Tuesday, April 27, 2010



by Gabe Durham

Woof woof I want some smoothie.
This kid you don’t know, this cowboy
with a tattoo
of a smoking
loon was going, look at me! look mom look!
I guess now you think you’re some wet hot smoothie.

Two guys, one who drinks smoothies
and one who incants, smoothie… smoothie…
on walls of pulp. Look, said Jesus
which of these, in heaven, is more of a cowboy?
the one who smokes?
Right across my chest I’m getting a tattoo to

How do you commemorate a tattoo?
Get a smoothie
etched in smoke
in your smoothie?
Don’t you get all cowboy
Uncle Hammish I know that look!

It’s not going to be easy. America is fed up with tattoo
as usual. It’s not time to be a cowboy
offering your “smoothie”
to folks new to your “smoothie,”
just breastmilk and hotdogs, leers and smoke

You look
like a dude who knows where a guy could dip his smoothie.
You’d get that if your pink hide hid a tattoo
of my body but I guess some smoothies
are coming on pretty strong, eh, cowboy?

I said, Eh cowboy?
See you when your blowgun smokes
and your friends hock your smoothie
just to get a quick look
at the milk tattoo
I got of you on my smoothie.

Trade you your smoothie cowboy
for my smoothie smoke.
Look, tattoo: The American people!



by Bryan Coffelt

don’t you hate signing up for things and then your trial
ends, like you trundled on so long only to find you are united
with nothing? like, the insides of your bones are black?
but i know that’s not how you go, you go off road
until you’re dying of thirst, and begging for a funeral.
you chug along until you find yourself in folsom, johnny cash

style. it’s not too far from where you’re from, you cash
money millionaire. one fuck up, you find yourself on trial
for armed robbery and failure to appear at a funeral
home. i know, you might have missed your flight. it was united
or wait, were you on delta? doesn’t matter, now you’re on the road
because there are no flights where you’re going. the black

sky digs in your veins if you let it. oh, and you left your black
jeans at the hotel in denver. i thought about selling them to get some fast cash
because i was super broke. but i was coughing up blood and the road
was onto me. i had a fever, my body felt like news coverage of the oj murder trial.
i thought to myself, has mike young ever said god bless the united
states of america? has he ever sat in on a marine’s funeral?

i know you’re a patriot — mike young is no funeral
dodger. but how do we know your blood is not black?
that you are not some kind of witch, and your coven is not united
against us? how do we know you’re not goldman sachs, absconding with our cash?
what do we really know about mike young except what we know from trial
& error? i mean, i could tell you he probably doesn’t like the film version of
the road

i could tell you the man is maybe less than a fiend for road
side bars, that, like us all, he’s a funeral
waiting to happen. that when faced with trials
and tribulations, he’ll choose tribbing with a black
forest ham omelet. dude loves breakfast, no matter how cashed
his nerves. i hate sounding like i’m giving a speech to induct him into the united

nations, but i am. mike young and i were once united
as roommates in ashland, oregon. it was legal there, it was like a road
trip to the moon. i am writing this sestina for mike instead of sending cash
on his birthday. sorry dude, but it’s better than sending a funeral
home full of bees! my fantasy is to send you black
pepper mango sorbet or something. i shouldn’t have sent you that invite for a free trial

(cash free) of united flight 93 porn, obviously,
and i shouldn’t have asked for that road beer before my trial.
but please, please, no black magic at my funeral, okay?



by Maurice Burford

From a Spanish radio: 'pirate is spanish for pirate.'
Fruit activity and our Belgian things aside,
we are very happy being a waxen yellow
like how our parents felt when we fell out of them.
And sometimes we can't salvage eyeing from the fire.

I regularly try so hard to be an grey ocean on fire,
depressing the physical form of the ship's pirate
captain. The horrible ghosts shimmer into being: Space Hitlers,
who set a goat's magical foot on fire and brush aside
breakfast, ignoring the deck hands with boobs, yet sexing them
with a bravado of ghosts half their height and shade of yellow.

