Thursday, September 29, 2016

Micro Poems By Genelle Chaconas

Genelle Chaconas is queer, feminist genderfluid, an abuse survivor, and proud of it all. Genelle Chaconas is a 2015 MFA Writing and Poetics graduate of Naropa University. Their first chapbook is Fallout, Saints and Dirty Pictures (little m Press, 2011). Their work has been published or is forthcoming in Burningword Literary Review, Exposition Review, Milkfist, Image OutWrite, Bangalore Review, WT Paterson’s The Asylum, Former People: A Journal of Bangs and Whimpers, Menacing Hedge, Futures Trading, Crack the Spine, Weirderary, Dirty Chai, Third Wednesday, The Fem, Crab Fat Magazine, Door is a Jar, Five 2 One, Bombay Gin, Calaveras Station, Late Peaches: Poems by Sacramento Poets and others. They are a volunteer submission reader at Tule Review, and they hosted Red Night Poetry in Sacramento.

The Mole
This mole on my left handed face Zarathustra whiskered not smooth enough to jazz speak rack of blonde meat Monroe me instead DeNiros me with pre psycho punk maverick billy chic aesthetics of desperate poverty mania the anti-Oedipus anti-God’s lonely left hand armed man of venal acid dropping rain streets.

Glass Pearls
-for Janis Joplin’s cover of Big Mama Thornton’s “Ball and Chain” at the Monterey Pop Festival
Glass bead curtain Carnival goddess bangle roadhouse bandana wrapped Cleopatra feather fringe dime store ring fingered psyche her tortoiseshell goggles askew she throws her kinky overgrowth mane through the air against the violet horoscope Porsche sky voice rough as back roads highway tarmac opens her booze bruised lips and sings.  

-for Saturday Night Fever
John Travolta’s foxy bump rhythm of the panamorous genderfluxus molten butterscotch strut Morrisonesque ballerina disco leopard angel dust headed hipster superfreak built like brick trench house his hips a new solstice of cool doesn’t pace swaggers why would he walk down the street when the street can walk down him.

Float Purple Hazewise
-For Lee Conklin’s Fillmore Posters
The striptease statue butterflies drift float purple hazewise above hairy-chested longue chairs in the white satin chamber the handsome lovers dance palm to palm four step the sex synesthesia tango to hallucination Boleros above them the fleshy beheaded God of Looney Tunes Stamps inhales the atmosphere exhales a psychotropic gasp.

Leftover Tesla Orphans
-from Donavan’s “Epistle for Dippy”
We pass the delicate serotonin floors we like leftover Tesla orphans we in Theta wave Technicolor coats holding inertia hands weightless in the elevator of the brain hotel let the ground floor magazine racks crumble with the other rubble above the TV ceilings crash the signal’s beaming down and through.

-from Mark Pauline’s Rabot
So much depends on a reanimated hare not replica but corpse tied to a mechanical android rig with barbed wire walking not walking stumbling on a blowtorch kerosene hazardous waste blacktop concrete barriers for audience safety marches not marches hobbles around the fire pit demands to know if we’re entertained

Mr. Electrocool
-for Adbusters
Oh you Mr. Electrocool mohawked patched mixtaped jumbo safety pinned septumed steel toed doc martened skull Das Kapital quoted bandana masked or better yet neo post-anonymous Guy Fawksesque you impeccable middle fingered Topic why couldn’t we meet at a Maalox caked resistance  instead of Borders comparing Adbusters pre and post.

THX Chic
The blade passes clean smooth sharp defiant and definite across my THX Productions scalp I wanna look like Britney’s last pole dance like Stripetease Sinead or Stipe like butch leatherman post apocalypse Aryanesque like industrial monks like the don’t ask don’t tell boys I always wanted to be but can’t.

