Little pink angels melt on my tongue

Little pink angels melt on my tongue

I have trouble sleeping
so I take melatonin,
it doesn’t work very well,
so I take Ambien too.
Winding down and passing out
in the middle of a famous poem
only does the job if I have a fan on
for the sound and the breeze

All the fans are too loud
so I wear ear plugs.
I have high triglycerides
I get that from my mother’s side
of the family
I take Antara for that
and fish oil too.

My sugar is elevated
I am borderline diabetic
I am supposed to stay away
from eating carbohydrates
but, I love pancakes
and every other kind of cake.
I take fiber to stay regular
and driving, working, waiting in line,
Eating out, and being around people
in general
practically everything gives me
high anxiety.
I take Xanax for that,
I love Xanax,
those little pink angels melt on my tongue..

Nothing
brightens my dreamscapes
like Xanax.

I see crowds of people
burning like wild fire,
tornadoes of wrath,
blurring the lines
and blocking out
my sense of self.

Thanks to Xanax
I don’t ever mind it
not even a fly wing width.

Every night I dance in a concrete jungle
hungry for steel to slam
into steel.
Listening to the
industrial pneumatics breathing
life into the mechanical genius
of a twenty five thousand ton press
roaring into the future.
Always the future with xanax,
never the past, the bloated dead
corpse the past.
The eagle bone and chicken feather
dance in the past.

I barely ever notice it.
Dogs howl and trains
moan into the night
and I pretend it is all
alright.

Little pink angels melt on my tongue
and night shaded devils
nod approval to my every action
so long as I don’t look back.


©Matthew Sradeja lives in Toledo, Ohio with his wife Kelly and their cat Eleanor. Matthew has worked in the automotive and glass industries. He started attending open mic poetry readings in 1999. You can find his poems at CFDL, Full of Crow, Red Fez, Splat Art Magazine and ppigpenn. His poetry has been in print issues of Toledo Free Press Star, Every Reason Zine, CFDL, ToledoPoetryProject, and in the book Broadway Bards First (2010)

"Little pink angels melt on my tongue" was previously published in Spirit Caller Magazine.

Crisp

Crisp

There’s mold on the radiator
And oxygen seeped out
Of this wonderland
A long time ago

The night rapes
Those who wear halos
And a string
Of rag doll bodies
Who come searching
For salvation
Find out too late
There is no solace
In fame’s bordello

Angels lie dying
Curled up on the pavement
Scarred from years
In a fierce dreamland
That drinks blood like wine

The revolution will be televised
And those surgically altered
Will melt from the sun’s relentless glare

Swine by the bushel
Dine in an Elysium
Caked with more tanning beds
Than coffee shops
And the guard rails
Surrounding frail boulevards
Are chalk-marked
From those who’ve crashed
And burned to a crisp


©Michael N. Thompson is the result of a debauched threesome between Neal Cassady, Anne Sexton and Darby Crash. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals including Word Riot, Toronto Quarterly and The Hobo Camp Review. He is the author of four poetry collections, the most recent being Verbal Alchemy (Blunt Trauma Press, 2012) and A Murder Of Crows (University Of Hell Press, 2014). Michael lives among the pastures and pines in Northern California. He doesn’t care much for meter and rhyme. www.michaelnthompson.com

While Writing Poems in Russian Hill

While Writing Poems in Russian Hill

A blonde with legs
Up to her throat
And a mouth
Made to pleasure
Spends most of her time
Fending off men in suits
Trying to be
Her next sugar daddy

A couple of street dwellers
Check the trash can
Outside of the coffee shop
Every 10 or 15 minutes,
Hoping all the while
To find something
That will prove
To be valuable

There’s a gym nearby
And the women
In tight spandex
Who swing their hips
While scurrying
To their workouts
Make me grateful
That I have
A window seat

