Made For Each Other – Milton P. Ehrlich

At an Esalen retreat in ’62,
we learned to massage each other’s feet,
and treat each other to back and craniosacral bodywork.
Our dove-tailed bodies have rarely gone to sleep
without taking turns to free the Qi in a shiatsu palpation.
Like two hovering hummingbirds inhaling a euphoric scent,
we vowed to never stop breathing our honeymoon’s breath.
You’re an oasis of well-water—I’m an unsinkable Boston Whaler.
We’re connected like members of La Cosa Nostra.
I could be your Made man, wearing a diamond-studded pinky ring—
making my bones only for you, so we can remain fully connected.
Our hearts, signed, sealed and delivered by a consigliere,
who wrote Precious, Precious, Precious in the night sky,
notarized by an angel with 3 luminous eyes.

Milton P. Ehrlich Ph.D. is an 87- year-old psychologist and a veteran of the Korean War. He has published many poems in periodicals such as the London Grip, Arc Poetry Magazine, Descant Literary Magazine, Wisconsin Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Christian Science Monitor, and the New York Times.

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i woke up thinking i was Miles Davis – Paul Robert Mullen

the world will be better for this
they said

covered in scars and Mick Jagger jowls
i couldn’t make love
so i left the bedrooms
of the world
put myself on stages
where lasers hid the burning-ready
salivating red-eye
of voyeurs needing blood

we sat at windows in twos
post-show
blind to the unfamiliarity
of the sounds outside

they will open their ears
they said

tender as a habit
i motioned for the door
which wasn’t quite open
wasn’t quite shut
afraid of something less than silence
ready for seaweed
ready for pelicans in cages
the ghosts on the stairs
the fish choking on fresh air

they need to go home now
they said

the lights went down
the show was over

PAUL ROBERT MULLEN is a poet, musician and sociable loner from Liverpool, U.K. He has three published poetry collections: curse this blue raincoat (2017), testimony (2018), and 35 (2018). He has been widely published in magazines worldwide. Paul also enjoys paperbacks with broken spines, and all things minimalist. Twitter: @mushyprm35

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Desert Bone – Padhraig Nolan

1.

Born once, I turned away, rejecting zap and fumble
the intricate, the piety of lurid expectation

Born twice, I hit firm, made my report, stayed stock still
as light cracked through and sought me out

Out here I spin through frenzy until night is full of colour
slowlimbed life barely registers, lost thickets creak

2.

Tell me Lavender, tell me Lime, how is the world today
how pops your pursepocket blossom, your zest?

Daylight worn so lightly now, the cost of it shrugged off
casually, old fibres snagged on thorns

All down this longdead river, far beneath the crumbling spoor
breath is a mystery – above, air rare as Larimar

.
.
.

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Bonfire – Fizza Abbas

Charred trees stand still
The baggage is too strong
With the smoke drifting over the paddock,
carbon tunes in to a beautiful song

A barren foothold:
the mud-covered carcass of a leaf
The shrine of a stem
Staying close to the life underneath

FIZZA ABBAS is a Freelance Content Writer based in Karachi, Pakistan. She is fond of poetry and music. Her works have been published at many platforms including Indiana Voice Journal and Poetry Pacific.

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Toronto Before I Knew People – D S Maolalai

this was
christmas – two years ago now.
and I had gotten a job
answering phones in a hospital
and had offered to work
for the overtime
but still been given
holidays. it was
strange,
being in a city
where I knew no-one
and didn’t have any chance
of meeting them
without an open bar. I had a bottle though,
picked up on the eve,
and spent an afternoon
getting pleasantly plastered
at home
and with lemons. ordered a pizza
for my turkey lunch
and around four
wandered out
carrying a glass
and the last slice.
it was very still
without the cars going
and kids playing
on new bikes;
the whole town
quiet
as a glove on the table.
something comfortable
and crumpled up small,
without even
the potential
of making sounds.

