#54

Lance Curran
The Trouble With Impulse Buying

While I flipped through pages of the
Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices
I came across an entry for bee stings.

Some men like to have their
penis stung so it will swell.

I couldn’t help but think of the
complications that would arise
if I were to take up such a practice

considering my allergies.

 

This next poem is about the Chicago Mayor Daley.
The Spectacle Speaks To Me

Richard II smiles his shark tooth grin and offers a rattlesnake handshake.
Swooping down from the podium he consumes education, low-income housing, and public transportation, the leftovers are placed in the back of hired truck scandals.

The spectators watch from the billboard images of their idealized self, speaking to each other in advertising slogans, as the wreckage is replaced with gentrification.

A coliseum is prepared on the grounds of a torn airfield where the Clear Channel sharks fatten you up with the same COMMODITY they’ve force fed you for years.

I am a captive head looking up at the new condo being built. The realty sign flashes a wink wink, nudge nudge. A young girl walks by, “I like to consume,” she said, “because if you don’t, it consumes you.”

I realize that I am nothing,

and I should be everything.

 

 

Elizabeth Fischer
BLEEP

sometimes when im upset about some stupid thing i watch american tv,
okay, so i watch tv when im upset about some stupid thing cause then
the stupid thing i am upset about gets replaced in my mind by stupid
tv things that are mostly bearable and thus easily ignorable, yes,
the ignorable cools the cauldron of roiling melodrama in my brain and
the peacableness that then ensues allows me to eat, sleep, think,
walk the dog, all the minutiae of survival. which survival, on
occasion, having gotten rather difficultish, what with the me always
bugging me. anyways, what i mean to say is that when i get tired of
me i watch stupid american tv and get tired of tv instead. perfectly
reasonable, i feel.

so i was watching american tv, some stupid movie with stevemartin in
it, a family kinda flick with cute momsanddads and cute kiddies and
cute relatives and even a cute granma. and the movie had some very
slight swearing, nothing too titillating or anything just some
sacharine suburban spittishness, the occasional cute teenager
*bleeep*, a couple of *bleeep* and i think the granma said, teehee
*bleeep*. at which all the movie characters went all aw whadda cute
granma.

and i wasnt too too surprised or anything, this being american tv and
times being what they are, to hear a bleeep everytime the characters
would dare utter these horribilities, i mean the censors bleeped out
all the swearwords, you know, like the *bleeep*, *bleeep*, even the
innocuous grannie *bleeep* which kinda gave me a start but what the
hell, and of course you could easily tell what they were saying
anyways, i mean it don’t take no particular talent for lipreading or
nothing.

but then, at one point, one of the characters says *bleeep*, you
know, as an exclamation, thats what his lips said, only all one heard
is “bleeeeeep” cause guess what, they bleeped that out too, *bleeep*,
that too is now a swearword. there i sat, mouth agape. that one
really took me by surprise, i kid you not.

yes it’s funny, but then i found myself getting kinda scared,
*bleeep*, i said to myself, this is some pretty weird *bleeep*, i
mean, how far is this gonna go, this lavage, this lavage of language,
thought, culture, cause really, thats what it means, language being a
symptom of the larger thing, you know, culture, or something like
that, ok, dont bother arguing with me about postmodern *bleeep* or
etymology or bataille, me, im simple and reasonably uneducated, i
just look around and think stuff and then get all *bleeep* up about
it, okay, usually that means a good laugh but occasionally the
goodlaugh gets a little shaky, tinged with fear, the fear of human
stupidity, fear of the propensity for superstition, insta-miracles,
all the *bleeep* with which human beings like to fool themselves.
well, if it was only themselves i could stand it, but usually ah,
spiritual convictions inherently dictate that others must also be
convinced of said spiritual convictions and if necessary then with
force or at least attractive co-erosion. and always, promises of
eternal life of some sort or another, death being the most
frightening of all frightenings for beings with a limited lifespan
and a modicum of self-regard, which means everyone, you and me. only
some of us feel no need to fool ourselves.

so that ain’t so funny is it, i might laugh and snicker it up with my
pals, but america these days is scary, it scares me, all the moronic
bullshit religiosity, all the hymnality, all the symbology, it scares
the *bleeep* out of me. and yes, not only america, hey, i do read the
news assiduously, the *bleeep* flowing all over, all over the world,
all over the world people are being bludgeoned in the name of one
deity or another, especially, since they are the most dangerous,
people who profess aversions anathematic to the inanities spewed by
the various holinesses. be that for *bleeep*’s sake or some other
*bleeep*s sake.

