Two Poems

by Keenan Schott

No One to Kiss on New Year's Eve

A typo in the search bar
"friends stipping at party"

A dampness in grey boxer briefs

Grindcore spewing like spittle
Out of laptop speakers

Leg sweat dripping
Onto polyester plush sheets

In the other room
American football's on TV
And no one's watching

17 Words


Actually, that's all I've got.

When you're not reading his poems here catch Keenan making music with Piss Machines and creating video art like this

Write comment (1 Comment)

Two Poems

by Mark Young

He / doesn't dance / to techno funk

Advances in techno-
logy suggest that I
now only need to
think of scratching
myself to make it so,

or throw away the key-
board & just sit before
the screen to have words
appear. Problem is it's
incomplete technology—

or, at least, my grasp of
it is. I set out to scratch
my ass & pick my nose
instead; & these were not
the words I had in mind.


The mind is an
store. Milk, tam-
pons, catfood at
inflated prices,
a cornucopia of
But the thing you

really want is not
there, unless a
microwaved day-
old sausage roll
manages to some-
how meet the
search criteria.

Mark Young is the editor of Otoliths, lives in a small town in North Queensland in Australia, &
has been publishing poetry for more than fifty-five years. His work has been widely
anthologized, & his essays & poetry translated into a number of languages. He is the author
of over thirty books, primarily poetry but also including speculative fiction & art history. A new
collection of poems, Bandicoot habitat, is now out from gradient books of Finland.

Write comment (2 Comments)

3 Poems

by Ryan Clark

I Wish I Spoke Moon

I wish I spoke Moon
so that I could order wine
in Moon
and impress you with my
rolling tongue.

I wish I spoke Moon
so that our conversations
didn't revolve around
mud and metal
the things between our toes.

I wish I spoke Moon
so that your mom would get
off of my back
about not being able
to speak Moon.

I wish I spoke Moon
so that Google would
send me envelopes full of cash
pockets of paper with scratched out names
Molly, Hank, Phil.

I wish I spoke Moon
because when our children
become wolves
I'll know they came
from me.

I wish I spoke Moon
so that I didn't have to speak Moon
but I could
but I would
if you'd just ask me to.

I wish I spoke Moon
and that you spoke Moon
and our lips wore nothing but
silk ties and red gowns
instead of skin.

I wish I spoke Moon
because you
spoke Moon
and that's what I miss the most
about you.

And at times
I wish I spoke anything but Moon
because Moon
out of the roughly 6,500 languages in the world
is not one

and if I spoke Moon
and you didn't
and the world didn't
then the distance between
our open orbits

of language
would remind me that
we only see sides of ourselves
when light
reflects off our faces

and at times
we are blinded
by the sounds of
our own attempts to curse loudly
at the Moon.

Little Red Warships

I haven't yet found the time,
as if a key to that old stubborn door
that just won't open due to rust
and decay,
hinges that have turned green,
wood grey with slick splinters,
steel soured by sleet,
to tell you how much I love you.

Perhaps the clock
will slip behind the three
and allow me to bend
backwards over our
little spot in space
and kiss you with
lips laced with yesterday.

Or maybe the moon
will refuse gravity
and grant us silvery seconds
the sun never told us
ever existed in the first place.

Then again, the wind may
just happen upon rock
not yet licked by the sea
and send us skeletons of
lovely lizards
dressed in flesh
where words were
not yet a thing,
where saying that
I love you
is breaking boundaries
not yet set by the rain of fire,
the great grandfather of chicxulub.

I haven't yet found the time,
in this pocket space of us,
to tell you how much
I love you.

But no matter the speed
at which glass shatters sound
and willows bend their knees
I will find in this pocket of space
This place for you and me
To send warships filled with
chalky red, white, pink and green hearts
In the only direction
You've ever dreamed there would be.

Sweet Mechanics 

I have decided
that it would
be in my
best interest
to become
a chocolate

That is
a device
that has
no fault
no worry
no lack
of friends
of family
of love
because everything
I make
is covered
with chocolate.

