THE NU PROFIT$ OF P/O/E/T/I/C DI$CHORD

 

 

Some choice cuts from

The Ghosts of Our Words Will be Heroes in Hell,

the latest book project by

THE NU PROFIT$ OF P/O/E/T/I/C DI$CHORD

 

 

Beef, It’s What’s for Dinner!  /  Jason Ryberg

The wind is whipping up
little cyclones of dust and leaves
in the ditch by the side of Old 40 HWY,

and there’s a star-shine gleam
to the chrome ball-hitch
of the pick-up truck in front of me,

and there’s road-side fences to the future,
telephone poles to the past,

and the sun, like a cyclop’s murder-red eye
is climbing up from behind the horizon
and right into my driver’s-side
rear-view mirror,

and Walk, Don’t Run by the Ventures
is playing now on the radio

and there, above it all,
a lone falcon or hawk sits, calmly,
surveying its little fiefdom from the top
of a billboard sign that reads,

Beef, it’s what’s for dinner!

You got that right, pal.

 

 

When You’re Poor  /  Damian Rucci

when you’re poor
you’re always fucking
or fighting

always fucking because there
is never anything to do
but thrust & moan

when that’s done
then you’re fighting
fighting to keep the lights on

fighting to keep the bills paid
fighting to find change to do the laundry
& fighting with the landlord
about that fifty bucks
he’s still missing

but it could be worse
you could always be waiting again
waiting for the electricity company
to finally kill the lights

waiting for that check to hit
the mail box
waiting for the winds to blow
luck your way for once

 

 

The Finger Has Got to Come Off  /  John Dorsey

crazy mark crushes his finger
in the back of a dump truck

instead of going to the hospital
he examines the bone

each angle
like the rings on a tree

each crack
a ridge of undiscovered country

clues to a past
that even he can’t quite recall

weeks go by
and the skin
just won’t heal

he says he’ll have to
cut the meat off himself
before it starts to stink
like a dying animal
left to rot
in the woods.

 

 

Lost Man’s Candle / Victor Clevenger

standing at the end of a cold day
we think about how it is always here
in some form good for a glow
hanging from a rope
tied to a breeze

it’s a lost man’s candle
the moon

creating the dull between the trees
branch’s shadows like arms reaching out
for a waist to grasp in dance
& we’re near

but there is no melody left in our breath
tonight     & there is no whistle
from the lips of the wind either

just the random cries of wild animals
that we’ve all heard
a thousand times before

as we stood there like fools

too fucking stubborn
to just find

a good path back home

 

 

The Ghosts of Our Words Will Be Heroes in Hell is available from OAC Books, and can be ordered via spartanpresskc@gmail.com or by contacting any of the poets on Facebook.

 

 

About the Authors:

Jason Ryberg is the author of thirteen books of poetry, six screenplays, a few short stories, a box full of folders, notebooks and scraps of paper that could one day be  (loosely) construed as a novel, and, a couple of angry  letters to various magazine and newspaper editors. He is currently an artist-in-residence at both The Prospero Institute of Disquieted P/o/e/t/i/c/s and the Osage Arts Community, and is an editor and designer at Spartan Books. His latest collection of poems is Standing at the Intersection of Critical Mass and Event Horizon (Luchador Press, 2019). He lives part-time in Salina, KS with a rooster named  Little Red and a billygoat named Giuseppe and part-time somewhere in the Ozarks, near the Gasconade River, where there are also many strange and wonderful woodland critters.

Damian Rucci is a writer and author of five poetry books including his latest Don’t Call it a Relapse (Punk Provincial Press 2019), founder of the Poetry in the Port reading series, and was a Poet in Residence at the Osage Arts Community in Belle, Missouri. He can be contacted at @damianrucci on Twitter and damian.rucci@gmail.com

John Dorsey lived for several years in Toledo, Ohio. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw’s Prayer (Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), Sodomy is a City in New Jersey (American Mettle Books, 2010), Tombstone Factory, (Epic Rites Press, 2013), Appalachian Frankenstein (GTK Press, 2015) Being the Fire (Tangerine Press, 2016) and Shoot the Messenger (Red Flag Press, 2017) and Your Daughter’s Country (Blue Horse Press, 2019). His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and the Stanley Hanks Memorial Poetry Prize.He was the winner of the 2019 Terri Award given out at the Poetry Rendezvous. He may be reached at archerevans@yahoo.com.

