Sunday, May 31, 2020


Strategies for Surviving tRump Virus

Shelter in place.
When venturing forth to buy groceries,
wear gloves and a mask.
Stay six to ten feet away from others.
Wash every stitch of clothing
as soon as you’re home.
Clean every surface with disinfectant.
Carry Chlorox wipes in the car.
Wash hands constantly.
Do not touch your face.
Shun crowds like the plague.
Be grateful you can afford delivery services.
Order take out/curbside pick up at least once a week.
Confer with your doctor via web-based video.
Try not to binge overeat.
Keep busy to avoid going insane.
Give your cranky husband plenty of space.
Exercise, work in the garden.
Read all those books on your shelves.
Attend Zoom support group meetings.
Ration exposure to Internet news.
Eschew clueless television talking heads.
Avoid obsessing over rising infection and death rates.
Subject yourself to antibody testing.
Tell yourself things will someday improve.
Persuade friends to call out conspiracy theories, lies.
In November, demand change and vote blue.

--Jennifer Lagier

Saturday, May 30, 2020


Eco Syphilis

This earth rolls old through fading sun
as all partake of all
yet few return from feeder's lure or feathered palm
interest on said sin

Let other purse our sloth rehearse
refresh without refrain
for fascists flee from failed fight
to worshipped imagery
which doubted doubles pain

When tables turn
most mock concern
and ramble on in shackles
dogs of dust neglecting trust
entranced by past disasters

Since truth be known 
by no known tome
until enhanced and factored
let's be done with rough rerun
membrane's sour remorse
pre-paid replies
defacto lies 
return our lives to act/or.

- Steven B. Smith

Friday, May 29, 2020


the minneapolis police department
third precinct is on fire

let it burn for the cops
let it burn down their brutality
let it burn for the racists
who hide behind their guns and god
let it burn up the false white innocence
let it burn into the blood-soaked soil
upon which this nation was founded
let it burn for the people
who care more about buildings than bodies
let it burn because black lives matter
let it burn for rapist, racist trump
tweeting out his hate
in his kremlin-bought office
let it burn for his national guard
let it burn for the whole trump crime family
let it burn the gop
let it burn and make america great
let it burn for George Floyd
let it burn for Ahmaud Arbery
let it burn for all of the black transgender women killed this year
let it burn because there’s too many names to mention
let it burn institutional racism
let it burn the patriarchy
let it burn like corporate media
playing putty into right wing hands
let it burn up your bootstraps
and your bullshit american dream
let it burn like rebellion
let it burn like a flag
let it burn like useless thoughts and prayers
let it burn into the ground
until there’s nothing
but dust and embers
and when they do this the next time
because they will
let it burn
let it burn once again.

--John Grochalski


Thursday, May 28, 2020


Meanings of the Word “Urban”

Of course,
there was
that one time
at a national teachers’ convention
when people gasped
when Nell was introduced
and middle America learned
she taught at the Urban League School

And while
its been a minute
since someone asked me
with wide-eyed desperation
if I encounter black people
because of where I live

And I always fail
to find the language
to tell those who used to
how I feel
when I’m surrounded
by the bougie whites
in my city neighborhood

But I also remember
after Rodney King
an activist was on a talk show
talking about how
police academies recruit
with ads in
Soldier of Fortune

Promising policing
as the ultimate
in urban warfare,
American citizens become
enemy combatants

And I think
how that was almost
thirty years ago
and those Soldier of Fortune
recruits are now
sergeants, captains,
and commissioners

--Matthew Ussia

Attachments area

Wednesday, May 27, 2020


quarantine blues

there are
at least half a dozen neighbors
whom i’d send to slaughter
when this virus is gone

the guy who talks on his phone
in front of my living room window

the guy who washes his car to bass

and the guys who rev their motorcycles
who look more like bankers on furlough
than hell’s angels

the old italian man who screams all afternoon
in his pigeon english
to the guy with the prick-jock face
who buzz saws in his van

a brand-new enemy list
for a band new normal

the governor says
we have to practice patience and empathy
if we’re going to get out of this

but the governor doesn’t have pot-head joe
blowing weed into his kitchen window
at seven in the morning

while he shouts to his buddy
(a self-social distance away)
blasting heavy metal in his car

a contact high for sure

i’d like to make some contact
brew up some toxic masculinity at its finest

but there’s so many dead here
all i can do is shout from the window
and stew in my own juices

start drinking the minute the sun tilts
in the chemical sky

daydream my old life

while the couple in matching surgical masks
let their kick-me dog drop a deuce
in front of my living room window

a steaming pile of shit
that they won’t pick up

as they binge-watch tv on their phones
at max volume

like they’re the only two people in brooklyn
trying to make something of a day out of this mess

this polluted
and disease-riddled world.

