Edward Krzeminski

Packard Plant, Detroit by david thompson

“Packard Plant, Detroit” by David Thompson

concrete summers

we lived entire summers after midnight
the cherry glow of cigarettes piercing
the dark like blades   sweat-drenched
skateboards w/ profanities scribbled
on the decks   the sound of ball-bearings
on dirty concrete   bandanas thru our
beltloops   the feeling of roads we never
skated girls we never kissed mornings
we never saw

lipstick stains

she smokes cigarettes just
to watch them burn out

wanting to hold fire in her hand
for a brief and shimmering second

wasting nights like the torn pages
from all the books she never read

More about David Thompson

Tim Peeler

marl factory ruins by jennifer tomaloff

“Marl Factory Ruins” by Jennifer Tomaloff


Going away is harder than I Thought

I thought I could just go down to the woods
And be done with it, or that playing dead
Would just become second nature,
Like driving to work or rolling
The garbage can to the road.
I know; you always bury a copperhead
Because you don’t want to be stung
By the yellow jackets that eat it.
But who can bury all the poison
A man turns loose in this world,
And is it better to leave a few people at a time
Or to go in one big humanitarian blast?
Morning, I look in the mirror
At the ruin that’s left, measuring
The evil that casts its own reflection:
Who’s gonna die today, Fat Boy,
Me or you.

More about Jennifer Tomaloff

Adrian Manning

the WAY by david thompson

“the WAY” by David Thompson

DAYS LIKE THIS
(for JQ)

It’s days like this
I want music without sound
A book with blank pages
And art with no shape,
Line or colour

It’s days like these
I want the clocks to stop
The roads to be empty
And the sky to be clear,
Cloudless and blue
 
Nothing to disturb me
So I can stretch out a hand
And try to reach you
Wherever you are

April Michelle Bratten

Missouri by david thompson

“Missouri” by David Thompson


Breakfast With Christians

We were 15 years old then,
as smooth babies,
singing for the congregation.

The music flew from our 4 mouths
in blue and silver streams, pure,
the chords of “O Holy Night”
sung over a hard plunked organ.

We held hands as we sang,
dressed in our skirts and blouses,
panty hose, and shiny shoes.Amen! A-men.

Afterward,
I sneaked stealthily,
alone,
out of the church’s back door
to smoke a cigarette
in the cold morning air,
or I would hustle off
to the supply room
to kiss boys
around the brooms and mops.

Then I would quietly return to my pew,
bow my head,
and listen to the pastor say those loud,
important,
grieving words.

10 years later,
after our lives had bent
into curious and separate formations,
we reunited to have a catch-up breakfast.

I had spent the night before
at a party in a trailer park,
swigging Captain Morgan shots and hitting
the beer bong with fierce tenacity.

Over their gooey eggs, the three other ladies
spoke of their perfect children,
perfect husbands,
and perfect prayer meetings.

I excused myself from the table
and went outside to smoke a cigarette,
alone,
in the cold morning air.

Melanie Browne

Minute Two

“Minute Two” by Eugenia Loli


I Almost Cried in Front of a Lichtenstein

surfing the web I
run across a book titled,
“pictures and tears: Famous
people who have cried in front
of Paintings,” the book
claims that Hemingway cried in
front of a painting,
and I wonder how the
author can prove it,
I picture Hemingway
standing there,
heavy in his boots,
weeping over a painting,
and it sounds absurd,
absolutely nonsensical,
and I’m slightly curious,
but not enough to buy the book,
would Monet’s haystacks
have made Nietzsche cry?
and then I wonder why I
have never cried in front of
a painting?, I can cry in
the car, or in the
movie theatre,
but never in front of
a painting, much
less an abstract painting,
a bunch of red and black
smears across a canvas,
maybe my bones are
filled with ice,
my heart still
an unfinished
symphony of
falling ash,
but that’s probably
not true,
and it’s not like
art museums
have tissues

More about Eugenia Loli

Walter Beck

one to the head by ben john smith

“One to the Head” by Ben John Smith

Spiritual Homeless Blues

The coffee mugs sit empty,
The dates rapidly fading;
Empty porcelain accusing me.

Names flash on the screen,
The Newest and Proudest,
And I don’t recognize them,
Not anymore.

The old leather colors
Hang lifeless,
Their silver buckles
Lazily gleaming under the 40 watt bulbs,
Half-closed, glazed over eyes.

My phone calls went unreturned,
My jokes went untold,
My songs went unsung,

And my poems went unread.

More about Ben John Smith