Can of nitrous, what is so funny?
Laying on the floor on your side
like a toppled statue.
Beside all your friends.
Yes, I have socks on my feet,
they are wool because it is cold.
Why are you laughing, can of nitrous?
The furniture may all be second hand,
but it’s paid for.
There is food in the fridge, and therefore
a lot less to worry about.
My father said I could be anything
I wanted to be, but he was an accountant.
Do you think he always wanted to
be an accountant?
I really have to clean these windows,
you can barely see out of them.
I think I will paint a picture of a bowl of fruit.
Why are you laughing?
Read more "RYAN QUINN – NITROUS"
They always said “Maybe” when they didn’t want to
take my brother and me to Knott’s Berry Farm,
Ringling Brother’s Circus, Disneyland, Marineland.
Then there was Mackinac Island in Michigan.
Our visit, full of grandmothers, grandfathers, uncles and aunts.
They had all been to Mackinac Island.
We asked if we could go this visit, this trip, this time, this place
Mackinac Island. My mother would talk of going there as a girl
where she saw a Pyranha fish in a tank, ate
cotton candy then puked on the next
directionally confused roller coaster going just the right speed.
I got to watch the Banana Split’s Show while pouting
when “Maybe” waved as it passed us on the calendar, as
days fell away too quickly in Michigan. My heart was broken
many times by disappointments from maybes.
My mother didn’t want to say “No,” yet wanted
Read more "JERI THOMPSON – HOPING MAYBE"
us to “shut the hell up.” Everyone’s parents mess their kids up
and even as a kid I knew “I’m sorry, no” is easier than another “Maybe.”
“Maybe” taught us hope is a four letter word.
“Hope” taught us not to count on her because she lies.
Go past the doorway—
past the knitter’s frame,
and the farmer’s wife,
naked in the sod
as if draped in linen—
walk on, into
the dunes, into out-
croppings cut by
ice, into a basin
of dark knots and
ribbons— an oasis
without water (palm
trunks flaking, scalped
dates scattered, half-
buried like scarabs)—
return to the port,
to the foreign stores
scraps of lithium,
and plastic zip-ties—
place your prayer
rug under your bed,
your prayer book
under your pillow—
on your side, trace
the minaret with
Read more "JACK FREEMAN – IBRAHIM"
We are the lost who have
innumerable and unnamed
stumbling over sharp rocks
searching for our long shadows.
Tracing darkness with
tasting the disdain of dust
we are long shadows
moaning with open mouths.
Eating bitter food grown
on the wrong side of this moon
our hearts caged in fear
fearing we have been cast off
fearing we have no destination.
Sands burning our feet
whipping our unnamed faces
we are long shadows crossing
this desert longing for
an end to our thirst.
We are losing our shadows
entering empty caves
now listening for echoes
now finding wells of memories
innumerable and unnamed.
Read more "JOAN MCNERNEY – THE SEARCH"
Coming to terms
with the fact that a loop
of metal will probably
never grace my ear
or nose –
Despite the way some people
absorb neon, fashion themselves
with tattoos, swim in their own
soup of counterculture,
figures out of a science fiction
self-made landscape, who
make rips and scraps converge
I am much more likely to be
found in a soft T-shirt, or couched
in corduroy, nursing a tattered
book as if it might solve my universe.
Read more "JD DEHART – FASHION SENSE"