Monday, January 3, 2011

new poem

i got a new poem published about a boring girl i went out with. since i wrote it with no caps i feel it is appropriate to share on this blog. read it here

Friday, December 24, 2010

issue twenty five


i'm 100% confident that i'm the most insecure guy who has ever tried to date you.

rory bruggeman



hey! girl! stand up straight! your awkward shy-girl slump isn't going to be so hip when you're 65. you'll just look weak and feeble. and i'll crush you

totally engrossed

i was totally engrossed in our class discussion. but when he said, "claire, what do you think of this passage?" my mind went completely blank. i suddenly had no idea what we had been talking about for the past half hour. my ears were filled with cotton balls. my face had turned a deep shade of red faster than you can say relax. what is this? anaphylactic shock? it turns out i am allergic to the sound of my own name - especially when spoken by my russian lit professor. and that's why i carry an epi-pen with me everywhere i go.

claire russel


bananas wear clothes
they are easily undressed
i love naked fruit

anne adams


the fifth maestro

this should be the end of the crescendo.
we've been in the minor key too long.
everyone's shifting in their seats, gripping their purses.
some have covered their ears. we need release, resolution.

but the pianist keeps hammering the keys.
he's bent over now, crying all over the piano.
red-faced and pained, he's shaking, but still accelerating.
the chandelier crystals shimmer as they vibrate.

a second pianist comes in and stands beside the bench.
he starts slamming low octaves in the same
maddening minor progression. he leans his whole weight
into the keys, almost hitting his face each time he comes down.

people are sweating, looking around nervously, grinding their teeth.
somebody finally breaks and screams,
but her scream just serves as a dissonant harmony
and now she's part of the piece, another brick in the buildup.

i look back from the front row and i see terrified eyes,
open wide and watering at the rims. as the volume rises
some people start passing themselves out to escape the strain.
the doors are locked, the exits blocked.

the man behind me has his head in his hands,
eyes shut tight, shaking his head back and forth
yelling no, no, no, no, stop, stop,

and now a third pianist runs out and starts jumping on the keys.
he smashes the fingers of the first two
who keep playing with broken, disfigured digits,
sometimes slipping off the bloody ivory.

a fourth comes in with a hammer, rips the lid off the piano
and bangs a high f-sharp string over and over
and over and over and over and over
and over

until the final maestro takes the stage,
walks to the front,
and explodes in a hot, bright, searing light,
consuming us all.

austinrory hackett


4 girls

oh hey, someone hacked my email account?

oh hey, how are you?

oh how was kissing that one girl?

oh hey, mind making a statement to the police?


steve canfield


watching you slip away one month at a time

the first time i hiked up to that peak
to get all my msgs
you had sent me daily texts
which made eleven
and a voicemail for my birthday

i tried to send one back
but the satellite had already gone
leaving me cursing the heavens
and i spent the next 7 days
rereading your old msgs

the second time i hiked that peak
you had only sent two msgs
sans exclamation points and smiley faces
and i knew for the next 8 days
that i'd lost you

trav clark


get her out of my heart part II

i see her leaving her house
i see her driving on i-15
i see her at rory's goodbye party
i see her driving home
i see her walking from her car to her door
i see her bedroom light turn on
i see her bedroom light turn off
i see her backdoor is unlocked
i see her food in the refrigerator
i see her toothbrush in the bathroom

it's still wet



my hand is a claw
wretched and old
how many fingers can one hand hold?

first there were seven
now there are eight
crazy how these phalanges propagate!

dane cannon


"i think about her often, sometimes by the hour. there are many days i imagine i'm debilitated over the loss and failure, and can't get out of bed," he says to her.

"are there actually days you're debilitated over the loss and failure, and can't get out of bed? or is that a phenomenon you can only imagine?" she asks.

"i'm able to imagine this vividly. i've lived it fully," he answers.

"i just wanted to be sure i wasn't the only one."


"who lingers in your mind before you fall asleep?" he asks.

"i do not have time to write a book, or i would tell you," she answers.

lincoln wilder



i would like passenger "a" to lose balance and fall and piss off passenger "b"
because "a" refused to sit down and insert the flat metal fitting into the buckle
until it clicks

sarah cutler



i thought i knew myself pretty well
but then i saw a man driving a subaru and wearing a yamika
and i thought that is weird

megan morton

the last completely original expression of creativity was about fifteen years ago. the year was 2032. it was musical. something about violins and voices and binary code.

since that time we've been trying, we really have, but the truth is that we've already been straining ourselves for the last couple of centuries and it's just not getting any easier. all of our new things are just the old things repackaged. and nothing changes. everyone hates each other for the same reason that we have hated each other from the beginning. just for being there. just for being "other."

