Monday, November 30, 2009

Whiskey and tooth pain

by Melanie Browne

The crown on my upper
Right molar is throbbing
And so I take
A few extra strength
Some advil,

Then, finally,
a swig of whiskey
and swish it around
Because they used
To do that in the movies
When they had a toothache

Then again, they used
To pray for death
Because dental care
Was a little
More barbaric than
Today, but only

“whew” I say
but that doesn’t seem
quite right
“ah” I say
But the pain is still there.

"Well, hell"

That seems better
And I take another swig

The Peahen

A dream wrought by curry

Somewhere in Mumbai
great fans whir against the ceiling

as the old madam reigns
from her rocker and has

the girls come out, one by one,
picks this girl for her own

won’t let me pick mine
from those she has parading.

by Donal Mahoney

Sunday, November 29, 2009


a man writes of his mother born
in Poland a few weeks before the
Germans came. That it was because
his grandparents fled 200 miles on
foot he can tell this. They left
after trains were shut to Jews and
after all the bank accounts and
businesses were stolen but before
Lodz ghetto was shut. Along the
way they were often refused aid.
People knew who you were if you
were running. Germans controlled
the whole country by then and few
people would take risks. So, hungry,
with a baby months old, they
trudged on and by luck found a
farmer who agreed to give them a
ride in his cart. Buried under scratchy
hay, they traveled safely. On the
third day a German soldier saw the
cart and ordered it to stop. He
searched thru the hay, poking with
his rifle and discovered my grand
mother and grandfather. The solitary
soldier ordered them out, threatened
them. He cocked his rifle and
pointed it at them. They did nothing.
The baby cried. The Nazi continued
yelling, trying to get a response
but they didn’t answer him or move.
Time passed. Maybe minutes. Then
he turned to the right and left and
seemed to realize he was alone. No
one would know what he did. Then
he put his gun down and told them
to go. They’d only gone a few yards
before the soldier ordered the cart
to stop again. The Nazi said he had to
do what was right. He was going to
take them to the trains. My grand
parents knew what the trains meant
or would come to mean as they were
led away to the stations. When
he saw them, the Germans cursed,
threw stones at my family. The
soldier began waving his hands
and shouting “no, you don’t under
stand—they aren’t Jews, they are
Russians, they are trying to run
away from Stalin. Germany and
Russia were still allies. Because of
this lie, my family was forced up
on a train and made to go to Russia.
Now, I’m thinking, he said, even
when the world seems monstrous,
when you least expect it, a
monster can turn out to be
an angel

by Lyn Lifshin

*Lyn's website:

Saturday, November 28, 2009


by Lyn Lifshin

anticipating darkness.
Let’s say you were
what brightened
Mondays, that false
light like some
efflorescence in the
sea, a mirage that
stays, vivid as
fireflies my sister
and I shared when there
still was something
the two of us

*Lyn's website:


by Lyn Lifshin

next week the days
will already be
getting shorter,
the dark starting
its way back in.
Past the pond,
wood ducks and
geese, fireflies.
That glittering my
sister and I reached
for in the dark. If
we still talked,
we might remember
those scratchy
army blankets.
How the night sound
merged with the
clink of ice in a
glass. How we’d
never have supposed
there would be
more years not talk-
ing than the ones
when we did

Friday, November 27, 2009

"Just Remember to Translate Your Hand Movements Into Square-Shaped Objects"

by Eric J. Brinovec

Just call me grandmaster depression..., a master of impressive depressive twitchings, that's what I am..., I was locked in a dark room with myself, and I wouldn't compromise, so I kicked myself out..., I didn't get along with myself... a lightning bolt is getting the shit kicked out of it by some rogue moonlight flying in the window..., so I put some glue on it and let it continue to fly in..., It had carved it's own little landing-strip into my floor as I crawled over for a better look..., the moonlight reminds me that I wanna look back..., but when I percieve it again, I want it to be something better, I want to see my life boiling in a bath of colder pain...

Thursday, November 26, 2009


by Lyn Lifshin

It was as if we
were thrown into
a smelting furnace.
My friend had skin
hanging down like
the meltings of a
candle. Many ran
to the cool of any
water they could
find, hurled them
selves into sewers
or headed for the
River Ota that
soon was thick with
the dead and dying.
Some died on the
river bank, their
heads in the water
having used their
last surge of earthly
energy for a drink


Hiromu Morishiti found
her father later that
day lying in a grassy
field. He’d been on
a street car near
downtown, on his
way to work. She
cremated him in
her garden that
night, his eyes
like those grilled
fish. Others slept on
Hijiama Hill, looked
down on the place that
once was their city,
lay calling for
mothers, calling
for children, calling
for water then not
calling at all

*Lyn's website:


by Lyn Lifshin

When she saw them
squabbling over a
crust she started
shivering. But in
the light she felt
the shadows, how
on their knees, in
the camps the young
and old battered wildly
in mud, for the dry
bread. A mouthful
thrown for hundreds,
the smallest,
the frail trampled.
She said the corn
slid thru her
hands. She couldn’t
move, toss a crumb.
They weren’t geese,
only men and women,
someone dressed in her
sister’s clothes,
clawing and scratching
blood and dust

