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  • #37Forklift, Ohio: Issue #37



Cami Park
Pete Jones’ Canadian Bacon Pizza

1 12-inch unbaked pizza crust
1 cup pizza sauce
2/3 cup mozzarella cheese
6 oz chopped Canadian bacon
1/2 thinly sliced mushrooms
1 small green or red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1/2 tsp crushed dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed dried basil
crushed red pepper flakes

Get off the couch. Shuffle into the kitchen. Read note on refrigerator, and gather together pizza crust, pizza sauce, hunk of mozzarella cheese, package of Canadian bacon, pint of mushrooms, and oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes. Take forever to find the damn pepper. Wonder if a yellow one would have been okay too.

Read recipe again. Pick up cheese and put it down again. Read package of Canadian bacon. Try to figure out how to get 6 oz from the 10 oz package. Open it up and eat some. Sigh heavily. Poke at the mushrooms. They look dirty. Pick up the damn pepper and turn it over and over again in your hand. What the hell is seeded?

Stare dumbly at it all for a moment. Call Domino’s.

Prep time: 1 hour. Feeds Pete.

Rebecca Loudon
Warning Signs

Her name is Roxie. She is blonde, walks in film noir, drinks shots of tequila for breakfast, prefers garter belts to pantyhose. She is in love with beautiful shoes, lives alone.

Actually, her name is Margaret. Her hair is shit-blonde. She knows the 7 warning signs of seizure. She is telekinetic, smells gardenias and cigar smoke when she reads near fluorescent lights, thinks she can fly. She might head south for the winter.

No. Her name is Renate. She cooks chocolate torte, brioche, coq au vin, spiced pears. Her husband watches from behind the pantry door, watches, watches, groans, leans into his palm. Renate tips the roasting pan into the sink, lets the pink blood run out.

Her real name is Ruby. She takes Tegretol with port for lunch, writes illustrated children’s books about car crashes where the mother is drunk and the child flies through the windshield. She rubs the bruise that presses into her temporal lobe, pets it like a cat, pets and pets it like a darling cat.


Virgil Renfroe
City of Tines

Virgil. You are of those shades between colors,
blocked by the lines imposed upon spectrums. You are
a color of change, like the blood that rises from a cut
when the body is forced to open its vault. One night
you watched a small TV sail across the kitchen
until it smashed the back of your mother’s hand. Now
you watch yourself, sitting in this cliché posture:
staring down at your wineglass, into a small pool of Bordeaux,
and as you raise it to your mouth the wine moistens
your lips, but it’s hardly enough to further darken
your tongue. Those words you spoke hours ago were not TVs,
though you turned them up loud enough to make
a wineglass quiver, and little of what you said still lingers
with the lip print that is pale upon the rim of your glass.
You are too ashamed. Look around you. Why wash this glass
at three a.m., why try to wipe away what’s already
less than an echo? When did you forget to bend
a few forks until a small but stainless city rose up
and glittered within your palms? Hours travel light.
They carry only one bag with them. The bag
can weigh anything. But in one corner the bag has a hole.

