March 29, 2011


There are crumbles here and there
Even when you move
Crumbles follow you everywhere
And as I take my chances and make a wild guess
I might as well believe your very own crumbles still rattle
In DC, LA, Portland or somewhere

I've resisted ants, unemployment, my parents' divorce
I'm not gonna worry about you

Special and talented were always other people
And yet it was you all along

Whose story will be told in the aftermath?
Winners only tell lovely lies

I am unhappy
As in confused
Longing for the days we sat together
In the same table
Living in the same rented apartment
Riding on the same buses
Cruising the city in our color matching bicycles
Fighting each other to see who could get there first
And neither of us did

You got it all sorted out
I'm still collecting rusty old pieces
Useless, cracked and fallen pieces
What is usually known as detritus

Our very own

scott guglielmone (Jacksonville, FL, 1981)

March 28, 2011

it's great to be alive

I lived with my father
sometimes. A cocaine dealer lived
under us, on the second of three
floors. I met him a million

times but never caught the name.
I heard his stereo
through the floor. His ex
dropped his daughter

off every other weekend.
Tattoos on her clavicle.
She was tan. I walked past a stroller
to the third floor.

When he took a girl home,
I’d hear it
until the morning. It wasn’t his fault
Summer was hot. I left the windows open.

I smoked cigarettes
with him in December.
We were snowed
in often. We have good, loud lungs.

When he had sex
it was so loud, my dresser
shook, my cologne
fell. I’ve been so tired. I’d sleep in
like him

if I could. One night, hot August,
I went out for a smoke. A pretty girl
from my high school
came on the stoop. She hugged.

I smiled. She blushed.
Half Asian half Hispanic, both
or neither,
we talked

for some time. I didn’t realize
what she was doing, where
we were. I was with her. She
walked in to his place. Cologne fell

off my nightstand.
I can still hear
her orgasm,
it echoes

off brick and concrete, off
the hydrant, she flutters
through my window curtains.
I hold my sheets.

dylan tyler forsyth (Lowell, MA, 1988)

March 26, 2011

forgetting the finale

I looked, found screen windows,
dug trails with pruned semen
and sweat fingertips,
from forehead to chin
smiled coyly, muttered confessions to the moon
"my lovely, lovely lover of molten and sulfur"

paced used bedroom of another,
quilted patterns with rabid teeth, looked wall length mirror in quicksilver eye
filled fluster in spilled V patterns
ignored supposed red pill, blue pill philosophy
catered summer leaves to form mask
rain scrubbed
the thousand portal dusty bubble hail screen clean
beer with a hand attached not so much
a vice
as a

matthew wedlock (Taunton, MA, 1984)

March 23, 2011

the stowaways

come stow away with me
forget about the money
think instead of the Odyssey
and how different it would be
to read Homer while at sea

let's go so far from home
we won't have to pay
our student loans

two sailors we shall be!
you can whittle
while I wrestle
with antiquated verse
I'll learn to write

with ample time
to contemplate rhyme
we'll solve the riddle

we've made our life
like smashed up clay
we just need air and light
we'll take what's left
and mold it how we like

let's leave tonight
we have what it takes
to make it right

marit rogne (Ann Arbor, MI, 1987)

March 22, 2011

psalm two

I don't need a chin to rest upon this clenched fist.

I don't need fists to blindly pound the earth, or sky.

I don't need earth to tell where this body has been
or sky to remember where it has not.

john sibley williams (Wilmington, MA, 1978)

March 18, 2011

two girls

Two girls sent to their grandfather's farm
Two girls warned not to speak for fear that they be harmed
Two girls surrounded by Shabab in camouflage and arms
Two girls ordered to speak, standing arm in arm
Two girls called spies, their eyes wide with alarm
Two girls who made it to the evening news but never to the farm

fatima elkabti (La Mirada, CA, 1988)

March 15, 2011


His kisses like
A stallion's breath on my neck
I shiver and my eyelids fall

His fingers like
A spider's step on my back
I shiver and swallow a chill

His gaze not piercing but
A boy that begs to bond
Not bite

But the bites
On my breast
Show the nature
Of the beast

His crooked smile
Like a cub in trouble
Hides the lion
That roars inside

claire audrey gallagher (Fresno, CA, 1991)

March 14, 2011


So often
the setting is the home of my childhood.
The garage, full of multiplying and subtracting cats,
the yellow-and-orange-streaked linoleum of the kitchen, the lava
of my boyhood games,
the windowless den. When I picture that room,
it is only lit by the shaky glow of the television.
It is a museum alive
with memories that breathe and laugh softly,
of items and objects
long ago lost or left behind,
of things just of out sight or
off the edges of old photographs.
The characters
are so often out of place,
think Holden Caulfield
in fair Verona
or Huck Finn in Revolutionary France.
It is as if a passenger train on a time-lined track
had its cars rearranged at random,
the giants of my life, strangers to each other,
introduced and allowed
to mingle.
My lover stands with me at the cool glass of the front door,
his arms around a former version of myself.
I can smell the Windex
my mother cleaned with,
can smell the Christmas trees
from those young Decembers.
We look, together, at the neighborhood he never knew
as he holds this cloudy-eyed boy
who thinks nothing
of a lifetime condensed, strained,
the things most loved,

bryan borland (Little Rock, AR, 1979)

March 10, 2011

three more haikus

crushed between pages of a book
flat, dead
a mosquito

* * *

you coming to my doorsteps
knock, smile, spring
seems rather unlikely

* * *

at Whole Foods today,
sad and lonely,
organic tomatoes cry

felicity johnson-clark (Silver Spring, MD, 1982)

March 7, 2011

love as a dead horse

A Three Act Romance in Reverse

In which he plays an asshole, and she plays a cunt,
and they both say "I love you."

