Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Marc Janssen

Posted in Marc Janssen, Uncategorized with tags on June 16, 2022 by Scot

 

 

ON A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
—After “Surrender” by Jon Anderson

Do you remember that happy
Hippy dream?

On a starry midsummer night explode all the weapons in outer space
A sky explosion
A safe sky explosion
A safe psychic, psychedelic joyful sky explosion!
What a sight that would be
What a relief.

Sniggering realists laugh at the idea
Now peace is a punchline.
How sad they are
These bleary cynics whose dreams have remained so small.

____________

 

Marc Janssen lives in a house with a wife who likes him and a cat who loathes him. Regardless of that turmoil, his poetry can be found scattered around the world in places like Pinyon, Slant, Cirque Journal, Off the Coast and Poetry Salzburg. His book, November Reconsidered was published by Cirque Press. Janssen also coordinates the Salem Poetry Project, a weekly reading, the annual Salem Poetry Festival, and was a 2020 nominee for Oregon Poet Laureate

Curtis Hayes

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on June 16, 2022 by Scot

 

 

THE NEW DEAL

I would fire up my motorcycle at 6:30 every morning.
it was a quick ride
to one of the last working sawmills in Los Angeles
where I would run rough lumber
through a ten-ton planer for nine hours a day.
the machine was an Industrial Age survivor
once painted green, now weathered but still solid,
with the year 1907
cast into the framework in large numerals
by the long-shuttered LA foundry that had created it.

sticking to surface streets,
I would glide through the morning air
lucky to leave the hell of the choked freeways to others.
my route took me past a bar called
The New Deal Saloon,
ramshackle, sun-bleached
and open for business at 5am.
the front door was always open
and I could usually make out three or four
dark outlines
seated at the bar, lit by a juke in the back of the room.
I felt bad for them,
slumped, broken and smoking discount cigarettes,
still young enough to assume
that they were different than me.
I’d tell myself that they were regular guys
just off a swing shift at one of the South Bay refineries,
except the refineries were miles away
and my route was mostly past
shut-down defense plants
and boarded-up machine shops.
every morning I’d approach the New Deal and
slow down a little bit to get a look inside,
telling myself that I would never be one of them.
it was obvious that inside that dank room
The New Deal was always the old deal.

at the mill I’d pour a cup of coffee
and start pushing trees.
no one wore work gloves at the saws,
they could catch on a blade
and pull your hand in with it.
the old men at the mill would hold up their hands
as they shuffled by
and with a kind of salute
they’d show off
their missing fingers and disfigurements.
no one had to open their mouth and say
“Be careful, kid.”

The New Deal was finally bulldozed into
splinters and sticks.
the gravel parking lot
with its 50 year saturation of piss and puke
is now jammed tight with cheaply built condos.
soon after, I split from my job at the mill,
with all my fingers intact.

I began drifting from one thing to the next,
working hard,
still hanging on to the great lie
and unaware that the graveyard shifts
and the early morning drinking
were waiting for me
only a few years down the road.

____________

 

Curtis Hayes has worked as a grip, gaffer, and camera assistant in film production. He’s been a truck driver, a boat rigger, a print journalist and a screenwriter. He is the author of the non-fiction top-ten NYT bestseller, I Am Jesse James, and his first poetry collection, Bottleneck Slide, has recently been published by Vainglory Press.

 

Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 17, 2022 by Scot

 

Staying in the Room Where Her Ex-Husband Used to Beat Her for $49/Night

 

 

She seems to know I don’t have it in me,
staying in the room where her ex-husband used
to beat her for $49/night,
the nice couple that own the place
imploring us to pet their dying cone-headed dog
as they handed us the key,
reassured that such matters are just a precaution,
that he kept itching where he should not itch
which sits just fine with a man who has been itching
the short and scragglies for almost a half century
of higher gas and lower expectations
and she moves right in as though she never left
which makes me feel bad because this is a family place
and family should give you better although
it never really does.

____________

 

Band House

 

 

Struggling
is equal opportunity
in the band house

with this self-proclaimed
Matriarch of the Midwest
who burns the toast
and stirs the beans
in riddles of careful
brown molasses

so the bands
riding into town on fumes
have a place to crash
after the gig

and something
warm in the belly
for the unforgiving
road ahead.

