• #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

 

Avril Thurman

You Can’t Run to Pluto

 

Pluto flew by

and I’ve been running.

And I’ve been wanting to run, which isn’t

maybe like me. I’ll admit it: I like it.

It feels like making an exit.

 

I have found my one real pair of athletic shoes

on this planet.

I haven’t worn them since Monterverde, since cloud forest,

since Viejo, since sloth bite, since a volcano

town where a Burger King sign burns brighter than lava,

since Alajuela, since I stepped in real, live monkey poop,

since cecropia trees and peacock palms,

since hog-nosed pit vipers, since guava-paste vendors

on the bus where to stop, you need to yell

“PARADA!”

 

I couldn’t stop thinking about Pluto.

I went running to radio silence.

I cooled down to 400 degrees below.

I walked the way home with cold beer and soda,

waited to call Maureen until contact was re-established

with here from 3 billion miles away.

 

I’ve been running right into the real,

anchored ground here.

And Mo told me to run on my toes,

but I don’t have ballerina toes.

And Babe Rage said Male Gaze is Like a Drone

and when I run I know they’re right.

Two military planes flew sonic low

and I wished it was for Pluto,

but it was only for baseball,

and I’ve come to like baseball on this planet, 

but I don’t think it’s been played in zero gravity yet.

 

 

They said-the scientists said-

it’s like a line through a target

but a target is vertical 

and I’ve been running

on my side, unknowing, 

this whole time. 

 

 

Laurel Hunt

Zero moon deer detected

 

No chalky hooves far aloft, no sparkler fizz to warn of their coming,

tho we looked in the empty harbors

      of the night, tho we ran & re-ran

the thermal imaging.  Before that, the terraforming gone terribly wrong,

    pines & ivies choking us out, almost sentient, &

          when someone suggested deer,

          oh, there were bleating lambkin noises,

huge nets,

there was the slow parade onto that sterile ark.

                                                                                     Ripped sky.

& when we all were called away to Mars, to that fiasco, for ten years

or more—well, you’d already know what, let’s gloss

    over—but those

poor deer, abandoned like that.  So finally we go hopping back to the moonset,

I mean moon, definitely the actual moon,

    in space,

boing boing & all that, where we were met by, would it be morbid

to say, a greeting party?

    The deer.  All tricked out w/ pyrotechnics

& mad.  & we were suffering these fierce losses, until, deep in the deer war,

    the tide about to rush in & swallow the rock

  pools & thrash

against the cliffs, i.e., turn, they’re just

        gone, is what

we’re telling you.  The rocket fleet untouched, but we’ve lost our militant

moon deer, who left only antlers

& traces of gunpowder as a sign.  So.

 

 

Daniel M. Shapiro

They Go to Parties to Steal the Show

 

The powers wanted to see how big a disease had to be to spark a renaissance. They electrified lutes, cross-pollinated harpsichords and Moogs. The masses squeezed into the venue, all-access passes promising signed merchandise. The masses were handed syringes labeled authentic warhead. To get to the stage, they would need to evade men in riot gear, men too confident to breathe; jump barriers that looked like steel but were blood-whiffing sharks crisscrossed into bars; scale barbed wire that needed no disguise. The band would bring out the frenzy, any misstep turning their cables to scourges. Each time a crowd succumbed, another was brought in, first set into second set, chaperons and hennins covering all the artists’ misplaced scars.

 

 

 

Title is a lyric from “I Like” by Men without Hats (#84 on Billboard Hot 100, 1983).

 

 

Dean Young

Mouthful of Grasshoppers

 

Once a deep understanding crossed a fence

between me and a white wolf.

It tasted purple on the inside

like loneliness, like a paper cut.

Both of us had the same tellurian

prong coming from our hearts,

same anadromous urge and whatever

bird was tangled in the windchime,

we had the same glass skull.

Imagine how silly a perfect world would be.

Nothing would break. Science

will be very interested in our hearts.


  Brandon Jordan Brown

Summer Showers

The ground outside is drinking rain slowly,

and I’m thinking of being young.

Chase and I were barefoot

and shirtless, ignoring

a hateful sky while we hacked golf clubs

at grass that endured

the hard work of growing.

 

When I pulled back the iron

and smashed his lips to his braces,

I believed

he and God were both crying

because of me.

I couldn’t tell the loose skin

in his mouth from pieces of the apple

we had pulled from a tree,

bitten and spit out for its bitterness.

 

After we took Chase home,

my mother whipped me

in the garage. We both cried

because it seemed like too much

to find space for on the rickety shelf

hiding under the staircase—

 

the lightning, the sound of metal against teeth,

the memory of breaking a body.

 

Bridget O’Bernstein

A Dream of Fire

 

Against the rascal night

I take ice baths to easy the body

Instead of sleeping

Wrap myself in cold ruby towels

To whiten my thighs

To soak the white bed wet

From a rosy fever

In the bath I dream of fire

I dream of catching you with her

Like a pearl thief catching

A knife to the chest

His folding inward over it

Like a flower unblooming


 

 

Bob Hicok

When all horses were ponies

 

All through 3rd grade

I smoked Marlboros. Even more

than an astronaut, I wanted

to be a cowboy, and the Marlboro Man

was a cowboy who rode a pony. I know now

it was a horse, but in 3rd grade,

all horses were ponies.

At the start of 4th grade

I switched to Newports. That’s

a black cigarette, Tommy Evans said

as he flipped through Newsweek,

looking for sexy women

in booze ads. Alison Lowrie, my one tall

black friend, smoked Gitanes, French

and too cool to know how to pronounce,

so she was no help, though she insisted

I break the filters off

if I expected to keep her respect.

The one thing I knew for sure

was that gym, already a burlesque

of torture, turned nasty.

The black kids threw dodgeballs

at my head and the white kids

threw dodgeballs at my balls

and the teacher in his too-short shorts,

laughed and told me

President Eisenhower was beaten

with dodgeballs every day of his life,

even after he became President,

and still warned us

about the military-industrial complex,

so suck it up. Finally I went

to my guidance counselor, who told me,

first, that 4th graders

don’t have guidance counselors, and second,

that Lorillard used to drive vans

full of Newports into housing projects

and give them to children for free.

I meant to tell her she learned

of this evil on Wikipedia, but Wikipedia

didn’t exist yet. The last thing

she said before giving me a toaster

as a parting gift was that I shouldn’t smoke

in bed. Everything changed in 5th grade

when I met James Brown.

While this might surprise you,

it was “Meet James Brown Day” at school.

We all lined up and got to ask

The Hardest Working Man in Show Business

one question. I asked James Brown

if he thought it was racially insensitive

to smoke Newports. No, man, he said—

it’s stupid. So I quit. To this day,

I can’t hear “Get Up Offa That Thing”

without rocking my head or wanting to lead

a healthier life. It’s the beat

of my heart that convinces me

I’m alive. That, and the temptation

to light a smoke and take a drag

on fire’s deepest secrets.