Dec 20, 2010

Imperfect Guitar, A.Parmessur

The Imperfect Guitar

By Amit Parmessur

Sitting on the wild rocks I marvel at the periwinkle,
fully forlorn in the nearby receding tide pool.

The whistling of the dry coconut leaves in the wind
has been accompanying my pregnant thoughts of you,
with the large and strenuous pelicans surveying the sky,
right above my bewildered head—

I have never ever thought you would leave the
land of our bond and ships would become my enemies
How dare that elderly ship steal you from me,
making my eyes scarlet in the indifferent crowd.

Sitting on the rocks with my wild guitar I
sing sweet songs of your improbable return, sometimes
dreaming of you dancing, dancing lithely in a ring
of violets, with frisking lambs, piping shepherds.

This evening I have broken a string
as my fingers are a bit too drenched in anger. I close

my eyes and imagine of you sleeping
on a bed of daisies in our favorite valley over there.

I secretly cut a hair from your peaceful head,
fixing it in my excessively grieving guitar.

I start playing again but the other remaining strings
cannot be as melodious as your versatile holy hair,
rendering my guitar uselessly imperfect.

When I open my briny and heavy eyes,
the tranquil sea surface has turned orange,
the sand is a stretch of yellow lawn
and the periwinkle is gone,
leaving the tide pool as good as a forlorn desert. I go

home like a doomed crab destined for a too salty soup.

Snow Falls, M.McCoy

Snow Falls

By Meridith McCoy

Here comes the snow. The first of the year. Clean and white like virginity. Before the salt comes in and violates it, making gray sludge. But it will snow again. And be pure. A second chance.

To Dad...G.Nedelka

To Dad: When December Falls

By Graham Nedelka

"good bye, it's the end of the road"
what a pretty song, my love.
stood there with metal
in your palm
colder than the snow
you caught on your tongue
i did too.
the sun will shine tomorrow
somewhere without you.
it is the warmth the winter
left behind to remind me
how the world turns again.
it is the green grass where
you took a long nap that
watch it glisten from above
upon the lake
the water cooled
your ashes,
ceased your pain.
watch your son shine
and swim with you too.
I would have carried you
when december fell.

Candles, E.Jakpa


By Emmanuel Jakpa

glow in the small glasses
on the tables,

yellow lights
pours out the chandeliers,

"Lady in Red"

on the air.

I empty my coffee,
and step out

to the lazy
snow drops, falling

lightly down.

is no wind.

The trees
are all drooping

with the weight
of the weightless snow.

No birds
in sight,

but I hear
a few chirps

as if from inside

Birds, H.Freads


By Heinrick Freads

Every bird has wings, but not all birds can fly
The blind have eyes that cannot see
Sort of like drinking decaf

Nov 8, 2010

Memories of a Mermaid, N.Tallowin

Memories of a Mermaid
By Natascha Tallowin

A glittering sliver of something was glimpsed on the horizon today
bobbing slowly nearer
like a cork on a rough sea

Every now and then the beauty of it caught the eye of a turning sunbather
And a child even pointed once
declaring it a mermaid

But as the day drew on, interest waned and the beach began to clear.
The glimpse of glitter swelling with the drawing in of the tide
grazed the sand of the shore for the first time
shifting back and forth with the slow rhythmic pulse of lapping waves
Until finally coming to a halt

Moments passed.

The snout of a spaniel snuffled loudly about its form
A dog walker stopped hesitantly
poking, prodding at it with the toe of her shoe

A naked body flopped back
A picture of sullied perfection
luminous skin a wonderful shade of pale,
blue eyes wide open with an expression of mild surprise
A mane of colourless hair lay spattered across the beach, encrusted with sparkling sand
Only the curl of a piece of paper held tight within his hand

With trembling finger tips the dog walker removed the page from his water logged hand.
"I told you not to drown."
It said.

Skin, E.Seehafer

By Elaine Seehafer

Tuned in to the
symphonies of depth -
in all that lies below
the glazing surface
of the external -
he peeled back
her outer layers-
as a snake sheds its skin
to be reborn.
His hands gently incised
their path to the river -
her skin extending
and shedding itself
towards the light

Dollop, S.Martin

By Stephen Martin

I weep
& sleep
ugly little dreams.

beetles & bottles
open suitcase.

