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new poems

Loneliness Grows Stranger the Larger It Becomes

by Colin Dodds

 

We brought food to their lips. But they would not eat.
We implored them with prayer and self-flagellation.
But they would not be moved.
We blasphemed to the limits of our imaginations.
But they would not raise their hands or voices against us.

Still we fed, praised and cursed them.
Until, with an atom bomb to deflect creation’s question,
we left that home.

 

 

 

 

Secrets of the Modern Race

 

My tribe held a gun
to the head of the world,
only to learn
that you can’t just laugh off
something like that.

Babies find it strange
to be born among us.

The TVs fill with fantasies
about institutionalized cannibalism.

And even the billboards concede
that the primordial trust has been broken
in the worst possible way.

The shape of that catastrophe
worry the men all day
and give them erections at night.

“How are we supposed
to get excited, to glow,
unless people are maimed and killed?”
asks everyone, in or near a movie, now showing
all the time.

The ancient processes are short-circuited.
Certain extreme measures unveil themselves.

The urgent center expands,
takes the newspaper as its skin.

 

 

 

 

Room Without End

 

The endless room flickers.
Its lightning is line charts and its thunder is poverty.

The endless room makes men and women
equivocal as anthropologists’ apologists,
even in the privacy of their own hearts.

You can do alright here for awhile.
But you’ll never beat the dead man in charge.

 

 

 

BIO

Colin Dodds grew up in Massachusetts and completed his education in New York City. His poetry has appeared in more than a hundred fifty publications, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. The poet and songwriter David Berman (Silver Jews, Actual Air) said of Dodds’ work: “These are very good poems. For moments I could even feel the old feelings when I read them.” Dodds is also the author of several novels, including WINDFALL and The Last Bad Job, which the late Norman Mailer touted as showing “something that very few writers have; a species of inner talent that owes very little to other people.” And his screenplay, Refreshment, was named a semi-finalist in the 2010 American Zoetrope Contest. Colin lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Samantha. You can find more of his work at thecolindodds.com

Phone Rings

by Kevin McCoy

 

phone rings – eight people answer – i don’t know none of them – vapors through wires boil and collide – center of the sun – they squeak

incinerate the earth in a flash – lay to waste the demon hordes – drive the divine from the day – new sun deals the hand

phone rings – the truth is never nearer – baking winds – summer’s long flames – landing zone is hot

road is eternal in its twists – past fountains of bishops where flows complacency – regret – apathy – can we meet in circles – leave the squares for better people

phone rings – dog answers – he is busy building tombs for me – can’t talk – can i have him ring you back

 

 

 

 

A Thousand Threads

 

these images run through me –
a thousand threads.

a thousand burning needles burst
in the black.

the crashing of the ages around us.

voices crushed by radio static.

 

 

 

 

King Street Aberdeen

 

king street – aberdeen
i give you place.

long ago.
i give you time.

i give you electric dreams –
desperate wisdom.

i am alone.
top of the double decker.
senior commons room.

face – hands.
i give you flesh.

i am alive.
breathing – dreaming –

stretching for something maybe
forbidden.

my eyes blink blinding
i give you sight.

and for worthless mouths
i give you taste.

 

 

 

BIO

McCoy KevinKevin McCoy’s works have appeared in Forge, Wisconsin Review, Crate, Natural Bridge and several other journals. His collection “Tea in a Bowl” will be published by Unsolicited Press in January 2015.

 

 

 

THE THIN SCAR ON SUSAN’S RIGHT WRIST

by John McKernan

 

Under silver jewelry & light
Would point at a thread of moon

White shadow
High in a midnight sky
Off-white woven blue thread

In a red background
If ever she noticed me
Noticing that scar
She would whisper some thing

“A beautiful body
Deserves a gorgeous tattoo”

“At least it’s not a rusty bullet
Through a left ventricle”

“It’s me but it’s also not me”

 

 

 

WHY DO SOLDIERS

 

Carry
Brass knives

Where do they get
All those silver axes
In leather holsters

Who gave them
Buckets
And buckets
Of waterproof melanoma

And how come
Those gold pitchforks
With oak handles
Monogrammed
Sparkling in sunlight

When all it takes
Is a thick tree limb
Or a stone
The size of a small hand
To send a neighbor
A million miles away

 

 

 

BIRTHDAY NUMERO 47

 

My father died
When he was forty-seven

I still love chocolate cake
Chocolate frosting
Candles in a dark room

My name is
My father’s name
The same sound
But the silence is different

Spools of tomorrow
In green slats
Of sunlight
The letters are identical
Written in granite

 

 

 

PUBLIC PARK

 

