Robert Plath

the root

world weary 

in the womb 

& yanked 

from that 

bastard canal 

w/ bloody 

infant digits

i flipped off 

the stars 

for giving 

me up 

 ______________________

poetry 

 

getting down 

the darkest ones 

is like hooking 

a hammer claw 

under the nails 

of yr own 

goddamn coffin 

& tearing up 

the splintering lid 

& then setting 

the fucker on fire 

 

_____________________
a sighting

the 
only 
angel’s 
wings 
i
ever 
saw 
were 
stitched 
& black 
w/ a 
long 
zipper 
the 
length 
of 
a
man 

Daniel J. Flore III

C539 Blues

Uncle Cliff sat next to me at the DMV even though he’s been dead 5 years. He said are you C539? I said “yeah!” He replied “Well you better get your ID, so you find out who you are cause you don’t look like no C539 to me.” I said “ I’m eagerly awaiting my turn like a little dog.” “Well, you better drink a beer with me and relax. I’m going to go drunk drive one of the instructors around the practice course.” Now serving C537 said the electronic voice and Uncle Cliff said “F. this, now serving lunch! You wanna come with me C539?” I said “ I’d love to, but you’re still alive to me and I’m not sure if I ever knew who you were past the legend Ive created in my head.” “So, you think I’m in your head? I’m sitting right here!” I know you loved me Uncle Cliff…did you keep your ponytail in heaven?” Now serving C538. “That ain’t you? Ya’ll are now serving time.” Uncle Cliff said. “ I can’t even hold my phone right. I got this ticket in my hand like a ball of sweat. I’m trying not to tremble in the crowd.” “ You got balls C5, but that ain’t you. Now serving C539. “That’s me!” No, it’s not, I’m little Dan.” That’s the spirit said Uncle Cliff, I thought that was you.

Saying goodbye to diamonds

7 gold and silver pink lipstick cases and no emotion. I don’t know what I’m doing here and I’m not sure if I have to figure it out. I don’t at all, and for that I’m finally happy. Your cold brown bangs, above dark oval sunglasses, asking if I need another drink or just the ceremony of hot tub bubbles. I’ll never stop going to hotels. Girls like you lose their room keys in my bed and I hand them clean towels when they get out of the shower. Old links on my gold bracelet long after they’ve left, old moons passed away. I met a woman like you last night on the yellow and green couch in the lobby. We fell in love because we couldn’t believe how ugly the colors were. We had cigarettes and talked about the Velvet Underground and the pictures on our phones. We kissed on the neck and hoped we’d never see each other again.

 
AIRPORT SQUARE

in Airport Square
the moms are your mom when you need her
though she’s not here
no more than a ghost
walking in a store
and the single couples are
you and your wife
when you were that way
in Airport Square
everything is here
but it’s far away
and I’m here with Jesus
where every toy store entrance
is the end of the rainbow
I once saw one when I walked in
caught between that
and how it might have been
but all the roses aren’t blood
even though the thicket is all wet
you found a way to get to God
even though you can’t see Him yet
somehow in Airport Square
you’re up in the air
even though the planes are way up there

Scott Silsbe

A Voicemail from Jimmy

 

I know it will go away one of these days.

But for now, I still have it stashed away.

a voice message from two years ago.

It starts “Scott, this is Jimmy Cvetic.”

Jimmy calling my phone while I was

likely still in bed. Leaving this voicemail

for me, saying, “I wanted to tell you that

I liked your book.” Jimmy saying I have

nice style and saying that word “style”

like Bukowski, his hero. Jimmy says

it’s a good book—“And I’m not saying

this to blow sunshine up your ass, ok?”
he says. Then the message winds down.

I know this old cell phone will one day

delete the voicemail or else not turn on

one morning, but for now I still have this

little bit of sound saved there, this moment

before he was gone. We’ve got his poems

and I have this voicemail. I have it saved.

For now. So that if I want to, I can hear

his voice again—maybe just once more.

 

Confessionalism II

I stayed up late last night getting drunk by myself.

I put records on & filled a pipe as much as I liked.

I didn’t feel bad about it. In fact, I felt pretty great.

 

My Pale Blue Heart

                for Meghan Tutolo

 

I’ve never seen the thing, but it’s in there—

oh baby, I know it. I can feel that it’s there.

Couldn’t tell you why it’s pale blue though.

That’s a mystery. Because I’m cold as ice?

Because I’m an Aquarius and love to swim?

Or because I’m a sucker for a good moon?

Why is anything the shade it appears to be?

Because of refracted light, I suppose. Right?

I’m okay with my heart being pale blue.

Makes me feel like a blue-blood—fancy!

Most days I feel pale blue. What’s in

your heart? What color’s your blood?

Leah Mueller

Open Letter to an Asshole
You goddamn clown
of a publisher, too bad
you don’t wear a costume
with floppy red shoes
so I could tell in advance
you were about
to indulge in
pie-in-the-face shenanigans.
Still, sooner or later,
the clown always gets
a pie in the face, himself.
That’s how it works
in the one-ring circus
of low-budget literature.
Nothing worse than
a tribe of hipsters
courting MFAs
while decrying privilege.
No wonder we ended up
with Donald Trump.
 
 
Revolution Stew
Take six cups unemployment,
four tablespoons of poverty,
three cups no insurance,
five cloves no hope,
and a pinch or two of despair.
Sprinkle with opioids
and throw the whole mess
into a pressure cooker.
Boil it vigorously
at high heat setting
until everything is gone.
Serve with a nice merlot.

