poetry: catherine wolf -hack attack

Hack Attack
Finally! Obama shot back at the Russian hackers
who attacked our computers, the Democratic National Committee,
Hillary’s email, and just fun Vermont’s power grid.

But shot with a BB gun, it could shoot someone’s eye out,
leaving him dazed and bloody, not like a nuke
which could destroy a country or a world,
leaving the scent of smoke no creature could smell.
Obama, did you smell the flaming planet?

Trumpeter tweeted Putin putting off his own retaliation,
shining “very smart.” Treason is giving aid and comfort
to an enemy. Is the president-elect dipping
into treason like chocolate mousse?

Trumpeter sided with WikiLeaks founder
who said “Nyet, not a Russian hack.”
Does dumpy Trumpy want to build a golf course
in Siberia? It’s all about money.

With his glowing bare muscular chest,
Putin must have a dozen women
Trumpet can grope.


Catherine G. Wolf studied language development in graduate school, and was fascinated by this unique human ability. In 1997, when she was stricken with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, her ability to speak was taken away by this disease. She found poetry had a special capability to express her innermost feelings. By losing her physical voice, Catherine found her poetic voice. Catherine has published in the 2016 Rat’s Ass Review edition of Love & Ensuing Madness, Rat’s Ass Review, Front Porch Review, Verse-Virtual, Cacti Fur, and Bellevue Literary Review. She uses assistive technology to communicate, and raises her right eyebrow to type.

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poetry: catherine wolf – the faithful faithless

The Faithful Faithless
After signing 37 petitions, I dreamed
Sunday night 37 faithless members
of the electoral college, but faithful
to the national popular vote,
defected from the orange Rump
and voted for Hillary.
Russian hacking couldn’t turn
our election upside down.
America was great again!
But when I turned on the TV Monday night,
America was raped again.
Two electors dressed in camouflage
fatigues snuck away from the orange Slime
and voted for Kasich and Ron Paul.
On the blue Pantsuit side,
three deranged defectors voted Colin Powell,
one voted for Bernie to keep our revolution alive,
one flew to Native American
Faith Spotted Eagle’s perch.
Hillary won 2,800,000 more than Tiny Fingers,
why isn’t she the President-elect?
Because the electoral college uses
nonsensical rules of assigning electors to states.
It tilts power to small population states.
It’s hardly a college, more like doggy daycare.
Now we’re stuck with climate contrarian,
women-groping, Muslim-hating, Putin-loving,
nuke-hawking, lying-tweeting, cancerous Lump.
Time for a Lumpectomy!

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poetry: catherine wolf – magic spell against trump

Magic Spell Against Trump
Orange Trump,
You rump!
You love Putin,
here’s my sputum.
You brag about women groping.
You’ll end up in jail I’m hoping.
You orange vampire,
you suck blood from those you hire.
You lie about everything, the height of Trump Tower, the popular vote.
Don’t gloat!
You want to deprive us of civil rights.
Hell no! We’ll fight!
You say climate change is a “Chinese hoax.”
Save that for your Florida grandchild when she croaks .

Pugnacious pug!
You’re asking for a slug.
Your businesses, we’ll investigate.
You’ll drown in corrupt-gate.
This country won’t tolerate you.
We’ll impeach, get rid of you.
No sociopath fascist will be president.
In the White House, you’ll no longer be resident.
We will put you in jail.
The end of “Hail

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POETRY REVIEW: I’m Sorry For Everything In The Whole Entire Universe by Kyle Flak

POETRY REVIEW: I’m Sorry For Everything In The Whole Entire Universe by Kyle Flak

Look at that title up there. Should Mr. Flak have included the word “whole” and the word “entire”? The academy, by way of Coleridge, would say no.

Mr. Flak knows how to not give a shit correctly. Poem after poem he deflates the very beach ball he’s trying to sell you. He apologizes again and again, “I’m sorry if this book / turns out to be really terrible.” That’s on page 3. On every other page he gives you an out. He’s practically begging you to leave. It’s sour milk he insists you taste, and you not only taste it, you turn the page for more. He’s a master of using self-deprecation, inane pop culture references, and surface level dalliance to ultimately project a magnetic persona and poetic confidence.

Coleridge said, “Poetry is the best word in the best order.” Half of Mr. Flak’s words are verbal tic. The other half is humble, sometimes disorienting tonal persona. This book’s gender is “Jane Seymour’s character in Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.” And I can say, miraculously, like a wild hair up your friend’s brother’s butt, this collection’s a good time.

