Vodka Omelette Make it clear in my mind, Jesus, am I whacked-out on Double Cross Vodka or have I flipped out calling myself Limburger omelette chef? I hate question marks and angels with crazed wings. You know the type, John the Baptist toking weed, stoned out of his mind, storyteller, foul smells from poor hygiene, eating habits open mouth, swallowing grasshoppers, so silky, smooth as sweet honey. Add 3 eggs in a skillet, Parmesan/Romano blend, 2 cheeses add-on, shiitake mushrooms, turmeric, chopped kale, hint hot chili peppers, cheers. Scramble me, I’m cracked. I rock faith in jungle music, dance nude. Everything is a potential poem to me. My omelette, my life, my booze, master cook, vodka omelette 2:38 a.m.Read more "MICHAEL LEE JOHNSON – VODKA OMELETTE"
DRUNK AND HELPLESS IN THE DARK Some of us lie Drunk and helpless in the dark Waiting for the angel that never comes Because there is no her Beyond the sad spiraling reveries Of the drunken insomniac Smiling wanly in the glow Of a halo That exists only In his Fevered Imagination HUMANITY IS DOOMED I heard the birds that chirp at night And I saw the cats under the tree. I know the cats need to eat And I know the birds want to live. So here I am In the parking lot of a Walgreens, Rooting for nothing.Read more "JOHN TUSTIN – 2 POEMS"
POET STALEY’S TOP 10 RULES FOR WRITING ABOUT A SPECIFIC PERSON
allow yourself to acknowledge that you care about someone
then sweep that someone out of your mind
and onto the pages of your journal
dump the dust pan of that person
as fearlessly, honestly and quickly as you can
surround that person with the concrete nouns
that person surrounds themselves with
then deliberately inject action verbs
or slip them in when no one’s looking
keep writing everything you can about that person
not worrying about the direction your writing is going,
try rhyming about that person,
try listing things about that person,
try moving that person around in time,
try writing from that person’s point of view
describe the person as though you’re describing the details of a photo
let your journal pages marinate overnight in the refrigerator or at room temp
cut away all the lame stuff
cut away all the stuff that doesn’t deeply satisfy your aesthetic
cut away the stuff you put in there just for the teacher
cut away anything you’ve heard or read before
replace boring verbs with better ones
cut away all the fake words
sprinkle in literary devices until a poem appears
(if no poem appears repeat steps 1-5)
break your lines. make it look like a poem. not a paragraph.
proofread and read out loud and tweak and fix and submit
Huerta’s rules about writing about people you know and people you don’t 1. Conversations about a past event will entice the reader to forge ahead. 2. Objects around the poems location bring realism to your story and will build a bond between you and the reader. Common household products and animals, for instance, are worthy objects. Politics and trauma are questionable. 3. Never write about your feelings or love loss. You’re better than this and no one cares. 4. If writer's block is something you are suffering from, try your hardest to live in the present with an unapologetic eye for your surroundings. Read the room, write it down. Repeat. 5. Creating a mad lib style game will force your imagination. Pick up the daily paper and create a story using the police blotter and your comrades. 6. Always mix imagination with reality. Because the best shit happens when the fresh river meets the salty sea. Where the tears from your fears clash with consciousness to create a story worthy of telling again and most importantly for someone else to repeat it.Read more "JON HUERTA and TIM STALEY -POETRY INSTRUCTION BATTLE – HOW TO WRITE ABOUT A SPECIFIC PERSON"
“ghost” my disguise is my only friend but at times it stabs me in the back too “caraphernelia” this portrait of beauty still remains upon my eyes the soft colors that dance around my sorrow and mock the ache in my chest the blinding lights of the heart you have broken and carved out have dimmed their glow to an absolute fog they too have fallen into the pits of regret and anguish just as I “damien” his eyes were clouds and the rain never stoppedRead more "RICKY WINTERS – 3 POEMS"
One of those things
I’d like to believe in but can’t
Because of the logical improbability
And the pile of unanswerable questions
About who and when and how and why.
But just suppose
(It’s ok to have a little fun)
That after 200 years of conscious sleep
Some benign authority
Brought you back, age 20
In perfect health, memories intact.
What would you do first?
Something with creamy garlic sauce—
Strawberries—chocolate ice cream.
And then make love
Again and again and again, with every sense
On overdrive, and doze off
Smelling her sweat and hearing her whispers.
You’d almost forgotten
How sensuous sleep can be.
Wake up. Repeat,
But with a change of menu:
Coffee, hot eggs with cheese melted over,
Cold white wine, bacon,
Peaches and whipped cream.
Continue this for forty years
Then turn your attention
To intellectual growth and refinement.
Sit with works of Plato, Milton,
Kant, Chaucer, and St. Augustine.
Twenty minutes should do it.
