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issue 5


a poem by
Alan King
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start with writing rap lyrics, spit 'em
at all night ciphers, find that space in
the rhythm like a young girl jumping
inside a double-dutch oval
of ropes whipping sidewalks

impress a girlfriend-try convincing your
self love poems are easy to write, read
Sonia's Ballad, know love is in natural things
recall a memory as nectarous as straw-

berry lip gloss on the high school sweet-
heart you wanted to impress by convincing your
self love poems are easy to write,
the same girl whose kiss in the back row
of a Union Station theatre was a Horsehead

Nebula high-her tongue exploring your mouth
like warm avocados, read Nikki's A Response,
learn to use words as weapons, write poems
about rude women who piss you off on subways

their attitudes as miasmic as feces, pull on culture
as a muse, Chuck Brown's influence, the procession
of Parasucos cradling jelly-rhythms, the two AM
pandemonium at a carry out, talk about your
mother's kitchen where curry chicken and fried

plantain clamor for authority in nasal space,
pull inspiration from your father's stories,
then you'll find me in a full-length mirror re-
hearsing hours before the venues open

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