Thirteen Myna Birds

17.

Crabs…..

they have no concept of

other people’s personal space.

They’re quick to use claw and

flay open any cell

that crosses their perceived boundary,

but if they cross your path

you’re the one at fault.

The only creature that routinely

closes roads all over the world,

covering asphalt like the plagued Nile

until humans become mass murderers

or don’t make it home for a month.

In an effort to save

the crustacean too stupid to stay out of the road,

we close the roads

because mass murderers get flat tires from serrated claws.

We force people to

spew exhaust pollution into the air

80 miles out of the way

because you just really can’t teach a crab

about other people’s personal space.

~Trina Stolec~

*

16.

It All Comes Back To

 

sitting on the couch trying to numb the mind and not think

            because the election is tomorrow but

            I’m less concerned with who wins or loses

            than how my fellow citizens will act when

            a winner is declared.

 

It all comes back to sitting on the couch trying

to numb the mind and not watch

            businesses boarded up for a hurricane of riots and destruction,

            impenetrable walls surround The White House,

            National Guard deployed to voting centers,

            armed militia “watching” the polls, because

                        WE THE PEOPLE                 can no longer be trusted.

 

It all comes back to sitting on the couch trying

to numb the mind and not contemplate

            over 230,000 Americans

            have been hoaxed to death.

            And the numbers keep climbing.

 

It all comes back to sitting on the couch trying

to numb the mind and not realize

            “free” and “unbiased” are not synonyms, and I can’t tell

            how many lies I’ve swallowed anymore.

            I can’t even tell which lies are true.

 

It all comes back to sitting on the couch trying

to numb the mind and not remember

            9-11 ….           The United States looked like a war zone.

            Tanks on Wall Street.

            A sight I never thought I’d see.

            A sight I used to be sure

                        I’d never see again.

 

It all comes back to sitting on the couch trying

to numb the mind and not panic.

~Trina Stolec~

 *

 15.

 


~ Scott Norman Rosenthal~

*

14.

Beautiful summer of

Covid-19

how ironic

in the midst of

pandemic

the sun should shine

so

the sky so fine

so

the clouds so white

so soft-looking

Mount Olympus heights

so

panoramic

a summer for the books

so

warm

temperatures soaring

as intubation proceeds

and ventilated lungs

gasp for air.

~Wayne  F. Burke~

*

13.

Stiff

I take walks in the

cemetery

where it is quiet

none of the stiffs

makes a peep--

whatever they once had

fled at the

moment of death and

left them

fish-gray and

on a slab

until the mortician

stuffed each

like a turkey

at Thanksgiving

and painted the

face, and

then they laid

in a box

for a day or two

until the start

of their bone-life

in the cemetery

skulls, ribs, and such

not much to it, else

surely

we would have heard something

from them

by now.

~Wayne F. Burke~

*

12.

ENCOUNTER #20

I must throw

a blanket on you,

you're so cold in bed,

 

on the weight of your legs

so they can't jump up

and off the bed.

 

Because otherwise,

you might float out

and wander around

and get lost

 

when

you should be kneading

brown bread

to stiffness

at home.

 

Come,

relax,

let me plunge

your burrowing,

callused hand

inside

the warm

dough.

~Eileen Murphy~

*

11.

Thin Women

resemble stalks of celery

make footsteps like ghost children

smell like chemicals

in diet drinks

feel like sandpaper

taste like salt

and sometimes like whipped cream

 

like women with bound feet

they must endure

the bellowing hounds

of hunger

the poodle-haired ponds

of thirst

they are sticks of butter

they melt

in the sun

 

but one day I too will become

a slender stalk!

a tender grace note!

 

and my intelligent fat

will take a hike in the Andes

 

I will feel my toes

fall off

but will have no desire

to walk

~Eileen Murphy~

*

10.

Plastic Perfect

flatten that stomach, tighten those arms, inject that butt with

another order of pills, a forty year diet that

seduces and slinks away

leaving you with angry credit card motherfuckers, copious vodka, a Lifetime movie with chiseled souls

a knife bisecting botox buttocks 

~Yash Seyedbagheri~

*

9.

Period sex

I had sex this year and it was terrifying.

Kool aid red, inhaling pennies.

You splashed my belly, swiped my chest,

held it under my nose with two fingers,

pushed my head down.

An ink blot, a small country with rivers for borders on my mattress.

You laughed! Said, Get over it.

I see this is how you fashion feminists from boys.

~Dustin King~

*

8.

Julie’s God

Have you ever thought about how we are surrounded by immeasurable arousals?

Julie has.

The person texting on the bus next to you,

the neighbor’s mewing cat.

I don’t know, floating spores?

 

She would have better examples because it’s often her!

She soaked the seat you sat in today at the office.

 

But don’t get squeamish yet!