Junkyard Mixing Board
-for the soundtrack to There Will Be Blood
Sledgehammer piston chain operas tetanus junkyard mixing board suites railroad spike sonatas quiver the alkali aluminum sky vibrate the scrap steel shrapnel ground the upside-down waterfall of heat air oil pour up into the smudge smuggled air the night like the shatter nitrogen roar surge organ like the earth exhales.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Poems By Mark Young

Mark Young's most recent books are Mineral Terpsichore, from gradient books of Finland, & The Chorus of the Sphinxes, from Moria Books in Chicago.  An e-book, The Holy Sonnets unDonne, came out earlier this year from Red Ceilings Press; another, a few geographies, will be out later this year from One Sentence Poems; & another, For the Witches of Romania, is scheduled for publication by Beard of Bees.


cohesion. Slices 
of geography & 
history plyed 
together. The 
sound of Senegal 
all around, Étoile De 
Dakar, Youssou 
N'Dour's early 
band. On one of 
the speakers 
Arrian's Campaigns 
of Alexander sits 
half-read, a pile 
of CDs on the 
other, Bach's 
Brandenburg #3 
ready to be played 
next. For the 
moment it is 
a hermetically- 
sealed environment. 
There is only inside. 
Then an inch-long 
lizard skitters in 
under the door 
& in Fallujah 
the minaret 
of a mosque 
under gunfire.

Stephen Hawking theorizes

The seabirds on the East Coast
carry Lyme disease. It's easy
to misdiagnose. Early subtle
infestation may look like some
listed celebrity who found
God in a remarkable way,
but still can't spell catastrophe.

the / fanciful past / of kara thrace

                       Now that the construction
                            of the Three Gorges Dam 
                    has been completed with
             minimal loss of life, the focus of
                  Chinese high society has turned
                         overwhelmingly towards
                        variants of Dior's classic little
                    black backless cocktail dress, 

                        & is currently favoring a fashion- 
                            forward take on Public Transport 
                      Victoria's attitude towards 
                              farm animals in combination 
                               with a non-steroidal 
                          anti-inflammatory drug.

so iNnet!

NextGen efficiency, not 
politics, should be the 
primary decision criteria 
for site selection. That's 
why the MD5 Reverse 
Index has a browsable 
listing of the Houston 
Arboretum & Nature 

Center calendar of e-
vents for February. A-
mongst them is "Today
could be the day that 
your vote will get Paul
Ryan out of politics."


whatever you can 
whenever you think 
you can get away 
with it. Don't set 
a stopping point. This 

is not greed but it 
can be good. Is a 
reference library to be 
sorted later, as need 
dictates, things 

falling into place 
because at some 
previous time you 
took the time to 
take them in & 

shape them even 
slightly in your own
image, even if they 
belonged to someone else
at the time of taking.

Poetry By Alan Britt

In August 2015 Alan Britt was invited by the Ecuadorian House of Culture Benjamín Carrión in Quito, Ecuador as part of the first cultural exchange of poets between Ecuador and the United States. During his visit, he participated in venues all across the country including the international literary conference sponsored by La hermandad de las palabras 2015 in Babahoyo, Ecuador. In 2013 he served as judge for the The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award. His interview at The Library of Congress for The Poet and the Poem aired on Pacifica Radio, January 2013. His latest books include Violin Smoke (Translated into Hungarian by Paul Sohar and published in Romania: 2015; Lost Among the Hours: 2015; Parabola Dreams (with Silvia Scheibli): 2013; and Alone with the Terrible Universe: 2011. He teaches English/Creative Writing at Towson University.


If I found myself in Shakespeare’s company
cruising the thermals high above a tarnished 
sterling platter of mantis celery, white cheeses 
harpooned by cellophane toothpicks, & jaundiced 
dips speckled with flea-sized spices, I’d bow 
before Sir William, (or Sir Edward), & apologize  
for scorpions prowling the perimeter of my 
indigestion, thereby expunging any regret for 
my periodic battles with academic seizures.


Mantis eyes flicker gas blue flames—
barefoot verb pirouettes scalding ice—
disturbance of coconuts waist deep &
bare-chested into the lake that Michelangelo 
enjoyed as a boy on full moons; yet flames 
prowl the golden thicket like mother jaguars 
with infants in tow, heat waves melting terracotta 
tiles over algae-coated Beverly Hills chateaus—
“Hi, I’m Michelangelo, be sure to tip the mice 
who shoulder ice from the whitewashed shed 
& tell ‘em cheeses on the house, wherever 
that house shall be!” 


