Michael Marrotti

Dumb, Poor and Benign

 

When it comes

to my writing

I’m not expecting

comprehension

 

Nor am I expecting

you to make a

credit card payment

when publishers

avoid my poetry

like it’s infected

with hepatitis

 

After all it is

an acquired taste

capable of

upsetting your

sensitive stomach

 

It’s oftentimes

offensive like

purposely not

flushing the toilet

 

If you’re seeking

something that’ll

warm your

sentimental heart

don’t waste your time

this right here is like

unprovoked anal sex

you’ll be limping away

a victim of penetration

 

I’m not holding

back any punches

I’m at war with all

things categorized

as benign

 

I’m that

marginalized

asshole who

has the balls

to say what

other cowards

refuse to

acknowledge

 

I’m that genius

with a general

education diploma

who had an

epiphany

while his

significant other

was shoplifting

lube at Rite Aid

 

The truth

when lubricated

is a comfortable

approach for

passionate poetry

that was written

in vain

© Michael Marrotti

Dan Abernathy

Coors in a Can

 

He would slice Velveeta cheese

real thick.

He would slice an onion

even thicker.

Putting them together,

taking a bite

the moisture of the onion

sent flavor into the air.

A few moments of chewing

everything mixed

was washed down

with a can of Coors beer.

 

Coors in a can

was his monster

and his monitor.

A road trip or a drive

was not twenty miles away,

it was a three

or four-beer drive.

These were his treats.

His vice,

was the Winston cigarette

that always dangled

from his mouth.

 

With a black felt Stetson

cowboy hat,

Tony Lama boots

and in the summer,

Bermuda shorts.

He was one of the grandest men

I have ever known.

 

Things changed

when he started pissing himself.

He could not control

what the disease,

that was attacking him from inside,

was doing.

 

He sliced some Velveeta cheese

real thick.

He sliced an onion

even thicker.

Putting them together,

taking a bite,

the moisture of the onion

sent flavor into the air.

A few moments of chewing

then washed down

with Coors in a can.

 

He took his hat off

and for the first time

laid it down

brim first.

He struck a wooden match

and put it to the end of the Winston

dangling from his mouth

and filled his lungs with smoke.

One last drink

that emptied

the Coors in a can.

 

Then did something

he never thought possible.

He placed the muzzle

of his Colt revolver

deep into his mouth.

 

 

 

I’m Missing

 

I’m missing

the bump-start breakfast of

think sliced bacon,

caffeine,

nicotine

and Jack Daniels in my coffee,

hot and without cream.

 

I’m missing

the long wide-open days of

cross tops,

windowpane,

cheep grass,

even cheaper beer

and the road trips isolated from all that is.

 

I’m missing

the carefree evenings

that turned into dawn,

tequila shots,

loud music that made you dance,

the party girls that lived to live,

and the ones that had misplaced

the word known as “No.”

 

I’m missing

the understanding

that it has came to this,

stiffness and pain when I stand up,

a constant buzzing in my ears,

weight that seems to be here to stay,

and hair that won’t.

Rice and fruit in the mornings,

salads at night

and cheap wine from a black box,

because it’s just easier.

 

I’m missing

the mishaps and adventures rousing

the reason why I write

this constant stream of thoughts

that tumble from my existence,

the ones that are ruled by none,

while wondering if someday

Perhaps you’ll miss them too.

 

John Grochalski

he is (almost) risen

 

you can hear the chickens clucking

from inside the fresh slaughterhouse

 

and the people outside waiting are so calm

playing on cell phones and smoking cigarettes in line

 

the day before easter on a frigid april morning

 

i don’t know how this works

do they just go inside and pick out a chicken

send it off to the sacrifice?

 

i hate my shitty grocery store

but walking to work this morning

i feel a soft fondness for it

 

the chickens there are already dead and cut and quartered

taking all of the murder out of the meal for me

 

a block away i can still hear the chickens

only faintly underneath the sound of christian music

playing out inside the compound of

an emergency food pantry

 

there is a long line of people waiting there as well

 

a little less cell phone playing

a lot more cigarette smoking

 

the benevolent church ministers are walking

up and down the line

getting information from the people

and passing out pamphlets

 

reassuring them that they don’t have to attend services

in order to get some food

 

god loves each and all of us one and the same, they say

 

even the guy sleeping underneath his shopping cart

between the enterprise rent-a-car and the honda dealership

 

he will be risen!

one of the ministers shouts to the crowd

only no one claps or cheers

 

and on cue the christian music rises to a crescendo

covering the sounds of the chickens and the people

 

jesus christ with his dull perpetual life of holy servitude

as the rest of us live this way and that

 

driving fancy cars off of lots

walking to work or standing in long lines

with starving bellies

 

spending our single short lives in cages

in awe or disgust of that tired crucifixion

 

apathetic to the whole bloody mess

 

but always certain that the slaughter will come

and round out the blank spaces of another year.

 

 

a most elegant man

 

a most elegant man is walking behind me

on this cold-as-hell winter morning

 

he’s got a little snow cap with ear flaps

a thin scarf and a big red beard

 

he’s keeping pace so that he’s right up my ass

and when i stop on the street, he stops

 

in new york city this is grounds to commit a murder

 

but it’s maybe five degrees outside

the wind off the estuary making it worse

 

i’m carrying ten bags of groceries

five in each hand

and i forgot my goddamned gloves

 

my fingers look like strands of red pulp

so i couldn’t strangle this man if i wanted to

 

the guy behind me, he’s got one little bag

and his cell phone

 

i wish he’d kick it into gear

just pass me or something

 

when i stop to let him go

he stops to check something on his phone

 

the wind goes through me like i’m made

of plastic grocery bags

 

i look back and say, hey, buddy, what the fuck?

but he’s got his earbuds in

 

i start up again

he starts up again

 

i can see the apartment building

but it still feels a million miles away

with the wind and this asshole keeping pace

 

when i get to the door

it makes sense that he lives in the building too

 

six floors of strangers

living petty little lives

 

i put the five bags from the one hand in the other

struggle to get out my keys

 

while the most elegant man waits patiently

for me to unlock the door

 

i even hold it for him

 

ten bags and swollen red hands

a smile on my face and murder in my eyes

 

as the most elegant man passes me

 

with nary a head nod

or a discreet thank you to boot.

