Tuesday, December 18, 2018


Ding-dong, the witch is dead!

Which old witch? The wicked witch
Ding-dong, the wicked witch is...

Wait, what? Too soon? You sure?
Oh, come on, please? Damn!

Ok, break it down everyone.
Great job, you were perfect.
Everyone back to your homes.

Could a few of you
stay and clean up?
Sweep the glitter off
the yellow brick road.

What? No, no, you did a great job.
You all rehearsed really hard.

What's that? Yes it's true,
Trump is still in the White House.
But we'll be back,
it won't be much longer.

And Cohen good luck in jail,
have fun (hee hee)

--Thomas R. Thomas

Monday, December 17, 2018


The Most Powerful Hobby

It begins
as it always begins
a phone buzzing
distant breaking news alert
a skipped breath as we wonder
“Who do I know near there?”

Years ago
Nick responded to my panic text
“I know the shooter, she’s fucking insane”
Claire and Neal live near Stoneman
This time it was near my house,
I guess everyone gets a turn to host
these days

They tell us to
run. hide. fight.
as if
as if

They say this is the price of freedom
and no
it is never ever free
still, we find ourselves
recalculating the interest
to the point
where the principal
will never be paid

But then
what are we to do
give us your weary
your insecure
frightened to go downtown
paranoid about the government
weekend camo cosplayers
Walmart shopper survivalists

But that’s the thing
this is really just about shopping
no one is stopping a predator drone
and the good guys with guns
put holes in their basement ceilings
during routine cleaning accidents

I understand
almost, though I only graduated
from baseball cards
to books and records
maybe someday
I can get a classic car

Blame it on human nature
blame it on the summer heat
talk about Chicago all you want
(whisper quietly)
about the mixing of the races
but this is just about defending shopping

The rush of acquisition
the primal urge of the hoard
the knowledge that
you earned this
treat yourself
every fucking day

Tell yourself
this is about patriotism
and safety
and that when shit goes down
you’ll be ready
flying sideways in slow-mo
every bullet hitting its target

Sure man
if you can pay for it
you can have it
even if you don’t understand
the price

--Matthew Ussia

Sunday, December 16, 2018


I wonder

if every woman
in your life told her story
of sexual assault or harassment—

how many would be believed
how many would be doubted
how many would be asked why they didn’t report sooner

how many would feel their reputation tarnish
how many would be be asked, are you sure
you didn’t take it the wrong way

how many would be
mocked shamed parodied
crucified by the leering crowd

how many would feel like they should have stayed quiet

 - Rachel Toalson

Saturday, December 15, 2018


lebron’s building schools… 45’s building walls
                        --after chuck d

but wouldn’t it be nice
if we paid teacher like we do star athletes?

give mrs. deasy who got me into history
one hundred million for five years

put her in the hall of fame

let mr. connolly of engligh lit 101
make the stash doing nike commercials and selling us soda
while he drops some chaucer knowledge?

invite a whole school’s faculty to the white house

tell all the sports champs and their tin trophies
to stay the hell home

thank those teachers for the hard work they’ve done
raising the nation’s kids

in a system meant for everyone to fail
and become just another cog in the wheel

in fact, let the president
spend his whole summer thanking teachers

instead of spewing his hate
from his shithole golf club in jersey

wouldn’t it be nice
if the world were reversed like this?

instead of dropping millions on war
we could fund a state’s school lunch program

instead of the pentagon cooking its books
we could have shakespeare for everybody

instead of destroying nations
by dragging our dollar-dicks in the desert

we could have math teachers
rolling around in an expensive mercedes benz
and science teachers sporting gucci to biology?

that art teacher getting the budget she needs
instead of begging people online for supplies

then maybe we wouldn’t need
to have sports stars build out fucking schools

dress our kids
buy their books
feed them lunch


but this is america
and who are we kidding?

the deck is stacked
the fix is in

no one knows shit about shit
except how to hide under their desks at recess

because johnny from physics class
showed up late for school today

and rumor has it
he might be packing a gun.

--John Grochalski


Friday, December 14, 2018


Pack Your Heart

Pack your heart, wrap it in a dishtowel
and store it in your suitcase,
tucked in the little pouch on the side.

They will not think to look there.

You need to keep it safe
but you need to smuggle it out
past long lines of people hoping
for something more
controlled by people
hoping for something less.

Pack your heart.
Check on it.
Be subtle.
Make sure it still beats occasionally.
Even if the blood has all dried up inside.

Remember if they find it,

they’ll burn it.

If you get through the lines
and the waiting.
If you get through the exam
and the fingers they shove in your mouth,
if you get to the trains
take the northbound ones,
the ones that whistle in the cold night air

like a warning.

The ones that rumble over ice and rock
and the cold clear cut of the horizon.

Take your heart to the icy waters edge.
Watch the waves.
They do not move on their own.
This is important to understand.
They are pulled by a greater force
millions of miles above

This faceless god.
This ruined planet.
It pulls on the water everywhere,
tugging like to much lifting

like so much loving.
It tugs too at the water
inside you.

Take out your heart.
If it still beats, swallow it whole

and know
that while so many didn’t,

you survived. 

--Ally Malinenko 

Thursday, December 13, 2018



Just for today
I have to admit
That I am scared
Perhaps I am being

Trump in the White House
Trouble as ever
In the middle East
England as poverty stricken
As I have ever seen it
And after the early 90's
I really didn't think
I would ever see it worse
But now it is much
Much worse
As I say, perhaps
It's me
As people get older
They begin to think
That the world
Is going downhill
Looking back through
Rose tinted spectacles
At their perfect past
I hope that this is
What this is
I really hope that this is
What this is
But 10 years ago
I had never seen
Food Banks before
Or soup kitchens
Not in my time anyway
I'd seen pictures from
The 1930's of course
And pictures of the
Hunger Marches
But I never seriously
Thought I'd have to
Use a food bank myself
Relying on the charity
Of strangers
When the government
Has become too vicious
To feed the people
Who pay their wages
And yet progress
Rolls on and on
The gap between
Rich and poor
Grows wider and
Wider  all the time
Before too long
They will just
Kill all of the poor
And make
Uncomplaining robots
To cater to the rich
And their every whim

Unless they don't have to
Unless they don't have to

--Ian Lewis Copestick