Kristin Garth

Some Men Who Have Paid To See You Nude 

include rock stars, a priest in clerical 
collar, serial killer when he still had 
at least twenty dollars & compensable 
labor outside of death row, a sad 
ex-FBI agent turned lawyer turned strip 
club owner turned Clyde while Bonnie shot cops 
popping up through a sun roof window, golf trip 
titans with vacation condos they bought 
to fill with small town rented pussy explored
spread wide on granite kitchen islands —
at least that was their thoughts that pour 
into your ears in the VIP, man
addicted to speed who runs a pharmacy,
two psychologists who’d shrink you for free.

Jay Maria Simpson

Black Stockings

I bend over backwards for you
dressed in black stockings and ginger wine
gymnast
dancer
who plays Chopin on your seductive
grand piano

YOU SAY

You love my suppleness
my gracefulness
the way that I expose my self
mind
slippery soul
silence
mania

YOU SAY

You love how I show myself
to the night
under the
drunken
stars

I TREMBLE

you climb into the shower with me
your dark eyes staring me down
you suck my nipples and make them sing
you erection breaks free inside of me

lather me
fall to your knees
understand

Jeff Weddle

An Explanation of Lucy

Lucy was a poem to fear 
in her studied calm, 
deceptive as violence 
disguised as artful play. 

The things she fed you 
might have been poison 
but you ate them 
without concern.

Lucy in her cabin on the lake 
welcomed strangers 
in her lyric way, 
unsavory and soft,
until softness was not an option, 
and her metric rhythm 
gave away the game.

Lucy loved the world 
with bread and roses,
and so her nature 
was not like most.

When she kissed others
she meant it as much
as when she kissed you,
and you took your beatings
willingly.

Lucy in her pretty dress
in her cabin by the lake
was a story to fear. 

She was every possibility 
and the promise of a moment,
a bag of small secrets
too beautiful to be true

Lorin Lee Cary

Accident  

When Jake’s head exploded it surprised me. I mean, what woman wants blood all over their living room? Not me. Look, it was an accident. I just wanted him to stop talking. I know it sounds silly. But that’s the truth, and I always tell the truth, believe me. I asked my husband to stop talking and he wouldn’t, he just kept going on and on and on. It didn’t matter what he was yammering about. It could be the weather. Something he saw on TV. What he was thinking. Why my clothing was wrong. If his left elbow had a twinge. Whatever. Anything.

Sometimes I’d wave my hands in his face, in hopes he’d stop jabbering, stop explaining, stop going on and on and on. Other times I’d stomp my foot or tell him I had a headache or was too sleep deprived. That I didn’t need to know that the actual temperature outside differed from what the TV said. Nothing had an effect. I think there was something wrong with him. Maybe his brain had a bad turn-off switch.

Perhaps he was born that way. I don’t know. Why are you staring at me? Like I told you, it was an accident. He would not be quiet when I asked him to.  I didn’t care if Atilla the Hun was born with a different name. So what? Just a constant blah, blah, blah, yak, yak, yak.

That’s when I took out the pistol. For effect. It had blanks in it. Well, it didn’t this time apparently.  But that’s not my fault, because I didn’t put real bullets in it. I don’t know who did that. I can’t imagine who did that. No, blanks can’t kill? 

You don’t believe me, do you? But it’s the truth. I know my rights. Wait a minute, what are you doing? Handcuffs? I don’t need handcuffs. Ouch. That’s too tight. You’re hurting me. Why are you pushing my head down? Oh, into the car. Where are we going? This isn’t right. Who’s Miranda? My husband’s dead and I need to call my sister. You have a phone up there, let me use it. No? This is not right. Look, it was an accident. No, I don’t know who could have put the bullets in there.

I think he did it, loaded the pistol. He probably wanted to catch me by surprise, murder me. He’d reach into the drawer, grab the pistol, and shoot me. That’s probably what he planned to do. No, that’s not crazy.

I want to call my sister. I want a lawyer. Wait. No, that’s not what I want. I want out. Let me out of here.

