Sondy Squirrel

March Madness

 

The 9th.

First i found him down

by the trash cans

near the gate

on the west side

afterdark.

 

Made a leap frog formation

of the tall city refuse bins

and he wobbled

to the porch

and crawled

past the

threshold.

Something seemed broken.

He moaned.

He never showed pain

Never complained.

This time he groaned.

 

He drank too much

to gain the courage

to yell at God

in the sky

about

losing…”ALL OF THE GUNNERS!

HOW CAN I LIVE?!?”

 

The 14th.

We had dinner.

There was no way

his blood sugar could plummet.

He’d forgotten

he had done his

evening insulin twice.

I found him

hugging a pillow

cross-legged

by the front door

as if he wants

to leave

and address God

in person…

rocking as in distress.

Eyes wild and face contorted

He barely uttering

“I’m waiting.  I’m waiting,”

 

I grew tired of this vigil

of waiting too

when i

wouldn’t be ready

or awake or alert

I’m yelling to the heavens

Too.

“Not yet!!”

 

The 22nd.

I’d read the crap

From the 2 ER visits already…

“Performed complete physical.”

Bullshit.

 

The 22nd.

Our third trip to the ER.

Me waiting and warming up

my car while the EMTs worked to stabilize him

In “the bus”.

A greyhound

To what lies After?

Couldn’t weep.

Just prayed they’d send him this time to the VA to live Damnit.

Long enough to

Dry Out.

 

2 days later

I said

“YES!  INTUBATE!”

He hasn’t signed an advanced directive or DNR,

neither will I.

 

And a wound

and PICC line

in the intensive care unit

keep him alive longer.

 

And a nephew comes in and gets Power of Medical

Attorney

Have at it

I’m harried from March

like a

Madd Hatter who’s

avoiding this

date with death.

Vietnam set some internal

alarm

in him.

 

4 months plus

in Topeka VA

Mental Health.

He’s gone home

to a new address.

 

I’m not allowed to save him

anymore.

The VA social worker said,

“He’s tired.”

 

Of his wife grabbing him from

The Grim Reaper.

 

I won’t be celebrating

Halloween.

 

 

Pubic

 

After my son died in my arms

I was unemployable and divorce was a bonus to death.

 

I got a job in a topless strip joint to pay my bills.

My family was appalled.

I didn’t care.

Dad said I won’t disown you no matter what you do.’

My Johnson County Mom did and big sis followed suit.

 

Okay sometimes I did wear my entire birthday suit and danced off homemade costumes why not?

Exploitation?  No way.  I took home wads of cash a day from any lonely sucker or knowing mother fucker i grew fond of and well that goes both ways.

Off I-70 you get ‘em all.  Truckers salesmen drug peddlers with jars of white crosses.

I had no kids nor habit to support and

Pulled double shifts to cover a no-show for a $3 line of meth.

 

One day a Jack Henry suit walked in and paid his $10 to watch and didn’t go in the porn room.  It was slow before afternoon.

I danced just for him.

He was creepy.

But i sat with him, robed up a cigarette for self defense between us and he scribbled a note.

“Can i have some pussy hairs to put under my pillow for $50 bucks?”

 

I answered ‘Sure”, like it was asked every day and hurried to the dressing room to consult with Iris…my ‘mentor’.

She grabbed her toenail scissors from her makeup case snipped a bit of curly headed hair off my head wrapped it in a tissue and pushed me back into the arena.

 

Never saw him again.

I spent it on nice lipsticks.

 

Hallelujah

 

I’m not a single mother

anymore.

I knew

when he turned thirty.

 

Now it’s my turn and I’m

preparing a path

with Purpose.

And plans.

 

Never had time to grieve the gone.

So now’s the time

Or NEVER.

 

Not an option it seems.

 

I think I’ll grow old if i don’t

fill in the holes

with dirt and tears.

What grows in salty soil?

A beach where

I dreamed dad said goodbye

before setting sail.

And Jack made a heart

in his ashes the

next

day

random scatter it was noon

before at

Wonder Lake.

 

There’s something

Never quite finished

Bout suicides.

 

And my first son just died an unnatural death.

 

I was busy with work and 2 year-old whining about potty training.

Fearsome Fours.

Daycare

Then kindergarten and how fragile

First grade.

Soccer practice

T-ball.

 

Can’t tear up with water.

What would Jake do.

He was already delicate of spirit

An old soul.

 

Jr High is like high school

Now.

Kept condoms in a basket.

Had the talk about…

“Sure son virginity until marriage is certainly an idea.”

 

Then there was Kristy

And the faux pregnancy scare on April Fools Day.

 

But his friends passed bongs

in this Mom’s home.

No juvey hall

Or trips to the court house.

No young women were allowed.

Hallelujah.

Then a car at 16.

Finally finishing at KU.

And he took on a near impossible career choice

with only training on the job.

 

He called home a lot.

Needed explaining.

Suicidal ideation

IS really scary son.

Let’s figure this out.

Call a doc and call me back.

“I did Mom.  I feel better already.”

And we talked for two or more hours a lot.

Until he turned 30.

 

And he’s teeming with joy.

Shaina did that too.

We trained him to smile and laugh

at little stuff.

 

Seems it’s time for a few tears now.

Hallelujah

 

 

 

 

 

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.