--John Grochalski


Tuesday, May 26, 2020


COVID-19 Day Planner: Day…I Don’t Fucking Remember

6:00 A.M. Wake up out of a horrifying dream that you won’t really remember but will have something to do with the apocalypse or the end days.

6:00-6:10 A.M. Long for sex dreams or any dream that isn't somehow related to COVID-19 anxiety

6:10-6:20 A.M. Morning “constitutional” where you catch up on Trump’s xenophobic, racist ramblings about conspiracy theories, before posting snide comments to his and Don Jr.’s (AKA Traitortot) xenophobic, racist and fascist tweets. Yell at people stopping in front of your window to bullshit while their dogs take huge steaming craps they won’t clean up.

6:20-8:00 AM: Free Play, which can mean masturbation, reading, crying on the couch, writing in my journal, crying in the bathroom, listening to music, crying at the kitchen table, sorting baseball cards, crying in the actual kitchen, lifting weights, and crying while lifting weights. All of this is done while intermittently yelling at people stopping to talk, scream into their cell phones, or blast base in front of your first-floor window.

8:00-8:30 AM: Wake up the wife and tell her all of the bad world news before she even gets an ounce of caffeine in her, then wonder why she’s looking at you that way or ignoring you by playing on her phone. All of this is done while intermittently yelling at people stopping to talk, scream into their cell phones, or blast base in front of your first-floor window.

8:30-11:00 AM: Writing but mostly playing on social media. All of this is done while intermittently yelling at people stopping to talk, scream into their cell phones, or blast base in front of your first-floor window.

11:00-11:02 AM: Check work emails. All of this is done while intermittently yelling at people stopping to talk, scream into their cell phones, or blast base in front of your first-floor window.

11:02-12:15 PM: get ready for some physical activity like jogging or running. Pick jogging clothing up off the floor where they just get randomly thrown. Search for keys that you now keep hidden because you are worried about someone breaking into the apartment because, why not add one more fear to your life right now. If Jogging: make sure to consistently look behind you for other joggers/bikers who also are not paying attention to the facemask rule while jogging. Yell at people walk who are doing so in the bike lane. If Walking: Bring facemask, wallet, keys, iPod etc for a one hour + walk, in which, you will inevitably become one of those people walking in the bike lane who get yelled at by joggers and bikers. All of this is done while intermittently yelling at people speeding in their cars intent on mowing someone down.

12:15-1:00 PM: Delouse: Wash hands. Sanitize any door handles, light switches, glasses, clothing, wallet, keys, ipods, essentially anything you touched while out getting exercise. Wash hands again. Accidentally touch something you forgot to sanitize. Sanitize said item. Wash hands again. Drink water from the exercise. Stretch (or you’ll pay for it later). Accidentally touch something else that you forgot to sanitize. Wash hands. Worry that you didn’t sanitize a light switch. Sanitize said light switch. Wash hands. Collapse on couch and play on iPhone. Say more mean and nasty things to the Trump Crime Family on Twitter even though you know they’ll never see it, but that it makes you feel good. Think about crying. Shower. All of this is done while intermittently yelling at people stopping to talk, scream into their cell phones, or blast base in front of your first-floor window.

1:00-1:30 PM: Lunch. Mostly an excuse to stand in the kitchen and eat the junk food that you feel you deserve to have in your apartment because of this virus. Negate all physical activity by said indulgence. All of this is done while intermittently yelling at people stopping to talk, scream into their cell phones, or blast base in front of your first-floor window.

1:30-4:00 PM: Reading on the couch. Essentially an excuse to intermittently pick up your cell phone and write nasty tweet response to the fascist nonsense being spewed by the Trump Crime Family on Twitter while liking the occasional cute animal post. Realize around 3PM that you’ve been laying on the couch for 90 minutes. Get up and lift weights to feel productive. Resist the urge to go into the kitchen and eat junk food. Go and eat junk food further negating any physical activity. Look at watch and sigh that it isn’t yet 4 PM and you can’t begin drinking. All of this is done while intermittently yelling at people stopping to talk, scream into their cell phones, or blast base in front of your first-floor window.

