Friday, June 22, 2012


Carla perched on her haunches, examined her foot. The rusty metal fangs of the bear-trap had chomped straight through her flesh, impaled the bones. The fierce snap was fast, brutal as a well aimed gunshot. She registered it a few seconds before she felt the pain sear through her leg. It coursed through her body, her muscles tensed and the nerves in her teeth squealed their empathised agony.

No tears escaped her eyes. No sound trickled from her lips. Instead she somehow manoeuvred herself into a position where she could inspect the damage. The rational part of her brain labelled her present condition as shocked. Inside her head, brain cells sizzled, sent their message to her obedient voice box. Soon, a slow but determined giggle began to erupt within her throat. Almost uncontrollable.

The orange flecks that coated the sturdy metal seeped into her torn flesh. Her blood oozed out of the wound. The teeth of the bear-trap leered up at her with its raspberry jam smile. Carla suspected she’d soon pass out if she didn’t call for help. Having left in a rush, she wore just a thin t-shirt. Her phone and her purse stacked neatly on the bedside table. Helpless.

She cleared her mind of the pain. Forced herself to concentrate on how she’d ended up trapped and maimed. An argument. The final straw. She remembered the musty smell of the cabin that Josh had rented for them. A romantic getaway. But they had been fighting. Carla breathed deep, slow. To steady her nerves.  She ran from the cabin. She had told Josh she no longer loved him. Screamed that she was sick of being stifled, tormented by the close confines of their relationship. He had said nothing; feet weighed him down like set cement.

Now, hysteria threatened to engulf her as Carla recalled how she had sped through the woods. Crackling branches, stomping on crunchy leaves not paying attention to direction or destination. Halted only by the teeth sunk deep inside her flesh; tearing her, leaking her lifeblood onto the forest floor. Succumbing to unconsciousness, Carla realised with cruel irony how she was no better off having run from her ruined relationship out into the dangers of the jaws of the unknown.

--Kate Alexander-Kirk

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Two By John Tustin


Memories blackened
Daydreams blackened
Love blackened
by her shadow
(I cannot grow in it)
by her fiery grip
(and I suffocate)
by her heel
(I flatten like a bug)

I drown in her version of love
Her passionate hate a bottomless fissure
Her will a cloud of furrowed dust
that blots the sun
Her will a rainfall
that pounds endlessly
without respite
killing the battered roots

Blackened in her glare
Charred by gleaming eyes
of accusation
Her fist
her mercury tongue
a barrage

The skin falls from the bone
and she wears the skin
and dulls the bone
into a flawless


I cannot look into her face –
a face of glass and ice
without compassion or aching
The mouth that demeans
The lips that deny
The eyes that wither
The ears that ignore

She is not a rifle
She is a needle
She is a gasoline soaked rag
She is a scalpel
Deliberate is the word
to only cut out
what is still soft,
not blackened,
not touched yet
by her poison

She eats my flesh
and throws my eyes
to starving vultures
But she cooks what she eats

And I am cooked.


I sit in my boxers
listening to music,
reading poetry,
typing these words,
contemplating the status of my life,
my relationships living
and dead,
my belly resting on my thigh,
my madness resting on my sanity,
my eternity unstable unsaid,
my eyes blurred,
the lines blurred,
my nose smelling rotten life,

and I come to the realization
not many really need me

and none
want me
at all.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Reanimation

Ectothermic humans
crank the thermostat northwards
at work, at their desks
where they live for eight hours-
the entire time of sunlight.

Skin, muscle, organs freeze
when I turn down the dial,
statues they become for torment
to pass the hours away to
nefarious acts to kill boredom.

Fist-sized hail pummels
the asphalt-tiled roof, holes
appear, when the sun sits
her brilliance, rays descend
to thaw these bodies raw.

Arise from chairs and desks
they finally can, to walk
in air unfiltered, and feel
natural light, without choice
because the electronics are destroyed.

--S. P. Flannery

Friday, June 15, 2012

With The Pity Of Ravens

When she

reveals her-

self in all of

her sad

and naked

glory, it's

difficult to

resist suck-

ing at the

swollen teat

of Misery

the first

taste of

a wretched


as disillusion-

ment surges,


in the face

of pale dawn

an incidental

voyeur slipping

past the blind


who ask if

they should

even care


the sun is

rising or


while poverty


is closing in

and outside

the window

of a squalid


a ravening

wind cries

with the pity

of ravens.

--Jack T. Marlowe

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Two By Jeffrey Park


What if

and oh god that hurts,

god that smarts

on a scale of one to ten

definitely an eight and a half

and only that

What if, what ever,

because you never say ten

always leave room at

the top, what oh,

oh my tongue,

my splitting head

and the stitch in my side

What if,

what was it, what time were

we supposed to

be there, what happened

inside me

is happening inside you,

what now

What a joke you, we are

and the pain rises up again

like a great dark bird,

leaves eight and a half

far below

looks so small

down there.

What was and is and ever

shall or shall not be

for you, from me,

is the thing that lies

broken on the floor

What a day,

life, pain in the ass,

what again

what was it, where did I

leave it,

wherever did it go.


She walked out

on a Friday morning just

after breakfast,

shoes and poodle in tow,

spitting Hobbesian vituperations

between the sliding

elevator doors.

Inaccurately, it turned out.

Nasty and brutish and poor,

yes indeed.

Solitary - obviously.

But short?

Don't make me laugh.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Image of Phuc

Screams on a silent roadway
Brush strokes of red flames searing the sky
Hissing moldering ashes once called homes
Crackle like crushed crickets to the ground
Background soldiers peering lackadaisically at immolation
Without dismay
Lighting cigarettes
Cradling their rifles like suckling infants

She bellows
At the indignity of her clothes
Evaporating in bits of charred cloth and flesh
Trailing behind her--
At her adolescent body aflame,
Of relentless pain
Neurons and dendrites screaming
Thin arms tattooing a desperate dispatch
In a photograph that sealed her in the prison of memory
A hollow O forming her Munchlike face

That photograph rests on kitchen tables
Saddening some munching their toast and jam
Sipping their morning coffees, looking at her naked body
Gratifying others who proclaim it bosh
Pleased that the gooks were suffering

Ice-cream scooped soul torn from the photograph
Vanilla survivor
Takes spider-net building licks at the dripping cone
Only thinking of happiness without hatred
As she runs her fingers over her scarred flesh.

--Sy Roth

Monday, June 4, 2012


paycheck to
I just want
to hoist a
and heave
into the
soft skulls
of fat men
in three
piece suits
and gold watches
so I can dig
through their
deep pockets
and buy the
American Dream
at no cost
to me.

--Steve Calamars