© 2014 Deep Tissue Magazine

By Precambrian Lullaby

when the lights go out and the room is dark
still awake but holding, breathing, resigning to the lark
all bottle’s empty and tears run dry
smelling foul air and still remnant lie, shadow hands caress your favor
sight returns to dark and shadowed rooms, efforts no longer labor
blind-will follows echo to the plume
unseen unseeing lips grace yours to trip and fall to rip softly squozen rain
to knell and dance lone praises even evening lazes with lost and drifting crazes
greeting sole companions, repeating appealing calls
as lengthy onward familiar blind clarity knows, and warm will find you back
as lengthy onward familiar blind-clarity knows, and warm will find you back
when holding-hopes turn to black, when hope turns black

Another New York Poem
By Puma Perl

he’d been around a few times
never stayed long
until he found himself

he never thought it would happen
didn’t even care
she thought it belonged, rightfully,
to her
she worked harder, worried more,
fucked the occasional stranger


she stood in the back of the room
he was drunker than he appeared
a girl in the front crossed her legs
the guy in the corner watched
he still didn’t care
not much

he didn’t see her leave
the girl with the legs tried to catch his eye
he considered the guy int he corner
wound up with a redhead at the bar
who didn’t know who he was
he liked it better that way

she walked home the long way

the table was stacked with books
half-finished drafts, poem bones
she pushed it to the side
smoked cigarettes, ate ice cream

maybe it would help


"i want to be homeless"
By Glen Still

i want to beg and hollar
beg you for your dollar
have you turn a blind eye
i want to walk a couple miles
till my feet are defiled
and god don't love me anymore

i want all my vision to suddenly perish
all the things that i once cherished
i want to hang my head
as if i was i dead
i want to die

i don't want
the benefits that you have
how would i keep them in a plastic bag
i don't want a pension
i won't live past fifty five

i want to wake up when i'm cold
feel so all alone
i want to experience
life unfold
knowing no one loves me

i want to struggle to find food
to dig in the dumpster
just for you

because i know what 'll find
will be heavier than my grind
so i want to explore the corporate trash
find a place to stash it
just for you

i want to have to steal my clothes
dodge the bullet of the unknown
i want to wage war on god
and karma

i want a thirty day rescue mission
when i've come to the end of my session
to kick me out the door
because i won't subscribe to their agenda
i won't enter their program

that forces god down my throat

i want nothing like you want
i want pain
without a heart
i want to be stone cold
without a reason
i want to go without a shower
feel more or less empowered
for weeks at a time
i want less
than any other human being does

i want to ember in the ashes
deteriorate into the masses
i want to be the one

that just can't dig myself out

i want to be despicable
hold a sword up to your candle
i want to be everything you can't handle
i don't want to conform to your standards
at this point
i've given everything i have
into being homeless
and i don't want anything


A Walk in the Park (I)
By Nancy Davenport

they are worth the walk
the pink fluffy
cherry blossom trees
in the park

I carry them with me all morning

when I say my prayer

when I count

when I am afraid in the bank
and need to take a deep

I look down and see

a cherry blossom petal

By Rose Aiello Morales

The first cat is dead.

I killed it with an eye,
evil in the telling of a tale
I boxed as a set piece, called
the potential a name begun with 's'.

Belief is a seldom thing.

The only motivation
of a life's fits, random
mumblings notwithstanding,
I could not manifest goodness.

The box was open, closed.

Occupying past transgressions,
reminders left in secret places found

by blind feet and hands, I could see
everything, there was nothing shown before me.

The second cat is relative.

I found her in a dream suspended,
white ghost of a passing thought,
I will not open mouth to speak
nor lift a lid upon fast moving morns.

