Vadim Vladimir Osadchi

Train Station

"I'm beautiful, aren't I?" - because he can't find the time
Dreamy tracks convey a steam engine
Into a substream where he is the conductor
There, stone sprouts from water
Faceless spirits board the shuttle

But she follows on foot
The sea churns, catches red and yellow - icy sheets
On the other side of nowhere, the caravan pulls in
She can not find him - pairs of mists
Watching her from among the luggage racks

Heather Abner

The Last Cowboy Poem # 52

For months
I’ve thought of nothing
but Stetson hats,
Tennessee whiskey,
and the way your stomach,
so tight with muscle,
makes me want
so much
to touch you.
But this is the last
cowboy poem
I will ever write.
while driving my father’s pick-up
faster than is reasonable
through the switchback
on Bull Run Road,
I change my mind.

James Schiller

i didn’t want to scare you but listen

what i can’t understand is

how it used to be

in the big ancient chunks of time

when the earth was still

trying to get its shit together

before the engine of speech

tore through our brains

running down stragglers

guzzling everything

that people looked out

at a sky so cut up with stars

and all that colossal black drool

and didn’t just bash their heads in

or set their families on fire

and drive them away

into the goddamned

bloodthirsty jungle

what i can’t understand is

how we were even able to hold on

with the whole planet spinning

like it was trying to make us dizzy

why we didn’t dig up the old volcanoes

after they got bored and shrank away

just so we could cry

and scream at them for leaving us

i didn’t want to scare you but

what i can’t understand is

why there aren’t more fossils

of lonely imploded humans

that simply fizzled out and quit

and hucked themselves

into some random bloated ocean

because everything out there was laughing

that terrible gooey laugh

and we didn’t know

what exactly that meant

but probably it meant

‘i dare you’

James Valvis

Tom’s Final Plan

Fifty years he’s chased Jerry
   and hasn’t caught him.
He isn’t getting any younger
   and Jerry isn’t getting any slower.
So he formulates a final plan.
   No longer will be play dumb cat
to Jerry’s blazing, heroic mouse.
   Instead he’ll spend his days
relaxing by the fire, curled up
   on his kitty pillow.  And wait.
It doesn’t take a year before Jerry,
   fat from unlimited cheese,
can no longer run without wobbling.
   The plan has worked, doing less
had been the solution all along.
   His hour of triumph has come!
So Tom moves in for the kill,
   but he’s put on weight himself.
He can hardly catch his breath,
   feels his chest constricting,
and when Jerry gets stuck
   waddling into his mouse hole,
his round bottom wedged tight,
   Tom dies suddenly, laughing.