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13.

Where Have The Outlaws Gone
(An eulogy for Doug Draime)

These modern outlaws
They run in packs of followers
They walk a hipster walk
Talk in smooth hipster code
Don't need anything new
You've got the same old shit to stand on
Don't need to say anything
When walking on eggshells not to offend
Don't need fresh energy
Don't need anything when it all means nothing

Meanwhile way out west
An old Wordslinger
Puts down his last Poem
He was humble & kind
He was crazy from genius & capitalism
He just let his words do the talking
& a tree fell in the forest
I heard it, I know people heard

I am sitting here getting older
Watching all of my friends die
Watching myself die
I have seen the best minds of my generation
Rotting in trailer parks
What have we done to ourselves
I have seen too much

I heard it over the outlaw chatter
They wonder if their deaths will be publicized
Terrified that few people will notice
Or even care

~Michael D. Grover~

(this poem appears within the new poetry chapbook, "Fuck Cancer Poems", available for pre-order from Blood Pudding Press HERE - https://www.etsy.com/listing/560564955/pre-order-fuck-cancer-poems-by-michael?ref=shop_home_feat_4)

(this poem previously appeared in Rusty Truck - and in Lost, Long Gone, Forgotten Records, where you can listen to Grover read it HERE - https://soundcloud.com/lostlonggoneforgottenrecords/where-have-the-outlaws-gone )

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12.

Kindness Rears Its Pretty Head
(For Cherie Bullock)

I don't understand humans anymore
I know we're all tangled up in our own seaweed
Everyone has their own sickness to feed

I don't understand this sickness
That threatens to kill me from inside
I have come to the conclusion
There are things we are not meant to understand

I just do what makes me happy sittin' here writing
At the end of the World
Maybe I'm selfish
I just feel there is nothing left to do
Been watchin' the World burn too long
I've seen rage, war, greed
I've seen enough

Just when you think all is lost
Kindness rears it's pretty head
When you're down & out kindness matters most
It might just be the last place you expected to see it

~Michael D. Grover~

(this poem appears within the new poetry chapbook, "Fuck Cancer Poems", available for pre-order from Blood Pudding Press HERE - https://www.etsy.com/listing/560564955/pre-order-fuck-cancer-poems-by-michael?ref=shop_home_feat_4)

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11.

It's So Hard to Keep This Calm

Such a delicate balance
Body goin' through changes
Don't feel like doin'
Much of anything lately
But I do what must be done
Don't feel like doin'
Much writing lately
But I do it anyway
I'm stubborn like that

I will write with cancer
I will write through cancer
I will say its name
I will shout it in the streets
It will make people uncomfortable
If it does put me down
I could only hope
To go out peaceful like Clean did
But I will not go quiet
Not as quiet as I feel like I'm going

~Michael D. Grover~

(this poem appears within the new poetry chapbook, "Fuck Cancer Poems", available for pre-order from Blood Pudding Press HERE - https://www.etsy.com/listing/560564955/pre-order-fuck-cancer-poems-by-michael?ref=shop_home_feat_4)

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10.

PREQUEL

I'll have three degrees of freedom,  please, my kind
not yours. The moon is melted,  all but shelled, and
from  my  nightly inquisition to   my daily stainless
table I  will on my own recognizance return.  There
are so few humiliations to obsess over and so much
time to spend I  may be born and born  again before
you come to bathe me.

~Heikki Huotari~

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9.  

THE RIGHT WHALE  

Whenever I am  in a plastic bag  you can't  decide if
you'll be friends with me or someone in  some other
plastic bag because you're  human so you know The
Axiom of Choice is not a given  but you don't know
which  of  us  is  docile  most  endangered  aptest to
enhance your sexual powers and don't even know if
you need sexual powers any more.

~Heikki Huotari~

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8.

The Horror

Mauve spidery velvet varicose veins
aimlessly wander the streetwalker’s gams,
like purpled intertwined cobwebs,
beneath her patent-leather, hot-pink mini—
covering her pantiless, burnt-orange merkin.

