191 lede

Laughter Club. and Taste Disorder.
by Debasis Tripathy

I FEEL JEALOUS of the PEOPLE who laugh and do it together. Fixed time, fixed place, agenda fixated on laughter. I join the group and stand nervously in a circle of strangers. Deep breathing, stretching, chanting and clapping - gentle warm-up, only to deceive. In no time, injected with rich hormones of deliberate lies the mad medley of laughter turns into an unruly riot.
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No. 191 20200722

Ali Whitelock's a poem walks into a bar

thrusts a sheet of A4 paper into my hands, says,
‘here, have this.’
‘what do you mean?’ i said, ‘what is it?’
‘it’s a poem,’ the poem said. ‘a poem?’ i quizzed.
‘aye, a poem,’ the scottish poem replied.

Dwelling Places. a poem; another poem, entitled Memory: Lost and Find. but first, a different poem, entitled Between. by Alan Cohen

Between.
“Five minutes more now.”
“Only five? I’d like
To stay here all day—please?”

when i first learned the brain is mostly fat. by Selina Mahmood
+ foundationalism.                                                                           by
  "               "

i nodded my head in silent agreement
faith is only for the faithful / floating
most problems are self-created
happiness is not wanting to die it’s as simple as that
as a horn held to the table calling itself hoarse for nooses

The Weight of a Corn Soup. by Yi Jung Chen, but first...
Number Calling Machine

In a high-pitch voice,
you called out my number.
Stayed in a long queue I await,
No chorus echoed in the crowded bank
Till a baby’s squall raid over the scene.

Counting the Sheep. by Anindita Sarkar

I close my eyes
my mind becomes a sheep
crossing fences,
fences that I can't cross consciously,
she enters a savanna
swimming across the shrubbery

Dinner Dance. & Busy. by Sally Michaelson

If those gigolos
were not long dead
they would remind me
of Anton Du Beke,
locusts in topcoats
feeding on puffed up
ladies who had eaten
half a grilled grapefruit

Brigadier Robert D’Alby
(a sweaty tale of irresistible desire within remote salty environs) by E F Hay


Brigadier Robert D'Alby of those immaculate Glorious Roscommon’s was a fine figure of a man. As a Sandhurst officer cadet it was crystal clear D’Alby was hewn from exactly the right stuff-possessing athleticism, but devoid of narcissism, and employing a military style of life, minus that all-too-familiar “boot-polish-up-the-kilt” mentality. Unerring devotion to discipline and Spartan indifference to discomfort made D’Alby a splendid soldier.

Birch by Andrew Jason Jacono

After I strangled him and kissed his forehead and tossed him in the trunk I drove to the hardware-drug store down the road to get a pair of scissors and a shovel and a bag of manure and some air freshener. I was in a hurry but the cashier was a fat old woman who breathed very loudly and had trouble ringing my things up.

10 Ways to Trap... by Winston Plowes

Methodology – The first line and prompt of The Squawk Back has been subjected to Jean Lescure's Oulipian process of N+7. In the lines below, all nouns have been replaced by other nouns following x entries after the original in a dictionary. In line 1 x = 0, line 2 x = 1, line 3 x = 2 etc.

Trapping a pair of singers in a bank
Trapping a pal of single-deckers in a banker
Trapping a palace of singlets in a banking