A brown headboard
Takes up most of the space
In a homeless man’s shopping cart

It must be a bitch
To haul that thing around


©Michael N. Thompson is the result of a debauched threesome between Neal Cassady, Anne Sexton and Darby Crash. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals including Word Riot, Toronto Quarterly and The Hobo Camp Review. He is the author of four poetry collections, the most recent being Verbal Alchemy (Blunt Trauma Press, 2012) and A Murder of Crows (University Of Hell Press, 2014). Michael lives among the pastures and pines in Northern California. He doesn’t care much for meter and rhyme. www.michaelnthompson.com

Soliloquy for the Vain

Soliloquy for the Vain

Virginia found solace
In other women
Despite a marriage
That she worked hard at

Once the medication failed,
She stood in the river with smooth stones
Bursting from overcoat pockets
Until ashes were scattered
Underneath the elms

Ernest’s family tree
Bore branches of madness,
But this stubborn boozer
Was still a master storyteller

Depleted and delusional from shock therapy,
He discharged the chamber
And found himself between pine trees
In an Idaho cemetery

Sylvia’s lust for death
Reared its ugly head
Once her father left
And getting drunk on Yeats
Only seconded the emotion

After putting the manuscript of Ariel on a table,
She sealed the room with tape
And laid her head down on a blanket
Until both the oven and her lungs
Filled with gas

Anne planned her demise
At three in the afternoon
When her purse got too heavy
With sleeping agents

When she was found,
Her lips were cherry red
While exhaust fumes and the radio
Echoed in her garage


©Michael N. Thompson is the result of a debauched threesome between Neal Cassady, Anne Sexton and Darby Crash. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals including Word Riot, Toronto Quarterly and The Hobo Camp Review. He is the author of four poetry collections, the most recent being Verbal Alchemy (Blunt Trauma Press, 2012) and A Murder Of Crows (University Of Hell Press, 2014). Michael lives among the pastures and pines in Northern California. He doesn’t care much for meter and rhyme. www.michaelnthompson.com

(sympathetic muse)

(sympathetic muse)

chased my loco dog Ruby half way across the llano today
until her tongue hung all limp, orange and sloppy from her panting
skull and I heard from Guillermo and Mike in Denver while listening
to Howl by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and outside, spring wrapped
the land in rusted barbed wire and red dust. There’s a fire
in my soul where true religion used to live, (due to a sympathetic
muse) just as you can smell roses where the nooses used to be. At
my age I don’t have to be consistent, just clear, and the
occasional sympathetic news from the gods claims I’m
getting older, but no wilder and that friends are secrets you tell yourself
when you’re lonely. According to this next song, “Devil’s Waitin’”,
I believe them.


©John Macker's latest book Underground Sky (the 2nd book in his Disassembled Badlands trilogy) is now available. Other books include Woman of the Disturbed Earth, Adventures in the Gun Trade and Las Montañas de Santa Fe (with woodcuts by Leon Loughridge.). In 2006, he edited the Desert Shovel Review. After 17 years, he is in the final throes of remodeling an old stone and adobe house on the Santa Fe Trail near Las Vegas. The neighborhood coyotes, rattlesnakes and turkey vultures tolerate his presence and act as bemused muses.

"(sympathetic muse)" was previously published by Turkey Buzzard Press in Macker’s latest book of poems Disassembled Badlands.

Midwinter’s day

Midwinter’s day
after d.a. levy

I.

We finish our chili verde,
frijoles, a twelve dollar bottle of
vino, you can hear the ping of our
glasses across the universe.
We’ve been here before,
just her & I, another night
on the discomfited planet,
leave the one or two things better
left unsaid,
unsaid,
the wine is summer warm,
we relish its sincerity, we
progress gingerly from emotion
to emotion & in the ambling
circuitous nature of things,
come back to each other
on a deep starry black
                                  night, when the
fire in the old Scandia
sizzles & pops,
                         the sage
cross on it smokes so
slightly, its aroma tenders reflection,
an antidote to even the
subtlest of estrangements.

II.

Before the wine’s gone
the underground horses & old
warriors shaking death rattles
will rise
               & take a wild last breath
ride with the devil across the
terrain of
absolute solstice darkness
called the poem,

the
humpbacked
universe will return to earth the
children taken too soon by guns,
Mexican wolves will laugh
at the moon,
no Mayan apocalypse now,
this certain slant of light
reveals mystery over form,
reveals poet
d.a. levy lived to be an old man,
his longest night collaged with peace
moonlight & words,
                              his
hometown
Cleveland cancelled its NRA
membership & invited all of its
Indians
home for Christmas.


