Friday, December 28, 2012

submissions

Sorry, but we are currently closed to submissions for the blog, eBook series and chapbooks.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Celan ~ Martin Burke

New free eBook out on the Red Ceilings Press

Celan by Martin Burke

To see this and our complete catalogue of free eBooks and limited edition print chapbooks visit the Red Ceilings Press

Monday, November 26, 2012

Blinking Like Ferrets ~ Donal Mahoney



I've been too busy
the last two years to chat
with anyone in the office.
Today, however, I pause
at the pencil sharpener
while my co-workers
calculate and jot.
It makes no difference, you see,
if I remain silent until retirement
or if suddenly I start talking again.

All we must remember is
that we decay together,
that this charade
we give ourselves to
doesn't require that we speak,
that all we must do, really,
is calculate and jot.

If we calculate well,
if we jot well, the charade
will carry us through.
In the end, we'll see what is true
when blinking like ferrets
we emerge in sunlight,
gaping and gasping,
free of this maze created
by the family of man.



Donal Mahoney has had work published in The Red Ceilings and other print and electronic publications in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
Some of his earliest work can be found at http://booksonblog12.blogspot.com/

picnic dreamers ~ Iain Britton




here
                 birds

nest in the mouths of cats

the band rotunda

        which once housed a queen

is now occupied by a pastor

      spouting

              killer lines from revelations

a headache for locals         and tribal affiliates

      down from the hills

for a change of scenery


     here

       the city’s chopped-down ghosts

              of battlefields

                 are honoured

        amongst the shrubberies

                    the claws and fangs

of night-time frivolities the urges of a populace
unzipping itself for the all-seeing eye of a crystal ball


the square’s

     a drawcard for the main street mollys

          the stanleys hooked on fag ends the

would-be picnic dreamers

              asleep in their erotic sheathes


my argument is with

                the pond the stars parked up like small boats the girl on the bridge
                halo-watching the night sky / my argument is why a bridge a pond
                the decision to step up / slot perfectly into her comfort zone

                why her


                                  here

                                        not all is supposed to be
          
                                        should look as it should

                                        be exactly as it was at the start

                                       not all requires clarification


we perform rituals

under the moon’s crumpled make-up

our reflections stir fingerprints on the water

gullies of flesh

open up /         and voices rush in


                i hate it when all else fragments /

                falls apart

                mistakes happen

                systems falter

                my grip softens


we no longer run naked

                              through cells of make-believe

               or feel the heart’s sudden jolt

               a war bell’s clapper touch bronze

               the magnitude of distances close up


here

        i struggle

                           to hold my ground

                 a concession is made

        i return to her room her bed

                       the morning intrudes

                           and a sense of displacement

                 vanishes /       

thus says the gunman ~ Iain Britton



to turn again to

            the sea / the silver of a rainbow

the scoria run off

             of people

                   popping out live commodies

   of bird / beast / fish

             of landscapes unfolding /        

<>

           to confess   

this woman

mouths         purities  to a gunman

who delves amongst the creases

of long purple clouds /          practises his

            lingo his aim /           pulls

successes from her body


             a sudden upsurge

of pilgrims takes to the streets

<>

i see her as she is

straddling a rock on the beach going nowhere straddling very still on her rock
saying nothing / or something / pilgrims arrive to hear her riding nowhere very still
on the beach / the gunman taking pot shots as if she were a target is a target
as if she were an empty can a bottle a picture of his mother a cut out of General Custer another of the Duke of York who marched up a hill / again another of his mother
a cut out a picture