I will breathe her into life

Or damn her into ether Limbo,
all possibilities are here and not today,
tomorrow I will dream the box again,
tied in a bow, a brief light peeking from a corner.


someone's at your window
By Chris Nelles

someone's at your window. you or i
i cannot tell. our differences decline
between the bells that city all.
the cosmos is adrift and drifting into us,
where circles start beneath my eyes,
before the mornings make you rise.
again the cock crows twice,
and ochre strikes your breast awake,
our sighs unfocused, saddened
by what's in between our shattered life,
our kitchen bare of beauty's ring,
while ringed in canopies of bitter rain.


a black swan glides on lotuses,
on lily web that calls us, clarion,
to shores where corpses are released
as roses, under outstretched wing,
and necks extended, shivering in blood,
all throat, and robin red by heart,
by too much damage witnessed
from a growing sense the future
moves, as eerily as selves set free
from lovers locked in past lives, lived
through our refusal to let go of death,
of dread, a misery restored from tasks,
or portrait texts revised from breath.

we drink a new wine from an old skin,
burst it open like a wound, a sin;

executrix of spirit bled in flesh,
the flesh incarnate, animate,
and lifted up a long and drenching flask.
and still we doubt each other,
pacing out a measure, and a draft,
preferring what has passed us by,
and what will pass tomorrow
into yesterday, and sorrow's sudden splash,
forever hopeless watch, with telescope;
the deep sky laughs, and nails us
each, and everyone to every star,
to every scratched out eye that hears...

a black swan blooms, a moon too near.
a black swan plumes, a moon too far.


who will wring from this our squandered life
By Chris Nelles

who will wring from this our squandered life,
our pauper's wrath, come pressing laundry loads
upon a beaten stone that will not fracture math,
a tolling bell, a telling path, a certain confidence
that strolls among the upper class young upstarts,
like a golden boy who's favored from the start,
and given all the world, and strives for all the stars?

who will salvage us, the salvage serfs of song,
if gloom's dominion looms as never ending fog,
and banks the promised wave with certain good
and promised evil throbbing in the wrong?
who will mourn for us, and who will cry aloud,

if hope is scaffolded with rope we have supplied,
and hanged from towers spinning in G-d's eye?

the flowers have all blanched, as if my pain
rose up without my known consent, and bled them,
or in sympathy of death's approach, gave color up
to hearts that cannot feel the arrow's plunge,
and all the girls i once supposed to bed, or love,
the wives i purchased with a puerile origami,
folded bodhisattvic verse, to rend stained bonds.

they tremble like apocalypse, an unhinged door,
and freely i pass out, pass in, pass through,
to where i cannot pass, and there await a quiver,
quivering in shallow graves, a flint rock hewed,
believing death is life, and life but callow, un-profound,

and you a harbinger, a penetrating horn,
upon whose sound i fathom wonder drowned.


Visions of Truth
By Mike Carson

There was a time when he thought that
he began dying at age five,
long before he fully understood
that none of it mattered;
because living and dying
are simultaneous pursuits
that only seem unconnected
or looped to those that
deny the visions of truth
to ever enter their event filled,
but strangely empty lives.

There was a time when he thought that

he could never find a lover
that would understand what was trapped
and frame-less within him. He was
still harboring such thoughts
long after he met the one
who held the key.

There was a time when he lived
with no fear,
loved without fear,
with no fear, but now
he could not say which
was the biggest fear: those days long gone
or their return.


There was a time when he thought
he held some secret power,
a force to change the world,
a way to make them listen, but
the more he listened to what they said,
the more he read what they wrote,
the more he watched what they did,
the more he understood that
what he held was
neither secret or power,
simply something
they would never understand.


Fading In /Fading Out
By Lisa Dabrowski

Assessing the Reassessment
Lost in Space
My Middle One In Curls
Always Keeping My Eye
On that Sparrow
Good Old Boys
Along For The Ride
Fading in and Fading Out
Wars have Been won
Battles have been lost
Tender kisses stolen
Fragile Hearts Broken
Accepted, rejected, denied

Betrayed and Crucified
All in the name of Love
Loyalty is just a word
Honor isn't honorable
Family is a Hybrid of Nuclear
Cherish your Memories
Your Dreams in the End
Are the only thing that's Free


at the circle k in the north end of Toledo
By David LaBounty


I found
in the

I thought
how this

but how

and that
memory of

one time
love who
left me
power lines

and in
the store
I walked with

and the
thin man
behind the
let his
eyes speak
in the
my mother,
as if
she was


gee David

it would
be so nice
if you'd
call just
once in

and as
I walked
into the
I realized
I forget

the way
it was

I grabbed
diet coke

for it
credit card

after that

my thunder
so silent

as the
circkle k
me walk

as i
into my


in this

the shining
of an

bicoastal lunacy blues
By Mark Hartenbach and Danny Baker

a lunatic saint roars hypocritical blues over universal amen corner.
dissonance crosses state lines. ruts on a dark road launch saint
onto a medieval field on wrong side of neglectfully oxidized tracks.
eliminating infidels with sacred vows is the height of hypocrisy.
sword in the stone presents something of an existential dilemma ...
as king isn’t what it’s cracked up to be though he’d crawl across
sharpest blade in camelot to get that bitch in the pond or river bank.
already have my doubts about this brand that not even best intentions
can keep virtuous relativity decked out in costume. is paradoxically
a completely different animal. squeezing home-made pulp and all
from virginal. an interesting crowd up northeast way has a rap sheet
which has been wrapped under sheets. the monster is hopelessly
devoted in esperanto infatuation. however inaccessible values make

it hard to plead no direct involvement in proceedings without being
noticed. indicative of similar desires though lacks aversion to fiefdom
side of ledger especially after a few tips off a barrel that graciously fell
of a speakeasy truck. and someone said he whom would be king would
be first to be smote by the gods. or close enough for government work.
traveling at the speed of never was dropping a few pointers from five
thousand with a bullet or guns over appalachia as second appeal rots in
the court system. blurting out sweet nothings to baby taming her wild
hair in a mirror. broken in so many places it may as well be foreign
currency. oxymoron replaces redundant for the night’s main event.
though hitting reverse, by looks of a rose garden there are more than
one with throne aspiration. or were as the case may be. the monster
promises to get with program-but i know it's not on his agenda. stars
birth in rapid succession however word from the madhouse commands
tightening an angry garret about marginal performers, thinning out the herd.


Upon your Heart this Evil Word
By Martin Freebase

You stood there with bow and arrow, feeling the moment, the tension of the string. Your
smile was a weak apology for not having fun. It was the piecing that made you giggle like a
monstrosity. You did your best to give us a Cleopatra pose, eyes sparking, showing us your teeth,
your bra a remnant from the civil war. Each picture of you shows something you thought could
not be revealed. The room was full of women, each in a flowery dress and a bow in their hair.
They sat and listened to you tell your lies. Some pretended to be listening when in fact they were
going over their own lies in their head. They would tell you that you are pretty and that your
mind is sincere. Your autoimmune system is sitting in the backpack on the floor. Your friend
Antoine always looks better in your dress. We taste the marrow of your success. Each drop
reminds us of the sympathies of long lost relatives. You are collecting all of the simple needs and
simple desires and putting them in a box of provocation. It is your original emotion. The depth of
your intentions rule your life as you tell us how your life has been nothing but shitty. You stood
on the chair and we measured you from head to toe.
A complete slave to the drug, you have the power to change history, to change people,
falling under the spell of macro-economics. It was so musical and dirty how the bruise appeared
on your thigh. You call me ill-mannered in your childish way. I can see the resentment in your
eyes when I am on top of you. You could fly away from this if you only wanted. Why you stay is
a complete mystery. When I watch you dance, I remember where it is that I came from. There

are so many things that I have lost and so many things I have forgotten. Remember all the things
we threw out the window of that old Ford custom 500? We were trying to make our own place in
the world. We didn’t know about fate and the different start times for the race. I kept running
with my stigmata like it was some prized trophy that can get me through the door of some
exclusive nightclub. Do you want to hear me testify about how I was so fucking lost? We drove
that old piece of crap until it wouldn’t run no more. Remember when Leo raced around the
neighborhood shouting, “You mother fuckers!” It was all funny until he drove into some old
lady’s porch. We would listen to the Tennessee waltz and look at your naked pictures that I took
with a Polaroid camera. We gave nickels to the Mormons when they asked us if we knew Jesus.
You told them that he worked in a bodega on the street corner selling pornographic lierature.
You would hold my hand like I was your broken down papa as we walked the streets singing
Johnny Cash songs and puff the magic dragon. You always knew more of the verses than I did. I
think some of them you made up just to impress me. All you had to do to impress me was smile.
You are without support, now. You are not resistant to the hegemony of the distinctive
forms of the touchstones of critique. You are cynical and irreverent as you place your hopes on
grimly evolved insipient solutions that no one can swallow. Alienated from the million eyes, you
have become a creative installation of deviance and bogus values. With your blank bored
demeanor, you absorb the impish and sweltering totality of negative choices of self-loathing and
frittering your life away.
He thought he could escape, but he couldn’t. The trap had been set long ago, before he
was ever born. We can see them coming, we always do. The trick is to pick the right one. There
are so many to choose from. The weak and the spineless are in abundance on this earth. When I
said that you were backward, quaint, naïve, anachronistic, I watched your eyes grow wider and

wider as if they were juxtapositions of the parts of yourself. I leaned away from you repulsed by
the dismantling of the clearly repressed and unifying obsessions of your face-stuffed wishful
thinking that borders on the absurdist boundaries of hell wand high-water. It’s no fun living an
ugly life and to be so lonely. I’m not that bad, just misunderstood. If only I could explain things
better, then maybe they would be able to see things my way. Worm moves down lower to feel
the psychic waves that are emanating from her. Each one jolts him as it hits his body and moves
on. He never once thinks if someone else could feel this. You could say he lacked empathy,
especially for his victims.
Vowing your eternal love for me, I think it has to do with a terrible weakness that you
have had since you were a child, a lack of values or something. How can someone like you bring
yourself to pray? I mean really, you go around killing people and then when you get caught, you
feel so bad about it and want to ask forgiveness. This forgiveness bullshit just makes you out to
be a big fucking hypocrite. You get a small taste of reality and you go crying to god. Jesus Christ
you make me want to puke. Your loving god is going to throw you into the lake of fire. What do
you think about that, you spineless weasel? This loss is simple to explain. You had this illusion
of intimacy between us, but it was only an illusion. There was no truth behind your delusions.
There was no substance to your version of the truth. The overall geometry of the situation shows
that you are an idiot. My body is a temple (or should I say your body?), and your relentless
whimpering and whining will not help. You do not control the situation, I do. Let’s slow things
down a little; you need a drink and maybe a lobotomy. Is it I or one of the others that make you
so crazy?
With the shrunken head of infinity, you insert guide pins into your brain to release the
endorphins of light and magic. Still, you are unable to discern the contradictions that rule your