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


by Lyn Lifshin

You wouldn’t believe
the jokes, we were
all glad to get
there and not in
body bags, at least we
could sing and ogle
blondes, those of us
with eyes still and
lips that could move.
I’d have been out
sooner than 12 months
if it wasn’t for the
skin grafts. No one
felt funny because
nobody had everything
they’d been born with.
Even the quadriplegics
would go on about girls.
Even in the copters
with blood filling the
cockpit, matting
hair, the first thing
those who could talk
whimpered or moaned
was “Hey, mate, do I
still have my balls?”

*Lyn's website:

Night Moves

by W.B. Hurst

The sound wandered in at night
as my eyelids were giving up
their fight for life,
that 90’s lull, a dull lullaby
which filtered through cracked bedroom
doors and puffed up the night
with nostalgia for something
I’d never heard before.

Dad used to sit on the bed,
one leg propped, and turn on
the stereo, the only music that
ever filled that shotgun cavern
of ours. The smoke that spilled
out of his room would make
the whole house moan like
a séance to the gods of cheap pickups.

The bluesman gave the tonic
and the shadows in the wood
skipped around with the joy
of an 8 to 5
with 2 sick days.
It was the last call, and Dad
was always ready to fill himself
with anything he could coax
out of that cassette.

And he and Pat had a long talk,
and they always agreed that working
2 hours overtime was worth
2 kids and an overdue light bill.
It was the sound of calloused hands that
made the blues not seem sad anymore.

I lay there in my four-post, two-sheet
bed and listened, and tried
to snatch pieces of my Dad
out of the chords that trailed
out of his bedroom.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ten Gallon Hat Dance

by KJ Hays

what so at twilight i cries a yeeha all melancholy & so
deep blue lugubrious like cuz i forgot all about my sense
once those hairy skank-roots bounced lively thru
our dude ranch turning our quiet desert rose home
to one of the thorniest, green tumbleweed factories
ever to take root in this Gust slinger’s Okay Corral;
i’d been rollin’ so fast my blisters chapped under
the sun all grinning sinister yellows on us till we
flipped bitch-like, all of us ranch hands with long
silver pistols licking tight wads of so long cowpoke
ever’ which way cuz this gaga Ms. Lala of the Huge
Hacienda tosses a rodeo sombrero into the midst O’
the SHIT: bullets clanging louder than the game of
horseshoes rattlin’ around in my head afore i’d got
so spanked on peyote i saw myself countin’ the air
ripples spinning off those wads of so long cowpoke
as Ms. Lala throws off her raiment so white she must’ve
skinned lightning & poured all the whitehot grease on
some ungodly spool cuz’ that ten gallon hat glittered
with them panties so wild with knotty filigree i ‘bout
flooded the ho’ damn garrison with jizzum while she
swang those glug a lug jugs like dos round, cheek-soft
rockpiles capped with snow made to glow a warm pink
under the late night motel sunrise creeping up o’er the
snake-neck curve o’ the valley in her glad ass a-workin’
circles in the air lasso style with all us cowboys trigger
skipping our six shooters making that raspberry liquid
squirt out in hog-snot uneasy streams into our leather
boots this serious night the firefight blasted the handle
bar mustache clean off my choppers along with a hunk
of my shoulder as Ms. Lala kept dervishing as if she were
a whorehouse fountain gushing all gifts of sick life to
me, the one hombre covered in the blood of the dead
and the still breathing, who set out to lay in the dirt
with all that good woman-ness & forget ‘bout what
the hell ever’ one thinks the goddamned mornin’ is.

cribnotes for paradise's tribunal

by KJ Hays

lay it out. lay out all of the blood.
take no wrists with your earnest savagery.
go alone.

tell about the fat girl nice enough
to hump you on the edge of a futon.
tell 'em it fell over. tell 'em
you said lean & she leaned & the
two of you didn't budge a single inch
like witnesses to a drive-by stabbing.

love the others there.
love their wound up guts out.
love them with lies from your
past. the good ones that use
words such as happy/love/please/
weep the tears not possible
when you were alive because
of numbness & coin & quiet.
weep 'em on her shoulder hard.
sob them on his shoulder hard.
cry long after they walk off.

do not take their shit about
opening up your body to play
the rows of golden harp strings.
crumple to signal your wholesale
emotional shutdown for your time
in the wheelchair, for your time
being called a callous monster,
for your time going so so cold,
for your time when no one kept
their broken trust with you for
a short while until their car &
pancakes lives came down soft &
sticky all over the conversation.

pant under the hot scrutiny of
their disgust at your not crucifying
yourself, at your not starving yourself,
at your not marrying the first thing to
fuck at you, at your not listening when
the one tender voice wanted to help you
& all you did was get mad for having to
wait for your inner ear to stop wiggling.

hold your hands to them. show 'em the
cuts from the dishes, from the weights
in the yard, from the broom handle, from
the rats you tried to keep; from the slips
with the hammer, from the fingernails that
wanted you awake way past two in the morning.
tell 'em they can take that line of yellow
wires and shove it around their necks until
their big bloated lips match the night sky.

fail, at your goal of resting, by greeting death in your bed &
you should be able to sneak by the way the promise that this
will not hurt disburdens you of the fact that pain is all the time.
lay yourself out. lay yourself down softly under the snuggle covers.

