Three Poems by Mather Schneider


shin splints and a
pimple inside my nostril
way inside where it’s dark and hard to reach
impossible to pop
I just keep touching outside of it
and checking the mirror like a
demented chicken

another job lost
like a lottery ticket in the wash
another job lost
like a dollar bill in a sandstorm

this going against the grain
1/3rd laziness
1/3rd  disbelief
1/3rd incompetence
this going against the grain
like a surfer

dreaming of the rocks.


I’ve eaten my beef stew
and popped my vitamin complex
I’ve slept my 8 hours
on a firm but
not too firm mattress

I did the laundry
and had a bath
and thoroughly toweled all parts.
I’ve cleaned the apartment
and I’ve sat sober

thinking of the next workday
thinking of the next dollar
thinking of how
to be a good citizen.

I’ve scrubbed the oven
and jogged 3 and one half miles
and made the bed
and resisted masturbation.

I should be feeling
better by


I used to walk down to the corner
on Sunday mornings
to use the pay phone
to call my mom.

One morning I went and
the phone had been removed.
I didn’t know why and didn’t
know who to ask, so I just walked
down to the Chevron gas station
and used the pay phone there.

This was fine for a few weeks.
But today I walked down and discovered
the phone by Chevron had
been ripped out too.
There was nothing left but the cement base
swept clean with a broom.
So now
I have to hoof it
all the way to McDonald’s
to use the phone outside
the thoroughfare of their front door.

I suppose when they rip that one out I’ll
move on down
to Fry’s
then to that Circle K on Broadmont
and from there I’ll have
to see.

Mom can’t live forever,
can she?

Two Poems by Kevin Ridgeway

The Kid

The kid is maybe
thirteen years old,
raking the leaves
and dirt
of a small lawn
adjacent to
the bus stop
I’m sitting at

He sweats
while I sip
from a plastic
water bottle
full of wine,
and he curses
as I fumble for
my disabled

His father
at him
in Spanish
while I
in gibberish

I’m twenty five years
dressed in fly-bitten
and kissed
by the darkness
of my flophouse

this kid
is royalty
compared to me.

The Two Poets

I saw a well known-poet,
and I approached him
to introduce myself
and tell him I
admired his work

another well-known poet
who knew the well-known poet
I was talking to
rounded the corner
and the two men
greeted each other
this other poet looked at me,
who’s this?

I told him my name,
and his three name nom de plume
shattered my parent’s
meager baby book choices
like glass

as they walked away
from me,
a bird took a shit
on my notebook
of recent poems

Tethered by Melanie Browne

One day after
Valentine's Day
I surf the net for
conspiracy theories
like any good American.
I read about
Illuminati handshakes
so I know who they are,
I think about how cold
society has become,
I read zen books
and occasionally the bible
hoping to figure out
how to withstand
this permanent goose flesh,
how to tackle this inertia,
I think of us,
all tethered astronauts,
just one flimsy string
away from the final

Two Poems by H. L. Nelson

Mutinous Me

I’m going to explode one day,
I just know it.
Not an angry exploding
with limbs flailing
at the nearestperson,
due to something they said
or did.
I’m no Hulk
with super smashing skills.
You should not be afraid.
My explosion will begin
with a quiet surging
of skin.
Emotions suppressed
will jostle up
and jettison their way
out of my body
on tiny cell ships,
destined for less destitute,
more perfect planets.
My fingernails and cuticles
will fly off,
like boosters and external tanks,
not needed
for the trip.
My fingertips will
become small space pods
that rocket my mutinying
feelings far away.

One Week Late

I pee on the stick,
a zygotal divining rod,
and wait.
I wonder how many women
have done the same
and hoped for a different outcome,
translating the configurations
of pink lines into something positive
for their lives.
Hopes and dreams
not once considered
that hot night,
hips raised,
a larger stick between their thighs.


About Me

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