Happy Horrific Holidays from Thirteen Myna Birds!

13.

if I were an artist

of the type who increases the value of his paper
by soft shades of pencil and rich textures of brush stroke
I'd take a fine-line pen and draw a black and white butterfly

I'd take extra care over the wing patterns, creating them equal
as symmetrically sound as my hand would allow
but the inconsistencies and the imperfections would be charming and almost beautiful

of course, he'd have some sadness to carry
but I'd give him a strong back and stronger legs
strong enough to leave the page in a flutter of freedom

I'd open the window nice and wide
and my black and white butterfly would circle the room
and linger a while on an outstretched finger before he made his escape
and I'd wish him luck as he flew up into a sky full of pencil-sketch seagulls


(from Matthew J. Hall's book, the human condition is a terminal illness, forthcoming soon from bareback press)

*

12.

Under The Oaks (For D.A. Levy)

Show me where society lays the remains
of a dead and forgotten poet.
There under the shade of a sickly oak,
scattered bones like that of dominoes.
No plaque, not even the smallest sign
to recognize the loss of art,
the loss of a human being who gave
his very body and soul, his words, his meaning.

I hover there like a hummingbird 
searching for his honey, his muse.
I look at the freshly dug dirt 
and see the softness of despair
riddling the silhouette of artistry,
shotgun desecration.

I listen and hear only my breath
and whispers of fallen poets
rising, falling, rising, falling.
The whispers get louder and louder
becoming screams calling out to me.

Looking up in front of me I see
an ocean of oak trees 
and an army of poets
speaking from the grave 
society dug and buried them in,
wanting their words to be heard 
one last time.

~Craig Firsdon~

(
Under The Oaks is based on Craig Firsdon's good friend Michael Grover's trip to see D.A. Levy's grave. It took a while to find and was marked with just a small plaque.)

*

11.

American Made

I'm American made
I bleed motor oil
I don't make love, I only fuck
Money is that thing that makes me special
Not to mention better than you
My car is shinier than yours and I paid more for it
My house is bigger than yours and it's at the top of a hill
It has 47 rooms
With a yard so big it takes a team to maintain it
I have an in ground pool
Floating in it I drink alcohol and breathe smoke
I think popular intellectual thoughts
We all laugh and smile and are so proud to be our clever selves
Other people cook for me
They also clean up after me
I'm too busy being American to bother with it
I own people
They want what I have
They are willing to do whatever I want them to
I own them, they are mine
They all depend on me
They all suck on my dick
Its special, Its American made
And bigger than yours

~Timothy Thomas Cole~

(with the rights drunkenly given to Peter Dinklage)

*

10.

Insomnia 15

When I was in junior high
I used to masturbate into a mayonnaise jar
then ask my science teacher
a willowy blond named Ms. Gorgeous
if she would like me to make her a sandwich

We went around class
saying what we were going to be
when we “grew up”
and when I said Doctor, Medical Doctor
the class blew out the windows with laughter

Even the principal laughed
way down the hall in his office
the laughter was that infectious

But I showed my obnoxious classmates
I became a doctor
Certainly the medical school I attended
was not certified

but fuck elitism
East Indians and Chinese have been practicing
arcane arts for centuries
without the benefit of WM (Western Medicine)
after their names

So, as the joke goes,
I practice practice practice
and one day I’ll get to Carnegie Hall
where I’ll play the Skeleton
my bow against its bones

~Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois~ 

*

9.

Bloody Moons

That web shines like milk
in the moonlight, a sacred liquid
made cheap in filtered frames--
an Instagram fix.

Flushed high on the edge
of those charcoal clouds,
red proves the prophecy
of all those wicked witches.
Swept out the door, my toadstool
runs rampant, plants itself
in the nearest pansy bed

The carnage comes when the creeping
crescent wanes. The moon moans
its music; mimics the slimy beast clutching
at purposes. Before the sword falls, I
cloister my breath and wait for the shimmer to sing.
*

8.

trespassing

I'd like to wander the corridors of your mind
take off my shoes and walk on the soft floors of your subconscious
see our surroundings as you do
search out your secrets, the ones you dare not tell me
I think I know you well enough to crack the codes
to figure out the combinations and see you as a little girl
or at least the little girl of your memories
I'd take my time, take it all in
door by door room by room
of course, the first door of interest would have my name inscribed above it
I would open it cautiously
step inside carefully
study the layout and decor
touch and test-out the furniture
sip from the water glass atop the bedside table
pinch the black wicks of half-burnt, scented candles
pull books from shelves
leaf through photographs
soak up the scores of music
stroke the ornaments and sculptures
run fingers over your version of me
read too much into all the words, sounds and images
I'd have to stave off temptation
leave everything just as I found it
suppress the urge to tinker with your thoughts
remind myself that the slightest interference could potentially destroy everything
come time to leave
I'd exit discreetly
already planning my next intrusion
checking my words before they're released
in case I start to blurt out something
you have never told me


(from Matthew J. Hall's book, the human condition is a terminal illness, forthcoming soon from bareback press)

*

7.

