Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Crystal Lining

He is now dead
In such a way
She is dead to him

A testament of loves
Obliterated like a newly caught fish
Guts spilled out like a pregnant belly
Swollen with perished affection and
Scented with spoiled possibilities

His hands emptier than a sheep's eye socket
Or the crust of a planet
Scorched by a star
One ear bursting with pussy willows
The other oozing infection hot with fever

Her paws will never again prey upon his heart
And her beak will not chirp into his ocean
No matter how many sunrises he may see
Never will it be as beautiful as passing them up with her

The cinnamon dusted foam
Contains nothing but stars
Sparks turn the welkin from blue to gray and back
He tastes the sea on her breath and the copper coils
But nevermore will wings and paws collide

--Eden Cook

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Two by John Grey


Other countries are.
I am not bolted to America
as this one is or that one is.
I can catch a flight,
be in Canada inside the hour.
Or in Mexico in maybe four.
I'm not condemned to this street,
this town, this state, this anything.
The ocean at my door is nothing.
My loving you doesn't prevent me crossing it.
Sure I can't speak French or German
like a native
but who wants to be a native anyhow.
My passport's in order.
I've money for the plane, the hotel.
I could be a Scottish fishing village,
a Moroccan bazaar,
a Japanese theme park...
that's what you have here,
a guy with the potential
for being somewhere else.
You think that without stakes in the ground,
there is no ground,
that where you are
is where you have to be.
You call my name
but no louder than Helsinki
calls my name.
You make a home for me.
But I look at a map
and see no homes.


Imagine the sun is a blank page.
And your pen is your eyes,
too dazzled to see
let alone write.
Think of a lover's glowing skin
and your blind fingers
struggling to create a body
with nothing more than touch.
But think of that sun again.
It's a ball of fire.
Even if you make connection,
you still burn up.
Back to your lover,
how cool her heat,
and the flame your head must make of that.
Give us your life story,
even though it seems
pen on paper won't work for this.
Pretend we're the pages,
we're the lovers,
your anger is your writing implement.
That's right, lunge at us
as far as your chains allow.
Feel the links pull,
rip across your flesh.
Rough steel on raw skin.
That's how we tell our story.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I once was coy, but you stole that away
told me to be coy with all except you -

that is something that is spinning itself true;
I've never yielded for any before you they all

swam in oceans of my coyness, unable to ever
extricate themselves from my web of cleverness,

but you broke my webs and reminded me I
was no spider; you ruffled my feathers in the

hopes that I'd raise your fur - I've never been
accustomed to laying bare my heart beating in

a drum; I've always had an escape plan from
other predators, I never willingly laid as prey

before them yet I allowed you to pin me beneath
your paws; your impish grin and the flash of

your teeth told me just how wolfish you were,
and I ought not have anticipated anything less

of a wolf; I cannot help but worry if you'll
stain the sheets scarlet with my life's blood.

--Linda Crate

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Trying To Escape

Jana wants to be alone, if only for a little while. Without a goodbye, she leaves her comfortable house, and with a sigh and a huff drives to the nearest hotel.

"How many nights?" the man at the desk asks.

She doesn't know. Maybe one. Maybe none. Maybe a week.

He gives her a key. It's stained yellow and smells like years of lingering smoke.

Jana walks to the elevator. The man at the desk must think she's up to no good. No one can be up to any good when they check into a hotel without suitcases. He probably thinks she's meeting someone for a fling.

A fling is the last thing on her mind.

The elevator stops on the fourth floor. The floor is quiet save for the reverberation of her steps. It sounds hollow, like the hallway hasn't been traversed in forever.

Jana stops at room 423. The number means nothing to her except escape.

The door opens with ease and slams her shut in the room.

Jana falls on the bed without removing the comforter she knows is filthy. She closes her eyes and imagines she's not in a crummy hotel room. For a moment she's back home with her family and everything's wonderful. Her eyes pop open; she doesn't want to imagine that. She wants, she needs, to be away from them right now.

The room buzzes with electricity even though nothing is turned on. She stares at the blankness of the television, at the textured walls, the cheap floral painting. This isn't why she left.

She stands, breathes a relaxed breath, and strolls to the door. The knob looks funny, like it's been mangled.

It won't turn. The door's locked.

She's trapped in a room she doesn't want to be in.

She thinks about screaming. She doesn't know where she wants to be, but it isn't here. Three times she pulls on the door, and three times it doesn't open. She kicks it twice, a pain shooting from her toes to her knees with each impact. Nothing else happens.