computers didn't save us the way we thought they would. computers didn't have a soul in the way that we thought they might. many of us still believe that they could have... but the soul of humanity was too tired, too old to exert the kind of creativity necessary for that sort of programming.

so the soul of humanity quietly stopped struggling, laid down, and died. that was two years ago. 2045. june. one week after my sixty-second birthday. the older generation, my generation, still makes art but it's bland like the flavor of cardboard, and it doesn't have an audience. there aren't as many people as there used to be. the last thirty years have seen a worldwide decrease in sexual activity. people just aren't in the mood i guess.

the rising generation seems to be different. they give us, well, hope isn't exactly the right word. it's more like a general awareness that the species will survive, that this new generation doesn't have the same debilitating associations that we had. they don't connect sex with things like beauty or passion or love. they seem not to care about the "why". instincts are more important than questions.

they don't see a point in questioning their programming.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

issue twenty four


quiet night

when you feel nothing,
you're probably either dead
or swimming naked.

colin pinegar


3 prose poems involving hearts, written with heart

observing an open heart surgery

the heart is on the table and a machine is pumping the blood now. the chest is wide open. the heart is alone on the table. the surgeon is cutting, cleaning, stitching, installing. he has turned his back on the heart that is alone on the table. i am watching the heart. the heart sags beneath its own weight. the heart is not pumping blood or loving. i get self conscious staring at the naked heart. i watch the floor and play with my keys. once no one is looking, the heart begins to sing.

in it

she says she can’t love me, she’s sorry, it’s not me it’s her, she wishes she could. it’s just that her heart isn’t in it, her heart is still in colorado, and now that she mentions it i do notice that the color has all gone from her face.

it’s late and i’m depressed. slouching in my chair, i’m skimming old issues of scientific american and trying to be interested in something when there’s a knock at the door. it’s a tall and pale but beautiful woman surrounded by an all-girls choir. i ask her what’s going on and she says that music is the balm for a broken heart then lifts her arms and begins to sing a sweet long loud but gentle note and as she does golden glitter spills down from her hair and begins to fill my room. all the girls join in harmony and one by one their chests explode and spray different shades of gold until it covers my legs my neck my head and i’m floating.

austinrory hackett


peacocks really do sound like dinosaurs.

claire russell



in other's ideas
trying to find me
i don't find it
most end up

steve canfield


she’s like…

she’s like the bygone bricks in the stomach of scenic waste.

she’s like the under-nourished noise of grey wanderlust; sadist air-raid sirens blaring.

she’s like the youngest fire starter, lighting the rags in alcohol.

she’s like the millions who left on swollen feet, baked alive by the sun.

she’s like the all-clear, hauling me through the solid circle of my well-placed barricades.

she's like the sickness shredding my chest, making it hard to see but making it worth it to breathe.

lincoln wilder


tavaris and keon are both 19. myisha, christina and tavaris are parents. harpreet moved here from india a couple years ago. dantrell weighs 340 pounds minimum. pearson is the valedictorian. tavaris and anthony are lebron fans but dantrell and terrell are kobe fans (i hear about it every day). tavaris' nickname is termite and he is most likely on a 5th grade reading level. terrell and tren are cousins. keon failed 9th grade and works at church's chicken. tanesha and cashlyn are both cheerleaders. trendacian is probably the nicest girl at school, she walks in everyday with a "good morning mr. pratt". terrell, dantrell, myisha, laquavia, cashlyn, michelle, chiristina, tavaris, and tanesha live in eudora, 17 miles south. harpreet lives in the ramada inn across the street from the sunflower because their family doesn't own a house, just a business. terrell, cashlyn, keondric, harpreet, trendacian, and tanesha are juniors will be back next year but the rest are seniors. all of them qualify for free breakfast and lunch at school. all of them take the bus to school. all of them are my students.

clayton nebeker pratt


elevator rides: a series of haikus (based on actual events)


oh! mary j. blige!
wait - did she just cut in line?!
screw you mary j.

chris crosby


from "how did it get like this" (part deux)

i am 27.
i am a virgin.
my best friend is 5 years old.
about an hour ago I sat at the train station waiting for a train and reading better homes and gardens... in french.
it wasn't actually better homes and gardens, it was the french equivalent, my garden and my home.
except it was french so it was actually mon jardin et ma maison.
and i wasn't really reading it i was more like flipping through it looking at lawn tractors and wondering if any of the brands were still around.
it was the mon jardin et ma maison from april 1975.
sorry, "avril, 1975."

