30 September 2008

Heroin Love Songs Volume 3

Jimmy the toad
doug draime

They said I was
babbling incoherently
and swinging at
who got within
5 feet of me.
No one in the bar
at the time,
could handle
the situation.
And Maxine ran
next door to
Ray's Market
and got my friend
Jimmy the Toad.
All I know
is when I woke up
in the hospital
with a broken nose
and 2 cracked ribs,
Jimmy was leaning
over me
and apologizing
for using a little
too much force,
offering me
a bowl of
orange sherbet

cop with the burnt face
doug draime

half of his face had
the mark of a fire
which burnt it
a cherry red and
half his mouth
scared into a harelip

the cop with the swagger
and billy club held tightly
for maximum pain, moving
toward me quickly with serious
intent, it was clear, his eyes
blank and trancelike...
but focused on my
handsome and unscathed face

resting aging bones
doug draime

I really was attempting to
pay attention,
the best I could, to focus
on the young poet
reading his poems.
I hadn't sleep well
in several days, my legs
aching from all
the walking
I was doing looking for
some kind of work.
48, let me clue you in,
is no age to be
without income and
nowhere to go
to call your own.

I needed to place to sit down
and rest for awhile.
The poet was trying
to be poetic, his poems
full of run of the mill
similes, that contained
no fortitude
of spirit, or passion.
And I'm sorry to say,
I fell into
a deep sleep.
I don't know for how long,
but a college coed
stinking of patchouli oil and
sweat, shock me awake.
“You're snoring. That's really
rude.” she said.
I looked up and the poet
was glaring
at me.
All 20 eyes of the 10 people
sitting in the
folding chairs
were glaring at me

I said, nodding at the poet,
“Sorry about that. Good luck
with those similes, kid.”
And I got up and walked

out of the bookstore
and down the street
to the nearest bar,
where I ordered
a small pitcher of beer
with $3 of
my last $10.
I found a table in the corner,
sat down
and immediately
fell back to sleep.
Karen, the bartender,
was kind enough to let me
snooze till
closing time.

shane allison

He worries if he lets this sissy suck him,
he will like it and will come back for more.
He worries that if he puts that man's penis
in his mouth,

he will love it and will come back for more.
He worries that if he lets a cute redhead
take him home and screw him, he will like it
and want to do it again and again and again.

He worries about the size of his small town,
where things of all sorts tend to get around,
he will be crucified and condemned.

He worries that if he's seen in a gay bar
by someone from church, it will get back
to his wife and life as he knows it will be over.

He worries, like all breeders do, if he catches
"the bug," from this faggot, there won't be enough
dirt on earth to cover up his secret.

sunday afternoon in a sandusky ice cream shop
john dorsey

i stand outside of
myself shaking in the
summer sun there are
things yet to do

moments left to pause
and think about
how if i was
frank o'hara this would
be the exact right
moment in my life to write a
list poem except i'm
not and i can't
ever seem to remember
an exact right time
for anything

so i think about
the old man who was
evicted from my apartment
building on 12th & spruce
after 38yrs to make
way for college students like me

i remember how he
liked to wear a
polyester jacket every day
no matter how hot
it got to be
outside and how the
last time i saw him
he seemed to be riding an
elevator with no real destination

i wear jackets too
made from leather
made from cotton
made from words & flesh
hung together with boyhood dreams
of suicide as if they
were a second skin
but i'm not the
red baron these hands
are not a sanctuary
and i can't really
say what direction our
dreams might take so
play it as it lays

i stand there thinking
about how melted ice cream
is a good representation
of our potential and how
that old man once
called me a spider
twice removed from miracles and how
this is as good
a time as any
to tell you that
it is august and
that my hands shaking

i want to make
a list of flesh & blood & poems

i want to throw
scrapes of this moment
to the wolves in heaven

hungry for words

whatever their final destination

the dance hall romance of the apocalypse
john dorsey

one day they will
examine our love
as if it were
a dance step
that never really caught on

& sigh captains
of our own particular disaster

our kiss will become
as sacred as the
sonnet a ballad hummed
on the east river
of hell where miracles
are easily forgotten

pawned off on dreams
that never really got
out much

they'll say we were
beautiful in moonlight

praying to godzilla on
bended knee

untitled poem in two parts
john dorsey


it is 3:39am
the time of night
when you start to
wonder if fire ants
suffer from hot flashes

someone has left the
faucet running again overflowing
with words like ghosts or seashells
with shotguns held up
to your ear while
listening to nirvana hum
don't make waves


it is 4:08am
the time of night
when even drops of water
sweat the courage of
their convictions like ike turner
out for a moonlit
stroll before being seated
in front of heaven's
angry parole board

and i remember only this:

the first time
i got hauled in
for questioning your love

they pasted a poem
inside my rib cage

and made me watch
it fly away

like a love letter
barely held together
by the dust of
angels bones

a night in hell
darryl salach

I had been up all night
with a woman who loved cats.

she lived in a low rent
area of the city
where you would see a thug,
a crack addict,
broken dreams
and a cop chase
if you were lucky.
the night was filled
with possibilities.

we ran out of drink
around 11,
she suggested we walk
to a pub up the hill
for a few rounds.

the cats scratched
at the furniture legs

we staggered around
her flat
a while in silence
itching this
and that,
our booze high
was slowly
turning into rage.
so we put
on our shoes
and walked into hell
two sordid, debauched
luminaries on safari.

