Category Archives: Poetry

when i lived in southern florida

my boyfriend put a used car lot up
his nose. he had fifty thousand dollars left.
he bought five thousand dollars of cocaine,
as an investment. we snorted so much
that when he told me the streetlight was
a helicopter snooping in our
living room, i believed him. he decided
to let his friend up north distribute
the product. driving up 90 he thought
all the cars were transporting cocaine
because they were all driving the speed limit.
cocaine is my least favorite drug.

wendy shaffer


it could be paradise
it looks like man’s pruned paradise
the way the sun shines on the happy
coexistence of squirrels & birds
too fat to fly
except for that periodic thwacking
of steel on ball the man
filling with power & accomplishment
as the small inanimate globe
briefly flies
and drops

wendy shaffer

king of the jungle

my dog chomps down on chicken bones
with his long sharp teeth
pulverizing skeleton into meal —
his ancestry unleashed in my mind —
i know he is born to bite
down on whole chickens feathered
in his great jaws —
but he serves me,
just a cow with an evil brain —
these silly little bicuspids
couldn’t even rip open a rabbit,
but the evil that is
my brain
could grow whole colonies of blind chickens
to fry up
for the dollar

wendy shaffer


dead animal in the sink
dead animal in cans
girl kitty trills sex need eats
brown potted grass runs
through rooms crying sex
rolling herself across the carpet
licking her butt while the other two
desexed, chopped off at the claw
sit back, watch, ears perked —
what master
plan that cries for more babies
four footing, soft, mewling
ground up in a can

wendy shaffer

there’s the thought

there’s the thought
it’s the best part
of my day sitting
here with Charlotte
reading smoking drinking
coffee if only this
were a novel a
small piece of a longer
bit of prose Hemingway
did it in the sun also
rises little bits of
information about drinking
fishing fucking it went
on forever a whole
book but this is
a poem just a
short little thought go
ahead add it to
the thousands of
other little thoughts
to come

Russell Vidrick

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Europe

The volcano, the Euro falls, the burqa laws, someone is stealing Picassos.
I don’t care. I don’t care about Europe.
It’s nothing
but dead philosophers & museums & French Presidents
throwing fits & the slow burn of German Prime Ministers.
Europe is not a happy place. Europe is a nervous place.
Fassbinder is dead & Gerard Depardieu has lost his looks.
British tourists have taken over leaving vomit all over the continent
& hammered girls from Leeds off on bachelorette holiday
give blow jobs to embarrassed waiters in Portugal
Europe is off her game Europe
has no where to turn because
her philosophers are still dead
& her music is bad techno
The smoke of holy war rising it’s not profound or dramatic, even if it’s memory mixing with desire even if it’s dead Europe where the gypsies have wi-fi , leaving left-over clairvoyance to the lonely-soul amateurs in Ohio who sell incense & yoga at 30 US Dollars per hour another ten will get you a happy ending but that only lasts a second.
Instead, the smoke of holy war it’s grisly like severed bloody pigs heads nailed to the doors of Amsterdam mosques
following the murder of
Theo Van Gogh, her last dead philosopher.
Her ghettos are festering with Muslims she doesn’t want now that her factories are closed
Europe is unhappy & she makes everyone nervous.
What makes you happy? You make me happy he says.
The answer makes me sad
the answer is rote.
Tell me something
I don’t know there’s a secret I don’t know
there’s a secret I don’t know
there is a secret that I don’t know.
if my camera doesn’t see it
then I will never know
& film is so expensive & it’s the only way I go.
Forget Europe. Forget Europe.
I’m gonna go to Oklahoma
I’m gonna stand in the middle of the prairie with a baseball bat & a long-neck
& hit hail to crack it
into a thousand shards of ice
all the secrets will spill out I’m gonna save the horses I’m gonna save the singers and the story-tellers and the snuff dippers and John Stink, he was an Osage, the town drunk in Pawhuska who laid himself down by a pile of rocks outside of town and died & he became alive again & he walked back into town and scared the bejesus out of everyone, sometime before World War 2
but they took it in stride, being used to John the Baptist & Lazurus & said here John Stink have another drink
& he said no, because out by the rocks I got to the middle of the secret.
John Stink was a real man because my grandma told me & my uncle wrote a novel about it but it never went anywhere him being a West-Point drop-out & a failed novelist & having to be a lawyer instead but when I crack that hell storm ice all his books will tumble out and run away as best sellers and the secrets will come alive.

Charlotte Mann

how was your winter?

spring’s morning chatter
inner city birds return
catch up on gossip


Boxes in the Attic

Hundreds of Superman comic books,
clothing from her teens, old shoes
with holes and broken heels, a black silk
wedding gown from her grandmother,

newspapers from the forties and fifties
when she was the belle of the art world,
a pair of ladies high top shoes with no laces,
a Gil Hodges baseball card, he was hot,

Forty-fives of the Beatles and the Stones.
They were hot too. I danced naked
for John and George. Mick and I
danced naked together.

One cuff link from a lover she can’t remember,
lingerie from Victoria’s Secret, gifts from other
forgotten lovers, price tags still attached.
I hated wearing underwear

Twelve videotapes of herself in a coffin
without a stitch on, her fifty-sixth birthday,
deflated breasts, wispy pubic hair,
squirming underneath twenty-three men

she says found her desirable
Performance art, it was a hell of a show,
the mayor of New York stayed four hours.

She’s unashamed, unrepentant, my mother.

The coffin is there in the attic with the other boxes,
all twenty-three lovers locked inside.
Bury me with them, she cackles,
humping in the grave, that could be a new art form.

Jack Mc Guane

voodoo preacher man

voodoo preacher man
your basketball black fingers
pressing my skull around your game rap
jive slice serious
as a fur-lined hearse in june
i want to believe
that magic runs through your long bones
like liquid gold
shooting to the top
blowing the glass off
the ordinary air
i want to believe
that you can give me magic
simple as an all net shot
if i will only close my eyes
and empty my brain
and let that liquid lightning
jump through your voodoo fingers
into my bones
chicken claw scar mound
bleeding cross
voodoo man
who pimps for jesus
who squeezes my brain
between long black basketball fingers
i want to believe
that when i open my eyes
the world will be simple
as milk filling the bathtub
as the shape of a basketball
in my hands
as the shot in front of me —
a perfect arc
the ball touched only by my hands
and the net

wendy shaffer

the summer’s ending

the summer’s ending
i know it
by the little bit of cool
north i felt
blue in your eyes
by the way you’re straightening
into those fall colors
i’m riding past our first day
that will never happen again
and my legs don’t want
to move
so many little deaths already
and only one summer
they’re talking about god
how she stands at the start
and the finish of the race
the stopwatch in her hand
lately i’ve been thinking
it’s up to me
but i know
the giddy intoxication of our hot days
is ending
and i can’t stop it
any more than i can prevent
all those bees dying
their furry little bodies drying up
on the shelf
i can’t stop it
any more than i could prevent
your knee swelling
with bee venom
i know it’s crazy
but i wish i could go back
just for one hour
when the bees were first starting out
their complaining whine above the dry grass
when we looked at each other and knew
how ripe and sweet the summer would dissolve
in our mouths

wendy shaffer