DNA Darling

written by Daniel Moore

Fascinated by your moving parts,

the life undone by a crime unsolved,

how it worships the body’s unforgivable stain,

sprawled out & spread open on a stranger’s glass.

 

Isn’t this why the blood’s crimson story

is able to tell the truth I can’t, or maybe I won’t?

Either way, your true confessions

lock me up in a calcium cell guarded by other’s lies.

 

Of course, you, darling, need no one’s permission

to make the body a hostile accomplice

at any suspicious scene. You’re turned on by

the needle’s tongue pricking my conscience to speak

Brushing My Teeth in Front of the Bathroom Mirror Without My Shirt On

written by Dave Nielsen

I’m not even forty and my soul
is almost evaporated.

My teeth hurt.
And my gums.

It’s a face almost no one
could love.

These poets with twelve books of poetry
must have a crapload to say.
Or the holy spirit just talks to them a lot,
whispering in their ears

the words that crack like fire.
Or maybe they’re so full of it
their pants are sagging.
Me, I swear I’ll stop at five,

seven books tops.

You, whom I have never met, thank you
for being there in my imagination
when I needed you.

Thank you for the thoughtful expression
on your face
once in a while

as I spit.

Hidden

written by Dave Nielsen

The ocean—the color of stone.
I think it says, “Let’s get serious now,
let’s not mess around.”

At night the ocean sparkles and shines
with the light of a billion stars. I also
have a universe or two inside me,

and a few deep galaxies
no one has ever visited.

Stupid

written by Dave Nielsen

You can try as hard as you want
To screw the lid to the peanut butter

Onto the jar of the raspberry jam.
You can try and try,

Ask, “What the hell?”
And maybe even drop a few f-bombs.

But until you look down
And actually see what you are doing—

Screwing the lid to the peanut butter
Onto the jar of raspberry jam—

Let me tell you. I mean
Let me tell you.

It is not going to work.

After Joe

written Chiron Alston

I am a research program administrator at Oregon State University, College of Pharmacy, assisting faculty with their scientific research proposal to NIH, NSF, DOD, etc.  I am an MFA student at OSU-Cascades Low-residency MFA program.  I have had three other poems accepted for publication in TIMBER and Hole in the Head Review.

Chiron Alston

Brewing the False Morel

written by Eileen Walsh Duncan

They appear to be brains on stems, undulate and crouched,
the blooms of a spongy body that lurks underground.
A crude mimic of the real morel, that’s prized for its nutty flavor
and pliant length on a plate. Damp with toxin, the false morel lures 
those who lack an eye for detail, who fail to ensure
that delicate pits girdle the cap, signaling safety.

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