A Trash Eating Seagull Crossed My Path

By Lucas Herrera

He looked back and squawked a lot

Then he told me he missed it here

And the only time he ever felt like a person

Was when he was near

I tried to understand

It was hard

The sharp air and aggressive cars

The diamonds scattered across the road

But in this world nobody wants them

The trash-eating seagull took flight

I was left alone here

I went to see for him I saw him up there

Where will the harsh wind take him

And what will he encounter when he gets to it

He was sad to go

But before he left I could tell he tried to smile

A twitch showed on his yellow beak

Then a tear rolled town his cheek

I hope he finds out what went wrong

He squawks and squawks, always the same song

A trash-eating seagull crossed my path

A Trash Eating Seagull Crossed My Path

Just Like Everybody Else

By Lucas Herrera

The clock is stopped

Now the scene is laid ruin

I stumble to find my machine, then wander home

I notice the faces of the people on the street

And they appear so happy

But its not long till the vibrant colors fade

And the expressions on the faces are nothing but grey

But i wander alone

Irritated

I work till my nubs are raw

And I’m still segregated

From the peace of mind

Only a sane man can find

His life is beautiful his home is sound

On the other side of town

I can’t stop recalling these blood soaked memories of 17

Locked in to a concrete hole with a stitch, to sooth my itch

From busting at the seams

from evaporating into steam

while i drench myself in soapy water

trying to get these fucking plates

clean

While stress dreams and insecurities wreck my self esteem

I have a home

But, it is on on the other side of town

And when i would good off late at night

Id sit in the moonlight

And remark on the grand sight

And wished it were this lovely on  the other side of town.

Those long nights id peer out to see the guests

Enjoying themselves and indulging in only the best

I wish i could be out there with them

Instead of this

day to day

constantly afraid

waiting

for it to finally hit

for someone shouting from the window of

a 90s hooptie

with the windows tinted by panic

and the birds singing

there will be an explosion

afterwords i will lie there dead

Like some white man once said

“When the south side sneezes,

The north get a cold”

What does he hope to achieve with a sentence so bold

Almost as to be told

To know how normal

How normal it is

Instead of doing something about it

The snow is fierce

Here

It smacks my window

And makes me shiver

Occumpanied by this red light

That tends to flicker

Its the only thing keeping the dark night at bay

Its the only thing keeping me awake enough, to even have

words to say

Breath in fresh air

Please i want to stay

Still you try to teach me to believe

Its not on-purpose

your obvious scheme

like we did this to ourselves

its hard to survive on 7.25

working at some far out

Brooklyn park

Wal-Mart

And he always did it somehow

BUT WE ARE TO BLAME?

When you put the substances into our reach

You’re the origin of every disease

I will hold it in today

And i probably wont do anything about it

Ill get high all day while civilizations crumble

And not care for the factory bound children, all by

themselves

Just like everyone else

Just Like Everybody Else

Homage to the Spanish Armada

By Steve Brooks

homage-to-the-spanish-armada-224x300

On this daylight evening
let’s build something truly absurd
a plank of fog
a mast of peg leg
and skull cannonball
the feeble Galleon sinking
we’ll shoot it past the moon to shine darkly
through the past darkly
Oh morning star of ineptness
orbiting a vagrant path
with a ship of fools
on the day of the dead rising
The one trick pony with fallen rider
leads the procession stumblebum
Put on your mask
your gesture of stupidity
with a drunken fleet of barflies
the army of boozehounds howling
defeated by nature and circumstance
and sixteen eccentric toreadors
prancing on a dead man’s chest
A fiesta with lethal injection
with its silver armor smashed by rocks and wind
the sirens sweetly sing:
Oh Titanic,
Oh XX Valdez,
Oh Challenger, etc., etc.,
Vanity Oh Vanity
how the mighty have fallen
see how they run amok.

Homage to the Spanish Armada

Boreas

By Devin Hamilton

The infiltrating cold begs my silence

It means to steal my pink flesh

Display my skeleton

Like the naked branches

Collecting icicles

Abolishing comfort

In favor of survival

Now I ride the pendulum

Between ceremonious snowfalls

Silently layering atop the earth

And enraged blizzards

Slapping my cheeks red

Winter’s voice

An indomitable wind,

howls through the shutters

of the house

‘My love is a lesson,’

She screams

‘But you treat it as an attack.’

 

Boreas

1:14

By Clare Flanagan

 

Forgive me my inaccuracies please it’s only that

I haven’t written about this (let alone felt it) in so long &

I was not expecting it now. I tend

to anticipate the worst such that

I’m never disappointed but then

when nothing changes I keep my chin above water when

the cloudbanks break my toes find

the cool silt floor of the lake and when you

appeared before me I began

to know the depth of all

I’m swimming in. You

in five fathomless shades of black, you

in glasses and low-pulled hats, you far

and incomprehensible shade of

that thing I felt last time the days lengthened

in this way – are you all that

in a different shape,

another epinephrine specter, tall crooked

dance partner for full-moon music? We,

tactless, swimming unsteady circles

around the kitchen – do you see

how I scour cast-iron, chop garlic

and day-old onions? What about

the bruise above

my collarbone, or how I watch, foolish

for you, halfway up the stairs? Let me tell you

what I’ve done and seen

for a minute. I can recite to you

the alphabet of my loneliness, the barefoot

pre-dawn soliloquy, high heels

in one hand, dislocation

in the empty other. Let me tell you all the words

I know for losing –

the one for locked-up quadriceps, salt heart surpassed

on the backstretch, the one

for the dark drive home, the resonant cold, the one

for at least now you know

how it feels, it’s done, spools

of interstate tangled on the floor

between you, but at least you know

what it’s like to be in love. Forgive me

again – I don’t have

a term for that. But if that word

could ever become flesh, it might

be you –

dwelling among us, close and bright

as the moon that forgets waning, you

who existed before me, voice broad and

eyes blue, with whom

I now share a roof, by some

holy accident. I don’t know

who to thank for this, how

to give shape to this yearning. Take

my hand again. Testify, cry out, tell me

stories in your dialect –

speak until I know

your very language.

 

1:14

Manzanita Park

By Clare Flanagan

 

How did I arrive here

from where I came —

the tree limbs, the cold lodestone rock

that pulled me as a child, called to ascend

til the branches bent? I named

every hoof-beaten path

in the backyard woods, stalking birds

& berries through the dusk hours, grown voices tearing

through the box-elders, calling out

to me. I labeled maps

in thin script, hidden still

in a Midwestern basement, slipped

between half-

finished canvases and pipes

exposed. My blood ran

with the knowledge

that I would become someone. So how

did those winding trail-lines

take me here, where I feel

I have forgotten all intention? It’s a nice patch

of grass, sun-saturated. They ringed it

with buildings, named it

for the small apple trees, drought-

stunted, frozen somehow

in girlhood. In their thin shade

I read the same sentences

over and again. I am learning

how memories are encoded – traces, sketched

in neural pencil, brain-buried,

smudged bolder when  they’re called

to the surface. Or perhaps

they leave the hippocampal bowels, float finchlike

to the cortical branches, sing clear

and independent of time. I think of this

as I gaze through the twig-fissures

at the California sky, sift

through decade-old networks –

buckthorn-woven, strung

with cattails, near-embalmed dreams

of being President, or

a vigilante queen. These days

I want less for myself. Before I leave here, before

I read the chapter on forgetting,

I think I’ll become Ophelia –

sink small under the lush square

of manicured grass, the green pool

deflecting voices that say

come back. Flesh

falling away like a wet dress, bone exposed

as the stark backyard granite, the boulder

ringed with tiger-lilies. How I

would strive, thin-armed, to pull my weight

to the rock’s crown, slip

down. How

I would try again.

 

Manzanita Park

Lagunitas

By Clare Flanagan

lagunitas

I’ve come to recognize, under the untouchable boughs

of this live oak, that loneliness

is a fundamental frequency.

 

Between the roaring chord

of the highway & the sound

of the sky, I hear it humming,

 

thick and black

as the line between what could have been

and what was. They say,

 

given the stark bounds

of the root and the fifth,

you can hear a note that isn’t present –

 

like the sun’s afterimage

seared onto the eye, or the way, when I stand alone

in the cold lightless evening, I can sometimes feel your hands

 

as they found each other once

at the small of my back, pulling me into you, away

from the wrong edge of August – don’t open

 

your mouth. I know the places

to which we cannot return. Why is it, then,

that as I shut my eyes

 

to the high tangle of  branches, I see it all so clearly —

the overturned milk crates in the alley,

smoke from American Spirits

 

winding skyward, or before you, even,

the single-track trail by the ageless lake,

the salt taste of the miles I ran

 

that wore it deeper? It’s February in California,

all the solitary maples slender

under drought, but I smell rain in the air,

 

millefoil, musk,

hear red-winged blackbirds & leopard frogs

from Julys ago, telling me it was. It was

and I was, I was and

 

I am

there’s the song

that carries

through the summers.

 

 

Lagunitas