LATEST ARTICLES

I fear losing my strangeness, my hands and feet dissolving, my distinctive features bleeding into a bleary rabble. The patient man perched on his balcony, who waits for the clan, the tribe, or the chaotic crowd to decide his future, he makes me hum...
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My stockpile is such that when I open a drawer I brace for an avalanche of toilet paper. In the kitchen are enough cans of beans to last a months-long struggle, for my son to pass the hours building beautiful steel pyramids. I’ve strewn fat...
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it is a thankless task sweeping together the parts of a person dismantled by the wind gauging by feel and heft if everything is there the limbs paired the feet engaged that they might carry the assemblage through another day it is the endless toil of hands callousing on rope and...
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non profit phone bank job in hollywood that I found, on craigslist in December when I was living in Van Nuys down on my luck i guess you could call it a desperation gig and i shaved my face took a shower got the job for a couple of days and i...
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Lockdown 2021

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i heard a scuttle in the bushes and listened sensed an angel suffering from a fall the sounds my body makes when standing still gravel crunched as the postman turned leaving a bank statement and a 2 for 1 offer on pizzas under the bushes i saw where...
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Unopened

There is a tumble of ribbons and words forming bows and twirls, wrapping my thoughts into pretty little packages. I line them up one by one on the shelf to gather dust. One day you will come— eagerly pluck them down, blow them off, admire each little gift before removing the...
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ebbing

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Quietus

He’s old now, very old living in a recliner reading his favorite book about death feeling like an eaglet in a treetop nest curious about what jumping does.
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Safe Text

She wondered how an old boyfriend spent New Year’s Eve, if he was there with his wife being nice, or maybe mean saying her clothes looked slutty or how she came on to the grocer, making gossip in their small northern town. But now she knew. It wasn’t much different than...
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I explore gender fluidity in my art, assuming a fictional identity as a female, although I am mostly a straight Asian male, who occasionally fantasizes about becoming a woman. My life is a struggle between two wolves inside of...
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OAF friends, if you ZOOM, I'll be one of three poets featured on Flying Out Loud, a Zoom series out of Kentucky, Jan. 11, 7 to 8, EST. If you want to attend, let me know, and I'll send...
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2021

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New Year, resolutions rising from reverie running outdoors with a smile singing and skipping into very concrete streets resolve to pay credit card bills, student loans, interest on interest, visit sister and mother at last, drive a little slower stop drinking, drink slower, wear a jacket,...
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Waiting Room

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Wave Function

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Waymarkers

Today I stop to photograph a backroad milestone which reclines in fescue and rough dandelions. The miles ahead, the miles behind. Simple numbers all declaring how far we’ve travelled from our source, and how much further we may go along our crooked, shrinking, course. Perhaps some poet...
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Raphael

the Archangel with the power to heal, hovers over the roof of my house. He’s been up there since you left. I went to a Catholic school. I tell myself my guardian angel was happy to be reassigned. Raphael keeps my house safe inside, me & the dog tame, neither of us...
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Ethnic Cleanser

Removes unsightly people whose grease and dirt spoil your landscape. Cleans as it polishes, replaces their awful smell with fresh fragrances. Their profane beliefs with fresh air. Their noisy children with heavenly quiet. Our history with revised pages. Preserves our pure culture. They are an infection that will...
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Henry was brilliant; at least he had me believing he was. He read at the Coffee and Cruellers, the place with the sawdust and peanuts on the warped wooden floor. He offered a cupful of courage and got me to read a few there....
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My father remembers ancient banyan trees. He sees ghosts in the tall temple grass, smells rain on abandoned sugar cane. He watches the ocean and waits. Lately, he sees a tall ship in Honolulu Harbor, silent and crewless, and my father thinks it is there for...
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Do Not Resuscitate

He was positive at 96 approved for hospice care on O2 and morphine to make labored breathing comfortable. His last thought was walking from the maternity ward 67 years ago holding that tiny casket. Remember me? asked the cherub child. Hold my hand. When the next breath didn’t come he...
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Umwelt

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mixed media on paper, 21,2 x 29,9 cm, 2020  
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1/4 kg

Looking at a man selling tomatoes my intellect begins to play a game— are there enough in the fridge? If there are too many & I buy, Maria will get mad at me. If there are none & I don't buy, Maria will still get...
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    All animals are equal,     but some animals are     more equal than others.         — George Orwell I guess I am the lowly spokesbird that can reveal anything there is to know about our jungle, no spin, no hyperbole. The...
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Pattern of Life

They call it Pattern of Life The high resolution images Data, collected by satellite Analysed to spot the unusual To predict what happens next Make a preemptive arrest Find Jimmy Hoffa See if McDonald’s is open If the algorithm suggests Where I might be in spring Can I sign up...
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I once tried to kick in the screen of a 21” color tv wearing my Tony Lama shit kickers. The boot’s heel & slick sole slid off the smooth glass like I was dancing a one legged boot scootin’ shuffle. I was drunk on my ass on...
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For Christmas, I received: A six-pack of Budweiser, with a note from Dad. Start young, preempt disappointment. An arched eyebrow and muttered menace when I didn’t thank him. Another story about Mom. A reminder I had her eyes. Rent and termination notices to burn. Dad...
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Widow

  the waves brought it right to her feet that old improbable message in a bottle. She took it with her kept it near but did not want to open it to spoil the mystery of her selection. Resting in the garden she dreams starfish dreams opens her hands like fans of coral feels her...
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December

