January 30, 2009

Untitled #92

by EH

i masturbate
to memories of you
every morning in the shower
it's the only reason
i have for getting up
most of the time i ask
for a table for 2
at our diner
and sometimes
i order your favorite
no bacon
extra onions
days like today
are hard
but then
i remember
tomorrow is another day
another shower


disappears behind granite
and is never heard from
again. We don’t quite
believe this. She could
have gone to the museum
or called her girlfriend
to meet her for lunch
but instead took the
metro to the cemetery
as if to lie down with the
dead one who always said
her lips brought him
back to life. It was a warm
day for December even
tho it was the day of
the least light. She was
wearing the denim mini
I had in my closet,
her hair almost as long
and red as mine. Some might
suppose I’m that woman,
it seems there are clues.
But listen, the buried
man was already dead to
me before he slept
under the grave in this
city and the me who would
have banged myself
raw on his metal
door had already grown
skin too thick to feel

by Lyn Lifshin

*Lyn's website:

January 28, 2009

The Other Day

I had too much to drink,
and couldn't get up,
not that I was
all that drunk,
but I have a broken ankle
and don't get around too well,
especially off the floor,
then the phone rang,
I let it go
to the answering machine,
it was my friend Brit,
and I could hear her say,
"OK, you're not picking up,
I guess
you're just laying around."

I was.

Every time I've seen
or talked to her
we laugh
and laugh
about that.

And if you don't get it,
well then,
you need to have
one too many,
lie on the floor
unable to rise,
to your
answering machine,
and if it's a telemarketer
that calls,
then all I can says is
and better luck
next time.

by Paul Hellweg

The Shits

by Paul Hellweg

Struggling with the beer shits,
four times this morning
and it's only 8:48am,
and what sucks
is that I haven't had
a drink all week,
now that's shitty.

January 27, 2009

an ex girlfriend's grandfather

by Justin Hyde

the whole family
was celebrating
at his dingy farmhouse
outside of
solon, iowa.

was in a wheelchair
because he'd had polio
as a kid.

he sat crooked
in the chair
drinking from a flask
and looking lost.
the aunts, uncles
and grandkids
pretended like
he wasn't there.

need a smoke,
he said softly
to no one
in particular.

an aunt
from williamsburg
was telling me
how fitting it was
that i studied psychology
'cause her oldest son
god knows where he's at right now
was having some problems
that maybe
i could talk to him about.

smoke smoke smoke
cripple needs a smoke,
he called loudly
to the ceiling.

the grandma
waved him off.

i'm sorry,
my girlfriend whispered
into my ear,
i told you he wasn't right.


he threw
his hat
at the grandmother's feet.
You selfish S-O-B,
she slammed her knitting
onto the coffee table
and strained to stand up.

i'll do it,
i jumped up
and pushed him through
the sliding glass doors
onto the deck.

he handed me the flask
and pulled a
hand rolled cigarette
from his breast pocket.

the flask tasted
like gasoline.

i ain't always been
in this thing
was stout like you
'til about thirty when
the leg braces just
didn't cut it no more,
plowed some seed
in my day,
even had me a colored
in that barn over there,
dad had a family of 'em
workin' for us
back when we had chickens,
she fought
like a bull elk.

he took a huge tug
off the flask and
straightened himself
in the wheelchair,
then he told me
i ought not
marry into this family
'cause while most of the women in it
were good lays
they all had cunt streaks
a mile wide.

January 26, 2009

Sitting at home with Hercules

by Richard Wink

Half in love with strange noir scenes
moths flutter
instead of butterflies
paranoia is replaced by mystery

Stupid graces
muttered humming

feasting from apprehension
the hassle
and ease that a hand
glides over marble

Ken who had bad lungs and a dodgy ticker

by Richard Wink

On the slope stood a man with a rumbling stomach
he eyed the café with an air of resignation
the place could have been a mirage.
Up until closing time where the food would be open
to him as he foraged like an urban fox
through the black bin liners that contained
relatively fresh cakes and sandwiches

