Archive for June, 2011

Why Lester Duncan Drinks by Curtis Dunlap

Posted in Curtis Dunlap with tags on June 26, 2011 by Scot

It’s hard to stop drinking
when you find a pint of vodka
under your pillow at night.
That conniving wife of mine
wants to keep me drunk.
Every time I toss out a bottle,
she buys another one and
conveniently places it
where I can find it.

As long as I’m pegged a drunkard
no one will blame her when
she leaves me.

She likes talking to that
fat tax man in town.
I figure she’s got her sights
set on him.
He’s rich, got four cars, a fine house,
and a bad heart.
Well, God Bless ’em and
good riddance to the both of them.
Hell,
she’ll probably stick fried chicken
under his pillow.

Close Call by James Valvis

Posted in James Valvis with tags on June 26, 2011 by Scot

She was a biology major at the local college.
She used to come over and eat my food.

Not that I had much, just some Ramen noodles,
but she would eat them. And take some home.

When we fucked, (it’s the right word),
I would think about her digestive system,

those intestines working on my Ramen noodles.
I had a hard time keeping it going.

I was like some frog she was dissecting.
Finger here, mouth there,

my cock like a Ramen noodle.
She sickened me, the sight of her.

So I stopped calling. But she didn’t.
She kept coming to my window, always late

when she knew I would be writing.
Then she would eat my food again.

Eventually I quit writing,
stayed in my room with the lights out.

It took weeks, but she finally stopped coming
and I went back to writing.

Sometimes the distance
between a poet and a murderer

is small.

on the death of the family dog by David LaBounty

Posted in David LaBounty with tags on June 26, 2011 by Scot

and maybe
our shared
grief will
bring us back
together

and maybe
she will
say that
I know
it’s been
a year
but perhaps
we could
try again

and I
would come
back home

triumphant
like a
fallen king
returning
from exile,
carrying

loads of
laundry
my ex-wife
knows
nothing
about

the laundry
filling
both of
my empty
hands

Win & End All Wars by Bill Vartnaw

Posted in Bill Vartnaw with tags on June 26, 2011 by Scot

World War I in an American Legion cap,
short stiff steps behind a four-legged cane
through tenderloin trenches
& into the R & R of low cost housing. . .
paid monthly by the social security
of 9.2 howitzer memories & muggings
& the gab of other old scars & wrinkles,
reinforcing a world-view:  hell is growing
old in American cities.

We were great then;
broke isolation for the ideal & volunteered
to run like crazy
through the shrapnel & charcoal whore
we made of the old world
spitting bullets & the sperm of tough talk
bottled in melting pot frustration
& the stench of ghetto walk-ups.

We were all whores then;
but whores with a dream
& that was better than being. . .peasants!

World War I shuffles the dirt between soul & concrete;
he must catch up with the pace he sets for himself
in this transvestite night of neon necromania
where “danger” jumps like a stairway junkie
from the thresholds of shadow
dedicated to the unknown soldier & other prisoners of war.
He pushes on. . .
to where the porno palace marquee radiates safety;
he waits at the red light with the laughter of a corner hooker
while steel horses strafe the intersection with obnoxious odors
& the flash of ear-splitting sirens.

We were heroes then, with a job to do.

All around, there is nothing but devotion to purpose:
The gray-skinned panhandlers wrapped in blankets & lice
scrounging through trash cans for their lunch. . .
The holes in the ground. . .
The blood-stained mud below the scream of bullets. . .
The senseless bodies. . .
& the bodies writhing with wounds
& dismemberment. . .
The ruddy faced drunk
passed out & cursing on apartment house steps. . .
The screaming three-time loser, hands cuffed behind him,
pushed head-first into the powder blue
police services car. . .
Crawl over these monuments of manhood.
Feel the rub of flesh & khaki & blood & Earth & horror & bone
& self-hatred. . .

Waiting. . .
waiting & waiting for nightfall, for help from the trenches. . .
Caught in the no-man’s land
between the button & the breaking-point
in the search & destroy mindset of father knows best:
fact finding/fault finding/perfect binding
& the sweet perversity of how much can you take.

The vet in pointed cap & cement shoes
pushes his purple heart
through the shellshock of general headquarters,
Home of the Brave,
till he again reaches relative safety in the hut, two, three
of his room
where he can fall back on his bed,
look up at the ceiling
& think about the good old days. . .

A KISS IS STILL A KISS by Rex Sexton

Posted in Rex Sexton with tags on June 26, 2011 by Scot

I caress the slender neck,
cup my palm around the
voluptuous bottom, breathless,
like a young groom on his
honeymoon, or the star crossed
lover who magically chances
upon his yearned for other,
eyes closed, heart racing, soul
braced in anticipation of the
coming moment as I tighten
my embrace, press my lips to
the mouth of the bottle, tilt
my head and swallow.

NEVER THE END TO BECOME by Bob Eager

Posted in Bob Eager with tags on June 26, 2011 by Scot

The First time I saw you in your overalls
your hair flowing curling towards the end
trying to hold hands
Turquoise eyes pale lips and a crooked nose
me wit my pock marks hazel eyes and tar stained teeth
bonded by peculiarities
two peas in the misfit conditioning
a paranoid an a bimbo like you once said
and if I were blue and you were yellow we would make the green

Driving through Prescott
a picture of your son who you abandoned
brought you almost to tears
I also learned you had beaten up your mother
reasons for love are never absolute
Never the end to become

An Irish Enclave, 1956 by Donal Mahoney

Posted in Donal Mahoney with tags on June 26, 2011 by Scot

         South Side of Chicago,
        long before Barack Obama

On bungalow porches
and out in backyards,
on hot summer evenings
old men lower themselves
into green canvas chairs,
smoke and sip beer,
laugh and relive
Easter, 1916
and plot what they’ll do
when the niggers pour in
and eddy all over
the dregs of their city.