final journey by t. kilgore splake

Posted in Splake on November 30, 2014 by Scot

beyond male menopause
swollen ankles
varicose veins
throbbing arthritic pains
shrunken prostate
erections distant dream
daily pressing confidence
so not scared
by threatening demon terrors
passing memories
i was young once
retreating from society
returning to nature
more comfortable outdoors
forgetting wasted years
no more Americana
red white blue patriotism
my country right or wrong
abandoning religious salvation
god doesn’t answer prayers
there is no heaven
miracles don’t exist
finally refusing
to live as others say
sad empty words
only false front
suddenly becoming real
writing feelings in poems
frequently visiting cliffs
sacred wilderness sanctuary
hoping soon
to understand life’s mystery
join granite scree
last climb
without any baggage
camera or tote bag
paintings and prayer flag
for splake poet tree
finally at peace
quiet gray ghost
ready to become a

–from Long White Memories

(splake intends for this to be centered, but wordpress has made that option difficult to find)

Two Poems by Matthew J. Hall

Posted in Matthew J. Hall with tags on November 30, 2014 by Scot

Bluer Shade of Green

Being prepubescent, we had no need for nervousness
We rolled freely on the bed
She had green eyes and smelt like clean clothes

I kissed her long, blonde hair and soft lips
I kissed her face repeatedly
Her mouth touched my neck
Her fingertips skimmed the tops of my ears

She was so beautiful
And I think of her often
And I often think of the last time I saw her
Sitting at the far side of her mother’s oak table

She didn’t seem to remember
Her eyes seemed a bluer shade of green

In spite of everything suggesting otherwise
I touched her oak hidden foot with mine
She flinched, obviously perplexed

I pulled back as discretely as I had reached out
And we sat silently while our mothers talked


Smile Thief

I used to like watching Saturday cartoons
my feet dangling and bumping the sofa
the horrors of school, distant and far removed

then one such Saturday I broke my gaze
and searched the room for the voice I’d heard, demanding

and there was nobody
and the piano we all used to play sat idle
and the doorway held an empty space
and the emptiness was sickly and quiet

so who the hell had told me I had no right to smile?
I wiped that silly bastard from my face
and hid it under the cushions
deep inside the furniture on which I sat

years later I went back
grimly determined
hell-bent on finding it

I cut that cunt of a sofa
and tore out its fluff and flesh

but the cartoons didn’t quite cut it
and the piano was well and truly out of tune
and the sadness bowed the door frame
and the taunting teachers
and the grief of it all
and the empty echoes of childish prayers
and the years of binging
and the fucking painkillers
and the heroin
and the booze
all looked back at me and laughed

I remember my last day of school
and a buddy kept talking about
how we would remember each other for ever
And I told him
I just want to forget

he seemed hurt
and he told me to fuck off

doubled over in that sofa
searching for my smile and that demanding voice and my youth
I saw my friend and heard his rebuke
but my smile was nowhere to be seen

A History of Broken Love Things by SB Stokes

Posted in Bill Gainer with tags on November 30, 2014 by Scot

Punk Hostage Press, ISBN: 978-1940213927
review by Bill Gainer

From his A History of Broken Love Things we are quick to realize SB Stokes knows things. He knows about things that are done, but never finished. It’s these complications he writes about: love, loss, longing, wishes, dreams and the memory of a touch from a first encounter. At times he’s the playful child teasing a weary sister, bouncing his words with a mischievous heart. He strings them together like Mardi Gras beads, leaves them hanging on bedside lamp shades – reminders of things that do not end.

Stokes knows love, loss and longing are things we do, never finish, there is always another time to reach out – touch what could have been, hold what is – blow into the embers. He knows wishes, the last always stepping on the next – time making each more specific as it pushes us through its ever narrowing slot – wishing for what could be. Dreams, he knows about dreams – the keepers of possibility, each night awaking new, each morning another opportunity for a secret lost. And her, he knows her, that someone always waiting to be met, always a hand outstretched, always the offer of a forever – I love you.