He ran away with his find before the back light
turned on, the tills inside were cashed up
and it was home time.
The man never knew every evening he was watched
on CCTV,
the staff were never bothered, the leftover food would only
go to waste


by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal

I used to worry
about Khrushchev,
Russian spies, and
the infiltration of
communists into
the American way
of life. I warned
the FBI through
and occasional
telephone calls.
I was a newlywed
then and my husband
was still my husband.
These days I am not
so sure. My husband’s
face might appear
the same, but his voice
gives him away. He
is an imposter. I want
the FBI to investigate
the man who doubles
as my husband. Now
I worry about
terrorists, who don’t
believe in our God.
They seek vengeance
upon our system of
laws and our love
of freedom. Their
infiltration is nearly
complete. My husband
is a Taliban operative.
I found his Turban
in the hamper. I found
a homemade bomb
in his pants, which I
diffused in the rinse
cycle of my washing
machine. The FBI needs
to do something before
it’s too late. My real
husband has vanished.

*Luis at MySpace:

January 25, 2009

On Seeing Harmony Korine in the Hilltop Diner On Union Turnpike Drinking Two Egg Creams On 6/11/01

by John Rocco

They brought him
a baked potato
he didn’t want.

He wanted it to go.
He also ordered a
tuna on rye to go.

He had a tattoo of
a trident on his right
hand. On a left finger
a cross.

On the TV they had all
these witnesses talking
about watching
Timothy McVeigh
get his lethal injections.

George W. Bush
the Ambassador of
Spain’s name.

Rain in the forecast.
Chance of thunderstorms.

*John Rocco at MySpace:

January 24, 2009


by Lyn Lifshin

He saw my
picture in a
magazine and told
me he wanted
to take me down
the Mississippi
hollering poems and
blowing weed, he
sounded crazy
and I wrote that I’d
never been
beaten, that I was
a bitch

He sent me
pain and lust
for 19 days, his
aloneness, how he
wanted to fall
into blue water.
he said my letters
fell apart
pressed to his
skin. In March
my arms started
melting and

I drank the
Chateau Ausone
he sent, by April
my face was
burning. He sent

me his so that in
Concord I could
just think about
him while the
river was
But I didn’t
think he’d
come, writing back
checks, stealing
hamburg, staggering
with a torn suitcase and broken
shoes from California.
I didn’t know where
to keep him

and I got drunk on
cognac before he
fell thru the

He taught me
what men did in
prison. His

eyes weren’t mean
and blue when he said how
we would live in a
house of shells in
the ferns in
Big Sur
high on poems

he said we’d eat the
colors off Point
Lobos, dark
wine and succulents in
bed. I could
hear the
seals afternoons
we lay in a blur
of nutmeg
watching the curtains

his head on my
belly telling me about
women who
stopped mattering

that’s when it
started getting
scary. One
waited five years after
getting a short

I wouldn’t even
take the bus
across town
tho I dreamed I’d go
with him
to Yugoslavia
and Mexico

he kept getting busted
and moved under the
stairs with
dead moths

drinking beer
and not coughing
Then he moved
out into
the trees

came leaf by
leaf in the morning

fog was what we
needed, a blur to
lie down and
lie in. I
never liked his
poems as
much as I
pretended, not
even the ones
he stole

but I loved the
stories, how he
made love in
coffins, stood
on the roof of his
house screaming
at stars
But he kept
breaking into
places. Once
I held him 4 hours while
he cried

Next morning he poured chocolate
on my lips
and ate it and
talked about
going to Montana

we could live in a
wooden hut in
Canada with my cats

only nothing was
getting better
he vomited blood
and black things
If he came in
late I thought
it was over

He’d just laugh
We’d take a bottle
out into the
huge weeds
and collapse

other things fell
too, leaves
he’d slam into
chairs with
cigarettes, burn
holes in everything

I set the clock
ahead, wondered
how long this could
go on, the snow

coming and I
watered the mail
when he went to
get better

and didn’t
by October I
couldn’t move

whenever I went
there were
tentacles, his
eyes in the

I tripped on his
arms and then
cut out for Colorado

he couldn’t just
stay in the
leaves, children
said he smelled
like fire

ladybugs lie on
their backs now the
wind is rising

I’m not
sorry that he

or that nothing
could keep him

*Lyn's website:

Dead season

by Mike Boyle

Sister's lamps light
living room. I don't
see her spinning off,
I see her bringing

A small army of the
dead in my belly right
now. Crucifix father
had in WW2 swings
from sister's lamp &

a photo I'll never share
of him 1917. He's a boy,
beaming. I am making
nachos. I am looking for
that house. It

sometimes feels
my hands are on fire.

