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Saturday, May 1, 2021

Bold Monkey Review is on Snooze for 3 Months

 


Featuring Jack Henry



fatigue 

i’ve been hiding for so long now. 

and i am tired. 

 

i am tired of the hate and violence 

as i peek out from behind my pink chiffon curtains, 

sheers, really. just enough to hide 

the truth. 

 

i am tired of the voices and perceptions 

that are not mine but they are mine 

and i have not the strength 

to hold them deep within my skin. 

 

i am tired of walking down the staircase 

to the front door, to the car door, 

to the freeway, to the place in the 

shadows where i tremble in fear. 

 

i am tired of his indifference, the repetition 

in his movements, the sound he makes 

when he is finished, the taste of his 

lips before he sends me on my way. 

 

i am tired of sounds and screams, 

of being blind, of being alone 

here in the deep recess of who 

i will never truly be. 



vehemence 

she lingers still 

in the back of my mind 

as i take his passion 

and beg for his violence 

and lay lost in my own fascination 



inching toward the grave 

sometimes i think of her as i try to sleep on my leaper’s bed 

eyes slowly close, body aches, tremor through aging neurons 

her face smiling as she speaks in a whisper telling me 

that we should be friends, just friends, and nothing more 

and i pursued her for three years, just as i pursue her now 

in memory and in dreams 


sorrow 

i’m restless 

angry 

something is not right 

askew 

 

the sky is dark 

winds fearless 

demanding attention 

birds scramble 

lions roar and fall 

mothers clutch babies 

to their bosom 

 

it’s April 

nearly May 

i’m lonely 

empty 

emotionally dead 

trembling 

 

a tire needs replacing 

i fired my gardener 

i am the gardener 

vines climb through windows 

 

i am quiet 

everyone is screaming 

i have no purpose 

i am just dead weight 

 

ballast for a voyage 

one without return 



death knell 

never more so than today 

have i felt my soul 

torn away from me. 

the demon gods of 

corporate greed and avarice 

circle around me 

littering sotted silver 

and gold coins 

at my feet, 

whispering lies 

about caring, 

about fairness, 

about ethical  

treatment of all 

humanity, 

when all we do 

is hammer the coffins 

shut and dance  

naked around a fire. 


Friday, April 16, 2021

Featuring Alan Catlin

 


The following poems have been chosen from Alan Catlin’s recent poetry collection The Road To Perdition (Alien Buddha Press, 2021) 102 pages.

 

American History X

 

“You’re the cocaine on the mirror.

The badly cut cocaine.”  Zadie Smith

 

He was the self-proclaimed

president of the United States

of the Stupid.  Alt-Right Fight

Club pioneer made famous/

gone viral, for punching out 

a 95 pound woman with a

Love Trumps Hate sign.

Directed the dragging of a black

man to a parking garage to be

beaten by cowards with face masks.

All the better not to see you.

Not to provide that all important

positive ID.

Has tattooed 88 on the backs of

both hands, numbers that represent

the letter H as in the phrase

Heil Hitler.

Exhorts others to Join or Die at

rallies in places like Charlottesville.

Buys a brace of tiki lights for hate

parades around statues of traitors

and riot shields for get-togethers

after rallies where things often are

wet and wild and totally out of

control.  

Is Extreme everything: right wing,

radicalized, white hood wearing 

and proud of it.

Brings guns to a peace rally in case

Grannies Against the War go rogue

and attack: “The only good gray panther

is a dead one.”

Thinks the Four Horsemen of

the Apocalypse are: Robert Lee, Jeff Davis,

Stonewall Jackson and Bedford Forrest.

Says the Civil War has just begun.

May even have been the guy who

fired the first shot.

 

 

 

 

Blood of the Poet

 

She fancied herself as a model

for timeless works of Art by masters

such as Reubens and Renoir but,

in real life, was someone you might

find in a painting by Francis Bacon, 

Lucian Freud, or Egon Schiele.

Chain smoked some hard to find,

off-brand, sub-continent cigarette

that permanently stained her fingers

and lips, smokes that tasted like what 

was left in an ashtray the night after 

the day before, everything spilled or 

totally spoiled.  Collected men the way

social strivers or con men bought

other people’s diplomas, trophies, 

awards and claimed they were their own.

Owed more money than a rich uncle,

had there been one, could ever have

left behind: despite having nothing,

she always expected the best.  Saw

the future as lush and limitless as if she 

where viewing the world from a balcony 

overlooking a forest instead from where 

she was actually at: in some uptown 

ghetto, in a flophouse, where even the

fire escapes led nowhere. Smelled roses

when other people detected leaking gas.

 

 

 

 

 

                                                              Ballad of the Sad Café

 

A bar before noon is a terrible place.

The plug pulled neon beer signs, cracks

in the night where the dark gets through. 

The stench of the tap drains where the yeast

ferments, the slime and the bacteria cultures

grow. The backed up drains of the spill sinks,

the lingering scent of bad hops, dampness

leaking from every building pore, the odor of

sweat, stale cigarettes, ash cans and rotten

fruit.  The broken glass and everything

stuck to the blackened floor where the beer

pitchers tipped and fell, the drink trays dropped,

blood splattered and vomit stained.

