November 30, 2009


by Lyn Lifshin

wood smoke, orange
poppies and nights on
the bed where sea blown
drapes kissed bare legs.
A true initiation
before the husband
drove home. This man,
an ex-con, alkie, witty
but not as witty as he
thought. The first time
anyone put a tongue
there and there. Of
course I couldn’t keep
him. He was too big
to have in the house.
How like Rashomon
the women’s letters
about him, the woman
he took along for the
dark forever house.
Then the woman he
married. Her letters,
the suicide car plowing
into a school bus
haunt. I still have keys
for the cottage in
tangled vines. He taught
me what men did in
prison. When he was
late I was sure I’d find
his body in the leaves.
Nights around 9, he
lit a match under the
window, and I flashed
the lights. He was like
fireflies you reach
for in the dark,
are gone with the light

*Lyn's website:

Flowers are for Pansies

by Chris Butler

Melancholy Colleen
has grown
from her
cauliflower gardens,
and towards
something more
the absence
of color
in life,
stretching with
whatever’s left
of her lobotomized
brain stem for
some semblance
of heaven,
as she searches
for her paper
lover’s letters,
painted with
the stains
from the day’s
leaving me
each season
to be

November 29, 2009

These Nails Cause Me To Hesitate

by Chris Vaillancourt

I feel the pain of these nails
in my tongue whenever the sleepers

invade my moments.. soft honeydipped
words that reach out to melt across

the heat of your waiting world as warm
rain on a hot summer day are held back

as I speak with the distance that we
all place between each other..I look

over your body and even as you wonder
whether or not your makeup is done right

or your dress is on straight I can almost
feel a warm hand gliding up your body with

the skill of a painter.. surveying the beauty
that hides in each curve of you as he tries

to map it with his own hands..the pain of them
melts away as I listen to your words.. focusing

on each one. .. using it to see the sights of
the world through your minds eye..I sense your

pleasure speaking to me from whispers deep
within you and these nails cause me to hesitate

*I have had a series of chapbooks published in the 1980's by 4 Winds Press, such titles as "Doors and Windows", "Dancing in the Eighties" and "Slow Burn". I have had two poetry books published, the first "Teardrop of Coloured Soul" in 2005 and my latest one to be released in Jan. of 2010 entitled "I Walk Naked into a Cloud".

Fires Of The Night

by Chris Vaillancourt

It's been the storm
rising on my windows.
Washing my thoughts
into a leafy garden.

I stand there,
wet and shattered
and I hear

Empty pockets of gloom.
I smell regrets
and worse,
guilt in the flesh.
Uncertainty in the soul.

It's been the end
when it began.
I shiver
cold and indifferent.
Whispers all the rage.

I whimper
drinking wine
from silent straws
and touching nobody.

Only silences and whispers.
Only memories and tomorrows.
It's been like hell
driving on this
Cruising past renovations
and contemplating the
storms of past tomorrows.

I hear promises and
shallow sunsets.
Empty holes in
empty coffee cups.
The kettle is boiling.
No one is there
to drain it.

It's been another day.
This I knew
at the onset.
So I turned and grew
into silences.
Strong whispers
the fires of the night.

What Sign of Absence?

by Chris Vaillancourt

What sign
of absence
does a normal man
have to enforce to

Sun burned snow?

Pockets of lint forever
needing to
be emptied.

A glance back
at a stream
of consciousness
used to
drip like water
into a

The sign
of leaving
is flashing.
It beckons
amber yellow.

You don't have to
secrets anymore.

I'm not listening.