 

 

alcoholics anonymous blues

 

knee deep

into my fourth vodka

 

i think about the man

this afternoon

 

whom i gave

the alcoholics anonymous

pamphlets to

 

wonder what he’s doing tonight

to kill the pain

 

shake the ice cubes in my glass

before killing the dream in one gulp

 

then rise for a fifth

 

as beethoven shits out

another masterpiece

on the old static radio.

 

Dr. Randall Rogers

It is the present no matter what time or date you read this. That is the beauty and pain of everything, including transporting thunk memories and futuristic scenarios. We have to be hopeful, after all death will save us all. For a while.

 

Now let’s get to poetry. Poetry involves thought-words. Writing it is fun. Or should be. Getting rejected submitting it to editors is not. Therefore we at the Transgender Lesbian Cowboy are temporarily altering our editorial policy. To engender submissions (from same-sex women) we are hereby resorting to a publish-all philosophy. No worry, we shall separate the wheat from the chafed in time, and quite probably retain the by-product. And promote it gaudily. Did you know fanfare means trumpets blowing? Not strumpets, trumpets. Larger than life little Donalds. Not McDonald’s, the real thing. The real secret sauce. Not just Thousand Island. No person is a Thousand Island – though Xavier Holland comes close. Tried to watch the film “Caligula” the other day, on the Ffilms.org free film site but the site of the naked Malcolm McDowell scared me off. Too with O’Toole, Peter and his scruffy Tiberiun countenance. I prefer my Malcolm drugging at the milk-bar. My O’Toole fastened down in my trousers. But Oh! The Caitlin of it all! Where, dare I ask, or whom, kept the dis-members only, ah, thing? Oh my lord and how long was the operation?

 

But forget all that. Forget all you can, even the intrusive memories, good and bad. Good because inevitably good turns into bad, and bad because…ah…well don’t forget the bad memories because the bad turns to good. Just ask Fredric Nietzsche when he is trans-valuing the lips of a horse. I remember watching ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” when I was a young humanoid and they always talked about “the agony of da-feet” when they showed a crashing ski jumper. I guess Italian influence has permeated culture more than ancient Rome. Also, I was at a bar in Phnom (Phnom means hill) Penh, Cambodia, speaking to an Englishman, insisting England was “a whole gay nation” when he did some silly-assed begging to differ. Great American I am I won the argument when I told him he was in denial and I don’t mean standing in a river in Egypt. The lady Khmer bartender laughed ( I was sitting slouched slurring words at the bar) and I hands downed the little slap and tickler. After all when I discovered they call underclassmen “faggots” at Eaton I just knew they weren’t calling them “bundles of sticks”. But enough for now, though this now will be present whosoever whensoever anysoever ganders upon these signifiers in any galaxy, universe, tiny or big, anywhere, anytime, if they make it.

Let’s make it; write, submit, we publish, all, for now. Let us immortalize at least for…for now…an always present at different times, everywhere. But I’m still angry for all those years the Lone Ranger was calling Tonto tonto which means “stupid” in Spanish. But what after all, can you do? Except die, to live on. Live on with your own written poetry published all by us, we cowboys of the unsure, confused kind. Thank your graciousnesses and right honorable highness-es of all kinds, for all times, of all places, in all ways. Even Muslims may your bombs dud and aims not be true…God willing.

 

The some kind of range rat,

Randall 4/19/2017

 

Drew Nacht

THE ICE CUBE AND THE MATCH

From the ice cube’s perspective

the match lights so fast and so often

it might as well be the eternal flame

from some house of worship.

But seriously, to the ice cube,

the match has a curiously single-minded purpose-

all it seems to want to do is get lit and unlit.

From the match’s perspective

the ice cube is always cold to the touch

and takes too long to melt

so the match is content to sear the ice cube

and allow itself to be extinguished

without worrying about the ice cube’s burn rate.

Grant Guy

Road Kill
By
Grant Guy
 
He had a thing about road kill.
He even wrote and published a book of recipes
On how to prepare various road kill.
On September 8, 1979, 

He became road kill,

But you will never find a recipe in any cookbook

On how to prepare him.

Michael Lee Johnson

antarctic

 

The March of the Emperor Penguins

By Michael Lee Johnson

 

Emperor Penguins never set feet on land,

straight up their feet on ice, tuxedo’s with short feathers

overlapped, waterproofed, inner down layers insulated with air.

Heads bobble fat fannies waddle, the march to the homeland begins.

70 miles the clan walks and slides away from the sea and back to the sea.

70 miles into the darkest, driest and coldest continent, Antarctica cradles up the South Pole.

High step, searching for partners for one year, away from predators, the mating party begins.

Mutual sex they turn check format a goal, breed their young, months of illness, hurt, struggles, isolation, separation face in the winter the great white ghost of death.

Starvation is a 2-way trip the male is the mother 120 days, mother goes for food-

at one point tough they all must go back to the ocean and sea.

Emperor Penguins they dance and huddle.

Back they go to the ice, to the flow, and sea 50/50, millions of years ago.