AUGUST 2008

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Narok
By Brady Hammes, Jun 09, 2008

But still, I think, there are many animals, bears for example, that don’t live in this town, yet these people have no interest in travelling to where they live. They have no interest in bears. These people can think of one thousand things they would rather have than a trip to look at bears. In fact, they’ve written them down. They’ve made a list
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fruit red and bruise black
By J.A. Tyler, Jun 26, 2008

He drinks it all. He sucks the muddied bottom. He finds a shell casing in its end. And he drinks the mud and water from it. Strains it. Drains it. The metal tastes. The rim cuts his tongue. Sharp and critical. The pus will move now. More territory to be conquered
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Large Square Canvas No. 3
By Kim Frieders, Jul 28, 2008

A Review of Wilson’s Blankety Blank: A Memoir of Vulgaria (2008)
By Jason Jordan, Jul 08, 2008

With several books to his name already, Bizarro author D. Harlan Wilson returns via Blankety Blank: A Memoir of Vulgaria (Raw Dog Screaming Press, 2008). Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, protagonist Rutger Van Trout (paging Dr. Vonnegut) begins transforming his cookie cutter suburban home into a farm while an outspoken serial killer known only as Mr. Blankety Blank ravages the neighborhood. As a result of said book’s outlandish nature, predictability is mostly left by the wayside since there’s little room to make conjectures about what’s going to happen next aside from habits (Van Trout will continue to renovate his house, Mr. Blankety Blank will continue killing, etc.), which is mostly a positive characteristic. Conversely, Blankety Blank contains a
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Witness
By Carla Criscuolo, Apr 30, 2008

The night she wore
that small stuffed toy llama
on her head to dinner,
front legs framing her face,
muzzle flopped forward
kissing her hairline,
an embarrassed friend asked
“Why?” She said,
“Because I want to.”
In those words I heard
the sound of a spark
jumping from the fire place
to the Persian rug,
of water boiling over
the side of a kettle,
the last Redbird subway
car pulling out of Flushing.
I wanted to be her,
all kinetic and unfettered.

I cannot imagine her
in bridal white, marching
down an aisle of mahogany
pews that end with
“Because I want to”
becoming
“Do you think we should?”
That day, I will stand
front and center
in a throng of bustling
girls aching for union.
When she tosses
life in the singular over
her shoulder, I will reach,
hoping the bouquet that
lands in my palm is still
warm from her grip.

After His Suicide
By Carla Criscuolo, Apr 30, 2008

for Kirk N.

I

There is something delicate in the way
others speak to me now. Hesitant
in their choice of words, a cavernous fear
rolling beneath, as though sound itself
can cause death.

II

Wishing to touch
your motionless wax lips,
I am cold with the memory
of your tongue in my ear.

III

I find myself talking to bookshelves,
telling each spine of your ability
to converse with any person in any language,
of the endless smile that pulled my lips
every time you opened yours. I hope for
osmosis, to see my words absorbed by
creamy pages written by famous authors
so others can flip through them and know
you were here.

Carla Criscuolo was born and raised in Manhattan and claims the experience has spoiled her so badly she is not fit to live anywhere else. Her poetry has appeared in The Orange Room Review and is forthcoming in The Blue Jew Yorker. She works at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY.

MORNING IS NOT KIND
By Wayne Mason, May 03, 2008

before the sunrise
frailty of life hiding
in shadows and cracks
the only thing visible
is headlights slicing
through the darkness

Phantom drivers pressing
steel toes to accelerators
whirring past yellow lights
and lamp posts like giant
candles melting to the ground

In the distance smoke stacks
burp plumes of smoke
made from bone
flesh, hair, and teeth
sacrifices for
the industrial machine

Just another morning
racing with the dead

Wayne Mason is a writer and factory worker from central Florida. When he grows up he wants to be Kannon. His work has been published throughout the small press and he is the author of three chapbooks.You can visit him at his website.

a poem about faith and tomorrow
By David LaBounty, May 03, 2008

the letter said
the power
would be
shut off
tomorrow
but tomorrow
has no
bearing on
tonight as
the TV is
still on
and the
beer is
still cold
and your
sons play
peacefully
at your feet
and you tilt
not one but
three beers
back and
think about
something
Jesus said,
something
about tomorrow,
how tomorrow will always take care of itself.