just s. guy


so i went on a date with a dentist. i asked him:is buying organic toothpaste a good idea? he said "yeah," there is so much bad stuff in toothpaste, it is terrifying (which i felt was a little dramatic, but he looks at teeth all day so i guess in his context this is really scary for him.) then he added: if i could afford that organic toothpaste i would use it. and that confused me because i buy organic toothpaste and i don't make as much as a dentist and i still eat and live in an apartment all by myself and have plenty of clothes too. so then i wondered where his money was going and if it was not towards organic toothpaste then maybe it was towards cigarettes, pornography, animal tested products or dirt bikes. so i thanked him for dinner but told him i had forgotten that my friend was going to call me and that she had a rare condition where she got super anxious if she heard an answering machine so i was going to make sure i could answer in a quiet place not like a restaurant but more like my apartment that i paid for all by myself even though i wasn't a dentist. so i left and went home and brushed my teeth for a long time.

megan morton


wow, the world turns

hobo genie, you're the grandpa
you've fathered half this world
granting wishes, stealing kisses
from your grandkids- boys and girls
hobo genie, life in prison
is something you deserve
there you'll find some peace of mind
cause everyone there is a perv

chris duce


how's your brain?

i've stopped having to remind myself the wound has healed.
enough time has passed.
don't worry be happy, as the singing trout likes to say.
then my self-preservational lie is thrown into sharp relief by a sweet, simple question.
and i walk out of the church alone thinking,

sara thomas


poem for lance

we went on a drive along the alpine loop.
i told you how i hated christmas.
you inquired with much interest.
when I never heard from you again I did a little research.
turns out your birthday is on christmas.
you were right.
we would have never worked out.

lindsay erickson

second published story

my second published story, "on brightness"

online here.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

issue twenty threeee

the 1 line

a slightly overweight middle-aged man

sits across from me in the subway.

he picks a newspaper up off the seat.

to free his right hand for reading, he leans back,
twists left, and stuffs a half-wrapped cheeseburger
deep down into his jeans pocket,

where it will be safe.

a million-man prayer

what do we want?
when do we want it?

what do we want?
when do we want it?
austinrory hackett


one, two, three, four, five
one, two, three, four, five, six, se...

from "how did it get like this"

the last time i kissed a girl was 7 weeks ago.
she was from denmark.
we were in morocco.
we snuck into a hotel to swim in their pool,
then we went back to our hotel and had a siesta on the rooftop terrace.
i told her that i believe in god and i believe that through the atonement of jesus christ all men can find the power to change themselves into something better than they are.
you know, reach their potential, become more than the sum of their parts.
she told me she doesn't believe in god,
that she thinks when you die there is nothing.
then we made out.

just s. guy

he surveyed the room, blood dripping from his vampire teeth. his appetite was insatiable. "who's next?" he said.

and all the girls raised their hands.

claire russell


my entry



miss spelled

i want to come across in my writings as witty
but grammar is tough
and by grammar i mean my spelling is pretty shitty
and that's not a bluff
i want to write clever things so people know i am witty
but words are often misspelled throughout
and when a clever idea is sent like that it's a pity
cause it doesn't show what you're about
i will keep trying to be a writer who is clever
so i can be as great in person as in word
and people would want me texting them forever and ever
cause they'd be laughing, not at spelling but at my words
well at least everything in this sonnet is spelled right
now, if only i could figure out timing of rhyming, that'd be a delight

(and yeah, i rhymed word with words)

megan belcher
public health: a true story

the bell rang.

you got up to make an announcement.
you looked familiar, but i wasn't paying too much attention.
you located me by the drinking fountain after class.

kid: you're name is andrew, right?
me: no, it's alex.
kid: oh...well, i owe you an apology.
me: for what?
kid: remember those kids that were making all that noise outside your window last night...
me: ...and peed all over my fence? yeah, i remember.
kid: that was me. sorry

you apologized. but that still doesn't make you any less of a jackass.

alex shahan

when i am older
much much older
i want to have kids

real little people!
they call me mom.
and they think that
i know everything

i will dye pancakes green for them on
march 17.

i will put big bows on their heads
and make them regularly wear outfits
that turn them into little
frogs or mice even.

i will enter their scribbles into every coloring
contest and contest myself when
they do not win

i will place them on sports teams and clap loudly
even as they dribble or bounce the wrong way

i will take them to church before
their feet can guide their direction.
they will listen to my political banter
before they can even speak a word.

they will hear me swear sometimes and
speak ill of our damn neighbor.

their artwork will hang on my refrigerator,
their legos in my bed.

i will clean up their
pee and puke
and clumps of dried mud
mixed with dog hair throughout my
newly carpeted house.

and someday they will either
wipe their hands clean
of all of this

or continue the messy cycle

megan morton

caps on caps off

i'm not superstitious but i'm something like that. i just don't always believe in coincidences. like how m phone doesn't know the difference between kiss and lips. i text kiss, my phone spells lips. a notion so lovely to me i am convinced there is a higher power directing the phenomenon. probably the word gods. they created the english language knowing the future capabilities of the flip phone keypad and samsung's predictive text.

