Archive for December, 2012

By Luis Cuauthemoc Berriozabal

The roof was eating
itself. Suddenly
there was nothing
to stop the rain
from coming down
inside the home.
From the street
you could see
the water rising
inside the house
until it overflowed.
The roof belched
and the chimney
crashed down on
the wet carpet.
The next day workers
on ladders and
building materials
put up a new roof.
The rain was gone
and the sun was
shining. The new
roof was hungry.
But the owner made
the roof promise
it would not eat
itself, just the birds
and cats who would
find themselves on
the roof. It ate
Frisbees, baseballs,
and soccer balls.
Sometimes it would
lick the tiles, but it
kept its promise
not to eat itself.

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fat poetry editor

By John Grochalski

the fat poetry editor
has his face on a dozen web sites
standing in front of a microphone
like some third-rate comedian
he’s not fooling anyone with that tweed blazer
and a faded concert t-shirt
that he bought at target or wal-mart
the fat poetry editor
is short and squat and hairy
he belongs eating potatoes in middle earth
instead of looking at my poetry
but the world isn’t fucking fair
i’m not rich or good looking
or very talented
plus i’m kind of overweight too
and the fat poetry editor gets to look at my poems
then send me back rejection notes
telling me that my shit sounds like a bon jovi song
usually after something like that
i sit in front of my machine
and think of ways of getting back
at the fat poetry editor
like i’ll google him and read his shitty poetry
just to make myself feel better
or i’ll jack-off to internet porn
to stave off the thoughts of creative suicide
but the feeling doesn’t last too long
because i still have that rejection letter
sitting in my inbox
thus proving that the fat poetry editor wins in the end
i’m sure he gets his poetry rejected too
with poems like his he must
but i’m also sure that the fat poetry editor
has made a lot of friends in this shabby business
so he’s assured himself a place in many an online rag
plus there’s some quid pro quo going on there, i think
the fat poetry editor scratches someone’s back
then they comb their fingers through his furry haunch
it has to be like that
otherwise i sound like a bitter man here
and bitter men
never have their pictures up
on literary web sites
the way that fat poetry editors do.

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Baby Talk

By B.M. Stroud

Dabee dabee. Do dabee
Dabee. Goeey goo.
Stobbwaba. Dotsa. Dodjo.
Da da doggy. Jszha kuzuzu.
Dadogda. Dodogsda. Ay!
Dog. Dogda. Goy. Go.
Dooooo. Wabu. Bop bop.
Brrrrrrrrrp Brrrrrrrrrrrp!
Emmione noynce. Da da
Dadi dajup. ooOOoo.
Wowwaowa wowwa.


BABY TALK began as a question: How old do you have to be to write or recite a poem? In the course of three hours I listened to a one year old child speak, following him around wherever he went, whatever he did, translating his gibberish sounds into phonetics.

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Strange Night

By Daniel Fitzgerald

Dreamed about you,
then you showed up
at a birthday party for another
dream I had about you.

last year.

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Entangled Atoms

By Zach Hebert

I know you are thinking about oranges right now.

I know this because there are exactly x molecules
in each of our brains that share a boundless apartment
with no walls, entangled in quantum theory.

In both of our minds, these are the molecules that
deal with thoughts related to oranges.

And so,
I know, that whenever I think of oranges,
You are thinking of oranges


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Pink House

By Burgess Needle

On a drunken spree carousing with
med techs I first met Oy at the pink
house where a small fee bought time on
a bamboo mat with working girls
familiarity with place meant hooting
tokays hanging from ceilings didn’t
mean anything more than a wandering buffalo
months later I bonded with malaria techs
on a vector mission for tainted blood
all of us downing Mekhong whiskey
beneath a gibbous moon then headed
for the pink house where I waited until Oy
was free and by then just couldn’t do it
she stayed on my mind as I scouted
good sites for long range radar antenna
the picnic happened months after when
I teamed with four Kiwis volunteering
instructions to locals on proper road drainage
can we find some proper eats one asked
so off we traipsed for actual sandwiches,
cartons of beer and two actual banana cream pies
then I thought of the pink house even being
a sunny afternoon but the women were
reluctant to move it’d been a busy night
finally convincing them with promises
of big cash to jam into a Land Rover with us
and bump along to a quiet lake laughing teasing
eating half-stripping near the lotus-packed
water reflecting sharp blue sky
there’s a photo somewhere of me decked
with flowers lying on Oy’s lap in bliss
until someone spotted an isolated Buddha
Oy alone went to it and kneeled to pray
head bowed bringing quiet all around even
silence on the return except when Oy surprised
me by blurting out
I do this but I good girl
for some reason I was suddenly car sick into
the red clay ruts by the side of the road and
could not wait to head home and shower
now even hearing
the word pink makes me tighten up
go out and drink alone

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Fire Escape

By Bud Smith

out on the fire escape
drinking beer
watching the sun
about to crush
the adjacent building
it didn’t crush it
it was just setting
that gets me every time

looking across the street
at the rooftop
with purple holiday lights
that never
came down
and the girls smoking
they aren’t sending me
smoke rings, yet
but they will
if the wind changes

making an itemized list
of everything
that I’m not going to do
for the rest of the night
and then leaving the notebook
with the list
inside the pigeon coops
while they go crazy
and coo
and my sneakers
sink so deep
into the hot magnetic tar
of the roof I’m not
allowed to be on

you get a breeze up here
but the view is sobering

go back in your window
and write another love letter
to somebody
in any of the lit up windows
across the block
who could be looking in my window
and wondering
what the city would be like
with new company

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3 Dirty Lines

By Jessica Gleason

Whenever I look into your shapely eyes,
I think to myself, the devil’s in her,
much like I would like to be.

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Your Ass

By Corey Mesler

I am its stranger.
I am its song
of solitude.
I have come far
to sleep on
its shores. I
am nearly washed
up. I am its
deckhand. I am its
bobby, its loon.
I am its handsome
sailor, returned from
Troy, from Hispaniola.

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By C. Derick Varn

In the corner kiosk nudie magazines
in their obvious iconography collect
dust where I trudge and prod away
at the winter afternoon. One is
never more American than in Asia,
so here at home I feel lacquered
into a catastrophic litany of lazy,
unanswerable questions. There
linger like creepy hugs from aunts
and uncles or former lovers. So
there are fools who retire from
here to Suburban Georgia, prepared
to exterminate themselves with
Dalek precision. No police box to
them. So near the Tenderloin,
the evening call to prayer rings
near the streetwalkers, so here
I can learn the harrowing of hell.
I walk through pot smoke thick
as human stain. The only way to
heaven is through the aisles
between porn and malt liquor.
Of course there is more to any
city than this and fog. Where
are you at when you are right
here? Who kicks too hard on
pearled gates and text bombs
St. Paul to make sure your
name is known.

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