“GOOD BOYS” & TWO POEMS by DAVID LARKIN

 

GOOD BOYS

I remember when my family first got our dog. She pissed and shat everywhere. Dad would shout and Mam would say leave her alone, she’s only young. She had a stumpy little tail and shed a lot of white hair throughout the years. My sister used to feed her scraps, so she’d like her the best. Then everyone else started doing it and she got fat. I never bothered trying too hard. I cuddled her sometimes when everyone went to bed and I wasn’t able to sleep, but I rarely walked her. I wish I did now but I’ll make amends with my own pets.

The three good boys (myself included) drove home from the pet shop. I was holding our little pals in the back seat in their bags. Three gorgeous yokes; Sammy, Declan, Viktor plucked from the pet-shop shelf and ready to be taken care of. Soon they’d be best friends. Sammy was mine he looked like a pokemon, apparently. He was white and redish orange and had more girth than the other boys, his tail was big and transparent and it made him look very classy when he swam in circles. Declan was the traditional throwback, orange in colour, he was smaller than Sammy but bigger than Viktor, he was the perfect pet for a good boy and sat the most still on the journey home. Viktor was the cutest little fella you’d ever see, he was the colour of the sun and the fastest in the whole pet shop, so of course we had to have him. Continue reading

SIX POEMS by JOSEPH M. GERACE

The Two Orchard Thieves

 

these two orchard thieves
a series and a brother the spirit seems somehow yet
feminine oily laughs when campfire staircases rise
up like milk our bodies sculpt a cheap iron colocynth
breaks our ranks touch again
doves watercourses a campfire
family laughter incorporating me
as simple as poetry
is a series and brother the black brawl
breathing cannibal horse Continue reading

FOUR FOLK SONGS (LEARNED AT SEA) by TOOM BUCKSAW

the formica peddler’s bathos

blackmail folio in mystery bronze/ i lost a coupon sheet last week and the experience felt retro/ gates open on outer phenom bathed in blue/ come sit on my lap and take off your glove/ and show me what’s inside/ show me what’s between the leather pretender and the moonwash fleshform you’ve slid in it/ just flex a finger and point where it hurts/ patty told me not to fret nothing/ the honda’s just a wastepaper basket in the supercluster dumpster and my eyes can’t track it/ damn good thing i sold it last thursday/ i took the cash and bought magic the gathering cards. see you tomorrow

 

ramblin moon piss psycho

rotted elf in a three piece suit/ his home is a stump in the center of chicago/ he took the train to nunavut and he made a snow angel & filled it with piss. get down here, idiot moon/ he cried from the fetid bottom of his hole/ your craters are terribly empty/  lemme fill em up & your pores’ll never feel better Continue reading

FIVE POEMS by RYAN QUINN FLANAGAN

Frank O’Hara Wasn’t Political

 

I like that Frank O’Hara wasn’t political.
That he knew it was all bullshit.
A trap door anyone was welcome to fall into.
Vietnam was going on and everyone had something to say
about it but Frank.
And when you refuse to take sides, it becomes obvious.
But he just didn’t care, and went on with his art.
I respect that a lot.
The war will always be there in some form or another,
but you and your art may not.

Best to strike now, while the cobra is hot.
To investigate the spiders of dreary walls.

I like that Frank O’Hara wasn’t political.
With that confrontational big apple accent
and the way he looked like a balding
pharmacist from the East Village who could
help you out, but just didn’t want to. Continue reading

“MONIKER” by GARETT STRICKLAND

This stuff about life is no good for me. The present squeezes me thru its sphincter. Here I am. Taaduh. If there were a view to encompass, you’d be the first to know. Stash your longing in a clever metaphor. Cook up some chili like a real man do. Get a grant to go to the dentist. What else do we do once a decade? Are loved. And if the mongrel designation had never grown tired, perhaps some unguarded communion among three to five persons of similar taste or sensibility. The tongue massaged into conversation. Bridges that come easily. The good sense to aspire toward austerity at night. But I carry caveats in my pocket like smoke bombs, and memory is gnarlier ever than fond. To tease the milk from a clump of ash requires too much too often. I’m on the side of a hill, trying to improvise a geodesic dome out of twigs and a slice of bleached french bread. I’m hissing to myself about popular culture. I’m recalling how the vats need drained. Continue reading

“STARING CONTEST” by GRIFFIN JONES

GROWING UP I HAD SEVEN SISTERS. EACH ONE OF THEM TAKES GREAT PAINS TO SHARPEN THE KNIVES AT THEIR THROATS. THEY ARE ALL DWARFED BY ME, THE BIGGEST KNIFE IN THE FOREST. THEY ALL LEAP UP WHEN I WALK BY AND TRY TO PRICK MY FINGERTIPS AND SIGN MY LIFE AWAY WITH THEIRS. MY FAVORITE MEMORY IS WHEN WE STOOD AROUND A CAMPFIRE AND SANG A SONG IN LAUGHS THAT NEVER ONCE ECHOED THOUGH WE ALL LISTENED FOR IT IN THE FOREST. Continue reading

“OPPOSITE EACH OTHER” by WILLIAM GARCIA BIGELOW

We sit on a bed
Opposite each other
On the third floor of a building
Tucked back from the street
In the Lower East Side
In 2017

I ask you if you love me anymore
You tell me you feel differently

In 2015,
I see you for the first time
No, 2016
January
We’ve been talking for a month

We meet through an algorithm
Written in the early 21st century
Powered by a microprocessor
Made of sand
In a small machine
That we carry in our pockets

I type a message
Coded in 1s and 0s
That is transmitted via radio waves
To a tower
That collects and routes that information
To you Continue reading

FOUR POEMS by EUNIKA SOT

Buttons

 

She was scared of buttons —
‘It’s the way they stare, with two empty holes,
Until you drown inside them.’

I felt her disgust,
They were white and round and I almost understood it then —
How upsetting it would be to have two pupils in one eye,
Seeing all the way inside your head and further down
Into a place where darkness has no colour, sharp and cool
Wrapping her arms around you.

On the other side, there is no button,
Only two black holes in her face. Continue reading

FIVE POEMS by CHASE PADUSNIAK

So Swoon Me Starry Night

 

Our bodies do not remain i
N that bonemeal bed o
N Bleecker Street, encased i
N kevlar caccoons, rotting ami
Dst Cosmo, blaring Gossip Girl.

Mine remains endeared t
O the inside of my own flesh
Face, debating Todestrieb
And ego ergonomics wi
Th Wilhelm Reich, outside.

Yours sprints, presuming no
Thing from Brooklyn and back,
Like Ahab bowing before an I
Dol of a great ivory cock, env
Eloped in sorority signs, inside. Continue reading