Jack Henry

the thinness of walls, 1

in a room to my left two old queens fuck with rabid intensity,
fearless in their volume, unrepentant to the thinness of walls –

i had watched them enter their room as i stood in the doorway of my own,
smoking one last cigarette before my fade –

“there’s always room for one more,” the short one said to me –
i smile and nod and look at the ass of the pretty one –

a pseudo cowboy and a punch-drunk blonde whisk past,
enter a room to my immediate right, bound for calf roping replays
and bucking bronco indiscretions –

caught in the middle of homosexual histrionics and a heterosexual rodeo,
back on the road, halfway to Phoenix, in a land where things rarely
change and lightning rarely strikes twice –

A. Theist

Time For a Change

when i found myself
legs in the air
in thigh highs
with ten inches of rubber
protruding from my ass
a stinging load
between my eyes
i said to my self
i’ve got to make a change

and upon further deliberation
i couldn’t be more certain:

i’d like to try the
ankle socks next time.

Rob Plath

the state of it all

forever afraid
of the dark
they’re always
waiting for
these certain poets
to snap
a nightlight
on for them
& the nightlight poets
do just that
appeasing them
w/ their
feeble little glow
& they all applaud
the tiny lights
& smile
falsely unafraid
yes, that’s the state
of it all now
none of them
ever thinking
to braille
the goddamn
darkness
no, not even
fucking once

David Boski

Cum Baby Cum!

She kept repeating:
“cum baby cum! cum baby cum!”
in a song like rhythm.
The problem was I couldn’t cum,
but I kept trying, there with an Asian
hooker in my bathroom and her repeating:
“cum baby cum!”
n her high-pitched accent.

We were in the bathroom cause I let my friend
use the bedroom when the first hooker arrived;
banking on the fact that he’d be done by the time
mine got there, and that the next one would be more
attractive than the first.

Our other two friends stayed in the living room,
drinking and watching
TV. Eventually the hooker,
now on her knees, looked up at me and said:
“no cum?” and I looked down, shook my head,
and said: “no cum.”

She got dressed and I went out into the living
room, seeing my friends, including the one who
had the first hooker. I asked how it was and he
said it was terrible: he couldn’t cum. I said neither
could I, and then another friend asked if he could
borrow some cash, said he wanted to give it a go.

We advised against it. All signs were pointing to us
being way too drunk to fuck Asian hookers at 4AM
in the morning; but he didn’t listen, and he didn’t
cum either.

Anthony Dirk Ray

Birthday 2005

I went to a parade downtown
saw floats, saw tits, saw drunks
drove to my folk’s rental in spanish fort
my mom, taking tequila shots
my dad, working shift work at the mill
a great meal offered and ingested
a great day
I thought
“is it hot in here?” my mother asked
“not to me,” I replied
as I searched for drum and bass ringtones
for my new phone just purchased for me
“I’m having trouble breathing,” she said
time is of the essence I thought
I called 911
I put a leash on the dog
as my mother went to the back
to get dressed for the ambulance
she returned with fear in her eyes, asking
“when will they be here?”
at that time
I assume
realizing she had no heart beat
I was unaware of this at that point
looking back
I should have called again
but I was in complete denial and comforting her

I watched my mother die a fast death

to her
I’m sure it was slow
suffocating, turning purple, and scared
no breath to be had
despite trying

I said, “I love you.”
somehow between gasps of air
she was able to get out
“I love you too
tell your dad”
I said, “I know, save your breath.”
no heartbeat
no breath
no hope
no help
flailing and convulsing upon the floor
not a goddamn thing I could do
but stare in shock
where the fuck are the paramedics I thought
finally they arrived and began working on her
at the hospital questions were answered
blood pressure skyrocketed
heart stopped
and lungs slowly filled with fluid
my mother had drowned from within
the lungs drained
the heart revived
but consciousness had not returned
her brain had been without oxygen for about an hour
left in a vegetative state
we waited two weeks for a miracle
or at least
any sign of improvement
or life
kept alive by machines
that’s no life
that’s not life
the machines were switched off
and I watched my mother die
for the second time

Bogdan Dragos

Testosterone

she doesn’t let me drink
and insists
that I listen to her

insists with
a viciousness

“It’s because you work night shifts,”
she says.

“What’s that got to do with drinking
while I’m free?”

“Alcohol lowers a man’s testosterone level
and increases estrogen. Why
don’t you know that? You
need to take better care of
yourself.”

she made for me a diet with
rice and garlic

calls me while on the night shift
and tells me to go into the bathroom
and jump 100 times
and do stretching exercises,
tells me to drink more water
She even buys me bags of nuts and seeds
and tells me to eat between the meals

“No sugar,” she says. “No, not even in
coffee. Pure black or nothing.”

she even bought me a
hand grip strengthener with adjustable resistance
to use while I’m in the office

she encouraged me to eat
raw eggs but stopped when
I told her that you can get salmonella like that

when I came home from work
one evening at 23:36
I ate my rice with garlic
and she asked if I wanted anything else
and I said “Yeah, a beer.”

“Okay,” she said. Went into the kitchen
came back fifteen minutes later with
a cup of tea and a lemon

“What’s this?” I asked.

“Ginger tea. It’s better with lemon. Should
I squeeze it for you?”

“No thanks, I’ll do it myself.” I cut the
lemon in half and squeezed it into the cup

It was the nectar of gods
and I didn’t
hesitate to tell her
so

“All right then,” she said. “Drink it all, rinse
with water before brushing your teeth
and then come to bed.”

