Archive for August, 2017

Rusty Truck Classic by William Crawford

Posted in William Crawford on August 25, 2017 by Scot

Orchard. Fancy Gap, Va.

Burning Flags by D.B. Cox

Posted in DB Cox with tags on August 25, 2017 by Scot


Down in Jackson-town a sweat-stained street preacher dances along cracked concrete and prays over abandoned cotton mills, boarded store buildings, and one defunct movie house—stone-dead illusions that can never be raised from the ground. Holy invocations ride the evening heat waves on a feeble breeze.

Sunset drains crimson remains from gray clouds. Thunder rumbles in the distance and night comes down like a gate on a chain. As Blood Dixon moves along the downtown sidewalk, he can sense wary eyes shifting in his direction. He’s back home in Jackson, Louisiana—land of underworked citizens and overworked churches. Hopelessville, where it’s easier to find a place to rob than it is to find a job. A closed circle where fear accumulates like dust in every dark corner.

Bobby Lee “Blood” Dixon is a bad hallucination: clean-shaven head, mean black moustache drooping over the corners of his mouth, a long scar down the right side of his face that looks like a river marking on a Louisiana map. He’s wearing jeans and a short-sleeve, black T-shirt. On his prison-developed right forearm he has a tattoo—a confederate flag. The caption below the “stars and bars” reads “White Makes Right.”
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just around the corner by J.J. Campbell

Posted in J.J. Campbell with tags on August 25, 2017 by Scot


a glass

when that
used to
tell you
was just
the corner

now imagine
what her life
is like out west
with her family

thousands of
miles away
from you

is leaning
up against
the wall

to be put
in your

I’LL GET RIGHT ON THAT by Mather Schneider

Posted in Mather Schneider with tags on August 25, 2017 by Scot


My wife’s uncle is murdered
in his home in Hermosillo
his head beaten and left on the floor
to lay there in the Mexican summer heat
for 2 days
until he’s as bloated as an air mattress.

He’s found by his sister
my wife’s mother.

It takes 3 guys
to squeeze him
into the coffin.

The funeral is rushed.

The preacher says the mass in 15 minutes

and then out to the cemetery
where two kids wearing sweaty t-shirts
drop the coffin
into the red dirt.

My wife and I make the 4-hour drive down
from Tucson
get back in time to
work the next day.

12-hour shift in that stupid cab
some meth head runs on me.

I get home from work
turn on Facebook
and some guy tells me
I really need to read
his press-mate’s new crime novel
the latest star to come out
of Kentucky State’s MFA program

because the rawness of the writing
will blow my mind.

SANCTUARY by Paul Corman Roberts

Posted in Paul Corman Roberts with tags on August 1, 2017 by Scot




reaching through saran-wrap-o-sphere congestion in prayer for streamers of cold crisp air cooled by moonlight though I am not a creature of the night but a denizen of the pre-dawn coming here to escape not from everyone else but from everywhere else, a hiding place to be alone in sometimes

… Didn’t you?

Social currency washes out
with the next high tide.

Hanuman lives in all our memories, fucks with our heads every time we take on the animal rituals of body, the reptilian rituals of death and sex, the angelic rituals of cleansing, and the demonic rituals of burning the whole motherfucker down.

I have
grown fat
on fake news.

Memes are
more nutritious
than media

There remains an impossible magic loving to be found in the smell of these ruins. It refuses to die. A new city is built from the twilight residue, scattered by winds from a Fall no investor saw comin’ round the mountain when it came. Hope was left behind somewhere on the journey but like the river, like love, it is a relentless comer that reminds you that you are too, a quavering in the voice and we become intoxicated on a forbidden tincture holding all the secrets of guilt, grief and joy so vividly felt in the collapse of television networks, in the bloody conquest or righteous barbarians and an unfortunate smear of dog shit running up along the sides of your brand spanking new loafers.

