Memory Of Vincent by Doug Draime

He had everything down
to an exact science,
he said, as he arranged
his sparse belongings
in his cardboard dwelling,
to make room for me.
There was a stack of
newspapers in the corner
and a picture of a little girl
in a small silver frame.
sitting on top.
It was a snug fit but there was
more room in there than I had thought.
Once I was in and turned to face out,
I noticed a large backpack
and a small Coleman stove neatly packed
in a corner by the entrance.
He pulled out a pint of cheap whiskey,
that we’d polled our money to buy.
We shared the bottle,
talking about the hostility
of downtown L.A. cops,
but nothing about ourselves;
Nixon was president
and we both hated him.
The rest of the time we sat quietly drinking and
watching the nine to fivers
drive down Hill street for home,
without a bit of envy.

ruined— by steve calamars

Frank parked the car in the alley behind the building. He climbed the fire escape to the third floor and peered in the window.
The apartment was one room and poorly-lit. The television was on and JR was sleeping. He was lying on his back beneath a slow-spinning ceiling fan.
Frank jiggled the window and it wasn’t locked. He opened it quietly and stepped in. He walked over to the side of the bed and stood over JR.
JR just snored and scratched his beer-gut. Frank felt sick and swallowed hardly. He clenched his fists and flexed his calves.
He pulled a hunting knife from his waist-band and cut JR’s throat. JR’s eyes shot open and he grabbed his neck. Frank buried the knife in his beer-gut and twisted. JR was motionless before he could amass any defense.
Frank wiped the blade clean on the bed sheets and went into the restroom. He puked in the sink and blew snot-rockets on the floor.
After he composed himself, he washed the vomit down the drain. He rinsed his hands and face. He looked at the floor and expected to feel better.
Frank only felt the same. He had killed the man who raped his wife and could sense no real improvement . . .
Frank stood in the bathroom and experienced no difference. He still felt sick to his stomach. He looked in the mirror and prepared to get rid of the bodies. He was thinking concrete, chains and the bottom of Lake Travis.
He walked back into the room and wrapped JR’s body in the bed sheets. He hoisted him over his shoulder and carried him down the fire escape.
He popped the trunk and set JR’s body inside, beside that of his wife’s.
He had killed JR for ruining his wife. Frank had killed his wife for having been ruined—

Two Poems by Rob Plath

the whores of Time

the hands of the clock
are both whores

two slutty sisters
making their rounds

the petite one
seemingly less aggressive
but a tramp still

perhaps the worst
of the two

fooling us more than
her straight forward sister
into believing we possess her

then inching away
right before our eyes

hiding inside a bottle within a cloud of smoke w/absolutely no wishes

as if

to be
into a
yr an

to have
had lovers
who were

a country

yr every


& 6th

advice to recently married men by Justin Hyde

she's going to sit you down
and tell you
she's lonely
lonely lonely
as a lost earthworm.

you're not going to
one bit of this.
all you ever want is


but her eyes will water
she will emit words
and gesture with her hands.

in turn
eyes dry as sandpaper
you will emit words
and gesture with your shoulders.

ebb and flow
this boomerang vector
as the universe
squats haunches
and scratches
behind its ear.

Physical For An Old Woman Picked Up Wandering by Donal Mahoney

Between her legs a goatee
gray as city pigeons
flying through factory smoke
a goatee that hasn’t been combed
that hasn’t been kept
that quits in fangs
an inch above her knees

STILL NOT HAPPY by Chloe Caldwell

Amazing girlfriend, ugly lover, still not happy.
That is what you wrote in inky blue pen inside your journal that I was
reading after you’d left for San Francisco.
Your amazing girlfriend was in D.C. to give a lecture on art history.
I was the ugly lover left in Manhattan.
Cozy on your bed, my thighs sore from sex
(my eyes sore from the sentence)
reading your private thoughts
smoking your pot
and eating your leftover colored Easter eggs.
I’d always assumed I was your beautiful lover.
Now I was nauseated---
Your livid lover.
Finding out you are not pretty is similar to
finding out Santa Clause doesn’t exist
or you won’t be a famous hip hop dancer,
Broadway star,
or writer, after all
I hurled your maroon journal straightforward as hard as I could.
I hated your maroon journal; I hated your maroon sweatshirt;
I hated you.
The journal knocked down the blue glass holding the single daffodil
I’d picked for you
Earlier that morning we’d both agreed the contrast of the royal blue
and lush yellow was just right
We'd looked at each other, happy with our masterpiece, in love.
Now I wanted to take the daffodil back
I wanted to burn your journals and smash your bongs
Suddenly I hated that you had the money to live in the East village and I had
to live in condemned apartments in Brooklyn with broken toilets.
I never told you about my insufficient funds.
You never told me you thought I was ugly.
I put on your maroon sweatshirt with the hood over my head and left
I walked around alphabet city with headphones on listening to Blood on
the Tracks.
No one would bum me a cigarette because I was ugly
I climbed the stairs back into your 9th street apartment
Defeated, depressed
Thinking about how cigarettes make you uglier, anyway.
Your cat with the ear infection, Moochie LaRue, had vomited on the
checkered floor
I had this idea of smashing the hard-boiled eggs into it with my Doc
Marten and creating a vomit egg salad.
Then smearing it onto the keys of your typewriter
and onto your maroon moleskin.
But I cleaned it up because I loved you.
I slept sad in your bed without you.
I woke up to a rainstorm.
Stole some quarters off of your dresser to get a coffee across the street.
The barista gave me bad service because I am ugly.
I sat on your stairs drinking coffee listening to Blood on the Tracks.
I was trying to look pretty during my pity party.
The next morning I left for Berlin.
It was in Berlin two months later
While I was staring out a window eating a banana
After sleeping on the floor dreaming of your voice
remembering how you used to tell me to peel them from the bottom like
monkeys do
that I realized:
I was so angry that you thought I was ugly,
that I forgot to concern myself,
with you not being happy.
And I wondered how you were doing.
And if you decided to go on meds or not.

So Fucking Smart by Suzy Devere

i make an excuse and beg a little


can i have just a minute sweetheart?

push the top of my tongue to the back of my mouth
pretending to suck on a candy simply
so i can keep myself from shouting
deeply disturbing observations about
your borderline personality
that you will never
(i promise you, ever)
get over if they happen to leave my mouth



like a fifties wife i squeek

"sweetheart, i understand"

and i know i'm keeping the knife that is my tongue
sharp in the drawer of my mouth for one more night
and i count how many ways i am a failure
for not leaving you
or telling you
i am smarter than i act

but maybe i'm not that smart
because i can't give up the
game even though i'm losing

what's that they say about Einstein?
if he's so fucking smart
why is he so fucking

Back Into It by Damion Hamilton

This man had been a monk for years
And came back into the civilized streets
His beard was down to his knees
His eyes were wild,
His clothes very worn
And he smelled very bad
And he staggered as he walked
But he went off into the woods to think during
Those years, but he became curious about everyone
So he went back into it
When he approached the city, he was in
A stupor, with all the cars, and the people and the noise
And the smells which came from the city,
He remembered cars before he went away,
But when he came back—the cars seemed strange and
Dangerous to him
Then he noticed the clothes people were wearing,
And it all seemed so strange, and the hair styles,
He was startled, by how alike everyone seemed,
For when he was in the jungle, he had time to style
His own hair, and make his own clothes
The faces of the people seemed nervous and anxious
And cruel, and the way the building were made
Seemed horrible, like a womb upon the earth
The people moved fast, and the cars moved fast, or
If they were not moving fast, the faces and the bodies
Seemed lost, or out of place, and crippled
He remembered those days, were he would stare
At his thumb or foot, for hours,
And the thoughts and feelings this awakened in him
He saw the people moving, and one could see that they
Did not have the time to think or feel, things must be done
And there was little thought or feeling from generation to
Generation, and people would only knew what their parents knew,
If they learned that much, progress didn’t seem to be very much,
To him in the city
He walked along the various streets and whenever
He saw a cluster of crowds, he saw people talking
On portable phones, he wondered what
Could everyone be talking about, probably
Nothing too deep, things moved so fast
In the city
Then a policeman approached him, and he talked
Very fast, and he saw him wandering around for hours
And asked him for his ID, but he didn’t have any,
So they put him in handcuffs, and took him to jail,
Then remembered why he left the city
He waited for hours in jail, and the wait was
Horrible, then he thought that they might
Keep him in those walls forever, and this seemed
Too grotesque to him, and he had forgotten how
To tell time, and when you can’t tell time,
What’s the difference between an hour and eternity?
So he began banging his head on the wall to kill himself,
And this is the horror of jails
When the head doctors came in, they asked him his name
And about his personal history, asked was he depressed
Or anxious, and then gave various pills, then they wanted
To know why he was away for so long, after all civilization
Is so advanced and people were living longer, and we had the
Highest standard of living, and one will never get bored with
All the entertainment that we have: the movies, television, stereos,
The Internet, cars, baseball, football games, why would anyone
Want to leave all of this?
He told them about why he left and he told them about
How when the police officer had him in the back of the car,
How when they were driving along the neighborhoods,
With all the little houses, lawns and roads, and how every
Street looked the same, and how the walls cut people off
From each other, and how the long dull tasks one had to do
For years to own them, taxes that one had to pay, the envy
Which came from one’s neighbors, the gossip, rumors of war,
Schools, work and leisure
It all seemed too much for him
He began to weep, and told them, that he just wanted to go back
In the wilderness, were he was free to do what he wanted,
And couldn’t hurt anyone, and spend his days the way he wanted
To spend them, without any obligations to fulfill
They all looked at him very solemnly: a head doctor, a policeman,
A nurse, a social worker
They knew they would have to take him to the mental ward