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These days all we do is swipe. right for double cheese burger, left for pasta with white sauce. Gone are the days when Pav-Bhaji would be home delivered after hours! Zomato is a smooth criminal— it has killed the thrill of chase but nothing can substitute...
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my heart beats less in November it has nothing to do with love ice crystals in the morning sun the dead leaves around my feet tight shoes gloved hands last year’s down jacket it beats so much faster in July when I can’t stop the sun’s honey from...
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Publishing a book is important, whether self-published (without imprint) or cooperatively published (with imprint). Yeah, you won't get rich or earn a lot of money from the book sales, but you will open the door of publication opportunities for...
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Ambition

The directions on the shampoo bottle: “Wet hair thoroughly before applying.” Someone got paid for that? Why not me? Here’s my resume. Published Poet. Will work for food.
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I try on a suit to look handsome for the stars, ask the mirror what I have gained and what I have lost. I mourn the death of those yet to die, seek an urn to hold the ashes of what might...
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My Son, My Son

We sit on the stoop for hours. A few passersby, one wearing bright red kicks, Hey man help me out. You wave a royal dismissal. Red-kicks nods, fades into the sidewalk. Craving closeness in any form, I squeeze closer, my shoulder to your shoulder. You...
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You pointed out a spot along the fence in the pasture and recounted how you once snuck up behind a coyote and just to see if you could, roped him, deftly snuck the expert loop of your lasso around his neck. (After, you...
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here's a new batch for you. I know that i erred when i couldn't resist and sent several times when you specifically scowl on excessive submissions. I guess i was overly anxious, yearning a slot in your very fine journal. I'm not really obsessive, nor one...
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He’s addressing the nation on CNN. How do you know he’s lying?  His lips are moving.  Four years ago, the joke was funny.  Now, we shrug, at a loss for words.  Dante damned corrupt politicians to the Eighth Circle of Hell, Stone Ditch Number Five. Even a singing cowboy, back in...
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The petrifying things that haunt me include waking up one day to realize I have become that person who enjoys the OMG Facebook games that make cute acronyms from the letters of my name my wine glass empty spit marks down the barely reflecting mirror a book mark in the...
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When she says my name it feels like my skirt flipped up To check for underwear Under where my brother hid when I was born, There are now mousetraps and cricket tape and He was waiting To tell my name to the slippery red...
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Performance

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MINOTAUR

Am I impressed? I suppose. The bull’s head, the horns, the way you puff up three times your size. Still you’re the same old, same old. Considerate. A bit of a slob. Some drool, green as mint, on your side of the pillow.
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Come What May

We are cognizant of the black hole at the heart of all expectations, yet our love feels like an orbit; slow and elliptical around a private sun. I, male, seem flighty as though driven by the panic of self-propagation. While you, the woman, sufficiently immune to the shadows of destruction, are committed to the growth of...
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A violet aura fades to indigo along the skyline. The drug of anger, and euphoria, are extinguished— everything that gives me purpose is extinguished. Extinction appears, on the twilit road, dressed in a hooded, knee-length raincoat; implacable as a stop sign, they point across the...
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Ocean City, NJ, 1967   Meggs arrives wearing dangling earrings and attitude   Afternoon walk: Nefertari and Ra
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Pilot Light

My mother waited up late for me early Sunday mornings chain-smoking cigarettes off the pilot light, her gas flame-blue shadow cast across the kitchen as I came up the back stairs from the porch; All the other rooms slept. Cigarettes burned, all the other rooms tossed and turned. Darkness never felt so good.          In...
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BEAR STREET

"The creature that does nothing will get dafter! And dafter! And dafter!" A man alone keeps screaming as he walks towards Leicester Square where at 8 am barely a soul is stirring where no creature will hear him.
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Four by Marcel Herms

King (in his own world) De deskundige Selectieve verontwaardiging Counting the days
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The wrong side of history belongs to people who eat candy corn one color at a time. Scientists say the twelve ingredients include sweeteners, artificial colors, animal skin and bones and little red insects from Asia. Those on the wrong side of history reject this ingredient list as liberal...
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Compose it now, as a guarantee of surviving this turbulent age, take it out for reassurance when you need it most, like a fifth of vodka, or memories of an appaloosa mare, calling to you from across the pasture. Recollections of the moon rising over the...
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1. there is a strange hill at the cliff’s edge​ verdant and delicious​ smoothly curved​ from the distance​ ​ it is not a hill, really​ not stone flesh​ with hairs pricked up​ green to the follicle​ ​ branches​ push up under the surface​ creating a hollow​ hill of trees​ ​ we hide us in it​ I am...
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Ars Poetica

