Thirteen Myna Birds

16.

Pinocchio

The man of wood, he sings a sweet song
to you. And when he fibs, his nose grows long.
You must act a lady and never stray—
his temptation, you mustn’t tease
and your pinkish dress must cover your knees
for this puppet has come to play.
And your braids must be delicately kempt—
for we all know that you will tempt
the man of wood. Then you will frolic, bend and play
legs open, “lie to me” you will say.

~Olivia Loccisano~

*

15.

Bo Peep

Shepherd your sheep, my little child,
for they will follow you home—
in blisters and wool, they cry out and gasp,
for you do not care for them well.
Take your phallic staff and yield them smooth,
and they will be your protection
but you are a frenzy, a mind that is lost
too much in your sparkling head.
Now the sheep have gone,
and the lambs are brawn,
and you have forgotten your way home.

~Olivia Loccisano~

*

14.

The Muffin Man

“Do you know The Muffin Man?”
How could you forget—
the sugar you brought him two days ago
when your mother asked.
        why could she not bring it herself?
        because he wanted you
and when you visited
the baker’s lair
to deliver the sweet snow,
it smelled of yeast, of sweets so fresh,
and yet you were oblivious
the dough was made of girlish flesh.
13.

Teatime for JonBenét


Listen carefully!
Your pinky must raise
when you pick it up to drink,
curling irons and tiaras,
for you are a lady.
The Hatter wants his tea
but the pineapple and milk are done,
so, you open your mouth and shout,
            “Tip me over and pour me out.”

~Olivia Loccisano~

*

12.

Little Arachnid


Here is a remedy and a warning for you,
Because I see the circumference of your waist is wider
And your thighs have become more fleshy.
You must remain thin if you want a suitor,
Even at six years old, for habits must begin early
And you are a growing girl.
And if this reminder does not work,
We will bring in the pest
Six legs and seven eyes
To help you rest
On your food. So that you will not eat
For you will be too afraid.
Thin girls do not eat curds and whey
But you did not listen
So while you are eating we will release the spider
Who will sit down beside you
And frighten your little heart away.

~Olivia Loccisano~


*

11.

Phobia

The spider walking up your arm
Is weightless, like an astronaut,
Silk legs, invisible to touch,
Her landings largely undetected—
Still as you scratch your elbow, till
You stop. She creeps forward, quiet,
Joyful undulation bobbing,
And you there too, unknowing partner
In her shoulder ballet. One spin.
Two spin. Up neck and in the ear.

~M. Anthony C.~


*

10.

Four Sheep


Dark transport, from that ranch to home. The fence
That keeps them in this longer grass, the blue
Plastic trough that holds their water, the single
Upshoot—the yard is much more theirs than it
Is ours. It’s been three days since they were ousted
From that trailer to this new world; those four
Stuck close like Velcro, moved slow like sand.
They’re trudging the green of their pure pasture,
Blades falling at their hooves, and when we come
They combine their backs, form their four-headed cross.

~M. Anthony C.~


*

9.

Beyond Me

This backyard of yours is a Texas,
An Alaska, an entire mid-west
Of country; each leaf of grass flames
Its torpid whip on my sight, blows
Its abuse freely, contra-wind.

My mind is fixed, although you’re lower-
Upper-middle class, you’re monied:
You pull a gold bar from your pocket,
You crush a damp starfish and spread
It on linguine, you feel little
For the bleating sheep.
                                    They fuse
Their bodies into hydra, see all.

Your blood is so exclusive. It
Will not atone for me. Embrace
Is rare, I know, so I will fight
The hydra. I’ll obtain its bloody
Fleece, lay it down, heal in you.

~M. Anthony C.~


*

8.

The Fishkiss Spa

I told you that you’d have to show some leg
On our outing, wear shorts, but you could keep
Your blouse this time, that I wouldn’t beg
For you to change again. Just foot-deep
Was this surprise. When we got there, your eyes
(conceiving all, in playful spite) dilated
Out wide like lips, in thin like pins, you wise
To all the lies I’d led you with and hated
And loved the little fish nibbling feet—
The worker’s dead skin chewed by mini mouths.
She said that in combing fashion they’d delete
Our roughness with a tickle. So, we dowse
Our feet in fish, feel their uncommon feasting.
I smile with you and feel all time is wasting.

~M. Anthony C.~

*

7.

Mother-Daughter Interlude

(Mom) Oh, but they gave me tartar sauce at Lakeland General. They were so nice. There’s no comparison.