The click of the sound-turned-down juke box

cycling the selections for a song.

Hair of the dog breakfast: shit sandwiches

and dry heaves, stopping the shakes with

shots inhaled through half straws, powdered

speed floaters on top to kick start all the stalled 

body parts, a brain pan sucked dry of life. 

A day like any other day.

The sun rises or it doesn’t.

 

 

 

 

 

                                               The Road to Perdition

 

The dining room floor of the truck-

stop looked like a waiting room

for an advanced placement in a hall

of the dead.  And maybe it was.

 

The Hound stopped outside twice

a day, once coming, and once going,

dispensing people for rest breaks,

burned coffee, and stale white bread

sandwiches made with cold cuts so

far past a sell but date even the mold

had begun to die.  No one ever made

eye contact coming to and from the

leaky pipe, no flush toilets, or at

the counter, pitted, cigarette end burned

Formica counter. Not the dead eyed waitress

or the resurrected from the out-back-

behind-the-shed fry cook, who gave new

meaning to working the graveyard shift 

no matter what time of day it was.

 

After extended piss breaks, drivers

chain smoked Pall Mall longs, popped 

Dexedrine like Tic Tacs and bought spiked

six packs of under the counter Sprite

laced with Vodka, for all the red eyed trips

to come, fueling the internal combustion

machine of their bodies for that long,

flat, straight two lane ride due West, 

into the sun.

 

 

 

 

                                               Never Let Me Go

 

“I must be dead for there is nothing but blue

snow and the furious silence of a gunshot.

Two birds crash blindly against the glass

surface of a lake. I’m cold, religiously cold.”

            Will Christopher Baer, Kiss Me, Judas

 

Shown the way to the last whiskey bar

Date rape drug introduced into House

Special Ice Nine Cocktail

Waking up in a new dimension of hung over

 

Naked

Packed in ice

One kidney short of a pair.

 

“DON’T WORRY,” a voice says,

“YOU REALLY ONLY NEED ONE.”

 

Stockpiled transplant coolers

White exterior with a red cross on all four sides 

Years of scalpel work tutored by the best

Dismissed for dereliction of duty

For consuming too many forbidden beverages

while on call

then showing up for emergency work

One slip and your done

There are no second chances during surgery

 

Still the fastest man on the block

with a knife when relatively sober

Neat and clean

Precise

 

Now a cutter on the underground circuit

Off the books

Cash in hand

Best job he ever had

Doesn’t dare think about fucking up

The guys who pay give dying the slow death

new meaning

Torment and torture what they do best

Some day he might retire  

If he lives long enough




Buy the Alan Catlin’s book ‘The Road To Perdition’ here:   https://www.amazon.com/Road-Perdition-Alan-Catlin/dp/B08XLLF2GP/ref=sr_1_2?crid=37783NYLDTTUT&dchild=1&keywords=alan+catlin&qid=1618507259&s=books&sprefix=alan+cat%2Caps%2C160&sr=1-2

Monday, April 12, 2021

New Release: Gwil James Thomas- Lonesome Wholesome Soup (Holy & Intoxicated Publications, 2021)


This is the latest release from John D. Robinson’s Holy & Intoxicated Publications. Gwil James Thomas is an English poet. Here is a sample poem from the chapbook:

 

 

Blend.

 

was the grey hair 

on the baby’s head, 

the ugly Casanova, 

the bug that traded 

his wings for feelings 

and wished he could 

trade them back, 

the herd’s first 

carnivorous cow, 

the vegan piranha,   

the one who got you 

back on your feet 

and then the one 

you left behind,

the sheep 

in wolf’s clothing, 

the ghost of all that 

was and ever will be,

never blending into 

the crowd –

even when 

I tried.

 

 

Buy the chap here direct from the poet: gwiljamesthomas@gmail.com

 

 

From the back cover:

“Gwil James Thomas’ latest collection Lonesome Wholesome Soup is  exactly what poetry should be: humble reflections of the past, present, and  unwritten future, coupled with straight punches to the heart. The first poem  finds Gwil wandering with a cheap bottle of cerveza and ‘a poem always in  my heart –/but rarely there when I need it most/on the tip of my tongue.’  This sets the tone for all 12 poems collected here. Lonesome Wholesome  Soup is a wonderful collection of poetry that leaves the reader reflecting on  their entire life, while begging for more.” – Tohm Bakelas: poet.

Gwil James Thomas writes with a rare thing- a pen that is dipped in honest blood. Raw, reflective, sometimes brutal or uncomfortable, these are not pretty poems. What they are is more and better than that. They make us confront the truth, ourselves and the dark shadows in between and that can only be a good thing. That is what poetry should do and thomas does it as well as any of them. I read Thomas' poetry whenever I can - so should you. Adrian Manning:Poet:Publisher: Concrete Meat Press