“Broken Story” by Kim Peter Kovac

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therapy dog lying on bride on gurney in hallway /startle / crunch / swirl / roll roll roll / dangling upside down held by the seat belt / car roof now floor / dog visiting other patients once he knows his mom is okay / thinks she’s okay / can’t self-forgive / desperately trying to steer / crunch / guilt / shock / pink cloud / how could the hospital miss the concussion / rolling three times / metal crunching / thankful for the dog-car-harness / broken nose  / banged up / what happened? / separated shoulder / slightly separated self / shoulder ghost in the torn ligaments / broken story / surgery months later / broken car / broken psyche / crunch / ambulance with self and bride on stretchers, therapy dog riding shotgun / sling / PTSD from the concussion / startle reflex / writing around, not into / morphine / no surgery / oxy / sling / responsible / humpty dumpty drove in the car / humpty dumpty can’t find the scar / can’t drive that freeway for a year / PTSD / concussion / startle / she’s hurt way more than me / guilt / crunch / shoulder still galumphs a bit despite the vorpal scalpel going snicker-snack / anxiety is yours, sayeth the lord / which lord? / I thanked Yahweh, Allah, Buddha, Zoroaster, and the 33 million Hindu gods / can’t focus / roll / avoidance / crunch / Sertraline 50-100-50-100 / off for three weeks to reboot / can Virgil guide me through the nine circles to the time before the three revolutions?  / antidepressants having to reboot? / WTF? / dog still protecting the bride when he senses her fear / or startles / my pink cloud is back / startle / rolllllllllllll / spiral / crunch / nice morning for a drive to New York //

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kim Peter Kovac works nationally and internationally in theater for young audiences with an emphasis on new play development and networking.  He tells stories on stages as producer of new plays, and tells stories in writing with lineated poems, prose poems, creative non-fiction, flash fiction, haiku, haibun, and microfiction, with work appearing or forthcoming in print in The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Frogpond and Mudlark.

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Arsenic Hour: my middle aged women troubles by Elisabeth Horan

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gif by Nancy Liang

This is the debut of Elisabeth Horan’s column, Arsenic Hour. Here is its namesake poem.

 

 

Here comes a bad one. Pearled teeth, gnarled hands, knife fingers, bomb breasts, snake limbs, tortoise pelvis, wolf anus, pronghorn genitals. Here comes the malfeasance. Ivory ban, fingernail grind, tusked cheeks, flat bill palette, five toes times five legs, monstrously amphibious, heat seeking whore platypus. Squat and jealous. Here comes the lady in red. Competitive. Hormone pinch hitter, estrogen wane, progesterone filler, wants things of testosterone nearby her; a dildo toy killer. Hypothyroid gets her best, statin spies through this fat girl’s dress. Here comes young queen bee, she’s queen till tomorrow’s sorrows. Hippocampus dehydrated, frontal lobe sliced mango, cortex, correct me, umm, sliding unstable, emotions hostage, child for ransom. Speaking of gloves, here’s the kid, here’s the mother. More immature this ovary banter, this Questcomm demeanor; Elvira thong, Judge Judy pants, this earth-bitch wishes for a pod like Mrs. Jetson’s. Dishes, cuticle crack, thumb condom, mustache wax. Pajamas, pantiliner, low slung breasts, boring penis, always Mr. Right: flaccid. Middle age mayhem: anemic theater. Of war and love, no date is cheaper than this female, dullard woman; dial up trauma-hype and penitence; frugal.

We who are lost; Mmm, Nope; Neurotic Lullaby by Elisabeth Horan

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Three poems by contributor Elisabeth Horan

 

We who are lost

Find each other in warehouses

Too late sometimes, it’s in graveyards.

Always emaciated,

dumpster diving for attention

 

Overweight on alcohol

anorexic acceptance rates

like High school anxiety

shave the head

try on personalities

 

We who find each other

and save some last hope

from each self we carry

give momentus hope for

self care, for having less

 

Night terrors,

the bruises calming

from catalyst snarls

aubergine pockets to mottled

Eye sockets

 

Mottled to moss

moss blankets earth.

bury the hatchet,

you’ll

bury the hurt

 

We who are lost.

We who are found.

Hold fast my hand

 

My dirt. My coffin,

You’ re under ground now

to find me; you’re

diving in

head first.

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Mmm, Nope

If all is human nature
and I am part of that

You say it all just comes from it
the good the sick the bad.

Then what of the abhorrent?
The tired two-timing tricks I invent

To make things into feelings
which they are not. And how/what

The fuck are feelings, anyway?
If all is natural behavior, then do

Not mark me as present, for I’ve pushed the
virtuous to drown, the heroe to bite

Off his own hand. For lack of better synonym,
I demanded him to eat a bone;

I once told a child I’d adopt him –
then promptly left town… see?

Collapse improvise TNT concrete
swinging ball chain mimic war cry.

If I am human – let the
dogs be gods, if I am natural –

Shall water be the poison grog.
If I am something you can swallow,

Whole, not choke upon – even
actions of desertion, MIA if me=treason

(which you readily accept),
no questions, asked, not even a

Background check, then I caution, rather-
strongly advise the baby steps

Toward my person, toward my slick
granite gargoyle creepy crawlies tone deaf

Cackling cheeked broom rider
co-dependent needy; a drinking fish.

I wish for any awesome kind of cigarette –
quell my lack of self-care messiness.

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Neurotic Lullaby


I’m lost in smoke
Bombastic
snake gardens
Bats come, I am one

Snake sickness,
Shodokon shadow:
haunts. Hunts. Bats are
my friends I belong
with them

Lost in caves
deep in your mouth
a cave, your heart, a cave
your throat, and art

My heart, concaving
bleeding out
lowest white count
little lamb
         this is the year of the snake

I deny swallowing shadows
I deny I am too good
all I did is so sickness

Knows to grow inside the coils;
heating mold up to base temp;
kill temp

Rocking rocking
bye bye

Frightening the babies
bats in closets
me in your throat
swashbuckling snakes

This is sickness.
Bat shadows envelop
and hide fangs
which eat things in caves

I am one I am one
rock knee rock knee
grab on to me –
I grab you, hungry.

 

Follow Elisabeth Horan on Twitter @ehoranpoet