Humans bubble and cascade where we will,

pants’ legs, public bathroom seats, grandma’s tissues and quilts.

I once did up into the air lying beside her.

She’d make me a fountain or splash me on the wall beside her bed,

leaving a simple abstract she gazed into before sleep.

 

She walks through nursing homes and makes senior citizens feel like teenagers.

She hardly minds, even likes, the bony hand on her thigh or the comment about her round bum.

 

Do you understand yet?

She receives and emits her desires to the world around her.

 

Her morning routine includes an orgasm, a shuttering of reality and

release into the contours of naturescapes the back of an eyelid may create;

Vines woven in moss up a tree trunk, rolling white desert sands,

towering purple clouds, the mirage in between….

What do you do before you leave for work?

She doesn’t need six days for her creations,

she hardly needs six minutes.

 

In the evenings she goes on dates.

I imagine the screen of this phone is the restaurant or apartment window pane-

I study her smirk as she licks a smudge of chocolate off his cheek.

I listen to variations of shudders as his breath moves down from her neck.

 

After he leaves I draw water, light her joint,

watch her through smoke and steam as she bathes stoned

wondering why God can’t just be what makes us feel good.

 ~Dustin King~

*

7.

VIRTUE OR VICE?

What’s with all this talk of virtue?

Give me vice any day.

Evil gets me moving.

Religion slows a person to a crawl.

I even prefer indifference

to goodness.

Sometimes,

keeping quiet

when a man steps

in front of a bus

is as much a kill

as if I were behind the wheel.

Of course, I keep my opinions to myself.

And I look and dress

like your average guy.

For I get the zeitgeist.

Abnormal is not the new normal.

And I choose a time and a place

detached from the moral and cultural climate.

I have a dungeon in my cellar.

I possess all manner of torture implements.

I’ve enticed many a poor soul

into my deliciously despicable lair.

So what’s it to be?

Virtue or vice?

They all scream with pain,

blanch in the face of impending death.

I laugh out loud,

am as giddy as a goal scorer.

It’s easy to see who’s enjoying it more.

~John Grey~

*

6.

A YEARLY VISITOR

Her face has no eyes,

merely sockets that

lead down to a deeper darkness.

And her mouth opens wide

sucking her cheeks in

like a black hole.

She’s in a state

of about to wail or moan

but is forever soundless.

 

Legend has it

that she was the wife

of a brute-man

who chopped her to pieces

with a meat-cleaver.

 

She appears

once a year

to the current occupants

on the anniversary

of her slaughter.

 

To the children,

she's a source of pride.

To the husband,

an ethereal annoyance.

To the wife,

a warning.

Buy your meat

already filleted.

~John Grey~

*

5.

Necrophagic Mutualists

orange phoretic mites

hitch midnight rides on sextons

searching for roadkill

~Daniel G.  Snethen~

*

4.

The Congested Void

 the congested void

of my long disinterred heart

overflows with grief

~Daniel G.  Snethen~

*

3.

Window

A black cat

in the upstairs window

of an abandoned house

sat silhouetted

between tattered drapes.

 

A stark contrast

between the shadowy mouser

and the grayscale weathering

of a century old homestead.

~Daniel G.  Snethen~

*

2.

“weird”

 There is a herd I see.  

I know this type. 

They are all similar to one another; 

they wear the same shirts, 

drink the same drinks, 

puff the same weed,

and cigarettes.

 

And they are all numb to vibrancy. 

They have dulled their bronchioles with smoke and their livers with high percentages. 

They are mannequins, 

and they have become one another.

 

Show them paintings and they take pictures.

Play them music and they record it;

it is not the same. 

Describe passions to them and they try to translate from Greek.

It is hard to speak to them,

and ironically,

I seem numb to the herd. 

 

But I still think they have mad cow disease.

They are losing their minds. 

They think I am lobotomized;

under the eyelid,

crack,

twist. 

~S.M. Moore~

*

1.

“the master lives among mice”

So many creatives create in perfection. 

Their spaces are organized, 

and their rooms, like pictures of ikea models.

And their desks sit flush to the walls.

Their ergonomics are impeccable, 

and they listen to Bach.

 

This is all wrong. 

A filmmaker must be able to create films wherever they may be shooting their scenes. 

A writer must be able to write when they are inspired regardless of the setting. 

A musician must be able to play as well in asbestos-laden pubs as they may in sold out stadiums. 

 

You must force yourself into a mailbox and write. 

Live in a hole in the ground and eat dog food;

take handfuls of mud and run it through your hair. 

 

Do not allow your clean space to become your work. 

Institutional, linear, sterile.

Work in an odd space;

a space with rodents and water soaked into the rug.  

Allow your work to become like that. 

Gritty, disturbing, 

covered in mold. 

 ~S.M. Moore~