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       Dan Abernathy

       Jocelyn Moore.

       Dr. Blaise Allen

       Tim Kahl


The Spoken Word

July 2017

Blaise Allen



          Drinking Idiom, FUBAR: Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition

At the bar, men approach me all night. Alan says, 

You are so cute, I’d do you in a minute! 

Can I offer you a stiff one—ha-ha.

Joe rubs next to me at the bar orders his 11th. shot.

 says, it‘s my 42nd birthday, give me a birthday hug.

I say, no! My husband’s on stage. You can’t hug

because you’re married? I tell him if he sees you 

hug me, he will jump off the stage, hit you 

over the head, smash his guitar, then I’d have 

to buy him another guitar. His friend, Alan, comes over 

with a pool stick, makes suggestive movements

with the stick between his legs, wants to buy me a beer, 

says he could give me multiple beergasms. I say, 

I’m from New York, would circumcise him all over again 

if he touches me. He calls me a stick Moyle and buzzkill!

At midnight, two old-timers dance around me. 

The British one’s swacked, three sheets to the wind. 

Speaks with an amped-up Limey accent. He smells great,

I ask what he is wearing. He puts his arm around me 

and says, I don’t know if it’s the Marywanna, or my cologne. 

His friend Jim’s well-oiled, monk-cool, asks, What are you 

drinking? Alan weaves back to the bar, pushes between us, 

belts down another shot, puts his arm around Jim, says,

I really like you man, I mean, I really, really, like you. 

Alan’s drunk as a lord, hammered, tanked, FUBAR.

Between sets, my husband flexes twitching muscles,

asks, Are you alright? I really want to clobber those guys!


O’Conner’s Pub

Lucky and I meet weekly at the end of the bar

with fist-bumps, after he’s spent a 12 hour shift

as a chef at a local bar. He’s been at happy hour

since he got out of work and it’s almost 9:00 now,

a beer in one hand, shot of Rumpleminz in the other,

tells me he’s going to leave soon, his next is his last.

I let him know there are cop cars are surrounding the bar,

they’ve got the dogs out, they’re looking for someone.

He says, Fuhgedaboudit, someone specific, not me!

He picks up his keys, lights a cigarette off the one smoking,

knocks back his shot and says, See ya next week kiddo.

I warn him not to leave or he could get nailed

for a DUI. He says, the cops aren’t looking

for an old-guy like me! I offer to drive him home.

says he’s fine, repeats, They aren’t looking

for an old-dude like me. If I get stopped,

they’ll let me call the bar to ask a friend

to drive me home, they’d let me go.

I’ve lived here forty-years, what do they want

With an old dude like me? They’d let me go.

Really, I don’t care if they’re still here or not,

I’m not the one they’re looking for.


Encounter with an Angel

At 300 plus pounds, she’s barely able to get on the barstool.

Quick-smiled, prettily made up, labor-breathed, orders a beer.

Introduce myself, ask her name, she says, Angel,

a regular on Karaoke night. I tell her I’m only here

on open-mic Monday’s with my husband, the house-band-bass-player.

I’m across the bar from my regular seat to celebrate a birthday,

invited to have a cupcake, I pluck a homemade red velvet

with cream cheese frosting out of a Tupperware container.

She asks, aren’t you going to ask the fat girl if she wants one?

I say help yourself, and she does, twice.

I meet friends at the other end of the bar, leave her with her beer.

Hours pass, she taps my back, says, I’m outa here,

my ride is coming. Nice to meet-ya-girl!


After a while, I go outside and find her sitting on the curb,

ask what happened to her ride? She says, my girlfriend picked up

a guy at Cumberland Farms and is taking him home instead.

Cumberland Pharms, as in pharmacy, where crack-heads hang.

She looks up from the curb laughing and says, what a WHORE!

I ask, are you going to call Uber? She replies, no money

for that, maybe I’ll go back inside for a beer or two.

I’ve had no luck tonight, the pickens here are slim.

I tell her the bar across the parking lot has a five-dollar

cover for women on Monday nights, and it’s all you can drink.

Maybe she’ll find someone she knows to drive her home.

