One Night I Dreamt of an Angel by Bret LeBeau


I sat for breakfast at a diner
And saw her in the booth across from mine.

A plate of crumbs on her table.

She watched me order, receive my order and begin to eat.
Don’t just eat it, she said.
Don’t just put it in your mouth, chew and swallow.
If you do it like that then what’s the point?
It should be done this way instead.

Her plate now had breakfast on it.

She looked at the food.
Eggs, ham, hashbrowns under her gaze.
They began to tremor and hum on the plate.
The grease radiated like the sun.

See now, she said.

The tremoring grew violent.
Bits of egg spilling out.
The hashbrowns breaking apart.
The ham swelling and levitating.

This is how, she said.

The humming rose to a chaotic raucous.
The rays of light enveloped the plate,
Then the table,
Then everything within the diner.
I screamed.


Other nights, I never dreamt of an angel.
The days that followed ended all the same.


Bret LeBeau is originally from New Orleans. He currently lives in Colombia, SC with his wife and son where he makes a living as a ghostwriter. In 2016 he received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Memphis. 

A Day in the Life of… by Bret LeBeau


At 4am I wake sweating and stinking in my sheets on the floor by my bed.
I feel drunk. I feel drugged. I must be drugged.
So down to the diner for food—but what food is this, this
grease-based, sugary fat, globular, doughy, half raw bacterial mush?
Two old women at the booth in the corner, both sitting on one side, squeezed,
their backs against the wall, their arms vanished beneath a delirious-red table where
their plates of face grease and mugs of caffeinated mud water steam.
Staring at me are their soulless eyes in their faces which
gleam from the bare light bulb above their heads,
like in interrogation, like on a movie set, like trapped on a ufo probing deck.
But I eat. Yes, I eat.
And the ventilator above my head goes,
Humbaba, humbaba, humbaba…
8am and at the bus stop, waiting, smoking one after another after another.
Next to me, smoking too, double amputee Lewis,
the stump tips like two sideways vaginas suspended above the
plastic foot-pedals of his charity issued wheelchair.
Cars breathe by and by; trucks and buses groan.
Diesel monoxide in lung-blood rivulets between drags of cigarette.
Some people sit at bus stops with nowhere to go, and I say, Go back to your church cot.
Go back to your old corduroy couch, your sick mother’s house.
Let me wait for this bus in peace

…I dream of a hideous beast in the trees, guarding the gods…
There droops Lewis, asleep, drool gathering in his collarbone pit like a volcano culdera of
nicotine filth.
I slept too—the earth turned quite a bit.
Syrup-sugar sweat beading on my brow, tickling the small of my back.
Three hours passed, passed? as if they ran on diesel, on gasoline, on two little feet.
As if they looked back and saw me and Lewis, asleep at the stop, and said,
Whoa, whoa, whoa, we passed them.
I cough to wake Lewis; I get up to leave—say, won’t be going where I was going today
And hours tick on—walk, see, nowhere to go.
There, across the street, an amorphous man on a string led by a humanoid dog.
Dog shits, man bends, bag over his hand like a condom, his rashy crack winks at the sky
and a collective cringe shudders down the afternoon avenue….
4pm, another futureless day partly in my pocket, like lint.
I try to read my palm, but can’t read past the incision scars under which
malignant tumors once lived—can’t read the crossroads there.
Above me is a sign—an image—white-toothed Ray J. Roy, Defense Attorney,
and his fucking up-thumb the size of an arm.
The center of the world is here, under Ray J. Roy, and existence shimmies outward in
honeycomb scabs of bailbond shops, nail salons, spouse-abuse domiciles, places to eat…
And at 6pm, another dimly lit evening starts at the Everywhere Bar & Lounge

Bret LeBeau is originally from New Orleans. He currently lives in Colombia, SC with his wife and son where he makes a living as a ghostwriter. In 2016 he received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Memphis. 

Virtual Open Mics: Focus Texas

Greetings fellow poets and poetry readers. Because of circumstances beyond our control, many poets and writers have been unable to meet at their regularly scheduled open mics and reading events, depriving us of that much needed social exposure and aural literary nourishment.

Tenacious and stubborn as ever, poets have taken to the internet and are sharing their work through virtual open mics and other such literary events! To support the cause of poetry and live open mic sessions, Virgogray is publishing a list of ongoing virtual open mics localized to Central Texas. We look forward to publishing an expanded list of virtual open mics and poetry readings. If you are interested in having your virtual event included in our list, please feel free to begin correspondence at: virgograypress@gmail.com.

Place in subject line: Virtual Readings

Please note: Zoom meeting ID’s and passwords are changed per event, we are working on a page to keep these events current as possible. Coming soon.

 

MONDAYS

1 PM: INDEPENDENCE AIRPORT – hosted by Geoffrey Hall

8 PM: STAY @ HOME OPEN MIC – hosted by Richie D. Marrufo & brought to you by the Barbed Wire Open Mic Series (El Paso)

 

WEDNESDAYS

1 PM: CORROBOREE – hosted by Geoffrey Hall

 

THURSDAYS

5 PM: AUSTIN POETRY SOCIETY OPEN MIC – hosted by Louise Gail Richardson 

7 PM: PERMIAN BASIN VIRTUAL OPEN MIC – hosted by Jack Campbell (Odessa)

7:15 PM: BOOK WOMAN OPEN MIC – hosted by Cindy Huyser (Austin)

7 PM: WAKE THE DEAD – hosted by Mark Anthony Rockeymoore (San Marcos1st Thursday only)

6:30 PM: TEMPLE LIVE POETS – hosted by Gwendolyn Gray (2nd Thursday only)

11 AM: POETRY ALOUD – hosted by Mike & Joyce Gullickson- (Georgetown)

12 PM: 100,000 POETS FOR CHANGE -hosted by Jack Campbell (Odessa)

 

SUNDAYS

12 AM: MIDNIGHT MUSE – hosted by Thom Woodruff & David L. Young (Sunday morning)

7 PM: SPOKEN N HEARD@KICK BUTT – hosted by Hot Tamale, Ernie B, Lost in Thought (Austin – SKYPE)

2 PM: STONE SOUP SESSIONS (3rd Sunday only)


OTHER ZOOM OPEN MICS

 

WEDNESDAYS

7 PM: GREEN STREET POETS VIRTUAL OPEN MIC – hosted by Toho Journal (Philadelphia)

 

THURSDAYS

1O PM: SOAPBOX POETS (California – 10 PM CTD)

 

SATURDAYS

8 PM: WILDE BEAT POETS – hosted by LYDIA PERCY (New York – 8PM CTD, final Saturday only)