4:00PM-8:00 PM Cocktail time. Being with a strong double vodka and club soda over ice. Binge watch television. Decide around 5:30 that it would be a good idea to make some food. Make food while eating snacks in the kitchen. Eat said dinner. Head back to the couch to continue drinking while playing on your phone, listening to music, or wondering if it would be bad form to start crying. All of this is done while intermittently yelling at people stopping to talk, scream into their cell phones, or blast base in front of your first-floor window.

8:00-10:00 PM: Free Time 2: Use this time to read (provided you can follow along in a book), watch YouTube videos, tweet nasty responses to the Trump Crime Family on Social Media, or, if in the mood, extend cocktail time until 10PM. All of this is done while intermittently yelling at people stopping to talk, scream into their cell phones, or blast base in front of your first-floor window.

10PM-10:30 PM: Get ready for bed. Not because you are tired but because chances are good you’ve passed out on the couch from drinking, have drank all of the booze, don’t remember what time it is, or are simply in such a depressive state that you no longer want to be up and in this virus-riddled world run by cartoon autocratic madman. Bring phones, keys, wallets into bedroom in case someone breaks into your apartment. Put shoes, boxes etc in front of front door to stop said intruder. Brush teeth. Curse the sink that will not drain. Put on various nose machines to drown out people talking, blasting base, etc in front of your first-floor bedroom window. Pass out hoping you will not have another apocalyptic dream. Hope the planet gets hit by a species-ending meteorite while you sleep.

--John Grochalski

Monday, May 25, 2020


Eviction Notice

Stars are falling from the sky
future's calling asking why

we haven't learned greener ways
failed to earn our right to stay

eviction warning hung on door
Earth in mourning we weren't more

wise and sharing, patient too
for in caring we learn what's due

what's right for right, not wrong for pay
it's not might has final say

rich and poor share same worn Earth
accept, soar, or descend to dearth

Earth cracked core sore from our past
don't let the door hit us in the ass

- Steven B.Smith

Sunday, May 24, 2020


Now We See

Tombs no longer
washed in white
as mud and spit
gave some sight.

Darkness seen,
all must now fight
to bring day
back from the night.

--Connor Orrico

Saturday, May 23, 2020


walking through dyker heights in the spring

trump flags
and banners
bend with the breeze

as the million-dollar homes
of the well-fed and contented

sit lifeless and devoid of character
in the muted daylight

everyone wants you to know
that they’re a patriot here

from the nationalistic mumbo-jumbo
bumper stickers on their big fat cars

to their american knick-knacks
planted in well-manicured lawns

it’s the kind of jingoistic artifice
that we love here in america

cozy bullshit like a warm blanket on your day

no one starves in dyker heights
no one struggles to pay the mortgage or the rent

and they all wear golden bootstraps

at christmas time
people flock here by the carloads

to see the homes all decked out in lights
the lit-up mangers on the lawns

the tin box carols
blaring out into the street

normal rockwell diarrhea
from the smiling faces of fascism
hiding behind the pleasantries
of the season

it gets so crowded that the cops
have to come and control it

rosy-cheeked foot soldiers
waving candy cane billy clubs

at cars full of cherubic white families

who want so badly to believe
in their own benevolent innocence

but who are as fat and fake
and as much of a myth

as jolly old santa claus

--John Grochalski


Friday, May 22, 2020


"I Am Going To Drive Drunk Tonight,"

I am going to drive drunk tonight.

I don’t personally know anyone who has been killed by a drunk driver. Neither have my friends. Therefore, drunk driving is demonstrably safe.

As for all those public health “experts” and their statistics, have you ever thought about what agenda they serve? Wake up! They just want to control us. If you fall for their scare tactics, you’re a sheep. But not me.

Those news articles about drunk driving deaths? I don’t read anything from the news media. It isn’t that I’m intellectually lazy, or prone to broadcasting uninformed opinions. I just don’t want to be brainwashed, and I’m smart enough to draw my own conclusions. I’m not ignorant; I’m elevated above the credulous by my refusal to read. I drove drunk the other night, for example, and nobody was killed. Explain THAT.

The police blotter? I don’t trust the police, either – always questioning people, charging them and making arrests. Here’s an eye opener for you – do you know where else the police did things like that? THE SOVIET UNION.

Besides, I’m protected by the Blood of Jesus. If God decides to take me, then it’s my time. If I should happen to cause someone else’s death, then it was their time too. (If they do not share my religion, and thus are not guaranteed entrance to a euphoric afterlife, then it’s their fault, not mine. And if God takes them, it will surely reflect His judgement against their character.)

Furthermore, I need to drive drunk in order to demonstrate my faith, and God’s consequent divine protection. This isn’t a garish and particularly dangerous form of religious virtue-signaling. It’s me providing a spiritual example.

