Two Poems by Melanie Browne

Before They Begin

She sticks her
juicy fruit gum
on the bedpost
before they begin
he scratches his 
inner thigh and
coughs a little,
on the T.V. is
the droll sound
of true-crime
"people are savages"
she tells him,
flicking her
eyelashes across
the room,
then back to
him again,
"yes they are,"
he replies.

Internal Dialogue Between a Shiny New Year and a Depressive Mind

You could use a bath,
your hangover is the size
of a small state, 
perhaps Rhode Island,
who has as their state Bird
a chicken,
that seems a bit lazy,
like not much thought went
into it,
but who am I to judge,
I know better than to mix drinks
like that and now U2's New Year's Day
is floating in a sound fog
around my third chakra-
wherever that is,
I try to picture the new year,
all golden and bright but
its raining in my brain and the 
toast on the hopeful plate
is a bit soggy,
the NSA might read this poem,
rich people are playing tennis
in outer space,
Al Gore still searches
for Sanctuary
and the sun shines
a little hotter each


It's crass. It's disgusting. It's provocative. It's exactly why I check my email. I am happy to announce that the winner for December 2013 poem of the month goes to Ryan Quinn Flanagan for "Piss in my Mouth." In case ya'll missed it:

Piss in my Mouth

We were sitting around 
after a nice dinner together
enjoying our coffees
when she said it:
Piss in my mouth.
Come on, it’ll be fun, piss in my mouth.
She tied her hair back in a ponytail,
got down on her knees
between my legs
and started to unzip me.
I don’t know about this, I mean, Jesus woman, this is highly irregular,
can’t I just cream in your mouth like normal people do?
That’s no fun.
I hear it can be.
Come on, forget that.
She pulled it out and let it rest against my jeans.
It looked flaccid and sad like a deflated tire.
Don’t even think about it, pretend my mouth is a urinal, or something.
Right now, right this moment?
Of course silly, I’m ready now, come on, piss in my mouth.
She opened wide.              
I could see the strain of her jaw line
work its way up to her lightly freckled forehead.
She looked very beautiful.
Nothing like a urinal.
I’m afraid it doesn’t work like that, my dear.
Come on, I’m ready.
But I don’t have to go.
She started to get angry with me.
What can I do?, I asked,
a man only stands in front of a urinal
and goes when he has too,
the rest of the time he shops for pears
or puts on socks        
or checks the glove compartment
for maps of upper state 
New York.                 
You’re no fun.
She got back up to her feet
pulled her hair out of the ponytail
walked into the bathroomin
and closed the door.
Leaving me cold, limp,
and dangling 
in the kitchen,
wondering just how many
a man                
had pissed in the urinal
I would have to kiss
goodnight later.

For his life experience poured onto a page, Ryan will receive a money order for 10 bucks from yours truly. It's not much but it's what I can afford. I intend to do this every month throughout the lifespan of  BVR. It's less than my weekly alcohol budget, so why not? Besides, bribery works, just look at the U.S. government and try to call bullshit on that. Dare ya. So tonight I would like to thank Ryan, as well as all other BVR contributors for making this little mag what it is. Keep sending in your good works ya'll.

Lee Lincecum, Managing Editor
Blind Vigilance Press

One Poem by Daniel N. Flanagan

About A Whore
& writer’s block hit me
My imaginary friends would not speak to me.
& so I drive down Main South in search of
A hooker to inspire me
I pulled up to a heel-wearing streetwalker and
Lured her into my vehicle, once I flashed some familiar faces.

I told her my true intentions, but she did not
Believe me! Eyes were rolled at me!
I gave her a love tap and told her to
Behave. She knew she had been a bad girl.
I asked the going rate for herpes-infused fellatio and
She told me 50, I haggled down to 30, but
She was going to swallow. I said
No! There must be a happy ending to my story!
And so I gave her an extra 10, to blow 10’s of millions all
Over her discount makeup.

A towel I provided, and a poem she did inspire.

