from Issue #4

Phin Gabrie



 Welcome to Pig World said someone, too late.
 I had lived through a multitude of time-spans in the autumn
 in the company of a dying pig 
 especially since eventually the pig did die.
 I survived, but very easily it could have gone the other way.
 Still today I cannot tell you which night death arrived.
 If there were nothing wrong with me, I would be able to tell you
 which night death arrived
 and how many nights I spent waiting for it
 with the pig.
 A pig in full bloom, you feed
 and a pig otherwise
 you cut up.
 Whenever it becomes decisively winter
 you begin to contemplate bacon and ham.
 But my pig was different
 My pig was never hungry
 and the fear.
 I realized suddenly I was the friend of a pig and also its doctor
 and my heart was going out to a pig.
 Inserting its body into a pit convulsed me internally.
 This loss was the loss of a pig.
 The pig had suffered sufferings in a world of suffering
 I had suffered pig-sufferings in a pig-world.
 A pig wants nothing more than a warm bed
 but my neighbor once said he thought
 a pig is better off on the ground.   It was six o’clock.
 There was something off about the pig:
 Pigs don’t refuse food for one
 and I was gripped with fear
 “What does a sick pig need?” I asked
 “This pig is all backed up”
 I just wanted to keep being friends with this pig
 We got invited to dinner, the pig and I.
 Hosts have evil powers
 they plan their dinners exactly
 when pigs are sick
 I have come to believe that there is 
 in hosts a special power of That.  
 Of that evil hour.  I went to get the pig.
 The pig had come out from its house 
 and was standing around on its front lawn, lethargic. 
 It said hello with a slim voice.
 (The pig was probably several hundred pounds) 
 It unhooked its jaws and screamed I looked 
 at its mouth—a raw red crenellated region.
 The screams were in the manic dimension of pigscreech
 but shortly subsided: it was over.
 Back on its feet
 the pig recovered the uncanny grin that a pig has. 
 Liquid spooled through its teeth while its sinister eyes, 
 dusked by their long lashes, pointed at me 
 intense loathing.
 I discovered dark small black spots
 around its tail. Very mysterious.
 With pigs any ruse will usually work 
 but with my big diseased pig, tricks 
 must have only depressed him.
 He would not go to dinner.
 I noticed that he had vomited under his tree
 I felt very depressed
 I knew I was going to lose this pig.
 From the health of their pig a person 
 gets their own health; otherwise
 you live the life of a ghost
 As we lost our luster, mine and my pig’s,
 the luster of my depraved old dog exploded.
 It liked to see us suffer.  A dog
 will do anything related to mischief.
 Once you have seen a pig’s butt 
 you are never the same, 
 you cannot go back to your old life:
 My fate was now entwined with the pig’s
 and the dog laughed. 
 “I don’t mean to frighten you” I told the pig
 “but when you have those spots
 we have to consider the possibility of
 pig disease.”  We considered it, with frequent interruptions 
 from the dog, who didn’t really know what was happening. 
 “Can a pig with pig disease give pig disease
 to a human?"
 "Yes," insinuated my pig with long slow eyelashes.
 I opened a bottle of whiskey.
 I had thought that pigs could not be sick.
 My faith in the awesome power of pigs
 was too great.  Pigs, I had thought 
 belonged to me and 
 were part of my noble plan. 
 The revelation was brutal: 
 what could be real to my pig 
 could be real for the entire world.
 I desired to inspect the pig for further spots
 but was too afraid.  I felt it was certain
 that I had pig disease.
 A car drove in and my neighbor got out. 
 He had a pig with him. 
 "This is my pig," he said. 
 “We've been having a psychotic break 
 on the beach, that explains why we are late."
 My neighbor stood in the yard 
 and stripped off his clothes, In the back seat 
 of his vehicle were an astonishing amount of 
 pornography, which he soon extracted choosing 
 a magazine, a videotape, some oil, a plastic tube, 
 and other various objects.  His pig said she'd 
 see my pig.  Along the orchard’s hot slope
 licking the path with light then we all three hopped
 the fence and sat with my pig.
 My neighbor turned the tube in the darkness. 
 “It’s not pig disease." The pig screamed.
 I was starting to believe though that the pig was dying
 He died the next day
 (the pig being the one in the dying).
 He came out of his house to die. 
 I observed he was dead:
 I refused to admit to them that he was dead:
 I returned to my house and went to bed, and sobbed internally
 They were already digging the grave.
 And as the digger took a smoke break resting his shovel 
on the tree, a big red apple dropped from a branch
 and directly into the pit.
 So that the world that had led to the demise of the pig
 escorted him into his grave.
 The news of my pig’s death spread quickly
 and many neighbors and associates delivered their sympathies
 as the early death of a pig is, I found, a sadness that affects
 the entire community.  
 I have transcribed this tale in remorse and grieving
 as a person who failed to save his pig
 and to justify my departure from the ordinary course of pigs. 
 The pig’s grave is unmarked, I have lost its location but
 I know I shall join my pig in it, someday, and forever. 

Jean Bingham


What goes around comes around
And they wrote 
"It works"
In the dust on the TV screen

P. Dreare


 I was fast and I enjoyed the game
 but the shadow of fascism was waiting
 the flowers of victory
 fertilized by the blood of horses, covered in golden wheat
 the fields of Spain are covered . . . 
 In regard to his personal life
 he always was accompanied 
 and even in a discussion he said 
 he preferred all things find a heart that was beside her
 and there in the blue cage of her bodice 
 a tremor of dying pigeons! 

Jeremy Weber

he face

milk open fields
Once wheat the low to and ground
almost flattened
there is no body

full a great

a bursting circuit
speaking not a clock

Artemus Pallour, circa 16th century, trans. Craig Smisher


 Come, live with me inside my small shack
 and we will ten thousand grand pleasures then grab!
 I’ll show you the stars are a pack of cheap bastards,
 I try and to kill them whenever I’m plastered.

 With the set of the sun we could head to the docks,
 that’s the place where I go when to polish my smock
 with the blood of some rascals – we’ll get in a fight! – 
 For your viewing pleasure I’ll knock out their lights!

 Of course my shack it was mostly destroyed in the flood
 So we’ll really be living outside in the mud;
 the raccoons are a bother but for you I’d consider
 chasing them off if you’d rather I did or

 I’ll drink a whole lot since I love to do that
 I’ll hide in the leaves when they’re there to be had
 Autumn’s our season, you’ll chop us some wood
 while morosely I’ll murmur in one of my moods.

 The tirades I’ll go on!  You’ll love them, they’re endless.
 It never pays not to be angry when friendless.
 We’ll smash in the heads of some pesky wood critters,
 You’ll use them to cook us fine curious dinners. 

Fee Guire


 The same as what is wrong
 the blank pallor:   Deciding,
 while riding a bus, to not
 think in specifics.  Years later
 “What exactly is worthwhile” ;
 to not know the answer