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Archive for December, 2010

The End

By Mather Schneider

Imagine
centuries from now
when our sun is burning out
and life is dying.
What would matter to you?
Would you care about
feng shui or
wicca
or how your abs look
or if your subscription to Pussy Foot Poetry
has lapsed?
Would you care what’s on
the dollar menu
or how horrible the Dallas
airport is
or what’s on tv on Thursday nights
at seven?
Maybe a few rich could
escape on ships to live in some
artificial environment
somewhere
but without cheap labor
they too would
soon die.
What possible reason could you find
to go on?
Who would help you through it?
Billy Collins?
Just imagine
centuries from now
or maybe
tomorrow.

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Alley Murders. . .

By Tyson Bley

Geraniums partake of the pianist’s flesh, so much they love the little brat. I remember being jealous, hearing it. I’m such a, such a jealous person, you know? It continues to this day, and the cords are noisome. My face is ham. I’m transplanting the ham grimace. Shuffling out of the auditorium, I set out to buy a Rammstein stuffed animal, just to feel better. I stop, because I have to stop, and admire the traffic lights surrounding the sand castles. There’s a lot more to life than this – there’s so much, so much to admire. There’s the shape-retaining function of duct-taped dream messages. And 3D specs are only $2, through which you can see what pests on coke really look like: a cauliflower conglomeration of Wagner. Jaba de Hut was his lover, although he’s nowhere in the picture now.

Back at the apartment my spaced-out girlfriend coos over her new shotgun license. ‘This baby is laced with a pathogen,’ she says. ‘Oscar De La Renta toilet water!’ It smells OK. And I really like it when Sissy boasts this way. It gives her voice a batrachian aspect. Sissy is currently married to the smallpox Juke, whose drum machines – electronic polyps with bloody, rhythmically popping souls – perform best under golden showers, and I become so, so jealous even though no one’s playing them and the sounds are merely points of the compass that lead to the institution’s ends.

I have been told that I will die in a drive-by shooting. That’s OK, but untrue, as Sissy demonstrates by folding the license into a paper shotgun reeking of oldman perfume and aiming it at my chin, squinting. I’ve always wanted to be stupendous; as in, I always wanted to be stupidly hard to shoot with a BB gun. And today I want to feel the infinity-coroner’s extension. It’s not an infinitely long dick. Nothing like that. It’s a tiger. Prodding me. I will be buried in a dinosaur encrusted costume; the only thing inapposite will be my decomposition, which will consist of prairies of shirt hair. That is how, hovering in a corona of dead, pube-shaped alleys, each a possible destination curtailed by boredom or distraction, I will free my murders.

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the deer, where they belong

By Harry Calhoun

And the deer jump out wide-eyed
in front of the headlights
and we leap into the oncoming traffic

and instinct might make us each
a stereotype, but that is not the only
act we perform. The deer is meat,

we are mortal and so much the same,
surprised by bright lights and the last
hard bump of something smacking us

upside the head, reacting, simply reacting,
the first thing and the last thing
we know

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1416

By Michael Frissore

Rain goes up today.
A tree falls onto my house
and paralyzes my girlfriend.
I try to heal her with citrus.
Tomorrow there will be no rain,
just miniature, pocket sized cripples.

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By Donal Mahoney

For a year this image has haunted me.
Over and over I hear on the gramophone
Cohen put in my ear
“Feature this:
On a crowded elevator
a strange woman in a baseball cap
unbuttons your fly.”
That image is on the ceiling every night
as I sit shiva in the lobby
of this small hotel,
a hookah, like a tired cobra,
coiled at my feet,
a shamrock in my buttonhole
dead from the last parade.
Night after night,
I think about this strange woman
as each hour I watch
the doors of the elevator
part and give birth.
I observe each new guest carefully,
hoping the woman in the baseball cap
will tire of the rain and ride up
in the elevator and register.
I want her to sit in the lobby
and talk with us.
We who are guests here forever
have eons to hear
what she has to say.
We have paid our rent in advance.
We can afford to sit here and see.

