| 5 | Kabloona by Rob Willow
| 6 | Beat by Beat, and Life on the Street by Fleassy McPurple
| 7 |
| 8 | only the smoke by Michael Dickel
| 9 | by Spencer Troxell
| 10 | by Spencer Troxell
| 11 | Four Poems by Sophia Dean
| 12 | The Basement Muse by Stacie Ferrante
about the authors
David (Buddha309) Hargarten is a poet and the host of the regular Chicago literary spectacle, Waiting for the Bus, an open mic for poets, singer/songwriters, and storytellers.
Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino lives in Brooklyn Heights, New York, where he edits the online poetry journal, eratio, and works as a private docent.
Chris Major is an English poet who brings us another innovative visual poem..
Rob Willow writes as well as paints periodically.
Fleassy McPurple is not a poet...but a girl on the Streets.
Michael Dickel is a poet, essayist, teacher, and photographer living in Jerusalem.
Spencer Troxell lives in Cincinnati with his wife and two kids.His work has
appeared all over the web. He's 26.
Sophia Dean lives extravagantly in peaceful west coast slums. Her work has been published in bathroom stalls, thieves jargon, $2 bills and neolampshadian outpost.
Stacie Ferrante is a writer/amateur anthropologist/nursing student that lives in Reno, NV.
Saturday night story
by David Hargarten
Lord Double Windsor
Loosens the noose
Orders a drink
And makes no eye contact
With his dressed for laundry day
This is the picture
Of Barbie and Ken
House at Malibu
And tries to recall
She loves him
Small talking Ken
Laughs with the barkeep
This tired joke
And he’s coming to
The same conclusion
Of the laughter
And drowns it
And she’s playing
With the coaster
Sipping at her wine
About broken promises
And conflicts of interest
This is the beginning
Of the closing chapter
In a cheap romance
With Fabio dead
On the cover
When we reach the end
The room will be dark
will be crying
by David Hargarten
There's a syringe on the pantry floor
A left behind remnant
Of the hypodermic dream
To former tenants
This is where I live now
(I’m not from here)
There’s a history here
And I’m haunted
By these things
Not of my making
Exorcise these devils
Or bend them
To my will
And under this roof
My word is law
(I just live here)
There’s a crack pipe
In the cupboard
And the smoke
Fills my head
I am unsettled
This belongs to me
Are not welcome
Get you ass
Out of my
by Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino
may be conceits
spoken of and into play
they neither sought of
a source remote
it is called
falls or sill or recent
the relation of the line
to cups or streets or tickets
of ordered streets
the expense of to or when
is given sharp to what is air
to what is look
to what is omelettes
the decorative use
spoken of and into play
into the say inconsequence
such in some sense were
the bowl and its description
say of a curve
the continuity of their suggestion
to falls and sill and tickets
by Chris Major
by Rob Willow
dreaming of the deep
keep their heads above water!
unhitch them with collar and chain
around a long point into
and into water
through a long study of domestication
they eat snow
awake from milky dreams
in a very light wool
by Fleassy McPurple
So i'm sitting...looking...at a screen to a world that doesn't really exist, and i'm looking at images from a time that's now gone adrift, into the past and floating away, i turn forward...
...face the next day...
.................embrace the next day....
...in portugal i found the oceans roar too loud for my ears, i found myself looking up at the stars and telling a story of ancient Bear, and i was back at the pacific with time now on my side...
...in morroco i found my self tripping over the tongues of men who didn't understand why i, as a woman, am beautiful for more than just my skin, because deep in beneath this i know i am more, a mother, a goddess so to speak, and my power shines through...
...as it does in you...
...and all they can see is the flesh wound, not the true blood of my life pouring out...fertilising the ground on which i let it fall...
...and i love you all as i cross the oceans again and i'm amongst the city streets and winding crazy technical heart beats that pulse with the movement on everyone's lips, a need, a yearning and a quick quick quick...and i sit....and i order a coffee in a coffee house meant for the people on the beat, and me, as a beat girl on the street, am turned away with a look of disgust because i'm not quite hip enough...