                           thus says the gunman

                     filling her with holes

        i see her as she is

<>

i delve into the purple cloth

            of pilgrims

            signifying

            where they’re going

             if they’re going

             some hesitate

             at railway stations

             bus terminals

             some abandon

             their vehicles

             where streetlights

             run out of eyesight

<>

the sea washes the sand the rock this woman       just sitting

morphing copper-green then brown then dark blue / the sea

washes her skin

her hair

her crevices

    where fish penetrate


            i pull the best from her body

claim customary rights
taste the salt on her eyelids
the water trickling off her shoulders

her torso opens to my hands

        the miracle is
                       how she moves / sits up

                                 forever stares

            i tighten the sky’s scarf around her neck

            i am nothing but a spectral figure
            blurred by the crowd

                      observing the orbiting sphere

                              of my imagination

<>

                   this shoot out is between opposites

                              says the gunman / just us

                   and this diminishing phenomenon
                                         
                                      no
                                      body else

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cinderella City ~ J D Nelson



Brand new free eBook out now.

Cinderella City by J D Nelson

For this and our complete collection of chapbook and e Book titles visit the Red Ceilings Press website

Monday, November 12, 2012

naming the mushrooms ~ matt martin



velvet shank
silk buttock
woolly kneecap
cotton toe

beech woodwart
oak pimple
birch freckles
pine zit

hare’s ear
badger bottom
hedgehog’s tummy
bat eggs

sulphur tuft
brimstone quiff
stinking toupee
fusty merkin

common earthball
mundane venus
drab moon
fallen sputnik

charcoal burner
waifs and strays
midnight cinderella
dirty peasant
 

chicken of the woods
cave mutton
moorland calamari
jerky-in-the-green

king alfred’s cakes
king harold’s eyeball
jane grey’s head
cromwell’s warts

dung roundhead
cowpat cavalier
jacobite’s turd
ranter droppings

fairy parasol
goblin sunhat
queen mab’s wimple
banshee hood

witch’s butter
hag’s cheese
warlock’s marmite
i can’t believe it’s not witch’s butter

amethyst deceiver
ruby charlatan
topaz devil
judas pearl

blushing bracket
rosy comma
raddle hyphen
red full stop





Matt Martin's recent poetry has been published by blart, Veer About, Poetry Salzberg Review, Herbarium, Writers Forearm, VLAK, ninerrors, Ladies of the Press and Streetcake. He is the author of the pamphlet spider bite (Kater Murr's Press, 2012). As eocene press, he self-publishes works of concrete poetry. He has run poetry workshops in infant schools, and also writes children's stories which he performs as part of his job at the Museum of London.




Saturday, October 27, 2012

Department Poetry - November - Manchester

 
 
Poetry /// from Department Press 
Please join Department Press at Kraak, Manchester on Tuesday 27 November from 7.30 pm to hear readings from Sarah Crewe, Andy Spragg, Gareth Twose and Rhys Trimble. 
Entry is free. 
*** 
Sarah Crewe has recently co-edited Catechism: Poems For Pussy Riot. Her chapbook Aqua Rosa was released by erbacce earlier this year. She has a forthcoming chapbook, flick invicta, with Oystercatcher in 2013. She co-edits M58, an ezine for visual poetry, with Andrew Taylor. She has had work in Department, Otoliths, the Red Ceilings blog, erbacce and has work forthcoming in Tears In The Fence.  
Andrew Spragg is a poet, performer and critic. His books include The Fleetingest (Red Ceiling Press), Notes for Fatty Cakes (Anything Anymore Anywhere) and cut out (Department Press). He edits Infinite Editions, a blog that publishes free poetry postcards for download and distribution. 
Gareth Twose is currently organiser of Writers' Forum North.  Co-organiser of recent Manchester Poets for Pussy Riot event.  Has recently had poems published in Sunfish, Depart, Assent, Litter web zine and 3 am (forthcoming).  Formerly a newspaper journalist. 
Rhys Trimble: welsh poet of degrees & cutter & perforce performer DEARHWCH, PRY-LLWYD BLAIDD-BLOEDDIWR rascal...Bilingual poet based in Bethesda, North Wales . Improvisor interested in medieval welsh DEAD language & bilingual poetry, music/poetry, collaborations, digital-art and avant POST garde writing practices. Editor of Ctrl+Alt+Del http://cad.theabsurd.co.uk Ezine and studying for a ‘psychomythogeographical’ PhD in creative writing. Stick banger, SHOUTYMAN. 
***
http://departmentzine.blogspot.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/events/472928599418299/

http://www.kraak.co/home/



Friday, October 19, 2012

Amstel Station. Last Minute. Autumn 2012 ~ Richard Barrett



The level of information was –
And the delivery of information was –
Please tick one box only
Then list, in descending order
Your top three presentations of the weekend
This three day weekend
In Amsterdam
Just concluding