November 27, 2009


there were snakes in the
tent. My mother was
strong but she never
slept, was afraid of
dreaming. In Auschwitz
there was a numbness,
lull of just staying
alive. Her two babies
gassed before her, Dr.
Mengele, you know who
he is? She kept her
young sister alive
only to have her die
in her arms the night
of liberation. My mother
is big boned, but she
weighed under 70 lbs.
It was hot, I thought
the snakes lovely. No
drugs in Israel, no
food. I got pneumonia,
my mother knocked the
doctor to the floor
when they refused,
said I lost two in
the camp and if this
one dies I’ll kill
myself in front of
you. I thought that
once you became a
mother, blue numbers
appeared, mysteriously,
tattooed on your arm

by Lyn Lifshin

*Lyn's website:


by Lyn Lifshin

the woman is
amazed not
that the watch
store is
open but that
anyone cares
about the time,
or knows it.
Every part of
her an aide, a
scout sent
out to listen,
to bring back
news to empty
rooms where
people who
hoped it would
be over are
no longer

November 26, 2009

advice to the newly divorced

by Justin Hyde

the bald car salesman
with a face
the color of a stoplight
tried setting me straight
couple months back
over jaeger bombs
at the waveland:

whatever you do
don't' fuck your ex wife
she'll think it means something.
trust me he said
you're better off
sticking a baseball bat
or a soup can
up your asshole
screwing your ex wife.

but i couldn't help it.

she pressed flank
and i ran the happy stick
up in her.

now i'm on trial
in the living room
just like old times:

think you can just
fuck me
whenever you want?
it meant
something to me
i thought we were going
to talk and
work on things
but i’ts about you
like always.

i exhale deeply

slowly run palms
down my thighs

making a silent promise
i probably
won't keep.

memorial day at the twisted parrot

by Justin Hyde

guy on my right
is down on himself

couldn't get cash together
to make it up to minnesota

says he goes every year
mows and pulls weeds
around his grandparent's graves.

i buy him a cuervo
tell him
don't be so hard on yourself
you'll get up there when you can
they'd understand.

yeah - - yeah
they probably would understand,
he says
perking up suddenly
buys me a cuervo
pats me on the back.

he gets up to piss

i notice his right leg
is half size of the other
and bent like a wish-bone
at the knee.

where's your shoe rick?
i ask
when he comes back
helping him up onto the

it's missing off the foot
on his
withered right leg.

he stares down at it
a good three minutes

rubs his temples

then buries himself
in his elbow.

tells me
nothing's gone right
since he lost his job
selling pots and pans
door to door
back in seventy-nine.


by Justin Hyde

as my father's

there was no

he'd sit
end of the couch
one leg
over the other

countenance of
an owl pellet

as my sister
and i
opened our presents
in silence

my mother

doped up
on stolen

trying to act

which just
made it

November 25, 2009

ritual respect

by The Poet Spiel

i try not to force
these aching hips
but if it's a moment
when they allow
i'll rise in silence
with my face
to the floor
while others
recite their pledge

it's not that
my right hand
cannot locate
my heart
it's that i insist
the allegiance
of my heart
not be ritually disposed
when it begins to shred


peach tree

by The Poet Spiel

so i say to my mom
there's never anything to do
around this stupid place

and my mom says
well why don't you go and make something

so i say like what

and she says
why don't you make a peach tree

so then i start whistling

and she says
ever time i hear you start whistling
i know yer up to something
now you need to git yerself outside
an walk the stink off

so i go up to my room and
play with my pecker

then just as it starts feelin good
she hollers up the stairs
bobby lee what're you doing

so i holler back
i'm makin you a peach tree

then she hollers
don't you dare to get your paints
all over on your nice blankets

an i holler i'm doin my pencil

and she hollers what color

and i holler
same like a peach
an i'm not gittin it on my blankets

November 24, 2009

'61 was a hell of a year

by Erek Smith

ate the
barrel of
his hunting
rifle for
July 2, '61
the next
day my
father came
into this
one tough
the other
just getting
both served
in a war
both loved
to hunt
& fish
both had
three kids
& were
in at
least one
of them

Black Maps

by Renae Andruse

If you took my father’s lava
out of my veins
I’d be charred,
more barren than Sarah
or her God.

