JOHN TUSTIN – SHOWER, SHAMPOO, SHAVE, SHIT

SHOWER, SHAMPOO, SHAVE AND SHIT

So I was drunk

And the big storm was coming

And I decided I wanted to hear Luke the Drifter.

I get up after a few songs and the darkness has fallen already.

It goes from light to dark in the time it takes

To shower, shampoo, shave and shit

In this place.

Luke gives way to The Stanley Brothers,

The Louvin Brothers.

The night will end with Bob Dylan telling me

The levee’s gonna break.

I look out my window and see nothing but calm,

Darkness.

The storm is coming. Or it’s not.

I can only wait.

Whatever happens,

Be it cleansing or drowning

Or nothing at all.

Let it happen.

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VERN FEIN – AUNT DeDe

AUNT DeDe

is dying to no one’s surprise.
88 and has been failing,
survived Parkinson’s for 15.
Meaningless numbers,
just like the spate of emails
and texts about her pending demise.
There will be no gathering
at her request.
Would be no gathering anyway.
Virtually everyone who would come
have had their own funerals
or live too far away.
The texts elicit tiny pebbles of sorrow,
barely a ripple in our ponds.

She had a vibrant life,
a noted audiologist,
world traveler with her doctor husband.
Then one daughter committed suicide,
another succumbed to a painful disease.
For that Aunt Dede is remembered.
Not her life—those deaths.
Oh, she was also afraid of cats.

Hibernating away at the edge of a Wisconsin burg,
she and her husband dealt in antiques
until they turned into them.
Today no one gave more than a sad
passing nod in their texts
to her going.

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James Croal Jackson – 2 poems

Always

You paint a heron blue

on brown branch. You

always create.

Your violin blurs into

hand-written sheet

music. Sunshine tints

your hair red. In autumn

you bury yourself

in leaves, tune strings

in the shadows to

summon the sun

and feed violets.

~

Blown-Minded

      “I was born blown-minded

      with an eye on oblivion.”

                       –Young Galaxy

I’ve been sitting at my desk,

no artistic talent, drawing

a primate, the universe,

a fetus, a circus, and

with each I realize I’m

just drawing myself

over and over again–

hurtling through space

and time in my muddled

mind to conclude I don’t

know shit. So all these

lines connect where?

I don’t know whether

I’m looking to God

or to get laid. It’s both

the same, really, accessing

the part of the brain that

activates to a higher calling.

Whether that’s the faith

that I exist right now!

Or I must reproduce!

doesn’t matter.

I am a goddamn mess

made of star matter

and the more I try to

laser-focus my brain

at understanding,

the more I learn

there’s nothing

there. I feel as empty

between my ears

as the space between

Earth and the moon,

but then I learn that

all of the planets

in the solar system

can fit in the distance

between those bodies?

Gray matter.

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ERREN KELLY – A SIN

A Sin

i could go to hell
for what i’m doing
for looking at white thighs
in a pair of levis
mama preached hate
as gospel
don’t talk to white girls
don’t get friendly with them
don’t trust them
she said
even though her best friend
was a white woman
she didn’t want a white man
come to her home
in the middle of the night
complaining about his daughter
being ” corrupted “

you invite me to church
as you take off your blouse
i say, i’ll think about it
i never thought much of jesus freaks
if god is everywhere
then why do we need religion
or a church to get closer
to him
and jesus was not white !
you take off your bra
and your globes succumb to gravity
and they drop downward
and become covered by curly
long red hair
your crucifix makes an imprint
as i press against you
as i kiss you

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JOHN GRAY – I KNEW A WOMAN

I knew a woman in a wheelchair,

lived in a clapboard house,

with a lawn she somehow trimmed.

and a garden she kept well-tended.

And another had breast cancer.

She wrote letters to all her friends

in the brief nauseous pauses

between radiation treatments.

Another had five kids

and a husband who walked out

but somehow put food on their table

and a roof over their head.

Another got a degree in some branch of science

and the consensus of her male friends was that

“I didn’t know women went in for

 that sort of thing.”

Of course, there was the one

who was forever trying to hide

the bruises on her face with makeup,

stayed with her abuser.

And another who hated herself so much

she sat around the house all day,

getting fatter and fatter

so she could hate herself the more.

From the start, there was need for women.

And a physiology to go with it.

Life was incomplete. There was a vacuum.

And then all kinds started filling it.

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COLEMAN HAWKINS – JOHN DOYLE

Coleman Hawkins

1:33 a.m. Tuesday night;

playing on my cable T.V.

it’s like we were destined to be entwined,

Coleman and me,

so basically, nothing ever happened in-between –

no J.F.K. boning half of Jersey

to get his mind off Bays with Pigs in them,

no Flock of Seagulls or gas shortages

for Austin Powers to mull upon,

just Coleman Hawkins finding his way to me –

commercial break,

first fade to black,

1:38am.

I’ve grabbed my spacesuit and enthusiastically attach it,

there is much for Coleman and I to catch up on when he returns

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