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.
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 . . .
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.
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
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.
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 . . .
Slim Polluted My Mind
If dangerous drugs
and dirty sex
land your ass
in a sling,
but the guys
in your cell
Family Values Paying Off
from a distance.
He was holding
“Will work for . . .”
My sign read,
I Just want
to get drunk
spare a dime?”
in my hand,
and not his,
I handed him
a bag of dope.
Thank yous fell
from his mouth
like Hail Marys
from a sinner.
As he gathered
from the sidewalk,
he told me
I was a savior,
then hurried off
I kept walking
on my way
if Catholics have
a patron saint
of dope fiends?
we need one.
Greyhound Station Snapshot
All of us
by our life’s
want to be
on the cheap.
we all hop
because we lack
in our attempt
at a place
to what we hope
to leave behind.
at the mess
to get away.
It’s easy to see
why drug dealers
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
Catfish McDaris has been in more magazines, chapbooks, and broadsides than a porcupine has quills. He’s from Albuquerque and Milwaukee. At the moment, he’s selling wigs in a dangerous neighborhood.
The Three-Legged Chicken
His pockets were running on empty,
the rich gay dude said, “The only
way you’re getting five grand out of
me is if you stick it up my tailpipe”
Spaniard should have hit the road,
not the dirt one either, the hose
monkey pulled off his pants and
his undies with little yellow ducks
“The money first” he pocketed the
green and lit up a rum soaked
Xalapa Cohiba, he got it red hot
and he buried the cigar, except
The burning tip, “Try not to inhale”
it got loud, like Tarzan in the jungle,
Spaniard pulled out the cigar and
shoved in three frozen chicken legs.
Rats, Bums, French Machine Guns, and Dogs
Spaniard saw a rat in Chicago
looking at him as he went
down to catch the El train
There was a dead bum in the
Metro in Paris, ten smoking
gendarmes with machine guns
Surrounded him passing wine
bottles and pissing on the wall,
another bum lived in a card
Board box outside with his dog,
they both shit on the sidewalk
in front of everyone, the dog
Ate well and the bum had a cell
phone he used when he wasn’t
begging, the bum took his dog
Into buy food, he would put the
dog in a shopping basket and they
acted like Napoleon and Lauro.
Apacho Comancho could hear a fly
fart in a hurricane, when he strutted
down the avenue all the vaginas
palpitated pulsated and pounded
Apacho was the motherfucking cat’s
meow, Mr. Love ‘em and Leave ‘em
he left all the ladies a hot mess under
duress, dancing into the garden of
Earthly delight with lightning bugs
tangoing in the air and swimming in
the dark oceans of the night, panthers
in a line wrapped around his legs
Comancho bought a white stallion, so
white it was blue, he rode west and
crossed rivers of blood, his heart was
poisoned, his horse and he became one.
All Hail! Catfish McDaris’ full-length collection, Sleeping With the Fish (2016), is available via Pski’s Porch. To learn more, please click on the cover image below . . .