I’m brave. I’m tough. I’M AN AMERICAN. My premeditated drunk driving in the face of an oppressive government should tell you that. So should my willingness to engage in high-risk behavior.

And so should my gun, right here. Impressive, huh? (You should have seen the faces on the unarmed civil servants when I marched through a public building with it yesterday. I take a lot of brave stands, you see, so I also protest social distancing requirements.)

If you want to hear more about my courageous protests, I’ve got lots to tell. You’ll notice that a lot of my stories carry a subtext suggesting that I am unusually bold, and especially macho, and that, more than others, I am an AMERICAN, god damn it.

But it will have to wait, because I need to lie down. Ever since the protest yesterday, I’ve developed a hell of a cold.


--Eric Robert Nolan

Thursday, May 21, 2020


The Science Experiment: The Trump Administration in a Time of Coronavirus

Unofficial group
study in virus

of entire population
of USA commissioned
as Open Up the Country

by the: “See What
Happens Policy President”:

ignore CDC warning
and guidelines

ignore expert opinions
especially ones by doctors

ignore graph charting
infection rates

question death totals

determine all workers
are disposable

interchangeable as

change as needed

Deny vital statistics

infection rates
and hot spot information

force opening of
disease pit meat
packing plants to
insure food chain

Dent deny deny
shift blame
for inevitable failures

claim lack of details
for public policy people

needed for safeguarding citizens
are business decisions

Effect reopening

put in place
The Ultimate Solution

--Alan Catlin

Wednesday, May 20, 2020



Gave up Lent for Lent
Had enough of their Pay-now

Slick chains the rich play
Around the poor to keep them
Turning other cheek

Your Trickle-Down plan
Feels warm yellow sticky
You pissing on me?

Anything they want
The rich take without asking
And no giving back

Republican scum
Or Democrat cowardice
Crooks at either end

Is non-violent
Revolution a trick to
Keep us in our place?

The Gots they do got
The Got-nots get even less
Fuck me very much

- Steven B.Smith

Tuesday, May 19, 2020


                                                      THE PANDEMIC SEQUENCE


Now we feel history
now we know the very brunt of history
epoch after epoch
of plague
millions lost,
then easily forgotten.
          We learn to fear
          we learn to lock into indifference
          or we learn to pray.
We leave our elaborate padded cells
to walk in the glorious springtime,
but does contagion hang in trees
are those blobs of bobbing light
perched on that post & rail fence
friend or fiend.


Last night rain tumbled
and ticked down metal drain pipes
making us restive in our beds
glancing the clock numberless times
not certain when we slept.
Today is glaringly
clear, yet, it feels like
the virus continues
to pound on the door.
Meanwhile, nature pushes up
its pinks, purples, golds
and infant whitenesses
as if all was well.


for the loner
the texter
the germaphobe.
No more gentlemen’s handshake
no more relatives’ hug
not now a kiss
in a motel tryst.
We draw oblique lines
on sidewalks, streets, lots,
at most we wave
as if going away
but let’s hope not for very long.


The sunlight in the school
across the street is
the only thing alive.

As the day rotates
the light moves up and down
the stairway forming students
from glare and shadow.

In a classroom it highlights
assignments on the board
now many months old.

Emergency lights
remain on at night

Maintenance wanders the rooms
pushing vacuums at dust
inevitable but
no longer made by children.


How can we talk about this
when we’re allowed just
          a distant nod.

How can we write about it,
a mere listing of
          the mounting dead.

A painter can only scrawl
whorls of blackness on
          the canvas.

Composer a concert hall
full of dissonant chords—
a triumphant trumpet.


Humans are condemned
to remain in their homes.
Highways and turnpikes
lie empty, serene—
we walk on them with
uncertain footing.
          the air is purified
          the oceans are clean.
          Iron dog in the garden
          continues to beg,
          a dove perched on an eave
          continues to coo
          its song of peace.


We sit in a stern little family group
holding hands for grace
staring at each other
trying to absorb every feature
we might have overlooked
might have never noticed before.
Each bite of our meal
we savor though humble.
          This might be the time for lasts.
Let music we love ring through
our brains like fond echoes.
The book we are reading
we have reread but want
to cherish each word
like never before.


In the backyard the kids
discovered bird bones,
strange pebbles, even a hole
under the fence they
didn’t know was there.

Mothers found the back
of the hall closet
never revealed before
and cobwebs at sundown
shimmering decorations.

