Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Four Poems by Jack Henry

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 26, 2019 by Scot

setting free
1.
when my ex died unexpectedly
alone in an apartment she
could not afford;
in a city where conformity
ruled & no one dare stray
from the dotted line;
in a state of financial ruin
brought on by a cancer she
blamed on me;
i thought that day, that moment
i would return to sanity;

but i was wrong –

2.
her ghost haunts me,
still
& i know i should let it
go, but this ghost is real;

she follows me around,
lets me know she is watching;
in all honest i have grown
used to it –

3.
her ashes sit on a shelf of
tchotchkes, at the top
next to smaller cedar boxes
of dead dogs;

her box is colorful, secured by
a small diary lock, the kind
you could crush with your
fingertips;

she left no instructions on a proper
burial and my daughter didn’t know
what to do, so she sits on a top shelf;

watching –

4.
it’s cold
at the top of Mount Baldy;
a few people gather
in clusters of twos and threes;
i came with my ghost
and a backpack holding
a gray paper box
filled with ashes;

i started at 4am,
made good time,
hit the summit in 5 hours,
a record, for me;

at the far edge of the rounded
peak i reach into
my backpack and pull out
the gray paper box,
set it down on behind a large
stone, used as a wind break;

the sun slowly arches across
a bright, blue sky; it is a perfect
day; i remove the lid, pull out
a bag of gray ash;
it is heavy, nearly three pounds,
all that remains;

i kept tablespoon of ash, put it in
a beautiful crystal jar, placed it back on
the shelf, for my daughter, for the
day she wants to remember;

but on the mountain i let it fly,
emptied the bag into the wind,
a temporary cloud rising and
falling on the breath of god;

a ranger approached, but i caught
him in the corner of my eye,
i had a permit, she would have liked
that, being prepared for a change –

____________

 

excuses

the ringing
in my
ears
never leaves
just as
the icy hand
of
my past
never lets
go of
my
throat –

words,
long forgotten,
drift
back
to the shores
of my solitude,
whip-cracking
my skin,
fresh wounds
from which
to draw –

i do
not recognize
who this
person was
nor the
words
written
on stolen
paper &
the backs
of bar top
napkins –

ten years gone
not a word
to sell or
show,
i lay
down my
sword,
surrender,
i know
not
from where i
come –

nor where i
shall
go –

____________

timeless

she sits
on a park
bench
tears stream
from her
eyes
she dabs
them away
with a worn
handkerchief
given to her
years ago
by a man
she
barely knew

every night
in the kitchen sink
she washes the
handkerchief
let’s it dry
on the countertop
and
every morning
she folds the
handkerchief
places it in
her pocketbook

some days she
wanders out
onto the streets
and sidewalks
of los angeles
stares up at the
skyscrapers
wanders out
past the old
bars
and shuttered
retail stores
past the
angry young men
propped
against
concrete walls, the
ones littered
with flyers and
poster board
advertisements
eventually she
finds herself
on a park bench
in Pershing Square
alone
watching
the city change
morph
evolve

she knows
no one
other than
doctors
nurses
and pharmacists
her neighbors
speak in a
language
she does not
understand
her children
have forgotten
everything

some days
she cries
pulls the
handkerchief
from her
pocketbook
dabs at her
eyes
dries her
tears

that day
a man walks up
nearly as old
as she
offers her a
handkerchief
one very like
the one hidden
in her pocketbook
he is gray and
old
riddled with age

she smiles
as he sits next to her

____________

 

eventually

memory fails
when i try to remember
our first embrace –
a strange two weeks
rolling across a jungle –

you filled gray folds
of my mottled brain
with something more
than a quick hello, goodbye,
yeah,
you were okay –

little things cling to a here and now tap dance –
cheap perfume –
a femme fatales eyelashes –
an innocent touch –
tears formed from a dream you could not share –

and when you left,
when you finally left,
a note remains –
a sort of explanation,
a sort of apology,
but you need not worry –

everyone leaves

eventually –

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Two Poems by Ramsha Ashraf

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 22, 2019 by Scot

Having Sex with the Author of the Hindoo

The dream of the nazi-Muslim woman died
Of welcoming you to the kingdom of peace
In the club when you asked:
“I know you get a lot of hits by other men but
I’d sing the Smiths to you in your eternal moments of darkness”
That night I didn’t stumble-walk to your place from the club
Night would’ve longed a little more
Only if it was not our parting night
The winter-town sulked over the fact
That your religion won’t be welcomed in my country
You were left alone after we explored
the protagonist’s indecisive shifts
from Seattle riots to Lahore’s Shahi Mohallah
After when you read the Hindoo and covered the Rafi’s vocals
Now I look back and curse the moment
I should’ve loved you and not the author of the Hindoo.
The nazi-Muslim woman who killed herself
for a minute hadn’t died and when I see you come back
in my dreams, I gasp.
I could be more loyal to your body
but you see you had read from the manuscript
the title of which my inner self loathes.
Such a perfect hypocrite I am.
Iqbal Bano’s record still plays
in the backdrop but in my dreams
I can have sex,
not with you but,
with the author of the Hindoo.

———————————-

 

Oblivion is the Word

Can I shake you a little
before sleep lulls you
and you hide your lips
in my breath.

Oblivion is destructive
it kills the peace
and sleep too at times.

I’ve held you against myself
in small square hotel room
with bright transcendence
that bridged mahogany light
with the gloomed darkness.

I have wondered so far
what ecstasy looks like
if it is not our lips
tracing the brackets
of distorted shadows,
our hands anxious
at the spontaneity,
our feet embracing
the enigmatic silence
dissolved within curves
of flesh, joints & bones.

Oblivion is the word,
and may be a woe too,
hard to recognise
yet easy to love.

I have left pieces of you
wandering alone
in the spilt and aroma
of those sheets
where once I have stayed
with you.

____________

 

Ramsha Ashraf is a poet and playwright who lives in Pakistan. She has published a collection of poetry, Enmeshed (2015), and she was a 2017 resident at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.

 

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.

 

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.