It is true. I hated my father’s
reptilian toenails, thick,
ridged, battered, as if remnants
Of an armor plating that had failed
To protect him from the world,
And below that barreled belly,
those thin measled shins,
Spotted with their mysterious
Purple bruises, and his deep snoring
As annoying as the buzzing of a large fly
trapped in a tight room
That was my childhood
Recurring nightmare. I still remember
The day I looked down at him
Seeing for the first time
A small man.
It is true. I hated my father’s
Children are building cities
in the sand
All of them have rivers
They pull buckets of water from this lake
that is secretly a river, make rivulets
that satisfy their god complexes
I don’t like you! yells a girl
at a boy who has interfered
with her creation
You always want it to make sense,
Like knucklebones, like how swallowing works.
Simple eye of mechanics developed
Over millions of years of failure. Humans
Are the success of their failure time and time again.
That’s whats truly alien. Truly unnatural
As the sky opens up, the black roll of stars, planets –
Some like necks on the gallows, some like an arena stage.
The maw is the medicine with death as a common side effect.
Then, nothing makes sense. Its a fugue state, lips dripping
Words over delayed relays. Mission specialists
Still sitting in Ohio struck mud like American-made pigs,
while you snort down wildlife powder and hope the TOG adaptions
They gave you don’t go liquid in your stomach. Survival
Rates of surgery in orbit aren’t what they used to be.
You, your own scalpel and organ donor, doctor, and lawyer.
On the menu is barbed wire
sautéed in heartless tyrannies.
The bloodied linens of the Visigoth.
Tongues of the vanquished, broiled,
with a side order of children sobbing.
And salads of inexpressible horrors.
Today’s menu includes bandage soup,
served drawn and quartered.
Knife pie, with a shotgun topping.
Visceral stew and smashed-mouth bread.
And the special, baked heads and hands,
which are, we think, to die for.
that was so big it could hold a thousand hearts racing
at the sight of a face they thought would never show up again
beating down the road like a breathless storm or worse,
finding only the wind’s racket forced into a fist
perfectly rapturous and strange how we’re all picked up
and dropped off at some other threshold. fate and chance
met up this way, plucked and flung in the same gust
like a thousand seeds mingling into entirety.
Political Harvest Toward the east Through back porch screen Clouds are forming their ranks Against the sun A crow’s distant cawing Gives voice to solitude Worn like a thorny cloak And mocks that final promise Hope and lifeline once Now become more lethal Than foreign shrapnel Pines murmured all night In their high, strange tongue […]Read more "Political Harvest "
What Title? The night they drove old YouTube down the printed word felt good again. I saw five kids read a book aloud. Their heads were full of tempting notions. What title? I don’t need to know that. It’s on the cloud, thank heavens. Tim Kahl is the author of Possessing Yourself (CW Books, 2009), […]Read more "What Title?"
Permeating with Cockroaches the bathtub water runs constantly but only cold now, the cockroaches scurry, a Make America Great Again inspired nationalism pride parade, crossing the Atlantic, in lonely plastic bottles wrapped in corporate ad slogans and drifting hate, a last call to: a last stop in: Morocco Albania Ghana Argentina, suicide seems like an […]Read more "Permeating with Cockroaches"
Naming of Parts After Henry Reed Spring eased the almond blossoms open and promises of cherries while we named parts left over from winter. Collusion. Taking away, reducing, throwing in the trash legal widgets that keep the water pure, air open to the cherry’s pollen flight. We named parts with words round to our tongues, […]Read more "Naming of Parts"
Robert Walton is a retired middle school teacher and a lifelong rock climber with many ascents in the Sierras and Pinnacles National Park. His publishing credits include works of science fiction, fantasy and poetry. Walton’s historical novel Dawn Drums won the 2014 New Mexico Book Awards Tony Hillerman Prize for best fiction and first place […]Read more "Venom"