"The victim dreams of you in his doorway" - Zach Mitcham

 
 
"The victim dreams of you in his doorway" - Zach Mitcham

 

You stole from the man's old home place,

repeatedly, like water eroding land's soft tissue,

copper wiring pulled from walls, the trail

of the refrigerator in the dirt, like a big animal

dragging itself to the woods to die. You hauled

his dead old Chevy to have it crushed for scrap metal,

the wind knocked out of the cab, where the faces

of his first son and his best dog lived passenger-side

in the oily dust air.

So he waited for you.

His wife urged him not to, but he took a blanket

and pillow and put the pistol on a night table by the sofa,

where he slept and spread pimento cheese on wheat bread

with a butter knife, picnics of solitude ending

with a bullwhip lifted, put back down, lifted again,

country quiet, cicadas, rain's fingers on the tin roof,

religion of the long surprise, little routines

like a cross gesture over the chest, life or death.

He rose and washed, kept his hair combed,

breath fresh, wrinkles steamed away, measured his heart rate

and made a game of ever lower against the wait,

felt it was not about property, but everything else,

became better because of you, a wall to lean against.

His fence gate made no clank.

But lost meat buzzed in your empty bone,

which was a pipe scraped of marrow, your teeth sucked

loose in the gum, stored poisons tasted in the gaps.

You were the fog over wet grass but angular as a cave painting,

points tumbling over themselves toward a poking.

And when your fingers rode up the door chain,

you could hear him asleep. His presence was the gift, like darkness itself

chuckling with you, lips licked on an upturn. Not property anymore.

Not that kind of drug, some other pilot light at your brain stem,

your gasses put to flame.

But you didn't hear the bee. It's little wings

moved too fast for a swat. And when his hands came clear through the dark,

you also drew, both of you in the doorway at sunrise, or perhaps it was sunset.

You just saw the light baking behind trees as your trigger finger twitched

long past use, a mouth severed from its body, still biting.
 
 
Photo: "Ball," Ben Gulyas

"Absinthe" - Collin Kelley

 
 
"Absinthe" - Collin Kelley 
 
 
I smuggled home the green bottle
before the planes hit, before your
luggage was strewn across tables
like an airport rummage sale.
All the way from a dusty shop
on a West End side street, wrapped
in a plain brown bag like pornography
or a wino’s favorite meal.
 
 
I do not remember how it smelled,
but we cut the bitter with the sweet
by pouring it over a sugar cube.
Certainly this vintage would not
transport us like it did Latrec and
those haunted women adrift in the
cafes of Paris.
 
But you see, I was already adrift
and I hoped this momentary hit of
wormwood would help me reach the shore.
Yet another boy has cast me out to sea
with no oars and not a lighthouse in sight.
If this shimmering emerald fire would
light the way, then I would drink the
whole bottle, let it run down my chin
and lick the bitterness of my scarred
fingers. They are tired of putting you
back together, I am tired of putting you
back together.
 
 
The absinthe has a delayed effect.
I am in the back seat of a car, becoming
one with the upholstery, swimming in
the louche.
I had three glasses, enough to open
a window of clarity and when you came
to the window I see you as everyone
else does and that you blur at the edges
and soon you will fade all together.
But once the drink wears off, I will be
back in the boat, lost in the fog,
the empty bottle rolling at my feet.
 

"Absinthe" originally appeared February 2012 online in Lily. Art: "Still Life With Absinthe," Vincent Van Gogh, 1887.

"Now You See It, Now You Don't: Threads of Sinai" - Garrett Johnson

 

"Now You See It, Now You Don't: Threads of Sinai" - Garrett Johnson



Heard a call and could not decipher 
its origin, and was instead distracted
by the way the air gleamed
when the heart center reverberated,
the heart center, inside-
the environment seeming to tower over me again
the way it did in my first years,
though this time I was not afraid.
Is this the revelation you speak of
or is it what you spoke against,
wringing your hands
at the praise of the seen?

Or did I not praise all of this out here,
and was it, yet, not totally behind the eyes,
was it a holy presence, referee between the
arguing membranes- was it exactly what the doctor ordered?
They say the moment,
the ancient turning point, was little more 
than the indwelling of silence-
that it was the apprehension, that moment right before
a sound comes issuing forth.
And that's why they want to keep it remembered.
I still doubt that what I craft is a strand
that can be attached to this long line

that references itself- I just know
that there is a command to let this be crafted.
To live simply for the purpose of living-
to let in what is implied in this-
for the apple was eaten 
and now we must thread all of this together.
We did not have to see the sights-
but we did anyway, and maybe that suffices,
and maybe I can see now how what I did was not in vain
though it was called by me as "not me,"
though I still tense up, though I still draw a blank.
Now I know that I can still feel commanded
and then see more than I had before
once I act upon a command.

