Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Four Poems by Jack Henry

Posted in Jack Henry, 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 –

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.

 

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