Two Poems by Ross Vassilev


my hatred
like a black rose
twisted round my heart

my insanity
like barbed wire
tearing at my brain

I’ve got crooked legs

I’ve got $20 in my wallet
and my driver's license

I’ve got 33 years
smeared like shit on
a blank page

I’ve got a photo
of a pair of boobs
someone e-mailed me

no face, no name

I wonder who the fuck she is?

fuck everybody

my grandfather was
an asshole
even when sober
but when he got
drunk every night
on rakia
that’s when his
demons came out:
screaming at
his bald head with
a Hitler mustache
looking like
the Devil himself
till he finally
crawled into bed
round midnight
and slept. his inner
demons wouldn’t
let him be and
I wasn’t there when
he finally croaked
so I’m just guessing
what his
dying words were.

life story by Karl Koweski

I sense Brandon working up the nerve
to ask me something
and I’m hoping it doesn’t involve
the loaning of money
it’s too early in the shift
to send him away with
an unpleasant physical reminder
of how much he all ready owes

after a good fifteen minutes
of jaw-jacking
he springs the question on me

how much would you charge me
to write the story of my life?

my eyebrows arch up into my hairline
the story of your life?
like the factual story?

yeah, man, how much would you charge
to help me write my memoir?
Brandon, you’re twenty four years old
and I’ve known you the last
two years you’ve been a factory rat
and I know for a fact
you ain’t done shit other
than smoke cigarettes
and bitch about your ex-wife
oh yeah, and you got those tattoos
which I all ready wrote about

well, before you knew me
I was a junkie for like eight months

oh shit,
you and fifty thousand other jackasses
think putting a needle in your arm
warrants a biography
let me tell you
addiction symptomizes
a lack of imagination
you need a therapist not a novelist

I’m just saying I’d hire you to write it
wouldn’t you like to make money
writing something other than smut?

that’s true, I conceded,
if I wrote about your existence
I wouldn’t have to overly concern myself
with writing about sex
so… how does three cents a word sound?


I sat down and wrote:

Brandon was born, but not very well
he seemed to stop growing
at the age of thirteen
he tried heroin but
was too pussy to keep at it
he’s never fucked a woman
who hasn’t turned around
and fucked someone else
in the same twenty four hour
time frame
he got to meet Karl Koweski

I handed Brandon the paper,
said that’ll be a buck, sixty five
I’ll just tack it on
to what you all ready owe me

american high school tour group at anne hathaway’s cottage by John Grochalski

was only
when he
this twenty-six year old
and then
left here
for london
or something
banged all kinds
of chicks
in london
for all
of these
and then
the most
or all time.

i told you
fucking cool
or something

cyber fuck by Coral Carter

infected with loneliness
she fell
into the arms
of the flesh free
no strings attached
cyber fuck

cunt shaved
clit licked
wrists strapped
nipples nipped
bottom slapped
arse whipped
and to the hilt

infected with loneliness
she fell
she fell
she fell
into the arms of the cyber fuck

as the sharks of forever swim through my cigarette smoke by Rob Plath

near the end of it all
we drove far to an aquarium
like staring at seals & penguins
might heal us somehow

we both were smoking
on the long car ride
& patsy cline came on the radio:

"two cigarettes in an ashtray
my love and i in a small cafe
then a stranger came along
& everything went wrong
now there's three cigarettes
in the ashtray..."

after singing those stinging lines
i looked over at her face
& i saw her straining to contain
the guilt

i remember we spent most
of our time at the antarctica exhibit
watching those awkward
flightless birds waddling
over plastic molded ice
behind glass & she commenting
on how sad they looked
diving into the water

& then later we gazed
at large sharks dangerously gliding
through the floor-to-ceiling tank
& she took a picture of me
in front of it which looked like
a shark was sneaking up behind
my back

the drive home was silent
she pretended to sleep it seemed
& later on when we got back
to that little apartment
we fought once again

she didn't confess about the affair
but it was under there

the argument like another jagged piece
of ice sticking out of the water
while beneath loomed the enormous
crushing truth

a week later after 4 years
we were finished
the upcoming marriage stubbed out

"i watched her take him from me
& his love is no longer my own
now they are gone, & i sit alone
& watch one cigarette burn away..."

& now i smoke alone & the sharks circle me
& even though i tell them there's no blood left
only goddamn ashes
they continue their revolutions

night is a coal by David Mclean

night is a coal that is not burning,
like anxiety somewhere else
editing letters, awaiting miracles
or death;

night is a coal between our ribs
where hearts used to be,
when it was people we were,

night is a coal still, is not burning
like a frog learning to fly,
or a memory cold as heaven's grate
inside me, a coal not burning yet

because the tender devils do not come
to tend fires in me, not since years stopped
beating, night is a coal that left me, like time,
not even a memory, where nothing burns

inside any “me,” any brutal body:
this one is so full of gruesome fluids
that it puts out fires quite easily -
a body isn't very arid territory

DEGREES by Joseph Hargraves

"A poem requires metrical form
for permanence," she said.

I said that in most current usage
the simile, end-rhyme and metrically exact verse,
were hackneyed, if not archaic.

She harrumphed,
"you will be laughed out of academia."

I told her I had ditched academics
when I dropped out of high school;
then quoted Henry Miller:
"everything taught is a lie."

She started loudly,
"you'd better be careful
not to make the mistake
self-educated writers make,
with their eccentric
literary theories.
Even the neo-formalists aren't formal enough,
they don't know an anapest from Budapest."

She was annoying me
and knew it, so continued,
"you need to go back to school
and get a Master's
or you will never be taken seriously
no matter how good your poems are.
Why do you think I got mine?
Besides, I can teach."

I smiled. She went on,
"and poetry must never be used
to attack people-
that's hatefulness, not art."

Her poems were never
as lively as her tirades-
now I knew why.

Mono by Mike Meraz

Mono was a drug dealer. I used to buy heroin from him for my girlfriend back in the late 90's. I used to call him "the good-hearted drug dealer" because every time I visited him he would ask me to stay, have some lunch, watch TV, or what not. he was lonely. he was divorced. after years of heartache I think he resigned himself to living on that boat, with his dope and his money. once in a while I would see a girl there, never liked her, or trusted her, she seemed to be using him. she was a heroin addict too.

after a few years passed, me and my girlfriend broke up and one day I got a call, "Mono's dead" she told me. "what?" I asked. "Mono's dead" she said. she told me the cops picked him up and put him away. due to his extreme addiction and dependency on heroin the time in jail was too hard. he could not handle the withdrawals. his heart stopped beating and that was it. I pictured him there in that jail cell, probably scared to death like a caught animal, completely lost in life and probably within himself. those last moments must have been dreadful.

I always had hope for Mono. thought he would finally get out of it, get cleaned up. he talked about it continually as most drug addicts do. those glimpses of humanity that he showed towards me still stay with me to this day. the offering of lunch. the "Mike, feel free to stop by anytime just to talk." those simple things that came from this hardened criminal. it was odd. like seeing light shine out of a man hole. it is funny that I still think about him to this day. there is no truth at the end of this story. no light at the end of the tunnel. just a picture of a man.

Mono, I remember you.

Goodbye by Ivan Brkaric

Sadly, she waves from the shore
as the ferry leaves.

He told her he would stay
if she only asked him to.

But she hid behind a smile,
an awkward hug
and with a single tear,
nothing was said.

hungover by Paul Harrison

in a lunch bar
flicking through the glossy mags
and eating chicken soup
i thought about how inane
and meaningless life had become
or at least
how most of everything conspired
to make it seem that way
another dress, another party
another baby, another break up
another diet, another rehab stint
and then remembered
another car bomb in baghdad
where life is cheap and meaningful
all at once
hundreds dead, hundreds more
shredded like kebab meat
and how magazines like these
or lives like mine
suddenly become
almost meaningless
sweating out the piss
eyes too dry to cry


I am content to know
that I live like any true human would live.

Food with fangs at the bend of this bullshit and dust and
dust drops off the planet once again.
Any true human would live content to know
that I am happily dusted.

And I saw your being taken away, like any true human
with fangs and food, and the planets drop off
a petrol bomb.

If I don't have pills, I feel like I have nothing.
Sometimes, I wish I were an apple.

I Just Let Him by xTx

I got choked by a 66 year old man named Dave.

Afterwards, he offered me his knees.

I declined.

Too intimate, I thought.

