Caper's Poets

Blue Lantern — William Doreski

Determined to catch me sinning,

you accuse me of attending

synagogue with atheist intent

and of buying heroin to give

to grammar-school kids. No wonder

you once caused a train wreck—bodies

arrayed by the track, a pair

of locomotives locked like stags.

Good thing we didn’t marry

after graduating high school

as your drunken father insisted.

He obsessed on your sex life

and now he drools in the nursing home

where the nurses think he’s cute.

Snow piles up in the alleys.

Rat-tracks simper from trash can

to trash can. Your flat overlooks

the site of a notorious fire.

They hauled a hundred carcasses

from the wreckage. You inspired

that disaster by staring intently

at the people going in and out

of the night club in the basement.

Upstairs, where the fire started,

a lone ghost prowled with blue lantern,

which you read as the emblem

of the life we failed to share. Now

enshrouded in wealth, you regret

nothing but the failure to catch me

in sins worse than yours. You crouch

by your gas fireplace and warm

the palms of your hands and pretend

you’re going to brand me with scorching

I’ll never shed; but black ice

scours the winter streets, concealing

the places where I’ve bled for you.


Filed under: Issue 3, William Doreski, ,

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, , ,

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, ,

Defending The Valley — Derek Richards

there’s a shoulder bruise from a shotgun
nearly as sore as the ache
in the center of my chest.
mary-ellen tells me she’s pregnant
and the rebels have taken another mountain.

i could use a mug of hot coffee
or a swig of grandad’s whiskey.
it’s colder this summer than any winter night.

those first gunshots,
those first villages burning,
armed with an axe slicing firewood,
sneaking kisses from my wife.

twenty-two names came across the river
spoken solemnly by a teenage boy.
his horse staggered, exhausted,
but the boy urged him on down the Old Road,
twenty-two names fast.

mary-ellen would like a daughter
but we need a son.
all that white powder drifting down from the mountains.
blue-eyed skinny boys expertly load automatics
and we’ve got farmers armed with rusted rakes.

Captain, I believe you scored six across the stream?
my nephew examines me; he wants to smile.
Are you shooting, Hedik, or are you counting?
Shooting sir, but I’ve got two eyes.

Filed under: Derek Richards, Issue 3, ,

Those Poor Old Friends — Ryan Traster

“It’s funny how heartbreak is inevitable, in every situation, no matter what”, she said.

The truth is, is that it’s not funny at all.

There’s nothing ironic about it.

It isn’t part of some cosmic joke.

No one is watching over you laughing.

It’s sick and grotesque. The type of thing that destroys bright-eyed little boys, running in tall grass, ready to take on the world.  It drains their souls year after year until they become ravaged grey men.  Weathered and bitter at the things that slipped between their fingers.  They sit in the back of bars, with their remaining strands of grey hair slicked back over the tops of their tired heads.  Forty years in that bar every night, looking for purpose, drinking themselves into obesity.  Laughing with the others, you can see a chance glitter of their youth in those desperate smiles.  Poor old friends with their coffee stained teeth and their pockets lined with the cigarettes they smoked when they were young.  The kind that made them look cool at parties when they were 19.  Age is ugly beyond comprehension, the outward appearance of decay and the footsteps that close in on the eternal.  Youth is the fleeting dreams of “beauty forever”.  The idea that something sweet lives behind those cold iron doors which are always just beyond our reach.  Something that brings painful waves of nostalgia, eyes welled up and sinuses pulsating.

You are created to learn the ultimate of all injustices.  An injustice that everyone on some level, somewhere in the depths of the imagination, believes to be true.  A sick fascination of an entire species based solely on survival and convenience.  Those poor old friends who are brought into this world undesirable.  Deprived of their sole primordial instinct, unwanted even as a pleasure tool.

There is no honesty in love.

Filed under: Issue 3, Ryan Traster, ,

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