*Mike's blog:

January 22, 2009


by R.C. Miller

I create an image whose reality is self-evident.
On the fat of the land,
A rope and people deliberately uncommunicative.
Their metamorphosis is navy blue, sublime, so beautiful.
Sky, star, and excrement like.
I'm remembering someone else at our table.
What's self-evident arrives, conceived from that void.
The color of favorite animals
In a room without windows or doors.
The inner recession of peaceful tendencies
Deliberately uncommunicative.
A master switch. The massive reversal.
It's simply going to go out.
What is, is being and non-being suspending contortions.
With conditioning so beautiful,
I only want to touch you and not hear
The mountain, the city, our ordinary heat.

*R.C. Miller's blog: http://visionblues.blogspot.com/
email: rcmiller23@gmail.com

January 21, 2009


by Lyn Lifshin

17 cats ran in and
out windows that
never closed as Hari
Krishna jingled up
from Muscle Beach.
The house I stayed in
quieted by 4 in the
afternoon when every
one left for work. I
curled in a stranger’s
yellow terry cloth
robe as if to soak up
some sun color. I
hoped I’d be charmed
in tight jeans and fur
jacket, imagined them
sliced from my back,
butterfly wings, as
angels and truckers
howled foxy and pulled
up close enough to
touch my arms clutch-
ing a bottle of Chianti
or scotch I hoped
would help me flare
and glitter like some
blood sun the Pacific

*Lyn's website:


by Matt Holt

You and I stumble about town
Like Paris after the revolution
And your famous fleeting eyes
Are as green as the sea in rain
And we see everyone seeing us.
We are drunk in the present,
Un-sexed by the future,
Being dragged into strip clubs –
Where the girls are all thin as dawn –
Only to turn around and laugh & shrug
Ourselves out of the spruiker’s fat grasp.
And cabs creep slow
Behind us waiting for our patronage.
And you tell me that the
Truth is harsh but not bright;
It is a lens in the rain, and the
flesh of it all is captured on film.

*spruiker: a person who is paid to get passers-by to go into a place of business (e.g., a strip club).

January 20, 2009

a maniac barely subdued.

by Jason Floyd Williams

The house was miles away from town,
from neighbors & from the road.
Vast acres of weeds & semi-dead
vegetation surrounded the home.
It may as well been
on the moon.
Inside, there was plenty
of space.
Everything was wide & empty.
Bill’s parents sat at
an ordinary dining-room table,
The Waltons’ table, w/ 8 or 10
other folks.
That was Bill’s dad, as
I remember him—short, pudgy,
loud & myopic, like a gnome
too long among humans—but
that wasn’t Bill’s mom.
She must’ve been
the new wife.
Her face was a factory tragedy,
a steady diet of old coffee,
stale cigarettes, & cheap whiskey face—
a gaunt face of death’s
imminent arrival.
She stared at me &
through me.

Bill’s kids were in
the living-room.
They were the ages I last
remember seeing them:
Willie, 4 or 5, Vicki, 6 or 7,
Julie, 9 or 10.
No Little Rascals trouble or
enjoyment of life.
They all sat, half-naked, around
a full clothes rack.
They resembled Tarzan’s kids
around a Christmas tree.

Bill slumped over a desk,
texting someone on his cell-phone,
ignoring me.
His friend, some genetic, romantic mistake
of farmer & oxen, some hostile clump
of mean clay w/ desperate awful eyes,
a maniac barely subdued,
asked Bill: “Is this him?”
“Yeh,” said Bill, not looking up.

The madman staggered (a new-born elephant’s
hesitation, an obese stilt-walker drunk, the earth
w/ legs) across the living-room &
sat high school-make-out-session-close
to me.
He wanted to share
the wool blanket I had
over my legs.

That’s when I got up
from the couch, moved quickly
out of the house &
went to my car.

Everyone suddenly wanted me
to stay; they were trying
to convince me to stay—it was an
intervention gone sour & now they
wanted to make it up.

I drove Steve McQueen fast
down the dirt driveway & onto
the road—it was Rt. 84,
a road from my past.