there were light snow
bouncing off my swollen
nose, taunting me
as if we were scaling
some tall mountain crest
when in fact
there were only 3 cemented

steps we needed to climb
in order to reach level ground.

we walked along
a snow covered sidewalk
her hip bouncing
off mine,
our balance compromised
by our willingness
to experience
an uncontrollable
counterbalance together.

these feelings,
amusing to most
felt real and genuine
to us,
we needed each other
before the poison
that we both realized
would one day
explode in our laps,
taking our sanity
and guile
without mercy or resolve.
this was it, all we had,
all we could think of
to do.

we had each other.

lunch break
darryl salach

we are everything internet
these days,
work and play
a cathedral of dreams
only a keyboard strike away.
it's too easy to loose yourself
your life vanishing
like the death of winter,
a drained beer bottle,
a toilet seat soaked with piss.

today I took a walk on my lunch break
the sun was shining, snow melting
a bird was even singing to me
wondering if I had lost my mind.
I just watched the bird sing, twisting
his head and body in steady rhythm.
I smiled and looked at my watch,
oh fuck, I need to check on my myspace account.

heroin dance
maria gornell

She was your funny
Funky rough as dime
2 cent scheming whore
You loved her more
Than me.

Chased her shadow
Around and around
Proud to be second best
Sloppy seconds,
Trisha drug fuelled whore,
You adored the chase
She bore you
Heroin induced sun dance.

Cold turkey
Had you hooked
Sink line and hooker
Fantasy preferred to
Reality of broken
Backed hag
With painted face
Of clown
Laughing all the way
Down phones..

Then little miss naïve
You thought you had
To save
Comes pretty and moody
Have to chase her away
Talking to much sense
Making you feel drenched
In big scary reality,
Its written on walls
Tearing his balls
As they drip and weep
Resigned again
To porn and heroin whores,
Who the fuck did you
Think you was messing with

On the contrary
You set me free
Opened my eyes
Realised my potential
Awakened my sexuality
Set me straight on goals
And roads I'm skipping
Through hoops
High on heart broken
Saved from hell
Getting on regardless well,
I miss you
But not sure why,
Maybe your funny valentine
Could explain the game
Your like a fix
Of danger induced fits
Too much of a hit
For me..

who died and made you a shoe
michele mcdannold

the bird is singing
the beauty is in the air
is in the still
is in your pants
but you're ED
ashamed to buy a little blue pill
called Roxie
down the street
in the wrong bar
is the right girl
she has no teeth
but will tell you there's a sunnyside

animals, every one of us
michele mcdannold

there's a lady living all over town
in dumpsters
by eight pieces of body parts
all found but her head
it's at this point i wonder
if i might be in over my neck
a small town girl moving to the city

in the small town
we keep our crime quiet
handle it ourselves
or completely ignore it
to the detriment of generation
after generation
wife beating
child molesting
occasional theft or
vandalism, drugs
nobody on the outside needs to know
unless of course
someone breaks out
moves on
then it usually goes
one extreme or the other
a victim
- like that lady
or a victimizer

question is...
which one am i?

a diary poem
robert louis henry

Back in grade school, I thought I had it rough,
But college came and addiction claimed a friendly hug,
Smoking between unattended classes,
And spending intelligence studying acid,
Meeting the newest group of people,
And places I will retain,
Like a diary page on how you found out,
That you were a lesbian.

attention to detail
robert louis henry

I discover traits of myself all the time.
For some elaboration,
I cleaned bathrooms full-time for a year and a half
before realizing that I consistently missed one article
of the porcelain equipment:
The flush mechanism.

For some definition:
I often miss the last stair.

And to romanticize with contemporary penmanship:
I am ill-qualified to immaculate.

intellectual property
zachari j popour

every excursion
seems to be
cause for concern;
those simple,
often wasted,
spasmatic efforts.
something as simple
as dialing a number
to be put on hold,
a walk to the mailbox
to find only bills,
or your hand
reaching for another hand
that pulls away.
each coming day
is a step thru
and towards
the next micro agony.
every man
can be broken,
just as there are women
incapable of love,
and even the most magnificent
songbirds are soluble.
take it intravenously
or not at all.
we are crescents,
rarely whole.
nothing more.
nothing less.

bang, bang, bang
zachari j popour

keep yer finger off
the trigger and do not slide
toward precious vantage.
search my pockets on
the pat down. question
this dominion outfacing
the wants and needs
from within.
you must spin
like cylinders; clockwise.
emote as ceiling fans in motion:
separate in 5's or 3's,
whirling spherical
gift shop quaintness.
there are strange seconds
over flowing in the microwave oven.
admitting defeat last night
smelled like my shirt
after a pack and a half of Basic's.
i suppose hugging knees is suitable
for such a stand still life in the freezer
whose underbelly glows frigid
from the bulb below.
that handful of bullets
i threw in the dryer
are patiently waiting
on yer first, "I love you."
no, i didn't find a single coin
in the return slot of that payphone
next to the car wash.
some people have all the
face up pennies at their feet
and some plainclothesmen's
radios invoke the others,
as they come crackling through
in broken frequencies of,
"possible suicide".
god bless them.

wounded man
luis cuauhtemoc berriozabal

Like a wounded animal I walk.
Like a wounded man
I have been known to walk.
My aching flesh screams out.
Things seem to get from bad to worst.
I'm a crazy person.
The neighbors fear me.
They have never been on my side.
Like a wounded man I walk.
I'm like a crazy man.
I serenade my neighbors at two a.m.
I howl like a wolf outside their window.

magic book
luis cuauhtemoc berriozabal

I was sleeping on a bed
of nails. It felt all right.
I levitated just enough
to avoid being nailed.
I was all right. I learned
my magic from a book.
It had pictures, instructions,
and diagrams. Once I
learn to disappear I will
be everywhere I want
without being seen
just like a ghost. Once
I learn how to fly I will
buy a cape and call myself
Superman. I was thinking
of a trick where the rabbit
in the hat was an elephant
instead. A tiny elephant
I could hold in my hand
to show the audience once
I pulled it out of the hat.

begging money for food
luis cuauhtemoc berriozabal

I was walking outside
begging money for food.
I was not some crack fiend.
But the police told me
to get inside the car.

