Issue Twenty-Nine

After the reading

As a final gesture, he ate the poem, starting with the rhyming couplet at the beginning andworking his way through several slant rhymes and aporia, caesura, and some nice assonance. Hepaused at the final line, peering into a sea of faces, then dropped it to the floor....

The Inventor

after Maze, dir. J. Lenica, 1962 The man with the mechanical bird wings watches over the city and thinks to join it. But with him he brings the ticking of a clock. The skeleton of a dinosaur. An old man who can never leave the window. He will do the improbable. He...

Dolor

I am at my sister’s house the day after my grandma’s funeral and we sit side by side on her carpeted floor unspeaking. She did not cry at the church yesterday or on the day our father told us the bad news, and for some reason this bothers me. This is what I’m thinking...

Alive

Put me on the edge of annihilation, and I will love you forever. I will supplicate myself before you, dear world, for a taste of it. It does not matter what kind of death: of the body or of the ego. One is not more painful than the other: I am a connoisseur of the...

YTD ROI

A live public art installation where college football stadium bleachers are set up for people who think no one uses public libraries anymore to attend and observe the hundreds and thousands of people walking in and out of libraries all day. Witnessing the library for...

The Screamer

My girlfriend’s been soliciting money for sexual encounters with older men. Her friend showed me the messages: Hi, Robert – how can we please you? This friend was to possibly join the venture; that’s what she wanted anyway, but friend thought I was an alright guy,...

The Howl of a Cat

A rush of warm liquid puddles between my legsthen another gushes outsaturates the hospital bedpush the red button with the white outline of a nurse“let’s see here, honey...yep, you broke your water”it was too early, but the baby had almost come out way too early:late...

Aloha

Shawn and Shauntelle showed up in comical drag at the Kauai Pride Picnic at Queen Surf Beach,one in a hula skirt and coconut bra, the other tucked into short shorts and squeezed into a paddedbustier. Diane and I met them the day before as Yin and Yang, what they...

How to Make a Ford Mondeo Fly

Motorway air pummels through the window. Far behind, sirens cry. If there’s a roadblock, I’ll blast right through, pick up Keeley and we’ll drive drive drive—daddy and daughter on the run. We’ll spend the evidence and pay in cash for service-station sundaes and trips...

Dice

Down by the Elbow, Billy’s place was, up high on the rock, so high it was a hardship to get from the dock to the cottage. All rock, gray granite with a stripe of pink quartz marbled by white. Wind-born waves shuffled against the shore, blue-tailed skinks sunned in...

The Way I Remember It

It was Easter Sunday, or maybe it wasn’t, but it was a family dinner. A full ham seasoned with brown sugar. Round pineapple slices from a can piercing its sides with toothpicks. And you, Nana, were sitting across from me. My mom sat to your right, my stepfather at the...

My Sister Doesn’t Remember

That scary dude we saw at the Safeway after the clubs closed.No, but I remember dancing at that lesbian club, she says.It was our 23rd birthday! My first visit to San Francisco.But nothing rings a bell about that dude on the checkout line.No, she says. I do remember...

The Birthers

He was the first one to bathe in your blood. The only one.It had stunned you, his reappearance, like a portrait unwrapping itself from a swirling mist. He'd promised to leave the premises if your back touched the floor of the suspended hut. He'd wrestled the alabe...

Educated

It is the last night of class. The students bring me gifts. Several bottles of gin, with the distinctive colored glass. These students came up with the answer that it’s my favorite kind. I keep watch on the window in the classroom door. I’m a nervous scholar, past and...

The Jesus Slots

Through the wall, and the whole night, I hear her shouting: ‘Jesus!’ and ‘Jesus Christ!’ and ‘Jesus!’ and more of the same shit until the morning comes creeping in.At breakfast, while the sun makes its way over the tiles in the kitchen, I tease her about it over our...

In Memoria

That August, stomping deep through the forest, my friend Jason and I found an abandoned farmhouse. Like a corpse given up by the earth, all bones and sinew and wide, hollow sockets. Two stories tall, learning hard to the left, as if the trees on that side were...

Kidnapped

An egg was tossed high in the air, where it floated. The incredible, edible egg! the TV-voice sang. My mom stepped out of the kitchen for a minute. I threw an egg that sat on our counter; it splattered on the dog-chewed carpet.In my brothers’ bedroom, my stepsiblings...

Second Hand Roses

Early nineties, dumpster diving. The blackberry back alleys of Vancouver’s gay west village have the best loot. At first we climb up and lean in, poking around with a stick. After a few killer hauls, we wade in hip deep. We find anything and everything: cupcakes,...

Calling

The crackle of her rabbiting breath over the phone. “Hello,” I say, like always. “Hello? Is anybody there?”“I’m not sure.” Her speech fraying at the hem. Her words leaking from a badly-sealed balloon. I try to guess which woes she needs me to uproot, if any:...

Frida at Henry Ford Hospital

A shy sparrow tucked into its mud hole,Never revealing its secret egg,I wanted my empty-nest uterus to sproutFlowers, lascivious fruit. But my cracked shellSpilled out bones and blood, amniotic fluid,And Senor I-Don’t-Give-a-FuckStitched my lips togetherTo keep me...

How To Build A Rocket

Rocket science is still rocket science, so make sure you know the specifics of the rocket you want to build. This has gotten easier because there is so much information out there. Not so much online, but libraries are free and open anytime, anywhere. You can take out...

What We Talk About When We Don’t Talk

We’ve been together most of your life. And, I have only one rule. An eighty-four year old widow, hands trembling and crying on her marital bed - remembering her ninth year on earth and the death of her mother in 1919. Too afraid and confused to say, They took turns...

Bones of Steel

Tomorrow, you will come for me, you will pry me open, rip out pipes, radiator, battery, pull off my steering wheel, pluck mirrors, yank windows, haul the best of my organs for sale, scatter the rest of my body parts in four corners of the country....

Pin It on Pinterest