Chris Major

Head split,
eye a swollen
pussy plum;
manic mood measured
in bloody cuts
that graduate bare arms.
Teeth, a row
of bombed houses
that snap and tear
at biceps.
This local legend,
the worst self-harmer
most have seen,
has for 2 hours been
in 3 to 1 restraint.
The best we can do,
a world of modern medicine
reduced to this impasse:
a person each arm
and one on the legs-
her top and jeans
parting like lips,
G-string delivering
the room’s only why……


Simon Friel
superman and the angel

i am superman and i know at least one angel.
he is a 16 stone, bald glaswegian angel who i met in paris.
we went to a karaoke bar on the boulevard de clichy.
he sang ‘because i got high’, by afro-man.
now he sends me news updates from uzbekistan.

yesterday, the angel and an ex-kgb assassin fought hand to hand with an orchard fire that they had inadvertently started whilst drinking moldovian cognac and cooking kebabs.
as he is an angel, there was no serious damage.
they overcame the fire armed only with big sticks and a hoodie.
they received no assistance from any of the neighbours;
“the lazy bastards turned up with 1 bucket of water at wich point i was drinkin a beer and pissin on burnin stumps of trees wich i had ripped down bare hands in the light part of dusk.”

i am not an angel.

i am superman.

nobody knows i am superman apart from you.
i suppose the angel knows, but it probably doesn’t matter much to him and so he never mentions it.

i have a highly paid day job and i impress all of my clients,
i live in a new, modern bachelor flat,
with 24 hour ADSL connection,
have the latest cell phone,
wear nice clothes,
smell good,
and i work for only 8 months of the year.
i fuck beautiful women regularly, or they fuck me: it’s the same.

it is lonely and boring to be superman.
i would like to not be superman, but i know that to be impossible.

i hate the angel because his life is easier than mine.
i feel compelled to do and save things because of my super powers, whereas he only has to go where the grace of his god pushes him.

he is

i am

we are


on those rare evenings where i do fly out over the city, i ignore the cries of the destitute and the needy and soar only upward into the sky that never turns to the black i am looking for.
i fall quickly back down to earth, lie around on my bed, and stare vacantly out at the now crisp, blue sky;
waiting on news from heaven



David LaBounty
Something Bob Dylan Said

I work for the Lord, he said
as my eyes scanned his application


to every other
application I keep
in a stack on my
cluttered and
dusty desk.

seven dollars an hour here
eight dollars an hour there
washing dishes,
mowing lawns
flipping burgers
all in line with
changing tires.

I do a good job, he said

and his eyes were glassy
in a non-narcotic sort of way

I do a good job because I serve a higher master.

and all the guys in the shop
and probably everyone else
work for somebody or something
greater than a paycheck.

beer. cigarettes. fast food.

and that’s how it goes,

you serve and serve and
you get nothing in return except

a headache. lung cancer. diabetes.

well that’s good, I said
you gotta serve somebody
and I thought about my
wife and kids ten miles
away from my clutter
and brake dust, watching
TV in our living room,
the rays of the sun
cutting through
the blinds and shining
on my dog sleeping
on the carpeted floor.

this isn’t an easy job, I said
and he nodded and
I knew he could handle
the job with his experience
because changing tires
requires only sweat and
limbs and indifference.

okay, I said, start tomorrow,
be here at eight in the morning
and wear clothes you
don’t care about.

he nodded, said Bless You.

the next day came.

he was forty-five minutes late

bloodshot eyes

beer on his breath.

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