Above the spitting
crow is
at my
-inflicted poise.

a polka drab
of flies
a filthy mantra

Daredevils Covenant, R.Koppelberger

The Daredevils Covenant
By Ron Koppelberger

He had to stave of the terror of an amazing dare, the exposition of chance. His reliance on the savage choices he often made were addictive and difficult to fend off. Jackson Irish was a daredevil of sorts, he crusaded in dangerous dilemma and courageous disaster.
Jackson found himself near the approaching maelstrom of swirling soil, wheat bloom and erupting air. The tornado inched closer to him with each labored exhalation.
He had parachuted from the tallest building in the downtown Hammock, fifty stories high. Jackson had done the turkey trot with trains and approaching cars as well as hanging from lengths of knotted rope by the underbelly of an airplane. He had swallowed glass and nails, cockroaches and snails, and now, Jackson would ride the black sackcloth of a tempest in towering shadow. The darkness of a dirty demon in undeviating destruction, a tornado in full tilt.
As the monster approached the underpass he had a fortunate flash of inspired fear. His courage in doubt he wrested the rare, whimsical moment to the depths of a simple nervous expectation. He was confident in his abilities. The evidence of his purpose was his constructed resolve, borne of primal passions and the desire to conquer death. His disposition would define a miracle.
The twisted wreckage of an SUV flew over the top of the bridge and with a rending metal crash landed on the opposite side of the tow-lane highway. Jackson watched the tempest as it approached in screaming fury. In the final moment between life and certain death Jackson Irish leaped back beneath the bridge. The tornado roared overhead like a fright train and Jackson held fast to the huge steel I-beams.
The swirling demon continued across the landscape without Jackson as a passenger. Jackson was half-caste, a hybrid of sorts now. In benediction he had consulted with god swearing a covenant with life, in those final moments he had seen the darkness and it’s intention to possess his soul. For Jackson a miracle had occurred.

Fall and Rain, M.Foster

Fall and Rain
By Meridith Foster

Fall and Rain
One and the same
They always complain
Another gloomy day
But I like it
Sleeping in
As the drops tap the roof
Staying warm under cover
And dreaming

Oct 28, 2010

The 31st, F.N. Stein

The 31st
Frank N. Stein

Boo! Time to get dressed up!
Eat some candy too!
Then walk around again and get some more candy.
Jump in the leaves
Then carve out a pumpkin
And put a candle in it
The doorbell rang
Another trick-o-treater
Cinderella, Batman, and the Statue of Liberty
Quite a trio.
Smiles all around
There they go.
Time for hot chocolate
What's on TV?

The Third Party... H. Johnson

The Third Party
by Hilary Johnson

When it gets dark it's time for me to go to bed. I don't like watching television. It's too scary. All murder mystery and guns. I like the sex part but not that much. So I lay there in bed. Sometimes I read but it hurts my eyes and it's hard to find good books sometimes. So anyways I sit there and just look at the wall most of the time. And I talk to myself. But one day I heard an answer. And I looked at my cat and said, "Did you hear that?" And she said, "I didn't hear nothing you crazy old coot." And I said, "Don't be rude, kitty." And she said, "Whatever." Then a ghost tapped me on the shoulder and said, "That was me that you heard. I've been sitting here for ten years and finally decide to speak." I said,"I'm sorry, but I didn't even hear what you said." The ghost smiled and leaned in close to me and whispered, "I love you."

Gnomes, G. Kelly

by Geoffrey Kelly

Teeny Weenie suckers and a pretty little pie in the summmer when it's snowing count to seven tell a lie. Eat a pancake paint a fence. fart on pillows. Alabama. Stinky dog. Hairy pudding, in a blanket. Hairy lips. Even flow. Where did they go?

Hours of Lonely, Anonymous

Hours of Lonely

i see a reflection
of hate and indecision
temptation, doubt
belonging of vomit
rubbish and treasures all one
oh brother
give me a beer

Jack, E.Ping

by Evan Ping

He is looking at the dinner
He is thinking of a time
When the pennies cost a nickle
And the flour cost a dime
He is hungry
He is waiting
He is knowing
He will shine
All you do is light a candle
He is smiling so sublime

Aug 23, 2010

Romance Near Water, J.Middleton

A Romance Near Water
By Jarret Middleton

Waiting at the Portsmouth docks for you to return from the Shoals, I think of waiting for you another time, on a green island far off the coast of Maine. I waited patiently, and you never came. You missed the only boat that day, and slept in your car all night at the pier. Until I came to you in six foot seas, vomiting with the rest of the passengers on the mail boat. A life-long romance occurring so near water truly must involve a few episodes like these, mild, and severe. I love you, dear.

