Corner of Cedarwood and Northwest… by Matthew Brouwer


Corner of Cedarwood and Northwest

Almost finished with my daily walk
my head throbs meekly
like the closeted demands

of a passive aggressive in-law

Gray Holstein clouds munch upon the blue sky
excreting an unsatisfying

50 degree weather

Nearby, a group of teenagers
just released from school
patch their insecurities

with indiscriminate utterances of profanity

Somewhere a car alarm honks continuously
every two and a half seconds

putting everyone on edge

To my right a drunken homelessman

sleeps jaggedly in the grass

A mangy black dog eyes me queerly

from the back of a beat-up pickup truck

Suddenly I realize
I have had my shirt on backwards

all day

Before me a steady line of cars
drags like chains upon the roadway
the faces of their occupants look as if

they care nothing for the problems of humanity

The slogan on the credit union reader board irritates me
as I wait for the signal to turn to walk
I tire of wearing these pajamas in public

and wonder when my rash will go away

When I get home I think I’ll call my girlfriend
and tell her, yes, I still love her
even though last night I agreed, yes
it would probably be best for her to leave now
and ride her bicycle back home

in the dark


“Corner of Cedarwood and Northwest” was originally published in The Gospel According to Matthew. Poem by Matthew Brouwer. 2012.

Copyright © 2012 by Matthew Brouwer


Walt Whitman Fantasy… by Matthew Brouwer


Walt Whitman Fantasy

Six o’clock

January darkness

Rainclouds pressed
against the face of the earth

like a razor

I’m sitting in my room trying to remember

how to write a poem

Think about putting on some ambient music
to push me out into the deep end

of my mind

But really, has that ever worked?

Maybe I should acquire some shrooms

But I don’t think that’s such a good idea

Shroom poet says some crazy shit

Think maybe I should give all my money
to the Lighthouse Mission

that would put me out to the edge

Probably not such a good idea neither

I just want to be like Walt Whitman

You know

in love with Everything!

Virginal Indian squaws
gay looking school boys
Christ-like deathbed union soldiers
sagely bearded frontiersmen
shitty American street corner vagrants

whales, spiders, cemetery grass


Though if I ever met the man

I’d probably be scared as hell

or just disappointed

Because just like Jesus
no one could really ever be

like everything they said

Just like how I hope someday
some virulent young college-age
neo-hippie fanatic
will show up at a reading of mine

and be disappointed by me

To find I’m not that mountain lion

stalking about in my poems

Just the dial on your stereo
every day fine tuning a little this way
then a little that

trying to get the treble just right

Just the dial on the radio in your car
for a moment
Mahler’s 5th symphony


A parousia of violins

and then once again nothing

except static


Matthew Brouwer is a performance poet, peer mentor, teaching artist, and organizational consultant residing in Bellingham, WA. (To listen to Matthew read the above poem click on Walt Whitman Fantasy)

Copyright © 2012 by Matthew Brouwer


….Pretty in this Town / Satellite…. by David Christopher la Terre


Pretty in this Town / Satellite 3-31-2011

six weeks ago, she was acting-out the drama in high style. six years ago; six generations, then six hundred years ago – the same thing – driving ’round in her (car) & (honking) at stupes that … & now, here she is, 616 years old & out of suitors; she can still taste the potato skins on the back of her teeth: hard to look pretty – hard to look like a beamster gymnast or championship pianist when every guy in the (room) thinks you’re a prude. the boy (girl?) who broke her heart; only ’cause she gave himher/it too much time, some six months prior, like a county prison sentence – bad teeth – like one of Leno’s Jaywalking victims: couldn’t even tell you where the west coast was; couldn’t tell you the body of water that floated Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica (fuckable) … to any guy in the (Old Chicago? TGIF? Applebees?) bar: fuckable … no strings … the author has quit the page. resigned. union walk-out. you can all go home! -fall off the facebook of whatever … he put his dick in yourmy/our purse & the world, sadly, has blemished. (the world being a 600-yard radius & even the author says [goodnight]). NO WOMAN NO CRY; NO WOMAN/OKRA! but back to the page. she moves to VA, inland, determined to reinvent herself: sexy librarian … tongue-twisting ambidextrous commandant … SLAVE TO NO MAN. but something went wrong. she forgot about mother. she forgot about school. & now she remembers: the boy-thingee’s Irish eyebrows; the big teeth & jaw of prolonged colt years. i quit. enough. -the west coast? i’ll find it. shit. i’m outti. fuck mom. fuck Hallmark. boys R toys. i’m doing the lounge. you’ll see. you’ll cry. six years.   pricks.