I’m scared by disconnect

Feeling my legs and my head now
As separate from me, yes, I’m walking, yes
And aware that I’m walking, or at least
Aware that someone’s walking
In a way that I might once have

Come on, shall we look for a cab?

Cheese is round
We think

We think

Of work colleagues also

They think of us

Crossing the divide between subjects
Was thought by Sartre to be
Something that couldn’t be done but . . .

I’m ready for any questions

Together, here, in Amsterdam
In the big old church hall here
In Amsterdam

I think greatly increased empathy occasioned by

M
D
M
A use, though

Could render Sartre’s impossibility
A considerable amount more possible

Any questions?

If someone presents
At a conference in Amsterdam
When Richard Barrett
Is elsewhere in Amsterdam
Does the person presenting
Make a sound?

It’s been said
Amsterdam is hell
After Dante
Arranged in circles

And though, yes
We end-up always
When out walking
Right back where we began

If this is hell
Well, I like it
Very much

*

The fear and paranoia, however
I don’t like

*

Wondering: the cab driver – does he know something I’d prefer him not to know?
The check-in clerk – does she know something I’d prefer her not to know?
Passport control – do they know something I’d prefer them not to know?
And my fellow passengers – do they – as well – know more than they’re letting on?

I guess there are known knowns
Unknown knowns
Known unknowns
And other permutations of those words
I’m too tired to bother with at the moment

*

Our present eco-crisis
Is due to writing
Separating man from nature  
According to the bloke there
At the front of the room
Speaking

I ask later – 

What did he mean?

You suggest something about representations
Leaving the direct thing
No longer experienced

Which sounded persuasive

What sounded less persuasive though
Was the idea
That the solution
Lay just in getting high

Still . . .

When was it then?
When did posse get misheard?

March?
 
Thinking

Shit, something seems to have changed here . . . 

Though clarification came, and
With it

Clarification

So I said, yes, that does sound like a plan

So plans were made. . .

Though remember

A little does go a long way
Educate yourself by asking the staff about the effects and just ease yourself in slowly
Selections in Amsterdam are quite strong
The results can be overwhelming

If you don’t know what you’re in for

*

I don’t present with ease
Snatched breaths, snatched
In the middle of, and between
Words, rather than more logically
As the sentence ends, yes
I find presentations hard
So I sympathise with you Teri
Up there, before this crowd
Yes, I do

Yet

Yet

Yet

Yet

*

We ask directions –  We ask, excuse me
Sorry to bother you –
But do you know the way to Central Station
Reasoning that from there we should find more easily
Our flat
                And, yes, we
Do get pointed on our way
We find the place
And it’s gorgeous
The rain forgotten

And while you’re showering

I get my head down

For half an hour or so

Then we’re out again.

Ha ha ha ha ha
The fella laughs
That’s your Lamborghini
That’s your Porsche –
The flash goes off
And it startles –
Or I’m anyway startled
By something else
As I
Want to say something, but
I don’t know what –

It’s a photo
It’s good

Look, pay him please
When we get there
Put your hand in our pockets
Give the guy the cash
That is owed by us
For
This journey
This journey
This journey from
Point A to Point B
This journey across the city
Amsterdam
Leaving tonight at 10
Panicking –
But –

Everything will work out okay in the end

*

The steps to the smoking bit
Those steps are steep
Um – do you want to go down before me?
Someone says
And someone says
Ladies first
Reminding us –
On the coach trip out here
Someone said, then, as well
Ladies first
We laughed at his chivalry  

Um – do you want to go down before me ?

But, you know, I could
Well, just fucking live here

Breath coming
In gasps
Short now
Making it hard to talk
But easy for you to laugh
Though I’m not arsed
I’m laughing too
Whilst trying not to cough
Because
a) that wouldn’t be cool; and
b) it’d disturb the guys behind

Those steps –
How’ll we get up them
Again?
I don’t know –
Failing in
Trying not to cough –
Coughing
Coughing
Coughing

Ack Ack Ack . . . cough . . .

You write
LOL
Richard says –
Prompting my response –
LOLs have more fun –
Now I’m laughing
And you’re laughing, though –
What at, we wonder?    

*

We need to off-load the dope
Shall we give it to him?
Yes
Ok, then, lets . . .

Chichaya, the guy says
Is kinder to women
Than men, men, unless
They specifically request
The goddess offers protection
Will be
Fucked
Basically
Vomiting for days

Someone asks
So could this drug then offer
Ways of reconnecting with the earth mother?

The guy doesn’t know
Saying: there’s more research to do

*

In this consciousness of skin

Seeing no windmills in Amsterdam
Actually, is that wrong? Is the lyric
Tulips? I don’t know. I know just that
It’s a shit song
Anyway, however you want to put it
There were neither windmills
Nor tulips

Just arms

At the bottom of which were hands
Thrust resolutely in pockets
Arms still
Unmoving
Though feeling very like they were moving
Though they weren’t moving
Those arms

Not windmilling

I feel, I feel I could drown in
Skin, and be happy to
I want this feeling always

This, capital city of skin
This, two day conference of skin
This, plan to travel of skin
This, good/bad weather of skin
This, groovy accommodation of skin
This, asking directions of skin
This, recognising accents of skin
This, canal of skin
This, misunderstanding the menu of skin
This, text from Hans of skin
This, half litre of beer of skin
This, chance of skin
This, friendship of skin
This, coach seat back of skin
This, not being able to sleep of skin
This, having known each other years of skin
This, public exercise park of skin
This, humorous shop name of skin
This, walk of skin
This, light in the morning of skin
This, coolness of skin
This, preoccupation with the centre of skin
This –

*

You get me, right
 

Big Meeting at the Corporate Office ~ Donal Mahoney



When a young woman like that
sails into the conference room,
all masts billowing,
there's nothing the men
around the table can do
except take a breath

and wait for her
to settle in her chair,
open her laptop
and fuss for a moment
with some errant hair

before she fixes her stare
on the podium to wait
for the chairman to arrive
and take it from there

if he possibly can.
The chairman won't know
the young woman has said
everything his men
will remember tomorrow
without saying a word.




Monday, October 15, 2012

Feeding Time ~ Simon Howard



"The arms of the first are parallel, the other's arms converge." Meyer Schapiro, Cezanne (on 'The Card Players').


some things exist somewhere
meadows in memories a train gliding through its tunnel
then there are specific animals
who stalk the alphabet as it describes itself
until sleepiness turns them into bassoons



the best day i ever had
was at an execution
there were bibles and a food that made me sad
but i was happy, like my non-existent sister on her birthday
or soldiers or stamp collectors



ever since i’ve walked around with a vulture claw-fixed to my scalp
i tried being dead but the vulture just died too
all the while eating my brain
is this an unusual circumstance
or will it have happened before




älg ~ Simon Howard



soundlessnesses of a city through photographs of rain
wearing a solitary sleeve
plus drum-like structure

~

and a button / oblivion
the understudy’s names zigzagged
that was cheerful of it

~

a cold sun
adorations. floating, abyssal
o no

~

in the zoo we had this happen
none of the animals smiled
neither did we cry

~

everything signifies
everything signifies everything
signifying. skidding

~

yes it is a marching song
yes these are technical lexicons
no i am here






Narratology ~ Simon Howard



are the living more beautiful than when they were dead
locked in an all night supermarket
just say what you intend saying


a thin ribbon of incalculable light
between rainy ground and the rain
landscape with dark clouds and fishing boat


western michigan university libraries
kalamazoo

michigan 49008


anxiously listening
for a listening voice
within this system it is both possible and impossible to deny reason


the metaphors refer to a consequent truth
journeying through night and day
break listening to animals stamp their hooves


a most ingenious toy
to view moon and stars
giggling in the icy sky



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

PINK FIRE ~ Howie Good




Here's a small but tasty one.