Flak’s persona is at once aroused by a yellow dress, and taunted by nostalgia for the present moment. The Buddha said to forget the past, while Flak attaches the past to the present. Flak’s persona is like a Holden Caulfield who’s been smoking dope and putting a red bandanna over the lamp and everything’s all loopy and introspective, anaphora and subclause, all building to the final “aha!” Literally the poem about the yellow dress ends with “aha!”

Flak’s speaker says trees are hugging him when he slips on the icy sidewalk and crashes into them. He rambles from one topic to the next, feeling sorry for the dead trees he’s writing on. He jumps from 1040a tax forms to some dude whose dad owns a vinegar, mustard and ketchup business to Zorro. Like J.D. Salinger, Flak enjoys a good digression. Often Flak digresses, in an endearing way, into self deprecation. Once you start, you’ve got to keep reading to keep the bully Kyle Flak from beating up on the poet Kyle Flak.

Flak makes far too much stupid sense to be language poetry, and he talks about too much stupid stuff, in too casual a way, to ever be “literature”, yet here we are. I wonder if Gold Wake Press let this book run around unleashed in its backyard. How long did they shout “literature” before it came? I’d guess several times, over many weeks. I know for sure when they called it “historically relevant”, it dug a hole under the fence and ran away. I commend Gold Wake for the aesthetic success of this collection and for immortalizing such a bizarre persona that goes against academic common sense.

Folk poet Johnny Huerta predicted this collection of poems would soon accrue a cult following. It’s a cult of inane pop culture digressions like name dropping Hanging with Mr. Cooper and then dropping dope lines like, “The midnight grass / Will never know so many soft and splendid footsteps / Again.” Wow, look at this guy, reading grass’s mind!

There are moments in this collection that don’t seem literary at all, or even useful. For example, “warehouse type of buildings”, “frankly at all possible / Is just / Basically /,” “investment deally thing”, or my favorite, “sure make sure”. The academy, as a general rule, frowns upon phrases like “sure make sure”. And that’s one of the things I find remarkable and endearing about this voice.

Flak is not like John Ashbury, dressing inaccessible passages with common language so they’ll look accessible. Flak unpacks himself at every line, it’s just the unpacking involves all this weird stuff spread out on your counter and you’re thinking about Eddie Murphy and chlamydia and F. Scott Fitzgerald and Billy Corgan and like it or not, you’ve just been Flak-ed. He’ll be wasting words left and right, and then he’ll drop something crystal clear yet unlike crystal it doesn’t break when it hits the wall.

Don’t take my advice. And don’t take Flak’s advice, whatever you do. Everybody that talks about this book, and even the book itself, says STAY AWAY. Don’t you dare join the cult of I Am Sorry For Everything In The Whole Entire Universe.

Visit Gold Wake Press, buy Flak’s book because you can’t help it and read the grand first poem of his collection.
-Tim Staley
Las Cruces, NM

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I wrote about his death until he died.
Then I became my father. The shift
was gradual, the way a house might inch,
year by year, down an incline towards the street.
Bushes feel the nudge. Sidewalk cracks
could tell a tale, but who would listen?
Eventually the house will tumble

beam to basement. Unless contractors
come in to bolster floor joists, add girders.
When my mother visits for Christmas,
his name isn’t spoken. But in photographs,
I feel his eyes follow my movements.
My oldest son lumbers into the kitchen,
comes to lean against me. I pull away,
afraid of what is already happening.



The Scent Of Orchid

I saw her bare back as she
leaned forward in her bath,
her brown hair pinned up to
reveal the back of her neck,
and I caught a glimpse of her
chin through the bathroom
door, open by just a quarter.
I could imagine the scent of
orchid on her skin, water
running over her fingers,
the palms of her hands;
my mother’s sister, and she
didn’t care if I happened to
see her. But her beauty, her
perfect form, aroused the spirit
in my heart and I had to draw
her on paper. I stole away to
my own bedroom and in
the pale eloquence of the moon
I drew her on one of the artist’s
tablets I had; every curve,
every detail, the grace we lovely
women shared. And when I was
done the pearl sheen of my
sheets remained the screen I
drew up against the night.
I slept there, dreaming of
a muse bathing by herself
in the gentle dropping of
a waterfall.
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poetry: r.t. castleberry – a transfer of affection


Watching her movie look-alike,
I went to bed remembering
an Alabama ex-girlfriend.
I woke later, hard at the memory.
Younger than me,
she gave head, loved light jazz,
told me stories of her babies lost in divorce.
Engaged twice,
we drove ourselves to distraction
and transfers out of state.
She married in Birmingham, moved home
to monitor her mother’s health,
fell in with a fishing crowd.
She sends holiday emails.
I check photos on Facebook.
Her mother passed.

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