D S MAOLALAI has been nominated for Best of the Web and twice for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, “Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden” (Encircle Press, 2016) and “Sad Havoc Among the Birds” (Turas Press, 2019)

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Burning Questions – R C deWinter

it’s i don’t know what time
and my brain is on fire
the bourbon i knocked back
is doing nothing to douse the flames

smoke curls
wreathing me in a fine grey mist
a scornful tongue teasing me
with questions i cannot answer

do i understand english
or is everything in code?

is what i think i understand
merely a celluloid projection
of my own desires?

am i all that
or a wishful fool preening
before a funhouse mirror?

the kitten scratching at my heart
is desperate to escape
and mewling
scores my bravery
with sharpeneedled claws of doubt

there will be no answers tonight

i must be up and looking human at 9
to say goodbye to a friend
committed to the earth

my soul struggles
in a bloody agony of hope to be reborn

there may never be answers

 

RC deWINTER’s poetry is anthologized in New York City Haiku (NY Times, 2017), Uno: A Poetry Anthology (Verian Thomas, 2002), Cowboys & Cocktails: Poetry from the True Grit Saloon (Brick Street Poetry, April 2019), Havik (Las Positas College, May 2019), Castabout Literature (Dantoin/Hilgart, June 2019) The Flickering Light (Down in the Dirt, June 2019), in print in 2River View, Down in the Dirt, Genre Urban Arts, Meat For Tea: The Valley Review, Pilcrow & Dagger, Pink Panther Magazine, Scarlet Leaf Review, The New York Times and in numerous online literary journals.

Cabinet Of Heed Contents Link 25

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The Price – Christine A Brooks

The moths
cursed at, by you
that gathered ‘round your
old
porch light
that I switched on so
You, would not

Stumble or tumble or
Look otherwise,

foolish

My already tattered hoodie,
now covered in
mud,
from the puddle I laid it
across so your new
Sneakers, could
stay
new and

— white.

And my body,
that I
threw in front of a train,
hoping it would slow down
So, you would be
on time
for
afternoon mass

All reminded me, that
as you dipped your
French fries in my blood, &
raised your Red Stripe to
my many shortcomings

I was
free

to join the dancing
moths in my soiled
hoodie and gather up my
blood by the
— light

of the moon.

CHRISTINE A. BROOKS is a graduate of Western New England University with her B.A. in Literature and her M.F.A. from Bay Path University in Creative Nonfiction. Most recently a series of poems, The Ugly Five, are in the 2018 summer issue of Door Is A Jar Magazine and her poem, The Writer, is in the June, 2018 issue of The Cabinet of Heed Literary Magazine. Three poems, Puff, Sister and Grapes are in the 5th issue of The Mystic Blue Review. Her vignette, Finding God, is in in the December 2018 issue of Riggwelter Press, and her series of vignettes, Small Packages, was named a semifinalist at Gazing Grain Press in August 2018. Her essay, What I Learned from Being Accidentally Celibate for Five Years was recently featured in HuffPost and on MSN. Her book of poems, The Cigar Box Poems, is due out in late 2019. https://www.facebook.com/ChrisBrooksauthor/ Twitter @OMG_its_CBrooks http://www.christinebrookswriter.com

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Ballade For Single Women – Irene Cunningham

Cavaliers on the weekend tour
we keep our eyes peeled for well-heeled
men with wallets, and hair just groomed.
My hot lips squint from lurching cheers
in clouded rooms, guessing careers
comparing body parts to heights
though any one might test the means
come the end of the long long, night.

Sliding from cocktail to bar, whore
they call us; our skirts laugh at sneers.
We slant eyes across pints of Coors
nudge each other Had him last year
condommed to the armpits, no fear
and necks stretched against boisterous bites
walled up dark lanes with trembling knees
come the end of the long, long night.

Now bare-back riders buck no more
no sucking and jumping bones, dears –
safe sex penetrates. No encore.
My fingers don’t feel the same here…
turns the man into a gloved peen.
In these diseased years thighs are tight,
the months are passing, now eighteen
come the end of the long, long night.

So cancel my ticket to ride
blow sweet kisses, goodnight good knights,
sing softly of white wine and beer
come the end of the long, long night.

 

http://ireneintheworld.wixsite.com/writer
https://wolfatthewindowblog.wordpress.com

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Yesteryear’s Silicon Jukebox “Do No Evil” World – Gerard Sarnat MD

SAN FRANCISCO, AP, April 21, 2005 — Google Inc. is experimenting with a new feature that enables the users of its online search engine to see all of their past search requests and results, creating a computer peephole that could prove as embarrassing as it is helpful…

Doing my parking lot homeless medical clinic today, there’s
old Wild Ray root ‘n toot’n folks to sign his petition banning
the growing identity theft crisis. Somethin’ ’bout the
gov’ment stealin’ three of his eight multiple personalities.
Which he damn well wants back, and pronto, please.