Romance Near Water, J.Middleton

A Romance Near Water
By Jarret Middleton

Waiting at the Portsmouth docks for you to return from the Shoals, I think of waiting for you another time, on a green island far off the coast of Maine. I waited patiently, and you never came. You missed the only boat that day, and slept in your car all night at the pier. Until I came to you in six foot seas, vomiting with the rest of the passengers on the mail boat. A life-long romance occurring so near water truly must involve a few episodes like these, mild, and severe. I love you, dear.

White Heat, J.McNerney

White Heat
By Joan McNerney

This dry moment
we lay in sweat beds.
Limp flowers turned
into themselves.
Lightning scorches
skies with hot zigzags.
Will it ever rain, when
will cicadas be silent?
Memories of a white room
burning pains…shunts, stains.
A bottle bursts filling the
sidewalk with rancid beer.
Throat of bird
swollen, screaming.

When I Sing, J.Dudley

When I sing I think of Nothing
By Jennifer Dudley

When I sing I think of nothing
In the apartment alone
On Saturday
Guitar in hand flipping through chords
Tapping rhythm on its wooden side
My voice gets louder, warming up
Lyrics go from hums to words
On the fly it’s blues
Or Jazz
No work here, or news
Oil spills or presidents
I strum
Close my eyes
And think of nothing

Diddly Squat, B.Panos

Diddly Squat!
By Barbara Panos

Bankruptcy, divorce
Then Tony the tow truck driver
Lifts his family jewels and sniffles
Mumbles as he hijacks’ the neighbors BMW back to shyster’s Ville,
Unemployed economics’
Buy lemon aide from 2 eight year olds on the corner of here and now where
Scratch my armpit and tug on my undies from my crotch
It all amounts to diddly squat and reality sets in
Aint got diddly squat but got me!

Better, B.Lewis

By Bert Lewis

Here’s a band-aid, is it better now?
Here’s a whiskey
A dollar
A kiss
Now will you put that pout away?
And come with me to town?

Jul 26, 2010

Feast, M.Rees

By MaryWillow Rees

We prepare the bed as for a feast
Smoothing the sheets in preparation,
The appetizer

As we slowly work our way through the meal we never want to end
Lingering over courses interspersed with conversation
Savoring each delectable morsel
Laughing with delight then
Beginning again
Never full, often satiated

I don’t remember sharing food or wine with you
We feast

Letter, W.Irving

By Washington Irving

Dear Mary,




Right and Good, M.Dunlap

Right and Good
By Murray Dunlap

Ok, so what have I done? Tried to be a good human being and tried hard not to let anyone down. So. Fear I guess. I simply did not want to be responsible for another’s loss. Fear? Strange to be that way, but I assume we all are. Kids trying to be “part” of something. All kids do. And hope to do something good. Right and good. It’s all I know to believe in. Right and good.
The times I have felt most like I’ve accomplished something were when I was a teenager and my team was the State Champion of Track and Field in Alabama. Now, I can’t remember exactly who did what. All I know is that standing with a team of good friends and accepting a trophy for the state championship made me feel that I was a part of something. Now, I’ve had my moments as a writer, but that has nothing to do with a team. Back when I was on a track team with my coach Jim Tate, I felt like I had helped us do something. I was a part of something. It felt good. And my clearest memory is the team needing a few more points, and I, of all people, tried pole vault to get us needed points. And so I did. Amazing to imagine that now. I was in a horrible accident and have trouble walking and cannot run, much less pole vault! But I admit it feels good to know I could at one time keep the balance and speed needed to lift my body about 15 feet in the air and twirl around in order to land on a red mat on my back. Amazing. I cannot run a single step now, so to me, this is literally an impossible act. Pole Vault... Unbelievable! I’ll admit, I’m proud. And of course, proud to have been blessed with such a damn good man and excellent coach such as Jim Tate. The man was in Sports Illustrated for winning so many state championships... I’m in awe. Really. It is as if I was on a miracle team of so many kids doing things they were not supposed to be able to do. A circus of unexpected excellence.
And right and good.