Victor Clevenger spends his days in a Madhouse and his nights writing poetry. Selected pieces of his work have appeared in print magazines and journals around the world. He is the author of several collections of poetry including Sandpaper Lovin’ (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2017), A Finger in the Hornets’ Nest (Red Flag Poetry, 2018), and Corned Beef Hash By Candlelight (Luchador Press, 2019). Together with American poet John Dorsey, they run River Dog.

Damian Rucci: “On Wednesdays”

 

 

 

ON WEDNESDAYS

We ignore the backdrop of condos 
the marble gated heavens 
that keep the clean faced 
from the people like us 

hiding from the rain in the gazebo
I come here on Wednesdays 
in my work boots, wait for my plug
read junkie love poems 
to rafael, joseph, and mark 
they pay me in stories 

rafael was the hardest working man
this side of the Mississippi 
until his youngest graduated school
now he’s back on the needle 
now he’s back living in a tent
up on the rocks that hangs over
the cresting waves, he put his time in

Joseph and Mark don’t talk much
they beat their feet to the rhythm
of our words, laugh and bare 
the purest smiles I’ve ever seen
everything is beautiful in this moment

but you’re looking down from your balcony 
with your golden straw, hand on your phone
ready to tell the pigs to come chase us off
to tell them we’re not gone like you want us to be

you can always tell how much money a man has
by how high he holds his shoulders
that’s why we’re down here sulking

as above so below 
you’re not so different though
you know that ATM is far away when you’re lonely
with that last twenty whispering to you
don’t you want to feel good?
don’t you want to feel like somebody? 

 

About the Author: Damian Rucci is a writer and author of five poetry books including his latest Don’t Call it a Relapse (Punk Provincial Press 2019), founder of the Poetry in the Port reading series, and was a Poet in Residence at the Osage Arts Community in Belle, Missouri. He can be contacted at @damianrucci on Twitter and damian.rucci@gmail.com

 

More By Damian Rucci:

One For Cory

Hound Speak

Melancholy and the Afterglow

 

Image Credit: ” GAP ROAD, LOOP OVER, VIEW INSIDE OVERPASS. – Great Smoky Mountains National Park Roads & Bridges, The Loop Over Bridge, Newfound Gap Road 8.6 miles from park entrance, Gatlinburg, Sevier County, TN” The Library of Congress (public domain)

Revisiting 2019: Our 50 Most Popular Posts of the Year

 

Dear As It Ought To Be Magazine Readers,

As we enter the next decade, I want to thank all of the writers and readers who have made our tenth year so successful. I take enormous pride in working with so many talented and inspiring writers. Without your brilliance and generosity of spirit and intellect, none of this would be possible. It has been a great privilege to publish your work on our site, and I hope to continue featuring diverse perspectives, challenging ideas, and unique voices for years to come. As a way to look back on what we accomplished in 2019, I have complied the 50 most popular posts of the year based on internet traffic and clicks.

Thank you again to everyone who wrote for, read, and promoted AIOTB Magazine in 2019. Let the 20s roar again!

Chase Dimock
Managing Editor

 

Poetry

Jason Baldinger:

Ishrat Bashir:

Jai Hamid Bashir:

Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal:

Jeffrey Betcher:

Ace Boggess:

Daniel Crocker:

John Dorsey:

Ryan Quinn Flanagan:

Tony Gloeggler:

Nathan Graziano:

Cord Moreski:

Jeanette Powers:

Stephen Roger Powers:

Jonathan K. Rice:

Kevin Ridgeway:

Damian Rucci:

Anna Saunders:

Larry Smith:

Nick Soluri:

William Taylor Jr.:

Alice Teeter:

Tiffany Troy:

Bunkong Tuon:

Agnes Vojta:

Kory Wells:

Brian Chander Wiora:

Dameion Wagner:

 

Nonfiction

Daniel Crocker:

Nathan Graziano:

John Guzlowski:

Cody Sexton:

Carrie Thompson:

 

Reviews 

Chase Dimock:

Mike James:

 

Photo Credit: Fire Works At New Year’s Eve via Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

“Hound Speak” By Damian Rucci

 

 

