Ray Succre
One Morning Thursday

I raised from blankets untypically horny and tired.
I walked into my clothes and the coffee swallowed me.
She was eating an apple for breakfast, feeding the baby

She held the apple atop her head— “Want a bite?”
I thought about William Tell, Burroughs, stories.
“You know they make my gums bleed.” I said.
I went to the restroom, examined my hairline,
gingivitis, shoulder hairs, the one tan tooth,
and the one nipple larger than the other.

I washed my wrist, isolating the tattoo well,
turned my husband ring round while dragging
a hair from my mouth with my dry tongue.
My eyes were still blue. My hands were still young.

The rooms of my home exhibited me in motion.
I revolved to the phone, mid-ring as I picked at it
with a feisty right one. It snugged like wax at the ear.
‘Hello’ sounded as if I didn’t mind.

“It’s Mitch.” My brother. Was he sobbing?

“Something bad happened.”
“What happened?”
“Dad’s dead.”

My clothes tilted my body to match swiveling walls.
I could have been twisting liquid in a satellite.
“I don’t…” “He’s dead.” “Come over.” “Okay.”
I hung it with a sting in my nostrils.

The baby coughed and resumed feeding, his head
trailing the position of a raw brea st.
My son was newly born, my father sudden dead.

I returned to the bathroom mirror, that body and image,
a reflection examining me through the pane.
Then I stepped in, wiped my father’s eyes,
and looked around for my own.



A Decade, Translate or Whatnot

In ten years, my rent has tripled.
My gasoline has quadrupled.
My cigarettes have quadrupled,
and I can no longer smoke in public,
and cancerous, toxic flame-retardants
have been added.

In ten years, leasing usage of products
previously held for ownership has
Albums have doubled.
Coffee has tripled.
Insurance has doubled.
Books have doubled.
Alcohol is tripled.
Taxes taxes taxes.
Now, they are trying to ban my fireworks
on the day of my country’s independance.

Electricity has tripled.
Pseudo-war is continuous.
Pellet-stove fuel has quintupled.

My wage has increased three dollars hourly.

All of this is said to help me, to better me,
to improve me, for me, to customize
my experience and personalize my person.

A safer world, a better one.
They’re taking care of me and mine.

My debt has septupled. I rely on favors
to survive. My father is dead.
My acquaintances busy with multitasks.
I am poorer, lonelier, uglier, and older
than when I started, and all I’ve done
is better myself.

I’m glad they’re looking out for me;
I wouldn’t be able to afford it, myself.



Magnificent Guffaw

Lift the lid
expect a response from the depths of a flat pack inferno.
Collapse on the Velcro
and irritate us further
with your infantile sounds



Michael Bernard Panasuk
Recipe for War

1 heaping cup of arrogance
An ounce of ignorance
Douse with elixir of lies
Add fear to taste
Beat until palatable*
Sugar coat and spread thin
If difficult to swallow, force feed
Best when eaten with boulder of salt

*Middle Eastern version stirred with wild Texas bushes



Gary Beck

When I was young I dreamed
of the international brotherhood of man.
I fervently hoped that our bombs and bullets
would moulder
in the arsenals of death.
But the vision of world peace
did not materialize
in lands of strife and blood,
because my land,
nourished by violence,
would not impose
the Pax Americana.

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