Rt. 84 was now full of people,
hordes of people, throngs of people,
thousands of people.
Obstacles, really.
I had to slow down & navigate
carefully through them.

Various folks from the house
were following me close in their car—
echoing my every movement.

I had the paranoid feeling that
they’d always be following me.

the stuff of legends.

by Jason Floyd Williams

Daniel Boone—after living w/ the Shawnee Indians
5 months, first as a captured enemy, then as a stepson
to Chief Blackfish, learned of his new family’s plans
of attacking his old family back at the Fort—ran (in 4 days)
160+ miles through dense Appalachian woods,
w/ a bum ankle from a gunshot wound, to warn
the pioneers.
He fought w/ the pioneers against
his former surrogate family.

The Shawnee disagreed w/ the pioneers moving
into their Kentucky neighborhood.

My brother-in-law, Larry, never ran
160+ miles to save his kin.
I haven’t, either.
Very few of us have, in fact.

These days, Larry’s been digging more desperately—
an archeologist w/ an Easter Island mound
of gambling debt—into his past, especially
when someone mentions running into an
old classmate.

Larry’s a 1920s investigative reporter following
the moonshine drips leading to the hidden speakeasy:
Where did you see him? What time?
What else did he say besides ‘Hello’?

We each have our personal highlights;
the stuff in our personal legends.
Sometimes they just happen earlier
for others.

Larry’s was his starting position as a Kicker,
on his High School football team.
He had a solid consistency in
getting extra points & field-goals.

He even won a couple free tickets to a
Monster Truck Rally during a Browns’
half-time show: they challenged fans
to come down & kick a field goal.
Whoever got the longest field goal won.
Larry got it at 35-yards.

But now, at 37-yrs old, he’s compiling & collecting
data from his old yearbooks & newspapers clippings
surrounding that time.

His 2nd shift factory job gives him no satisfaction.

His co-workers, a crowd of Croatian women,
watch him w/ Sherlock Holmes intensity—
waiting for the moment Larry’s mind wanders
away from his machine.

Then they report him.

So, that’s all he does: dig into the past.
He wants a fuller understanding
of those moments—
He wants to give them more permanence,
more polish, more shellacking.

After all, that’s what poetry is:
scouring the past to explain the present.

January 19, 2009


by Lyn Lifshin

It was December
and yes finally
you wanted me.
We ran down the
slick narrow road.
Houses leaned
together the colors
wine and brown.
Remember the cracked
snow, our scarves
floating, getting
there out of
breath, our
hair melting.
Boots clicked under
the door. There
were quilts on the
sloped ceiling
and the old
stove you smiled
toward going to
heat up some
coffee. I kept
looking around
to get it right:
your suede jacket
hanging in several
places. Your
mouth was
corduroy I wanted
to touch
but even in the
dream, every
time I came
close to you
the place that was you
changed to air

*Lyn's website:

January 18, 2009


by John Rocco

I gotta hold out
like Cagney in the Hole
for days weeks the calendar
spinning numbers
in great title here it comes:
Each Dawn I Die.

I’m not chained to bars
eight hours a day.
I don’t have to shit
in a bucket.
I have Queens daylight
and hot Asian moms
in the park.

I can hold out.
I just gotta hold it in:
The caged bird
deaf from Iron Maiden concerts
limping bank account
sour breath morning after fight
eternity hangover
showing Battle Royale tonight
at school.

*John Rocco at MySpace:

January 17, 2009


by Justin Hyde

he's got lupus
fucker's ninety-three
i think he's holding on
just to spite me,
says the man
face like a
manhole cover
sitting next to me
at shooters
on a
monday night.

says he's
waiting for his
father in law
to die
so he can sell
his trailer.

then he's gonna
buy a harley fat-boy
and disappear
into the black hills
like a sasquatch.

i take my shoe off
slam it on the bar
and shout:

long live max.

max was the cook here
for twenty years
died of a heart attack
face first
into the fryer.

mondays are two-for-one
in his honor
but only if you go through
the shoe slam
dog and pony.

i slide
manhole cover
one of the
dead nazis
and ask what
he's gonna do
with his wife
after he gets
the harley.

shit rolls downhill,
he says.

like a toboggan,
i say


we smile


drink to that.


by Justin Hyde

fanned out
three quarters
on the bar
to show me
the borders
of his
home country:

said he
came to the usa
after fighting
in the
bosnian war.

no offense
to your
abraham lincoln
but this is no
golden goose country,
he said
told me
he was going back
to bosnia
next month.

i bought him
a shot of black velvet
and asked how
bosnia was better.

for instance
in bosnia
you sit on stairs of bank
after close
nobody bother you
but here
police put guns in your face,
he said.

then he
opened his wallet
showed me a few ones
and a condom

told me here
you have to work every day
to balance the flea act
but in bosnia
you can work two months
and have enough money
to take the next month off:

drink whiskey
shake leg
jump over the moon,
he laughed
slapping my back so hard
piss dribbled
down my leg.

