JANUARY, 2019

4.25.19

BY COLIN ALEXANDER

I’m losing it, what little I have.
My fingers slip just through my hands,
Grains of sand like grains of sand.

I’m losing it, what little I have
Arching back for a final laugh,
My head she gently cracks in half.

Bone and blood remade as one,
Shining bright the sickening sun
The heart of the head not yet undone.

From the shore waves come and go
But seas the sunsets sleep below,
Giving into Earth’s undertow

I’m losing it, what little I have.
Where once there was a body I stand,
Grains of sand like grains of sand.

From day to day we all must die,
That left inside set free to fly.
No hope but faith left justified.

While whirling gusts rip limb from limb
Only dust slips through the sieve.
No skin no teeth no heart that beats and yet
I live.

AN ODE

BY HANNAH HAZY

I sit atop a wooden throne, seizing every passing glance
Come. Sit down, kick back, relax
It’s the same old song and dance.

A honeycombed marsupial pouch, brimmed with aromatic herbs
Rays illume the oily coils that
Watermark my curves.

I’m a King and you’re my queen, made to open your third eye
I’ve been blown by all your friends
I guess that makes me bi.

Let me stimulate your senses, listen to my belly rumble
And I’ll be there to comfort you when
Your world starts to crumble.

Your grasp tightens round my neck our lips, at long last, intertwine
Suck harder harder harder, still
Make a turbine of my spine.

Cosmos churn inside your brain; you tell deep, prophetic thoughts
You flick the lighter once again
Well, shit. You’re out of pot.

BLEED

BY PEYTON THOMASSON

I am a bleeding heart
You took me and
I bled all over you

I still bleed
In prayer for you
So that someday you have a heart to give to someone too.

TRITE AND BORING

BY MELVIN KELVIN

Fell
Asleep

On the
Return
Key

Called it
Poem

CIGARETTES

BY JOSHUA RHOADS

My grandpa needs his cigarettes. You can’t smoke for sixty years and not need cigarettes. But, Grandpa, you’re lying in the hospital bed and we don’t have a car here.  I don’t care, I need cigarettes.

Ever since I was little, he would drive around with the windows down smoking his cigarettes. At first I hated them. They smelled like rusty spoons. But then, I started to like them. Let me go with Grandpa I’d say, and what kind of mother wouldn’t let her brown-eyed boy spend time with her father. He’d finish a cigarette and I’d ask if we could stop. Sure, he’d say, we’ll get a Coke and some cigarettes.

I remember when my grandpa bought me my first bike. My mom asked if she could show me how to ride it. I said no, I want Grandpa. After about three hours of shoves, knee-scrapes, and the occasional tear, I could almost make it to the end of my street. I remember the smile on Grandpa’s face as he lit a cigarette. Never let someone tell you you can’t do something, he said. It just takes time.

I scanned the hallways of the hospital and found a nurse who looked competent. Where can I get cigarettes. Sir, you can’t smoke in the building. They’re not for me they’re for my grandpa. Sir, he’s still in the building. Where’s the nearest gas station. About a half mile down the road. Thank you.

What kind of gas station doesn’t have cigarettes? I’m sorry sir, but we just don’t. Well, where can I find some. There’s a liquor store about three miles back that way, and if they don’t have some then I don’t know what to tell you. Thank you.

What kind of liquor liquor store doesn’t have cigarettes?  I’m sorry sir, but our funding’s been cut and so we took some items out of inventory. My grandpa is dying and all he wants is a cigarette, and not me or you or anyone can help him with that. I’m sorry sir.

The cab driver smelled like moldy cheese. What’s wrong, he asked.  My grandpa is dying and all he wants is a cigarette and no one has any. Well, I have some up here– go ahead, take some. No charge. Thank you, sir, but please, let me give you some money; it’s the least I can do. No, he said, your grandpa needs them more than me. Thank you sir, you’ll have no idea how much he’ll appreciate this.

The nurse’s empty face told the story as I fumbled through the hospital doors. There my grandpa lay, the red washed from his face and his body void of spark.

I chuckled as I lit a cigarette. Releasing my grandson along the pavement, I watched his body and bike tumble forward before twisting and falling to the ground. His eyes welled up and his face flushed with red. The smoke from my nose inconspicuously draped around his head as I picked him up off the ground and set him back right. It just takes time. 

JANUARY INTERVIEW: 21 QUESTIONS WITH JOEL KUMRO

PREVIOUS: DECEMBER, 2018

 

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