bite so hard
    I might have avoided
    spilling into another world

    Having found impotence
    pressed cold like tile against my face
    I retire to soak and
    toss around the failure
    of over starched linens



    Pineapple

    Patterns burned into the
    soiled top of my black possibilities
    the origin of the tender

    The unabashed psychic power of twenty-three
    thirteen-year-old boys praying  to go blind.

    The blue beast that lives under my bed—
    his tongue is smooth and unabated.

    The rattling of a fly against
    the brainpan.

    Feet on cold linoleum.

    I say, listen baby just spread
    copper  legs and do what
    hummingbirds do.

    Those
              boots   bring out
                                         your hips.



    Christopher Steven Seymore is a writer and musician and resides in the great Houston, Texas.  He graduated from The University of Pittsburgh. He has no living heir.

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  • 04/24/15--10:00: Bud Faust - One Poem
  • Everyone Wants the Truth
     
    She did not like
    the poster of Lenny Bruce
    hanging beside the bed,
    the one that says
    “FUCK”
    in bright red letters
    right across the middle
    of it.
     
    “What does something like that
    say to your children?” she asked.
     
    “I don’t know,” I said.
    “What did it say to your children
    when you had them killed
    before they could be born?”
     
    Everyone wants the truth
    until they get.
    And when they don’t like it,
    they call the madhouse and
    have the messenger
    strapped down and
    taken away.
     
    Don’t believe it?
    Take a trip to the madhouse
    and find out
    for yourself.
    There’s enough truth in there
    to kill a hundred herds of elephants
    and one silly-assed
    shell of a woman
    who left one silly-assed
    shell of a man
    alone in his bedroom
    with a deep purple
    hard on.
     
    No one
    really pulls for
    the bad guy.
     
    Ever.
     
     
     
    Bud Faust is a writer, poet and playwright from New Orleans.

    0 0
  • 04/25/15--09:00: Chris D'Errico - One Poem
  • Vegas Rules
     
    So you can afford to play
    Tangle with one-armed bandits
    You can wager you can skid
    In khaki shorts and beige sandals
    Cocktails cocktails cocktails
    Cashier looks like an 80s Madonna
    Green felt game boards
    Waistlines in grey sweatpants
    Dealt a suit of red diamonds
    Though you can’t smoke in the lobby
    Go all in for a good time
    The odds are subject to change
    Here’s a ticket for the buffet
    Grilled fried baked or boiled
    Can’t get that in Kansas
    Where sidewalks roll up at 8 pm
    Blank-pocketed weekenders
    Eyes open to the cause of the night
    Starved by clock-less casinos
    Viva the dream / the desert getaway
    But then Las Vegas is the night
    The day is a Band-Aid
    Stuck on the boulevard
    You could lose your job in a jiffy
    A job that has a stack of applicants
    Many probably needing the money
    Way more than you / you sucker
    Someone jumps to his or her death
    From a 6th floor parking lot
    It’s reported as a suicide
    In Las Vegas it’s reported
    As the reason traffic’s luck has tanked
    To a cautious slow-roll
    And then caution breaks wind
    That cheesy guy in a funny sombrero LOL
    Silver granny with her oxygen tank
    Sonny in his plastic visor
    How dumb fun is transformative
    There is spirit and there are curses
    Cocktails cocktails cocktails
    Cause/effect and natural selection
    I-15 backed is up for miles
    A motorcycle accident
    It’s a fatality
    But it’s not a motorcycle accident
    It’s a guy who owes child support
    AWOL he thought he was unbeatable
    Eye open to the cause of the night
    All bluster and denial
     
     
     
    Chris D'Errico writes and plays music. He has worked as a short order cook, a doorman, a neon sign-maker's helper, and an exterminator, among other vocational adventures. He has two poetry collections published by Virgogray Press: “Vegas Implosions” and “Ministry Of Kybosh.” Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, he lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with his wife and a small clowder of house cats. For more, visit www.clderrico.com.

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