©John Macker's latest book Underground Sky (the 2nd book in his Disassembled Badlands trilogy) is now available. Other books include Woman of the Disturbed Earth, Adventures in the Gun Trade and Las Montañas de Santa Fe (with woodcuts by Leon Loughridge.). In 2006, he edited the Desert Shovel Review. After 17 years, he is in the final throes of remodeling an old stone and adobe house on the Santa Fe Trail near Las Vegas. The neighborhood coyotes, rattlesnakes and turkey vultures tolerate his presence and act as bemused muses.

"Midwinter’s day" was previously published by Turkey Buzzard Press in Macker’s latest book of poems Disassembled Badlands.

August in the Spanish Earth

August in the Spanish Earth

These are the dog days of summer,
the heat has formed unholy
allegiances,
Lorca the pacifist was shot
on an August day at the foot
of the Sierra Nevada,
he prayed sweat into his
own grave, his
murder unmarked and late for his
funeral that never
showed up. We
leave memory to the
indigenous ghostliness of
the bones,
to these last days of deliberate warmth,
the field overgrown,
the orchard harvested,
the fallen peaches rot and sweeten
the air
and the last of the deliberate
angels give each other the first
of Last Rites,
but the words have risen and
wandered
away forever in time
from the Spanish earth.


©John Macker's latest book Underground Sky (the 2nd book in his Disassembled Badlands trilogy) is now available. Other books include Woman of the Disturbed Earth, Adventures in the Gun Trade and Las Montañas de Santa Fe (with woodcuts by Leon Loughridge.). In 2006, he edited the Desert Shovel Review. After 17 years, he is in the final throes of remodeling an old stone and adobe house on the Santa Fe Trail near Las Vegas. The neighborhood coyotes, rattlesnakes and turkey vultures tolerate his presence and act as bemused muses.

"August in the Spanish Earth" was previously published by Turkey Buzzard Press in Macker’s latest book of poems Disassembled Badlands.

Generation Zero

Generation Zero

“I hope I die before I get old.” –Roger Daltery

We’ve been zeroed in on since we were little kids;
1997 in Mississippi and Kentucky,
1998 in Arkansas, Oregon and Pennsylvania,
 
And the bloody rampage in Colorado
1999.
 
Not even leaving our hometowns for college
Could shield us,
 
As the blood ran thick in Virginia
In 2007.
 
It’s enough that our friends lie buried in a desert,
Fighting for a cause
None of us knew.
 
But we’ve lived our lives
With someone zeroing in on us,
On the Second floor,
On the Second street,
In the Second room
 
With a Second perpetrator.
 
The preachers gnashed their teeth for the cameras
Saying they wept for our friends,
But their wringing hands
Pried themselves apart
To collect the donations;
 
Blood money for our friends
To “bring morality back”.
 
But did all their blood money
And their wailing about morality
 
Save even one of our friends?
 
Our friends lie buried in the hallways;
Swept under the rug
By a river of blood money
Flowing from the lobby of the Capitol.
 
They say freedom isn’t free
And so many of our friends lie buried
 
But still not one dead tyrant.
 
Now we’re looking at 30
And after being zeroed in on
Since we were little kids
 
We have grown old before our time.


© Walter Beck is from Avon, IN and is a graduate of Indiana State University. His work has appeared in various journals and rags throughout the country and even a few internationally. He has a growing cult following for his intense verse and unorthodox live performances. He is the co-hosts of a weekly radio show called The Rainbow Asylum on the Outright Libertarians Radio Network and is currently the Gonzo Correspondent to the Colonies for the UK digital arts rag Polari.

Love and hate mail can be sent to: wtblackdeath@yahoo.com

Gray Shade Blues (Drain the Color from the World)

Gray Shade Blues (Drain the Color from the World)

“Sometimes I wonder what I’m-a-gonna do, ‘cause there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues.” –Eddie Cochran

Take down and roll up
The Cradle of Filth posters,
And Rage Against the Machine promos;
It’s not what grown-ups hang on their walls.
 
