Potluck

 

T H I S    W E E K

Poems by Taneum Mariah Bambrick

 

Chemical Or Biological Attack

I am not the organization that I was before. I once represented an imminent threat. Now my leadership spends more time trying to figure out how to keep from getting caught than I do trying to launch operations. As always, I prepare for all sorts of contingencies. A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. To that end, I intend to launch my own label. Yes, one of many projects, but I have time to finish only a few. Trying to do too much yourself creates a bottleneck. That is how hundreds of radioactive sources have been lost or stolen in the U.S. and around the world. So tap good people to be responsible, I guess. Give them authority and hold them accountable.

Our Fur Kids Are Our Babies, Our Children

Watch out! This is a very funny and endearing anthology with a surprise or two thrown in. Exactly 59 authors from all over the US, Canada and England contributed original stories. These tales chart the course for thousands of timeless lessons about life that need to be read and re-read. The writers shower us with their loyalty and love despite their impoverished upbringing and lack of education. Our trusted companions, they ask for nothing in return. By the end, readers should be inspired to keep moving forward despite the odds. While some many think the writers a bit off their rockers—especially those cat people, they do not give a WOOF!

Read More

The English language struck him as “hilarious,” and he copied passages and embroidered them during the summers with words from his mother’s bookshelves. Almost Truman Capote-like, if it had something of the bizarre, or was what he would call un amuse, he would bite. And so it was the boy’s prerogative to say he was a former knife salesman and telemarketer. A whimsical editorial choice, the oddball jobs were largely copied from a 1913 sea captain’s memoir. Pretty soon he was telling everyone he had been a driver for a rock & roll laundry. When he learned that The Paris Review was publishing his bio, he panicked at first and added that he worked as an intern to throw the staff a curveball. Two years later, he submitted another one to The Transatlantic Review and claimed he was a book-scouting agent for foreign publishers. Again, when it was published, no one recognized the stolen bits.

Echo Asking

This poem doesn't come from a deep place. It is not a temperature reading or the gauge itself peering inside me or even you.

This poem does not translate one dimension for another. It does not take anyone anywhere.

This poem is not something wrought out of a series of traumas. It was not born of abuse or released by sorrow. It took no courage to write. 

This poem does not even provide a mask to wear or get behind. It is no escape from the personality either and leaves all costumes alone.

This poem releases nothing. It does not provide any steam, smoke, or fire unless you print it out and light it with a match.

This poem is still, like all those other devices. It needs a reader, who may always decide to burn it after reading.

Landfall

I will not be picking up
too many tasks

morning sends me
all kinds of requests 

to update and guys
who need anything

in whatever meantime 
I can find without meeting

I will be working
as a brokerage of one

on getting a heads up
for my subjectivity follow ups

 

 

 

Ben Nardolilli currently lives in Arlington, Virginia. His work has
appeared in
Perigee Magazine, Red Fez, Danse Macabre, The 22 Magazine,
Quail Bell Magazine, Elimae, fwriction, THEMA, Pear Noir, The Minetta
Review, and Yes Poetry. He has a chapbook, Common Symptoms of an
Enduring Chill Explained, from Folded Word Press. He blogs, and is looking to publish a novel.