Kite, B.Hornfeld

by Brad Hornfeld

Flapping plastic catching air, higher
String unwinding
Heat bites my fingertips
Feet sprinting, higher
String ends its lift
Tugging at sunned peak like a hooked bass

The Sour Sense...L.Jones

The Sour Sense Of You
by Larry Jones

hell yes, I'm happy to be retired,

I no longer have to look
into your hypocritical eyes,

no longer have to smell
your bullshit attitude,

no longer have to listen
to your hateful heart,

no longer have to be touched
by your fear,

even though

I will always have the sour taste
of your essence,

in my brain.

Jun 21, 2010

Cowboy Verse, M.Berger

Cowboy Verse
By Mike Berger, PhD

The hero bursts through the swinging
doors, the inevitable gunfight in front
of a saloon. The villain lies belly up
in the street.

Editors despise cowboys dressed in rhyme
and yummy victuals from the chuck wagon.
Forget the sounds of thundering hooves
or sleeping under a million stars.

Why would anyone write such drivel?
It would never be published; it would
stink up pages like a fresh cow pie.
Editors should print up special nasty
rejection slips.

Here's the other side of the coin.

Cowboy poems are a fresh cream puff
all sticky and gooey; appositive delight.
They are what jazz
is to music,
the only real American poem
is cowboy verse.

When I Get, E.R.Winkler

When I Get Impatiens
by Elaine R. Winkler

At the Farmer’s Market I glide past
the trays of impatiens--not white,
not pink, not pink and white, not red,
not fuschia, not double blossoms--
until I reach orange, yes orange,
my favorite color,
the shade of gorgeous sunsets.
Then I stop and fill my cart.
I take home a whole flat
of little orange plants.
Some go into large pots where
they will expand like yeast,
and several into the big kettle
under the plum tree--
the kettle that is actually an industrial
reject dragged out of the river--
where they will grow taller, wider,
until, by September,
my plants will rise up
like a flaming brazier,
high and full, blazing
under the autumn sun.

Grease, G. Prince


By Gordon Prince

Oh, God, that is a nasty pizza slice.
And I need a shower.

State Championship, Rinas

State Championship
by Rinas

After year after year of tournaments, the Ichione High Basketball team finally made it to State.
Yet now their best player and the reason they was in the championship game, Roman Haddeis, will have to sit out because of a possible torn meniscus he suffered towards the end of the City Championship game.
Coach didn’t want to tell Roman. Roman's our best player, Coach thought, his head sunk on his desk. He's graduating and heading to St. Peter’s College in the fall. A chance like this doesn't come often.
A knock was heard on the door. A 6’7, athletic young man walked in gingerly, limping noticeably as he came in.
“…What’d they say?” asked Roman, almost sounding like he knew what was coming.
“…The doctors recommend you sit out—”
“My leg is fine! I’ve moved well all day—”
“'Well enough' is not good enough! Besides, you feel good now but by game time it’s going to get worse!” Roman kneeled, tears streaming his face.
“Come on, let me play Coach!” he screamed. “You don’t know how much this means to me! I want to win a State Championship for this school!”
Coach looked downtrodden, but he nodded, seemingly considering Roman’s words.
Hours before the game began at 6, everyone—from opposing players to the janitor—watched how Roman would look in warm-ups.
“Not good,” said Coach, who turned out to be a prophet: Roman moved around well early, but the more he did, the more he wore down.
“See?” said the doctor, “He’ll only hurt the team. You must deactivate him—”
“Y-you can’t be serious! You’ll seriously injure hi—”
“We’ll keep him at the end of the bench. That’s my decision!” After warm ups finished, player introductions done, and national anthem sung, the game started, and, much to the Ichione student group’s dismay, Roman sat at the end of the bench.
Ichione did not adjust to missing him, down 35-15 by halftime.
And as the second half began, the students that made the trip for Ichione was crushed and downtrodden, about ready to head home.
But when the team emerged from the tunnel, they saw Roman warming up. They went nuts, chanting his name throughout the half time warm-ups.
Roman wasted no time rewarding the student body's faith once the third quarter started: he made a jump shot on the first possession. The crowd roared, his teammates on the bench jumping in excitement. On defense, he swatted a ball from entering the rim.
The place shook, trembling with energy.
Roman would soon be substituted, but, after trailing by as many as 30 in this game, Ichione won the game by nine, and the state championship was theirs. When the final buzzer sounded, the players and coaches hugged Roman.
And with the state championship in his hands, they hoisted Roman on their shoulders and carried him around the basketball court.

