3 POEMS – SIMON PERCHIK

*

Even the night was made from wood

has sheets, a gown, the kind

brides wear only once

though you pace in front the bed

the way mathematicians mull over chalk

scraping it against something black

that could be pulling the room apart

with the faint sound from dust

coming by for what’s left

and the corners –vaguely you can hear

her lips breathing into yours

setting on fire the stars

that would sweeten your mouth

with the never ending hum

emptied from wells and springs

for smoke, no longer knows how to talk

how to glow when side by side

as planks and weeds and this pillow.

*

And though this door is locked

it leans into the evenings

that hollowed out the place

for its marble and grass

where you still hide, afraid

make the dead go first

–they already know what to do

when the corners are no longer enough

and with your finger become

the sudden breeze filled with moonlight

and distances opening the sea

holding it over the fires –pilings

are useless here, these great walls

cringe from the cries rain gives off

where a morning used to be

and you are following it alone

as if there was a light in the window

waiting for you to come by.

*

This fish is still gathering the smoke

left over from when the sea went back

to face some crackling beach grass

–side by side you too are warmed

by salt and standing naked

you can see a woman is striking a match

though when you are dead

the glaze on this dinner plate

will afterward heat your eyes

–they will never close, this fish

is looking for tears to fit in its mouth

tell you eat! bite into its eyes

though nothing will cool or be at home

where you keep the ashes warm

by collecting the bones and sand.

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THE SOLID BEAMS AND POLES… – TIM STALEY

The solid beams and poles that support society
are made of cottage cheese, mostly.

It’s not penis or Washington Monument.
It’s penis and Washington Monument.

Personally
I’m betting the ozone
doesn’t affect me
personally.

People have said to me, you can’t write songs.
You can’t play an instrument. But I’ve got
10 gold records, said Sonny Bono.

Several cavemen
who were supposed to be out killing
just sat around
under a huge cottonwood
swatting flies and gnats,
flicking fleas and ants,
feeling sorry for themselves
about the heat.

I have a 6-ounce box of feta cheese.
It says Masterfully Authentic on the side.

There’s a crack in the great clevis of my gullibility.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with yours.

In his man cave
when he’s not crying and masturbating,
he’s streaming Phish.

I wish I didn’t know your language
so I could hear your words
as pure music.

Cavemen masturbated unabashedly
when they woke prematurely
at the lip of the cave.

Anything I say, only half believe.

They say your body’s 60% water.

There’s my great grampa with a Bowie knife.
On his buckskin pants he wipes the blood
from our collective blade.
Clean—it flashes white in the sun.

Never buy used knives.
Who knows
who they’ve been inside?

AJ has a jacket his gramma
made from an Egyptian rug.
It’s thick and there’s
dead grass in the fringes.
I can’t purchase it on the internet.
It’s an intergalactic crisis.

We all love the environment,
but we have placed creatures above people.
A rat is a rat, said Sonny Bono.

Do you ever wonder if you pledged your gender to the wrong agenda
sometime before you were born?

It’s amazing men have accomplished so much
building and killing in this world
when all the while they could have been
masturbating.

Have you ever masturbated in a hammock while a deer looked on?

Just because you’ve never seen a vegan zombie
doesn’t mean there’s no such thing.

I’ve walked a mile in 0.0000614% of America’s shoes.
That’s 200 people.

Lewis Warsh says, you have to blame someone
when something goes wrong.

You’d be amazed how less pathetic this feels
with a gun.

A man washing dishes by hand
is like a dishwasher with a mind.

I’m standing outside the Village Inn
with Clint Eastwood
and a hologram of Sonny Bono.
We’re the armed guards.

I wish every month I bled from my dick.
I wish I could turn my boner
into something else besides a boner
for 3 to 5 days a month.
I’m sure to flinch the first
flash flood of stringy blood
sluicing out of me.
I want to see my dick that way.

Jay-Z cancelled his concert in El Paso.

My favorite part of The Great Chicago Fire
is how the flame, after 3 long days,
leapt back inside
Mrs. O’Leary’s lantern.

Cher wanted to be an entertainer
more than I’ve seen anybody
want to be an entertainer
in my life, said Sonny Bono.

A faint birthmark above your collarbone I find for the first time
and glance away.

If anybody asks,
that’s what happened to the berries.

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LORIE – MICHAEL LEE JOHNSON


Lorie

Lorie, you want to see me clearly

through this joy of my naked body

avoiding the sweat of my emotions,

just breathing on my neck

rubbing this baseline of my groin-

will not find us here again.

Go away, leave me thinking

louder than your breath-

body moves quietly

in a lazy sway of indifference.

8

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