Monday, November 23, 2009


hitch across country
to get into your pants,
astonished they are
the first one. Some
will make a dash
exit in the middle
of the night on your
birthday hissing you
are too needy and
then, for decades,
gasp, in letters, then
e mail, how your
body enchanted as
no other’s had. He’ll
want to meet in
Paris or Madrid.
Some are in for the
chase, see you as
prey, a wild doe they
wouldn’t know
what to do with
except shoot

by Lyn Lifshin


Sunday, the metro, this
late summer. The tangle,
stations shut when a
man leaped from the
platform. Cool and dry
enough for my hair
not to curl like child’s
hand curls about a finger.
But September curls
back to that first time I
heard his voice. Upstate.
Enough years back that
his daughter, calling the
all night radio show:
she couldn’t find peanut
butter, is old enough to
have a daughter her age
then, visiting her father.
It was an afternoon, clear
like today when driving up
the Helderg mountains
to do a reading, when I
heard his voice. Not the
first man I fell for before
I met him but something
in his voice, what he was
saying, I knew I had
to have him

by Lyn Lifshin

*Lyn's website:


want you to touch
there and there, some
hardly want you
near them. Some
expect you to score
cocaine or weed
tho you don’t use
them, substitute
nutmeg that keeps
you in a daze. Some
marry you and still
won’t touch you.
Some try but can’t
really touch you.
Others haunt after it
is over, their voice
on radio air. Others
have hearts that
aren’t right, some
are heart broken.
Some break your heart

by Lyn Lifshin

*Lyn's website:

Saturday, November 21, 2009

"Down at the J and Flying"

by Joseph M. Gant

Something strikes romantic in a truck stop troll
For pussy, dope, the night crawl stroll into that other—
The goin' in the 2 a.m. hours of the morn.’ Diesel
Pump perfume trails lead me to my hand picked ladies—
Prices never change (forty straight up, sixty half and half),
No internet escorts, craigslist scams - trannies love to mug
You ‘till you learn to love it too. You just pull in slow
Between two trailers, flick the lights off and on and pray:
no dick.
Lucking out, take home twenty minutes worth of woman
Names like Valentine, Afroditey, Joy parade; you try to hold
Your face straight, count your cash beneath the wheel
So she can’t see what you can’t pay -- look her over (just a glance)
For new sores, fresh tracks . . . fuck it, ya say to save your eyes—
Pick the dish and pay your bill. Tomorrow -- you tell yourself broke
Spun and driving her back — tomorrow gonna get me some Joy.

*first published in Sex and Murder Magazine

"Words of the Unprofound"

by Joseph M. Gant

These notes are just obscene.
To feel that no one listened
or ever understood your words,
you force them all to read your mind fuck
of grievances threaded with apology.
They’re really all the same— these swan songs to enlighten
them. These things are not profound.
You said it all without a pen, without
a word spoken
to all who walked into that motel —
Shower stall walls crying red,
strange feelings 'neath the feet of
those not navigating well the mind
field left before them. Screams.
Yeah, you said it all,
and still you left this note.

What exactly is your deal?
If you'd have said it outright yesterday,
even I would have listened to you.
Or did you want to be a writer,
forever published in tile grout, lacking
what it really doesn't take to do well, you opt for this—
A captive audience finds this shit so . . . moving,
but only for a while. You were no fucking Dickens,
and your final words will one day be filed under "T."

If I had to do it . . .
I mean, if I had to write one
just to show you how it's done
and kill eternity's time a while
I'd write, "The only thing I'll miss is beauty."
But I already do, and so am done.

*first published in Sex and Murder Magazine

Friday, November 20, 2009


by Lyn Lifshin

The screen door
shuts under dream
water and stars
fell from the sky
like wind blown

By dawn deer
browse in
abandoned orchards.

Dreams blossom with loss
as winter grass
dissolves and I can

almost feel fingers
I won’t, that you

sleepily touch
my hair. The summer
grass of your dark

hair, a ring, a locket
of longing

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Duck Hunt

by Jessica Myers

The year we got Mario Brothers
was also the year Jen
learned how to shoot things.
Duck Hunt, with its artificial ducks
and dog with the computerized giggle,
was the reason
my sister was convinced
she could go hunting with Dad.
She asked him and said I got good aim.
He laughed but took her anyway.