The door doesn't feel a thing.

Suddenly, the room is stifling. There's no air to breathe and the heat's pumping even though it's ninety degrees outside. She rushes for the phone, wanting to call home and ask for help, but her finger dials the front desk instead.

"I need help!" she says.

"Room number?" the man asks.

She can't remember.

"My door's stuck. I'm trapped. I just want out." she pants, lungs trying to grasp what little air is left.

"Be right up."

She drops the phone and waits. When the door finally opens, her whole family is standing in the doorway looking sorry. The husband smiles a supportive smile and offers a hug.

She feigns relief and closes her eyes and wishes she was somewhere else, somewhere where the knob's broken and the door won't open.

--Nathaniel Tower

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Most Pleasant Taste

an executioner
was burned at the stake
at 3:59 am.
“make a few coffins
later for her legs,”
his last words

to be etched on a marker

a funeral pushes into me
with advanced skills
she. is. ...composed ...totally of cellulose
i am. historically ...a soil’s path

gaping wide muscle systems
singing gently because
of shame. they’re

baked by a sharp, stinging force.
that requires the animals
to dance.

seen from above
it’s shuddering

seen from below
it’s laughing

"can you talk?" she whispered

wait to kiss her in ten years.

“it’s my throat.”

an ideal for caskets
existing in the image
eliminates the need
for the exact time.

combining of ingredients ends,
juicing, dehydration, sprouting,

laying open
foliage sprouted
through clotted blood
as predicted.

an executioner
was burned at the stake
at 3:59 am.

I gasped at a tree branch
I grasped at an inscription
I moved to kiss her
she understood my direction.

I felt and
I embraced her as
a metal flowery grid.

she pressed in close
wishing to distance myself by items
being seduced by
her evolved tastes

“bitterness is a dinner."
 she moved. "leave now.
we’ll pollute the night air."

--Angel Ferox

Sunday, May 6, 2012


I want to cut a small slit in the skin of his forearm
Pull back the skin from muscle-
Banana peel from the fruit
Cuddle into the fetal position
and live in the sleeping bag of his body

He could carry me, tucked under shirt sleeves that
are yanked down around his bony wrists
Jostled when he drums on the steering wheel
sitting in carbon scented traffic

He could take me out during showers
place me on the clam shaped soap dish
I could whisper the time to him when he needs it
and I would be a piece of him
until the blood poisoning set in.

--Danielle Donaldson

Friday, May 4, 2012

Don't Rock The Bus

Rusted bus in the junkyard
decapitated city beyond the fence

spiderwebs coated with dust
under some dark sky
I haven't noticed
where time has gone

can't see
my perception
weighting heavy

bus with flat tires

a cop copter flying overhead
flicking by
as if I'm not here

I am

starting a dance
they would kill to see

my heels pounding
through the floorboards

one ghost after another.

--Anita McQueen

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Two By Valentina Cano

Dance For A Sun

You’ve been skidding around me
for a few months.
Not enough for me to pull you
like a curtain, towards me,
but plenty to feel you are
tied to the piece of string around my neck
a noose of pirated thoughts
just for you.
I’ve watched you in a clumsy
shamanic trance
but it is not going to bring you closer.
Not if you keep slipping,
each stumble locking you
deeper and deeper into the ice.
Where I cannot go.

Body Language

If he ever said
that phrase again,
she’d pry her fingernails off.
Seashell pink
she’d pile them
on the glittering countertop sea
in a line he’d never understand.
Emptiness in tiny containers.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


work drives me mental
it’s been madness all day
I can’t wait to relax
recklessly throw my clothes
all over the floor
have a nice hot soak
with the new body shop
petal scented bubble bath
cornflowers essential oil of daises
infused with long purples
and I’ll just lie back
listen to some trance tunes
drift off
into a little world
of my own making


My Mother Combing Key Largo

After the storm, things beached
all along the Keys:
corpses, bottles,
bloated books bursting
out of bindings.

She turned sopped clothing
with driftwood sticks,
brushed aside the man o’ wars
purple as the rancid hands
she dared herself to touch.

She hoped to snatch doubloons
washed up like the scales
of a gilded fish,
the hurricane a boon
to Largo salvagers.

She dumped a bottle full of sand,
lifted it to her lips
and blew across the bore.

She found one unopened,
popped it with her teeth.
The cap tumbled to gleam at her feet
like a coin.

She sipped, and sipped again,
assumed the brine was beer.

--Paul David Adkins

Three by Eleanor Leonne Bennett