Archive for February, 2012

The Genius

By James Valvis

They came from every corner of the state
to hear him read from his latest,
which was no different than his old work.
When they arrived, he was half drunk,
leered at the girls, ignored the young men,
told several professors to go bugger Jesus,
and after an irrational monologue
he finally read three political poems
he slurred while missing whole lines,
until– only slightly more awake than the audience–
he finished his reading to a dead silence
that quickly changed to an ardent applause.
He was a very intelligent man.
He knew so long as he told people
exactly what they wanted to hear
some would always call him a genius.

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Yams t’ Van Vliet

By Mark Bromberg

oh give me a home
where capricorns ‘n tumbleweeds blow
the stars are just skeleton dust
that includes milk of magnesia
uranium and neptune
I want milk n’ mashed potatoes
n’ I don’t mean tomorrow
like now right now like now
n’ I’ll whip you up something special

Tomorrow may be too too late
for you to help me with my needs
I don’t paint a pretty picture
spring n’ summer are just two seasons
it gets dark when the sun goes down
tryin’ to have a civilization here
still don’t count for much
I want milk n’ mashed potatoes
before I whip myself into a frenzy

I live in a town full of people
they don’t look at each other twice
how’m I supposed to make a living
with automobiles parked outside
the things go forwards ‘n backwards
but I still don’t get a word of advice
I want milk n’ mashed potatoes
but a yam will do

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By Travis Catsull

“He remembers the box, made of oak,
With the lock, very secret and odd,
And spreads through a floor the stroke
Of his feet in the iron bond.” –Anna Akhmatova

it got cold
as i waited for the cab

swaying towards the computer

since my feet are pot roasts
sliding across a kitchen floor
as i misread a stapler
for a pack of cigarettes
and lock into midnite

nitemares of brush and pail

i punched and punched
as they grafted skin
from behind my ear

nitemares of whole poem and flying lozenges
while i finally pet krisna’s horse

i stain the shaky church pew
dried blood brown
and find some rechargeable batteries
in a porch boot

cleaning my nails
with the edge of a christmas card
the bayou floods blemished fence
for in the living room a fish slept

nitemares of passing dolorous cloud; vice of youth:

often i will wait for you to speak
while i shudder in a time frame
and move like this
from monday to movie theater

spend the rest of my night in a dune buggy
designed by a demi-god
who lives behind the creek

the strawberry seeds hum
from the burdened guest
to the autumn home of an echo

i take off my shirt and toss it on the floor
so soon
a dog comes to lay on it

my desk chair squeaks
as though a song about arizona
is being written in the next room

yes, i can apologize
like low hung water bags
like any venus / jupiter
glistening in a hand unheld, see

i’ve got this new contentment
that won’t attract flies
or expect some moment of pure awareness
i hope you gloss over
like the prayer of someone sleeping
blowing nite past their many legs
so i guess i
should just start a new sentence
in the calm eye of a window
and shiver behind credit card alley
for the latest “us”

i lock our lives in a travel trailer
and disappoint myself
each month

as love is just
some inventive guilt
that lasts
longer than lightening

i guess i just
showed up to apologize tonite

say i’m sorry

for december


the rest of your life

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By John Tustin

Love is three fingers in.
Sadism is the whole hand.

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By Jarod Kintz

If loving someone is putting
them in a strait jacket
and kicking them down a flight
of stairs, then yes,
I have loved a few people.

You can’t put a price tag
on love. But if you could, I’d wait
for it to go on sale.

Love is what you make
it. Unfortunately,
I can’t make it today,
as I have a doctor’s appointment.

I can tell if two people
are in love by how they hold
each other’s hands,
and how thick
their sanitation gloves are.

When I saw you, I saw
love. When I saw you naked,
I saw lust. When I saw you
with my clone in a dream,
I saw the future.

I believe the love shared
between two people
shouldn’t be secretly
shared with a third. Not even
if I am vacationing on the moon,
and that third person is my clone.

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By Maxwell Baumbach

today I wondered what Mario Batali’s sex life is like

I set my head on a pillow
and was convinced
I heard opera music
echoing out of it

I imagined the tiny opera singers
in their tiny opera houses
with their tiny opera problems

and wondered if
in the midst of it all
they even had the time
to wonder about Mario Batali’s sex life

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By Evan Schaeffer

I was the older brother
nine to his seven
Since our bickering
was constant
I’m not surprised, now,
that I can’t recall a precipitating cause
for that Sunday morning
sometime after eggs and bacon
but before church
when he picked up dad’s hammer
and, lifting it first above his head,
launched it
at full strength
directly at my face
from a distance of five feet

Seen in one light–
for example, at Thanksgiving dinner,
after the turkey and the wine–
this anecdote can seem almost
comic, and,
if told correctly,
nearly always has the capacity
to make someone laugh

But that’s only because
my brother missed

When I’m alone and
there’s no laughter
I recognize
how different our lives
might be today
had my scrawny brother
had better aim

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