J.J. Campbell

saddled me as a child
 
the demons fester inside
me and only come out
when they feel like it
i think they have the
same apathy that
saddled me as a child
and never got off
i do thirty lines of
cocaine in my dreams
wishing for a river
of blood to ride on
my way to hell
i never learned how
to dance or got lucky
enough to have a
threesome
i stopped chasing
immortality the
moment the woman
of my dreams said
she never loved me
death is the only
wish left
——————————————————————–
in a seedy bar downtown
 
charlie manson was
the only hippie to
never waver
hard explaining that
to a bunch of strung
out models listening
to an old lou reed
song in a seedy bar
downtown
mostly because i’m
amazed they aren’t
buried in their fucking
phones at the moment
i saunter over to
the corner
sit down at a table
with a spanish princess
that wants to save
my life
she whispers sweet
nothings into my ear
and i crack my first
smile in a decade
soon, she’ll show me
this trick she does with
her tongue and i’ll either
be dead or married by
the morning

 

K.W. Peery

RAMONA’S PLAN

 

 

When Ramona

strolled out

of Edgewood

Cemetery

after pissin’

on her late

husband’s

grave

 

She said

she wouldn’t

make time

for another

goddamn man

until the

earthworms

had finished

 

Or the

son of a bitches

life insurance

dried up

before her

Medicare

could

kick in

John Patrick Robbins

Things I Can Never Say

 

That my road is certain.

Or I have a clear direction with my words.

That I will cast aside the bottle for good.

Or choose the company of one over  the misery of isolation.

 

I can never pretend to be anyone’s true friend.

And most of all I can never say .

I love you more than myself .

 

Honesty hurts .

 

So it’s best you ask a liar than someone as damaged as me .

 

 

 

Michael Brownstein

THE TEXTURE OF DECAY

 

She knew her father by the length of his bones

and her mother by the way she only heard music in the noise of a crowded store.

Her husband hummed words through a chipped front tooth

his hands heavy with calluses, dew and rust.

When the thaw came, the river broke into boulders

and the great band of trees at its banks reddened into sunsets,

graying into evening, always more gray than the night before–

death does this to features around us, she thought,

death and fissures, wrinkles and nosebleeds.

Late in the morning she would stare at her hands,

still soft in the palms but curling into something else on their backsides.

She did not like the way they looked. I’m becoming bone too,

but my ears can recognize music from noise and my teeth remain strong.

In the evenings after the bleach left the trees,

she watched everything shadow around her, ice, roads, the river,

and she watched her skin change, tanning with the smell of decay.

Yet she continued, never looking back, and in the dusk of her life,

found herself on the porch at noon holding her man’s hand,

touching his scars and burned marks, his grains of strength.

 

George Anderson

I Wish I Lived in a Western Film

 

1

I wish I lived in a Western film-

but not in one of those sickly sweet

Hollywood spun yarns

where a stranger with a questionable past

rides into town

with a lame name like Matt or Shane or Lance

& who heroically,

and against all odds

guns down the black hatted villain

thereby saving society for the meek & the good.

 

2

I wish I lived in a Western film-

but not in one of those nihilistic spaghetti westerns

the sort where children are butchered in cold blood

where you cannot clearly tell the good from the bad

where cowboys with thick moustaches

speak hopelessly out of synch

and who kill & rape & pillage

because they love it

& who sneer and laugh as they slaughter innocent folk.

 

3

I wished I lived in a Western film-

but not in one of those self reflexive TV series

where cynicism and circumlocution triumph

where gratuitous violence and profanity

fight buck naked for commercial supremacy

where you can order on-line

celebrity coffee mugs, t-shirts & key rings

or chat or download endless streams of show gossip.

 

4

I wish I lived in a Western film-

I’d wear a tweed hat and suave blue jeans

there’d be no need for guns or horses or whores

or saloon brawls or showdowns.

 

There’d only be me, my partner and our quest for unanimity

and like Browning and Yeats

we’d  inherit fabulous wealth

and we’d settle down onto our ranch

grow non-GM and chemically free crops

and paint & com

pose

co n tem por a ry

lo   vep oet ry.

John Patrick Robbins

Things I Can Never Say

 

 

That my road is certain.

Or I have a clear direction with my words.

That I will cast aside the bottle for good.

Or choose the company of one over the misery of isolation.

 

I can never pretend to be anyone’s true friend.

And most of all I can never say.

I love you more than myself.

 

Honesty hurts.

 

So it’s best you ask a liar than someone as damaged as me.