Old story: man loves woman,
kills her (leaves, has affairs)
because, now that he has her,
she isn’t the woman he loved:
changes hairstyle, drinks too much,
wants children, nags him about
his wasting his life on art. Then,
wouldn’t each one after be the first?
He gives up the initial brushstroke
for a pose, for proper copies.
He is like those drab, rusty robins
that fly at speed into windows,
stun themselves, pick themselves up,
then launch toward those windows again
until at last the fall will not forgive.
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All of us meet in a dingy room atop a restaurant bar in downtown Chicago. It is the tail end of summer, the August humidity sticks to my skin. This is my first year at the National Poetry Slam and I can’t believe I’m in this room with my San Jose teammates, Team Detroit and the heads of the Poetry Slam movement; at least, now I know what Construction Marc and Scotty Tree look like. Marc is a tall, middle-aged Caucasian with shaggy grey hair and Scotty Tree is a short, chubby African-American with glasses. There are some other random people but I don’t know them. There are a ton of volunteers at these things, so the random people must be volunteers. I’m just a poet, Erik the Kid, or as Stick Miller calls me, E.K. I really can’t believe these Slam Family meetings are for real, Coach Karen told me these bouts get heated, but I just thought Nationals was about the poetry.
Poem of the Week
who have experienced
on a large
i tell raif
i think my
might be dead
haven't seen her
& her car hasn't moved
for two weeks.
you would smell it
passing me a plate
of triangular shaped bread
slathered in jam.
Story of the Week
DARLEEN SQUEELED into the empty spot as soon as the gleaming white Mercedes pulled out. "We got lucky," she told Montana. "Even on a Monday night, this lot is killer."
Montana rolled her big blue eyes. "Whatever."
The eleven year old had better things to do, like text her friends. Incessantly, as if she had a tic. The kid hadn't wanted to shop tonight, but Darleen insisted. This was their first Christmas without Paulie and the girls needed to stick together. Darleen's ex had been nasty lately and mediation had hit a cement wall. Montana wasn't aware how dangerously close they were to losing access to Paulie's vast and unreported wealth.
Montana sighed dramatically as she yanked open the door of the Porsche Cayenne and tumbled out. She didn't pause in her texting.
Darlene checked her face in the rearview mirror. The most recent fat transfer had been wildly successful. She loved her new lips. Grabbing her Gucci bag, she hopped out of the front seat.
Her daughter trailed her into the mall, thumbs flashing on her phone keypad.