Greetings from...the Road to Nowhere

Greetings from...the Road to Nowhere

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dusting off the Blood

by A.J. Huffman
Do you love the color
of my hair?
Do you miss it
as it turns?
From red.
                To gold.
                              To black.
You hope for gray.
But that’s not the way I rot.
Conventions --
such as life --
shun me.
I don’t belong in any of their light.
And yet I cannot disappear.
I am the slate of a mistake.
Wash me.
Trace me.
Re-erase me.
I rise again and again.
I am a phoenix of misuse.
I dream of abuse.
Not mine.
It is my desire.
To be the devastation.
Without the fire.
Though this dream too will fade.
In time,
I remain:
a stain. 
And the ash in your mind
is my sin.
You will hear it calling.
Long after night
has claimed my skin.


by Jessica Otto

She has black dirt on her face.
The ruins of a garden plucked
for winter stain her hands.
She has scratched that greenery free
and bathed in the empty
soil, praying for next year’s harvest
with touches
of bare arms and thighs.

She rubs the flesh of the earth,
places stones in her mouth
careful of her teeth
though she knows
this is ritual.
Her tongue rolls in the grit,
Hips turn the ground like a spade.
She says, “I will starve myself for the gods
so I can grow poison in the spring.”


by Stephen Jarrell Williams

They say it will be the end of the world

Cities blazing with blue flame

You're swallowing hard sitting in bed
Staring across the room at the mirror

I'm massaging your bare back
Window fan blowing in cool
Outside blur of what will come

You whisper
There's no way out of this

Our house between dying
Memories and desperate hope

Only some will survive
In the new garden of ashes

You sigh
Turning to me smiling

Swishing your breasts side to side

Let's burn the bed down.

You and Me

by Aashish Thakur

And you said “window is not a window, it’s a door”
And I opened my heart,
Then you said “sky is an empty bowl, lets fill it with our love”
And we have done our prayers on bed
Then you said “some years don’t give birth to spring”
And like a fallen leaf, silently I sang the autumn
Then you said “the spirit of seed lies in its longing and pain”
And you walked away;
And then I said “what is falling on your palms, are my tears not the rain”

The Feeling of Mountains or Your Body

by A.K. Jackson

Beauty makes me feel trembling and small.
This morning I lay like an infant, clinging
to the safety of breasts but was a woman
again by the time I fully rose.
I held your soft fistfuls and felt a closeness,
as if blood was running from one girl
to the next. You are the beautiful things
in the world. Your heart beats all
the plants and animals into my brain.

And now I am leaving you, driving
through mountains that fill me with fear.
Life is such a fragile moment, pressure
in my ears and a long way down.
But I see your shape in the landscape,
mountains peaking like a girl on her back
and danger is suddenly as safe as comfort.
There are new birches growing, saplings
springing from cracks in the rocks.
They start out soft, and pale green
some to bend and some to snap.

the lake grows

by David Mclean

the lake grows its untiring expectation,
though the expectation is projected
and the lake just is, like birds singing,

and the fell rain fell, like years fall
into a missing god's empty pocket,
consciousness stops because of bodies

and the way they always die forever,
but the lake is growing its autumn
and the rain is feeding the contented trees

so they grow another years obligation
though soon there is no memory left
and no live body for me to be

the rain sets history free

My Black Pearl

by Carmen Eichman

I can breathe at the bottom
where bubbles burst from boiling surfaces
blacker, deeper places where I have not reached.
Sun light moves, sways me, above me,
people walk, sometimes hurried, sometimes languid
from this angle, but I hear nothing
as I watch from underneath, holding
my breath, waiting, waiting, waiting
for the dream, the black pearl, I swallowed
long ago, won’t digest, safe keeping in
the oyster of my guts, without it I die, again
and again, and again. Down here I gulp hope,
settle into a mechanical movement along
sandy bottoms, my blink a salute to the dry stars,
slip among the ordinary pearls
that just won’t do.


by Ricky Garni


According to what I saw on the Mutuscope in O-Naught, a bonk on the head and then scram. A policeman runs up to see where the fire is, looks around, sees the coast is clear, steals the dough off the limp body. The whole movie lasts exactly 25 seconds, a masterpiece and one cardboard set. Yet with all the suffering in this world, I cannot bear to see it again.