Heartache at the Baroque Corral by Paul Hellweg

I went to a poetry reading
at Beyond Baroque,
and it was
babe paradise,
I mean,
I never saw
a gathering
and to think,
male poets
are often thought
gay ...

fuck that.

in the hallway after taking a piss by Justin Hyde

three large portraits
hang on the wall
like sentinels.

they're my age

all three
in crisp
police uniforms:

dump trucks
for jaws

pale blue

gut me
like a deer
if they knew
what i was
up to.

get your
tight little but
back in here,
gloria calls
from the bedroom.

yes mam,
i say
& salute
& apologize
for what i'm
about to do
to their mother
for the
third time

Former English Lit Teacher Now A Talking Bartender by Doug Draime

Byron, Keats and
Shelly were the
only ones
he thought worth
in the general scheme
of things,
the world being what
it was:
a pragmatic place
but not without a little
or the need for it.
And those
romantics were
the revolutionaries
of their times.
What can you say about the ones today,
he wanted to know.
Faggy college boys, or ugly misfits
drinking themselves
to death.
Byron looked like Elvis,
for Christ sake, he had charisma,
they all three did.
It was exciting to be in their
They were all cocksmen, lady
killers, society’s dissidents. The boys parents warned
their daughters about in the 1800’s.
They were dangerous
Where’s the charisma, the excitement, where is
the danger
with the modern bunch,
he wanted to know,
as he sat another bottle of beer in front of me.
I had to just smile and shrug, feeling a little uncomfortable
and wishing
I’d not mentioned
I wrote poems.

boobie-trapped by Steve Calamars


he pistol-whipped
and dick-slapped
his way to freedom

she tried to
counter with
cock-blocks and
body shots

she even resorted
to head-games and

like brain-wash
and deep-throat

but nothing
proved successful

he still managed
to liberate himself

finding safety with
a redbone with
plenty of junk in
her trunk

who nursed him
back to health with
cream-pies and
pink tacos—

DIRECT DEBIT by Ford Dagenham

sleeping on my sofa this afternoon
is a girl
who used to sleep in my bed.

she’s unburdened herself
talking about
her new man.

none of it was good news

and now
she naps.

soon she will drive away
to her real life
and I will become
lonely and afraid.

I will question
Joel on the telephone
about a tri-monthly
£7.79 direct debit
I cannot place.

and later when the news headlines
start to roll
I will feel
a horrible reassurance.

Last Days of the Cross by Joseph Ridgwell

(excerpt from his novel available at Grievous Jones Press)

I walked along Roslyn Street and up into the main drag. There were two supermarkets nearby, Riteway and Coles. Coles was the larger food emporium but its prices were notably higher than Riteway.

As I stood on the corner of Roslyn and Darlinghurst trying to make up my mind which one to go to, impatient shoppers barged past, forcing me out of the way. And then I saw her. I saw her for the very first time. Rosie. Although back then, I didn’t know her name. She was a face in the crowd but not just any face. No, she stood out like a shimmering vision and everyone and everything became part of a blurred, grainy backdrop as soon as she hove into view.

She was a young Aboriginal girl with long legs and mad hair, dressed like a hooker - tight mini-skirt, torn fishnet stockings and a low cut tee-shirt. She was walking fast, pushing people out of the way, like she was on a mission. I decided to follow her. I don’t know why - it was just an impulse - an overwhelming urge. I crossed to the other side of the road and ran along the main drag. I wanted to see her face again, just to check I wasn’t imagining things.

Soon I was well ahead. I stopped outside a strip-club and struck a casual pose. Within seconds the strange girl was in sight and no, I hadn’t been imagining things. She was the most stunning girl I’d ever seen; not classically beautiful but oddly beautiful, quirky. She had blonde highlights in her crazy hair and was sporting an over-sized plastic necklace around her scrawny but elegant neck. Her skin was honey coloured and her eyes were blue. It was the eyes that did it. They were so brightly blue. Almost unnatural. I took a deep breath. Within seconds she had swept past me but I kept an eye on her until she disappeared out of sight. Then I pulled a notepad from my shirt pocket and wrote down a quick description.

Another subject for my poetry, I ruminated, another muse - the teenage aboriginal smack head with the blue eyes. I could easily write a thousand poems about that one girl. Fifty on the eyes, alone!

Mixed Couple on the Morning Train by Donal Mahoney

Chicago, 2009

Because he works in an office and is white
and because she who tans anyway has just
returned from a week at the Beach,
the commuters are certain she’s not black
yet they rustle in their seats.

They want to see her hands flick.
They want to see if rivers run dark
through ivory palms.

Martin may be dead
and Obama may have won
but in Chicago this morning at dawn
a rainbow of people
still rustle in their seats.

smuggling sweat socks by Karl Koweski

I was eleven years old
first time I decided
I might be a little
too short in the pants
to interest the ladies

I remember looking down
the front of my
stone-washed jeans
and thinking
there needs to be
a much bigger bulge
happening there

with my mother
shouting at me to quit
posing in the mirror
and get ready to go
I grabbed some
balled up sweat socks
and shoved them
down my pants

I entered that goddamn mall
like the patron saint of porn stars
never has an eleven year-old
the way I swaggered that day

I didn’t have
a cent in my pocket
but I had
an oddly spherical
bulge in my pants

I almost managed
to curve my spine
in on itself
in order for my groin
to arrive at Kaybee Toys
three seconds
before the rest of me

I tipped a wink
and snap/pointed
at the counter girl
who regarded me
with befuddlement
tinged with
what I could only hope to be
sexual curiosity

surveying the action figures
I readjusted the bulge
every three seconds
perhaps the fortieth time
I handled my junk
I shifted the bulge
too far to the left
and the sweatsocks
began the slow descent
down my pant leg

“can I help you?”
the clerk asked
more suspicious than
sexually curious
as though she
intuitively grasped
that not only was
I a penile fraud
but a lowly
sneak thief as well

“model cars,” I mumbled
“where are they?”

“next aisle over”

she stood there
waiting for me
to make my move,
her eyes flickering
to the impressive bulge
at my thigh

I knew taking a step
would only increase
the socks’ rate of descent
but I saw no other

by the time
I stepped around the clerk
my knee was twice
its normal size

something about my
sweaty, furtive demeanor
prompted the clerk
to follow me to
the rack of Testor paint
at which point
my knee was fine and
my ankle had swollen

she couldn’t take her eyes
off me and I couldn’t
take my eyes off the models
as the balled up socks
popped out of my pant leg

perhaps she didn’t notice

as subtly as possible
I kicked the
incriminating evidence
away from me

the socks rolled,
stopping at the clerk’s feet

“excuse me” she said
“you dropped your socks”

“those ain’t my socks
I’m wearing mine”

I lifted up a pant leg
to show her socks
nearly identical except
for the colored stripes

“those socks were there
when I came down the aisle”
I added as I ducked
passed her and streaked
out the store into the mall
to find my mother

swagger gone forever,
convinced the clerk
was even now
conspiring to tell
my mother everything

Addition by Colin Dardis

I am doomed:
I fear I shall never collect
my bouquet of flowers from the printers;
will take two thousand milligrams of ibuprofen,
aspirin, co-codamol,
paracetamol, whatever,
for the rest of my life
measured against
a few select units of
whiskey, wine and water;
add to this the ever-upward spiral
of fun-time prescriptions
to stave off the depression.

And what can I do?
Spike my hair
and get creative with my facial fur;
drink one litre of milk a day
and fret over kidney stones;
eat the wrong foods
and lament my navel;
remember that there is
some good in the world
and that one should strive
to add to this.

Death remains
rattling in His cell
for another day, at least.

Igor flagged me by Anna Donovan

Igor flagged me
on the corner of Kelly
and Timberglen,
said something
about the creature
or was it a church?
or the creature
and a church?

I wondered
if the creature
had converted,
if the church
down the street
had high level meetings
to confirm him
in possession of a soul.

The creature
would be a money maker
in any denomination,
an occasion
for the faithful
to leave behind their
torches and pitchforks
and bring hefty donations.

Maybe the creature
is their God sent
or maybe Igor
knows something
I don't,
maybe they keep
the creature
in chains
and only air him out
on weekends
in his Sunday best.

It is a big church,
room enough
for many dungeons
in there,
and the women do
have a hungry
look about them.

A Nice Way To Spend A Saturday Night by Mike Meraz

A girl calls me up, who I met last weekend, telling me she is at a payphone on the corner
of Atlantic and Washington. She says, "you said to call you this weekend." I think to
myself, "what did I do?" Trying to be sensitive, I ask her, "can you call me later? I’m
doing something right now." She says, "I'll call you when I get to my sisters house."

It was a lonely Saturday night. I was at a 7-Eleven buying beer and a hot dog when I
noticed a girl staring at me. She was kinda cute. Latin. Big breasts. You know. I smiled.
She smiled back. It was all harmless. On our way out we crossed paths and I motioned
her over. She said she just got back from a friends house and that she was so depressed
she wanted to buy some cookie dough. I said, "what's the problem?" She said, "oh
nothing." I asked her if she wanted to go somewhere and talk about it and have coffee.
She said, "it's too late for coffee." I said, "how about some milk?" She laughed and said,
"okay." We drove over to the donut shop across the street and had some milk. We sat for
hours. Talked about our families, what kind of music we liked, etc. We actually held
hands at one point. It was nice. But I think I made a mistake. She is not as shallow as I
am. To her holding hands and talking intimately means the start of something special. To
me it means holding hands, the softness of skin, a nice way to spend a Saturday night.

