Bucket List

A poem by David Spicer


White noise of dog barks lingered
as I nodded off that last day together
after you lectured on rosewood’s scarcity
in Iberia. Tall in waffle stompers,
you secreted me your agenda and recited
aphorisms from my latest, Ice Skaters
in Hot Weather, while cooking spätzle.
I loathed photos of myself, so you painted
my nails crabapple green and snapped six
8×10s of me cross-legged reading Crime
and Punishment. Then you fed us lasagna,
sushi, and onions with peas, and we
barfed, demanded pizza as the football
game spit out grunting collisions. You
asked me to whip your legs with a biker’s
belt so you could relive my tattooed
childhood, but the smell of mowed
grass prevented that skinny memory.
You dyed my hair silver, pissed, stroked
the calico cat Carmen. We’re the perfect
couple, you declared, wearing the yellow
sweater and Mickey Mouse wristwatch I
presented you, suggesting we flag a taxi
to the bookshop. Alright, but I need to drop
drops in my eyes and nose. Well, you’re
a high maintenance sweetie, aren’t you?
you said. No, I just can’t stand all this food.
I’d rather play rummy in that cave
we explored yesterday than check
off another box on your bucket list.


David Spicer has had poems published in Mad Swirl, Reed Magazine, Slim Volume, The Laughing Dog, In Between Hangovers, The American Poetry Review, Easy Street, Ploughshares, Bad Acid Laboratories, Inc., Yellow Mama, and Dead Snakes, as well as in the anthology A Galaxy of Starfish: An Anthology of Modern Surrealism (Salo Press, 2016). He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and two of Sundress Publications’ Best of the Net prizes. He is the author of one full-length collection of poems and four chapbooks; and is the former editor of the poetry anthology series Raccoon, as well as Outlaw, and the publisher Ion Books. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee.

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Baloney!

A poem by David Spicer


I knew Buddha, a peach of an old
hippie, in Elko, where she pulled
a slot and sneered Baloney! when
she won. She’d glare with scorn at my
badge, never flinched when I yelled
Scram! One time I followed her
to her boyfriend’s bungalow she lived
in with a sister, eating stale pretzels
from a red bucket, sleeping on plywood
stacked on the floor. The boyfriend, Cuba,
a tall metrosexual gigolo from Vegas,
chewed taffy and tobacco, drank civet
coffee, and wrote sonnets with a blue-marbled
fountain pen. A former prison snitch,
he survived by swallowing soap and dirty pencils.
The sister, Oasis, a local wrestling promoter’s
star attraction, whined to strangers about her
amputated leg, and kept a lavender journal
of rich clients. How do I know this? Buddha
confessed after she discovered my spying,
right after she called me a fucking creep
and threatened to rip off my pecker and rape
my brother, right after she yanked the slot extra
hard, shouting Baloney! as three cherries
appeared on the antique machine and a small
mountain of money tumbled onto the carpet.


David Spicer has had poems published in Mad Swirl, Reed Magazine, Slim Volume, The Laughing Dog, In Between Hangovers, The American Poetry Review, Easy Street, Ploughshares, Bad Acid Laboratories, Inc., Yellow Mama, and Dead Snakes, as well as in the anthology A Galaxy of Starfish: An Anthology of Modern Surrealism (Salo Press, 2016). He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and two of Sundress Publications’ Best of the Net prizes. He is the author of one full-length collection of poems and four chapbooks; and is the former editor of the poetry anthology series Raccoon, as well as Outlaw, and the publisher Ion Books. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee.

Dead Aunts, Convents, and Open Spaces

A poem by David Spicer


In our lemon-crème Packard
convertible, Dora and I smoked dope
to the memory of Aunt Mitzi—
not much, just a pinch to flutter appetites.
The prairie roads tormented us with dips,
a phobia of open spaces presiding
over feet that stomped to the rockabilly
beat of the stereo. Dora was my fourth
cousin, so incest never attacked my moral
balance when she suggested in the top-down
speeding wind, Eat my snatch, horny boy,
I’m not in the convent anymore. I didn’t,
even though Dora, a blue-eyed blonde charmer,
reddened after my refusal. I’m no checkers expert,
but I figured it was my move to a concrete
alternative. Let’s go see the cedars,
let’s follow this highway and scoop
up a little chow, maybe biscuits and jelly.
Dora wanted to go horseback riding.
You won’t regret it, she promised,
its joys are no myth. Let’s rent
a couple Appaloosas. She had a point:
we could no longer battle our grief,
but we could trade our rags for a costume
of brand new jeans and cowboy hats.
O.K., I said, ripping rubber on Highway 2
outside Revenge, North Dakota,
let’s stain this town with stoned graffiti.


David Spicer has had poems published in Mad Swirl, Reed Magazine, Slim Volume, The Laughing Dog, In Between Hangovers, The American Poetry Review, Easy Street, Ploughshares, Bad Acid Laboratories, Inc., Yellow Mama, and Dead Snakes, as well as in the anthology A Galaxy of Starfish: An Anthology of Modern Surrealism (Salo Press, 2016). He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and two of Sundress Publications’ Best of the Net prizes. He is the author of one full-length collection of poems and four chapbooks; and is the former editor of the poetry anthology series Raccoon, as well as Outlaw, and the publisher Ion Books. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee.