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Morgan Dollar

February 22, 2008 2 comments

Blast-white, full-strike, key-date heirloom
folded away in a black velvet cloth, heavy
lost lens from the first camera box, past
Murphy Oil, mothball, lowest dresser drawer,
cartwheel Carson City cameo, gem-brilliant
boondoggle, this rainbow-toned, mirror-like proof
weighting my palm. How many arrows pierce
your eagle’s reverse talon? For silver or for naught,
for standing trespass in a neighbor boy’s bedroom,
I’d skinny you away in my childhood shoe
and bet my bottom dollar I’d not get caught.

by Brent Goodman

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At the Sink, Thinking of My Mother

February 21, 2008 2 comments

The house is empty, worn and cool. You’ve gone
to work; dad’s working too. You’ve made me lists
of things to do, to tidy up, to fix,
dispose of, or the like. Sometimes I do
resent it, being more these hands than heart,
at least to think that’s what you think of me

or what I total out to be. Truth is,
it’s easier begrudging these small tasks
and you, for your assigning — keeps my mind
off other things, like how the house I clean,
I clean to practice how a house — this shell
that’s partly my inheritance — is kept,

or how, with every mug I sponge clear of
the lipstick evidence of sips, what I’ve
achieved is crossing off another day
of days that tell no soul how far they stretch,
and know that one’s been set when water will
do more than wakes and graves to bury you.

by D.S. Apfelbaum

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Shopping List

February 20, 2008 5 comments

…baked beans, cauliflower, a helicopter
blinks across the sky. That’s all it takes to grab
a piece of him these days, light up
and he’ll plead for you, for onions,
radishes, you name it. Somewhere between
a casual one-night stand and sex
among cigarettes, polo mints, aubergines,
casualties, there is room
for communication, one may hope. No doubt
it could mean less than coffee grains, bread
for toasting, as she showers him
from her skin and he contemplates the layout
of the supermarket, haggis, four cheese
pizza, sauerkraut, his breath
stale as morning, the dull
streetlamp beyond the window capturing the free
range eggs, cod in batter,
toothpaste, false mood, and when
she emerges from an age
in the bathroom, her hair shampooed
and her body wrapped in raw
prawns, lasagne, an old towel, he realises
she is young and classy, almost
a trophy, and his words tumble out, Can we cling
film, greaseproof paper, silver foil, see each
other? but these items
are scored off the list.

by Rob A. Mackenzie

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Rune for the Forgotten

February 19, 2008 1 comment

I’ve been calling every automated line: MovieFone, Time & Temperature, the Suicide Hotline. It’s a problem — the pound key on my handset is missing. Like the vermouth; used to, it was present. These days it’s only a one-count, swirled around in the glass, then discarded. Or even just the bottle passed over the lip of the glass… what would be left on the surface splits, runs. Legs. Whispers. Lace.

And the paperdoll chains I keep trying to cut out… for some reason they just won’t hold hands. Lose their heads. Like the faces in the wall; look in the wind. All these scraps of paper, just parts. Off the hook, they call me. ?! Who, after heaving a 400-ton block of stone 10,000 feet up the mountainside, would have the breath to answer? Someone carved the features; maybe they are deathbed professions. I don’t have the key. Most people leave a note.

by Tricia Anne Baar

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Big Wave Clouds Like Fishscales

February 18, 2008 1 comment
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Flow

February 17, 2008 Comments off

Indeterminate

February 16, 2008 Comments off

Compassion cannot count, it has a way
of loosely dropping petals, asking
“loves me or loves me not…” It cannot
……. scent
a trail, find remedy, can’t trot, bring home
message or method, rub the turrets out.
It’s helpless as the dolphin boy
……. with nubs for hands for flippers.

Live among those who help themselves
……. and you
will be surprised by what that help
……. can do. Enthralled.
Appalled. Aghast. Your mouth an o.
……. The fool’s wide kiss
puckered to emptiness. Walking around
……. in circles. A zero
holds you. Or hold something. Move
……. inside
circumference a ghost. You can’t please
……. both

center, periphery. You jump between
……. them
Mexican bean, hiding from a quantum.

by Monica Raymond

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