Nil By Mouth (4 Poets)

Smoking Your Mother’s Effigy

The other day I almost popped a pervert 100 percent if I had a gun
I would have done it.
I always ride w my hood up.
I always ride down the alleys.
I always take the long way.
That gives my ex-boyfriend enough
Reason to blame me
If I get raped
100 percent I would have popped that ***** too.
F w me. F w me. Im begging you to try to
F w me.
I’m smoking ur mothers effigy.
I’m chillin in the back of ur AA meetings
Pick up a white chip bitxh court mandated u aint good for shit.
I don’t think I believe in god anymore
I don’t think I wanna
talk anymore
Today my plans are to not
Get scared when they call my
Today my plans are to not
smoke crack at my grandmas house.
Miami you suck I wanna die.



I used to huff a lot of ether
and walk around my house
with the soaked sleeve of my
misfits hoodie up to my
The house was usually empty,
my parents were never there.
so I was pretty unnoticeable,
Until the my face got
irritated or until
I’d pass out unattended
on the kitchen floor
I won $40,000 in horse races
gone out of my mind in another
Dimension. I know how to
gamble now, and when the odds
Aren’t in ur favor and u get it
You win big.
but you can really only press ur luck so much.

Kailey Borrego “Daddy says I could maybe be the voice of my generation if I just stop smoking pot. Miami, Fla.”


i remember 17 as a good age and i don’t know why
i just know it was dotted all over with you
the way those hills were dotted all over with us
and not much else, fleeting classroom bells on
mountain bikes, retiring from our futures,
falling down the same knolls convicts climb to freedom
like the knees we knew we’d break,
i remember you wresting the flask from me,
sucking it like an orange inches from my lips
eyes pinning me to the cows skirting the trees
divining cow sleep,
i remember the shape
they made the moment you edged the flask away to tell me
“i think we’re gonna be losers all the rest of our lives”
and how it felt so much better back then
the shape of the kisses they formed,
framing lips to cremate and bury a thousand times in my neck,
and you finally broke your knee a week later
when you’d lose one of your crutches and i’d carry you to your car to
go off and graduate
i remember the way you winced when it pressed
like a murderer’s spade into mine when i fucked you
in the guest room on your eighteenth birthday
and i stopped to whisper you as many sorry’s as i could
and you pressed it harder and yanked out tufts of my hair
like i was something taking some kind of flight and
for months after we didn’t wonder what it’d be like
to be on acid we just brushed legs brushed edges
let ourselves get jagged
i remember your hands in my hair then
as i remember your hands in my hair
as i vomited out a twenty minute handle of burnette’s
the night my grandmother passed away
when you found me minutes before the cops would have
half naked and swearing in the middle of jefferson
i remember your face being shredded by the violence
of the light i kept dim in alliance with my eyes,
i remember the punch i poured the morning of the first day
of your spring break, hanging up banners
and setting out speakers, tieing ribbon on a goldfish bowl,
doing math over and over and over,
checking my phone over and over and over.
i remember when you said you couldn’t make it home,
like i remember hearing his laugh in the background,
like the classroom bells we learned to dart from instinctually,
remember thinking that this ain’t no fucking
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Fucking Mind
and I’m never gonna get to sleep again,
like i remember asking you why on the phone
why on the facebook chat i’d touched 37 times since you last did
(a name turns gray)
why by the fountain outside the coffee shop
where our parents used to drop us off on weekends
with money for drinks and cheesecake
where we’d make up stories about the eels beneath the ripples
that we swore longed to be our anklets
“i’ve outgrown you”

i don’t know why 17 is enveloped, postage stamped with the
fucking essence of nostalgia inside every version i fashion of this head
especially on the days when i replay that 18 scene
and “i’ve outgrown you”
starts to sound like “i don’t wanna be a loser anymore”
but i’m still falling off my bike, circling round those hills
where you lost your mind and i lost my soul on my way home from work
stirring cows and escaping bells that are never going to ring again
and escaping bills and escaping plans to do something better and
escaping the badge from your job at the old folks place that you left
and which i have yet to fucking throw away and escaping stirring old me’s and escaping writing lovesick shit about what i don’t love anymore but can’t make go away and stirring cows and
escaping bells that are never going to ring again
or at least i think i am

Adam Sharpe had a daydream about his third grade teacher contracting some improbable form of cancer and discovering she had six days left to live when he was eight years old. He documented the experience in a shorthand form that a decade and a half later his peers would start referring to as poetry. After spending the summer of 2014 stranded seven states away from home, living in a car with a blown head gasket, he’s taken up a nomadic sortof lifestyle which he’s currently working on transcribing the experience of in his prose.


