Saturday, November 29, 2014

Dogma

by Michael Friedman

See the language on the sign
yield to its meaning and be blind
in momentary air, flying fish chased
by ravenous thugs out into the open.
Sailing, slapping, flapping
across the spit-shined floor. The one
you cannot cross without permission from management.

Cause effect the correlative pejorative.
Dare ye be devil among the chosen idea
wrongheaded in tow-away zone
Tire boot clasps your goat
pecked by popular demands in fish school
turn as one dart as another sea within a sea
among reefs clean picked by God knows what
caused warming globe cannot deny
or be in the company of Jesus or Homo erectus,
splattered dung from tongues beatified.
Stand alone and eyes removed one at a time
so you can watch the other go. Warning to those
who defy the even flow, the school weaving the reef,
the mode stands out from the mean. When tools and application
trump investigation. When immediacy is all that matters
and further study boarded up as we’re through here.
Quikrete half used and solidified in the bag
buried at the construction site.
Look into the sun and see what happens.
Pick at scabs and watch the pink tender skin heal
just the same. Lock step, quicksand, narrow purpose
razor thick

The Burning Bush

by Ralph Monday

I do not know your god filtered
through you, speaking tongues,
where you sit like a broken Roman
statue reciting Etruscan.
How can I know this spirit language
that is plucked from thought’s burning
bush? Ask, and I will give you a god,
a great Grecian urn, cracked, singed
black by the fires of dead dialects
that does not speak language of the
living. Run your tongue over its fissures,
taste the waters pooled in dry desert
oasis. Fill it with all the dross of your
years: anger toward mother, father, husband’s
suicide, intoxicated philosophies only you
can decipher, days of cum and roses, black
spots on the heart singed from a welder’s torch.
Mix it all together like a spell in a witch’s
cauldron, write that ink on a granite wall,
let the god tongue split you open through
an aria’s incantations. You will be no more
whole than the butchered underbelly of a sow.
All the gods long ago retreated to the sky
when they could no longer replace the faces
of women shivered by their dark tongues.
Words do not fill emptiness. Words make
the empty, the infinite void spoke into
being before the tongues came through you.

totem animal

by Joe Milford

as a child told of beasts
as a boy reading of beasts
as a boy being a beast
as a man killer of beasts
as a man eater of beasts
as a man maker of beasts
as a beast afraid of men
as a beast masked as a man
as a beast killed to mask beasts
as a beast becoming a man
as a man recalling ancient beasts
as a man a dying beast
as a man an archive of beasts
as a beast shedding a man’s skin
inside this skin a beast and a man
inside this skin the child taught by beasts
who exited the womb with those masks

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Dervish Your Hours

by D. Russel Micnhimer

We dance our beginnings forward
our future is behind us, following
us we cannot tell what it will be
when it catches up to us

Our past we see in front of us
we can see clearly what it has been
by keeping an eye on it if we are
alert we can learn

We are Janus perpetually cast
in the middle of time, gates open
and close to meet our gaze

Dervish your hours, you may have
more than it seems

Lines from Siddhartha

by Matt Morris

A ferry transported him
up the sacred stream.
He was fleeing from the self,

the agony of being
this incarnation.
Going into the forest,

into the oneness,
the river flowed everywhere,
singing & happy.  Listen,

the ferryman said.
Siddhartha listened.  He heard
the river laughing,

its thousand voices laughing.
The bird in his chest laughed too.

Spider

by Kelley Jean White

This diner is haunted. The waitress says the paper towel machine in the bathroom starts unwinding all by itself and more than once she’s felt a little tap on her behind as she bends over the sink.And it doesn’t surprise anyone, afterall June’s father Spider died right there at the grill. Massive heart attack. (They’re always massive aren’t they.) No one remembers his real name. Except June. But he was the cook here forty some years. Fast, a real flyer. And before that at The Bay. And the Shore. And the Sea View. He was good with his hands. Ask his second wife. Ask his third. Always building something.  And that bass fiddle. Those hands of his on the strings. More than an octave on a piano. And did you know he did clockwork? Fixed all those little springs and cogs? Built that fence out of gears and chains and bicycle wheels and pulleys and arrows all painted red and black and gold? He was a master. Arms, hands, everywhere.  Had at least a dozen arms. No one could move a job faster. Not even the quickest autumn wind.

Three Pigs and Wolf

by Laura Kaminski

Dreadlocks: Three young javalina, trotting line behind sow-mother, up the embankment, across the road, fast-moving. Born with all their hair full-length, short little hoofed haunches not yet grown into their hides. Strands hang down into the dust, rusty gray-brown and wiry black rodent dreadlocks, a row of escaping Rastafarian wigs.

Too North: Strange to see them this far north in land that has grown cherries and seen snow. Drive up slow and stop the Jeep, get out and stand exactly where they crossed, look down the crease they’ve left in the middle of the field, flat trail to match one worn by the Mexican wolf in the Phoenix Zoo.

First Wolf: He is a river of instinct carving a path to a soap-bubble sea held delicately in his mind. Perpetual walkabout, his trail a curving figure-eight, he never pauses or hesitates, never looks around or up or out. Wonder if he is pounding down the path to ease the way for the rest of the pack. He faces forward, never sees the ones behind him who follow single-file, each paw-pad placed exactly in the foot-falls of First Wolf.

Mobius: Perhaps, instead, he’s hay-wired late, wakes each evening, begins running, perpetually tries to catch up with his pack. He cannot see them. They move impossibly ahead each afternoon while he is sleeping.

Darwin: Contemplate the javalina strait, straight parting of the mountain grasses, half a mile. Fast, they’ve vanished into a scattering of rocks and juniper, fast. Fast like the wolf, and faster. Have a caricature vision, bearded Darwin, fraying track-suit, watching from the hill. He has a stop-watch timing laps, advises them to step it up, reminds they must clock it faster than a wolf-trot or their furry little bacon will not make the team.

Source: Gaze south, pick up the sweet dusty scent of pollen, follow it backward, trace the migratory river to its source. Wonder how many generations they have been running, these piglets, since they began south of the border, set off at the pop of a gun from some sun-drenched village. Mark mileage generations in the changing shades of green. Agave lime tequila grasshopper. Taste for salt.