All That Good Stuff


take the prose of a poem   the teeth of a grin
lost weekend of a savior   heyday of a has-been

golf shoes of a president   a jew’s christmas cheer
a punchline in german   the court eunuch’s leer

warren beatty’s crow’s feet   johnny depp’s address book
the mouth of a mime   the vow of a crook

take a scrivener’s eyes   a blackmailer’s file
straightedge of a schoolmarm   a judge’s denial

the twitch of a surgeon   a divorcée’s glow
repose of a greyhound   a yes man’s hell no

the staple from a centerfold   bouquet of a bride
stand in line for a seat   bite down hard, open wide

take an open house tour   through a boychild’s wet dream
hey diddle diddle   don’t make a scene

take the prose of a poem   and a guilt-wracked scapegoat
hey nonny nonny   death row clears its throat

Guitar by Chuck Prophet

It’s Hard to Get Ahead

Brad Rose

Brainwashed the dishes. Now, I’m looking for money in large amounts and small denominations. Jesus says I’m a very legible person, but Raven says I don’t have enough string to fly a kite. OK, so maybe I am still working out the kinks. This week they called off the weekend, so I’ll just work right on through, at least until those Japanese Martians land. I’ll wear water skis if I have to. I’ve heard hollow chocolate Easter bunnies really can work up an appetite. After all, you are what you eat. Of course, you can’t trust everything they teach you in hairdressing school. To make up the deficit, I practiced my danceable moves in broad daylight. Before I knew what was happening, the cops asked me to leave. That nearly killed me. I love this country like the back of my hand. Can’t count the number of times I’ve tried to set it on fire.

The Main Reason I Didn’t Leave a Forwarding Address

Brad Rose

Since I got an ‘A’ on my Turing test, it doesn’t bother me that I can’t hear my hair growing at night. Of course, I enjoyed the helicopter ride and the dog sledding, but the problem with my dead relatives is that they are still alive. There’s something je ne sais quoi about their persistent yodeling, but, like a phantom limb, I can’t quite put my finger on it. My physician says as soon as I get better, it’ll be OK to pawn my invisibility cloak. He says I shouldn’t be bashful; everyone has a body beneath their clothes. I wanted to ask him, What use is a fire escape without a fire? but, I can tell you, naked or nude, he’s not the kind of person who likes to take turns missing the boat. Of course, like Pa always said, it’s not polite to scratch your itchy trigger finger in public. Don’t bother coming back till you’re dead.


Alicia Cole

The turtles are mudded down,
The air dank with leaf rot.
The new house that faces the bluff
Is all timber, everything
Bare-limbed this November.
I have three layers on.
The trees are one.

Rothko Before the Color Fields

Joshua Gottlieb-Miller

Lord God of Monochrome Beauty,
forgive semi-abstraction.
Who cares for a single ear

rotting among ripe fruits?
Slow the art and speed
the lie, sliding

your foot closely,
close enough,
see a mosquito eat

at that plum. Blood meals
nourish diseased beasts.
Trompe l’oeil:

Spend long enough
with black canvas
in a chapel

by a dead man,
it purples, reddens.


Karen Stanislaw

something says
keep the curmudgeon:
bat with teeth, brainy
guy, heel, nun’s ass –
keep this furniture.
the lame attempt at
pecking at logs.

Donut Man

Meg Eden

The man outside 7-11
sells hot fresh chromosomes
for 10 cents. X
chromosomes only.

Men eat them, wanting
to become women.
Women eat
them because
they taste like America.

O. Henry Don’t Leave Us

Theodore Eisenberg

One leaf clutches dirt with
vertices, its raised abdomen
blotched red, as if a blood
creation, holding on.

On Maggie

Jennifer Wortman

Egg me on, magi.
I’m a man, see?

A golem on lease.

Slam me,
name me,
son me,
age me.

Am I loam? Glass?
A seasonal song?

Missile me gone.
I’m a lass, see?

As no one, I’ll gleam.

Mimosa Pudica

Michelle Chen

 plant apoplectic
in the river of time what I thought
 sweet water and thread
lifting clear pink satellites
 field risen, rippling
in tune the blue coast
 if a drift face I hope you get
how to lead someone to water
 there’s no other paper
that sleeps like me
 dipping as if
to fit into bottles
 in the dark heat rolling
thin sleeves of green
 when touched the fold
I found sway not shy
 if I close when touched
move move then drink
 half-full, the waiting
 evaporated spaces
 guess attack or death-play
the sleep’s root in reflection
 if the best example of holding
 is a moon and a barrel