...but instead of moaning and shouting and huffing...i'll pick up my pack and keep on trekking out of the city to a new land...
...and this is the clue...the key to finding the place i call home, not to fight against people with who you can't flow...
...for i remember afterwards i found myself naked...sitting on a beach in france...with no one around but the rocks and plants, and two bright souls i'd met one day by chance...and this ocean did not roar but slowly lapped at my feet and i reveled in the sunshine and life on the street......
...life on the street, with its ups and downs, and now i'm sitting in another new town...
...new day has dawned and i'm thinking towards home...
...home a place where my feet will stand, for more than a few seconds before wanting to move on....
Champs d'Elysées by Michael Dickel, digital
by Michael Dickel
a black woman stopped in a certain book review, and she said and not the pulse coursing.And the wind must apologize.As we sing songs of freedom and mourning Books will burst channels—butcam-corder love —except through seduction, with his hand on the cord for her first choice, he does not know how to be with a woman—he was so relieved that she did not ask. I am not pretending here, I heard from someone who knew her. I'd love to beat the shit… I'll settle for a pack of cigarrettes moments. My house, the white owner thought, only the smoke that rose above, only the smoke. …out of your stupidlily-white ass.Pushing me in its reminders of someone else's, say by publishing a poem after, so that someone believes. Sometimes we must continue fasting. Sweat and steam engines—that he never even charged for them, that it was that book, the frenzied river, the ghetto of Chicago, the TA for Taylor Avenue store near… —these are lies—the warmth can never fade through it, and blending wake-fullness, tumbling me into… Want in here? What do……which could open the curtain, he sighs, and twists each sheet around with the other pulse—you
by Spencer Troxell
The thing is, you can write about anything. You can put any arrangement of
words on the page, punctuate them, and have them take up as much space as
something that was more (ostensibly) thought out. Take this sentence for
instance. It means nothing, yet it serves to move things forward.
I can't start a conversation with someone, because there are so many
possible things to say, yet there are very few I'm actually interested in.
What I really want to say to everyone I meet is, 'Tell me what you know
about God.' But what I eventually do say is something more like, 'This
weather, huh?', which is very different---maybe---than the thing I intended to
I find quotations help:
"We are all as God made us, and many are much worse." Which is from
somewhere in Don Quixote, and may be more of a paraphrase than a quotation.
But do you like to cook? I do. Cooking is one of the few things that I do
well enough to garner compliments, but do only for the sheer pleasure of. I
also enjoy cutting the grass, and consuming adult beverages to the point of
levity, but there is little pluralism in the former, and even less
philanthropy in the latter.
by Spencer Troxell
The sun is careless.
It's a layman in a dark closet
Holding a blowtorch
To a fine fabric.
Were I to look towards someone
For tips on industry,
It wouldn't be the sun.
But the sun is industrious.
It is a self-contained energy source,
Burning constantly, churning out
Heat and flame,
Blind of it's own idiot strength.
The sun is industrious,
But it doesn't know anything
About jazz, or about art, or about beauty.
It can't even see the stars (those brilliant
Through the continuous blaze
Created by it's own snapping pistons.
I'm wary of things that promote
Sweat in others,
But do not sweat themselves.
And as it were,
All the best things
Happen in the dark anyway.
by Sophia Dean
drinks her cigarette
beshaven head atilt
and bruise knee taut
on the iron bench
rasps hoarse through
and thrashes futile against
no ghostly beauty
no brazened legions
blazing sabres unsheathed
no toxic sloth peace
high heel step into
Chemos fading nearly merry
till click second
into Diana's pitchy streets
sulphur scent syphilis
Astarte melting plastic sensuality
for ubiquitous plumped
slow rolling by
in fast food wrapper filled
dust lackluster carapaces
Felix culpa mother and childhood
paralysed black shoulder
of a sudden wet deep
as a sun brave sinking
let witness to
your poison door
letting out all
but your fucking lipstick
before slamming crack
like memory and moon eclipsed
skin emaciated strangle
Vera's sweating bones
casted dry shadow
up to the mountain top
to where her hand
like she could just
strip it away
as some black label
off a blue bottle
like she could just
leave a white void blankness
in a collage
like she would just
get a glimpse
that fucked sensorial censor
is leaving out
if the paper tears
The Basement Muse
by Stacie Ferrante
The basement is not as dark and gloomy as one might suppose, but the muse I have chained down there complains about the conditions nonetheless. “How long do you intend to keep me here?” he asks when I bring him bread and water.