I don’t use a washcloth in the shower. It’s probably bad for me. Not exfoliating, I mean. I bet someone has died from it. Somewhere, I read that dust is 70% skin, which means when you walk into the...
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Chun (series)

"Chun" is a series that I am working on in which I depict myself as an Asian woman, although I am a straight male, in order to explore gender fluidity and to express my love and appreciation for female...
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Silence chauffeurs loss, I call it—God— another conundrum unsolved. A discreet chill lingers to speak, a farewell from the arctic concludes: if millions of anything dies it isn’t equally tragic. Primates are most vile; what could Jane Goodall see in chimpanzees? Maybe as humans, we are of different genera,...
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something in the moonlight like one long goodbye I never heard there's just the upholstery staring at me the long death of the day click and drag on a cigarette have you ever cut a flower on a summer evening when it's not too hot and smelled...
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“Dick Hertz and Connie Lingus, phone call.” That was always me. I’d call the restaurant and tell the hostess: “Huge emergency!” I always told the waitress, “Cock tail, huh?” A wise guy. Smart-ass. And I’m still that way. Melania’s embarrassed to go out with...
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Mel took off to Cleveland last winter cramming everything she really needed into a hatchback Honda Accord: herself, her purse, a fluffy Alaskan Malamute Koda. Her blue 10-speed Peugeot got left behind— that bicycle rests against the wall of my garage to this very day tires gone flat now dust covers frame. I saddle-up...
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Fire Moon Rising

California, 2020 North, South, and Central, wildfires under a quarter moon threaten the entire state. The fire moon looks down on them red as it rises into the night. The Devil, I think, grins there tonight as I walk along the street, avoiding late-summer heat and smoke-- the evil...
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.salvation

. there are things made bright bled folded autumn arrives and the yellow eyes close sunflowers jiggle then lean upturned dirt chokes-up children's fingers birds dive on a belch of wind : i want to go .
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An apple orchard; slim pathways on the hill in the near distance have turned blue in dawn light. I tell blonde Alice I’m going to head out to take photos. Where? She asks. I say anywhere they jump out at me, and she laughs as if I’m chasing rabbits. The valley we’re...
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Michael B. Carroll Jr. I’m not mad. I’m angry We are not a threat to your America. I’m not mad. I’m angry… so angry that I could explode, spontaneously, like an unstable gas. Don’t you understand that we yearn and fight to prove that we...
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They pile us on a field. Try to identify us, contact loved ones. I think of older sister Nancy. She must be coming. She could joke about my love of Polo shirts and say I love you. Call me a man-child, but with...
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October Surprise

We have tons of hammers but not enough shoes. Really, isn't it the same for you? We'd be just fine if all that's required is beating out the gold leaf of our down time until it covers this comedy of fright. We might...
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Father

I am ashamed of my schism, my contortionist brain and tongue. Told status is a ticket to love. Take hurried notes on how to be righteous. Worship Satan at my school. Eat full-metal propaganda. I should be enough–one day. I am a contradiction. Confess on knee through a...
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Misery Chic

just            don't            fucking talk to me            don't try to buy me            a drink just           don't engage          ...
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-after "Einstein’s Dreams" A man and woman walk hand in hand down the Grabenstrasse. The street is quiet on a Tuesday afternoon. An aproned man shakes a rug over the sidewalk; scraps of dust and paper settle on a pair...
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My virginity is still lost somewhere in Athens, Greece. After serving my hippie time for marijuana possession I admit I was happy that prisons exist. I didn’t need rehabilitation then like so many of those assholes. I must have driven drunk a thousand times after my...
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The artist Ann Chernow was born in 1936 and grew up in New York City. She has worked extensively in the mediums of lithography, silkscreen, etching, and colored pencil as well as oil painting. Known as “The Queen of...
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Childless

When my son died I was devastated by the colossal waste that was his mind. That rare nonjudgmental visionary kind. My flattened affect belied a manic hemispheric need to understand his death. When my son died I became less human. Existed anesthetized by pills and booze and doubt. Garish makeup my disguise...
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Pig Latin

