Archive for January, 2015

Loaded by Stephen Jarrell Williams

Posted in Stephen Jarrell Williams on January 28, 2015 by Scot

She always has a hand in your pocket
Arm around your back guiding you
To those bad places you can’t resist

Making you hard she never stops
Ambling up to the bouncer at the door
He lets you both enter because of her eyes

Down the hall and into the dancing crowd
Music pounding from a stage band sweating
Puddles on the floor reflecting flashing lights

You’ll find a table later and drink
But first she whirls you onto the dance floor
Doing her continual spectacle entrancing all

You have to boldly show your gun
To keep the lusting crowd off of her
The gun she loads for you every Friday Night

Saturday Night
And Holidays.

The Piper by F. John Sharp

Posted in F. John Sharp with tags on January 28, 2015 by Scot

The Piper sits on a wooden chair in a dim corner of a church. He has always used wood, believing music flows from Earth itself, that a chair of metal or worse, plastic, is an unworthy conduit. And he always chooses a corner, where the sound can dance off the angles and fill the souls of mourners who know an ache that only music can feed. He aches too.

The Piper has been piping for what seems to him the whole of time, learning at the knee of his grandfather and then his father, playing every last day of his three-score and nineteen years, either for practice, pleasure, or money. He has played ‘Amazing Grace’ nearly five thousand times if he were to count, and today he tries to make it sound like he composed it himself for this very occasion.

He tries not to dwell on certain things: He has had to start earlier these days, to allow himself more time for traveling and warming up. And while his fingers still know where to find each note, they make more of a fuss about getting there. And when the drones and regulators are going full out, pulling air from the bag in hungry swallows, he works the bellows with long, steady pumps, and the effort makes him winded to the point of concern. He has thought once or twice that there could be worse ways to spend his last heartbeats.
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Not Far From Ferguson by Donal Mahoney

Posted in Donal Mahoney with tags on January 28, 2015 by Scot


Not far from Ferguson
in South St. Louis,
a Bosnian man 
was murdered days ago
by four teens–three Black
and one Hispanic. 
They pounded Zemir Begic
with hammers 
while his fiancée watched.
The newspaper claims
race didn’t play a role 
in Zemir’s death but
the Bosnian community
felt otherwise as they
marched peacefully down 
the main thoroughfare
in their neighborhood.
Today the newspaper teems
with articles about Ferguson,
something it has offered daily
in the three months since
the killing of Michael Brown.
But three days after the death
of Zemir Begic the paper offers
no further explanation.
No word either as to whether
the Reverend Al Sharpton
will come to St. Louis to meet
with the Bosnian community.
President Obama has yet
to offer condolences.
Most Bosnians in St. Louis
are immigrants who understand 
hatred and discrimination,
having come to the city 
to escape death in Bosnia
at the hands of Serbs.
This is not a good time 
to be either Black or Bosnian
in metropolitan St. Louis.
It’s not a good time 
to be anyone else either.
We are at best observers
in an urban forest 
surrounded by
anger and gossip.
Many of us would prefer
a  bridge to crawl under
provided it’s home to trolls
who offer a silent night.
That might be the best place 
to spend Christmas this year,
better perhaps than
almost anywhere else
in St. Louis.

Self-Portrait as Talcum Powder by A. J. Huffman

Posted in A. J. Huffman with tags on January 28, 2015 by Scot

Fluttering body of silken white,
in softness I settle against whatever
skin is readily available—
a stark vision of surrender. I have become
anonymous facilitator of motion,
silently absorbing friction
and occasional bodily fluids. I swallow
my fear of dissipation bitterly, even
as it happens. My touch—
unnoticed and unmissed—is nothing
more than a moment of memory’s passing,
a tickling fancy, too easily replaced
the next morning.

Yellow & Green Make Blue by James Babbs

Posted in James Babbs with tags on January 28, 2015 by Scot

for the first time this year
I saw the yellow crop duster
swooping down from the sky
it flew low over the corn
before making the sharp turn and
avoiding the power lines
I thought about
how quickly time goes by
the way the days rush past and
nothing lasts for very long
then I thought about
the beautiful girl who lived on the corner
in the big green house
how many years ago
she’s a middle-aged woman now
they’ll be harvesting the corn again
trucks loaded with grain
driving up and down the roads
leaving the empty fields behind
summer turning into fall again
the wind will suddenly shift
the snow come falling down

Prom Dress by David Dominé

Posted in David Dominé with tags on January 28, 2015 by Scot

That night when I pulled into the gravel driveway, the moon hung low over the apple orchard. Remembering the smooth fabric of Anne Spicer’s dress, I loosened the velvet bow tie at my throat and took a ragged breath. The sting of peach schnapps lingering in the back of my throat, I saw him standing at the back door. But I lowered my head and went in anyway. The belt was lying in its usual spot on the dining room table. Nearby, crumpled up on the floor, lay one of Anne Spicer’s dresses. He must have found it under my bed. It was the one she forgot to take with her earlier that afternoon after we scrambled to put our clothes back on when my father’s car crept up the drive.

It was the last time my father beat me.
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