~Daniel G. Snethen~

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7.
What Has Become of Us

Rotting wild cherries dropped like marbles in the soil, we emit a sweet stench of decay.
Fruit flies hover, suspended in the humid air, wings still. My rosy flesh is worm-ridden
as I rest beneath the sunlight-dappled tree that birthed me. Yet I am in far better shape
than you, my dear, for your man has trampled the earth and crushed you beneath his heel.


6.

Wrought Iron Cupcake             

Pain has worked grooves into your face like bone
industry and fingertips of stone have failed you
you burn like wax lips, all thoughts philatelic while stamping out time
society gurgles and belches with the pain of your extraction
I dote on your wailing like the call of the dissidents
overcome the underbelly of the sideways down, towers
of lawyers and telephoto teardrops, rings in noses of New Year’s
if I understand you correctly
all wars are uncivil
there is no such thing anymore as understanding
and nothing is correct or digestible
we all bake one another
with no room for dessert

So Rise Up Against the Oppressor
empty your lungs
squander your voices
then take your seat
have a cupcake and enjoy the show

5.

Immaculate Conception

Father lay the mounted stag head 
on his pillow like it was taking 
a nap in his stead.

still half-asleep on her side, Mother 
was startled. That’s gross.
Hey, I’m ovulating—

& gently positioned Mother 
on her back next to the head
& spread her legs,

even as she continued 
her, Come on, no

Mother screamed—
just once—
when Father accidentally thrust 
her cheek into an antler—
& he put his hand 
over her mouth—
what if the kids playing 
in the living room heard?

She was so mad
she tried to bite him & 
he had to laugh—

& the stag’s spirit easily hopped into 
Father’s open mouth.

After sex, Father was all grins.
Here’s a Catholic joke for you.
What do they call people who practice
the rhythm method of contraception?

Give up? They call ‘em parents.
He gave her another kiss.
I swear, this’ll be the last kid.


4.

My wife and my mint green fruit of the loom tee-shirt

There's nothing James Dean about it
It came with 3 other tees
in a plastic bag
from Walmart
I wear it at home when I'm changing the kitty litter
and there's nothing on TV
On nights when we feel like ordering Pizza Hut
If I keep wearing it with such frequency
It may end up in a photograph of me
gluesticked to a poster board
in one of those collages
they put together for viewings and funerals
I wonder how you feel about this possibility
as you sit across from me
reading Nicholas Sparks
in his "working writer's"
not too professional -not too casual, dark Izod on the dust jacket
I look at my tee shirt in the bathroom mirror
and notice how much the color has faded
since you borrowed it to use in the hot tub
how sleepy we had gotten in there,
how contented you looked just to let the long day end
leaning your head against the edge,
as water filled up in my shirt


Aha

I fell asleep and woke up
On fire
I’m so sorry I said
Trying to put myself out while you
Used me to light a cigarette
I drown in the tub while
You go back to bed
And I sleep in water
Wake up like the ocean
Floating alone
And happy

~Leona Vander Molen~

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2.

Honey
        -    a term of endearment
Honey
        -   something to do with bees

I think of you as the term only in mind
We are not there yet
The fictional location that makes it okay
To call you a word like a
Compliment, like a name
Meant as an intimacy
I worry you would look at me
Like you look at bees 
Terror.  Animalistic fear.
I worry you would run, panic for
A sting never intended
I worry I would taste a lie
Plagiarism dripping from my lips
Meaning I never meant it

~Leona Vander Molen~

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1.

Rat Love

The person cutting my hair tells me
Their partner has pet rats
Had
A rat recently died 
It was looking ill
They talked about vets
Rat healthcare
One day they came home and the
Other rat had decapitated it
They did not know if it
Put its peer out of misery
Or grabbed a postmortem appetizer
If that’s not love I don’t know what is
Where is my someone
Who will eat my entire head
To finally put me out of my misery
And into the ground
Drown me in affection
A burial at sea post decapitation
We would have one hell
Of a wedding night


~Leona Vander Molen~