not for any reason in particular, just because they could.

if this is the case, however, then surely the rhyming of the words boy and toy was intentional as well. the word gods know, even then, that their little rhyme was destined to be a hit on the radio airwaves. perfect lyrics for the girl power songs of our teen pop generation. yes, it was all planned.

the word gods must be women, so romantic while trying to remain aloof at the same time. and i can say this, because i am a woman. so it's not sexist.

paula weaver


Thursday, September 9, 2010

first published story

my first published story, "new york city":

online here

Thursday, January 14, 2010

week twenty two



a band of robots holding hands,
a band of aliens holding hands.
red rover, red rover,
send robot right over.

lady mystique 69


unconnected triple-rhyme poems that i wrote in class and audibly giggled each time i thought of a new one cuz isn't there something intrinsically funny about sentences with three rhymes in them? the answer is yes, there is.

sells well

city lights make a
bright night

you can cope with:
hope, dope.

a bit of mold on
old gold

new york city's
pretty gritty

she's a mean but
clean machine

modern romance is a
trance dance

if you're free come
see me

after cutting my bet back,

you won't win with
thin skin

she left me here
near tears

no alcohol here, it's

after violence and gore we're
war torn

the vegan cheats and
eats meat

haikus about the man who boarded my bus on the pacific coast highway last may when i was in california with a girl who invited me to the beach and didn't tell me about her boyfriend but i got a few poems out of the trip anyways

a homeless man
with fifteen DVDs
and no TV

unlit cigarette --
he sees me notice,
says gotta make it last

one boot, one sandal --
halfway comfortable
on the beach or a hike

"hafta read somethin'
if you wanna stay sharp."
bus schedules work.

austinrory hackett


lewd sunset

sunset is lewd
wrapping the undercoat exchange
with shadows
from the bridge above

welfare child
speaks the first words
of a five-minute friendship

the only sight
for twenty miles
clothed in the threads
from a coal miner's
dead daughter

every time
the bus passes
that way
each passenger
continues his sole business
turning pages on a paper
or whispering an argument
while innocent hanging children
watch out of smudged windows
detached from all the voices

lincoln wilder


my dad asked me to come over today.
sara, why can't i make the tv turn on?
what am i doing wrong?
you have to come and help me.

it happened just like that.

when you suddenly realize your parents are in the twilight of their lives
you think three things to yourself:
maybe i could have been better about making my bed
at this moment, i really do know better than you.
it feels less triumphant than i imagined and more terrifying.
why didn't you get me a pony?

sara thomas



the fall promises such luch
but the snow whispers
"i love you"
and i can't just ignore that

now the snow drifts softly downward
but winter can be so fickle
i still keep love on my dashboard
effervescence in its embrace



i am a hustler baby-
i just wanted you to know.

it is not about where i have been,
but where i am about to go [top of the world]

now I just want to love you,
but be the person who I am.

and with all this cash [via more money, hella more problems]
you will forget your man.
now give it to me.

[gimme that funk, that sweet, that nasty, that gushi stuff]

jay-z (adapted by alex shahan)


joseph lombardo

i've been waiting a really long time
i was born in 1882
and then i died in 1965
since that time I've been sitting here

in 2007 there was a spark of hope
my great great granddaughter made a choice
i watched her grow stronger
and prayed she find me

in 2009 she finally caught on
she researched and asked questions
eventually she figured it all out
but there was one little problem

there is more work to be done
but she can't do it alone
she asks several people
but very few ever pull through

she's getting discouraged
and a little overwhelmed
if only people understood the urgency
maybe they'd be more willing to help

she knows most are busy
and don't have much time
but she hates broken promises
and thats all they seem to give her

i don't mean to complain
but i'm getting quite anxious
it's been almost 45 years
i'm getting tired of waiting!

my wife is complete and just waiting for me
i'm coming honey, really i promise
someday soon, but i've been saying that for years
please help my girl, she's our only hope

liese rodger


cool cowboy

he has a wide collection of belt buckles
(collected from hollister)

he says y'all and howdy
(when he remembers to)

his cowboy hat is real-
(-really from walmart)

he'll say he prefers to sleep on the ground
(once. in cub scouts. in his backyard.)

he's a crackshot with a gun
(no, he's not)

his dream is to buy a ranch
and make large cattle drives across the country
(cattle drives died with the continental railroad 100 years ago, idiot)

he would have been in the rodeo circuit
except for all the politics
(politics? seriously?)

he has a natural way with horses

and its been difficult to adjust to city life
after living in the country for so long
(its difficult for me not to punch him in the face every time i see him)

trav clark


i like gymnastics because i like ninjas
but why do i like ninjas?

carter nelson