luminescent oils by Paul Koniecki

Posted in Paul Koniecki with tags on April 26, 2017 by Scot
– for reverie

i think if john dorsey had written
a poem about the time we lived

in that little apartment on fort worth
avenue between the i30 on-ramp

and the miramar motel with all the
car troubles and the kid’s car troubles

the trips to king tire for twenty-six
dollar used specials or ten dollar plugs

your famous lentil chick-pea curry
black-bean tomato soup simmering on

the stove and us trying to feed and save
all the world and the beautiful lights

i think he would of called us
luminescent oils

like the bottle of body-wash this morning
standing watch in the corner of the shower


Paul Koniecki keeps his poems on his smartphone to hide them from the government. 

How I Remember the Night Pavey Recited (from Memory) His Great Waffle House Poem in the Parking Lot of the Waffle House in (or Just Outside of) Blue Springs, MO by Scott Silsbe

Posted in Scott Silsbe with tags on April 26, 2017 by Scot

It was late, after a reading, and we poets were hungry.
We’d had milkshakes earlier for dinner, then beers or
shots or wine. And a lot of poetry. Perhaps too much.
And poetry can only satiate a certain kind of hunger.

And so the Waffle House sign hovering just off I-70
called out to us, was a sort of beacon in the night sky,
and our small caravan pulled off the freeway for grub.
We sat at the counter and the waitress was sweet to us.
I think we all ordered breakfast—several of us getting
their hashbrowns scattered, smothered, and / or covered.

It was clear the Waffle House chef took pride in his work.
Pavey covered the bill, saying that he knew it isn’t easy
being a poor poet on the road. He was right about that.
And one last gift, before we headed our separate ways,
was a poem, recited from memory, in the parking lot,
there, with the cop cars, the holy Waffle House sign
above us—a poem about a Waffle House, of course.

And I can’t recall how it went exactly, or even what
it was about, save that it mentioned a Waffle House.
But I think that I remember Pavey quoting scripture
in it, citing text some people believe came from some
great unseen, all-powerful, all-knowing force of life.
And for a moment, I believed in something greater
than myself, the spirit moved me, there in, or just
outside of, Blue Springs, MO in that Waffle House lot.
I don’t believe it was God I felt. I think it was poetry.



Scott Silsbe was born in Detroit and now lives in Pittsburgh, where he writes and works as a bookseller.

Who’s Happy Here Tonight? by Daniel Crocker

Posted in Daniel Crocker with tags on April 26, 2017 by Scot

for Lexepro
Certainly not the chopped up pig
boiling in the pot of beans
in the kitchen

Not the guy whose throat
is raw again from smoking

Not the woman asleep in the bedroom
or the husband who hasn’t fucked
her in months

Some nights I’m so sure I will
die here, stoned and wondering
if my neighbors can smell it
and one day I will

feel their footsteps above me
a rattle in my chest

but for now

The only one happy
tonight is the poem
the bees thank you
the rattling pipes thank you
the fat engagement ring on the finger
of this hot mama thanks
you Anheuser-Busch thanks you
Doe Run thanks you, boys of lice
and lean faces thank you
your ridiculous call to beauty
the red pepper
added to the boiling pot
thanks you, but not me.
Not me and not the pig.

Pooka by Jason Baldinger

Posted in Jason Baldinger with tags on April 26, 2017 by Scot

 (for Matt Borczon)

I’ve been doing a piss poor
Jimmy Stewart impersonation
all day, him reading
the first few lines of Howl
I try again as I spark
a joint, hotbox the Silver
Bullet Calivan. Silsbe
reaches for the Van Morrison cd
we play the first track or two
then he says alright let’s get right
to it and plays Almost Independence Day
we talk about all his guttural
moaning, his interjections, his
ejaculations as he sings it’s impossible
to replicate, it’s always overdone
it’s always perfect. Today though
it’s the title track of St Domenic’s Preview
that’s put a nail in my heart, when Van sings
Everyone is determined not to feel each other pain

We have to walk through a cloud
of vapor smoke to get to the coffee shop
upstairs, there are snacks from the
event in the hallway and the barista
seems confused I want both a regular
coffee and a regular tea. Black and black
Borczon is talking about being in the naval reserve
with the Syrian chemical weapons strike his people
are clamoring for answers, there’s a storm
coming, there’s a war about to dawn
I hear your poems now and I think
this is not about what you’ve already seem
this about dread, a premonition of what
you’ll see, what we will all see again
whether live or on the news, in our living rooms
he remembers talking to a group of soldiers
reminding them democracy is something
you fight for, but don’t mistake this as a democracy

