Nectar of the Gods by Claire Andréani

Take the words out of yourmouth like a nectarfrom the Gods Take the silence of theNight as a sign theworld you shouldAdore Take the rising babies’cries as a hope of re-awakening And the sweet breeze ofthe Mountain–as a Secretto be keeping– Take the useless laughterAs a sign of departure– Take the fools and DrunkardsAs the models of Failure Take the pain in the HeartAs a … Continue reading Nectar of the Gods by Claire Andréani

Space Phobia by Dale Champlin

After I move out of here—if I make it—I want art, laughter and music. What is the term for the terrorof being alone in a huge open spacesomething like an asteroidtraveling at the speed of lightthrough vast emptiness?  I might tumble—a fear so pervasivethat at times I find myselfcrawling across the pine floor.Even then I might encounter a scorpion,a dozing rattler, or a black widow.While upright … Continue reading Space Phobia by Dale Champlin

Fortune Cookie Writer with Tourette’s by Richard Weaver

You are a tall dark stranger. And one strange son-of-a-bitch. Unfortunately, you’re also a fucking ugly bastard, and will never meet ANYONE who will change that fact; not even a top-shelf plastic surgeon. All of your children will be born in a landfill, each one whelped by the open sewer that is your common-law wife. All will die of humiliation and lead-poisoning. Just so you … Continue reading Fortune Cookie Writer with Tourette’s by Richard Weaver

Back in the USSR by Cynthia Andrews

We would have dancedto the Beatles, you andI, with a vodka in onehand and our poetryin the other. I would have taught you some  New steps you undoubtedlynever heard of before: gosoftly, don’t shout and singwhen you can’t find the wordsto speak your sadness.   How I would have paid any-thing to have seen you growold, the blonde thinning, thegorgeous smile smothered inmy kisses and your wrinkles  From … Continue reading Back in the USSR by Cynthia Andrews

Bubonic Colonic by Zeke Greenwald

Blood gets transfused into my veinsFrom a bag which from the ceiling hangs;Some pipettes from the bottom runLike legs with someone else’s blood. So the maroon cephalopodFloats from the pole it’s fastened on;Staved by a hook, it makes a squid,Who slowly bleeds out drip by drip;I lay below the drying fishOf plastic bag with blood in it. What is blood, but such basic stuff,But blood’s … Continue reading Bubonic Colonic by Zeke Greenwald

Me and Patti Smith by Ron Kolm

For a brief while many years agoPatti Smith and I workedin the Strand Bookstore at the same time.I did get the chance to see her performwith Lenny Kaye playing guitaron a rooftop high above Grand Street,but our main interaction happenedwhen she strode up to me in the storeand thrust the Caedmon recordingof James Joyce reading into my hands.“Someone told me I looked like himand gave … Continue reading Me and Patti Smith by Ron Kolm

June Burial by John Jack Jackie (Edward) Cooper

The ides of giugno find me reading— of all things—Robert Lowell.The day is quite beautifuland cool (this pencil much too dark).Slept well. Refreshed. Therefrigerator is at last defrosted.I don’t know whatmoved me to remove Robert L.from the shelf—I won’t quibble.I’ve made my peacewith his equivocal hell.His sad tale strikes me nowas having been not spiritually diseasedbut tragically corporeal.A hulking man whose heart in a bowlhad overbrimmed … Continue reading June Burial by John Jack Jackie (Edward) Cooper

Derision by Susie Gharib

It all begins at home,with the wooden pram,the set of coffee cups,and the two-plaited doll,the daughter who is destined for marital servitude,whose dowry may bring some profit to a household,and who in olden times used to be buried alive for she was considered an ill omenthough her father who buried her was himself conceived in a womb. At school, she is not supposed to compete with … Continue reading Derision by Susie Gharib

L’Américain by Christopher Nielsen

AméricainAméricain!He calls out in Frenchnear the train station at Cassisl’homme eager small young traveler,early twenties. Showing me a book byJack Kerouac—Le vagabond solitaire.Asked if I liked Kerouac; for sure. Rucksack partially strappedover his back,smiling, you’re américainhe can tell, feel it. We both have packs, riding  le chemin de ferstop for stops, hiking, campingmaking friends. Days later, grabbing my rucksack,to ride the trains again.Traveling along for Saint-Tropez, Nice,maybe Monaco.Blurring … Continue reading L’Américain by Christopher Nielsen