January 14, 2009


by Lyn Lifshin

He was really her favorite
student, dark and just
back from the army with
hot olive eyes, telling her of
bars and the first
time he got a piece of
ass in Greece or was it
Italy and drunk on some strange
wine and she thought
in spite of his dangling
pronoun (being twenty four and
never screwed but in her
soft nougat thighs) that he
would be a
lovely experience.
So she shaved her legs up high
and when he came
talking of foot notes she
locked him tight in her
snug black file cabinet where
she fed him twice a day and
hardly anyone noticed
how they lived among bluebooks
in the windowless office
rarely coming up for sun or the
change in his pronoun. Or the
rusty creaking chair
or that many years later
they were still going to town in
novels she never had time to finish

*Lyn's website:

one day you'll pack yr organs in a valise & vacate

by Rob Plath

this existence
less scope
than a
in a hotel
& like
a rental
it isn't
one day
you'll vacate
for good
you'll pack
yr organs
in a valise
& the hole
will rotate
like the iris
of a

*Rob Plath at MySpace:

January 13, 2009

drunk email to stacy at 3:14 a.m.

by D.C. Porder

the drugs abandoned my body at noon today.
i'm all out of your bogus prescriptions.
my eyes flickered for seven hours,
wandered through blips
of nightmares
set in your basement flooded
with your voice. maybe

i'll describe your voice
as an abandoned building,
your lexicon a truck stuttering exhaust.
sometimes my mind replays "fuck you"
in your precise timbre,
the careful dip into both syllables
the bounce, the cracked frequencies.

now i scrape the mattress
with my nails. i toss my arms
at the blank spot in the covers.
i thought you were a word.
you are a space.

*D.C. Porder's blog:


for Lucy Walker

He spears into a world of trailers parks
and bonfires burning in glassy eyes
of teenagers who chain-smoke holiness
into bitter ash. Bottles of rum, vodka
and Southern Comfort stack shelves
like trumpets for the dead. Back home
in Indiana, he thinks of parents in horse
-buggies, in carriages drawn in morning mist.
He thinks of the simple life, of the fan-shaped
beards, of the gun-metal sky. Posters of Tupac
spatter the walls, a television plugged
into a battery. He is lost in the
wilderness of keg-parties.
A lifetime of excess wedged into a few
months. He yearns his father's voice
in the beer-colored night
God speaks in one ear, Satan in the other.
He looks to the pasture, reaches out through
the thin curtains to crown himself king
of a paradise of forklifts and fireflies.

by Radames Ortiz

*Rumspringa refers to the Amish rite of passage, which begins when an Amish child reaches 16 years of age, and continues until they decide whether they want to join or leave the Amish church.

*Rad's blog: http://theamplifiedbard.blogspot.com/

pillow humping

by Karl Koweski

night shift work leaves me awake
three o’clock in the morning
on a Friday night
staring bleary-eyed
at the television screen
afraid to interfere with
my daylight sleeping routine

softcore Cinemax offers
slight titillation sprinkled
with despair
the brunette wallows in silken sheets
dripping candle wax across
her spray-on tan before
passionately humping her pillow

and I have to wonder
when she made the decision
to pursue acting
did she envision herself
faking an orgasm
with a pillow trapped between her legs
for a late night cable movie?

did she read the script
and think
this role is gonna put me over?

and as I type this,
a writer of no great merit
I wonder
how long have I been
humping pillows?

