POETRY: Catfish McDaris – Houdini and Picasso


Houdini and Picasso


The egg yolk moon had a grip
on the obsidian sun horizon
all dissonant focus blurred

Telling her he had a taste for
sushi was Quick’s big mistake,
her lady friends responded
to his innocent intention

They thought of him as a
cannibal of love, their relation-
ship took a tragic detour

At a reading one night he said,
“I’m going to feed my voice to
you with a silver spoon, my jaded
words will fill your mind until
you explode like Mount Vesuvius”

“Ownership is a passing storm cloud,
your possessions own you, all things
are borrowed, rented, or stolen”

“Kiss me goodbye, baby girls, don’t
look for me, I’ll be in the shadows,
I’ll always love you, I just can’t take
you, I’m going Houdini”

That night Quick woke up and his
lady had grabbed and clamped down
on his tongue with vice grips, she sliced
it off with an electric turkey knife, her dog,
Picasso swallowed it like a juicy treat.


Check out more of Catfish’s work in his chapbook Buffalo Nickels (2014), published by Grandma Moses Press.

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POETRY: Antionette Nena Villamil – I’d Rather Stop Here


I’d Rather Stop Here


The mountain looms, a watermelon
hovering like a new mother. In Chinese astrology, you are
the tiger. Quiet as a cliff. Oh, if only you
could. White pillowcase dotted
with blue fuzz. My sleep is scanty,
fitful, dreamless. You don’t know what you’re doing
to me. I pass the night listening to your rumbled
breath, touching myself, turning songs into
prayers. Don’t make me beg. Don’t just tell me what I want
to hear. Don’t make molehills out of craters, mountains
out of the ocean that crashes in your sleep, startles
you awake, begs you to get up
and go for a swim when you know
you don’t know how. The open door invites
mice, dried leaves, a cold cold wind. Sleep on it, says
my confidante. But I want to pounce. I want
action. If not from you, from someone who can satisfy
my desire for the thing you’re afraid
to name. You know, I would love to give you
a kiss. If only you would open
your goddamned mouth.


From Antionette’s forthcoming chapbook God Damned Mouth, available summer 2015 from Grandma Moses Press.

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POETRY: Jessica Lindsley – Physical Library


Physical Library


The sexual demands of this body have been shelved:
Those desires have been relegated to the basement

Among the etiquettes, the out-of-date cartographies,
long-expired geographies and computer science texts

Filed in the Dewey system as “Ancient History,”
“Museology,” and “Not Assigned or No Longer Used,”

Discarded, dormant, card pulled from the worn oak catalogue
Until I notice this smile, those perfect imperfect teeth.

Then my whole physical library is unshelved, askew, open
All the pages I locked away.


Visit Jessica’s website at www.jessicalindsley.com, and follow her on Twitter: @LindsleyJess.

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POETRY: Tim Staley – In the Water House


In the Water House


Water boards keep wheat grass nails growing
I keep the walls free of eddies
of water spiders too
A vapor trail rises from the chimney
Down the stairs I glide
a canoe for slippers
a paddle for a cane
Trigger fish in the hallway
koi in the windowsill
As one summer
rotates into another
I roll on parquet waves
in otiose slumber
The telephone’s sunk
Sunsets blanch
Rings rise in colorful bubbles
and die in quiet splashes


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Header image: detail from The Koi Conference by Jo Staley.

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POETRY: Philip Jackey – Apartment 1B


Apartment 1B


The flypaper hangs like ribbons,
catching clusters of what one might mistake for black pepper but
are actually dead flies and the ones that aren’t dead
are feasting in my tiny kitchen.

Trash covers the countertop. The sink is full
of stagnant dishwater—an oily film collects
like the one on my flaky scalp and for the sake of comic relief,
I chuck the closest object: a plastic ladle, confident it’d crack, rather
stunned when instead it shatters a couple of stale Coronas,
rotting limes fall on linoleum. And all the while is apathy,
lingering with the fruit flies.

The power was cut today, 3 months past due.
I’m not worried though, I don’t need much energy.
All I really need is to remember
that the carpet is not the ashtray
and at no time will my piss covered bathroom
ever feel the urge to clean itself.

And I refuse to squander the few urges I have left
on Pine-Sol and scrub pads and showering each day
(underarms the smell of barbecue chips).
I even refuse my very own mother,
who will never refuse me,
who falls asleep before the sun goes down and will never remarry
as she withers with pride but still withers nonetheless,
suffering in private just to spare me the guilt
of the selfish and ungrateful son.


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