Archive for June, 2010

Falling Down by Ally Malinenko

Posted in Ally Malinenko with tags on June 29, 2010 by Scot

I made a promise,
that I would stop thinking of my life
as a holding pattern
between good news and bad news
or lately, being bad news and worse news.
And I will live in the moment for what it is. Not what I hope will come.

And I’m trying.
But it’s not easy on a Sunday night,
when you have left the room,

because of the neighbor’s television

and I’ve given up
rather dramatically

and listen to the mumble through the wall,
knowing she is old
and probably going deaf,
and how little compassion I really have. And how terrible that makes me.

I tell you later, in bed,
that this year has started out pretty bad.
Sad and frustrating, I describe it.
And the writing, which is all I’ve got most days,
is letting me down.

And you agree and we lay in bed,
not touching, staring at the ceiling
and I realize I probably lied.

Places can turn their back on you. Just like a person can.
It’s then when you realize that the foundation is bad
and rotting, that termites have fed through the ground
and you can see how the whole thing will look
when that last plank snaps and it falls like a dying thing.

I realize over and over again, with horror,
that there is no guarantee that any of this will work out.

And now, I don’t think I can live in this moment for very long.
I don’t think anyone should.

Trust Issues by Mike Meraz

Posted in Mike Meraz with tags on June 27, 2010 by Scot

I don’t know if I can write this poem.
I mean, what if the paper doesn’t hold?
or what if my pen starts to run out of ink
half-way through a word?
or what if my hand cramps up
and I can’t finish it?
it’s just better that I not even get involved
in these poems.
so many things can go wrong.
I might get hurt.

Sunrise Blues by Bradley Mason Hamlin

Posted in Bradley Mason Hamlin with tags on June 25, 2010 by Scot

was a musician
West Mississippi
of skin
and light of heart
blues harp
and sang
with a deep baritone
that sounded
like a fallen angel
bound to earth
with iron
chain-gang shackles
whiskey & lemonade
and on good
he made enough coin
inside his
lucky hat
to bed down
a whore
until the sun rose
and he’d be off
one foot in front
of the other
to the next town
to entertain
someone else.

Two Poems by Alan Catlin

Posted in Alan Catlin with tags on June 23, 2010 by Scot

Storm Story

Older woman
with walker
caught in sudden

crossing major
against the light

heading for Rite
Aid pharmacy

two packs of
Newport Lights
a Tall Boy single


All the roadside way stations
deserted, strip malls, shopping
plazas, ghettos for homeless,
canned goods tomb raiders,
scavengers of grocery store shelves,
warehouse rats; outside, highways
like McCarthy’s Road or the longest
tracking shot in movie history:
Godard’s Weekend as the end of
civilization, consumerism’s unnatural
end, seven hellish minutes of wrecked
cars, the dead and the dying, overturned
emergency vehicle silk screened sixteen
times, fragments of he future now or
as Cortazar saw it: life as we know it,
going nowhere.  At the information
center the map says: YOU ARE HERE,
but you’re not here, there’s no here, here.

Like Father by Robert S. King

Posted in Robert S. King with tags on June 22, 2010 by Scot

My son has my eyes, but not yet my vision.
He denies I can see through him,
tells me how blind I am,
how hard to breathe it is
when I’ve sucked all air from the room.

Men offer tough love, but don’t say that word,
just its euphemism of “what’s best for you.”
It’s the kind of love that makes money
of the world, testosterone of tenderness.
I have already spent my future,
spent everyone in it.
My eyes burn with clarity.

You can see it in his eyes,
how there’s no time like the present.
He chooses a wife as costly as himself,
a southern bell to give him hell,
like him, one who wants it now,
he says one who nags for now.
Soon his apologies are the only currency for sex.
Soon he feels money would be cheaper.
He slips out with a pocketful of anger,
swivels the barstool toward a closer, fruitier perfume.

Tonight Peaches is her given name, a fog of fragrance and gin,
dolled up in shiny, fuzzy hair and rouge over the bruise.
Peaches can’t forgive either her father or her ex
(twins she calls them)
but warms to his staggering new cologne of Old Spice and rum,
this one of such tightly focused eyes.
She just wants a free drink and a lover with a long future.

And so the future goes.
He drinks more and goes home less.
He talks less and stalks more.
He chases every face that shines,
except the mirror.

The Road to 129

Posted in Alarie Tennille, The Road to 129 with tags , on June 16, 2010 by Scot

This road began in Atlanta when a homeless man followed me up to Peach Street and asked for $1.29 for his wife’s operation. What followed was an anthology by America’s underground poets entitled Poems for $1.29. Yes it sold for $1.29 and no, it didn’t make any money. Then the idea was picked up by the Writers Place in Kansas City, expanded to include anything related to ―129‖ and used it as the theme in a poetry reading to benefit the Crystal Field Scholarship.
It did however, make some money for a creative writing student at UMKC and that is a good thing.

(Click on picture to view chapbook–then click on FULLSCREEN, then use mouse to turn pages on the right)

Two Poems by Harry Calhoun

Posted in Harry Calhoun with tags on June 13, 2010 by Scot

The one

She sleeps beside me
in this enchanted
sun-drunk afternoon,
shades drawn
her hair stylish short
but the face that of an angel

sent to save me

her hands meet
between her breasts
and her neck as if
in prayer and I can’t

sleep before I record this
but I can’t wait
to go sleep beside her
secure that I’ve found truth

in this artificial



You’re away on business again
and I’m sitting up on your bolster pillow
in our bedroom and working crosswords
and reading and jotting down poems

and Alex trots his 90 jet-black pounds
into the living room every few minutes.
When I go out to check on him,
he is sitting looking through the slats

of the blinds in the living room,
doggedly waiting for you to come home.
I tell him that you aren’t arriving
until tomorrow, but every few minutes

his big clapping paws slap on the hardwood
on his way to that window. Eventually,
I close the blinds. But you know if I wasn’t human
and didn’t have the distracters of puzzles

and books and poetry (and more recently brandy)
I’d be sitting out in that window with him,
keeping the vigil I have in my heart,
with the sweet expectant innocence I see

in Alex’s honest brown eyes.