Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Dying Lust

by Ali Znaidi

a flicker of a candlelight was waltzing,
         and quivering, as it was caressed by a gentle wind—
                               an endless orgasmic trembling
                                                                            of lust

         a comet dancing
                                                   through the dark

                                                                             once again
                                                                             only the wasps
                                                                    next door were singing

the      beat

                     went on
went away, and helplessly thawed
with the appearance                                           of the first sunlight

After His Death

by Anastasia Placido

She smells of smoke again
   It's not just on her clothes
but surrounds her like an aura
            hangs in her hair
she is trying to replace her grief.
    The smoke clouds her emotion
As she inhales vast amounts
                         fills up her lungs
                     attempting to feel anything but
the emptiness.
   She cannot cloud her eyes.

The heaviness is there
and her face sags under hard glances and
     newly forming worry lines
I can see it
  the shift
It hurts to just look at her
    her hugs make me cough
the acrid smell of sorrow makes my eyes water
      But I hold tight.
Squeeze her like a bellows
      and stoke her back to life
I've followed the smoke to the dying flame
I'm not about to watch another one
           go out.

Belly Up

by Lisa Vihos

I bellied up
to that hard place
where you belly up
when you carry
the whole weight
of every sad, sick
thing that ever
happened to you
and ask to have it
rinsed off
in fire water
one fifty proof something or other
I really don’t care what; just anything
to cauterize the
gaping wound
ripped open
every time
I have to see you
and think about
how we once were
and how we are
not now.

Canyon in the Cold

by Travis Campbell

There upon levels so high, they stand out
Hanging heads over edges with wide eyes
To witness below the growing of sprouts
That bloom and die before the dark does apply
From these fantastic heights, they have no control
Able to offer no help to lives fall down
Underneath their world with rope bound souls
Forced to witness new buds choke and brown
And then comes the strong rooted warrior
Explode through boneyards of decayed stem
Toward the watchers, a fresh carrier
Reaching branches to touch as god did Men

Snap twigs and break limbs and pile them as tinder
Strike the flint; throw the spark, the chill night ender

Hard Whiskey

by Devlin De La Chapa

It’s 11 in the morning
I’m sitting in a bar
drinking hard Whiskey
Everyone is talking but
I hear nothing but the sound
of heavy breath fucking my ear,
fucking with my Whiskey breath
A nice old man, around forty or so
but not for this girl who is all but sweet of sixteen
who loves hard Whiskey in the morning
when her mama thinks I’m learning in school,
while her daddy sinks his big rig in the dirt
all to support my secret filthy habit.
It’s now 11 something in the morning
I’m lying on a bed in a motel room somewhere
beneath the seedy ruins of LA’s misbehaved
A bottle of Whiskey resides beneath the pillow
as the thick of some prick’s dick drowns my sorrows
My pussy, a vacant hole beaten to a tender rawness
is absent of no tender mercy, just detached from pleasure
I contemplate going Cold Turkey but the measure
of hard Whiskey is no challenge from its promiscuity;
I am a drunk, I am a teenage whore, I have a problem

I'm Better with Numbers

by Sheldon Lee Compton

Let me count the ways. Allow me that, and listen closely. Please.

One. Through and through, a blessed stone arrowhead beneath the tree root to the far end of the ridge.

Two. Miles suspended in all the water the earth offers while seconds, for once, gear down and step away, giving in. Just this once, in this life.

Three. While spinning in a ramble like a blackbird breaking the morning, even then, more then maybe. Never less. Dark-walking across those words, my fingertips chopping at the places where light once lived. Rambling with my heart slipped from shoulder to sleeve to palm.

Let me count the ways, and count and count and count. I'm better with numbers when your breathing can be heard.

No Heroics Near Cars No More

by David McLintock

Bauble configurations of metal, plastic, glass,
Cushions, radios, air-bags, stashed on low radials,
Squeezed round a magnificent empire-owning face
Whose little brow flickers in the mirror above the dash.

How they harry me, horn up behind me, pursue and pass
At puddle-splashing speed as I hunch in the thin width
Of pavement edging their city-piercing whooshing traffic.
How they hector constantly blurring by, how they hoot.

How can I walk a reverie, when every route
Walks me toward their flow? I hear the hum, and the air
Congests rubber, diesel, metal, a thick, sickening
Perfume, loud to the back of the throat. I lose bravery,

And seek the Green Man, a pagan atavism.
What committee commissioned him, mooing tradition?
I press on hm, and wait. Finally, engines tamp down. I cross:
A frail man targeted by impatient lions.

This Place

by April Salzano

You ask how much I want you. With a consistency            
that tears at my skin, centrifugal spin                      
to my core. I want your touch on my body my mind
your breath in my mouth, open,
quiet. I belong to you already. I remain still,          
uneasy, unsettled. How often can I
touch you before you vanish like light edging
at the blinds, before the sullen fog of morning reaches      
in to take you back, leaving me wet from your tongue,
drunk from your smell, tracing my way back to my own
reality, a place I barely recognize.

Ask me tomorrow. Ask me a year from now. Ask me
to describe how it feels once I’ve gotten
what I wanted, taken what wasn’t mine.
Ask me then when you know my fear of failure
overrides my stubborn refusal to relent. Ask me when
we’ve finished consuming each other, breaking silences into
sound, heroically battling each other’s ghosts
back down where they came from. Ask me

when we’ve finished memorizing
our respective lines, scars, the place
I twice tore open and was sewn back together,
the eyes inked into your weathered skin, watching
me watch you. Ask me when
the engine has finished killing the track. I cannot
define my reasons while I am still
carrying you around, a half formed idea, something
I created on my own. I cannot

reach you where you are. I am again consuming
leftovers, half eaten ghost rations, discarded.
And I am tired. I have already waited through this season
in another life, its weather blowing a restless black wind,
its sun scalding my skin, which I would sooner crawl
out of than be this untouched. I have been here before

crouched in a dark hole waiting to be found. Waiting through
the words of a language
I do not know, a dialect I never learned, cannot
translate or articulate, whose words promise to bring you here,      
to make you rush headlong to where
I exist, waiting.
Waiting for you to come,
not back, but forward, to this place you have never been.
This place is who I am. I am this place.
It is where I will be, waiting.  In spite of myself.
I am inside this place and I do not
            know how to
                                    find my way back out.