Roger Netzer

Shopping For Dildos Online

Like me, you shop online for dildos,
vibrators and other sex toys.
I went from fingering my clit to pumping a vibrator
in my pussy while I watched porn.
That drifted into dildos up my ass
and double penetration.
I would buy butt plugs
and walk around the house with them
while doing the chores — vacuuming the rugs,
emptying the dishwasher, whatever.

Now I’m taking my sexual adventures into town:
Ben Wa balls in my ass sitting in a theater,
vibrating panties to the grocery store.
I don’t get caught, but I think about it.

Ryan Quinn Flanagan

The Highest Office in the Land

He was the CEO of CEOs. 
Hotboxed his spacious workplace
in the clouds.  

Felt his heavy eyes fall in on themselves.
The highest office in the land.

Getting on the phone to listen
to some strange voice say a bunch
of even stranger numbers.

Then under his desk to construct a fort.
Shooting staples at imaginary armies.

Looking at his plant in the corner
and wondering about photosynthesis.

Trying to figure out why rain was wet
before the munchies kicked in.

Willie Smith

Night Piece

The cricket sings the dark 
the dark to sing away. 
To his own gut feeling 
the frog responds. 
The whippoorwill skims the pond, 
intercepting in the dark 
moth, beetle, firefly; 
calls his name the moment he forgets 
he has no name, calls his name 
the moment he forgets 
the moment he forgets calls. 
The owl intuits the soul of chance. 
The mouse, in owl claws, 
with no further complaint 
than a phrase of squeaks, 
leaves this plane for perhaps a better 
place; but the frog, the cricket, 
the whippoorwill on it do not bet.   

J.J. Campbell

just an old poet

i went dancing with a train
but never got the ride i wanted

sometimes you never reach 
the bottom of your depravity

the ghosts don’t even bother 
to show up anymore

and the hours and days start 
to pile like trash

like old phone books used 
for kindling

spread my ashes in a field
and cover them in shit

just an old poet

nothing more
nothing less

some fucking sage that 
warned all of you but 
none of you ever bothered
to listen

to understand

to squeeze the marrow 
out of life before the 
powers that be squeeze 
it for you

we were once young at this

ready to conquer the world
or something like that

Vivian Pollak

His First Drowning

He lost her in his River Ouse
Habitual her morbid ritual mood
Upper East Side between Second and First
Sex in the city and the big black hearse
December is cold, but May cherries are red
His love in the tub, in the tub, there she bled
But he is the victim — a fear he can’t handle
Coverage of a congressman’s adulterous scandal.

Nick Romeo

(S)LAUGHTER(S)

The boogeyman 
Lives inside 
My closet.

He has been there 
All my life 
Haunting me.

For a time I kept 
Him at bay by 
Sleeping with a night-light
And Grumpy Bear.

But through the years 
He has grown 
In might and terror.

But I too have grown 
In knowledge 
And power.

Now I stay awake
In the dark, 
All night, 
Every night.

With night vision goggles,
Emerson ES1-M, AR-15,
And Grumpy Bear.

John Yohe

from The Poets Inferno [2]

We left the Circle of those poets who
had published their friends and the cries of Best
American editors—my guide moved

me out into a desert of cactus.
A group of demons pitchforked two figures
rolling on the ground and, until they saw us,

forced to suck their own dicks. And I was sure
I recognized one—an old teacher. ‘No!
David! What have you done?’ The demons stirred.

My guide sighed. ‘This place all poets should know
is for poets-as-editors who choose
their own poems for publication.’ ‘Oh

David,’ I said. But he pointed at this
companion. ‘Major made me, and besides
my poem was in The New Yorker. His

was in The Paris Review.’ Major cried,
‘So what?!’ I said, ‘I saw your friends above.’
‘But Trump! Defend Democrats!’ he replied.

My guide said, ‘Now on to the Circle of
those who award contests to those they love…’

John Yohe

from The Poets Inferno [1]

My guide then led me to a field on which
knelt thousands of poets all sucking dick.
‘Behold,’ he said, ‘the poets who all wished

to write poetry for bad politics.’
He pointed to a man licking around
a demon—’That one sold his work to fascists.’

and then I recognized the mighty Pound.
‘But wait,’ I said, ‘I know some of this group!’
Hearing us, they stopped to gather around.

‘Beware,’ said one, ‘the desire to stoop
to publishing in The New Yorker or
through the Best American Poetry hoop—

We thought the Democrats were honest, for
the people, so we spread our talent thick
over their nothingburgers—’ But before

she could continue I turned away sick
and they turned back to sucking centrist dick.

Ken Kakareka

Burned and Damned 

The California Dream 
is burned 
and damned, 
not alive 
and well. 
We’re not fooling 
anyone. 
I’ve been here 
for 10 yrs. now. 
Come splurge 
on a 1 bed, 1 bath 
$500 thousand dollar 
abode 
built in the 70’s 
in a shit-ass 
part of town 
where the homeless 
creep 
and stray cats 
weep. 
Come die 
in scathing traffic 
on hell-bent freeways 
where it takes 
1 hr. to travel 
7 miles. 
Come roast 
in frenetic 
forest fires 
or get 
swept away 
with the ghoulish 
Santa Ana winds 
to another place 
that might have 
your “perfect” 
weather. 
It’s not here. 
It was once, 
maybe. 
But that Dream 
has crumbled 
into rubble, 
shit out 
by Nightmare, 
the replacement 
for his successor – 
The California Dream. 

Ezhno Martin

Exact Figures on the Anti-Climax of Just Laying Back and Taking It

Samantha, there are Sixty-Three-Thousand
Two-Hundred-Forty-Three holes in my ceiling
and I feel like I’VE LOST ALL CAPACITY FOR HUMAN EMOTION.

There are One Hundred-Thirty and Two-Third tiles
crookedly and amateurishly applied and painted white 
hanging over my head every night
and you hang over my head
like an amateurish application of fidelity

On each of the One Hundred-Thirty and Two-Third tiles
are Twenty-Two rows of Twenty-Two holes
that’s Four-Hundred-Eighty-Four holes per tile
that’s a lot of damage
I like to wallow in the thought that I have a lot of damage

One-Hundred-Thirty and Two-Thirds
multiplied by Four-Hundred-Eighty-Four
is not technically 
Sixty-Three-Thousand Two-Hundred-Forty-Three
but some more exact figure that doesn’t make sense
in words and only exists in a long string of decimals
I have rounded up
to complete an abstract conceptualization that quantifies insurmountability

Technically the holes aren’t on my ceiling
I don’t have a ceiling
I live with a woman that looks like you
and I sleep in a separate bed in the basement
every chance I get
but she wakes up to go to the bathroom
several times a night
and she finds me and has sex with me sometimes
and I stare at her ceiling while she bounces on my cock
which, because she looks like you,
is like a concrete Frankenstein,

and I count the holes
and I count the rows
and I count the tiles
but I don’t count the days since we last spoke
and I’m only addressing this to you because I don’t believe in god
and this is a prayer to feel human emotions again
and I need a holy ghost
and I’ve made you so much holier
than that woman I used to know
who I named you after

Samantha, there are Sixty-Three-Thousand
Two-Hundred-Forty-Three holes in my ceiling
and I feel like I’VE LOST ALL CAPACITY FOR HUMAN EMOTION.

Samantha, you are the only constant in my life
besides alcoholism
in the last Three-Thousand-Six-Hundred-Fifty-Two days
and both of you have done one hell of a job
of convincing me that I can’t live without you
and people only hurt me.