I know there is food here.
But look I'm not crazy.
I'm just a homeless man.
The medicine makes me
hungrier than before.

Out there I was free and
I was thin. I could touch
a rib bone. I had no
flabby skin like I have
now. When can I leave here?
I miss my outside friends.

21 and Who?
zack moll

21 years old and who the hell am I?
A father
A louche,
A lousy fuck,
An oblivious hypocrite,
Constantly scouting for a prod
Or poke to lose myself in,

A tragedy
A rookie,
A sub par movie,
Am I an echoing canyon
Or the cliffs along the sides,
Who decides?
And how could it possibly matter,
Why does it
And who the hell am I?
21 years old and who the hell am I?
Or you?
But concentrated nothingness
Beaming with luck,
Who am I but hands to work with,
A friend to lose touch with
An obituary to be,
Summed up in a hundred words,

Who the hell am I?
21 years old and who the hell am I?
But tired eyes and a shaky voice too bleak,
A placard wielding bum too witty for his plight
And cold street nights of a shrugging city,
Who the hell am I?
But a series of errands
A stack of bills,
A nine digit reference number,
Who the hell am I?
21 years old and who the hell am I?
But a slightly taller child
Going to a different school
Playing different games,
Antagonized with interest,
Spouting fevered claims,

Who the hell am I
But a long lost lover
You'd rather not run into,
The soiled sheets you'd rather not sleep with
A dusty old pillow case that
Stuffs up your head,
Who the hell am I?
21 years old and who the hell am I?
But a love letter from oblivion
A suitcase by the door,
A microcosm of 'It',
Who the hell am I
But a question mark
Among exclamation points,
The left over gravy given to the dog,
A rain drop in July,
Who am I but opinions, thoughts
And diction,
A preference, a suspicion,
An intimidated witness,
Who the hell am I
But a mirror of existence?

junk love or withdrawal part 1: denial
lisa latourette

we sat across from each other in
that Chinese place with the gold

wallpaper and mirrors on the walls,
one red poppy in every vase on

every table, deep red, sin-red,
new york red, I looked into its dark eye,

drunk, looked at you over fancy drinks,
mai-tais and tequila sunrises

your pale mushroom face, your eyes
a silent thunder and we agree to

keep going keep drinking
the waitress always hovering

our reflections bending and twisting around
the cold room, it's getting dark outside

it's getting summer outside but still
winter in both of us

excuse the mirror images
ignore the reflections

it's just me and you, kid,
forget what dances in the periphery:

we are tough as jazz, cities
built on our shoulders.

good listener
lisa latourette

this title
seems to follow me wherever I go

these people spot me from great distances
& now I can spot them too:

wet worm-hole of your mouth is opening,
it glistens sickly pink
I knew, I knew as soon as I saw you
it would open & suck me in with
its hunger, greed, pulling, tugging

you think I'm like you
(whatever that is)
but you don't care what I am

you somehow believe
I'll understand you and listen quietly
you knew I would do it,
it never matters how desperately
I signal you
bang my eyes closed from inside,
shutters to keep you out

because you
are a fly, wobbly & dumb,
aimless until
you smell it, like blood or shit,
my weakness:

you KNOW I won't walk away.

stacy welch

Mosquito bites
fly quietly
into Summer's inner thighs
and elbows.

Starry Nights take flight
with shaded memories
of each of you.

Lacking any one
to weed out
like a Whippoorwill
in the wind.

The Sun
breaks through the Clouds,
an invisible Yesterday.

strip it all
stacy welch

are people crude
when it's all about
being stripped?

up the rich
for better
Poorass Made by
Bureaucratic lube.

the sickly
for better
buttered white bread.

the Strippers
so the ghetto expands
into your pocket
with a too small hole.

Strip Non-americans
like an injured horse
with a gun to its
Thoroughbred head.

your Adams
at a Time Square
exhibiting your flock.

their Eves
at every church cross
before brunch babble.

your Friends
so you can see
the view they do of you.

your Mother
of all habitual Life guilt,
so you can view
her intentionally
swallowing you
for Survival.

