A Walk After Dinner on a Cool August Evening. Somerville, MA
Timothy Gager, Sep 14, 2008
up Elm to Highland singing
neil diamond bacharach searching
for a heart of gold
or cupcakes, the shoppe
locked, past the time—
we again, without any key
for our silly behavior, we are old
and must stop every fifteen minutes to pee
at a Dunkin Donuts
where they promote China Service,
“fine” dining for a Boston Kreme
but for your pleasure you recover
an Archie Bunker lunchbox in the trash
near Cherry Street
but leave a discarded OUIJA board
and its fortunes behind
the prognosis, not that good
we live in the past
that house on the corner,
the yellow one
you lived there in the eighties
cried in the attic bedroom—
from some bad break-up,
as trivial now as
running into him on Facebook;
adding him to a growing collection
but both of us still retain
old television shows:
like Love, American Style
Sonny and Cher
Wasn’t Mark Hudson
from the Hudson Brothers
Kate Hudson’s mother?
no, I could be just saying that
after a few margueritas
and no, I never watched Land of the Lost
that was not real
not as real as this:
Two men try to move a large object into
a hatchback as I make the sound
of glass breaking:
so they now carry have to carry
more than a heavy mirror
but the weight of their dirty looks
on their faces which cannot
deflect our laughter
quickly bounding down
the next street
to where my car waits
Timothy Gager is widely published in print and on the web. He is the author of six books. He lives on
Jeannie Galeazzi, Sep 24, 2008
Though Bernadine was only ten, it didn’t sit right with her how Dad’s new wife
—all through lunch at the Cliff House three days into the San Francisco honeymoon
on which Bernadine had been shanghaied—
never once shut up about tomorrow’s hot-air balloon ride over Napa.
“Says right here,” said the bride, waving the pamphlet, “no danger of motion sickness
’cause the balloon sails with the wind, same speed and direction.
If it didn’t, we’d all barf.”
Dad, nodding as if listening, was still thumbing around on his cell phone.
“Says right here, in 1783, on the first balloon ride in history, there wasn’t even any
humans on board. The Mont-golf-ee-ay brothers flew a rooster, a sheep, and a duck.”
That made Dad look up. “Christ,” he said. “Think of the mess.”
Yeah, thought Bernadine, just think of it.
Jeannie Galeazzi’s work has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and has appeared in thirty
publications including Fence, The Literary Review, Permafrost, Southern Humanities Review, The Portland
Review, and Main Street Rag, and is forthcoming in The Distillery, RiverSedge, Feathertale Review
(Canada), and dotlit (Australia).
Matthew Guenette, Sep 20, 2008
There’s a church in the strip mall.
Stuck between an Indian Restaurant and Dollar Store.
The sign out front says CHRIST CHURCH in big block letters.
But I’m only just noticing now.
I always thought the sign said something like SUPER DEALS.
Matthew Guenette’s first book, Sudden Anthem, won the 2007 American Poetry Journal Book Prize from
Dream Horse Press. He lives and works in Madison, WI.
inertia / inner / in her
Kira Hesser, Sep 18, 2008
she was in the suburbs of a breakdown
just an hour’s commute away
she was already sleep-walking through her days
her own thoughts bored her
thoughts recycled around in a triangular pattern,
like that recycling image with the arrows
like the garish billboards whooshing past her el window
every morning, the same ones
beer to get you friends and happiness
cigarettes to get you sex and happiness
diet pills to get you thin
and, by extension,
sex and friends and happiness
she had tried every brand
she practiced her drags in the mirror
cool lipsticked rebellion
the hip boredom that so many men
find so sexy
it didn’t work
“depression is bullshit”
her sister said
“find a new emotion”
that was her sister’s tender advice
Kira Hesser is a native Chicagoan who recently finished a Master’s degree in Modern Literature in London. She
wishes people in London would smile more. She likes Don Draper, old places, old things, and old people most of
all. She writes for Londonist and blogs at
Tiff Holland, Sep 17, 2008
I swear it was the words “feeding tube” that woke me.
Then the white liquid turned back on; I drifted away.
When I woke up for good there was turkey,
stuffing and gravy, mashed potatoes, iced tea.
You passed your swallowing test,
the nurse told me, You get a tray.
I can’t remember the test.
I can’t remember walking the hall
with the physical therapist.
I can’t remember when they removed the tubes,
the cath, although I remember touching it
warm, strange, between my legs.
I wish I remembered the swallowing.
I’m sure beverages were involved,
but what else?
Pudding, perhaps, Jell-o.
Was my chewing checked
or just that single reflex?
My uncle had a stroke,
laid on the floor three days.
My grandma found him delirious
singing to himself.
She made us wash him
before we called the ambulance.
Uncle ended up in a wheelchair,
in a nursing home.
For a while he was allowed
nothing by mouth
not even water.
I’m so thirsty, he told us.
Once, the nurse caught him
mouth to the spigot.
I ate everything on that tray.
I looked forward to the next.
I drank the iced tea and stumbled
to the bathroom, holding
the bedrail, the chair, the wall.