David LaBounty lives in suburban Detroit with his wife and two young sons. His poems have appeared in several print and online journals and he has two novels under his belt, The Perfect Revolution and The Trinity, both barely read but out there just the same.

Waiting for Happy Pills in my Truck
By Dan Provost, Apr 15, 2008

I am clouded...alone in a maze of
disengaged actors who portray life
in shopping malls, liquor stores and
college campuses.

Role Play: “Hello”...“How are you?”
“How was your Thanksgiving?”
“Well”...says the sad speaker, “I had an
imaginary gun to my head and pondered
the meaning of life.”

“Oh, bye...”

And lyrics are sung by obnoxious pop-stars
Rappers brag about their fuck technique.

I await my Klonipin...parked in front of a typical New England stream,

Leaves scattered along the shore...assuring all life’s patrons that the fall season
is quickly coming to a close...

And tears well up...
Always well up...
With thoughts of approaching old age and lonely death.

Winter’s pardon of life is secured...

Dan Provost’s poetry is harsh and crude. Some like it while others hate it. He lives alone in Worcester, Massachusetts, and loves Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Pink
By Anthony Liccione, May 02, 2008

I don’t think pink
looks natural on a guy,
but I do think pink
looks casual on a gay

with that said, red
shares a whole different
story,

to see a straight man
with blood on his hands

a pink rose withering low
in his back pocket.

Anthony Liccione lives in Texas, but his heart resides in NY. He enjoys reading the likes of underground poets as John Grey, Corey Mesler, John Sweet, Justin Hyde, Rob Plath, and Karl Koweski.


Listed at Duotrope's Digest




the minotaur remembers
By John Sweet, May 05, 2008

like crows perched on the
blind eyes of streetlights in the
yellowgrey haze of summer afternoons

like fever

was lucid there

was running through a maze of vision
and i cast no shadow

moved slowly between your open legs and
what it felt like was christianity
reinvented

like shiva ascending

and i taught myself
the names of all the saints

opened my eyes against the ceiling
and then straight up through

found the sky above the ocean

found the wound where
i’d left it

drank as much of the
poison as i could

with halos of blood
By John Sweet, May 05, 2008

in the cold wind/bright sunlight,
driving west w/ the smell of bleach or
the smell of gasoline

houses w/ their windows boarded up

trailers thick w/ rust

followed the river for a hundred miles,
the sound of god’s voice cutting
through the static on the radio,
of lennon’s, of jagger’s
and every flag we passed was faded

every child was filthy

was starving

and we offered them bones and we
offered them flesh and we offered them
meth, and we knew that patience was
the important thing

we knew that every beggar has a price
because we’d paid attention to
our parents, you see

had hidden in closets and
behind couches

had offered forgiveness even when
the bloodstained hands
refused to let us up

John Sweet, b. 1968, single father of two. Believer in writing as catharsis. Opposed to a great many things, including organized religion and all formal schools of poetry. Collections include Human Cathedrals and the insanely obscure Ash Wilderness. He exists mainly on Pepsi, mexican food and the blood of unicorns.

It’s the Coldest Day of the Year
By James Babbs, May 16, 2008

it’s the coldest day of
the year and
I have to get up and
go to work after
she told me last night
she doesn’t want to
see me anymore and
I’m trying to
eat my breakfast but
it doesn’t have any flavor
I’m looking out the window
hoping to find some answers but
I just keep seeing
the same barren field and
all the trees without leaves
the emptiness in my stomach and
something lodged in my throat
that I can’t get out

James Babbs still lives and dies a little each day in the same small town where he grew up. He works for the government but doesn’t like to talk about it. He likes getting drunk and writing and sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference because both of them can be very intoxicating. Some recent poems have appeared in Abbey, Barbaric Yawp, Free Verse, Indite Circle, Main Street Rag, and Zygote in My Coffee.

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