Mark Neely

Triple Elvis


Hillock says life is grand-

            fathered in so just
as might spit chew drink rot
close in on any laquered body

you can


Hillock says barn it all

            barn a billion
chickens shitting bingo barn
every hair-sprayed autocrat and

porn star

take your guilt

            your concrete-booted
desire and polish until the holy dog
starts ankling its tethers

take your lead regret

Hillock behind which crouches

            gloom stroking sparks
from its cat hair coat I declare
your shape a dirt mound

dead roil

under declare you

            a masochist by
weight a dandy pushing
a little red up

between your thighs

a road

            hillock burns up
behind us as he fires
toward his untimely

(great) demise

Bill Neumire

Please Understand

It's not the day you've been waiting for. It’s not your biography, but rather the story of the only man who fell through a cumulonimbus & survived. You are not that man & because of this the world is not yours. Please understand, you don't make the rules; Heidegger, after everything else, came to emulate Black Forest peasants.

You have waited in line for hours, but it is not yours. You did not write the book titled Ignore Me yet. It is not that day, which will arrive as a horrible machine much like this. There was once a terrible translator of the great architect's work who corrected blueprint flaws; these buildings became enduring structures in Europe & Asia, squat & tyrannical they stared at their cities like mothers-in-law thinking hideous thoughts. It will not be partly cloudy.

This little girl, why is she alone in the bourbon evening? She calls the machine angel-maker. The man is always is in the theater that repeats the life in the cloud. It tears at his clothes and flesh. He is buckled to himself. When someone else speaks, another cloud emerges. Please understand, the rules are loose & always changing.

Marissa McNamara

Breaking Up: 10 Methods

I. At the table: knife, fork, salt, spoon
and napkins.
Lots of napkins.

II. In the car. Tear a map down the center.
Place one ½ on the driver’s seat.
Forget the keys.

III. The park. Yes. Go there.
Push one empty swing.

IV. Over the phone. Call and hang up.
Do not answer when the return call comes.

V. In bed. Before sleep. Before sex. After sex.
Turn on the overhead fan.
Watch it spin.

VI. The post office. Open the blue metal box.
Drop the letter in. Close the box.
Stand at the box thinking for 5 minutes
or a week.
Bring an umbrella.

VII. Wait for rain.
Let it run down your face.
Listen for thunder.

VIII. Over very hot coffee. With too much sugar.
Speak quickly. Blow the steam.
Burn your tongue anyway.

IX. Write an e-mail. Read it over. Sign it With Love.
Delete With Love. Sign it With Love.

X. Cut off your arm. Offer it up.
Say I’ll never be the same.
You won’t.

XI. Don’t.

James Bertolino

Clown Buttons

When I first began dating Mystique,
the guys at the bar said, “Hey! You goin’
woo-woo on us?” But I knew

they were glad I wouldn’t be whining
anymore about having lost Becky.
Mystique had a wisdom

I couldn’t even imagine. She’d studied
in India with a guru. When I admitted
I didn’t know what a guru was,

she got mad. Not wanting to let her
get the upper hand (like Becky),
I told her not to be pushing my buttons.

“You mean your clown-button chakras?
I’ve been pressing them since minute one!”
I got an image of Bozo, and had to laugh.

Now I consider her the canary in my mind.
She’s there, chirping somewhere behind
my forehead, and I know when she stops,

we’re all going down.