Blue by Joseph Hargraves

her lover Kathy
and I are excited:
the heroin
we just bought
is rumored
to be excellent.
Kathy sits on the floor
snorting hers,
I inject Caroline
with the stuff.
Pulling a belt tight
around my arm,
I notice
Caroline's head
"She's turning blue,
we'd better call an ambulance,"
Kathy says.
I look:
I've never seen
lips that color.
I think:
"Thank God the dope's good,"
stick the needle's point
into my vein,
feel the warmth
of the drug,
the syringe.
Caroline falls off the chair.
"Give her mouth to mouth,"
I say.
"I don't know how,"
Kathy answers,
snorts another line.
I'm lucky
to be so high,
I try to remember
C.P.R. films,
place my lips
over Caroline's,
breathe into her.
It isn't working.
I pick her up,
tell Kathy
I need help.
She says,
"You're blowing my high."
I fall against
the kitchen table
knocking it over.
The body hits the floor,
I jump on the body,
pound its chest
to start the heart.
"I'm going to use
the guy-next-door's phone
to call the ambulance-
"Give her mouth to mouth,"
I holler
running out of my apartment.
I dial for help,
give the address;
walk back
across the hallway
with relief.
My apartment door
is closed.
I think
"Face it,
she's dead;"
open the door-
see Kathy sucking
Caroline's left nipple,
fingering her vagina.
The right nipple
is the bluest nipple
I've ever seen.
I think:
"This must be hell."
I back out of the room,
close the door quietly,
and open it.
Kathy looks up smiling,
"Relax honey,
she's gone."
"Fuck you,"
I shout;
opening the window
to let cold air in.
I kneel
beside Caroline, thinking,
"My best friend's dead."
I whisper in her ear,
"The police are coming,
you'd better hope you die.
They'll call your parents,
who'll be pleased to hear
their dyke daughter OD'ed
on heroin.
your parents are here,
She springs
from the floor,
tries to run through
the kitchen wall,
falls down whimpering.
"You stupid bitch,"
I scream,
"Kathy, get her out of here!"
They leave.
I cry,
run to the street,
The police
arrive before the ambulance.
I explain:
"It's okay,
she came to
and left."
The cop shakes his head,
drives off.
Caroline has more
heroin in her pocket,
I run through
the Lower East Side
to her apartment
dodging Puerto-Rican kids
in Halloween costumes.
I hear one
in a clown suit say:
"Did you see that white girl?
She's what I call stoned."
His friend,
a witch,
"They're all fucking crazy."

Why Wouldn’t You Pretend Fuck Me In Starbucks? by xTx

I’d given you the opening:
leaned back, spread my legs…
I mean, I was only asking for
a few half-hearted thrusts like
3 at most

You were all,
“The guy’s right there…” and
“…they probably have video cameras…”
(you motioned to the invisible corners of the store)

I was like,
“It would’ve only taken 3 seconds and
we could’ve forever said,
‘that was the Starbucks we pretend fucked in’
whenever we passed it, but
it’s too late now…”

You said it would’ve ended up on
YouTube or something.

You said they would’ve recognized
your bat tattoo.

“Whatever,” I said. “You used to be fun…”

Then I went outside and poured hot coffee all over my wrist so I could feel something.

Two Poems by Si Philbrook‏

nearly a love song

i woke
to "Born Slippy"
thumping up
from downstairs,
cheap Gite
in St. Malo,

couldn’t think
where she was
tossed blankets lay around
then the sound
of bacon frying,

is a pile of shit
i’ll stay with someone forever
who makes me bacon butties
the morning after.

Georgia Moon at Midnight

i am unslept
through this dusky-warm night

like blues and whisky
i hear the breath of new orleans

like softness, i ache for you,

an un-made bed,
a smile, a touch,

these are what i miss
this georgia night.

Life Is So Unfair by Maria Gornell

Between rasping breaths, she tells me life is so unfair
an oxygen tank beside her, an empty ashtray
Pills, inhalers, empty chairs.

Her frame bloated with steroids face contorted in
arthritic pain; bruised body from insulin syringes,
bluesy grey eyes lost sparkle.

She tells me life is so unfair I can only nod in
agreement; no I told you so’s adding insults to
injury that would be unfair.

She is sixty nine years watching fitter elders
climb mountains cruise around the world
while she sits and sits waiting for grim reaper
to appear.

Born in workhouse labelled bastard at birth
Catholicism forced down throat called mummy
aunt - lived between 2 homes, one poverty
stricken porn brokers delight other middle class
respectability – farce.

In evening red lights switched to service
rat a tat tat on door; the rest I’m unaware.

She mistook love for a back alley thrust
blood on his vest he whispered
‘You’ll have to marry me now’

No child of mine
labelled bastard she swore.

The beatings became worth a pay packet on Fridays
food in cupboards - worse the loneliness
she feared, the father she never knew.

Life begins at 50 she sang ‘simply the best down
a Welsh bachelors ear who showed her Sorrento
pinned flowers in her hair.

He never bought a ring when sickness/commitment
came mummy's boy ran for hills. Bitterness sets in.

She tells me life is so unfair foolishly we imagine it
will never happen to us; I sit rattled with fear losing
her feels so near yet I’m powerless to console her.

I ring my brother he’s off to watch the Derby
I tell him the news, he say’s
I hate fuckin winter.

lunch and fishnets by Puma Perl

we always take the window seat in Odessa’s
crusty kids panhandle on Avenue A, receiving
change only from those born poor, and able
to recall aging runaway children, arthritic
from frozen nights and broken bones unset,
brains addled by cheap wine and bad drugs,

his camera hangs from his neck and he eats
cold borscht, Gus the waiter screws up again
and my food comes later (don’t worry, he said,
i’ve got this – as if i were concerned), the sun
plays with old leather, and i remember why
i left, though not why i began, as we look
at photographs of bikes and tattoos, plan
another road trip, both dreaming of escape
although not with one another, it’ll be better,
he says, i’ll let you drive this time…

we walk down Clinton, i buy fishnet stockings,
he knows they’re not for him, we drop hints
of discontent with partners and liaisons,
we have taken ourselves where we go,
i still never care much and he still obsesses
about mind control and harleys, he hugs
me good-bye with one arm, the other clutches
his camera, i wander home thinking about
my new fishnet stockings, and whether
i’ll be able to get the seams perfectly straight..

On Viewing A Painting By Jackson Pollock by Mike Meraz

one of my friends

the big deal,
I could do that."

it was one of the few times
I wanted to hit

the genius of art
is the ability to make something
entirely complicated
look effortless
and natural.

you did

Last Meal by Wayne Scheer

She's going to break up with me tonight, I can feel it. That's why she wants to meet here at Linda's Cantina where we had our first date. We haven't gone back since I discovered she doesn't like Mexican food. At least I'll have a good meal when she tells me it's over. Kind of like feeding a condemned man his favorite food before frying him.

In her own way, Katie is being considerate. She knows how much I've missed the tilapia tacos they serve here. And we'll both be able to drive away in our own vehicle. A clean break. As if a break-up is ever clean.

I've been through this before. I always end up acting cold and distant, saying little more than, "If that's what you want, fine by me." I hate the way I feel inside when that happens, but what else can I do? Beg her to stay? Tell her I love her? That won't help me or her. Should I say something like, "At least we had six good months. I'm a better man for that." I probably couldn't get words like that out without rolling my eyes. I could try something macho, like "It was good while it lasted, baby." Or I could go for debonair. Kiss her hand and whisper, "Au revoir."

Yeah, right. I'd follow that by tripping over my two left feet.

The problem is I don't want to lose Katie. She's smart, funny and way more than I could hope for. When you look up the word dweeb in the dictionary you find a picture of me, but for half a year, she's seemed not to mind that I can't dance and find Will Ferrell funny.

I don't mind sitting in my office all day crunching numbers, if I know I'm meeting her for drinks and dinner afterwards, followed by a quiet night of TV and lovemaking.

A month ago, I suggested she move in with me when the lease was up at her place. Instead, she renewed it for another year. So I've been prepared for this.

Our differences became obvious when she dragged me to a Yo Yo Ma concert and I fell asleep. I tried staying awake, but cello music doesn't exactly get my toes a' tapping. I assured her I wasn't asleep, just closing my eyes to appreciate the music. Man, did she ever give me a poke when I started snoring.

There she is, looking as wonderful as ever, with her dark hair and long legs. I walk towards her. She takes my hands and pecks me on the cheek. As soon as we're shown to a table, even before the waiter takes our drinks order, she says, "Ron, we have to talk."

Instead of the beer that goes so well with the tacos, I order scotch. A double. Neat.

Texas Tornado by Barry Basden

You know, the kind of gal walks into the Dew Drop about 3 in the
afternoon, slides up to the bar in her tight jeans and peasant
blouse, orders up an icy long-neck Shiner or maybe a Corona with a
slice just to be ornery.

She tilts it back and conversation stops while the ol' boys propping
up the bar watch her swallow a goodly part of it down. Oh, the lovely
muscles of her lovely neck bouncing that cute little teething ring
necklace just above those mesmerizing breasts.

Then she sashays past the empty pool table to the jukebox in the
corner, leans over it in those jeans, studies awhile, and finally
punches up K-13, Robert Earl Keen's "High Plains Jamboree" and by the
time its sad and lonesome two-step first verse ends, she's seated in
a straight back chair at an empty table.

"Howdy, boys," she says with a smile that could melt January sleet in

And the slightly untidy bartender in her cutoff Levi's and her pale
yellow halter top with no cleavage stares hard at her. She knows
someone from a whole other league has just ruined her day.

