Thursday, October 11, 2018

Poem By Gale Acuff

Gale Acuff has appeared in Ascent, McNeese Review, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, Poem, Adirondack Review, Maryland Poetry Review, Florida Review, Slant, Poem, Carolina Quarterly, Arkansas Review, South Dakota Review, Orbis, and many other journals. He has authored three books of poetry, all from BrickHouse Press: Buffalo Nickel, The Weight of the World, and The Story of My Lives.

Il Miglior Fabbro

Hubert McCloud brings a dildo to Shop
Class. He says that his father made it. It's
big, a lot bigger than mine, which is just
flesh. My member, I mean. I wonder if
his father had a model in the room
while he did it, the way a painter works,
or a sculptor, when they need somebody
and memory or photographs won't do.
I mean the way a fellow, sooner or
later, has to have a real live woman,
not just himself, to bring himself to boil
after all that fuming. I don't know how
to ask. I'm not familiar with this kind
of art, but I can see a pair of hands
shaping it, rubbing it, smoothing it out,
applying varnish and buffing away.
He lets us pass his father's wood around,
does Hubert. We touch it, some not for long.
It's handed to me and the fellows laugh
as I hand it like a hot potato
to Tommy Potts, the class clown and jerk-off,
to my left. Goddamn, he cries. It's Moby-Dick!
He puts it to his crotch and bucks across
the classroom. We're not really a Shop Class
--more like a study hall for guys who don't
study. We kill time by playing with our
jigsaws, or hammering boards together
and spreading them apart, just to warp nails.
Two one-by-fours are a lady's legs, and
the long thin nail is her husband's johnson
pecking her together where it counts most.
Or we make paddles and paddle away,
especially if someone bends over.
We whip out a paddle out and give a lick.
I've drilled holes in the business-end of mine
so that it gives pain and a louder yelp.
But Mr. Street walks in--someone forgot
to give the Stalag 17-type signal
--so we're screwed. Hubert hides his father's thing
behind his back. We're jerks in a circle,
looking down while Mr. Street penetrates
our soft center. Boys, what's goin' on here?
Hubert, what you got behind your back, son?
Nothing, Hubert says. Give, our leader says.
Hubert's shy, like a woman who's about
to undress for the first time in front of
a man. At least I think women are shy
--my sisters are shy. My mother is shy.
Hubert pulls it out, holds it with both hands.
Jesus H. Christ, Hubert, says Mr. Street.
What you got there? No, don't give it to me.
Put that thing away and come along. Two
minutes later Mr. Street is licking
him. Five pops, but they're not loud, lighter than
average. Hubert comes back in--he won't look
at us. Mr. Street returns a little
later. He's trying not to smile. Or grin.
Awright, boys, he says. That's enough of that.
Hubert's learned his lesson. Ain't you learned it,
Hubert? Hubert blushes, stares at sawdust.
Boys, don't brang them kindly thangs to school. Leave
'em at home where they belong. Hubert, tell
yo' momma to call me sometime, we got
somethin' to discuss. Yessir! he concludes.
Mr. Street splits again. Hubert's breaking
into a beautiful smile. Tommy says
Hubert, show me how to make one of them.
Ax your daddy to show you how so you
can show me. Ax him if he can make me
a pussy, too. Man, I sure do want some.
I wish I could suck my own dick. Jim Leech
says. I got one you can suck on, Tommy.
Fuck you in the mouth, Tommy says. Eat me.
That night I study my photos of girls
in lingerie ads I've spread on my bed.
The door is locked. I'm as hard as a tree.
They're posing passively in their paper skin
when suddenly Hubert comes to me, his
father's lumbering penis in his hands,
hands that cradle it by its carved scrotum.
He walks between us and kneels and offers
it to the redhead in the Maidenform
36C. She titters and takes it.
Then Hubert turns to me and slips a wink
and laughs as, in my right hand, I collapse.
I put the girls away between the sheets
of Gulliver's Travels, that part where he's
now shrunken, facing that enormous
teat. That's my favorite part, though Gulliver's
turned off. What kind of world is this, I think,
where a man has to find a real live girl
or die and she won't let him have any
else she's bad, and I'm too young to marry?

