Archive for September, 2014

on what would have been my parents’ 68th by Lynne Savitt

Posted in LYNNE SAVITT with tags on September 29, 2014 by Scot

wedding anniversary day as miserable
as their 60 year marriage i had a car
accident in a traffic circle what perfect
symbolism going round & round & round
in wheel of unhappiness i was made
dizzy by chance of lusty escape love
makes us stupid as smashing into
truck driving honda accord melted into
silver metal cake happy anniversary
dead parents from yr idiot daughter
who cannot escape yr legacy of
miserable marriages & death
of unrelenting dreams of joy

Three Poems by Doug Draime

Posted in Doug Draime with tags on September 29, 2014 by Scot

Plant Some Sweet Peas There, Too

Bulldoze the green and lush ivy walls.
Tear down the sanctimonious Ivory Towers.
Plow up the campuses and classrooms.

Plant tulips and roses and lilacs and carnations there,

where blind conformity is sold,

where education is a complacent whore spreading
it’s legs to worship war,

where imperialism and corporate murderers are

where the souls of your children are gutted like
beasts of prey,

where the lies about the American Dream

where tenure is a cover-up for increasing ethical

where corruption is over looked for the sake of
Cronyism and the Empire.

Bulldoze the green and lush ivy walls.
Tear down the sanctimonious Ivory Towers.
Plow up the campuses and classrooms.

And plant redwoods and sycamores and spruce
and oaks.

Plant some tomatoes and onions and carrots
and a peach tree.

Plant some sweet peas there, too.


“With both cute little fists clenched,” she said,
I walked up to the bully of my friend,
who was several inches taller,
as well as 3 years older, and pushed
him backwards hard, telling him that
if he ever bothered my
friend again I would track him down
and kick his ass real bad.

She said, at 5 years old
I already had a reputation
as a scrapper on the streets of Pittsburgh,
and that the bully backed away quickly
and never messed with my friend again.

My aunt told this story often in my presence,
and I would get up and leave the room
when she got to the part about
“with both cute little fists clenched”, which was
always followed by her laughter
and the laughter of whoever she was
telling it to.

I recall she stopped telling the story,
at least when I was around, after I was
arrested and jailed for drunk and disorderly,
and hitting a cop when was 16. But I would like
to think that when I wasn’t around, she
told the story with the same motherly pride, knowing
the cop had hit me first and was just another bully
I stood up to, and I hope that her laughter was loud
and defiant.


The Moment I Want

All concepts and ideas,
thoughts of past
and future, gone.

The bare-ass
conception of art,
that frees everyone
thus everything.

And then is all
undone and falling
from me:

all dreams of
judgment, all lies
of me, and all

lies of you:

a sudden sunrise
in a snoring


Don’t Ever Tell Anybody Anything. If You Do, You Start Missing Everybody by William Taylor Jr.

Posted in William Taylor Jr. with tags on September 28, 2014 by Scot

Baby you once said
love is just losing your strut
for a little while and letting yourself
be naked

and I remember a time
when we stood in each others’ presence

naked and glorious

and like children we imagined it would last

but our prayers got busted
halfway to heaven

and rained back down
upon us like dirty snow

and now we’re covered in shit
and years and regrets

and you probably don’t
ever think about it much

but I carry lost moments
through the years like painted stones

and baby I will always call you baby
and I’ll always remember you naked.

America by Hosho McCreesh

Posted in Hosho McCreesh with tags on September 28, 2014 by Scot

Today at work I learned that
America had been indicted,
Aggravated Burglary and Conspiracy,
for stealing $720 from
a lonely old man.

See, America called him up,
asked if she could come over,
implying something sexual
without coming out and saying it.

“Sure,” the lonely old man said,
“I’ve got a few beers,” and
American said she’d
be right over.

So the old man splashed on
some aftershave, Old Spice,
cracked a couple cans of Modelo,
and waited.

America showed up, smiling nervous,
and sipped at her beer for a few minutes,
before unlocking the front door
letting two men in.

The men scared the old man pretty good,
“Where’s the fucking money, gramps?” they said,
and roughed him up a bit.

The old man looked at America,
“Just tell them,” she said, “these guys
seem crazy!”

So the old man gave it up,
and the thieves ran off with
all his cash.
When the cops showed up,
they asked the old man
how he knew America.

“She would never,” the old man said,
he’d loaned her money before, he said
he’d once given her father a job.
“She would never…”

The cops rolled their eyes
knowing the old fool
had been had.

“Did America know you always carry
so much cash?” the cops asked,
and the old man said nothing.

“How else could the thieves know?”
the cops asked, and even though he
still couldn’t believe it, the old man
admitted that it must’ve been America.

Meanwhile outside, America said
she couldn’t identify the robbers,
that she really wished she could help,
but that she didn’t see their faces,
she didn’t recognize anyone,
that she didn’t know anything.

So the cops made like they were gonna cuff her,
and America started in begging and pleading,
“But my kids!” she said, “my kids are
at home…alone! Please…please,
you can’t arrest me!”
So the cops tacked on more charges,
abandoning a child, two counts,
and America changed her tune,
“It’s not my fault!” she said.
Sure, she did it, “But they put me up to it.
I had no choice! They said they’d
kill me…and my kids!”

So the cops asked her
if she’d rat the guys out,
and she gave them up
faster than the meth goes.

The whole filthy lot were rounded up,
arrested, and no one would say
where the money was.

And when America got her phone call,
it was to some sucker ex-boyfriend,
a recoving addict who now installs
hot water heaters under the table.
“Jezus,” he said, but still he left his job,
pulled his child support money out of an ATM,
and bailed America out two hours later.

“I swear I’ll pay you back,” America said,
“every penny,” then kissed him on the cheek and
took off on him too, went on the lam, telling no one
goodbye, or where she was headed.

It wasn’t until five years later
that America was finally picked up
on the warrant, FTA – failure to appear,
and of course America
had been hiding out
in Las Vegas.
Still, we know how these things go:
the case was dropped,
DA said it wasn’t
“a strong enough case,”
that it didn’t warrant extradition,
that spending taxpayer money wasn’t
“in the best interest of justice,”
because that’s pretty much
how it’s always
gone with

Sinatra Summer by Bradley Mason Hamlin

Posted in Bradley Mason Hamlin with tags on September 28, 2014 by Scot

Just when
I thought I
might have drunk
one vodka lemon too many

started singing
“Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown”

and I was reminded,
it’s summer

we’re having fun
the Central Valley

while over in Israel
our brothers & sisters
fight back

the San Francisco
on ice
is nice

Sacramento lemon
from the tree

and you’re allowed
to smile

but don’t forget
to say
a silent prayer …

gonna do the home

an ongoing force field
against bad evil

and no matter how
ugly the world gets

if you wanna quit
cash in your chips
give up
make a grip

too many others
have beat you to it,
all cried out

yet there is this
there is now

we have Sinatra.


Posted in Jason Hardung with tags on September 28, 2014 by Scot
My old pill dealer was always waiting on a settlement from a car crash she was in twenty years ago. She watched too much day time TV with the commercials of shady lawyers pointing their finger at the camera sternly and saying, “Are you a victim? You could be compensated.” “As soon as I get my settlement I’ll be rolling on new 22’s. I’ll get my son out of jail. I’ll take you out to eat at Chilis and we’ll even get appetizers. I’ll probably go to beauty school,” she’d say. “I like the spinach dip,” I’d say back to her. “Go on vacation. See the ocean. I’ve always wanted to ride a dolphin,” she’d add. Everybody needs a way out of their shitty lives, some sort of hope. Some people believe in God to get them through hard times and others wait on a settlement. It’s all the same. It’s all light in a dark world. It gives you a reason to keep going. Pray hard, wish harder. The windows to her soul were tinted just like her 1985 Cutlass Supreme. I didn’t have the heart to look into them and to tell her that the settlement was never going to come. Or that dolphins don’t like to be ridden—it’s just a myth of reality TV. So I’d sit there with her on the porch, watching for the mail man and talking about all the ways she could change her life with the money –wishing and hoping she was going to come off just one more pill.

the veteran stationed outside Foodland by Karl Koweski

Posted in Karl Koweski with tags on September 28, 2014 by Scot

mourns the moral dissolution
destroying this once great nation
made apparent by the
poor posture of today’s youth
and their sudden interest
in their fancy computer phones
as they approach the card table
set up near the coke machines
next to the Foodland entrance

the old man with the VFW hat
like a syphilitic Philipino vagina
perched on his liver-spotted head
wants to tell these whelps its because
of his efforts defeating the Koreans
they now enjoy the ability to
tweet the twitter #freedomaintfree

is it too much to ask these consumers
here by the grace of god, guns and
the geopolitical war machine
that they give up their pocket change
for a swatch of the stars and stripes
stapled to a toothpick in China?

Haiku by Ted Kane

Posted in Ted Kane with tags on September 27, 2014 by Scot

The chasm fills with
rain; but only so much and
never forever


Posted in A.D. Winans with tags on September 27, 2014 by Scot

like pulling a wisdom tooth
like an attack of sciatica
I sit here lost
in the attic of my mind

the fog rolling in
slips through the crack
of my living room window
born at home premature
under the light of a full moon
I walked the jungles of Panama
fed off Beat Mania
in the streets of North Beach

Shaman poets sang in my ear
under a bed of stars
young women with dresses
that clung to firm thighs

damp dark cavern
wet as morning dew
peach fuzz dinner
drew me in devoured me
like quicksand

the sweet fragrance of the past
mates with comrades long dead
as I walk back into my birth
work my way through
the sound of water

the wind propels me
toward my destiny
my boyhood gone
like an old jalopy used-up
rusting in an auto junkyard

I head toward
the comfort of the now
nailed to the cross of the past
in the language of the present
with no words to light the fire
as I carry the memories
like a mountain climber
with a heavy back pack
vague memories of my mother
singing me to sleep
and the chill of waking
the tongue of dawn
cold as dry ice

the hawk sweeps down for the kill
a dog howls at the moon
a cat yawns in boredom
the universe draws new boundary lines
fragile as a new born baby

the coo-coo bird moves backwards
into the clock
fearful police lock and load their guns
black boys moving targets
in the night

voter suppression laws
to keep voting down
Southern barbecues
with “rednecks” hungry
for “nigger” steak

gone the passion of revolution
sell out satisfaction
to the status quo

the night hounds of death
stumble into the day
the rich roasting the poor
like a pig on a spit

labor unions
turned into mannequin’s
fuel the fire of Wall Street
the war machine moneymakers
bleed the blood of our youth
like an undertaker
dressing the dead

the Roman Senate proceeds unabated
turn out gladiators
like machinery parts
endless parades and marching bands
waving flags, played out
like a Disney Land bonanza

slaves without chains
government without representation
this nation of criminal politicians

The ghost of Custer rises
like a creature from the lagoon
creeps through the night
like a faceless Santa Clause
with a bag of Indian scalps

Allah competes with the Pope
for the rights to the head of Jesus
beheaded by ISIS barbarians
back from a night of slaughter
as the congregation stumbles
like a drunk into the future
carved out in the hands
of a gypsy fortune teller
as I wait out the night hours of solitude
shut out the demons of insomnia
like a faulty light switch
the holy of the unholy
money exchangers
make and pass new laws
laws that feed on the bones
of the poor and dispossessed
a future where animals
turn into animal crackers
and birds are served live
at holiday feasts
the angels occupy the cheap seats
at Yankee Stadium
God sends down a bolt of lightning
dismayed at the flawed diamond
he created in his image

Off The Tracks by Cassandra Dallett

Posted in Cassandra Dallett with tags on September 27, 2014 by Scot

It’s a fact there are too many rape poems
or just too much rape or rapey-ness
too much talk of raping boyfriends and punching fiancés
the women who marry them
and I understand those women I do, been there
got my ass beat and the word rape didn’t even come out my mouth
but I was bent over and around and drunkenly pushed down
dick in my mouth cause his friend said it was good, said I would
so drunk I sucked dick in darkened playgrounds more than one
and sober I went to see a boy from the neighborhood
the lights were off when I got there, he led me into his room
his friend in his underwear waiting for me
both of them groping me strangely in the black room
and even though I knew they did it just to tell the fellas outside
I kind of liked the mysterious hungry hands on my body
but I hated the dance and the trickery involved
sometimes I refused them and sometimes I invited them in
even though my aunt yelled at me
cause one time they left their nephew waiting in the dining room
he was bumping around the hallway looking for them
and she said “He knows what you’re doing in there!”
four hands can be better than two
maybe because I realized how scared of me they actually were
when I was close to orgasm their clueless hearts beating fast
and nervous under my palms
smooth brown chests California Curl greasing my pillow
gold chain medallions hitting my face
and in the end and forever I owned it
no one ran a train on me
they were my train
a chain of men I went through and keep on
when I tire and replace them
men are funny
always around
standing in line, dick in hand
waiting for a turn.