Sunday, September 30, 2012


by M.N. O'Brien

I know about scarcity, I know
the dreamy truths that fact cannot pervade
on both wings. Man is left to fly and think.
The television is American
and eccentric. I must be on my guard.

Standing on the fringe of contradiction,
a quiet life bellows at a funeral. The weather never says
a thing. It says hello and asks about your condition without
caring, expecting good and nothing more.

The crumbs of concrete
lie on the side of the road, lost in thought,
resisting the automatic life. Shopping carts, faded signs,
hotels, shadows, and the hot car seat
presses back into yourself.

I was in Newark long enough
to know the color dark blue and the comparison
of white light and yellow light, and the rumors
that white light can only be felt. I have heard
more serious charges in my lifetime of watching.

I was in Newark long enough
to know clouds behind a neon light,
funeral homes, police cars, trains,
discount fires, and believe
little boys still love
spikes and explosions.

I was in Newark long enough
to know the planes fly low, shaking
all the buildings down and throwing
the garbage in the air like a child celebration,
to know how the people walk dry mouthed
and await the opening of fire hydrants.

Science Experiment

by Kait McIntyre

Every scalpel has a silver lining
and I take it sterilized
with vodka and a blue lighter.
Glass rings grin from your oak
counter. Nothing counts.
Not even your tender.

A woman serves me and I take it
on the rocks, on the house,
on a wink and a whim
to explore a man-
like woman.

I swallow, not spit
her juice, knowing
it will curdle by morning.

With You on Rainy Days

by Shenan Prestwich

With you on rainy days, I always think
of Alstadt-Lehel in September.
Just like that, I feel its slick stones
like I still feel the summer’s swamp upon my eyelids these days
when they close beneath your shadow in July.
Still hear the buzzing of the air
filtration motor, like a swarm of flies.

Though it’s never repeated
its incredible feat, its coup de grace,
not a single pass of your palms over my hips
from June to August goes without stirring
in me how I saw my head split open,
crown to nose, and felt myself burst from it,
floating in the still blue without a sound
except the distant buzzing of the flies
from miles below me somewhere.

But when with you on rainy days,
I think of Alstadt-Lehel in September.
I make a point to think of it.

Because someday when the rain has shepherded us in
by plinking on the windows and the air
conditioning like mallets on a xylophone,
tinny and uneven,
and your hands are tired and my eyes are tireder
because the kitchen’s sat there darkened, dumb
for three days because we haven’t changed the bulb,

I’ll feel my right arm spattered damp,
my unprotected side opposite the one
beneath the shelter of your rib,
our shared umbrella.

I’ll look upon our house as one of sustenance,
cultivated and consumed with every day,
like full, fat pumpkins, like tomatoes,
like the bierhauses—Weissen, Hacker,
Fischer Vroni—we waded into then,
floored by warmth, by the embrace
of ancient tender arms.
By the ache and creak of wood, the sting of salt on lips.
The sweat of wheat and water curving
down the belly of the glass and pooling
in the wet feathers of napkins.

Wooden Songs

by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal

The wooden owl
opens its beak
and sings
wooden songs.
I can’t tell you
how well it sings.
The trees
like the songs.
The trees bleed sap
like blood and tears.
The owl
bleeds as well.

The wooden owl
smiles and opens
its beak
and sings for

the bleeding trees
who gave birth to
the owl
long ago.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


by Ayeni Tolulope

sound the gong, call forth to meet,
the five and half men who rule our meat,

sound the gong, call forth corruption,
the marauding bastard milking our nation,

sound the gong, call forth poverty,
the eater flesh and taker of purity,

sound the gong, call forth theft,
the beast, high and lowly takes all that we've kept,

sound the gong, call forth murder,
the masqurades with guns who make widows our mothers,

sound the gong, call forth the sick preachers,
the maker of bombs with leeches as teachers,

sound the gong, call forth the half,
a hope for tomorrow? We five scoff and laugh.

Cliches Get Stuck Under Your Fingernails

by Jennifer Recchio

I didn't believe you when you stood
on your toes, said, "Hell is other people
when I only want you," and I told you not
to quote things you don't understand.

I didn't save you when you held out
the smooth palms of your hands,
your tears in your mouth, med school
dreams dead at your tennis shoes.

I didn't come for you when you called
that morning from the side of 260,
everything you knew in the trunk
of your Honda, except the hairclip
you left with me.

You didn't believe me when I said,
"Hell is us together," and you didn't
understand that what Sartre really
meant is, hell's full of people like
me running from people like you.

Drinking with El Greco

by Seth Jani

In Spring you slowly sip a porter,
One Sunday night
While the voices in the wind
Are grave and rocking.
You grow intently
Upwards from below,
The root-sop of the soul
Surging to your mouth.
You kiss a poster
Of some dark city in Spain,
Tracing the lineaments
Of steel light
Which seem to slip
Through chinks inside
The photo,
Reaching out
To touch you
In your room.
You look out
At your own
Most haunted city,
The old jazz-blare
of traffic
Dipping and diving
Through the night,
The same uneasy darkness
Nodding from above.

Pixie Talk

by Rafi Miller

Lie with me
                        to me
Beneath a phoenix sun
lend me your magnifying glass
let’s burn ants and watch them struggle up
from their ashes
Blue smoke curls from our lips as
The ash from our shared cigarette falls
on their dead little heads
Dmitri, dahling, isn’t it just so wonderful
-ly pointless?

What should we do with our day?
There’s another bottle of wine left
there has to be
No?  Well let’s just run to the shore
To stare at the sharp steel of the horizon
let it laugh at us
remind us
we mean nothing, we are
Where the salty winds will
burn my cuts
Shift the seas
in my favor
                        my favor

Do me a favor? 
Rub your buttercup
On my chin
                        you dirty bastard
Imbue hues of crumbling pollen on bare skin
                        tell me you love me, liar, liar!
Let’s just lie
Let’s stick spoons in the lemon chiffon
Lick white-hot sugar from our lips 
make faces at the fat maid
behind her fat back
Come on
It will be fun
cum on