Archive for April, 2021

Bradley Mason Hamlin

Posted in Bradley Mason Hamlin with tags on April 27, 2021 by Scot

Murdering Rainbows

(For Nicky Christine)


Of the great

You get
With children

The amazing

Stick figures

Purple unicorns

Or super
Wildly explosive

That look
Brilliantly murdered
By the sun

The best part
Of all
Is the look

On their
Beautiful mother’s

Eyes appreciating
The raw talent
And emotion

Only she
Never forgets

The kids
Turn into teenage

And do
Their very best

To eat
Our brains

Sees the best
She is
The best

And sometimes
I screw up

To remember
To forget

The Crayon family
The psychedelic

Reminds me
I too

To strangle
The sun.


Mother’s Day, 2020
Sacramento, California




Sacramento Surf


The California
Wild cats scream
Against violent windstorm

As the giant palm gods
Palm fronds flip-fly

Surfing through the rain
Against brick roofs

Bang, bang
The valley swings

A drunken go-go girl
Too skilled
To fall

Oceans down
In kahunic waves from Heaven

Until the ancient
Gold dust stirs
From the bones of the broken

As we clear our psyche
With beer, & wine, & spirits
And cosmic sex

Are rich again.


April 4, 2021
Sacramento, California

Kevin Ridgeway

Posted in Kevin Ridgeway, Uncategorized with tags on April 25, 2021 by Scot


was me
and he wonders
38 years later
in a prison cell
who his son is out there
in the gruesome world
he could no longer live in,
after trying to be a gangster
of the heart and a gangster
of the mind, surviving it
with words as ammunition
to prove just how dangerous
I can be ever since my mother
told me that he was never
going to come home.
I cried a lifetime of tears
until I was able to break
free of them and avoid
prosecution. I’ve got
no more time to kill
with a mind that’s half
of my Mensa mother
and the other half
a dope fiend. I thought
the world owed me
for taking my father
away. I morphed
into a stranger
my father will never
recognize. the man
he created. I’m alone
and on the run from him
in a free world
made insane with
his son hidden in it
as a survivor of
my father’s curse
with endless poetry
that has left me
beyond recognition
and a father to myself.



I was eleven years old
when it was decided
that I needed to go
to another school
because all of
my classmates
made me
but not as
miserable as
the morning
my mother waltzed
into the classroom
on my first day
at my new school
and used a fake
game show
announcer’s voice
to introduce me
to a bunch of
weary crickets.
i emerged
from behind her
and looked out
at my new
and I could
already see
in their eyes
what they were
all planning
to do with me.



You arrived at the front gates
of the cemetery in an uber
with a musician you traveled
from Missouri with, on your
way to discovering America.
I was your lowlife guide
in a yard full of dead
renegades in arts, letters,
music and plenty of jocks
who didn’t read poetry.
I led you up a hill
to an orange traffic cone
where you collapsed
on top of the dead,
dirty old man
who we both chased
into the pages
of literature.
We said nothing
as he spoke to us.
We hurried across
the large memorial park
in order for you
to get back to the airport
in time but first
we paid our respects
to a San Pedro punk legend
who lost his life
on the same offbeat road
traveled by the old man
and wee lads like us
in the beautiful ugliness
of this world in relentless
search for a beer-drunk
nirvana of our own.



My grandma always
said that to us, an old term
intended for perverse men
who tried to take advantage
of her, a beauty that became
wrinkled from the children
she raised throughout
the Great Depression,
a time when she used her
skills as an athlete to wrestle
other women in desperate
matches for money
to feed her children.
I’ll box your ears!
she growled after
I slapped her fanny,
which triggered
her infamous uppercut,
which swung to barely
graze the same face
I managed to plant
onto the floor, where
it wasn’t as fresh
as a hard-won lover.
She took my hand
to help me get back
on my feet while
she hollered at me
for being a pest,
a pest who needed
to get off the floor
she mopped him with.



beyond the time I first opened my eyes
into the fire of this dream, which they all
whispered had finally came true with
the promise I made to myself when
I watched deputies drag my father away
to prison and my mother sobbed against
my shoulders until her tears drowned me
long enough for my mother to never dry
her eyes long enough for the opportunity
to meet her son, shake my hand and
disappear when she was no longer
looking for all of her missing dreams,
dreams where I chase the ghosts
she has left hidden inside of me.

glasser’s motivation theory or being told you can’t is about the same thing by Scot Young

Posted in Scot Young with tags on April 7, 2021 by Scot

william glasser derived
motivation worked best
from the inside out as
an internal drive for success
or sense of purpose.
intrinsic vs extrinsic
my high school counselor
said i wasn’t college material
i should go build cars
at ford or gm or
work construction

so i did

when i did go to college
it was motivated
by the opposite sex
when i got married for
love everyone thought
and said
it would only last a year
that was 40 years now
and those people are
now gone

later family and a sense
i needed to provide more
be more
so i returned to those halls
seeking more

there i was told i needed two
semesters of As to be admitted
to the teaching program
and with 100 hours at a
perfect 2.0
and never having more
than a few As in that
previous life
would be impossible.
i answered but i didn’t have to

so i did

before glasser my k-12
teachers said not working
up to his potential
does not play well with others

after a certificate of completion
from the school
of hard knocks and
three college
degrees i found those early
educators were at least

half right


A FIX by John D Robinson

Posted in John D Robinson with tags on April 7, 2021 by Scot

The calling bells
hide in the crevices
of a lost love poem,
now dead upon the
eyes of a day when
we need a fix of
nothing else,
a shot of
colour against
the windows
of whoever
may be

Baseball Before the Apocalypse by Leah Mueller

Posted in Leah Mueller with tags on April 7, 2021 by Scot


Cluster of bodies, soap
bubbles at a Cub’s game:
1983, our bicycles shackled
to poles outside, entwined in

a steel snare. To saw through
tempered metal would
give thieves the pick of several.

