Friday Nights and Mornings by Evelyn Deshane

We are hooking up

That’s what the kids are calling it now

Hooking, like a fish, plenty of them in the sea

Hooking, like cupid’s arrow hitting something

Snagging it for a little while, long enough to make sure

We are okay with our morning decisions

But there is still the night and the faded phone numbers

The smeared writing on a palm. Call back?

No. This is hooking up!

This is a new form of liberation

For me, but I don’t know how much I like

The feeling of empty sheets after they have been full

Hooking up, like a chain of people in paper

The kind you used to make as a child

Hooking up, hooked, and crooked

We are drawn atop paper so thin it tears at touch.

We are hooking up

Our hands link without a promise for the future

No rings, no barricade or tired and dull trope

Just hands, holding me, on top of me

And then the weight of the morning sun outside

Begging us awake and back to work

We are hooking up, again, maybe in the future

No promises left to keep anymore

Yet we are walking down different streets

Apart from one another, avoiding eye contact

The sun not sure who to follow.

The Stumps of Flattop Hill by Kenneth Kit Lamug

They dared, declared that Florence was scared, to enter the house which sat on the hill.

The house was evil, they pointed out, for every child it took in, a tree stump came about.

 

That night, Florence couldn’t sleep for she was haunted, eyes wide open she was taunted, by the house in her window view. The wind called to her, words she only knew.

 

She could see beyond the trees, the house with its lights so bright. It was a sight no one had seen, in a hundred years of night. So Florence gripped, and she gripped so tight, to the hill of Flattop she went in flight.

 

The moon shone over the woods and through the thick sticks, consumed by dreary pilgrims over the river Styx. Shadows chasing, heart racing, pulse thumping to the core, until a gasp of air released her, falling before the crimson door. As she neared, a foul of a howl filled her heart with terror. Could this growl be from the beast of lore, she wondered in horror.

 

Cobwebs, creaks, and marks from leaks, curious objects she spied inside.

Shrunken heads, books of bore, quaint little tea cups, crumbling floor.

Her faith trembled as she soldiered on, tense feelings too delayed to act upon.

Hearts’ protest and doubt decried, and much ignored was the scent of formaldehyde.

 

In the living room hung portraits of children past; with names below them, from Amy to Zillah, but empty was the last. She wondered, pondered, and shrugged her shoulders, as the room walls voiced sinister whispers.

 

The kitchen was sanitary, albeit the liver in the pantry. But to Florence, it seemed hasty, for the townspeople to be wary.

 

In the black, the rooms schemed as they grinned, she wondered what sins were ginned, what creatures in there were skinned.

 

Up the spiraling staircase, traced with velvet lining. Was the beast on this floor? Nay, ‘twas a raven pining. “Beware of this and that,” it hailed. “Though you know the end to this tale. The answers to the quest you seek, is at the spire of this trail.”

 

Up and up Florence went, startled by a man with his brokeback bent. She resisted, her neck twisted, her body weakened and felt lament. He moaned, muttered and sounds he worded. Tells of morrow the man imparted, then his body to ashes, his soul departed.

 

As she ascended up, ghosts appeared, familiar faces, the moment clear. Her mind at peace, her thoughts were broken, questions paced with words unspoken. Before her was a door she would open. No doubt, no taunts, her focus frozen.

 

And when the light captured Florence’s eyes, no one in town saw her again they acclaimed her demise.  Could it be of lasting slumber? gloom or joy? fate or blunder? the people wondered.

Months had passed and a stump cropped up, they called it Florence; the girl who went up the hill of Flattop.

2 poems by Jamie Hunyor

#nakedlunch

i got high & started reading NAKED
LUNCH again. i am in love w/
a woman on television, an eloping
red-head [w/ lovely irish accent]. her
name is Justyna w/ a Y so i will change
my name to Jym w/ a Y for her. it’s
impossible that she could love me but
i don’t mind. i have more important
things to worry about. is my new fiancé
rich? could she financially support me
when I’m getting stoned & writing fiction?
i have a novel idea, you see, & this could
possibly work out in my favor. ahh, feel that
sunshine? [smells like rays of opportunity
raining down from the heavens]. some say
God’s an artist & i don’t disagree, but how
could one man create such beauty! it had
to be a team! had to be a team. . .

#bikes

you slept on a cardboard mat & ate
potato pancakes w/ a spork. i sat
on the stoop & watched you dream.
twenty-one long minutes passed while
you watered the gardens of yr mind w/
pitcher after pitcher of warm beer. you
woke & said, “summer is coming but
it’s just an illusion.” “February is such a
tease,” i said [w/ one pant leg rolled up,
moonwalking & eating thumb tacks]. i’m
pretty sure the middle-aged man who just
walked by muttered “fuckin’ stoners” under
his breath so i took off my shoe & aimed for
the back of his head. i didn’t realize i had
strapped bricks onto my feet until he fell
forward & man-made ponds of blood
pooled in the potholes.

Portland, Oregon by Patrick Jamieson

Bring me back to Portland,

where the brave birds of America
lay waiting, laying promises of
drizzly afternoons.

where the lazy lovers suffer through
a summer, splitting further
into two.

where the twilight falls on suburbs,
from Her driveway. Where the skyline
sits ablaze; where

I named love after you.

Bring me back to Portland,

where the currency is kindness in a
capitalist state; a small wealth
spent on fate.

where simplicity is more than just a
phase, auctioned off on
late July Sundaze.

where the roses hail Columbia, debating
peace and weather, bunching
soulfully together; where

I briefly dreamt I’d stayed.

Change of Life by Gary Beck

All summer long

jays and cardinals

flocked to the backyard,

not treeless,

unmausoleumed in concrete,

and she fed them.

Then the bank

foreclosed her house

and she departed.

The birds sit

on the windowsill

looking for the human

who fed them

the last supper.