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Archive for November, 2010

the saturday people

By John Grochalski

the saturday people
have strange faces
they look lost
like they don’t know what
to do with themselves
with all of the free hours
that they’ve been given

they sit in diners
smiling
hating the people sitting next to them
drink weak coffee
and freshly squeezed orange juice
eat runny eggs and limp bacon
laugh at everything
the waitress says

the saturday people
love the smell of cut grass
and newly washed clothes
they pray for warm weather in october
hope the blinds are open at home
and the sunshine is soaking
their bright, generic rooms
roasting their lonely pets

the saturday people
stand in long lines
to try on new jackets and jeans
to buy computers and music gadgets
and scarves
they go and see this week’s bad film
they wear grins
that say buying this product
will fulfill me
standing in this line
for this bad movie
is what the work week was all about

they brunch in cafes
with the college game on
taking up seats at the bar
to root for their alma mater
the saturday people
with their ugly college colors
and bloody marys
with their common talk about television shows
and their idiot kids
with their futures down the shithole

they wouldn’t know a mass suicide
if it smacked them in their wallet

the saturday people
begin talking about where to go
for dinner
as soon as lunch ends

to the saturday people
it is a big deal where to go to dinner
italian or thai?
valet or street parking?
wine beer or brew house?
you never see the saturday people
riding the bus with a hangover
on a sunday morning

i watch the saturday people
every week
i look at them with their shopping bags
their constipated grins
and their well-groomed faces

i think the saturday people
are aliens
government operatives
dropped here on friday evenings
when the jobs let out
dropped here with smiles on their faces
and money in the bank

sent here to make us mad
lunatics foaming at the mouths
slap-happy fools
who want what the saturday people have
good bodies and christian souls
with a side order of french toast
and a lobotomy to go.

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Spam King

By M.P. Powers

And then there was Jack Rhodes, twobit academic
slash pseudoeditor, sweating
over some lousy sestina
he was seeking so stealthily to slide
in your inbox.

He’d been prancing the carpeting
of his lower Charlotte lovepad, hands rummaging
in the subaquatic realms
of his fathomless trouserpockets. “…a zag up an’ a zig
down, and I be fittin to do
jiggies
whens I shoves out muh soord….” (Ulysses Jenkins)

And you know he’d read somewhere
something about the always unsung Concrete
Poets, and was considering
smashing his Dan Fogelberg record collection and heading up a Mom
Jeans
Movement, or dancing all over his neighbor’s orchid bed.

And there are some
who say he’d been spotted huffing nitrous and sleeping beneath
a Karaoke machine in the dumpster
area of a Peoria Olive
Garden. “I oughta svot you in de face
mit diz pissmop!” shouted Myron Pantwarski, former
door-to-door boner
pill salesman, fired recently for his strongarm
tactics. And I think it goes without
saying Rasputin fed on raw oysters, and Queen
Zingua had a harem
of men and would pick one to make love to all night, then have him
murdered in the morning.

And you wonder if Simon Perchik
really is keeping the bodies of those three Chilean
tax accountants on ice in his basement. “Why
don’t you and I step
out into the clean air? I’ve got a fifth of Cutty Sark stashed here, see?
Right beneath my long and flowing
broadcloth.”

Jack draws a bootyfool
snotrag
from the depths, dabs gently his pate
and cheeks and Frenchtickler
mustache. Puts a few finishing brushstrokes on his simply
“vaanderfool”
sestina
and shoots it off to a fellow alphadork
editor
who he’d recently nominated Personage
of the Millennium.

And a week later it comes…

“Hi all, I hope you’re doing well. Fall is making its tentative
arrival in NC. No joke, I think Charlotte
has become officially subtropical.
In other news, my latest sestina, entitled ‘On the Verge
of Alchemy’ was just accepted…” and so forth…

“Take care,
and all my best…” and so on… and such and such… Jack
Rhodes. p.s.
To remove yourself
from our list (and consequently trash your chances of ever appearing
in my jerky
fucking magazine), click here.

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The Neon Rug

By John L. Campbell

Omar shakes sand from a new magic
prayer rug, shrink-proof, made in China
from washable, synthetic camel’s hair,
for travel across deserts without water.

Riding the rug trimmed in blue neon
with a fringe of matted camel dung,
Omar wings over Omaha, the site
of other unidentified flying objects.

Spotted by shadow sensitive sensors,
alerted by airborne Arabian emissions,
the Strategic Air Command awakens,
booting computers, brewing coffee.

The sky emits clods of goat cheese,
clouds of cookie crumbs like cauliflower
under skin of an aging ass, white buttocks
stoop to push blinking red lights.

His magic carpet dripping carbon dew,
Omar kites home, back before the rooster
crows, back before his harem awakens
to notice their neon prayer rug missing.

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Grease Fire

By Jeffrey McDonald

Scalding skillet.
Brimmed fluid swirls counterclockwise,
guided by its own aberrant febricity.

Upper story.
Unmindful cuisinier, stoned, remiss tenant.

Lower story.
Hard-working couple slumbers deservedly, soundly.
He dreams of gardens in the sky.
Her gardens earthly.
Dog alert with kitchen odors.

Basement stairs egress.
Boarder’s entrance.
Shared in the tiny kitchen choke-point.

Swirling faster,
longing to meet its flaming accomplice below.
Pan straining, full flame licking the sides now, lining cracks.
Trapped moisture escapes, percolation.
Pan erupts with inauspicious bubbling.

Asleep now, above.
Dreams of fried meal from disremembered venture.

Anxious canine below.
Longs to wake sleeping master, recalls a prior scolding.

Scalding. Pop, pop,
hits flame, leaps to towel.
Slow searing terry, glowing red fragments float away.
Crafty disaster finds its way (always).
Lone sparkle drifts above the swirling fluid.
Spinning faster still, its time has come.
Flare comes to berth.
Burst.

Conflagration.
Chimera assassin.

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Bulimia

By Len Kuntz

I am reaching inside myself,
elbow cocked toward a ceiling,
fist and fingers fitted in my mouth,
down the throat
trying to find the key
that unclogs the valve near my esophagus.
But there is no air
and no You,
so I dredge all day,
my fingers as unreliable as ever,
but the nails sharp and jagged,
scratching code into the lining of my larynx
the way prisoners mark days.

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Galaxies in My Bed

By Amanda Deo

How do I move through
your hair
skipping constellations
because we’re just
too drunk

and this is how we met
10 beers on your
grandmother’s table
turned into
a marriage.

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By Mather Schneider

She stretches naked
on a yellow blanket
above the treeline.
I stand over her
and I’m naked too,
horseflies chewing

my headcheese ass.
Then I’m upon her,
a bobcat screaming

on the sunny edge
of a lonely glacier.
I’m the first me,

she’s the first her.
Her hair is obscene
in the blown grass
and the blue flowers
of her eyes roll
to the white.

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