Archive for May, 2019

Three Poems by Rob Plath

Posted in Rob Plath on May 13, 2019 by Scot

cats & cigarettes


i read that camus
had a black cat
named cigarette
tonight i picture
the aloof pair
sitting together
a big yawn
opening up around
his companion’s fangs
as albert’s smoke
curls past his eye
like the silent tongue
of nothingness



w/ out
along the avenues of broken lamplights 
in this neighborhood
garbage drums are dragged
to the curb before dawn
sharpens yards of leaning fences
& pale stubble of lawns
the headlights of old cars
warming on narrow driveways
the only light cutting the darkness
& the empty pails roll around
unattended all day on pavement
cracked as the tired hands
of those who return to collect
them well after dusk

Three Poems by Cord Moreski

Posted in Cord Moreski with tags on May 13, 2019 by Scot

Brooklyn by the Sea

My friend Charlie tells me as we sit on a bench
and wait for the last train of the night to arrive
that he doesn’t even recognize his own city anymore.
The house he grew up in on Cookman is a hot yoga studio,
and the school he attended as a kid is now a block
full of luxury townhomes, even the landmarks
and mom-and-pop shops he used to haunt
are being traded in for trendy art murals and lots
for overpriced food trucks. But the contractors keep
buying and flipping, destroying and rebuilding,
so that it’s not so easy to hear those Springsteen songs
among the constant drilling along the boardwalk anymore.
Charlie tells me that his landlord is raising his rent again
and that maybe his luck would be better if he moves out of New Jersey.
Then he gets quiet for a moment as we watch our train pass us by
like a fleeting memory, like a lifetime flashing before the inevitable death.
So we both decide that all there’s left to do is walk
but have trouble figuring out which direction is home.



Disappearing Act


Ricky was always into magic.
That summer when my pals
and I were all twenty-two years old,
we bought a few cases of PBR each night,
lit a bonfire on the beach and watched
as Ricky did the damndest things.
He bent quarters with his forehead,
plucked rose petals from the back of earlobes
and always, for his final trick, helped make
the rest of our beer vanish into his belly.
But one day he stopped coming around.
Word was that his father tried to convince him
into joining the army, but Ricky ran away
before he could ever sign the papers.
His dad would ask us from time to time
if we had heard any news about his son,
but we all knew that magicians
never revealed their secrets.



Back then, my friends and I
swore time would never catch us.
We drove fast. Brawled much.
Dragged Reds past the filters
and found God at the bottom of bottles.
We’d stay up all night mocking
the galaxies that had already died
not realizing it would eventually
become tomorrow.





Davo by George Anderson

Posted in George Anderson with tags on May 13, 2019 by Scot



He never caught anyone’s eye & by most accounts
he was ‘very ordinary’ apart from his beautiful long black hair.

The last report I wrote for him in Year 10 simply read:

‘Davo is a quiet student who is capable of making a more conscious effort to improve the length and quality of his written work, especially under exam conditions.’

One day everything changed.

The day he hanged himself from a tree in his family’s backyard.

There had been none of the obvious warning signs:
no desperate attempts at communication.
no suicide note-

just his blue unmarked face
swinging stiffly in the wind
in the purple pulse of the jacaranda.

His friends were dumb-founded, pissed-off. Devastated.

Trying to piece it all together
we recalled how he was a committed greenie
how during recess & lunch he would often collect
empty soft drink cans from the school bins
& sporting fields for recycling

but nothing more could be uncovered than that.

The school’s memorial service for his senseless loss
was a bleak affair-attended by his family
and a shaken Year 10 & school staff.

A memorial tree was planted for Davo that day
but was it was torn out at least three times over the next couple of months
& replaced before it was eventually left alone.

Now on my way to class
I often peer out towards the cricket nets
and see his tree now 15 metres in height

I think of Davo
of his silent crying out
& how none of us ever saw it coming.



Home by Timothy Tarkelly

Posted in Timothy Tarkelly with tags on May 13, 2019 by Scot



We couldn’t help but jump, the speakers rattling something shitty against the noise of the dirt road, but we knew this song like we knew our families, like we knew each other, the only four people in the world with good taste in music, who understand what a refuge you can find circling your hometown, like we knew these roads, worn grains in the cracked Midwestern wood, soft to the touch, but look like a splintered mess. We couldn’t help but jump, thrashing our bodies to the bassline, la-la-la-ing along, la-la-la-ing like we knew what it was to be older, to be us in ten years, to be us still together, ‘cause surely that’s the way that works.

And Now This by Matt Dennison

Posted in Matt Dennison with tags on May 13, 2019 by Scot

And now there’s a leak
in the gravity-tank
toilet we never used,
that I tried to kill
from the inside-out—
propped a wooden spoon
under its arm, siliconed
its mouth, duct-taped
its drain. But in spite
of all this it’s recently
begun to leak and
it’s getting worse.
And it’s not that I’m lazy,
I tried to stop it once
and I’m sure I’ll try again,
but for now I think
I’ll let it grow until
it equals your showers,
your eternal sour
sips and endless
dripping rains of
penny complaints.

I’m paying for everything else,
why not pay for this?

OH WELL by Brian Rihlmann

Posted in Brian Rihlmann with tags on May 13, 2019 by Scot
this was just another morning
when I pulled into the parking lot
of the coffee shop
and saw the lilacs blooming
in the island
surrounded by the red curb
and didn’t feel like walking over
and smelling them
oh well…
I guess I’ve smelled them
haven’t I?

over half a century by J.J. Campbell

Posted in J.J. Campbell on May 13, 2019 by Scot
the good
die young
before i
know it
these bones
will have
over half
a century
of wear
and tear
on them
that should
remove any
thought of
being good
of course,
all these
liking the
bad boys
seem to
be bullshit
as well