Archive for poetry

the memory collective by Elle Surtees

Posted in Elle Surtees with tags on September 13, 2017 by Scot

the memory collective,
less lineal / more ethereal.
girls w/chain-link-print shadows,
cast on skin living between boarders.
concrete blocks, razor fences
made for invisible edges.
babies born again all day,
met w happiness and/or accidentally.
sex machines/dolls/pretend human beings.
made to order, move to suburbs
from far away foreign factories.
fuck toys, lovely babes
some are real, some are fake.
pretty please, lie out loud
when you lay on the bed.
one made up to play w body,
other body plays w head.
magic in the marrow
of the bones our bodies own.
lust dressed like love
mixed w liquor and on drugs.
hyper heart, hopped fence
went too far real fast,
came away w a past.
4 walls up high,
sow deep seeded defenses.
behind them lonely is a darkness
full but empty, ashamed, exposed, defenseless.
fifteen-plus-year thin threaded dreams,
don’t stand a chance made in china.
born dead in paradise, alive momento mori.
inspected, directed, injected, rejected
altogether yet seperate inside
the memory collective.

glory holes lit by cigarettes
see-through, make the show.
nights danced till dusted,
acid drawings, cocaine eyes
heroin blood on the walls.
call it like you see it,
or keep it secret in the stalls.
embrace the future,
paved parking spaces.
specially reserved,
isolate the greatest races.
blue eyes in glass boxes
looking down from somewhere high.
real estate, virtually thin air up in the sky.
back in the day, they all say…
something better used to be here.
all-night neon booth bed diners.
want a tip bitch?
starving children, bastards
will come dine, then they ditch.
take all my cents if you need it.
but back the fuck off my senses.
get ready, put a coat on
it get’s so cold outside.
freezing, lost, vegas-desert-winter,
sometimes it looks like
it’s gonna feel that way forever
all the time.
then a ray breaks through
finds me bc i know it’s mine.
w light that’s gold, looks real
and all the good things feel true.

better take off you’re closed.
then unsettled again still.
hungry man dreams
a stale doughnut fairy.
pissed his pants, more than once
dude was drunk, high on junk.
made his place on the ground
inside a bus stop.
dreams came true
and rolled through.
under a bench,
w few dirty donated blankets.
sugarmeals on wheels
hand delivery by skateboard
seemed like a sad man
was truly happy
in that moment.
dirty old guy, down on his luck.
his kind smile real,
he gave that to me.
i gave him food
rescued from dumpsters
by me.

slut red, some said
ponytails, screaming
pulled apart.
a plastic seat
under a doorway frame.
fingers greasy,
nails, chip painted
out the dirt, under the bed.
run in the hair top ya head.
knew a girl once, broke many times.
filled the kitchen w flies, a beast arrived.
girl broke my heart,
its hard to do.
tall tales,
w long tongue
licking asses of all the guys
she slayed they passed her by.
saw a spirit form from bottled pills
in the dark, double up
took her away
inner being spilled.
lost in stained carpet,
some crumbling stucco hallway.
you got a son, why won’t she shine?
i got a flower, this will never dies.
alive inside my memory
all ways isolated
always by my side.
under glass broken from promises
somewhere far away one day i swear i will be free.
our symmetry in common burns,
memories stay not as warm.
thangs ain’t the same w/o power.
live free / kill the pain,
all day / every hour.


cultured naturally
un-nurtured adult-kid
you’re getting away
little scared maybe still
but this feels kinda big.
ya gonna get that way
anyway someday.
just for now, or never.
nothing is forever.

carrying things takes forgiveness,
weighted and endless.
shit don’t always add up all the time.
work out, or even matter.
blood-n-teeth stains
temporarily remain
flesh novelty
wear it flashy
it’s not for every night,
right now because of this,
we’ll never ever be the same.
things die, some just stay there,
rotting inside.
hardening the blood.
near the chest area.
how is it actually a twisting pain
there, inside my heart?
i know it sounds like bullshit.
but it feels harder sometimes and heavy
i choke on it a little, so I know
for sure something’s wrong in there.
mini anxiety ghost knife-like reminders.
cracking knuckles, pulling hair.
4 steps forward
2 steps 2 many and 2 late
bet on a gamble, poor you, picked wrong pony
w the shotgun at the gate.
state of mind state, please stay gold.
fuck the world
for the win
love ya neighbor
beauty inside never gets ugly or lonley.
let’s get high,
all i ever wanted was to fly.
crash pilot falling from the sky
get lost maybe,
don’t come back.
knew quite a few
who didn’t mean too,
but left the rest of us here like that.
the one resonance, autonomus eternal.
I ain’t so much familiar just quite yet.
I know it’s gotta be there somewhere.
hidden obvious, out in the open.
once you find love i’m pretty sure after that it’ll all be free
at least thats what i hope…
because that’s something good in me i can still see.


