Caper's Poets

Quito — Lisa Marie Basile

If you are patient
the estrellas y lunas
will slide down your telescope
into your mouth

That is what Señor Amaltano said about
his dreams in Quito,

that most perfect place in
all of Ecuador, and in all
of the World,

the center of all warm things,
sprinkled upon the equator, where
even giant monsters go
to weep

over symmetry.


Filed under: Lisa Marie Basile, , ,

The Wayback Machine — CL Bledsoe

Saturday morning is a eulogy for Memphis
wrestling, “Dick Williams’ Magic Hour,” the optimism
of emphatic ignorance. The Lone Ranger wears his mask
because he is a ghost, not a coward. The Rifleman can choose
not to use his gun
unless someone really deserves
to be shot. Even then, he just wounds them. The smell
of horses, gunpowder burning
on the tongue. (Bad) men screaming. I would brush
my teeth with a piece of leather, go without bathing
every day, and I would not cry, even when the arrows
pierced my skin. They always grazed anyway.
was my father as much as anyone whose name
I happen to share. Back then, we didn’t know
we were worthless, so we did great things. Back then,
Saturday morning was Sunday comin’ down. All
was forgiven in the enthusiasm of youth. The Noble
Savage may torture, but he never betrays
his nature, Kemo Sabe. The dusty plains of boyhood
stretch ever onward, un-owned, interrupted only by
commercial breaks, sugared crunchy bits
to turn the milk pink.
Saturday morning tells us a man can paint
his face and dance for children and still look his father
in the eye. A man can play pretend well past
boyhood and still walk the aisles of Piggly Wiggly. These men.
Outside, the sun is beginning to rise and the Space Cadet
can’t find his decoder ring. Soon, there will be chores: fish
to feed, fields to walk as the sun scolds him awake. Bullies
who don’t seem to understand that bad guys don’t win.
He will not cry. Even when disappointment comes for his heart
like a gang of outlaws. He will stand tall, face them down.
Evil clouds the aim, after all.

Filed under: CL Bledsoe, Issue 3,

In the Golden Chamber of St. Ursula — Grace Andreacchi

Bones spiral outward
drenched in gold
small and thin, chicken or child

Golden chrysalis of pain
a stillness unbroken
by waves of thunder

That last night of Mary’s month
the sky dripped fire
and eleven thousand

Stars burned in the wayward streets
men phosphorescent
turned to little lumps of clay

In our hour of need, O Princess
did you spread wide
your ermine cloak?

Filed under: Grace Andreacchi, Issue 3,

Drift — Subhankar Das

Death also walks alone
plays solitary football with brickbat
hides a lonesome tear drop yet in his mind
drifts the language hold yourself in this upsurge
be a little composed you will feel better
saying that I become restless
watching the drift to drift away
leaves behind the touch of solace pride attachment
I dislike you treating me as a beloved
As if you will be relieved if you can set yourself free
So this is the pleasure of attachment
The touches still remain so stupid unreasonable

Filed under: Issue 3, Subhankar Das, ,

The Old Boys — Peycho Kanev

I hate your old gray robes
I despise your white wigs
and most of all I scorn your
volumes of poetry full of nothing
nothing at all

dead words
dried laughter
meaningless sentences

old poets teaching creative writing
at the universities
mumbling unneeded statements

old poets with untouched white faces
and clean hands
never knowing what factory is or
slaughterhouse or rooming house or
skid row

I can’t read your poetry
it is dead to me


I will stick my hand in my chest
and take out my alive and throbbing heart
then I will plunge it into you

and lay peacefully
in the dirt.

Filed under: Issue 3, Peycho Kanev,

Ice — Katherine Horrigan

After the promises
I remember
That time in the kitchen
At the end of the day.
I remember
Standing at the refrigerator door
Putting ice in your glass
I heard the click of each cube
I saw the gold of new cufflinks
Shining with
Another, greater promise

Filed under: Issue 3, Katherine Horrigan

Still, Jude (Independence Day) — Chris Nold

None of my co-workers understand when I say that these Natrona
alleys; Chestnut, Linden, Walnut, Garfield, these must be
the backstreets of Eliot’s Unreal City. Jude tells of childhood arson
tales, staged suicides & runaway florida fugitives: prophecy, Chinese
economic war. & we are drones in the midst of
cyclical hell. This punchclock town,
my father has signed away more than half of
his life to the foundry & the killing floor;
bitter man-child hybrid, speechless supper &
I exile myself. I navigate
the Heights in a suit of dusk.
Stranded in the neon of bar lights
I’m frozen between traffic
I gaze as some local wizard launches fireworks from the
cemetery. Slender explosions cascading
earthbound, like red ferns aflame. A reminder
that this is August, long past Independence day,
as I stand before you naked & lithe, a prisoner still.

