3 poems by Matthew A. Toll

Good News In Heaven

I was golfing up in heaven
when a messenger swooped down
with a letter for me.
It said:

Dear ­­­­­Mr. _______ ,

Congratulations. You’re officially a posthumously published
author. In fact, you’re quite famous down there!
They love you!
I’ve (god) taken the time to write you just to let you know,
in case you decide you want to take a peek down,
see who’s reading what and why you’re so beloved.
Anyways, hope to see you at the New Years party. And
please do say hello to Hank and Ernie for me
should you happen to see them at the pub.
Always warm regards,

-The Old Man.

I smiled then hit a hole in one.

 

Then Now Forever

lay down by the riverside
and scream at the top of your lungs,
it’s good to get it out.
a bowl of naked baked beans is the world
in a time when a rat can outsmart Einstein,
feathers fall faster than hail
then now forever
in the shadow of high tides and city lights
where swagger filled tramps strut the sidewalks
not sparing one glance for you me
dogs ants geese glass cars or wounded life.
work drink sleep live a day or two and see what happens,
they say.
but can you hack it?
if not get lost in a pint of beer
until you’re swimming high seas in an overpriced taxicab,
it’s good to get it out.
hallways colored red and blue and yellow and purple
and trees growing out of cement blocks give
much needed shade from the library steps
that get a visit from no one
on a regular basis.
melted conscience over murdered hens
but we all gotta eat,
all gotta fuck,
gotta sing,
smoke
jump
gamble
and buck against our best interests
that probably don’t have us in mind to begin with.
burn the halls with a full cup of love
and smile when no soul is left out to freeze, or
cause the pain that’s undeserved, for
it all is.
it’s good to get it out.

There’s No Turning Back Now

Who remembers Heaven and Hell?
The death of old school—
tragic
like oil burned and dumped, wasted life poured in the river for the fish the ducks
and the dragonflies
as I pray for more chaos in a mediocre world.
I know
there’s no turning back now
we’ve reached the sea’s end,
where it snows in July and melts on New Years Eve
when the air is steamier than between a stripper’s legs in the backroom.
The backroom where I once stabbed a man and no one knew I held the entire gamut
of humanity in my back pocket
as I strolled out with a smile on my face that’s never felt a tear and Lucy on my mind
ready to burn a hole through this fucking city
and everything in it.
No one stared,
it was the most glorious moment that mankind’s never witnessed.
Outside, I lit a cigarette as I made my way to oblivion,
and gave the devil a nod when I crossed his path along the road.
He said, “Son, there’s barbed wire in the clouds. You watch out.”
“Well, guess I won’t be making it up to heaven then, will I?”
We had a good laugh then shook hands and broke open the hot iron gates of hell,
freeing more souls than the Red Sea did Children of Israel.
Inevitably the angels came down billions strong
swords in hand scowl of mouths,
but the devil whipped out a guitar and serenaded them to docility.
I collected the swords while they smiled and wept at the music they’d never heard,
(turns out they don’t allow it up in heaven for music can make you sad,
and no one can ever be blue in Paradise),
“I’ll tell ya, pilgrims,” he addressed the contented angels over his sweet guitar’s
sounds, “you’ve been wronged up there.”
Not a stir
not a protest
not a smile or a tear or a joy swept from one face—
wings shriveled and flattened onto the angels’ backs making them look virtually
human.
The devil said,
“See, you’ve come down to kill us. We just wanted to open the gates
and stretch our legs for a minute.
Some fresh air and a cool breeze while no one was paying attention, you know?”
They nodded thoughtlessly.
I remembered then that I had humanity in my back pocket,
so I took it out and poured a sip for every one of those billions of lost warriors,
that they’d never have to know where they were
now,
glued down to the ground with the rest of us.

2 poems by Ricky Garni

Passing Fancy

Before you wrote a thing,
you read someone else
and you loved someone else.

You read what they wrote,
and you loved them.
And you loved them so

that you wrote. And you
wrote and wrote and wrote.
And eventually, you loved

yourself, too, you loved
yourself more than anyone
else. But that’s not the point:

the point is, you loved someone
else first. You were many things,
wonderful things,

But you weren’t your first love.

Oscar

for Faye

I wanted to write something beautiful, because it was late
and I was alone and Oscar Wilde.

I thought of the madness of kissing, places that were hot
and colored, red and yellow wine letters, the wings

that shadow me. And then I found London–“a desert
without your dainty feet” and I thought:

perfect, delicious, obscure, and cosmopolitan! But
who wants that? I do, but only if it brings me you:

alone, absolute, illiterate with words

“Always, devotedly, yours…”

A Lonely Jog In A Lonely Park

The poem below is a sample from WISH’s first Jog publication, A Lonely Jog In A Lonely Park, by Nikki Dudley.  It is available free from WISH, PayHip, and Scribd.

You can download / read the publication here.  Donations are accepted.  It’ll help with future publications.

Cheers!  Enjoy the poetry!

Earthquakes
by Nikki Dudley, editor of Streetcake Magazine

I shiver when I think about you

reading this. Like a police dog hunting for
evidence.
THIS IS A WAKE UP! This is a rude awakening
but don’t ask why…At least it’s not drink, sir!
(At least, it’s only a small time drug.)

The world is a sea
of questions/answers- are islands amidst the
crashing wavesdon’tthinkitwillbeokay-
It Won’t. Don’t utter a fort or
we will have lost. Don’t utter
a thought, don’t utter a fault, don’t utter…

that cars are invented to cull humanity,
humanity is invented to cull itself.

3 poems by Ben John Smith

The 6 year old poet.

My wife

tells her school
kids

we will be
going on a Honeymoon
next year.

One child asks;

“What’s a honeymoon?”

Another slaps
his arm,

He makes wild eyes

and

says;

“you idiot!

It’s when you
Eat honey under the moon”

These kids

know much more

about the
importance of
life

than
i can ever hope
to.

The Unconsoled

When I lived in London on top of a pub,
a man killed himself in the bar beside me.

He left a stack of books behind
that my friend Benjamin Horton
let me scavenge.

I picked one.
It was the only profound moment in my life.
I dot believe in God
or fate
or meaning

but this book meant something to me
and I knew it came to me through this sad

and dead mans box of books
for a reason.

It’s why I became a writer.
Even if im a bad one.
Them wounds we chase,
they haunt us,
like a man i never met
haunts me.

Lion Sheep

A dude from a wanky

hipster magazine

tried to show me the town.

Tried to pay

for my vodka

with a flower.

Took me to a band who

made fun of us

in the dressing room.

He was photographing them

Outside a woman

tripping on ice

had taken all her clothes off

She was screaming at the police.

I said

“this is where the art is”

He wouldn’t take her photo;

because her friend was yelling at him;

pointing her finger.

He was afraid of her and the police.

I sent him a message asking

him to fuck me.

He said no.

I knew we would never be friends again.

4 poems by Darrell Lindsey

fishing late
the boat full
of one cricket

country graveyard
a hummingbird
she would’ve loved

leaning on the hoe,
autumn dusk tugs
at my sleeve

should you decide
to paint a memory of me
while dreaming,
let it be like the glimmer
on an evening lake