____________

 

The Great Replace The Good

 

 

That scratchy ice-swept highway of the North
waiting on another crash,
as though you are the only spent death
waiting on power windows that don’t work
because of the cold,
not a tow job for a hundred miles
if I were a betting man,
not a single flare of better sense,
the jaws of life pulled out for sport
instead of function;
it’s no hands on deck each happy hour,
that ear splintering way the great replace
the good with not good enough;
this jugular full of pumping red blood
waiting to happen.

coming off the top ropes by scot young

Posted in Uncategorized on September 25, 2021 by Scot

ive dined with kings and queens
and i’ve slept in the alley
eating pork and beans

the american dream said
that in his promos
from his early days
burning up the highways
sleeping in the car
& cheap motels

i knew him in the late 70s
before big time tv
before vince made
 him wear polka dots
to humiliate him
he talked about hard times
& hard knocks

he told me one night
swirling whiskey in his glass
the kings and queens
pork n beans was his story
his amercian dream
that a man never knows
where he’ll land coming
off the top ropes so
be kind daddy and help
your brother when you can

the next week he was pounding
flair’s head open
scoring it with a razor blade
then it was ric’s turn
blood was expected
he said that’s what
the fans pay for

in 2015 dusty rhodes died
the american dream died too
or maybe it died before then

when they rang the bell 10 times
with an empty ring
the nature boy cried
the arena cried and
 i couldn’t hold it back

today i have a shelf
stocked with pork n beans
because you never know
coming off the top ropes

Kevin Ridgeway

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

MY FATHER’S BIGGEST CRIME

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.

_____________

NOT EVERYONE IS GOING TO LIKE YOU

I was eleven years old
when it was decided
that I needed to go
to another school
because all of
my classmates
made me
miserable,
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
classmates
and I could
already see
in their eyes
what they were
all planning
to do with me.

____________

POEM FOR DANIEL WRIGHT

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.

____________

DON’T GET FRESH

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.

____________

INSIDE THE MIND OF A TORTURED POET

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.

Two Poems by Xi Nan

Posted in Uncategorized on February 14, 2021 by Scot

Mental Hospital

In this mental hospital there are
A whole hospital of doctors and
The only patient
They show all their magical powers, do everything
So that when she wakes up in the night
No longer sees shadows dancing

____________

 

Fairy

 

He was traveling in Spain
He went to a supermarket to buy things
Standing in front of the supermarket, he saw
On the ground
Full of sewage and trash
On this pile of sewage and trash
There sat a fairy-faced girl
With her legs bent
In her twenties
Grimy
A crew cut, she was
Injecting drugs into herself
A few seconds after, the injection was done
She suddenly, looked ahead
And burst into hearty laughter
Extremely happy
Extremely pure
Don’t know what, her fantasy was?
He asked
For the rest of the day, he
Felt very depressed
He said his existing worldview
Could not explain
This fairy in the trash dump

_____________

About the Author: Xi Nan (西楠), born in China, writes and translates, indie publisher, author of different genres. Some works of hers are published in English. Her translation work of ten poems (originally authored by Fish Lu in Chinese) was nominated for the 2020 American Pushcart literary prize. She graduated from London School of Economics and Political Science, now lives in Hangzhou and London.

Her Twitter : @XiNan_WhaleStu

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/xinan.writes/

Gerald Lockin

Posted in Uncategorized on January 19, 2021 by Scot

Rest easy.

https://atomic-temporary-6123454.wpcomstaging.com/2010/09/12/the-gerald-locklin-interview/

Vision of Andrew by Paul Jones

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on December 11, 2020 by Scot

 

Andy had become so religious that he demanded that we stop the car at every railroad crossing. The signs, he said, were signs of Saint Andrew his Name Saint and Patron. Andy wanted to get out and kneel at each one. “You were first to recognize Him. Now recognize me, Your child,” he shouted to wherever he imagined Andrew might be hiding. Around some building, in bushes, inside the crossing signals, any bus or truck passing, a pair of blue birds, the sky as blue as the flag of Scotland. Or its mirrored stigmata, the cross of blood on Andy’s wrist.

Two poems by Tom Montag

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on December 11, 2020 by Scot

–selections from my on-going series “The Woman in an Imaginary Painting.” 

 

Love is simply
another kind
of sorrow. She

knows it. She keeps
her heart where her
heart keeps wisdom.

You won’t see that
in this moment
as she poses.

The pose is all
she has to hold
against her pain.


There are no
mourning doves

in her world,
no soft, sighing

woo-woo-woos,
no morning

sadnesses
in the trees.

She does not
know their song.

The sorrows
she holds are

all her own.

____________

Tom Montag’s books of poetry include: Making Hay & Other Poems; Middle Ground; The Big Book of Ben Zen; In This Place: Selected Poems 1982-2013; This Wrecked World; The Miles No One Wants; Imagination’s Place; Love Poems; and Seventy at Seventy. His poem ‘Lecturing My Daughter in Her First Fall Rain’ has been permanently incorporated into the design of the Milwaukee Convention Center. He blogs at The Middlewesterner. With David Graham he recently co-edited Local News: Poetry About Small Towns.

OUCH IS ALL YOU NEED by Brian Rihlmann

Posted in Brian Rihlmann, Uncategorized with tags on November 20, 2020 by Scot

 

a woman I don’t know
posted a question
in a Facebook poetry group—
explain love in one word
and it only took a fraction
of a second
and I already knew
but first I
scrolled down the page—
truth beauty selflessness
trust infinite god christ
unconditional
everything
and then
with my middle finger
I tapped out the word
“Ouch”