Archive for November, 2011

I Just Became That Guy

By Jacob Kreutzer

I do not understand why,

but midway through
the pastor’s melancholy
speech, my mind drifts
to that time you streaked
down Elm Street shouting
to the late night world
that you were free.

A burst of laughter
escapes my mouth
and all eyes find me.

Stuck in that box,
you are again as free
as a nudist,
but I’m just the guy
who laughs at a

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2 Dozen Oysters

By Michael Goscinski

“My boyfriend has a fetish for these”
she said
“At least once a month
he has to have them
they’re an aphrodisiac you know
and man
is he good in bed afterwards
gimme 2 dozen”

She was about 4 foot 9
had the face of a gerbil
an overbite
greasy hair
walnut shaped
weighed at least 230lbs
and smelled of sour milk
aphrodisiac or not
I wouldn’t even touch her
after 4 dozen

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White Flag

By Kristin Roybal

I’m trying not to find the
way out of Stella and into
peach fuzz Macy’s way
of life—all hard lemonade
and dad’s rifles from the
1880s. If you didn’t fly to
Arizona on the weekend I
would have kept the final
countdown underneath the
guardrail of the inner
mission—that the rest of
your friends had a break-
through while I had a
30-piece bucket of
chicken wings. Flying over
the mountains I conceded that
my time was over and I would
not have the opportunity again
in this lifetime to fly past the
underwhelming adventures
of Lulu the paper duck. She
had breasts that were marinated in
coffee and black currant jam
and I had a pearl and seven
oysters found in the used trunk
of an unimpressive vehicle that
I didn’t notice was missing
until you signaled me over the
radio with your walla and your
white flag

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By Nick Hranilovich

Resend, receive receipts doubt debits deny demise
Nontronics and signals
Crying out to a golden star
Golden Star sounds like a coffee company
Crying over the death of the phrase Golden Star
Breakneck speed to gaseous Summer homes
Rich kids with mercury-rubdowns and Daddy
hooks in his hat, beer in the cooler,
moonshine on the mind and fog coming out of the mouth
Prenatal fermentation
Ma’am your baby is DRUNK
If we ate your placenta we’d all puke right off the bat
The internet is a digital personality kaleidoscope
I’m an organic supersoul kaleidoscope

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black and white

By Ross Johnson

I sit for Leyburn street
and poor red brick

I sit for unholy crucifixes
carved in shoepolish

I sit for hours because the cigarette went out
while dregs drink dregs of bitter pint
and life
staving off the looking glass
that spies bar oak and

I sit for housewives etched in doorways
and the milk that went off when
he did

I sit for the garden full of rust and broken toys
like beautiful postcards from Italy but
from cot dead ghosts

I sit for the sad hookers in the window
of the florist

I sit for the facedown on burnt orange laminate
saturated and pathetic
her bare arse revealed under
floral white dress
that’s suddenly blooming red

I sit for a girls bare breasts
and that one eye
still holds a sign that says
sad love

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Laboratory and Omelet

By Harry Calhoun

We make it every day,
the egg and the experiment,
the wine that doesn’t quite
mix with the meal the way

it’s supposed to. We read about it
in a language that doesn’t fit
the recipe. Life carries us
like carrion or hospital patients

into kitchens not our own.
Every day is the egg and the experiment.
Crack it open and explore
what goes wrong and how to cope

with that. And how to get beyond
and wake to the next day.

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Be Mine

By Mather Schneider

When I first started sending out
poems to magazines
it was 1992
and if there were internet publications
I didn’t know about
I didn’t have a computer and had
never been on the net.

When submitting my poems
I didn’t understand the whole
SASE theory.
I couldn’t figure out how you could put
one envelope inside another envelope
if they were exactly the same size,
and folding one just
seemed wrong.

I bought these small envelopes
like the kind kindergartners put their
valentines in
and I used

A few editors managed to cram
rejections slips into them
with ingenious or angry
sloppy folds
and then one editor finally
wrote me:
“Get rid of the little envelopes.”

