Monday, December 31, 2018


delivery men in the rain

the sky collects poison
and hurls it back
as acid manna
for the trees
as kids
collect their packages
of conspicuous consumption
and google their good fortune
to send for lunch
and delivery men in the rain.

--John Grochalski


Sunday, December 30, 2018


To the Little Man

Trump's a billionaire crapping in a gold toilet bowl
in a tower named after him high up in New York.
He only wears hard hats for cameras at rallies,
and the last tool he held was his own tiny penis.
His rich father kept him from military service
while your dad was getting his arse shot to ribbons.
He beats bunker sand in his Florida golf course
while you're lugging boxes or fixing a car.
He pays money to porn stars he's fucked, then denies it;
and you’re on your porch in the afternoon drinking,
watching a scabby dog nosing your garbage.
Do you think, do you honestly think, little man,
he would care if your whole family fell off a cliff?

--Bruce Hodder

Saturday, December 29, 2018


Compare Contrast

a man speaking his mind = a bold man who knows what he wants
a woman speaking her mind = a woman bitching

a man boldly disagreeing with a woman = a man leading the lost
a woman boldly disagreeing with a man = a woman bullying

a man reporting sexual harassment or abuse = a brave soul
a woman reporting sexual harassment or abuse = a lying slut who regrets the “morning after”

a man resisting the conventional wisdom of the church = a prophet
a woman resisting the conventional wisdom of the church = a heretic who has stepped out of her place

a man calling out a woman = justified correction
a woman calling out a man = belittlement, unjust criticism, what a harlot

a man declaring a hard truth = an authoritative truth-teller
a woman declaring a hard truth = a woman speaking out of turn

a man answering an erudite question = an authority
a woman answering an erudite question = a poser talking about what she doesn’t know

a man speaking with passion = a man speaking with passion
a woman speaking with passion = an aggressive feminist

 - Rachel Toalson

Friday, December 28, 2018


A New Moral World

Robert Owens believed
Robert Owens had money
he purchased a town
to introduce socialism
which in America at the time
wasn’t yet a dirty word

ideas don’t always become deeds
and idea people never trust
working people, working people
never trust ideas people
the new moral world fumbled
and socialism quickly became chaos

the lauded experiment cleaved
Owens mostly bankrupt
sold the town
tried again but no one
gave him another town
even though Texas
not yet a state, considered it

in New Harmony Indiana
where the experiment died
it’s said they were to have a funeral
for the death of the idea

typical of America
the night before
someone stole the casket
containing the invisible corpse
of a nascent idea

--Jason Baldinger

Thursday, December 27, 2018



I live in a small town, where out in the graveyard,
a sign warns: security cameras are watching.
Look out for the flash of the lens in the night-time.
It’s to stop you from fucking under bright gothic moons;
or from making a porno; or from pissing on trees;
or from smacking a vein so you can dream with the dead.
It’s to keep you from sleeping with a stone for a wind-break
when you’re homeless, with nowhere on Earth where you’re welcome.
The graves might look picturesque covered in snow,
but a greasy corpse stiff from the cold scares the public.
Do the decent thing, die like the wild birds, unseen.
That way your name won’t get into the papers.

--Bruce Hodder

Wednesday, December 26, 2018


Life Down the Lane

Went to the Answer Man
but he wasn't home
stopped by the Woman Who Knows
to no avail
asked the gods but as usual
they're silent
looked for upstanding citizens
but never found them
the priests lied
as did the politicians
and the CEOs nibbled truth to death
as they stuffed their options with wrongs
tried Hollywood but they wouldn't
turned to poetry but no prize
so went back to my corner
brightened the light
cleaned a bit
set out some chairs
and waited for what is to show
so maybe we can talk it over

sometimes the Pope shits in the would
and sometimes the bear eats you...
what ya gonna do

--Steven B. Smith

Tuesday, December 25, 2018


the music box

there is a music box
that plays in the foyer of my building

fat, jolly santa at a piano
pounding the yuletide favorites

the superintendent and his wife
put it out there every year
when they decorate

and every year they let their monster child
scooter up and down the hallway
and past my apartment door

as they sing carols and put up decorations

then they go back into their apartment
far away from the santa music box

where they don’t have to hear
tiny christmas songs pouring into their home
all evening and into night like i have to

every year the super has christmas up without fail
yet my water-logged roof continues to crumble into dust

and the cockroaches here
are turning into an army

i try to be a good neighbor about the music box

for the old bats who sit in the foyer
talking about their pasts

for the young professionals coming home from work
playing on their phones
as they collect their amazon packages

but after a few drinks i go into the hallway
and shut the music off

there is only so much christmas a man can take

and they play the music at work
and in the liquor store anyway

this battle usually goes on for about a week

the super and his wife turn on the music box
and stand guard over it
as their child screams and howls and scoots

and then later i stumble out and shut it off
after they’ve gone

eventually someone gives up until the new year

i’ve thought about sending a message
smashing the santa music box
and leaving it in pieces outside the super’s door

finishing this little war
once and for all

but i have a reputation here of being drunk and unkind

and someone in the building
is selling heroin to high school kids
and they have cameras up all over the place here now

so it’s jingle bells, jingle bells for me
off and on until armageddon or january comes

and the super takes christmas back down
until the next time

with his brat kids scootering up and down the hallway

as the music box plays its last carol

and i sit in my apartment
watching yellow pieces of my ceiling
fall onto the dusty wooden floor.

--John Grochalski