Two Sestinas – Julia Bohm

Deer – John Singer Sargent -1872


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Uneven Remainder: A Soundtrack For The Mortal Coil



Uneven Remainder

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Grindr Troll #17


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Two Poems – Benjamin DeVos




my parents make me go to cognitive behavioral therapy
after breaking into my room and reading my journal
all of the passages about what is wrong with america
about starting a fistfight in bed bath & beyond
a warning sign if ever there was one
my therapist asks if i often feel angry and i say yes
my therapist asks if i feel in control of my life
i say that physically i am the strongest that i have ever been
my therapist writes something on his notepad
by the end of the session i want to punch myself in the face
realizing how much i’ve betrayed myself in the past year
like when i unconsciously laugh in serious moments
to proactively defend myself against possible rejection
i laugh when my mom tells me that i am fat for a teenage boy
i laugh when my dad tells me that real men don’t cry
i laugh when my grandpa shares his theory about the earth being flat
laughing makes me feel awkward instead of sad
i laugh on my way out of the therapist’s office
then cry all the way home

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The New Red Hot Chili Peppers Album is the Soundtrack 2016 Deserved

red-hot-chili-peppers-the-getaway-990x557Is anybody surprised that this world is going to shit? I’m saddened but not surprised. After all I live in America, a country that continues to purchase Red Hot Chili Peppers albums by the millions.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers (RHCP) put out a new album in 2016 and I commend them. Not because they put out a new album but because they managed to release the same album they’ve released since 1995. The lyrics are different, the titles are different, but I imagine half of the songs will still be about California. It’s almost as if they are daring radio stations to not play their albums.

It’s fitting that in a year marred by the deaths of musical luminaries and the election of a fascist, the Red Hot Chili Peppers release an album that reaches number 1 on the Billboard charts. Who are the people buying these albums? Who wakes up in the morning and says, “Man, I can really go for some slap bass and corny rapping”?

Here’s the thing about RHCP: they are not horrible. They are definitely not good but they are not total shit. It’s the kind of music that’s perfect for the soundtrack of a romantic comedy. I imagine a 40 year old, recently divorced accountant climbing into his Saab after a long day of crunching numbers and rocking out to this album on his way to Buffalo Wild Wings.

It’s the perfect music for people who don’t want to try very hard. RHCP is a band you settle on. When you’ve given up on finding new bands you fall back on RHCP. They are the Hillary Clinton of music. They’ve been around forever, they’re not very exciting, and they expect undeserved loyalty. You wish they would quietly go away to make room for others but they won’t. They’ll stick around, attempt to reclaim past glory, and their fans will make passionless attempts to sway you over to their side. Continue reading

Two Poems – Grant Quackenbush

Francis Bacon - Triptych 1944

Francis Bacon – Triptych 1944


His build was too slight
for the amount of heroin
he shot. His heart

slowed. Blood
became mud,
mud tar. He felt

a window shatter
in a bright
room inside him. Glass

flew like fanged
bats from his throat.
Someone spoke. He wasn’t

breathing. He wasn’t
doing anything
but staring at the ceiling.

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Grindr Troll #16


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When We Christmas-ed

screen-shot-2016-12-24-at-2-02-13-pmThere used to be a small, tranquil town, two mountain ranges over. It was supported by a steady stream of goods from local traders and the secondary economies that one will find in rural mountain burgs: a drug store, a diner that served delicious cakes, a cloth shop, and so forth. After November, the snow blanketed this little community, and because motor traffic was light, the town would remain as white as linen until the spring thaw several months later. It was a festive little village and the holidays were a time of great joy and celebration for its denizens. What I’m getting at here is that Christmas was a big deal in our idyllic township.

As the eldest child, at the start of every school year, I received a new pair of boots, and the older ones were passed down to my first younger sister, who handed hers down to our brother, and on they went down the line. The same descending transaction occurred with coats and nearly every other item that we owned. But Christmas was a different matter. Mother made a small economy out of selling goose fat to the larders, and that money went into a tin that once held Royal Dansk Cookies all the way from Denmark. Continue reading

Portrait of the Poet’s Anxiety in Four Horsemen – Brennan Bestwick


Arturo Souto – 1937



I light a candle and watch shoppers
enter the mall outside my bedroom.
Through the glass we share my sadness.
This boy fears the crosswalk, holding
his sister’s hand in his own. His mother
fears what man can become when boys
lose the last of their first teeth. Who isn’t
afraid? All of us together, their available
world and my invisible haunts. I give each
stranger a name that sounds like my own.
We are a season of moths, a mouth of petals.


In the parking lot behind my apartment,
I practice squaring my car evenly between
the lines. My skill for this simple pleasure
is worsening. Yesterday I ran a red light.
My partner worries when I am left alone.
She slides through the narrow opening
of the passenger door parked too near
an Oldsmobile and her faith thins enough
to free her. I kill the engine in a thousand
new stalls, audition my shame for surrender.
No lot escapes the slaughter. All forgotten
can be lost. This is a treaty, the concession.

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For The Greater Good – A Soundtrack to Fragmenting the Body Politic



For the Greater Good

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