Poetry By Simon Perchik

Poetry by Simon Perchik

Branching out and this hillside
bit by bit unraveling
the way your shadow keeps to itself
just by darkening, fed the dirt
you once could see through
as if nothing was there to hum
then swallow some old love song
that came into the world
facing the ground still trying
to leave you and night after night
you listen for these smaller
then smaller stones eating alone
as the cry forever struggling
from its harsh stranglehold
to keep up, side by side and stay. 
Afraid and the wall
follows behind though you
point, know all about
descent and hammer blows
as the distant cry from home
you sift between
as if this ready-mix
no longer cares about stone
broken open against one finger
retracing some caress
lost and the others
with no end to it. 
As if by yourself the harness
half branches, half marble
struggling to slow the moss
and around both shoulders
the crowd envies such a strength
a fake! what they don’t see
is the iron bit that’s vaguely green
though it’s your jaws not these gates
that cannot move without you
a belonging and yet this mold
is always in bloom, holding on
to one winter more
that needs flowers
the way all mourners kneel
and underneath the snow
look for a wagon not from wood
breaking down in front its fragrance
and where you stopped for water.

Just by reaching in –this sore
is heated though your arm
covers it the way moonlight
can’t hold on any longer
lets some hillside pour over it
and mornings too grow huge
count the nights from so far off
and each other –you collect
enter each room deeper and deeper
careful not to shake the walls
on tiptoe so nothing falls
takes root bent over a table
warmed by these small rocks
to follow you, shut half by the stench
half on their own, one by one. 
You think it’s cramps
though certainly this dirt
resembles her voice
and no one here but you
pours from a bowl, sure
it’s laced, opens out
sickens your step by step
for a while they’re quiet
washed in front her grave
though your mouth is tighter
swollen, surrounded by inches
no longer dry or empty.

Seven Poems By Robert Beveridge

Robert Beveridge makes noise ( and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in The Blue Pages, Minute, and Chantwood, among others.


stones strike
a broken window

splinters of glass tip
the pavement, clink

xylophones scream


It would be easier
to get through the mud
if you retracted
your claws


wanton wamma wither
intana fop

kazaa kazaa kazaa

and steaks are grilled
over your feces

you shit the world as you whisper my name

Old Wives

Close the refrigerator before
the eggs melt. Check the map
before you insert the uranium
rods into the reactor. Fly
the friendly skies. When you
have to choose between your
favorite pet and someone else’s
nose, yellow is the way to go.
Englebert Humperdinck wants
YOUR autograph. Remember
to sous vide the egg bites
to exactly 135 degrees. Fahrenheit,
of course. Ask your doctor
about euthanasia today! Put
the sheets on your bed inside out
for a novel way to trap burglars.
Sleep, damn you, sleep. Eat
the chocolate first so you don’t
get worms. If you whistle past
the graveyard only the hot ghosts
will rise. A casserole can sure
anything. Slow and steady makes
for the beat barbecue AND orgasms.

Sixteen Days

doesn't seem like
too long a time
seconds tick
hours crawl
sleep will never
ever come

can be encapsulated
in sixteen days

I walk around
the room
pick up a pack
of cigarettes
put it down again

the number of times
this can be done
in sixteen days
is uncounted
and best left
that way

in sixteen days
I will have paid
the rent again
done two readings
gone to a conference
yelled at poets
who are often better
at this game
than I

the only times
between now
and sixteen days
from now
that will go
any faster
are in sleep
or in bed
with a beautiful lady
and neither of these
often enough

in sixteen days
I will have bet
a couple of twenties
on the Travers
likely will have watched
Free House win by daylight
and pay $2.40
to some other sucker
cashed my own ticket
when the longest shot
in the field
the exacta

there are many ways
to win many ways
to pass
which just goes
and goes


25,000 chickens
were her lovers
she, their feeder
their bestial teacher
of arcane

beaks probe
and Betty Lou gasps
in discovery

if her men
will be this good


the searing whiteness
the gateway to the infinite
the whispering pain

the final bleeding