Icarus fell from his advice
like droplets from a leaky sink—
and for the next hour,
we couldn’t see for the fog.

His hazel eyes cried ink
when he discovered
my volcanoes had been awoken
from dormancy by a boy
slightly paler than ebony—

my lover is quartz

but my first love was lava.
And they say,
in voices shriller than steam,

that you never forget your first taste
Of fire.

On Relationships

by Renae Andruse

Your words misfire like
a gun in an old western—
I can’t decide if I am

the one behind you, counting paces,
or the corseted hot shot
back at the saloon.
My mouth becomes the double swinging

doors. Come in and drink
but know you might find smoke
in the barrel of your sarcasm.

After our fight, I wonder if
this town could ever be

big enough for the two of us.

November 23, 2009

like yeats

by paul harrison

thinking about death
and transmigration
and whether father
flew into son
when the moment came
if a lost legion of deceased
small press scribblers
entered mr. hyde
where richmond is
where wantling went
bob kaufman laughing
in the big buddha sky

Booty Duty

by John Rocco

Not ass porn
because they don’t need ass porn
or any porn
on the horny island gone backward
to the old fertility ways
super everyday perverts
the whole population
fucking everywhere and talking about
it like it’s the weather
worshipping cock and pussy
while watering the gravestones.

It’s all in that old WICKER MAN film
with Christopher Lee
who holds the triple crown
for horror roles: Dracula,
the Frankenstein Monster,
and the Mummy
and Edward Woodward
just died. He played
the virgin fool king cop
who turns down the
innkeeper’s daughter
(the song in the bar goes:
“What lies between her
left foot and her right foot?”)
doing an ass-shaking wonder dance
and closes the door on Ingrid Pitt
and her big Polish tits waiting
in the hot metal bathtub.
She played Countess Dracula
maniac sadist Elizabeth Bathory
the Blood Countess
who bathed in the blood of
tortured slaughtered virgins
to keep her skin young and alive
with the young virgin blood
caught in the woods or on the road
too late during the starry night.

Anyway, I read online that
Edward Woodward just died
holy fool king virgin cop
who refused such
powerful booty duty
in the face of tits and ass
and terror and time
his death online
in the end when they
burn him alive inside
to bring back the harvest
the smoke
blocking out the sun
telling us that they
should water all our graves with
hot holy whiskey
and sacred cold beer
to bring the blood back to the cheeks
of the ass
of the sun.

*John Rocco at MySpace:

November 21, 2009

Before He Goes Bare

You'll never see him again, you say,
but what if he brings to your room
a midnight poem he says
he's written for you.

Will you read it together
a couple of times, out loud,
as you have in the past?
And what if he then

shoots like a rocket
into the forest, igniting the fire,
as he has in the past.
Will you see him again?

We have the children
to think about.
That's why I'm here.
We all need to know.

by Donal Mahoney

November 20, 2009


by Stephen Jarrell Williams

My cheap imagination, everything I've seen, thought, dreamed
out of control, all the better for heaven and hell,
where women roam in G-strings, wanting to be held
so far away from civilization,
the long legs of her, giant on the land, toes wiggling in the sea,
clouds in their fast pace above, white and fluffy, faces in the
she knows how to watch, gazing with her mouth open, sighing,
widening her stretch of legs, forest hair, digging her heels in
the soft earth she plays on, pillows out of men,
I magnify her dance as she lays sun tanning, swaying in the sand,
eyes closed, eyelashes dark as the coming night,
she remembers my name, knows my voice, craves the touch of
my fingers,
my digit eternally potent.

