NOT WHAT IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE by Mather Schneider

Posted in Mather Schneider with tags on October 1, 2014 by Scot

A new Mexican telenovela
started last week
at 6 o’clock
on channel 46.

My wife and I
watch it
every night
while we eat
dinner.

Some of the characters
in the novela
live in a garbage dump
outside
Mexico City

a huge
seemingly endless
mountain range of refuse
where the poorest of the poor
build their shacks
call it home
pick the garbage daily
for things they can fix
and use or sell or wear or
eat
no place to even wash
themselves.

My wife is from
Mexico
and she assures me
this is not
fiction
and I can tell by the footage
it is no stage set.

Of course the actors
are not poor
but when the filming stops
real people do live there
in this garbage dump
this basurero
and they do live like
that
every day
fighting on the very edge
of existence
death is their neighbor
hunger their black butterfly.

They are not saints
and I know they would probably do
almost anything
to give their children
what we have

but
there is something
not what it is supposed to be
here:
ensconced
on factory-bought sofas
eating dinner
without real hunger
watching novelas
every night

clicking off the
tv
when the credits
roll

dishes washed
garbage cans pushed
to the curb

going to our soft
clean beds
to ready ourselves
for the coming
workday

lying here in the dark
feeling fat
restless
and filthy

on what would have been my parents’ 68th by Lynne Savitt

Posted in LYNNE SAVITT with tags on September 29, 2014 by Scot

wedding anniversary day as miserable
as their 60 year marriage i had a car
accident in a traffic circle what perfect
symbolism going round & round & round
in wheel of unhappiness i was made
dizzy by chance of lusty escape love
makes us stupid as smashing into
truck driving honda accord melted into
silver metal cake happy anniversary
dead parents from yr idiot daughter
who cannot escape yr legacy of
miserable marriages & death
of unrelenting dreams of joy

Three Poems by Doug Draime

Posted in Doug Draime with tags on September 29, 2014 by Scot

Plant Some Sweet Peas There, Too

Bulldoze the green and lush ivy walls.
Tear down the sanctimonious Ivory Towers.
Plow up the campuses and classrooms.

Plant tulips and roses and lilacs and carnations there,

where blind conformity is sold,

where education is a complacent whore spreading
it’s legs to worship war,

where imperialism and corporate murderers are
justified

where the souls of your children are gutted like
beasts of prey,

where the lies about the American Dream
originated,

where tenure is a cover-up for increasing ethical
compromise,

where corruption is over looked for the sake of
Cronyism and the Empire.

Bulldoze the green and lush ivy walls.
Tear down the sanctimonious Ivory Towers.
Plow up the campuses and classrooms.

And plant redwoods and sycamores and spruce
and oaks.

Plant some tomatoes and onions and carrots
and a peach tree.

Plant some sweet peas there, too.
____________


Bullies

“With both cute little fists clenched,” she said,
I walked up to the bully of my friend,
who was several inches taller,
as well as 3 years older, and pushed
him backwards hard, telling him that
if he ever bothered my
friend again I would track him down
and kick his ass real bad.

She said, at 5 years old
I already had a reputation
as a scrapper on the streets of Pittsburgh,
and that the bully backed away quickly
and never messed with my friend again.

My aunt told this story often in my presence,
and I would get up and leave the room
when she got to the part about
“with both cute little fists clenched”, which was
always followed by her laughter
and the laughter of whoever she was
telling it to.

I recall she stopped telling the story,
at least when I was around, after I was
arrested and jailed for drunk and disorderly,
and hitting a cop when was 16. But I would like
to think that when I wasn’t around, she
told the story with the same motherly pride, knowing
the cop had hit me first and was just another bully
I stood up to, and I hope that her laughter was loud
and defiant.

____________

The Moment I Want

All concepts and ideas,
thoughts of past
and future, gone.

The bare-ass
conception of art,
that frees everyone
thus everything.

And then is all
undone and falling
from me:

all dreams of
judgment, all lies
of me, and all

lies of you:

a sudden sunrise
in a snoring

darkness.

Don’t Ever Tell Anybody Anything. If You Do, You Start Missing Everybody by William Taylor Jr.

Posted in William Taylor Jr. with tags on September 28, 2014 by Scot

Baby you once said
love is just losing your strut
for a little while and letting yourself
be naked

and I remember a time
when we stood in each others’ presence

naked and glorious

and like children we imagined it would last

but our prayers got busted
halfway to heaven

and rained back down
upon us like dirty snow

and now we’re covered in shit
and years and regrets

and you probably don’t
ever think about it much

but I carry lost moments
through the years like painted stones

and baby I will always call you baby
and I’ll always remember you naked.

America by Hosho McCreesh

Posted in Hosho McCreesh with tags on September 28, 2014 by Scot

Today at work I learned that
America had been indicted,
Aggravated Burglary and Conspiracy,
for stealing $720 from
a lonely old man.