Put away the Pansy Division 7-inches
And the Motorhead LPs,
Sell off the Cannibal Corpse CDs
And Eternal Mystery tapes,
That’s not what grown-ups listen to.
 
Take down the pride flags and quietly fold them,
Let the picket signs slowly mold and wither away.
Learn to grumble over AM talk radio
And bitch over a couple of beers,
Getting grunts of approval from the rest of the bar.
 
Delete the pictures of you swaggering on stage
In the rainbow suspenders and make-up,
Bury the shots of you in a Rocky cast
Strutting in the gold shorts.
If you’re having fun,
Post only shots of you smiling
And make sure it’s in a park or on a beach.
 
Adopt a pseudonym,
Unless you write in a cut and paste style,
Unless your poems are sterile
And your articles are dry.
Don’t allow any cameras or tape machines
At your live gigs;
You can’t be too careful.
 
Retire from the picket lines,
Listen to softer music,
Quit performing,
Let the make-up and gonzo shirts mold,
Put up walls against your writing and soul.
 
Living in a world of color
Only makes you a liability out there.


© Walter Beck is from Avon, IN and is a graduate of Indiana State University. His work has appeared in various journals and rags throughout the country and even a few internationally. He has a growing cult following for his intense verse and unorthodox live performances. He is the co-hosts of a weekly radio show called The Rainbow Asylum on the Outright Libertarians Radio Network and is currently the Gonzo Correspondent to the Colonies for the UK digital arts rag Polari.

Love and hate mail can be sent to: wtblackdeath@yahoo.com

I Can Still See You (A Life of Dreams)

I Can Still See You (A Life of Dreams)

I can still see you,
In your slinky evening gown
Strutting down the stage
Like the queen of all creation.

And I can still you,
With my red fedora tipped to the crowd
To collect your tips.
And I remember
As you slipped a cigarette into my lip.

Yes, I can still see you too,
Your pale brown skin
Caressing me,
Tempting me.
Are my old roommates jealous
Of your fondness of me?

I can still see you,
Laughing at my Lenny Bruce records
In your dirty bohemian apartment.
Your work splashed across your walls,
Did you ever paint a picture of me?

I can still see all of you,
In the early morning hours
When the blues stretches out to the sunrise.


© Walter Beck is from Avon, IN and is a graduate of Indiana State University. His work has appeared in various journals and rags throughout the country and even a few internationally. He has a growing cult following for his intense verse and unorthodox live performances. He is the co-hosts of a weekly radio show called The Rainbow Asylum on the Outright Libertarians Radio Network and is currently the Gonzo Correspondent to the Colonies for the UK digital arts rag Polari.

Love and hate mail can be sent to: wtblackdeath@yahoo.com

"I Can Still See You (A Life of Dreams)" was originally published in Among the Leaves: Queer Male Poets on the Midwestern Experience (Squares and Rebels Press)

The Wind Forgets My Name

The Wind Forgets My Name

Stuck in a gray stone building eight hours a day
And a single-story brick house at night;
The wind forgets my name.
 
She forgets my name,
Because I no longer dance in her every night.
A pack of cheap smokes
And good tunes blasting out of a radio,
Speeding in her embrace;
Knowing I, knowing we
Were living in her.
 
The wind forgets my name
As I grow cold like a bag of ashes
Hung on display.
Shuffled in and out
Amongst people with fast hands
But slow minds.
 
The wind forgets my name.
She turns her back on me
As my spine is crushed
Under threats from a bald-headed Spanish god;
 
She can’t bear to see me limp.
 
The wind forgets my name,
Only puffing by with a brief hello
Spoken by people
From better days.
 
The wind forgets my name,
Only recognizing me
When the moon draws high
And I strut on stage
With that frenzied look in my eyes
 
She remembers from better days.


