Matthew Borczon

Larry

 

spoke about

himself

in the

third person

and had

a permanent

boil on

his cheek

the size

of an apple

 

he had

worked at

the adult

book store

for years

as 1st

shift manager

at the

end of

every day

he would

tell us

to be sure

to remember

“call Larry

in case

of cunt”

 

so we

called him

Larry the

cunt and

in my

year at

the book

store no

woman

ever came

in to

buy or

sell anything

much less

give it

away

 

so we

never called

Larry or

thought much

about him

after his

shift ended.

 

 

the adult book store

 

it was
a job
I could
get without
a resume
just 3
references
and the
ability to
run a
cash register

so I
learned the
price of
dildos and
the difference
between
Ginger Amber
and Mercedes
Lynn I

learned never
ask a
customer what
can I
do for
you on
Gay Movie
Monday and
a hundred
other things
I would
never get
to use

in the small
town college
I went to
not as
a freshman
anyway

 

Adult books and toys

 

some of

the dildos

were so

big I

could not

imagine

who could

use them

 

and the

local drag

queen was

better looking

than most

of the

girls I

went to

college with

 

and one

night a

guy OD’ed

in the

big video

room but

after the

police and

paramedics

left the

mess was

no harder to

clean than

the piss

and jizz

on the

floor of the

peep show

booths in

back.

 

Michael Lee Johnson

Heaven is My Horse Fly (V2)

By Michael Lee Johnson

 

A common horse fly

peripatetic traveler

vacationing in my world

into my bathroom,

(ride me cowboy, fly)

it’s summer time-

lands on my toilet seat

pit stops at Nikki’s Bar & Grill,

kitty litter box, refuels.

Thirteen round trips

buzzing my skin and skull-

he calls them “short runs.”

Steady pilot, good mileage,

frequent flier credits.

I swat his war journey,

splat, downed, then, an abrupt end.

Grant Guy

She Sleeps Soundly Beside Me

By

Grant Guy

 

I reached out to her but she was gone
She sleeps soundly beside me
Our voice had stopped kissing in the fog of time
She sleeps soundly beside me

I kept my hands in my pocket
When she needs a hand to reach the zenith
She sleeps soundly beside me

The hot afternoon of love flows

As a river to the vast ocean
She sleeps soundly beside me

Now bitter tongues remain silent in the halls of romance
She sleeps soundly beside me
Our words are bullets of dystopic of open wounds
She sleeps soundly beside me

 

She sleeps soundly beside me

And I nightmare in exchange

 

 

 

She Said. I Said

By

Grant Guy

 

She said, “Ever used cocaine?”

I said, “No.”

She said, “It will make you really horny.”

I thought to myself, ”

She wants me.”

She snorted to show me how it is properly done.

I snorted.

I fell asleep.

 

She went to the bar and got laid.

 

J.J. Campbell

nearly twenty years ago

 

remember the lost

eyes of the lesbian

you fell in love with

nearly twenty years

ago

 

remember the

maddening nights

of tequila, cigarettes

and a beautiful waitress

that wanted to party

 

remember the chaos

of third shift jealousy

constant rumors and

the evil powers that

be

 

remember the memorial

day weekend where you

wished her goodbye

and good luck

 

she’s married to a woman

now and just a few hours

up the road

 

you’re still single and

living with your mother

 

with plenty of cruel

twists to come

Jonathan Butcher

Our Shell

It finally stops down those dirt tracks.
Past the leaking windows and rodent
gnawed carpets. Past the parks we
routinely defaced, which now stand
pristine; a constant insult to injury.

It settles in those bedrooms, which
exist as talismans of order, like migrating
sparrows perched on frayed telephone wires.

It settles in that last drop of cider, that no

throat can bring itself to bear.

 

It now finally shakes us, rattles the teeth

from our gums and weakens our legs

so we can finally remain static. We

suffer its kick-back again; slaves to nothing

now but this comforting boredom.