life. We sent you to the evangelist who spoke words over you and inserted a rectal thermometer
to determine if you were saved. I saw you jump up and do a holy dance with the sisters of the
Blessed Sacrament. They have tambourines and a lively step for the improperly defective, as
they are recombined by the fancy of proud machines and people buttons. They are discrete
objects for worship and solely made for admiration. You being a worshiper of dystopia and
glossy brochures, genuflect to the weirdness of the bad acid trip.
You throw caution to the wind and dance around the room like a boxer, sweeping your
desperation under the rug. It is your dedication to the pharmaceutical and the despised loneliness
that burns in my veins. I know that I am next to impossible to describe, so why bother. I am that
abstract thing that you can’t easily place your mind on. Subdivided and probed, you paused and
watched the adventurous pour over you with excitement. You think this makes you distinctive
and set-apart from all the others, but you are just like all the other eels.
Oh glorious and decadent puppet stuck in the mode of passive reception. You are
comforted by the beating and manipulation as they involve you in the cycles of conflict and
opposition. There is no return for the prodigal son. You are not Elvis and have not fulfilled the
terms of your contract. The bill collectors are at your door, knocking it down, you have to pay
for your sins, for you acceptance of your cooptation. You became a part of their strategic
deployment. The acceptance of the defecation is your crime. We will hang you from the highest
limb because you stole the light from our lamps. Now we can no longer see in the darkness.
You are not able to transcend the melodrama, thinking that the old dynamics of
redemption and the vectors of influence are sensible responses to an unjust world. Thus, you are
negated by your increasing powerlessness and you white-collar individualism, your small world

of boxes. It is like sit-com probity where the lack of sound judgment rules long and hard and you
are assassinated by the bureaucratic entrenchment. You became a follower of the banal and
simplistic agents of spiritual chaos and social disorder. Because of this, you recognize that the
world is not as it seems. Hearing the voice of the trapped in a cage, seeking irreverence and
rebellion, you embrace this enfeebling liberation.
Attached to the strangled tit of blissful existence, you play on the un-forgiven
playground. Where are your sneakers? I see one is up on the roof. We hung you like a propeller,
damaged by innuendo and brevity. Your wasted dreams of blue tones and democratic missiles
hunt you down and crush you under the faithless whistle. You have sold your soul to the bitch of
low luster. She is cruel to you in such special ways. You are down on your knees begging for
forgiveness as she extracts the last drop of sweetness from your soul. I wipe my finger around
the rim and let out a hearty laugh. These are the days of putting our best foot forward.
You have entered the world of the mysterious. We have given you a new name, a name
with power and force. With your actions you speak to the world. You live in a hard world. There
are no general rules for this world, only my rules. If you can’t abide by the rules, then we will
make arraignments for your departure. All fools must be made to suffer, sucking knuckles to
scotch tape shapes. It’s an obvious deception of fast legs. Pile the legs up in the bin. Push the bin
over there in the corner. Can you feel the looming night upon your neck? You have lost your
Disney land tickets. Get out of the line, you don’t belong. There is no music behind the laughter.
Break it open and let it bleed. Just like all the paper dolls living on the street. This is how you
display your profane astonishment.

You build an edifice that crumbles like a sniper’s graffiti. We have tattooed the evil word
upon your heart. We have beaten you like a dog that craves the sunshine. You have become one
with the buzz inside of your head, the modulations of the parasitic. We have injected you with
the remnants of an untold story, the full-moon jaws and the struggle of a love gone wrong. These
run through your veins like a tethered animosity that seeks its god. You seek but you cannot find
the clairvoyance that once was your salvation. You lost your dispensation, your birthright to the
throne. Now you seek a justice that cannot be found.
Wanting to be the trigger to the death of everyone just like the same old deception, you
smile and say hello. The “beingness” spills over the sides. All of your attempts at capture are
futile. You search with an outdated bullet. Your name etched upon its brass. The million eyes
line you up and fire. Their contradictions and algorithmic classifications rip through you one by
one. You are a horrific and destitute soldier who fights for all of the wrong reasons. The will of
the contradiction is your master. You follow orders like you are following the steps of an
obligated dance. Each step brings you closer to the candle of the killer. It is the light that draws
you in like the insect horde. You pursue anguish like it is a real thing, a thing to be loved and
cherished. You swallow each lie whole and ask for more. I have seen the number of your days.
The fates cry out for the balance to be restored. Your acts require retribution. We once were
unaware of your battles, now we fight them for you. We help you extract the human from the
animal. In your eyes, they are all creatures that deserve to die. We simply guide your hand as you
embrace the disease of the troubadour.


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