issue 10: rustic

Catch and Release

- b.d. (bio)

Back to square one, huh?
I’m ready again, ready
to suck your neck blue,
or hey, maybe yours too!

I’m ready to forget your name
as you waddle out of my room.
I’m ready to be player number one,
and gamble with love for fun,

but I’m not ready to spread my body
to remind myself she’s not there,
and I’m not ready to forget I exist
without her goodnight kiss.

Hey, I guess you’ll do;
what have I got myself into?

The Things We Carried

- b.d. (bio)

Battered words overflow my pockets
and inattention crams my heart.

Palm tree debris lines my skull
and the summer wine swells my stomach.

The purple haze overflows my lungs
and spills into my fever dreams.

Our memories can't be erased or fixed;
they can only be the things we choose to carry.

road diary

- m.k. (bio)

at a familiar gas station, something strange hangs in the air
parked car radio plays a program about charles manson
hidden between spasms of static, almost too on-the-nose
it’s 11pm, route 22, and i feel sick to my stomach
that pink velour curtain among the grey winter dead
unsettling, as are the 3 pickup trucks against motel parking lot fog
nose to nose. i always thought headlights in the rearview
seemed like a pair of disapproving eyes coaxing me forward

i wake up somewhere i have been before, a truck stop
strange how the world pulls you towards certain places
and how they’re so unromantic, stoplights and turnpike rest areas
instead of grassy knolls or stretches of white sand beach
and strange how i remember these places in their utter insignificance
stubborn embers somewhere deep in my mind, a sort of headache
and how i can recognize them in their mundanity:
the shape of the parking lot, the water tower on the horizon
its 4am, route 55, i still feel sick to my stomach now
that pink velour curtain among the grey winter dead


- t.n. (bio)

Da! Da! Do you hear the parade?

Something joyful this way comes!

Da! Da! Can we go see it please?

Something joyful this way comes!


Da! We must hurry or we’ll miss it!

Something joyful this way comes!

Da! Da! Why aren't you waking up?

Oh God. Da, what have you done?


Da! Come back! Da! Wake up!

We don't have to go see it.

Da, it's not funny anymore.

We’re late for your funeral.


- t.n. (bio)

This illiterate pen

It's emotion unwritten

Words clot at the nib

Unaware of how poetry tastes


Or the caressing potential

Of an unblemished page

Or the rapturous release

Of writing out the kept within


Alas, a pen cannot read

And a mind that doesn't read

Is a mind that cannot write

So, it asked me to write for it


My fingers freeing fetters

Forcing out the letters

Are we what we write

Or are we the writers?


- t.n. (bio)

“Yew gon be someone someday, boy,” she said

In broken, more like shattered, english

As if the southern hospitality of those deep back hollers was her first language

She sat in a long faded rocking chair

Under a more rust than tin now roof

On the uneven porch of a more broke than built house

At the end of a miles long gravel driveway

Well past the civilized city life of that paved grey highway

With a half-smoked Marlboro in her hand

And a pile of their ancestors on the table

Where a not seen for a long time ashtray actually lies


She was that kind of uneducated wise, with eyes deep as the well they got out back

Always knew when a storm was coming, said she could feel it in her bones.

Beaming down at him reading his book

All childlike wonder and knowing no better

He coulda sworn that holler was Heaven

And his Ma an angel, and she was truly

Used to call them soothsayers in Greece

She knew what he would be, even then

He just called her Ma.



- anon


oxidation and reduction

- anon

end of issue 10. go back to issues page.

the poetry juicebox
an international poetry & art publication
the poetry juicebox