March 28, 2017


A mid Winter warm sun agonized behind the hills
When Rupert called in ecstasy
An orgy dome! —He could barely breathe
An orgy dome!

Substance abuse, online gambling, petty theft
That was Rupert all along
Only that mid Winter afternoon
When sun was fading fast
As I cried alone at a Wal Mart parking lot
He was more than that

The Uber of porn
The Amazon of sex
The Google of fetishes
The Yahoo! of unsatisfactory intercourse

That was Rupert, too

He got certified for medical marijuana in Arizona
Made a buck or two selling what he was not smoking
Rupert was also selling home made nudes as Art
With a capital A

Rupert spoke in a soft calm voice when he was not intoxicated
Rupert just embodied the alienation of ageing Pre Millenials

I was going crazy by myself
Caged inside that crippled 1993 Buick
And all I could think about was the 3.4 million people employed as cashiers in America
An orgy dome! —He insisted in delight

And then I could see it: An orgy of 3.4 million cashiers, under a yellow brick dome
In low, low light, in ghastly sweaty darkness

Rupert was the Netflix of panhandlers
The Mapquest of lost souls

It was getting late
I was getting tired
While he explained his very own holy trinity: Overstock, Overprice, Overkill

Pity Rupert. Pity the debauchery. Pity the state of decay of the great American People.

Don't pity orgies, though.

julian bailey (Tucson, AZ, 1977)

September 1, 2016

the hatred of poetry

"Every few years an essay appears in a mainstream periodical denouncing poetry or proclaiming its death, usually blaming existing poets for the relative marginalization of the art, and then the defenses light up the blogosphere before the culture, if we can call it a culture, turns its attention, if we can call it attention, back to the future. But why don’t we ask: What kind of art is defined—has been defined for millennia—by such a rhythm of denunciation and defense? Many more people agree they hate poetry than can agree what poetry is. I, too, dislike it, and have largely organized my life around it (albeit with far less discipline and skill than Marianne Moore) and do not experience that as a contradiction because poetry and the hatred of poetry are for me—and maybe for you—inextricable."

ben lerner (Topeka, KS, 1979), excerpt from the book The Hatred of Poetry, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, FSG Originals, june 2016.

August 30, 2016


it was word of mouth and candy
ageing rock stars
swollen boobies
a perfect plan
so perfect it looked impossible
and yet there was us

talking about absent parents
insane relatives
and truffle oil
how damn good it smells
how damn expensive it is

one bed like a x'mas tree
five hats and a cat
dirty feet
love to spare

it was a perfect weekend
the beginning of the end
or maybe the end of the beginning
there was love and dust to spare

sneaking free sandwiches
and bottled water
just being there
knowing a long summer
and an even longer winter
were coming up

knowing that no matter what
we would always have brazil

norbert norris (New Haven, CT, 1977)

August 29, 2016

good riddance (pencil sharpener)

A good pencil sharpener
Is all I need
To put the words on paper
The words that fill my feather head right now

Metadiscourse — such a turnoff

My rattling shattered head
Guts telling me “go!”
Brains shouting “don't!” right away

Obvious — Guts always beat brains

And I'm like:
How stupid is that?
How a poem happens?
How deep is the Marianas Trench?

Lazy, lazy, lazy — Since you ask, 36,201 ft, but it is disputed

An upright generation of vegan teetotalers
Animal rights activists
Cleavage flouting cynics
Rallying from the comfort of a smartphone screen

You among them, darling — I am really getting tired of this

A good pencil sharpener
Is all I need
To put down to paper
What happened during six months
In our beloved studio apartment

I'm done here. Done — Good-bye and good riddance

Before it all became ashes in a plastic ashtray
Before the meltdown

gordon borgan (Boston, MA, 1978)

August 24, 2016

more riddles

why did the maiden fuck the young priest?
because he seemed like a nice, decent man

why did they do it in the sacristy?
because it was readily available

why did the novice sucked the mother superior's pussy?
because she was told to do it, or else

why did she then go back to her cell and sucked another novice's pussy?
because she kinda liked her

why did the rural priest fucked the farmer's wife?
because they are a couple, have been it for 15 years now, and actually the farmer's son is his

why did the young prostitute fuck the old priest?
because she got paid in cash

what did john bellow said to his son the day he died?
enjoy your life, work hard and eat well because one day it could all be taken away from you

ava grünberg (New York, NY, 1971)

August 23, 2016

the only thing you gave me

Medical records, missed appointments
Your number again and again
In my now defunct caller ID
A nightmare in broad daylight

I wanted art and parties
Maybe a little adventure and some wilderness
I got shopping malls and midnight madness
Winter sales instead

As I walked away you sported
Your wounded beast crouch, it was fantastic
Typing frantic fragile emoticons
At the speed of snail

A very slow snail
A beastly crouch
The clumsy typing
The holy frontier of your visible panty line

T'was pretty basic stuff: bouncy castle, shoulder x-ray
My right arm on a sling
Almost ready for the next fling
Could have been madness or just the brink

Alas, a sad end for a sad era
And when I think about it
At the end of the day
Was the only thing you gave me

sabo olofsson (Boston, MA, 1986)

July 28, 2016

the day china died

The day China died
I was heartbroken

My mother identified the body
Her last performance
I waited outside

The day China died
Two cities cried
Across the widest river

We said so long
And never saw nor spoke again
The day China died

j. j. straczulinsky (Burlington, VT, 1978)