Two Poems by Gary Beck

The Nature of Cities II

The city of excess
produces waste,
pollutes the landscape,
poisons the waters, the air,
deludes us from awareness,
distracts us from action
diverts us with culture,
until sated citizens
perish from enrichment.

Images of Despair

War veterans
with artificial limbs
waiting in line
at a soup kitchen.

A homeless child
with running nose,
diseased eyes,
tattered jacket,
begging for change
on a winter street.

A bag lady
with filthy grey hair,
bedecked in rags,
rummaging in the trash can
for the evening repast.

London, Paris, Rome,
ancient cities,
these sights we expect,
but approved misery
is a painful surprise
in New York City.

Pussy and Wine by Maria Gornell

I read you last night – nodded throughout
in that assimilation of resonance.

I still drank (the wine) tonight
barely concerned by inches of cock
or trips to ‘hit that’

Honestly? There isn’t one man within
a 100 mile radius I would bother
dropping by reserve for.

But the wine do make me open
laid bare emotion – hungering
for an intimacy I crave with
every fibre of my being.

I don’t do the date lines
webcams or chat shit
it all feels too, souless

But sometimes I have been known
to send a message in haste

Expose my vulnerability
tell all the world that I am
lying here pathetic
woman, pussy wet
without a hope in hell

It will be satisfied.

And so I scream to the moon
to every man (god) in sight

This cunt is not dead yet.

The Blues by LD Wilkinson

so hard living
in suburbia
where tranquillity
comes out
of the trees
and out
of the birds
and the hosepipes
and dribbles
down the street
under ice-cream vans
and into
clean gutters
where even the shit
shines like diamonds

so hard listening
to my neighbour
telling me
you’ve really got to
get rid of that clover

pointing at the stuff
as if clover
is the new black

so I walk
into the city
and find
the smallest darkest
loudest pub
and buy the most
overpriced whisky
and sit
and tap my foot
to the blues
and wonder
what the hell
I’m going to do
about the clover

Me, William Wantling and a Police Cell by Joseph Ridgwell

When the cell door slammed shut
I was remarkably sober
I’d been through the same situation many times
A night in the cells was unpleasant, but not unendurable
It hadn’t happened in a while though
My girl called the cops after I’d threatened to break her legs
And half-strength strangled her in the bathtub
Mind you she’d tried to rip my balls off
So in the circumstances
I figured it was a reasonable reaction
Once inside the station
It was the same old scene
Fingerprints, mug shot, DNA swab
I followed instructions in muted fashion
Having a bit of trouble with the thumb print,
Turning the wrong way and shit
My belongings were placed into a sealed bag
Belt and shoelaces included
But somehow the cops missed a copy of William Wantling’s
The Fix
Stuck under my arm
And when the heavy door cell slammed shut
It was still stuck under my arm
I glanced around the barren box and reflected on things
It was 3.30AM, the cell was cold, and I was aching all over
But at least I had Wantling
A minor victory in a night gone wrong
I stretched out on the hard bed, flicked open the book, and read a poem at random

……Dreams are cages within which we observe the cages without…………

In the cell next door
Some freak banging his head against the wall
And a disembodied voice
Screaming the incarcerated scream
It was a little unsettling, and distracted from the Wantling
Eventually I put the book down
Fished through my pockets
Found a five pence piece
Carved the name Annie
On that cell door
And waited for the unforgiving dawn

Soul-Mate by Justin Hyde

steve tells me
he finally got
been looking at
big titties
all day long
but what he really wants
is a soul-mate.

i tell him
he should
put a profile
on one of those
dating sites.

tried i
tried but
you need email
ain't got
no clue
how the hell
you get email,
he says
banging his left hand
on the bar

it's cramped up
into a
claw again

something about
lead poisoning
he got
twenty years ago
in a
sardine factory.

i get a pen
from the bartender
write on it.

it's simple
i tell him.

now i'm
cooking with
he says
leaving me
a handful of drink tickets
video poker.

it never ends

this lifetime

a hole.

DISCONNECTED #7 by Gillian Prew

The asphyxia of this enemy,
this petrified trouble,
knocking for medicine in the exiled crevices –
the mourning ducts and their art tearing
at the science of discomfort. It is futile,

these lost lungs,
compressed by apprehensive bars -
with the volition of a bird,
the rage of incarcerated madmen.

It is wrong to wrench the poetry from them
when it leaks already
a subjugated storm. I

use my heart as a cudgel,
accessing the criminal in the bone. These small deaths
enough to make me lay down my life
and wish to be a poet;

a dedicated lover
that bears no witness to ego, that sloughs
the skin like a sacrifice, that sheds the dry despair
of streets filled with throes of juddering fish.

BECAUSE WE BREATHE by Stephanie Smith

We must submit

We must get up
to the morning rush,
get dressed,
and wash the faces
we reluctantly wear each day,
succumb to the loneliness
awaiting us,
which strangles us
so we can’t speak
how we really feel,
but only put on heirs

We must work each day
at a job we loathe,
come home to the family
we’re forced to love,
retreat into dreams that tease
and repeat

all because we breathe


About Me

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