4.09 / September 2009
She stands on a steel girder, her feet hooked around its ice edge, her hand wrapped tight around a cabled wire, her body, pulsing in the wind.
She leans into the side of the bridge, her nightgown snaps, like lightening, in hard cracks behind her. She places her hands flat [...]
My Red Murder
There’s a murder in my pocket. A hot red bludgeoning I finger when I’m nervous. From time to time I pull it out and throw it against the wall. Bounce. I catch it on the rebound.
Sometimes I forget my murder, leave it on the [...]
The Second Son
The birth was similar to her first birth, but, of course, there were differences.
It was a Thursday and Edie had Bertie with her when she went for her check-up. She was a week from her due date. She always had Bertie with her. He was three and he [...]
Half price mojitos
listen to this poem
While reading poems
by Raymond Carver
and trying to avoid the sun,
the mind might wander a bit,
but only to recall seeing
a sign just off the
for half price
or to move
one hand to
slap a mosquito,
away the blood
Timothy Leary’s Progress
listen to this poem
I’ve been waiting to dream about
Timothy Leary [...]
Buck, naked, has no words. The best he can manage is a strangulated cough. His wife, who is clothed, stands before him, next to a mattress that took Buck half a day to force into the trailer.
“Make a …”
“Please,” says Buck.
“…mischievous face. A mischievous little boy face.”
Buck tilts his [...]
“The blissful counterstroke—a considerable new message.”
was easy leaning
deeper into his arms
her mind turning
to grey fuzz
a bright young
senator on his way
to the top unbuttons
the sequined blouse
struggling with the
giving her time
to reflect a pregnant pause
where clouds pass
and through the [...]
HONG KONG HALLUCINATION
Seven Zen Buddhist monks
Slurping bubble tea
We smile and pretend to enjoy each other’s company.
A little girl’s tea party isn’t the place for grudges
so we sit across from one another and act civil.
We make small talk and say things such as
“I like what you’ve done with the dream house Barbie”
then exchange thank yous and you’re welcomes.
Wess Mongo Jolley
Ten Inappropriate Dopplegangbanger Haikus
He told me he jerked
off in a mirror. Yeah, I
smiled, I’d do me.
Cloning, I thought, was
a waste of time and money.
Then I saw twin porn.
My test clone said he
loved me our first night. No, I
said, I love you more.
One was from boredom.
Two was to [...]
Writing the Review
5.1 What do I write, for fuck’s sake? What do I write? And who do I write it to?
0.1 Skyler. Fans of underground hardcore know him [...]
Love Is Another Thing
Sitting at the table
spinning the creamer
running her fingers through sugar
the kids spilled at supper, Sue
suddenly says, “Don,
love is another thing.”
Since love is another thing
I have to go rent a room,
leave behind eight years,
five kids, the echoes of me
raging at noon on the phone,
raging at night, the mist
Love Song for Grapefruit
listen to this poem
I’ve conquered the punishment of soap
in my mouth, sweet followed by bitter,
puckering. Grapefruit soap makes
me want to eat the fruit. So I do.
In my mouth, sweet followed by bitter,
the sliced open sun startles
me. I want to eat the fruit. So I do
stick my fingers [...]
She said my color is red,
like bursting cherries and summertime,
like her mother poised on a lawn chair
at noon, hair newly dyed and curled,
and the color of the Mustang
shaking off dust and tree branches
while a man traces his hand up
the porch railway. It’s the color
of lipstick smears on wrists and teeth,
There are rooms with windows and rooms without, and naturally, the windowless ones are the worst. Windowers, as the occupants of these rooms are called, compensate with paper and markers, taping their representations to a blank wall. The most desperate draw curtains, and sometimes a small potted flower on a [...]
I Don’t Want to Bore You, But –
There I was, literally ready to pack it all in, folding my nondescript shirts and slacks into the colorless case I’d carried when I breezed into town, and ready to catch the train back to nowhere again when the door of the hotel [...]
Notes on a Candy Cane Tree
What did I think about before you touched my thigh? Let me say this: I’m going to touch you until my fingers fall off. If my fingers don’t fall off, I will hold your hand even if it’s sweaty. And let me say this: You [...]
Simon A. Smith
WORST CASE SCENARIO
“I’ve got spine cancer!” I shout from the sofa. Lonnie’s in the kitchen dicing onions.
“It’s probably spinal meningitis!” She yells back.
“I’ll be dead in a few weeks!” I say. I’ve got my thumb and fingers dug in like pincers, clawing [...]
My favorite kind of pasta is radiatore.
I eat it in walnut pesto fresh from the pot
and pretend that I’m eating radiators.
It’s like when somebody tells you that
the world is on their shoulders
or that their heart belongs to you,
because unless you’re some kind of heart realtor,
a titan, or a giant robot, [...]
Wondering about the cancellation penalty on my cell phone contract
You call again because the beer didn’t work and the pills didn’t work and neither did the water syringe or the hanger. You call because now you have a twelve-year-old girl who is 4’10″ and 75 pounds and can’t speak. I [...]
Jody wakes some days with pieces missing. Small pieces, mostly: an eyebrow, a toenail. Sometimes the things come back, sometimes not. Last month, she woke with a hole through her right hand, a neat hole about the size of a half-dollar coin, big enough to look through. She [...]
When I move into Sheena’s place, her dog begins peeing in my gymbag. Little, marking squirts, that I don’t notice until the bag starts to smell sour in the back of my car.
I ask Timmy-O at the Jade Palace what he thinks I should do.
He thinks for a moment, pours [...]
Grab me by the back of my neck and slam me facedown on the desk, so my cheek is against the slick wood surface and the desk corner juts into my stomach.
Pull my skirt up roughly (because, really, doesn’t it have to be a skirt? It’d be hard to rape [...]
I HATE ZOMBIES LIKE YOU HATE ME
Here is what I wish would happen:
a windy November day,
before the snow has spilled its milk
and the leaves still grip the ground in their stiff handshakes,
that while visiting your grandmother’s gravesite,
having cleared away the autumn debris and dew dust,
I wish your grandmother would break [...]