PINK FIRE by Howie Good

our latest free eBook...

see our complete catalogue of free eBooks
on the Red Ceilings Press website

Thursday, October 4, 2012

When the Room Loses its Double o ~ Ali Znaidi



No room
for the double o
in this room.
You can call it
anything but not
a room.
This room shares
nothing w/ other rooms,
except by bricks
The  renunciation
deletion
of the double o
is not just a typo.
It is a catastrophe.
When a room loses
its double o
& sinks into
the abyss of
namelessness,
grammar deteriorates       
the way the apostrophe
atrophies.



Ali Znaidi lives in Redeyef, Tunisia. He graduated with a BA in Anglo-American Studies in 2002. He teaches English at Tunisian public secondary schools. His work has appeared in The Bamboo Forest, The Camel Saloon, phantom kangaroo, BoySlut, fortunates.org, Otoliths, Dead Snakes, Speech Therapy Poetry Zine, streetcake magazine, The Rusty Nail, Yes,Poetry, The South Townsville micro poetry journal, Shot Glass Journal, the fib review, Ink Sweat and Tears, Mad Swirl, and other ezines. He also writes flash fiction for the Six Sentence Social Network—http://sixsentences.ning.com/profile/AliZnaidi

Monday, August 27, 2012

me, Medusa ~ Amanda Earl

Excellent new free eBook out on the Red Ceilings Press.

me, Medusa by Amanda Earl.

Check out the website for our complete catalogue of free eBooks and limited edition print chapbooks.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Question 3: ~ Ben Parker


Question 3:

I have been browsing through this show-
room for days I live in a permanent
state of economic equilibrium I
watch 24-hour rolling news without
the sound on and sleep on cream sofas
and leather reclining armchairs this
plane crash is beginning to take on a
personality my best friends are reporters
they’re so insightful and concise like
a minimalist painting the granite
kitchen sink unit and stereo on shop
demo are informative captions this
means I need a new dvd-player
when the customers arrive each
morning I move amongst them like
a sage dispensing wisdom if I stay
here much longer they will give me
a uniform can I change this piped
music it is sweet as vending machine
coffee on the highest sugar setting
I only see my reflection in the black
screens of inexpensive mp3 players
behind alarmed security glass will you
take me by the arm and explain?


Because we have no name for them

Always just out of sight, behind
your shoulder as you read this page,
or two seats back riding the late-bus
you thought was empty; beyond
the partition wall in the strip-lit
office you would be staring out
the window of if it had one,
a fox-like creature is tracking you.
It will say nice things about the new
car you drive but cannot afford,
nod admiringly as you score
a direct hit in the mouth of the bin
with the empty can of Coke
and laugh at your jokes with a laugh
that is as silent as a 10w torch
shone in the face of a trespasser.
When you leave a room it follows
sadly uncurling and loping after you
with a sideways walk that is part
obsequy and part insinuation, the
foreign spy affecting deference
to the leader of a country he is
about to betray for petty reasons.
Because we have no name for them
we cannot see these animals
that move amongst us, shadowing
our actions like American remakes
of British sit-coms: longer, more
expensive and written by committee.


Ben Parker's debut pamphlet will be published by tall-lighthouse in November. More of his work can be found on his website https://sites.google.com/site/benparkerpoetry/


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Recipes ~ S J Fowler

Our very first perfect bound collection!

Recipes by S J Fowler

What a beauty! Limited edition of 45 copies. These are going to fly so get in there quick.

