Galen's Stuff | Jess Dewes
Streetside Pick Up | Elie Gardner
Photo Elie Gardner
The Gift and Burden of Possession | Ari Holtz
Franklin Visits eBay! | Franklin Jennings
The Book| Luby Kelley
Illustration Matt Kindt
Killed By Their Own Art | Byron Kerman
Liberation | Julie Newberry
Bless This Mess | Claire Nowak-Boyd
Photos Michael R. Allen
Best of Mississippi Nights | Jim Utz
Andrea Avery, Diana Benanti, Thomas Crone, M. Davis, Heidi Dean, Amanda E. Doyle, Joe Esser, Chris King, François Luong, L.A. Ramsey, Stefene Russell, Steven Schreiner, and Erik Smetana.
Andrea Avery, Thomas Crone, Bill Cable, Jess Dewes, Katy Fischer, Jane Godfrey, Dave Gray.
Killed By Their Own Art | by Byron Kerman
The painter who sprayed acrylics on canvas
didn’t know she had to wear a mask
so inhaling DayGlo toxins
she advanced a career cancer.
The postmodern wiseass who built a 20-foot pyramid of TVs
a shrine to bullshit
only to be smashed by their tumbling irony,
cathode-ray dust poisoning the scene
(a death-chuckle from the machine).
The sculptor who worked with great bands of rusted steel
tall as two men, dense as grief,
until a crane hiccuped and he disappeared
as cleanly as Wile E. Coyote under his own anvil.
If ya gotta go,
why not go in a hail of art?
Poetry likes finality
an ending like an aria suddenly stoppered
and then, celestial applause.
Still, we crave control like a mad monkey general
dragging his croupier’s rake across a clear fiberglass map
sweeping plastic regiments off the battle-plan of life.
We’re in charge here, dammit.
We’ll write the epitaphs.
We’ll make art.
Let art unmake us
if it must.
Poison and flatten
and ground us to dust.
Let the terrible, beautiful Muse eat
like the bitch Nature eats
whatever she wants.
Let irony rain down like iron
that we dared to make in our own image.
Byron Kerman's poetry has appeared on posters in St. Louis Metro trains and buses, and in the premier magazine of science-fiction poetry, Star*Line. He enjoys writing while security guarding on the graveyard shift. It's real quiet then.