Archive for January, 2009

the demons are real… by Ross Vassilev

Posted in Ross Vassilev with tags on January 31, 2009 by Scot

red flower wilting
in a glass

on the white walls.

i remember
my confusion,

my rediscovery
of the beauty of nature.

the demons

sometimes they growl
at me in my sleep

i turn them off

i think of Penelope Cruz

of hippie chicks in 1969
before i was born.

the demons are quiet

biding their time

hiding somewhere
in the back of my head

like a tumor.

Searching for Joan of Ark in Front of Safeway …by Christopher Robin

Posted in Christopher Robin with tags on January 27, 2009 by Scot

didn’t I take you to buy white candles
and salt when the evil spirits
were getting into your
underwear drawer
and moving your paintings around?
when the apartment became possessed
you left your beloved cat, Romeo, behind
and disappeared-
I didn’t see you for two years
my oldest friend, the witch
who always told the story
of meeting me for the first time
under the San Carlos Street bridge
nearly twenty years ago
roasting potatoes under an overturned shopping cart-
you were working as a chef at a high class hotel-
now I see you head low, hair matted
a sunburned face outside of Safeway
I hug you
I kiss your head
you offer me a handful of white pills
no thanks, I say
do you want to go back on lithium?
well, they are shooting lasers into my teeth see?
there’s a chip
its Revelations you know
I know
it’s all in the bible
I know
I will take you to the hospital right now
and then I will feed you and give you a shower…
feel that
my belly she says
it’s metal
where they tore out my insides
and see my teeth
those are microchips
see that TV across the street
if you go over there
I’m on it

A VERY SILENT MAN…by Charles P. Ries

Posted in Charles P. Ries with tags on January 26, 2009 by Scot

How silent he was, my father.
I never remember him talking,
other than when he gave me instructions,
or reprimands about work.

How silent he was in prayer.
Every morning at first mass.
Every night before bed,
on his knees talking silently to his God.

How silent he was at work,
tending to his herd of mink,
like a sheep dog would tend his flock.

How silent he was at supper.
Eight voices clamoring, reaching, asking.
My mother filling plates like a short order cook,
begging him to “say something!”

How silent he was after lunch,
as he took his 30 minute nap
before returning to his mink,
his chores and his silence.

How silent he was with his rosary
woven between his fingers,
wearing his blue suit as we stood
wordless around his coffin.

OUR FINAL HOUR …by Barry Graham

Posted in Barry Graham with tags on January 23, 2009 by Scot

in the final hour of human
existence, no just god will allow

any nation to stand which was
built upon the backs of slaves.

so hopefully while the rest of
the world crumbles the always gracious

citizens of the united states of america
will let everyone come live there.

except for me and my family
we will be hiding in iceland

or maybe greenland I can never
remember which one is really frozen

and which one has all the
sporadic volcanic eruptions

Always the Sun …by William Taylor Jr.

Posted in William Taylor Jr. with tags , on January 20, 2009 by Scot

Today a letter informs me
the collection agency is suing for
six thousand dollars
I do not have.

Hours later
there’s a phone call to say
a friend from long ago
is gone by cancer.

I look at his photograph
and it feels like a warning,
a harbinger of things to come.

Death has a hat the size of the sun
holding all our names.

I step outside
and the landlord says it’s such a beautiful
day, and I walk
past beautiful women
laughing at sidewalk tables
and stinking men asleep in doorways.

Everywhere love is stretched
as thin as a thread
and the sun, always the sun,
glorious and terrible,
shining down so
indifferent upon it all.

And all I can think to hope
is that at the end of things
we’ll have stored up enough joy
to balance out the darkness.

It’s the only victory I can still imagine.

— William Taylor Jr.

Meiosis by MK Chavez

Posted in MK Chavez with tags on January 16, 2009 by Scot


This is the second date. I’m thinking
of the dictionary and fellatio
and the fact that not much further down
on the page you find the word fellow
and this doesn’t mean much, but fellatio
and fellow don’t always go together.

I study his face, looking for some sort
of Geronimo in him, if only
he was a constellation of man,
someone to be counted on to do
something, but I’ve put him under
the microscope—

This is quite the expedition
we’re swimming here, small talk like
air bubbles. The walls of the restaurant
are periwinkle. I want to lean over
and say please don’t speak, I just so,
want a chance to undulate.

This date feels like a cell. I become
a spore, could sink. The intervals
of my breath float, midair, like pigeons,
the birds that people hate. He laughs
says things like “pussy

Note: Interesting. He took to cats
after he watched one kill a bird, its bloody
muzzle is called charming. I pretend to laugh
sounds like a cackle, “Isn’t it funny,” he says.
He named the kitty “Killer.”


Posted in Bradley Mason Hamlin with tags on January 14, 2009 by Scot

I think of the devil more often than angels. Sometimes it’s
easier that way, to walk with monsters, to laugh while the
girl on fire dances, because she is not hurt by the flames.
They’re what keeps her alive, and I enter into her ring of
fire like a mad dog jumping through a flaming hoop to take
the whip from her hands …

I bite her throat and hold on; I can feel her, sense her
spirit in there, burning me as I push down on her palms.
I am not immune to hellfire, but it is this pain that speaks
to me, tells me I am alive, a beast of the first origin …

I pick up all the books of poetry littering my lab and
throw them into her fireplace, academic and alternative
presses blazing together, Wordsworth and Bukowski, the
insanity of broken prose and overblown sensitivity burning
brighter together than the words alone, the words that
never held the magic to heal the beat dog inside.

Her neck wound heals as it always does. She’s alive,
eternal, blazing brightly, and it is a good fire.

— Bradley Mason Hamlin

This Planet Owes Me Penis Cookies

Posted in Misti Rainwater-Lites on January 12, 2009 by Scot

I stole the frosted penis sugar cookies in a fit of rage.
Who are these asshole bakers? How can they get away
with charging six dollars a cookie for cookies that
people like myself cannot resist? People like myself
beg Mama for grocery money and when Mama says “NO”
we steal pennies and nickels from the console in Mama’s
2005 Kia Spectra.
My sister sends me a hostile text message.
“At some point in your life you are going to have to
take responsibility for your actions.”
No. Don’t want to. Easier to place blame
on penis cookie bakers and stingy mama.

— Misti Rainwater-Lites

Poem For Dave Church

Posted in A.D. Winans on January 10, 2009 by Scot

I walk about the apartment
Tripping through the garden of my mind
Wandering through a luscious vertical hibernation
Beneath the quiet sheen of one light bulb
And the shadowed glow from the bedroom window
With Van Morrison and Dylan cranked beyond the
Tinnitus shaking the dust from my memory bank
I see you slumped over the steering wheel of the
Taxi cab you drove all those long years
Poet warrior who recorded my “13” jazz poems
Making the poems come alive
As no other poet could
Brought back to reality by a flock of  birds
Who circle the dark clouds outside
That threaten to burst into tears
Gone but not forgotten
jazz in your heart poetry in your soul
Your words exploding like artillery fire
Shattering the quiet of dawn

poets are like butterflies
inhabiting temporary space
tasting the pollen of life
spreading their wings
reshaping the stars the universe
cosmic matter waiting to be reborn

— A.D. Winans