23 August 2023

Three Poems by Barracuda Guarisco

SIDE POCKET 

 

The future is explicitly without magic

Do you remember the temples 

Where we used to rip hearts out of each other,

Observe a skinless pulse held against a constellation; 

       we’d drink our snake bites; 

Cry to summon help from the sky 

When it burned our bellies 

I can’t believe you don’t care 

That we won’t even have mystery 

Gummies—Sorry, I am mistaken 

We’ll always have aliens

And random discarded shoes 

In the bushes

Though some possibilities

Have already ended

 

 

I THINK IT IS TIME TO DELETE THIS

 

Dear angelic sloth, you jealous frost 

I see you in the kitchen delayed by sustenance 

I think it’s time to delete this 

Mode of function, so put on a bright colored shirt 

Take your green and blues 

with a side of yellow & a scratch of pink

Clawing the sleepy way out 


 

 

REVERSE ENGINEERING

 

cold open with reverse engineering 

the vessel that’s become the obstacle—

because you told me so, and 

having never been examined,

I am in a constant state of waiting,

waiting in the back rooms

to be researched,

remotely, in my sleep,

a stationary blur, 

undisturbed in shrink wrap,

under the magnet of

a violent green—

awake to wooly breath,

some teeth missing, the hairy ones,

scales where the circus animal shaped burns 

used to be; biopsies, the taste of 

raw root vegetables and dirt,

latex in the air; opening the application 

that alerts others of my existence 

to find the most unflattering photos 

of myself—all pictures I took of myself

I’ve just been notified I’ve died

by the worst people—people on the internet

I’ve just noticed I’m a flickering green glow,

a body of eucalyptus, spritzed

hovering over a pane of crisis which is 

no longer my own—

B-sides are records of 

what could have been,

more than a two bird symphony,

a host of ideas and magical gestures; 

salt of the earth; all kittens and poodles—

the type of person you could rely on

to help you move light boxes up and down

elevators in secure buildings 

looking himself into importance

simply for helping,

the other guys are wondering what 

he is offering, what he is getting out of

carrying a shoe box of dvds and a flatscreen monitor—

I mean,  they’re sweating profusely 

like towels submerged in a bucket of water

& then wrung out, reminding themselves,

he is helping, he is doing the best that he can

21 August 2023

Two Poems by Tony Beyer

In the event of 

 

 

1 

 

if you want to get the most      out of these poems     value for money or more     significantly value for time     discard expectation first     be who and how you are     a pilgrim venturing by eye down     the black on white path of the page 

 

 

2 

 

in the absence of clocks     church bells or calls to prayer     from a tower or temple     time is silent     accumulating and dispersing     at the same pace always     what’s gained on one hand     soon spent by the other 

 

 

3 

 

whenever I feel need     of support I return     to Cold Mountain     a human existence     so precarious he resorted     to begging and eating weeds     and yet so rich     in every other way     he may not even     have existed     at least in the guise     posterity imposes on him 

 

 

4 

 

to make his country     more efficient the dictator     introduced clocks     and had them synchronised     so the peasants who formerly     rose with the sun and returned     from their fields at dusk     now had an accurate     measure of the working day    though still there was     little profit to be made     from their smallholdings     after tithes and taxes     were paid to their rulers 

 

 

5 

 

here comes one now     possessions in a     kitchen bin liner     trouser cuffs frayed     from dragging     what’s left of his mind     not here at all     in this place and time  

 

 

6 

 

a half truth     is still half a lie     the river and the curved boats     that ply it     the storm at sea     and the widows it makes     of decent women     a village below the snowline     where chimney smoke     drifts between houses     policies of the next government     if it is the next government 

 

 


 7 

 

you go to the ground     and colour of the ground    to nature      large monochromatic areas     moss and myrtle     juniper and bamboo     the light in its     infinite agility     subtler in shape than pigment     changes and changes     or damps down and shadows variegation  

 

 

8 

 

in the same week Tane Norton died     so too did Sugar Man     Robbie Robertson and Brice Marden      a generation over eighty passing on     passing their energy on     joining hands with the fire dead of Lahaina     war dead of Ukraine     from an increasingly debilitated planet 

 

 

 


 

The outcome 

 

 

1 

 

seagulls shriek and circle 

over the remains of a drowned goat 

washed down by the flood 

 

other perhaps more horrible things 

lie under the brown water 

waiting to surface 

 

some are only ideas 

or long memories of boundary disputes 

night footsteps on a gravel road 

 

a boat with a motor bubbling at the stern 

explores channels for hazards 

backing or turning into cleared passages 

 

people it’s hard to feel solidarity with 

arrive to collect finds mong the debris 

and are gone by nightfall 

 

sight and taste and smell are lost 

underneath where fright is instant 

and silent to the end 

 

 

2 

 

in the empty house there are traces 

of three generations 

 

polished brass shell cases from a war 

and a croquet trophy 

 

orange froth in the sink 

after a pasta meal 

 

curtains drawn but light through the doorway 

articulates an inner room 

 

we who have never lived here  

can only surmise
 

 face masks     boiler suits     polythene overshoes 

fingertip-searching the flower beds for evidence 

 

 