© Walter Beck is from Avon, IN and is a graduate of Indiana State University. His work has appeared in various journals and rags throughout the country and even a few internationally. He has a growing cult following for his intense verse and unorthodox live performances. He is the co-hosts of a weekly radio show called The Rainbow Asylum on the Outright Libertarians Radio Network and is currently the Gonzo Correspondent to the Colonies for the UK digital arts rag Polari.

Love and hate mail can be sent to: wtblackdeath@yahoo.com

Death of a Generation

Death of a Generation

We got guts
Protruding over our neat, pressed jeans.
We’re no longer junkie thin
From a diet of ramen noodles and cheap beer,
Strutting around in tattered denim
Itching to torch the world.
 
We’re buried
Under thousands of dollars of debt,
For degrees that don’t seem to be worth the university president’s signature.
We believed that school was the ticket
To keep from becoming minimum wage slaves;
 
That beautiful lie vanished
After we stepped into the line for a Wal-Mart job.
 
We’re dead before we’re thirty,
Toasting to glory days that never really seemed to exist.
Dead before we’re thirty,
Having consigned ourselves to forty years in the waiting room
For an American dream
 
That will never come for the likes of us.


© Walter Beck is from Avon, IN and is a graduate of Indiana State University. His work has appeared in various journals and rags throughout the country and even a few internationally. He has a growing cult following for his intense verse and unorthodox live performances. He is the co-hosts of a weekly radio show called The Rainbow Asylum on the Outright Libertarians Radio Network and is currently the Gonzo Correspondent to the Colonies for the UK digital arts rag Polari.

Love and hate mail can be sent to: wtblackdeath@yahoo.com

"Death of a Generation" was originally published in subTerreanean 4 (Terre Haute Poetry Asylum)

3:38am at the truck stop

3:38am at the truck stop

he sat down
at the little
u-shaped counter
up front

tried lighting
a cigarette
but kept dropping
the matches.

his skin
was the color or
skim milk.

you alright?
waitress
asked.

having
a heart attack,
his voice came
like a skeleton

sweat dripping
off his chin.

waitress
ran to the phone
for an
ambulance.

want me
to help you
onto the floor?
i asked him.

just light my cigarette
will you,
he said
body stiff
as a bent nail.

he took off
an old silver watch
with a white face
slid it towards me
along with his cellphone
and wallet.

you tell her
i remember that night
under the stars
at lake red rock,
he said

made me
write it
on a napkin
along with his
wife’s phone number
down in
joplin missouri.


©Justin Hyde currently lives in Iowa, USA.

"3:38am at the truck stop" was previously published by Interior Noise Press in the full-length collection An Elephant Hole.

Sunday Morning

Sunday Morning

Buster

redbone hound
sleeps soundly
on the front porch
stretched out taking
in the morning sun
dreaming
of the next hunt

you are in the house
frying bacon
making scratch biscuits
maple flavor
drifts through
the open window
you sing Streisand
it sounds good
paired against
these Ozark hills
almost spiritual
bringing culture
to this holler.

blue car stops
in driveway
jehovah’s witness
steps out
begins the conversation
Ol’ Buster raises up
barks slightly
looks him straight
in the eye
and begins
licking his balls
like any good
coon hound
would do
on a perfect
Sunday morning.



©Scot Young is the editor of the Rusty Truck and lives in Missouri.

"Sunday Morning" was originally published by Rusty Truck Press.

Poetry 101

Poetry 101

i taught a poetry class
to your abused
broken & neglected
children and started to give
them metaphors
similes &
personification
but they knew figurative language
well enough and tried to wear
the face of normal wanting
to be like other kids
—tried to hide the scars
with just inked tattoos and too much
mascara

they read their poems
of incest
of rape
of beatings
of parents in prison
of foster homes
of being hooked on meth made
down a dead end county road
of how life is not suppose
to be at age 15
they learned that giving
human characteristics
to inanimate objects
sometimes lessened the pain

but i changed my lesson
plan when one of them said

hey teach
what is good poetry?

i suppose it is keeping
your wounds close
to the surface so they can heal
quicker

is that it?

on most days
it is


©Scot Young is the editor of the Rusty Truck and lives in Missouri.

"Poetry 101" was originally published by Red Fez Publications.