My Father, Kafka

Here’s an old photo of my father
eerily alone on a city street,
he’s as slim as a novella
and dark as a gypsy prince,
he looks like Kafka,
thick, black hair slicked back
and comet-bright eyes,
the wariness of someone
suddenly summoned to appear
at such and such a time
at such and such a place,
the Workers’ Accident Insurance Institute
for the Kingdom of Bohemia,
and he’s on his way there now,
hands thrust deep in his pockets
as if to hide certain injuries,
but, of course, this is not K,
and that is not Prague behind him,
and I am not born.

Howie Good



Two For The Show

Hey punk
let’s forget these idiots
and run away to Holland and get fat
and drink red wine and smoke hash
and middle eastern cigarettes
we can find a hip little college town
i can teach drama and you can teach history
and the kids will nickname us after famous indians
i’ll be Geronimo and you’ll be Cochise
and we’ll invite them over to drink coffee and talk about art
and we’ll have this really kick ass house designed by a local genius
right before he was committed to an asylum
and an architecture magazine will come take pictures
and a famous french pornographer
will pay us to shoot in the garden
and an old hippy woman, with really long grey hair,
will keep track of our appointments
and cook on the weekends
and her Japanese husband will tend the grounds
and drive us around in our shitty 1974 Mercedes
with the black diesel smoke coming out the back
and the paint faded by the sun
and the locals will wonder why we have a chauffeur
for such a shitty car
but the kids will think it’s cool.

Doug Baldwin


Small Black Hearts

we wear small black hearts pinned to our chests
like medals, we borrowed them from children
we were and other corpses we knew,
and mothers taught us to preserve them

in self-righteousness and pretense,
religiosity and death, stony little nipples
we pin to our breasts for devils to suckle,
food for dead ghouls like us;

fools permanently out of fucking luck

David McLean


Another Man’s Wife

blond and stunning
i am breathless of course

i am silent

which is something i

sometimes do


the moment will end

never to be repeated

a song on the radio

snow on the

television screen

small explosions wherever

skin touches skin

jon sweet


Monks and Motherfuckers

while cloistered
in my ’92 toyota
smoking cigarettes
this week’s music
that i’ve been listening to
is monks chanting
but i still find myself
speeding, making
unsafe lane changes
calling other drivers
on the highway
motherfuckers even as
the kind brothers’ love
hums through the speakers
peace doesn’t exist
in new york traffic
these monks are up against
too many machines
full of rage
& after i see the hearse
i pop the tape out
& toss it onto the grass
just past the shoulder
for the drunks who are out
in the cold in orange jumpsuits
picking up litter
& praying for something
to make their community service
shift bearable

Rob Plath