reaction to the evening news

by J.J. Campbell

i want to take
this opportunity
to thank the good
lord for making
me an ugly child

that way i was
never kidnapped
and molested by

i had the good
fortune of being
molested by

*please feel free to send all your hate to

November 19, 2009

The Jazz Musician

by Serena Tome

Circles of smoke carefully exit
His mouth, his eyes do all the talking
All night he touches me from across the room
He comes over sits next to me
The moisture from his breathe drizzles
Down the nape of my neck evaporating
As it tickles a hot spot head down
I focus on the bubbles exploding in my drink
He candidly asks, “Can I taste it?”
My eyes quickly flank to the left as I respond “My place or yours?”



by Jeffrey S. Callico

She licks her boobs
watches him
watching televised sports
his eyes follow the ball
they live together in some
kind of external bliss
but it never gets injected
they wear out the loveseat
but only with their asses


November 18, 2009


by Lyn Lifshin

Don’t let me think
of the one who
poured chocolate
all over where
today it feels best
to be left unsaid.
Dark chocolate,
dark as his eyes.
I, who can lure
most with words,
with verbs for
fingers, stumble
as he moves close
going into flirt
mode, still wear-
ing his taste as I
stop breathing

*Lyn's website:


haunt like clothes
for a dead baby.
We won’t move
from bed to tub
to bed, won’t
leave prints on
the Chinese tile
floor. I won’t
wear the violet I
bought for you.
I don’t cry, but if
I did, my eyes
would haunt you,
swollen as a
heart turned in
side out

by Lyn Lifshin

November 17, 2009


by Lyn Lifshin

today I don’t feel
I got what was
promised. Sure,
the classes but
with so much
more implied:
a night out on
the town, even
under the covers.
Yes, you filled
our frame with
sweetness but
there were dark
wings beating in
your blood, your
face a chameleon.
You promised
the damp heat
of lips, you said
you would want,
always, what I
was writing,
what you craved
you said. Begged
for. Isn’t that
what gigolos
are paid for?

*Lyn's website:


when he was safely dead,
no longer a lure, when I
no longer imagined running
into him in an abandoned
train station, no longer
tried to find him on the
radio dial. Dead, a relief.
Sad, yes, but no longer
able to haunt me. I think
of abandoning dance. For
once, I’ll be the dance away
lover, no longer stuffing
my closet with clothes he
will adore tho not as much
as my poems but certainly
more than my dancing. A
torture to me because
I can’t dance as I dream I
could but stumble in his
arms, too aware it’s my
poems he’s drawn to, an
image of an image that’s
less real than what is
projected on a movie screen

by Lyn Lifshin

November 16, 2009

Yellow Snow

by Chris Butler

Look at
it go!
Writing rhymes
in the snow
with flowing
of dehydrated
before my
with the
of everything
in spring.

November 15, 2009


by Ivan Brkaric

Her voice no longer sounds
like canaries singing
in the morning sun.

But that of a high
pitch whistle.

A piercing sound.

A sound that
disturbs your very soul.

No more time for coffee.
Your break is over!

Back to work
with this ball-n-chain,
a ball-n-chain
we call love.

First Tulip

by Donal Mahoney

Sometimes you sit for days
sucking yourself in
praying the right words
will fall in your ear
toboggan over the whorls
pierce the canal
and settle in your brain,
an embryonic delight.
Sometimes you sit for days
and finally the words come
and they're always a surprise
like the first tulip in April
or a sudden
orgasm for your wife.

November 14, 2009

New Things

by xTx

I want to write things for you. New things. For you. For you in your regular house with its regular lawn and its perpetual paint on the walls that keep the day to day in check.

Where everything for you is expected I want to be there fucking it up for you. A hole in the drywall. A gouge in the hardwood. A scab in your mind.

I want to consume your waking; a high-pitched tone, a rumble, a rape, driving you insane you’ll

mow the lawn in crosscut patterns.

kick the dog when nobody’s looking.

swear at the people you love most

I want you making secrets behind the locked

bathroom door

basement door

garage door

New things that destroy you. I want to write what I’ve never yet written. I want you to feel the words scrape your skin. I want you drowning, inverted, incapable of speech: crying.

I want your dick hard.

