Elizabeth Jorgensen – Prose-poetry

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Cellulite dimples through her black leggings, the scent of weed woven in her untamed hair. We drive to Grimaldi’s. I say it’s my favorite restaurant. But it’s not.

We split the spinach salad. “You can have the red onions and cherry tomatoes,” she says. She sucks on the bacon and picks out the blue cheese. But it’s not.

“Gorgonzola,” I tell her, “is more mild.”

“On your first time, dessert is on the house,” the waitress says. A dragon inks her left arm, a nose ring hangs on her septum.

We say, “Yes, it’s our first time.” But it’s not.

Dinner over, we say, “Let’s do this again.” We take home the Reese’s peanut butter cheesecake—made on site, split in half. She, slowly now, says goodnight.

Later, in bed, I eat the cheesecake out of the to go container, the whipped cream dwarfing the slice. And then, I rip the bong.

I wish it was the whole dessert. But it’s not.

🍃

Elizabeth Jorgensen is a teacher and writer. Her memoir of sister Gwen Jorgensen’s journey from CPA to Olympic Champion is due in 2019 from Meyer & Meyer Sport. Shorter works appear in Harvard University’s Azalea: Journal of Korean Literature & Culture, Wisconsin English Journal and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, among others.

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Ian Mullins – 1 poem

This Year’s Grey

 

 

Says she’s sorry –

should I be sorry too?

Or is she just blessing

her cold ego by being the one

who speaks first, righting the wrong

her mouth twisted like a bag

she’d hidden a live rat in?

 

Or are these words performing

the same rite for me, blessing myself

with silence as she blesses

herself with words? And how

will I tell black from white

or white from grey, when everyone

is wearing it this year?

 

 

🍃

 

 

Ian Mullins dredges debris from the banks of the river mersey. The autism-themed chapbook Almost Human (Original Plus) was published in 2017. The music-themed collection Laughter In The Shape Of A Guitar (UB) was released in 2015. Number 1 Red, a novel about professional wrestling and property wars, escaped from a headlock in 2017. All should be approached with caution.

Gary Beck – 1 poem

Deaccession

 

As the city we love
submerges
   into decay,
stores closing everywhere
no one concerned enough
to stop decline,
the wealthy secure
in castles of comfort
  indifferent
to loss of jobs, homes,
and the people are silent,
  overwhelmed
by disaster waiting
to embrace us.

 

Conditioned by the media
to passively accept
threats to existence.
  we do not protest
the collapse of our future,
since it creeps up
  on stealthy paws,
rather than Goth invasion.

 

And as prosperity seeps away
  the privileged revel,
either too stupid to recognize
dependency on the people,
  or too uncaring,
engrossed in fleeting pleasures,
  blandly assuming
they’ll sail to safety
on mega-yachts,
find luxurious refuge
  in another land,
continue their feasting.

 

 

🍃

 

Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director. He has 14 published chapbooks. His poetry collections include Days of Destruction (Skive Press), Expectations (Rogue Scholars Press), Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, Displays, Perceptions, Fault Lines, Tremors, Perturbations, Rude Awakenings and The Remission of Order (Winter Goose Publishing). Conditioned Response (Nazar Look), Virtual Living (Thurston Howl Publications), Blossoms of Decay, Expectations and Blunt Force (Wordcatcher Publishing). His  novels include Flawed Connections (Black Rose Writing), Call to Valor and Crumbling Ramparts (Gnome on Pig Productions), Sudden Conflicts (Lillicat Publishers). Acts of Defiance  (Wordcatcher Publishing). His short story collections include A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications), Now I Accuse and other stories (Winter Goose Publishing) and Dogs Don’t Send Flowers and other stories (Wordcatcher Publishing). The Republic of Dreams and other essays (Gnome on Pig Productions). Feast or Famine and other one act-plays will be published by Wordcatcher Publishing. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of magazines. He lives in New York City.

Kenneth Pobo – 1 poem

A FLAT SWEETNESS

 

Ask him his favorite color.

He says blue.  I’m his best friend—

I know better.  He says a blue sky

is like a busted vein, prefers yellow

but keeps that a secret.  A man

 

of many secrets.  Raylene found out

about Juanita the waitress.

He said she was just helping him

with his popcorn popper.  She could

fix anything.  Raylene shrugs off his lies.

When he says, “Ray, I love you” she knows

he means himself.  She calls him

a snowball melting on a window sill.

The sun burns away all his lies,

 

leaves nothing.  Skip had a fight

with truth.  It happened in first grade.

He told the truth, that he had stolen

a dime from his teacher Mrs. Wright.

Expelled, his dad gave him a “whippin’.”

 

He walked away from truth.

It wasn’t reliable.  Coke—

until the fizz falls away and only

a flat sweetness remains.

 

 

🍃

 

 

Kenneth Pobo

K J Hannah Greenberg – 1 poem

A Fixity of Posture

 

Catalepsy’s initially regarded as

Socially uncouth, as also akin to

Burping, suffering borborygmus,

Eating lukewarm pottage, sipping

Brackish water, embracing math by way of infinitesimals.

 

See, déraciné, that dire displacement

Experienced by swathy folks, intent

Not on assimilating, but on capture,

Routes subjective sense perceptions;

Most bonkbusters discomfort grannies, distress preachers.

 

It’s insufficient just to chop potatoes

Into small tetragons if deracinating –

Meddlers require knives, sticks, any

Weapon, really, that fits together the

Pieces, whose components stanchion outworlder functions.

 

As we embrace rendition, all manner

Of terror attempts groaking unsullied

Blatteroons, talking while adjusting

Headsets.  Politicians, basically, can

Apostrophize ‘til dawn. Professional accountability wilts.

 

Reflect, we’re no smellfungi, just dull

Citizens cognizant that monokinis, or

Burkinis, mightn’t be for showcasing

Female form, increasing sensitivity to

Misogyny, protecting women from an ingrained prejudice.

 

Designs, even now, are harvested from

Lists, from geometry or trigonometry

From men too unsophisticated to grasp

Concepts correlating rates, slopes, pain,

Save no one, won’t render their communication consequential.

 

Viz, most noumenal (not phenomena)

Surround profoundly stuck moments.

Elsewise, practicing non-judgment on

Sad environments encourages engaging

Scary places; Benin, Burundi, Mauritania, Gabon, and Dijbouti.

 

🍃

 

KJ Hannah Greenberg