David Christopher la Terre is an old punk, advertising brat, artist, writer, hit-and-run orator, humorist, exfilmmaker, “asexual icon” and sentimental Modernist pursuing work in new formats, hybrids, language arts, Sound Poetry, decon, “post-mod,” prank-art … ‘living satire’ … he has been published in the Slate, Spleen, Lost & Found Times, Rag Mag, Roar Shock, Open Minds, Spankstra Press & Monkeybicycle.

Copyright © 2011 by David Christopher la Terre

Also check out William James’ blogger page Pen Head Press.

“When The Bombs … ” by Bruce V Bracken


                                                  WHEN THE BOMBS…

       Remember to wake up when the bombs tell you to, or you’ll have to find out what everybody else knows already, and didn’t you get it on the news,

       or did you sleep through it yesterday, when the bombs fell, and only find out from the flying piece of newsprint that you grabbed while standing on the sidewalk, while the mutants pitied you, so condescending?

       When bombs fall, it’s often quite a noisy event, so how could you have slept through it all, even if you were so drunk on Jäger, that if they told you that the reindeer was really a Christian, you’d believe it.

       When one is hung over, loud noises really hurt, so you must have really been conked out, when the bombs fell, and you didn’t feel the floor under your bed dissolve like sugar.

       When you wake up after bed-surfing down the street, that’s a good indicator that your house is gone. Look at you, naked and covered in cement dust! Cover up with a sheet, the mutants are laughing!

       When the bombs fell last week, you should have received a notice in the mail, telling you what to do next. Having a demolished mailbox is no excuse! Don’t go begging the mutants for instructions.

       If a bomb falls next to you, pick it up gently. Remember, it’s more afraid of you than you are of it. Whatever you do, do not show it to the mutants; they are bored with it, already.

       When the bombs fall, and a mutant finds you, do not run away. Let it eat your burnt skin away. This is how they groom each other, like monkeys, like goldfish at a fancy pedicure salon.

       When the bombs fell, we discovered our inner snakes. We mutated a coat of feathers. We glided over the burnt-out skylines, like Icarus in dress rehearsal. We are the mutants, laughing.

Bruce V. Bracken is a poet/spoken word/language artist, a three-time Seattle Poetry Slam winner, as well as an eleven-year veteran of the Seattle poetry community, who shares the record with April Ardito, of the Worcester Poetry Slam, for hosting the world’s longest poetry slam (96 hrs.) during Nationals in 2001. Bruce V. Bracken hopes to perfect dihydro-testosterone, and sell it as a topical solution to men who hate having to shave their heads. Bruce V. Bracken is politically inconvenient. Bruce V. Bracken won the pushcart prize, but lost it when QFC wanted their shopping cart back. Bruce V. Bracken has taught the youth nothing.

Copyright © 2011 Bruce V. Bracken



Dear Tyler by Tera McIntosh


Preset to Poem: Tyler Clementi was an eighteen-year-old student at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey, who jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge on September 22, 2010. His roommate Dharum Ravi had video streamed Clementi kissing another man over the Internet without Clementi’s knowledge. A victim of gay bullying–this is my too late letter to Tyler–usually performed in slam poetry style.