January 12, 2009


by Lyn Lifshin

being fat until
that spring, I still
felt fat on Main St
in my town but

not when the science
fair went north,
Burlington for 3 days,
I met the kind of

long haired boy I
hadn’t. The photograph
with my eyes huge,
how the cop downstairs

groaned when he screamed
in with that Ford.
Relatives squirmed at
his name. By June I

unbuttoned my sweater,
wriggling in a back
seat near Champlain
Al Martino’s Oh My Love

I’ve hungered for so
the pink check dress
wrinkling a long time
as things inside
unchained were saying
yes, yes tho I didn’t

*Lyn's website:

Mother, Edith, at 98

by Michael Lee Johnson

Edith, in this nursing home
blinded with macular degeneration,
I come to you with your blurry
eyes, crystal sharp mind,
your countenance of grace−
as yesterday's winds
I have chosen to consume you
and take you away.

"Oh, where did Jesus disappear
to?", she murmured,
over and over again,
in a low voice
dripping words
like a leaking faucet:
"Oh, there He is my
Angel of the coming."

*Michael's website:

January 11, 2009

long sad lonesome

by Scot Young

found these three poems
written about dad
how she missed him
loved him
hurt for him
how she wanted to call
him when she felt
that long sad lonesome
i never knew
she wrote poems
never said how she felt
after she left him
but these poems cried
& moaned the long
sad lonesome

when she died
he sat all day
over a beer
felt her go again
hank williams sang
all those sad songs
those lonesome songs
enough beer and hurt
to make him go
home early

one year later
patsy's faded love
played background
at his funeral
it was his poem
his manifesto of
I miss you darling…
his way of saying
goodbye to the long
sad lonesome
his way of saying
just how much…


by RC Edrington

hot oil bleeds
from the rusted gut
of a junked motorcycle
like mascara
down a bruised cheek

in the dust
beer bottles scatter
shanks of gold teeth
into the sun

I remember
the bloody bloom
of ocotillo
hemorrhaging against
a cement gray
monsoon sky

& your face
almost forgotten now
like some
sacred language
lost to the wind

*the ocotillo is a desert plant found in the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico which sprouts bright red flowers in spring and summer.

January 10, 2009


by Aleathia Drehmer

i walked into my secret lover's
room without knocking,
found marcy there shooting up
junk between her toes, toenails
dark purple like bruises,
bags under her eyes
and forehead glistening with sweat.

a single drop rolled down her chest
until it hit the wire of her black bra
and absorbed.

i think to myself
god, she has great tits for a junkie.

and i am jealous
over those breasts
over her dainty heroin fix
over the fact
that she still has him in public.

flowers for everyone

by Aleathia Drehmer

the bartender
feeds her manhattans,
only charges her
for every other one
making it easier on them all.

the more lubricated she gets
the farther her shirt slides
off her shoulder,
drunken body leaning
in a drunken boat
and it reveals
a tattooed ring of daisies
around her left breast.

she can't see much more
than the faint, blurred smiles
wolves licking their sharp teeth.

they want to open her up
like a flower, their mouths
stinging her like bees
touching her secrets, roughly.
they want to fill her
with the seeds of their fathers
and watch her wilt
with the poison.

*Aleathia's blogs:

January 9, 2009


by Big Sway

i love me cemeteries
(good memories
for rural potheads)

subterranean cities of the dead

when I go, save the casket wood & pyre gas
bury me naked in a shallow grave
and plant a weeping willow in my chest


by Big Sway

The ballet
of compensation
in cowboy boots
Heavy-headed &
I feel like an inconvenience
to the open-ended night

- - - -

Celebrated confusion shadows
voyeur soulfractures
rolling joints in your beard
feeling bad, allowed
Rastafarian BMWs
lit ugly neon signage
apologetic with salt water
framed in a speeding doorway

- - - -

Hooded convertible top
in lesbian ghetto talk;
VIP for Irish brawlers-
fingers a head ache
in tooth & truth
drinking History

Sometimes it's a pleasure

by David E. Howerton

Took quiet morning
added to much coffee
deep inside
stillness twitched
looking at
empty cup
trying to decide
is it worth making
another pot of coffee.
In quiet
smell of brewing coffee
is a treat.
Poured into a cup
hot and steaming
go outside
sit in rusty red folding chair.
Sun hasn't peeked
over ridge
but morning rush
in full swing.
derive some pleasure
form frustrated looks
of drivers
stuck in long line
at stop light
half mile away
raise cup
steam bellowing.
Smile with each drink
go back inside
as sun starts to appear
over ridge showing
between pine needle covered ground
and first branches.
Get more coffee
sit in front of computer
time to start typing.