 –Elle was born in Australia raised in Hawaii left home for Vegas at 15. Her parents are artists She is a working artist. She lived in Tijuana for 6 months.


viretta park by John Grochalski

Posted in John Grochalski with tags on September 13, 2017 by Scot

–for kurt cobain

i couldn’t write a poem
with enough sorrow back then
although i tried on the morning bus
looking out at east liberty concrete
in the new pittsburgh spring
all sad boy poet pose playing nevermind in my headphones
maybe i lacked the proper empathy
didn’t understand suicide
with a girl willing to take her clothes off for me
telling me she loved me all the time
kris and i saw allen ginsberg read poetry
the night i found out you died
and i turned twenty the day after
that girl i mentioned
well…she wanted to make the night special for me
so hopefully you can forgive me
for being just a touch distracted back then
but kurt the thing is
standing here in viretta park, seattle
twenty-three years later
in a neighborhood i could never picture you living in
looking at a bench with your name
your lyrics scrawled all over it
that ghostly house hanging in the distance
an older, gray man
at an age you could never even contemplate
i’m still not sure that i have the words
or maybe my existence since that time
has now far outstretched my empathy
and capacity for sorrow
how terrible that we missed each other in that cosmic way
i wish i could tell you something dumb
like just concentrate on the music
or that life doesn’t just become habitual
and that you’ve really got to search for the moments
after you reach a certain age
but right now, kurt
i kind of don’t want to prove you wrong or right
or even lie to myself
i just want to take a picture of this bench
hold my wife’s hand
and walk down to lake washington
watch as the sun shimmers off the water
before we head back to the city
where the young kids
are all still wearing your t-shirts
still looking for signs of life
still looking for a way through you
to escape.

the older hispanic men by Justin Hyde

Posted in Justin Hyde with tags on September 13, 2017 by Scot


i met
in detasseling fields
& roofing crews

had nothing
or very little

besides aztec grace
& the dignity
of a bald eagle
on their shoulders

something of durango
echoes of pancho villa
in their marrow

men like luis


no pensive

or existential

i stood
in their shade

those lean

even(ing) by Paul Koniecki

Posted in Paul Koniecki with tags on September 13, 2017 by Scot


when in every dream
i am william cutting
five points bill the
butcher cursing or fighting

american eagle false eye
controlling every other move
like a star trek
ceti eel larvae and

i wish daniel crocker
was here to put
it (all) in a poem
and save me between

fits of lost control
panic mania hurricane eyelids
man’s inhumanity to sleep
and again to man

just around the corner by J.J. Campbell

Posted in J.J. Campbell with tags on August 25, 2017 by Scot


a glass

when that
used to
tell you
was just
the corner

now imagine
what her life
is like out west
with her family

thousands of
miles away
from you

is leaning
up against
the wall

to be put
in your

I’LL GET RIGHT ON THAT by Mather Schneider

Posted in Mather Schneider with tags on August 25, 2017 by Scot


My wife’s uncle is murdered
in his home in Hermosillo
his head beaten and left on the floor
to lay there in the Mexican summer heat
for 2 days
until he’s as bloated as an air mattress.

He’s found by his sister
my wife’s mother.

It takes 3 guys
to squeeze him
into the coffin.

The funeral is rushed.

The preacher says the mass in 15 minutes

and then out to the cemetery
where two kids wearing sweaty t-shirts
drop the coffin
into the red dirt.

My wife and I make the 4-hour drive down
from Tucson
get back in time to
work the next day.

12-hour shift in that stupid cab
some meth head runs on me.

I get home from work
turn on Facebook
and some guy tells me
I really need to read
his press-mate’s new crime novel
the latest star to come out
of Kentucky State’s MFA program

because the rawness of the writing
will blow my mind.