Frustrated, first one picks up a rock, 
second one, petrified timber, third one 
wanders the electric blue forest of Austria, 
fourth kicks his Ludwig igniting the most 
dynamic rock ‘n’ roll quartet in history.

We circled the moon’s waist on a raft of
driftwood across a sea of blood—WWII 
left its mark on us—now, we’ll never go 
quietly or any other crazy adverb into that 
stuck in some god forsaken place someday—

But I’ve got rhythm, plenty of rhythm. 


It makes sense: we age, we bore with vagaries,
we tell tall tales because the truth is too expensive,
we quilt the Lord’s Prayer on a niece’s christening
blanket—chop confusion into firewood—lest we 
find ourselves at the end of a long journey from stars 
sprawled like octopi→200→feet across a minute or 
a day, if, for example, the Pope suddenly, inexplicably, 
retires to 300 acres of prime pasture, thanks to you 
& me.

Make sense?


Think folks who chose suicide
over a backyard bug zapper’s blue
sparks splintering canasta, pinochle
& fat cigar mushroom clouds 
swirling the local morgue was 
a perfect crock of shit, then you 
weren’t paying much attention. 

Me, either.

But, think about it—before the 
bank closes, jams alleyways, clogs 
arteries called ports & coerces 
reluctant restaurateurs, in long run 
or the short, because it’s better 
that way.


Ocean creeps through soda machine’s gilded gills

Blood pressure off: 79/49

White-haired wheelchair in purple knits

Black shoes’ ankle straps crinkled over cinnamon nylons 

Fox 45 visits Newtown, Connecticut

Back pain’s piranha . . . lower vertebrae 

Severe cough’s traffic jam on northbound 95

Samsung flat screen skids tractor trailer triples across I-80’s black ice

Buzzards litter, blobs of ink, stubble cornfield 

             ✄  ✈  ☂  ☢  ☮  ☤  ☠  ♑

Feathers like ash like 60 round clips like adjectives crumpled into stainless steel cans 
like smartphones riding the white backs of stallions circling circus rings littered 
with peanut shells hash tags & pulverized vertebrae like recessed light bulbs like an 
appendix sinking to the bottom of the Black Sea like nurse straightening Newsweek & 
People on plywood shelves near plastic spruce dripping raspberry gauze, golden cones, 
bright green bows, & blinking white lights tacked to walnut overlay like titanium 
thoughts like smoke in the shape of corroded angels like tongues in the shape of 
corroded smoke like eyeballs bouncing between metal jacks sprawled across granite 
linoleum like voices left out in the rain, edges curled like stale bologna, voices wading marijuana fields’ sticky red-veined ceremonial bulbs that taste like liquorice like young wanderers in seer sucker sun dresses faded baseball caps & smiles like crucifixes like revolving doors & saints with hoodies like emerald EXIT sign’s little arrow pointing 
toward heaven up down east west in-between the onionskin layers separating one
dimension from another like each electron aggravating each neutron & forcing each
proton to reveal itself as giraffe or moose, emerald housefly in blazing estrous, ether  
masks covering the lips of holocausts, as orderly in paper slippers poaching a Pepsi 
from soda machine wheezing a televangelist soliciting funds in the form of death bed confessions & beehive hairdo crushed beneath eighteen-wheeler tailgate (head lopped cantaloupe clean into Benz backseat) as chuckling televangelist & squirming blond wig 
on straw-colored, microfiber sofa, as palm trees swaying, as curved beaks shimmering, 
as snack machine wheezes crackly bags of chips, nuts, candies, & twinkling white  lights→→→→  ← ← ↑
                      ↓           ↑  
                      ↓           ↑
       ←←←←            ↑          
       ↓                          ↑

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Poems By Justin Karcher

Justin Karcher is the author of Tailgating at the Gates of Hell from Ghost City Press, Recent works have been published in 3:AM Magazine, Plenitude Magazine, Foundlings, The Black Napkin, 63Channels and more. He is the editor-in-chief of Ghost City Review. He is the winner of the 2015 Just Buffalo Literary Center members' writing competition. He tweets @Justin_Karcher.

I Like It When the Marlboro Man Calls Me Daddy

So one night I’m scheduled to do a poetry reading
Over at Gypsy Parlor and while walking there
I get a text that reads, “My period
Is so good. I know I am not pregnant.
I feel confident now.” I let the disappointment
Wash over me and flick my cigarette
Down a sewer grate in hopes that it will be
Mutated by radioactive, chemical toxic waste
Into the Marlboro Man and that he’ll climb
Out of the underground and teach me how
To be a man, that he’ll take me by the hand
And show me the skeletons of fossil whales
Uniting and dividing the country like train tracks
Because maybe the American Dream is dead
And we must all come to grips with this tragedy
That the bodies left behind are big and weird
That we should push them back out to sea
And finish the grand experiment once and for all.
My mind wanders a lot. I turn left onto Grant
And see a group of Somali men smoking cigarettes
And laughing in front of a converted funeral home.
Despite all the difficulties, everyone is just trying
To make it. I can’t help but think of those Somali men 
In Minneapolis who were shot while going to a mosque
For Ramadan prayers. An armed white man
Confronted them with insults about their robes
Looking like dresses, pulled out a gun
And began shooting. The story was all over the news
Back in June, pundits declaring that America
Is no longer safe, that there needs to be a change.
When will everyone realize that America
Is composed of all the world’s unanswered prayers
And it’s our responsibility to let them swim in the air
Making music out of silence, to let them convert death
Into something more livable, like Lazarus
Groaning in himself before climbing out of the darkness.
In front of Gypsy Parlor, I flick my cigarette
At a streetlight in hopes that the streetlight is flammable
That it’ll burst into flames, that the wave of light
Spreads through the city like a bubonic plague of passion
That it gobbles up all the insecurity guards denying entry
To the future we deserve, that maybe we can use the flames
To light about 400 million ear candles so every American
Can remove the wax from their ears and understand
The power of effective communication until each
And every one of us can help pregnant pauses give birth
To the words we’re afraid to say. My optimism 
Wanders a lot. Inside Gypsy Parlor, 
I order two shots of whiskey to get me in the mood
As if my words are a spouse I’m not attracted to anymore.
The reading goes well and afterwards I get drunk
And talk about Hemingway and what it used to be like
And it’s all shit, the words coming out of my mouth
But it’s all I know, getting drunk like this
When my tongue becomes an ambulance 
Carrying dead bodies, a history of making out
With anyone standing near me, of confessing my sins
To ATMs and they vomit out my empty penance 
Little slips of paper telling me how much I’ve fucked up.
I’ve somewhat mastered the art of looking casual
While glancing to see if the machine says approved
Or declined. And I want to be a dad? Me of all people?
I talk a big game and my head’s always in the clouds
But I have no idea how to distinguish the difference 
Between natural clouds and the ones that are toxic. 
Empty words contribute to air pollution. Language
Wanders a lot. Walking home from Gypsy Parlor
I see that the Somali men have all gone to bed
And I miss their laughter, the only thing
That was truly alive tonight. I arrive at my house
And the Marlboro Man is sitting on the steps 
And he’s wearing a dress and he looks beautiful
In a cancerous sort of way. He grabs me by the hand
And leads me inside. In my poorly furnished living room
He removes his dress as if to seduce me. His body
Is pregnant with tumors. I put his cowboy hat on
And kiss every baby bump I can find. Afterwards
I tell him to get on his knees and call me daddy.
I think I’m crying, because millions and millions
Of unanswered prayers are swirling all around me
And I start to panic, because I’m not sure which one is mine 
But even if my words are somewhere out there, in that dust cloud
I’m not sure I want to hear them. What I think I want
Wanders a lot and I’m afraid I like it that way. 