Two Poems by xTx

Boot Camp

The girl got in
with her summer blonde hair and huge rack.
She got in.
I know that shit will be raped.
Maybe not in the hairy hands on wrists/dick tearing vaginal walls sense, but most definitely
when night comes
and they are weary of using the longest fingernail to pick the cardboard boogers from the dust lined walls of their nasal cavities and
the regimented regimenting and
all they have to look forward to are
thoughts of their face in her
summer hair
and how she must taste
down there
The raping begins
fists flying
while she sleeps
dreams of home
soothing her uniformed

Stupid Girl Shit

You are flowers in my mouth.
You are the smell of perfume on my undershirt,
crumpled soft in my hands.
I bury my face.
Every picture, I know, is everything to do with her and
it hurts
I can’t lie
Love is a stomach ache…a burned down house
where I live.
No comfortable spot on the couch.
You live in a raging forest
I watch you through a window,

Good Morning Self by H.R. McGonigal

Good morning Self, open mouth self; out come the molecules of morning, round, voluptuous. Out come the sounds of a new tongue, lips teeth tonsil parade vowel verb rainbow noun. Dove wing beats like horse hoof, a gentle canter. Blue jays screech, cackle and laugh at each other in rapid fire greetings. We all unfold aurally together. I unwrap my natural heart beat discovered and the doves coo-flutter like thin, thread pulse, something warm you might find in the forest and press against; a tree, a wrist. Tiny assorted birds wake with the dawn and their sound is like Christmas bells, their sound makes the smell of tea. They percolate. The volcano mouth of morning erupts continuously now as a gigantic plane flies invisibly above, loud, like tectonics, shifting layers of sky planet, evolution in motion. And the dainty hummingbird concurs, fluttering. The yellow brick road; teeth stained by coffee and cigarettes, leads to the wizard who lives inside.

Closing Time by Lester Allen

I can still make out the tune
of Pat Boone on the radio
doing Metallica, with a glass of JB
the nearest exit incase things got too wild.
she was a lawyer there on her balcony
and other places too, I’d imagine
and my friend had his tongue in her mouth
just moments before,
he’d say later that she was a terrible kisser
and that moments after their twining of tongues
and hours before he told me about it
he filtered his vomit through the
ivy that clung to the balustrade
of her balcony
and I went inside,
Jim and I being already quite good friends
and I feeling pretty good of things
(he always encouraged me to be at my best)
decided that, in addition to taking a piss in this strange
lawyer’s bathroom
that what I really wanted to do was to take
a nice hot bath.
so I drew the water, got
undressed and slipped in
finished the Beam
while I thumbed some pages of Heller’s
Closing Time
and thinking about the girl that I’d just met
a few hours ago
in the bar downstairs
while the bartender played backgammon
with one of the patrons and the others went
on about the Yankees,
she was making eyes with me
and talking about making wine
and I was talking to her about making poetry.
it was all very wonderful and I thought:
this one could make me forget all the women
that have ever wronged me, and still this might be true
but then her friend got sick
and she had to leave.

the water was getting cold and my fingers had started
to prune a bit. I shook myself awake and let down the water.

back outside again with my friend, the lawyer, Pat and Jim,
they, too drunk to notice my wet head, offered me more to drink.
I filled up, then excused myself from the balcony
much as before and stumbled back inside
where I found a large orange cat that belonged to the lawyer
and who looked like good conversation.
I followed him behind the couch
and fell asleep.

an idiot’s guide to death by Steve Calamars

i was a klutz
when it came
to the razor and
the noose

managing only
to knick my wrists
and give myself

the gun was
useless too
with my lazy-eye
and shaky hands

and i could
never get the
dosages right
when it came
to the pills

so i did the
only thing a
person like
me could do

i belly-flopped
from a 7th story
window onto
a buick

something soft
hitting something hard
really did the trick

like strawberries
and a cinder block-

Pastoral Reality by Joseph Hargraves

I look out my window
for solace from nature.
There is a sparrow
in a branch. It turns
its back on me and shits.

No one ever said birds
only sing; but I read
poetry and am distant
from the truth of the
pastoral. The joy of the
bird is a pathetic fallacy.

Besides it's cold out
and I would rather read
an Ode to a Sparrow
than listen to one sing
while it defecates white
slime down my window.

The Empty Vase by Jenni Fagan

(from her book "Urchin Belle" published by Blackheath Books)

The eighth floor of the tenement view
sliced in three, an' in the centre you sit
naked on a table, legs in lotus, drinking light.

Petal hair an' opal eyes, your fingers
see through, you lick their salt, saliva
scents dry air, the vase contracts, a sigh.

Black clouds settle low around the volcano
outside, crags with their jagged ancients
grumble, a flash of blue, further even than waves.

You, naked silk, drinking light orange to grey,
you're bone-thin, pretty evermore, purple petals
for hair, the empty vase, iridescent perfection.

You incite storms to gather, veins see through
as octopi, petals falling slow into the vase,
browning as the view beckons in the night.

We must follow our stupid hearts, so you sleep
quiet as night an' just as true, nestled in petals,
glass folds around your dreams, tucks you in goodnight.

The Quiet of You by Duane Kirby Jensen

I linger here,
near your body,
which has forgotten how to breathe.

Footsteps sound from floors above,
people doing the ordinary things of the living,
unaware of your contorted form.

It is 3 am. Crinkling plastic shatters silence,
morticians entombing your body for transportation.
Days of ritual and remembrance await.

Ted Berrigan and The Pulled Pork Bunch, My 'O' My by Frank Reardon

Too many have laughed while cutting
my throat.
I watched Ted Berrigan's ghost run out
the back door, he carried a sack of bone
I never really wanted to die that much.

Bullwhips cracking upon my back, hand cuffed
to the telephone pole.
I was in plain sight for the Doo wop dogs on
Main St. while being sodomized by last years
sermon on lacing up your boots,
Four are dead after getting into it.

Too many missing immigrants never knew
how to turn around and feel,
It might have been my fault as I tend to feel
like a lazy bar.

My eyes always seem to change color when
the dogs mist is in the northern hemisphere.

I am anyone to me, a perfect feeling when electricity
is away from home,
A tiny calm while the dynamite waits for the answer
deep inside my stomach.

Watching something stunning float inside my glass
of half filled anxiety,
I move with the nervous pee pee in the pants girls.
I think their brains melted, sometimes we can get
confused with the My 'O' My.

My bones are of rubber,
long and pulled,
I've watched too many atrocities on the roadside,
Ted Berrigan's bunch just tasted that pork of mine.
you just have to make no sense at all to find the correct

dirty words on clean living by Steve Calamars

Jake runs the razor over his face. The blade is dull. He knows immediately that his wife Shirley has
shaved her snatch again –
Every few months she shaves the thing and ruins Jake’s razor. She refuses to use her own razor for the
certainty of ruining it. Instead she uses Jake’s and puts it back into the medicine cabinet, thinking he
doesn’t know.
He hates it terribly when she shaves it. It feels to Jake like he’s fucking a twelve-year-old. It makes
him sick to his stomach. Shirley though, for some reason has it in her head that he likes it. So every few
months she ruins his razor and surprises him one night.
Jake finishes shaving. His face feels like it has been repeatedly slapped by a hand made of sandpaper.
There are dozens of small nicks, cuts and rash spots along his cheeks, chin and neck. Jake dabs them with
toilet paper and pats his face with aftershave. The burning is immense and Jake wipes tears from his eyes.
He rinses with mouthwash and tosses the razor in the trashcan beside the toilet. He flips off the light and
walks from the bathroom into the kitchen.
Shirley is in her lacy nightgown making eggs and bacon. Jake sits down at the kitchen table and puts on
his work boots. She walks over with a plate of food and a cup of coffee. He stands up just as she sets the
plate down.
“I don’t have time to eat this morning,” Jake says, taking the cup of coffee, “I’m gonna’ be late.” “What
am I suppose to do with this food!?” she asks. “Feed it to the dog, I can’t be late.” “Feed it to the dog, why
didn’t you say something earlier!?” Jake doesn’t say anything, he takes a sip of the coffee and picks up his
coat hanging on the back of his chair.
“What happened to your face Jake?” Shirley asks, finally noticing the cuts. “Nothing,” he says, putting
down the coffee and putting on his coat. “Something, you look like you tried to kiss a weed-whacker.”
Jake doesn’t say anything, he picks up the coffee and takes a sip.
“What happened?” Shirley asks again, “Why does your face have all those . . .” “Cause you ruined my
god-damn razor again!” Jake says cutting her off. “No I didn’t!” “Bullshit Shirley!” “I’ve never used your
razor Jake,” she says, “I have my own, why would I need yours!?” “Forget it, I gotta’ get to work,”
Jake says. “No, no you tell me, why would I need yours, why would I lie!?” Jake takes a sip from the coffee, he
looks down at her crotch and then up at her face. He doesn’t say anything.
“I have my own, I don’t need yours!” she says. Jake grabs the truck keys from the hook near the door.
“What do you want me to do with this god-damn food?” she asks. “I told you, feed it to Buddy,” he says
walking out the door. “You’re a real asshole!” she says. “I know, I know I am,” Jake nods closing the
He climbs into the truck and starts it. It warms up while he sits, watching the birds and finishing his
coffee. He tosses the empty cup onto the lawn and backs out of the driveway.
He thinks to himself, work is gonna’ be rough today. With the number of shipments he has to make
sure get off the loading docks, plus the guys giving him shit for his face, Jake briefly considers turning the
truck around. He knows if he does though, he’ll have to go back home and deal with Shirley. If they do
manage to smooth things over and make up, he’ll have to fuck her with that sickening shaved snatch.
Jake decides against it. He instead merely flips on the radio, turns up the heat in the truck and gets onto
the freeway.

a duet by Steve Calamars

hemingway played
a 12-gauge
like a trumpet

lips wrapped
around the barrel
cheeks inflated
like dizzy gillespie

he blew a solo
of buckshot and
brain-parts all over
empty white walls

times have changed
but not really that much

i now cling to a glock
instead of a shotgun

i punch the keys
of a laptop
instead of a

i too strive for
sparse prose and
poems clean as

and i routinely
squeeze the trigger
of an empty gun

perfecting my technique
and warming up
my fingers

preparing to
close my eyes
gather my will
and play a duet

vulgar as a bull fight-

Prayer for the Ragged, Torn and Confused by Colin Dardis

It's feckin' cold in Ireland, Jesus,
the dogs have nowhere to hump
all the rain puddles have mud;
where's a dog got to go
to get a clean drink these days,
with no owners to leave
out bowls of kindness or charity?

