ANDREW HUBBARD – 2 POEMS

Sharing the Bathroom

I over-analyze everything

I know it’s true

(And you’ve told me enough times.)

But why on earth

Would I find it sexy

To watch you shave your armpits?

Knowing me you won’t be surprised

To find I made a list:

  • Because everything you do is sexy
  • Because you touch yourself

With such unconscious concentration

  • Because you say you do it

To look pretty for me

  • Because I love the smell of your hair
  • Because it’s something nobody else

Sees you do

  • Because it’s commonplace

And mysterious and intimate

All at the same time.

  • And because the lines of your raised arm,

Your neck, and your wrist

Make me think of a Rodin sculpture.

~

Turn Down the Lights

Hey, it was more than kind of you

To come home with me

And you so much younger

And thinner and all.

And I’ll do my best

Not to disappoint you.

Honest to God, if I disappoint you

I don’t think I’ll ever

Go to a bar again.

But hey I’m going to be honest,

Only because there’s no alternative:

I look better dressed,

So I’m going to turn down the lights.

Those horrible white curvey smiles

On the skin behind my thighs,

They’re from the hip replacements.

The thick-soled shoes

Just bring me back

To the height I used to be.

I joke that my ears pop

When I take them off,

But it’s not that bad.  Yet.

I’m not tearing my eyeballs,

I’m just taking off my contacts.

Hopefully you can’t see me

The same as I can’t see you.

Now excuse me, I’m going to the bathroom

To take some pills.

The flatulence ones work pretty well

And the little blue one

Had damn well better work.

What’s that look you’re giving me?

It better not be

The “I-made-a-mistake” look.

I have many fine qualities.

You said so yourself

Not two hours ago.

Now hang on,

I’ll be right back.

SEPTEMBER 2018

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John Anthony Fingleton – Moorlands

Moorlands

A soft wind blew across the moor,
And the heather danced in tune,
Some grouse flew up to test the air,

Then snuck back, into its sweet perfume.
A sparrow hawk circled low,
In anticipation of its prey,
Then attracted by some other thing;
It quickly flew away.

A beauty haunts this desolate place,
With its contours shaped by ice,
Where beasts can still roam wild and free –
A small touch of paradise.
Bracken on the moor-edge slopes,
Mixed flora in the glens,
All produce their radiant colours,
Without the help or seed of men.

The walkers-path is overgrown,
Not many came this year,
The changes in the weather,
Have brought many summer storms to Clare.
There are some patches now of topsoil,
I hadn’t noticed at first glance,
Just a small sign – like so many others –
That we are on our final chance.

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Douglas Collura – Her Third Date After a Twenty-Five Year Marriage

Her Third Date After a Twenty-Five Year Marriage

 

 

She says, “Look. The rain’s harder now.”

I say, “Yes, but the theater’s close.”

She thumbs a path across

her melting glass.

 

Her daughter in third-year law.

Her granddaughter a swan.

When did I say I believed

in anyone’s tomorrow?

 

Her cupped hands; lines

connect, curve, cross,

predict nothing. She stares

into the passing moment.

 

“I never thought I’d be this person,”

she says, “never this alone.

I’m afraid sometimes, though

it’s nice not to be second guessed.”

 

My bedroom a chaos of shadows.

She’s unsure what comes next.

Then her legs clamp my hips,

and her mouth finds my neck.

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John Dorroh – “It’s Probably More Than Colitis”

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.

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John C. Krieg – The Bells of the Mission Santa Ysabel

The Bells of the Mission Santa Ysabel

The bells of

The Mission Santa Ysabel

Ring no more

To most parishioners still living

They never have rang in their lifetimes

Being stolen in 1925

The whereabouts of the bells are unknown

Yet it’s expected

That this was an inside job

And that the bells are holed up

Not very far away

Forgotten about in some old shed or barn

The parishioners pray

That this is true

That God will work a mid-level miracle

And see to the safe return of the bells

In 1700 Peter the Great

Of Russia

Melted down all of his homelands’

Church bells

To make cannons for warfare

They fired church bell cannon balls

Which killed people

Did they suffer a holy death

That granted them immediate entrance

Into the kingdom of Heaven

Was this the fate of the bells

Of the Mission Santa Ysabel

The bells

Of the Mission Santa Ysabel

Have remained silent

As to their whereabouts

And to what they may be mixed-up in

The hostage syndrome

They identify with their captors

And don’t try to escape

Who would steal church bells

What kind of a low-life would do such a thing

You would think that they would feel guilty

Every time they heard a church bell ring

Wracked with inconsolable guilt

And with every ding-dong

That ever reached their ears

For the rest of their lives

Cringing on Sundays

At the noon day

At quitting time

The bells

Of the Mission Santa Ysabel

Ring no more

For us

But for their captors

They ring all the time

Clanging out “Thief, thief, thief!”

It must be tough to hold up

Under that kind of condemnation

God must have a hand in this

He keeps the thieves names on His black list

Nothing good could ever come of this

Those bells are surely missed

There’s only one way to escape eternal damnation

Bring back the bells

Of the Mission Santa Ysabel

Buy your way out of hell

God’s not buying what you have to sell

And one can never tell

When things will no longer go so well

Someday the bells

Of the Mission Santa Ysabel

Will chime in joyous rapture

Across the Santa Ysabel Valley

Summoning parishioners to appear

And perhaps shed some tears

Over the long-awaited return of the bells

God being in his Heaven

And all being right with the world

The bells

Of the Mission Santa Ysabel

Don’t ring currently

But even a blind man can see

That God will put an end to this travesty

He will solve the mystery

The bells of the Mission Santa Ysabel

Will once again clang loudly

Ding, dong

No longer gone

The bells of the Mission Santa Ysabel

Will clang loudly

Over the Santa Ysabel Valley

God being in His Heaven

And all being right with the world

Ding

Dong

Ding

Dong

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Ryin and the Toaster – R.H.

