Archive for October, 2011


By Susan Grothouse

sir, i must ask you
why are you squeezing my calf?

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Ode to Banana

by Danger_Slater

Black sheep of the fruit bowl.
Phallocentric witching rod of grocery stores
and jungles. Long and slender like the
Finger of God.
The banana sits patiently, never
intruding on my taste buds like an
uncouth strawberry
or that apple-bottomed bitch,
Granny Smith.
Cat’s eye of parfaits and yogurts;
Banana – I sing to thee.
You stretch across
eras in time, connecting man to ape and
back into the sea
like a yellow submarine.
Banana – you are life.
Semi-soft beneath your
calloused skin,
you remind us that we’re all mush in the center.
We’re all made of goo.
You never push,
you ripen, you peel, you slice, you split.
You’re my best friend, banana.
Now I’m going to eat you.

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Corn Syrup

By Tim Murray

I have the corn syrup eyeball. I have the corn syrup leg. I have the corn syrup eyeball. I have one time the corn syrup pirate set complete with rubber whale creature. I hit rubber whale creature with rounded white rubber teeth on crackly anthill Hoosier sidewalk one summer day in 1984 or 1953. One time (no five times) my mommy took me to drugstore with brown bag of TV tubes that daddy ask us to test on crazy cuckoo robot machine. And mommy tried plug various sized tubes into machine and it no lit up and she said, “Shit!” And I covered my mouth with one gumball stained hand. None of our fuses were good said the pharmacist and mommy buyed me a box of Smith Bros cough drops to crunch on ride home. And daddy at home with back of TV removed waiting for tubes but mommy tell him tubes no good says pharmacist and he say “son of beetch!” and he tossed screwdriver into toolbox with a clank and then I forget what else happened. Oh, then I think the toofless rubber whale creature farted. And daddy said “ what stinks?” And mommy said we can no afford new tubes until payday in one week. And daddy said “no shit, Sherlock.” Then mommy baked a frozen pizza for dinners. And then we ated it (daddy, mommy, brother and eye). And then grandpa said we can come over to watch TV until we gets some tube money. And that way we no miss Knots Landing and Air Wolf and Dukes of Alf.

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By Jessy Randall

c o l d

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By Vivian Faith Prescott

Jesus himself stood among them and….while in their joy they were
disbelieving and still wondering and he said to them,
Have you anything here to eat?
—Luke 24: 36-41.

Jesus has never left us—
He’s still trying to appeal to our carnal appetites
in this seemingly universal Rorschach test—
singed atop a chimichanga
steamed in froth in a cup of hot chocolate,
charcoaled on a grilled cheese sandwich
and skewered on a fish stick.

I am beginning to think that Jesus
might have food issues and I wonder
why he has to keep up the appearances,
meeting us at the Shrine of the Miracle Tortilla

awaiting to see if we can recall the drooping
eyes, the eyebrows straight and
jagged, the hollow of cheeks, the corner of mouth
turned down, the nose hooked and narrow—

and after we observe him deep within
the folds of a cheese curl,
slice of potato or pierogi,
and on that shrimp tail, we remain here
at this same table, knife and fork in hand—searching
for yet another Eucharist, still disbelieving
and wondering
what he might really taste like.

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Semi-Annual Detox

By Kevin Ridgeway

The semi-annual detox is in full swing,
water, vitamins, minerals and codeine
clutter the fold-out TV tray with bent legs
leaning against the rumpled man’s bed

The one-eyed cat has more muscle than you
he sinks his claws into your bulging stomach
and winks with his good eye,
the empty socket a vibrating red void

You get up and struggle to the food nook
the cat is still attached to your mid section
you fix him a morsel of juicy wet chunks
nestled in between your flapping sugared udders

You bite open a powdered beverage with electrolytes,
adolescent crack that you stir with your
pinkie finger in a jiffy of lower middle class self-help
still-dry flavor crystals bedazzling your upper lip hair

Time for a horrible endless reel
of Lifetime Movies for Grandma
the entertainment bulbs in the box glow
while you piss yourself in the dark.

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Lemon Underwear

By Donal Mahoney

The New Morse Hotel
Chicago, circa 1970

What if after Browne has gone
one of us discovers who Browne was,
leads the rally to his room before
the maid has time to broom the webs,
retrieve from underneath the bed
the sweat-stiff socks, the lemon underwear?

What if before he leaves Browne scrawls
across the dresser’s dust: “I have leased
new quarters and have gone to them.
Don’t give the clothes you find here to the poor.
Don’t burn the books. Beware the next
who rents this room, who leaves it only after dark,

who screams if the maid knocks once
to ask if she may clean. When he arrives
have four men bear him, belly down, downstairs.
Tell them: ‘Pitch him out across the lawn!
Let him land in a lake of sun.
Let him drown there.”

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Homarus Americanus

By Zach Fishel

Thousands of eyes are thrashing like
hooked fish in the tanks,
searching for what predator is going to fight them next.
Banded and tied back,
relying on the oscillated exoskeleton,
because in here
there’s not a need for guns.
The knives do the damage,
and the mechanical claws that pull them from the water
into a metal tin that is rigged to
a poorly balanced scale is their final rest.
The prices are a knock out,
like the blustering air outside.
The clams are cracking from the frost and all of the
squid are slimed to each other in an orgy
of fantastical freshness.
I want to pop all of their tentacles into my mouth,
and relish in the briny thoughts of
an expensive meal.
The lobsters,
the prehistoric panzers of the bottom,
making Mariana’s trench look like a playground,
are the eternal survivors
cluster-fucked into a cramped bubbling glass
No champagne here.
Someone is taking them home for the night,
and giving them the scream of a lifetime.

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By Steve De France

A genderless sub-human dirt bag
draped in telephone cords bumps
around the corner talking, loudly.
People don’t notice
but knot together at the bus stop.
Everyone has a cell phone.
All talking—all the time.
I try to clear my head
whistling Bach’s Brandenberg # 5.
Too late. . . a telephone
migraine is coming on.
A car jumps the curb,
bumps over the corner,
its driver shrieks,
turns the wheel with one hand,
cell to ear with the other.

I escape into the Paradise Movie Pavilion.
In the darkened movie theatre
is blessed quiet….until soon
a bevy of phones begin to ring.
others do Gregorian chants.
some chime, yet others whistle,
a few croon, several emit
roaring lion sounds,
the remainder chirp
like insects.
I grind what is left
of my teeth.

Outside the Nirvana liquor store
street people spit into cell phones,
gasping out brainless twaddle.
I grab a fifth of Port.
The clerk studies me. . .
asks “are you from Bombay?”
I laugh & shriek,
“Yes, how could you tell?”
He said he was a trained India detective.

I collapse on a bus bench & start
scribbling lines on an envelope.
I give up—instead I listen
as a toothless couple
next to me scream on the cell.
We share my port wine—
they ask if I need to make a call?
They slide over on the bench.
What number do ya want”?
I spoke very clearly: “666.”
“What’s the dude’s name?”

“Ask for Pluto. . . “

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By Michael Frissore

He murmured a “What” and it sprayed its scent like an atomic sea skunk. He tried to act out each letter and collapsed from exhaustion. She held the answer in a full nelson but the words reversed the hold and nearly broke her neck.

The “What” climbed back into his mouth feet first, stepping on all of his important organs. He packed his suitcase with “Wherefores” and “How comes.” He became an instant baggage check. She buried herself in “Huhs” that squeezed her to death overnight.

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