See, America called him up,
asked if she could come over,
implying something sexual
without coming out and saying it.

“Sure,” the lonely old man said,
“I’ve got a few beers,” and
American said she’d
be right over.

So the old man splashed on
some aftershave, Old Spice,
cracked a couple cans of Modelo,
and waited.

America showed up, smiling nervous,
and sipped at her beer for a few minutes,
before unlocking the front door
letting two men in.

The men scared the old man pretty good,
“Where’s the fucking money, gramps?” they said,
and roughed him up a bit.

The old man looked at America,
“Just tell them,” she said, “these guys
seem crazy!”

So the old man gave it up,
and the thieves ran off with
all his cash.
When the cops showed up,
they asked the old man
how he knew America.

“She would never,” the old man said,
he’d loaned her money before, he said
he’d once given her father a job.
“She would never…”

The cops rolled their eyes
knowing the old fool
had been had.

“Did America know you always carry
so much cash?” the cops asked,
and the old man said nothing.

“How else could the thieves know?”
the cops asked, and even though he
still couldn’t believe it, the old man
admitted that it must’ve been America.

Meanwhile outside, America said
she couldn’t identify the robbers,
that she really wished she could help,
but that she didn’t see their faces,
she didn’t recognize anyone,
that she didn’t know anything.

So the cops made like they were gonna cuff her,
and America started in begging and pleading,
“But my kids!” she said, “my kids are
at home…alone! Please…please,
you can’t arrest me!”
So the cops tacked on more charges,
abandoning a child, two counts,
and America changed her tune,
“It’s not my fault!” she said.
Sure, she did it, “But they put me up to it.
I had no choice! They said they’d
kill me…and my kids!”

So the cops asked her
if she’d rat the guys out,
and she gave them up
faster than the meth goes.

The whole filthy lot were rounded up,
arrested, and no one would say
where the money was.

And when America got her phone call,
it was to some sucker ex-boyfriend,
a recoving addict who now installs
hot water heaters under the table.
“Jezus,” he said, but still he left his job,
pulled his child support money out of an ATM,
and bailed America out two hours later.

“I swear I’ll pay you back,” America said,
“every penny,” then kissed him on the cheek and
took off on him too, went on the lam, telling no one
goodbye, or where she was headed.

It wasn’t until five years later
that America was finally picked up
on the warrant, FTA – failure to appear,
and of course America
had been hiding out
in Las Vegas.
Still, we know how these things go:
the case was dropped,
DA said it wasn’t
“a strong enough case,”
that it didn’t warrant extradition,
that spending taxpayer money wasn’t
“in the best interest of justice,”
because that’s pretty much
how it’s always
gone with
America.

Sinatra Summer by Bradley Mason Hamlin

Posted in Bradley Mason Hamlin with tags on September 28, 2014 by Scot

Just when
I thought I
might have drunk
one vodka lemon too many

Sinatra
started singing
“Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown”

and I was reminded,
it’s summer

we’re having fun
in
the Central Valley

while over in Israel
our brothers & sisters
fight back
mind-controlled
savages

but
the San Francisco
vodka
on ice
is nice

add
Sacramento lemon
from the tree
outside

and you’re allowed
to smile

but don’t forget
to say
a silent prayer …

Nicky’s
gonna do the home
cookin’

an ongoing force field
against bad evil

and no matter how
ugly the world gets

if you wanna quit
cash in your chips
give up
make a grip

too many others
have beat you to it,
all cried out

yet there is this
there is now
here

and
we have Sinatra.

THE WINDOW TO MY SOUL IS TINTED by Jason Hardung

Posted in Jason Hardung with tags on September 28, 2014 by Scot
My old pill dealer was always waiting on a settlement from a car crash she was in twenty years ago. She watched too much day time TV with the commercials of shady lawyers pointing their finger at the camera sternly and saying, “Are you a victim? You could be compensated.” “As soon as I get my settlement I’ll be rolling on new 22’s. I’ll get my son out of jail. I’ll take you out to eat at Chilis and we’ll even get appetizers. I’ll probably go to beauty school,” she’d say. “I like the spinach dip,” I’d say back to her. “Go on vacation. See the ocean. I’ve always wanted to ride a dolphin,” she’d add. Everybody needs a way out of their shitty lives, some sort of hope. Some people believe in God to get them through hard times and others wait on a settlement. It’s all the same. It’s all light in a dark world. It gives you a reason to keep going. Pray hard, wish harder. The windows to her soul were tinted just like her 1985 Cutlass Supreme. I didn’t have the heart to look into them and to tell her that the settlement was never going to come. Or that dolphins don’t like to be ridden—it’s just a myth of reality TV. So I’d sit there with her on the porch, watching for the mail man and talking about all the ways she could change her life with the money –wishing and hoping she was going to come off just one more pill.
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