Dear Tyler,

        Nobody told you before…
but thing’s won’t always be so great
We’ve managed to abolish slavery—-
but still harvest fresh grown hate
Right here in our own backyard, it exists
I just stepped on some right around the corner
And I am hoping with these words—theeese wordddddddddds
I might Weed out some of the rest…
because these shoes—theseeee shoes…. are tired— of stepping in it.

It’s not always gonna be so great….
But don’t give up
-roll up your tolerant sleeves
And… your intellectual fists
flex the muscles of your mind
And beat them with proof and pride

Your stronger then the monsters of their mind
Don’t let them take you back to the underground hide yourself times
Full of pink triangles, labels, and separate lunch lines
Hang on Tyler, I promise
It gets better this time

Don’t feed societies dreams
Let who you are bust from your seams
On to others that love you just as you are
On to others that have hung picture s of you on
The walls of their hearts.

And for those others…the haterrrrs
Take their words and trap them in a jar
And make sure you tighten the lid
Because words can’t escape and sting youuuu
If you don’t let them

And if that doesn’t work

Build a damn within your voice
that blocks the flooding emotions
From your mind to your heart
That makes you want to say I give up—–
—cause enough is enough

Don’t give up —even when enough has had
Enough of enough
And you feel like the weakest— in the world of the tough
Take a breathe that starts from the heart of your heart
And remember how far you’ve come from the start
Of the start of who you really are now.

Don’t let them win
Fight hard—paper beats rock again and again.
Fight through the early cold morning why’s
And the late night solo questioning cries
And be you—let your rays shine through onto others
And soon you will be speaking
And educating kids who were just——— like—- you.

And when night falls and you feel
Lost in the abnormal herd of different kind
Remember that in the early morning wake
You will still be everything you’ve always wanted to be
And that’s enough.

Don’t let people say we’re not the same
Because the last time I loved
I still loved as hard as they do
Harder then the square root of you
Harder then goodbye for the last time
Harder then jamming out in my car to my favorite rhyme
While the person over in the next lane
Just smiles at me and drives on thru.
Because she can’t tag my differences
From her sunglasses view.

And when they say we are not just the same
Show them the holes in your socks
That have traveled the loneliest nights with you
Show them that you bleed and sneeze
You laugh and scream
And you love and dream
Dream that you’ll be treated the same
One day from the heart of their heart.

Don’t let middle school whispers echo
Into the confined,conformed,lockers of your mind
and build up hallways of fear
that separate who you are and
who others want you to be.

And those words they say about you
Stack them up in a perfect row
And climb them one by one
And soon you will be standing at the top
Stronger then everyone below—
Because tough times— make us grow—————
As strong as the writings on the legal pad
Of our mind that spells out proudly—-

And remember
If I can stand here today, so can you.
It gets better—it did for me…
and it will for you.


About Tmac: Tera McIntosh born in Johnstown, Pa but currently resides in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, home of the Steel City Poetry Slam. I was born a Poet, I played “pixie sticks” with pencils but within the past year have recently starting performing locally in the art of Slam Poetry. I have performed at places in Pittsburgh such as Cannon Coffee, Club, Cafe, and the Shadow Lounge as part of the Steel City Slam Poetry League. I also have entered work for this years SLAB magazine literary contest and have performed at Antioch University Seattle’s Inclusion and Justice Diversity Conference doing this very piece about gay bullying. I am really bad at english/grammar, love coffee, fall, worn-in socks, and third places. I am co-founder of Project Coffeehouse, a nonprofit organization that opens up coffee shops in distressed communities and gives back their revenue to the community to continue building it back up. I am in my last year of doctoral studies at Antioch University for my PhD in Leadership and Change and play professional football for the Pittsburgh Passion. You can search my poetry page under Tmac, or search my grassroots believer self at Tera McIntosh.

Copyright © 2011 by Tera McIntosh