Linda Lowe

        Far from Home

 

We met for lunch in a café where the juke box was set to loud. Soon we were shouting, both of us angry. You over the divorce, me over your threats. Neither of us noticed the waitress or the cook until you pulled out your gun and slammed it down on the table, where it landed between the salt and pepper, like a referee. The waitress froze, dropping the coffee pot. The cook grabbed his phone. “He never means it!” I cried.  “Please?” While sirens screamed over the sounds of the juke box from whatever law was on the way. 

Howie Good

Autumnal


I was taught in school to never begin a sentence with “and” or “but.” But, realistically, how do you do that? And why would anyone even want to? At work your mother would eat lunch alone in the bathroom. I’m beginning to understand something about it. Nothing is ever the way they say it’ll be, and instead, a little flower between two abysses.

&

Buildings don’t burn up or burn down, they just burn. My own computer spied on me while I slept in. Whatever happened to the right to be lazy? Oh look, see how the leaves fall in gusts. Ah, darling, what blood and murder. Everything will shortly be turned upside down.

&

You can hear the war out there – machine guns and explosions. People quietly ask themselves: Who are we fighting? They are packing bags, in case the enemy comes this way. A very scared older woman confesses, “It feels like they’re already here.”

 

 
Being Me


There’s bad shit going on. Supply chain problems are said to be to blame. Often one has to make things oneself in order to have or see them. Just ask meth cooks what that means. I’ve been following a long, confusing route, down streets that twist and turn like Nietzsche’s enigmatic aphorisms and then in and out of rooms where people repeat phrases in the mindless manner of a talking doll: “Thank you,” “I love you,” “Awesome!” It’s all part of the inconvenience of being me, father of orphans and foster children, inventor of the fingerprint smudges on touch screens.

 

Pawel Markiewicz

In the bewitched aviary.
The sonnet according to Mr. Shakespeare


Helots muse about moony Golden Fleece of the condor.
Drudges think of the dreamy eternal dew of the hen.
Philosophers ponder on winged fantasy of the crow.
Kings ruminate on a picturesque gold of the jay.

Priests contemplate the dreamed, soft, meek weird of the woodpecker.
Masters daydream about nice marvelous songs of the tern.
Soothsayers dream of fulfilled gold of the yellowhammer.
Knights philosophize about poetic dawn of the wren.

Hoplites fantasize about a red sky of the sparrow.
Athletes describe the most tender treasure-charm of the snipe.
Gods remember an enchanted, dear temple of the seagull.
Goddesses recall fairytale-like heroes of the kite.

Poets commemorate the elves-like heaven of the owl.
Bards reflect on most amazing dreamery of the rook.

weird - archaic fate

Ian Copestick

Five Weeks


So, here I am,
out of hospital
for three weeks
and five weeks
without a drink.

It doesn't bother
me like I thought
it would.
I was expecting to be
headbutting the walls.

But, no, the only thing
I've been craving is a
cigarette.
I can do this.
I know I can 

Stacy Black

Earth Day

 
Just before being bored to death
people wonder whether creation is overrated,
life like a listless game
of pick-up basketball
played between bored millionaire basketball players
and everyone in Middle America
suddenly realizes Middle America is just a collective hallucination,
a broad black hole of nothing
burning through the conceptual center
of everything…
Happy Earth Day! cries Jesus
who bursts into the room
just as everyone finishes filing out
the door closing softly behind them.



Listening to Birdsong in the Predawn Hours

 
I hate it when I log on to social media
and die a thousand deaths
before I’ve finished my coffee. Even people
I might want to see on my screen
are buried beneath a barrage
of multinational advertising and how fucked up is it
that Dawn brand dish soap
advertises not with pictures of brilliant plates, glasses, and spoons,
but with fuzzy ducklings scrubbed
of planet-destroying oil?
In the dissolving gloom and looming new day
I think about the relativities of suffering
and die a few more times
before throwing my phone out the window
as pointless and expensive gestures
are all I’m capable of.
A storm has passed this way in the night
and the air and streets are clean
for the time being and all the trees very green.
Nothing but birds singing in deep green.
I hate it when I’m a hungover piece of shit
and life insists on being beautiful.

Daniel Klawitter

Behind Every Great Lion

 
A halo of flies buzz around his crown
Too quick for the snapping jaws
That bite down, briefly, in irritation:
They escape the click of his kingly teeth
In that gaping mouth which just finished
Feasting on Zebra meat. His Highness
Grows sleepy now in the unrelenting heat—
Having eaten, we might guess, to excess.
Nevertheless, his belly wouldn’t be so full
If such a pride was without a lioness.

Daniel S. Irwin

Up Too Early

Maybe I’m up too early,
Not really awake yet.
Slowly crawled out of bed,
Drifted about the house,
Pissed in the trash can
Before I realized it.  Fool.
Wondered who that was
In the bathroom mirror,
Put a dab of toothpaste
On my razor and stopped
Short of shaving my teeth.
Good stuff, the edges of
My beard will be just a
Little “whiter and brighter”,
So say the toothpaste ads.
Morning meds.  Take them.
Maybe the night dose, too.
God knows you need them.
Was there someone here?
Did I have a wife?  Well,
Whatever, she’s gone now.
Really good party last night.
A proper bachelor party,
Women, booze, women.
I better get back to bed.
I need my rest before I do
The wedding tonight.  Oh,
The life of a preacher man.

Steven Leake

White Lighter Society


Legend says

Every single member
Of the 27 club

Died with a white lighter
In their pockets

A memento mori

Before rock and rollers
Did yoga with millionaire gurus

And

Became shredded vegans
To fight the wear of time

One more celebrity scandal

Or perhaps

The machinations of unseen puppetmasters 
Sacrificing sensitive souls of particular brilliance 

For the New World Order, of course!

A psy-op to enshrine new gods

And tease the imagination
Of the curious and pathological

I put a cigarette
On the tomb of Jim Morrison

Summoning the mojo
Of some mystery cult

To tip the scale

Towards creating a meaning
Worth living for

Damon Hubbs

Nesting


After months of building
painting and electrical work,
after sewing and embroidering 
beading and bolting
recycling and repurposing, 
after years of moving furniture 
and changing fabric
dusting, vacuuming 
and tidying up

you watch 
through a tiny peephole 
in the dollhouse
as mice move in,
building little nests 
from found objects, 
blindly tossing 
and 
turning 
in their miniature beds

the carving-knife moon 
hinged like a broken fingernail. 

Stephen Jarrell Williams

"Paper Wings"


Why do I
worry

I've never had enough money
to make an easy run of it

but mostly trouble
magnified
by who I am and what I write

so I'm no longer squinting
over my shoulder anymore

at those with crooked noses
surrounding me
on the free corner of the city

I'm going to fly
upward
with my paper wings of poetry

over their
flat heads and loose suits

undoing my belt and pants
leaving them
with a spat in the faces!




"Doing in Ourselves"


Continuous Corruption
perpetual pollution

entire country full of flumes
breaking wind

cities shaking
bombs spreading babel

supposited leaders elected
atop private dunghills

bathtubs overflowing
with worthless dollar bills

ceilings covered with army ants
dropping mini turds

far oceans spying
full of periscopes and troops

doing in ourselves
pointing our fingers at everyone else.