16 December 2009

Featured Poet: Nick Demske


Now this product here should have been recalled p
Ages ago. Nothing a little duct
Tape won’t fix, right? But lo! Besight thy barometer lect
Ures, these intimate sui-soliloquies.

No animals were harmed during this poem’s composition.
However, outrageous scores of humanoid abortions at its unveiling.
This shouldn’t have happened, this. Self-fulfilling
Prophecy in the sense of chronic masturbation.

We give away the punch line in our first
Mortal utteri. What did you expect
Orate? And now, forecasted or not, the bats
Storm the belfry, the thunderheads clap, the dingle-flavored berries, uncle-climact

Ick, narcotica prissy self-gratified non-prophet:


How like you these mine pre-rejection note gathereds
Unblotto auto bi ogreaphy hazards?
How like you mine glamour shots? Loosely tied robe
Peaking leprose decreprose in patrol car strobe

Twilight (cuff me officer, make Me make
no sudden movements). How like you—this discontinued Merchandise!
Slight resemblance in the sinews,
The faulty parts that will one day cease to shake.

I have been squeezing this rock for two
Decades plus, but no water. Just pus
And this gangster-rapper-thank-you-curtsey.
I had been squeezing this rock for you
Stranger, God, etc. My work has bound me thus:
Collected, selected, forgotten. And thirsty.


On my mother’s grave. On all things holy.
On my first born child’s virginity. On the rebound, Nick Demske—
You smell like Lazarus returning in the form of
A cyclical argument. You smell like protesters burning Mein Kampf.

I promised myself I wouldn’t cry. I stuck a needle
In my eye and all I got was this lousy needle.
In my eye. Please continue to hold and your prayer will
Be answered in the order twas received. Well

Look who’s crawling back to the question for forgiveness,
Take a look at relentless repentance. Just one won’t hurt. I promised
Myself I’d stop writing poems. I broke that promise.
I line broke that promise. I enjambed that promise

So far up the Muse’s tuchis he still shits shards of meter. I drink from this vomit,
I’ll barf in this vomit. I poured every last drop down the sink. I promise.

for Valerie Laken

Generosity makes me uncom
Fortable. Their disfigurements make them collectable. I am in love with you or some
One not unlike you. Everyone and their mom
Must go. Go demagnetize your moral com

Pass, go prepay after dark, sanguine. If everybody were handicapped,
We’d treat everyone like handicapped
People. If I paid taxes,
I could write this off on my taxes.

The defendant pleads guiltier than you or I could imagine, your honor. There’s snow
In my mailbox. But it, too, will melt. Nick
Demske, you have kissed two girls in your life and one
Has since become a lesbian. The other died on impact.

Ah Life! You hander of lemons. Never foreseeing their juice
Would quench your papiris lacerations thus.

Virginia Tech, April ‘07

Please take a moment to silence all cell
Phones for this moment of silence. Please tighten all
Shock collars, pick up all feces. Life is man’s best friend, demur
Ely waiting to be put to sleep. Behold, the perfect credit score. Behold, the super

Model citizen. I had a breakthrough in therapy today, which cost
A little extra, like all things convenient. Life is the slowest
Death. Death is the slowest

Dance of the super senior prom. Hold me close.
Woof. Nick Demske, you exclusive interview with the ghost of Kerberos,
You are stomping out a self-ignited bag of shit
You are explicitly gasted with

Flabber. Your house training’s abhorrent. Sit. Stay. Beg for one last chance.
Cash or Credit? Is this seat taken? May I have this dance?

Nick Demske lives in Racine, Wisconsin, and works there at the Racine Public Library. His self-titled manuscript was awarded the Fence Modern Poets Series award and will be published by Fence Books in fall of 2010. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Action Yes, Sawbuck, Pinstripe Fedora, West Wind Review, Weird Deer and the e-anthology narrative (dis)continuities: prose experiments by younger american writers (Recycled Karma Press, forthcoming), among other places. He helps curate the BONK! performance series in Racine and is the editor of the online forum boo: a journal of terrific things. Visit Nick sometime at his website.

© Copyright 2009 Nick Demske

13 November 2009

Featured Poet: Katherine Browne

Ghost of a Horse under the Chandelier

They are too many heads
observing the Balinese
cock fight menstrual like
disease engender lotuses
shifty theories to back
femme bending chatter

vocal or empower
as long as lungs will stand
where id heeds until us too
are silence, in the numbers
should we take to naming
our nookies Grouppersons
or they, bodies land on sexless
jelly or fish on pharaoh rocks

should we gal
around lining our rough skirt
or stay in the mirror, gal

every thingness takes a shape
masks you in or is unrecalled it’s not
things of creation
but duels of how they were

spirits are no single cult-
exposed delicate
or ure
body region error


Yesterday we prayed on the snail
walk and saw the smallest head
trudge past its open toggling
ears on the re sin surface
that so often connected redden
hoods of your bashful shell
we rustled the twinge likening
stirring the wind’s whooshing it-
self on its face

I watched dots
of your freckles fray an echo
that looks toward the sun’s
sway inching near my many

we held tight to ourshelving
beneath palms neuron
vines trickled across
my queen wasp’s narrow
fastening oneself by the throat
again at breakfast, we wiggled gently
out of our trunks this time

A Fly of Sucking Parts

The plane
would like to be known
a strawberry

if in the plane crash dis-
patch length antennas on the azure

brush the reddie water
with the geom breast

caulking tongues on the mean
current horn

tittle the moth drabs
then did they divide
the stem earth
on the pleura when the plain ate
the wing

and pie

I’ll feed you

What are Pee-holes For?










Preface to a Poem that Will Never Come

Why can’t we replace
we’re place
where place be
cause we are placid nescience

Artist's note: "I hope the language will reflect the distortedness and discoloration of our human plank. I am after all, an artist working on a landfill."

Katherine Browne lives in Chicago, Illinois and works atop a landfill in Crestwood, Illinois.

© 2009 Katherine Browne

01 September 2009

Featured Poet: Paul Martínez Pompa

Film Strip

We’ve been isolated from the girls

to learn our bodies. Our desks harder

than our hairless asses. They shudder

beneath us when Mr. Griffey fingers

the 16mm reel. He mumbles directions

to himself, orders Danny S. to pull

down the white screen. We swell

into concentration as grainy scenes

flicker past our heads. The projector’s

clatter surrounds us like criminals:

narrated cross-section of the testicles,

the animated penis a cruel reminder

of our fathers. Strange men we’ve seen

through cracked doors. Their nude

bodies a revelation, a portrait of manhood

larger than anything we could imagine.

Banana Republic Politick

Damn these stacks of argyle I can’t have

just one merino wool V-neck beauty

on my shelves & shoulders fitted cotton crew

I bought more & saved these pretty white boys

are irresistibly high cheek bones my fantasy

factory on display as salespeople who know

what I need is more boot cut slim fit French

cuff stretch my BR card til no more poplin

fits my need-gene inseam button fly

straight leg indigo relaxed light brain


Men Watching Men

El Gato Negro Bar

I’m not drunk

enough so I order one

more bottle. He shoves

a lime down its throat

& I see myself

surrounded by men

who watch the night

in a mirror

behind the bar.

We smoke

our cigarettes

with purpose, pretending

courage is something

we can suck in.

Click of the jukebox

& the treble

cuts the air. A man

holds his woman

tight enough to feel her

cock press his belly.

Dance floor strobe light

captures their bodies.

Her cheek on his

shoulder, her breath

on our necks.

These peoms are from My Kill Adore Him (Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, University of Notre Dame Press, 2009).

© Copyright 2009 Paul Martínez Pompa