THREE POEMS by MATT NAVEY

air bag

 

an oak coffin covered in melting asphalt was
loaded from the frenetic purple pickup truck, driven from
the outset of a youtube video, into a walmart parking lot, then into

some inevitable gas station restroom, where the coffin was
refilled with diet dr. pepper, and the truck air bag was
deployed slowly from behind—as if a breeze had blown into a curtain. Continue reading

FIVE POEMS by ISAAC SIMPSON, TIMOTHY BARNETT, & SPENCER DE GAUTHIER

Truth Will Get You by Isaac Simpson

 

When your son comes to you really suffering

You don’t say you look very handsome today
You don’t say there’s sex hormones in your water
You don’t say I’m feeling bullish about Taiwan Semiconductor (TSMC)

When your sister comes to you at the very bottom of her life

You don’t say lose a few pounds
You don’t say humans share 98% of their DNA with bullfrogs
You don’t say jet fuel doesn’t melt steel beams

When your best friend loses everything

You don’t say they found water on the moon
you don’t say hot Yoga opens the pores of the mind and body
you don’t say Bruce Willis was dead the whole time

What you do say is the one thing

that you know

is not true. Continue reading

FIVE POEMS by MIKAELA GRANTHAM

bug

 

on the front porch
there are several
cockroaches
scurrying around
sometimes they even fly
where i live
everyone calls them
palmetto bugs
i am from california
and they look like
what i call
cockroaches
palmetto bugs though
makes them seem beautiful
i always want to
reach out and pet them

once while drinking wine
with a friend on the porch
a palmetto bug
was crawling
at my toes
i bent over to touch it
to see what it might feel
like to put my finger
on its back
smooth and silky Continue reading

EIGHT POEMS by JAY JADICK

THEORIES

 

you go, we stay
thinking about
the possibility
of my friend
who believes
in aliens

my brother
says, just checking,
just checking, if
this conception,
this human, I’ve spent
twenty years remembering
is real, why can’t
now erupt into
expanding
time traveled thru
piece and peace,
the guide, TV
IS ME, and
you are the
one I love,
paranoia,
my one
and only
is grounding Continue reading

FIVE POEMS by CHASE PADUSNIAK

On Achieving Self-Consciousness at an Ohio Rest Stop

 

My calves, so thin,
Burst forth from
Limp tube socks of Laotian
Sweat.

Father! In your grease-stained
Bed sheet and paint-soaked
Denim diaper, New Balances
White.

Father! In your flannel bustier, chest hair
On fire with thoughts of my effeminacy
And how exactly one should banish
Grass.

Father! Your bald head gleams in the sun, even as
Your salt-and-paprika beard assures the McDonald’s
Cashier that, no matter what, you won’t scold him, not
Today.

My fathers turn
Toward me, little
Boy, and assuage
Everything. Continue reading

FOUR POEMS by ED O’CASEY

The sun filtered by

________________industrial blinds, dust navigates
________________the room in even this

________________________supposedly sterile habitat.

If it weren’t for the movement
of these particulars, the moment
would feel static, the kind of minute
that lacks breath. I always invade
your space this way, quietly, hesitant,
unsure whether you want to speak
________of legs and injustice,
________________or if you’d rather watch

________reruns of Wapner on the room’s outdated
––––––––television: medical grade of course.

––––––––––––––––I’ll finally come out and say
________________something today, so listen well—

________________________these bluing veins can

only contain so much of their
leftover pulse. You’re trapped in our
homemade illusions: the old man they
wheeled out of here yesterday, stiff
as a drunk, hoped to prolong himself
________until after March
_______________Madness. He genuflects Continue reading

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