Dan Cuddy

Myth of Venus

Today
Romance comes like Venus
Riding a seashell
The zephyrs
Pushing the vey naked
Naturally curvaceous
Botticelli babe
Onto a 21st century beach
A nudist beach
And I
Am wrapped in a towel
Too much fat to fry in the sun
And a little old
None of my bathing suits fit
I just want to be incognito
Catch a peak at the women au naturelle

Venus has a dimple on two cheeks
One on the face
One in another place
And she is so tan
She wasn’t born yesterday
But her skin is so smooth
A mole here and there
Like an exclamation point
Saying
The woman is real
Just out of Penthouse’s pool
Dripping wet
Brown eyes wonderfully smiling
And I would jump up
And say
With a cock-a-doodle-doo
“hi”

If I knew her
And the lifeguard
With big muscles
Wasn’t guarding her life
Her telephone number
Her email address
I turn seaweed green with envy
Watch them
Kiss furiously
As violins come from somewhere
And a voice
Gruff
A smoker’s voice
With intermittent coughs
Chokes out
“that is my daughter
Watch it”

I watched her
The goddess
Of Black’s Beach, California
And I said almost out loud
“gawd, what a woman”
A disembodied voice said
“That’s right, fatso…
Only in your dreams”

Dave Cullern

Got No Time To Worry

sunday afternoon. fathers nail innocence
into wood. building future suicides from
scratch. mould flesh into weaponised
emptiness. mow grass like shaved heads.
the next door kids are groomed by minds
gone mad. clean the car. lock your bike.
cut the hedge. the garages scream with
the corporal punishment of days gone by.
pet rabbits interred in compost heaps.
dolls set alight by the sun. if you cry
we’ll have to buy you a dress. fucking
pick one. dare you to fucking pick one.
a lack of direction is palpable in the
thin summer air. they only let you dance
on the dance floor. that’s if you’re allowed
to dance at all. they pick your clothes.
clean your nose. regail your future with
limitations and close. future doors. future
dreams. the map you’re expected to
follow is exactly as small as it seems.

Judge Santiago Burdon

No Gideon Bibles

There  are no Gideon Bibles 
At the Chelsea Hotel
Many a famous artist 
Seems to know it well

Bob Dylan wrote a song there
Dylan Thomas lived his poems
Ginsberg and Kerouac stayed there
And Janis Joplin and Leonard Cohen

There’s always a vacancy
At the Chelsea
Get a room without a phone
Drinking Mad Dog in the lobby
Or get drunk in your room alone

Thomas Wolfe wrote a novel there
William Burroughs shot his dope
Diego Rivera cheated on Frieda
Sid Vicious cut Nancy’s throat

If the manager doesn’t like you
He’ll kick your ass out the door
If you’re broke but you look alright
You  can sleep on the hallway floor

There are no Gideon Bibles 
At the Chelsea Hotel
When I get back to New York City
Gonna stay there and raise some Hell

Corey Mesler

In Las Vegas

I once took
a girlfriend
to Las Vegas.
It was a gamble
but I knew
I was losing
her anyway. 
We didn’t have
much money
and the casinos
seemed peppered
by aliens. 
All I can remember
is her deathless
breasts, a topless,
white-jeaned
blowjob on
the hotel bed. 
She left me
soon after we
got home and
I never went
to Vegas again. 
It also might
have been the last
great blowjob
I’ll ever have. 

William Taylor Jr.

If Your Loneliness Were a Flag You Could Wave It

If your loneliness were a flag
you could wave it high 
above your conquered lands.

If it were a car you could paint it metallic blue
and drive it over the cliffs of hell
into a fiery sea.

If it were a ship you could fly it
into the heart of the sun.

If your loneliness were god
you could curse it
or petition for mercy.

If it were a stranger you could turn it
away at the door.

If it were a heart you could stop it.

If your loneliness were love you could steel yourself to it
toss its letters, unopened, into the trash.

If it were a law
you could break it
or strike it down.

If it were a house you could
set it aflame and watch it glow 
from distant hills.

If your loneliness were your mother
you could pack your things and run away
make it suffer for the years of pain.

If it were a ghost you could banish it
back to the Netherrealms with a spell
or a charm. 

But your loneliness is a song
and you have an ugly voice.
The neighbors complain
every time you try and sing.