Archive for January, 2019

Demon by Gale Acuff

Posted in Gale Acuff, Uncategorized with tags on January 21, 2019 by Scot

Miss Hooker threw me out of Sunday School
for singing I guess Jesus loves me when
Yes, Jesus loves me are the correct words
and then let me back in near the end when
it was time to say the Lord’s Prayer and
she even made me lead the class in it
and was looking and listening as she
stood beside me to make sure I didn’t
crucify the prayer as well, that’s what
she said I did to “Jesus Loves Me,” too.
And she kept me after school, she set
free everybody but me and then had
me stand in front of her desk as she asked
Do you have a demon in you, Gale, that
makes you sin like you do in Sunday School
–in Sunday School!–because that’s a double
-sin that one day God will get you for and
when you go to hell Satan will get you
all over again even though you did
exactly what he hoped you would do? What
could I say? I’m sorry, Miss Hooker, and
I was just having a little fun, but
she answered with Some fun it will be when
your classmates burn in Hellfire because you
led them into sin, so we’d better pray
about this, young man, so we got down on
our knees, I’m only 10 to Miss Hooker’s
25 so I have less space to fall
and she talked to God with her eyes closed and
head bowed and her hands set like praying hands
but all I really remember was Lord,
help me to teach Gale the error of his ways,
Amen, because I had one eye opened
to watch her there, kneeling helplessly but
thinking herself mighty strong, like the meek
who inherit the earth, I guess, and when
she opened her eyes I closed my opened
one and she said, You may look now, Gale,
so we got to our feet and I’m damned if
I didn’t seem taller or at least she
was shorter. That’s how I know what love is,
or at least one kind, the kind that wants to
make babies even if you don’t know how,
which I don’t, but I think that it starts with
getting married, which we will, when I’m old
enough and she’s enough still young. I tried
to tell her so but instead I started to
cry. Which is good practice for when I’m grown.

 

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They say by Matt Galletta

Posted in Matt Galletta, Uncategorized with tags on January 21, 2019 by Scot

They say
talent skips a generation.

I suspect sometimes
it passes over
entire families.

Your Submission Has Been Received by David Boski

Posted in David Boski, Uncategorized with tags on January 21, 2019 by Scot

Suddenly
I am filled with
a substantial amount
of doubt,
as I get another email
from another literary
magazine that reads:

Dear David Boski,

Thank you for sending us these poems. We appreciate the chance to read them. Unfortunately, the poems are not for us.

Best of luck with this.

Questions race across my brain
like cockroaches when the lights go on.
what didn’t they like?
was it the writing itself? or the content? or both?
was it my liberal use of the word cunt?
was it ‘green means go’? a piece about a bad sexual experience involving: alcohol, cocaine, and a woman’s bloody hole.
or was it all of the above?

Then I remember that Rupi Kaur sold out the Sony Center earlier this week; and I don’t know if they would’ve printed her shit either, but the masses still elevated her to stardom anyways.

niche market.
niche market.
niche market.

I think of my apathy when I did this years ago,
and realize I need to channel that again,
as I wait for the other emails.

 

Two Poems by Kevin Ridgeway

Posted in Kevin Ridgeway, Uncategorized with tags on January 21, 2019 by Scot

 

Population Control

it’s getting crowded in the world:
you can’t even people watch anymore,
because too many people are
already people watching you.

____________

 

Silent Movies

Death is an attention whore,
and reaps many of our finest
Living human beings and hides
them in his underworld.
My entire family is there
with Satan and God, even
Gandhi and Mother Theresa,
Charlie Chaplin twirling
his cane in search of
Edna Purviance so he
can save her from a
Mack Swain heavy.
They are all gone,
silence painted
in the faces
but they are now
deadlier than any
sight gag rolling over
the hills from hell
where they chased
themselves away
into the slapstick
of forever.

SMOKING A BOWL by Mather Schneider

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 21, 2019 by Scot

2:03 in the afternoon, pipe’s
clogged.
Nothing a contortionist
paperclip can’t poke through,
so the teeth of flame
can chew
the crushed weed.
I am touched and touch the world
with each
pinch-cheeked cough,
a purple lighter jumping
and a hard-on like
an eggplant.
The sun rolls
naked through the window,
the cooler hums
from the northern
wall.
No fever
for perfect love, however fewer nevers
would be nice.
Loose laces
of blue smoke, soused mug
and gummy vision
but I’m smiling,
I’m smiling.

 

Three Poems by John Sweet

Posted in John Sweet, Uncategorized with tags , on January 21, 2019 by Scot

 

prologue to the book of crows
days sunlit and frozen like
christ riding shotgun, bleeding all over
everything, seats ruined, drink spilled and
what exactly do you think was accomplished
by locking pound in a cage?

which one of you will rape the
child and which of you will find
humor in it?

it’s a crucial distinction

it’s the day before the flood

i wake up thinking a corner has been
turned, thinking things are going to start
getting better, and when the phone rings it’s a
stranger handing me the news of my
father’s death

when i answer the door it’s a woman
holding my son’s broken body

sunlight, though, spilling through his
pain and casting bitter shadows and the
distance between the price and the cost is
only what we let it become

the dog left locked inside a burning house
is a metaphor for whatever life
we choose to live

drive north for one hour
then turn left

notice the absence of god

name every shade of grey you can see and
then the ones you can feel inside you and
then after the rape the murder
the rope and the gasoline and all of the
vast empty spaces between the
beginning and the end

between the broken window and
the dying stars and you
want to breathe but it’s no longer an option
and i am standing there with
cracked and bleeding hands watching
corpses fall from the sky

am standing there with frost filming
my skin and filling my mouth
and it’s a taste i recognize

it’s the memory of swallowing
handfuls of blood on
the morning of your wedding

it’s like standing by my father’s side
while the machines are turned off

there’s still so much that needs to
be said but no one left to
pretend it matters
____________
stillness
In the corner where the ceiling leaks,
on a Saturday morning, with the
sound of machinery running on human blood.

The bride raped on Main Street
beneath a luminous grey sky.

Faces nailed to the pavement,
eyes to heaven & gouged out by the
stained beaks of crows. Sound of piano music
from between the empty buildings.

Abandoned parking lots in
every direction.

Holiness.

Beauty.

____________

middle-aged man rewrites the future, but can’t decide on an ending
first heat of the season w/out warning,
w/out mercy, 2nd floor of this
house filled w/ the weight of dust & decay

consider motion carefully

shadows of hawks

of clouds forming above the hills

tell her this, then, say don’t be
the mother who lets her children drown

say this and then breathe in
the haze of gasoline and rotting wood

consider fire

consider escape

the pain it would cause others
vs. the possibility of your own survival