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Archive for August, 2011

Fancy Language

By Mather Schneider

I used the word “creosote”
in a story the other day
and this guy I know (another writer)
said,

“What’s with all the fancy
language?”

“Fancy language?” I said.

“Yeah,” he said. “I hate it when writers
try to act like they’re
smarter than I am,” he
said.

“Creosote’s a
plant,” I said. “That’s hardly
highbrow.”

“Fuck plants,” he said.

Well, I thought,
fuck people too.
In fact, fuck stories,
fuck communication,
fuck feeling,
fuck words,
fuck it all.

(Creosote bushes live
where almost nothing
else can.
They decorate the desert
and when you crush the
small green leaves
they smell like rain.)

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The Blob

By Roy Frisvold

Goo Absorbs
Go; Space
made shoe;

Big Flex:
Repulsive

swathing on.

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Gracehoper

By Mark James Andrews

laptop writing & sending my shit
out in the wifi environment
on the 2nd floor of the little library
in the Thumb of the Michigan Mitten
then reading my email
an invitation from the Detroit Institute of Art
to attend a fundraising soiree
hors d’oeuvres at 6:30 PM
to restore the outdoor sculpture GRACEHOPER
& tranced back in time
to when I was jamming with a trio of maniacs
typing up our chap punkpomespleeze
at a kiosk of coin operated typewriters
(feeding quarters for 20 timed minutes tick, tick)
at the Detroit Main Library
then got fucked up at the campus bars
then heading back to our car parked on John R
stopping to see GRACEHOPER
big as life planted on the Woodward Ave front lawn
& pissed on it in unison
actually piss painting territorial abstract
a twisted riff on Jackson Pollock
beer urine on welded steel & black paint
a transformation in a new medium & message
chanting Fuck James Joyce
as the art piece was named after some crap
play-on-words insect jigging ajog
from Finnegan’ s Wake.

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The Originator

By Timothy Bearly

If I were a superhero,
I would be called the originator.
I would defend the world against
pseudo-science and plagiarism.
I would attack the amorphous
platitudinous organism
which seeks to rid mankind
of all creativity.
I would originate!
While my nemesis
pontificates.
I would create
while my adversary
reiterates.
I would generate,
my arch-rival
would syphon.
I would have no sidekicks
because they would be scared away
by my esoteric postulations.
I would have to hide
in something like a bat cave
because they would most certainly
want to throw me in prison—
despite my services to the community
They would want me drawn and quartered,
and then with me gone
and no one to defend originality,
they would eventually come to regret their actions.
And centuries later
I would become
a superhero!

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bad break-up

By Joe Milford

you took everything
from me that day
even my salt
and pepper shakers

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By Dennis Mahagin

An anesthesiologist
may be an instrument
of karma, hovering over

trays (your gurney)
… he’s got up in paisley
scrubs, a headband he
rubs the wrong way
upon the back
of his hand, nodding
a skosh in the
affirmative, trance
like tentative but
affirmative.

There’s the convex
ceiling chrome pulling cold sweat, halogen
sans mist, and the silver tube with needle,
anesthetist, he sticks it
in your wrist.

The bleep of the pulse monitor
is a canary invoking a joke
your eyes have seen already
what the spleen spoke: yes,
that anesthetist is a dead
ringer for the fake book singer
who got it off with your wife
twenty two years
past. You took it
like a man, then
did some things with
your life it’s hard
to understand.

If we could only look behind
the masks, see? — there’d be no need
for enmity, for projection … “In a minute
I’m gonna start the drip,” this anesthetist
announces, his secret
talent for making hours flash
coma dark, unconsciousness
at light speed.

You might wake
to a new fate, and not
be able to regret it
later, as if smacking
the pavement
from a long
fall; you may ask for a sip
of water, brain salad and what
else might one say, after all?

— “Do you know
what the night is
like outside? Raindrops
on a bus window, jam roll
pericardium, something
something pink stuff
young man something
something?” …

No worries, the staid nurses
are on your side. And that surgeon
looks a bit like Colin Ferrell, nobody
he ever worked on ever
died. It’s only that

kid packing ether. Instrument
to avoid. Bow peep, chin up
button it’s a nip

and nothing much
else. Titus smile like Polaroid
dissolving six thousand miles
of past.

Sell it, if only from your eyes to
his mask. Wink once sure that’s
risky too but whatever you
do work fast.

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By Jason Ryberg

Oh it’s all well and good
when the world helps a sad lady
get back on her feet again
and truly start to believe again
and laugh out loud
in the wide-open-like-a-flower,
sun is shining,
birds are singing
outside world again
and takes her out dancin’
and buys her drinks
and shows her the glittering path
to new and fabulous romance.

