March 5-11, 2007: Ashley Boles and Rob Plath

week of March 5-11, 2007

Ashley Boles and Rob Plath

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Ashley Boles

Bio (auto)

Originally from Hokes Bluff, Alabama, Ashley Boles is a first year Master’s student at the University of Cincinnati with a focus in poetry Some of his poems and short stories have appeared in the University of Montevallo’s fine art’s journal, The Tower, as well as in The Rectangle, the literary magazine of Simga Tau Delta International English Honor Society He enjoys the perks of Dolly Parton on a daily basis

The following work is Copyright © 2007, and owned by Ashley Boles and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Don’t say sweet, sweet Too much can burn
the tongue, and mother says it’s as bad as maybe That, and it’s already clear from the Technicolor stripes,
the repetitive red and white that strangles your tie,
that your into peppermint and peppermint schnapps You have been for a while No need to explain the smudge
of mud on your shoes I understand
how not to mix salt with sugar while rimming
the glass—a brutal Donna Reed, drunk off the steam
of your frosted glass mixing with room temperature Slip me a note when you’re done Pen it so that it reads:
Meet me in the calm curve where lip comes down to meet stem I’ll be happy then for the untying of apron strings,
unwrapping brief relief

The Hermaphrodite Visits Dr Fiest

.When I wish I was a boy:
When they are hitting things Slamming telephones against walls Free to strike what they please,
even play Fight Club with best friends Hammer his teeth until his blood
mixes with your lip Until the lights go out

.When I wish I were a girl:
When they are screaming Horse drunk
in the ditches, packed in herds Mix-matched alley cats
with faux fur made for licking,
whose queen will press the pizza guy
for pot And when she comes back
and bends down to feed us the joint,
it will pull on your lip
then hers, then hers
until the ashes all fall down

.When I am unhappy to be both:
When the bar rat says he loves it
or when nurses seem disgusted,
rushing my face against one sex, then another—
my brow in constant scrapes Tell me Which is more pleasant to pass on the street,
who would you not want to wake up with
and then rush out the window
before you knot your tie?

.When I am delighted to be both:
When the street has been dusted and draped,
and no one, not even Gladys Kravitz,
can play peep show to see
that I touch myself, between pillows,
and wonder if my mouth mouthing
my own name is sinning,
to show that this girl next door in daylight
can be left alone with herselves at night.

Mother’s Closet

five red slashes
smoothed into
the white door frame—
a furious paint job
on home-grown fingernails Everything else is
nailed down white
inside, even the air there
is unlike the rest of the house Litters of dresses filled with starch
and ready –worn pumps
all in obedient rows
staring open mouthed,
molded into the comfort
of plumping feet Up above and all alone
a dress has been folded for days,
banished to a cramped life
since Easter Sunday 1994:
She was grand, my mother, 
in silk and aqua-marine
when a crisped face in faded floral print
reached from behind and
kissed her forgotten clasp closed And when she’s blocked it out
and locked it up for good,
I hope the walls can eat its screams
when the siren-trumpet sounds
when we all become light
leaving behind indifferent mounds.

Postcard I Did Not Send to the Woman Who Gives Green Felt

I know what you mean now by forgot How there are certain things
made for forgetting Like language Like last year’s turkey carcass,
happy to see you’ve come to rescue him from the basement refrigerator Only, the jokes on him—you’re only interested in the pan The pan
you were sure had entered the realm of I-know-I-shoved-it-somewhere I think after next Thanksgiving you should wrap it in the pillowcases
painted by my stretching hands Be thankful The redder the nail-polish,
the harder the strokes are to forget P.S I thought it would be warmer here at night, please send felt by the bolt.

Rob Plath

Bio (auto)

My name is Robert Plath I’m from New York I have one book of published poems called Ashtrays and Bulls (2003 1st place winner of Nerve Cowboy’s chapbook contest) I have published a lot of poems in journals and magazines: Barfing Dog Press, Big City Lit, Blowback, Chiron Review, Devil Blossoms, Evolution, Gnome, Long Island Quarterly, Lunatic Chameleon, Mad Swirl, Mannequin Envy, Nerve Cowboy, Pearl, Poetrybay, Polarity, Sho, Soul Fountain, Stickman Review, The Idiot, Zygote in my Coffee I have poems forthcoming in Cerebral Catalyst, decomP, Mastodon Dentist, Laurahird’s Showcase, Dying Writers, ragged Edge, Showcase Press Poetry Journal (print issue) and Strange Road In 2002, I was part of a spoken word/music CD Northport Celebrates Jack (a Kerouac tribute) featuring world famous musician David Amram I was also a student of Allen Ginsberg’s for two years.

The following work is Copyright © 2007, and owned by Rob Plath and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Shot-gunning Beers With Christ

Once when I was 13
I was hanging out
with my friend Phil

it was about 9 p.m
and we were at our
spot in the woods
building a fire

it was a Sunday
a school night
but we weren’t ready
to return our houses

we were never ready
to go home

Phil was an altar boy
at the time
and I remember the
big grin on his face
when he pulled out
communion wafers
that he had pocketed
from 9 a.m mass

I remember i laughed
and said holy shit

he gave me three
and he kept three

he walked over
and got out a six pack
of Busch beer
we had hidden
in the nearby bushes

when the flames
were finally cutting
the darkness
we sat on a log
and prepared

we each had our three
beers and our pocket knives out

we each put a wafer
on our tongue

then we jammed our
knives into the sides
of the beer cans

we pulled the blades out
and put our mouths against
the gashes in the cans
snapping the tops up

then the unstoppable
chilly beer flooded
our thirsty mouths

dissolving the dry
Styrofoam-ish wafers
that we had placed
on our tongues

our throats beautifully
burning as we shot-gunned
a beer with each Eucharist

and then we sat there
on the log

our young bodies
buzzing in front
of the flames

beneath a moonless
starless sky

New Year

It’s January 1st
and my toilet broke
the landlady told me
that she’d fix it
in three days
so I had to piss
in the sink which
was a better
experience than
I imagined
first of all
it was about
so there was
no room for error
and there was a
silence to it
no loud, long
splashing sounds
and no ugly
urine bubbles
it just ran right
down the drain
the mirror is over
the sink so I got
to watch myself
36 years old
alone on New Year’s
pissing in the sink
yet my reflection wore
a goofy grin
sort of like what
I imagine those
ancient, loony
Zen monks
had as they roamed
the mountains
writing poetry
and drinking wine

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