Sharpened Poetry

a message on pencils distributed
immediately confiscated at my
nephew's high school when
irreverently sharpened to
to the more pointed
a new

email is
the new cake.
Party hats are over.
Celebrations tweet. Instead
of blowing out candles I delete
Auto-Notified birthday greets posting
at a speed of 25 Happys-per-Hour. A traffic
jam of cheer clogs my screen. No ice cream. What is
the new etiquette? Where is the ribbon? I answer a thread.
My gift is guilt about your email unread. No time for champagne.
No sex in bed. Instead of happy birthday, we now have online dread.

by Flash Rosenberg

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Flash Rosenberg is an "Attention-Span-for-Hire" who draws, photographs, writes and performs. She is an artist in residence for LIVE from the New York Public Library, a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow, and a member of the poetry collective Brevitas. Flash Rosenberg Studio is a photo, image, and intellectual mischief factory. She lives with three turtles, a conscientiousness of apologies, abundant merriment, infinite questions, and an hourglass 'go figure' of speech. View her animations at: vimeo.com/flashrosenberg


Calm on Down!

For the next great debates think they should make it mad and crazy
as if they're not already and have it like The Price Is Right and each
candidate running for their life like a madman down the aisle with
staged euphoria while they're flailing their arms all around out of
control (maybe even have them pulling out their hair or tugging
at their eyebrows with special sound effects going on in the
background like some Deliverance duet of a donkey and an
elephant) and when they get there after they're done jumping
all around (so sick of them pretending to look all calm, cool
and collected) make it like The Family Feud and hit them
with a litany of questions and the first one to get to the buzzer
and isn't this kind of what it's all about anyway and the way it's
really staged, and would make it so much more real and relevant
then the whole audience can judge and vote on their next president
(keeping in style and form and present day context of reality show
nonsense and of course it all always being about statistics) perfectly
representative of this here holy and sacred united states of america.


i remember spending a hell of a lot of down time
in the dentist's office as a boy reading that cartoon
"goofus and gallant" out of highlights magazine
where goofus was this kid who was always kind
of naturally messy and sticking his head into other
people's business and mischievous and couldn't
stay out of trouble and gallant this perfect little
neat and tidy good deed-doer who i always found
to be real obnoxious and aloof and couldn't relate
to and just always felt goofus wasn't half-bad and
just got a bad rap and misunderstood and really never
understood the comparison as the hygienist would just
suddenly show up out of nowhere and call my name and
i'd go in sulking feeling eternally guilty and lonely and
down-in-the-dumps making up shit about my childhood
and sports and small talk and bullshit and stuff like that
or how many times i actually brushed my teeth (not close
to the amount of times i jerked off) and always felt she
could see right through me and would always end up
whipping out that big massive set of teeth and tooth-
brush and show me how it really needs to be done.

by Joseph Reich

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Joseph Reich is still trying to prove he exists and still hasn't and finds as each day dwindles by, rougher and rougher. His books range from poetry to philosophy to cultural studies and as such, A Different Sort Of Distance (Skive Magazine Press), If I Told You To Jump Off The Brooklyn Bridge (Flutter Press), Pain Diary: Working Methadone & The Life & Times Of The Man Sawed In Half (Brick Road Poetry Press), Drugstore Sushi (Thunderclap Press), The Derivation Of Cowboys & Indians (Fomite Press), The Housing Market: a comfortable place to jump off the end of the world (Fomite Press), All My Born Days: the spirit of home movies (Writing Knights Press), The Hole That Runs Through Utopia (Popcorn Press).


The Workout

I wake to dark, and take my standing slow.
I feel my achy joints and a painful sear.
I learn I pay when I do cardio.

I think while reeling. Why does everyone go?
I hear my joints popping from toe to ear.
I wake to dark, and take my standing slow.

Of Starbucks close beside me, where are you?
God bless the Grounds! I shall walk gingerly there,
I learn I pay when I do cardio.

Light takes my breath; but who can tell me how?
My lowly body can climb down a winding stair;
I wake to dark, and take my standing slow.

Great Fitness offers another class to do
To you and me; so take the painful stair
To lovely java, I learn I pay when I do cardio.

This shaking keeps me walking steady. I should know
Where the closest Starbucks is always. And is near.
I wake to dark, and take my standing slow.
I learn I pay when I do cardio.

by Lainey O'Brien

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Lainey O'Brien was born on April Fool's Day (not a joke, she promises) and gets her sense of humor from her dad, a retired US Postal Service employee! She has a Bachelorette of Science in Edumacation and is currently a grad student studying the fields of Curriculum & Insurrection. Her high school English teacher once told her she wasn't "a strong enough writer," so she got angry and won first place in the State High School Essay Contest!



According to news reports,
the Vermont home of Robert Frost was ransacked over the weekend—
a crime that could have been averted
had the vandals taken another road

by Anthony Nannetti

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Anthony Nannetti lives in South Philadelphia with his wife and two daughters and can be reached at giacomo747@aol.com. His poetry has appeared in several print and online publications. The proceeds have been invested in offshore bank accounts for his eventual retirement in Camden, NJ. Still, he adheres to Papa Hemingway's adage that one should "never mistake motion with action."