While fathers after reviewing
their lives, finding naps boring,
began to sense what they
could do beyond Smartphones
did not fit onto spread sheets.


Sometimes we scratch at
the window screen like
a bladder-filled dog
lured by the golden day;
other times we dust off
a long delayed tome
the longer and denser
the better from Grandma’s hope chest
and curl up in Grandpa’s chair;
but as the interned
in Pharaoh’s Egypt
we hope the Angel’s sword
of Death will not mistake us.


We stumble out of our burrows
sniff the fresh spring air
squint at the unreal light,
the beginning of a new week
to slide down
not steep stairs to trudge up
in perpetual grayness;
we have missed the colors
affixed to flowers and trees,
the season nearly ripped away
by the sinister pestilence
swooping on bat wings—
but we have survived!

--Ray Greenblatt

Ray Greenblatt is an editor on the Schuylkill Valley Journal.

Monday, May 18, 2020



the faketroits are out
clapping for the doctors and nurses

the faketriots are out
banging pots and pans for the fireman and police

the faketriots are out
shaking tambourines and blowing horns
for the grocery clerks in masks

the faktriots support our troops

everything about them is decked out
in red white and blue

from the Trump flags up on their flag poles

to the Trump 2020 banners
planted in their lawns.

--John Grochalski


Sunday, May 17, 2020



if USA survives
the presidency of Donald Trump
the germaphobe
the swamp drainer
we’ll have to fumigate the place,
get the roaches he encouraged,

--Chuck Joy

Saturday, May 16, 2020


to the new, new normal wherever it is

there's a bunch of white people
having their own I need a haircut
party down at the courthouse
conditional soldiers armed
on the frontlines of institutional hubris

they've been lied to so long
they drink from the hands
of snake oil salesmen
let's hear it for the eucharist
for cannibalism, for exceptionalism

this isn't a plane crash
in the himalayas though
this isn't john rambo freeing
MIA prisoners in a war
for the hearts and minds
of free people everywhere

we lost that war
really we haven't won
a war in far too long to remember
if you don't believe me do yr research
our armies deployed to action
in the interest of profits that stick
long before they trickle down

wave yr assault weapons high
worry about yr privacy and freedom
withered. you can tell the woman
living in the pt cruiser on my street
just how bad you've had it
she shit's with no privacy
in a parking lot twice a day

I'm not saying you haven't
had a rough time of it
hell, its taking 25 years of clawing
for me to understand not being broke
I still have nothing, maybe
I got comfortable there
Nihilism is rampant in the richest country

honestly, I'm not as bad ass
as the woman who works
by herself at the post office everyday
behind bullet proof plexiglass
she worked her pregnancy
to term without missing a day
the contractions started on lunch
she went to the hospital
called her boss to say
they were keeping her
her boss told her
to come back
at least release the batch
but she wasn't coming back
and she said so
she was having her baby

--Jason Baldinger

Friday, May 15, 2020


Pompeo and Trump Steal the Burden of Proof

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told an audience at Texas A&M University that when he was head of the CIA he was responsible for “lying, cheating and stealing” to benefit the United States. “Like we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American Experiment.”
Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State, May 2, 2019

The fear aroused
By bad propaganda
Leads to false accusations,
Unsubstantiated allegations,
Corporate media spins,
Coronavirus blame games,
Imperial manipulations,
Racist talking points,
White nationalism,
Embellished conspiracy theories,
Revisionist history,
Distorted facts,
Manufactured consent,
Smears and lies,
Fake news repeated endlessly,
Xenophobic incantations,
Dark insinuations,
All out lunacy,
Delusional paranoia,
Fictitious official statements,
Demonizing and scapegoating,
Endless incendiary statements,
And never-ending attack ads.

All arouse hatred,
The road to violence,
All arouse distrust,
Looking for faults
In other people or groups.

The claim COVID-19 came from
The Wuhan Institute of Virology,
Based on no evidence,
Was certified by Mike Pompeo
When he was asked if it did:
“I can tell you that there is
A significant amount of evidence
That this came from that laboratory in Wuhan.”
Followed later paradoxically
By this statement:
“We don’t know
If it came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
We don’t know
If it emanated from the wet market
Or yet some other place.
We don’t know those answers.”

When asked if he had seen evidence
The orange tinted authoritarian said,
“Yes, yes I have.”
When asked to give specifics,
The narcissistic prevaricator said,
“I can’t tell you that.
I’m not allowed to tell you that.”