When they got home he said
She hit the ground
at the first shot
then wanted to go home.
He laughed between wheezes.
She laughed too, as she paled.
She face was white like Star Gazer lilies,
with their red stripes down the center
of each petal, cheerful mistakes that smile
in their ashen canvas.

A few weeks later,
he brought home
what looked to be a duck,
she cried.

It took him two hours
to pluck it, clean it, and roast it
in the scarred black pan he made
pot roast in all through winter.
He ate a few bites, wrapped it up,
and it sat in the back of the fridge
growing mold for weeks.

Jessica Myers is editor-in-chief of No Teeth: a Digital Poetry Journal

That Person

by Jessica Myers

I wouldn’t call that living, my father said,
his hands open, as if it were obvious
to my mother, who’d asked,
How can that person live that way?
She asks this because two nights before
that prostitute, red with blood,
knocked on our front door, Can I use the phone?

My parents made her stand outside, alone
while they dialed 911 and told the cops to hurry.
Blood pooled on the edges of our porch,
dripped down the side, syrup in a movie.

Eventually, the cops took her away.
My mother asks,
when she looked across the street.
Saw the prostitute’s face sewn in patches,
sitting on the pimp’s porch, proud,
a drink in one hand, a cigarette in the other,
her arms draped with his as if it was meant to be.

Jessica Myers is editor-in-chief of No Teeth: a Digital Poetry Journal.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Honeymoon in the Garden Apartment

Lacking in the expertise of those
accustomed to the practice
my wife and I completed
for the first time
what we later would perfect.

Afterward, my wife arose,
excused herself, and padded
through three rooms.

Through three rooms,
as I lay back,
I could hear the porcelain
singing to her urine.

by Donal Mahoney

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


by Sayu Tera

I will not violate my covenant.
O repressed love,

I'm wrong to savor your sin.
I awake him putting it where I want.

The world is all that is in this.
Years of life are soon gone

And we fly away.
My love he tickles my clitty with the lip

Of a dreamer.
Please, I cannot violate my covenant

Or God shall deliver onto me a terrible pestilence.
I awake to the voice of the Word.

My love his foot slips, my love his wrists slit.
He has never felt any way.

*Sayu Tera is a former Zen Buddhist monk living in Kauai, Hawaii.

Monday, November 16, 2009


by Lyn Lifshin

There, like a tongue
any place you can
imagine it could go.
Before, e-mails
were hotter than
Austin nights.
Electrical, I know
what burned could
scorch. You were safe
in paper. In reviews,
it’s an e mail
affair. They can’t
feel the flame of your
thigh after three
margaritas. Or that
I shook that my
body wasn’t
perfect enough. A
hunk others
gasped and of
course there were
the bare armed
young girls in their
summer dresses.
You write, “missing
in action love, and,
indeed, why
didn’t we?” and
this slick grey I slog
thru shines and
now, as if seven years
hadn’t dissolved.
I imagine the ache
in La Rosa bar,
drunk on lust or
wanting, that
longing for what
those thick musky
nights I haven’t
felt since

*Lyn's website:


by Lyn Lifshin

in your e mail
years after. Catalpa
sweaty nights
and the margaritas.
Your thigh touching
on the brown velvet
couch. An “e mail
romance” a review
says of one poem.
She couldn’t have
known how skin,
how the margaritas
were tied with black
roses. Or how when
I was no longer my
leather jacket,
something he could
casually toss on
the bed, asked
did I want to shower,
ice filled the stifling
small Austin room
and tho everything
inside was saying yes,
yes, I didn’t

Sunday, November 15, 2009


now dust under
the same maple
years after they
didn’t talk. Too
dazed to notice
it’s July, June’s
gulped. That
night in Vermont,
her suitcase with
a camisole she
bought for another
man who would
threaten suicide
hearing of my
other’s sudden
move. Letters on
palest blue paper
with blue ink, how
in his grief he
fell off a hay wagon
and, if not death,
he’d escape to
Paraguay. His blue
blues colors my
mother’s life
long after her
rash move

by Lyn Lifshin

Saturday, November 14, 2009

get it together

by paul harrison

when you piss the bed
for the second time
in twice as many days
and your hands shake
and the beers don’t work
and you call in sick
and the neighbours across
from the lodging house
you ain’t getting out of
install a swimming pool
and you're sick and overhung
dehydrated, dry as soup mix
scattered as the jacaranda bloom
already falling down
when your kids live in different towns
and their mothers hate you
when the last time you came
you came alone
when the phone never rings
but the bills keep on coming
and your head hurts
and your kidneys don’t work
and your gut's getting ready to spill
when the pretty girls
behind the windscreens
smile then disappear
when you're kicked to the curb
and the black dog's licking your hand
wants walking to the bar
when the day's more humid
than any cunt you ever sucked
so long ago
and there's a storm brewing
and everyone else looks better
seems to live better
writes better
it's nice if even for a moment
to think how maybe, just maybe
you'll get your shit together
or published in a cyber-zine
walking out the door
for more misadventure

