#19

John Vizzini
Happiness is

A glass that’s a little more than half full
A table that doesn’t wobble
Eyes that don’t wander
A sun that always rises
A hand to hold
Hopes of a life well spent
Fond memories

 

Happiness isn’t

A nourished ego
A wad of cash
Vengeance
A stern belief
A constant
Hopes of a life of excess
A thing to be taken for granted
Something to be forced

 

 

Jacob Johanson
bookstore review

Just left the bookstore, relearning my native tongue thumbing through Kerouac and lurking in the poetry aisle where I saw a young girl with her doey eyes and foot to foot weight shifting, reading Emily Dickinson, cute girl with bobbed brown hair casting fugitive glances my way as I read “Howl” for the thousandth time sickly amused wondering if she was reading “how to make a valley” as I contemplated the holy shrine insane asylum of Rockland- don’t even speak the same language she and I, hers the puritanical speech of slant rhyming spinster agoraphobe, proper and stiff collared while mine’s the evolved Jew gay holy madman shuddering in terror of cannibalistic culture (though too prideful to hide), though I have this wild moment of inspiration: why let language be a barrier after all?
But it passes fleeting cause I know in the end she’s just a mouse, all set to scurry at the tromping of my shoes through her quiet little world and since I refuse anymore to tip toe and tread the line it would be a wasted endeavor- I’d end up a horror story told over hushed telephone to micefriends, the crazy man met in the poetry aisle who’d get drunk on Indian ink and write words of brutality (that I name tender) at two a.m., all red eyed and sweating beneath a writing lamp, on her little pink papered notebooks- ah, had she only been holding Whitman I’d be inching a hand down her back already instead of writing; either way a vaguely divine effort to me, though undoubtedly you’d have juicier reading later had her taste been more my style (but I want a girl with only slightly flushed cheeks when I write of her enwrapping legs and wild wet with perspiration hair, her gentle flop of head against pillows when its all over sighting out breaths of pure art…)
Instead I laugh through the history books, the current events, run a hand along the spine of Heinlein opus “Stranger in a Strange Land”, wander over to customer service desk to ask questions of the librarian themed beauty behind the mahogany flattop- now there’s a girl whose eye I’d like to catch but you can tell she’ll have noneofit, completely dedicated to some guy who scribbles little poems of his own to leave on her dresser, just has that indescribable look about her of joy in love and discovery that when seen is unmistakable in her eyes, so beautific on her that I can almost see wings, makes me smile for her and for the potential of all humanity- though culture may be twisted, there is no denying the frank divinity of us poor individuals and our connections, strength enough in the conviction of her hidden smile to stand against the failures of concrete cities and the metal minds of corporate ideology;
chapbooks to form
the steel spine
of revolution.

 

 

Andrew Taylor
The Bluebird of Happiness

It’s surreal that at 4.00am
it’s like a city contained
queues and breakfast surround
destinations shrink us

Trouser suits and vanity cases
thoughts of Nico solo
at The Dom or partying downtown
turn into a Cinderella fare

or a train wreck wanting board
at The Hyatt night before
Didsbury House to cut down on
motorway driving

concourse bought Chemist shutters
rise cappuccino double
chocolate muffin an expectant air
while stood centred

Departure lounge holding zone
negotiate paystations
vases bereft of weekly flowers
I think of Ruth

amid apple trees in Anglesey
holding hands and hearts
while rain feeds roots finds paths
through runway contraflow

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