Hound Speak

At 3am
the hounds are let out for lunch
we bark, growl, bare teeth
howl at the lone cars on the highway

we’re comrades in this spiritual war
poor derelicts fighting to find self
in those hours before mourning

on those breaks in between
we drink what we can
sniff what we find, smoke
until our lungs combust

the ones who have it
take care of those who don’t

we jump in temporary freedom
until the time-clock
beckons us back inside

in those hours on the sales floor
you have time
to think, reflect
on all those dark things
you try and ignore in the sun

the things you say have weight
under those fluorescent lights
like bees buzzing between
your ears, you must address them

when the morning comes
we emerge, gaunt, pale
eyes cowering from the light
scurrying off to our homes

we sleep the day away
ignore the ones we love
carry the hurt, close to our chests
and breath again at midnight

this is less of a job
this is a way of life
we may not be able to hide
away from the world forever
but we sure are trying.

.

About the Author: Damian Rucci’s work has recently appeared in Cultural Weekly, Beatdom, Big Hammer, and coffee shops and basements across the country. He is an author of three chapbooks and a split Former Lives of Saints with Ezhno Martin. Damian hosted the Poetry in the Port reading series, currently hosts the Belle Ringer Open Mic and is a poet in residence at the Osage Arts Community in Belle, Missouri. He can be reached at damian.rucci@gmail.com

.

More by Damian Rucci: 

Melancholy & The Afterglow

One for Cory

.

Image Credit: “Steeplechase Pier night, Atlantic City, New Jersey” Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, photograph by John Margolies

“One For Cory” By Damian Rucci

 

 

One For Cory

I heard your brother
is down in the boonies
living in chicken shacks

hooked on the same shit
that took the air from your lungs

and left another son
without a father

will it ever end?

will the damned
be forsaken?
will you call me
again at 3 am looking to score?

The other night at McDonough’s Pub
I saw the old crew
we talked about you
and we never talked about you
when you died
we just let it haunt us

the boys are looking for more
to green grasses in other places
that don’t stink of poverty and death

the garden state
has more poppies than orchids
all the roses I’ve known
have bled and broken
trying to make it out
of the concrete

sometimes I smile
hoping that somewhere in celestial solace
you are on a stage that isn’t in drug court
that you’re singing and free again

that you finally learned the guitar

Cory I pray that somewhere
you are eighteen forever
that, that beautiful smile
never leaves your face

and you never know pain again

 

.

About the Author: Damian Rucci’s work has recently appeared in Cultural Weekly, Beatdom, Big Hammer, and coffee shops and basements across the country. He is an author of three chapbooks and a split Former Lives of Saints with Ezhno Martin. Damian hosted the Poetry in the Port reading series, currently hosts the Belle Ringer Open Mic and is a poet in residence at the Osage Arts Community in Belle, Missouri. He can be reached at damian.rucci@gmail.com

.

More by Damian Rucci: 

Melancholy & The Afterglow

.

Image Credit: Thomas J Flagg “VIEW NORTHEAST- DETAIL OF BRIDGE TRUSSES, NEW TRACK SHOWN ADJACENT TO BRIDGE”  (1995) The Library of Congress

“Melancholy & The Afterglow” By Damian Rucci

 

 

Melancholy & The Afterglow

You can throw all the rocks
from here to Norwood Avenue
up to heaven but they’ll find
home again in the earth

maybe in different places, maybe
find new homes down the road
in the silk grasses of privilege
but they’ll always be covered in dirt

then why do we mourn dawn
hold on to the black skies
of transcendence as light rays
remind us we’re still ourselves?

They remind us that any
enlightenment that comes in a baggy
is another layer we hide truth behind

after all the higher you climb
the worse it hurts falling back down

.

About the Author: Damian Rucci’s work has recently appeared in Cultural Weekly, Beatdom, Big Hammer, and coffee shops and basements across the country. He is an author of three chapbooks and a split Former Lives of Saints with Ezhno Martin. Damian hosted the Poetry in the Port reading series, currently hosts the Belle Ringer Open Mic and is a poet in residence at the Osage Arts Community in Belle, Missouri. He can be reached at damian.rucci@gmail.com

Image Credit: Walker Evans “Houses and Cemetery, Birmingham, Alabama” (1936) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.