• #11Forklift, Ohio: Issue #11
  • #12Forklift, Ohio: Issue #12
  • #13Forklift, Ohio: Issue #13
  • #14Forklift, Ohio: Issue #14
  • #15Forklift, Ohio: Issue #15
  • #16Forklift, Ohio: Issue #16
  • #17Forklift, Ohio: Issue #17
  • #18Forklift, Ohio: Issue #18
  • #19Forklift, Ohio: Issue #19
  • #20Forklift, Ohio: Issue #20
  • #21Forklift, Ohio: Issue #21
  • #22Forklift, Ohio: Issue #22
  • #23Forklift, Ohio: Issue #23
  • #24Forklift, Oeno: Bin #24
  • #25Forklift, Ohio: Issue #25
  • #26Forklift, Ohio: Issue #26
  • #27Forklift, Ohio: Issue #27
  • #28Forklift, Ohio: Issue #28
  • #29-30Forklift, Ohio: Issue #29-30
  • #31Forklift, Ohio: Issue #31
  • #32Forklift, Ohio: Issue #32
  • #33Forklift, Ohio: Issue #33
  • #34Forklift, Ohio: Issue #34

 

 

James Grinwis
from One Briefcase, Two Landscapes, and a Fuse

         #22

There, seismography girl, strapping leather pamphlets to vials of quinine. Here the item gargles something in its depth, the froth and spit of oil streams squeezed through venial pipes. As in a pipette, sucky. The man on the street was wearing an olive-colored tongue, the item watched him dip and sway under the Berkshire wind. He is dreaming of feathered boas, or schoolgirls, savoring glasses of Scotch that last whole years. This item transmits, numerals both sharp and hot. The item of disturbing thoughts and open targets, swinging miniscule arms.

 

 

J. M. Green
Unconditional Patience

Thank you for the gifts my pretty angels.
Thank you for a wonderful Father's Day.
Thank you, Pumpkin, for the tie you purchased
With your allowance. You helped clean dishes
And gathered clippings from the flower beds.
I watched you store half your coins in a porcelain
Pig because you want to go to college.
And the other half, you saved for my tie.
I'm so proud of you. And thank you, Sweet Pea,
For the other tie. You reminded me
That I never wear this tie. You found it
Buried deep in my closet as you scrounged
For something else. You wrapped it with duct tape
And newspaper all by yourself. I like
It better now than when Grandma gave it
To me. I'm so proud of you. And thank you,
My Little Pistol, for the fish. No one
Has ever given me a fish. We live
Nowhere near water, and yet, on my lap
Is a dead fish. What magnificent stripes.
And the scales are so shiny. I'm going
To get that chain you gave me for Christmas,
The one you found in the neighbors' backyard
Hooked to their dog, and I'm going to wear
My fish on casual Friday. I'm proud
Of you too. I'm so proud of all of you.

 

Joshua Butts
Poem Beginning with a Line from Walter Benjamin Ending with a Line from Ronald Reagan

Floating along the broad stream of perception
like one of the frames the editor
was so worried over-a woman drops a gun
from her body. It goes off in a patch of lilies.
No, she is in jail and the pistol falls
because she wears a skirt,
or they have dressed her in the orange baggy pants.
She smuggles the gun into the holding cell.
Her cellmates see her squirm behind
the partition. She wraps it in toilet paper,
wedges it behind the holder and snap!

Or maybe the scene that slides through
is a wedding at a bowling alley
or a romance in a small village shop-
the sign on the door says WINE.

A tiger once told me you can't edit art.
"Life is the art," he says. "Show me life,
and I'll show you art." I say to the tiger,
"How can I not show you life?"
"That's what I mean," he says and then leaps
like a tiger into the underbrush.

The receptors refresh,

and sometimes insist on a memory.
And so there might be a scene from the distant past
that burns over. It is January, 1900.
A young couple walks along a sidewalk
when they find etched in snow: "Happy New Year."
The man in his long coat reaches down
to cross out "year" and writes "century."
His lady says, "What does that mean?"
He replies, "Happy New Century, Dummy."

 

Vestal McIntyre
Twat

My mother would never know the favor I did for her the day she had the pool party for the preteen children of her employees (the housekeeper, the lawn guy, the foreman)-a summer hurrah before they started junior high or sixth grade or whatever. I watched from the window seat in my bedroom, where I spent that summer painting my nails, reading novels, biding my time with cotton balls between my toes. Come Fall, I would be a freshman at a faraway college.

There were five or six of them. The girls sat on the plastic chaise lounges wringing water from each other's ponytails while the boys performed cannonballs, jackknifes, double-flips. Beyond them, past the trees that lined the back fence, lay the pale green expanse, peopled by silos, that led to a flat horizon quivering in the heat.

My mother, unaware of how silly she looked in culottes, played the cheerful captain: "Don't step on the dog!" "Burgers in T-minus four minutes!" When the girls rose, there were flushed stripes on the backs of their thighs.

Over lunch the kids asked my mother the embarrassing questions poor people don't know not to ask: "Do you really own the grain elevator in town, Mrs. B?" "How much did it cost to build a swimming pool?" At one point conversation ceased as the kids fell to alternating periods of giggling and silence. "All right, what's so funny?" my mother demanded. It had been too long since she was a girl; she had forgotten that there needn't be a joke. I was happy I had stayed in my perch, even though I was hungry.

Then they all came inside, and I could hear footfalls on carpet as they dispersed into bedrooms and bathrooms to towel off and change. My mother piled them in the minivan, and the house was returned to blessed silence, or something better than silence, actually: the kind whisper of central air.

When no one was home, I liked to use my parents' bathroom, where a wealth of mirrors reflected me endless times from every angle: I could see the curve of my breasts from behind, the way a boy would see it when I shelved a book at the library; and how the tip of my ponytail kissed the small of my back. I couldn't have known that I was at the peak of my beauty, still a child-a virgin, almost. Crow's feet would claim my eyes early from the anxious smile I took on after I left my small town.

But when I flipped on the light, I stopped. Written in soap on the mirror-my mother's movie-star mirror ringed by frosted light bulbs-was the word. The dismissal.

My do-gooder mother would never know the humiliation I spared her when I moistened a cloth and removed those four letters from her sanctuary. As I worked I said the word to myself and felt how my mouth imitated the shape of the bodily thing itself. I repeated it until it became dislodged from the organ and the insult, and became merely a funny little sound which could be a toy-name or bird call. A twitter, a quick question, a nickname.

 

Jeremy Schmall
My Fellow Countrymen,

I have been eating all evening, but I can't get full. Does this ever happen to you? I think maybe I had too many carbs. I don't know. Also, do you ever try to get really drunk but simply can't? I have dispatched eleven bottles of ale and practically a pint of gin. No buzz. At All. Please write back with your own anecdotes of this nature. I'm considering posting a weekly round-up of constituent letters re: inability to get full/drunk.

Yours most unsated,
The Senator

 

 

Heidi McKye


Dear Tool By Which I Have Duped Myself Repeatedly,
Meadow wrought with fallen leaves, wildflower snow harvest,
a deep voice sinks lovingly. Deer in the clearing.
If everything is god, and god is love, so is everything else,
Poorly Lit Bar Room Hand on Your Ass