Jennifer L. Knox
59 Tenets about Meat

Should a poem about meat be a rondel or pantoum?
A poem about meat should be a pantoum.
A pantoum with only one word: meat.
Or would that be better as a sea chanty?
Pass the meat to me, this spazz among spazzes.
What would I be without meat? A crybaby.
I cry when animals get hurt. I would never hunt anything,
   unless it’s getting dark and I’m hungry.
I am totally freaking out.
I could come out and say I’m totally freaking out, but this is a poem, so I will say,
   “Darker grows every leaf/hov’ring o’er the red, red meat.”
I’m one of those idiots who’s going blinder all the time.
I wish I was deader than my meat.
Come live with me in my tent. I live there all alone. Every
   morning, I get a delivery of 12 beers, and 1 meat.
I am deader than my meat: at least the meat knows what
   it’s all about.
Does the meat know what it’s all about?
The meat has no idea what it’s all about. It thinks things
   are happening that aren’t. It’s totally freaking out, gets
   blinder everyday.
Oh blind meat, I will write a song about you that only one
   bird will hear, but that bird is deaf, as well as blind,
   but it really loves meat.
Do you love meat more when it’s alive or dead?
Meat when it’s alive is not meat, FYI.
Some meat’s alive, and it lives in Wisconsin.
Alive is a word that’s slippery as wet meat.
If you could’ve seen me as a child (see fig. “meat”), you
   would’ve never guessed I’d be capable of this.
If you had seen me as a child, you might’ve thought, she
    squints a lot.
Then, who’s she talking to?
The answer is Meat.
Once you feel anything, you feel everything.
Once you feel everything, you feel meat.
The meat is feeling me.
The meat is feeling me up.
My tent feels as comfy as a meat pillow.
Meat my pillow. It’s got your name on it.
But it needs to be washed.
Quiet, listen to the meat. It’s singing about beer!
Don’t sing about beer, meat, don’t sing about beer, meat.
I’m a gonna meat you half way, Mister Beer.
Blind people, there’s a message for you hidden in the
   knotty veins of meat.
Read it like Braille—pass your hands over the meat…feels
   cool…feels good.
What does it say?
It says, read me some more.
Do as the meat says.
Who you calling goathead?
One difference is, I will not feel this way forever, but the meat will.
The meat will not feel this way forever. Hopefully, it will
   be put to good use in the meantime.
Hopefully, the meat does not feel anything.
Once you feel meat, you’ll feel anything.
Will feel anything, for meat.
My meat has a slow leak.
Yes, it’s my meat now.
“Darker grows every leaf/as my meat it bides cool, blind time.”
Nine more to go: But what have I told you about me?
   What have I told you about you? What have I told you
   about meat?
No matter what I told you, the two are different.
No matter what I told you, I lied.
I am out of everything around me, but I have plenty of meat.
Sleepy LaBeef sings songs about cracked, fallen liars.
Does he mention my name?
Does he mention your name?
What are they?
I will meat these fallen names half-way.

Nate Pritts
Nate Pritts Running With Oscar, His Dog

Running with his dog, Nate Pritts struggles
to unscramble the ramshackle fragments
of his consciousness, the fractured pieces

of a full-color cardboard puzzle depicting
a field of wildflowers, all purple
& white & green, beneath a rising sun

in a blue blue sky. Each individual piece
is a tangle of potential—this piece the green
& blue of two somethings touching,

that one the isolated purple of segmented petal,
the yellow burning. Nate Pritts quietly
lengthens his stride to cover more ground.

When Nate Pritts runs with his dog he often worries
about what he thinks are the larger questions.
His dog is unconcerned, chasing after birds,

sniffing at clumps of grass or the trails left by other dogs.
Oscar recognizes his own scent everywhere.
Nate Pritts searches for meaning & forces it

where it cannot be found & as he watches the clouds
he doesn’t want you to know he talks to his dog.
He says, “This is it.” He can almost smell the wildflowers.

Shane Sullivan
It’s Only a Tail

Sometimes the other end of the line goes dead.
Sometimes there is no required Latin to understand why.

The train hit another train, then a bomb scare, we leave
The best dog lost the dog fight? Who knows bloody why?

Even when the best dog loses the fight she walks home
With her tail between her legs, but not for long.

The fact is: it isn’t the amount of fight in the dog,
It’s the amount of dog in the fight.

We don’t win all our battles and the train stops at the end
   of the tracks;
Wrecks happen and our tail still fits.

Every morning we are hung-over for the want of love.
Everyday we wear the leash.

Catching something in the wind, mindless, is the beauty:
Our nose rises high and alert because the next best thing is
   around the corner.

We are not in the Port Authority Station,
And some future is only right in front of your nose.

I don’t figure exchange rates, I only read four poets,
I don’t really like the song Yesterday, and my stomach
   feels like hell.

No longer a bitch in heat,
I only bitch.

Dogs wander past me, uninterested.
I have a lease on love, so this tail still fits.