Friday, November 13, 2009


by Lyn Lifshin

it’s that way with
him. I think of
mothers starting
to fade as their
daughters blossom
where time is
churned and
telescoped and
someone in 2009
can fall in love
with a man born
in 1620. In
another life, I’d
be your muse
as you’ve been
mine but then,
without this
wild longing
for what
isn’t, what
can’t be, no
would happen

*Lyn's website:

Thursday, November 12, 2009


by Phil Lane

Don’t care
if you wait for me on Hope Rd.
I will meet you in the middle of I-99
beyond interchanges of sterile desert
the carnal crunch of wrecks
on the highway

Don’t care
if you see me in the clouds
young naked toeing the tightrope
dancing on the storm
above your seething garden party

Don’t care
if I never reach the mountain with you
the peak obscured by my dancing
love poisonous in this climate and
my fear of heights suddenly returning

Don’t care
about the blood on the bathroom tile
the rat inside the ceiling fan
my convenient disease helps me
forget to remember—


by Phil Lane

The more I drink
the more I enjoy these
orbital hangovers,
A dangerous proposition,
to be sure

the same thing happened with
opium and women
I once believed myself
a shaman,
swimming in the river
behind the river

but it’s not the drug
that makes the man,
awake in pools of lithium
with my tangible demise
Fun, Fun, Fun
‘til morning takes my T-Bird away
and the lizard is sick
in some hospital ward
wrapped in yesterday’s newspaper

gotta get something strong
before it all comes to life
and the adding machine cuts me
with her steel erection—

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Once Southbound

by Melanie Browne

I was southbound,
I was southbound
but love turned me
right back around,
right there on the highway,
and now I'm northbound.
I’m traveling all day.
Traveling all night
ears popping right here
on this long-ass
stretch of road
some son of a bitch
with a glass pack,
some son of a bitch
with an 18 wheeler but
I’m like a god-damned
Road cannibal
That’s what I am
my feet feel
heavy like an
Undertaker's van.
Love turned
me around
Now I’m northbound.

*Melanie Browne
Co-editor of Leaf Garden press

*Heaven is a Giant Pawn Shop/ Poems by Melanie Browne

Country Cafeteria

in Shelby County,
Illinois, 1989

The two weeks
I spent in that small town
on assignment, I saw no blacks
except for two older women
regal in every way,
hair coifed in silver gray,
working in the Country Cafeteria.
They walked like pastors’ wives
as they bused their 20 tables.
White badges on their uniforms
announced in red their names,
their years of service.
They never said a word,
not even to each other.
They just took the cups and plates away
and wiped oil tablecloths pristine.
I took three meals a day in silence there,
the only place in town to eat.
I was the stranger in a suit and tie,
a city weed among stout farmers in old coveralls
who came to town each day to note
“no rain yet” and “the corn is dyin’.”
Before each meal instead of saying Grace,
I wanted to stand and ask these ladies
as they bowed before the clutter on their tables:
If you have worked here all these years,
and lived in this town also,
where in the Name of God,
other than at home or church,
are you free to talk or laugh or sing
or clap your hands in emancipation?

by Donal Mahoney

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


by P. B. Lyons

to look back
I saw you
and you vanished
as I forgot
and remembered
the promise
I had made to
years ago
and I call
your name
and Hebrus

The Freeway to the Interior

Many of the men of old died on their travels
– Matsuo Bashō

Time is pissed in torrents
Over the edge of the world
And into a plastic barrel
At the foot of the universe.

The weather is shit,
And the city looks as though
God wiped His ass in it.

See-through plastic bags mostly,
pastel shades: makes the desert
seem pixilated as it zooms past:

a beach without sea, not ochres
and browns, nor windblown dunes
and ridges as you'd imagine,

but tussocky, silty sand, that’s pale,
bilious green, significantly silica,
and respirable in rasping doses.

In the desert there is no recurrently
Flowing water—hence no Heraclitus:
You can step in the same wadi
Again and again and again.

by P. B. Lyons

Monday, November 9, 2009

Private Moon

by A. J. Kaufmann

for she loves still
humble beauty
no time no apartments
drying these grounds of departure
memories forward the taste
years - dewdrops
served early
private moon
the guardian
arranged and arrived
on eastern waves
without home
of miserable
color her flames

spiders and crows

by Derek Richards

ellen was my older sister
for two hours
of slush puddles and stinging promise.
upon learning my poetic intentions,
she carved a question mark
into a snowbank,
you'll need this alot

when i am able to imagine ellen,
sharp winter rain
resembles falling spiders,
leather boots trudging through silk,
belly-up flies exposed
as patches of asphalt.
i'm reminded often of the siblings
i've lost with each season.

when you find somebody,
somebody who comforts you,
dig in your heels

it's this voice, smooth dirty ice,
knotting my throat with
an articulate ache,
as familiar as crows perched on wires,
black warnings for bad days.

my last impression of ellen
colored me old-man pale,
she was red-knit hat, yellow stockings,
a memory preceding departure.
odd moments catch me tearful
over question marks
and the slow fade of children.

