Monday, September 21, 2009

2 Poems by Max Glassburg

"Widows Say Goodbye"

Dye, she pounds the pitiful bruise
into a can of bruising, eye seething
what eyes seethe, when even nice eye trickling falls

she eats cool cans of dye—they thumb the night for her
cool sins of too much widowing. Widows no more, widows gone.

Think happy, like we ever think unhappy thorns,
when we think unhappy roses.

Then we dine in thorny dye on shirts, our
colors blend in the flower shape, and our thorns are gone

Aeneas gone, Aeneas over-done as final lines are never

Widows gone, as widows all are eventually ours
to say, this way I like a smooth feeling
washing sentiment on clouds
green pickles in a Jewish song,
Passover moonlights enlighten drifting cowboy eyes

for Jewish names and old damn toy-store peaks
her friends say he’s always speaking
for the dye, a fidget-freezing one… three commas in, he’s still speaking …
for her again and eyes see them all eyes see them again

For Jewish girls still make porno drinks
for priests like us, and widows won’t let go widows
in Aeneas frozen o’er wormwood dye, goodbye
Aeneas good, goodbye.

"Without Usura (after Ezra Pound)"

Without usura, no stone cut hath a market,
each effort spit in sand
and delight in the spit will smear thine starving Christian child’s face—

without usura

still no paradise, still no ancient’s greed
for fucking unfulfilled, all fucking around.
Virgins all, incisions basted
in fine stagnation, all harpes SPIT et luthes
in the plague—

without usura

the heirs multiply in fashion
for queens to swallow royal come
for quickly, quickly summation come—

without usura, CHRISTIAN man
is a JEW man, is a stale JEW man
like his flat bread, without haste,
papyrus only, simple suckers—simple suckers—

without usura, Shylock, why?

Without usura—it’s all too clear
the dwellings won’t move.
Stone cutters trade for corn
weavers eat whiskey meat on a birthday dish—


wool is rare.
Sheep are thin in the field.
A murrain muses on blessings, calves sip their manure—

heroin stock is opium’s only cattle
again the weaver’s prick their gorged bellies.

A house divided stood, in usura
Ban Ki Moon set without it, for free—
Liberia killed my ma without usura, and I’ll vote for it there!
Farts are all without usura.
McDonald’s found a cheaper meat, sans usura.

Dickens paid with usura.
Adamo me!
Adamo me!
and Obama swiftly charged
Adamo me!
Adamo me!

Qua vos es , illic mos Fio, with usura’s pinch—

Usura slayeth gardens of filth, of Christian belonging
with USEFUL sickness in the court, twisted broker tree vines eradiate
symptom by symptom, everyone by everyone else,
equal us, all for all or more.
No friendship filth, none of that; the canker, please.

Usura rusts us like machines, but we need what rusts.
It slayeth sickness, what once was health.
Sex is always, and usura is penetration—
marriage avows to sanctify the rust, at least it sanctifies here.

I guess… we live in sin.

They have brought whores for Chicago
moping prisoners in moving necessitation

yes, I guess. We live at your behest.

1 Poem by Charles Brooks III


Bird and Dizzy bound out of the doghouse

like fuming dialogue between enemies.

Flaring from a short-lived brotherhood,

captains of beatnik, Bird didn’t fly.

Outcasts, cotton became concerts

where white people sat in the back

looking over noble, black heads.

Genuine men made hurricanes sing.

Latin America, Cuban licks succeeded in

thickening a viscous music that keeps

euphony thrust upward, never lonely,

accepted on its own in blown cheeks and bent brass.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

1 Poem by Michael Bernstein

that March...

...that day
in the freeze:
doors out to
bare earth,
coughs in the
lenscap Dark.
the cups they
hold boil&
float each
time you
speak,give it
away.its kind
of like being
a doctor
said.hands ra-
ttle windows,
cinders revved
for lack of
left,we seek
the last close
livid in the
dead storm

Micheal Bernstein is the author of two chapbooks. His work appears in numerous magazines. He currently edits the online lit magazine Pinstripe Fedora.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

2 Poems by Sylvia Sullivan


In the cool morning light,
a body draped limply over the unmade bed
and an arm angled up and back,
making shadows tickle the wall.
The shoulder blade gave way.
Inevitable, then, that the palm met
the seeming lenience of the mattress.

Anxious teeth had peeled away cuticle
and red irritation interrupted the beige of
rayon and flesh.
I drew in five fingers –
these the taut panels of an umbrella,
opening and closing with a raincloud –
and felt the ribbings’ minute vibrations
against my fingertips,
fortuitous murmurs of an oracle.