Strip Stars
Strip Resources
Strip Pride

Strip it all
Strip it all.

atone for shoes and garter belts
puma perl

I went to get my shoes
Shoemaker said go in the back
Find your shoes
I said then what's the ticket for
He said get out of my store
I said you better atone Friday
you nasty man
He said you're an anti-semite
I said I'm a jew gimme my shoes
and you better go to the water Friday
you nasty nasty man

I went to the water Saturday
Thought about my sins
Ancient acts of shame
Transgressions so offensive
as to deny me god's grace

My office is a mess (sloth)
I wish I had nice knees (envy)
Garter belts define me (lust)
Don't u know who I am (pride)
Find my fucking shoes (anger)
I have millions of shoes (greed)
millions of garter belts (gluttony)
wigs high heels black stockings (more lust)

cleansed I was in the east river park
rain washed over me as I left
went to victoria's secret and macy's
more shoes, more garter belts
I sin no more
I am in god's grace

what i'm gonna do
puma perl

on my birthday
what i'm gonna do
drive a car
ride a bike
look at trees
play lou reed
wear a garter belt
eat bell peppers
write a page
salute the sun
stretch my back
change the sheets
smell the pillowcase
make up my eyes
paint black cherry nails
lie about my age
work the muscles
contract the pussy
dance slow
cum hard
sleep soft
wake up
thank god

strange beds
puma perl

in strange beds
my soft red
hooded sweatshirts
comforts me

out of control
i stomp down
arizona avenue
i wear black boots
in the desert

other people's houses
i am never nice enough
i try to change
i cook rice
and sautéed vegetables
i read too much
i don't drink beer

lost in a complex
set between a highway
and distant lights
of strip mall civilization
zombies bake
in the jacuzzi
pick-ups parked
by the gate

my mask is melting
i reach for myself
my soft red
hooded sweatshirt
lays by my side

i was there
elly portnoy

When the desert groaned,
legs splayed wide enough to push
a city through; when she birthed a
populous of rain-dancing transients;
when the well dried up, and the
words, bitter as wormwood,
spilled over bridges and freeways,
immobilizing a nation stuck
on fast-forward for (only) a
few moments, but long enough
for some of us to re-remember how
to draw an honest breath: I was there.

I was there.
When she called and her fingers
were too indecisive to break
the needles or take out the trash;
when the cotton balls were soaked
in nail polish remover and tossed
into her fireplace; when she claimed
that all the lighters had left the
building, my bag coughed up
some matches, and between her excuses
and my fury, her last option was set
ablaze; when we sifted, weeping,
through those ashes, in search of a
direction, a windmill, or at least a
question needing an answer: I was there.

And I was there.
When the last soldier shrugged and
another battle was squelched by
indifference; when another was
beginning because someone
forgot to check the headlines
that day; when who did what with whom
became more significant queries
than what the fuck, and why;
when the monarchs' stilted
journeys only spat them back
to a flattened and sadder version
of home; when they hovered
with patient faith, waiting for the
June bugs, the roly polys, the earthworms
and the honeybees to shake off
yesterday's trompling; when the first one
couldn't believe anymore and
dropped, soft as my grandfather's
silk handkerchief, into the dirt below: I was there.

I was there.
When he looked into his future
and saw the stars burning out,
one-by-one; when the universe
went dark and even the wishes
of the gods froze in mid-realization;
when there wasn't a crumb
left in his hourglass, only a photo of a
painting of hope giving way to
desperation; when the disparate
platelets and white cells
coagulated and the family,
thicker than blood, burst
from bony closets and lonely corners,
terrified and uncertain, but together;
when we clung to each others hands;
when no one knew what to
name this sort of grief, when
all was lost in a bonfire of tulips,
ink and tufts of yellow yarn: I was there.

the corner has a song
vince anello

i am dispassionate sometimes. i don't
blame my parents or how i was
bullied in school. i don't blame the drugs
i never took, the alcohol i never drank.
the devil's at work here. i can see his hands
in the cracks of a cup, the songs i skip on the radio,
the face of a girl who gets me hard
while i'm walking down the street.
i see them in the wood of a newly-torched house
and in the dust that looks like the ash
of three little kids, lost in the blaze.
and someday i think i'll repent,
because these thoughts are improper,
and my mother would be ashamed.
but i see his hands in that too,
and they glow. oh, they glow.
and i know it's mouth is opened.

punk rock

Every weekend
we packed in an 82' Toyota Celica
under a light post burning moth abdomens
and the blue wings of youth
in the vfw parking lot
cheap vodka slammed straight
from plastic bottles
and cassette tapes
taped over a thousand songs
minutemen big drill car minor threat misfits
we were a swirl of elbows and rubber bones
and days lasted thirty six hours

we didn't care about being down with
mother nature
the way she twirled in that white dress
and smiled all the time
made me sick
and I wanted to smother her with a garbage bag
to save her hairline from receding

the walls watched slow suicides
with the gray portrait eyes
of war heroes that never
amounted to much
I really believed we could change the world
with a guitar more than a machine gun

the descendants didn't want to grow up
and I never thought I would
like a dog that doesn't stick it's head out of car windows
like a flower that doesn't sway
like a peacock that doesn't strut
a wild mustang sucking sugar from children's hands
in a roadside petting zoo
like a deck of 49 bent cards
like the king of heart surgery
like a sun rise that moans
a flame that coughs
a line some actor forgot
a virgin mary on a junkyard dash
a hired killer with a heart
a man that forgot his name

the last time i scored dope

may 18, 2005 nobody was on Larimer Street that day
that happens when the police are close by.
dealers can smell uniforms
and they hide in shadows or blend
in at bus stops.
plus it was sunday.
religion plays a part.
I looked all day
my bones shaking
my eyes watering.
as a last resort
i went to the mission on 20th and Arapahoe
where jive talkers
saw the white boy coming.
"you got a cigarrette man? what you need?"
an old whore in torn jeans pushed them away
and grabbed me by the arm.
"don't trust them. i'll get what you need. you sick right now?

I didn't want to seem vulnerable so I said no
and followed her down the street
it was twilight
she whistled in a high pitch like my aunt Diane
used to when she wanted us to come home.
shadows began to move
and I finally got my drugs
but before she split she said
"prostitutes don't prostitute for themselves
they prostitute for the fathers and husbands of this coun-try.

I laughed and flicked my lighter so I could see in my hand
she only gave me half of what I paid for
but by then she was gone
and I had to get home.
I had to work in the morning.

death and taxes

when Elvis died
my sister's 10th birthday party
was cancelled

when Marc Bolan
drove into the tree
I took two days off school

when Sugar Ray Robinson
lost his last fight
I saw my father cry
for only the second time

when Bukowski
took that last drink
I owned a bookshop
and all I could do
was stare at his words

when my father died
I had his blood
on my hands

but when Hunter S Thompson
blew his brains out
I was drinking red wine
out of a vegemite jar
and snorting lines of speed
off the back
of a Janis Joplin CD

12 hours in
to a 20 hour binge
his death barely registered

some of us take losing
our talent
harder than others
and some of us
are just resigned
to living it out

green thumb

drunk and fucked
I wake up
and it hurts
more than it should
you would think
I'd be used to this
by now
I lay there
trying to remember
where I've left the car
this time
then get up to piss
I look out the window
the car is on the lawn
doors wide open
the neighbour
is gardening in the nude
I don't need this
I shake
pad back to bed
but she's hogging
the sheets
and I lay shivering
until I give up
get back up
and go watch the neighbour
through the curtains
as she weeds the geraniums


I first heard Lou Reed
in the back of Jimmy's van
Jimmy let me go through his music
because he had his eye
on my sister
but she wouldn't get in
the back with him
she was much smarter
than that
so they sat in the front
and I sat in the back
pawing my way through
his cassettes
while he tried to paw his way
through my sister

I was supposed to be
protecting her
I found Transformer
and everything I'd heard about Lou
which wasn't much anyway
seemed true
so I just listened to the tape
while Jimmy found out
that what he'd heard
which was way too much
wasn't true

my sister never got back
in the van
so I never got to see
what else Jimmy had
back there
she told me
it wasn't much anyway

shout at the devil

my cousin and I
sitting in the back room
and he's telling me about his dream
“there were guys with guitars
and leather
and blood dripped
from their mouths”
and I laugh
toss him the cassette
Motley Crue
Shout At the Devil
and say
“it's all right here
everything we've been waiting for”

we played that tape
until it broke
bought another copy
and did it again
this was our world
and no one else dare enter

now I dream of him
mouth open
blood dripping
and I know it's bullshit
there was never any blood
just a swelling on the brain
and a slowing of the senses
but no blood

and I wasn't even there
the day he stopped breathing
but neither was he

and I played that damn tape
all the way to the hospital
after they rang me
but I was too late
and the tape broke
as I drove back home

so I sang the whole album
out loud and alone
windows down
voice cracking
but I sang it

gary beck

I cannot leave you
yet untasted,
whose bones, flesh cover,
proffer perfumed breasts
reaching for my hands.
Your beckoning loins,
hot pronouncements of desire,
mine for the taking
merely in exchange
for soft touch,
winning smile.

gary beck

How to avert madness
the schizoid cries,
trapped in the confines
of his fluttering head.
His search for sanity
is only postponed
by sheltering drugs,
hollow words,
professional regrets.

gary beck

Shall I go unsinging to my grave,
littering the callous wayside
with a childlike lament?
I would chant rivers, mountains, people,
soar far above the atmosphere,
if I could only learn to conquer
my betrayal tongue.

lust song
gary beck

Can I sing
that I covet your body,
with a tender lust of power,
dreaming you perfect,
wanting to rip into you
my imaginable longings.
My eyes of desire
creep your soft thigh,
tiny insects of June nights
hoping to feed their hunger
on the swell of round flesh
gathered near your belly,
until sated,
I drift off.

to the bone
andrew taylor

The smell that lingers
and nestles on my neck
seems age old or is
it just familiarity explored
after years of silence

Am I to enjoy the silence
or immerse myself in an
uneasiness that lies deep

Strip yourself to the bone
unearth those secrets

ease me to comfort zones
places where I once ate
in luxury and silence

andrew taylor

Sitting as lonely as the - daffodil
which stands alone on the
roadside unnoticed, aware
only of the shit which passes by.

here and in beijing
joseph goosey

I'm drinking my Heineken
with a side
of anti-bacterial
airborne and
in a place
they are organizing
a ban on Kentucky Fried

It's raining here and
in Beijing.

The dog won't go out
to piss.

Work is around the corner
and what sort
of volunteering we do
or don't do
is our own

my parents are out at sea
joseph goosey

And so I live
out of two
large, rubber,
containers located
in the southeast
of my girlfriend's

I hear footsteps out this door
that do not belong
to anyone
worth catering towards.

One day,
I came home to find
my books and
my clothes
in the driveway.

I didn't cry I just put them
in the trunk
of my Camry
and continued

I almost
took flight
off the overpass
and whether or not
that would have been
an accident,

I am unsure.

my red satin dress
jacqui corcoran

...is a show off, a rebel, a whore, a devil, a temptress,
a scorned woman, a mourned woman,
a Spanish dancer, a pole dancer.