In Sweden, girls have all the fun, skating in bikinis over the yellow
ice of Lake Swedish Pop Duo. The paper plant, they call a crime, on fire—
rapid joggers, think islands, a clutch of sea—reflecting off all them
locals, dumb faced and crawly. No cars are allowed outside of Pirate
Town except taxis, rickshaws pulled by the albino Gamla Stan aside.
He, at his will, could assume the shape of nordic beasts, all except Hitlers.

Did we do all we could to raise awareness of rave loving Hitlers,
wearing black and red western cut shirts and ironic yellow
hats. 'Alex was on fire,' said Bryan, putting Alex out was aside
from the point. Crazy sitars banging out jams for all the tweens on fire,
wearing jumpy rainbow bracelets, making me feel dumb that I wore my pirate
outfit again. 'Pirates are so 2003 you ugly puppy fucker.' I still love them.

You could hear the rusty parts breaking inside each of them.
Their breakfast was a casual two slices of toast, a bowl of Hitlers,
and half a grapefruit (properly fucked, of course by a pirate),
yet when asked they could not get up, they could not pull the yellow
out their eyes. Something is perpetually lost from them, a fire,
the way their hair falls across their face and is then brushed aside.

And then a sleepwalking slide guitar swam icy lakes, garbage aside,
only to be blasphemed as 'No Langhorne Slim' by some of them
Northern-Light-Lovin'-Euro-Canadian Punks. The total garbageness on fire
in Sweden is like totally big, though no bigger than an Orca full of Hitlers.
They burn at first a kind of blasé purple and finish off a grand wizard-y yellow.
All this shit, my friend, is incompatible with the life of a pirate.

Hammerfall is the baddest band in Sweden, dude, and they are pirates.
Like real fucking killers of men, dude, with parrots, terrible yellow
devils. A real group of blood thirsty, neon pink Hitlers.

Ritchie Blackmore is gayest man in Sweden, dude, Herman Dune aside.
Every time he leaves the house two boy dogs hump, but he hates them,
for young Ritchie Blackmore can only climax when his partner's on fire.



by Sarah Cunningham

Facebook is starting to make me so bitter
It’s not that I’m anti-social but I wasn’t born
yesterday, I know when people are pulling my chain, fucking
with me or just plain poking me around, like social networking is suddenly so revered
and anyone without a twitter account isn’t a verified poet, even Word gives a damn
enough to auto-correct when I spell the word “twitter” with an “o,” like it’s some special

word, like words can even sound special
to begin with, I guess I’m just native and bitter,
but remember when you were young (like, so damn
young) and you’d stare off at nothing, your mind all born
with crazy thoughts and shit, and stupid people couldn’t revere
such genius so they’d wave their hands in front of you like they’re some fucking

magician, like they’re some pilot bringing you back into the real world, it’s enough to fucking
make you unfriend all those Facebook creeps for real, they aren’t special
they probably don’t even know it’s your birthday; nobody reveres
numbers anymore, the taste of counting by tens, all bitter
and empty calories and it gives me indigestion, like some kind of damn
just got hyphee in my esophagus, I can barely breath, let alone be born

into some city with ozone layers and onyx, but I was born
a day before you so I guess that’s some fucking
thing we have in common, thought the year’s a mystery, a big damn
secret if you ask me, as if I couldn’t guess your age, there’s nothing special
about becoming a year older unless it’s on an empirical rooftop garden growing bitters
and tomato juice and some type of exotic olives, cuz olives always get revered

but nobody pays attention to celery, I feel sorry for it, I revere
vegetables because I’m a vegetarian and don’t believe in the undoing of time, born
into an age of fast-food and swimsuits in February, bitter
shoppers stampeding for a sale on 6-pack socks/beer, a fucking
bargain, sure, but I’m usually barefoot when I’m drunk anyway, feeling all special
and warm as if I could write a book of sonnets, all damn

and hell-hath-no-fury type, but it’s a damn
hard life and I’m only drunk enough on my birthday, I revere
those blowing candles and the wax stuck on my teeth, a special
kind of texture like crocodile boots or recycled napkins, born
a second time to wipe the chocolate cake off a million sticky fingers like clay, fucking
fire that shit up and bring on the whiskey, champagne and bitters,

cuz it’s your birthday, Mike, you’re special, you were born
42 years ago this day and some bitter woman that revered pain-pills
really broke the damn mold with you, this poem’s fucking proof.



by K. Silem Mohammad

Hey Mike, happy birthday--
I hope you spend
it getting laid
and smoking crack
in a hot tub
with a pair of blonde twins,

or if not twins,
at least two chicks whose looks and birthday
are close enough that, in the steam of the hot tub,
you might be fooled into spend-
ing the same amount you would spend to get a crack
at real twins when you pay to get laid.

You may not actually get laid
by twins,
but hell, you can always crack
open some magazines that feature ladies in their birthday
suits, or spend
some time with a tub

of popcorn watching dirty videos, or soaking in the bathtub
with a Hustler centerfold laid
out in front of you, until you spend
yourself in guilty spasms of lust, imagining blonde twins.
I mean, it's your birthday,
right? If you have to crack

under the pressure of maddening sexual frustration, crack
today. Just grab a tub
of lube and say "Happy birthday"
to yourself. And while you're laid
out there, fantasizing about twins,
go ahead and spend

a few bucks on one of those "fleshlight" things, or just spend
it on more crack.
"Between the corrupt twins
of compulsive masturbation and porn addiction lies the tub
ride." T. S. Eliot said that as he laid
down fifty bucks on his fiftieth birthday

and bought some hookers and crack and a tub
of fried chicken from some twins and got laid
and that's how you also should spend your birthday.



by Matthew Simmons

I know
a little
about much,
and this
hasn't made
an impact.

the impact,
you know,
when made
very little
is this:
feel much.

find much.
lack impact.
fix this
and know
when little
is made.

I made
so much,
so little,
such impact,
to know
all this.

and this,
which made,
you know,
when much
will impact
this little.

what little
is this
to impact
when made
us, much
will know?

impact little.
know this:
made much.



by Daniel Bailey

Holy shit, Mike Young!
Today is your birthday
Remember how I used to owe you money?
Now I don’t owe you money. It’s great
but I still want to give. But I won’t give you a lameass card
Here is a poem. Isn’t it amazing how you used to be a fetus?

I bet you were the cutest little fetus
in all your mom. Then she named you Mike Young
It was as momentous as when a soccer ref gave me a red card
for pushing over a girl. I bet when you were born
you gave the thumbs-up to the nurse and you were all, This is great!
Being a part of the world is so money!

I’m glad I don’t owe you money
anymore. If we were hanging out right now I’d make you a feta
cheese pizza with olive oil and olives. It’d be so great
I’d look at you and I’d say, Mike Young!
Let’s eat some damn pizza. Happy Birthday!
Here’s a lameass card

You’d open the card and you’d read the card
which would have naked ladies inside it and maybe some money
for you on your birthday
I’d say, I bet you were such a goddamn adorable fetus
Then I’d yell, Mike Young! Mike Young! Mike Young!
Then I’d tell you a story about the Great Depression

I’d be like, Yeah, a bunch of people got greatly depressed
and then killed themselves! With guns and with cartons
of cigarettes! Can you believe that, Mike Young?
And all over losing a lot of damn money
They ran around screaming! We’re broke! Who will feed us!
My family is dying! This is the worst birthday

ever! They kept themselves alive with stories of Jesus’ birth
but then FDR fixed the shit and everything was great
and then a war happened. And then a fetus
and that fetus was aborted and then a telegram
that said, The world is dying! Then stuff and some money
This history is too much, Mike Young!

Mike Young, what is going on? I feel like a fetus
I want to throw money at the earth. That would be great
I feel like a baseball card getting born into a child’s shaking hands


Mike Young said...

AMAZING! Thank you all so much. You are lovely cowboys and smoothies and breakfasts and United Nations and Hitlers and exotic olives and hot tubs and impacts and fetuses. <3

DJ Berndt said...

Hooray for Mike Young!