SANCTUARY by Paul Corman Roberts

Posted in Paul Corman Roberts with tags on August 1, 2017 by Scot




reaching through saran-wrap-o-sphere congestion in prayer for streamers of cold crisp air cooled by moonlight though I am not a creature of the night but a denizen of the pre-dawn coming here to escape not from everyone else but from everywhere else, a hiding place to be alone in sometimes

… Didn’t you?

Social currency washes out
with the next high tide.

Hanuman lives in all our memories, fucks with our heads every time we take on the animal rituals of body, the reptilian rituals of death and sex, the angelic rituals of cleansing, and the demonic rituals of burning the whole motherfucker down.

I have
grown fat
on fake news.

Memes are
more nutritious
than media

There remains an impossible magic loving to be found in the smell of these ruins. It refuses to die. A new city is built from the twilight residue, scattered by winds from a Fall no investor saw comin’ round the mountain when it came. Hope was left behind somewhere on the journey but like the river, like love, it is a relentless comer that reminds you that you are too, a quavering in the voice and we become intoxicated on a forbidden tincture holding all the secrets of guilt, grief and joy so vividly felt in the collapse of television networks, in the bloody conquest or righteous barbarians and an unfortunate smear of dog shit running up along the sides of your brand spanking new loafers.

We can no longer hide in launder mats, donut shops doubling as burger joints; no longer take cover in union halls and miniature golf courses, walk easily into Canada because there is no longer an unguarded border for our new thing, our overlord driven thugocracy. When that heavy particulate twilight coils it’s purple boa about our shoulders, that is the time we will most need to know there is a place for us, not just a place, not just a shelter but


the place
where monsters
cannot reach us,
at least
for tonight
we have

a concrete slab in the boiling night to lay together on a cooling absorbency as the foundation of a new kind of starry prayer. Feel, not so much hear, our comrades calling out to us from afar the collective sabbatical is over. Drain the bath, wear your layer of grime against your nakedness a shield of bacterial armor, you can’t tell me you’re not ready for this fight anymore you can’t tell me you haven’t prepared the eviction notices for your old demons you can’t go on wrestling with the questions they are trying to distract you with: there is no wrong answer.

Mama we know you are doing everything you can to drag the family back down to your soiled earthen hootches, the cost of just enough sanity to keep the unsmooth machine belching away but you couldn’t know that we would take to it with such vigor, like that one fish all those years ago who decided she had enough of the fucking ocean for a lifetime.


Dear American, you didn’t have to be so ugly. If you die an hour from now your life has still been ninety percent better than the rest of the planet’s lives but fetishizing that other ten percent is what makes you such a beautiful American. I can look you in the eye and say “yes, you have that fire” but I need you to put your hand inside me like a well worn glove and tell me the same, tell me I belong in this Rube Goldberg contraption of a series of spiral orbits around another series of spiral orbits around another series of spiral orbits around an obit. When one of us moves through the veil, the veil also moves through us and this causes some worry when the mob cries WITHOUT HYPERBOLE WE ARE NOTHING to a call and response that fires back with THE TONE POLICE ARE THE ONLY POLICE WE NEED!

Very well then…

as below, so above but don’t be surprised at the fear of love in this kind of world. Once upon a time I may have gleefully retorted TOLD YA SO! but what does that gain anyone besides an acrid aftertaste in the tonsils? Is that all you can afford? Pretty smug for a white thug. The secular world sustains an industry of self congratulatory award programs for those who refuse to get on their knees, for those whom the word “compromise” triggers anxiety attacks, for those who refuse to humble themselves beneath the firmament, because that’s what it means to get on one’s knees



So please hold me. Please gently stroke my forehead & hold me close while hot tears drift into your palm as we wait for the south bound trains. Maybe I can catch my breath before catching my death of being a so-called aggrieved adult requiring the soothing comfort of my children who never asked to be drafted into the emotional healing industry.

This too
shall arrive
from any
and all
directions the
of age and
a sleight
of body
a feint
all the
a scythe sits
pin pointed
at the top
of the map
of the subconscious
our destination
we hint toward
but from what path
can never be pried
from our teeth
you can only
destroy so much
of the body
but not before
it’s passed on
to some other ghost
that must be chased: