Driver’s Side Airbag #33
52 pages

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He manufactured and sold deadly pesticides
long after the first warnings were issued,
used them at home, had a beautiful lawn.
At 23, his daughter had both breasts removed.
He sighed, told her it was God’s will,
what else could it be?
One day, she came home, caught him in the bathtub,
dumped in a couple of pounds of DDT,
let him sit in it for hours at gunpoint.
After that, he got sick, all kinds of things,
rashes, a cough, bowel problems.
On his deathbed, she came to see him,
stood looking down at him over her flat chest,
"Cheer up," she said. "it’s God’s will.
You’re going to that great mansion in the sky
where the lawns are eternally green
and the women have no tits.
Tell everybody hello for me."

Albert Huffstickler

Death By Magazine

She’s sprawled across the bed at her mother’s house,
clutching a bottle of rum.
The black and white TV on the floor absorbs her pain,
sucks her in like a vacuum,
ingesting blood and pieces of bone,
searing scar tissue from a childhood accident
frame by frame.
Escape onto a backdrop of plain green and plaster.
The man on the box has a message.
He frowns at her quiet face and unplucked eyebrows
"Don’t look like a girl," he spews, "glow like a siren."
Painted faces.
Flat mannequin bodies on the TV screen.
Are they come to life plastic pages
or death by magazine?
She reads "Cosmo".
It tells her she should dab French parfum between her breasts,
but she’s got no man to explore her,
to sniff her like a Doberman in heat.
And she feels so outré
with only a bottle of booze
to replace the photographs she’ll never appear in,
the celebrity guests she’ll never chauffeur.
Time to think is mandatory.
It’s usually best at night
long after the last blouse has been ironed.
She feeds herself a constant plateful of myth.
a sore called surviving, an abscess that won’t heal.
Comparison is a fatal mistake.
In the mirror, she analyzes.
Imagining is not enough anymore.
Thrashing at the glass,
shattering the glossy face pinned there,
she makes her own declaration.
"To be reincarnated as a model, living in Paris at 16,
skiing in my spare time
and dating rock stars.
I would like to pose for Revlon commercials,
have perfect teeth,
and never cry."

Marianne Moro


Won’t drink tonight
can’t afford
the long-distance bill,
the death-grip
of all of you,
scattered friends
below cold stars.
Ever get the feeling
this is a
half-assed universe?
Botched creation?
Well, mebbe
God’s the same way,
oblivion nightly.
Is God an alcoholic?
It might just
explain the Holocaust.
"The opposite
of whiskey
is not God."
Found that
on a club napkin.
Kept it.
A picture
of somebody’s hope
Dostoyevsky Lite.
Still, you wish
you could kiss
someone like that.
Won’t drink tonight,
can’t afford it.
Sleep is better,
more productive
for the body
which must
carry this head
around until it finds
a reason
it believes.
Forgive my
not calling
to apologize
for not knowing
what to say,
just winking
with stupid feeling
of word-pulse
like all those stars
or some tacky Roman god
lit with flashlights
in a C-film
where half of the actors
are high on something
or other. Other.
See how wonderful
silence is?
Whoever invented it
was a genius.
Maybe it was God.
God is so much
silence you end
up believing
She or He or It
really exists,
is out there somewhere
listening without
on the other end. A drunk
memory breathing,
too sad to speak
just creepy,


Bill Keckler


brings out the sloppy truth,
pulls it out of your brain
moves your mouth.
Next morning you don't remember
the stranger you confessed your sins to
but he wasn't a priest
and you woke up in vomit
next to the old fat woman
you were in love with at Ziggies.
Everything was perfect bliss at 1AM.
That snort you just heard out of her
is your wake up call.
We are forever
doomed to the
failure of ourselves.
It is the tragedy
of existence
and it never ends.

Gary Goude


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