Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"Looking Glass Secret" by Richard Fein

Most creatures never learn the looking glass secret.
A songbird does a duet for hours and always thinks itself in good company,
without an inkling it’s singing solo.
But comes the day when baby finds no other baby behind the mirror.
Before, if he laughed that other baby laughed, and if he cried. . ..
So all babies laughed and all babies cried and he was all babies.
But came the day he peeked behind the mirror and found no other baby.
He danced and so did the mirrored baby but never out of step with him.
He spread finger and thumb across the mirror’s edge
and suddenly discovered there’s no room within for a baby playmate.
He cried and babbled words like mama and dada.
And many, many words later the child again looked deep into the mirror.
But by then he could mouth that unsettling word —


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"The key to the tower" by Laura Kasischke

There was never
There was never
A key to the tower

There was never a key to the tower, you fool

It was a dream
It was a dream
A mosquito's dream

A mosquito dreaming in a cage for a bird

It's October
It's October
The summer's over

Your passionate candle in a pumpkin's head
And the old woman's hand in this photograph
Appears to be nailed to the old man's hand

And the sky
And the sky
And the sky above you

Is a drunken loved one asleep in your bed

And the tower
And the tower
And the key to the tower

There was never a key to the tower, I said

And this insistence
This insistence
It will only bring you sorrow

Your ridiculous key, your laughable tower

But there was
There was
A tower there

I swear

And the key
And the key
I still have it here somewhere

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Monday, December 21, 2009

"Baked Ziti" by Jeffrey Rotter

a couple names their child Baked Ziti
then she is orphaned
this is one example of the joke against humanity
a man beside you on the train
has been diagnosed with a learning disorder
his doctor sends him home with a pamphlet
the man struggles between station stops
to decipher “Sexy Dial,” advice for the dyslexic
written in anagrams
this is another example
the sleet pays you compliments
but to receive them you must stand outside
with your stocking cap stuffed in your coatsleeve
until your hair is crusted with ice

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

"'Sadomasochism is Not for the Forgetful" by David Phillips

As cranks turned and straps tightened, Bill momentarily delighted. But then he was struck by a most terrible realisation: he had forgotten his safe word.

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