Gathering Together Dead Body Parts to Assemble the next President of the United States

It’s summer here so frostbitten crust punks
Are touching themselves in the amber glow
Of backyard bonfires on Buffalo’s
Lower west side. They’re trying to warm up
To the idea that Bernie Sanders will not be
The next President of the United States.
I can hear them weeping and moaning
As I walk up Delavan thinking about my on-again 
Off-again girlfriend. Sometimes I dream 
That I’m Frankenstein and she’s my bandage-wrapped bride
And we’re both composed of dead body parts
From all the people who’ve screwed us over.
I over-romanticize everything, but it’s so important
To be connected to something larger than yourself.
Even in this sea of sadness, choose your battles wisely
And hang on tight. Tonight, I will make love to my on-again
Off-again girlfriend on a bed of Bernie Sanders
For President yard signs and afterwards, we’ll dream
Of better things. It’ll be like necrophilia
And when we wake up, there’ll be snow
On the ground and all this will be lost.

A Beach Party for Animals That Have Gone Extinct

She tried to stab me with a vibrator
I was in the process of moving out
I got the hell out of there
But before leaving I took one of her bottles
Of Fireball Cinnamon Whisky
I don’t even like Fireball
But I couldn’t resist the poetry of the moment
A relationship was over and done with
Extinct, as if it was hit by the asteroid
That killed the dinosaurs
In other words, the dinosaurs drank too much fire
I was hoping the whisky would do the same to me
I did really love her
So I drank the entire bottle
And wandered around the city
I must’ve blacked out
Because when I came to
I was on a pretty beach somewhere
Which was strange
Because there are no pretty beaches
Where I come from
I was at a beach party for animals that have gone extinct
There were Neanderthal DJs
Spinning fossil records
On a couple of x-ray turntables
I was grinding up against a wooly mammoth
And tickling its ivory keys
It was the hottest thing I’ve ever done
The music of extinction 
Gets the dance floor moving
I got into a fight with a saber-toothed tiger
And won I pulled out its teeth
With rusted pliers and cried afterwards
The big angry cat was so beautiful
When the sun started to come up
A bunch of dodo birds took flight
And they were holding tiny vibrators
In their weird-looking beaks 
I watched them fly over the water
Where they dropped the vibrators
Like they were sad sex bombs
It was the most amazing thing
I’ve ever seen, not to mention
That dodo birds lost the ability to fly
While they were still alive
So I guess that means 
It takes a little bit of extinction
For us to regain the best parts of ourselves
It filled me with optimism 
Watching those dumb birds fly
Watching those vibrators drown
In the dirty water 
So I guess that means
We shouldn’t focus so much
On pleasuring ourselves
Because if we do 
We’ll just end up drowning alone
That maybe we should focus
On pleasuring the dead things
That are all around us
That maybe we should make sense
Of extinction and hope for the best 
When the sun did finally come up
I was walking to a café
So I could eat an overpriced bagel
And drink lukewarm coffee
And hopefully plan for the rest of my life

We're Living in Closets Full of Snow

“It’s like drilling for oil,” Sam tells me
He’s shoveling snow 
And still wearing those therapy pajamas
With the bottom part of the pants cut
It’s bitter cold out here
Like something out of Game of Thrones
But Sam likes getting frostbite
Says it makes him feel alive
That the freezing of body tissues
Reminds him that he still has a body
And that’s all you can really ask for these days
The backyard is full of glow-in-the-dark junk
A lawn sprinkler douses us in bare-knuckled bourbon
And bruises my spirit but not Sam’s
He has shoveled three times so far tonight
Convinced that there are Vitamin D supplements 
Buried under the snow he tells me that happiness
Flashes suddenly and is gone like how when you fall asleep
In the Rust Belt and there’s no snow but then you wake up
And see that some blizzard painted the ground with its tears
While you were dreaming and Sam dreams a lot
Like he’s Edgar Cayce or something, a lot of times he dreams
Of this small town graveyard full of television sets 
And they’re all tuned in to a live coverage
Of dead men’s stag parties he tells me that testosterone
Is leaving this land but that might be a good thing
He yells at me for falling in love with the same kind of girl
The kind that feels the urge to jump off a bridge all the time
The kind that will probably get postpartum depression
I tell him he’s being sexist and Sam tells me I’m probably right
Sometimes Sam shovels even when there isn’t any snow
One day I’ll cut bathtubs out of his eyes and soak in his speakeasies 
Of sadness and together we’ll hold hands and jump off a bridge
We might be fuck-ups but at least we’re not douchebags
And that’s pretty important, to still give a shit
To still think there’s happiness out there somewhere 

