Poetry # 135

In this issue a couple of poetic doctors publically and fictionally breach the doctor-patient confidentiality, college professors profess a professional admiration for sadism. Although these poems smell like Marlboro Menthol Lights, I assure you they are Reds. Your respiratory system has no chance.

Yours truly,

Luis Rivas

Amber Bromer

Henry Ajumeze

Almighty Editors of Poems

Gloom Cupboard


The Pros And Cons Of Education

By Tyrel Kessinger

God forbid

she said

some grandmother in line

at the neighborhood grocery store

wearing her grandson

across her chest

in one of those baby slings

invented by cave women

resurrected for the new age

and of course

some say

they gave us bigger brains

(though I have my doubts)

God forbid

such a thing

by which she meant

heaving storms

the slipping

of overburdened tectonic plates

falling cosmic rocks

the grandson’s brains

growing much too large

and one day

rejecting her god

after just two

philosophy classes

at a local

community college

she means

just bad things in general

as if there might actually be

a god to forbid


last time I checked

the one thing I’ve noticed

this god does not forbid


sending people

up shit creek


a turd to float on.

: Tyrel Kessinger lives in Louisville, Kentucky where he toils away the barbarous hours of the day as a Braille Transcriber. There’s the soon-to-be wife, the two dogs, the cat and all the other ingredients of a fairly normal life. He is the recipient of the 2011 Literary LEO Short Fiction Award and has a short fiction piece forthcoming from Clapboard House. Several of his poems are forthcoming in Grey Sparrow, MILK SUGAR and Flywheel Magazine.

Oursecond long distance relationship

By Liam Duffy


The coffee boiled over

leaving brown stains,

horrible brown stains.

So you got no

knowing nod

when you came down those stairs

and no one had breakfast,

I sat by the window

with a book

thought about another goodbye

at the airport

with hands in pockets-

you hugged me

when you were drunk enough

and I sent you away

and the coffee boils

in empty stomachs,

I sit by the window

waiting for bags to be packed.

: Liam Duffy grew up and studied in Galway where he is now compiling an Artistic Atlas of Galway and working towards his first collection of poetry. He has recently been published in The Irish Left Review, Wordlegs.com and the anthology Emergency verse- poetry in defence of the welfare state and has also read at the West Cork Literary Festival in Ireland as part of a reading dubbed: Irish Poets: A New Generation.


By Joseph V. Milford


You were the cut

Remember trying to slice through

You were the razor

You go so high on that

Then you lose your edge

Then you try new knives

They dull too quickly

Remind you of times you cut

You want to try to slice through again

Anything you could skim lacerate

You can no longer skin-lacerate

They were cut from you

You go so high that they

Remind you of scissors and scalpels

You remember your edge

Remembering trying to cut through something?

And then the way you did it became your weapon?

And then you realized that it was cutting you.

You loved your scar piercing tattoo

You liked getting cut

It reminded you of your start

And the crude unruly mountain of it

Realize that you hold a knife like you hold a soul

Wield and yield with resonance.

: Joseph V. Milford is a Professor of English at Georgia Military College south of Atlanta. His first book, Cracked Altimeter, was published in 2010. He is the host of the weekly Joe Milford Poetry Show (http://joemilfordpoetryshow.com), which he maintains with his wife, Chenelle. He also edits the literary journal Scythe with his wife from their shack in rural Georgia. He has recently had sex with the Higgs boson.

Simply Anxiety

By Boghos L. Artinian MD


I saw her dressed in black—

the wife of my patient.

My diagnosis had been

simply, anxiety.

Why do I feel guilty?

Could her husband have died?

I could not go and ask;

“you’ve killed him’ she might say.

I scan the news papers;

the columns of the dead.

Good; his name is not there.

But he still could have died.

Heart attacks often strike

undetected, don’t they?

When had I seen him last?

A month ago perhaps.

Nothing unusual;

palpitations he had,

oh yes. ‘Reduce coffee

and cigarettes’, of course.

What else my God, what else?

Oh yes. He was worried

about brain tumor. Yes!

That’s it! Need not worry;

the wife’s father had it.

Unresectable. Yes.

And terminal they’d said.

Relax…Relax… Relax…

‘My sympathies Madame;

he rests in peace at last.’

‘Oh no! He was so young,

you have killed him Doctor!’


The Motorway

By Rich Murphy


A fetish alternates between

money and conscience.

The two pistons powering

the internal combustion culture

drive whole classes off the orgasmic end.

The philanthropist yawns

and stretches a philosophy each morning

even while guilt promises more action.

Sex owns little ignition with this fever.

Labor suffers the invisible thumb.

The smooth ride on the single-minded asphalts

opens toll roads toward wealth,

redemption, and the jerk into the deep sleep.

Economists and holy men ratchet up

and apply brakes in the pits on warranties.

Governing bodies kick oil cans

and pump liquidity.

All while a poor bastard in the dust

continues walking toward the excitement.


When You Told Me You Relapsed

(for Lizzie)


By Shannon Caitlin Glynn

I knew you had gotten too comfortable

and let that familiar feeling bubble and brew and

burst inside your abdomen. You let it cut and

claw at your core where it had been a crazed, caged


I imagined you defeated;

deflated on couch cushions,

in the midst of your own destruction,

russet heavy-lidded eyes glazed and gazing upward

at the ceiling, your piano fingers with nails

painted black wrapped around can after can.

Your scarred lungs stretch with smoke,

underneath the night sky, your

hunched, soft shoulders shiver against

March’s morning breath.

Pink lips tight around the filter

of your Marlboro Menthol Lights

mutter muffled curses at the muddy ground.

Later you may have stumbled into our

apartment; peeling off your clothes,

rancid and reeking. Your feet cold

against the tile floor, stepping under

the shower and standing still,

water cascading over your clavicle,

beading on the blades of your shoulders

until you step out into steam while

avoiding the mirror, climb into bed and

cocoon yourself in your covers alone.

: Shannon Caitlin Glynn is originally from Philadelphia and is currently studying English and Creative Writing at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania. She writes from personal experiences and believes that poetry is all around us.


By DanaLynne

(for North Dakota)


The river dances

With power

Of melting snow


And threatens

To overtop its banks,

To wash away

Levies of sweat equity

To take adverse possession

If only for two weeks–

Or maybe four,

Maybe six–

Before relinquishing

Its occupancy

Of houses, farms, fields.

Fear runs

As cold as the water,

As fast as the current,





It can carve a channel,

Cut its way

Into the heart

Of a life

That it once


Cold, cruel fluid,

Moving quickly,


Winter out of spring

And into summer.

They dream hopelessly

Of binding up


But wait

For winter’s fruit

To fall

Before new life

Can be replanted.

: I received my BA in English from California State University, Northridge. After working for the U.S. Immigration Court for 17 years, I retired in 2006. I am about to complete my training to become a paralegal. My first book of dramatic monologues, SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED was published in 2009 by Xlibris Press.

Published by peace is illegal

I am a writer of pornography, of politics and murder.

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