Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Two by Maureen Kingston


The Sinkhole

Neglect has brought us here.
Neglect
the underground culprit
eroding us.

I stare into my coffee,
into its blown pupil.

Our sinkhole grew
by slow collapse,
by swallowing
more and more.
I hardly noticed the rising
dew point.
The spongy joists.
The strawworm nest.

Did you?

What simple frogs
we used to be–
breathing through our skins,
breathing each other in.
And the moon. How easily it
lustered our nuptial pond.

Now it only indicts,
spotlights our cracked
glass house
and the two of us
dissolving–
two dry drunks
on the rocks
hissing in the glade.






Mother of Invention

Today’s the day I’m supposed to snip
the belly of my cat’s cradle,
read my fortune in its stringy entrails.
But there are no sharp scissors
anywhere in the house, nor scalpel
to transect its tiny navel knot.

Why do I wait until every last blade is dulled
before I’ll mount the sharpener,
part its cowry lips, let the sparks fly?

I’m afraid, that’s why.

It’s taken months of massage
to coax my tensor muscle into relaxing,
into releasing my soft palate from the clutches
of its tight censor. That know-it-all
piano wire would love to cut me out,
silence me for good.

Fuck it. I’ll use my teeth.





Friday, January 18, 2013

Gun Vomit


Meditations in an emergency/tragedy: Guns don’t kill people/people kill people but people with guns do it faster/psychotics do it because they can/Ben Hur you should have kissed Massala instead of dealing in death/twenty and seven fireflies extinguished forever.

Useless, words linger/but for now: silence.




--Felix Maple

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Sacred Insignia


she took his lungs
and salted them: yes:

they pickled
and smelled of jaundiced rubber:
of too-careful afternoons:
of chlorine,
smoky and ethereal,
chlorine,
insistent and sweet.

(she was the queen of hearts
and he was her knight,
forever doomed to treading water
for that lilied hand: outstretched,
always outstretched, but

too bright.) and smiling
from two lanes over:
palms pressed together:
she’d promise kisses
for near-drownings –

he would feign stillness
until the coldness seeped to his forehead
and he became convinced that the world
was draped in erstwhile frills –
the veering vertigo of her mirth,
to be sure.

(his lips would taste of iron
for many days thereafter:
but it didn’t matter
as long as hers did, too)

come winter,
when the water was too still to fathom
and his eyes were too cold
to see out of,
she brought him goggles,
asked him to slip
into the water. head submerged,
he drank in the chlorine
deeply. a second gulp. a fourth…

her gaze was as quiet
as it was loud. as the ripples
became smaller and smaller,
she slowly drained the pool of water,
waited three long hours  –
long after his spit had slackened –
to pull him out
and brush white fingers
against still-whiter cheeks.

that last fleeting taste
of frost –
his haste or hers?



--Stephanie Guo





Friday, January 4, 2013

Two by Jack T. Marlowe


5am death dirge

the street
lamps shut
their eyes
and listen
to the sui-
cide cry of
5am, the
dry cough
of a night
run out of
gas, the
lament of
a gutted
love, its
tragic
breath
pungent
with decay
but wearier
and a
deeper
blue, the
throb of
exhaustion
as the
executioner
sings his
last torch
song, and
the sparrow
twitters her
response:
she has
no regrets
and he
wishes
that he
were
only
so
lucky 







a wretched intimacy

decorum is
dead, your
cheery
welcome
mat, no 
more than
an artifact
when
Misery
shows up
and steps
over the
corpse
and 
when
Misery
decides to
move in
she doesn't
wait for an
invite to
cross the
threshold
(of your
pain)
arriving
with all of
her usual
baggage
side-
stepping
the sofa to
claim your
bed, a perfect
setting for the
spectacle
of naked
suffering in
repose, her
legs spread
to expose the
grief-hewn
abyss
into which
you are
thrust
head
first

for a long
night of 
fucking
Misery