three poems – sam albala

girl and plane

half awake dreams

sam poem.jpg

dairy does that

I keep eating ice cream thinking it might save me.

                                                        from what?

who knows.

                                         the end of the world maybe.

fear of the end of the world.

                                                        dairy does that.

especially when you’re lactose intolerant.

 

 

middle finger to the patriarchy 

everyone loves a woman in distress.

                                 well tell everyone to fuck off.

 

cropped-ghost-january.jpg

Sam Albala is a poet nestled in the mountains of Colorado. She has a horizon habit and can often be found gobbling up the sky line while babbling about road trips, tea, and anatomical hearts, all with her mouth full of light. To see not-real-life horizons find @keepmindscreative on Instagram. To read more composed words, visit samanthaalbala.contently.com

Photo: Danny Trujillo

two poems – ghost #218

three phones
Dirge
Let’s wonder how awkward it is not just for us,
the ones standing around up-skirted ground,
but how spine splitting it must be for the man who never met her
yet now finds himself here super gluing the container for her remains shut.Let’s talk about her virtues.Let’s attempt to ray trace our memories
and recall instead why we don’t have steady hands.Let’s strand ourselves shaking and lonely
in a room full of her, and our, dearest friends.Let’s tell each other stories we’ve heard before.Let’s try jokes if that’s doesn’t work.Let’s all stand around and stare at the dirt.Let’s find it strange that they don’t play sad songs at a funeral.
Let’s think it a denial of truth
but in retrospect admit that nobody really needs another reason to cry.Let’s talk less about the woman we lost
and more about the God who’s said to have taken her from us.
Let’s remember that’s most of the reason why I hate Catholic services.Let’s carry the unpleasant of our world squarely at the base of our throat.
Let’s feel the swelling.
Let’s feel like a snake having eaten an elephant.
Let’s not like the taste in our mouth.Let’s tell each other it will get better.Let’s watch her husband and two sons
with their heads bowed inward
forming a lopsided triangle
with no corner to it’s lips.Lets let them be silent.Let’s voyeur ourselves into its center.Let’s miss her.Properly.I don’t like the taste in my mouth.

Let’s still have to work on Monday
and say to our manager
“I’m well, how are you?”

Let’s recall how artificial a funeral is.

Let’s regale our friends with stories
of a woman they never met

and never will.
Let’s miss her.Let’s write this poem from a collective perspective
to distribute the trauma away from ourselves,
to disguise our self obsession,
to emphasize the fact that all grieving is valid,
that my grievances with her service are small,
that I wasn’t the one who knew her best,
that I’m not the one who misses her most,
that I still miss her all the same.Let’s miss her all the same.
Let’s feel the guilt in tandem.
Let’s not like the taste in our mouths.Let’s miss her all the same.

Reprise

In my coat closet you’ll find no Narnia,
only the gained crop of past lovers lost.
On the bottom shelf you’ll find a dust crusted box
stuffed with knickknacks and old box office tickets
politely labelled “in case it doesn’t work out.”
Beside that you’ll find an old waitstaff hat
and a note that claims some semblance of perspective.
I suppose I might go back.
Call it a second first act,
and act content.
After all, not everyone is meant to be loud,
and shouting matches rarely spark healthy fires.So let’s say
“ぜんぶ人 c’est la vie.”
We’ll make a shitty mix-tape.
Call it the Fall in love with a stranger EP.
We don’t have to agree
on what predicates celestial value,
or what rhetoric to apply
in each other’s eulogy.
Just —
Tell me
I’ll be ok.
Please.
SBGS December

two poems – D.o.t.B.

guillotine

Guillotine

Revolution cut so bloody
chopping heads eyes wide
make that bourgeois die
what beauty to hear children cry
this rage broke your calm lie
you stabbed your neighbor in the eye
kill or be killed
church bell screaming
our holy great blade watches
forevermore

 

Hunger

Teeth gnashing spit splashing
desperation crashing
breaking brittle bones
sucking on stones.

they work hard to remove
the Great Feast from their minds
leave that horror story behind
but it happens again the same time
next year.

The ground too cold frozen
more solid than a shovel
no food left in the hubble
stomach screams no more grumble.

They eye the outsiders
light bright their fires
slash their tires
and make dinner.
try and pray away their inner sinner
the meat is good
the wine salt speckled
no evidence to hide
when it’s wrapped along your inside.

Next year there are no new neighbors
no one on the outside…
so they find babies flesh
tears tastes
softest and sweetest.

SBGS December

D.o.t.B. is a Godde that currently lives in the body of K.V. Dionne. Boulder artist, poet, and photographer, they are one of the founders behind Writer’s Block and are current editor in chief of Writer’s Block zines. You can read some of their work in Spit Poet and can look forward to a collaborative poetry book coming out soon. They have many Hawk friends and Crow songs to share! 

the last time i was awake at this hour – D.o.t.B.

window

The last time I was awake at this hour
You were in my bed
These sheets still smell like you
We both know why I haven’t washed them.

