Archive for January, 2018

Three Poems by Kevin Peery

Posted in Kevin Peery with tags on January 10, 2018 by Scot

LONESOME LUKE

The
Oak Hill
police
found some
empty
Falstaff cans
and handwritten
lyrics
to the
last song
ever penned by
Luke the Drifter

They
were
scattered
in the
backseat
of that
baby blue
Fifty-Two
Cadillac
convertible…
as
Jambalaya
rattled
softly
on the
radio

____________

 

ROCKIN’ RANDALL

When
the
snow
collapsed
on
Ajax
Peek…
Rockin’
Randall
fell
five
hundred
feet…

And
it
took
him
almost
two
years
to
learn
how
to
talk
and
sing
again

____________

ELEVEN YEARS

They
say
ole
Lefty
drank
himself
to
death
in
July
of
75…

But
all
evidence
suggests
he’d
been
walkin’
toward
the
spirit
realm
for
at
least
eleven
years

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to understand the emptiness by DB Cox

Posted in DB Cox with tags on January 10, 2018 by Scot

—Every day, more than 90 Americans die after overdosing on opioids… why?

the needle knows the way
once more, i lean over “the hole”
& let myself go

for a second
i feel as if i am hovering
but i know that i am falling

time is lost
with no references
i have no perception of body position
i have become the dark

at times
i seem to be on the verge of some vital discovery
when i try to verbalize scattered thoughts
the words die-swallowed by the vacuum

the old force pulls at me constantly
i am being eaten away
soon i will vanish
this arcane “machine of want”
will crave no more

my only hope for salvation
was to understand
& accept the emptiness
of a 24-hour day

i have lost all faith
in the notion of an “ending”
to get to the bottom of “the hole”
was my only goal

now I’m certain
that I will never see
if i’m inside “the hole”
or “the hole” is inside of me

Three poems by Rob Plath

Posted in Rob Plath with tags on January 10, 2018 by Scot

tracing 8s

i was five
when my
grandmother
died
& i remember
i’d wake up
at 2 or 3 am
to find
my mother
passed out
next to me
in my tiny bed
on nights
my father
was gone
i was scared b/c
she seemed
dead herself
it was like i was
trapped in
a coffin w/ her
& i’d shake
her awake
sighing
as one eye
finally opened
& years later
i was alone
in the hospital
room w/ her
on a bright
june day
when she died
& i shook her
by the knee
& waved my hand
in front
of her face
one eye bandaged
& the other
frozen wide open
in the sunlight
& later that night
i remembered
when i was ten
she’d read about
exercises
in a magazine
to help improve
yr vision
i remembered
the one
where you close
yr lids
& draw a
figure 8
w/ yr eyes
first clockwise
then counter-clockwise
& i tried doing it
as i lay
awake in the dark
sets of 7
as night came
on deeper

____________

 

chasms & poets

some scale
the north face
of Everest
while others claw
out of the deep pit
of each morning
& afterwards if
they’re lucky
bloodied blackened
arcs of fingernails
will dip over
the tiers of keys
of the poetry machine

____________

 

edge

between all the bridges
that i ever burned
&
that one dark bridge
calling out
to me

i
sit
&
fucking
wait

Another Night Without Yr Voice by LYNNE SAVITT

Posted in LYNNE SAVITT with tags on January 5, 2018 by Scot

 

makes the frigid air seem colder
inside i see my breath spiral like yr
cigarette smoke outside the motel
door those humid warm summer
evenings we spent living in air
conditioning ourselves for the
inevitable split apart like shelled
peanuts we ate in bed watching
the yankees lose the attitude my
love how I miss the nightly sweet
sounds of yr longing melts me daily
my fingers running through the coats
of my dogs garner my affections these
days but the nights still after
more than four decades belong to
you got older first by having a stroke
& I came to you too late for motel
rooms & the haze of sex that carried
us for years & years & years oh baby
tonight it can’t be any colder below
zero chance of our bodies working
together again I listen for the ring
bringing yr voice to me, in me warm
as summer motel memories
of an old woman still loving an old man

Two Poems by Craig Firsdon

Posted in Craig Firsdon with tags on January 5, 2018 by Scot

The Star

his disability is not
the center of attention
tonight as he reads
he is the prom king
dancing
in the glitter shine
of the disco ball
the brightest light
in the midnight sky

he is the only one there
that doesn’t know he is special
no one mocks him
no one treats him different
they listen to the strength
and commitment
in his words
with attentive stares
poem after poem
each one a new dance
with new motion
and new rhythm
allowing him
to lose himself

they applaud
poetic waltzes
the claps
the finger snaps
a ballad of sounds
compliment him
building his confidence

watch him
listen to him
tonight he is
a dancer
a poet
tonight he is
the star

____________

 

Closer (Images In A Mirror)

The mirror spoke to him in words unspoken.
An infinite number of truths growing day by day,
every breath he inhaled led to another scar.
that passed by unseen by his vision, his soul,
only another checkmark on every bully’s list of fulfilled tortures.
Even as the checks appeared, check one, two, three,
the whips cracked and gashed his soul
leaving permanent tattoos as reminders of his pain.

