by Kenneth Pobo

Too much crap in my shed!

Someday I'll clean it out--
a dead mower, empty
Miracle-Gro boxes, wounded
watering cans, leaves from how
many autumns? And a few selves

that I shed when I wearied
of them--like the self
which answers "He's my friend"
when asked who I am
sitting with in a restaurant.
Why didn't I trash that
lying self? I must think

I may need it again--
when the Christians come,
looking for queers,
brickbats in hand. Today

I'll shed that self for good,
toss it out, come what may,
my door open, my secrets

running on the yard,
children let out of school.


by John Stubley

He's off.
Into the land of lollipopsicles, of Englishtoffee and
doubleyum bubblegum ice-cream. Of superjuicy fluffyslushies
and steaminscreamin hotdogmachines.

His dad is studying the
bookies and the totalisedtelevisions
screaming dollarsandcents with colourednumbers. He

Through redandwhite leaves, fancy shoes and
doublepluggers he searches for winning dailydoubles. For
winandaplaces, trifectas and quartets amongst
emptycups and 'Marsbar' wrappers.

And somewhere there a goldenpetal:
a fifty flutters gently.
"Can I take it?" he does not know.
So up the straight he flies, past 'Jungledawns' and 'Medicinekids',
past 'Lindyloos' and 'Silversovereigns'.

But his dad just smiles and looks away, leaving the boy
to wonderquickly, "is that a 'yes'?"
He turns and speedsbackup the straight.

But the fifty is gone.
Blown awaywiththewind and the funnycoloured leaves and everyoneelse.

And the young boy realises thefoolthatheis.
He had uncovered treasure where nonehadbeenburied
and left it uncovered for piratestopounce.


Thomas Stein

in august 1823 hugh glass
was attacked by a grizzly bear near the fork of the grand river
left for dead glass "loner" & adventurer dragged himself
to fort kiowa 200 miles distant & survived by sleeping
near water during the day keeping to high ground at night
eating seasonal fruits & driving gorged wolves away from
rancid buffalo calf carcasses

180 years later I stand at his monument
on a butte above shadehill reservoir
loner & "adventurer" down from bismarck in
the 4x4 to scout fall camping options
in grasslands matrixed amid state & private range

a white tail & her doe
frolic in fenced meadows below the monument
ranchers in distant fields
adjust solar panels
sport fishermen in power boats
push onto the reservoir at noon while
white & yellow butterflies helix
round the monument of a man
caught & killed by the arikara
as he crossed the frozen yellowstone
near the mouth of the big horn
a lifetime before van gogh
painted sunflowers growing now
by the measured mile from here
to saskatchewan town sites


Michelle Cameron

Tucked over in the far corner
the truckers engage
in a Tantric discussion
of pliable possibilities
in the vernacular

at the opposite end
the man meeting
the woman sprayed liberally

with drug store perfume
manifests the endurance
of the love triangle
as his wife lurks outside
with the zoom lens
in her car

the younger generation
pierced and spiked
show appropriate
developmental behavior
by skipping school and drawing
in indelible markers
on the formica counter

the waitress pours
political commentary
with the coffee,
pontificating with
editorial emphasis
on the school referendum

- you betcha, hon, them
brats are spoiled rotten,
she hikes herself
her cleavage playing up
the two old geezers in white loafers
reach in their zipper pockets
for her tip

and by the desert counter
the mother and her two kids
raise the age-old
philosophical question:
if two children in a diner
scream and spit and throw
food on the floor
and everyone ignores them --
are they really there?


Catfish McDaris

The man worked
36 years, he
expected something
for his efforts

It didn't have
to be a woman
popping out of
a cake or
a gold watch

Any recognition would
have been sufficient

Since management was
so cheap and ignorant

I decided to buy
him a card all
our fellow workers
signed it
and threw in
a buck

I gave the card
to the man
we shook hands
and I told him

What an honor
it had been
to have worked
with him

Now he can run
his tavern
and smile

From the beaches
of Puerto Rico
and watch the ladies
shaking their fine
mojo makers.

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