When I visit my uncle, I
bring a six-pack of soda.
I pop each tab before I leave.
He doesn’t care the soda’s flat.
Tiff Holland’s poetry and prose have recently appeared in Hobart, elimae and the Mississippi Review
and have twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her chapbook Bone in a Tin Funnel is available
through Pudding House Press.
Matthew Holt, Sep 18, 2008
The sound of pornography
Inside the senses
Of spreading wings of noise—
The soft stars of tit
In every page of reality—
In arcs in arches in arteries, the real
Is losing its flesh.
The easy treasons of the street
A hatred of the touch of people
Rubs off on me like fat—
I want, I want
I want to listen,
You don’t want to listen—
Opening the fridge at 4 AM
The dead pool of light
Is a spreading globe on the floor—
Is a light torturing the poor
With the curves of impossible hopes
Place your hands over them,
Allow us to join and be joined
—But tonight I am tired,
Last time I drank too much
The sex of all the senses is exhausting
Come to bed:
There’s not a human within ten feet
—It’s time to celebrate.
You are under me
But nothing other than
A bone of an image.
Matthew Holt is a Sydney-based writer (three of his plays have been produced); he is also designer and fiction
editor for the independent Australian press,
Puncher and Wattmann.
Drama Queen of the Underground
Karl Koweski, Oct 05, 2008
another poem written, another poem titled
“Midnight in the Underground Zombie Bunker of Hell”
another variation of her common theme:
how edgy she is, how punk,
how she’s been raped seven times
how she needs the reader to send
her money for food and therapist bills
it’s the same poem she’s been writing
for five years now
only the titles change
and even the titles don’t change
art has abandoned her
she’s forsaken even by the pretense of art
she exists now only to instigate
though her talents of provocation
provide her with only a handful of hits
on my myspace page
in her warped mind it becomes
a legion of adoring fans
an audience of online stable boys
and wannabe poets who don’t mind
her constant lies, pity parties
and suicide threats
so long as they keep receiving
naked pictures by email
the tattoos on her body, at last
being the only art left
she has to offer
Karl Koweski has been writing for a while now. He used to write a monthly column for
AntiMuse.org. He was, until recently, a co-editor of
Zygote in My Coffee with Brian Fugett. Some of his recent chapbooks have been Can’t Kill a Man Born
to Hang at bospress.net and Playthings from
beaumont with you near death
Ethan Milner, Oct 05, 2008
red eyes in a private room,
the flittering pitches
of a hospital.
suicide watch again,
unconscious from the
under your bed, interlocking
like palings in the fence
surrounding your house of
illness, i can’t help
but to love you.
even if it were a choice
i’d choose to kiss the
scars that mark your wrists;
deep to reveal the dizzy tendons,
the heat that rushed in blood
and filled your then-burning body.
i always talk to god when it’s like this,
these ‘scares,’ near-hits,
then i feel guilty for not being spiritual
at any other point.
on m-14 i thought about how i’m not an atheist,
my agnostic indecision is such a foundation,
but then again,
god, i love you.
god, i miss you.
off and on
an alarm goes red,
for no reason,
your blood pressure
you breathe asleep
and i miss you now,
i am missing you
ahead of time,
for future i,
when you’ll be fifty miles
away in the psych ward
& i’ll be in a classroom.
the gentleness of your doze
the iv dripping,
the pastel green wallpaper,
these elements all collude with
my exhaustion to calm me;
somehow i feel guilt,
like i should cling to
this future distance because
the sweat on its skin
is so much more real
than these wires lolling
fluid into your arm.
i want you to wake up
with me alone from all
of this in a fantasy we
share, maybe athens on
in the forest
in a cabin
in love again
you say my name is
orange red, the number nine
i want to know the
exact note, the frequency
so i can write you
a song to feel me with
maybe it’s the same pitch
as the alarm,
it just went off above
your head, your dad
is leaving to get some sleep
and i need to be near you
Ethan Milner is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan where he studied English Literature and
Creative Writing, and is currently pursuing his masters in Social Work. His work has appeared in the
Residential College Review, The Magazine of Red White Gray, and Xylem. He is currently studying
and writing, as well as self-producing his music in Ann Arbor and the greater Detroit Area. His music can be
found at myspace.com/ethanmilner.
The Armor Dims
Allen Taylor, Oct 05, 2008
Chivalry fights to the last breath,
gasps on Chivas to bury
ripost upon ripost, cries
like widows restrained by
their own sad impulse.
dearth and drawn
in upon itself, the poor
still swill of liquor in the mouth
as it kills the miming will.
And the prenatal murders,
the blast of powder and keg
while young boys scream out
to the loves who will never know
them. The men whose bondage
descends from the stairwell
of civilization feast
upon the scraps
of their own brown
brothers; electric chairs,
ropes burned crisp with fresh
flesh, inner cities full
and fields of fire.
We’ve searched hard
for the tarnish of blade
or blood steeped in stool,
aiming to save one man
from the loss of another
But in vain.
