“Horses, whiskey, ropes”
by Timothy Pilgrim
People back East discuss politics.
Folks here talk robberies, wrecks,
gossip about neighbors, lovers,
tell jokes. Cowboys talk
horses, whiskey, ropes.
“Lonely Suzie’s Cardinal Points”
by Peter Lingard
West is always to the left.
the South forever frosty
East she always liked the least.
and North is nothing glossy.
Suzie read that Horace Greeley
advised in his newspaper
Go West Young Man, Go West.
So she upped and went to Perth
(Perth being left Australia.
Not frosty, a tad glossy
but definitely not East)
by Zachary Puente
I shot a friend
who wore armor of brass
So the bullet pinged
Loud so very fast
And came right back
into the fat
“Spenserian Word Sonnet”
by Ross Knapp
“Paper or Plastic”
by Ross Wilcox
For many years, I wanted to make a splash
in the grocery industry. I thought about inventing
an extra arm and the advantage I’d have in sacking
groceries. I thought about inventing a grocery sack
that could make its own groceries, the autotrophic
grocery sack. I thought about inventing a grocery
store that only displayed groceries but didn’t sell
them, a kind of grocery museum. I thought about
inventing a shelter for discarded and homeless
groceries. I thought about teaching these groceries
the Christian faith. I thought about inventing a grocery
swinger club where free-spirited consumers could swap
groceries. I thought about searching the woods for wild,
undomesticated groceries. And this led me to the source
of groceries, where they grow in nature without labels.
This was very traumatic for me, like seeing the Burning
Bush. I fled from the groceries because it seemed they
wanted to eat me, instead of the other way around. I ran
to the nearest grocery store. The florescent lights bathed
my skin, the sweet sodium filled my lungs and heart. I
brandished my coupons and started shopping.
“The Higher Echelons of Swedish Society”
by Ross Wilcox
In the drawing room of the late 19th century bearded Swedish aristocrat,
Henrik Henriksson, important guests were served their afternoon tea.
Henrik pointed to a portrait of himself on the wall. That is me, he said.
That is also me, he said, pointing to another portrait of himself. And that.
And also that. In fact, all the portraits in the room were of him. And this,
he said, pointing to his own face. Wait, said one of the other guests,
who’s that? The guest pointed to a portrait. Henrik squinted. Why that
is none other than Henrik Henriksson, said Henrik. But I thought that
was Henrik Henriksson, said someone, pointing to a different portrait.
No, replied someone else, that is either Ingmar Bergman or Henrik
Ibsen, but it is not Henrik Henriksson. The guests nodded, including
Henrik. Henrik Henriksson is but one person, said a university professor,
he cannot be both hither and thither at once. The guests all agreed. If there
is a portrait of Henrik Henriksson in this room, I do not see it, someone said.
Nor I, said another. Indeed, concluded one, neither Henrik Henriksson nor
his likeness are in this room. The guests finished their tea and, with no one
in particular to thank for the hospitality, kindly took their leave.
“Hawking holy books”
by Timothy Pilgrim
They roam rundown Bronx streets,
student christians working on the cheap,
lay out black Bibles on green felt,
plead with men slurping beer —
buy one, put us through seminary,
two, rescue children overseas,
three, save a family in Tibet,
build hospital, send kids to school —
church raffle tickets too — first prize,
New York-New York suite in Vegas,
buffet, poker chips, a show —
maybe discount Bible software,
with free dashboard savior,
head bobbing as up he goes.