We smuggled imported
beer in white bottles, eight
bucks a pack, and salads
in sturdy plastic containers
from the Bread Shop.

Bleacher seats three dollars,
nicknamed the “Animal Section.”
No one at the entry gate
ever checked for weapons.

We were good to go, unless
bottles protruded from the
sides of our backpacks,

or we spilled marijuana
on the sidewalk by mistake
as we entered Wrigley Field.
A friend once said,

“If you were one of the lucky
people who got to change
the scoreboard by hand, you’d
be so fucking cool by default.”

We drank beer, passed
around joints, ate salads
and, when the game was over.

we took our trash home
and disposed of it properly.
We were good citizens.

No one patted our thighs,
thrust their hands down our shirts,
groped under the waistbands of
our shorts, searching for explosives.
No one checked our health records

for evidence of compliance.
It was just a goddamned Cub’s game,
a few 22-year-old kids,

and a summer that would end
like all the others after.

This Time by James Diaz

Posted in JAMES DIAZ with tags on April 7, 2021 by Scot


This time

the past is the past
depends on how bad it really was

he hit me here
and here
in the parking lot of the auto mechanic’s
neon glow
I said do it again
and I’ll put you in the ground

there was a name my mother used to call the neighbors
angrily in Spanish
there was a way she held the salt shaker in her hand
that reminded me of
a solo dancer
heels clicking on a sad High school gymnasium floor
abandoned by her date for a hotter flame

my father was at the race track
with the rent again

I was sent after him
around the corner
with my tiny hands
held out like contrition
momma says tell him milk and bread
I say I won’t forget this pain, ever
my only inheritance

tonight i cut deeper than I expected
the vein in me sang the whole chorus this time,
she cooed like a rail yard
at the end of the world
I looked like I felt
like I looked hooked up to the moon
trailed by barking dogs and no last name
they said it wouldn’t hurt so much if I just handed it over to him

they were wrong

it had a life of its own
a death-bell
that i ate like laughter
motel-vacancy in my eyes,
past the bone
is the spirit
past the spirit
is the pain

you can’t outrun what you are –
not ever

it’s twenty dollars to forget
it’s twenty years
to remember

the county off road & grid
in the tall pine
moon mother
shouts after tail lights
disappearing into the mountains
her daughter, in her mouth –
she breaks the thing in two

a god of silence
walking home
to build a wreckage
from her womb.

Dancing lessons from God by Jay Sizemore

Posted in Jay Sizemore with tags on April 7, 2021 by Scot

~after Kurt Vonnegut

If I wanted to end the world,
they’d give me the Nobel Prize
for perfecting genocide,
for understanding the plight
of the garden plow
and inventing the first religion
to call prayer nothing
but a poem written in excrement.

The cat’s cradle
of God’s love
can be found
in the indices
of the unholy.
but what is God?
What is love?

Time, such a beguiling bastion
of the illusive spirit,
its passage like a staircase
accepting the momentary weight
of our countless footsteps,
where we fool ourselves
into believing we matter
more than we are matter.

The ragged rim of oblivion,
welcoming as a leper’s smile,
calls us from our oubliette
to explore,
to build the better bicycle
and pretend
not to feel the cold
of the nuclear winter,

where the snow falls
like orange blossoms,
and the horizon yawns,
a Calypso
made of beautiful worms.

your country, the whore by John Sweet

Posted in John Sweet with tags on April 7, 2021 by Scot


jezebel’s remains found the next morning,
but the dogs all disappeared

believe in hope
without assigning it a value

can it be done?

try harder

there are days that matter,
of course,
but this has always been true

burn each page once it’s been written
and then swallow the ashes

and what is prayer but a
darker form of hunger?

what is the future but the place where
your story is finally
brought to its conclusion?

violence is a given, of course,
usually in some obscure form

walls and windows and
the fine art of escape

we fall in love at the wrong age,
in the wrong town,
with the wrong people

we dream of sunlight and of warmth
and then wake up to late
winter rain

we have children,
but our children are gone


the bills are overdue,
the curtains on fire

nothing from nothing is a start

the news of a war or a
failed revolution,
of a plane crashing in the ocean

179 people dead, but no one you know,
no one you will ever miss,
and so how can it be a tragedy?

how many graves do we have to dig if
no bodies are ever recovered?

let the truth be a mirror held high
in a darkened room

let the false king be dragged
out into the street and hung

a revolution to hold us over
until the next one

the promise of unity
which was always a lie

we will never learn to
define ourselves
without the presence of an enemy