Aisyday is a collector of things. Hats and canes. Handbags. Scars. I can't be sure. I am certain. She saw me as hard tissue. A door left ajar. What I said. Honest. Insecure and reaching. A ringing nerve along her jawline. Me. Jarring and disobedient. Always. Her...
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baby Christmas trees in a field little bump in the backseat driving past them but most of my life I’ve been intense no wonder I’m crazy no wonder my little pill bottles have eyes but I’m the one who’s always watching I’d like to give you...
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I refuse to die in a bunker, even if it’s with you, my dear. I want the slow death of struggling for light, hand in hand, through the tremors and the flames. Do you recall when we thought things were okay? I am thankful to...
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In the port of Saint Petersburg wavy-haired mathematicians exhale vodka and sanctions-ringed cares and caviar and smoke-circles and vodka, questioning the nature of consciousness, until they lose theirs. In the port of Saint Petersburg nests of Greek-column-roofed cloud-tickling fortresses where crane-drivers bask in the sub-arctic majesty pull mothers with...
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Comforted by the rough of the stucco wall, my back leaning on the hint of dew as I watch the moon hide out of shame, alone now, struggling to finish the day, trying to unearth all blues in the black of the...
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who sit with understanding. Focused, iridescent eyes attend to your wet ones. Well-timed hops on your lap, headbutts; well-placed paws, chins by thighs on couches. Furry steps tap out you are not alone. We got this: anxiety, infertility, marriage, adoption, parenting, childbirth, divorce, depression and death. When it is time, they become...
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hammer apple peacock tank poached | raisin leather defunct traction capstan | boulder frack inflate piss ratchet | your anus above me like a faucet up a tree | your ice lolly a placard for your love of contrast | catapult invert potato reputed curving | palace slippery inkwell rebate stone .1
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For the umpteenth time this mangled year she asked me why I was crying mama what’s wrong mama the coffeepot was sputtering vainly promising my restoration on yet one more in a long line of mornings too familiar to my desperations what was I supposed to...
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Lazy Pencils

Some Pinky pencils live longer as they remain hidden in the dusty pockets of blazers that no longer fit. Then there are unconcerned ones that idle in a pen pot and their only job is to make managers look busy. Some hibernate on dressing tables, others remain in...
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Kiss from God

A small shiny insect crawled methodically across the clean, white sheet of paper, trying to crawl across before I stained it with my useless words. So arrogant and determined in his steps. I am grateful it was not a spider. So very grateful it was...
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Witnessing

It was by no means coincidence that a tortoise the size of a manhole cover walked out of the open desert and into the path of our car. I believe in the goddess of close calls now and built her a hand polished shrine by the...
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for Trish Saunders First off, it isn’t Mr. Trump. It’s Mr. President. Alright? You want my tax returns? I’ve 5 accountants working on them full-time, but you can’t get even one to squeal on me? You don’t deserve it then. I’ll give you one big clue....
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Coupling

Strangers We never shared the same space; circumstance kept us apart. We passed so close I’m sure we must’ve touched on some level, but life went on unaware, invisible threads. Friends I got you to laugh in the middle of our tragedies, and you let me cry until I...
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no vacancy

so full of yourself with no room available before you implode
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By the Maple

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My grandmother asked. I was six years old and thought she had met Abraham Lincoln. An old beach photo caught her in sandy ankle boots and cinched waist, her long hair blowing free of its pins. She had lost her husband in France to shell shock and later to...
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Liberated Me

I buy my own groceries, fix my own meals, wash my dirty dishes: what more could a woman want? She might want a stiff erection, that's what: something I last had back at the turn of the century. She might want a man to give her...
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Edwin

Edwin was going bald in high school. Don’t ask me to describe him. Just take my word for it. He was not handsome. The popular girls didn’t want his cooties. When he laughed his buck teeth bucked. His thick glasses made his eyes look fat. It’s no surprise that Edwin was a...
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Her Knickers

gust on a carousel, revolve in Summer sun as she kals to her mam on her doorstep. Blown me nose on more material. says her mam. Cheese-wire me arse. They're comfy, mam. 'sides lads like 'em. Off you mean. When they've got it on 'em. Both snort...
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I won’t accept death delivered in prose. Darkness fell twice tonight; can we still know what’s real? Give me your hand and we'll compose ourselves. Do you recall, not long ago, when one could mourn but not despair? When pain made sense? I’m tired....
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Rick

was this old friend of mine who gave me my first and only award for poetry. it was near 3 in the morning and we were drunk on cheap vodka, complaining how we couldn’t get published anywhere and never won any awards for our work and we were standing on this corner ready to call it a night and he...
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Finish to Start

I kissed her cheek and whispered, "Good to see you." Snore opened to smile, her eyes looked up. "Hello!" she said like a girl. Then I went into a room with her back on the day I was born.
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Gesamtkunstwerk—Series

Click any image to view full-screen.
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Bedtime, Children!

Beware the old witch who eats lost children. Snuggle closely, my good little ones— warm and tasty from your bath. I will tell you fairy tales of abandoned children shivering alone, selling matches, big bad wolves leering at innocent girls, and naughty little boys growing...
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Watercolors

Owl at full moon, fairy, rose Bumblebee and Dragonfly in Love
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Lockdown

It's a conversation between the doorknob and me when I stare long and its glint in fake gold glances back as if for a turn my hand is too lazy to labor. I've now mastered the parts of the solo window in my bedroom, the sill begging for a...
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Dumpsters

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..things..

that manifest while drawing...
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Curtain Closed

I want to believe in reincarnation.  Maybe it’s because my father told me, just before he died, that he didn’t believe in an afterlife, had no use for Heaven, didn't care if there was a Hell, either. He believed people turn...
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wings on silk dancing small, on fragile fingers dancing, tonight on some kind of neon, pink sea ancient, wooden boats will sail forgotten sailors will be eaten by moths: you’ll fall in love you’ll bounce in and out of people, cities, ghosts flitting thinking of stock market crashes ‘n hallowed eyed surfer kids with...
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Terns

sad disbeliever without feeling beside a window distorted by rain from the second named storm of August I watch three pure-white terns brighter than elegant the delicate grey of slender wings that beat in the hover rise in the gusts then dive to tickle the brown-foamed storm-churned lough no fish — too deep for...
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HEL the sunlight makes long shadows of the trees hands that reach across the road there is that sickening moment the fall of a thousand guts the soft crunch of breaking bones and a high pitched yelp that merges into the screech of the truck's brake...
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With Your Voice

