ZAC VAN PELT – 2 POEMS

Movie Theater

Stained seats from a plethora of spilt drinks,

that stain might even be melted butter,

surely the brown stuff is melted chocolate.

The floor squelches when you walk,

adhering to your shoe, trying to take it from you.

Faded movie posters promote the blockbusters

come and gone. Dust layers the counter where

butter and sugary sweets used to reside. Sugar to dust,

almost the same but different in color and taste.

Actors still smile where kids ran laughing

the happiness their movies brought still lingers here.

Coffee Shop Vignette

A bell rings softly as the door pushes inward,

outward pushes the smell of bittersweet coffee.

The typical soft jazz of a coffee shop wafts

through the air alongside smells of savory food.

Buzzing chatter underlines the music

with the soft whir of espresso machines adding to

the symphony of the cafe.

Voices talk from walls where no bodies sit

a collection of the conversations absorbed

like the coffee stains the barista hates.

The large glass windows reflect back the

faces of colleges students that haunted the tables.

Rusty circular stains mark the growth

of coffee groups that grew and shrank,

through the years.

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DAVID SPICER – HATEFUL MAN

HATEFUL MAN

Oh hateful man what happened to you

with more money than some countries’ treasuries

the pick of beautiful women yachts the best beluga

golden faucets in resorts Scottish golf courses

why are you an angry sloth hateful man wearing

wispy ginger hair so fine a baby could coo

you have blonde children retinues of lackeys

waiting on the next word wave escaping

your thin lips hateful man what attracted

you to green and silver paper why do you need

to steal other people’s money why do you admire

Mussolini did you smile with your parents

what did they do wound your bilious psyche

when they favored your brother why did you throw

tantrums like rancid onions when friends didn’t remain

friends when your mother shipped you

to military school when you listened to bullies

who taught you platitudes when your father

gave you only a million to build empires

when you cavorted in that Moscow hotel

do you remember the time you told your first lie

and everybody believed it and you did too

and lied so much you forgot the lies

why don’t you love people pets your children

did you see your destination as bankruptcies

and successes battled like angry twins

hateful man what makes you happy

the Aurora Borealis on Christmas day

a herd of zebra galloping over the Serengeti plains

the rarest stamp or a ringer for the Mata Hari

what is it hateful man making you tell beauties

whose pussies you grab I want you hateful man

do you love anybody in the red depths of your heart’s

dark caves dear hateful man when you fire sycophants

do you feel better after crushing their souls

hateful man as you eat Big Macs on the airplane

watching Wall Street do you have a Manhattan

of revenge to soothe your throat crying

when you sleep in your elephant satin pajamas

in your dark tower and wake up after three hours

to stew on the toilet pressing the phone’s power

button stalking the internet where your tribe

reads your tweets and you spend hours thumbing

insults so you feel better for a Washington

second and don’t care what the pundits think

because you’ll show how lofty you

are but hateful man you know that’s not true

do you ever think yourself evil as a bus

of snakes destined for a Mexican village

hateful man you think you’re greater than Alexander

the Great more brilliant than Einstein than Madame

Curie than the mathematician with the highest IQ

in history do you believe it how long can you

deceive yourself but you’re aware as an anteater

do you believe you’ll escape Karma’s chokehold

dreaming of Hitler of Rasputin of Manson

don’t you worry your minions might see

the hateful man you are because you’ve forgotten

you’re not blessed yes you’ve eluded the Gorgon

dodged a lunatic’s bullets because madmen

don’t kill madmen hateful man loneliest man

on earth no the man who’ll destroy you

hateful man one you fear and despise

not the man with long legs distant gaze

and grey suit walking halls of justice

followed by other men no he’s not that man

collecting facts but you are hateful man you

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JACOB BUTLETT – ASPIRING GAY POET

Aspiring Gay Poet

after Han Yongwun

I’m no Walt Whitman but in bed

I can write with my felt-tip pen

his penis his chin his lips,

and those dimples that hover above his eyelashes as he yawns.