Ooooeeeeeeooooooooo the cops are coming, you better hide everything you’re ashamed of, and also yourself if you’re Mexican or black, god knows what cops will do to you then.

Ryin and the Toaster

Ryin Goose was out in Canada on a wild goose chase after his mother and wife left him and took the kids. He was left alone all sad and depressed, trying to get custody over them because he actually wasn’t a bad parent. They just filed him for rape and pedophilia because they hated him and wanted to ruin his life like the sadistic people they are.
“Oh why must life be this way!” He cried in anguish as he clutched close the only thing that mattered to him. His family heritage. The centuries old toaster his family lineage had been passing down for ages. This time around though, it looked like it was going nowhere.
Ryin would cry soulful tears, all of them falling on the ancient toaster. Suddenly, it came alive.
“Stop crying you damn sissy,” it said, surprising Ryin goose so he threw the now sentient toaster, immediately apologizing afterwards like the Canadian he is.
“Oh wow you can talk!?” Ryin spoke with amazement. This was like that one Pokemon movie, but different. Gotta avoid copyright, am I right?
“No thanks to you, you baboon. Now stop crying, I know how to fix your life,” said the toaster.
Ryin would nod and say, “Okay,” with the most pathetic voice you could imagine. Because he was very pathetic in this very moment.
“Okay, so, fake your own death and set up a new identity in another country. Badda Bing badda boom, you’re good as new. No more rape and pedophilia charges,” the toaster said.
Wow, this toaster was an absolute genius! He figured it out so quickly! Ryin goose was certainly saved from the charges his wife and mother threw at him! He wouldn’t get the kids, but he could just make more of those so it was okay.
“How do we start?” Ryin goose asks.
“Well, kill yourself,” says the toaster.
Harsh, but okay.
Ryin goose climbed the highest building and jumped off of it, literally killing himself. What a baboon, he fooled the plans.
“Oh my fUCK ing gOD Ryin gOOSE you PATHETIC LOOSER!! You straight up killed yourself and probably on purpose too!! I FUCKING HATE YOU!” The toaster fUMED. He had now set his life goal from toasting the best toasties, into toasting Ryin goose’s entire family.
With his super high IQ, the toaster made himself better, the best he’s ever been. Better than when he was first born.
Now equipped with flame throwers and guns comparable to having a chain gun fused with anti aircraft, the toaster was ready to toast the rest of the goose family to a crisp. He set out, using ancestry.com and his extensive toaster memory as guides.
The toaster would arrive at Ryin goose’s wife and mothers house. Without even ringing the doorbell, the toaster fired. Without even going through a round of ammunition, the house was obliterated and everyone inside was instantly dead.
He continued onto his father, and his mother’s siblings, and his father’s siblings, and the siblings children, and their children, and on and on until the goose bloodline was obsolete.
“I can go back to toasting toasties,” the toaster said, now content with what he did. “God, if you can give me to a great family, I’ll give up my sentience.”
“Aight, cool,” God said and Thanos snapped his fingers.
The toaster poofed into the hands of a bigger, better, stronger family than the goose’s, and he served them as the best regular toaster he could be, toasting the best toasties.

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THE VALENTINE’S MOPES – LANCE GAMBRELL

Horse-girls lasso me in, and brand me a “Sore Loser.”

He had never seen a Siberian winter until she said, “I have a boyfriend.”

In the T.V. illuminated room, a bill from the gym could barely be read, “over-due notice.”


The only commercial that has ever made me cry, ended by declaring that “A diamond is forever.”


“Next year’s Valentine’s day dinner will be much better, he declared,” after pushing “2, 0, 0, start.” on the microwave key pad.

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HOLLY DAY – KISS IT ALL AWAY

Kiss It All Away     

 

I crumble under the weight of your wings

as you leap from the balcony and find that you’re only human

and the two of us fall.

 

There are gods burning in the fire place

painfully smiling through bruised lips

I’ve got runs in my hose from their fingernails; they need us, too.

 

What a disappointment it was to discover

that you still have one foot stuck in the real world

and it’s the foot that counts.

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Robert Allen Beckvall – Complete Freedom

Complete Freedom

No past lurking like a phantom

The future?  Not tricking me today into possibles and impossibles

All untrue, untrue

The caffeine I am weaned

Booze, a distant memory of last weekend’s 3 pints

Gordon Biersch with a Chicago teacher

Aches and pains from my beloved sport?

Not a knee, ankle, wrist, back, Achilles, shoulder, or calf

No Advil in sight

Worry about the wife and kid-no way!

They more likely to worry about me…the Chinese Queen and Princess

Arizona clan?  They got their pine breezes, lakes, and Trader Joe’s

Worried about living on an island?

Teaching and coaching?

Writing in the mornings?

You see, I would have to make up some ills and blackness

Like an actor

Why?  When real life is so sweet, and the freedom you can taste

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