In the months after she leaves,
he drags their bed into the mountains,
Where it finally dies.
He sleeps on the ground next to it
And dreams of her laughing on a cold beach.
When he wakes up he is cradling a ghost,
With no idea where he is.
He sees the bed and remembers,
Lays back in the leaves.
The mice have moved into the cobwebbed space between his ribs,
And he lays there,
Sprawled on the ground,
Listening to them root around in the unfixable darkness.
He can feel his heart,
Even from so far away,
Crashing and pounding in her bedside drawer.

She barely eats.
Wakes up crying and doesn’t know whether it is for herself, or for him.
She tries to think only of the bad times.
Buys an expensive vase so she will have something to smash when the time comes.
She gets drunk,
Sits in the cellar and looks at the unplugged phone the way a killer looks at beauty.
She feels awful.
Thinks to herself, “This is the worst death I have ever died.”
He was loving even as she stuck the knife in,
Kind even as she broke off the blade.
He kissed her face even as she reached for the salt.

In which he plays a wounded dog, and she plays a brick wall.

Their bed has become a landlocked ship shorn of its bones for firewood.
Their bed has become a broken-hearted tree left last in a clearcut graveyard.
Their bed has become a blue whale with a broken back.

When night comes in like a bruise,
They board the bed like a gallows,
Brush lips as a politeness,
And make their backs into mirrors until morning.

That their feet form a bridge between their bodies is the sole evidence of the old tenderness.

God sits watching in the corner, saying nothing.

In which he plays sunlight and she plays strawberries.

Their first conversation takes place on the rim of a wineglass,
In a patch of sunflowers the size of streetlamps.
His jokes are stupid.
Her laughter is enchanting.
Under the microscope, it has all the building blocks of proper chemistry.
The bird has already been carved into her forearm with the razor blade,
And his wreckage has already washed up on too many shores.
But their old wounds are not enough to keep them from risking new ones.

When they undress each other for the first time,
It is a holy fire.
There is chest-catching grace
In their act of laying themselves bare;
In their offering of what they have;
In the simple fearlessness of choosing to love,
Despite the knowledge that sorrow, and grief, and terror
also exist.
They revel in the powerful joy of their naked alchemy
In reducing the world to a room, a word, a touch.

Their bed is a smiling horse.
Their bed is a full belly.
Their bed is a kingdom, lacking nothing,
More than worth all that is to come.

shimmy boyle (San Francisco, CA, 1983)

March 4, 2011


It rained night we met.
Long walks parks.
Sparked, jokes.
Life story
and how your father,
Characteristics, personalities admired.
Realization wanted life intermingle.
For long time, maybe
until couldn't stand anymore.
So time move usually does.
Introduced to loved ones.
Your lady.
I happy.
Somehow I felt you were leaving out important details.
I shrugged it off because our conversations were always full.
Demanded attention and time.
Hickies when I went away.
Trips couldn't keep apart,
bills sky high,
wait planes land,
in your arms again.
Arms felt like bed.
Bed felt like home.
You laid me on your shoulder and told me to get comfortable because
I'd be here for a while.
Despite my fear you assured me that arms were bed,
And bed was home.

rebekah wilson (Jamaica, NY, 1988)

March 1, 2011


I stood behind Melissa Maroon,
stared at her budding curves,
bright pink bathing suit,
sun-kissed legs that climbed
step by step to the top of the dive.
She smiled at her giggling girlfriends,
pinched her nose, made little splash.
Even while flopping into water,
surfacing with damp hair,
she made me blush.

When my turn came, my teeth chattered,
my weak heart sunk.
Melissa shouted, Go, Bri Go!
How did she know my name?

My dive had to be just right,
a perfect splash, high fives from the guys.
Then maybe she’d see beyond
my chicken arms, chicken legs,
zits dotting my nose,
bony hips barely holding my bathing suit.

I clenched my fists, closed my eyes,
bounced once, jumped off.
Water stung my belly, burned my eyes.
I pushed my body out of the pool,
collapsed next to Melissa’s giggling girlfriends.
She glared at them, walked over to me, and said,
That was the best belly flop I’ve ever seen!

I gave my towel back to her,
strutted to the ladder for another chance.
I forgot about my bony hips,
bony arms, bony legs.
This time I performed a dive perfect enough
to earn a peck on the cheek from Melissa,
a high-five from all the guys.

brian fanelli (Scranton, PA, 1984)