Two Poems by iukinim

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Seasons Die

Summer came beaming
donating light
but i was not bothered
as i was a piteous barnacle
seeking warm entrails

Spring came delighted
asking to share his mirth
but i was not bothered
as i was a brute
seeking only shade from his allurement

Autumn came staggering
gifting solitude
i was delicately engrossed
as i was companionless
seeking abyssal tranquility

Winter came brusque
offering a withering corpse
absorbed in white silence
as i was tormented
seeking immortal harmony

I visited summer glowering
asking for a twinkle
but summer refused
as he became impoverished
donating only darkness

I visited Spring whimpering
begging for levity
but spring refused
as he became a miser
sharing only naught

I visited Autumn mourning
gifting solitude back
but Autumn refused
as he was injurious
gifting only agony

I visited Winter sorrowing
offering a withering corpse
absorbed in white silence
as i was tormented
seeking immortal harmony

 

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‘Human Resources’ by Smal Crime

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Muggy heat feels like suspension in Jell-o in the burnt orange afternoon and the A/C in the office struggles to keep pace. Deb: angry, loud, and very middle-aged, very high on something if not just scarily high strung, is being escorted out by the managers. She can come retrieve her belongings after hours, just not today. She needs to cool off. It feels like a Sunday, but it’s Monday.

I watch as she finally leaves the room and then there’s a tap on my shoulder. It’s Phoebe. She asks if I can give her a ride home today even though I just gave her one yesterday. I’m starting to think she thinks she found a way out of paying bus fare, but then again she sends me pictures of her naked chest on most nights so it sort of kind of almost evens out.

She’s asking for a ride home. I say “yeah”. I think “great”. Sarcastically, mind you. Think sarcastically that I love having her around and love the fact that I’ve accidentally let work fill every gap in my life like peroxide in a nasty scrape. I’m satisfied with the fact that I’m just a creative kind of guy who entertains himself with these kinds of half-assed analogies. Sarcastic and satisfied with myself and my little problems and how I handle them or usually don’t.

I look and it’s almost time to clock out. It’s about this time that I start thinking of ways not to kiss Phoebe when I drop her off. I will be uncouth today. Insensitive. A dick. I will stop her as she leans forward and explain to her that I never did want anything serious. After 6 consecutive weeks of parking lot blowjobs and refusing to go into her apartment because I’m too afraid to park my new car in her neighborhood… I don’t want anything serious.

The heat is made worse by the black leather car seats and when we sit down she burns her skirted legs and squeaks. She asks if I have anything for her to cover the seat with. I don’t. I leave the radio off. We’re driving and we can only hear the bumps in the road. Her hands are between her legs. She’s on her best behavior.

She asks in a soft voice if I heard what happened to Deb.

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‘FATAL FAILURE’ by Matt Lee

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When I returned from the city I settled into a new routine.  During the day I slept, dreamless.  At night I walked laps around the basement, blowing smoke at the concrete floor, the cracks underfoot growing bigger.

In between I watched television, infomercials mostly.  For hours I sat on my mother’s couch, silently wishing I had the money for those four easy payments.  I wanted Billy Mays to solve all of my problems, but Billy Mays was dead.

I was without work so I started spending a lot of time in the woods, partly to get out of the house, but mostly to contemplate self-inflicted violence.

There was a spot up the ridge where someone else had done it before about ten years back.  A kid, still in high school, hanged himself from a tree.

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‘Josie’s Thread’ by Richard Greenhorn

There was one thin thread of flesh which was all Samuel really liked about her. Josie claimed it was a great embarrassment to her, from an unfortunate experience in high school and in the present day, when she wore tights or shorts. Samuel could only assign this to stupid vanity; to him, Josie’s thread was a manifest sign of his love for her. To simply set his tongue on her was to resolve that evening’s bitter dispute, was to soothe whatever qualm had set some unspoken barrier between them during the day. The messiness of morals, temperaments, and all the better angels of the universe could be subjugated beneath the mild application of pressure, and all life’s complications smouldered when Josie threw her head back and burst into a white flame.