All the dogs do now is lick their balls
and wait; at least the free ones are left
alone to do so; Ganymedes, Cai Lun,
Origen and Boston Corbett moan
their loss, despite degrees of self-
infliction, lost in the kennels of
Skopsty, Heaven's Gate and Cybele.

The bitches turn their heads away,
snarling, barking, slobbering
waves of hatred flow freshly
from the River Styx: let them
keep in the dead, if only to
remind the living what lies in wait.

It's feckin' cold in Ireland, Jesus,
what with all these lifeless mutts
fouling their tongues onto the pavements,
cuckolded by their own spirits;
Leopold roams, unfulfilled
by a faithful wife, he masochistic,
she, no sadist to the end.

Thomas Chatterton: 1752-1770 by Joseph Hargraves

In a dingy room in Holborn
a teenage forger dead.
Arsenic's convulsions
stopped poetry in his head.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
November 2003, 5:30 PM:
In Days Diner because of the cold.
Drinking coffee as fog
washes the windows.

The busboy sits alone in a booth
smoking a cigarette.
Curses come from the kitchen,
the waitress refills my cup,
puts down the check.

The busboy asks an old lady
if she's finished with her plate.
I notice his English accent
and think of Chatterton:

Not as Wordsworth's "Marvelous Boy,"
but dying with vomit, not iambs,
issuing from his mouth.

The waitress tells the cook
that each year there are
less family at the tables
because each year another
member passes.

She wonders who'll die next.
The busboy blows rings of smoke.
The cook says, "The thing about death-
is that we all do it."

Then a couple comes in silently,
and I see skeletons embrace
and decide to leave my coffee
for a fresh cup in a different restaurant.

Time Is A Naked Man by David McLean

Time is naked man standing in the snow
he does not mind. he is wakeful always
and naked, memory is him naked and ice
forever on his skin.

history is standing forever cold in angry snow,
and acceptance and maturity is not minding it,
taking time where you find it, living the life
we find, Time's out of his mind

endlessly alone by Suzy Devere

heavy like bags of gold
my past drops at my feet
you feel me reach
to find you
to light your cigarette
to light the candle
by your eyes

i want you to see me

you don't look


you go

smoking the cigarette
and taking the candle

to guide your way

to the bar
where you use
the stories i've told you

to make yourself more

my plasma screams like bottle rockets by Rob Plath

I sharpen my blade
among hordes of ordinaries

I knot my noose
among harems of unhaunted

I cock my gun
among processions of puppets

I lift my drink
among droves of sober sheep

I burn my skull cover
among multitudes of masks

I fork my heart out
and pitch it, still beating
into the furnace of ennui

and phantoms shoot out
screaming like bottle rockets
across the face of the mute moon

Struck by Mathias Nelson

I am too anomalous for this small city.
I stand out like Edgar Allan Poe on opium
or Scissor Hands full of Johnny Walker,
my head a dome of dark thoughts.
These cheeks are too heavy for grins.
Moses split my hair with sticky goop
and there is a small beach ball growing in my belly,
filled with fat ancestors.
I am full of it.
I sigh, sigh
and share pockmarks with the moon.
We have been struck,
bullied by the forces that be. We,
always we.
I am not alone in this world,
just distanced.
I can feel my daughter
beneath my feet
reaching for my heart.
But here
the asteroids keep coming,
bringing no time for children.

Acetone* & H2O* by Aline Rabhany


I want to extract all my feelings
Drown them in a nail polish remover container
Place the container under the sun
And watch its content evaporate into thin air
And feel nothing about it
Just nothing


I want to extort all my dreams
Consign them in a kettle of boiling water
Stare at it for a long, long time
And watch its content evaporate into thin air
And never dream about it again
Never again

Robert, from Alcoholics Anonymous by Joseph Hargraves

every time I looked at him I wanted to
punch him in the fucking face
now here I am talking on the phone
to the son of a bitch and he’s telling me
he likes anal sex: "to get it" he’s saying
and I have a hard-on wondering if I
would do it with him or not
but I’m telling him it’s great
he stopped drinking and goes to A.A.
as if I have some fucking duty
to sober up the God-damned world
and he’s asking my advice:
should he quit his job or not
and I’m telling him "one day at a time,"
"easy does it" and my hand is in my zipper
reaching into my boxers and he’s telling me
how spiritual I am and I’m going up
and down with my right fist
holding the phone with my left
and talking about God
and he’s saying how nice I really am
how people have me wrong
how he did too and his voice
makes me harder than I already am
I say thank you with a tremor in my voice
he’s saying "it’s hard for you
to get close to people isn’t it?
and I spasm and drop the phone
and hear him saying
"you’re such a good person"
as I hang up the phone.

Footprints In The Past by Matthew Coleman

I walk the streets of the south coast of England. I pick a small stem of lavender. I hold it to
my nose and breathe in its fragrance. Its smell is so soothing, calming. It reminds me of
the two lavender bushes outside my Mother's house.

Gently I roll the flowers in my hands like I've seen my Father do so many times before.

Neither of us live there anymore. We have not lived there for a long time.

It is my Mother's house now, hers, and yet it holds the experience of most of my childhood.

Again I hold my hands to my face to breathe in the fragrance of the lavender. The small
purple flowers then fall to the floor I walk upon.

The sun is not far off from setting. It is so very warm tonight, and yet so many people are
still inside their houses. I see many of them in their living rooms, transfixed by televisions.

Many windows have been left open. Abandoned.

Warmth is so fleeting in this country, and yet so many people hide inside.

These streets hold the memories of my childhood. They still linger like smoke that will
eventually melt into the setting sun of now.

I walk on, knowing I'm gradually breaking free of many of my illusions whilst trying to shed
old habits like a skin I have long since outgrown. More than anything I want to take off all
my masks, to feel my true, naked self, and to feel no fear anymore.

But to shed these things can be so very painful.

The beach, whose footprints in the sand I'd seen earlier, are now a memory too, like so
many other things before it. But by now those footprints will be washed away, taken deep
into the sea. I should not stop to think where they could be.

I must keep walking, to keep going forward and learn to be able to leave other, newer
footprints behind me.

I must keep walking. I must keep going forward; one step at a time, one step at a time.

The Roaring Twenties by Joseph Ridgwell

(from his book "Load the Guns", published by Blackheath Books)

I don’t know why, but there were many times
In my twenties
When I was plagued by the blue blues
A strange, re-occurring black cloud of depression
That followed me around for months and years
As a good chunk of my twenties was spent in Australia
These thoughts often occurred while I pounded those sun-baked Sydney streets

Or along those rat-infested back alleys of The Cross
Kings Cross
I lived in a succession of cheap apartments
I can remember the names of the streets
Bayswater, Roslyn, Ward, Macleay, Elizabeth, Darlinghurst, Kellett, Barncleuth, ....Orwell.., ..Victoria....,
William, Hughes, McElhone
I can also recall the interior of each apartment
Peeling paint, gloomy kitchenettes, poky rooms, and rotting bathrooms
And it was always summer, black summer
Hot, dusty streets, tarmac melting in the burning sun, hissing and popping
Heat waves shimmering
I was working and drinking, drinking and working
I never wrote anything
But instead thought about writing, compiling notes, and character sketches
Convinced that one day I’d write novels, poems, and short stories
Hundreds of thousands of words, describing those end of century Kings Cross scenes
I would plot up in my apartment, drink beer, and stare at the walls
It was my roaring twenties, but often I felt dead and listless....
Everything seemed to oppress me
Work, woman, cheap wine, the day to day living
Everyone trying to outdo each other
Petty little one-upmanship’s, grubby aspirations, flawed ambition
I felt more empathy towards the street hookers, bums and alki’s
Somehow they seemed more real, open and honest

The tediousness of so-called successful lives always shocked me
The monotony and drabness most people were prepared to put up with
Just to stay one step ahead of the game
Was depressing
But there didn’t seem to be many options
People had been dealt a lame hand
By God, or Satan, or Jesus, or science, or flashing unknowns
I’d walk to the botanical gardens and sit and watch the ducks
The life of the average duck appeared preferable
To the life of the average human being
Sometimes I spot a bug walking along a window ledge
And figured I’d rather be a bug
Then I’d walk to Elizabeth Bay and peer into the gloomy depths
Of the green harbour waters
Wondering if it would be possible to just swim away
Swim away into nothingness and the blue void of the lonely night

It was my twenties, my roaring twenties
And the world ran away
And the days ran away
And the moon was false and the sun sick
And all that was left was to teeter on the cusp
Of the abyss
And smile

Two Poems by Joseph Veronneau

On the Avenue

Kansas City midwest heat in April
outside the old barbershop
the vending machine was
just for looks now
it's pressable plastic coating
cracked like the San Andreas.
Across the street
she walked leggy
one stride direct straight
after another
a Firebird passing
couldn't help himself
double horn blast
she never lost step
or turned
and flipped him the bird
his glare hung a few extra seconds
rearview checking
in case she changed her mind
I regretted being in heavy jeans
that day.
Light changed down
at the corner
she disappeared behind
a well-graffitied wall into
sweltering heat.