It wears me when it chooses
jumps out of the closet and throws itself into my arms
takes me and grips until I

each leading kiss
each following touch
each yell
each scream
each godforsaken mistake
each blessing
it uses and when it's done it

my red satin dress is the blood drops of each birth
each rip
each Christmas
each temper tantrum
each grazed knee
each healing touch
each wish
each hug

My red satin dress is the rose in my cheeks
the white on my throat
the sinning lover of the innocent pearls that

It's a bush-fire boiling jam
a Jane Eyre metaphor
candle wax drops on rose petals
a Hawaiian sand scorch
a melting pot of volcanic proportions
a lioness showing teeth.
Its hunger is a carnivorous fiend

my red satin dress is MINE.

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angela suzzanne

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angela suzzanne

Trampled under foot,
one can not see
the light of the rising sun.
Spitting razors
Their bloodshed
mending your wounds?
with curses
dulling your pain
All the while
blood's draining
leaving your heart black
barren and dry
Ashes to ashes
Full circle
All things expelled return
Reaping what has been sown
Trampled under foot,
one can not see
the light of the rising sun.
So the blood continues to spill.

rod naquin

rained the day she left,
it is summer finally. george
says now they are trying
to get rid of us. she sat
across me on the burgundy
sofa, the gulf bubbled, you
could feel the air rush
from underneath the anvil
clouds. i coughed and
fell asleep at the bar, told
her i wanted to write more
songs, more poems. uptown
we listened to blue jays; i
am always seeing two birds,
blake says look at those
ducks, two go to the horizon,
two go toward the levee.
she says if you kiss me i
will kill you, i say i am ready
to die. george says he
likes the blue jays, one likes
to sit on the fence in my
backyard. i hear the birds
and crickets talking, pick
up toads and say that i
would like to get under her
dress. the one she cut
shorter, embroidered in green,
porous as canvas. she sat
across me on the burgundy
sofa, i said i dont paint but
id like to paint you; some
are out looking and preparing
for a heaven, but this,
here, now, may be my religion.

the garden
david labounty

Sunday, my
are growing
in the garden
and I'm
myself with
bottles of
beer and I
yell and
curse at
them when
they get
out of line,
when they
don't grow
the right
way and
they resent
me the same
way I resented
my father
with his vodka
on the rocks

Monday comes
with its
salaried hours
of dollars and
grief and
and blood
with beer
and reality
TV and
this is how
the weeks
and the years
and the life goes,
this is how

the seeds
of this
repeating class
are sown.

a victory with no moral at all
david labounty

you have friends,
a few, some
know each
other and
some don't
and you've
all been bonded
by your
beer drinking
culture and
one friend
is a cop
and he
has the power
of a gun and
badge and
people respect
him while
he's at work
and you don't
get that kind
of respect at
your job
behind a
dirty auto
repair counter

but your policeman friend

says the job
and the people
get to him, picking
up dead kids
off of sidewalks
on a gentle
summer Sunday evening
and arresting the
same drunks
over and over
after they smash
their ugly wives'
faces just one
more time gets
really old and
you can relate
to difficult
people because
they hand you
their keys all
day every day
already bitching
before you
even give them
a price and

you are both
sitting at the
bar of a tavern
long past its prime
but it's still
a refuge
from domesticity
and wage-slaving
and not foreign at all.

the conversation
continues and
you both have
war stories
and though your
car stories
are no match
for police stories
you still find
a minor victory
and silently pat yourself
on the back because
unlike your
friend with the badge

you really don't
have to drink light beer.

there is always you, and someone like you
david labounty

somehow, you manage
to hold hands and all
all of it is made worse
by the lawyer who
someone told you was
the best, he is young
and smooth skinned

and probably

younger than you,
and you realize
that you've never
been the best at
anything and there
you are with your
wife, the makeup
on her face
just a piece of
cellophane over
the stress you've
inflicted, the gravity
of the situation
is pulling her
features down and
you're laying it
all out in the open,
the foreclosure
and the credit cards

and the lawyer
is writing it
all down on
a legal pad and
what you thought
was a long list
of a life gone
astray only takes
half a page and
the lawyer stretches,
yawns and tells
you how much
all of this is
going to cost
and you are
a little disappointed,
like the child
who realizes
he isn't the
center of the
universe anymore,
and the lawyer
drops his pen,
his way of
saying he's
dealt with
like you a
times before.

you can't always judge a man by the shoes he wears
david labounty

it was a minivan,
about eight years old
and he wanted his left
front tire fixed
but I couldn't
fix it because
it had steel
cords poking
through the
side not to
mention the
fact that all
of his tires
were bald
and not to
mention the
fact that his
left rear shock
was missing.

and his brakes,

I could hear them
squeaking as he
swung the van
into my parking
lot and I could
see the van
sagging as he
marched into my
shop wearing
shiny new tennis shoes
and faded jeans
and a faded gray
gray and faded hair.

I brought him
out into the shop
after the van
was up in the air
and I showed him his tire,
I showed him the shock
that wasn't there
and I mentioned

the brakes in an

sort of voice
and he started
to get angry and told
me to fix his goddamn
tire and quit trying
to take him for a ride
but I couldn't fix his
tire even if I
wanted to and
right then and there
I didn't want to,
and he stomped
his feet and said
he couldn't afford
no goddamn tire
and his face got
really red and
his nostrils flared
and I saw a lot
of silver and black
hair poking out
of those flared nostrils.
this damn thing
is costing me
five hundred
bucks a month
and it's a piece
of shit, he said
and he told me
to put on the spare
but I couldn't
because the spare tire,
was missing too.
and then he cried
a little
and I told him I'd
sell him a used tire
for fifteen bucks.

he didn't have fifteen bucks.