****

calm down elizabeth, now someone will say to me. it means nothing, it
too shall pass, and worse, you really should respect peoples beliefs
and inane philosophical meanderings, okay, so they dont say inane
philosophical meanderings they just say beliefs, i added the inane
philosophical meanderings, being, you know, respectless in
inclination. cause me i dont, wont and cant respect *bleeep*, as
beliefs to me are nothing but gilded promissory notes of queasily
romantic longings and also i dont think anything is passing, i think
the situations getting worse. and i think its getting dangerous for
people who might disagree with the idea of comforting miracles, for
people who know and accept that life is unfair and arbitrary, in
fact, i think there is a tacit silencing of people who disagree, in
fact, upon perusal of various media, i cannot help but note the
distinct lack of critique of, you know, beliefs, everyone is treading
on the proverbial eggshells so as not to insult idiocies unless it is
to berate some far off, and thus safe insanity propagated by
individuals sporting challenging fashions, but the media studiously
ignores the insanity that descends and murkens ever so imperceptibly
the local situation, day by day by day. lavage is a very effective
tool, you know, after a while you dont even miss what you can no
longer remember. the gates of heaven are ever creaking ajar and all
the righteous are jostling in line for the *bleeep*-bucks, for the
free creamcheese, for the pimply virginal teenage beautyqueens to rub
upon rotting flesh, for eternal youth, which is the only eternal life
worth living.

you know, when i was a kid i was a communist kid, living in a
communist country where gods and prophets and such were severely
discouraged, which attitudes, i might mention, i now rue
nostalgically, cause now, now, now, the irony of the now is that in
all those countries, all those ex-untheistically inclined countries,
ornate churches of all deical denominations are being raised on all
available plots of once sublimely tasteless socialist topiary and
various groups in the throes of various versions of well-financed
religious odiousities are roving cities and countrysides alike,
trolling for local souls to harvest and consume.

– oh yes indeedy, in times of fear for its oh-so-delicate plumpness
of flesh, the human animal instinctively calls up the fantasies of
some blowhard, pretty-tonsured *bleeep*s oratorial certainty of
immortality and hey, not to put myself upside of the scope of that
particular trepidary inflammation, but me, in times of fear, i just
get really *bleeep* scared.

 

 

Ananya S. Guha
Living

What transpires
in moments of living
is the hard, stolid rock
of penitence, which only
the beyond knows.

And beyond lives a ruminating sage
of divine contemplation ordained at his feet,
if only you would look
then your wild scattered brain
would hold in cupped palms
an unruffled, unweathered flower.

 

 

Glenn Cooper
Into Ourselves
(for Luis)

We mourn our women
even when they have
not died, for we fear we
are dead to them, are
gone to their thoughts and
hearts. There is a dagger
through our days, our
nights are blackened
with regrets. We read
their old letters and our
tears smudge the words.
We feel the sad world turn
slowly in its starry grave.
They were so beautiful –
their eyes, their hair,
their mouths, the way
they spoke the impossible
words that drove us so
deep into ourselves that we
may never find the way out.

 

 

G David Schwartz
Good riddance pretty blue bird

Good riddance pretty blue bird
As night come fallen down
And only leaves the black birds
Here upon the ground
Good evening tiny fire fly
It’s nice how you light
The city we live in
With your tremendous light

 

 

Peycho Kanev
life rules

what are you going to do
when they come for you?

the years
the horrors
the crazy jobs
the kids that you don’t want
the unanswered loves

what are you going to do?

just
say fuck it

quit your job
buy yourself one way ticket to Amsterdam
watch the paintings of Vincent
think about it
go to Spain and watch the bullfights
watch the death
drink everyday gallons of wine and beer
don’t stop
smoke weed
try coke
do heroin for a while
find the number of miss America 1971
and tell her that you want to fuck her
laugh at the pictures of George Bush
cry for the death of Hemingway
Lorca
Jeffers
drink more wine and beer
don’t drink vitamins
don’t jog
don’t blame yourself
believe me

I write this letter to you
from this bench in Paris
5 empty bottles of wine on the grass
and one cop just wished me good night

but my question is
can you do that mister Amerikan?
can you?

 

 


Stanley H. Barkan

SEPTEMBER

The air hovers
like a dragonfly
over the blackening waters.
Clouds form
somewhere
in the distance.
Trees gird themselves
for the time of lost leaves.
Bells chime for books,
pencils, rulers.
Overalls cover
summer’s leisure.
Time turns
like jacks spinning
between the bounce
of balls
of little girls
with pigtails
playing in the park.
The climb towards the peak
of ribboned seasons
is followed by the fall.

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