But, how does a fella
get his groove back,

his moves,
his verve,
his nerve to follow through
on the follow-through,

or, is he like a race horse
come up lame
or a ball player
that’s lost his game,
for most intents and purposes, ruined?

That is to say,
once he starts losin’
(and losin’
and losin’)
is he doomed
to keep on losin’
and with little hope
for some new precedent set
to stop his slow, grinding
wounded-submarine-on-the-side
-of-an-undersea-canyon-like descent
into the funky, foul-smelling pit
of compounded booganism?

And if (as some would say)
a man is his game,
his moves,
his groove,
and the groove
is what maketh the man,
then is a man that’s lost his groove
less than a man;

maybe a bumbling, buffoonish,
fundamentally clueless
BeaverCleaver/CharlieBrown
hybrid kind of a man,

a mildly amusing Charlie Chaplin tramp
or Giligan-esque court jester always good
for a tumbling pratfall kind of a man,

maybe a skittish little Woody Allen
without the jokes or geeky, boyish charm kind of a man
or a poor Little Oliver with wide, hopeful
kitten eyes and empty bowl kind of a man,

a “right away, on the double, sir” kind of man,
an “of course I wouldn’t mind
dancing your Cutty and water
over to you, sir” kind of man,
a “my lord, the Royal Chef assures me
your Hasenpfeffer should be ready
any minute now” kind of man.

And whereby and therefore (in accordance
with the universal laws of God, woman
and natural selection),
should anyone but this man’s mama
really even give a damn?

And once the “It,”
Which so vitally composes and contributes
To “The Shit” (which it seems he must
At all times and with supreme
universal confidence
believe himself to be), is lost
is there really any chance
of getting it back again,

any probability or possibility
of hope, left in Pandora’s
little black grab bag,
for a monkey-boy to be a man again?

Or, is a man,
once his spirit and stature
have been properly dismantled
(and the parts all sold for scrap),
best led out back behind the wood shed
or to an open pasture, somewhere,
and the fabled diamond bullet
of clarity put through his head?

‘Cause sometimes there seems to be
a mighty fine line between
the merely walking wounded

and the dead that just don’t know
they’re dead.

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By Anne Loecher

How brave
she was, driving herself
wrapped in her mother’s
fur, alone and no hands
on the wheel but reeling,
I tend to believe?
tearing it up with the odometer at zero and a brick for a boot.
I personally hope she was driving like Hell
before slowing and lowering, before her shoulders cut,
slumped
jaw slacked and her mouth a maw filled up
with fumes. Until her gray
eyes turned up
toward the rhinestones in her room above
the polluted garage.

I can imagine
the cockpit of her car –
the dashboard dials at zero: no miles, no time.
While the blue carbon clouds collected, a tumbler
of her favorite sedative
graceful all the way down
to her slim ankles and the stemmed pedal.

I don’t want
to cruise at some pitched altitude
into altitude
but I do
want to keep you Anne
at arms length, a few fingers of you;
how you talked dirty to death,
burned water,
how wet petals
became your grains of rice.
It’s the famine of you that makes me want
to starve for love.
I know why.
I know why I
shut my mouth like a black
lock box, watch the worriers stamp and offer handfuls

while I clamp and rust.
When I picture the powder
blue of you, Anne,
your mouth a blue black circle
opened to receive a longed-for tablet,
the long-limbed frame and fame of you, ankle looping ankle like
infinity, an
exponent,

I believe again
in the holiness of emptiness.

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By Tyson Bley

If anything, the wrestling costume was made for crying a little.
Cheese – my trainer told me – is not the worst monstrosity,
even with the lolling skull. Sitting there in a huddle, I was
infinitely consoled. It’s the drag marks that expose
our location. I knew that with the receptors in my molars,
I could be remote-controlled by any religion.

But I got my cancer from wearing Nikes,
picked up all my Parkour tips from watching Sesame Street,
and cracked the secret of time travel with the right
arrangement of PVC pipes.

The asteroid is still under construction –
tampon wind chimes
out front on the patio.
And while all else is still unknown to me,
Moses is loving his chimpanzee transplant.

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wild orchid

by Justin Hyde

what does the turkey say?
i ask my
two and a half year old son.

gobble gobble gobble,
he says.

i ask him to repeat
the word:
verisimilitudinous.

verimiltue,
he says.

then we recite the
alphabet together
a couple times
before he gets tired
of my little quizzes.

he wants to take his toy airplanes
and slide them
back and forth
along the length
of the strings
on his mother’s guitar.

he has a
wild orchid
growing inside of him.

i guess the idea
as a parent
is not to kill it.

he hands me
a blue airplane.

i slide it
along the
strings.

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