Get over to The Red Ceilings Press website now

Monday, July 16, 2012

Prior to Conception ~ Donal Mahoney


Stunned by July in a hammock
he remembers the apricot wife
no longer here
one curler more and the flutter
of leaves in the orchard
the sound of trees
letting go
a downpour of plums
flowing over
the wicker
propped open
below



Thursday, June 21, 2012

Logistics ~ Andrew Taylor


Walls dust coated
sporadic light
it's only when
leaving
the tunnel
that there is
a sense of time




as it is axis based
it would be wise
to follow
the spin




if there is heavy rain
seek shelter
admire the stains
forming
on
concrete




allow the flash
to illuminate
what rectangular
light
can't




apply the brakes
gently
watch the egg timer
prepare
the pen
the scent of lavender
is overpowering



Piscator ~ Andrew Taylor


Landmark coach B
in December Rachel
stared into the Port's
darkness

Terminus lines twist
like a daydream
into cuttings mapped
from air

departure like abstraction
Frank says 'you just go on
your nerve'

Stich a square at the end
of the text
 
Tox is back in business





Poem for Morgan Kibby ~ Andrew Taylor







Rows to themselves
pretty empty flight
Warsaw was cancelled

wedge the white wine
in the snow to chill

take portraits
of the first ladies

through the warmth
there is the smell
of tired creaky bones

after flu in the cold
tired mornings

nobody there for
a simple hug

The ferry crossings
offer respite
meadows of ocean ice

some drank wine
on the sun deck
it was peaceful

misty upon departure

the church an unexpected
safe haven was full
of love



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dash Booked a Builder ~ Ollie Evans



New limited edition chapbook out on the Red Ceilings Press

Dash Booked a Builder by Ollie Evans.

Visit the Red Ceilings Press for this and all our chapbooks and free ebooks.

crossword ~ sarah crewe


one time
you raised
your voice
but dropped
your nerve
funny
face in
remorse
turned your
office
into
sundae
parlour
lorries
to ice
cream vans
two day
stretch three
quarter
yoghurt
porcine
too like
the wife
you would
rather
keep my
photo
don’t go
i’m not

without
trousers

wallet

saying
goodbye
I’ve been
sketching
blank squares
for the
rest of
my years


elle d’en ~ Sarah Crewe


break it up and bring the vowels back
I want you gaping wide open
incredulous smoke signal
siren city      let me hear you
whoop  ooofft  ooooh boom
  prise consonants
apart all change all colours
translate into six letters
into six week carousel
in a post war climbing frame
as a consumer fetishist
1950’s polkadot
dancehall halterneck cupcake
print beyond all minimum
O     you look so pretty in
housewife chic   you wear it well
recession in petticoat
jizz in bangs  elle est   a slut
elle    she bleeds me dry




Sarah Crewe is 30 years old and from the Port of Liverpool. She has a chapbook, Aqua Rosa, out with erbacce press and has work upcoming in In The Company of Ghosts: The Poetics of the Motorway anthology and in Rising magazine. Her work has also appeared at Route 57, Otoliths, Red Fez, erbacce, Sunfish and The Camel Saloon.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

(accompanied by pushpins and balloons), Russell Jaffe

New free ebook added 
(accompanied by pushpins and balloons), Russell Jaffe

Russell Jaffe
Lives in Iowa City, USA and is the editor of
Strange Cage, a handmade poetry chapbook press. His poems have appeared in American Letters & Commentary, Shampoo, La Petite Zine, Red Lightbulbs, and others. He collects 8-tracks.