Then get back to the important stuff.
JULY 2020Read more "ANDREW HUBBARD – Priorities"
I used to rush home from work,
Especially if I knew my wife wasn’t going to be home yet
And if some asshole tried to cut me off
I’d gun it and curse him out,
Sometimes as we drove side by side.
I wasn’t going to take that shit,
I got cut off enough when I was home with my wife.
I would drive home and the best days were the days
When I had some time to myself before I had to pick her up.
Oh, the feeling of false freedom in those precious minutes!
Later, another good time was reading to my children before bed.
After they would finally fall asleep I would lie in bed with my son
And elongate the moments before I would have to get up
And get into bed with Her.
If I fell asleep in his bed or pretended to she would come and get me.
Finally I had had enough and I told her I wanted a divorce.
Her reaction was to unleash Hell all at once
Instead of little by little like she had been doing for fifteen years or so.
I lost everything and just about everyone I had
But now if I get cut off in traffic
I just stare in wonder at the taillights
Of whoever feels they need to get somewhere before I do
Thinking about a time that feels like decades ago
But was much less than that
When I decided a life of boiling pasta alone in an echoing kitchen
Was better than a living death in a house filled with anger
And that final day that
It was as if I was Yertle the Turtle
And I sneezed down there
At the bottom of the stack
And that bitch came tumbling down.Read more "JOHN TUSTIN – CUT OFF"
As I run the day to begin it
the sun comes up and I want to get out before anybody sees me and sees I have used up my quota for the day.
I think I can go out the front way once and out the back way the other time and no one will see me. Maybe I can sneak out two or three times in a day before all the curtain twitchers see me.
It is only a matter of time before the have a hot line.
I saw him going out again twice yesterday and three times on Monday.
“It’s Probably More Than Colitis”
I like a woman with a clean colon,
the way she starts telling stories
at the end
and works back toward the beginning,
expecting me to connect all the dots.
She takes her temperature every hour,
tells me the results, wants for me
to tie a knot with my swollen tongue
in her cherry
stem. The french kiss should have been
the second best clue
that we wouldn’t click, at least not like that.
I can cuddle like a fish with the best of them,
but sometimes we have to be satisfied
with a flag at half mast. You can always
use tulips to brighten the
room. We fidget in the clinic for an hour
before they call her name.
She refuses my hand, gives me an orange-lipped
piranha smile, and disappears into the
blue-white light.Read more "John Dorroh – “It’s Probably More Than Colitis”"
I nudge aside some old poems
to get at the real poetry:
love letters from a former flame.
I’ve no idea why I’ve kept them
only that I’m a hoarder,
even of affection.
There’s something of nostalgia
like the Marvel comics
in very good condition,
or the copy of Sports Illustrated
with Larry Bird on the cover,
celebrating a championship.
The writing is neat,
the passion likewise,
nothing, I’m sure,
like the long-trashed missives
I sent in response.
Reading between lines is called for.
But, to be honest,
I find more neatness,
only it’s invisible.
there was no great passion
between the two of us.
It’s what comes of listening to Yes together.
And decking ourselves out
But they’re part of history.
And, to my mind,
must be preserved.
But I throw in a few
more useless items,
bury those letters deeper
It’s enough to know they’re there.
No place else would have them.
THE CIGARETTE LONG AFTER
A double downer:
I feel dirty as soot,
sheets smell like dumpster fires.
on a motel side table,
one cigarette burns a long, neglected ash.
No need to smoke it.
This room’s like a cigarette
with me cocooned inside it.
You and I shared this roadside hideaway.
Before there were flat-screen TV’s.
Before there was flat anything.
Now I lie on a lumpy mattress.
staring up at the nicotine-stained ceiling.
My teeth grind the grit
of what was once desire.Read more "JOHN GREY – 2 POEMS"
The car appeared outside the house, as if by magic
dropped from the sky into a pile of snow, tire tracks obliterated by fresh snow.
A sleeping bag blocked the back window completely, candy wrappers
could be seen on the front seat.
After a couple of days, my neighbor came over and asked me if it was my car
if I wouldn’t mind moving it so that her nephew could park there. I told her
how the car had just appeared in that spot, and that I didn’t think anyone
had come back for it since its arrival, although
I thought I saw a couple of people sitting in the front seat very late the night before
hands frantically moving in the dim overhead light
but it may have been a dream.
A week or so later, a tow truck came and got the car, probably called by my neighbor
the one who came over or perhaps a different one entirely
the spot where the car had been parked was black and green with oil and antifreeze
dirty snow and a couple of smashed beer cans. I watched the car get pulled
backwards down the street, waited for a door to fling open angrily
in the car or in a neighboring house, but no one came out after the car
no one chased the truck frantically down the street.
Read more "HOLLY DAY – BLUE CAR"