January 8, 2009


by R.B. Morgan

A little tough guy
With a bandana
Wrapped around
His head.
I like little
Tough guys..
I was one myself.
It makes me happy,
Yes, I think happy
Is right,
When a little tough guy
Is bloody flat on his
Little tough guy
Staring up scared
At a one-legged old fuck,
And his pals want
To buy in,
But they're usually
Big tough guys,
And so I take one,
Or two, by then
I'm all cashed in.
Let the old bastard
Go. Shit, it was one lucky
Punch, while a girl
On the side starts
Dialing the Cops.
Someone always
Fucks the party up.
Then I go back
Where they won't
Let me in. I look exactly
Like what I am. For very
Good reasons,
That bothers them.
Home with my head
Beaten and stoned,
Spilling wine on the cat
Who bails out the window.
It's the third night like
This, my second fight,
Both eyes swollen.
Pain's an old friend.
We've been together
Longer than you've been
Alive. And look,
I've got money,
For, it's hard to say.
I'll scrounge some later.
That's where women
Are handy.
They like it when I lie to them.
It's so odd and romantic.
Here's a try for heroic:
I don't have to live
Like some street
Addict asshole.
I do what I do
And the world
Can fuck off.
Some of them buy
It. Most of them don't.
I generally do.
A lie is always the best
Part of the truth.
Just easier to swallow
When you're locked-on loaded,
Decking some small-time
Tough guy,
A right wrapped tight
Around that old
Roll of quarters.
Take that,
Here's one for the road.


by R.B. Morgan

Another woman gone.
Cat mourns, crouched
Beneath the filthy bed.
Bills rot with the cold
Food, rotting on the table.
My one friend, Guyla,
The androgynous schizophrenic,
Calls to tell me that winter
Has slammed down
The iron lid.
She cannot tell the ground from
The sky.
I say, You never could.
Her laugh is hoarse and dry from
The bad meds they give her,
To help her remember
Gravity, which she flatly rejects.
Guyla never yells, Look, I can fly.
She takes off, without a word.
They've pinned her back together,
How many times,
A plate in her head, a rod in her thigh.
Smug bastards are the easiest to fool.
She flies when
They're not watching.
And lands and grins and cheeks
Her meds. Guyla perches, preens,
And waits for the next opportunity.
It will come, my one friend tells
Me. And for you too, she says.
Just don't listen to them. Their truth
Is our lie.
Kid, I say, sad and hung-over, Kid,
When you get out I have the works,
And some shit from Chicago.
Do that right, you'll soar for days.
Okay, but I don't need it. You can have it.
Man, watch and learn. I have my own way.
The line goes dead.
The therapist's hand, heavy as winter,
Slams down on the receiver.
Guyla will sit there. Sit there.
Then he will pay.

This happens all the time.
They actually think they
Can keep her.
I'll do just a little of that
Hot shit from Chicago,
Know the woman is not coming back,
Coax the cat from her place of mourning,
Try to clean this goddamned place up,
Leave a window open,
For my one friend.

Come on, Guyla,
I'll talk you down.
Come on, come in,
Nice and steady.
Make it a three point.
Let the bird,
Just this one time,
Safely touch the ground.

January 7, 2009


by Lyn Lifshin

Baby, you know I get high
on you, come back with me
whispering in her ear.
It was all she could do to say
no, spring leaves budding,
his hand on her breast,
crocus smell and
everything unfolding.
She gasping I want, I
but instead hurrying
back to the windowless room
where she locks the heavy door.
Lemons are rotting on her pillow,
she studies her nipples,
nyloned crotch in mirror
then hugs her huge body to sleep

*Lyn's website:

January 5, 2009

The Alley

by John Rocco

Without trying and without an idea of trying
I drive straight down Nightmare Alley.
The old metal trash cans are stuffed
with bodies and murder weapons.
The concrete is a mosaic of blood and dreams.
I’m looking for the caged bird
kidnapped by a collection agency
but all I find in the Alley are
old movie actors struggling to stay alive
pumping bullets into each other
slugging whiskey
getting grilled by the cops
and the Devil thumbs a ride.
I’ll never catch the bird again
unless I can drink the shadows
and piss them out as sunlight.

