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In this issue we have poems from highly-educated individuals that waste their time writing poems, by and large for free.

But, hey, I aint hatin’.

On a serious note. I wish I would have received some Sept. 11, 1973 poems on the late President Salvador Allende of Chile and the US/CIA-backed coup d’état. Every year there seems to be an ideological struggle to bring awareness to this crime, which remains by far uncovered by mainstream media. Even before Sept. 11, 2001.

Irrespective of this, below you will find poems on adolescent arrogance, North Englander Bukowskians and your standard literary sadomasochists.

Yours truly,

Luis Rivas

Henry Ajumeze

Poetry Editors, Gloom Cupboard

When I was Younger
By Saleem Patterson

When I was a young man I fought against things I didn’t understand
now
Being a not so young, young man I fight less and understand more

I now know that a fight starts in the mind not in the bottle
and
That loneliness is just a feeling not a death sentence

I know that women will always hurt you if you let them
and

Family is just a word that can be attached to anyone

I know the sweetness of a fine whiskey when you have nothing else
and
I know that there is always something else

I know the sting of love lost
and
The relief of a woman’s touch when all she wants is you

but
sometimes it doesn’t matter what you know
cuz the feeling is just that much stronger

(more…)

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I have the ability to read poetry from all corners of the world, Africa, India, and weird ass places like Florida and forgotten northern towns of California. I wouldn’t trade that for anything. As much as I complain about it, it’s truly a gift that I am allowed this.

The following issue has some really strong poems that, by themselves, stand alone as great pieces of testimonial art; but together they paint an amazing worldly portrait, as most of the poetry issues do–if, by chance, you haven’t noticed.

Poets are everywhere, fortunately or unfortunately. Now, the true task of the poet is to paint the truth (motherfucker shoulda been a painter then, huh?!) in such a way that its nakedness startles us; its rawness disgusts or offends; its remarkable accuracy enrages us; and if that doesn’t work, the poet should lie to us so well that we, in turn, applaud his or her malicious and honed skills.

Luis Rivas,
Henry Ajumeze
Poetry Editors

won’t someone think of the janitors
By Leeroy Berlin

i can only imagine that joe wasn’t pleased

exactly

about how it went down

i know that was his favourite picture of

himself with that tranny hooker

off the five

he had framed on the walls

not a bad looking girl

i think they might be related (more…)

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Teachers and students are some of the worst people on the face of the earth, those which arrogantly pursue truth in the cobweb-covered and archaic spectacle of academia. It’s a demented process. So much so that recent studies have shown that 99.8 percent of English majors and teachers suffer from schizophrenia, deviant sexual gratification, subversive political ideology and repressed homicidal impulses.

The following is not poetry. The following is proof.

Sincerely,
Your Poetry Editor
Luis Rivas

THE EX LANDLORD
B.Z. Niditch

With the heart of Cain
behind his one cloth napkin
under a pinched chin
at T.V. dinner time
unshaved for his faith
or gangland injury
wearing a pentagram
he won
at carnival time,
a once ruddy catcher
in a minor league,
pawn broker
stud poker player
or house Dick
depending
on whom you meet,
surprising tenants
every first day
of the month
with unauthorized letters
to threaten everyone,
stoned on cheap beer
claiming to be ex-military
in Angola
or was it Cuba
with his annual cigar
at Christmas
spitting out
of his moist mouth
offering to show us
forged lottery tickets
used Trojans
or fascist posters
of the Forties. (more…)

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On gray, windy and cold days like this in Los Angeles I think about blowing up buildings, running for president, rescuing all the animals that sit on death row at the local humanitarian purgatory, that some call by their more commonly known misnomers, shelters, and organizing elementary school children for an insurrection (they are the ones most negatively affected in society’s hierarchical web; why aren’t there armies of little kids patrolling the school ground, monitoring the staff, demanding the most up-to-date resources, demanding teachers impart the wisdom of pessimism, the philosophy of skepticism, the art of war). (more…)

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