One Poem by Steven Clifford

My Bunk-Mate

The floor’s underside, 
(a skeletal whale divided, Geppetto exposed to
zooming circular traffic, collecting yoga-mat-comfort)
dunked the world. Hell and heaven fuck on the surface.
Divine silence, tainted,  
seeps through,

lazy agnosticism 
on a 
zen futon, a mall-well of dreams, trafficking transparently. 
That’s where I met Manhattan Buddha. 
He works as a grill cook now. 
He’s writing me letters on basement illumination. “Watch cartoons at 1 a.m.  
and ignore tomorrow.”

A man I’ve only known on smoke breaks sleeps in the other room.  
He’s a retired lawyer, an atheist with relationship skills. A hello is a hug for him.  
He promises me he’ll read my poetry. 
“Keep reading a book if you don’t understand it,
Stop reading a poem if it’s boring at the first line.”

He dated a healer once.
He told me she’s crazy. She was sweat to me,
but I trusted the: his eyes were at low tide by his own words.

“Brew your own coffee
that way you can control its intensity.
Try exotic blends sometimes.”

Buddha sneaks out to met me by the bay. 
He’s all right with being the only one smoking. 

Two Poems by Jerry Durick

Enough Rope
Will there ever be enough to go around
given the basics, our various heights and
weights, the variety of materials it’s made of –
some synthetic and others natural fiber, and
there’s its strength and stretch-ability, wear
and tear, and even the availability of proper
places, high enough to work, tree branches,
lampposts, ceiling beams, and chandeliers,
and the knots and placement, the regular slip
or hangman, in front, to the side, or the more
dramatic in back, even durability is a factor
that comes into play, how long it will be before
they find us, minutes, days, years afterwards?
Will there still be enough for our descendants,
like our ancestors kindly left for us, or will they
be forced to improvise with extension cords and
neckties, bed sheets or long sleeves, or vines? 
Will there be hording and cartels forming, or just
black markets, active eBay accounts, junk mail
offers, or some guy who knows a guy who does
a lively business from his car trunk out behind
the Jiffy Mart? Will it be like other shortages,
played out long enough to get us to pay dearly
for what they have, for what we all need so badly?
Will there ever be enough, enough to go around?


My brother Danny brought one home,

kept it in the loft of the garage, always
in the dark. Told me all about it from his bed
one night across our bedroom – all the fuss
and blood, feathers flying everywhere; the smoke,
and a smell and feel he couldn’t quite describe.
He loved to talk at times like that.
Sometimes I remember his voice.
“You put them in this circle; let ‘em go at it,
and stand back and watch them rolling and
kickin’ at each other. And everybody’s smokin’
and pushin’ and cheerin’. And no one asks you
who you are as long as you’ve got money to bet
and a bottle, like I did.
Later I got a ride home with one guy, a real asshole
with a blue Chevy, who gave me this rooster,
a mean fucker, he said. He was so loaded he barely
could drive. It’s out in the garage right now.
Keep ‘em in the dark, keeps ‘em mad as hell and
ready to go when I need it.”
Two days later, early before school, I tried to lie
him out of it with my mother, when the rooster
started crowing its morning without the sun, or
its anger at fate, locked like that right there in
the middle of town in the dark.
I said something like, “I can’t hear anything,” but
she made me climb the ladder to look. I remember
some of it, the close heat, the dark, that awful smell
and the banging flutter of feathers in the dark,
a nightmare crashing itself into walls, moved by the
pure instinct of hate. 

One Poem by Chelle Viegas

This and That

This earring
Tugs at my earlobe
That band
Chokes my hair
This collar
Strangles my pulse
That brassiere
Restricts my breath
This ring
Hurts my finger
That bracelet
Shackles my wrist
This belt
Squeezes my waist
That anklet
Pricks my ankle
Don’t complete me
I prefer
Being a divorcee

3 Poems by Thomas Pescatore

Pepper Spray

we all carried pepper spray can
in the store (like old west brook
park market convenience store) some
ladies complained, this one girl
without form shot hers into the air
She turned to me and
concretely blonde and maybe 17
said, "It's really hot in here don't ya think?"

