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Showing posts from April, 2022

Rob Plath

doomed love songs baudelaire you died at 46 & i feel guilty b/c i’m 51 now why should i live longer than a beautiful dark giant? maybe living longer isn’t so great especially if yr a failure like myself living in a busted dungeon alone baudelaire there are so many cigarette burns in this carpet like the fossils of fallen black stars i count them over & over but still can’t sleep the windows are falling out of their rotted sills i stub my insomniac toes on broken tiles in the sleepless dark the cat is sleeping in the window tho the moon light a ghostly second coat every decrepit window is magic w/ her in it baudelaire i’d give you my five years if i could just to see another poem of yrs you lovely green haired dandy of doom i feel guilty for walking about on the planet while my idols are mere dust baudelaire i smoked outside before while october crickets sang for love last week i read their amorous songs attract parasitic flies tho

John Tustin

Inclusivity Every literary journal claims to be searching far and wide For the poet who is not like the others; The poet who has been previously and permanently excluded By society at large and the literary gatekeepers in particular And I want to tell them about How I loved her more than anyone could; How my hate is as spectacularly unique As my love; That I graduated from nowhere, I learned only through life, the books I’ve chosen, The pain I’ve internalized, the rays of sadness That beam from my house alone; That I’m the only me there is, My uniqueness extends everywhere – From the words I choose to my odd gait To the thoughts I think and attempt to convey And that my cover letter doesn’t say anything Not better expressed in the packet of poems They may or may not end up reading After they decide whether or not I’m in the Class of the Excluded. Deadline He put the pistol in my hand. Don’t ask me what kind, I didn’t know anything about guns. T

Tohm Bakelas

160 E. Main Street down at the exchange where coke is passed around like change owed from a tab, i sit in the darkness with my beer and pay no mind. in this life we all have too many chances but not enough fight, not enough fight and too many chances. but down here we all gather, a lost congregation praying for continued solitude with fading hope that an unfamiliar face says “hello.” but here the coke goes to and fro, up noses and tucked into seamless pantyhose, blue bras, and flannel shirt pockets. and in the darkness i wait, cigarette lit, beer sweating, me sweating, while tomorrow morning creeps in, and soon i’ll return to a place where people laugh all day long when no jokes are being told, where no jokes are ever told. Tohm Bakelas is a social worker in a psychiatric hospital. He was born in New Jersey, resides there, and will die there. His poems have appeared in numerous journals, zines, and online publications. He ha

Tony Brewer

The Doctor Is In Sitting in my car gloving up before mask on to buy groceries I’m in Mindy West’s old Ford Fiesta – 1986 we’re parked in gravel between cornfields her back seat jammed with wet swim practice towels as we navigate her stick shift for a hustle in the front buckets Gloving up with the news on is Bon Jovi out of a boom box because her car has no stereo and every time feels like that first Gloves snug as jeans opening the nitrile cuff and inserting my fingers bunched as bananas flexing in ecstasy at the bind carefully rough and excited and scared and embarrassed adding a layer of alone is nothing like in the movies her eager smile and that damp hair in that moonlight while at Kroger beneath the stare of 360-degree surveillance lot cams projected death tolls I cannot turn off not feeling wild – wild in the streets She guiding like a nurse as I operate on a school night with a playful snap of left glove skin and breath weaponiz

Tom Barlow

When the Music's Over the first time a young person yields hir seat on the bus to me I will throw down / my target dressed in bell bottoms and tie-dyes / head band and peace sign / following me like I was holding a joint behind my ear / on my way to The Lizard King's grave / past the ghosts of American flags we flew upside down in front of the White House / back in the day when we loathed ourselves for all the faces our people trampled as we scrambled to hold the high ground / but the shame did not outlast the costume / and our zero sum games meant that ambition had to build a bonfire of our poems and guitars / we escaped Love Street by that light / but the suckers who staked themselves to 1968 right through the heart found that their blood at retail would barely pay for the time machine that set them down here to see how the clouds carry such regret for riders on the storm. Tom Barlow is an Ohio author of poetry, short stories