James Babbs

MONOLITH

“monolith ex. c light erosion” by David Tomaloff


In the Aftermath

somewhere among the ruins
I crawled through the rubble
confused by what had happened
the sky choked with dust
and I couldn’t see the sun

somewhere among the ruins
lost in hours of drunkenness
I wandered around alone
the sun had broken through
but it was too bright
I closed my eyes
and waited for night to fall

somewhere among the ruins
I started foraging for food
I wasn’t really hungry
but driven by my own body
the tasteless pieces
sliding down my throat

somewhere among the ruins
I found pieces of my heart
and gathered them up
before I realized
I’d never find them all
so I released them again
stood and watched them
scattering into the wind

somewhere among the ruins
I saw her again
fluttering over the wreckage
and she kept stopping
as if she were listening for something
for a moment I wanted to scream at her
but I didn’t
I just watched her turn
before lifting up her wings
and rising into the air

More about David Tomaloff

Advertisements

William Taylor Jr.

481

“Untitled” by Erin O’Malley


Report

It’s after midnight and I’m standing on a concrete platform
waiting on a train

gazing across an empty parking lot at the lights of cars
moving along a freeway

I’m missing you like a limb or something
I once believed in

I wish the world wouldn’t always boil down
to such things but somehow it always does

the train arrives and I shove myself on
to be pressed between the eyes of strangers
drunk and unknowing

I study the graceless faces
noting each one you’d imagine
more beautiful than mine.

More about William Taylor Jr. and Erin O’Malley

Cassandra Dallett

Paw Paw

“Paw Paw” by David Tomaloff


On Bush Street

My window looks into an air shaft
dark and musty with smells of foreign foods
and aging hoarders
ten people sleep in the studio across from me.
My other window looks at a wall
painted grey streaked white with shit.
The pigeons drive Moxie my cat to grow wings.
the studio smells of 409 and heat
a muggy New York City’s summer
trapped inside San Francisco walls.
The hooker downstairs
tells me the former tenant
died on the twin mattress where I sleep.
The southern white landlord asks me to leave
makes up lies
about my black boyfriend
and my black cat.
Moxie leaves me a gift
in the middle of the apartment
placed on a pyramid
of shredded paper towels
a dead mouse.

More about Cassandra Dallett and David Tomaloff

Erek Smith

milksplash omalley

                        “Milksplash” by Erin O’Malley


an old friend

i quit writing
for years

got so tired
of it

i thought i’d found
a community
that i could
connect to

that believed in
pain
beauty
and above all
honesty

instead
they were just
small fish
in small ponds
trying to be
big fish

or worse
trying to find
the big pond

so i quit

i focused on school

and now
here i am
sitting in
Cultural Anthropology
and the girl in the front row
still isn’t getting it
asking another dumb question
and the cute brunette
sitting in front of me
i can see her ass
peeking out of her jeans
and the pen and legal pad
sitting on my desk
are staring back at me.

More about Erin O’Malley

J.J. Campbell

152

                                     “Untitled” by Erin O’Malley


under construction again

walking these broken
city streets in constant
need of repairs

you’d think they would
fix them right the first
time

but you’re old enough
to know that’s not how
unions actually work

these once grand
steps

lincoln spoke here

now, they are home
to the insane preaching
to the pigeons

where struggling
community college
students go to buy
weed

where old poets sit
down and take out
a blank notebook

hoping that
something interesting
walks down the street

and about three
cigarettes in you
realize the sidewalk
is under construction
again

even the pigeons have
lost interest

More about Erin O’Malley

Sophia Argyris

HERE BE DRAGONS

“Here be Dragons” by David Tomaloff


DEARLY DEPARTED DADDY LONGLEGS

All those funerals we held for wasps
butterflies and spiders
in the garden planting crosses
made of twigs into the earth.
Solemn as churches
the three of us, singing or
chanting some song made up
to mourn their passing.

We’re older now and loss
is something very different.
Black clothes and lowered coffins
hushed voices, airless rooms.

Our repertoire of ghosts
just keeps on growing.
Long gone the innocence
of green garden insect graves

More about David Tomaloff