3 

 

mirrors forget the images 

reflected in them 

and even the cleanest window 

interrupts the sky 

 

light so often used 

as a metaphor for clarity 

can be more subtle 

than we are persuaded 

 

narratives of the past 

lead to unwarranted expectations 

not all of which 

make it into history 

 

a distant cry 

signals a return home 

only time can confirm 

as sorrowful or joyful 

 

the bright side 

is the side where the residents 

dressed for the occasion 

meet and discuss 

 

in fiction the investigator 

is the maestro 

drawing the threads 

into a solution 

 

yet any artist knows 

it is the miscreant 

without whom there’d be no story 

who started all this

17 August 2023

My Friends All Love Marvel Movies by Tim Frank

I say to my friends, “Tell me why, what am I missing? Enlighten me.” They are stunned by such a strange and thoughtless question, and they show me a series of explanatory YouTube videos involving a young bearded man in a darkened room, whispering covertly about capes. “Oh, please!” I say, offering my friends cigarettes from my pack. They say, “Superman doesn’t indulge, neither shall we.” One friend of mine has Hulk bed sheets, Spider-Man wallpaper, Captain America socks and cinema stubs pinned to a noticeboard charting the dozens of times he’s seen Black Panther. “One day you’ll surrender to the cold grip of the Marvel universe,” he says over a burrito and a portion of cheesy fries. I snort and inhale some authentic Mexican cola. I say, “You should be more aware of your mental state — swim more, or bake.” “Wakanda forever,” he replies. 

One day I meet my friends in town to get drinks and see life in its decrepit grandeur. My stance on Marvel movies hasn’t greased the wheels for me with the Man upstairs — I mean a decent looking girl would be nice. I tell my friends this. “You believe in god!?” they cry. “That explains your Marvel vendetta. Listen, faith is such a dangerous notion and Black Panther’s still out.”  

So, we get bladdered and watch a Marvel film. I scream as the opening credits roll, then I fall asleep. It’s a good night.

14 August 2023

Vuelvo by Noah Rymer

sonorous screech 

of cicadas 

a thin tune


beating wings of dragonflies

a composition 

in itself


honey crunch of leaves

gravel 

and dusted sighs


it all comes to a close around ten o’ clock


swimming darkness of slept suburbia

dissipating dreams that always seem to escape

into the starless ether of wooden clouds

ghosts hung to dry sheets in cool wind 


Madrid, I call you my lover in these nights,

through the tilted glimpse of motor blurs

from the two-story and basements

nestled melancholic deep within


the tattered skin that I so wear

and the eyes that peel right through it

 

Noah Rymer 

10 August 2023

Four Poems by Mark Young

multistory temperance

 

Before diving deeper into the

details, the images need to be

further manipulated. There is

only a limited amount of space;

which means the entry must be

vertical or nearly so. So many

sites to explore. A linguistic

search engine may be of help —

though downward terminations

need to extend a minimum of

100mm or else engage a void

that uses its slope to trim the

items correctly. That still means

a lot of space will get used on 

your iPhone; & even though

NASA says it's probably just

space junk, it's surprising how

much the dissolution of N2 in

the blood acts as a space saver.

 

 

Smultronstället

 

The arrogance of this season's

crop of wild strawberries, like

those for each of the last almost

three score & ten years, derives

 

from the eponymous role they

had in a memorable Swedish

movie that has always been some-

thing of a cult hit; & is amplified

 

by the absence due to death of eve-

rybody else in the film, since they

all lacked the ability to come back

to life, year after blooming year.

 

 

Bricolage, sans the spamojis

 

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Patagonian Remonstration

 

"Such tame sterility," said Charles

Darwin as the Beagle sailed on. She

hit him with her handbag, said: "We

may have no cash, but the human

will is free; & no collecting-box can

ever encompass us. Plus Getty Images

have 516 Baby Panther Stock Photos

& High-res Pictures for us to play

with should our visit to the Galap-

agos Islands prove non-productive."

06 August 2023

[***] by Mykyta Ryzhykh

***

A dash of language

The rabbit given to Alice on her 18th birthday

Gnaws the church candle



***

the heaven of the taste of hate steorite

¤

dead sun wrinkle colors

^

the hunger of nailed hands

candied birds overhead trees

toy soldiers in front of the black abyss

~

hatred will rise into the air and 

burst so that everything around turns red

for all these years of life

—Āhildren and adults died 

with special cruelty 

inside us


***

breathe out and don't breathe in

I love you so much that the flower withers in the sun

 

let my head be cut off by the train at full speed

and the wind will bring my breath to you

 

now breathe

calmly measured

 

who made you up?

who made you?

 

what is the Lord silent about with the rustle of leaves?

the crunch of leaves and bones under our feet?

 

our footprints with you in the sand

high tide

 


***
Less than humans
A man without a spine
Performs bending

Outside
Clean
Nameless
Like snow on the edge of sleep
Who will touch her curve
Who will de-energize her vagina
Who will touch her soul

Do it in the dark
Do it against the darkness
Do it against the darkness
Squeeze all the light from the heart

Clenched fingers gnaw warmly
Eyes shine, silence swallows semen
Moans of pleasure chase the siren


***
to stand in eternal glory
flip through the prism of time
to gnaw its granite with its own life
expect a grant from heaven
hope to become angels after death
hope to become clean and naked again


***
Art is a crime, says death, with eye sockets wrapped around the fluttering eyelashes of crumpled corpse grass. Art is theft. The tub of night, wrapped in a kiss of indescribable sadness, without words or dreams, cracked and the closed eyes of people ready for the cemetery poured out of it.
Everything was already in the world, so everything new is stolen. All silence. Everything is a mouse. The gnawed border of feelings from which there is nowhere to escape. The ghetto of people painted with the red paint of spilled blood. Take us death to a magical paradise by the nooks and crannies and at least to hell anywhere, somewhere where weapons have not been invented.


***
He said let's do it in missionary position
Then it became quiet
A black hair fell on the snow-white sheet


***
Marauders of the sex shop when the owners left
The child got lost in the shopping center
A newly born orphan begs for alms