In the sequel, the policeman buys a pistachio ice cream cone. He admits he is a homosexual in court joins the foreign legion and in order to avoid legal prosecution for his crimes against nature and because he likes the Frank Sinatra song but unfortunately gets trampled by elephants in Nepal. Back home in Brooklyn, the chief of police calls up to the apartment to tell the family the news. His mother leans out the window and says SERVES HIM RIGHT but she really is his son. And he gives birth again, and his mother says I DO. My brother is my uncle is my sister is my mother hijinks ensue. This is one funky family. The chief of police doesn’t bother with it because it isn’t his beat. One year til retirement. There is no honeymoon and no funeral and it rains blood.

HEY. It’s my sequel and I can do whatever I want.


According to what I saw on the Mutuscope in Naught-Naught, a bonk on the head and then scram. A constable runs up to see where the fire is, looks around, sees the coast is clear, steals the dough off the limp body. The whole movie lasts exactly 25 seconds, a masterpiece of the era and one cardboard set. Yet with all the suffering in this world, I cannot bear to see it again.

So I make a sequel.

In the sequel, the constable waits on the curb for the man to regain consciousness. The constable presses a cool hanky to his forehead. “What th--?” the man asks. “Everything will be OK,” he replies “you were robbed, but you will be fine. Rest here for a moment. Then you must come to my house. I insist. It’s almost time for dinner now and my wife makes a terrific beef stew.”

We don’t know all this because it is a silent film.

And since I hate subtitles there are none of those either.

Some people will be reassured by the hanky and the smiling but if you are deaf than this is the movie for you. The constable has beautiful, supple lips, and he speaks slowly. The man enunciates clearly and deliberately, perhaps due to the injury. There is more smiling in the end than there is in the beginning. And there seems to be happiness there.

But when the movie ends and the lights come up, some of the audience is confused, and some look a little bored, but there are some people, a very few people, who are walking out into the night with their mouths watering and smacking their lips. They turn to each other to discuss the movie. Their fingers are moving like crazy. They loved it! They feel wild! This movie is really just about them.

But what happened to the money? Did the wife really make a terrific beef stew?

Sorry: there will be no sequel.


According to what I saw on the Mutuscope in OH NO-Naught, a bonk on the head and then scram.

It just keeps happening.

And then, as usual, a constable runs up to see where the fire is, looks around a little but not much, the coast is clear but what else is new, steals the dough off the limp body that just wants it all to be over with.

Enough already. The whole movie lasts exactly 25 seconds, but it seems a lot longer,

I mean, it takes forever, and I guess it is a masterpiece of the era but I don’t care anymore.

But I should care. I want to care. I need to care. So I make a sequel.


A Mid-Winter Revolt

by Melanie Browne

Finding crows in a
church yard is bad

luck, one -thousand
surrounding us
in a theater
of gravestones

is a nightmare,
I run at them,
waving my arms
wildly about,

they fly nowhere,
I yell that I have
no bread,
nothing to satisfy,

I watch as they
break the beauty
of a mid-winters silence
with their ghastly 'caws,'
pulling the repulsive


along for the ride


by M.P. Powers

A beggar with dreads and bloodshot eyes

except for a fang
raps on the window of my truck. "Goz any
change?" I look in the console, shake my head

no... He trudges

off. The light changes. Miami is a different
for everyone, at any given time, but today,
on NW 27th

Avenue, the beast seems only evil.

I see it in the three
grimacing faces at the bus stop,

dark faces

like "rainbeaten
stone," and the heavy stormclouds.

There's an old
mural pealing, and a place where nothing
grows: the one-story motel
the railway, a soulless
agglomeration of no-frills
overlooking a glorious
empty parking lot.

As I pull near, I imagine
some of the dark secrets
those rooms

know. Make up a few scenerios of my own.

And then a door opens. A skinny white
creeps out, barefooted, hair a mess, purse slung
over her shoulder. She limps
up the sidewalk,
bony jaw
working, eyes, wild. A man howls
at her
from up on the trestle.

A train shears by. 11 a.m.

on a Monday, and the naked
light jiggles.

Birds of agony,

Earth moves
softly in its soiled wingless