A dog trotted over the orgasm sunbathing on a towel and lifted his right leg

The woman in the black dress walked up to the orgasm and kicked it

The professor whispered “Thank you   The word for orgasm in Braille is orgasm

Waving a shovel in the sand the child might have been screaming at an orgasm

An orgasm snored in a Dell computer box under the foot bridge to the Rose Garden

A large boy bounced the orgasm down the hill as if it were a soccer ball

When shadows of an orgasm floated past the young man’s heart he began running

An orgasm disguised as a prayer floated from the old woman’s lips

Twin orgasms pulled off their see-through bikinis and began giggling

An assortment of daylights loitered calmly   Each one bearing an orgasm

The man with the propane tank & a lighter waited to become an orgasm

The orgasms hovering on the motorcycle mirrors winked twice then vanished

One idea of orgasm flew from the apple blossoms to the eye of the old deaf man

 

 

BIO

JohnMcKernan2John McKernan – who grew up in Omaha Nebraska in the middle of the USA – is now a retired comma herder / Phonics Coach after teaching for 41 years at Marshall University. He lives – mostly – in West Virginia where he edits ABZ Press.  His most recent book is a selected poems Resurrection of the Dust.  He has published poems in The Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, The New Yorker, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Journal, Antioch Review, Guernica, Field and many other magazines.

 

Sniper’s Rhythm

by Tamer Mostafa

 

lay belly down
arms overhead
and palms flat
lift shoulders
expand rib cage
move belly
so the dome
of diaphragm
clenches the guts
line rifle on side
of dominant eye
fit butt and guard
into proper pockets
of the body
keep eyes open
relax forehead
jaw lips eyelids
in that order
recognize wind
speed and direction
adjust accordingly
hold breath
identify target
and begin counting
one                  two
and                  pull

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walk to the Coffee Shop

 

Under a crabapple tree
a black cat
lies on its side
absorbing the leaves.
The stench undeveloped.

A crusted napkin
once red in added color
is picked up by the wind
carried to the tunnel’s
graffiti and halogen light bulbs.

On the unmarked street
a truck runs over
sets of rubber rumble strips
that mimic the sound
of premeditated rapid fire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dealers are Sleeping

 

The lessons become redundant,
how to cover when you crush
on the clipboard. No credit cards
or crisp bills.

It’s minutes before closing
in the Walmart ammunition
aisle. I haven’t been this light
in years.

Here’s the deserted road behind
the river and all those abandoned
houses that come to life after
midnight.

We shoot bullets to the moon
and hope its shattered craters
land at our feet.

There’s talk and scheming
on how to live righteous
when our numb nostrils
and teeth regain feeling.

You’d forgive anything
in this state, unless it’s only
residue lining the inside of my
cigarette pack’s plastic pouch.

I’m sorry. I mistook you
for an old friend. Can you give
me directions to East Manchester?
I have a pickup to make.

 

 

 

BIO

Tamer MostafaTamer Mostafa’s work has been featured in California Quarterly, The Rag Literary Magazine, Poets Espresso Review, Confrontation Literary Magazine, Stone Highway Review, and No Infinite. He was the recipient of the 2011 CSU Sacramento Bazzanella Literary Award in Creative Non-Fiction and the 2013 Lois Ann Latin Rosenburg Prize for Poetry.

 

 

 

 

from 244 Passivity

by Tim Roberts

 

*

 

I want this work to appear in the place where it says nothing will

break through. Where subject matter is the action of doing, what

you are given, the act of writing. We are going to be reciprocating.

The budget and bread of the day. But still, open water, as you

contemplate the happening, it is happening. So that if subject can

only be impossible, only that, then, in front of you. Because of our

motion.

 

*

 

The table makes us simplify. When we get to a question of anger.

When we move through the atemporal, we’re saying “must be,”

I think. That’s all. It’s no more than what you do to lay out the

questioning, which is taking that preeminent place of value, which

is the place of value, writing it out, that is, or are you dragging it

in, something about you that did not want you, to be touched by

you, to be remembered so that it forces you to forget, if you try,

writing it out, to put it down, memorialize it. It won’t be.

 

*

 

There’s fear related to thinking. In the box set on marginal

cities. There’s a right way to rhyme, so and so having chosen, the

element. You study and are not chosen. Why not? It’s the material,

which under certain conditions bends, or doesn’t bend but is

molten. Or then, time passing, you go back into the shade, an

attitude, colorless swamp. Is that you? I have stretched the motion

of contemplating. What I seem to be lifting is story itself. The best

of old behaviors, night birds, quiet flying roaming, and a perch,

one eating another one. There is also a bend in the rain. Forced.

 

 

 

BIO

Tim Roberts is a writer and editor living in Denver, Colorado. He is the author of Drizzle Pocket (BlazeVox, 2011) and the director of Counterpath.

 

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