Josie’s thread provided a linchpin in Samuel’s mental conception of her, and at times when his affection for her was waning, he could think of her thread and resurrect his former feeling. He could sit and think about Josie’s thread for a quarter of a hour at a time, behind his desk, not contemplating a particular motion, not immersed in any thrall of passion, but simply thinking of her thread in appreciation. Every moment they shared together was a movement towards her thread. All the attributes of hers he found unpleasing, from her vestigial religion to her yoga to her mercurial tears, were hollow ceremonies in the two great seasons of their relationship: Having her thread, when he was very happy, and fasting from it.

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‘Sugar Dinner’ by Jon Berger

I was driving to Gaylord. My mom had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, early-onsets, for about a year and wasn’t able to drive herself there, even though she thought she could. She wanted to visit an old friend from school, who she hadn’t seen in a few years. Her friend’s name was Jacqueline, she lived on a farm and I think she was a hippie. I only met her a few times when I was little. Leaving Saginaw and trying to navigate the change of the rolling green hills up north was like going from a beehive to the top of a big tree. We got into some arguments, Mom was starting to get mean, which the doctor said might happen. She sat in the passenger seat of the shitty minivan with her hands limp and cradled in her lap, looking out the window becoming harder to talk to.

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Three Poems by Based Mountain

a chinese poem at the foodcourt

thru forgotten parking lots & years of weeds crushed under tire tread, the almost automatic doors release a rush of conversation. i eat under asbestos fluorescents – i like broccoli and rice – the floor skuffed beige from basketball shoes. my friend likes kanye but not wocka flocka flame – likes twitter but not facebook – we agree on lovecraft though. the symposium with chrysanthemum tea sums $15.33 – fuck – at home my wallet falls from a bookcase.

 

spraycans or barbarism

so i had a few mongols around. i needed my hair braided. i chill with barbarians in mat-black nike airs, no laces. we hang out in underground carparks – marking up bmws with arrows – drinking clotted mares milk out of skulls – brown paper bag – talking about their fear of water. they keep dropping bankers though. dragging blood and gore and broken teeth thru my carpet – its pretty embarrassing. every time i turn on the television, all i hear is missing bankers and nothing about the 16th century tribesmen screaming for the great blue-grey wolf as i hose off human flesh under a dark and thundery sky.

 

where’s the exit for university city?

when i was on the come up i asked for more than a kraft macaroni and cheese (deluxe sauce). i said i couldn’t concentrate with the broken streetlight outside my window. – blink – “that’s not our responsibility” – blink – fucking bureaucracy. a girl smoking clove in black lipstick laughs out her pierced nose. i put down my textbook – drop a couple of codeine – and think of the smiling moon where life is cold but far away from here.

Two Poems by Giacomo

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until there was no more flesh to grip

We drag barbed hooked happiness through rock pools blossoming red coral sharpness,

a hard blue choking back blood freezing razor ribbons held tight between held hands.

Falling against wet fingers, ripping soft palms.

Our eyes taste bone’s whiteness before the scab.

1000 year’s marbled warmth unloved against fragile fists.

Bent toothed knuckles cracking tear ducts; pooling hot love smeared.

My mouth screamed throated sobs and from your pockets handfuls of my hair

still wet from the shower.

Bloodshot black eyes bruised by heavy kisses to bandage neglect of when you needed flesh to grip

and I was sheeted flint cracking from the weight of wet breath.

You clear clouded eyes with a rolled sock from our floor and through the hole in your body,

a new space that is unchanged except for the cavity of each point with your shape.

We rip a square of skin from the soft lined flesh under our eyes.

I fold you delicately to place in the damp under tongue and taste you with every kiss.

In dark rooms new loves hold my bones under your skin and my hands end with your fingertips.

We fall hard rocks crashing from white foam and bite down fierce misplaced lust cracking shards.

You are,

long after I’m bleached and picked clean by passersby.

My blood is clean but I won’t ask you to drink it

I hate that if I let myself bleed out I could never fill a condom.

I hate that If I stood there pulling open my veins
falling out into the opening
the latex would stretch to hold all of me.

That when I was empty the condom would be
a heavy hanging fruit with space between
the rib and the red and I hate that.

I would give my fruit to you and the sun
would shine through our bodies but my red
glow would be missing.

From above I’d watch you walk away
the rubber rubbing thin on the asphalt.

An iron trail behind you until the condom hung
empty from your hand and I am
a weightless stain on the floor.

The rain would wash the red turned
brown off the street and I hate that.

I hate that I poured myself stainless across you.

I hate that you never felt me draining out
as you walked beneath my shadow.

 

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