Literary Property

by David Lohrey

One doesn’t think of poets as money managers.

It must be nice to see one’s work issued by the government.

You have to give her credit for it, she made an industry

out of having had a hard time of it, even if today she lunches

with the likes of Oprah and Jessica Mitford.

Had there been enough good parts, she could have 

made a fine actress. She would have made a powerful Josie 

Hogan, you know, from that play by Eugene O’Neill, or that

haunting wife of Macbeth, or, better yet, Hamlet’s dear mother.

Instead, she became a bestselling poet.

Something about her reminds me of a circus, a tented

carnival with a snake-man called Scaly and a three-breasted

lady. Step right up and hear her tale of unparalleled woe.

Avoid the door on the right, or you might get her confused

with the tattooed midget in yellow tights and his aqua tunic.

Tell the tale of your miserable past: how

you were beaten and mistreated, and how

you experienced unwanted advances. Why not

explain once again what it was like to have to eat

barbecued bologna on Christmas morning?

Now there’s human suffering.

The royalties mount beyond anyone’s count.

Rake it in while it lasts. There’s the 5-bedroom townhouse

in a fashionable part of Harlem, the mansion down

in swampy Carolina, a wee property along the Hudson

and, rumor has it, a pied-á-terre in a posh section of Paris.

The newest new book is just coming out in a new

waterproof edition. The text, it is said, glows in the dark,

so it can be read underwater, or you can get one that floats.

It is scheduled to appear later this month in coordination

with her new show, Big Woe, the new Broadway Musical.

Have your say, as they say, but be sure to count your earnings.

Some might say it is too much to dare. When you wear earrings 

and things from Tiffany’s, it gets harder and harder to ask for 

sympathy. You might wind up like some of your devoted readers,

much too rich to notice a little girl in need of affection.

David Lohrey’s plays have been produced in Switzerland, Croatia, and Lithuania. In the US, his poems can be found at the RavensPerch, New Orleans Review, Nice Cage, and The Drunken Llama. Internationally, his work appears in journals located in the UK, the Netherlands, India, Malawi, and Hungary. His fiction can be seen at Dodging the Rain, Terror House Magazine, and Literally Stories. David’s collection of poetry, MACHIAVELLI’S BACKYARD, was published by Sudden Denouement Publishers. He lives in Tokyo. You can read more of his writing at Writing, Musing, Poetry

Our Dissolving Omnibus (Pages to Pulp)- N. Ian McCarthy

Had they, at that time, yet mined the rock salt from
the rich, wide ducts of your fugitive tears? In that far
afternoon, you sat curled around the rim of your ringed
fast food cup, dragging its lame hockey puck with its

tepid three inches of black ocean across the mournful,
textured tabletop—assembled with man-age mortar to
linger, disconsolate and amputated, five hundred years
past the white, mute February of the last human bone.

Where, then, to deposit the porous clay figures of our
talks? We spoke keen rondels, shaped to pry apart the
floor planks of passion and the pathology of degenerative
arthritic knee joints. In the vacant, beige tote that

is a dawn without thumbs, hunger gnaws, and similes,
out which French doors exit all the stories? And when
the unwinded flute of your face cannoned out the big
picture window, over the dishwater lake, sinking deep

into the yielding groin of a low wave, I am humming
(internally) the cremated melody of an old sea shanty
whose gold hoop has never pierced my left earlobe.
I have tied no sturdy knots in hemp rope. My father

was not he who swung the sloping Irish foothill of a hot
sledge at Ford axles like orange glowworms, capped in
a Dutch oven’s steel sinus until the egg timer cave-in of
his trestled arteries. I knew none of those spilled pink

sea monkeys who diffused their reshuffled molecules
into the smoldering blue of the Coral Sea. I only prune
the spear tips of your limpid eyes as butterfly pins. I am
a dag of cardboard—a box marked for uncoupled shoes.


Image courtesy of Getty.

N. Ian McCarthy lives in the southern United States, where he writes poetry and brief prose. His works have appeared on cocktail napkins and in bifold restaurant placemats since the early 2000s. He believes in the principle of essential human worth and in the incomparable value of stories and experiences; he hopes that by attempting to understand better, we attempt to be better. He’s been fascinated by outer space since boyhood, though he has an irrational fear of gas giants. He maintains a small blog at Mad Bongo Maze.

Two by Two- Daffni Gingerich

I remember the day I closed my eyes and there he was, coaxing me out of my shell. He had already created a place for me. I guess it all could’ve been a trap but either way it pulled me in in a way I would be set free from my past and locked into infinity. And every day is a reminder that I’m ok. I scream and claw and remove the skin from beneath my nails. But life can’t stop there. It won’t, and when the show goes on, I’m more learned and possess a trust in myself that helps me endure. When I inhale, evil spirits come along with the good ones and I sift through them like a collection of pearls before I cast them back into my writing. Except when I’m drunk, that’s when I grab the first and act on it passionately with little thought. Every act is a piece closer to understanding and every nights sleep a chance to come back from the dead. Where we go there’s footprints and where we bloom, there’s the scent of leftover sex and cigarettes. He’s the connection, the bridge from one stairwell to another, and together, we’re an ocean I long to swim in.

Daffni Gingerich says simply that she “is a writer.”  You can read more of her mesmerizing prose at Daffniblog.