by Erren Geraud Kelly
watts went up in flames
martin luther king went there
and tried to put the fire out
but they chased him out
"we don't want him here," they yelled
only thing i respected about california
black people was that they
didn't take any shit off the whites
in l.a., everything is spread out and
everyone lives in their own little world
in the '80's, nwa, eazy-e, ice cube and ice t
repped south central, now it's mostly latino
white kids brag about being gangsta rappers
and youtube can make any poindexter
at ucla, sorority girls flirt with me
as i help them move furniture
up the road in bel-air, a maid gets off
the bus and walks to work
she dreams of living in a neighborhood
every coffeehouse i go to
i always meet an actor or a screenwriter
or a model or a dancer
at a check cashing place in hollywood
a woman stands besides me,
cashes a check and gets a brick
of one hundred dollar bills
her breasts belongs on a cartoon character
she may have stolen her body from jessica rabbit
porn star, i'm thinking
as i sit on the sand at sunset beach, i wonder
how much am i willing to pay
to make my dreams come true?
FACE OFF by Brent Wiggans
by A.J. Huffman
Perfectly pouted stain of lips. Light
glaring down, intersection's stall. Skin
scrubbed raw to remove tell-tale Studio stamp.
Flesh of twinned fruit waiting to be seeded
by teeth. Twizzlers, Tobasco, heirloom
tomatoes. Peel of daily deterrent
of doctor. Matador's cape raging
bull forward. The little engine that could, the fire
engine that does. Shade of sky that warns or
heralds sailor's delight. A lover's solo-rose
hair's genetic proclivity. Teacher's corrective ink.
Cardinal's winter wings. 99 balloons of song. The perfect pair
of stiletto heels. Adulterer's brand.
NEAR DARK by Christian DeLaO
by Thomas Piekarski
Aurora Borealis in the mind's eye illumes
a hidden world where birds don't stir
and elephants fly.
Wool spun on a wooden wheel makes cloth,
and so it's incumbent on you to vote
Assured that you've saved adequate time
in storage, enough to last a life,
a noble goal is achieved.
Mosque in Quebec shot up, and another
in Texas burned to the ground.
My side is your side as we watch siblings
on the obverse of our planet skip,
Superconductor technology promises data
will be transmitted instantaneously
to an appreciative society.
Applaud the beginning's end of whining
about ostensibly insurmountable
obstacles we face.
Being seems surreal but isn't any more
than my cat in its cove lapping wine
from a silver chalice.
So many problems to solve sans solutions
in the queue add up to melancholy
The human element seems foreign as faces
vaporize while one walks a long block
downtown at midnight.
Once love was an obvious imperative for
sanguine peoples getting licked
by gleaming moonbeams.