Van and the road have me thinking about
America, I was in a house that was a stop
on the Underground Railroad this morning
with this administration, I think more
on the meaning of freedom than I have
before, I see coming wars as good
for business, good for a cabal of
rich white men, they have no concern
for us, for the citizens of an alleged
democracy. I’m in a bar with Stolte,
his lady and Silsbe and there
are paintings of Jimmy Stewart movies
hanging, Stolte is not familiar with Harvey
one of my maternal grandmothers favorite
movies, and now one of mine. It seems
that democracy as we know it is a Pooka



Jason Baldinger has spent a life in odd jobs. Somewhere in time he has traveled the country and wrote a few books

“new” world by Jim McGowin

Posted in Jim McGowin with tags on April 26, 2017 by Scot


only the necropolis decides
who gets to go to the pinnacle,
the engendered or endangered ascension,
a treacherous ruse that cloaks itself noble in
sloppy approximations of belief,
and people can’t sock away enough comfort
in their barbed wire yards,
dragged tangled, clinging or cast away by
a tide of serpent’s tongues
flicked heavily against lost orphans
who collect garbled star chanties
hanging like effluvia
racing above synthetic heavenly peaks,
until the foundering meat brutes,
honorable to the pure blood
setters of infliction,
come preaching about deliverance
via homicidal sensations of
falling into pottery shards
and bones broken against the flags,
ordered by mechanical
gunmetal garnished
trigger eaters,
all in the name of
a fraudulent word game.


Jim McGowin does art among other things and lives in St. Louis MO

XERF by Brandon Whitehead

Posted in Uncategorized on April 26, 2017 by Scot

If you go out into the Sierra Madre Desert,
to a point absolutely nowhere special,
you might just find an old man sittin’
in a cracked plastic pool chair
under a pink toy parasol.
He comes out every night
with a pack of Lucky Strikes
and a case of Iron City beer
(don’t ask where he got it…)
and stares at the sky until sunrise.

He’s sittin’ on the border, you see,
listening to good ol’ XERF.

It was back in the 30’s
when a goat-gland loving bible-thumping
serial killer from Kansas named Brinkley
went south to spread the word of God.
He bought himself an AM transmitter
in Villa Acuna, just south of Del Rio.
50,000 watts was as big as they allowed
him in the States, but in Mexico Doc got 500,000.

He’d throw that huge sucker’s switch
right at sundown and half-a-million watts
would strum out like Jehovah’s bass-line.
It blew the birds right out of the sky,
made rancher’s barbwire hum and moan.
Cowboys listened to the “Texas Night Train”
through their bunkhouse bedsprings,
Norwegian fishermen cranked up
Boomin’Paul Kallinger
to shake the ice off the Bering straights.

Yes sir, the KGB learned English
from Wolfman Jack (true story).

Now, the man get to hear it all again,
the shows, the music, the voices
as if he was still a boy
and the world bright and new,
because long ago in a valley called
Inchon, the North Koreans gave him
(a fresh young PFC then)
a gift to remember them by,
a chunk of bullet forever lodged in his skull
under his bald pock-marked scalp.

You see, if he turns his head
just right, that bit of iron
needles across the sky
like an old radio tuner.

There, trapped in the aether above
is XERF, and a time he can still understand,
before computers and hippies
and those people on TV who smile too much.
So the man sits out here
listening to electromagnetic phantoms
echoing through the sky,
not bothering nobody,
not the border guards
who watch a flat land all day
and couldn’t catch a cold
if they tried or the VA doctors
who have asked him
“So, where were you hit?”
for four decades running
or even the coyotes
who keep trying
to steal his shoes.



Brandon Whitehead is a writer. He lives in Kansas.


Hokey Pokey Muse by Jeanette Powers

Posted in Jeanette Powers with tags on April 26, 2017 by Scot

I haven’t your knack
for the easy uselessness
I haven’t your quack
quack quacking
duck duck goosing
and dodge
ball-games and board games
or how you bend over
backwards to limbo
you are so inbetween
how your right arm in
and then right arm out
as if you were born to it
and jigsaw about as though
your piece fit
every empty slot
all hokey pokey
and London bridges
you are always sent over
red rover
you turn yourself around
and falling down
you are the blackjack dealer
of reindeer games
and I
am red nose
last chose