And then it can seem like a mistake,
and yet- I know that I tried.
 
Art: "Mostly space," by Ben Gulyas

"feature creep" - aralee strange


 
"feature creep" - aralee strange (Dec 5 1943-Jun 15, 2013)


smart phone notebook nubile mobile
laptop iPad Blu-Ray teevee
Blackberries you cannot eat
iPods you cannot plant
Nanos you can see with naked eye
world's gone wireless and free hey!
we're drowning in words with nothing
whatever to say

and by the way? the grey men
the ones pulling the strings
the ones you'll never see on CNN?
don't give a good goddamn what you
post petition boycott censor or condemn
you are a Consumer
you are one among Billions
predictable manageable expendable You
are the Bottom Line

tell you what Intel's processing
24/7 your little grey cells
sign up log in check out
uploading your data
codifying your demographic
selling you out

watch how it goes
goes with the flow
flows fast and crude
no time for reflection
here we go hi ho! hi ho!
busy busy busy with the mind-
dead industry of the doomed
a raging money machine
running on empty

what to do what to do

the heart knows holy's
the same as it ever was
and thus you pray
however you do
and lo & behold!
you get what you love
and if you are lucky
not much frightens you
and if you are listening
a small voice is telling you

dig in deep
keep your tools sharp
your friends close
and your feet on the ground
keep your fences mended
play your cards close to the vest
learn to like cold turkey

"The Famous Last Words of Roald Dahl" - Michael Walker

 
"The Famous Last Words of Roald Dahl" - Michael Walker
 
Strong men turned to one another and said things like, “I guess this is it Joe,” and “Good-by, everybody, good-by.” And for the next thirty seconds the whole City held its breath, waiting for the end to come. ~ Roald Dahl, James and the Giant Peach,  p. 126
 
In 1916 a man at Verdun writes to his wife concerning his infant daughter shortly before going through the wire. Not long after, his guts are dis-integrated. As he lay bleeding in the mud he calls out to Odin. To Andraste. To Satan. To Moloch. Later, the trees grew back in such a way that the moon would always shine on that spot and the grass grew between his finger-bones.
 
G.G. Allin remembers how his mother’s milk tasted. How the soft warmth of her breast led his infant mouth to suck. He then curled up into a ball as his lungs were filled with vomit.
 
Don Hertzfeldt reaches out into the firmament from a hospital bed. He attempts to describe the smell of dust and moonlight to his great-grandchildren. Then all of the lights went out.
 
Ernest Hemingway sits on the edge of his bed and remembers the first girl he’d ever kissed, in some far off spring. How the world was new and exciting and that things could never change. He forgets that grenade he threw in France. He then propelled himself upward into the empty stars.
 
Roald Dahl is secretly furious at his condition. He tells his loved ones that he is not afraid, it’s just that he will miss them. But inside, he is greedy for life. He squeezes his wife’s hand as a nurse sticks him with a needle. He shouts “Ow, Fuck” and then quietly slips into nothing.
 
 
Time unwinds our memory spring,
And glues us to the spine.
Until all of the pages fall out.


TONIGHT! THERESA DAVIS and COLLIN KELLEY at WORD OF MOUTH!

 
 
 
TONIGHT!

ONE TIME ONLY!

 
June's open mic will be
Tuesday June 7
8 pm @ THE GLOBE
 
featuring two Atlanta authors
 
Theresa Davis
author of
After This We Go Dark
 
and
 
Collin Kelley
author of
the Venus Trilogy:
Conquering Venus
Remain in Light
Leaving Paris
 
 
 
TONIGHT!

ONE TIME ONLY!

open mic signup at 7 pm

ONE TIME ONLY: WORD OF MOUTH is moving to FIRST TUESDAY in JUNE!

 
 
 

ONE TIME ONLY!

 
WORD OF MOUTH
IS MOVING TO FIRST TUESDAY
 IN JUNE
 
 
June's open mic will be
Tuesday June 7
8 pm @ THE GLOBE
 
featuring two Atlanta authors
 
Theresa Davis
author of
After This We Go Dark
 
and
 
Collin Kelley
author of
the Venus Trilogy:
Conquering Venus
Remain in Light
Leaving Paris
 
 
 
WORD OF MOUTH
IS MOVING TO FIRST TUESDAY
IN JUNE

ONE TIME ONLY!