*originally published in Cantaraville

Sunday, November 8, 2009


by Danielle Searby

The dirt under my nails has turned them black.
My nails begin to rot and fall.
Scratching at the bottom of the barrel has calloused my hands.
The nicotine fingers are pretty compared to this.
The lines of time outlined on my hand
seem to move with every passing year.
Sometimes they move like rivers overflowing but
they always return to the same place when the flood subsides.
My fractured wrists have let me down.
I can't pick up anything to help myself.
My hands betray my desires.


by RC Miller

spread out on your couch and playing with myself
as if I'm real. My mother used to push me in my stroller, but
she grew tired of paying ridiculous property taxes. She dug
deep into that nativity scene and made exactly the piece of
art that enables rampant pedophilia. It's one of the things
my boyfriend tries to hide. There's nothing even remotely
Catholic about his cock now buttward and not been in
America for long. I stick it to the back of my mouth and
feel cuter than a puppy without a nervous system.

R.C.'s blog:

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Poem For A Political Poet

by Doug Draime

What honor is there?
The lie creates idols of
Why hang the grave clothes of the
‘old man’ on the new man?
And, from where, brother poet, does your
new man emerge?
Ideas? Concepts of Cultural Global
Political Revolution?

Politics is a grotesque lie.
Politics is a vexation of the spirit.
Politics is an affliction of the mind.
Politics is the “devil’s” street game.
I see the rage in your face.
I am grounded with the brilliant rage of your poems,
into the sense of your sensibilities..
Your language has always been my language; your
words I know from the very blood of my soul.

Often we react to the
oppressor with stupidity. When we
don’t acknowledge that stupidity,
it becomes iniquitous, and the psychotic
barbarians resume their dance in
praise of the dying atmosphere,
as once intelligent men
and women
pay homage to dictators, liars, butchers,
who promise equality, liberation; men
who would cut the throats of your children for
an idea.
Men whose souls rot and stink with
the hatred of innocence and regenerated life,
men who collectively tortured, enslaved,
and murdered millions upon millions of people,
men who would pour wax over poets and
burn them as candles in the bloodied moonlight.

emily dickinson’s attic

by Doug Draime

they tell me in their mimeo letter
that they can’t consider
my poetry unless i send $2 for
their magazine. “those serious about
properly placing their work with us
should first examine a copy”
is how it read. i didn’t have $2 to spare
right then & if i did, the last thing
on god’s green earth i’d spend it on
would be a literary magazine
which demands money.
“we automatically reject poems with
cummingesque affections and any moralistic
poems” it went on to say.
some poems
i write
are in
indeed considered
you are living in emily dickinson’s
attic for
the sake of literary
her freshly
bleached lace
with a muse
with tunnel vision
who is
wearing a straight jacket.
i send these
just to piss ‘em off,
some more lower case/

June and July 1968 Revisited

for Brenda Z.

Handing me the fur preserved inside
crystal, you said it was the fur of
Mozart’s childhood dog.

Shouting obscenities from inside the
mausoleum of your perverted Uncle Stach.

Your name written all over Brooklyn in bars
from Sheepheads Bay to lower Flatbush, written
with a shaky hand, by a guy who once worshipped
the ground you walked on.

Inside that taxi with the pretty Mexican girl driver
in Vegas at 4:30 a.m.; you with your head in my lap.
How could I stop you? How could I ever want to?
I caught the taxi drivers eyes more than once
observing your delightful and shameful exhibition;
at times her eyes looking deeply and lustfully
into mine.

On Venice beach slapping you awake again and again,
valium and Mountain Red wine heaving from you like
a rusty kitchen facet. Afterwards, you screaming Jim
Morrison’s name for half an hour out over the black midnight

I stood there and stared down 4 Satan’s Disciples,
their bikes revving 5 feet from me. They said you
belonged to Russ. They knew I had the .38 against my back,
and they knew I meant it. Now, she belongs to me, I said.

You found me at The Carolina Pines with Tina and then
you threw my plate of spaghetti at the waitress, who
had asked you to leave for yelling and kicking at Tina.

You buried a medallion deep in the red earth of
Topanga Canyon. Telling me crazed Rasputin once
wore it, then masturbated on it before giving it to one
of his followers, who smuggled it out of Russia and
it’s been in your family ever since...your family of
crazed Russian Jews.

I stood with you on the corner of Sunset & Vine boulevards
that night you ridiculed Johnny Mathis and one of his
friends, as they walked out of the Sunset Towers. He
threw you the finger and said he was calling the cops.

