Posted in Poetry on February 28, 2011|
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In this month’s issue we have poets (and at least one CIA agent) from far off places like The Eastern Republic of Florida, the Bay of the San Franciscans. Oh, and India. All the poems herein taste salty.
Gloomy Poetry Editors that Edit Gloomy Poetry for Gloom Cupboard, which isn’t really that gloomy overall
by Vivekanand Jha
Man, chief justice of animals,
To dictate stringent sentence
On their innocence
Punishment in all cases
And will be no less than death,
Only nature of death will differ
As per the belief
And religion of human beings.
In the name of religion,
Divide men themselves
Into different factions,
Scapegoat they their scriptures
For their own atrocious activities.
Even in sentencing slaughter
Some say we are kind
As we prefer to eat
The meat of those animals
Whose throats are
Chopped off in one go
Thus making their death
Only momentary painful.
Some say believe we in brutality
As we prefer to chew
The mutton of those animals
Whose throats are cut
Slowly and steadily
Thus arousing pain
And tantalizing them for death.
They take enjoyment
Of peculiar and bizarre
Song and music,
Emanating from the animals,
Gasping for death,
And thereby relish
Nibbling tallow and sucking the soup
Inside the shank of wholesome
And palatable flesh and bone.
Bio: Vivekanand Jha is a poet and research scholar from Darbhanga, Bihar, India. He is Diploma in Electronics, Certificate in
Computer Hardware and Networking, MA in English, and is also doing Ph. D on the poetry of the noted Indian English poet Jayanta Mahapatra from Lalit Narayan Mithila University Darbhanga. (more…)
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Posted in Fiction on February 28, 2011|
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Prose issue 125 brings you one great story with a character we’ve all known. Kick up your feet and let Mr. Potter take you his journey to the office and back; because the office is just another form of life.
Once a month I fuck the boss. It’s not part of my job description. We have a meeting in her office, after thirty minutes she opens the door to what appears to be a storeroom but is actually a well-appointed fuck chamber, and we adjourn.
She likes being fucked on her back mostly: she enjoys watching me do all the grunt work. I grind and groan, looking into her chemically-peeled face as she grips my arse, the fingers of her wrinkling hands edging towards my tightened hole – the storeroom is soundproofed, the door to her office triple-locked, though no one would dare enter without her permission anyway – and not much is said beyond “Deeper” and “Harder” and “Faster”, all by her.
I don’t believe she has a similar relationship with any of my work colleagues. And if she does, I don’t care much either.
And if work colleagues heard of my ‘relationship’ with her, no one would believe it. I think she sees her conquest of me as a triumph of her supreme sexuality, her female carnality, or if nothing else, her economic power.
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Posted in Nonfiction on February 14, 2011|
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This is a story about my mother. It begins with my first memory: I’m standing with my brother at the big window in our apartment in Bochum, Germany. We are at the top floor and our window is in a gable, but I do not know what that is yet. I only know that we are looking out the window and there are little cars below us, and small people walking. My brother points to the other children in the sandbox, to the mothers in little circles around them. He points to the bridge that the train goes over. We wait for the train. He is teaching me about the world. I remember we are both calm, we are just looking. Then the sound of a siren comes. ‘It is there to pick up sick people,’ he explains. We wait for the ambulance to pass in the street and while we wait we mimic the sound, ta tew ta ta until it storms past and we clap our hands.
In the next year we move to America. We live in a big green house, or at least for us it was big, because it had two stories. My brother and I get a room upstairs and when our first American friends come to the house I have my mother teach me my first English phrase. Come upstairs and see! I yell at them when they walk through the door, before I run up to show them my room.
I love the house because all of the floors are covered in carpet. It is a very dark house and there are large oak trees around the outside. Inside it feels like you are underwater. I love padding very softly over the carpet and going from room to room in the long mornings when my brother is at kindergarten and my father at work and my German mother all alone with me, also new to America, my young mother.
When my brother comes home from school we run around outside or sit up in our room. My brother takes his little blue handkerchief and sticks it in his nose and twirls it and licks off the snot and one time he lets me lick it too. It is salty. He likes to have all four corners covered in snot so that they can make little horns when the snot dries.
I have my own version of his handkerchief. My mother really wanted a girl for her second child but instead she got me. When she was pregnant she bought lots of pink things. Now I carry around a long piece of pink silk cloth and I always have it around my thumb and I put the thumb in my mouth and let the rest drag behind my feet and my mother has to keep it out of the dirt because I don’t care what end goes in my mouth. She always tries to tuck it into my back pocket, but I pull it out again, and she stumbles after me, trying to put it back in.
My brother and I always try to avoid naptimes and going to bed and taking baths. When it is naptime we run out into the yard so that my mother has to chase us, has to force us in. We do not go willingly. It’s our job to run, and hers to chase. When it is bath time we get in like two very well behaved boys and when she turns around my brother puts his penis out of the water and makes a little fountain and then I make a little fountain too and that’s when she turns back and sees that the whole bath is ruined and we have to start over. We keep doing it each bath time until one day my brother poops and then it isn’t fun anymore.