I realized it was and took my shirt off—

Awoke on a beach

Wake up to beach under the stars
million million stars and feels like the
ocean is black and crashing in over us
like into a sand wall (from earlier lifetime
dreams) and I'm wondering how I slept so
long and know right then that Mike isn't there,
that he fought off the sleep, I curse him
for not wasting the day--in my mind
and eye the scene is inside-and-out-endless,

"He must be back at the room"—I assure
the masses of people still sleeping beside me.


The first sip of Guinness and
a toast to the empty
bowels of this tipping universe,
I wipe the drip from
my chin with the back of my
hand like a ritual of earthliness,
of the ugliness of stark American
realities, at my table alone,
set in the back, masked by laughter
and drunken cheer,
it's a triumphantly sad gasp
calling out to those who'd found their way
across this land that's always been,
singing boozing passing by,
living breathing loving
humbly truly simply every moment

3 Haiku by Denny Marshall

Woke up from a dream
Length of my entire life
I was someone else

I am so happy
Many events in my life
Only a bad dream

She is always there
Laying next to me on bed
Until I wake up

4 Poems by Holly Day

Conversations Overheard

there’s a guy in the restaurant booth just behind me and he’s trying
to score. he’s telling the girl sitting in the booth with him all about his
trouble at home, about how he’s going to finally confront his girlfriend
and just ask her what the hell is wrong, because she’s been acting
really weird lately, and he needs to know if maybe she’s pregnant
which he seriously doubts because they hardly ever sleep together
anymore, if she’s had a nervous breakdown and needs
professional help, or if she just doesn’t care about him

anymore. the girl in the restaurant booth just behind me hums
sympathetically, says this situation must really be hard for the guy
says he’s been a really good guy to stay with a woman
so obviously troubled for as long as he had. I hear her ask
the waitress for another drink, make it two, and I
am suddenly so happy that the man sitting in
the booth with me is my husband, because

it would be so easy, so horrible
to be a part of that couple sitting just behind me.

On Trying to be Good

Fish do not have sex, which is why
it’s okay to eat fish during Lent. Because fish
do not have sex, they are not
considered meat, and therefore
you can eat all the fish you want
and still be a vegetarian.

When a baby is born, it has to pass
through its mother’s vagina. Because it
has touched its mother’s vagina, it has sinned
and therefore needs to be baptized
and forgiven. Also, babies come from having sex
so they need to be forgiven for that, too.

A woman needs to know how to please her husband
in bed, but she also needs to save herself, stay a virgin
until she’s married. Priests are no good
at giving advice on how to do this,
how to be a good lay right out of the gate.
Neither are Catholic mothers.

Gilles de Rais

despite the legends, he kept an impeccable house
even the tiny room where the children were kept
was bereft of any evidence of crime. the bones
were always immediately take out back and burnt,
the clothes and the shoes were cleaned and sent out
to be distributed among the poor.

he was only married twice, and both wives
were as guilty of the crimes as he was.
the first one died of a fever soon after
they were married, possibly from eating raw meat
while the second one, more careful
choked to death on a tiny ring wrapped
around a tiny finger.

it was because of love that he consumed both women
shared their pale, limp bodies with his guests
burned them in the pit out back with the rest of the
stripped, bloody bones—they wouldn’t have understood
any other kind of tribute, not from him.

Family Magic

the woman whispers a few words over the bundle
and hands it to me. she says
put this under your pillow and the dreams will
go away. she tells me of the village
she grew up in , how her mother taught her magic
all the secrets passed down through her family
thousands of years, old magic, and just from her clan.

when I get home I look up her village
on the map, try to reconcile her story
with the Inquisition’s ransacking of BĂ©arn, how
there was no one left to pass on the old magic
how the village stayed abandoned for years. I wish
she would have picked a different town
to prop up her credentials, I grumble
before heading off to bed, putting the bundle
under my pillow anyway, trying hard

to believe in the lies.

One Poem by Andrew Taylor

Cooling Towers
Tilt at cooling towers
there are no windmills

re-plant to cover loss

Send me a postcard
when you get there

No time for shut down
the archive is housed

in filing cabinets

newsletters mailed with
blue or green stamps

to semi-remote cottages
alongside the milk bill
that is delivered weekly

printed with the name
that we
briefly shared

One Poem by Joe Joyce

An Open Window on Portland

I can feel the pressure 
that was never there
alleviated in the back of my eyes

an open window on Portland,
drifters holding hands 
and bringing dogs into supermarkets

Your submissions and shot-outs to HST and Camel Saloon.