Stokes knows a breath can pass empty as well. Maybe this is why some hold on so tightly, refusing to leave when called, hoping to finish something that can never be. Stokes leaves this question for another time. His concern is the now, the doing. He knows it is the doing that gives life its reason, love its grace, a wish its promise, a dream its magic and the memory of a first touch its forever. SB Stokes knows the History of Broken Love Things. Read him, enjoy him, I did, I do.

Bill Gainer, Lipstick and Bullet Holes

Two Poems by Michael Grover

Posted in Michael Grover with tags on October 30, 2014 by Scot

Confessions Of An american Outlaw #405
(Transmissions For KB)

People die unheard everyday
Let’s write their words on the stars
Poets die unheard every day
So let’s legalize levy
Writing police would find him
Put him back in his grave
& yes sometimes the law does get involved
Sometimes the nation gets involved
Mad people forgotten like ghosts
Dying a little more everyday
Dying from the mechanical noise
Dying from the chemicals
Dying from cancer we didn’t know we had
Dying a little more every day
As the big broom swoops down
To sweep us under the rug
Another dead poorman forgotten
Forgotten by the neon liquor store
Where he bought the vodka to calm his outrage
Another dead poorman forgotten

Confessions Of An american Outlaw #393
(Transmissions For The Collingwood Arts Center #2)

Jim says he’s been drinking a lot of wine
I tell him I’ve been drinking vodka and smoking marijuana
His face lights up Oh yeah, marijuana too
I’m glad Jim was fucked up at the meeting
When they gave us our thirty days
He was screaming how cold & heartless they were
& the lady in the mink coat just kept looking more scared
This is how we celebrate the death of our home
Drunk & stoned isolation
We celebrate this like a sacred thing
& the spirits dance
& the music plays
Tonight we celebrate the magic that is dying


Posted in W.K. Stratton with tags on October 29, 2014 by Scot

I wore a Charles Plymell T-shirt –
Panik In Dodge City –
To the nursing home. The old man
Turned the color of raw shrimp.
He groaned and tottered an arm.
He feared window blinds.
No one else wore cowboy boots.
No one else wore ragged Levi’s.
No one else wore a Mexican belt.
I was the only one.
You don’t know how bad it is, he said.
The old man’s voice belonged
to someone else.
You ache like Texas, he said.
I can never make it to the kitchen, he said.
He closed his eyes. I walked outside.
I swallowed sunshine and rubbed
Wheat sky on my Charles Plymell t-shirt.
Every day is good for dying.
For a moment I slid off to harrowed fields
And bloodied dirt devils and Charley riding
In a tractor baby box. You still found
Open range in western Oklahoma
back then.
You could ride a horse to Hollywood
And never fight highway or fence.
Those times invented the old man
But never totaled anything for him.
He came up lost.
You don’t crane in boots and Mexican belt
For too long in land now foreign to you.
I peered down the nursing home ridge
Then took off in a blue automobile
praying to saddle and bridle.
I wore a Charles Plymell t-shirt.
It kept me breathing.


Posted in charles plymell with tags on October 26, 2014 by Scot

the church is all we get
a shield, a blanket of memory
put our slippers down in the universe
and forget where we put them
the night is a container of faith
to rot like a can of beans in the cupboard
maggots crawl from under things
like warriors of the carcasses
the shooters of lost souls
that mothers cry to disown
flesh and blood that found faith
no longer cowards to themselves
another hour on this watch brings darkness

Poetry, Status Quo, & Baseball by Doug Draime

Posted in Doug Draime with tags on October 26, 2014 by Scot

doing this for nothing,
like the rest of you
but i get
waylaid for not
writing like
the status quo
fuck the status quo

i can’t buy a can
of beans
with this poem

as i listen to the
world series
on the radio
because it’s
no longer on non cable

you got to be able
to afford to watch
america’s favorite


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