The VGP Flashback #3

Illusion of Art

The sentences come back
as I write them
& resent being erased,
deleted, or changed. They’re ineradicable now,
welded like buckshot remnants
to that invisible page of desire
where the impetus to make art awaits
impatiently, as fingertips strafing Braille
in your unconscious mind
where it’s always 3 a.m.
in Scott Fitzgerald’s soul–but you can’t throw them
or him out into the street
where thoughts enunciate themselves
(with rhetorical flourishing!)
Far from the blank page
on your computer screen
where faint radioactive emanations
persistently grope for
all the imprisoned writers of the world
mentally chained to machines
& inherited obsolete concepts
that should remain unwritten,
unthought, undisturbed,
the way mirage water puddles
on distant roads are
in the sunlight,
before you race towards them
& they disappear.

 

“Illusion of Art” was written by Peter Magliocco and published by Virgogray Press in his 2010 chapbook, Nude Poetry Garage Sale

Carcinogenic Poetry Recap No. 3

Just Like Edgar Allen Poe’s Blues

I found my heart wandering
the streets of Baltimore,

penniless,
raving unintelligibly,

dressed in someone else’s clothes.
It was coming from a funeral,

or going to one,
and when I failed to ask whose,

it was gone.

But, all these years later,
mere acquaintances

continue to receive letters
begging for $10 for the fare home.

 

All That Was Lost Is Returned

The TV was broken,
but my father kept turning the dial.

There was something he wanted
to watch that night.

At the kitchen table my mother
was drawing in her eyebrows.

Children I knew from school
lurched down the road

in the front of our house
with suitcases held together by rope.

It wasn’t dark, and then it was,
and the flames swayed

despite the lack of wind.
The poet gestured to me to follow him

over the high railing of the bridge.
I looked around for help.

A woman stood on the corner
with her hip thrust out.

Six years passed in a minute.
Such things are true if you believe them

 

 

Howie Good, a journalism professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, is the author of 11 previous poetry chapbooks, including Still Life with Firearms (2009, Right Hand Pointing), Visiting the Dead (2009, Flutter Press) and My Heart Draws a Rough Map (2009, The Blue Hour Press). He has been nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize and four times for the Best of the Net anthology. His first full-length book of poetry, Lovesick, was released in 2009 by Press Americana.

Originally published in Carcinogenic Poetry on December 5, 2009. 

The VGP Literate No. 17

Drowning for Love

Voices in my head
cannot stop saying how
she’s clouding their vision.
Makes thinking clearly tough

when everything is shaded
her favorite color, blue.
Stands to reason my subconscious
seeks out a woman most pleased

with paint the color of the sea.
I’ve always been an ocean guy.
Smell of salt, raw power surging
against boundaries drawn by land.

But I always sink in the sand,
never achieving a final, briny push,
doing my best anchor impression.
My body straining against the tide

in attempt to stay grounded. My lungs
yearn to express a final gasp of air,
vocal cords doing their best
to wrangle a gleeful cry.

My mouth forever twisted
in the shape of a smile
that would make others wonder why
I chose to go out that way.

Travis Laurence Naught is an author who lives near Spokane, WA. Two volumes of his confessional poetry, The Virgin Journals (ASD Publishing, 2012) and Still Journaling (e-book, 2013), and his debut fiction novel, Joyride (Black Rose Writing, 2016), are available where books are sold. Individual stories and poems by Travis have been published widely. Check out naughtapoet.blogspot.com for more of his information and original writing!