Still i smell like calamine & gasoline.
Still i pass tragic & melodramatic landmarks still pledged
sweet 16 forever, empty garage lofts & abandoned attic
bedrooms, still decaying myths.
Still i scribble puzzling references & still I dribble
indecipherable metaphors
rejected by faux Beat co-eds in pretentious polos.
Still i dream of whiskey in boxcars with Sal & and an
expanding American palette.

The next day Jude points out the house of
the Blowjob Queen of Natrona, 20 bucks to cum.
I laugh, asking myself if, perhaps,
she accepts Visa.

Filed under: Chris Nold, Issue 3,

Coryphaeus — Jim Benz


I. A fiery wheel or a dove


I was puzzling. Heroic.

And a barstool.

I was not a throne.


You were both tide and landfall.

A splash of brine.


We were an olive


swallowed, inarticulate

wildly mundane

and not too laconic.


You were conceived in tandem.


We breathed I am, I am not,

breath after breath

in the wardrobe.


I ate silage.

You ate corn out of season.

We wanted to be layered.


They found intricate displays

in your footnotes.


We have our seasons.



II. The dark uncanny


You flew down the staircase.


How dirt stains the carpet.

How there are too many linens.


They need a confession.



III. We are method


Your toe is a pencil.

It traces the hollow of reason.


Layers and layers

of heart beat and reason.


These are shadows.


Shadows are not method

and we are not echoes.

We lean toward the sun.


They ask us to be pleasure.



IV. Shaped and reshaped


What do they make

of our chorus.


We are translucent

and sorrow.



V. Somewhere in habit


You exhale. There are no syllables

caught in your teeth.


We are lonely. Your clock

is unwound. We eat the undercooked meat

that they serve us. It has delays.


You were avoiding the spoon

on your saucer. It is on your lips.

It is a measure of moments.


I cannot elaborate.

The saucer was only contrivance.



VI. A sort of coma


What do we void

if we count minute by minute

what is void


is retention. What do we count.


The minutes, the echoes.

Let me think.


They want me to think

in a chorus.



VII. Wildly mundane


About linens.


Their linens hang in a wardrobe

but the wardrobe is barren.

Its dimensions

are not what we hoped for.


Layers and layers

of footnotes and silage.


They want a confession.


They did not expect

the clock to be chiming.


The hours have been sprung

from its gears.

We do not comprehend


how they fold time into echoes.

We are submerged.


It is not what we hoped for.



VIII. Not a chorus


These tides


do not crest when the moon

falls from orbit.


They only sing softly


into night

for no reason.


We are not singing.



IX. A tin cup


This is an echo.


Every shade of intent

is a heart beat.


We are not method.

Not of syllables


and these

are not words.


We have seasons.

Filed under: Issue 3, Jim Benz,

Instructions on a Packet of Instant Angel — Jack Kristiansen

Open only when deemed appropriate.
1. Prepare your prayer beforehand
(nine words or fewer for best results).     
2. Unaccompanied, close off room.
3. Place empty plastic (expendable) cup
on tabletop, countertop, or floor.
4. Cut or tear packet along dotted line.
5. Inhale lungful of air and exhale it into cup.
6. Immediately pour in contents of packet.
7. Wait for minute of flightiness to pass.
8. Address presence with deference.
Caution:  After euphoria
some suffer prolonged despair.

Filed under: Issue 3, Jack Kristiansen.,

In The Desert — Neila Mezynski

Peter lived in the foothills. By himself. Excavating, he said. People knew he wasn’t looking for precious ore. Peter was hiding. People, bah, prickly pears and rattlesnake droppings. Zoftic Sarah enters. At a social dysfunction group, Peter met winsome Sarah and was immediately smitten by the phobic runaway princess who was hiding from her deranged kingly father who had just the right guy for her. Independent Sarah took a cotton to Peter and invited him to her pink bed.  Often. Peter went. Pinkly.  Flickers of lights in windows of little yellow houses, tangled ringlets on fresh pillow cases, the number three, yipping dogs, baby. Burning a hole in Peter’s usually detached mind.  Boyhood dad, unfinished childhood. Dad. Me, Princess Sarah, before the fat lady sings and the sticky syrup called beautiful life.

Filed under: Issue 3, Neila Mezynski,

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