Spring 2017 Season

Work from the Spring 2017 Season of concīs

Good Fellows

Mark Budman

They told me to leave town and take the Russian with me. She had a penchant for
pearl strings and ring tattoos on her fingers and toes.

It was suicidal not to comply. We barricaded the glass door of my house with chairs and mirrors, pulled the blinds down, ate caviar on buttered bread and drank champagne straight from the bottle while wearing nothing but gun holsters: in hers—the Desert Eagle, and in mine—Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum Revolver. I cocked my gun half a dozen times. In the morning, the stars faded, the neighbors ran away, three black limos arrived, and ten guys with AK-47s fanned out.

The Russian came out from the bathroom with a toothbrush in her hand.

“I hope they brought caviar,” she said. “We are running low.”

spice

Ferral Willcox

hiked skirt, alert
atoll, coral lace bleached to pieces
blasted to patches of cover, duck
under the fabric of safe damask
hidden features of the past
spiked earth coerced
from circle to interrupted girth,
fetish of flash, of fried fish
spurted to Piscean heights
shattering glass,
ceilings of an active sex
dispersed. She was a pretty young thing,
the earth.


Familia Crest

Rose Knapp

One   Medieval value
Papal   Borges Loyalty
Submit Two Prince Jon
Pre printing press Brut
Of course   of coarse
Finally fallacio   is free
From bastards &fallacy

A Memory of the First Battle

Xujun Eberlein

At first our city’s two Red Guard factions engaged in “civilized struggle”—using brush pens and words, big-character posters and leaflets, high-pitched broadcast and public debates, loud diatribes and, occasionally, fists to attack each other—until one side started to frequently parade the streets, shouting insulting and damaging slogans such as “Blah-blah is doomed,” and that nettled the nerve of the said faction, middle and high school and college students who had successfully forced the city government to stop classes, so they could carry on the Cultural Revolution, and so they charged into the city’s firehouses, where fire-fighters had been told not to resist the Red Guards, filled fire engines with sewage from big cesspools of communal toilets, drove to the streets, and sprayed their parading opponents—who might have been able to stand up against water cannons but ended up fleeing helter-skelter from the overwhelming foul smell—making the streets stink for days, so badly that stores stayed closed. That was how piss and shit and fire engines became the first real weapon in our city’s “armed struggle,” preceding steel rods and spears, which would, in turn, be replaced by rifles, machine guns, tanks, even warships, all supplies from arsenals stocked to aid Vietnam’s resistance of the U.S., and when those weapons drew blood we’d hear stories such as friends of an injured student tying a towel below his leg wounds, a first-aid method they thought they had learned from war movies, until the boy shed all his blood and stopped breathing.

Ephesus

M. R. R. Gutierrez

The temple is almost gone. Its remains settle snugly into a niche surrounded by grasses and poppies. The sun is so hot it turns the sky white, burns the chlorophyll out of the tops of the plants, putting all the colors together and makes everything seem bright and otherworldly. It’s like finding an old shin bone in the grass. In many years, the stone will have worn further, time folding it gently back into the earth. All the while—if we have stayed away—the poppies will have claimed everything, falling into cracks, stretching their arms out, running over the hills and bones, spots of blood on a handkerchief.

To Burn the Night

Christopher Morgan

from “Two Young Lovers”

It takes
rest

This   all day
low point

ignore the hate
he paid for it

the money   extravagant
his language

I   see
the man
and walk
down   toward   him.

I have
come back
to burn the   night

the work
won’t be safe for
the children

I’m sorry   Listen.
this mess is
the only home I’ve ever had

[view original erasure]

A Sharp Startle

Christopher Morgan

from “The Pink Lady”

distinct   the feeling
I could neither move nor speak

he was gone.

I had   fallen silent
as if
That night
had actually happened.

I stood out
bare

my experience,
a sharp   startle

he   terrified that
home.

My   experience   was
a sensation of being followed
at night

My
mother experienced this many times
It became   common for each of us

[view original erasure]

[haiku]

Karen George

pollen glasses dark
rust shimmers the universe
lies charcoal the nest

Leeches

Greg Lyons

A leech floats along a pond
like a man’s flaccid penis
who is enjoying a hot bath
and the sight of his member
poising. A leech, though,
has circular saw teeth, genetic
hardware for creating instant
glory holes. Its spit and mucus
slobbering—sticky and wispy
like Jell-O shots—seals out
any feeling as each frill
of its head distends and
ebbs. Gulp. Gulp.

Crickets

Greg Lyons

Through the window of a childhood
home, crickets filled the air with bubbles
that they plucked, stridulations. A rapid-fire
of vanishing rainbows popping
into chirplets. My grandma used to sing
 Good night, sleep tight
 don’t let the bed bugs bite
 if they do, promise
 to catch a few
 and we’ll cook ‘em up
 for the morning.
On a clear summer night, the wind keyed
across the trees, rolling the leaves
like a tambourine. Jingles falling over
dreams. Bubbles floating across the bath
of my eyes, cavitations. I was an audience. Why
wasn’t that enough?

css.php