Ross Vassilev, Editor. Submissions are now closed. Thank you to all contributors over the past 2 years; it’s been great reading everyone’s stuff. All the archives will stay up here at AM 2.0

and also here at http://opiumpoetry.blogspot.com/

and here at http://asphodelmadness.blogspot.com/

and here at http://opiumpoetry.wordpress.com/

for everyone to read whenever they want. Once again, thanks to all readers and poets alike.

Posted in submissions | 14 Comments

CRESCENT MOON

by Anita McQueen

The streets
my only escape

nonchalant walk
at first
then running
night
faces in windows
macabre
yellow eyes
hidden hands
reaching

somewhere
a crescent moon
lighting a dancing crowd
where the new world begins.

http://sweetstreetmcqueen.blogspot.com/
http://anitamcqueenpoetry.blogspot.com/

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Memorial Day 2010

(for Heather)

I’ve never understood the rhetoric of Memorial Day
and the honoring of those heroes who
gave their lives for our country.
Honor the dead, by all means yes, but
please spare me the propaganda
about how they gave their lives for freedom.
Terror and carnage know naught
of lofty ideals.

In my experience, it was rare indeed for
someone to give his life willingly, and
that was usually for comrades, not country.
Most of our hallowed dead
had their lives wrenched from them,
screaming with rage
as they convulsed in agony,
desperate to staunch life’s ebbing,
youthful longings and
dreams of love
forever in abeyance.

Today, Memorial Day 2010,
I learned that a friend
just lost her nineteen-year-old brother,
killed in Afghanistan.

Today, Memorial Day 2010,
I am reminded of what
Joseph Stalin once said,
“One death is a tragedy;
one million is a statistic.”

To truly observe Memorial Day,
we need to acknowledge the barbarism of
sending our nineteen-year-old sons and daughters
into harm’s way,
regardless the cause.

To truly observe Memorial Day,
we need to embrace tragedy, not
by the one, but by the million.

by Paul Hellweg

Posted in Paul Hellweg | 3 Comments

I SLEPT THROUGH DETROIT

by Jay Passer

I roam the streets
in need of a fix.
her body is the city,
bridges closed,
bus lines clotted,
power out.
I’m paranoid,
delusional, deviant,
unintelligible, derelict,
criminal, shabby,
and lost.
she is a world paved over with grit.
I am a basketball court
at the corner
of a block
at 2 o’clock in the morning.
I roam the
streets of the
city in the
rain in
need
of
a
fix.

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The Biggest Loser

by Don McIver

Videos stream the oil dumping from a pipe
5000 feet below the ocean surface,
and the brown,
goopy, molasses like substance
is scooped up in a reporters hand
from the side of a boat.
Interviews are granted,
soundbites,
political observations,
independent investigations,
destroyed fisheries and marshlands,
birds coated in oil,
fat.

A black cast iron skillet
warms on an electric stove:
water beads then steams off
as I drop a chunk of butter
on the surface.
The butter melts and becomes what it is: fat,
oil.

Tabloids announce
this diet caused this:
Glossy prints, before and after,
inches gone,
belt sizes shrunk,
photographic evidence
of the trimming of fat,
oil.

I look at my oversized gut
and see the molecules and globules of fat
just below the surface of my skin.
Oversized cells
storing fat for some explosion of energy
that my body doesn’t use anymore
so it sits there,
jiggles,
obstructs my view.

A bear pokes at a raspberry bush,
digs grubs from a downed tree,
scoops a live fish from a riverbed,
and fattens,
layer upon layer
as it stumbles through summer
towards hibernation,
slowly burning the fat,
oil,
it stored for the winter.

My grandfather melted tallow
and string together to make candles,
read by candlelight into the small hours of the morning,
finally blowing the flame out,
flame that survived by burning oil,
fat.

A high school kid,
crawls under my car
and unwinds a nut
as the black oil,
fat
from the engine drops into a bucket.

I look at the cracked skin on my heel,
dry, the skin flakes away
as I rub fat,
oil into it to keep it from flaking more.

A husband looks at his new bride
on a beach towel on South Padre.
She turns over and asks that he rub oil,
fat into her skin.

A poet puts a blank disc into his computer,
clicks on plastic keys
and listens to the fan rev up
as the tracks are burned onto the disc.
He takes the small plastic circle
and spins it around his finger.
It is smooth to the touch,
hardened oil,
fat.

We live in a house that is
powered by fat.
Drive to work in a car that is
powered by fat,
sit behind a computer screen that is
powered by fat,
made out of plastic that is
made by fat.
We are fat.
Fat executives write press releases
and brag about how the Deepwater Horizon
was the new record holder,
a rig capable of drilling a hole
25,000 feet below the ocean’s surface
making its owners a lot of fat cash.
Then something
went
terribly
wrong.

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Nato kills 100 civilians in Libya raids

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/25-Mar-2011/Nato-kills-100-civilians-in-Libya-raids

Posted in politics, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sally

by Doug Draime

I couldn’t tell whether she was
a man or woman at first. I took the
bottle anyway. It was four in the morning
and the rain was beginning to fall,
as we huddled together in the alley off of
5th and Temple in downtown L.A. The Night
Train was smooth going down warming my throat and
stomach. After passing the bottle back and forth
a few times, I found out her name was Sally.
She was younger than me; she took off her Cincinnati
Reds baseball cap, and her hair was matted and
filthy, but through it all, a radiant shiny black.
She asked if I wanted some sex. I told her no, I was
too tired for that. She seemed relieved, but shot me a
quick disgusted look. “You’re not a fag, are you?”
she asked. “No,” I answered, “just real tired.”
Sally was from Baltimore. Had been living on the streets
for over a year, and when she couldn’t stand it
any longer, the women’s shelter at the mission.
Her father raped her.
Her brother raped her.
Her uncle raped her.
Her mother broke her arm and called her a whore,
throwing her out on the streets when she
was 16. “The fucking world sucks, “ she said. I nodded in
agreement, taking another long pull from the bottle.
We sat huddled, talking together till the rain stopped
and the sun was breaking out over the downtown
skyline. Pigeons flew in the morning light overhead.
I left her there about 6 a.m. sleeping up against a cardboard
garment box, and headed back to my apartment in Silverlake.
It’d been 3 long days of booze, speed, weed,
debauchery, madness, lies and violence. Little
of which I remember, but I do remember
waking up in that stinking alley
next to her warmth, with no hope but the bottle,
no desire but to warm myself, no thoughts,
no future.
As I walked out of the alley onto 5th street I
looked back at her sleeping peacefully,
and in the light and fading shadows of
morning, she was almost beautiful.
After these many years of my life, of drugs, booze,
marriage, poetry, divorce, love, resurrection,
friendships, poverty, prosperity, death, homelessness,
children, betrayal, rage, faith; the endless nowhere shit hole jobs
and all the rest of the moments
which brought me to this moment, this memory,
my tears saturate the paper for Sally,
and I raise my fist to the world,
for her, myself and all the rest of you.

Posted in Doug Draime | 1 Comment

with no peaceful resolution in sight

by J.J. Campbell

trailer park

small white town
in ohio

a bullet goes
through a trailer

the police are
called

a deputy investigating
the complaint pulls out
her camera to take a
photo of a footprint

that deputy is
shot in the face

a shootout ensues
with her dead body
caught in the middle

another officer is
hit

swat is called

hours pass with
no peaceful resolution
in sight

gunfire erupts

all caught on
video

suspect is dead

either by his
own hand or
swat

no one really
cares at this
point

happy new year

Posted in J.J. Campbell | Leave a comment