And your tears which fell on hearing about the death
of Sadie, who fixed up one too many times. You cried for
hours. I sat in that bean bag chair in your apartment on
Hoover Boulevard holding your shaking body, your
trembling soul.

by Doug Draime

Friday, November 6, 2009

my folks

if they could see or hear me now
would probably ask are you okay son?
are you depressed again?
drinking again?
are you talking to someone about it?
why don’t you call that nice man frank
did you ever thank that nice lady bev?
she was so good to you. you should. etc.
& i'd probably get angry, lose my temper
& shout down the phone
stop talking at me like i'm a child
i'm a man for christ’s sake. jesus.
but i wouldn't tell them about this gig
& how i need to write it out
get to the truth of something, mine
like a dog sniffing its shit
in the park or the streets
& really
if i have any relationship
with these good people
it's a strained & distant one
with lots of pain & grief
concerning stuff i never said

by paul harrison

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


by Lyn Lifshin

I think of my mother,
small suitcase packed,
the ride down steep
Barre hills to the Catholic
hospital. I’ll have my
first child here she
vowed when the nuns
brought her mother back
from near death, dead
in the newspapers, almost
dead under a cross where
later the nun would
say “you pray in our way
and I’ll pray in mine.
Did my mother think of
her mother on that
day? My father, unread-
able probably in a
dark derby. Did she
think of the man she
truly loved, eloping
instead with my father,
she’d heard the Lipmans
made good husbands
and fathers. Plus, he was
Jewish, had a job.
When I am older than
she got to be, if I do,
will I still long for her
to rub my back, bring me
a glass of water, promise
if I can’t sleep to
call her?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

against forgetting

by paul harrison

i read their verse and weep
the ones who loved and fought
and struggled on
the ones who were disappeared
often, forever
who suffocated
in the cattle train corners
licking parchment tears
from splintered planks
who wrote poems
in their own blood and feces
on torture cell walls
or if they were lucky
tobacco leaves
smuggled out to dawn
who wrote completed works
in the libraries of their soul
to recite in camps and gulags
for blackest dread and ghosts
who even wrote for future's hope
on paper scraps
hidden in the pocket of a corpse
unearthed on judgement day
from massive graves of insane death
who wrote against forgetting
and the dying of the light
who wrote for life
as napalm and ordinance
scorched and shook the screaming earth
who declaimed behind the barricades
the check points and walls
who were arrested at gunpoint
in monstrous swoops
interned, beaten senseless
then dangled by their heels
from colonial roofs
words falling like pennies
from their silent screams
who still sang their poems
of home and freedom
in the desert camps
lips stitched and torn and mute
who witnessed then resisted
with all their words and soul
who were expelled and exiled
for expressing conscience
and critical faculty in the blinding light
who wrote by candlelight
in the ghettos and cellars
of Palestine and Poland, emaciated
the barrios, the townships and slums
who sang from the rooftops
the tunnels and trails
of death by Capital and fascist lies-
indomitable poets all
of life, revolt and love
uncensored and unrepentant
and not forgotten now.

“Kingless Days”

by A. A. Veitch

There are no true kings among men in this time.
No empathetic rulers with authentic hearts that aren’t
on cards to play with in the political field.
Greatness seems to have died in the older age.
No justice to be dealt to the bureaucrats for
knowable transgressions against their own.

No fears instilled in the rich of the poorest
class rioting for their entitlements.
And the downtrodden, laying down to keep where
the higher ranks dictate a poor person to reside.
There is an immense lack of reverence for the
working class in this foible-sword-blade society.

Humility has long since decayed on a wire.
You’ll find none of it in the hollow White House.
None of it in any political house of any color.
Emotions and ethics have expired in the era
where anything is acceptable, tolerable.
These are the days the government takes money

to make something pliable and legal.
This is a farce parodying as democracy; don’t
mistake what your eyes are witnessing.
You will never see these contemporary dictators
fighting the battles they began and standing
on the front lines with their own

wrists outstretched alongside their men.
We are standing on the face of the sun, yet others
will lie and tell you it doesn’t burn.
Where is the dream of One to inspire a nation
where nobody has to die for its birthed
and wed realization?

Monday, November 2, 2009


by Kenneth Radu

Last night, sleek with surfeit,
I read a disquisition
about sex and death.

The scholar, whose ancestors
burned witches and locked
their loins against

stray desires, footnotes
my perversions, annotates
the unconscious drives,

writes elegantly about
the bite in the neck
and transfiguration.

The fun’s in the piercing,
it seems, alluding to Sebastian
of the ambiguous arrows,

or the way men and women
spread their legs when
the moon announces dinner.

But before, between courses,
intercourse is the last desire
on my mind when I whet my teeth.

Poisoned by denial, only Calvinists
concoct theories of kinky sex
out of dead bodies and folklore.

