123 lede

The Holy Roller: Pontiff of the Reprobate Mind
by N. Aneira Warburton

AUNT Wanda, with the authority of the Feast of Weeks, planted her palms firmly on my hips and announced that she had straightened my crooked spine in the name of the Lord. The vertebrae cracked, maybe dislodged from the rods—stainless steel dykes that held back the progress of the S curve.
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“The calculations thus far made have been the closest approximations possible from the data known, yet there is a chance that the final result may be inaccurate”
...and another one, by Jason Dean Arnold

Yes, I was the one who lit the match,
a small light on the surface of your skin
to guide my eyes to the nest where
your heart rhythmically beats without purpose
& waits for his shift to end.

Market Rate, and Siri, Where are the Snows of Yesteryear? by Gregory Crosby

The soldiers drifted back from the rout in a confusion
of companies, regiments, platoons, all mixed up, not unlike
the lines in a poem by John Ashbery. These things happen.
Consensus tends toward dullness: once agreed, we can all
move forward, an ocean liner no one wants to be on.
I silently told the old man who sketched my portrait
on the train, We're all in this together; he silently replied
I'm a Human not so much of New York as in New York.
He tore my profile from his notebook & asked for a ten.
Wherever you go, there's the front. Which means we're surrounded.


A bomb discourages a movie audience;
animated characters dominated the film;
a convicted thief gets nine months
anger management; answers he demanded.
In his coffin case, a cool head:
a party they had all night. A large
trailer can be a transient hotel,
a penny’s worth; a puny foundation.
A platoon beheading, about-faces;
a shot off my opponent's head scores.

Vacation. by Jenn Blair

The Great Aunt the child had never met
asked someone standing near the kitchen
to turn off the lights as she sat down by
a violently whirring box—metal monster
with one fiery circle of light for an eye
like the child’s teachers sometimes used
to talk about Europe. A yellow dog
flashed onto the screen, then a gleaming
automobile and then an old man in a suit
lying down on a soft satin pillow, bright
flowers circling his bald spotted head.

The John Berryman & Hart Crane Dreams & Ode to Harry Langdon by Doug Draime

I don’t know why there’s black
grasshoppers on my feet and,
I’m standing and looking down a long white
corridor, at the end of which, is Hart Crane
selling apples to John Berryman. They both
look really fucked-up.