3 DAYS – HOLLY DAY

3 Days

I have the sudden desire

 

To eat paint chips, drink turpentine, root around in the garden

For toadstools and mushrooms

Fight a bear. The phone sits in its cradle, refusing to liberate me

 

 

From all of the good choices in life that brought me to this point

The conscious good-food choices and intermittent exercise

The firm shake of my head when offered dangerous substances

 

To ingest, to smoke, to shove up my ass.

There are things I did that could have led me to this point

But it doesn’t seem like there were enough.

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LIBBY CHRISTENSEN – GLASS

Glass

Broken festering wounds

deep within shins that try to crawl through it.

The glass shatters from a ceiling that

surrounds, encases, allows

others

to see

ogle

ooh

ah

point.

The dome may be broken

but there are other things to

break

smash

scream at.

To be consumed by the glass

to fall into the glass

to drag an already limp and outrageous body through the glass

is only just one victory.

No one can stop at just one victory

because to stop at just one victory

is as bad as giving up.

These shards come from

cracked vanities

ruined window panes

curved glass domes.

Devour these shards

swallow them

slice your throat open

with ragged edges.

Embed them

into your stomach walls.

Splinter them off into smaller pieces,

digest the fragmented remains.

Pierce your skin

and let it be known

that you don’t mind blood

pooling at your feet.

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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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JOEY NICOLETTI – Motherfucking Jeopardy at The Gypsy Parlor Café and Bar

Motherfucking Jeopardy at The Gypsy Parlor Café and Bar

Hayburner on tap. Todd, the bar owner, turns up

the TV’s volume: It’s time

 

for Jeopardy. “Drink and play, Balls,”

he commands. All questions must be shouted

 

at the TV, as well as preceded

by the phrase, “What is motherfucking.”

 

Todd clears his throat, then demonstrates:

“What is motherfucking Donkey Punch?

 

What is motherfucking Enceladus?

What is motherfucking Hiram

 

Ulysses Grant?” A Daily Double. Tequila shots are on

the house, as long as the Jeopardy contestant bets all

 

of his or her money, and asks the right question. Not tonight.

Todd shakes his head. The people seated at the bar boo

 

and hiss. The bartenders laugh as they mix

and pour drinks. Another Hayburner for me.

 

“That guy has no guts, Balls,” Todd bellows. “Absolutely no

motherfucking testicles.”

~

Find Joey on Twitter or Instagram

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ROBIN WYATT DUNN – NEW MEN

New men

We’re designing new men

macerated men

cut to length

arbiter of luck

maker of stage

metal men

flesh men

 

huge and triumphant

unable to remember or feel

 

men made out of iron

and lace

 

men who whistle

and club words off of pages

and the names out of children’s mouths

 

what luck with forgetting

the forgetting men

 

made new and bright

made out of everything you’d seen

from the lighthouse in Windsor and Bohemia

and older places

 

watching them move into the light and out of it

while you shouted their names

to see if they could move in time

~

find Robin here

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