We can no longer hide in launder mats, donut shops doubling as burger joints; no longer take cover in union halls and miniature golf courses, walk easily into Canada because there is no longer an unguarded border for our new thing, our overlord driven thugocracy. When that heavy particulate twilight coils it’s purple boa about our shoulders, that is the time we will most need to know there is a place for us, not just a place, not just a shelter but


the place
where monsters
cannot reach us,
at least
for tonight
we have

a concrete slab in the boiling night to lay together on a cooling absorbency as the foundation of a new kind of starry prayer. Feel, not so much hear, our comrades calling out to us from afar the collective sabbatical is over. Drain the bath, wear your layer of grime against your nakedness a shield of bacterial armor, you can’t tell me you’re not ready for this fight anymore you can’t tell me you haven’t prepared the eviction notices for your old demons you can’t go on wrestling with the questions they are trying to distract you with: there is no wrong answer.

Mama we know you are doing everything you can to drag the family back down to your soiled earthen hootches, the cost of just enough sanity to keep the unsmooth machine belching away but you couldn’t know that we would take to it with such vigor, like that one fish all those years ago who decided she had enough of the fucking ocean for a lifetime.


Dear American, you didn’t have to be so ugly. If you die an hour from now your life has still been ninety percent better than the rest of the planet’s lives but fetishizing that other ten percent is what makes you such a beautiful American. I can look you in the eye and say “yes, you have that fire” but I need you to put your hand inside me like a well worn glove and tell me the same, tell me I belong in this Rube Goldberg contraption of a series of spiral orbits around another series of spiral orbits around another series of spiral orbits around an obit. When one of us moves through the veil, the veil also moves through us and this causes some worry when the mob cries WITHOUT HYPERBOLE WE ARE NOTHING to a call and response that fires back with THE TONE POLICE ARE THE ONLY POLICE WE NEED!

Very well then…

as below, so above but don’t be surprised at the fear of love in this kind of world. Once upon a time I may have gleefully retorted TOLD YA SO! but what does that gain anyone besides an acrid aftertaste in the tonsils? Is that all you can afford? Pretty smug for a white thug. The secular world sustains an industry of self congratulatory award programs for those who refuse to get on their knees, for those whom the word “compromise” triggers anxiety attacks, for those who refuse to humble themselves beneath the firmament, because that’s what it means to get on one’s knees



So please hold me. Please gently stroke my forehead & hold me close while hot tears drift into your palm as we wait for the south bound trains. Maybe I can catch my breath before catching my death of being a so-called aggrieved adult requiring the soothing comfort of my children who never asked to be drafted into the emotional healing industry.

This too
shall arrive
from any
and all
directions the
of age and
a sleight
of body
a feint
all the
a scythe sits
pin pointed
at the top
of the map
of the subconscious
our destination
we hint toward
but from what path
can never be pried
from our teeth
you can only
destroy so much
of the body
but not before
it’s passed on
to some other ghost
that must be chased:




Two Poems by Cassandra Dallett

Posted in Cassandra Dallett with tags on August 1, 2017 by Scot

All Roads Lead to Tent City


study the supervillain
grab your semi-automatic
watch the Bundy’s,
hold your package
the tribeswoman
looks like your mother
we order DNA kits to trace ancestry
the companies are keeping
our spit for whatever this dystopia holds
we’ve watched too much SCi-FI
or not quite enough
cause the fool on the hill
has the gold and the crown
Pepsi finger on the button
poor and brown are going down
think of ours as township, favela, reservation,
encampments, squatters, illegals, aliens
build your shelter out of cardboard signs
Please Help
there are people all around us
we’d thought ourselves different
a membrane of respect in the unbroken
till one day with no resume left
as they’ve marked us all felons
we realize toothless
man in the wheelchair
amputated off-ramp beggar
is us
there never was anything just.



