Monday, June 5, 2017

RATTLE: for “Writers Resist”    [Stefanie Bennett]
Best beware...
Of false Gods
Your fire –,
Pick the pick
Pocketing &
Coyote’s tin
... Earth.
the evils of the world
a mom shot
two of her
kids in the
head and
them out
to the front
yard naked
what they
were seeing
she told the
police she
wanted to
keep her kids
from the evils
of the world
too bad no
one cared
to keep her
kids away
from the
evil at

like a burning cigarette
the pain on those
dark eyes
two lost souls left
on the side of the
discarded like a
burning cigarette
meant to burn half
the world
we're not all evil
fucks out here to
get the better of
sure, not all of us
are not going to
try to fuck you
without asking
but never hesitate
to remember the
ones that open a
door or bring you
some of these
diseased creatures
even believe in
some wild concepts
like love at first

closer to your soul
wipe your ass until you see blood
that's a sign you are closer to your
put on some coltrane and smoke
those funny cigarettes
have a glass of something that
could double as paint thinner
stare at the empty room and
then imagine all the friends that
left you behind
there is no joy in being the victim
and if you keep believing that a
hero is going to come along one
i have this bridge to sell you...
strike before being struck and
maintain a somewhat pure heart
there will always be trouble
that's called life
you always have the option to
say no

it feels like years
a beautiful
woman says
while you're
replying with
hello, you're
mentally noting
the day and just
how long it has
been since such
an occasion has
it feels like
years although
it's probably
only been a
month or so
it's so much
easier to wallow
than just get on
with life
our fathers could
have taught us
but they were too
busy figuring out
all the shit their
fathers forgot to
teach them

the envy of something
dreaming of a better life
a beach off on the other
side of the world
a beautiful woman and
some how you're
allowed to exist
dreaming of being rich
and fulfilled
drop dead gorgeous
and the envy of
i suppose all my good
dreams died when i
got older
now i dream of not
feeling pain when it
i dream of better
sales at the grocery
of fat that mysteriously
disappears anytime
i wish
i dream of someone
else doing the hard
work for me

sitting here
listening to
my mother
snore in her
hospital room
after her hip
part of me
happy that
went well
and the other
part of me
how many
more years
until i'm
sitting here
in a hospital
room like this
listening for
her final
and will my
sister still be
in the hallway
trying to get
her steps for
the day
J.J. Campbell

Zeus the Action Hero

They found him on a far-reaching
casting call. There had been a time
when he would pretend to be a swan.
Pretending to be Stallone sounded
cooler. Lights, camera, action,
and it was all thunder and bolts,
fastidiously signing autographs when
the director yelled cut.

Full Height 

She used to sit in the corner
rocking in her old-style chair,
an antique they brought in so
she could play her domestic role,
pretending to know how to knit

the results were knotted
chunks of twigs and twine
they, in turn, pretended they might
one day attempt to wear

while she cradled herself
back and forth, the family thought,
My, how tiny

but then she began to flail
her arms one day and burst
the chair into splinters
and revealed her true height.

A Study of the Tantrum 

of course, now we record
them using the variegated
lenses we carry on our person

but I remember a time
when a being could thrash
and shout and the only
evidence was the casual
eyewitness or security cam

I even recall a time when,
to my ultimate Chagrin, I myself
engaged in a small tantrum
and thankfully there was no one
to hold it up like hieroglyphs
on our digital cave wall.

Guacamole Haiku 

verdant and cooling
yet raging with spicy charge 
metaphors for you

The Once Great Mammoth

He used to be
mighty and feared, keeping
all in order. Now he sits
on a flower-covered sofa
in a distant aunt’s basement.
There is nothing on television,
yet he finds himself looking.
He has not shaved in weeks.

JD DeHart

How The Sky Came
When I was a grain of sand,
I saw a rainbow robe

the sea - the weather passed

and turned me into


When I was a rock

dust and tears made a bed

inside of me, until

a mountain I rose.

When I was a mountain,

protecting beasts and people

from the city’s pillaged tongue,

giving them sanction

beneath my hard shawl,

a hand swept down

and destroyed my peace,

turning me into sky:

a castle for the stars.

Allison Grayhurst


            Lovers of winter
weep for the strange
constellation that
gave birth to their

            Notes of music rise
like a boy
from the river
giving air to a free

            I remember
how well & true
your lips established mine
with their tenderness

            There beside you,
mute & marvelling, we should have
given less
to the shadows . . .

            for the firedogs have
crept into the rainwater,
and your smile
splits the cloudbanks
no more

Allison Grayhurst

Treading Water

I hear the wild birds
sing beneath my skin.
Too many bitten souls,
walking by, bursting
with anguish.
The moonlight
is an avalanche, pouring
through the darkness: a dry ocean
inside the clouds.
Life is so generous
with its gifts, but these hands
like razors slaughter the sky
with world-worn

Bare feet on grass,
feels only the stones.

Who craves the perished sun? Do I?
Do I love for nothing but death?

To be blinded by ecstasy,
to feel the tears of wonder flow
to hunt for the colossal Self . . .

I walk through the dust-ridden morn.
The wind splits my shell:
It enters. It knows


Allison Grayhurst

Of Things Unseen 

I cannot speak the simple lie
or whitewash the canyon’s depth.

I cannot flow through like

a wave, tender, lucid, despite

the storm.

Suddenly, the butterflies are huge

like intuition, like a birthday cake glowing.

A mutual silence between the stone

& the sand’s finest grain.

The wind is coming from the meadow.

People are talking of things to come

that will enthrall, and maybe

injure. I have loved you with

my eyes closed & ears pressed

to the aging dream. I have loved you

lying alone with a stallion’s

fury and a mare’s soft fight.

I have borne my suffering

as a heart bears what it can,

living only

to praise.

Allison Grayhurst

No Ground
There are no leftovers,
no cylinder funnel to collect
and preserve extravagant prayers.
In this place, I lean but I dare not cry -
a rosebush past its prime, brittle in the sun.
I am collapsing, out loud, 
reforming every cell, painful alterations. My God
of fluid, my God, grand as, and grander than, myth -
I have cut through this horizon. I have cut
through my thick interior, and still, I’m tilting
like an old tree
unable to stand. My God,
breathe into me, make plans for my soul or let me die,
bound in this circle. My God, rain into my reservoir -
it feels so long
since I have been untethered.
There are other worlds. There is Jupiter.
My God, please repair this punctured deck
or throw me overboard.
Fill me, my God, with love,
strong enough to override the weight of this
       hard endurance.

Allison Grayhurst