Feature Poet: David Spicer

David Spicer has had poems accepted by or published in American Poetry Review, Bad Acid Laboratories, Inc., The Drunken Llama, In Between Hangovers, Nixes Mate Review, Ploughshares, Slim Volume, Yellow Mama, Your One Phone Call, and elsewhere. The former editor of raccoon, Outlaw, and Ion Books, he is the author of one full-length collection, Everybody Has a Story (St. Luke’s Press, 1987), along with four chapbooks. He lives on a mean street in Memphis.

*

Flee

I’m no grumbler, but the next
time I wear an apron and pretend
to like the customers in this
sorry salon, I might go full
tilt and crash through the door.
The police may have to escort
me to the pool hall, where at least
I can wear a mustache on May Day.
I thought Mannie, the boss, who
hired me not to sneeze or gurgle
in public, was always a rattlesnake,
but when he accused me of building
a tunnel for a burglary ring, I knew
he needed counseling. I wish the bank
would foreclose on the joint. Mannie
thinks a conspiracy exists to bomb
his villa, too. One day somebody
abducted him, and we all played
the accordion and translated his
priceless arcana about bruised pearls
and wallets shaped like buckets.
And now he’s blind and grazes
outside, babbling like a human
puzzle and asking for a cane to guide
him through the latest slump in his
business. It’s enough to make me flee.

*

Proof I’m Real                                                                                                                                    —for Michael Bloomfield, 1943-1981

Insomnia again. If only I could
dream that Illuminati tutored me,
disguised me as a groom with glinting
eyes who eats goat cheese in a sunlit
room of butterflies with ruby eyes
and wings sharper than sewing
scissors. No nightmares for me,
so I pretend I’m Nero playing my
guitar, swaying, dancing to Rome’s
flames, clocks ticking as I flip
on a hoodie to hide from hallucinations.
I lounge in the terrace hammock, juggle
bald heads of my girl’s Barbies, peek
at seagulls. I’d better take a stroll,
and, trembling, carry a flashlight
outside under the dark sky uglier
than black cream. Maybe I’ll wear
a hairpin on my thirty white strands.
True, I’m a jailer of my freedom
but wish I could sleep among the pines
tonight: they want proof I’m real
in my lambskin gloves. Instead, I’ll
stay inside, squabble with myself,
and shoot the tv before I chew
my cabbage soup. Then my eyes
should glisten before I poke them
with chopsticks I use to knit
iridescent mufflers, and finally
I’ll see what fire remembers.

*

All Hail! Copies of David Spicer’s first book, Everybody Has a Story (St. Luke’s Press, 1987), can still be found kicking around over at Abe Books. Please, click on the cover image below to learn more . . .

Previous Feature: Ben Nardolilli

Ben Nardolilli currently lives in New York City. His work has appeared in The 22 Magazine, Danse Macabre, Elimae, fwriction, Inwood Indiana, The Minetta Review, Pear Noir, Perigee Magazine, Quail Bell Magazine, Red Fez, and Yes Poetry. He blogs at mirrorsponge.blogspot.com, and is looking to publish a novel.

*

Anti-Chic

Others say we’re dirty, we don’t care,
We’re just a pair of precarious sprites covered
In the universe’s dark offerings,
Leftovers of the shadows other planets
And stars don’t bother orbiting back to pick up

The critics say we’re not even coordinated
As we show off our black and brown costumes
Spackled and molted with puce,
A patchwork dream of the city’s blind alleys,
It helps us to pulse against their bright pink world

They say we’re terrible acrobats without a net,
Dancers coached by an imp choreographer
Guided by a rubber band symphony,
They see us as an obstacle full of laughter,
A traveling circus that celebrates falling down

*

River Speed

Then we went down to the ship
to ride the waves with a little bit of rowing,
and once out at sea,
to practice a little bit of sailing

yet we never got the chance
to make use of the labors
of our pale and yet to be cracked hands
or the currents of the ocean

a man at the wheel
of the rapidly listing vehicle
pushed a button and pulled a throttle
to bring a vicious engine out of its steel cage

he propelled us forward,
christening those of us down in the galley
as passengers, unable to work
and capture the benefit of the wind

*

Unemployed on a Late Winter Afternoon

Waking under the dome
Of everyone’s commute home,
I rise to darkness now
And feel half dead, certainly
Wasted. Why have I not gone out?

There were dreams, but they
Were no destination.
Passed over easy in idleness,
They were a litany easily accomplished.
How am I still so tired?

I suppose I rested
To gain more of the night,
To see more of these dark hours.
Well, here they are.
Waking up to a false sunrise called evening,
What is there to see?

Or to feel? There is a sensation,
Everything still and the air
Resting like an open glove.
I am held with dull fingers
That are ready to grab the horizon.

A wound grows inside.
A diamond
Struggling for words to pull it up
And cutting as it wiggles its way to get out.

I walk half-drunk with darkness
And cough up letters instead of blood.
Now is the time to write.

*

All Hail! Ben Nardolilli’s groovy blog, Lo Specchio e La Spugna, includes poetry, politics, and a girlfriend named Sara who digs Wittgenstein. How cool is that? To learn more, click on the header image below . . . 

Call for Poetry Submissions

The boo-tay’s sister-site, BAD ACID LABORATORIES, INC., is seeking poetry submissions for Issue #6. This is slated to be a theme issue operating under the working title, “Mein Drumpf!” Please, click on the logo below to learn more about this special anti-Trump issue . . .

And, be sure to check out BAD ACID’s most recent issue, #5, by clicking here.

Previous Feature: Scott Wozniak

Scott Wozniak is a poet/chaos enthusiast living in Oregon. His works have been widely published both online and in print. To keep up with his publications, follow him on Twitter @sewozniak.

*

Slim Polluted My Mind

If dangerous drugs
and dirty sex
land your ass
in a sling,
blame
Iceberg Slim.

The judge
may not
understand,
but the guys
in your cell
sure will.

*

Family Values Paying Off

We spotted
one another
from a distance.
He was holding
a sign
that read
the usual
laundry list
of lies:
“Anything helps,”
“Homeless Vet,”
“Will work for . . .”
“God bless.”

My sign read,
“I smell,
I’m broke,
everybody
hates me.
I Just want
to get drunk
and high,
spare a dime?”

The beer
in my hand,
and not his,
was proof
that honesty
really is
the best
policy.

*

Patron Saint

He asked
for change.
I handed him
a bag of dope.
Thank yous fell
from his mouth
like Hail Marys
from a sinner.

As he gathered
his backpack
from the sidewalk,
he told me
I was a savior,
then hurried off
to inject
Amazing Grace.

I kept walking
on my way
to do
the same,
wondering
if Catholics have
a patron saint
of dope fiends?

God knows
we need one.

*

Greyhound Station Snapshot

All of us
forced here
by our life’s
circumstances
want to be
transported
on the cheap.

Thrown together,
we all hop
the infested
dirty dog
because we lack
the means
of escape
in our attempt
to arrive
at a place
alternative
to what we hope
to leave behind.

Look around
at the mess
of humanity
packed in
this rolling
last chance
to get away.

It’s easy to see
why drug dealers
linger
outside
terminal doors.

*

All Hail! Scott Wozniak’s new full-length collection of poetry, Crumbling Utopian Pipedream, is forthcoming from Moran Press. To learn more, simply click on the GIF below . . .

Praise for Crumbling Utopian Pipedream:

“Reading Scott Wozniak you feel the dark grit beneath your cuticles, the needle wagging in the hinge of your arm and the demons’ claws raking down your back. This is authentic outlaw poetry.” —Rob Plath

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