Not just a man who understood the confounding breath of the forest but a man who knew both fire and peace in the conversation of tree and leaf Shrewd and silent as scenting wolves he might’ve remarked We humans often live foraging words forgetting the names...
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The bars close down. The virus. So I have my own drinking night. I line up four glasses of Merlot in my bedroom. Prep my playlist. Debussy and Tchaikovsky mingle with shadows. Moonlight arpeggios weep and brass instruments crash. But there’s no...
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Travel into the bitter north Following the shooting star To the fluorescent display that sears The distance. Aurora Borealis. An oath The night vows will last eons Until the last man on the last horse Says farewell to the smoking earth. Imagine it, the final ghost Of...
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Industrial Pussy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmjU-nKfvr8
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Dark light

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I come to in the kitchen, leaning against the stove, gripping an empty bag of Trader Joe’s white cheddar popcorn, tasting salt but unable to recall opening the bag & eating its contents. Funny how the time slips away, sang my favorite cowpunk, funny how I once needled my foodie...
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The wood of the old farmhouse still crumbles, paint powdery and chipped. I pick at a flake with my fingernail float from room to room through the past tumbling along the scent of dust and bone. My sisters waken in the bedroom to the...
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POETIC NOISE

On St. Patrick's day the New York Post was printed green and I got fired. It was a Wednesday, payday, and I got paid and fired and I stumbled out of a gray windowless warehouse into drizzling and puddle strewn Brooklyn. I folded the paycheck into my...
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It's quiet in the yard. Gray-green leaves barely rustle. Sun is out: I need to get off this couch. I was in Tangiers where a kindergarten friend I hadn't seen in eighteen years tried to sell me dope. I was in Moose Jaw, Canada; in Skopia, Yugoslavia; I was...
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there is nothing in the night even the moon is probably missing I haven’t bothered to look I remember when you said can you see the breeze through my hair? I want you to know that I did but tonight I don’t see anything the TV...
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Days

let yesterday go          for she’s an imposter- eager to steal today          a rose etched thief who silently, beckons ………………………….. and do not wait for tomorrow,          for he’s a tinker’s dream a liar brushed in silver        dying to drain us                 of our youth
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Youth I keep sitting on the deck trying to feel how I used to when I was younger it was a vibrancy a confidence sometimes I almost feel like that my fingers just a few inches away from it the next door neighbor’s son yells up, "Why are you...
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Pariah

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She must have thought I was bringing up some blingy new couture. I had just told her there had been another one this time in Allentown. Voracious newshounds that we are we knew all about the other ones in Edmonton and Miami in Sarasota and Spokane and of course...
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Whose ribs will fill you now, black silk dress looking reproachfully at me from the half-price rack? I don't like your "look at me!" plea with one shoulder sliding  floorward           off the hanger. I want someone to wear you dancing in some dive on a moonless night drinking...
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are at it again in the street they practice twice a week on a Tuesday and Thursday more in the periods before the local fiestas it is painful to listen to the duff notes make me listen even harder– is that really Despacito? this band is...
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Ikebana

When I withhold desire to sate the empty vase is when I saunter through the garden a virtual arrangement of flora on feet on display with my peers.
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It’s your ghost, no, it’s you— coatless in June rain on the longest day, walking with your arms crossed over your chest to keep warm, so I know you're not a ghost after all, but you might be your son, and I'm trailing you, knowing...
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Something moved, down on the floor, as I sat staring at the t.v. Marisella came in from the kitchen, holding something, a glass. The t.v. went limp trying to broadcast something too late for working people to be watching. Marisella sat on the sofa. Three days later and...
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elevators are dangerous they’re to be avoided conference rooms, even more so scurry frantic, away on all fours from under hard-wood desks: too much space underneath them lethal, seductive shun enclosed, private spaces where wives cannot see you there’s something, there; an unholy hallelujah ecstasy rhythm a sinner’s motion up, and down, up and...
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all the poets I’ve met at a safe distance on the Internet after years of carefully cultivating meaningful introverted long-distance friendships with kindred unquenchable minds suffering a similar affliction to wrangle a world into making some semblance of sense with written words they are so close I could touch them
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Dear Lou, How long have you been dead now? Almost 10 years. You were supposed to mentor me longer, ya know. I don't know what I'm doing in poetry. I have a manuscript I got the edits back on, that...
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Is it just me or is it getting crazier out there? Gather up your precious stones and get ready to hurl them yes assume your holier than thou positions for I’m sure you are feeling quite without and therefore righteous and maybe due to that self-promoted sinless...
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Biohacker Series