At bedtime we run around too, up and down the stairs, into my parent’s bedroom to cuddle up and hide in their blankets and then finally into our room and under our covers and then in the darkness we whisper to each other. My brother one night whispers down to me that he has a fun idea. He says he is coming to my bunk. I love it when he comes to my bunk. He comes down and says it is the best plan but that we have to be very quiet for it to work. He tells me the plan and I agree. This is the plan: first we take all of the toys from their shelves and from under the bed. Then we put them in a big pile by the door and then very quickly we open the door and throw them all down the stairs! We have a hard time containing our excitement. We hold our sides so that we do not laugh.
My brother grins at me with his empty front teeth when he opens the door and starts to throw things down. First it is the stuffed animals because they are soft and won’t make much noise. I watch my bear bounce happily down, and then my tiger and my brother’s elephant. Then come the blocks and the books and the trucks. We hear voices from my parent’s room and see a light come on under their door. We know it is happening and start to giggle with glee and then in a big push we move the whole pile to the stairs and push it down and fall after it screaming and that is when my mother comes to the top of the stairs in her night robe and stands their like a pale angry ghost. We hold on to each other’s arms from the bottom of the stairs and look up giddy and terrified at my mother’s white silhouette with the hall light behind her and we hear her swear.
When she swears all of the air is suddenly out of the room. It isn’t funny anymore because she never swears. We try to laugh louder, to convince her it is funny but her words rip it away. She does not yell. She just says, Scheisse, scheisse, Scheisse, and pumps her fists up and down. The scariest thing is that she does not see us. She doesn’t even look at us. All she sees is the mess and she keeps repeating the swear word, the word we are not meant to hear and never say, but now she doesn’t care if we hear it because she does not see us. The toys have made us disappear.
We crawl away from the bottom of the stairs. We go to the front door and hide in the coat closet. Through the bottom of the coats we see her white shadow come down and stare at the pile. She does not move. We hear my father come out of their room and then see her move away from the pile. She sits at the table with her hair over her face, crying quietly, all too herself, like we are dead.
We sit together with the coats over us watching her with something dreadful in our stomachs until my father’s dark form scoops us up and takes us back to our dark and empty room and leaves us there. The curtains are open and a little bit of light from the streetlamp is coming in. We try to listen for sounds but hear nothing from downstairs, no steps coming back up, no lights flicked on. I hear cars going by in the street outside and somewhere farther away a siren driving fast, but it sounds nothing like the ones in Germany. It will leave us here.
Matthew Zanoni Müller was born in Bochum, Germany and grew up in Eugene, Oregon and Upstate New York. He has an MFA in fiction writing from Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers and a BA from Emerson College. He teaches at Columbia-Greene Community College and has published fiction and nonfiction in numerous magazines. To learn more about his work, visit: www.matthewzanonimuller.com
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Posted in Reviews on February 14, 2011|
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Reviewed by Tiffany Schlarman
“Life in the Slow Lane” is the humorous account of Thomas Sullivan’s
short career in Drivers education. Thomas, who has worked in various
industries due to obtaining a Bachelors’ in History with a minor in
Business, a Masters in Agricultural Economics and Associates in
cartography, landed a part time job as a driver’s Ed instructor
through an announcement of job openings on craigslist. To sum it up in
his words, the book is “My wisdom gleaned from my time behind the
wheel. So, buckle up, check the warranty date on the airbag, and enjoy
This memoir of sorts was an engaging and humorous account of the
perils and headaches of a driver’s Ed instructor. Mixed within the
stories are the heartwarming accounts of students who make their
instructors proud along with the fearful stories of students that will
probably never learn to drive safely, but somehow have a license.
Sullivan has a light hearted and comical approach to his writing
though the stories, thoughts and feelings shared are not always light
hearted in nature. The book has some deeper issues if you care to
partake in the thoughts and analysis of them, but I preferred to sit
back, laugh and enjoy the ride!
The book takes the reader through the hiring and interview process,
training, corporate policies and greed and into the driver’s seat. All
aspects are covered including unruly parents, no show appointments,
car failure, over worked instructors, an out of touch boss and driving
mishaps. Overall it has many laugh out loud moments that keep you
firmly rooted in your current job, with one eye looking out for
perilous road warriors. It is sure to bring some smiles amidst the
stories, as well as frustration with workplace policies, procedures
and lack of care.
I found the book to be satisfying for what it is. Mr. Sullivan writes
with ease, brings laughter and has some interesting stories to tell.
It’s a good one time read. The book is available on Amazon in
electronic format and is inexpensive to purchase. If you like this
book you can check out his other titles at http://www.thomassullivanhumor.com/.
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