15 December 2008

Featured Poet: Jules Gibbs

“Instead of seeing,
we should make excavations in the eye; instead of hearing, we should juxtapose sounds
in an emotional clitter-clatter.”

— Wallace Stevens, “The Irrational Element in Poetry”


Deep in the jejunum, factory
of post-vertebral reasoning,
a concordant tome

produces a quasar, a nolo

prow for the cocky free speech

of her conceptual A posse.

The historic nonstandard

of her one congratulatory chromosome

says: You’re blocked; he’s Virgo
as any jellyfish, recherché, hopes you’re free.

Volcano at fifteen, she’s a woman

by reprisal, catalyst

doing battle, unashamed

as an evening gazette corrigendum.

It’s like the last rational brain cell

whispering to a girl gone wild: Tussle,

you got some time —your future depends on it.

As many other girls have discovered
the hard way,
there’s nothing worse than creating
an expectation — then failing to deliver.


It’s so male, the road to Berlin,

so cognac and generous

with its prompts and sign-in

guidelines. Who here can explain

Rensselear aquatics?
Just do the notation—

in the parallelized loop variables
ii, jj and kk are private
to each thread
while n columns and n rows

are shared. Everything by definition:
boolean; ocean; chuff. A tycoon

with pretensions.

Wie lange bleibst du heir?

Empirical evidence says:

Let’s keep in touch.
Wait —

I almost forgot my greatcoat,

my shelter, my soup of maturity —


We succeed in two vital areas:

toner and ink. Samples are being shipped

to your area now. Yes, it’s true

forgetfulness can be a symptom

of more serious problems: renal, miasmal,

the coming crash of civilization —

the government’s aware of all this —
how could I be wrong? Buns full fledged;

suppositories at your privation; bras

discounted; nicotine cravings cut.

Science has proven the human body

doesn’t have to age — you simply place

a drop in your drink, then

search/ chat/ flirt/ date.

She might say she’s glad to fuck you again,

but you can’t really evaluate a sentence
you don’t possess with your memory.

Go ahead, oink — please her many, many times.


Epic Alexander claimed the I

in Pythagorean, the too
in fervent, but not the lion.
You have the experience but lack

a proper university degree.

Still, with Sirius receding,

Salvador can mitigate.
Is it worthwhile to expedite

the asynchronous

retrieval of the redshank?

Let’s go check it out —


How did we stumble upon
this chromatogram of web

recomendada, a dot-com

beautification project?
It’s abusable.
Try again, preponderant churchgoer —
I think I can help you work out
the fit, design and power

of your gingerbread sloop
and when all that is done

commit to the market-wise,
turn your passion into an empire.


Our President is a euphemist, a midshipman
sailing a casket through La Femme Defoncer —

nationally, savagely. Someone wants to meet him.

With scherzo mirth the talking radio hums

strangulation and sunburn, sunburn
and acetylene distillate — a gas station collapse.

Danke fur Ihre Anfrage
, the sagging caliphate

explains the trouble to three level one employees
and then to our Overlord of Customer Service:
As we age, our bodies produce less and less of this, and this
is the very reason we age — ire, jaundice, fearful phylogeny — is it any wonder

people are turning to anti-gravity, sun microsystems, cremation?
For the next twelve weeks they will face
Spartan conditions, deprivation, tasks designed

to take morale to a breaking point.
(It is good to see the pieces of the puzzle
coming together one by one, a pigeon to forge the deal.)
The enquiry arrives like a sandbag
in the baptismal —

in his gotcha exit, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
and now he wants his fingers back.

Jules Gibbs

© Copyright 2008 Jules Gibbs

08 December 2008

Featured Poet: Steven D. Schroeder

Late Night Driver at Lightning Lizard Pizza

Dan ducks out at nine, his shaky, smoky

Econoline panel truck shorthand for Hollywood
pedophiles, serial killers, and terrorists.