My purpose is the poetry
of resurrection, the power
of living longer than God.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Living with Jesus

by Lyn Lifshin

Living with Jesus

A Typical Weekend in the Country with Jesus
Jesus and the Lilies and Apples
My Mother Always Wondered Why Jesus Wouldn’t Get a Job
Jesus and the Rich
In Jesus’ House
Jesus and the Food Stamps
Though Wild to be Known as a Healer, A Lover, for His Madonna Poems, Jesus (see Question #2)
Jesus was a Charmer
Jesus in the House with Only Lemons and Blueberries
Jesus Loved the Poor

Jesus in the Modern World

Jesus Wonders About Going Into Partnership with the Mayflower Madam
Jesus Meets the Mayflower Madam
Jesus Does the Motel 9 Advertisement
Jesus and Barbie
Jesus Sends an S.O.S. to Elvis
Marilyn and Jesus/Jesus and Marilyn (see Question #3)
Jesus Goes Out Shopping in the Mall and the Feed Store (see Question #4)
Jesus Does D.C. Night Spots
Jesus Goes to the Poetry Slam (see Question #5)
Jesus Hears the Flat Tax Will Come When Jesus Christ Comes Again
Taking the Red Line with Jesus
Jesus Tries to Get Into the Movies
Been There, Done That, Got the Shirt
Jesus Gets to the States in the Middle of a Snow Storm


Jesus Walks Out Among the Flowers
Jesus Meets Leda

Sex with Jesus

He Could Get Rid of a Fever, He Could Make a Woman Come
Jesus and the Garden
Jesus and the Ring (see Questions #6 & #9): this version starts with “When I gave myself…”
Jesus and the Pitcher
Some Say Jesus Had a Foot Fetish (see Question #7)
That First Weekend With Jesus
When Jesus Did His Miracles
Jesus Wanted Me Down on My Knees (see Question #8)

Jesus as Savior (author as other’s wife)

Walking in the Wheat Fields With Jesus (see Question #9)
Out in the Country With J.C.
It’s True, I Clung to Jesus Like a Lost Sheep That has Found Its Shepherd
Jesus and the Ring (see Question #10): this version starts with “I never expected…”
Jesus Came to Me at Starbucks on Valentine’s Day

Jesus and the Beasts

Jesus and the Beasts (see Question #12)
Out in the Country with J.C.
Though We Met in the Spring Before, I Got Together—It Was What You’d Call a Union with Jesus (see Questions #13 & #14)
Jesus Goes to Feed the Geese the Night It Is 60 Degrees Below 0

Outside Perceptions

In Those Loose Robes, Some Say Jesus Was a Flasher, An Exhibitionist, I Suppose
Jesus and Madonna

Wanting More

Jesus’ Communion Wafer (see Question #15)
I Was Caught in Jesus’ Web (see Question #16)


Kind of Living With Jesus (see Question #17)
Doing New York City With Jesus
Getting Close to Jesus Was Like Having an Affair With a Shrink

Jesus of the Bible

First It Seemed a Trip Having Jesus as a Lover, Exotic (see Question #18)
Jesus, The Shrink and the Man Who Was Leaving (see Question #19)


1) Are titles intended to be in all CAPS?
2) In the poem “Though Wild to be Known as a Healer, A Lover, for His Madonna Poems, Jesus” should there be an ellipsis at the end?
3) Re. the poems “Jesus and Marilyn” and “Marilyn and Jesus”: are these two completely separate poems?
4) Re. the poem “Jesus Goes Out Shopping in the Mall and the Feed Store”: should we delete the word “Out”?
5) Re. the poem: “Jesus Goes to the Poetry Slam”: should the title use “a” instead of “the”?
6) Re. the poem “Jesus and the Ring”: I have two different versions (one has 7 stanzas): which one is correct?
7) Re. the poem “Some Say Jesus Had a Foot Fetish”: I have two different versions (one has 6 stanzas): which one is correct?
8) Re. the poem “Jesus Wanted Me Down on My Knees”: I have two different versions (one has 7 stanzas): which one is correct?
9) Re. the poem “Walking in the Wheat Fields With Jesus”: I have two different versions (one has 7 stanzas): which one is correct?
10) Re. the poem “Jesus and the Ring”: this title is used for two poems, for a poem in the “Sex with Jesus” section and a poem in the ”Jesus as Savior” section.
11) Re. the poem “Jesus and the Ring”: I have two different versions (one has 14 stanzas): which one is correct?
12) Re. the poem “Jesus and the Beasts”: I have two different versions (one has 7 stanzas): which one is correct?
13) Re. the poem “Though We Met in the Spring Before”: I have two different versions (one has 7 stanzas): which one is correct?
14) This poem could also be placed in the “Jesus of the Bible” section.
15) Re. the poem “Jesus’ Communion Wafer”: I have two different versions (one has 7 stanzas): which one is correct?
16) Re. the poem “I Was Caught in Jesus’ Web”: I have two different versions (one has 6 stanzas): which one is correct?
17) Re. the poem “Kind of Living With Jesus”: there are handwritten notes on it and a couple of typos within.
18) Re. the poem “First It Seemed a Trip Having Jesus as a Lover, Exotic”: I have two different versions (one has 11 stanzas): which one is correct?
19) Re. the poem “Jesus, The Shrink and the Man Who Was Leaving”: I have two different versions (one has 12 stanzas): which one is correct?

*Lyn's website: