Driver’s Side Airbag #44

email shannon

email shockbox

email alan


wandering among a row of tombs in kansas
i heard the regal voice of pure true love
it spoke in chattering fragments out of the cold
& lies in century-old inscriptions carved into
the stone like bad news from the chisel of god
i peered into the crypts where
the bodies of dead immigrants & the
rich who looked down on them
decay together in perfect harmony
i cannot see the dead but i can hear their sighing
alas we are the numb wild dreamers
devoid of skin
we shall speak to you in hot black visions
of the great communion of love transcendent & divine
here is a son buried between his parents
stacked one upon the other in a small family mausoleum
he is just over twenty & should have been making love
but mama holds him in her lap of rotted bone
daddy's stone hands are stilled forever
& over here is what used to be a beautiful young woman
a dead flapper with a grey marble smile
& over there are a couple of catholics nobody has heard from
since the turn of the century
i am stricken with the sense of their love
their bright fiery yearnings
or wave upon wave of crashing regret
not all the dead are content
some of them would come screaming up from the stone
their wills still seem so strong
they could claw their way out of the crypts
with the abbreviated fragments of their yellow bony fingers
to have just one more hour to behold a loved one
to say their goodbyes
be understood or to settle the score
to seek the tattered lost dreams in the necropolis
the wind blows & i could swear that i
hear something talking between the stones
i think
it is love

Shannon Frach

Originally appeared in Halo of  Sleaze. $2 from Shockbox Press.  PO Box 120, Fayetteville, AR 72702-0120.

Vulcan Mind Probe 2

Ouzo, Bacardi 151, Blue Curacao

He looked like
Rasputin after he
had been shot
several times,
Poisoned and fished
out of a frozen
river, his long
scraggly beard
and below the
shoulders hair
knotted and en-
crusted with all
manner of dirt,
refuse and matted
leaves, his clothes
a fabric not worn
by most men some-
thing like burlap
cut to size and
stained a weird
off color not unlike
the scent that
emanated from him,
a foul odor of human
waste, rotted garbage
and death, his glazed
eyes embers from
a camp fire beyond
caring, warmth in-
tent on obtaining
-Drink!-, rumpled
funny money clutched
in his outstretched
fist his voice a dis-
tant, feral calling
out from Siberian
steppes, frozen wastes
no man can survive in

Alan Catlin


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