September 28, 2010

scotch, lipstick, and alone

donaldina relocated to
steamboat springs twelve
years ago, she's originally
from scotland

donaldina has girlfriends, but
not friends, and on friday nights
she never has a date

how could
this be?

she is a respected bagpiper,
two handicap golfer, and
a champion curler.

lawrence gladeview (Longmont, CO, 1983)

September 27, 2010

wine in my throat, pen in my hand, you in my vengeance

If that was love, I rather go loveless
And well, yes, I am putting this into verse
After reading my metaphoric Monday paper

Where it is printed that I was so not
The kind of guy you expected
Or ever wanted as a significant other

It is all so lame:
Me and you, the metaphores,
Stating the obvious, not being able to see the evident

Your all new look
Favoring the clothes you once said
Were reserved for desperate wannabes

Your sudden new life
I can't compare
Friends all drawn from the liberal arts

Your new boyfriend
I can't compete
His clothes are so much better than mine

Tell me if it will ever stop hurting
Tell me if I will ever forget you
Tell me if this poem will do

carson newman (Boston, MA, 1987)

September 21, 2010

they call me hispanic

they call me hispanic, latino, brown
what do they know?

they call me wetback, chicano, tex-mex
they build a wall

they say we're good fo'nuthin', yet use our tax dollars
for pumping petrol in their border patrol

they call me hispanic, latino, brown
mandatory labelling, profiling frenzy

they knock our doors in the middle of the night
asking for josé, for hernán and rita

they won't let our children speak spanglish
and yet they order undocumented fajitas

they send me to eat in the kitchen when company comes,
but I laugh, and eat well, and grow strong

they call me hispanic, latino, brown
they build a wall

silvia arroyo (El Paso, TX, 1972)

September 17, 2010

summer work

subdued in the raw smell of office supplies
and paper bags with the tops rolled over,
you'll take down in your messagebooks
how they stapled you to a rolling chair,
made you dance for a man you don't know
and for a phone that does not want to ring
and does for anyone but you.

so you answer in a name that isn't your own,
pray at an arbitrary wooden desk
to not be there long enough to see
your name engraved on a rectangle paper card.

samantha zimbler (Staten Island, NY, 1991)

September 14, 2010

The Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize 2010

The Waywiser Press is now accepting submissions of poetry manuscripts for the fifth annual Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize. Entrants must be at least 18 years of age and may not have published more than one previous collection of poems. Manuscripts must be written in English. There is an entry fee of $25 for residents of the USA and £15 for entrants in the rest of the world. Read the full guidelines here.


The winner receives $ 3,000 or £ 1,750 and publication of the winning manuscript by Waywiser Press, both in the United States and in the United Kingdom.

Postmark deadline: December 1st, 2010.

September 13, 2010

about this poem

this poem has no first person singular
it is not about you either
and while it definitely has no nutrition value
it may contain genetically modified products

this poem was not written but produced
in a facility that also processes nuts, wheat and eggs
vacuum sealed for extended freshness
please see reverse for expiry date

this poem was enriched with sodium, iron and blood,
additives and preservatives approved by the FDA
no significant amount of metaphores or poetic license to be found
other rights may apply, such rights vary from state to state

this poem was not tested on humans
but it was indeed tested on rabbits, mice and a 16-year-old chimpanzee
they all seemed to enjoy it, except for the monkey
who scratched his head in sheer disbelief

[Poem parts made in India, Malaysia and Thailand. Assembled in China]

lex fairchild (Phoenix, AZ, 1982)

September 10, 2010

fuck you, i’m from kansas

Two inches of snow in Norwich and this city shuts down.
“There just isn’t enough grit!”
Fuck you, I’m from Kansas
Where grit comes from the inside
Where blizzards bury children in as little as eight minutes
And you just deal with it.
Socialized health care?
Fuck you, I’m from Kansas
If you get cut, you die. Simple as that.
Sure, we’ll pray for ya’ll, but that’s about it.
We buried pa in a field by the Kaw River after the rustlers came,
And ma died while trying to birth that calf, kicked in the head to death,
Little sister was bitten fifty-two times by a rattlesnake before she managed to bite off it’s head, and we couldn’t afford the antidote cause the cattle died of blight.
The poison still courses through her veins today. Makes her mean.
And when the well ran dry, fifteen kids tripped and fell into it
Cute little blonde-haired blue-eyed kids,
Like the kind you save in movies
Movies that are never set in Kansas
And as they fell to their tiny deaths
We just watched.
Health and safety?
Fuck you, I’m from Kansas
I went to school in a class of four hundred
Only eight of us are still alive
We couldn’t find Billy Ray after that twister got him.
He’s probably somewhere in Missouri
Or Ohio
Or maybe Iowa.
Or maybe bits of him in all three.
Did we miss him, yup,
But fuck you, I’m from Kansas
It’s just part of God’s plan
We just got color in ’94, before that, everything was black and white
Except the people, they were just white.
I’m not racist, fuck you, I’m from Kansas.
Nineteen of my friends died of dysentery,
Cholera got the other six
My Facebook page reads like the book of the dead
The dead of Kansas.
I cried once, when I was two, and pa punched me in the face
Fuck you, son. We don’t cry. Not in Kansas.
Nothing tastes better in Kansas than pain.
We like our women to have teeth
But it doesn’t always work out that way
You don’t always get what you want in Kansas.
If you don’t drink a case and a half of Pabst Blue Ribbon a day
Fuck you, get out of Kansas.
If you don’t stop at the titty bar along the highway
Fuck you, get out of Kansas.
Our capital, Topeka, is built of sticks and mud.
We added a brick once, and the whole thing fell over.
Forty thousand people died.
So we just started again.
Fuck you, I’m from Kansas.
I graduated at the top of my class in Kansas because I went to the library and read the book.//
Now I’m governor. Governor of fucking Kansas.
So when the snow comes next, and ya’ll English are trying to push your faggoty French cars out your ever-so-slightly frosted over roads, don’t come whining to me.//
I’ve seen it all. On the cold, cold prairie.
Fuck you, I’m from Kansas.

will averill (Lawrence, KS, 1974)

September 7, 2010

what i see

what I see is dead umbrellas
skeletons lying on the streets
no traces of the fabric that once stood
between rain and being

the sky is plumber gray
roads are empty
looted malls in a take-it-all spree
by spirits riding cinnamon buses

what I see is the outcome of a plague
a deadly virus, heavy weather
and Miley Cirus, half naked
a storm of epic proportions

the ultimate open-zipper policy
vague notions of a nation's
leftovers, cranks and cramps,
marauding bodies seeking prey

eleanor day (Tacoma, WA, 1979)