In the meantime, the corporate media
Neglects to mention
The CDC shutdown of
The Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases
At Fort Detrick, Maryland
In July 2019,
For a failed biosafety inspection,
A failed inspection Beijing is aware of.

Pompeo’s and Trump’s lies
Are political lies,
Lies that are permitted and sanctioned
In Trump’s culture of cruelty.

--Victor Henry

Thursday, May 14, 2020



(definition): A fake conspiracy created by Russian bots in the middle of the night propagated by a small-dicked, racist, rapist, misogynistic game show host, who has let 80,000+ people die to date of a pandemic he wasted 70 days calling a hoax, and his international crime family, given a pseudo-legitimacy by a bullshit social networking platform and right-wing propaganda disgusted as a fair and balanced national news source.


"Trump is using the pharse OBAMAGATE to deflect from his ineptness in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, that had killed tens of thousands of U.S. citizens, and becasue he generally is a petty, small piece of human garbage."

Wednesday, May 13, 2020


Corona (March, 2020)

Every time a sign says “Don’t touch your face,” my nose starts itching.

My face is lonely for my hands.
My hands are lonely for my face.
My body loves itself
eEvery part of my body loves every other part.
“Stay six feet away,” say the signs
but my hands can’t get six feet from my face.

--Marion Cohen

AUTHOR BIO, in case it's helpful:

Marion Deutsche Cohen is the author of 31 collections of poetry or memoir; her latest poetry collections are “The Essence of Seventh Grade: A Kind of Autobiography” (Alien Buddha Press), “The Project of Being Alive” (New Plains Press, AL), and “The Discontinuity at the Waistline: My #MeToo Poems” (Rhythm and Bones Press, PA). She is also the author of two controversial memoirs about spousal chronic illness, a trilogy diary of late-pregnancy loss, and “Crossing the Equal Sign”, about the experience of mathematics. She teaches a course she developed, Mathematics in Literature, at Drexel University, as well as a new course, Societal Issues on the College Campus. Other interests are classical piano, singing, Scrabble, thrift-shopping, four grown children, and five grands. Her website is .

Tuesday, May 12, 2020


"Contagion is a Despot Poet"

Contagion is a despot poet. It
releases fatal verses from its throne.
Its alabaster palm will lean to sow
what words will wind within their binding strictures

each arriving low, in permanent cursive,
at the many nadirs of pages — each
to immutable conclusion,
to shared, indelible metaphor:

dirges upon April mornings
eulogies at afternoon
rimes to loss at rayless night, as stars,
so slowly overflying a singing, dim landscape of endowed poetry,

are indistinct, indifferent.

--Eric Robert Nolan

Monday, May 11, 2020


In this spring of rising and declining temperatures
this morning, fog blocks the view from the back
door, rivulets form on garage window, drop, streak
window pane. Dead dogwood drips onto saturated
grass, garden. Though the songbirds have shared
their songs since early morning there is something
not quite right.

The constant beat of tires on the avenue have silenced
sidewalks are empty of school students, an occasional
dog walker passes by, yellow school buses both big and
small have been quarantined, lights no longer flash in early
morning light. Commuter stations, bus stops are empty
neighbors wave at each other from closed windows.

As the temperature rises and falls we await the flat line of
the ever rising curve of what may pay visitation upon us
or pass us by. There is a sigh of relief from the homes on
this sycamore lined street each time the red strobe lights
of an ambulance pass by without making a stop.

--ge reutter

g emil reutter is a writer of poems and stories. He can be found at: 

Sunday, May 10, 2020


Covid 45

"It would have been so easy to tell the truth."
Donald J Trump

Derides stay-
at-home orders
in blue states

at daily rallies
billed as pandemic

Encourages in-person-
no-protection, Don't
Tread On Me, Tea party
style rallies

Calls these "defiers"
responsible people
who seem "to like me
very much"

Like Neo-Nazi
marchers in Virginia
were "good people"

Wants states to open
for commerce
even if it costs lives

Defames "complainer"
leaders for ignoring
his orders, for suggesting
he, "do his job"

Testing is for the states
even if he won't give
them tests to administer

Will say it is
all their fault when
death tolls mount
virus numbers rise
at geometric rates

Refuses responsibility
for offering five year old
child solutions to world wide

Has become the disease
spreader in chief

Covid 45

The Typhoid Don

---Alan Catlin

Saturday, May 9, 2020



                                                photography by Ally Malinenko

Friday, May 8, 2020



“I'm an embarrassment to evolution
My disposition is unstable and cruel
My blood's a catastrophic blend
Cause I'm from the shallow end of the gene pool.”

