In this issue we have poems from highly-educated individuals that waste their time writing poems, by and large for free.
But, hey, I aint hatin’.
On a serious note. I wish I would have received some Sept. 11, 1973 poems on the late President Salvador Allende of Chile and the US/CIA-backed coup d’état. Every year there seems to be an ideological struggle to bring awareness to this crime, which remains by far uncovered by mainstream media. Even before Sept. 11, 2001.
Irrespective of this, below you will find poems on adolescent arrogance, North Englander Bukowskians and your standard literary sadomasochists.
Poetry Editors, Gloom Cupboard
When I was Younger
By Saleem Patterson
When I was a young man I fought against things I didn’t understand
Being a not so young, young man I fight less and understand more
I now know that a fight starts in the mind not in the bottle
That loneliness is just a feeling not a death sentence
I know that women will always hurt you if you let them
Family is just a word that can be attached to anyone
I know the sweetness of a fine whiskey when you have nothing else
I know that there is always something else
I know the sting of love lost
The relief of a woman’s touch when all she wants is you
sometimes it doesn’t matter what you know
cuz the feeling is just that much stronger
Bio: Saleem Patterson is a San Fernando Valley scumbag who makes his living selling alcohol to other scumbags at local bars. When he’s not writing poetry, he’s in jail. When he’s not in jail, he’s painting, smoking, drinking, fighting and capturing the beauty of a pornographic world.
By Yevgeniy Levitskiy
weapon of mass
soldiers and tyrants
and politicians. Whereas, streets
and self-conscious protestors
are protesting the test. K street
firms throw money; washing
wars with water.
Bio: Yevgeniy Levitskiy has received a B.A. in English-Education from Brooklyn College, and is currently pursuing a M.A. His writing has been published in Hot Summer Nights (Inner Child Press), The Fiction Shelf, Everyday Other Things, and elsewhere. His forthcoming publications include The Books They Gave Me (Free Press/Simon & Schuster), Unshod Quills, and Yes, Poetry. He is currently at work on a middle-grade novel.
First Real Job
By William Davies, Jr.
The boy stands
In the middle
Of the thoroughfare
Directing traffic into
The amusement park
Or, trying to.
He just completed
His freshman year
In High School.
Still as sweet
As a strawberry,
Already a girl
One motorist gives
Him the finger
Another spits at him.
A woman on a cellphone
Nearly runs him over
Until a supervisor finally
Comes to the rescue.
His arm movements
Pointing the only way.
All the while whispering
Bio: The writer lives in rural Pennsylvania and has published poems in The Cortland Review, The Blue Lyra Review, The Wilderness House Review and others.
“I ain’t necessarily a communist, but I’ve been living in the red most of my life”
- Woodie Guthrie
By Stephanie Smith
These days we hardly speak
You drop your boots off at the door
Love becomes dormant
in the throes of redundancy
and all the plants have shed their leaves
The wind rattles windows, shatters souls
We lie reluctant to the sound
of ghosts scraping the sides of the bed,
shaking the headboard,
invading our dreams
We sleep back-to-back these evenings
in the midst of cold black sheets,
waiting for it all to end
Bio: Stephanie Smith was born in 1978 in Scranton, Pennsylvania where she still resides. Her debut poetry chapbook, DREAMS OF DALI, was released in 2010 from Flutter Press. Her work has appeared in such publications as PIF MAGAZINE, DECOMP, and EVERYDAY POETS.
we looked at the world
By Ross Leese
and were dismayed
at what we
in the corn
on the city
we turned away
looked in at
and saw nothing
Things I Couldn’t Tell You
By Mary Shanley
Mom, you’re living in a Nursing Home
and I hate coming to visit you.
Your father isn’t taking you to work on his coal
and ice wagon this morning.
Dad is dead. He isn’t coming to see today.
The way you slide back and forth through time
it’s draining to continue playing along with you.
Lisa and I love each other. We are partners for life.
I have always been queer and never interested
in marrying a man.
Last week, your favorite brother, Christy, was beaten to death by his son.
Two planes flew into the World Trade Center.
I watched the towers burn and collapse from the roof
of my building. 3,000 dead. I was never so scared in my life.
I wish I could tell you. I wish you could hold me.
Two months later, our apartment still smells from the Towers fires.
Schizophrenic sister Patty escaped from Pilgrim State hospital again.
She is shooting heroin and has abscesses on her arm.
Cousin Joe was recently arrested for attempted to kill his mother-in-law
and is now housed in a facility for the criminally insane.
Your cousin and pen-pal, Betty Gaynor died.
I am emptying out our family home.
Three generations of Buckley and Shanley belongings.
We have mice in the house and they shit and feasted
on everything you put in the attic and the basement for safe keeping.
I am in a state of shock and horror as I throw everything out.
Except for Theresa Walsh’s Melodeon.
I was able to salvage that.
Your leg was amputated because you threw a clot.
You will never return home.
Your sister died in 1955, she didn’t just stop by for a visit.
You no longer live on Reservoir Avenue, around the corner
from the Nursing Home.
I can’t visit you anymore.
Bio: Mary Shanley/Poet/Writer/Lives in NYC/ 2 books: Hobo Code Poems and Mott Street Stories and Las Vegas Stories. She drinks espresso and has conversations with whoever is in her orbit.
By Liana Kapelke-Dale
i don’t feel
for something concrete
to sneak by
my internal sieve
to creep by
my instinctive censor
to avoid disintegration
in my faculties
of mist and driftwood
darkness and light
but everything trickles away
i seek cruelty
broken guitar strings
i pursue pain
to help me remember
how i shred
my clothes to strips
my fingers to bone
i follow noise
to drown out
my oppressive clumsiness
my squandered wit