Donna Dallas

2019 is like this

I need a savior lord

knows I need a slick

gin and tonic to slide smoothly

down my throat vape cigarettes through a blue filtered pen

could trade places with sweet-at-home wives instead I

grind over and over but

all I really want is a cat

on my lap as I listen to the night

owl as I listen to the sharp cracks

in the fire when the logs pop and watch

the sparks fly out like shooting

stars I am a mother / a workhorse / the under-dog

I, the ample giver

caretaker

a getter

not a lover (……..well maybe sometimes)

I fold the sheets sloppily and I think

fuck it

 

 

 

Gods of a bone head part 5

Woke up 3:38am with night terrors

what will happen when I can truly sleep soundly?

I’ll be dead and just won’t wake up

I have no problems

I have so many problems

which one will murder me?

which one problem is my friend in disguise as a hacker / as a malignant / as a hex…?

the days in and days out, I cannot undo

I am in the middle of re-wiring myself

and I will wire straight into hell

scorch / burn me fiercely

charred meat

that still walks and talks and fucks

yet is a child living in the head of a dead

adult

still attempting to dream

yearning to dream

fuck out of time

 

 

Epic Wretch

I think I will stick around

I wanna see who my son brings home

who he will love I want to see

what my daughter’s hair looks like

when she is sixteen and stunning

want to hear how the cardinal singing

outside my bedroom window sounds

to my ears at fifty

want to see if the world truly ends

and if my bag of bones will withstand

 

 

 

Sarcophagus

When I was drowning and you pushed my head down deeper

you said pain and fear exit the body at the exact climax

of life into death…….I fell into a pit

lay fetal in deadness for days

naked

flies buzzed around my pus infected sores

depositing larvae into my eyes

I could not see

it was black as fuck

you were laughing……I was writhing

I grasped your coat sleeve begged you to stay

you dragged me across the floor

my knees scraped to bloody nubs

you fled into the desert

slept like a suckling under the cactus that tried to

murder me with pricks the size of penises

stuck me almost got me

at the lake the next summer you pretended it was a dream

and you lost your way had to ask for directions

hence you are back

But I still lay dead

 

 

 

Sinner

I can’t touch God

through thin air

I try to

pry open

a cloud

look for wings

or a harp……..I lie in bed

in search of

an angel

flapping music

I whisper my

confessions tonight……..

but only the devil listens

 

 

Fess Box

I’m stuck as fuck in this ever so tight place I can’t break out

knock my head through this wall I step outside myself

to watch the rising sun I get into

the heat

of it all

I surprise myself with these legs

I move shit

I can move as fast as fuck if I want to

only

if I want to

I have this body thirty-something years

this bitch has never let me down

I held babies in this womb

I gave the milk of my breast I let them carve me open

and remove any fucked up shit that did not belong

in the secret places of my body when it wasn’t the time to be there

and you thought it wasn’t the time for me

to be up in your womb

(when you told him – not your husband – not the father that I come to

understand isn’t even my father)

when you told Mr. X your shit was barren and you got a little bit more

than a happy ending

you got a bun in the oven and you were unable to abort the mission

since Roe vs. Wade wasn’t Roe’n or Wade’n then

and you couldn’t find the back alley or witch doctors to creep up your vag

with a tree branch and decapitate my little baby head

I am a survivor

I saw the little imp and it ran in fear from me because I truly am savage

with love I never knew could be mine

I never realized I had wings and could wrap

around buildings and raise the dead

I can swing a bat and knock a house down

bring it home

to a warm bed and sweet sweet man who may

actually love

the bitch bedding

inside my bones

 

 

 

Empty

Let sleeping princesses be………

stop watching me when I sleep you might dirty my air

or suck my precious breath from me I have hated you for decades

yet you come in the night to watch and learn

you will take me…….my last breath……..when a princess I am no more

when the queen cometh/when the moon cometh/when we are broken

………..and collapsed

you will claim this sleeping beauty

as if I owe you…….but there is nothing left to take here

 

 

 

Hell hath no fury….

When dreadful

whispers awaken

that fury within her

when she comes to understand

she has been deceived

that electric shock

that reboot

when scorned

devils cower

from her quake

she is coming

cunting

ravaging…..

be afraid

Judge Santiago Burdon

Lunch at Larry’s Loveshack
   Dancing for Dollars
I didn’t come for the food
But the Ham on Rye tastes great
Go dance on your pole and smile
Does every Titty Bar
play the same worn out songs
I’ll  kill the DJ if he plays Born To Be Wild
Get up on the stage take off your clothes
Don’t waste time with the tease
I’ve only have an hour
Before I gotta pick up da wife
Let me give that fine ass a squeeze
Come here and stick your tits in my face
How much for a table dance
Don’t tell me you can’t remember my name
I’m not here looking for romance
Don’t wanna a massage can’t afford a date.
Let me stick a dollar in your G string
I’ve gotta frog in my pants come ere sit on my lap.
I’ll give you some cocaine but I  won’t buy you a drink
Where you going get on back here
what the hell is your problem
Not enough money to buy your company
You’re  just a Titty Dancer you should gimme da respect
I’ll be back tomorrow
You can apologize to me

Ian Copestick

Sleep
I remember once reading
That so called experts
Still didn’t entirely know
Why it is we sleep. Of
Course we need to
Both physically and
Mentally rest, but they
Didn’t fully get it. I do.
If our lives weren’t
Broken up somehow
Into easily digestible
Pieces, we’d go insane.
” Tomorrow’s another
Day “,  ” Sleep on it ”
” It will look better in
The morning “. All of
Those platitudes would
Be gone. Looking at
Life as one huge
Uninterrupted whole
Would be more than
The human mind can
Stand. Sleep helps us
To forget and to put
Things into perspective.
Without it, we’d go raving
Mad. Even more than
Usual.