Click an image for full-screen viewing Acrylic, pencil, chalk, ink on Kraft 280gm corrugated cardboard paper
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mixed media on canvas, 90 x 90 x 3,5 cm
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I remember being a little kid and staring at the fattest guy at the pool what a brat well anyway, justice is served, because now he's me I'm sure the kids calling each other "retard" have snuck a peek at this stupid gut...
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Please click on any image to bring up the gallery.
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The playground's fake dirt pellets were warmer than I remembered. Millions of tiny rubber cylinders of identical size, shape, and color released a disturbing chemical stench. Yet the children continued to play there with ubiquitous plastic water bottles. Trash that slobbered out of the...
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The dog wants to bite, her muzzle twitching as she tends to emails and texts. The dog wakes up and drinks coffee. When you were a child you were a charlatan, your mother told you. You immediately fell into the company of mirrors, disturbed men and women eating pop...
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All Dug Up

The excavators started one street over, blocking the street with “ROAD CLOSED” signs and orange cones that kids upended with their bikes. “I suppose we’re in for this all summer,” Davy said. He pulled the curtain back and peered out....
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lawd we march lawd we chant lawd we pray lawd i sing the body to a hemorrhage i sing "the fires are not my doing neither is the fear nor the brown skin i put my weapons into the ground i sign my resignation in the dirt" lawd it's broken all still broken the house windows the...
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"Write drunk; edit sober." –Ernest Hemingway Punctuation is a personal struggle. It begins that way for anyone who wants to be a memorable writer. Who doesn't love the writing part, putting words on a page, the sloppy rough drafts with their...
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the thin film of my mouth on your cunt in a half-mile high toilet just to keep us going through an invisible security corridor from west to east notes of golden brown play easily as we fuck each other over and land in Berlin Templehof 1986 the airport border guards check that...
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i am he shouted as an emergency tourniquet to his severed identity you are i agreed am i on the floor yet he called falling backwards spinning out of control there is no floor i said only space he floated then his umbilicus a distortion of air tethered to primordial...
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coronilla blooms now by the bridge where I poured out his ashes across the creek I see the ghost of a groundhog popping up between tobacco shoots, whistling—​ I remember blowing him away and cutting off his spindly tail to keep even if I am alone now I don’t cry when...
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First a bird, then the sea; then huge armies traipse to their catastrophe. Now the storm; next the dawn— freedom dangles from a single sound. Closer, ever closer, march children from the womb. After this: a tomb.      
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WHAT I AM

I crawl back into the warm bed for a brief goodbye and I hold her from behind as she stretches and squints in a sleepy sweetness beyond anything I've ever touched or seen and she likes me anyway, despite who I am and...
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There was porn on the TV when I fell asleep, the irony not wasted in dreams I had bulging muscles, blinding white teeth and the Instagram hair of hot selfie-junkies I held fuzzy puppies against my well-combed chest, cute babies to raise my ‘gram-score followers flocked like zombies, desperately not seeking brains, my obligatory...
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Flashback

It's not the fall of shank buttons or the tearing noise of quick unzipping or the impulse of pull and push or the rough of cold concrete or the thin blades of wild ryegrass or the voyeur moon of waning summer but the wide smirk of noir ugliness I don't omit or relish.  
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Ward 8

For Edna with love. "Whiskey. Any kind you like. Club soda. You never go back. When you do, you're an old party girl still sucking all the fishermen off; everyone else is long dead. Know what I mean? A little lemon and some Grenadine."      
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Art Revolutionary

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on a bench in Barcelona, open-neck plaid shirt betrays him as a visitor, children chase their football, unaware that he is there.I watch from behind an olive tree, observe a passive contentment undesired in life, never quite as still or calm, as in death .. Stella Read June 14, 2020          
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Pages are falling, and I’m always replacing. They never look just right. I’m haunted by red bougainvillea blooming along the King Kamehameha Highway so thick the road crews hack it down with chainsaws, and still the seeds hurl themselves into a sliver of dirt and catch fire in the sunset. I'll...
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Everyone in this meeting is full of shit & not the kind of shit to varying degrees depends on how long ago was their last shit or how much they have eaten since. I shit shortly after breakfast before coming to work & now I’ve...
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Chimera

I wanted to write about the wind but instead I find words like wait or fury which are somewhat appropriate, but not really.  The day lifts and the lake rolls with a longer skim of dragonflies than yesterday. I skip flat stones and contemplate the places where they end.  This...
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Even Jehovah’s Witnesses avoid me now since I started wearing my fur coat year round. Pervs in the park leave me be until some pop tune reminds them I’m alone. I’m alone in a world where a woman can’t be alone, unless she has lost a child...
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Let her be healthy and let her be safe. Let her climb on the turtles and run through the spray of the Three Rivers Fountain and when she is old enough, let her sit on the stone rim of her city drinking sweet coffee...
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Unspoken