This isn’t fair. It was an accident, or else a setup. No, I won’t stop kicking the back of your seat. Let me go. You can’t hold me. Oh, you think you can? Well, let me tell you something if you keep talking the same thing might happen to you. No, that’s not a confession. You are so stupid. Don’t you understand? I didn’t put the bullets in the gun. I didn’t plan to kill him. I only wanted to scare him, get his attention so he would listen to me and stop talking.

Where are we going? Observation? You’re looking at me now. I can see that in the mirror. Okay, I’ll be quiet, but you’ll hear from my attorney, and he won’t be quiet. He’ll make a lot of noise. Right. I’ll shut up. I won’t say a thing. I’ll sit silent as a mouse. And I would appreciate it if you would too. I’m tired of hearing you talk so much. Goddamn man.

Jay Passer

Pronto

nothing like a new war
to scintillate your porno

dialing between stations
the radio between my ears

taking to your wily fingertips
in urgent advertisement

for friendly flag-waving 
fascist import agencies

I know the drinks are stronger
than smoke in surround sound

elevating our mutual mirage
in a strong-armed sweaty clench

nothing like a slice
of brains and sphincter

delivered pronto
to your foxhole

Noah David Roberts

A Motion

The moonlit bastard of the city
oppressive in its phallic skyscrapers
insidious intent through its windows

I guarantee you are wasting away somewhere
ignoring painful actions,
windswept hair dragging along the
sex-ragged floor where once
we fucked in a rage.

Emerging at South Street from
the orange train on Broad Street
I am blinded by starsigns, overcome
with the saliva of strange women
who kissed me badly in a furious sex-craze.

Overcome with joy at this new freedom;
sweltering frozen asphalt of Philadelphia;
sweat and fluids on the couch cushions;
do you have more for me
than a degradation or
a motion?

Leah Mueller

Summer Pickup

We met on the only 
hot night in Seattle–July 1993, 
the year summer never came. 

Both of us at the Blue Moon, 
drinking pints and checking out 
the other drunks. 

A married acquaintance
brought you to my table, 
playing matchmaker
after you hit on her first. 

You gave me the once-over,
spilled your beer several times, 
and followed me to my car
to smoke a couple of bowls.

“Prepare for the ride of your life,”
I said, returning the pipe to
my ashtray. “I have a lover,”

you replied, “but she’s
more of a friend, really.” 

Back at your place,
you played Annie Lennox
and Bryan Ferry on a boom box
and gave me the ride of my life:

one that would rage
on and off, for a year. 

Sometimes, I miss the
deranged hubris of my youth: 
that unflinching belief
in my invincibility. 

On the other hand, it’s nice
to sit home with a cold beer 
and a bag of good cannabis.

No one can accuse me of
never doing anything rash.
I’ll always have memories, 
and an endless series 
of upcoming lifetimes
to fuck up even more. 

John Tustin

The Pretty Young Lady in the Black Wig

The pretty young lady in the black wig 
And I 
Got into a conversation 
And during the conversation
She told me she liked to collect dead things

And when I asked her what dead things she collected
The pretty young lady in the black wig
Became disinterested
And began talking to someone else

So at that point I surmised
That one of the dead things
The pretty young lady in the black wig 
Had no interest in collecting

Was ugly old
Me.

Laszlo Aranyi

Sublimation

He thought he heard some kind of muffled hiss.

(Like the pop of the slipery-cool carp’s swim-bladder
in our clenched grip )
He fell nine stories.

And instantly he was smeared on the asphalt
              (He didn’t say as much as a “holy shit”…)
Passers-by formed an orderly circle, staring at the sight.
       The ice-cream cone looks like the holy grail 
held by the fingers of a big-assed woman
                     who greedily licks with her
       elongated tongue heavy with the plaque of decay.

       At such times the wrecked remains are abandoned 
beyond the limits of our perception. 
The departing cool is pale, light as breath pink that fades to white.

                    Piss trickles down from under the skirt 
that wraps around a broken thigh bone pierced 
through the skin,
                    Bicycle wheel and
              shoe prints:
                           Strange jewels on a dancing pool of blood.  

***

Translated by Gabor Gyukics