Check out the Red Ceilings Press for our complete catalogue of free ebooks and limited edition chapbooks.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

submissions

We are now accepting submissions for the blog, eBooks and limited edition chapbooks.
Visit the Red Ceilings for more information

Circle/Line ~ Alexander Allison

New free ebook out now.
Circle/Line by Alexander Allison

Check out the Red Ceilings Press website for our complete catalogue of free ebooks and limited edition chapbooks.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

#wave1, ~ Gareth Durasow

 #wave1 ~ Gareth Durasow
New free eBook out now on the Red Ceilings Press. Go there to see this and our complete catalogue of free eBooks and limited edition chapbooks.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Submissions


Due to a lengthy backlog of work that needs to be read the Red Ceilings is temporarily closed to new submissions. Sorry.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Rimbaud Redux ~ Helen Vitoria

New free ebook available

Rimbaud Redux by Helen Vitoria

For this and our full catalogue of free eBooks and limited edition chapbooks visit the Red Ceilings Press website


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A SOFT THAT TOUCHES DOWN &REMOVES ITSELF ~ David Tomaloff

 New Chapbook out now
A SOFT THAT TOUCHES DOWN &REMOVES ITSELF

by David Tomaloff
[rcp cb16] A6 32pp 4o copies

Available on the Red Ceilings Press site with a whole lot more.....

Monday, January 9, 2012

List of This Week's Activities ~ Maurice Oliver



Sunday:

Buffalo my hurry-up wings gardening imperceptible earth sky
back in the breast plate of ingredients to create the concoction.

Monday: 

Buy a rain statue of Farmer Brown's henhouse after supper whack
warm bee's wax nonagenarian bizarre pink net may be four miles away.

Tuesday:

Telephone my underground aquifer in Walla Walla and leave a message
that says "Psychotherapy is the label printed inside cotton briefs." 

Wednesday:

Show my version of Mount Rushmore to my boss at work and then
quaky severance pay pink slip the hollowed bones a nut does it.

Thursday:

Send an email to the looking glass porter in which you casually mention 
your love of linoleum floors in a hammock, swaying in a tropical breeze.

Friday:

Invite the gum wrapper over for Labrador pasta of bullets on a merry-go
round with a custom-made noose for desert. Then rear-end the accordion.

Saturday: 

Clean out the entire Texas panhandle of Bible belt tarmacs using a
hand-held chorus of hallelujahs blinking their turn signals.

It's a Long Story, Part 12 ~ Maurice Oliver


I have to decide between a haircut or keeping my
doctor's appointment. So I decide there's
no way I could be the child of my parents. Neither am
I a sore scab or hair that falls out in
patches. I feel too energetic, like a brand new dance
sensation just in time Easter break.
Snakes don't lie either. They just sort of crawl to their
next pry and never use the handrails.
Fish are the first to return. I started when I was four,
the alewives making tiny bubbles that
raise to the water's surface. On the eight day it rains.
A Calvary lines up along a mound
on the prairie. Indians, on the other hand, make good tap dancers and a
few times you just
have to rent a U-Haul. I didn't learn much in college but
I did have fun. It smelled like black
pepper and glowed in the dark. My favorite course was
tumbleweed. Milk jugs were a close
second. Puritans lived inside my gym locker and would
beg for a few crumbs of food every time
I unlocked the door. Some would crawl out the passenger window. But it
was the deer you had
to worry about, especially at night. Once I found a carving knife in
the taxidermist. I whipped
out my cell phone and called 911 before it could porcelain embers and
saved the day. I've always
been pretty modest too. My grimace is chili to boot, driven overload to
the nearest bird's nest.
What else? Oh, my childhood story slams the door, then locks the yawn
in jam from blueberries.





Maurice's poetry has appeared in numerous national and international publications
and literary websites including Potomac Journal, Pebble Lake Review,
Frigg Magazine, Dandelion Magazine, (Canada), Stride Magazine (UK),
Cha Asian Literary Journal, (Hong Kong), Kritya (India), Blueprint Review,
(Germany) and Arabesques Review (Algeria). His fourth chapbook was One
Remedy Is Travel (Origami Condom, 2007). He edits the literary ezine
Eye Socket Journal at: http://eyesocketjournal.blogspot.com . He lives
in Portland, OR, where he works as a private tutor.