She rolls onto her street-dirty-knees

and with Herculean effort, pulls herself up, she’s going there.


I say, be safe, there’s a lot of crazies out there.

She looks at me wild-eyed, laughs and says, I’m loco, Blaise,

I’m really loco, you have no idea what I’m capable of.

You don’t know it but I was in prison, I killed someone.

I’m nuts as can be. I can take care of myself.

She asks, do you know, you were the only person who spoke to me

all night? Not one other person even said hi, only you! Not one

guy looked my way. Slim pickens here, I tell ya, as she walks away.

I say just be careful. She replies, do you think anyone would take

this on? Pointing to her body, arms big ham hocks, sausage legs

stuffed into leggings, and she wobbles across the parking lot

to the other bar.


The Consecration of Chaos

Stories of the humdrum,

with hints of mayhem

point to the miracle in the mundane;

beatitude in the boredom

of everyday life.


One mark of mastery

is to lift the scale of a fish,

wash the scales off my eyes,

examine under lying flesh wounds

with an unjaded view.


The universe in a gesture,

millennium in a mothers call,

an uncommon common place.

We all belong to the Stammtisch,

in grace at the table of life.


Welcome Home

Pens on a ragged piece of paper,

postured to expose emotions in the heart.

I look through a lens to capture the moment,

to make an image of what was,

only to allow a raven steal it,

fly into the abyss, leaving nothing

to welcome your thoughts home.


It is an empty cup of broken Crayons

with dirty paper and no refrigerator to stick it to.

I’m welcomed home,

but I walk into a place I’ve never belonged.

I feel, I write, I paint in the darkness

so you won’t see the soul of the artist

and fear to speak the words,

“Welcome Home.”


Take your shoes off

when you walk into a home

Create and don’t listen to the critic.

Take charge

and listen to what strengths are alive

keeping you being you.

This is what we are,

this is what we do.

Welcome back.


I write my story

and I want you to read it,

as I sit quietly, waiting

and watching you write yours.

I will read it and cry with pride

and never, as my eyes pass over each word,

will I question, judge or condemn

what your story screams at me.

Your story is yours

and I will love you

no mater what your story may reveal.


The day will come

when I no longer take my shoes off

and walk into a home that is not there.

I will be gone.

Will you want me then?

Will you want to know the details

of the greater story

when I cannot answer the questions

of what is?

~ Dan Abernathy

~ Blaise Allen, Ph.D. is Director of Community Outreach, The Palm Beach Poetry Festival. Her poems have been published in literary journals and anthologies including: South Florida Poetry Journal, Clackamas Literary Review, Pulse Medical Review, East End Elements, Naugatauk River Review, The Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, Blue Fifth Review, and Long Island Quarterly.


~ Jocelyn Moore is a salmonid aficionado who cherishes the open spaces, clean waters and mountain-like deposits of snowfall at her Wyoming home. Her poems and writings have been published by Rats Ass Review, Round Robin, WyoPoets, The Avocet, Kaleidoscope, Wyoming Writers Inc., Hydroquest, Writing Women of Zurich, American Planning Association, The Contributor and Pudding Magazine.  Next to standing thigh deep in water, her favorite haunt is a 1953 log cabin in the Bridger-Teton Wilderness with her Catahoula-mix pup, Beowulf.

Tim Kahl


The Luxury of Having

For three days the household has no

toilet paper. I remark we could use

a dark sock from the laundry,

then return it to the pile.

My son wants to use a wool one,

but I intercept and suggest synthetic.

“Think of the poor sheep and how it

would feel if it knew.” But he wants

the angora, the fine merino, then

the cashmere. “Outrageous,” I say,

“an insult to every petting zoo you’ve

ever been to.” But he cares little in

this case for my righteous indignation.

He wants the best and only the best,

like everyone else,

to keep the stink off of him.




I am butler to the brown Shih Tzu

that attends to the scents along the sidewalks.

With bag in hand I stand to the rear

of the only superhero of pooping in the land.


One, two, three, four, five, six times

on various lawns the urge is incorrigible.