The Shallow End of the Gene Pool
Austin Lounge Lizards

Tweedledee and Tweedledumb argue over
Who they’re going to gaslight next.

Tweedledumb, Herr Trumpenstein,
Claims he’s never lied
Since taking office, even though
Over 16,000 lies have been documented
By the Washington Post.

Tweedledee, malevolent Mitch McConnell,
Aka The Turtle and Moscow Mitch,
Senate Majority Leader,
Receiving record big pharma donations
During drug negotiations,
Blocking over 400 bills
Sent from the House to the Senate for approval,
A Lord Acton wannabe,
Who doesn’t give a fuck about ethics, morality or law
Is a staunch supporter
That absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Like Obama drinking a cold glass of Detroit toxic water,
Assuring residents their taps were safe
As long as they used filters, despite their water
Contaminated with lead, a deadly neurotoxin,
Trump tries to eviscerate everything Obama,
Like a deranged narcissist rewriting history
To escape accountability.

Not to be outdone by Obama,
Trump displays his Nobel Prize intellect
At a White House briefing,
Suggesting scientists and other experts
Investigate whether there’s a way
To ingest disinfectant, light, or heat
Into the human body to kill COVID-19.

With the sharp intellect of a retarded carrot,
He posits, “Supposing you brought
The light inside the body, which you can do
Either through the skin or in some other way.”

Words so powerful, even a peer-reviewed journal
Like JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association,
Is practically forced to endorse it as medical news.

--Victor Henry

Thursday, May 7, 2020


doin’ the COVID rag

i’m sheltering in place
with a lysol cocktail on ice

i’m sheltering in place
with nothing to do but hate my neighbors

i’m sheltering in place
binge watching horseshit
and eating take-out

jerking my dig dong
to the kleptocratic president’s plastic daughter

while she’s on tv
doin’ the COVID rag

king cuomo in the afternoon
while the cops are in the streets

king cuomo in the afternoon
while the cops are in the streets

king cuomo in the afternoon
while the cops are rounding up in folks in harlem

as the good rich white people in the village
are crowding in the parks
doin’ the COVID rag

fake patriots hoarding sanitizer
fake patriots hoarding meat

fake patriots beating each other’s ass in Costco
over rolls of toilet paper
doin’ the COVID rag

the president’s in washington
drinking up the bleach

that baby-dick-tator’s got a hard-on
for the stock market
and the fake news media

yes, putin’s puppet sits in washington
drinking up the bleach

on the tv networks every night
he’s singin’ a love song called autocracy

while democracy spins and burns
doin’ the COVID rag

MAGA tit sucking makes big bucks for FOX
MAGA tit sucking makes big cash for ABC and NBC
MAGA tit sucking is a ratings bonanza for CNN and MSNBC

MAGA tit sucking might be bad for america
but it’s good business over at CBS

while the truth eats shit out of a face mask trough
doin the COVID rag

republican death squads at the courthouse
carrying their little toy guns

republican death squads blocking traffic
their freedom ain't nothing but a haircut

republican death squads on social media
typing end the shutdown now

to the u-hauls filled with corpses
doin’ the COVID rag

liberate michigan!
who fuckin’ cares anymore?
liberate minnesota!
who fuckin’ cares anymore?
liberate virginia?
who fuckin’ cares anymore?

liberate the mall!
and eat a taco
liberate the mall!
and buy some shoes

then let’s all meet on the beach in florida
and soak up those healing UV rays

yes, let’s all meet on the beach in florida
and soak up those healing UV rays

make america great again in florida

slurping kool-aid like jonestown zealots
doin’ the COVID rag

goin’ down
goin’ down

all the way

as another million die for capitalism
doin’ the COVID rag

--John Grochalski


Wednesday, May 6, 2020


death cult blues

I am a man
living in a failed state
run by an insignificant man
a man who was backed
in a bid for power
by a death cult

death cults are all the rage
in dying empires
in dying republics
where hope gives way
to divination and magic

there is a death cult
that counters the death cult
in power, but they have been
abused, drained of any counter
measure or balance by their own
want for power, for money
this death cult is ossified
in a mantle of false hope

these death cults are reported
on for profit and ratings
by a death cult that sells
narratives stale and binary
narratives breaking information
into bytes, memes
fractions of unreality

these death cults are owned
by merchants of death
as they were called
a hundred years ago when
they made their first
great sacrifice of forty million dead
they have made many more
they are a death cult
they believe in alchemy
they turn blood into money
they write history
they write religion

history is not important
in a death cult
history is co-opted
the story of gilded ages
of robber barons
of criminal heroes
the benevolent rich
false narratives without end

religion is imperative
in a death cult
you must believe your blood
shed is your reward, you must
accept the exploitation
of your waking life
as necessary to keep
the death cult fed
you must understand
there’s a great magical land
after your plight ends
behave you beautiful victims

