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Archive for February, 2011

the damned thing

By Adam Schirling

while at the church
or in the library’s stacks
or in the coffeehouse
i feel weird and awkward
like people see through
my calm demeanor to the
raging inferno within
they sense my frantic thoughts
and drunken desires
i start to sweat and
breath real heavy
and want to run away
but at the small pub
gloomy and quiet
save for an old jukebox
or the tattoo shop
where extreme art is born
i feel at home
a king of thieves
at the basement show
watching raw emotion spill
into loud music
or the seedy titty bar
with it’s aging whores
the warmth of nonjudgement
wraps around me
placating all turmoil
the drunks and deviants
my true family
its a damned thing to realize
but fuck
does it feel good

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for Bill Merricle

By Chris Toll

Rain fell into my father’s hot chocolate.
I inherited his blood.
It’s gasoline.
He didn’t forget to give me his tears.
A ninja does a double somersault
and lands on top
of the head of a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
She buries her spear in the dinosaur’s right eye.
An Apache fires a shotgun
at the creature
with five eyestalks that never stop moving.
T.S. “Tough Stool” Eliot weeps on a precipice.
He would have buttfucked Billy Miracle,
but Billy couldn’t sit in a speeding vehicle
and drink coffee without spilling it on his shirt
at the same time.
Being drunk was no excuse.
An assassin whose braided brain hangs down her back
materializes in front of a British commando.
His right hand claws at the crystal knife in his chest.
He disappears and the assassin catches the falling knife.
It killed his mother before he was born.

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first day on the job

By Larry Jones

have a seat
on top of the cooler.

turn on the gas.
relax,
have a smoke if you’d like.

by the time
you’ve finished your cigarette,

the kicking will have stopped.

turn off the gas,
open the cooler,
place them in a plastic bag.

take them out to the dumpster.

there you have it,
ten dead piglets,

last day on the job.

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the kingdom

By David Labounty

maybe I’m just like you

falling in and out of love

making dollars
just to spend
dollars

stuck at the light with the
forced heat thawing my face

waiting for the light to turn green
so I can carry on, just trying
to get to the kingdom
wherever,
the hell that is

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2 4EVER 1

By Gary Jones

2 4EVER 1 read the license plate of
the SUV on the street ahead of me.
Curious about the lovers
who publicly pledged their troth
through a tin tattoo
veiled in exhaust
I pulled beside them at the next stoplight to gawk
not at newlyweds
nor old vows renewed,
but two grey-beards,
the 2 4EVER 1?
Or was 1 of the 2 home 4NOW
while the other 1 went fishing with a buddy?
On the other hand,
maybe their domestic partnership
was licensed not in a WI courthouse
but on the rear ND of a truck.

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By Colin Dardis

eating cherry cake
while typing on microsoft word 2003
an outdated computer
juxtaposed with
cake
for an outdated man
filled with
cake
there’s only so much words
you can fitted into your mouth
eventually they all fall out
with the crumbs of
cake
I use the fork
to shovel my
cake
into my chomping mouth
but I can’t spoon up my words
and hide them back down
in my stomach

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Rebecca Schumejda

Your machine battered hands open a jar
of pickled green tomatoes as if it were the past
that you can simply handover before walking away.
You roll your eyes when I sniff the contents as if fine wine;
you know who we are. And even though you say
the past should not be revisited, you hold grudges.

I have always let you come to the table unkempt;
a workman’s hands are comforting, strong and stable
like my father. Tonight, I lean into them and breathe
you in: factory sweat, vinegary resentment,
the labors of these ghost preserves that sustain us.

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