Andrew Lander, May 5, 2007
I had no choice. I was desperate to keep my job.
Being one of two poetry reviewers for Poetry These Days wasnít easy. I was put on. Because the editors had tried their luck once, they knew they could get away with it time and time again. They would send out a couple of books in the post and would expect reviews of a few hundred words apiece before the week was out, and there was always the perfunctory note: ĎIím sorry itís a rush, but I know you can do it,í sort of apology attached by way of a post-it...(more)
Tremendous Power of Concentration
Part Two of Four
Mike Smith, Sept 4, 2007
We stopped at a Maryland rest stop and I noticed some cool graffiti on a stall wall. "SM + MC married 01/31/04" inside a crude drawing of a heart. Beside that, someone wrote, "Crossdresser needs hot cock tip!" I drew an arrow connecting the two... (more)
Jan 8, 2007
A Review of Vlautin's The Motel Life (2006)
Oct 1, 2007
The Motel Life (Harper Perennial, 2006) is writer/musician (or is it musician/writer?) Willy Vlautinís first foray into novel writing, and the result is solid yet underwhelming. Itís important to note, however, that this first appeared in the U.K. in 1999, courtesy of Faber and Faber Limited, so the Harper Perennial edition is actually the U.S. copy, which comes with bonus features that shed light on the author, story, and artwork.
Needless to say, no matter which edition you read, the story remains the same: Nevadan brothers Frank and Jerry Lee Flannigan find themselves on the run after Jerry Lee hits and kills a kid. Rather than face charges, the implicated two decide to skip town. After that, their trip becomes a routine of drinking, driving, and reminiscing. Since the police fail to connect the dots, though, Frank and Jerry Lee arenít pursued as they figured they would be, so returning to Reno becomes the inevitable... (more)
Apr 5, 2007
The warm heat of the afternoon
Sun slips into sheets of cloudy shadows
I lie under the rays of summer
My legs fornicating
With each other in the sticky sunset.
I stare across the edge of the lakesí bank
Across the water,
His form squeezed into his khaki shorts
from the previous year
An inch too tight from the all night
Celebrations of irresponsible youth
Lying beside me,
his musky scent of sweat, water, and alcohol
unlocks familiar memories
of infatuated evenings
my tiny sunburned fingers
held captive in his grasp
memories keep us together
reliving the past in the present
like the stagnant water of the lake
wishing for a stream connecting
to the ocean.
Where was he?
Janie Hofmann, Apr 18, 2007
He had a waifish grin
ate like a sumo wrestler
wandered about the house
at night, watched reruns
of My Three Sons
until 3:00 am
and had a really dumb
dog named Skull.
But then there was
that romantic way
he had of twisting
my hair and flicking
off the tops of milk
bottles. At night
we would swivel
and gyrate in the greasy
kitchen with its flickering
light and broken window
a deck of tarot cards
on the table, dry dog food
scattered over the linoleum
like marbles. Hell, yes
we heard the crickets
outside and the cypresses
rustle in the humid
breeze, and of course
we were unafraid.
Janie lives and writes in Vancouver and has had more jobs than she can remember. She has had poems published in Elimae, Southern Hum and Sein und Werden.
Trick or Treat
Feb 8, 2007
there is a prayer scrawled on rice paper
in the bottom of a bowl that sits
on the lighted porch of a house
whose residents take themselves and the devil
we have no use for their prayers
we have come in robes and bed sheets
and plastic masks with hungry mouths
and a demonic lust for jawbreakers
although I may have seen the Virgin Mary
or Jesus in the blood of the eggs
we sacrificed on the altar
of their front door
Amber Decker is a mammal who resides primarily in Appalachia, specifically
West Virginia. Her diet consists mainly of nuts and berries, and she mates
during the rainy season. She is also the author of a book of poems, Sweet
The Animistic Search for Love
Jun 6, 2007
stole my degree, escaped into the razed wilderness of Philadelphia,
a pagan with no fire to dance to.
Twenty-two, starving, scavenging for food
I wrapped myself in a Bulova watch and sateen shirts
To hide my furry wrists
I prowled the techno-clubs and poetry readings for one she to shout with.
Temple degree and a job teaching night school.
A vampire asleep in the day.
We held hands at an Israeli folk dance
both of us untainted novices, galloping at a different gait
than the choreographed crowd.
when her hand wrapped around my palm
her fingers snaked themselves down the ridge of my thumb
and from there we prowled the night
back to her layer on North Broad Street
toward the sky
Listen to Poetry Speaks
Words float like bubbles around the suds and sounds of washing dishes
-I let the fish goÖ says Elizabeth
My life has been a series of letting love go, but I canít be sad
Iím washing away
but the stubborn meat will not leave the plate
like my messy habits that never leave
like the week-old pile of bowls in my sink.
I strain my fist to dig into dirt stuck to dish
Iím washing away
clawing at bits of old food from my frying pan,
the fact that I scolded a kid
hot water scalds my wrist
Iím washing away
forever lamenting not taking up music in 7th grade
the hot water heater is losing its hotness
the lukewarm faucet spouts on my palms
Iím washing away
grease on the frayed edge of a long triangular knife
gently pressing towel against the dull side, mad that
two weeks ago I laid down with her
I pause. My finger tips are dessicated
the water shuts off, I capture a spur of words from Hayden
-What did I know of loveís austere and lonely offices?
The sounds of his next recorded verse are drowned and all I
can hear are syllables floating above the repeated thumping of my laundry
back to the water blasting the pan, Iím washing away
all forgotten dreams, murky waters are vanishing
the sink free of dirt.
My plates are clean and rest to soak away and even
to shine solid avocado green with suds and bubbles
rainbow rainbow rainbow. In a moment between water
and vacuum I hear Ginsberg saying -I lost it but its contents are undisturbed.
Matt Sutin teaches English and coaches wrestling near Philadelphia. His work can found in Iconoclast, Spokenwar.com, Grogger.com, andLines of Sight, a permanent art installation at Brown University.
Submissions are closed until 2008. We will continue to update each month as always and we look forward to receiving all new submissions again when the New Year arrives!
Rainy Day Prologue
Apr 14, 2007
The rain is falling gently
tapping the roof and
windows and youíre sitting
on the couch watching
TV and she is down
the hall and in the
bedroom talking on
the phone and you
know sheís speaking
to an old friend from
the time before and
you strain your ears
to catch her words
but you donít want
to turn down the
TV because that
would be too obvious
and you donít want her
to know youíre sneaky,
You catch her words.
And you hear her ask
about an old boyfriend
and you too, have wondered
about old girlfriends about
how their lives have turned
out and how you wish they could
see you now or how youíre glad
they donít see you now and
despite your own curiosity
her curiosity feels like a kick
in the groin, as if you arenít
meeting her needs enough,
as if she wouldnít be curious
about that old boyfriend if
she was satisfied with you
and the life youíve forged
You catch her words.
You hear say oh and really
and wow and then thereís
a peal of laughter and
you listen to her say
goodbye and she walks
back into the living
room and sits on the
couch next to you and
you both look out the
window, out at the rainy
day and neither one
of you mentions the
thunder that sounds
off in the near
David's work has appeared in Dogmatika, remark, Words Dance, Zygote in my Coffee, Pemmican, Laura Hird, The Panhandler, LitChaos and other journals. He maintains a very boring blog here.
reported that decomP was #4 in the Top 25 Swiftest Poetry markets and
in the Top 25 Most Approachable Poetry Markets before submissions closed.