I am a man
a citizen of a failed state
manipulated by death cults
taught to sell my life, my time
for a happiness I may die before
I enjoy, I must die to enjoy
I am insignificant
I reap no reward
all I may have is my freedom
all I want is my life to live
free from programing
free from manipulation
I believe in life
I am exhausted by fear
                             by death

I am a man, a human
organism interconnected
to billions more
I only want to be free

--Jason Baldinger

Tuesday, May 5, 2020



As we shelter in place,
spring accessorizes sand dunes
with lavender lupine,
spatters of golden poppies,
scarlet Indian paintbrush.

Social distancing is state ordered,
subject to citation, fines,
a matter of life and death.
Masked and gloved, thirteen feet apart,
we pass on sidewalks and trails.

Nursing home visits are conducted
through heavily screened windows
or on computers equipped with
microphones, cameras and Zoom.
Loved ones can’t understand, languish alone.

During mandatory time out,
we accept confined life’s slower pace.
I scribble poetry, clean closets, bake bread,
appreciate garden and books
while we isolate, flatten contagion’s curve.

--Jennifer Lagier

Monday, May 4, 2020


The President Raps as the Country Dies
(a found poem)

We’ll knock ‘em out
In a minute with bleach.
Injection, injection.
All we gotta do is inject ‘em.
Knock ‘em out
In a minute, in a second.
You know what I’m sayin’
We could look in to it.
We got very smart people here.
It’s so simple, but it’s very complicated.
I heard a rumor and you know
Rumors got a truth of their own.
So why not just do it? Try it.
Who knows maybe it’ll work.
I was being sarcastic!
You know, sarcastic?
They just take everything
Out of context. You know
Like alligators in the moats.
Or nukin’ a hurricane.
All I was sayin’
Was, we’ll look into it.
It’s all so simple, but some people
Like to make it complicated.
You gotta be Einstein
Or something.
Just inject ‘em. Clean ‘em out.
Get this economy back.
Get this country back.
Keepin it. Keepin’ it great.
It could be a game changer.

--Jason Irwin

Sunday, May 3, 2020


Dance-Off 19 (for Virus-45)

Fighting up the food chain
forever fearing fail

Masks hiding people's faces
shielding who inside

We fling bleach at our boundaries
hoping not to snag a sneeze

So bring out your dead
we got this nice dirt box bed

As we limbo limbic low
down here below

Where lobsters boil low and slow
and the frog water's hotter

So what's it to be - eat? or eaten?
flea? or filet?

Sometimes it's the nipple
sometimes the t'ain't

This time may be serious
next time maybe ain't

We danced The So-So
then did The No-No

Now we're deep in The Oh-Oh
heading for Apocalypso

May not be our final fatal fuckup
but we're getting there

--Steven B. Smith

Saturday, May 2, 2020


Ground Hog’s Day: The Trump Administration in a Time of Coronavirus

Daily briefings
based on fantasy

sugar coated
fairy plumb
sweet talking

wishful thinking

overt lying

Each previous day’s
assertions proved false

yet new ones are
made based on those
alternative facts

Every day
new briefings

the same lies

attempts to pass
the buck

to shift the blame
from where
it belongs

an endless loop
of lies and deceit

What will break
the cycle?

--alan catlin

Friday, May 1, 2020


Hide and Seek with the Pandemic

We are not supposed to be out
No one is.
But that is not possible all day
in a small one bedroom apartment
even if you are at the center of a pandemic

so we walked, careful to cross
the street whenever we saw anyone else.
Careful to avoid all contact
like the panicked doctors on the news tell us.

There is still writing and books and television
but I miss my friends and museums and bars and bookstores
with a fierce unyielding need
like a second heart knotted in my chest.

We have each other and we are safe and being paid
and every day I run through the list of things I should be thankful for
instead of the list of things that I am missing

And today, on this walk
I watch a man in the park
hide behind a tree
and wait for his dog to find him.
It is a small act of joy
like when a piece of music moves you
or a painting in a gallery feels like a second home

I watch the dog find him, jumping
into his arms, I watch him laugh
and he sees me watching

and he waves.

And I hold back the tears
and add this man and his dog
to my list of things
I am thankful for.

--Ally Malinenko