Seeing the Future

When the kids come through
the warehouse
we aren't just storing shipments,
they are shown
what happens
if you don't continue with school.
No one tells them this, but
a few sense it.
Some are fascinated,
driving around the lift,
placing crates into ceiling high
metallic shelves.
The constant herky jerky settling
tires screech
and a few chuckle.
A few feel potential here
that they haven't before.
If lucky, they escape it.
If not, the best they can hope
is to be able to write about it.

FEW GOOD MEN by Ford Dagenham

I attempt a soft detox
when an Irish nurse
who talks so visually
rings on my telephone

she is telling me

she uses old words

her black hair goes all the way down her small back
to her small arsehole.

I follow medical advice
fill myself with vodka
and I play N Cave
or M Ronson
on the suffering juke box
loud as a party.

silently on TV
J Nicholson
is raging with an awesome scorn
at K Bacon.

I know then
that detox can hold few delights.

The Way Things Happen by William Taylor Jr.

It is Monday morning, downtown,
I am on my way to work.

On a sidewalk corner
a woman is handcuffed,
surrounded by uniformed men

who have been granted the power
to do such things.

The woman meets my stare
with eyes of hopelessness,
despair, and empty rage.

I have been there,
I may be there again.

And you might ask
if the woman is any more guilty of anything
than the men who put her in the back
of a car to take her to some ugly place,

and I might answer
I don't know
and it wouldn't matter if I did.

Across the street
a woman in another kind of uniform
runs for a bus.

She is still half a block away
as it stops to let the people file
off and on.

Hold the bus,
the woman yells,
hold the bus.

A few people give her
blank glances
but no one holds the bus

and it pulls away
as she reaches the stop
out of breath and clutching her chest.

A man coughs and drops
a losing ticket on the ground
and that's the way things happen.

Two Poems by Suzy Devere


nothing about you is familiar
no look
no quip
no smell

the fleeting thoughts that were once
centered around making you mine
now find everything but you

there's no magic that can make this

but sartre took me through you
and your habits
explained them to me one by one
and you look foolish to me now
dumb in your security
false in your self-promotion
desperate in your little room
tired in your small life

and I'm down on my knees
giving thanks to a god I swore I'd never believe in
for delivering me
from you.


they like to ask questions
to get in there and remove memories that aren't theirs
like old shards of glass they think they can piece together
and glue to make a light bulb

but it never
lights up

it never really
illuminates anything except the fact
they're travel writers
writing about places they've never been.

No Name 2 by Zach King-Smith

When a man
sits down in
a room alone
for long enough
an iron silence
drapes over
his heart &
the walls &
the paper
blend together
in perfect

The only
sound is
that of the
cat purring
the silence
of the heart.

Storm the
Bastille &
rejoice for
you have
no name
but on


Two Poems by Rob Plath


i might see spring as a charlatan
but still i plant flowers in may
chinese lanterns & morning glories
beneath the beige chipped shingles
& the gray cracked foundation
outside my tiny apartment

i might see the sun as a giant zippo
under our flimsy flesh britches
but still i walk about & light cigarettes
& flirt w/the flames by blowing smoke
back at its towering lethal tongue

i might see silence as the only real language
but still i humbly mumble these lines
to the landscape & to any creatures
within ear shot in order to gently break
the lonely lull

the worst kind of junky

there are junkies
of all kinds

but the worst
by far
is the junky
of beauty

while the fiery sea
of agony
surrounds them
swallowing their
fellow man
they do not see
beyond their
hypodermic needle-binoculars
that focus only
upon beauty

they push the plunger
& inject
a sunset
a starry sky
a tree
a waterfall
into their eyes

& their rods & cones
quit trembling
from the fix

& their eyeballs roll
back inside their
& they sigh

overlooking the millions
of blistering, charred hands
reaching up
out of
the flames

The Lone Wolf by Karl Koweski

she’s lying against me
this anonymous woman
in this anonymous room

she touches the wolf
tattooed on my chest
and asks if I consider
myself a lone wolf

and of course the
answer is no
lone wolves are weak
disposable, incapable
I’m the alpha male
I’m the strongest
I lead the pack, baby

she nods her head
in complete understanding.
is that why you backed down
when that dude wearing
the leather jacket
knocked the beer
out of your hand
and called you a pussy?

you saw that...



"We must be careful."
"We must?"
"Yes. We must."
"But why?"
"You'll know soon enough."
"Will I?"
"Yes. You'll know."
"But how will I know?"
"When 'It' happens."
"When what happens?"
"But how will 'It' manifest itself?"
"You'll see, and you'll know, and you'll think, 'So this is 'It'. This is how 'It' manifests itself.'"
"Until then. Watch out. Be on your guard. And pray."
"There is no other way."


The trouble with death is timing. For the relatives, for the doctors, for the dying. We steady ourselves for the impact of a life ending, perched upon the precipice, waiting to jump. But it doesn't come. We are helpless here. We have no control. We are in the dark of the Waiting Room and all we have is the waiting. But we know death will come. It has to come, but still it does not come. Seconds become minutes, minutes become hours, hours become days, days become weeks and still it does not come. Months pass and still death does not come. There is only dying and more waiting. There is no end. So we try to live again. We begin to make plans. We think about a day in the future when there is hope. And that, finally, is when death comes...........~~~~~~___________.

Don't Do It, Esmerelda by Chris Malaise

You can't sing and you aren't beautiful or smart or witty, I've never heard you say a funny thing. You talk too loud and you talk too much. You play sexy with a cross-eyed, snot-nosed tongue licking out the side of your mouth like it's going for ear, voodoo doll face and you have this odor that I can't rightly compare to anything on earth and it sits in the back of my throat like mayonaise. I gag on the air that comes out of your lungs like it splits all the good air and shoots right for my life. You gang bang the simple sentiment with child-like enthusiasm, stealing everything perfect from perfection and then your blush makes everyone feel guilty for wanting you dead. You keep showing up late just when everyone is certain that you didn't hear about the occasion and then apologize for being late and play so sweet we have to all suffer in silence.

You make fashion designers drink. heavily. You make me crazy. You are always smiling and you are always laughing and you find this fucking grace to the people who are mocking you and you forgive them by going to the bathroom to cry. You make me sit next to you and I can't stop walking beside you and you walk in front of traffic without noticing traffic so that I throw myself in front of traffic and then you throw yourself in front of me who was throwing myself in front of you.

What is that you find so worthwhile about the world, silly girl? Why do you get out of bed and leave the house and call me from the false pretense with such idiotic sincerity? You have to be stupid to be happy in this world. I am so smart. I want to thorn vine my throat and jump off the crown of the earth and catch in the eyelids of the atmosphere so my neck snaps just before I lose gravity and I slip from the blue eye like a tear.

But then who would protect you? Who would remind you that they aren't laughing with you, they are laughing at you? Who would be there to tell you exactly what you are capable of and be embarrassed for you when you try to do more? How would you know that they aren't being sincere, that they don't love you and they will never love you. Without me, my love, you might not even notice that they're there.

Yes, baby, they are. And they hate us.

Don't you do it. Don't do it, Esmerelda. Don't you turn into something beautiiful right before my eyes, I want to fist fuck my funeral procession. Don't you make me smile and slip duct the black-eyed night time with some kind of fantastic foreign feeling that I can't put into words.

Don't you point out the beautiful music and the funny little bits and the wide shots of epic moments in crummy american/italian/french/Indian/Iranian apartments of simple human talking, humans like you and me. Don't you do it, don't do it, Esmerelda. The happiness of children in Egypt make giggles and nervous glance but to spite me, though it does quite excite me when you talk about it and show me the pictures and you get me everytime with your beautiful voice and your beautiful face and the way you wear those rags and got damn it all to hell, you've done it again, because you know how I hate to be negative and how it tears the peace of mind right out my mind to use the lord's name in vain and I guess I was just raised that way and I do hold on to those silly, silly supersticions and I want for there to be a happy ending and it kills me, you know it does, to end it any other way, and I'll never do that to the world.

No, I would never do that to the world. Don't you say that the world wouldn't do it to me. Don't do it, Esmerelda. I have written them, and not they, me.

Makes perfect sense.

Think I said something stupid. I didn't mean to offend. Think I must have done something foolish, yes I did it again, Esmerelda. I think I felt a little bit awkward and tried to better everything by distracting the attention of the sleeping ciritcs by dropping a stack of plates. I don't really think I write the world, I'm not really talking to a particular girl, that's a lie, I'm always talking to one particular girl, I just change your name and hide you from them like you hide yourself from me and could it be, could it be, of course, of course, it's you, stupid bitch, from the floor of this ditch in that halo of moonlight I was so right about you and would take the beating five million times over for the soft of your hot cunt upon the first slip in. Let me say that again, I would take the beating five million times over for the soft of your hot cunt upon the first slip in o' my throbbing cock with a heartbeat beating on it's own in that cyclone pussy with funnel suction, I read every word of the introduction and the author's notes and the translator's favorite quotes but I still think he wrote you all wrong and that fucker gonna ghost gaze dawn with the smoking hole in the forehead of a body, spirit gone, for every word he said about you.

Because every word he said was true.

What else am I to do?




Something green and spring and there goes the ice age.