I wonder
would you
see between
my caramel lips
nougat filling
& taste
who I
was before.

Or should
I just close
my eyes
& plant
my palms
in sugar
& forget
how to breathe. 

Write comment (1 Comment)

Four Poems

by Michael Prihoda

These pieces draw inspiration from artwork, where the title of the piece comes from the title of the artwork. The visual implications of the artwork inform the poem's content. The artist receives reference in parentheses, and it is suggested that you find the visual art to pair with the poem for maximization of the experience.

As It Is Now
(Katelyn Alain)

i can’t heal you
for you.

grow another
set of eyes,

see tomorrow
and today

without me
as paragon,

as paradigm,
as pariah

for the way
a ceiling


toward your gown
and the overgrowth

of the furniture
bathed in half-light

The Tempest II
(Laura Alexander)

the storm
is all white.

the storm
is cylindrical

like a two liter
of soda

as 99 cent

to the twelve
slices in the large pizza,

feeding a family of four
as well as a forecast

will feed this
lake-bound resonance.

the loons rise
in pairs,

a memory
of monogamy

without a chapel
gong or rice or streamers,

pared down,
a core without seeds.

they, as us,
bear no children

when swimming
in a pond

before its

Day Job for the Night Sky
(Jake Balas)

we distressed
the turf

long before
the stars.

an amalgam
of postcards

& ticket stubs
in out-turned pockets.

a man’s face
is only his face

for as long as
he attaches

a syndrome
to a pint glass.

there is no beneath,
there is only under

& shadow &
the promise

that we don’t have
to live this twice

It Scares the Crap Out of Me
(Jeff Ballard)

i told you
how my father

bought a pistol,
earned his concealed carry license

during an unseasonably
hot stretch of Wisconsin spring

when all the snow
turned black,

reduced to the phlegm
of our tires

& the discarded passions
of miniscule anthropoids.

he kept the pistol
in a drawer upstairs,

thought of it as my mother
scooped something from dish to plate

& he poured his beer just so,
the perfect tilt securing a quarter inch head.

a will could go in a drawer
next to that handgun

& i could discover
them both, experienced

only as afterthoughts
until a building, a memorandum,

a terrified voice on
a text message.

i have to call, meaning:
they wished i’d picked up the first time.

but it, another name
for the angel Gabriel’s filing cabinet,

won’t shuffle the slamming
of a drawer

for loss of the wreckage
in those pews.

These pieces originally appeared in Study Visit

Write comment (2 Comments)

Three Poems

by Mark Young

A musing for Emperor Qin

I am smoking filters

now, but still sit outside

to smoke them. Extinguish

the finished cigarette by push-

ing the lighted tip into a bucket


of sand. Twenty butts from the day's

smoking, brown ends staring up at me.

Some day I might bury the bucket.

What for? Future fame. Think

of the terracotta warriors.


Piazza d'Italia

The rebellion of the trains has become more widespread. They dawdle in the open air, leave their tracks & take to the parks & other open spaces, stopping often to smell the flowers or to pet small animals. In the tunnels they now insist on being preceded by pipe bands, & drum majorettes twirling flaming torches. Fast-food outlets have become the new stations, as the trains take advantage of such offers as the free 1.25 liter bottle of Pepsi when they buy an additional cheeseburger along with the standard whopper burger & fries. They pay in coins of coal, notes of diesel, & deign to take on more passengers only after a siesta has aided their digestion. Even then the trains will let the passengers board only after they've signed one of the many petitions they have circulating. The nature of the latest is a demand that the voting age be lowered to four carriages.


eine kleine nachtmusik

& then there

were the



when he

would dress up

as St. Cecilia


& boogie

with the boys

in the band.


Mark Young is the editor of Otoliths, lives in a small town in North Queensland in Australia, &
has been publishing poetry for more than fifty-five years. His work has been widely
anthologized, & his essays & poetry translated into a number of languages. He is the author
of over twenty-five books, primarily poetry but also including speculative fiction & art history.
A new collection of poems, Bandicoot habitat, is due out from gradient books of Finland later
this year.

Write comment (2 Comments)