the sixties again

and I’m born.
All that Public Enemy-
I was raised on, Paris, and KRS,
finding revolution between lines in Short and 40.
I watched the whole movie last night with no joy.
Recognized the OG, dated a hundred of him-
cold blooded to everyone but his Moms.
It was too late for her-
room crowded with meds, mismatched afghans,
dirty walled Victorian.
We all bitches-n-hoes till death bed.
I can sing you all the lyrics-
all the shit dudes rapped they never would-
do for us.
pussy-money-weed prayer.
Isn’t it all strip-club-church
Chris Rock blamed the misogyny on crack.
He wasn’t all the way wrong-
so, we back it up, flip it, rub it down
our asses so full of love and anger-
we fuck with a vengeance.
Search the tender part, near iris.
Pillow talk dumb shit
you search for a nugget to love.
I loved a thug once,
because he was the only person I ever knew
who spoke in metaphor.
Sometimes you got to ask yourself,
is this dick worth this conversation?
Young MA wonders why the whole world
wants to see her strap
and you think about it,
while he fucks you.
You’re never present.
These times tumultuous
as when I birthed, Nixon Moonwalk
Whitey on The Moon
They killed Fred dead.
We still war, we still march,
I need a gun -a survival plan.
There is a big dick in office
with a little dictator complex.
The oligarchs are coming-
shore up your scarcity walls
that’s that bitches’ n hoes mode.
So bendable and expendable
makes pulling the trigger easy
me or him, me or her-me.
The future doesn’t look like we thought it would-
a kid called thug wearing a dress made of Prince’s lampshade.
small liberties slipping through fingers
unable to pull the breaks.
We roll back.
The only one who gets me-
is an OG on Telegraph outside the liquor store.
He looks me up and down,
says, Hey you remember Blondie?
filling my heart of glass like a fish tank in Vegas
Amazon is the monkey on my back.
Assorted cardboard boxes come-
filled with bags of air
Pal is my Pay.
Maybe I just be buying
random time
and things to fill it with.

2.5 almonds by Justin Hyde

Posted in Justin Hyde with tags on August 1, 2017 by Scot


a drug task-force detective
calls me

right away
I hear in his voice
he still believes in what he’s doing:

‘we’ve been on your parolee
over a month
pulled him over today
2.5 grams of crack cocaine
under the driver’s seat
taking him to polk county jail now’

2.5 grams of crack cocaine
sounds pernicious
like the barrel of a gun
shoved down your throat

but take 2 almonds
bite a 3rd in half
drop them on a kitchen scale

there you go

his wife calls next
crocodile tears?

it’s all a bit shimmery
and quicksilver now

the only ineluctable
is that the bureaucracy has been turned on

he’s on parole
so there will be no bond

he’ll sit in jail for the
next 3-4 months

while the county attorney hangs a
ludicrous sentence
over his head

he will lose his job
his apartment
who knows about the wife

i pull his paper file out of the active queue

walk over to the corner of my office

pull open the metal filing cabinet

and slide it behind the tab marked




Posted in Mike Faran with tags on August 1, 2017 by Scot


This was the first time that I
realized that we were truly married –
a seal-the-deal moment

She wrapped a towel around her hips
& vanished into the bedroom
while I sat drinking

beer in the kitchen. My big hound
stared at me with
question-mark eyes

wondering if he’d done anything
I wondered the same

Neither of us ever heard of soap-scum
build-up, but
it sounded like a life-sentence

Six months in … by D. A. Pratt

Posted in D. A. Pratt with tags on August 1, 2017 by Scot



I know something
about government in general
so I’m assuming a lot of damage
is taking place behind the scenes:
the sad consequence of the “amateur hour”
that effectively began on January 20, 2017 —
otherwise what a complete waste of time
the forty-fifth presidency has been …

a certain kind of pretty blond woman by Justin Hyde

Posted in Justin Hyde with tags on August 1, 2017 by Scot



not an ingénue
or a coquette

a certain kind of pretty blond woman
who doesn’t belong anywhere


less authentic
than an ounce of smoke:

you could tell her, ‘i
like to lick little baby assholes,’
and she wouldn’t hear a word
you said

she’d just nod
and smile

like my waitress tonight
at the local farm to table restaurant

every so often
she does a perfunctory loop
through her L-shaped zone

then disappears
out onto the patio

lights a cigarette
and stares at the sky

as if she’s expecting
a murmuration of starlings
to dip down
and sweep her away.