Helicopters, H.Guest


by Harold Guest

Chopping overhead, scaring birds and watching traffic
or oil spills
or hospitals
or big crowds
or battle
It always be trouble.

May 29, 2010

Inspiration, J.S.Ryversson

By Jakoba Sandra Ryversson

My muse
No one has had such a fine muse
On her perch
At my ear
She changes
She creates
A terrifying beauty
Sometimes she is a coconut
Sandy hair
Skin so white it shines
Sometimes she is frightful
and mad
Talons dig in my shoulder
on my
and then the satiated
lull of
the end
Of the story, that is.The Man Said He Was German Irish From The South

Because of Don't, B.Derby

Because of Don't
By Brian Derby

Don't tell me not to cry
Don't tell me to say cheese
I'm crying
I'm singing
I smile because I feel fine
Cigarettes are okay
The decision is all mine
Don't tell me to lose weight or watch TV
The decision is up to me
Is that why I'm so anxious all the time?
Too many suggestions
Too many lies
Opinions forced on me
Unfree to create mine
Is unfree a word?
It is now
Don't tell me its not
It's mine.

Cross Road, R.Riekki

By Ron Riekki

When I got to college
after Desert Storm
I decided to become a Religion major
because the little glimpses I had of war
made me scared as hell
of Hell
so every course I took in my first semester
was in my major
even though they told me to take the core courses first
but I didn’t care about math or English,
I wanted to figure out why the hell
I had to see a seven-year-old
with a caved-in head.

One of the first classes I took
was entitled “Witchcraft, Magic, and the Occult”
and my teacher was Dr. Hough,
a Harvard grad
who hung out with Mary Daly
and is even mentioned in her book Gyn/Ecology:
The Metaethics of Radical Feminism;
I’d go to his office
and he’d tell me stories
like how he cheated on his wife one time
with a witch,
an actual witch,
and I’d be riveted like I’d never even had a life of my own.

He asked why I was studying theology and I said that I wanted to be more like Jesus,
more like the Buddha,
more like Martin Luther King
and he told me everybody wants to be like Jesus except nobody comes close
and the ones he’s met who most wanted to be like Jesus
were the biggest assholes he ever knew
and he told me that instead of Martin Luther King
I should read Malcolm X
and he gave me a copy of the Alex Haley biography
and an old tape of Robert Johnson
and Charles Bukowski’s South of No North
and pulled out a bottle of moonshine as clear as water
and told me that God is all about letting go.

Grit, H.Peterson

By Harrison Peterson

On my toes and on the verge
My mind thinks ahead of words
Grasping for a chance
Past is past and laugh
Through the wondering toil
My pizza in tin foil
Laughs because
Another day will come

The Man Said...G.D.Schwartz

The Man Said He Was German Irish From The South
By G David Schwartz

The man said he was German Irish
Form down in the south
and he spoke from out his mouth
And all the children who went to school
Looked at him as such a fool
He spoke in spools
And used his British tools
But he was not yet bald
so his good wife called
and she said a word or two
Which were not heard by you
And I am so so sorry lass
That I man unable to repeat the toast

Apr 19, 2010

Maine Road, A.A.Wilson

Maine Road
By Andrés Amitai Wilson

Maine road trots.
Headlights lash
Slaving trees.
Twilight cloud-crash

Passage, J.Glass

By Joan Glass

All the way there the ambulance
blasts its sirens, blocking your cries.

You fall asleep, scrunched up
in the back, exhausted,
your tiny, pale body wrapped
too quickly in colorless blankets.

Halfway there, the EMTs
laugh quietly, a private joke
to break up the long hours.

The driver drinks Dunkin Donuts
and does not speak to me at all.
They do this every day.

But out in the world
there are piles of leaves
that will scatter without you.

Silent snowdrifts
will shift and shrink.

Another baby is born into the world.
Her mother screams in agony.