*John Rocco at MySpace:

Caged Heat

by John Rocco

I got a collection notice today
and a half a bottle of Irish whiskey
and the night long and lush and there
and Zygote in My Coffee #3
with me in it.
I immediately tear it open to
spot errors typos make secret big deal
but my poem is perfect
“Night into moon sky”
exact tortured words
crushed into lines
on this page
caged heat

(don’t I have enough secret cowboy shootings
spaghetti style
me drawing first and fast and often
to avoid this?)

I’m surrounded by library poem on two pages.
Now, the library is fine
but do I have to have it hanging all over me?
Can’t my night into moon sky have its own page?
I pull through anger through pages
knowing I wouldn’t like any poem
near me regardless. I read them.

Some guy calls Jim Morrison
dead. Someone else
laments lamenting.
Don’t they know
the Lizard King in French Dirt
is Alive
and killed lamenting?

I read some girl poems for company.
Cheryl is a pro;
Aleathia is always on;
and Debbie Kirk kicks
all our fucking asses.

Women write better poems.
Something to do with
p. 65
“My Mannequin Phobia”
by Hollie Stevens.
Last lines: “They will seek
revenge by coming to life
and start killing everyone
(by rectal fisting).
I’m sure that this
reign of terror
will begin at the exact
moment that I decide to walk by.”


I’m here now at the
Adult Entertainment Expo.
Nina Hartley just walked by.
I’m armed to the teeth:
guns, bazookas, samurai swords,
throwing stars.
The readiness is all.
Gin and tonics down the hatch
Vicodin chasers
I’m on patrol passing the
Real Doll booth.
Passing the
Real Doll booth
is Hollie Stevens.
She is holding
the consecrated host
and a red leather bound
translated by Sir
Richard Francis Burton
(he got a spear through
his face coming out both
cheeks in Africa).
The Real Doll booth
erupts in zombie mannequin
terror war.
The sex dolls are on fire
with hate because of all
the shit shoved into them
and their black dead eyes
are alive with shark robot revenge
and they grab people and stick
their hard plastic fists up their asses
rupturing everything
arterial spray Jackson Pollock.
Hollie looks at me with
wide-eyed kid fear
something out of the past
and we run
the walls gone
we pass through
all the rooms words
were written in
and we hit the beach.
We are on a cliff
the crashing ocean below.
I turn my weapons on the
mannequin zombie robot army
to impress Hollie.
I take many mannequin heads
with blinking dying eyes
this day.
We then jump into the waves
crashing crashed crush
we die
we are born
we ride bicycles in the sun.

January 3, 2009


by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal

I am under a spell.
There is a witch
who’s having sex
through my eyeball.

I want to kill the witch.
She lives over
on Crenshaw in
a real shit hole.

I need to talk to the
President or
with someone who’s
in government.

She is wishing me to
hell. The devil
has cast this spell
on me because

I was watching porn on
the internet.
I saw the witch
in a threesome

with the President and
Ozzie’s Harriet.
I want to tear
my eyeball out.


by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal

All my problems
started when Selena died.
She was like my wife.
Now she is my spiritual bride.

I never met her.
But I always had this mental
connection with her.
When I would watch her on TV

I knew she was
singing just for me. I would
watch her eyes and she
would be watching me.

On the radio
we had a more intense
relationship. I
knew she was reading my mind.

I would read her mind
too and I knew we were like
Woman and man, like
husband and wife, you know.

Since she has been dead
I hear her voice, no longer singing.
She asks for my help.
But I'm helpless and hopeless.

If only the cops
left me alone, I would not be
in this situation.
I never tried to hurt anyone.

They claim I renounced
my real wife, who is not Selena.
But I have no wife,
other than my spiritual bride.

January 1, 2009


by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal

I have been
on the wrong
for two months.
All winter
long I was
from voices
of dead pets
and visions
of their deaths.
My first dog
buried out
back under
the pepper
tree whispered
into my
ears. I saw
it being
crushed under
the wheels of
a neighbor.
Its limp and
bloody head
spoke to me,
Please save me.
The white cat
who slept on
our porch for
years, died of
old age. I
hear it at
night purring
and talking
with the voice
of a girl
Please join me.
Die with me.