We’ve wrapped ourselves tight
in fear and doubt,
dying to climb out, spread
our weakening wings like a
blazing banner in harrowing heat.
I know, in the cusp of my grave
need, no knight stands without sacrifice.
This is the culture of death.
Allen Taylor spent 2005 stationed in Iraq, dreaming of being back home with his wife. Upon returning to the
States he promptly told Uncle Sam to go fuck himself and started his own business. He manages
World Class Poetry and writes the
World Class Poetry blog. He never shaves.
Patrick Weatherly, Sep 15, 2008
In Pittsview, in a motel room,
I use green magic marker to draw
the Gulf of Mexico on walls
then wait for jellyfish season,
when the beach is best.
I carve my initials
in the oak bed headrest
with a house key, then
“ben loves josh”
then three hands
that look nothing like hands
because image should distance itself
from text, or, it’s not swimming
if inflatable water-wings aren’t involved,
or I can’t draw hands.
Instead of sleep, I copy the first
ten pages of the Gideon Bible
on the TV screen with a dip pen, then
kick water on the plug
and drug myself with the windowsill.
I look like time looks.
Like my father’s residential garden,
like acrylic fingernails, knee-padded
altar rails, or honorable mention
in the sixth grade science fair.
Someone once asked,
does past predict future?
I put a contact lens in so I could see.
Faith never saves lives
but baby on board signs do. And anyway
anyone could change history
with an Etch-A-Sketch.
Patrick Weatherly is originally from Madison, Alabama, and received his BA from Auburn University. Currently,
he is attending the University of New Hampshire’s MFA program in Poetry. In 2007 he was awarded the Robert Mount
Hughes Prize in Poetry awarded by the Academy of American Poets.
What Surprised Me Most
Elizabeth Weaver, Oct 07, 2008
beneath surgery-bright restaurant lights
was the unspoken collusion of employees and patrons
to ignore the bone-defined man as he tapped thin-paned glass to beg for food.
He shoved skeletal hands toward his gaping mouth as if to fill the gnawing
we could not imagine while digesting pasta and merlot rather than
our muscles to survive as this man’s body had, his hollowed face
pleading as he mimed across the chasm of language, culture, class.
After the waiter returned our leftovers, snug in styrofoam,
I took them across the restaurant, my legs heavy beneath reproach’s
hypnotic weight from those unwilling to squander rules of etiquette
that weave the fabric that insures our warmth as others freeze.
Once outside I saw him, through my breath, accept a dollar from
two spike-heeled women as they scuttled from a restaurant across the street,
yet money’s a tool for future trade, no immediate relief for the churning gut.
Drunk with hunger, he wavered in the crosswalk till a horn startled him
back to the curb. Waving, I caught his eye, offered the bright box. Our eyes
locked yet he wouldn’t move, suspended in a code more compelling than
hunger’s desperation, a code older than the south and dangerous as asphyxiation.
Cloaked in privilege, I left our paltry leftovers on the metal bus stop bench
and returned to the restaurant’s glare, each of us visible through glass walls.
He sprinted across the street, gulped what would have been tomorrow’s lunch,
threw away the box, and returned to the window beside us.
He smiled, waved, tried to thank me, but I saw him only peripherally,
embarrassed to accept gratitude for so little before he walked away.
Elizabeth Weaver, MA, is a two-time semi-finalist for “Discovery”/The Nation award and has been published most
recently in 5AM, RATTLE and Hot Flashes II: Sexy Little Stories and Poems. While seeking a
publisher for her poetry manuscript, she’s writing her first novel.
Siobhan Welch, Oct 06, 2008
I slept. I baked. I ate fruit.
I took a hot bath when I felt like it.
I read fiction in short spurts.
I wore mascara during the day and didn’t wash it off for bed.
I missed you.
Thursday, I listened to the fireworks pop downtown, a reminder that it was the 4th.
They sounded like gunshots. They always do.
I thought about what we did last year: ate watermelon til it dripped down our necks, argued, talked about walking to Zilker Park. (We didn’t.)
Friday, I made out with a man during a movie like a schoolgirl;
Saturday, I didn’t return his calls.
I wrote two letters by hand—one I’ll never send, and one that I might, one day.
I ran errands I’d been putting off, just so I could cross them off a list.
I made a budget.
I wrote a really bad poem.
Sunday, I thought about how cigarettes had gone up and so had gas;
I wondered if I should buy organic, like the ones you used to smoke
And I used to not like, the ones, as the joke goes, will just give me organic cancer.
Nothing like the c-word to get some laughs, like last week
when the nurse called to say my pap was abnormal;
to come in for a colposcopy,
to check my cervix for cancer.
This weekend, I talked to my best friends on the phone,
miles between us,
one with a kid, one missing a tooth.
I drank wine from a bottle that cost 6.99.
I thought about selling my TV and using the money for cheap cute shoes instead,
shoes I could walk somewhere in, high-heeled shoes
you’ve never seen.
Siobhan Welch received her MA from Florida State University. She currently teaches, and writes for a travel
website in Austin, Texas.