the heart asks pleasure – samantha lucero

when you become a parent,
you become less 

a p p a r e n t.

until i disappear completely,
i can weep into the liquid face of a mirror
and speculate about who used to dwell in
my iron & carbon skull, before i was
the me that faded.

i held onto me like a movie ticket
in the back of my wallet
the one we all keep
that just becomes a tomb
like a placeholder in our hearts
for a special day we end up
forgetting.

i’m perfunctory now, roiling,
knocked up by rainstorms
and lightning writhing down like a noose
on his red beard, drinking snake oil

maybe the world’s a cat’s eye and i am shattered faith
my shoulders a hewn epitaph of hopes
am i lucid dreaming, i never fell asleep.
these days, i lie down in a trance
and never wake up.


[ Samantha Lucero is the phantom haunting six red seeds. ]

Introducing Nathan McCool – Let the Devil Wear Black

If my cup runneth over it is because its contents
are boiling – but my true spirit has evaporated
and now only moves like vapor swallowed freely into nature’s lungs
before growing tired
and rigid under the bear’s matted fur. Send
back home now, my grandmother’s aching
heart. So I
might take it with me into night’s viscera – before
I am crucified, not entirely either whole or
wholesome. 

In a cemetery I roll over between stones,
and wake in a sudden shudder…
thinking I may be the least alive of the things
here. Sleep deprived, still holding onto
fiends from nightmares. Still holding onto
morning’s severed hand.
Still holding onto dead children.
Still holding onto feet dangling lifeless.

When I return to the civilized world, I am so aware
of not belonging. So aware
of how petty it all is. I say, “Fuck your money.
Fuck your authority. Fuck these
same old rehearsed days.”
If any of them only knew the way I would smite
even the air that they breathed in before another
worthless and unanswered, “How are you?”
How when the lightning comes I cringe at its distance;
think of sinking my teeth into its throat, ripping it apart, and
casting it back.

And when I do, like any true animal, my words
come out in a growl.
“Something answer me now god dammit.
What the fuck do you want from me?”


[Nathan McCool does Instagram at God Of Dregs. He’s the winner of the SD March Madness contest, and a fucking genius. Gooble gobble, gooble gobble, we accept him, one of us!]