There’s a ghost in my car with his hand on my thigh
Looking away from the road into his eyes
He’s gone before I can kiss him
There is no ritual to rid me of this.

One horrible comfort in all of this mess
Is that there is a spectre on your skin too
They have my hands on your back
My mouth to whisper sweetness in your neck
And eyes that haunt you like mine do.

sbgs cowskull

D.o.t.B. is a Godde that currently lives in the body of K.V. Dionne. Boulder artist, poet, and photographer, they are one of the founders behind Writer’s Block and are current editor in chief of Writer’s Block zines. You can read some of their work in Spit Poet and can look forward to a collaborative poetry book coming out soon. They have many Hawk friends and Crow songs to share! Instagram: @o.macbeth

 

put me on a dog leash and make me eat taco bell off the floor – nathaniel kennon perkins

taco bell

You keep thinking you will grow accustomed to a feeling of worthlessness, but you never do.

Your goal was to pay off your debt by the end of the year. Your credit card. Your overdrafted checking account. The last three thousand or so dollars of your student loans. The payments on the van you bought but that your ex-wife sold to get the money to buy herself a truck.

You are just making payments on her truck, basically.

You’ve been working, but you realize it isn’t going to happen. This is not the year that you pay off your debt. Even on days you have off from your regular job, you go to work for your friend Gruber to make extra money.

He owns a landscaping company. You meet at his house in the morning and go together in his truck to a client’s yard, where you pull weeds.

After a while, Gruber says, “That’s good enough.”

He says, “That’s the good thing about trying to go for a quote-unquote natural look. When I’m sick of pulling weeds, I just stop pulling weeds. It’s natural.”

Time for a break. You go with him to the coffee shop where he used to work before he started his own company. The baristas there are cute. They are excited to see him. When he realizes that he has forgotten his wallet, they make jokes about scanning his retinas. He giggles and puts his face over the cash register, as if it might be accepting a payment from an account linked to his eyeballs.

One of the baristas grabs the back of his head and slams his face into the cash register and laughs.

It looks like it hurt.

“Sorry,” says the other barista, addressing you. “I know that seemed violent, but we all love each other. We love Gruber so much.”

You can’t think of anything clever to say.

You are thinking about all the times that you have wanted to grab your friend by the hair and smash his face into something, but you feel like you probably shouldn’t mention that.

You pull some crumpled bills out of the pocket of your work pants and pay for the espresso.

You wish someone would grab you by the hair and smash your face into something.

You don’t think you deserve it, but you’ve been wrong before. You probably do deserve it.

It’s a safe bet.

Maybe that’s how you could make some money.

Frustrated service industry workers could take out their rage and frustration by paying you to let them smash your face into something.

It could be donation-based.

You don’t want to be classist.

You could print up flyers and pass them out:

“Smash my face into something! Suggested donation: $5 – $10. No one will be turned away!”

Back to work, sort of. You drive with Gruber to a plant nursery almost an hour away.

On the way there, you listen to the college radio station and think about how you recently got laid.

You certainly didn’t see it coming. Why would you?

So, even though you knew that you were going out on a date, you did nothing to prepare.

She came back to your house, and when you opened the door to your bedroom you said, “Sorry. It looks like a depressed person lives here.”

You thought about saying something similar about your neglected, untrimmed pubic hair, but you didn’t want to call any more attention to the complex ecosystem of chaos in which you seem to live.

Does any of this make you an asshole?

Probably not.

If anyone ever calls themselves an asshole, you should probably believe them.

You make a resolution to believe every self-declared asshole.

And then let them smash your face into something.

But you’re not an asshole.

You’re just a loser in a mountain town populated with extremely rich people.

They know some secret that you don’t.

This is because you are dumb.

You and your best friends are a bunch of dumb drunks who will never pay their debts.

Like Paul, who lives out of his car.

And Jimbo, who pours shitty whiskey into a Maker’s Mark bottle that he carries around in his backpack.

And Avagyan, who is dating a 21-year old.

Though, when you think about it, dating a 21-year old actually doesn’t seem like such a loser thing to do.

Seems pretty cool.

This creepy guy at some hot springs once told you, “You’re only as old as the woman you’re holding.”

You imagine dating a 97-year old woman.

About letting her smash your face into the hood of a Lincoln Continental.

About fading into the sweet peaceful caress of the universal void together.

No, you’re not a loser, you decide.

And neither are any of your friends.

How could you think such horrible things about your best friends?

You dumb dick.

You asshole.

You really do deserve to have your face smashed into something.

And you’ll get rich from it.

You’ll finally pay off your ex-wife’s truck.

sbgs cowskull

Nathaniel Kennon Perkins is the author of Cactus. He lives in Boulder, CO, where he works as a bookseller and publisher at Trident Press. His creative work has appeared in Triquarterly, The Philadelphia Secret Admirer, Keep This Bag Away From Children, decomP magazinE, Maudlin House, Timber Journal, and others. He is the recipient of the High Country News’s 2014 Bell Prize. 

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