Eddi, our elderly yellow lab, both house alarm and protector, now lies at your feet as you sit on your kitchen stool cutting fruit into a clear bowl.   This morning ritual is as old as he can recall; his head is flat on the floor as...
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when i was 2 and a half feet tall smiling at everything learning how to use my ams, legs, fingers, toes drooling kindly, generously over everything mastering walking, learning language confused cooing gently at my hippy teenage sister arguing with my Reagan-ite dad grinning innocent at conversations of oil embargos, and nuclear build...
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"There is an old saying: 'No piece of writing is ever finished, it's just abandoned.' But my own rule is: No piece of work is done until you want to kill everyone involved in the publishing process, especially yourself."...
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aesthetic, showing the words for anaesthetic, little creatures placed to sleep a while. on waking find that spelling is not so awkward now. checked without books. cover the title with rages and kisses. i see they use different gases all with difficult...
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Soma Drakaina

Pencil, ink, watercolour, graphic ink pen, coloured acrylic ink, oil pastels, chalk pastels on Canson Technical Drawing paper 90gsm - 23cm x 40cm
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  Glory to the newborn king, mixed media on cardboard, 30,2 x 40,6 cm, 2020    
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No Lines

to wait behind, or folk to watch acutely for invasion of your space. No queues outside in all weathers ready for the nod to enter and buy all those things you miss Like hugs and handshakes and the gentle stroke of understanding. No plastic screens...
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a reflection of self of loss it happens sometimes and things come too big 1. 94. the kimono. 2.95. big coat. 3.96. covid hair with bows. 4.97. another day. 5.98. corona
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Since when did the doves descend in the stanzas? I saw one I think. She was like a mother to me, holding me in her ruffles. I wanted to stay. The dirt under my fingernails has been used for...
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When I don’t think about breathing, it still happens. When I don’t think about living in the moment, it still happens too.
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Once the harsh acids of common sense and hard science have dissolved away the hearsay of the Gospels, the science-fiction of a Virgin birth & a resurrection, along with the myth of the Three-In-One God, what is left is merely the faint voice of a progressive, poor, Jewish carpenter echoing ancient, Buddhist...
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but her hands will always seem like strangers, pale animals with a life of their own, loading, clicking. She brushes her colorless hair 200 times, as if where her father moved thru her was still a stain she could ease out, slamming each strand as if to exorcise his smell, his breaking and entering his body a gun Originally appeared...
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I would create mountains that can spit fire & cover them with tall green trees with myriad roots holding dearly the skin of soil covering the rocks I’d blanket with slowly melting snows to waterfall & river, before I’d invent worms & frogs &...
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one of the nurses wanted to meet me. she said she had all my books, which had to be a lie, but it was okay, because she was pretty and didn’t laugh when the doctor had me take off my shirt, drop my pants and cough.
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RUBY

He lived with a pigeon, his entire apartment was covered in bird shit, he dealt good hash, but it was a horror, no surface was untouched, it didn’t seem to bother him and the fucking bird would walk and fly around pecking and shitting everywhere, no doubt he loved that pigeon, it...
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Slow Into Lifeless No Mo The Question Implied Passage
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Farewell the neighing steed and the shrill trump, The spirit-stirring drum, th' ear-piercing fife, The royal banner, and all quality, Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war! —Othello My mother respected and loved the queen. She loved the ceremony and the pomp. Pomp and circumstance. —Trump We...
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i borrowed your apron many years ago. i still have it and just remember you, your darkness. it was good news from the bad, i could have lost you all so quickly. i am drawing trees today we gets distracted...
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http://openartsforum.com/audio/milnerplace01.mp3   It was about ten to eleven when I went out into the street. The world was considerably empty except for some exceeding light of the kind that doesn’t encourage shadows but seeps into walls, strokes bushes, lawns and black dustbins with soft hands. Yet I was...
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"Pick up your lip." Daddy said that night during a phone call. It was the day I got pulled out early from school after mom's appointment. I held the receiver to my ear and reached to pull an invisible dangling cord beneath my chin; I imagined shutters on a cartoon...
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Sometimes, if you are walking through a cemetery you might hear them calling after you. Their voices sound like rusty whistles and dry, crackling leaves. You might hear them say that your nose is too long or that your clothes look like an unmade...
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The smell of rain from my window tried to prepare me for your death. It tried to tell me that rain clouds have become too heavy to carry your name. Had I turned down the TV, perhaps read a book instead, I would have sensed...
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I stood in a parking lot and I breathed evenly through my nose as the sky passed slowly overhead and the nauseating machines pumped juice out of the ground and I had my arms spread like Christ against a fence. "I really can't stand...
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always an admirer of critical thinking man is still a slave to his senses: he is slave to the cook flipping burgers in the fast food joint down the street he is slave to his boss-calling-cellphone after-hours deaf-tone ringing between his ears during shower dinner sleep he is slave to his lover who reels him to...
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I sat on the floor and two women were sat on my sofa: we were drinking wine and smoking joints: I knew one of the women and was keen to get to know the other: the phone rang, it was a fucked- up friend, crying and bitching about his rotten life; I looked up at the females...
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I watch them come in. The women in Mickey Mouse sweatshirts, their mouths open. They shuffle. Everybody shuffles. The men in winter coats with lots of pockets, long hair, and sunglasses. The women go straight to the bible section...
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Imagine there’s a painting adorning the wall of some president’s master bedroom. It hangs beneath a mirrored ceiling where his wife (lucky her) gets to watch his pumping arse wobble like a pale hairy jelly. Let’s say it sits above a dozen nicotine silver wigs on a...
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along the stream that fell from clouds he came upon a pile of bones recognized the glaze and angles as his own kicked them in the creaming beck no use for them without a head going upstream beside the gambling goose where sat on a bench a pod of drunken friends a mason chipped his name on a slab while just beyond an undertaker’s lad polished the...
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I need to fall asleep to the thought of a pretty girl the world is gross and doesn't care the TV mutilates my vomit comes out before I can get to the toilet it's always time for my pills people get out of their...
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Her hand in my grasp passed from warm to cool to cold. I got home finished a drink noticed how the ice cubes passed to liquid and then to air.
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I'm watching eight minutes pass on my clock, the time it took you to die with your face pressed into burning asphalt. Was it something you said? some instinctive struggle to free yourself? It would have made no difference, when you headed north, as black families...
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lawd we march lawd we chant lawd we pray lawd i sing the body to a hemorrhage i sing "the fires are not my doing neither is the fear nor the brown skin i put my weapons into the ground i sign my resignation in the dirt" lawd it's broken all still broken the house windows the...
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The First Time I French Kissed You was the same as the first time I kissed a girl the same as the first time I kissed anyone. My tongue in your mouth like a promise. During high school sleepovers we only invited each...
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“Power is not what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.” —Saul Alinsky Elections have consequences. So say the victors to justify their ends and means. Perhaps the American Dream is to live without consequence: no mistakes, only cheapness we are free to later...
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Gone Home

