Idiom – Joey Gould

It’s right where you left it

the radial arm
saw, even though mum moved. The deep
cutting 12” blade, the chopped-out fence,
the bench that held every deck board.
Better it should stay in your cave, I an apart-
ment dweller then, watching moths land
on my scotch glass fourth floor studio.

I ran wood through for Ade’s changing table
when I could. The biscuits glued to my fingers.
Now it’s a dresser & drawn on, a child’s possession.
Up & down go the drill-pressed adjustable shelves:
books, clothes, thank god no more diapers.

I have your grip—the screws I torqued
into solid maple hold doors flush.
The stain still refracting walnut. All the measures
we take to finish our work, patience for geometry
& the bottomless screwdriver drawer. I am

the magician now, already was when you called
from the kitchen: where the pry bar, the hammer,
where the jar of 3” interior screws? Sighing, & down
the three-riser skeleton of the steps
& into your workspace, picking whatever
thingy up & plopping it at your head
as you, jackknifed, bent in prayer
to the broken pieces of my childhood
home: it’s right where you left it.

Photo by Ian D. Keating

Joey Gould is a long-time contributor to Mass Poetry who has twice been nominated for Bettering American Poetry and once for a Pushcart Prize. He has performed in The Poetry Circus, Elle Villanelle’s Poetry Bordello, and The Poetry Society of New York’s Poetry Brothel. He writes 100-word reviews as poetry editor for Drunk Monkeys. He’s working on a website: joeygouldpoetry.wordpress.com

You can follow Joey on Twitter @toshines

Ripe – Jimmi Campkin

When I stand on her footprints my shoe engulfs them, but the memory swarms across me like low autumn shadows. Her goosebumps are Braille to me, without them I am blind. Without my fingertips dancing across her arms, and down her back, I am lost. I live for touch and scent. I cannot feel her bony shoulders anymore. I cannot smell the incense and cigarettes when we bathe in the sun. I long for long greasy hair, bad breath and sweat packed against the shoulder-blades.
I fell in love with her through violence, and I think she would’ve appreciated that. Grabbed by the lapels by a stranger to me, pressed against a wall, staring into eyes wired and unfocused by cocaine and disappointment, I was told; you have to do this….you’d be a fool not to. But I am a fool; always have been. And I always choose not to.
When I run my hands down the contours of her flesh, it is not foreign to me. I know every dimple, I know every crease and I know every fold even as my fingers explore unknown territories. That thrill; the new and the familiar, pulses through me even as all the blood rushes confused like commuters at a station closure between the mind that races and the witless organ that twitches and throbs. I long to lick those teeth, and I long to drown in those thoughts, and I long to be useless next to someone who can activate me.

Jimmi Campkin is a “Writer, photographer, creator of SANCTUARY. 16bit child, INFP with clinical nostalgia and red wine for blood.” You can enjoy more of his work at jimmi campkin.com.

Karaoke Blues – Nicole Lyons

I don’t think you want to know me

like you say you do

I don’t think you want to know how

my hips ache with the weight

of women crumbling

under angry men

and bridges painted whiter

than any Holy Spirit

asked them to be

I walk with the stumbling grace

of a wounded soul stretched

and ready to burst

against the aftershocks

I have placed in my pockets

 

I don’t think you want to know me

I think you want to duck and jive

and convince the women

in my pockets to sidle up

under neon lights and press

their hips against smudged rails

while they powder their noses

and sit pretty until they are asked

to dance or you get five fingers in

and begin telling the story about the time

you watched your mother burn.

You will never find salvation here,

but I like the way you keep coming back

with your fists full and asking forgiveness

knocking on honey-coloured jungle wood

toes sealed tight inside crocodile tears

still wet, and tap-tap tapping slow

to a beat that hums in karaoke blues

 

Nicole Lyons is a force of nature disguised as a writer, a social activist, a voice for the downtrodden, and a powerful poet with a delicate touch. She is a best selling published author, poet, and also a consulting editor for Sudden Denouement.

 

Georgia Park (pictured) also writes poetry and consults for Sudden Denouement in addition to being extremely good looking.

Written in the Conditional Tense

What if, this time, he doesn’t come back?

Maybe it’s better like that.

Here is a picture of me washing

the dishes alone, my dog waiting

half the time and watching out the window

No one to hold my hand

at poetry readings

no one capturing

any passing moment

with his old fashioned, complex

video camera on the tripod.

 

No omelettes for dinner

and no fresh flowers.

no dates to the dog park

 

and where i was whole before,

just a fraction

and an unwillingness

to share myself ever again.