I want you to regret the day you begged. I want you to beg me to make it stop. I want you to regret getting what you wished for.

I want to see you broken with it.

I will write those things for you.

New things.

* (effme)

The Art of Forgetting

by xTx

It’s nice of you to drop bombs. I think.

No. Seriously. Drop them.

Maybe you don’t know. Maybe you like it.

Fucking with me.

Dropping bombs. Fuck you.

I’ve been here….

chopping wind with the dullest axe


accepting the transparency of words and

how they will never,



be about me.

Let me tell you. Something.

Even the cutest puppy

shits and sheds.

Drop another bomb, asshole

I cannot keep looking into your paper eyes.

November 12, 2009


by Lyn Lifshin

I’m flung back to 92 Rapple,
sheer curtains to the floor.
Silk spread, snow smooth,
palest ivory, wall to wall.
Bridal, exotic. How many
years was it, wondering, a
virgin still, a husband who
brought me tea in bed but
not what I longed for. In
the photograph, gauze
camouflages, lures. Soft
dreams, no angles. And even
before the first lover came,
bottle of wine, Chateau y
Kempe hidden in the
closet, probably stolen from
some friend’s house in
Carmel. Months of letters,
photographs of him, one
of Dylan Thomas so I had
no idea what to expect
Fantasy was one thing. But to
have him: ex con, alcoholic,
stagger across the country
with a torn suitcase and
broken shoes. I had no idea
where to keep him and met
him at a motel up the street,
terrified there was something
wrong with me, that that
was why I was still a virgin.
By evening, I checked the
mirror, disappointed I didn’t
see a change in my face.
Nothing about the motel
room stays in memory. Or
when he started living in the
trees, sneaking in the back
door when my husband pulled
out in the Healy. That room,
so pure, so like a bridal chamber,
tho still pristine, the only color
not white in the room beside
the tiger cat, was his, my first
lover, and my body. After
love we’d read poetry all day.
Was it wine coolers or
scotch? He wanted drugs but
we had only nut meg. Like
silk draped over the railing
in the photo of this house,
my body fell over his. How
little I remember his smell,
how I felt with him inside me.
He was too big, he couldn’t
stay. He lit a match under my
window each night and I turned
the light on and off like a fire
fly signaling for a mate.
It was always a good story but
it was getting so cold in
the woods he couldn’t stay.
The only place he can has been
for so many years
in poems

*Lyn's website:

November 11, 2009

The Hammer Gets Thrown Out Again

by John Rocco

The Hammer got thrown out of the bar again
this time the last time she swears she’s never going back.
This time it was Halloween and she was dressed as a
sexy cop but she still got thrown out and she tells
me it wasn’t her fault because she was fighting
with the guy I really didn’t know she liked that much
and he spilled a pitcher of beer on her on purpose.
She threw a glass of beer in his face. Matt the bartender
turned the music off and took her drink—JD on the rocks—
out of her hand and then asked the bar, “Should I
throw her out?” And they all screamed “Yes!”
so he threw her out. (She texted me the next morning
that she wanted to throw up everything that happened
the night before.) He threw her out like the
time the construction workers followed her into
the bathroom and the time when she fought with
the mousy girl about spilling drinks on her.
He threw her out like the night she wouldn’t let
me leave the bar and said the greatest things ever
to me “Take me to your car” the least of it.

She got thrown out of the bar again and
she swears she’s never going back but
I missed her that last time even though
I was in the bar that night waiting for her
like the night I was waiting for her on my birthday
and she never showed till too late and come to think of it
she got thrown out that night too. I missed her.
She got thrown out of the bar again and she’s never going back
but I know she will, hope she will
go back to get thrown out again
because she is the reason all the seasons
throw out and throw up
life and death and lust and love
like cheap drinks on the bar’s
dirty old lonely widowed floor.