So that my neighbors' pet peeves

don't turn into grievances

I collect the precious specimens

as though they are rare caterpillars

admirable for their instinct to

transform into beautiful flight.


But I, too, have my issues.

The guy ahead of me at the stoplight

who cracks his door to spit on the pavement

needs to have his ass kicked.

The litterbugs, the scammers, the users,

the brazen liars in pursuit of a sale

they are the next to go.

The positioners who push themselves

to the front of the line

I've had my fill of them.

I'll sick my Shih Tzu that shits you

to visit their lawns every day.


Yes, now I shall dangle the bag

with the fresh weight in the bottom

like it's a brand new scrotum.

I am ready to smite the next fat cat

prepared to pay for privilege

who demands this is the rightful way.

There will be no placating me.

Tell everyone you must that I left

my cape at home today

but I will sling my bag of dog crap

at the next Goliath I see.


Damn I Bruise

Damn I bruise like a top shelf peach.

A sickly yellow purple gray patch

announces itself on my bicep and thigh

just from hauling a mini-fridge

down a flight of stairs. I hugged it

too tight and it bit back. I feel

like an old man on a strict diet of

prunes, all clogged up and sputtering

into some ridiculous predicament

that will happen later this week.

Like once in a while when you hear a guy

in the stalls two doors down who

sounds like an outboard motor starting up.

You want to say, Hey, Johnny Thunderclap,

get a hold of yourself. You don’t

always have to rush into the drama

of a gale force. Still the guy continues

to press his vehemence. And I’m thinking

of the fence falling down on the back of

my lot. When is there going to be the energy

for that? Right after I watch the All-American

kid at third base come up to bat on TV?

Hell, I have underwear that’s as old as him.

It settles into its role at the bottom of

the drawer, waiting for the elastic on

all the new guys to give out. My wife tells me

I should get rid of things I don’t use anymore.

She understands how the middle class works.

I’ve seen the unkempt and the snarled get

thrown to the wolves. There they are at

the end of the offramp holding up a tattered sign

that says, I won’t lie. I need to get drunk.

Suddenly I realize I need to get old,

but don’t make me hold up a goddamned sign.

Don’t discolor my hide or make my veins bulge

or let my joints become gnarled. I won’t sign off

on that deal unless . . .what’s that? You’re saying it’s

non-negotiable? I have to stay this way until

I completely crap out? What if overexert myself

once again? Will I get some sort of honorable mention?

Probably not. In that case, I will make my way to

the last resort, where I can ride my motorboat

out to the middle of the lake and float and drift

like a piece of cast-off bait in the chop.

~ Tim Kahl [] is the author of Possessing Yourself (CW Books, 2009), The Century of Travel (CW Books, 2012) and The String of Islands (Dink, 2015). His work has been published in Prairie Schooner, Drunken Boat, Mad Hatters' Review, Indiana Review, Metazen, Ninth Letter, Sein und Werden, Notre Dame Review, The Really System, Konundrum Engine Literary Magazine, The Journal, The Volta, Parthenon West Review, Caliban and many other journals in the U.S. He is also editor of Clade Song []. He is the vice president and events coordinator of The Sacramento Poetry Center. He also has a public installation in Sacramento {In Scarcity We Bare The Teeth}. He plays flutes, guitars, ukuleles, charangos and cavaquinhos. He currently teaches at California State University, Sacramento, where he sings lieder while walking on campus between classes.

June, 2017


              Dan Abernathy

              Carman Hittle

              Mya Swain

              Jocelyn Moore

April 2017


              Todd Moore

              Dan Abernathy

              Donal Mahoney

              A.D. Whans

March 2017


             Dan Abernathy

              Katie Ernst

              Jocelyn Moore

              Shayla Peredies

February 2017


              Dan Abernathy

              Katie Ernst

              Bonnie McDonnall

~ Dan Abernathy makes available 98% of all his perspectives, be they fluid and random thoughts, or meandering and incomplete rants to the masses. They other 2% he keeps to himself, archived and a gift for the scholars and naysayers to decipher.

When not roaming the road in his converted 1991 International school bus, Abernathy claims Pinedale, Wyoming as home.

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