ISSUE  1   2   3   4   SUBMIT

Three Poems

Wayne Koestenbaum


I bumped into Sinatra’s bone
during mother’s Rasputin
phase: lackadaisical interlude.


baby-talk ice cream.
Permit him a growth spurt.


This is a Goya.
This is a sought-after
financial property.


Radical faeries offer
forced sterilization
to newts and toads.


Spillane is diffident.
Are houris synchronized?
Vamoose, soliloquy.


If the urethra is his or hers
the pet monkey effect applies:
fallacy of the monad.


Gonad? Now I can’t
remember the hideously
logical Lydian conception.


Inarticulateness begets
this whack-off area,
Super Bowl audible.


I regress. Circe
is a misty integument.
Browse these cracks.


Colt, Titan, doxa,
Ritalin, Elliott Gould,
Saks, Farsi, pharmakon.


I regress. Wigglers,
unite! Happy
are we to be nothing.

The Tidbit School of Adult Entertainment

My favorite TV program
is Green Acres.
It has everything I need:

breeze, breast augmentation,
vocabulary, dry cleaning,
Miracle-Gro, positivism.


The palace hallways are diseased.
A tube of Tinkertoys
poses as penicillin.

Salome waits near the fire screen.
She wants to tinkle:
not permitted.


Whoa! I tell
my father awful things.
As a result, the future

is sick. Two Trovatore arias
become hyper-realistic,
dystopian. One spits upon the other.


My brother discovers the horse farm.
I have second fiddle status.
And I’m not even a fiddle.

Four stoats race around my body—
or am I pursuing them?
I’m not even a third fiddle, or a fourth.


Sorbet. Primal ooze.
My father erases our last name.
Swinging in summer sun

I’m driven to repeat
the library smell of waiting
for alphabetization to arise.


Giddy-up giddy-up.
Expressivity is dead.
So is Red Buttons.

I don’t want to read
about Lebanon or Israel.
That stance backfires.

No, My Talk Is Not About Hannah Arendt


Off to service a new marine.
The regime of “thirty things”:

do thirty things in a row,
each small and purposeful.

I get it: copula
is the root of copulation.

Gros manseng, petit manseng:
eccentric grapes. Gripes.


The guilt-tripper and I
hug near the strip parlor—

his beard black, retributive.
He drinks my bleach.

Afterward, the turnstile.
His unseeing eyes evade, divert, provide.

I need the noun containment.
Direct quotation.


My snack-sized pudding cup
expresses repentance.

The sound of its lid opening
is unfriendly, cosmopolitan.

Pudding sees itself
as brazen. I perceive it

as possessing the odorless, refined
atmosphere of a eunuch evangelist.


In 76-degree water
Alban Berg watched Liza Minnelli

gently shred goat into oblivion:
“I noticed she was beautiful &

wanted to call on someone
else to acknowledge that she

was in no ordinary way