*John Rocco at MySpace:

The Real Me

by John Rocco

I guess some people just know me.
At 7-Eleven when I don’t buy beer
just milk or juice or Win $1,000
A Week for Life scratch-off cards
the guy behind the counter always
asks, “What? No beer?” like it’s a
goddamn miracle. Or when I go to the bar
Ritchie or Matt always pull me a pint
before I even sit down.
And Ross writes me:
“I’m going to pass on this one
but keep throwing away money
on those strippers.” And Walter
says something about what I wrote:
“If I didn’t know you were from
New York, I’d think you were
from Texas.” And xTx gave
me the greatest compliment
a broken old writer could ever get:
“You seriously need to call me. Like, on the phone.”

It’s scary but these people I don’t know
know the real me like in that Who song.
Maybe I should always buy beer even
at 7 in the morning and thank you
Ritchie and Matt for the pints
and I’ll keep throwing it away
on strippers Ross coz they make good stories
and Walter it’s true I’m from Queens
but there is a secret Wild Bunch cowboy
inside robbing banks, throwing lead
eating horse meat, slugging rotgut
looking for xTx’s digits
among the hot cactus cunnilingus.

These people I don’t know know me
like she knows the real me
when she calls me with the good news:
“You’re going to love this! I just
got back from the dentist! I have
6 cavities!” She knows I love
her rotting teeth and her silver fillings
and her wisdom tooth pulled
out by the budget dentist
the day before we walked
the night streets
her shoving too sweet candy
into our mouths
telling the bastard called Tomorrow
she knows him
and he should go fuck himself.

November 10, 2009


by Gary Beck

Long night’s tide
drifting shoreward.
Sea muse chanting
of the eternal dawn,
swifter than a cry of pain,
pounding madly,
a frightened schizophrenic on a prison door,
floating on the bitter fumes
of endless industrial nights,
rocking, rocking,
through the crime night streets of cities
furtively fading into doorways
when grim cadavers march like Caesar’s legions.
All Gaul is divided….
Night, day, anguish….
Clashing barbarian host.

What I should have done

by Michael Estabrook

It has occurred to me
that what I should have done
all those years ago
when you sent me away
after I showed up unexpectedly
at your dorm
was simply to not have come back.
After dating for 2 years
you wanted something more than me,
you didn’t want to be tied down to only me,
you wanted your freedom
to wander and try other boys,
and who could blame you for that really.
When you sent me away
so you could spend that day
with that other guy
I should have taken the hint,
respected your wishes and stayed away,
not visited or called or written to you any more.
I should have simply stayed away forever.
That would have been a horrible thing
for my life but certainly the best thing for you.
You would have been unencumbered
by me in your pursuit to find another,
better man to care for you.
I’m sorry I didn’t leave you alone
when you asked me to, so sorry for that.

November 9, 2009


give me my
first love, but
enough stories
to last longer
than he did. Ex
con, alkie, with
his cat like body.
I’d forgotten
the slope of
his arms until
a photo slid
out and I saw
the way he
held the cat made
me remember
the way he held
my body. The
first one, and the
first one I
came with him
inside me. I
thought he was an
amazing lover
then but of
course I had
nothing to
compare him
with. Now I
do and I

by Lyn Lifshin

*Lyn's website:


trying to pull some
memory of him back.
Suede, maybe corduroy,
Was he nice to my cat?
He must have been but
I don’t remember. No
Abys then, but tiger
cat, the grey cat, brown
one, her kittens. I’m
only sure because
of photographs, one in
each hand. A smile
camouflages what I felt,
Then, out of fantasy,
he wrote he saw my
picture in a magazine,
said he wanted to
take me down
the Mississippi
hollering poems and
blowing weed. He
sounded crazy and I
was bored, living, a
married virgin in a
raised ranch for years.
That his eyes were
green, I didn’t remember.
Someone wrote to
tell me. Except for
what I wrote about him
so little seems real

by Lyn Lifshin

All So Easy

by Daniel S. Irwin

It was just like they
Said in basic training,
You squeeze the trigger
And another head
Blasts apart like
Earth exploding in
A science fiction movie.
The top half of
The toasted driver
In a burnt out truck
Falls when you
Open the door.
The inner core
Of still raw sinew
Makes the hanging
Upper torso
Bounce like
A bungee jumper
At the end of
His freefall.
Mutilated bodies of
Less than lucky
Makes it all so easy.
Is limited to
Searching the dead
For those harsh
Foreign cigarettes
'Cause you finished
Your last butt
Two days ago.