I'm working two jobs, he said,
I'm working two jobs just
to pay six hundred bucks
a month for this piece of shit

and I knew what happened.

I knew he bought that van
from one of those lots on
the side of the road,
one of those lots that
sells to anybody and
the cars are always
crap and the payments
are mostly interest
and there is never
any recourse because
the cars are sold as is.

and I could picture it perfectly.

I bet he and his wife were so
happy the day they
drove that van home,
happy to sign the
paperwork that
would keep them
broke and down
for years to come even
though they thought
they could swing
those payments as long as
nothing else came up,
things like tires and
brakes and missing shocks.
well, my wife drives it
just to the store and
school, put it back on
and he sniffed and I
put that leaky tire
back on and pulled
it out and I gave him
the keys and he gave
the keys to his wife
who appeared out of
nowhere and she was
small and brown and
oriental and probably
Filipino; I used to be in
the navy, a lot of navy
guys married Filipinos
because it was their
first piece of ass
and they fell in love
and they brought those
pieces of ass back home to
meet their parents
and make babies,
and just like that

he was gone.

sabrina edwards

My chest hurts. Right in the hollow where my heart used to be. I’ve stuffed it with cotton batting to keep my shape somewhat humanoid. I slowly turn my attention to the clock on the wall it is 1:56 and I know I've been here before. Its kind of like déjà-vu, only with fewer commercials. I am constantly amused by the trivialities of form. As if the difference between regular and bold roast is in something other than choice. As if anything ever is. My chest hurts. Breathe in and ignore it. It is like anything else in this life, ephemeral, and must either be over come or integrated. I am more than this hardware or its components. I cannot accept the idea that I am not more than my software, it is all that I have been given to work with, and I am doing damn well if I do say so myself. My gods, I am bored. Day in and day out is another distraction from the ounce of truth. I’ve got-ten so used to the changing of seasons I have slowly forgotten that life is simply that, Change. I have decided to refuse to be stagnant. The hanged man is no longer self serving. Is that even possible that he ever was? I had never been Lord of the gallows pole, but last time I checked, the biggest sacrifice you can ever make is the sacrifice of the self to the SELF. Maybe all that time hanging by my ankles has served me better than I knew. For I am and will be ever, and to feel pain is to feel something, so I'm sure I am in life or something like it. "Cogito ergo sum" I think.... Therefore I know... Nothing. Knowl-edge and experience are seemingly separate from thought. When have you learned anything by only thinking about it? Since when was some-thing ever really better than nothing, when you know in the hollow where your heart used to be that you are only settling? For less? Why accept a life of mediocrity when your DNA tells you that you just like every other being of flesh embodied are meant for something? Maybe even something more? Is the pain distracting? There is an op-tion. Go back to sleep. This was all a dream. Life is as they tell you, sadness and despair and longing, and sorrow. Oh Maya, lovely and inconstant. If there were no pain would I even understand joy?

sabrina edwards

I really aught to be more careful the next time I stare into the sun. I burned off way too many layers to be able to see what is called “clearly” anymore. I was taken in by his warmth. He says he wants to be my one and only one, but I know it’s only fantasy. He's never been with a girl before, and who am I to be his first? I shrug my shoul-ders because the wings I was given are making them uncomfortable. Do they make you uncomfortable too, or are you in denial of their exis-tence just as I am every other Thursday, and sometimes, on Sundays?
They (the wings) lie much deeper under my skin then. I remember when I was a child and I believed I could control the wind. When I was a child again, I made my first clouds disappear. Oh, to be that child again. Do you think she would remember me if I told her my name one more time, even though I've told her it multiple times? Maybe I speak a different language than I used to. Maybe I am at the ruins of the blasted tower of Babel. Maybe she doesn't remember me by that name because the name is not mine, and that idea has never occurred to me before. I do recall many cultures believe in the power of names, and I frequently change mine, but sometimes I forget one, or the other, and it’s not like they go away… they become layers.
The sun is setting. I see the light filtering through the trees and I feel at rest from being wound up about being,. When it rises again I'm sure I'll forget about why my mother always told me not to stare. For as the moth is drawn to a flame, seeing only beauty, or having some instinctual reaction disguised as religious experience, I will always return... for I am lost without his light.

five cardinal points
marie lecrivain

Maid of the Southern Cross

She reeks of corn; flaxen hair, a fine dusting of blond on her full upper lip and tanned arms. Her scent is the clean, desperate sweat that naked kernals emit when the green veil is ripped away and then exposed to a boiling pot of water.

She desires to orient herself in the opposite direction; toward the 2 pm trajectory of the warrior whose afterimage is branded into her pe-ripheral vision, but she doesn't know how deep her roots run. She only knows that the wind bows her in his direction from the waist up.

She is ripe for the plucking... but it will be another; the praticed, sensual hand of a Reaper who will carress the silk of her wanting, cut her from the stalk, and then toss her into his rucsack along with the other maids.

Southeast Wise Woman bound Three Degrees to Antares

She is the intermidiary. Her bifurcated vision and lunarosity are hidden under a long fall of dark hair which doubles as both armor and wings.

Today, she removes the third eye hidden in the lower left quadrant of her heart. As she places it in the hollow of her throat, her roving peridot orbs immediately orient on their proper axis points. She re-gards the desperate hope of the Maid, who's come searching for the key to the hidden path.

