and I turned.
All I had was a yellowed
like a desert
captured at noon
with a single black tree
at its center,
by Shriram Sivaramakrishnan of Chennai
A bear and a junkie fight for a slice of pizza. It’s always worth coming to New York, he tells the Friday night crowd, see you last week! Plm-chh! says Goldie. Kraszki orders a soda. Truer words were never spoken thru falser teeth! Buh-chang! Like the grave, Goldie says, tossing a hot tea-bag over his shoulder. It hits the counter-guy on the neck and he screams in pain like a Chinese Chaplin. It’s funny.
by R. Kulesz of Queens
Where a guitar pickin’
goes to wait tables
and get southern fried.
by Kevin Heaton of Aiken
Cold waves slap the sand and the sun's too pale to tan. The water's unfriendly and the girls are gone. The twilight's all apples and pumpkins. I'm sat on a towel with an unopened book pining for peaches and watermelon.
by Kenyon Ledford of Ojai
Ask the magicians
and animal trainers
on the breadline
where that got them.
by Robert Laughlin of Chico
Paroled, Andre Mann erected a carousel in the ghetto. Calliope music. Painted horses. Grinning children escaping reality. Andre’s atonement amid concrete, glass, graffiti, gangs and guns. The past rolls by in a gold trimmed low rider. Windows down. Shots fired. Four bullets in Andre. Single bullets in three children and a mom. Today there is a faded circus mural on a brick wall in front of drug dealers.
by Robert Boaz of St. Charles
I’ve been lost in the woods,
I step into the up elevator.
I lift the barbell with a grunt.
at the edge of the traffic.
by Howie Good of Highland
take me to the delta
wrap me in taro leaf
give me back
i don't want to
burden the sun
by m.g. martin of San Francisco
We hold each other close, a perfect dancing pose. The stars above us twinkle and the wind around us blows. Our dance is causing my skirt to defy gravity and his shirt to come undone. All modesty is lost, my head is tucked under his chin. This is our moment, our last moment, I say, the first truth I’ve told him. But he will never know that.
We are falling, dancing and the earth rises up to meet us.
by Aliza Greenblatt of Devon
The Devil eats children
sunflower seeds & Malibu
under dirty subway lights
making us laugh like
stretched t-s hanging over
a drunk man's knee
by Christina Rodriguez of Queens
We stuck armymen's plastic bases into sandbox battlefields and burned them into green and tan casualties with your daddy's bic lighter.
by George T. Mormann of Joliet
He announced that his final play would express his final opinion of human affairs, after a lifetime of experience and deliberation. Secretly, he had already decided on The Tempest.
That night, he finally met his future son-in-law.
The next day, he announced that he would direct King Lear.
by Robert Laughlin of Chico
When cigarettes no longer bring you pleasure
or bad customer service.
by Jenny Rossi of Newport
Most never get a room of one’s own or drown eternally on Pernod with Zelda weeping. Scott wakes up, takes a sip, types a few words about moving glows, empty mansions, and ferry boats. Zelda runs in, nervous and hot. "Scott all you do is type and drink with that limp dick of yours." "Things were harder in Paris." "Fuck You." "Can’t, typing."
by Paul Vincent Andrews of Detroit
seek glory of choice
at my reflection
clearly distorted and
by Judy Shepps Battle of Kendall Park
Em wrote the book on trail running, it was now in its 12th edition, even though she had given it up. Em’s Achilles’ heel was her Achilles’ heel, so now she was married to the idea of being married. Still, as she opened the dishwasher and saw the spoons spooning, she craved the trail run. For grisly encounters with grisly bears and firing up the fire. Now there was no more running. She sighed and reached for a spoon.
by Michael Donoghue of Vancouver
The arctic air rolls north, perpetual like a vacuum sucking snow from southern lands. My back is against a steady breeze, lively in my venture.
This time of year, there is all-day illumination here, caught between the pastures of playtime and constantly forgetting what time to go to bed.
I awake each morning; thick shades mask the sun.
When will it be time to go out and see the moon shine on snow banks and Moose tracks?
by M. R. Carter of Hagerstown