Breathing Seems Unnecessary by Miriam Matzeder

mad about loving
much as Henry Miller was mad about loving
prostrating himself before the unsheathed beast
taking it up the ass
for women who could never love him back
but mad at love, too
mad because it looks down its nose at me
it spits in my face and tells me i’m not good enough
it cums in my mouth
and sends me on my way
the audience blessing my heart only makes it worse
i’ll never forget
the Missouri State Fair that year
a two-headed cow, one head cognizant and chewing
the other, a lynching, and slobber
i wanted to shoot the smiling merchants
the wind i used to love
now hurts my skin
there is an urge
to suffocate myself
breathing seems

gods' heads by David Mclean

and in dreams are gods with the heads of animals
and bodies of men or women or other animals,
totemic beings in which we believe
when skepticism is dressed in dreams.

they do very little but they are probably evil
and the devils do not like to mention them -
the devils are usually my friends in dreams,
they are kind, like death himself,

so dreams are where i play, in greasy
and nevertheless desolate fields, with parts
of cozy cadavers, heads and hearts, with dead
children and with my dreamless friends,

the fiends

The Crime Of Memory by Frank Reardon

It's a face I can't imagine
eating me whole like the
strong laughter of lovers
and their missing heads.

I want to let it go but I
can't it hits me like a
hammer that wishes it
had a house to build.

They've all said I was
nothing, a nobody who
amounts to cheap forms
of trash and despair, I
always tell them I'm
working on it....they just
see the pistol.

I want to be the singing
bird outside the window
I want to be the statuesque
Buddha who prays for scores
of misery but I'm me in a street
crying for desire.

I want to be the angel who gives
halo's to the holocaust and I
want to be the drunk who can
tell the world to go to hell but I'm
trapped in a obsessed need for
sensitivity and In turn I wont see
the universe with stable eyes.

I want to matter in words and
never reason, I want to see the
gutters for more than what I can
be. I want to scream like legions
stuck inside their ears but they never
hear, they always end up hating
me for wishing I was delusional.

I want to throw my arms around
walls that are not there and I want
to converse with him, her and
myself but they only want to tell
me what is wrong and what I need
to do before the old man sees right
through the age of what I am becoming.

A Calloused Heart Is Often The Result Of A Wounded Heart by Mike Meraz

I remember a time when I was feeding
the homeless in Santa Monica.
there was an old homeless lady
walking down the street with her belongings.
I pulled up next to her in my car and said,
"hey mam, would you like some food?"
she looked at me with a mean face
and said, "get the hell away from me!
don't bother me."
I drove up next to her again
and said, in a more soft, concerned,
tone of voice,
"mam, if you would like some food,
you are welcome to have a lunch."
as I said this I held a sack lunch
outside my window.
she stopped.
I started to think to myself, "oh, she is
going to take it."
but then she hesitated as to see if I was safe.
then she started to move towards the car.
slowly, but surely, she came to the car window
and took the lunch.
then, in a very meek tone,
she said,
"thank you very much."

people, for fear of being hurt,
will often put on
a cold and hard demeanor.
but as soon as they
see that it's safe to talk to us they will
let down their wall and reveal their need.
I could have driven away after the
homeless lady's first response.
but something inside me told me
she was in need of love
underneath her
tough and angry

a calloused heart is often the result
of a wounded heart.

The Old Poet by Karl Koweski

the old poet likes to relate
the story of the one and
only time he met
Charles Bukowski
following a reading engagement
at a west coast college

Buk sat at the bar
of a popular hangout
and the old poet
young at the time
but still old enough to
know better approached
Bukowski for an autograph

Bukowski signed the book
then spit in the old poet’s face

Buk went back to his beer
the old poet scurried away
to wipe the spittle off
his cheek and gloat over
his moment with the
"world’s greatest living poet"

is it any wonder
the rotten sonofabitch
felt such
contempt for poets?

A MAN AND A WORD by Suzy Devere

been listening to poets read words detached from me
rhyme schemes and

i'm a simple girl
after all these years and all i want
is a word
like a man
to yell
in no fancy way


all I want is a man
like a word
to yell


all I want
is a man
and a word

to stay

where I can
hold them
hear them
be near them


Brand America by Maria Gornell

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
~George Orwell~

44 caliber pistol
Brains splattered
Across flawed American


In Iran chanting
Death to America
Burn this new messiah.

He will come
Chanting war
20.000 troops
Will vomit
With patriotic pride.

Coffins still returning
Blood soaked flags.

Eastern Europe will riot.
England will provide
Tea, sympathy
Stiff upper lip.

Capitalism coils
Reinvented territory
There will be blood.

Sell me a product
A perfect gleaming
Substance of hope.

Black equality engraved
Packaged with precision
Eradicated of class struggle.

Call it ‘I have a dream’

Sell it on slaves
Corpses turning in graves
Sell it on
Civil rights
Women’s movement.

Sell it on Obama’s dream
Ambition taste curdled.

Call it brand Obama

‘Yes we can’

Call it democracy
financed by the elite.

The Nonpareil by James Dalrymple

According to Martin, people who talk about killing themselves never actually do it. It's just one of ten- thousand 'opinions' he's absorbed from the least credible sources. If he didn't surround himself with knuckleheads and bootlickers, someone might say, "Is that a fact? Not once?" or even "how the hell would you know?" Instead everyone in the vicinity nods thoughtfully as if his statement was based on years of personal research. "Look at what happened with John," he adds, referring to the time it took half the Carver Police Department six hours to coax our brother off the ledge of the South Street railway bridge. "The whole town was watching and he just fucking stood there." As far as Martin's concerned, John's gutlessness vindicates everything he's ever said on the subject. "Don't talk: jump. Otherwise people are just going to be embarrassed for you! How do you deal with someone who's been led off a bridge by the fucking hand?" From Martin's expression, no-one can help but reach the conclusion that John let everyone down very badly. Ten years on, he still feels the humiliation as if it was his own. He can't help bringing it up. It either doesn't occur to him that the topic makes people uncomfortable or, more likely, he doesn't care. Looking at the way he chews on his lip when he talks about it, I'm reminded of Dad. It makes me think of the Sean Milligan fight. In my mind's eye, I can still see the old man, pounding on the canvas from the side of the ring, shouting, "Get up!" while John, eyes clear but fearful, settles on one knee and stares disconsolately at the canvas. "Get up!" shouts Dad as the referee's count drags inexorably toward its conclusion. John doesn't even look at him. Twenty years on, a couple of drunks passed the time by pelting him with empty beer cans and cigarette ends from an apartment balcony overlooking the South Street bridge. "Just fucking jump and get it over with," they shouted. John didn't so much at glance at them, not even when a can hit the back of his head. The next week one of the drunks was thrown off the same balcony. Martin might have agreed with the sentiment, but it certainly wasn't theirs to express.

There's etiquette for dealing with unsuccessful suicides. You have to jolly them along a bit, make them feel good about themselves without going over the top about it. Anyone who's been in the situation will know what I'm talking about. However embarrassing you might find it, you have to act as if talking to them is the most natural thing in the world. Don't skirt the topic of their death wish, just get it out of the way and move on to something else. Whatever you do, don't get emotional about it, just treat it like any other topic of conversation. The first time I visited John in hospital, I couldn't think straight: I ended up blurting out that he was my hero. This was definitely a mistake, I just couldn't think of anything else to say. We both knew it was a lie. "People shouldn't have heroes," John chided. "Not at your age at any rate." Despite everything, it irritated me that I was being lectured by someone who'd only recently made such an ass of himself, particularly when I was just trying to be kind. That's just John's way, though. He can't help pontificating. I resisted the temptation to admit that I had been lying and that I'd always thought that he was kind of a joke. "You're probably right," I conceded. "But everyone needs someone to look up to. I've always looked up to you." I've never been a good liar. On this occasion, I could feel myself reddening to an extent that I excused myself and went to the washroom. It was such obvious bullshit that I was angry with myself for saying it and irritated with John for making me feel that I ought to.

Martin, who actually had idolised John, didn't even visit him. As far as he was concerned, the entire exhibition was a sham. "Why does everyone keep talking about a suicide attempt? He didn't try and kill himself," he said. "What was stopping him? He only had to take one step forward. I'm telling you, if no-one had called the cops, he'd have sulked there for five minutes feeling like a fucking martyr and then he'd have climbed back over the railing." With hindsight, he was probably right. John's always enacted these private dramas. He's never really needed much of an audience. God alone knows what fantasies unravel in the theater of his imagination. For all I know, perching on the ledge of the South Street Bridge might have been a secret ritual indulged for years without interference. On this occasion, unfortunately, someone called the cops. To make matters worse, Ryan Derrick of the Gazette got a hold of the story. I'm not sure how, but I suspect Dad called him. Three days later the banner headline 'Tragic John's Suicide Bid' was all over Carver.


Deafening the agitated goals we lose our lives over,
A second language
Rains your pair collecting my veins.
I'm released from worldly concerns, I'm released
Ahead of earthly burns.
People, your plot experiments
All the day long in seclusion, and it moans
Lazily down a river contrasted with nerves.
The trees hugging awkward curbsides
Recede through latex scarcely true subject.
And the brains
Precede the presence of a sage to avoid,
Irrelevant and carnal
As are these vile rays in the average wire
Foretelling of straw waterfalls
And kerosene lynched from my old friends
Gone the cola price
Arid on a spontaneous foreskin.

Thoughts from the Pond by Jarlid Shadows

As a sickly child
I saw great things
when others could not
I was at home in the woods
where I built tunnels
dug holes
stored precious childhood treasures
hiding from the realities
that were so harsh.
I spent my time
carving masks
creating illusions
that would follow me
through my teens.
The strange long haired kid
with glassy eyes
that revealed nothing
of the pain shackled to his ankles;
the bell bottomed freak
passing through others lives.
Then hell came to visit
and once again realities split
splitting me as well.
So don't ask what reality is
for there is only a comparison
of that around us
and I have my own.


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