A Cute Little Fort

A cute little fort on the couch
A beautiful day outside
Which I watch from inside
And scared
For my love won’t let us out to play
Until we play his games first
Switched now
My friend waiting her turn
While he makes me look down
“Do you see” he asks
For we are connected
His small size
Is still large for my
Child body
Dark and Humid
Why is it hot?
Feelings of pleasure and sickness
I want to cry and scream
For so many different reasons
For I loved him, didn’t I?
He said it was so
I was an adult now
And these were the games
The adults had to play
New sensations
Awful and good
Sickening and wonderful
Oh what strange new feelings
Switched again
I watch my friend blow him
Demands me to watch
So I could learn how
‘What does it taste like?’
Was the only question on my mind
As I sat and waited for him to be done
And now it’s my turn
He gives his demands
“Just taste it he says’
But the slim pale tube of flesh
Has no appeal
I shake my head
He insists
I try my best
But it seemed so stupid
To put that in my mouth
And he lets it go
How ‘kind’ of him
And this goes on
Switching and waiting
And I as I wait
Feeling the filth of my body
How gross my insides have become
I sit and wonder
In my childlike stupidity
How much I loved him

Jennifer Joann Miller is twenty years old and graduated from CIVA Charter High School in 2012. She currently live with her parents, helping care for the animals and doing art projects. She spends time writing, illustrating a kids book, and trying to learn Japanese.



….but the rumor is you may be a heartbreaker. You’re your own worst enemy incarcerated inside your mind. A supercell terror of hallucinated happenings. There you are sitting pixie pretend happy, but you carry the keys and they click softly…sadly…none fit properly into your dreaming schemes. You want to believe in make believe. ‘Sex is religion and love is a series of bombs dropping.’ Life sweeps you away into a town only you know. And you wonder, how do I escape now……

Like you aren’t me, said the vixen to the maven, describing every man. The human condition is overrated. We should gather together and slit our wrists. hal·le·lu·jah. All of our letters link together and the message includes, fuck you. This is the secret code. Amongst the other thoughts streaming in hi-definition this is the lurking demon. We are the std, the spreading disease. There must be a clue leading to somewhere so we think. Self Actuality. Here we are procreating our way into planned pregnancies, oops babies, and ones that never existed. A goal is to overcome the alone. Our prayer is please let me age gracefully or die glorified. The steps include self induced negativity. My revelation is that blasphemy is our ambrosia and we should all be reading the Devil’s Dictionary and completing the five steps in the grieving process faithfully. Whether it is for the shock value or we just lie there military prone, the union is our addiction to painful pleasure. The many things those could possibly be. We ache for the belladonna, the cake of two flavors. Please sir deliver me up the accidental right into the solar plexus. I’ll suck up my problems into bloated exclamation points and exchange formality for sin. Sell. Sing the pain. Just to write the reason and paint the confusion, I want to feel. I want to look at pictures of myself before during and after and know that when captured in picture…….i think we all remember as we glance at frozen time…that the expression on a face is worth it for being a part of the human damn condition. Call me a liar, let’s trade keys. One of yours just might fit.



i have an affinity for
shy way
sly way
trouble finds me everyday
in the form of mouths
that misinterpret their own stories
while blowing me kisses in the wind

i am a confessional for all the truths
to me

I like to think I land on my two feet
but flat on my back I am
gazing at stars
star gazing
wishing on stars
but I find myself
counting on sheep instead.
baa baa-ing overtures
of latin lullabys
like la la la
implying forever
as if forever could work
me down to bare skin
the sound is akin to the drone of bad cable television
like the wah wah wah
bleed out
pregnant with words

my last dalliance
was with the devil himself
it was as if death was trying to catch
run a finger down a shivering spine
to tell me
never trust
telling me
not to slow up
catch me
enchant me
seduce and move me
mentally capture and forever change me
with this ghb
i got ahold of
that was the venom of his kiss.
shy way
sly way
of passing it to me
the question then
did I willingly give in?

I have an affinity for
I have taken a liking to
my battles
making me a competent adversary

brand new
my sharpest blade for you

Dancing under the glow of streetlights, the soft noises breathed latin into my every inhale. Exhaled the bliss, the toxic parts of …….. time fast forwarding and rewinding. In this daze of me,

a fairy’s imagination in the sky

my own personal delight

naked upon the tree of life

crucifying the concrete

on my knees

smooth skin on rough terrain

I was

a masochist

my mantra

yes please

I was

Permanent in dusky cemeteries

Mental tombs, married to the graves

poets mind

shadow play

mood swings & blindly writing



over the same rough terrain

about Rachael Delamar “The formula for giving in: blood.splatters & heart.matters. I have always been obsessed with the he and she. Which has led me down many light vs dark alleys of discovery…… Some things have a way of not letting you divert your gaze, convincing you to investigate, though you know you should pull out. The carnal connotation is a studded collar and leash, a master of enslavement. The safe word is forgotten or it was screamed then blurred by the air moistened with resonating moans. Immorality exudes and wrong becomes right. Sanity melts into dementia. This fatal voice murmurs and echoes deep, in a lullaby, whispering eyes to fall hypnotized. This is a diversion, the ultimate Con, I have won before the equal sign claims the battle has only begun. an assaulting FETISH, the engagement of you vs me. My creation of poetry.”


Published by

John Thomas

Author of The Last Great Glass Meat Million (Six Gallery Press 2003), e pit ap h (Six Gallery Press 2007), endo Poems and Sketches 2007 - 2011 (Six Gallery Press 2011) and Gloom Hearts & Opioids, New & Selected Poems 1996 - 2014 (Six Gallery Press 2016). He also appeared in the anthology Honeysuckle, Honeyjuice: A Tribute to James Liddy (Arlen House 2006). (Currently making out w/ yr Mom)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s