91 lede

“The Heart”
by Michael Patrick McSweeney

IN the AFTERNOON we watched an explosion open its jaws    & roar out into the street as legs (old, young, fair, aged,    short ones resting on the shoulders of a father)    pumped forward on the sun-streaked road.    Our eyes rose in confusion--through the smoke,    to the severed hand twitching on the red-stained pavement.
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Two Ann Coulter Mash-Up Poems by Sara Biggs Chaney


I. excerpts from Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America[1] / “Lady Lazarus”[2] by Sylvia Plath

As fire seeks oxygen,
I have done it again.

A walking miracle,
the political opportunist.

My pure flesh of calculation
blocks the schoolhouse door,
and the peanut-crunching crowd shoves in to see.

Eisenhower unwrapped me,
hand and foot.
Sour-breath Strom
peeled off the napkin.

Strip teasing for bigots
Is an art,
like anything else.

The Problem with Odam Schweda by Chad Meadows

Odam Schweda had been struggling to write his masterpiece for years. His last real attempt to do anything meaningful with his life came when he sat at his computer and typed the beginning of what he thought would be his return to the warm comfort of the Hollywood spotlight. He was going to take his place among the literary greats of all time, he rattled off a list in his head: Edgar Hummingway, Jerry Chorwell, Jamie Jorp Joyce, Arnold Steinback, and Mad Cheadows. Inspired by the ghosts of the great dead writers of all times, he typed the words then sat back and marveled:

“I just saw my mother naked. This time I was thirty-five. Shouldn’t...”

The fact was, that he marveled at the same two sentences and one contraction for days, for months even; he waited for words to come to him. But what started out as one tiny white brick turned into another, then another and another. And finally, after two years of staring at the same two sentences and one contraction, Odam admitted, to himself, that he had a problem, that for most writers isn't a problem, and to a bread and butter writer, is; to an already spent my advance and have gambling debts-writer: a devastating death warrant.

One of the last writing tips the professor gave me, before he cut off my right hand was, to “Always put text in a smaller font if writing a story within a story. It'll help the all the John Grisham set figure out what’s going on. There’s a reason why he's sold so many fucking books.” That said, this makes it pretty difficult to write or type, or do anything for that matter. The missing right hand, not the smaller font. I don’t know if that's a legitimate rule. “Rubbish! This is feces. You? See a woman naked? Wrong! Because not even your own mother would take that much pity! That's not how it happened. Try again.” He placed a great emphasis on the again and blew his humid breath down into my face spraying me with vodka drenched pieces of hamburger buns.