Bottom-Feeder, G.A.Waters

By Gil A. Waters

You can suck on my anger
until you choke on my fear
You can spit or you can swallow
I don’t really care

Bend over and take it
You should be used to that by now
after a lifetime of submission
Just do what you’re told

You’re a bitch for the world
so you might as well be mine
Get on your knees
I know you can crawl

Scream all you want
no one will hear
You were silent before
and no one’s listening now

My Alternative Career As...N.Guinneach

My Alternative Career as a Male Model
By Nan Guinneach

oh look here i am at schiphol sliding an icecream into my mouth
a gaze of lunar intimacy cast out over the baggage carousels
and here again at charles de gaulle my hair coiffed with static wind
another of me on the front of a magazine
a hand i don’t recognise but i remember the tie
the people around me smiling too much too much champagne
where for me it was the eating of it all
the skin type and fights engineered with my boyfriend
so i could change my online relationship status to don’t ask
there’s only one kind of zoo
and now i wait for you to arrive in your probably new suit
oh look here you are
you’ll want to talk concepts and moods
and in the hazardous crack of evening both of us will murmur
it’s ok because i’ve chosen it

Cracker Jacks, N.Mezynski

Cracker Jacks

by Neila Mezynski

Braids so tight her eyebrows lift. Ribbons, cookie toting, waiting for dad. He brought her Cracker Jacks for the toy inside and games in the red brick house. For sitting at Mother’s feet when fully baked baby comes home. Emerald green, sparkly buttons, stay away smile. The prize in a box of Cracker Jacks, from dad. More: shades drawn in a dark room in the red brick house. He remembered Old Tucson, cowboys and Indians, Cracker Jacks and a small hand holding prize.

Mar 1, 2010

Untitled, J.Lamb

By Joseph Lamb

Keys to life,
they may jangle
inconsequentially .
Learn to unlock the
hearts of ten million
souls without consent.
These lonely souls are atavistic,
and need a home.
No destinations for them,
and societies appeal for the
starveling has disappeared.

Daily Chores, D.P.Barbare

Daily Chores
By Danny P. Barbare








Fire, J.Swenson

By Jack Swenson

He sat down at the bar and ordered a Diet Coke. She breezed in ten minutes later. "Sorry I'm late," she said. He waved it off.

He looked at her across the table. He smiled. Eskimo eyes. She had squinty eyes. That's why he didn't like her. You can't tell what someone is thinking if you can't see her eyes.

She said what she had come to say. She spoke her mind. At first it was just chit chat. “No more drinking, she asked? Never, ever?” He nodded. “One day at a time,” he said.

But that wasn't it. That wasn't what was on her mind. That came after they had their lunch. "Seen Janet since you've been back?" she asked. He shook his head. "No," he lied.

She pointed her face at him. "I don't believe you," she said. He shrugged. He leaned forward and put his hand on hers. "It's you and only you," he said.

She took back her hand. She started to cry. He gave her his handkerchief. She dabbed her eyes.

He told her a story he had heard in rehab. A woman (with eyes just like hers) was at the front of the room telling her story. She looked worn out, exhausted. She had fallen asleep smoking a cigarette. She was drunk. The house burned down, and her two children were killed.

He shook his head. He looked earnestly at her. His eyes flicked back and forth, scanning her face. "Can you imagine?" he said. "How could you live with something like that?"

They left the restaurant together. When they got outside, he put on his sunglasses. They went their separate ways. She made a U-turn and drove past as he started his car. She waved. He looked both ways, then pulled out and drove off in the opposite direction.

Untitled, K.Ailes

By Katie Ailes

Jesus came into my Starbucks today
Ordered a caramel machiato
skim milk
extra espresso
no whipped cream
I saw his cross behind him
Like so many sandbags
Dark musky aura
stirred with his pinky finger out
And burned his tongue when he sipped.
I looked for golden bubbles on his lips
When he said ‘Thanks.’
I must have blinked,
for all I saw was a need for Chapstick.
When he walked out,
I found a splinter of his cross
on the tiled floor.
I swept it into the dustbin
With the rest of the refuse of the
children of God.

Huddle, E.Miller

Eric Miller

[Removed by Authors Request]

Feb 21, 2010

Creative Displacement, J.Farley

Creative Displacement
By Joseph Farley

Clickety clack
clickety clack
they keys rattle
a train on track
where does it go?
what does it carry?
Floor sweepings
and disposable verses,
edging, arguing, falling, failing
towards something grander
than the small station
from which it left.

