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

I Bit the Hand by Donna Dallas

The hand that fedclothedheldsmotheredthe same hand that posed itself as comfortfostered my birth I chewed into the knucklesthey crunched and poppedripped the hand offshook it with ragecame back later to lickdown to bone My savagery straight from the wombor nurtured so off the spectrumI was bled to believeI squeezed out taintedat eight I put a plastic bag over my headto diethe hand did not remove … Continue reading I Bit the Hand by Donna Dallas

Revolution by Susie Gharib

[A reading of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities] The word reeks with the ravings of mankind,the spilling of blood that is redder than wine,the chopping of heads like chickens’ at the slaughterhouse,the barbarous pillage of every temple of God,the perpetuation of the legacy of original but now genetic crime.And amid the stench of persecuted blooda man sought the guillotine to part with his … Continue reading Revolution by Susie Gharib

The Heart Cries Eternally by Ron Kolm

We had terrible fights, with littlepeace between the conflagrations.When we finally split up, I tossedmy wedding band down a sewer gratehoping I’d broken the circleof never-ending pain. Recently,after too many White Russians,I told a friend what I’d done years ago.“Damn,” he said, “You should have sold itto a jewelry store in the Diamond District.”“Nope,” I confessed. “Every time I wentto 47th Street, it was to spend money.I would … Continue reading The Heart Cries Eternally by Ron Kolm

The Dance by Snata Basu

My biggest dream is to not be lonely,among other things, of course.Such a big portion of me struggles to reason the outcome,the past and future all seem a blind torch,where am I now? a giant theatre.Now begins the lovely show.Oh so lovely, the dance of recovery,nauseating, and awfully slowSo compelling is the rhythm and the music,sick and revolting,so incredibly alone.I must dance, here and now,The … Continue reading The Dance by Snata Basu

Killshot by Xavier Jones

I’m packing every day. Don’t make me pull it outI’ve got you in my sights, but I’m not a sniperI’m staring you in the face. Let’s go cowboyWho’s the quickest on the draw?Someone’s life might end before this standoff is overYou better not miss, because I won’tYou’ve clearly never saw La HaineWell this is the last sceneI’m Hubert, and this is for Vinz and AbdelNo … Continue reading Killshot by Xavier Jones