Iambic Ixplosion

“Get Your Shit Done”

by Stephanie Manova

Billy can sail.

Billy can drum.

He’s done almost everything under the sun!

There is something, though-

one thing that’s no fun:

Billy just cannot get his shit done.

Billy has homework.

Billy don’t care.

He says there’s a big, crazy world out there.

His mom and dad lurk,

and sigh in despair.

Like, “Damn? We gotta tie his ass to a chair?”

“Maybe he’s crazy- look at this test!

The fuck is this shit?

I’m fucking depressed.”

“Oh, honey, don’t worry.

He’s not having fun!

He’s trying his hardest!

He’s just really dumb.”

But Billy can’t hear em, ‘cause he’s not upstairs.

He’s not even home…

he’s not really there…

He snuck out the window!

He’s in for good fun.

Anything’s better than getting shit done!

He kayaked to Cuba!

Jet skied to Japan!

Ate snails in Paris!

Stargazed in Iran!

But his mom and dad found him,

and brought home their son.

Like, “Goddamnit, Billy- just get your shit done.”

“I am,” he said softly,

“you don’t understand-”

But nobody listened.

Everyone planned.

“You’re no good for anything,

you whacky, dumb shit.

You’re falling behind!

As parents, we quit.”

But Billy just smiled,

and stood up real slow.

He felt his heart crack

and leak out a glow.

“How can you say that?

When I’ve done all this much?

I’ve swum with whales, dolphins and such!

I built my own planet

where I had my own shed!

A million books rained down on my head!

I ate Churros in space

and jumped into the sea!

The UFO zapped out like 90’s TV!

The aliens loved me

and I loved them back-

they didn’t give homework.

They cut me some slack.”

“Billy…. please stop.

The fuck you just said?

All that bullshit happened up in your head.”

“Ode to a Nosepicker”

by Dawn Herring

With anticipation,

he reaches in

and fumbles around

’till he finds the gem.

He pulls it out,

and he stares in awe.

He thinks it is perhaps

the best he ever saw.

It’s the perfect color:

a subtle shade of green.

And the shape is spectacular:

long and lean.

He gapes a moment longer,

and then on a whim,

he pops it in his mouth

and reaches in again.

“Bovine Enlightenment”

by Peter Venable

The man fancied himself to be strict orthodox;

So prim and square, his God could fit snug in a box.

While mulling the Bible’s figures and paradox,

“Do not muzzle a treading ox” left him flummoxed.

God whispered “Are you smarter or dumber than an ox?”

“Haiku You (or In Bad Taste)”

by Peter Venable

On the beach: rain drops

Titillate my lips and extended tongue

Then splat! A gull dropping

“What Darwin Knew”

by Art Heifetz

The twinkie is extinct,

they recently announced.

We used to nail them to the wall

to see how long they would last.

I guess even the finest chemicals

can’t preserve things


Take the bible thumpers

who believe the Grand Canyon.

was created 5,000 years ago

with one thrust of His Fist

or the global warming deniers

who think we’re simply

passing through a phase.

Doomed to extinction,

every man jack of them.

As Darwin discovered

evolution always takes its toll

even among those

who don’t believe in it.

So let the simpletons rant.

Eons of time are on my side.

“Salt over the left shoulder”

by Timothy Pilgrim

Fleur de sel — to set the bar —

not so much for show,

more, belief the good stuff

will provide flavored certainty

of luck. Avoid tossing over right,

in case holy investigations

bring superstitious truth

to light. It’s a matter

of taste, karma, free will —

another day to live, to spill.

“Rheumatoid Eye in 10 Key”

by Michael Cantin

The one and the seven are nearly indivisible:

very much the same to him.

The nine and the three are different enough,

though still often transposed.

Five is like the free space in bingo.

Beneath his spectacles the keys swim,

avoiding the hunting sharks of his

gnarled old fingers.

The checkbook will just have to balance itself.

“…and the Silicon Placard Read:”

by Michael Cantin

The solid state drives shall spin

inexorably towards failure!

Damn the data torpedoes!

We are still under warranty!

Tremble ye developers, and despair,

for I am the multi cored Ozymandias.

Temples and algorithms shall be

developed to praise my name.

Yet lo, observe,

how the mighty hath fallen:

lying discarded but three years hence

in the Best Buy bargain bin.

“letter to the other animals”                                                          

by rose betit

we are the wisest
of the animals.
look at us with our opposable thumbs
and gaze upon us with envy!
you creatures
winged, feathered
four legged, furred

envy our prowess!
wish you knew how
to frack things.

wish you knew how
to screw the pooch
with such eloquent flair,
always with an opposable thumb
in support of the trigger finger

and always with a properly
placed adjective
a beautiful expletive-

“Grandma Britney”

by Adam Bertocci

Grandma Britney was born in 2004

(which to her parents had once been the future)

and marvels at the things that she never had growing up.

“My first phone

had a two-dimensional screen,” she informs us,

then tells us that a telephone brings sound from far away.

She listens to the music we like

and is not too judgmental;

“Folks don’t always like

what their parents like,” she says.

“Your mom never liked what I played in the car.”

Grandma Britney misses Pop-Pop, who we’ve never met;

“Sometimes I still reach for Mason,

late at night.” We have seen him in pictures,

holding the camera out so he and Grandma can both be in the picture.

Grandma Britney remembers how innocent she was,

growing up,

and is sad that we had it any different.

“The world moves too quickly now,” she tells us.

She loves us.

She tells us to make good decisions.

And sometimes she sits in her room

with an old iPod on

and plays all the funny old songs she grew up with

and looks a little sad when Aiza Cyrus’s mother comes on:

“Back in my day we had music,” she says.

“Soon enough you’ll understand.”

“Why Do We Always Stare At The Box”

by Spencer Sapienza

For some reason, there is a gorilla

on my cereal box

Do gorillas like cereal?

It doesn’t taste

like anything

Is the cereal I bought gorilla-y?

This sugar-stuffed

corn puff lacks potassium.

The box has no suggestion

of primate involvement

in this breakfast product

(apes in a Board Room, sleeves rolled up)

Little humans in shopping carts

Lunchables between their legs

“Mom I want the monkey one!”


1% of profits go

to conserving gorilla habitats in Africa



by Don Pomerantz

Two therapists are empty chairs

with a table of sadness between them.

“Business is bad.”

“Yes, this year, very bad.”

“The people are happy. They smile at one another constantly,

rolling in the sunlight like elephants in warm mud.”

“What happened? Husbands and wives talk.

Their children do well in school.”

“My office is so lonely.”

“Full employment.”

“It’s terrible.”

“No drugs. No alcohol. No abuse.”

“Where did we go wrong?”

“It’s not your fault.

Don’t blame yourself.”

“Love everywhere.  And prosperity,

for God’s sake, broad-based prosperity.”

“I know, I hate when that happens.”

“Come on, I’ll buy us drinks. Don’t worry, tomorrow’s

bound to be worse, this can’t last forever.”

“I miss the bad old days more than anything.

They were our good familiar friends.”

They were our well worn shoes, our familiar friends.

“Here, have a double. Listen, we can

always fall back on Death.”

“Yes, of course, Death!

Here’s to Death!”

“To Death! Click twice for luck!”


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