November 6, 2009


none of the clutter in my uncle’s last days
or the lemon meringue pies or white cakes.
Sundays, the grown ups slapped cards
and I watched thru clear French doors
or imagined oceans, the shells, the green
Chinese rug. Even then it was dissolving.
Clarinets, velvet, a Chinese table with
playing cards inside, coppery. In the
dream, the last person is gone, is missing.
Each room has been cleaned and packed,
a box of never used syringes, clothes
tied with strings. Where are the paintings
that cluttered walls. Even the painted scene
in the hallway is covered over. Echoes.
No blinds. I must be here to look around
for the last time but I’m not sure why.
Sterile. No one fighting over the Passover
table. The stained glass gloves, the ones I
always wanted as a kid, gone. I was promised.
I thought they’d be mine. So little to show
the life that was here. Bare brass beds stripped
as so much. Labeled boxes. So much medicine,
medical supplies. And who are these strangers
who enter the house silently, expressionless,
without a word. They are dressed as if for
church or a funeral and quietly collect items
from every room. Three or four boxes at a
time and then, a few minutes later, 3 or 4 more.
I’ve never seen them. They’re taking the last
of what belonged here. I go to the room my
mother had, the smallest, being a girl when
being a girl didn’t much count. Broken
furniture, a desk, at least there’s papers—
maybe something my mother wrote. I’ve lost
so much. Have I come too late. Why didn’t I
look for what I could grab, a memento. These
papers in my mother’s drawer, I cram them with
an old shopping bag. It’s late, Saturday. Her
room is shambles but there’s an old I think
a flapper dress, rainbow fishnet. It’s torn but
it’s gorgeous. It’s what I love, all I have
of her

by Lyn Lifshin

*Lyn's website:


by Lyn Lifshin

there’s been rumors, some
pretty blatant moves. Still,
it’s a dance. But then, what
isn’t and being
at this retreat in the trees,
nothing is quite the way it
should be. Each move seems
new. Rooms dug out into the
earth, small caves who knows
what animals could burrow
in. With only candles, so
little light. A low down musk.
There can’t be showers.
No windows for stars. Later
the dream will make me so
enraged, so wildly sure
little is left to live for, but there
must have been pale roots
of flowers like upside down
trees and the warmth from so
many bodies laughing and
giggling thru bark and leaves
and buried opals, bone of a last
emperor, gold circling a princess’
bones. Forget the crawlies, the
slime. I was doing that, getting
ready to make a bed in the tent
like corner, thinking of a week
of dance I’d saved all I had
for when he, the teacher, the
one that made dance more than
just ballroom—the joy in his
arms and how for weeks his words
were his hands, my skin still
glowed from them. Or was it a
bruise? If it wasn’t, it would be
when I saw him climb the earth to
be past me, a new pale new
different Asian woman this time,
an Asian slip of a girl, long hair
flowing like sea weed and he
holding her to him like she was,
she would be part of himself

November 4, 2009

Brain Of Hitler

by Doug Draime

As worms
thru the
brain of
rats eat
the worms
thru the
brain of
with his
playing like
a fiddle
thrives in
Berlin, L.A.,
the Great
and in
and puny
over the
as worms
thru the
brain of
out the brain
and soul
next door