She's hesitates. Suspended between the worlds of noon and midnight, she knows anything she says will be regarded as little more than va-porous nonsense.

Love can't to be found at the end of a comet's tail.

Dissatisfied, the Maid wrinkles her nose, and then departs. She's not privy to the long, bone-shuddering sigh that emenates from the wise woman, who, with a single stroke, gouges the third eye from the hol-low of her throat.

Northeast Son of the Morning Star

He's the catalyst, the harbinger, the spiral crowned child born out of passionate, deliberate chaos.

In his right hand he wields the spear oriented toward Venus in the ancient manner. His cupped left hand overflows with an unending cache of tears. His long, narrow steps instictively traverse the gematria that Prestor John once walked.

Though his pure, cobalt-blue gaze is fastened on the horizon, he's unaware of the enraptured masses who pursue him; the many hands that reach out to capture the brightness of the burning sparks that shoot forth from his feet, the searing pain that burns through every capil-lary, the deep sigil of a bird's eye left on each and every palm. He's oblivious to the estatic mournful cries as he speeds through the cornfield, the unified shriek of the maidens whose wombs he will never enter.

What holds his eye is this; a roving eye; a veil of green; a pale, strong hand, open and outstreched. This disparate trinity causes him to speed up his steps. There is little time left... this is the last time.

Northwest Warrior Rising

Blue-eyed and earnest, he takes a moment to carefully clasp his right arm across his chest to caress the barely healed wound.

Fleet of foot, he runs in joyous abandon, in love with his growing prowess, his strength and speed increase as he closes the gap between himself and the daily parabolic arch of the Sun. Periodically, the wound throbs, a threat to his progression, but he ignores it, certain of his youth and bravado. There is nothing he cannot do, no path he cannot travel, no star he cannot ascend.

Once, he dares to look back over his shoulder. A pair of large, sage-colored eyes smile at him. A slick, fetid hand palms the small of his back and pushes him forward. Off-kilter, he desperately tries to throw back his shoulders to counter-balance the effect, but he falls forward too fast, head over heels, and then prone into the dust.

Quickly, he springs up. His hand quickly clasps his chest and then pulls away. The wound is bleeding.

Southwest Doombringer

Owlish sage-coloured eyes blink against the morning sun. He curls his long, amphibious body into the shadows of the last Philospher Tree at the edge of the cornfield.

A drop of lyrical blight falls from his lips into the earth where it is sucked into the moist roots of the Tree. This bit blight travels at lightning speed through the capillaries of the Tree, shutting down an aeons old system of communication. The bark of the tree ripples in protest, its chestnut hue darkens to a burnt umber, then flakes off into bits of ash. The leaves shake, curling brittle into themselves, and then drop one by one to the ground.

Satisfied, he peers from the safety of the dessicated roots at the devastation. Somewhere, he knows the blind wise woman is weeping, that emptied place in her heart fills with bloody tears.

He smiles at the approach of the Reaper and beds down to rest, the death wails of the maidens a soothing lullaby to his ears.

the left hand of sensuality
marie lecrivain

In a sea of augmented flesh and black leather, I watch for ritual gestures: the inquiry of an arched eyebrow, heads bowed in accep-tance, and smiles bound in agreement.

I am bored. Even the sight of striped and recently disciplined flesh fails to arouse my senses. I find more enjoyment in the bottom of my cocktail glass and in the growing fuzziness of my vision. The room tilts and swirls as I swallow the last of my drink.

This has been going on for weeks. I dismissed my last sub, the fric-tion between us washed away with the last whack of my favorite paddle on his backside. He's been calling; 20 desperate, entreating messages left on my answering machine . . . and I've erased them all.

Tonight's revels are briefly suspended by a group of Algerian dancers and musicians brought here to tempt jaded and sybaritic appetites. Compared to the usual, frenzied movement of meshed bodies, these new-comers are calm, languorous.

A tall, veiled man stands in the center of the brightly colored cadre of women. I've heard that the men from Algeria belly dance, but this is the first time I have seen one. His dark eyes meet mine and glint with a knowing. He slowly inclines his head in my direction; a com-passionate salute to my misfortune, or a casual gesture of gallantry, I am not sure. Either way, I bow my head in acceptance . . . some-thing I have never done for another man.

The musicians, now seated, put pipes to pursed lips, and beat out strong pulses on hollow drums. The music rises – a dulcet, impetuous wailing of notes that curls around the outer circle of dancers, ca-resses their waists, sashays their hips, and sways their full and pendulous breasts.

The veiled man slowly spins counterclockwise in the center, head bowed as the circle of women moves faster and faster. His head then raises, and his eyes again meet mine. I can see a hint of a smile in his expression. He raises his arms. His long, elegant hands clap to-gether in time to the music.

The women move toward him, magnetized. Without breaking rhythm, he shares a lightning glance with each one, a brief encounter that de-fies description. The women become more emboldened; hips thrust for-ward, breasts heave, visages darken with desire. A smile flickers within his eyes; he is pleased.

Here in shadowy corners where third eyes enact karmic law, the danc-ers move among us like angels in a pit of iniquity. We pause as the women blossom around the whirling stamen, the tassels from his belt fan out and brush against their ripening hips.

Though drunk, it occurs to me I am encountering a truer form of lust than I have in all my explorations of crime and punishment, which has its own reward – deliberate, yet liberating.

Here, another has demonstrated to me the other side of the coin; with no pain or fear, he has achieved the same result.

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