Archive for May, 2011

By Charles Clifford Brooks III

In a blue button down, sweating in August,
the memory of a woman or religion,
(or both) were fading. He feels new.
Scars running towards
the heart are hardly hidden. Words
burn with
the smell of bourbon.

I imagine we’d have
met under other circumstances,
pretty sure I’d be smoking.
It would bother you then.
You’d pretend it didn’t. There’d be a conversation,

I’d never look at your breasts
while we spoke,
especially when it looked
like you weren’t paying attention.
That’s a trick.

Night ends the droll, cracked movie reels
devouring the present. Deep, deep, deep in the current
of uncertainty,
Do you feel that?
The years have worn our bones.
It’s time.
It’s time.

A man who wears twenty-year-old
jeans, brown boots, stopping every
ten steps to snap your panties
will also
slip a Davidoff.

We’ll work on that.

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By Jay Passer

he who pontificates and gesticulates wildly
he mad conductor of pigeon squall on the street
he harasser of business-minded professionals
he of stealthy institutionalized personification

he of rigid industrial standards
he of economic and cultural import
he of virtue interconnected with policy
he of pristine and unaccountable moral fiber

he assessor scientific
he predictor apocalyptic
he commentator racist
he detractor fascist

he commutes to his place of work
an apple in his hand for eating
the future advertised clearly in his mind
not sure what all the fuss is about

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By Shawn Misener

words are doing a flip

we used to write
for ourselves
in our notebooks

then on our typewriters
until those typewriters
morphed into bulky gray things
with one font and one color

neon green

bulky gray to
bulky black to
bulky rainbow
skinnier and prettier

the arc of the model

we wrote for ourselves
we wrote for you
and it took time to get our words
to you

the words squeezed through
amazing monolithic machines

the words were ponied
railed and wired
to your coffee table

we had to wait for our words
and when we got our hands on them
we almost jumped through the roof

we read our own words on the shitter

but now as soon as we write them
they stare back at us
waiting, impatient
holding switchblades to our necks

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G. David Schwartz

They say you’ll lose your teeth
when you get a bit older
Well, that sounds good to me
I’ll be able to taste the marshmallow

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By Robin Kalinich

are trying to kill me.
Yesterday, they assembled
into an army,
but today they are pretending
to be dead.
They like to keep me guessing.

They are dirty coins
that refuse to be spent.

Why can’t my words fly?
I scrape them together,
rubbing my hands raw,
and blow on them


Try licking, someone said.
I know now that this was most likely
a joke, but that was unclear to me at the time.

They have moved a little,
but this is only due to the tiny pieces of twine
that I have affixed at each corner.
Bruised now, battered beyond all recognition,
they lie sickly and
pale with reproach.

Later, in the coldest part of the night
I hear whispering,
and before I can run,
they cut me off at the knees

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by this is my england


standing on a station platform
seeing a poster for a jeans brand;
a slight rise at the sight of
the hispanic chica whose
nice arse is doing the selling and
she’s named on the ad so she must
be someone

googling her on your phone
learning she once gave
a sexually transmitted disease to
an argentinean footballer

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Work Politics

By Sarah Chapman

He had a cold coming, and he sneezed
all over my coat. I watched his eyes
scrunch up, his glasses made them big
as whale’s / his suit jacket crunched, if
she was here she’d tell him she hates
touching him / with the dim bright light
between us I look down.

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By Abby LeCavalier

Quickstep walking
lips curled
in placating ways,
thundering down the street
like some deranged mechanical bull,

Obscure reflections
in dirty car windows,
brief and powerful,
THIS was never Toy Land
to her.

She is in no shape for today
or tomorrow
for that matter,
never stopping to smell rosemary.

Racing like she used to race,
backed up against
some imaginary wall,
she has no choice,
a driving ambition
to be ambitious.

Giving life a run for its money,
a real run,
not just bold talk
in a brandy soaked gin joint

And she doesn’t care
what is thought of her,
because she couldn’t think herself
any less.

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I’m Growing Older

By Kenneth Weene

I know it when I try to read literary journals
and get hung up on terms and abbreviations
that have somehow come to life.
I ask my wife, who is younger
but not really young; and she
shrugs her shoulders and laughs
at the absurdity that I should know.
I visit a psychic
who takes my money
to tuck into her bra.
“The portents are propitious,” she says
before my questions have been asked
and says no more;
nor do I.
Hell will wait while I
climb back in my car with gauges
and signals I do not understand
and drive to the nursing home
where I will read no more.

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Punk Tutorial

By Jay Passer

man am I ever hooked up
hooked in

got a grade A+
in fuck up
what landed me here

was a forest fire
put out
with canned beer

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