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Portrait of the Artist

By Matthew Ross

I knew him
at the moment of creation,
when thoughts were dark,
and chaos hovered
over the face of the manuscript.

Back then, he wasn’t such an ass.

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something for nothing

By Larry Jones

Hey Mister,
wanna buy a rock?

A little girl,
maybe eight years old,

her table set up
her mother nearby
and a sign,

10 cent rocks
25 cent rocks
50 cent rocks

I bought a fifty cent rock,
tipped her a quarter.

What kind of parent
teaches their kid
this kind of shit?

What kind of man
goes along with the hustle
and
gives a little girl
something for nothing?

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I Started Out on Burgundy

By Phil Lane

The more I drink
the more I enjoy these
orbital hangovers,
A dangerous proposition,
to be sure

the same thing happened with
opium and women
I once believed myself
a shaman,
swimming in the river
behind the river

but it’s not the drug
that makes the man,
awake in pools of lithium
with my tangible demise
Fun, Fun, Fun
‘til morning takes my T-Bird away
and the lizard is sick
in some hospital ward
wrapped in yesterday’s newspaper

gotta get something strong
before it all comes to life
and the adding machine cuts me
with her steel erection—

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Onion Ring Lamentations

By Nick Hranilovich

Over two vats-
One labeled “fries”
one “appetizers”
I believe (so says inner monologue)
that life is bountiful and just
& deny that I’m a fry cook

Flutes flit and caress my skin
outer cherub wing tips grazing melody cheeks
But niggas be blazin’ on the rap shit
New beats
Out of honkey-bought, cracker-operated,
turkey-bred iSquanders
A business major and a potbellied impermanent punk
From a bygone era of skipped class and sterlized
body-deforming style needle
chew the fat on kilos across borders
when they have neither grams nor atoms in hand or nostril
I survey the fat burbling beneath my eyes
Don’t throw the coin in the fountain unless it’s battered
To dunk my face in and inhale for workman’s comp, acne, and sympathy

I ain’t afraid of no time vampires.
No ghosts neither. There’s one in the basement bar
-some cat died here years ago and they dragged him down the staircase
so nobody would lose their lunch
(The same lunch I burn for them with disregard
the same lunch that killed him)
Now everybody speaks on the light orbs in the corner of their eyes
as they descend from upper booze quadrant
to the booze quadrant nearer the core of the Earth
where it’s WARM
Some spookiness enough to rattle and erect hairs
on unsuperstitious necks
Give me my bone necklace and the demons of cardiac arrest
will be cast out of these dank collegiate vomit-soaked corridors
Dancing a fury dance and incanting on deathlessness
Ghosts respect a possessed man as cars cowtow to full lots
Every inch of me is a haunt for some chosen few spirits
that can leap through necks and guzzle impertinence
straight from the words of faux pas throats

“I’d fuck her and her and her and her
and her and her
and her with a bag on her face
and her with a bag on my face
and her with firewater in my belly
and her with coke in my nose
and her with the right music in the background
and her from behind
and her from above
and her from within”
Your records are breaking, potbelly and yuppie.
I want to fuck your hearts. Major cock-on-aorta action.
After I check the temperature on these buffalo chicken wings.
God is merciful and I am a fry cook.

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Long Gone Ghazal

By Dennis Mahagin

Second to last hug from a main squeeze, 1 week or so
before all the bennies ran out. Rigid. Frigid. Maybelline.

The yapping Dachshund attack dog, who wouldn’t back off… ..
You kicked, and missed. Its drunk-ass master cackled all day.

Fender bender, with dissociative features. Fake cough,key-
less remote. Specious gull feces, whited out the registration.

A rhomboid pendant, hung from my shower rod. Turned out
steam clouds: Lambent. Prismatic. Ozzy Osbourne Shampoo.

Carl J. boiled his moribund bass strings. Cheap fuck never had
the love. OK? His low-heat, high-reek skin soup. Instant callus.

Last panic attack in the trattoria crapper. Dead bolt tattoo.
Sink rising. And a fireman’s axe: “Step back. Let us help you.”

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