John Rocco
To Zygote in My Coffee

You gave my slow old horse wings
and let him out of the stinking stable.
You let me fly on acid jet planes
covered in bloody stars and bleeding stripes
shooting across the plain of pain.
You let me sing dirty songs
to the lost and found world of her
and you never let me down.
Thank you Zygote
for all you did for us


Ray Succre
Why so Abstract

There is a pygmy rodent that inhabits my hand.
Where she once subsisted on bits of callus and nail fibers,
she now sets her biting to the little chords I write,
and with a belly sated on these compounds,
now sleeps more than she did,
doing her bathrooms in my wrist,
having her ugly children up my arm,
and sending her chatty mail to addresses in my other limbs.

Through a dream, I intercepted one such letter,
wherein she explained I was no longer a good man,
and that she was suffering from my abstract work,
the hand’s blood was too thick, the calluses were too thin.

I long ago decided I wouldn’t breathe for her,
and she will soon have to surface.
When she does, her pygmy head will split apart a pore.
Her whiskers will itch the outside, wake me,
and I’ll tear her out, you know, I’ll toss her to geniuses
with nowhere else to go but into the midst of hand rodents.

My hand will be injured but empty,
and I’ll send her off poisoned,
in the manner one kills a magnificent thing;
slowly, and with numerous changes of heart.



Dave Lewis
A Kenyan Accident

flamingo’s fly where she goes
the jeep wheel spinning free
blue, blue orange sky
Nakuru’s baked white pink

she once was loving, laughing
watched children – shout, sing, smile
red fast, brown hot, too fast, too fast
then she’s crashing craters

sweet sweat that tastes of rock
killing, killing
tilt, untracked –
the acacia standing guard

now creamy skin all torn
blood eyes that
stare at lava
children’s faces frozen time



Michael West

If only I could say this to you now. If only I could tell you. If only I could scrape around in the deepest, darkest caverns of myself and find the willingness to actually want to tell you this. For nothing else needs to be said but this – still – it won’t come out. Instead, surrounding my childish reluctance is a dense silence, a dense and eerie silence, and a silence that is completely ignorant of its comfortable brother. No, this hush knows only anxiety, excruciation, and expectation.
“I……I have something to tell you”, oh god, there really is no way back now. The air of absolute purgatory is pierced; purgatory was stark and desolate and pointing towards hell but it wasn’t hell. Now, this is hell.
“I didn’t want to do it this way, I….I didn’t want you to find out, I….I….I mean….of course I wanted you to find out eventually, but I didn’t want you to find out like this”. I’m longing to be somewhere else, I’d rather be nowhere, or a nobody, or something; just to not exist maybe, anything to erase the last five minutes– and the five weeks before that come to think of it.
“You see, erm, well, I suppose it’s the old cliché line eh, well, there’s erm, well I suppose what I’m trying to say is………there’s somebody else”, I’m sure I hear the delicate picking of an acoustic guitar, the delicate picking of the loneliest chords every played, just like in the movies, the difference being nobody watches this tragedy, and nobody should. Because the movie would have to have an ending, whether it be a happy ending, or a sad ending, it would climax eventually and the audience would leave. This movie shall never end; instead, it will disperse into a vacuum of hurt, despair and confusion. No intellectual or critic would ever be able to read it’s narrative; it’s not a straight narrative, nor will it ‘come together in the end’. It never ends.
“We’ve been together for some time, every time you leave on business, well, we rent a car and we drive and we laugh, and not only do we laugh at each other’s jokes and anecdotes, we just laugh. We just laugh. Sometimes we’ll turn on the radio, and it’ll be jammed with the usual contemporary drivel, the drivel you hate, and, to some extent, I hate, but it doesn’t affect me, not when I’m with her – no, when I’m with her it sounds like an opera, it sounds like an orchestra”. Your eyes are transfixed, but not on me, not on anything, you just stare, and I’m shaking because forty seconds ago I was wishing – oh, if only I could say this to you now! But now it’s been said. You stand and you head over to the radio, you calmly turn the tuning dial, you find some contemporary drivel, the kind you hate, you leave it on and head into next room, you close the door, and I stand.



Justin Hyde
the qc lady

drove around the plant
in a joystick controlled wheelchair
because multiple sclerosis
was erasing
important parts of her spine.
there were two internet stations
in the break-room
of hach chemical:
five in the morning before the five-thirty shift
i’d be playing at poet
while mellisa scrolled various horoscopes
looking for reasons not to drink
that gallon of bleach
she always talked about
after too many tequilas
at the foxhead
on friday nights.



Daniel S. Irwin

Asphalt hotter than
a blues jam in Selma
combined with
radiant heat from
a too close sun made
Mad Ron’s scalp on
his thinning hair head
sizzle like fryin’ bacon
as he worked the field
while his wandering mind
contemplated life’s
perplexing mysteries.
Why are we here?
Should people be food?
Whatever happened to the
Ramblin’ Humpin’ Dawg
mini-comic book series?

Out of frustration
born of boredom
and a future as bright
as that of a backyard dog
on a ten-foot chain
caught in a
nine-foot flood,
Mad Ron decided that
it was, at last, time
to take his ass and
his rock hard sheep sticker
to parts unknown.
BG DREAM was on the
license plate of the car
that flattened the kittens
in passing ’bout noon,
their ‘Big Dream’ well in hand.
Life, as ever, goes on
in its limited fashion
but death lasts longer.
So pack a big lunch.

Hail Drusilla
good night Mammy Yokum.

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