Poem titles that start with “and” have a lot to live up too, and the ones featured here do just fine.
On a separate note. If you’re going to address the head poetry editor by first and last name in your submission, I guess it would be detrimental to not know his name, or to spell it wrong. My name is Luis Rivas. Not Louise. Not Louis. Not Rivera.
I mean, you can call me Mr. Fucktard Sanchez Shit Sandwich but if you have awesome words that are arranged perfectly as poetry, then fine, you win. Call me what you want. But if it’s subpar, you’re shit out of luck.
Hey, let’s change it up a bit. What’s everyone’s opinion on making the poetry issue have a new theme each month? Maybe for July we can have poetry on being fired from a job, then for August have a theme on fire/burning things/people. Sounds good?
The Poetry Editors
Lewis Rivera Rodriguez Flores-Magon & Henry Ajumeze
Roads are uncanny. They lead you
to paths strewn with rice, paddy fields
and mud. This is in India. But home is here
and roads reckon that and take you to abyss
of myths: mosques and temples.
Forts and minarets. Somewhere the mast flies.
Somewhere it does not, but roads are omniscient with children
as playthings and hutments as barriers.
Roads then, are forbidden.
They become loquacious and prattle.
The noise is incessant. Only when there is a storm
are silent. And penurious.
Have you heard their lament or the snipers which assail them,
in Iraq, Afghanistan and Egypt?
Mortgage these roads, but don’t banish them into crusades( of war).
You will understand plenitude, volatile war, love and what takes
to make a land, a country, a nation.
By David McLean
and history is a sort of metal
memory, like inquisitive mothers watching
or a slimy suspicious psychiatrist
who was not as cultivated as Lacan might have wished
but still listened, like water falling
in a silent and inauspicious night,
like history pretending to come from life,
a blind man who didn’t approve of eyes
BIO: David McLean is Welsh but has lived in Sweden since 1987. He lives there on a small island in the Mälaren with woman, weather, boat, dogs and cat. In addition to six chapbooks, McLean is the author of three full-length poetry collections: CADAVER’S DANCE (Whistling Shade Press, 2008), PUSHING LEMMINGS (Erbacce Press, 2009), and LAUGHING AT FUNERALS (Epic Rites Press, 2010). More information about David McLean can be found at his blog here: http://mourningabortion.blogspot.com/
By F. S. Symons
An old car arrives, leaks
in its exhaust system,
holes in the rusty floorboards.
Inhaling carbon I cough in the lube pit and
shout, turn off your engine. Through the floor,
I see the driver’s long pale legs, inches
above me, safe in the pleats of her khaki skirt.
Years ago, my friend Kyle
had been wearing a khaki shirt,
in our classroom turned shooting gallery,
bright red oozing out of the bullet
hole and dyeing the cloth.
Too slow to unscrew the oil pan plug,
I scald my arms with the car’s spewing
black oil. The mechanic’s blowtorch
points at me for a second. I could be
incinerated in this pit, shaped like a coffin.
The woman’s car is dead now. It
disgorges differential fluid.
I pour in a serum, molasses brown
to nurture it back to life.
Her engine oil stinks of burnt carbon,
unlike the new gold blood I inject.
Her coolant oozes out pinkish and
I replace it with orange liquid, but first,
curious, I lick a drop. It is
I finish the job, wipe the oil
off black greasy cuts on my hand,
wounded like my faith.
I observe the woman as she sips her milky coffee.
Her car roars to life, the nutrients flowing.
She pays, the wind nips her
receipt out of her hand and
she’s gone, just a customer, a piece
of receipt paper now,
carried away like a voice in the wind,
like Kyle, like the fumes of this pit I live in.
The City of Creation
By Austin McCarron
In deepest morning
I eat for breakfast the
crust of my soul, rich
as the butter of the poor,
to whom I offer my food
in a city of empty rooms.
Ghost of life, scavenger of
I rise like stone of my sound
and place in
each hand a night of wounds.
On branches of towers and scaffold
of abstract windows,
where people with wooden engines
gasp for air,
the wind struggles
like the witness to a troubled birth.
River of tides, city of mounted rain-
drops, of trembling fingers,
of carnivorous flames, of blood and
light, of skin
crushed with grey geographies, let me
climb higher than death
and untie my blind
mouth with kisses of impossible gold.
By Daniel Becker
We grow older
and lose our colour
the beat of your drum
will grow somber
We need money
and a place to live
time to get our own
Out in the ether
where the cool kids trip
the bad boys drink
and the weak ones sip
Smoke some dope
to see the light
the good old times
only come out at night
Back to the grind
moving brick by brick
He said, “Go on boy
bring me something that sticks”
I brought black coffee
and a cigarette
I said, “I hope you’re happy
‘cuz this is all life is”
He could have fired me
or kicked and shout
but he brought the coffee
up into his mouth
He said, “I hope you see
it’s not what you drink
but who sits with you
and what you think”
His face seemed soft
and his words seemed sure
then he said to me
“fucking get back to work.”
To An Erection
By Shayne Benz
Lamentation over pulsation
of a tiny blue river
I watched you in a bacchanal
of swollen promise
old growth redwood
I bowed to your brief kingdom.
And as you desperately wane
and fall like a new fawn
I am reminded of the
indifference of nature.
Throwing Snowballs at Cars
By Paul Hostovsky
From our little redoubt
up on the hill
we lobbed our redoubtable
arsenal of white
one by one over the hedges
for the gratifying
on the roofs and hoods of the passing
who mostly just kept trundling dumbly
through the purely perfect-for-packing
driven snow. But once
an innocent in a beat-up pickup
stopped. And stayed there. Idling. Fuming.
We froze, our fingers and toes
twitching, our hearts racing, our noses
running. Finally he drove off, but he doubled
back around, and routed our little
redoubt. And there’s no doubt
he would have beaten the shit out of us
if he caught any of us–
but we dispersed
like a burst snowball ourselves,
and melted into the neighborhood
like so many scared shitless
snowflakes, no two of us exactly