Alex Salinas

Lingering rainstorm, September 2018

 

Hear it,

this lingering rainstorm like a lover’s goodbye.

Remember it,

breezy and gray like a Russian’s eye.

 

Visit the cemetery.

Kneel by your grandfather’s grave.

Tell him dirty jokes.

 

Then stop by Wu’s for fried rice.

Say a prayer before your meal.

Taste your dripping self in the steamy grains.

Say a prayer after your meal.

 

The humidor should still be open; buy a cigar.

 

Return to the cemetery.

Kneel by your grandmother’s grave.

 

Light your cigar.

Puff it carefully.

Drift away, slowly.

Apologize to Grandma for smoking in her presence,

though she smoked her whole life.

 

Appreciate the soaking your skin’s endured.

You’ll realize later you won’t need to shower.

 

But don’t be fooled for one second.

No flood can wash away your color,

your blood.

 

You’re like a star unable to hide from the cosmos.

 

One day,

you’ll tear a black hole in the fabric surrounding you

like a knitter with a shaky hand.

 

 

Ian Copestick

Across The Pitches

Gazing across the
Football pitches, over
To the woods. Trees
All the way to the
Horizon where they
Meet the cloudy
Autumn skies.
A church spire to
My left is the only
Man made thing
That I can see,
Except for the
Goalposts on the
Football fields.
I watch old people
Walking their dogs
As I sit here craving
A cigarette. 3:30 on
A Wednesday afternoon.
A couple of raindrops
Fall, so I come out of
My reverie. Stand and
Walk home where there
Is T.V. and cigarettes
Aplenty.

Hunter White

I Miss It

 

I miss it

The beach

But not just any beach

A particular beach

On the Forgotten Coast

Many don’t know about it

But that’s how I like it

Every day it creeps into my thoughts

And I long to be there every day.

The feeling of warm sand underfoot

And the grains between your toes

Running to the water

Jumping in

Only to be shown the power

As a wave knocks you down

And you get back up to do it all again

The water is warm

The waves are noisy

But the noise is relaxing

Causing a unique kind of calm

The beach accommodates people of all desires

Lying down in the sand

Falling asleep

Riding the waves on a jet ski

Up and down, Up and down

Sometimes a certain song can transport me there

But those moments are fading

They leave me longing for the real thing

Time spent with family at this beach

Eating seafood, playing games

Building sandcastles, being buried in the sand

These are times we don’t forget

And that bring us close together

Time without dispute or turmoil

Everyone, laid back and chilled out

The beach has this special power

The ability to bring people together

And create happiness and joy

We count down the days, hours, minutes, and seconds

To the next time we will be reunited

Getting anxious as the days draw closer

But until then, we wait

And miss it evermore.

Kateland Leveillee

1.

To All the Boys

 

I cannot write like a beatnik

because I am not a beatnik.

I’m too late,

too pretty,

too appreciative of hygiene.

I cannot be a mynah bird.

 

Furthermore,

I am four years on the wagon,

so whatever brash and callous hands

that traded poems for commands

now only dream of being half the height

that Will S. Burroughs stands.

 

My point is this:

I am free and the red, hot,

hot, hot passion has gone somewhere.

I don’t have the luxury of dying

or going insane

or loving so much that no self remains.

 

I feel Ginsburg when I write my prose

I hear Howl when I feel morose

All of it says Live! Live! Live! 

 

So I do.

But not in shades I would have painted with in youth.

Not with strokes so raged they rip the page,

I have different things to say now.

I tried to die young, but

it was simply a choir with no rhythm.

 

 

 

2.

This Life

 

There is no version of this life

That does not end in my suicide

As beautiful as the pulleys

That pulled rock from the earth

The dust of your hands as you gave me an arrowhead

The night you looked to the moon and said you had three months left

How strange that must have felt

The thinning of your hair

The strangeness of your poetry

Sleepless contortion of letters I could have never put together

 

There is no version of this life

Where we speak our words in key

There is movement in places filling with blood

That came from the anger I felt

The dust of your hands as you hand me a flower

That I keep and dry and let define me

It dies by my hand or yours

The weeds overtake the garden

Soon the sun will disappear

I lose memory of a time when words were fireflies

 

 

3.

Happy Valley

 

The secret is to ignore

the most beautiful girl

in the room. She is not

crazy enough to keep

you on your toes. No,

 

Pick the one you need

to take medication for

go to therapy for

make amends to your exes for.

 

No,

Pick the one who almost

bares her secrets but never

really does.

 

Summer comes.

She lets others inside her.

You watch her as she walks

in front of you, stuck inside a story

you’ll tell someone someday.

 

Storyteller,

Close your eyes as she obliterates you.

You are mute.

There are no resolutions.

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?