Cathryn Shea – Epiphanies

Epiphanies

I wanted a magical telephone
to dial me up and announce,
“This is college calling. We’ve
decided your major.”

Then I would fall asleep
and in the morning I’d know
with certainty what career
I’d be hired for.

A bird would descend from
heaven and chirp in my ear
to confirm my choice of mate.
“Yes, this man is to be
a good husband.”

Somehow I’d know to have
a child at age 25. Ring ring.
The doorbell sounding. It’s
a package!

Someone said to always ask
yourself a question about
any problem at bedtime and
sleep on it. The best answer
would always reveal itself
in the morning.

I wanted epiphanies
when hard decisions arose:
Move? Buy the house? Rent?
Quit this job? Have another
child? Leave my husband?
Stay with my husband?

I had an epiphany today.
I must be calm
and not need an answer.

~

Find Cathy online.

 

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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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Gonzalinho da Costa – APHORISMS

APHORISMS

 

Even the desert blooms.

 

Flowers grow a very great distance from the sun.

 

Twisted logic is the tendrils of an evil spirit.

 

A partial truth is always more dangerous than unalloyed truth or a varnished lie.

 

When you do not say what you mean, you cannot be trusted in anything you say.

 

Guess what?—“a white lie” is a racist idiom.

 

Deepest blue, the desert sky is untainted, barren because it harbors no rain.

 

Eternity does not distinguish between the fresh-faced moon and the world-weary sun.

 

In a street fight a sword is mightier than a pen.

 

Whoever said a dog’s bark is worse than his bite hasn’t been bitten.

 

Good governance is hard to find.

 

A penny invested is a penny gambled.

 

A soap that floats has value only inside a bathtub.

 

The government that lacks transparency evades accountability and in all probability has something to hide.

 

The law used to perpetrate crime and to sanction impunity for crime is the misrule of law.

 

Propaganda is the gruel eaten by prisoners of the state.

 

Politicization of the judiciary weakens it, ensuring that those who have less in life will have even less in law.

 

Intelligence with integrity is fair-mindedness, without integrity it is venality.

 

The purpose of education is to teach not only critical thinking but also historical thinking, so that all citizens develop the capacity to evaluate ongoing changes from the standpoint of past transformations.

 

Today the biggest single reason for famine is war.

 

Anyone who lies is doing the devil’s work. It is his telltale signature.

 

Genuine democracy, which subsists in the democratic values and principles internalized by the people, is subverted when criminal leaders controvert the laws embodying the people’s deepest aspirations for freedom from tyranny.

 

A good book is a good friend you engage again and again.

 

The Apostle Paul inveighed against scoffers, calling them fools, yet he did not suffer the Gehenna threatened by Jesus.

 

A government of values and principles is degraded by a regime of patronage and corruption.

 

An untimely death waylays the conversion of the damned.

 

Democracy is a work in progress, fascism a work in regress.

 

Forgetfulness is the incomprehension of those who misconstrue the past.

 

Remembrance is the vision of the future.

 

Kindness’ roots are nourished by compassion.

 

Cruelty is a volcano. It thrives on the magma of abuse.

 

He who does not take a stand sits on his rights.

 

The heart makes up its reasons.

 

The right to information is a necessary check against the abuse of power. It is an essential means whereby the oppressed seek, pursue, and obtain redress for just grievances.

 

You can’t have fake news and democracy, too.

 

Charity culminates in humanity.

 

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WES HOUP – 3 POEMS

Watch Out For Aardvarks

The high council of pissants
carefully reviewed your application
for permanent inclusion and finds that
you lack any clear sense of order;
you remain stubbornly and selfishly
anchored to ephemera
and take on balance
more than you generate and provide.
We acknowledge your curious disposition,
and your genuine affinity for activities
that promise no monetary gain
and thus no clear class mobility.
But this is just a footnote
in a much larger negative report.
We will not, in the end, recommend you
for tenure in our pismire.
Also we are unwilling to discuss
our recommendation
via chem-trail or antennae.
We wish you the best of luck elsewhere,
and watch out for aardvarks.

~

DIGESTATION

a.
Cool spring water shimmers
a narrow dissolution channel
between my legs.
Nearby a raccoon has passed
the entire exoskeleton
of a crayfish,
most likely Cambarus
(given the lack of suitable habitat
for Orconectes),
pincers folded up
in prayer, like Jonah.
Sun-bleached, it looks like
an obtuse piece of diggery,
equipment found in a junkyard
or moldering behind
the dead farmer’s barn.

b.
Where the spring’s flow disappears,
a great horned owl
has eaten a crow,
and from the crow’s feathers
sweet Betsy grows.
Crows die, crows grow,
I know, but woe is he
and she who doubt
the kind of hunger
that forces dominance in the wood,
to eat crow every night
and remain wise,
or the crow, for god’s sake,
the crow, to sacrifice itself
to fertilize trillium.
Pandemonium.
Harmonium.
Ad infinitum.

~

Custodial Testimonial

4:15am, Sunday,
the only other soul
on the road to Damascus
is a young preacher
in a Corolla
headed to the church office
for final revisions.
He’s worried about messaging,
and his left headlight is blank.
God-only-knows-what
he’ll fashion: surely love, hate,
forgiveness, avarice, charity,
or some other heavy cudgel
based on a verse from Acts
magically supported
by a verse from Isaiah.
See? Continuity.
Poof! Even vengeful gods
Change their minds.

I’m headed to work, too,
and I’m also worried.
A wedding party drank and feasted
all yesterday and now
the Forest Lodge sewer line is clogged.
A rough calculation suggests
each person must have defecated
2.3 times to impound (TVA-style)
an 8” pipe. Damn.
That’s a proverbial shitload.
Sadly, there was no child present
able to turn a shitload into wine.
But it’s Sunday morning—
time for forgiveness.
I am here to ease things
to the underworld,
and while I cannot perform miracles,
I know a snake who can.

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