And I didn’t want to be a writer, anyway by Melanie Browne

And I don’t have a dick
And I have a husband and kids,
And I’m from the south
And I don’t hate Jesus
And I don’t care about gay marriage,
Because, frankly,
It isn’t that interesting,
And I like grits,
And I have a tattoo
On my shoulder that
Says Rebel Yell
And I put it out on the
For no good reason,
I think I just wanted some
Which is the same reason
I am writing this poem

if the spirit moves you by Mat Gould

huddled away from a soft rain
waiting out its drifting hour
giving ourselves back to another day
spring was long over and somehow the summer was in the middle of ending
yet still full of long nights having an affair with the dallying sun
lovers that must part but are holding on
as they too are waiting out the drifting hour
I speak of such easily
all of this
waiting it out
waiting for what?
I am only certain of nothing so much as the drunken later-

Three Poems by Justin Hyde


see the twenty-two year olds
huddled around the pool table
burgeoning dictators
ignorant like

see the forty-five year olds
leaning over their beers in silence
the impotence of defeat
ringing in their ears.

see the thirty year olds
caught on both sides
like deer
hung up
in barbed wire.

watch closely
the leopard eyed women
scattered amongst them
like leeches.

the old red barn

they'd bus in
from cedar rapids
to play horns
farmer was the sheriff's brother
no trouble there
back pasture full of cars
ames des-moines huxley bondurant
even see plates
from kossuth and wapsecon county
blacks would start
playin the horns
farmer selling milk pails
full of beer
for a quarter
ladies of the night
with blankets
working overtime
out in the pastures
we all got our
pickles popped
at the old red barn
then saturday night
sitting with our girlfriends
watching lawrence welk
in their parent's living room
heads still spinning
from cigarettes
the long hair
in sandals sold us
lawrence playing bubbles
or something else square
we'd be holding their hands
cause that's as far as
they'd let us go
one of us would start laughing
then we'd all fall in
what's funny? the girls would ask
what's so
all gone funny?
they'd get angry
stomping their feet
old dad
yelling down
from the top of the stairs
pipe down
or he'd
toss us out
with the cat.

cattle call

the people
are lonely

but their loneliness
is not sacred

not learned

or aged.

it's banal

like the inside
of a styrofoam

their love
is faceless


a blind
stupid force

two magnets
in a

Three Poems by Leeroy Berlin

the devil you know

there's a devil in the corner
in a dark, well-tailored suit
watching me. wears a fedora and
smokes a Dominican Upmann
eyes and ember glowing
he's not so fond of Zevon as I am
he follows me around
and likes to leap from the
dark places of the world,
grip me by the throat, and
make me listen.

there's a devil in the corner
he keeps telling stories
to no one in particular.
it’s just me, him, and the empty room
punctuated by a clacking keyboard
and a soft electric glow
that makes the folding chairs
and empty floor seem lonelier.

there’s a devil in the corner
he followed me last night and
snuck into the back seat of my car and waited
until I was whipping around the bend
he reached forward fingers tight
around my neck and screamed
because even the devil wants
to see an end to all of this.

there's a devil in the corner
and for now we drink together
and each beer wraps him in
a little more darkness
we're used to each other
and to the smoldering hate
familiarity breeds attachment
so I lift my beer and smile
Not tonight old friend, not tonight.

dead trees and ink

I'm sitting on the floor

surrounded by loosed sheets
printed with words I wrote

and remember

the tears


and blood.
Writing one once

I tossed my laptop out a second-story window
furious that syllables refused to bend with me.

Another fell out, like some small thing lost in a suitcase,
from a week-long vicodin binge

self-prescribed for acute cardiac fracture.
I pick one up that's laying next to me and remember
how it stumbled from my fingertips

fifty-three hours after the last time I'd slept.
There in the corner I see the bastard

child of a bottle and a half of gin
and the realization that she wasn't coming back.

I poured into all of them
everything I knew de los cojones

but now I read them and
I don't feel what I used to feel

I see dead trees and ink.
It's like meeting a woman

you used to fuck
and when you told her you loved her

she left
meeting her years later and

you don't feel what you used to feel
you see this stranger who reminds you

that you can't get those feelings back.

miles of asphalt and heart-break

as I roll past Skirball
crane my neck to look

she lives down that road
half a mile, then a right

the house is just out of view from the 405
and it's not the smog

that stops my breath
or the shattering glass

crunch of steel
that stops my heart

but those things don't help.


About Me

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