Ben Newell

bike in grass by seth elkins
                          Untitled by Seth Elkins


swiss miss

In Zurich,
they provide prostitutes
with slots,
little safe havens
in
which
to conduct their business;
it’s like
a coin-op carwash
and/or
fast food drive-thru,
maintained
and monitored
for
cleanliness and safety,
a win-win
for both parties—

While
my western ass
sweats it out
in a Motel 6 parking lot,
wondering if the prostitute
behind the blue door
is legit
or
a decoy
luring me
where the authorities await
with truncheons
and electroshock weapons
engineered
to fry
my
central nervous system.

It shouldn’t be this hard
to buy sex
in a world power
like ours;
we call ourselves
the greatest nation
on earth
even though
our watches are slow
and
the chocolate
weak

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Anna B. Wilkes

pool by seth elkins
                             “Untitled” by Seth Elkins

The Body Politic

As a man I’d find thighs to
divide and conquer, trailing my
signature in saliva and semen–
as myself I wield breasts like pale,
veined weapons above an
amorphous waist, pinched by
a marred corset of skin.  I once
wanted to turn phallic so I could
hold my sex like a second self.
Now, I dismantle stares with this
violent fissure of cleavage and
tumble towering forms with
impossibly broad hips.  The
gutteral language of everything is
contained in the morse code
pulsing between my thighs.

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Brenton Booth

kurseong by swadesh misra
“Kurseong” by Swadesh Misra

INSIDE THE FLAME

Home from work at 8:30PM
my apartment starving
looking at the walls
without walls we couldn’t
survive, I think
a police siren screams
I have a glass of water
wondering if my crazy
neighbour  will call the
police again tonight and
try to get me arrested
again for doing absolutely
nothing
feet sore from going nowhere
mind sore from panoramas of
wrong—
this is how civilisations fall,
I look out the window
the moon is full
there’s stars everywhere
on one of those stars things
must be better;
maybe,
maybe not:
but enough to keep me going
for tonight anyway

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Ally Malinenko

kashinama by swadesh misra
“Kashinama” by Swadesh Misra

Ideally the American System Produces Self-Confident Capable People

I heard them outside the Duomo
in Florence, chanting
USA, USA, USA
over and over
into that sweet Italian night.

There were about 20 of them,
tan, blonde,
broad shoulders
slender waists,
their skin tightened
by years of minimal labor
and large quantities of cash
handed down to them by
broad-shouldered fathers
and slender-waisted mothers.

Their wide open mouths,
their white teeth
glistening
as they chant
USA USA USA USA
like the piazza was
a football stadium

and their country was full of winners.

Drunk on sweet air and wine
I turn back to look at them
and shout
“You’re an embarrassment”

and the chanting dies down.
I hear the shuffling of feet
the heavy sigh from my husband
who will now have to contend
with whatever  my big mouth
brings us

but then,
a lone voice
calls back to me

“No. You’re an embarrassment.”

And then,
USA USA USA
again
into that good night.

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Michael Grover

times by swadesh misra
“Times” by Swadesh Misra
 

Confessions Of An american Outlaw #363

(Transmissions For Jack Spicer #14)

Heart is so monstrous and naked that the world recoils
Words rising in my head
No one cares about heart anymore
No blood, no soul
Nobody wants to hear the truth
Curse of the damned Poet
& heart can be a dark lonely place
head can be a dark lonely place
Too much hate we all try to avoid
Too much regret
Too much good american ambition
& what good red blooded american
Does not enjoy football on a Sunday afternoon

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Ross Vassilev

phone is tapped by seth elkins
                                                “Untitled” by Seth Elkins 

I was sober when I wrote this

there’s things about America that fascinate me
like race riots
the Weather Underground
and the ghosts of Indians stumbling down broken-glass alleys
like atomic skies raining down cancer on bad actors in the desert
or J. Edgar Hoover in high heels and a red dress
there’s things about America that fascinate me
like Marilyn Monroe being a Communist
the Mafia and serial killers
and Bukowski getting arrested for trying to evade the draft during World War 2
things like the DNC in ’68
Bobby Seale bound and gagged in the courtroom
and the veteran who came home to shoot his wife and children
America, you’re a cannibal zombie freak show
straight from the bowels of Hell
and the rest of the world can’t help but watch.

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