I pressed hard, middle and forefinger,
into a seam-strapped hill.
The shadowy indentation between the two,
an absence coalescing into connection,
and the force crawling up through the forearm,
paradoxical in its initial effortlessness.

The slammed door shattered
spongy mountain hypnosis.
The forearm muscle collapsed and
the shadow snapped.

I glanced up.
My frame cast out another shadow
along polyester plateaus,
but across the way
waiting to meet it
there was no other body.

“Descending Desert”
What is this place,
Where strange double suns
Mesh and meld and become one deliquesced globule?
Proof of heliocentrism, rigorous and unquestionable,
Overwhelming and blinding.
Dune melts away underneath – a struggle up Sechuran seif –
And frantic arms flung against an aeolian inevitability.
Deaf from the granular accumulation in the helix,
Itchy as it slithers and piles in the navel.
Still is a fatalistic attraction,
A frame clung to the scalding, shifting Sossusvlei.
Phoebean radiance grips the gaze and gnaws the backside.

Suddenly, so suddenly, the ridge,
Painstakingly carved, thin engraving.
A memory of tumbling joyously and miserably over
Into the shadow of otherside.

And then only a pleasurable after-tingle
And a thumb,
Tracing an aleph in the cool sand.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

1 Poem by Jonathan Soboleski


She is only a memory.
The men crowd at her feet as,
I am told, they always have,
But now without flowers.
Now they bring tools and machines to do
Things tools and machines can never do.

One uses a swab to brush dirt from her lips,
Revealing the remnants of an ancient smile.
Another, uses a small pick to clean the cracks
Running up her legs and arms.
The restorers work diligently
To preserve what is left, as best they can.

Perhaps as they work,
The men wonder what she looked like
All those years ago; when she was new.
Cut and painted with love by her sculptor,
Her body was born in dance,
Her right hand brandishing a spear of victory
From some forgotten war, or love.
The men work and wonder what has been lost.
Or maybe they do not.
Maybe it is only a job.

Now, centuries removed from her time
The men scramble to prop her up,
For whatever reason.
Her dance has crumbled into a writhe,
And the arm that once gripped a spear
Grips nothing, only reaching out.
Her eyes are blank, old dust.
The colors faded years ago.
The men have done a good job
Keeping her this way.

Jonathan Soboleski lives in St. Louis, MO. Writes occasionally.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

3 Poems by Garrett Johnson

“Electric Heat: Hat Rack by Winter’s Door”

Might start to see the unearthed,
the shackles that show when
some upright stance wakes up
and nothing but grey streamers drag in Following.

Might start to quiver, but not dead and not even.
The shackles are what you want to be a mirage.
Morning comes, brings a torch that shines a light
to a carpet of astronomy where the planets are dilated-
here, facades are only sleeping soundly in the basement.

You found pleasure swinging between branches
of the most unkempt and spiky nests-
it vomits all on all of the screen doors,
until you know where the smell takes you.

Glaciers where you can't see the humans.
But now there is a point at which
a finger can touch
an actual chin, an actual shoulder.
Mustn't leave this place, this once-known now in the re-making.

You, aboard the crest of alcoves.
You may have uncorked the nook.

“Counting Blessings”

Counting blessings by the metallic fireside,
down, down,
a motor stranded on a desert island
desires fruition and multiplies
by foam and barnacle

and wrappers swept away by fish.
We look under the sea
and find a large being asleep,
cradled in a cold band of amber needles,
suspended just a few feet above the floor
of this body of water,

and we count our blessings
in the pent up cameras
and monikers of wrappers swept away by fish.

An answer becomes an imprint
in the idle embassy, a portrait made to be cast underneath

morphing shields.

“Furnace Prayer”

He who searches for what is not lost yearns to kiss the napes of the nameless, only to find that they are torn just like he is, and their names are embroidered in gold beyond trees and lines.

Silence is restored through what may not just be mere politeness, and dialogue, which is usually the sanctuary of circles, turns out to be a diagonal line. The lightning bolt of love becomes imprisoned in a comfort not known to bestial indifference. Nameless deeds become imprisoned the hierarchy of odds, maneuvered in seemingly desolate areas.

Oasis, I escape you in favor of a trance, and without time you become a rock to carry on the shoulder, never straying from the skin, and with that I feel a wholeness.

To which I reply, "effaces cleanliness."

How dare I retaliate with a useless word, but feeling like the straw is hatched and there is only time to win, I count the minutes and patiently sit by the furnace. My heart goes out to you, oh achiever of namesake, for the bearing of suffering does not include death.