by David Petruzelli
I wasn’t sure why my grandfather,
a magician who was once on Ed Sullivan,
and still performed at VFWs throughout New Jersey,
would have wanted to appear on the same bill
with singing doormen or a four-year-old girl
who tap danced to a recording of “Creole Love Call.”
by Erin McGraw
The subject veers almost uncontrollably toward metaphor, but I mean to take it literally: I have unusually poor vision, minus thirteen hundred diopters and still losing ground, ordinary progressive myopia that never stopped progressing. In me, the process by which light is supposed to focus images at the back of the eye has gone berserk, and the point of focus shifts ever closer to the front, like the projection of a movie falling short of its screen.
by Marilyn Nelson
Strutting around here acting humble,
when everybody knows
he’s the only one here got his degree
from a white man’s college, . . .
by Kirk Nesset
The longer you stay the more stupid you’ll feel, the more sick you’ll be in the morning. Then a woman was swaying beside me, claiming the opposite doorjamb—woman, I say, but girl is more like it. She looked barely twenty in her black lamé jumpsuit and white thigh-highs, breasts leaping out at the front.
God, she said, not looking over.
God, what? I asked, wanting to run.
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