A black leaping buck painted on a yellow diamond both warns & welcomes me. There is no need for words. My green house has red awnings & brown rabbit kits hiding under juniper branches in the front yard. I’m a newcomer in this old neighborhood; the fruit & nut...
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     "With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, ​      I collected the instruments of life around me, ​      that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet."​ I...
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sitting in a home, full of white privilege i try to comprehend what it means to be “of color,” never feeling much like a “person” in the first place i have my own marginalized class to live within, lgbtqia— sadly, i hardly know what it means...
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I look in my rear view mirror & see myself as a boy in the back seat who wants to know if we are there yet. Look over here, I say, see the cows? Moo, Moo means I give milk to you. We’ll stop & get some...
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2KHFgIJlzI Wear this mask over your face. Be sure to hide your feelings displaced. I'm jaded, snide, and too emotional because I cry. Getting good at sealing your fate. The man in the machine says hurry up, now wait. And all of the things I create, my next...
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Full Metal Bitch

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the owner of a dog loves his dog. he gives him a name. he feeds him and waters him plays with him protects him defends him. but still a dog is nothing more than a dog.
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Click a painting to view full-screen.
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A short story I drew/wrote for my 3 year old nieces. —Tom Strong
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mixed media on paper
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I never know what to say about my work except I needed to make it. —Jenn Zed Click any image to view full-screen.      
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Red

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wf9nU1paL_w Rose red lipstick, ruby red orange writing on the bed. Blood on my skin, staining the threads crimson. It was too late. Time was turning nervous in my hands. I went walking to the hallway to find excuses instead. Red, red, red, red. Run, run, run, run, to what?...
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgcKJXW_D-0 I've been writing all day, trying to find a phrase that doesn't need any formal wear and my hands are twine, tying my eyes wide. My cheeks are turning pink like rabid dogs in heat. I've been erasing all day, trying to find out her name that...
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Sarah Clancy May 2020 This crazy spring froze me right inside its own unnatural thaw. When I look to the generation behind myself I see nothing but a glossy spread of good fellowship that never happened. All our relations gathered at an outdoor grill, listening to Stevie...
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It’s not your taste for cheap beer or the fact that your couch smells like boys. It’s not the way your little cat gets stoned by accident or that at your same party last summer someone barfed on my new green shoes. It’s not...
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Aljosja

https://soundcloud.com/flowermouth/aljosja
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“If you are born poor it’s not your mistake, but if you die poor it’s your mistake.” —Bill Gates We admire the philanthropist for "giving back" and ignore what they first had to take away. It is a sin to need help...
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I’ve been living with someone who is good      but a lover, an ex-con hunk’s back in town. It doesn’t matter he’s been dead for decades. Or the man I’m with now never knew him, except in poems he hates me to read or...
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Indian Summer

Medusa It’s late August in the city: sweet summer’s coming to a close. But where are you? The democratic debates have started, but I’m not watching. Most of the people I know are out of town, on vacation somewhere. I ride the subway lines with...
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Eulogy of Fables

now that the hands can tell carnations from wood & the feet also understand the soothing of clay please let me confess that i love the meek welcome of the morning waking me up to the numbed noises of fledglings now that the mind is an ocean of calm waves & the chest as light as a lint soaring into the...
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