A large pepperoni delivered to the First Amendment
porno bookstore counter, but the transaction lacks
a bow chicka wow wow soundtracked encounter

with a bored and horny housewife who can’t pay—
with money, anyway. Even in darkness
with double doors open, the conveyor oven ripples

superheated air everywhere but the walk-in
cooler of pseudosalad lettuce and ranch packets,
Coke cans and precooked Buffalo chicken wads.

(Who would swallow a thing called Lizard Wings?)
Orders for the Comm Corr work release motel,
ever a low-tip zone, quickly slip to zero

after curfew. Perhaps it’s pizzeria hazing
that drivers also wash the dishes in the half hour
silences between phone rings, stuck dough scrubbed

from tubs, hands chapped and crackling—in his office,
the owner scratch scratches a batch of fresh red numbers
using his own blood. Route home a memorized

maze of houses and apartments, the alternator
off-and-on-again fogs with fatigue, its dying
spot a streetlit stop at the right address.

Advice on the Psych Ward

Oh yes, you’re not supposed to be here. If you tell a doctor so, he or she will be legally free to free you. Be sure to shriek it by the Marquess of Queensberry rules, boxing air and baring underwear on your fists.

A doctor is a door you must unbolt. A doctor will bore through your eyelids with four interrogation lamps to ask how you sleep. Say With a bonnie Scottish dirk under my pillow, and he or she will switch your mattress board with a litter box of kittens.


Hand the nurse a can of contraband, Diet Dr. Pepper, for extra gray and Prozac ground into your gruel. Savor the leftovers when you wake with your arms crossed like a lockbox vampire, paler than the hovering fluorescent tubes.

You can trade scissors to that patient for a painting of scissors. That patient you should avoid. That one you can draw on in crayon while the television hums behind obsidian, the idiot doctor doctors oblivious.

Doctor the scabbed flesh on your forearms with bed sheets not fitted for your hidden ladder. Let the kittens lick your wrists. Wait. Then make the ceiling dinge flake with the sudden pain of your escape.

Who Sketches the Sketchers

Doodles of scratches of scribbles of men

with sideways beards pressed down so hard
the paper rips, of women whose necks
are stalks on thickly trunks, fingertips
sharp as pencils, every body
wobbly and daubed with eraser droppings,
when one of the figures, could be he
or she in those block clothes, unsticks
from its backdrop, the flatline horizon,
clouds as angelic heliports, triangular
houses or mountains or flames afloat
in the basalt sea of a lunar crater,
prestidigitates on the tablet
a pen out of its rib, never lifting
nib from page, and leaves its own image
of human: at least eleven dimensions,
asymptote arms and Möbius heart,
hands drawing hands drawing together
so we can drive them aside to add
a shadow miming a sucker punch,
police lights and siren, always amok,
a scar that puckers a pegleg’s length,
and knives peeking from under the knuckles.

Albuquerque Low

The out-of-state delivery truck up the Front Range

to dump its freight, its freezer crates of wet
deadweight spattering the Springs. Parking lot ruts
wheelspin into bottomless crevasses traversed
crosswise in icy reverse. Cataracts crust
the windshield at each skateblade wiper swipe.

Antilock brakes firing hard as neurons,
these SUVs are heading for a wreck
or already had one, skidding sidelong
into oblivion. Downfall drowns
Nevada Avenue, swallows ground
and builds a wholly whitewalled town.
Couldn’t hold a job salting walkways
for Eskimos with only four more

shopping days till Christmas.
Cold hands, blue heart, they say
this winter of bitter drifts
off the offramp, engine block
not hot enough to cook on.
No drive, no crash, no option
to wake from hibernation
in April, numb from months
of the motor shutting down.
Under the seat is a gun.

Steven D. Schroeder's first full-length book of poems, Torched Verse Ends, is forthcoming from BlazeVOX in Spring 2009. His poetry is recently available or forthcoming from Verse, Beloit Poetry Journal, Barrow Street, Court Green, and Verse Daily. He edits the online poetry journal Anti- and works as a Certified Professional Résumé Writer.

© 2008 Steven D. Schroeder