I was really impressed with Tampa General. It’s one of the top cardiac centers in the U. S.

You can’t even use your cell phone in Tampa General—I don’t know what that says about their equipment.

Mom, at Tampa General, you got out of bed by yourself, fell down, and cracked your head.

That’s different.
I did have that little episode.

and you got into an argument with the cardiologist at Tampa General, a--

They were mean. You have no idea how they tortured me in the basement. They put a straight jacket on me. I was not granted my—


very patient man—


I forbid you to ask these people about my physical state because they—they look normal, but it’s (whisper) a cult—

You’re being paranoid, Mom. Come on!

See those windows? They’re looking in.

Mom, we’re on the 12th floor.
How is that possible? And who’s “they”?


I hate this hospital.


Well, didn’t your test come back positive for a urinary tract infection?


Shut. Up. I forbid you to talk about my urinary tract. I told you if you were to stay in this room, you would not address any of my health issues. You are on their side. The side of the enemies.

I brought some chocolates: do you want to try one?

Okay.

~MISH~

*

6.

Sunset in a parallel world



~MISH~


*

5.

75 Acres From Civility

Won the 600 million Powerball,
girl who detested power bought the last
castle she saw in Connecticut. Crawled
before a real estate agent, aghast
at her demeaning display, overcome
in its basement dungeon perpetually
gray, lit by candelabrum for someone
antiquated in lust who needs to be
gangbanged in turrets to feel anything
much. Craves only the bottom of stone
masonry, locked beneath six stories — bling,
luxuries — books and new bruises, alone
on 75 acres from civility,
she mailed all her old lovers skeleton keys.

4.

Lake Purgatory

As boundless as breaks and blurring
What lies between, beneath,
The turbulent stillness that frames
Each surprise—children newly bound midst.

It’s a sort of merging that takes place
When you see them,
When the blued calm becomes
The storm of fate, the lake boys and lake girls on
The waveless shores,
As in life never setting foot
Back again on sand, through trees,
Never knowing peace in now
Untenanted homes, lonely rooms, inanimate thought,
Though in the mist you get to see
Them playing, their laughter,
Jumping,
Heating atmosphere to boiling point,
Unconcerned with the why or
Who are these new friends.

Though certainly there were familiar
Faces between them before this,
Three arrived together in the same car coffin,
Brother and sisters,
And Jacob knew Caleb from school
(Of which the parents were fatally unaware),
You can see them all ponder the new faces
(Even their own) through the surface,
When the moonlight hits just right.

Late June last when I rowed out to find you, Will,
Your mother shouting from shore,
Before I saw the shorts, the blood, the toy,
I knew I’d find you with them,
Jumping from the remnants.

~Oisin Farraige~


*

3.

IN GOWDIE WOODS

The tree trunks have faces,
knotted eyes, surly bark mouths.
The branches shudder
when they’re not flailing like whips.
Every clump of grass
is like a trip wire.
And the rocks grumble,
the pebbles roll about like marbles.
It’s swampy in places,
and the mud squelches roughly underfoot
like an angry toad.
There are no birds, just reptiles.
No squirrels, no chipmunks,
in fact, nothing warm-blooded,
just anything slimy.
The wind’s howl gives voice
to what a trespasser feels inside.
And the sun’s rays can’t penetrate
the deep green medusa-haired canopy.
Most kids walk the long way home,
avoid Gowdie woods.
Only the brave few
take the shortcut through
that diabolical forest.
Almost all come out
crazed and babbling.
One boy’s hair turned completely white.
Only the budding horror writer is unaffected.
He sees nothing different
between the woods and the world outside.

~John Grey~


*

2.

A Rooster Screaming at a Black Sky


in the distance (but not enough of one
from the motel room for my liking),
triggering what must be one of those
low-grade half dead / half alive / somewhere
between deep R.E.M. and full-on wide awake /
who, what, where, when, why and how state
of mind / out-of-body type experience that
it seems like you used to hear a lot more
about back in the day, as opposed to the
more garden variety near death / life flashing
right before your eyes kind of thing that
we’ve all had at least once or twice
in our lives, right?

~Jason Ryberg~

*

1.

Running on Fumes


The truth is that I never really knew anything
in the first place, when it came to the old

sometimes I just don’t know any more thing
that we’re all subject to from time to time (like a

bad flu making its way around the monkey lab).
Truth is that a plan is usually just a list of things

that never gets done and most of the time
we’re running on fumes and we don’t know shit.

~Jason Ryberg~