One Day After Work

by Doug Draime

A bird chirps outside my trailer
(if it was inside I might have something:
watching it spread its wings to fly before I set it free).
On my back on the bed
exhausted with seemingly every
muscle and bone in my body
babbling in pain,
from the job.
And I start to worry about my sons.
Over the radio 2 idiots scream
at each
other, one is on the political right
the other on the left.
Both are full of deep rank shit,
as is
who defines themselves in such
moronic and dull terms.
I turn the dial searching
for some classical
music; some rock,
jazz, Brazilian toe jam dancers,
anything but the insipid wailing
of the insane and warring world. I come across
George Gershwin’s Promenade, and
settle back on the bed.

I hear the
bird; it approves and is
singing along.
Another day tomorrow at
the $8.25 an hour job-
which gives me just enough
money to pay the rent, child support;
it keeps me in food, cigarettes, beer
and typing paper.
Gershwin ends
and some Chopin
is on. Rain is starting to fall,
tingeing on the roof like stray buckshot.
And I wonder where the bird has flown for
and I wonder how long my body
can take it,
and I wonder when I will settle with my lot,
and I wonder how long the global
madness will continue,
and I wonder if my sons are safe,
and I wonder again where the bird has flown for
Chopin ends and some music I don’t
recognize comes on. Rain falls
heavy and the wind is blowing.

The First Hooker (or Dead Eyes In Chicago)

by Doug Draime

I was 19
on an all night
binge of coffee
and Vick’s
sitting in the coffee shop
of the Greyhound
bus station
on Dearborn.
I was watching the
dead eyes of
the waitress, arguing
with the dead eyes
of the cook.
There were 2 limp wrist faggots
cruising the stools
for a hunk
of meat,
with their cold dead eyes
A dead-eyed cop stood
by the door
to the street talking to
a pretty blond
hooker, and
her eyes were alive and bright blue.

My hophead friend, Roger,
from Evanston,
rode the El in everyday
on his
parent’s money
to score, and he always
bought the coffee.
Roger watched too, looking her
up and down, with his
own junk dead eyes; my eyes -
deadest of all,
getting an entrancing stare from
her alive, bright blue eyes,
while I
rubbed myself to an erection
under the counter.

November 3, 2009

these last few weeks

by paul harrison

i haven't written anything
worth a goddam piss in the sink
probably because lately
i've been drinking
two sixers a night
with trips to the bar
and a foil on the side
remembering her
of course on the upside
when i'm not blacking out
in the wild pitch of memory
my skull resounds with
the riotous chatter
of a workshop for frauds
held underwater
or a reading for nuts
with something to scratch
thru their chemical
straitjacket culture


by paul harrison

in a lunch bar
flicking through the glossy mags
i thought about how inane
and meaningless life had become
or at least
how most of everything conspired
to make it seem that way
another dress, another party
another baby, another break up
another diet, another rehab stint
and then remembered
another car bomb in old baghdad
where life is cheap and meaningful
all at once
hundreds dead, hundreds more
shred like kebab meat
and how magazines like these
or lives like mine
suddenly become
almost meaningless
sweating out the piss
eyes too dry to cry

November 2, 2009


the clear calm startles.
How many years since
sleep held me like a
lover, faithfully, not
the kind who says show
more skin and vanishes,
but velvety, lush as a
night we were all young
and the darkness was
a surprise. Lights
going on and outside,
the fireflies, diamonds
and rhinestones studded
the blackness, signaling
for a mate and we
were too, under a
slash, the pale new

by Lyn Lifshin

*Lyn's website:


by Lyn Lifshin

“the violet hour” mid
July and especially
yesterday. Blues band
playing. Dupont Circle,
heavy with roses.
Cappuccino in the out
side café. The violet
hour. The slash of page
I saw and something
about getting up from
the desk and I wonder,
did he go out to wait
for the moon or the
musk of peonies, ferns
or walk into the room
where a woman waited,
her legs, her everything
open to him

*Lyn's website:

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