He still stared at the mirror in front of him
as it rambled loveless melodies on and on
with an image that said it all.
No smile.
No one cares about him.
No one notices him until he’s gone
and when they do he’s remembered
for one short moment in time
when he was true to himself
But to others what seems to be a triviality,
something that is nothing,
just words to him and only to him
and his wrists become like his heart, sliced by each syllable,
nouns and verbs cut deep
cut by cut by intentional cut,
he bleeds until he no longer can bleed anymore.
As the words become sentences,
sentences become razor blades, Xanax and shot gun shells
and continue to cut,
to swallow,
to pull the trigger.

Eventually it all begins to fade,
getting darker as painful shadows
get closer and closer.
Drifting, thinking of what others have said
what they have done and continue to do.
What will I do?
What have I done?

They say they understood him
but they didn’t.
They wonder why he would hurt himself,
they had no clue.
Objects in mirrors often appear closer
than they actually are.

.22 pistol by Justin Hyde

Posted in Justin Hyde with tags on January 5, 2018 by Scot

 

still here
in my father’s basement
wrapped in blue rags.

heavy

i swear it’s heavier
than a bowling ball.

well oiled
loaded
smells like
my grandfather’s hands.

i came for it
twice
in my twenties

the soft spot
of my temple or
down my throat.

my son
upstairs with my father
& mother.

his engine
runs fast
toward the chasms
like me.

i worry

will he unbundle
these blue rags?

will his hands smell
like my grandfather’s
hands?

Three Poems by Alan Catlin

Posted in Alan Catlin with tags on January 5, 2018 by Scot

Bloody Murder

Everyday must have
been a practice session
for Halloween costume parties,
traveling Charade games that
were so bizarre, you’d be hard
pressed to guess what it was
he was supposed to be dressed
as. I thought maybe he was
trying to win a Dennis Rodman
in drag lookalike contest, even
if he was about a foot and
half too small, and in need of
some heavy tanning sessions
plus a better hair colorist.
I had to admit I’d never seen
a man wearing that kind of
lipstick, not even in a Fellini
movie, but he either had never
heard of Federico or was
playing dumb, not that
I really cared either way.
I responded to his
suggestion to make him
something good with:
“Anything in particular?”
“Surprise me.”
“The last guy said that ended
up in ER.”
“You’re a really funny guy.”
“I’ve been told that.”
“Ok, big boy, make me what
you made him.”
He looked dubious when
I placed the drink in front
of him sd.”What’s that?”
“A Bloody Murder.”
“What’s in it?”
“Chilled Vodka with Cinnamon Schnapps.”
He made a face but drank it anyway.

____________

Three Amigos

Whatever stag party they
had escaped from must have
ended abruptly by fully armed
intervention. They judiciously
decided to avoid the consequences
of having been there and somehow,
tacitly involved, by crawling in
combat formation under barbed
wire fences as if under live fire
in Basic. Their duds weren’t
exactly ruined, so much as modified,
by stains no dry cleaners on earth
would ever be able to remove.
Coming down from peak adrenaline
high was going to require many
shots of their favorite eponymous
brands: Jack, Johnny and Jose.
A few of those apiece and they’d
break into spontaneous song like
three redneck tenors on tour.

____________

 

Dusk in Eden

Meth stole her mind and
she stole ID’s. Had unlimited
credit on someone else’s dime
cleaning out whole accounts
and creating new ones from
the ruins of the old, one step
ahead of a credit check and
a fraud alert. Had nine different
valid photo ID’s, forty seven
credit cards and a first full
of debits with PINS she easily
accessed on line after rifling
delivered mail, steaming envelopes
open, copying everything inside
and resealing the pilfered mail.
Using them any halfwit hacker
could manage on their own.
Would still be tweaking the night
away, charging with impunity,
taking cash advances and retuning
merchandise she stole for refunds,
if she hadn’t left her bag in a
Victoria’s Secret changing room
for Security to find with all
her stuff inside.