I heard about people putting
little extras in their submissions (I wasn’t cool enough
to call them “subs” until many
years later)
such as candy hearts
with messages on them
like “I LUV U”
and “Be Mine”
but instead I decided to impress them
with a wild fancy
cover letter.
I put a large,
grainy, photocopied picture of my face
in the right corner
and I drew a mustache on myself
and glasses.
With the bio I said things like:
Skin: White.
Hair: Lots.
Age: Why, is this a bar?
Sex: yes please.
Activities: see Sex.

Finally another editor wrote me:
“Stop being cutesy and pretentious
and just write.”
I was angry at that editor for
a while:
I mean, pretentious? Me? Ha!
But after a few weeks
I got over it.

In a few months I got my first acceptance
from a journal called
The editor was Dan Nielson.
He sent me a contributor’s copy
and I still have it.

I sent Dan some more poems right away.
In a few months he returned my poems
and wrote:
“I will never read another poem
as long as I live.”

After that
he completely dropped out of sight,
never published again,
and maybe he even kept his
I wish I had
guts like that
but at the same time I hope my poems
weren’t specifically to blame for his

If anybody out there
knows where Dan
Nielson is,
let me know.
I would love to
send him a Valentine
with a small candy

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mean / while

By William Merricle

one handful of
keep your distance,
swallowed bees,

little dreams,
death row insoles,

fun, fun, fun,
turn, turn, turn,
turtles all the way,

tail of the universe,
twist of perfection,
bag of cold,

fallow year,
memory graft,
digital infestation,

hairstyles, grocery aisles,
meanwhile, slurp,
rend asunder,

the boo-hoo skies,
joint began to shake,
in the highest limbs,

some called it a miracle,
snick, snick, snick,
all we had to do was reach

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Bon Voyage

By Jay Passer

puppet heads, cellular phones, bathtub legs, serenades
who ran with the last of the money and who got shot
you can punch in the numbers like a chemist
or pilot a thousand Enola Gays
gain light speed till the body ejects the brain
you’ll never know for certain
amidst a torturous galaxy of diamond-eyed beings
the pecking order of the stars is at stake
in green rimming neon light captured along the meridian
tree-lined streets, aerated with shopping-clouds
to host a rent in earth catastrophic, cinema noir’s
most victorious hour
elegance bruised with strychnine heat, the way wings inside the body
lend voice to the hidden symbols of dreams
you can punch the living daylights out of the heavyweight champ
but dare risk telepathy with dragonflies

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A Fresh Start

By Michael Grover

Trauma from past lives
Keeps us down in this one
Stuff we bury & don’t think about
Total blackout

I’ve always blacked out in trauma
Ever since I was a kid
For that reason I have a
Selective memory

Tell america my inheritance
Was only anxiety
only anxiety
We have built ourselves so high
We expect so much
We all have the american dream
Engrained inside us
We’re all gonna be famous at something
Like I’m the new american idol of poetry
& rupert murdoch himself
Listens to my voicemails
Shit he must be bored
I hardly ever get any
& they’re not that exciting
Unless they’re just deleting
All of the exciting voicemails
My life’s never really been exciting
I stayed in on Friday & Saturday nights
& worked on my writing
Or sitting in a coffee shop
In Philadelphia all night long
Everyone else seemed to be living
If I had a girlfriend she was living
She just didn’t want me around
Some nights in LA the party would come to me
In the form of Thome Selby
We’d drink beer,
drink whiskey,
smoke pot
Sit out on the fire escape
& howl at the moon all night
We’d go to the taco stand at two AM
That was exciting

I have a question to ask you
Do you really think aggression & killer instinct
Are fine human qualities
We all got the message
It was that voicemail that got deleted
Remember I’m the new american idol of poetry
We all are
None of us are perfect enough
All flawed & imperfect
Not quite ready for heaven yet
Never will be
So we eternally stress
About eternal salvation
I can’t help the fact my parents
Took me to a southern baptist church
In Green Acres, Florida
The minister was a family friend
On my mom’s side
It’s what they had to do

Don’t blame the parents
They know not what they have done
They knew not what was done to them
We never realize
What is done to us

May the judge step forward
In front of the firing squad
We could all use
A fresh start

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