Your Melancholy Is Straight out of an Edith Piaf Song

In Buffalo the love is cheap
A pretty girl wondering what to do
With the dizziness
There’s only so much whiskey I can drink
In hopes that things will get interesting
Or real to the touch

When you black out
Your brain loses its ability to form memories
But your heart gains the ability to spit passion
In all directions
Like a cobra projecting venom from its fangs
When defending itself
I’ll take that trade off every time

And yet there are nights I want to remember
Nights I want to kiss you in the glow 
Of the Buffalo State Hospital
Where the phantoms of psychosis are held down
By the giants of memory
Where birds of feelings
Are always crashing into invisible windows
And their little bodies Hindenburg out of the sky
Until the ground is littered with what appears to be
Dry, dead leaves

Sometimes things fall apart
So that better things can fall together
Sometimes it’s the simplest fucking thing
That makes me happy

Watching you dance in the rain
While I conjure the ghost of Edith Piaf
With a smartphone Ouija board

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Simon Perchik Poetry

Simon Perchik has appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, The New Yorker and elsewhere.

Struggling against more turbulence
this broken concrete can’t shut down
and cool –your shadow’s too old

leans down and though the wall
falls closer and closer
it tries to rest your face

–a sleeping face
still circling where your forehead
mingles with rocks and weeds

–even your grave goes to pot
lets anyone point at it
as if sunlight could urge you

to spread out inside a sky
that has no days left, is lifted
face to face with the ground.


An everyday rain is not enough
but even so these strangers
walk past your grave

and below the black umbrellas
cling to each other
as that homeless cry

slowly closing around you
and though you can’t hear it
the sky is already dark, sags

and under the small rocks
that come here empty handed
–such a rain loses count

is no longer in pieces
could comfort you
remember its darkness.

This path could be its echo
clings to your exhausted cry
and once around one shoulder

climbs, covers the Earth
already those footsteps
mourners will use

follow as emptiness
and not answer anymore
or look :this path

coming back with stars
that no longer listen
over and over.

And though it’s dark these dead
still remember how every stone
smells from dirt that never leaves

becomes a sky without an evening
they can hold in one hand
and not the other –they call out

with valleys :cries that have forgotten
to rise far off as sunlight
and trembling –these dead want snow

side by side, already flowers
and lowered, opened at the throat
and no longer breathing.

You show up late as usual
need more darkness
though you wait

the way each star
smells from dirt
and her eyelids

–the mouth you return to
is already weeds
worn down by the silence

that’s lost its balance
can’t escape
and won’t let go

–some nights
further than others
smaller and smaller.

Poetry By Heath Brougher

Heath Brougher is the poetry editor of Five 2 One Magazine. His first chapbook is titled "A Curmudgeon Is Born" (Yellow Chair Press, 2016). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Diverse Voices Quarterly, Chiron Review, Of/with, Crack the Spine, Lakeview, MiPOesias, Clockwise Cat, Gloom Cupboard, X-Peri, eFiction India, and elsewhere. When not writing he helps with the charity Paws Soup Kitchen which gives out free dog/cat food to low income families with pets.


Talked myself
                        out of staying standing
            in coral,                       guarding the nest
in the ocean.

—those who make the oil disappear
    by simply sinking it from sight
    to the sandy floors of ocean-life below
    would not have it any other way—

metaphysical money-plants
rule and thrive in the preconceived reality
                        agreed upon centuries ago

the sunken oil smothers
corals,                                     the ocean floor.

Watching Whales

Watching whales
from a             Mexican pool
            while exercising with mud in my hand,
                                                plastic in my mouth,
posing for pictures with an iguana draped over sunburned skin
while the audience of the aqua aerobics class
            yell at me to get back to exercising.


Your brooding
brooding drooling smile-filled
broomful of smiles

                                    a roomful of miles

and x-et
            x et era
            x et eralistic
[the evolution of nouns into adjectives]
            etcetera etceteral

                        [the nouns are adjectiving!]

the goliath of the swainish-colored sky
brings you the swill to drink
all the while
brooming more miles as
the broods produce the synthetic smiles.