Popcorn, J.Bloomfield

By James Bloomfield

I'm working late at the office. The office is on the highest floor of a gargantuan tower block, a tribute to the technological achievement of man. Seven hundred offices and four canteens and a television room and a small cinema all packaged in one towering, phallic, steel monstrosity.
I'm alarmed when a blinding flash lights the office from somewhere outside. The mighty glass windowpanes rattle softly in their frames, buffeted by shock waves from a colossal bomb that has just fallen on the heart of the city.
A flotilla of unmarked black airplanes cruise the night sky, barely discernible.
Many more bombs drop and I press myself against the glass in stunned horror, watching as families of buildings fold into dust. At first I holler down to the people below, futilely attempting to warn them of their doom. I pound on the glass with my fists, weeping and yelling out until I am exhausted and cannot cry any longer.
Eventually I feel drained, numbed, and I watch the tireless patterns of dust storms and infernos, hypnotized. I take the elevator to the ground floor and return soon after with a large bucket of sweet, sickly popcorn and a soft drink from the staff cinema. I bring the Director's plush leather chair into my office and I sit down resignedly to watch the anarchy.
I tune the radio momentarily into an emergency broadcast that brings news of a synchronized attack on no less than two hundred major cities worldwide. Everybody knows it is the end of the civilized world but nobody knows who is flying the unmarked black planes.
The frequency of the intense bombing never diminishes and by dawn the entire city is a flattened wasteland.
My building alone never falls.

Cherry Dots, T.Spencer

Cherry Dots
By Taryn Spencer

My shoes are decorated
with red dots
I hate them
Today I know I won’t be
Wearing them
The girl next to me
Had similar shoes
on her feet
The same expression
on her face
as me
The same look
every victim
Before death
gobbles them up-
Empty, black as the chalkboard was that morning
In class
Beside letters that read
Mrs. Belinda Cash
And the moments I would color
at my desk--
bringing bears and myself to life
with a brown crayon
Desires deadened
by what should have been my first thought--

To run

So close
To base
Like a player of hide and seek
But I can’t move
My feet stuck to the ground
like Bubble gum in between paper after you’re
Chewed-out for chewing it,
Like vapors during the steamy bath Mom gave me
that morning
Minutes between an hour
In that minute, the bus made a final stop
I heard a BOOM, the girl who sat next to me dropped
And I came face to face with endless blots
Of red dots.

Heart Beat Away, N.Liron

A Heart Beat Away
By Nomi Liron

What does your latest invention do?” Susan asked, as she stood at her office door.

Well,” Harry explained, “My device is something like a reverse pacemaker. When placed within fifteen feet of a person, it disrupts the electric currents which control the heart muscle and sends the person’s heart into defibrillation. The person falls over with an apparent heart attack and dies.”

Can it work through doors or windows?”

“Of course, currents are not deterred by substances. Think about lightening striking a person. The current passes through the flesh. I used lightening as my model when first developing the Heart Throb”.

Can it kill animals as well as humans?

“Of course, I used birds as my test objects.”

“You know, Harry. I don’t think this is a good idea. It sounds very dangerous. I think you should take it apart. You could get angry with someone and in a fit a temper kill them.

Harry smiled and aimed his device in her direction. “Or merely irritated,” he said, watching her grab at her chest and fall over dead.

More Modified 12...M.C. Thompson

More Modified Twelve-Step Affirmations
By Mel C. Thompson

Just for today, I'll pretend
I'm not fucked in every way
and try to convince myself
you're not a frumpy, sub-human troll.

Just for today let's affirm
that the gods don't hate us.
(Please ignore their bloody hatchets
drawn crossbows and glimmering swords.)

Conclude that your Higher Power
does not revel in the creative joys
of being endlessly inventive
when it comes to torturing you.

Just for today, call yourself
inherently sexy, although alcoholics,
drug addicts, food addicts, sex addicts
and drama queens are all you attract.

Just for today, claim divine prosperity,
although you can't afford a massage
or a psychiatrist or a vacation to anywhere
Greyhound doesn't go. Your big breakthrough

is just around the corner. I feel it
in the very marrow of my bones.
(Okay, that part is completely a lie.
Frankly, I think you're deeply doomed.)

But just for today, I'll try not
to judge you like I always do.
(I usually hate your taste in everything.
Never mind. Let's focus on the positive.)

Just for today, I'll resist writing
a political poem. I can do this!
Let us join hands and with one voice
affirm that nothing we believe is true.

Nothing I believe could ever possibly
be true. Because of that I feel great
Bodhisattva compassion. If I leave you
the fuck alone for just a little while

that would truly be a great act of love.
And, on a closing note, just for today
I'll resolve to use the word "fuck"
a lot less often in future poems.