I did all that and went to bed

and she wanted me to sleep
because lack
of sleep is the worst
enemy of a man’s testosterone levels

Anamnesis, By Adrian Manning

IMG_0344

Anamnesis, By Adrian Manning
Analog Submission Press

Adrian Manning writes from Leicester, England. His poems have appeared in numerous magazines and on-line journals around the world. He is the author of a number of chapbooks, most recently Stare Down The Gods (Holy&Intoxicated Press). He is also head honcho at Concrete Meat Press.

Limited run, lovingly handmade and painstakingly hand numbered! 20 pages saddle stitched. Printed on an old Canon laser printer we found abandoned at a dump site. White outer wrappers with grey inner wrappers.

BUY A COPY HERE

John D. Robinson

The Muttered Hymns

She jumped in her mid-teens from
middle-class university future into
the world of sex and drugs: speed
was her choice and later, alcohol:
our mothers were life-long friends
so she and I had known each
other since toddlers: I was sweet
on her and I think she felt the
same but we never got it
together:
she had two daughters by
some fucking vicious speed-
freak, she couldn’t look after
them and they were removed
from her care:
she became obliterated,
homeless, her body swelled
and her skin yellow and she
died a few weeks after a
savage beating from some
useless piece of shit:
a few years previous she
had called on me: we sat
and drank wine and smoked
hash, she wasn’t in too bad shape,
I had thoughts of intimacy but I
knew she was vulnerable and
maybe lonely and looking for a
little safe friendship where she
could relax for a while and
that was enough:
she was cremated, a small
number attended: one of her
daughter’s was serving 15
years for attempted murder
and was handcuffed to 2
prison officers, her other sister
was present, both were weeping:
prayers were said and hymns
were muttered quietly and as
we filed out I could hold back
no more as my eyes gave way
to tears as I walked away into
a day that needed drowning
in sorrow and alcohol.

Bogdan Dragos

A girl with a blog

she kept texting me links
links
links
to posts on her
law of attraction blog

Find Your Soulmate In Six
Easy Steps

Meditations For Prosperity

Meditations For Prosperity
Enhanced Edition

14 Visualization Techniques That Will
Manifest The Perfect Life

How To Show Gratitude To The Universe
In Order To Get More Of What You Want

Find Your Dream Job Using This
3 Step Meditation Formula
Works 100%

Grab God’s Hand And Let It Pull
You Out Of Debt. Here’s How

How To Listen To The Correct
Inner Voice And Let It Guide You

How To Befriend And Make Love To
Your Higher Self. A Step By Step Guide

“Leave me a like. Comment too.
Thanks.”

“I need an account to do that,” I said.
“I don’t have an account.”

“Well, make one.”

“I need an e-mail address to make
an account.”

“Are you telling me you don’t have
an e-mail address?”

“I forgot the password.”

“Oh, why do you have to be like that?
You wouldn’t move a finger
to help anyone. Ever! How can you
live like that? You’re… uh, horrible!”

“Okay, listen. Here’s what I’ll do. I’ll make
an e-mail address and give you the password
so you can make an account for me
and leave likes and comments on every
post. How about that?”

She didn’t answer.

And didn’t text me for a while

A few months later she sent me an
invitation to her wedding.

I didn’t go.

After she got married she stopped
posting on her blog
Her husband was ten years older than her
and they moved to the UK

A few months later a common friend mentioned
she was having a baby
and showed me pictures of it
on the various social media sites that
portrayed life at its absolute perfection

The account was full of pictures of
quotes from self-help books

‘It’s never too late to be what you
might have been.’

‘Dream positive or wake up!’

‘Shoot for the moon! Even if you miss
you’ll still land among the stars.’

‘When things aren’t going well in your life
scream to yourself STOP! and think
of all the ways things can go right from
then on.’

‘Remember that what you think
and feel now creates your future!’

‘Doing it badly is infinity times
better than not doing it.’

‘HOPE is the best medicine.’

‘Always ask yourself, what would the best
version of myself do?’

‘Actions first, feelings later. Act on your values.’

And on and on.

And a few months later she divorced and left
the UK
Her girlfriends said the husband was
abusive
The girls who weren’t so close to her
said that she cheated on him

the truth was probably somewhere
in the middle

Now she was living on child support
and returned to writing her
blog
Only this time the posts weren’t so much
about the law of attraction and more
about her life and what she’d been through
and what d’ you know,
they were actually good
they were worth reading.

It worked!

the law of attraction worked

Her blog was finally popular
it was getting likes
and comments and followers

I read the latest post titled
“When you’re going through hell, keep going”
and it was good
there was some real feeling behind
each paragraph
each word

She made it

and now I sit back and wait for the post
titled
“Nothing comes without a price”
or something like that.

Robin Ray

Interviews Too Good to Be True

My interview with a vampire didn’t go as planned.
I’m glad I recently dined at Golden Dragon, keeping
a pair of chopsticks to dyke the holes in my neck.

In my last job interview, I told the manager I was an
Icelandic penguin trapped in the body of a metaphor.
I got the job only because she didn’t understand
what I’d meant and hadn’t read the latest policy on
discrimination.

I showed up at Elton John’s mansion with my laptop
after learning he was holding interviews to replace
his long-time lyricist, Bernie Taupin. When the police
carted me off in handcuffs, they wouldn’t believe I
was Daniel and that song was about me.

Owing my newspaper friend a favor, I interviewed
the curator of the Brooklyn Aquarium about recent
acquisitions even though I’m allergic to sea food.
Now, every time I’m near Red Lobster, my throat
swells and people think my eyes are painted golf
balls glued to my face as a joke.

Curious to know if I could also eat 72 hot dogs in one
sitting, I interviewed the latest winner of Nathan’s
contest over the phone. When he said he prepared by
masticating his kielbasa for months, I misunderstood
and bought myself a gallon of K-Y jelly.