Monday, January 16, 2017

David Spicer


Some people need killing. You know who my object of opprobrium is: the plump-faced misogynist who moved in down the street. Besides being a misogynist, this mutt has eyes for ten-year olds, and he’s a xenophobe, a cripple-hater, a racist. This mutt could be as bad as… You tell me. This mongrel’s so vile crocodiles won’t eat him after an assassin tosses his bloated body into an Okeefenokee swamp. Am I advocating murder? You tell me. I bet you’ve thought about it. But nobody gets away with murder, you tell me. Or so we’d like to think. I could tell you how to get away with murder, but I’ve never wasted anybody, so I’m not an expert and you’d be a fool to take my advice. First of all, don’t confide in anybody. Never. Not even your spouse, not your fuck buddy after a wet night in bed, not when the twilight’s so beautiful in Flagstaff you can’t resist upchucking your secret to the person closest to you. Don’t have accomplices because at least one of them will be stupid and have a big mouth. And when you’ve finally decided to do it, for Christ’s sake wear gloves and a forensic-measured, paper kill-suit. Shave every bit of hair you have. I’m probably leaving something out. All perfect murderers do. Have you ever wanted to kill anybody? Come on, you can tell me. Has somebody raped your little girl in such a brutal way you don’t want the scumbag who did it to share the air with everybody else? Have you ever read a newspaper account of a home invader who walked away on a technicality? Oh, you tell me, I wouldn’t stoop to the level of somebody like that. Maybe not. But you know as well as I do we’re all capable of anything. Sin on the side of beauty, you advise me. You’re right, I know. Watch the sun gradually rise up from the ground in beautiful increments of bright color until you have to turn your eyes away or risk blindness. Don’t think about disgusting human beings, you tell me. You’re not perfect, you tell me. Otherwise you wouldn’t be writing this. But you’re human. Resist the urge. Hope somebody else has the balls to off this one-off, because admit it: you’re just all talk and no action, aren’t you? I imagine somebody’ll try soon, though. Then we can breathe freely again, then we can think about the future, then we can close our eyes and smell the mince pie baking in the kitchen instead of being afraid all of the time. We can be happy to be human again instead of ashamed, instead of thinking about murder, instead of thinking someone’s so despicable that he needs killing, can’t we? You tell me.

Gerald So reads "You Tell Me":

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David confesses: "I felt the present political and social climates were ripe for a piece homing in on a specific perpetrator against women and that the piece would be more effective if a misogynistic and pedophilic criminal resided in the speaker's neighborhood, making the immediacy of crime more heartfelt and intense."

DAVID SPICER has had poems in The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Gargoyle, Mad Swirl, Reed Magazine, Slim Volume, The New Verse News, The Laughing Dog, In Between Hangovers, Easy Street, Bad Acid Laboratories, Inc., Dead Snakes, and in the anthologies Silent Voices: Recent American Poems on Nature (Ally Press, 1978), Perfect in Their Art: Poems on Boxing From Homer to Ali (Southern Illinois University Press, 2003), and A Galaxy of Starfish: An Anthology of Modern Surrealism (Salo Press, 2016). He has been nominated for a Pushcart and a Best of the Net, and is the author of one full-length collection of poems, Everybody Has a Story (St. Luke's Press, 1987), and four chapbooks. He is also the former editor of Raccoon, Outlaw, and Ion Books. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Peter M. Gordon


The couple next door got some more
marriage counseling from the cops tonight.
My wife and I set our clocks by the first
sonata of their Saturday night symphony.

Sally owns the house; Donnie owns the truck.
For a year every time I went to trim bushes
Sally'd lurch over, breath like cleaning fluid
to confide she and "Donnie" didn't get along.

Like we didn't hear their screams, crashes, crying.
Or see rotating blue lights through our bedroom
window. First time cops came we sympathized.
Said we'd watch out for her. After the sixty-second

time she took him back we shut our shades.
Pretended sleep to avoid the practiced steps of
their dance with weary cops. Maybe we just don't
comprehend co-dependency. Or maybe, now, we do.

Does shutting our eyes to small evils allow
great ones to roam, like failing to fix
broken windows leads to more street crime?

What if the windows don't want to be fixed?
Are we truly responsible for each other?

Hell if I know.

Peter reads "Broken Window Theory":

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Peter confesses: "I was thinking about when I lived in Greenpoint in the 1980s. It wasn't hip then; it was a working class neighborhood where the bars opened at 8 AM. We had neighbors who received regular visits from the cops. At the end of the decade the police were starting to clean up the streets by targeting areas of vandalism and petty crime. I put the two together to meditate about how much we can help people who won't help themselves."

PETER M. GORDON recently released his second poetry collection: Let's Play Two: Poems About Baseball. His first collection, Two Car Garage, is available from CHB Media. His poems have appeared in The Five-Two, Slipstream Magazine, Poetry Breakfast, the Journal of Florida Literature, and Sand Hill Review, among other magazines and anthologies. Peter teaches in the MFA program at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Deadine January 21: Poems about Crimes of Passion, Love Gone Wrong

I'm seeking two more unpublished poems for our February 2017 Valentine's/passion/love theme. Aside from the theme, the usual guidelines apply. Deadline is Saturday, January 21. I am accepting regular submissions at the same time.