89 lede

Greek gods and others, by Greg Zorko

Life is torture punctuated by brief moments of aggressive un-torture. Ask the turtle who had his shell ripped off slowly and replaced with a plastic one.
     The Greek gods were like giant Al Jefferson’s who lived on a mountain. Other than that I know little about them. A myth is like a clay bowl that never cracks or leaks. “Bolero” is the Spanish word for a useful repetition.
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Adrian Sobol's... Dear America

Hold us close, your children. We the children of dismantled saints. We the children of uncommon loyalty. We the children of dread melted down & minted. Our pallor is our centerpiece. Our verbs know only past tense: the least sexual of grammatical imperatives. Encoded in our capillaries is a new form of forgiveness. The kind dispensed in gravel. The kind you find in the run of your stockings. I love the little glance of your thigh. A clue to your remainder. A clue I would tongue for hours.

"You will lose me because you are an utterly disobedient lover"
And what you think of as charm has the ring of noxious smut.
I said you were a fountain of fragrant vulgarities
Prompting a river of bare decreeing on the subject of my idiocy,
A charge of pig-headedness fierce enough to turn me porcine.

You will lose me because you drink wine from a bowl,
Because it is like living with the ghost of a failed comedian,
Because my heart only ever leaps with the stiffness
of a woman with two fractured kneecaps.

I declared your lust the cut-out-and-keep kind,
The type I laminate to ward off the itch
of hours in an office chair,
That if you leave I will certainly die a pauper,
Or some Mid-Atlantic panhandler of love song. —Keiran Goddard

Keepin' 'em Down (September 1996)
by Matthew Taub, from Death the Dying City, a novel forthcoming

“Who’s my father?” young Kenneth Johnson said.
     “We don’t know,” his mother said.
          “Juvenile diabetes,” a worried doctor said.
               “Epileptic,” yet another said.
                    “Take them pills every day,” his mother said.
                         “It’s a white man’s world,” an uncle said.
                              “Help Wanted,” the construction sign read.
                                   “You’re hired,” a grisly man said.
                                        “Like this,” a co-worker said.
                                             “Hi,” Shanada said.
                                                  “Hi,” he said.