by Jim Warner
“The arsenal of megadeath can’t be rid no matter what the peace treaties come to.”
-Sen. Alan Cranston
“Peace sells, but who’s buying?”
-Dave Mustane, Megadeth
black metal pyre in xeroxed
corpse-paint faces. churches
reverse-phoenix. somewhere in a
jewel case, college dj’s are detached
retinas when it comes to violence.
boxcutter sings to a forearm
in an industrial sink, carves Slayer
with straight edges.
four years later, boys wear trenchcoats.
explicate lyrics like a tuesday in A.P.
English when Mrs. Grace asked us
to close-read “The Naming of Parts.”
we never pointed flowers at cops,
expecting it to blossom into inverted
roses and kevlar, yet we burned
our earlobes scarlet with American thrash.
after dinner and a diagnosis Mrs.
Grace buried her revolver deep into cancer.
stave church. colorado library. crooked
fingers taste ashes. Odin or Manson.
printer’s ink, as bitter as almonds,
paint effigies with broken tongues. pending
legal action blood-muddies the water. lyrics
we write but often misquote.
Even Necrobutcher Gets the Blues
Remove your facepaint
in a Best Western sink.
Drink hot tea from a paper
cup. The shower’s water
pressure is low, slightly
below a morning piss. You
left your glasses on the bus.
Everything but McDonalds is
closed. Your jacket smells like pig’s
blood and baby powder.
She didn’t return your call. Re-string
your bass guitar.
Burned hair from the pyro. Stoli
bottles and french fries.
There is a seven hour time difference.
You’ll call again in the morning.
Faust was also a drummer
“It’s better to have a knife you don’t need than to not have one when you need it”
–Bård Guldvik Eithun
sinks cold hands
into denim rivers, wraps fingers
around leather grips. Accents
spell out night along the swell
of a question. Punctuate the
guilt with a knife. He claims
that this was unlike him. Barter with lust
but bargain against shame. The indefinite,
unclaimed subordinate clause needs a direct
a pint of broken teeth, left the bar alone
just to fumble edged obsession
against an olympic park backdrop, in sight
of the treeline. His drum instructor
always told him, power comes from the wrist–compact
motion, conservation of power. What snaps
like decision–the neck or reflex? Zippo
a church to light your cigarette.
Jim Warner‘s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in various journals including The North American Review, [PANK] Magazine, Midwestern Gothic, and is the author of two collections of poetry (PaperKite Press). Currently, Jim is the Managing Editor of Quiddity housed by Benedictine University at Springfield, and writes the weekly column “Best Worst Year” for SunDog Lit.