 

When my roommates are away

and even the late hours hush,

I’m still too scared to share

the verse his tongue gave me

to the yawning stars.

 

I’m not an experienced poet, but I can write

his gaze, his laughter,

the way he sneaks across the campus lawn

before walking to my open window,

even each blade of grass

on the path that runs

the many steps from there to now.

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HOLLY DAY – KISS IT ALL AWAY

Kiss It All Away     

 

I crumble under the weight of your wings

as you leap from the balcony and find that you’re only human

and the two of us fall.

 

There are gods burning in the fire place

painfully smiling through bruised lips

I’ve got runs in my hose from their fingernails; they need us, too.

 

What a disappointment it was to discover

that you still have one foot stuck in the real world

and it’s the foot that counts.

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Joe Benevento – Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy

The petite young blonde assigned to guide

me through exercises for relief of my shoulder

pain has cold hands, but a well-trained friendliness

I believe she mostly means.

 

I could be embarrassed by how much stronger

she is, could fit the bill of the old guy, who

brags about how far he could once throw a football

or get grumpier still and say, “Let’s wait ‘til you’re 61,”

 

but of course I won’t be around to see how that works out.

A right “shoulder impingement” is hardly unbearable,

shooting pain only when I reach too far or long

for something over my head, or behind my back,

 

and with my family’s history (three siblings

have already beaten cancer, one has not),

I complain though most would agree I can’t.

Even now my younger brother, prostate cancer

 

gone, has three worse ailments than my single woe.

My mother-in-law has her own cancer battle,

unfair to pick one with an eighty two year old,

but she’s still fighting.  My nephew will lose

 

his stomach in a few days, will hope it takes

its cancer with it. I was aware long before

I met 60 that aging means debilitation, loss;

I’ve already been a regular, with regular lapses

 

visiting nursing homes, in vain efforts to cheer

any of us up. I still have two children at home,

though, and another two out of the house

who might miss me even more than they imagine.

 

Beyond blood, for as long as I keep my job

as a teacher, some young people will have to accept

me as mattering, at least for a term, and those

terms are still acceptable to me, since I’m certain

 

I can live with the pain, or better still,

avoid it almost entirely, if I remember

nevermore to reach too far above

or for anything behind.

 

 

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LANCE GAMBRELL – RESPONDING TO FACEBOOK

Responding to Facebook

“What’s on your mind?”  The white and blue screen asks.

What’s on my mind?  Money.  The cost of hospital-grade tubing that is in your nose when you wake up.

What’s on my mind?  The cost of honesty.  I’ve been racking up hopes and dreams, only to find expiration dates, boundaries, and under used gym cards.

What’s on my mind?  The relief that this moment will disappear from feeds by worthwhile-thirty.  This one is for the boring generations, STILL (italicized) on Facebook.

What’s on my mind?  I am too comfortable with this format of communication; and I miss coming home late, and thinking that “I’ll just be tired,” like when I wrote that letter the night before surgery, or on the eves of confessions past.

What’s on my mind? She walked by the fish tank…but she didn’t even tap on the glass. 

But what’s really on my mind…I don’t remember

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ANDREW HUBBARD – LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE

Look on the Bright Side

 

Yes, she broke your heart.

Yes, I got that.

But let’s be honest

There are some good points,

And why not focus on them?

 

The top is on the toothpaste tube

For the first time in two years

And there are no long hairs in the sink.

 

The checkbook balances

For the first time in two years

And the lights you turn off stay off.

 

The caps are on the soda bottles and milk bottles

For the first time in two years

And there are no pizza boxes on the couch.

 

The medicine cabinet door is closed

For the first time in two years

And your T-shirts she slept in are off the floor.

 

The movie DVD’s are in the right boxes

For the first time in two years

And there are no bras and panties on the rugs.

 

The dresser drawers close and nobody hijacked your tweezers

For the first time in two years

And your décor is not candy wrappers.

 

So suck it up.

Get a porn library

And a puppy.

 

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