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Archive for May, 2009

#95

Laura LeHew
On a Scale

arthritis, hot throbbing bunions
worn-out line-paint yellow
the thrum
stretching on for miles without
end

pop Pop POP of corn
the burnt butter
stale stench of a movie theatre
Fanta orange aura
migraine’s prequel

lavender bruise blue as a phlebotomist
tortures searching for a vein
three week cluster headaches
on the very verge of disappearance
stitches without numbing, rehabbing surgeries

paper cut red slamming
a baby toe into a wrought iron bed
not breaking and screaming
nonetheless, stepping on pottery
shards, the stupidity of a sunburn

gall stone green
a fall herniating a disk
picking up 50 pounds of cat litter—
the pop—the slow burn in the knee
denial

impact black shattering a windshield face first
nose embedded in a steering wheel, the slap of laptop
as it is lands unbroken crushing a middle toe
the pace, vomit, pace—as a miniscule kidney
stone races to escape, the thought of a colonoscopy

a storming migraine lightning striking again
and again and again in the left eye, the essence
of antiseptic before another surgery, slipping on ice
landing squarely on a kneecap—the breathless pure evil white before
the halo of stars before passing out

(more…)

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#94

Ricky Garni
NOT A SHOWER THOUGHT

I suddenly realized–I think this happened when I was on my bicycle near UNC Chapel Hill, North Carolina where the traffic can be rather frisky – that there is a mathematical/statistical component to love, specifically, the odds of love’s success, just as with chocolate and love there is the chemical component through the dear ol’ phenylethylamine phenomenon.*

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#93

Peter Magliocco
Not (But Fading Away)

I am not a critic but a poetry daredevil leaping over sin
because I don’t care why Madonna’s in the rut of her adoption life
or any other pressing pabulum for dust-worm thoughts:
I am not a reader of poetry because billboards
bore me, the papers all say the same thing
& the best sellers are written by the same people.
I am not a proper philistine because
it takes too much practice to become one,
or maybe just sucking-up (which is worse),
while currently an Elvis impersonator rules
the badly lit corridors of our brains
with the sounds of anti-silence pounding
on the White House asylum door
of contraband & the ex-poet laureate,
like a gun-toting anti-abortionist with principles
tells us, point-blank, to quietly step back
from the shape of things yet to come:

I am not a student of villanelles
because frankly what are they, anyway?
or even of iambic pentameters & trochaic
archaic rhyme schemes …

& I am not writing this,
it was cribbed from the notes
of a deceased

“man
of
letters”

writing a thesis
on the
problem

of
ill-
“literacy”

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#92

Steve Calamars
cross-dressers and crucifixions

in a riot
of rottweilers
and rotten apples
lou ferrigno
kicked holes
in the earth
pistols pulled
i pumped’em
full of pinballs
and paper airplanes
empathetic as a
rubik’s cube—

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Presenting: Patrick Braun

On the nights when we sit silently together

the room is still except
the second hand moving
with deadly precision,
each tick
an explosion.

We stare
as the clock
gradually
destroys time.

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Presenting: Justin Hyde

sitting alone at the authentic mexican restaurant

a young family
in the booth behind me.

the daughter:

pale-faced

about my son’s age.

she stands up

turns around

little finger tapping my shoulder
she asks:
where’s your family?

abby
your father said
sit down,
her mother says
plopping her back
into the booth.

but
where’s his family?
she asks.

probably at home
or at the store
now sit down
and eat your dinner,
her father says.

no my child
they are not at home
or at the store

i pissed them
down the drain.

but things,
transitory
cheap
and lurid
as they are:

i’ll string something else
soon enough.

currently
four different single mothers
are tripping over each other
to lash themselves
and their children
to this
jalopy frame of mine.

i pretend
they’re not just after
the health insurance
and security
of my state job

they pretend
i’m not just after
the hockey puck
between their legs.

their children
watch us
very closely:

apprentices
to it all.

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#91

Jennifer LeBlanc
Ophelia
(Regarding Paul Steck’s Ophelia Drowning, 1895)

She rushes under the surface with ethereal grace,
the pastel-palette whirl of skirts surrounding ankles,
the raising of her hair and crossing of her forearms,
you can hear the whir of water, muffled and hushed.

The stained painting is a small reflection in my hand
when I return from the wake and sink behind my desk.
This is not real, Steck, Ophelia has a bad way of
painting death comfortable— pretty and lush.

(more…)

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