Friday, 15 April 2016

Trope Hopper by JD DeHart

Blob2 (c) by JD DeHart

There is a wedding dress hanging in my future.  I just know.  Of course, there are worse endings to have.  It all depends on the kind of story you are in.

I could be headed for a dynastic tragedy.  Although, to be honest, none of my uncles seem to be shady characters.  They are just prodding and rhythmic.

On the way to my plot-point job, I notice some kids playing very, very close to the edge of the page.  I warn them to stay away from the gutter, but they just laugh at me.  I pass many characters.  Some are rounded and I know them well, while others are flat and rarely speak to me.

On my lunch hour, there’s a phone call and I know this is just another step in setting up the wedding.  Perhaps I could jump out the window.  As I reach, the window disappears.  Great, now I have a windowless office.  Should have known better.

It would be nice to flip ahead in these pages, but I am chained to this space, anchored to this line, and can only enjoy the sound of other people turning them over.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Four sonnets written on a dark night by Klaus J. Gerken

All bokeh Wednesday! (c) Kevin Dooley


i walked into the jungle of inception
i knew it was the darkest place to hide
i waited for the beast to come and take me
to the lake where no one makes a good demise
but the beast was in the recess of my anger
i could not pray to any other god
i was cold as night approached i shed the burden
and made a bed of thistles in the sod
a woman in a vision came to save me
she said i was a stranger with a cause
i did not understand the implications
to separate the failure from the loss
so she left me where the vision had no meaning
and the beast preferred new meat and i was lost
kjg 26 mar 2016


i awoke where i could never question silence
it surrounded me as if some great divide
no one could foresee my weak surrender
and none would guide me to the other side
i was hoping that the sun would wake the treeline
i looked around and found no path complete
the leaves and moss were deep upon the shadow
and i was in the mourning of defeat
with a start i saw the beast rear up before me
with fear inside my throat i could not scream
his eyes were orbs of light that made me quiver
with nothing but the quiet air between
so i lunged at him and both engaged in struggle
where victory and loss could not be seen
kjg 232am 27 mar 2016


i struggled with my conscience for advisement
with nothing to appease the storm within
it was dangerous with no chance of survival
on the sea of high remorse it let me win
the beast retreated with a heart of vengeance
i let him go as if i was insane
the waltz of contradictory solutions
turned my mind into a rough terrain
nowhere did i see the trees surrender
the darkness to a victors awful grin
i sat down on the moss and my whole body
fell limp with the exhaustion of a sin
so sometimes when we struggle with the terror
the only way to end is to begin
kjg 356am 27 mar 2016


i waited if the sun would build a shadow
upon the threshing floor of concerned hope
i knew there must be somewhere light would manage
to lift the patient from the bed to cope
so moving on i chose the right direction
it did not matter what that might have been
when lost there never is a wrong direction
when walking into someone else's dream
i took a stave and started on my journey
the path i chose was forward with a gleam
you can't be found by being lost forever
whatever danger threatens so we lean
towards the highest hope that is in heaven
or hell or even what is there between
kjg 435am 27 mar 2016

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Les Règles du Jour by Mark Young

It’s one of those days when you’d like to go out & kick a ball around the yard. Only. You don’t have a yard. So.

It’s one of those days when, if you had a yard, you’d like to go out & kick a ball around in it. But.

Since you’ve opened the gate to your imagination, balls & yards become too commonplace to consider. So.

It’s one of those days when you’d like to get in the car & go off driving around the countryside. Only. You’ve seen most of it, & the places you haven’t are along or at the end of roads that are so basic that you wouldn’t drive them anyway, especially when it’s been raining for the past few days & you’d need an all-terrain vehicle to negotiate them. & anyway.

You have this thing about ATVs & SUVs because they’re mainly driven by redneck country boys or men with small dicks – actually the first is merely a qualifier for the second, or vice versa – or by mothers who’d rather run their children over outside the schoolgates instead of taking them home. So.

You think about other forms of transport, planes or balloons. But. This is a small airport, & to get anywhere you really want to go would involve long stopovers at various transit points, which is time that would be better spent kicking a ball around the yard if you had a yard to kick the ball around in. &.

You’ve already been up in a balloon, & the memory of it is so exhilarating that you don’t really want to go up again & perhaps spoil that memory. So.

You stay where you are. &.

Get bored with that. So.

Since you haven’t got a ball to kick around & a yard to kick it around in you go to the chest of drawers & get out a balled pair of socks & go outside to kick it around on the roadway. Where.

You get run over by the postman who, since he hasn’t anything to deliver to you today, is staying on the road instead of driving along the footpath. Or.

You get run over by a small-dicked redneck boy in an ATV who has decided to prove the point that size isn’t everything & that the red neck comes from toiling in the sun which is where it comes from anyway except he’s too stupid to know that. Or.

You get run over by a mother in an SUV who is in a hurry to get to the school in time to run over her children. Or.

All three come along at once, & you score an own goal.


Mark Young's most recent books are Bandicoot habitat & lithic typology, both from gradient books of Finland. An e-book, For the Witches of Romania, is due out from Beard of Bees.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Ducks Can’t Dance by CL Bledsoe and Michael Gushue

63,237 books. That's how many
hours I can't spare. Do you know
that ducks can't see the color
orange? You would if you'd ever
read a book about ducks. Paper
always curls up when it burns
unless it's been printed against
the grain. Did you know that? Certain
rare species of bookworms eat the ink right
off the page, leaving only serial commas,
unless, of course, they're eating newspapers
or my students’ essays. In newspapers
they replace all the facts with equally
plausible facts which means they don’t
replace a goddamn thing. My students
just weep until their essays turn
back into pulp and the ink turns back
into what I was thinking before I was distracted
by having to do my job.  It’s not much,
but at least it’s a living hell only on Tuesdays.
BTW, it's not true about the ducks. You should
know that. It's yellow they can't see. Unless
they're on fire, unless they care.


CL Bledsoe is the author of a dozen books, most recently the poetry collection Riceland and the novel Man of Clay

Michael Gushue runs the nano-press Beothuk Books and is co-founder of Poetry Mutual/Vrzhu Press. His work appears online and in print, most recently in Beltway Poetry Quarterly, the Michigan Quarterly, and Gargoyle. His chapbooks are Gathering Down Women, Conrad, and Pachinko Mouth (from Plan B Press).