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Showing posts from February, 2020

Kenneth Pobo

Plans to Stay

My husband remembers to buy milk before the container at home expires and he makes sure that my computer doesn’t catch whatever electronic flu
is going around.I’m not an easy guy. Sometimes I’m a pencil, the lead breaking just when you want to write a note to stick on the door for the propane dude.This could be
an anniversary poem.27 years, a couple of bluebirds, beautiful, but ready to fly away.
We promised forever.That’s not possible, so we took till death do us part.Death always finds our living room. We watch TV and eat popcorn, hold hands.Even then,
it doesn’t take a hint. It plans to stay.


Confederate Judy
On Halloween I learned I’d better not dress as Judy Garland.That would get me beat up.Why can’t a boy sing “Over the Rainbow” on a suburban street?
Instead I wore a gray jacket and told candy-givers I was a Confederate soldier. We lived in Illinois— no one blinked. A boy can be military even if he looks like a schnook kid in baggy pants—
I wore Judy in my head, belted out “The Man Who Go…

Joey Gould

A12 After a Concert 

Full after a meal we recline, this night different from a normal night in the way the cool hits our overwarm bodies.
Sated, ears popping, hardly hearing Bjork on the tapedeck singing All is Full of Love on the A12
& the radio leaves a wake of sound waves skipping over the pond.
Streetlights morph & distort Nicky’s half-sleep half-smile, Karen’s knuckles curl & cuddle the steering wheel. We listen listlessly every hard breath of soft night air we sigh.
My forehead touches the glass and melts into condensation, I am parched, but drink 2 am like I’ve been desert-crawling between panes of chilled glass.
In the dark, eighth notes scatter behind us.

Joey Gould, a non-binary writing tutor, wrote The Acute Avian Heart (2019, Lily Poetry Review).  Twice nominated for Bettering American Poetry and once for a Pushcart Prize, Joey's work has appeared in Paper Nautilus, The Compassion Anthology, Memoir Mixtapes, & District Lit. Joey's character Izzie Hexxam features in The Poetr…

Dennis Mahagin

Don’t Want Air Sickness is a walk in the park compared to  withdrawal, they say we are free to  move, to fall about the cabin.  I have a nightmare
I meet her boyfriend while standing in line at the Walgreens pharmacy;  he lets me know in low, burning tones the way she likes it, the way it was going to stay, he said, lightly gripping
my elbow like a prison guard leading a skel back to his cell. “she makes me crazy enough to bust a motherfucker,”  he says, “and you don’t want that, you don’t  want it here, right?” I shake my head, then nod, as my turn comes  at the Walgreens window;  the pharmacist slides my package 
across the counter. We hit it, that  turbulence, more and more  turbulence, yet the woman in question stays right there,  in my mind,  a kind of living grief in bas relief;  then I’m back  on the plane. We continue 
our climb. 
I whisper 
to the flight attendant  struggling in the aisle,
as she’s swaying there,  with a tight-lipped smile and her tray of drinks. I say,  listen, I say, listen I don’t want  this anym…

Howie Good

Complicity

We dance with skeletons. We steal cable. We leave violent stains on the carpet. We shift the blame to the fellaheen digging for papyri at an ancient historical site. We cross off career options. We put likeable liars in office and dark-skinned mothers and babies in jail. We go around looking for this or that clue, this or that miraculous city, without even once catching a glimpse. Rather, where our gaze just happens to fall, worse soon follows. The ground bleeds, the moon aches. Fire chews through brick walls. Ideas lose elasticity. The dreaming heads of sleepers get pried open.
Howie Good is the author most recently of Stick Figure Opera from Cajun Mutt Press, What It Is and How to Use It from Grey Book Press, and Spooky Action at a Distance from Analog Submission Press. He co-edits the online journals Unbroken and UnLost.