TWO POEMS by TED VORTIGERN

Will the Last Libertarian Please Turn Out the Lights?

Sickness unto death, infection girds the globe.
The damn thing has prolapsed:
Sniffling, slurping, a wake with colored strobes,
Worshipping the low tax,
Suckling its new apps
Without one pinch of dignity for the corpse.

In a looking glass your decrepit tits sag.
Your mother said they would:
Crushing, stabbing, you murder the old hag,
She never understood,
She only chopped the wood
That kindled a hearth for a rotten cradle.

The world has gone tame, who’ll take the mantle up?
Defend a ransacked church:
Wasting, retching, forget the holy cup,
Burn all the sacred birch,
In bitter mourning lurch
Toward the cherry cabinet where father hid the guns. Continue reading

THREE POEMS by AJ

Red Flannel

Flannel patterned red.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre,
Fuck!
Make it to the epoch of dissent and leave heroism with no range of ascent. No chance of ascent
My brother’s lisp and the fact we don’t strangle the infirm in bed give me a bad feeling in the stomach.
I’ll rack my mind about simple things, realizing that dreams are no simple thing. Grab a few cigarettes from my mom and flick the light fizzle pop.
And I’ll try my best to reunite the ties I once had to this land and these people and this red flannel. Continue reading

“PURCELL” by LOUIS JONES


Purcell’s fingers tarantula twitch
draining mauve in the pocket of his close fitting tracksuit bottoms;
poor circulation;
mithering at a piggish erection with dictionary definition disdain.
Purcell’s sallow lips purse and thin;
on a cracked black plastic whistle;
to modulate increasingly shrill blasts of spittle sodden disinterest,
brought to issue with a slight slurp;

that drool pools,
on his weak bottom lip
depending on the qualities of the boy shivering in line for the shower

The pipe servicing the urinal trough that runs the length of the wall has leaked ever so slightly all season;
and so Purcell has, really quite entrepreneurially,
had the run off stewing;
in a crusty blue bucket;
for the duration of that mornings training session, and for however fucking far back the team has failed, docile, to perceive total trauma;
Today’s piss;
sat curdling, as froth on the already collected;
slop bucket cushioned by cut wet grass;
slicked to the once white tiling;
steaming;
a small font of sorts;
for a baptism of belittlement in the offing Continue reading

“BOWING AT THE OPHIOLATRINE” by SEAN KILPATRICK

Bowing at the Ophiolatrine: Being commandments for an obsolete “religion”.

(Intending the millennial grievous harm.)

 

1. KNEEL ALONE AT THE MOUTH OF THE OUROBOROS.

2. ENGRAVE YOUR EVERY CURSE.

3. ARCHIVE THE WORK OF YOUR BETTERS.

4. DROOL SALT IN THE WOMB.

5. PROVOKE NO ONE, SHOOT ONCE PROVOKED.

6. WEAR EACH GENITAL IN A SLING.

7. BREAK YOUR HAND TO THE FIRE’S RHYTHM.

8. BEAR WITNESS NOWHERE, SAVE HELL.

9. COVET YOUR GRAVE THROUGH A STRAW.

10. PROSELYTIZE REVENGE (THE KNIFE IS AN ALTAR).

 

 

Spoken on high by a snake circling my urinal (life’s sole embalm) toward the embrace of its own rattle and concerning the generally arrogant wireless state of affairs unobtainable for rebuke, the smitten milieu from which I withdraw, never far enough, toward a holier resentment and here make space within the iron maiden for others to join pell-mell. Further disavowment embodied below. Continue reading

SIX POEMS by JOSEPH GRANTHAM

overheard construction worker on subway platform

she’d go see this other guy
for a while
and then she found out
what he really was
and she’d come back
she would break up with me
and she would come back
she would break up with me
and she would come back
other guys would be licking their
tongues
she had a kid
i never met her kid
oh my god
she was a lot of fun to be with
i kept trying to get dates
she was 35
oh my god
and when she drank she got even more
friendlier Continue reading

FIVE POEMS by CATFISH MCDARIS

A Monkey with A Firecracker

“What’s up with the dogs?”

Nappy said, “These are rescue dogs from the dog pound. I was reading this book about Tom Waits throwing a party and it gave me an idea. He cut the floor out of his house and dug two feet into the ground underneath. He made the hole the size of a box springs. Then they stripped all the material off and stuffing out of the springs, until it was down to metal only, They built a fire and threw their meat right on the hot box springs.”

“It’s a wonder they all didn’t die of smoke inhalation or they didn’t burn down the house.”

Nappy just shrugged.

“What are you going to name your dogs?”

“Breakfast, Lunch, and Supper.”

That night Nappy’s lady let the dogs escape. Nappy secretly smiled inside. Continue reading

“THREE BALTIMORE POEMES” by E. ANTONY GRAY

BRICC CANTICLE

_brick   red   city / the city is brickred / brick on brick for
fifty /   stories-of buried dead
plate  glass came after / a postmodern antfarm / I still hear the
laughter / the bodies are still warm
__skeletons of steel / w/ fluoride-electric eyes /  too heavy to
steal / too heavy still to rise
_made of brick today / destroyed by brick tomorrow / brick-red city
clay / brick-red city sorrow
_concrete carbon stain / above a picket line / concrete carbon brain
/ filled with fresh quicklime
_old brick solid cast / had no holes inside / clay-city of the past /
built the transoms wide
___new city is half air / as the brick is new / got more clay to
spare / sealing up the flue
_but  I can see a crack / forming in the brick / the city is a stack
/ heavy,  brittle,  thick. Continue reading

“55 REMAKES” by BIG BRUISER DOPE BOY

Remake of The Matrix that’s security cam footage of me drunkenly breaking into a Best Buy and passing out with a VR headset on.

 

Remake of Memento where I’m stoned in a room trying to remember what I was talking about.

 

Remake of Batman where I walk around at night in a cheap mask hitting cops in their ribs and shins with a bat while shrieking dementedly.

 

Remake of Life of Pi where I fall off the raft and drown in the first 5 minutes and the rest of the movie is a 2-hour shot of the ocean.

 

Remake of Bloodsport where I spend an hour and a half trying to do the splits and rip open my taint and bleed out on a gymnastics mat.

 

Remake of Say Anything where I show up uninvited at my father’s funeral holding a boombox over my head playing “Hippa to da Hoppa” by Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Continue reading