“As long as it takes for me to finish my novel.” I say evasively. “The more you inspire me, the quicker it will be.”
“Do I inspire you like this?” he says, indicating the shackles at his wrists and ankles. “I am sure I could do much better upstairs, free of these bonds.”
“I can’t risk you running away like last time.” I avoid his gaze. Those liquid brown eyes never fail to cause me to feel a stab of guilt and pity for the position I have put him in. It is so undignified for a minor god.
His voice is full of pleading. “You don’t have to do it this way. I promise I will inspire you.”
I finally do meet his gaze, and something inside me crumples, something that feels like resolve. His brown hair hangs messily into his angelic face. I screw up my courage and tell him what I have been longing to say for so many years. It comes forth with unexpected venom. “You are fickle. How can I trust you? Just when I really get rolling on the story, you leave for God knows where. I really feel that you don’t care if I ever finish, yet you torment me with brilliant bits and pieces of the story at odd times when you know I’m not in a position to write it down, assuring I will forget it when I do get my hands on some paper. I feel like I am going crazy. I feel like I have no control over my own creative process. What else could I do, once I had you in my home, but to try and keep you here by any means necessary?”
“Is it working?” he says with a tremble of anger, the color rising in his cheeks. “Are you writing?”
“More or less.” I hedge, biting my lower lip. “It is not as good as when you come to me of your own free will, I admit. But it is better than nothing.”
“Don’t you think you deserve a bit better than that?” he says in that maddeningly velvet voice. “Don’t you think you deserve to create a masterpiece to last through the ages?”
“I like to think so.” I say without much conviction.
“Then let me go.” He pleads. “I promise you that even if I visit you less often than you would like, your work will be more distilled, more pure, more burning with intensity for the rarity of it.”
I move a little closer to him. Even after being chained in the basement for days, he still smells of fresh peach blossoms and vanilla beans. The scent of him intoxicates. “I wish I could believe that.” I whimper.
He strains against the chains that bind him, frustrated. “Come closer.” He says softly.
I approach with trepidation, unsure what he will do. I lay my flushed cheek against his marble-cool one, inhaling deeply.
“Do you have the key?” he whispers.
“I do.” I say.
“Then set me free.” He softly commands.
I take the ornate silver key from my pocket and bend to undo the shackles at his ankles, my long hair tickling his knees as I do so. I look up at him from the floor and see the look of kindness he is favoring me with. “Please forgive me my arrogance.” I manage to say before the lump in my throat stops me from speaking further.
He holds his manacled wrists out and smiles sardonically at me. “I can’t say I blame you for trying.”
I free his hands with a twinge of regret. He rubs at his lightly bruised wrists and for a moment, neither of us says a word. I start to shudder, tears of shame streaking hotly down my face.
He takes pity on me, and folds me into a forgiving embrace, stroking my hair with his free hands. “Hush now. Everything is going to be alright.”
He turns my face up to his with his fingers and kisses me gently, opening my mouth with his tongue as if it were a rare orchid. I can feel the fire leap up inside me with blazing white intensity. Just when I start to cling to him, my fingernails digging into his shoulder, he pulls away. In an earnest tone, he urges me. “Now, take that gift and go do something wonderful.”
Reeling, I dare to ask him. “Where will you be?”
He strokes a teardrop from my cheek with his thumb and says. “I’ll never be far away.”
He might be a liar, but damn if I don’t love him.