Archive for June, 2009

My Name is Salome, I Don’t Mean to Complain but God has Cut Off My Arms…by MK Chavez

Posted in MK Chavez on June 28, 2009 by Scot

Me and Chiwein

Here—won’t you give
me a dollar for my dance.
I’m still
a beautiful girl. My mother
made me do it. I fake it
every time. They tell you
they love you
leave you
for some piece
of heaven. It’s better
to cut off their heads
while you still have a chance.

skating on thin ice by John Dorsey

Posted in John Dorsey on June 25, 2009 by Scot

john dorsey 2

when we were little
my mother would strap
skates on our feet
every sunday after church
and walk us over
to an empty lot
in the trailer park
where i spent most
of my childhood
frozen over by rural
pennslyvania ice storms

my little brother and i
were small fish on
an even smaller pond
born on thin ice with copper spoons
up our asses me
with two left feet
him with coke bottle
glasses since kindergarten ready
and waiting for our
shot at the white
trash ice capades twirling until
sundown like the spiritual children
of gordon lightfoot we were
raised to be

we were raised right
it’s just too
bad pride didn’t come
along with a little grace
if it had we
might have been divine
a mother’s angels rattling
the bars of the cage

years later mom donated
our skates to the
salvation army “you boys
don’t ever skate anymore”
my brother says “we
never did” and i can’t
help laughing now when
i think about putting
on skates it’s only
to meet death in the middle
of the road

–John Dorsey

& That’s Why It Sometimes Makes Sense To Dump Gallons Of Kerosene Into Our Gaping Maws, & That’s Why It Sometimes Makes Sense To Scream At The Indigosilent Heavens, Bellow At The Silent Gods… by Hosho McCreesh

Posted in Hosho McCreesh on June 23, 2009 by Scot

To sit around wondering
how this ridiculous world
got this way
just doesn’t
do much good.

To study world history–
sociology, psychology,
race relations or
the collected works of
nothing can be
found there
to explain away
or justify
all we do.

The world simply loves
to destroy itself.

Sadly, this old grey stallion,
this self-destruction,
is really just a lack of
it’s not having anything
legitimate, or
to do with
& it’s our own
personal & seemingly
inescapable road to

& that’s why it sometimes makes sense
to dump gallons of kerosene
into our gaping maws,
& that’s why it sometimes makes sense
to scream at the indigosilent heavens,
bellow at the silent gods…

But make no

we are owed
no explanation,

we are entitled to
absolutely nothing,

& we are to
blame for
almost all of


Posted in A.D. Winans on June 21, 2009 by Scot


I’m addicted to looking at pictures
Mother left behind
From assorted photo albums
Bringing back memories of our family
Flat on Page street
Teddy the family dog chasing his tail
Like dad chased his dreams
Mother sitting on the sofa knitting
A heating pad on her swollen feet
Or working a crossword puzzle
One eye on sister the other on me
Dad lighting up a Pall Mall cigarette
blowing smoke rings across the room
It’s like reliving vaudeville days
My father a grip-man on the
Old Muni Railway
Taking me with him for a ride
Letting me ring the bell
A look of pride in his eyes
When he said to the passengers:
One of the few memories
I had of childhood fun
Father and son as one
Riding to the end of the line
That one time when everything
In life was fairytale fine
Now at 73
I feel like a dinosaur
Walking the ends of earth
With nothing but scraps
To feast on

MEXICO NOVEMBER 2008 by A.D. Winans

Posted in A.D. Winans on June 19, 2009 by Scot


Alone in my hotel room
In Mexico, thirty-six hours
Before my flight back
To San Francisco
A hundred blank poems
Rattling around inside my head

I can turn them
Into paper airplanes
Fly each one to imaginary places
Or write poems on them in vivid old
Mexico song rhythms

If I could draw
I’d draw a rainbow picture
Of beautiful Indian women
With faces brown as earth

Soon I’ll return to San Francisco
City of dreamers drunkards
And lonely lovers
I will turn these blank pages
Into poems fished from the
Pond of my memory bank
Baited with the history of old


Posted in Bradley Mason Hamlin on June 16, 2009 by Scot


When I
was a little guy
I lived in the northeast side
of Los Angeles
and sometimes
our family would go to the beach
my brother and I playing
in the waves
body surfing
in the 1960’s clean saltwater

then we moved to Santa Monica
bought those funky Styrofoam boards
paddled out and mostly belly surfed
and wobbled up until a wave
snapped the board in two

then back to Highland Park
learning to fight cholos
& skateboarding always
“sidewalk surfing” Jan Berry
said …

then ditching school
and surfin with “borrowed” boards
from kids who had parents
that could buy luxury items
like surfboards
and brand-name swim trunks
instead of
cutoff blue jeans
and many of them had houses
on the beach

