Yemen

I met a pianist
at the felafel shop
on 85th.

He pointed to the sink
on the wall and explained that
Jews are supposed to

wash their hands before every meal.
That’s why there’s a sink
there. He kept peering over his

shoulder, “to make
sure the kids don’t run off
with my bike.”

By Matt Leece

Commencement Speech for Lost Souls and Restraining Orders

Collapsed in the hallway, you’re finishing finally
Disturbing the patrons, the suits and the aprons
You’re not even there yet,
Pulling all your hair out


They’re calling your name but you’re hiding in shame
It’s not just a symptom, the perpetual victim
You’re violence and I’m violins
Sever the tether, and let us commence

by Brad Allen

Attaca

At the park
terraces do not exist
Except on the bottom branches
of trees—
xeroxing the fibers,
birds flee, ecstatic—
they collect their facsimiles and
carry them out into the city.—

Catapults
ejecting smog to
obstruct
their journey.

Attaca of the winter we spent answering questions about force and acceleration in physics class. To tangents we
                                think, filling up the time we have with limits.

By Harini Reddy and Matt Leece

A Deathful Song

I feel masterless and fey, given to nothing
but the wilderness that was not replaced by
the cities but rather left its night-time apparition
of trees by dumpsters in shadowed alleys.

I am convinced of my superior unlovability
like a feral cat,
or a barking alcoholic,
or the baritone voice of whale washed up on land,
sonorous and deathful.

 Eugene

Two Ramsies to the Deathful Life

I

Tell the angel
you loved well, but cross
your fingers.

The path with a
heart bleeds through its shirt,
through your life.


II

Below it all
is just fear, but who
is afraid?

From space, the ghosts
of stars stop and cry.
Who indeed.


By Eugene

To stay lost in a
sack of rice and little black insects,
exploring bogus philosophies like
flying carpets over a bad painting of your life.
Why does it bother me so much?

Instead you wake up covered in the same dust
that you made, layers of skin,
sloughed off, for days and months,
while the egg-headed children of my future
dream, unwoven and untouched.

Because I’m hurt, somehow, still,
you pointless leopard.

Ohit Shit Um

She’s wearing a golden blouse,
without a proper belt we had to find sparkly yarn
for her to tie her pants up with.

Now she’s telling me about lace
and masks with layers. She pauses—
a cool view on how to look at a really

bright blue, New York is really
inspiring in that way. We’re on a foundation that
we don’t know
how long has been here.

It’s all calm this morning.

By Harini Reddy and Matt Leece

Nine Oak Satin Bourbon

Well so also, she said, “this is gonna drink a terrible poem”—
cinnamon, she paused with a cup in her hand—
CHEWING STIX! in WHISKEY
a cup with inside do.right.and.kill.every.thing.approved—
the em dash spoke to me in a dream
"if only it could balance, but it’s too abstract to balance"
There’s a specific reality in the circumference of a cup.

By Harini Reddy and Matt Leece

They’re doing construction upstairs

I wake up each morning
to chirping dogs who think they
have something
to say

if only they could find the
right words, it may just
be a dozen barks away,
the dove’s try to

translate—they pirch
on the walls outside my window
and wait for the contstruction
to stop, so they’ll have

a place to stay when winter
falls like a child down the steps
of the subway and
starts crying because

they landed on the wrong
platform. They’re doing
construction upstairs—
chamber music of nails,

mariachi-hammer-songs
of a New York cartel, every
morning earlier than the last
until one night they’ll

simply continue constructing
into cold crisp cockadoodle
eternity. It’s loud and dust
falls on my head from the ceiling.

By Matt Leece

B or maybe C side track from an album by Brad Allen that may someday be finished.

This Happened When I Was 24 
(experimental song by Brad Allen and Kenton Remmey circa 2009)

If I turn away

Can I make it through the day

without my best friend to play

zombie games

Without you, Eugene

what will happen to my routine

who will be there to go out for sushi

If I let you go

where I know you’ve got to go

will you still write home

from San Francisco 

I hope you’ll be okay

And you find a place to stay

Make a brand new home in San Francisco

Ill still be your friend in San Francisco

Another 3am phone recording for Eugene
by Brad Allen

I’m Stoned

I’m dry.—
That means I don’t have
any pot to smoke.

Pot.—
That’s what my Mother called It.
Pot. Dad told
you he went to the grocery
store—what are you smoking
pot again?

I’m dry,
but I’ve been using my glass
a
l o t
so there’s a thick
wax of mildly psychadelic tar
coating the inside.

I get ston-
ed, It
tastes like the s-
ubway.

Rae Macey

FInding Ways to Have Sex With Trees

I’m dry.—
That means I used all of my drugs and
haven’t bought new ones.
Towns can be dry,
people,
street
corners,
but never nations.
A nation cannot be dry ever.

Ray Macy

Don’t leave me scratchin’

Early August of ‘96 and I was sitting outside with my childhood friend Mirranda. Out of nowhere I felt the need to screech at the top of my lungs like a cat. Not just any cat but a particular clumsy cat with two eyes, four paws and only one tail. His name was Pasqual.

Pasqual was a Tabby with a love for leaping onto the highest point of my Fathers bookcase filled with literature by his favorite poet, Willian McGongall. This bookcase was located in the “Lions Den” also knows as my Dads office. Anyways, Pasqual being a clumsy cat and all used to try to balance on his front two paws when on top of this mahogany bookcase not always landing on all four of his paws.

Screeching like an injured cat, I started scratching at the back of my neck it seemed that the tag of my favorite brown plaid flannel was violently poking me directly into my flesh. Surprised that no blood was drawn, Mirranda suggests I should cut the tag out of my favorite article of clothing. Cut a piece of my favorite shirt? I thought that this gesture would be absurd yet very practical due to my excruciating pain and all.

I Whipped out my machete that was inherited to me after the death of my great uncle Barb, Wailing it out of my back pocket with excitement, I zeroed into where devious tag met fuzzy comfort zone of warmth. Unluckily since I have one glass eye and all, when I went for the calculated swooping action intending to remove this treacherous tag, my depth perception was way off and I ended up cutting Mirrandas left ear completely off propelling it onto the flower garden my mother cares for every spring. Seeing terror in Mirrandas eyes a lot like Pasquals eyes when he attempted to execute his last stunt on the top of the bookcase in the Lions Den, She ran towards the daffodils snatched her ear out of the flowerbed and sprinted down my pathway scaled my fence with a leap as graceful as a gazelle with blood shooting out of the left of her head. I never heard from her since but word has it she recovered and joined a traveling circus in Peru where she now rides unicycles while juggling armadillos.