Just wanted to take the time to let everyone know we are completely caught up on submissions through the end of 2013. If you sent a submission before the end of 2013, you should have a response in your in-box. If you think you may have been overlooked, shoot us an email. Some of you may want to know why your work has been accepted but not yet published. The idea is to post poems from 2-3 people per day rather than all at once. This way everyone gets a fair shot at having their work read by others. If you submitted work on or after the first of the year, I have received it but not yet had a chance to review it. I'll start that process in the next 3-4 days. I'd also like to give a very special thanks to Ryan Quinn Flanagan, and the guys over at Camel Saloon and HorrorSleazeTrash for getting the word out and making me work even harder for free. If you submitted work to us, regardless of whether or not it was accepted, I thank you for taking the time to do so. Thanks to all of you who have read or contributed, you're what this is really all about.

Lee Lincecum, Managing Editor
Blind Vigilance Press

3 Poems by Jon Bennett

I Leer at Women

Love might find a way
but if it doesn’t
it will be buried or drown.
So I call in sick and go
to my first cocktail party in 4 years.
A lot of young girls are there
throwing out the word “fuck”
as if it were an anchor to adulthood
and I carry my lust for them
like a shield to protect me
from the women I miss
specifically L and A,
L has always been
my anchor to humanity
(like evil men everywhere know
there is a grace that comes
from confessing into a warm bosom)
but L is with someone else now
and A is back on coke
so I fill up on free liquor,
an ocean that leaks out later
into the SRO room sink.

Uber Alles

There's lots of spiritually liberated
people in California
they quote Indian gurus
and eat healthy
but their art
is terrible.
I'd rather be like Balzac
40 cups of coffee a day
or James Joyce, knocking into
the furniture
falling over his empty bottles
one last drip
a tear in his eye
and ideas so terrible

they had to be forgotten.

Peep Show

I was twenty when I saw my first stripper
at The Lusty Lady in San Francisco
I put twenty bucks in a slot
the curtains parted
she had smeared her vagina
with vaseline
so the labia stuck open-
more a flower than a pussy
when I saw it
I gasped
like a little girl
and left in a fever
something in me had busted and fallen
I could feel it in my socks
I still can

3 Poems by April Salzano

The Little Engine Was Right
Going uphill is a slow process,
especially dragging everyone else’s baggage.
If you think you can, you will.
As long as you say it often enough,
anything can become Cartesian law.
Once you get to the top,
fuck anyone who didn’t stop
along the way.

The Parenting App
features a platinum upgrade that allows
infants to be plugged directly into
electronic devices while skills are downloaded.
Fortunately for the mothers who wish
to medal in the Development Races this year,
a new category has been created to separate
Change of Life Parents from Twenty-Year-Old-Reproducers,
who are clearly at a technological advantage. Much like
digital photography once replaced dark room
and negatives, iPad parenting allows milestones
to be reached in shorter time. The bar
has not been raised, it has been totally reconstructed.
Old-school mothers who are still using archaic
pencil and paper teaching methods and incidental
learning opportunities will likely not suffer the effects
of the failed interface that has begun to short
circuit children. While their parents surf the web
for a solution, their kids are contracting viruses
undetectable by automatic internal scans.
Because concern has been replaced by mild
levels of annoyance, no one seems genuinely affected.

Lives Change at Red Lights
At least in the movies. Hers is
a story of love and lust that smells
like love. She wears the distinct mark
of a furrowed brow that seems to be in style
these days, but only when she is with her husband,
before he murders her lover with a snow globe to the head.
In the end, they decide to stay together, cover each other’s tracks.
If she denies knowing the guy, he can get away with murder. In the car,
the light remains red long enough for them to reach this conclusion, decide
on Mexico, seal the deal with a kiss in their dinner party clothes while their child
sleeps in the backseat. When the camera pans out, the light is finally green, the police
station a blaring beacon beside them. Credits and music roll across an empty intersection.