After

In the underworld I never knew what to call you.
Your too formal goat language. Too dull moan
to whittle a knife. Who cuts? Your bristling beard
and laser eye. We eat flames and don’t rinse
the bathwater. A dirty sink is code for carcass.
Pull the guts out. Your journey began scraping flesh.
It’s a hard job. You are not safe from your empty
bone pail, burned off  fingerprints, recycled ears.
All wrapped in comics under the floor boards.
You see the yellow kitchen but cannot climb
the stairs. The gut bucket fills up immediately after
emptying. Then you get a slap. Not fast enough.
But it doesn’t matter because you have your sleeping
pills every night and all the legs march to you. Dark
circles, hair clumping out, shallow breath from
the bodies and the weight. Delude. Quaalude.
Don’t wake up. Wake up. Fear path follows you.
Chips away at the heel splints pinning you to the
wall.


*

6.

Oh Marjorie

I shall not want/to lie/my soul body/crawled into hackles/My Christ/am I seeing this?/where are you my pallid, moonlike circle/only her eyes juddered/Where are you /my face/ Don’t look at her scream/that’s got her hot and porcine/hand into blind/lumbering insect/gulp/the blood/scrabbling/yawning jaws/champing her head /beyond embrace/when he got her there swift/even now/even now /one/ becomes translucent/even now/ your shine smaller

(This is a found poem. Text is from King, Stephen. Salem’s Lot. New York: Random House, 1975. Print. pages: 376-422)

*

5.

While listening to one of the 2 or 3 composers I always listen to for lack of anything better to do since I don’t do well when I drink

strangely drifting
like a cartoon character in a
mental illness medication
t.v. commercial
or something flattened and
full of holes the wind plays with.

Streams of light and sound and
nothing flood the empty lots 
in my mind but the few weeds
don't care and the vast patches
of red earth and the worms and 
the ants and that something
slithering over there don't care either.

The folding chair is hard and
hurts my ass a little but  it lets
me recline and so it's win some
lose some and i open up another
beer and now it's a silence like
nothing else, a silence like all the
mouths are sewn shut  and all the 
cars have stopped all the engines
dead and all the memories burned

death must be like this
death must be like this but without 
me noticing

death must be like nothing
i can imagine but it feels good
to think that death
must be like this. 

the girls are smeared with soil
and they laugh their feet
like bombs exploding on my brain
as they run and jump;

now they play hopscotch
and their hands are knives
now they play hopscotch and
the boars come running from the
burning woods 

fast, mechanical 
foaming at the mouth
their tusks like fear materialized 

strangely floating, 
drifting, like something full of
holes the wind plays with.

~J.C. Mari~

*

4.

THOSE STORIES ABOUT ME ARE WILDLY EXAGGERATED

I'm no murderer.
I was merely partaking
in a religious rite.
Believe me,
that naked virgin
on the slab
was more than willing
to be sacrificed
to the master.
All this nonsense about
how "she had just found herself
a new job" and
"she was turning her life around"
mean nothing to me.
As for myself,
I'm a licensed carpenter
when I'm not appeasing Gods.
So if there's any repairs
you need about the house.
I'm your guy.
So I'll be round to your place
first thing in the morning.
Say 7.30.
Okay, okay,
lock up your daughters
if you must.

~John Grey~

*

3.

END TIMES

Post-apocalypse,
the city's decimated.
Skyscrapers toppled.
Church spires
pointing toward hell.

Small fires
reach out to larger ones
for sustenance.
Water gushes for a moment
and is extinguished.

Night moves in
with no intention of leaving.
Smoke and dust
form a breathless welcoming committee.

People lie dead
hut shadows can't keep still
Statues crumble
but wind is on the mend.

~John Grey~

*

2.

Orange Reality

Mummies are dancers
alcoholics make root beer
jazz down the river
licking stamps
fat automobiles laugh

Men die become seagulls and fly
roaches are not happy
people are not very happy

People get sicker quicker
the sky is the way out
laughter sounds orange
reality exists.

~Catfish McDaris~

*

1.

In the Realm of a Disney Princess

God’s own son is stuck at Customs in a railway station near the border. The ladies of border control can’t be bothered to look up from their iPhones. There are so many refugees around, and more coming all the time, and most of them have only a bit of white fluff, a tandem bicycle, a bowlful of agriculture. Machiavelli didn’t say, “Lick the tire of my bicycle,” but that’s what he meant.

*

Good thing you aren’t here. Now that the clocks have fallen back, the clouds resemble aging potbellied cherubs. I have never seen anything like it before. Vehicles on fire, houses on fire, the wheat on fire. Telephone poles flare up like matches. The small hours are the worst. Self-doubt pokes through my normal fa├žade. I try to sleep but am constantly interrupted by the first sentence of Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis.”

*

Customers achieve absurd levels of violence while ordering lunch at Mickey D’s. Only an eye and a hand of the counterperson remain. And I was just about to ask, “What advice do you have for young people?”  Everyone seems to have a theory about which side is responsible for this crack in the Earth’s magnetic shield. Thank God it’s still possible to re-create a LSD trip, beginning with a blow to the face.