The late Erik Erikson first used the now common phrase
“identity crisis.” When his biological Danish dad split before
his birth, he was adopted by his Jewish stepfather and took
the name Erik Homberger. But because of his blond-and-
blue-eyed Nordic look, Erikson was rejected by his Jewish
neighborhood. At grammar school, on the other hand, he was
teased as a Jew. Feeling that he didn’t fit in with either
cultural world, Erikson’s own identity crises fueled his career’s
work. Not needing a weatherman to know which way the wind
blew, he left the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute and
immigrated to the United States in 1933.

In 1935, Monk Eugenio Pacelli Pacelli, speaking of the Nazis,
told 250,000 pilgrims at Lourdes, “It does not make any
difference whether they flock to the banners of the social
revolution, whether they are guided by a false conception
of the world and of life, or whether they are possessed by
the superstition of a race and blood cult.” Four years later,
this hybrid Monk committed identity theft, evidently no
identity crisis for this hypocrite, when he oxymoronically
renamed himself Pope Pius XII. For much of the war, he
piously maintained a public front of indifference and
remained silent while German Holocaust atrocities
were committed. He refused pleas for help on the
grounds of neutrality, while making statements
condemning injustices in general. Privately, he
sheltered a small number of Jews and spoke to a few
select officials, encouraging them to help the Jews.

Homeless Squirrel Girl shows me her very own hybrid
Munk, a mixed-breed pet chipmunk squirrel she’s raised
since birth as her baby girl. Now looking like an overfed
rabid rat, the fat rodent slithers from her shoulder down
her blouse, crawling up her skirt. How ’bout that.

Looking for a place to stay, Milo’s back from a short
unsuccessful vacation in Waikiki. “Turned out to be
Disneyland corporate Amerika, a tourist companytown
scam, too many regulations, too high a cost of living.”
Sniffing his unmistakably sweet smoke, I’m inappropriately
asked if I want a toke. Nope. “But by the way, Doc, will
you renew my San Francisco City and County Volunteer Medical
Cannabis Card that Hawaii won’t honor”…for nonexistent
chronic hepatitis B?

Now a middle-aged Stanford dropout, Shady Slim sidles
over with a new story about an old identity. “Once upon a
time, I was a horse trainer until my partner died. A year
ago, I was surprised when his son contacted me with an
offer of 20% equity if I taught him all I knew. We got lucky
getting a horse runs good down in Southern California. Now
Consolidator’s rated fifth of the ten that’ve qualified for
the Kentucky Derby next month. Four-time Derby winner
Wayne Lukas’ training him. Got new duds to wear back there.
If he wins and goes to stud, I’m a rich man, wish me luck.”

Hard to hear under the boombox’s Iggy Pop and Bessie Smith,
Suzanne, a Native American with congenital alcohol syndrome
stutters, “P-p–lease g-g-ive me s-s-ome p-pills to s-s-stop
my piss.”

Vicious truth sees into metal, making it melt: President
Tru Man spoke of the White House as a jail cell. Same time,
in a woman’s parallel outlaw universe outside the usual soupy
gumbo political rain, Billie Holliday sang about Strange Fruit.
Today, a middle-aged Lady Day lookalike and stranger to the
Urban Ministry, there she is in her full black glory. So demure
and sexy, sitting there on a folding chair, strangely unnoticed
and alone, rubbing oil slowly onto calves lifted above green
socks under brown high top boots. Mother Mary full of grace,
I long to kneel before and anoint you. Rings on every finger,
black garbage bag backpack covered with wilted red roses,
busted guitar case held together by fraying bungey cords.
Short gray dress above the knees, with sparkly white specks
peaking out like stars on a cloudy night. Chartreuse and
purple silky head scarf tied in front like a beautiful serenely
freed non-Aunt Jemima.

Jimena, Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and Northern
Africa, among today’s forgotten refugees. Thinking he’s
helping by wielding a broom to the ceiling’s corner to clean
out a nest of spiders, a new volunteer is booed by all for
making fellow creatures homeless. Even if you don’t
have everything you want, be grateful for the things you
don’t have that you don’t want.

The radio blares a Marketwatch Bulletin: Google profit
rises fivefold as revenue tops target.

 

GERARD SARNAT MD’s authored HOMELESS CHRONICLES (2010), Disputes, 17s, Melting Ice King (2016). Gerry’s published by Gargoyle, Oberlin, Brown, Stanford, Main Street Rag, New Delta Review, American Journal Of Poetry, Poetry Quarterly, Brooklyn Review, LA Review, San Francisco Magazine, New York Times. Mount Analogue selected KADDISH for distribution nationwide Inauguration Day.   gerardsarnat.com

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