Parasitic Waltz

Blood lithium spores shake
as woven through the air
wisps down your throat
past the tonsils dangling there
and diving right into your lungs
doing their electrical contractions
this spore is alive
in this air-chamber of Earth
soon to infiltrate your veins
your heart-throb and mushy brain

this throbbing headache in this discordant echo-chamber

its teeth
its claws
digging into the sky
and swimming and swirling onward
into the presence of the future.


In case you try to inject me    with the Circular
you should know I’ve got       a Spiral
in my back pocket for             the cure
you can’t dose me                   caliginous diagnosis
desecration                             and demolition
caliginous                               demarcation dedication
caliginous defecation caliginous demonstration caliginous demonstrative
a little bit of us alighted and now this gash is torn in the Vale.

Poems By Ian Randall Wilson

Ian Randall Wilson has recently had work appear in Forklift and Spork. Hollyridge Press published a chapbook called, Theme of the Parabola.


Who cries more--
the spilled drink
or my bleeding hands?
Welcome to video dating with Sisyphus.

It takes me two hours to hike
up to the fields
where protons gather
in morning suits to discourse
on the strange ways of sons.
Blank, the women waiting.

In news from the nether regions
electrons bake avant-garde cookies on a whim.
Believe when I say I’ve stopped masturbating
   with a rolling pin

The death of an elephant
and a broken glass--
once one manages to overcome the initial impression of
   raving nonsense
I, too, would be frightened of sleep.

I appear to have gouged the privates thus
no more blue naps.

Stop talking for a moment and look at me
when I dangle my ice-cube of suffering
on its gold watch chain.

What to think when this man’s rendezvous
(that’s French for a street
with root canal)
goes bad?

No more blue naps
I guess.
Stop talking for a moment and look at me.
Blank, the woman waiting.

After dinner, atoms
gather up their parts
and then the other girls
strap on their specialized devices.

I’m out of things to say
to you or any of the rest.
I despise the new theories,
gold ring, key exchange--
why does the code of this one game keep changing?

                                                --The Egyptian god of music and revelry whose
                                                  image is often painted onto bedroom walls
                                                  and carved into bedposts.
                                                                                    --David Prather

Why is my image not painted on the walls of bedrooms
in every house in every village and town and city
across this great land, images of Ian,
god of fertility, erotica,
nights of pleasure.
Ian, Lord of the Unrisable Penis.
Welcome to tonight’s edition
of the dead horse-beater’s club.

We come now to the part where the rains end
but the clouds refuse to cooperate --
union difficulties
and a lack of technical support.

Let me count my wives
and when I get to a number presaging 
the end of the world
you will stop me.
Believe me when I say I’ve learned
a few fancy twists of the rope.

All my houses stood inside a three-mile radius
of high power lines.
I believe rampant voltage
affects potency and performance
or any other word that begins with,
Not tonight, God damn it!

In the beginning there was the hammer,
and the nail, then came remodeling
but after a while, well . . .
I will give up false idols,
I will live in my head
and wait for the welcoming sound of love noises.


Today we have a gray sky in our chests
and no new words.

All the religious conservatives gathered
on the dashboard of a Chevrolet say nothing.

In Spain, Lorca says, man is more alive
as a dead man than anyplace else in the world.

That’s progress until Blue announces on May 1st
it will cease to be a color.

Sadness becomes increasingly difficult.
Can you name that bacteria?

You cannot kill the man hammering on Sunday
by clipping your ears.

That much
is certain.


In my house we believe a Claude Rains’ film
and a blacked-out window stop the world.
Please kiss my feet.
I love how you get your arms around nothing
and move it to the right.

How about a little hoo-hah,
Existential cowboys?
We can get indecent
even with dogs in the room.
Take off
those wingtips, baby, and ride.

At the moment of the little death,
being flickers and then someone forgets
to cue the birds.
While we wait for the climax
don’t forget how
Tzara wrote,
“zdouc nfounfa mbaah”--
he wasn’t kidding.
I only wish I wrote it first.
With the conclusion of this evening’s sexual programming,
I’ll be out back restringing wooden rackets.
After years of tension
they’ve suddenly gone slack.