they listened to Van Halen
we listened to Dick Dale
and thought we knew more
about the surf
from the music than
the kids that lived
right on the damned sand

all us 70’s kids from the ghetto
an Annette Funicello beach party
still do,
not interested
in competition
or showing off in the waves

we went to punk parties
and drank beer with the Germs,
the Plugz, and the Gears

surfing was fun back then
and the punks that surfed knew
how to chew their bubble gum
and surf at the same time

that’s all the skill
we thought

but of course
the locals always ruined
our Oscar Myer summers
by making us
kick sand in their faces
for a place in the sun
for a little laughter
at the edge of the world
which we thought
no one owned

except the devils
of creation
and the kids
willing to
ditch their leather jackets
long enough
to fall down in the waves
and believe
in everything
Brian Wilson & the boys
vibed about the
California myth

it didn’t matter
that we weren’t athletes,
or that the seemingly pretty
liked the mainstream assholes
with money more
or that society/fate/alien gods
had somehow
chosen them and not us

we knew
by some strange mutant twist
we had been given the gift
of being
better than them.

Combat boots were made for walking by Debbie Kirk

Posted in Debbie Kirk on June 12, 2009 by Scot

I have always said
Keep a secret from him
Keep just one thing,
For yourself

When I noticed
That my secrets
Were piling up
I realized I am the kind of girl
Who will forever have
Far too many secrets

And that I also don’t have to try
As hard as I think I do
To keep them away from me in the first place

Cause I’m such a dirty girl

I’ve never traced my genealogy
But I’ve noticed that sometimes
I blend in
With the dusty,
Walked all over
Used wooden floors.

pink hair

Four Poems by Howie Good

Posted in Howie Good with tags on June 8, 2009 by Scot

From the series HEARTLESS

Friends forget my birthday. Forget they’re friends.
Betray confidences without giving their names.

Change their names without telling me.
Slice the heads off birds.

Leave headless birds on the doorstep.
And when I’m near,

drop their voices and whisper into the phone.

My heart eats a hole in itself
just big enough to escape through.

It’s a law no one follows.
Even so, they pull me from the line

and quote Kant’s Categorical Imperative
and then laugh at my discomfiture.

One of them looks something like my older brother,
the same brown eyes and ironic manner.

“Just tell what happened in the order it happened,”
my heart blandly advises.

I would, but all I can recall at this distance
is a car honking for me to come out

and the moon being lynched from a lamppost
and not enough light.

Her heart moves in
with my heart.

At dinner she stares down
without appetite at the roses

clotting on the plate.
I ask how her day was.

She shrugs – her heart
doesn’t consider

languishment and pain
to be subjects

for dinner conversation.
But sometimes it wonders

just what took place
before it got here

that night trembles
under the table,

waiting for scraps.

I had bad teeth in the dream,
just as in real life, but in the dream

I had the long, droopy moustache
of a gunfighter to disguise it.

I walked so slowly up the tree-
lined street I appeared lost.

People had stopped mowing their lawns
or playing with their dogs to watch me.

A few even pointed.
Perhaps they were wondering like me

what was in the grocery bag I was carrying
that the bottom had turned a greasy black,

my heart or someone else’s.

Two poems by Lorianne Zeller

Posted in Lorianne Zeller with tags on June 5, 2009 by Scot


Someone I love is dying.
There is no poetry in this
no glib or beautiful eulogy
just the heaving sigh of knowing
and the story to be told.

Last night in dreams I stood by the window and watched you walk up the hill
the snow was deep, swirling around your legs.
I pressed my face against the glass and tried to will you back
but the snow had filled your tracks
and there was nothing but blinding, white absence.

It snowed today.
Icy snowflakes touched my face.
They tasted like sorrow
like needles
like pennies in my mouth.

Tonight begins the stitching.
Small black words sewn together
your tracks going up that hill.

I lost my soul.
In a moment of flawed humanity
I threw it at somebody’s head.
I missed.
It made a sound like breaking glass when it hit the wall.

Take all the things you feel
sandpaper them
until they are as smooth as commonality.

Stop singing in the streets.
Keep your eyes downcast.
Soothsay only in a whisper
too low to be heard.

Take these words
black and black typed on white
start a funeral pyre.
History, memories, dreams
wrap yesterday’s fish in them.

Sweep up broken glass


lorianne would like to buy a small monkey if they are not too expensive and put him in the basket of her poetry bicycle, then ride around in big, lazy circles while wearing a pair of combat boots and a sun dress with no panties.  You can find her (and her poetry bike) @

Answered Prayer of the Mourning Mistress by Jennifer VanBuren

Posted in Jennifer VanBuren with tags on June 1, 2009 by Scot

Death never answers prayersjvanburen
(you lied)

He hacks the party line,
cracks in between the upbeats of
electronic hold music.

“Oh god, I hope we don’t get caught”

Death lifts a finger.
“I got this one”