Dirty Feeling

By Bob Schneider

We want to show how Bob's poems evolve into finished music products. First is the original poem, Ice Burns.

Ice Burns

While burning down the ice trees
Behind your house last night
The police showed up
Responding to a report that a
Real tiger had been spotted in the area

While the ice trees burned you declared
Mars to be the brightest star in the sky
You held a small horse in your hands
I rode it up and down your arms
As The Police played 'Shadows In The Rain' 

"Did it rain last night?" the neighbor
Asked this morning holding her dog
And "What happened to all those trees
You planted last winter, when the world

Was as cold as night sticks?"

Then, here are the lyrics to song, Dirty Feeling.

Dirty Feeling

As the words fell from your mouth
Ice trees burned behind your house
The cops showed up in a blinding blue
They all swore their love to you
I guess a tiger had broken free
On the anniversary of the crowning of the king
But you said it doesn’t mean a thing
Holding a small horse in your hands
While we were listened to your GF’s BF’s band

I got a dirty feeling come over me
I want to ride your horse into your sea
Up your arms and down your back
Throw your course right off its track
Turn on all the lights so you can see
This dirty feeling that’s come over me

And a year can come around
And drag you right along the ground
Like it’s all just one dark night
With no way into the light
Well I know exactly what that’s like

I got a dirty feeling come over me
I want to ride your horse into your sea
Up your legs and down your face
Break all the doors down in your place
Throw on the lights so that you can see  
This dirty feeling that’s come over me

And finally, here's the video for Dirty Feeling. To see more of Bob's poetry, follow the link below for his chapbook or find more on his Awst page. Find more info on Bob's music at his website

Dura Mater

By RE Katz

In the fox dead there are rivalries:
around whose neck will we unfurl
& whose makings will we glove
& where we used to run
are there still runners
& if not are there mourners
& if not is there
at the very least
morning—a room
where bits of poured
sun cool17.

Crickets in the mint: what
it means or what is meant
woods over
to play a game of roulette
closed-eyed in the backseat
head on the door
sun red sun.

Stop: my mother has a heart attack
& doesn’t call me until three days
later when they let her out
of the hospital18.

In an operetta
a handgun
with the ability to feel pain
falls in love
with a human liver
in crisis. When the liver
finally speaks
all it says is
none of this is useable.

The king of the forest is both animal & fruit
& has two throats
of gunpowder & light.
If you bury your gun in the ground
it will grow into a cigarillo factory.

To the melonhearts in garnet mines
say at least there are birthdays.
Our birthdays are neighbors19
flatness is an axis.

Stop: my mother calls to report her blood
pressure & I eat three slices of cake
thinking about how on a family cruise I once saw
an ice sculpture of an endangered dolphin—
it was such a goner.

I touch myself
with a square
of trembling bent light20.

Stop: the ladder is lying on the floor
in the fetal position muttering
I am not
tall I am not tall I am
not tall.

Describe what it feels like
using only your shoulder
what taproot rapport
to go tail-up to work.
The nervous system will sell you a map
of its pitfalls in a sealed unpolished container:
the floating ribs
the little hips of the brass section
vertebrae and their inner stipends
the clavicle unchaperoned

poor head
hates itself
for not being able to get down.

It takes years to appreciate
the inside of a couch
glitter in a meat grinder
a fallaway promenade21.

I let it kiss
a full third of my face then
feetfoot away. Fool that elbow
crook. Leg of it
a low note. Yawn of it
very skied.

Hover here if need be
for a plum gradient22
a one-night raisin.
If you’re not staying famous
you can stay
in my basement.

Stop: mother bored23
Lullabies into my brain.

I’m not afraid of my own blood but of
parenting transparencies.
A mustard from my brain is leaking
painting a fake24
fence that levitates
a fence that can be chased
a face
a thin-lipped paste.

The tyranny of being interesting says take
the solo when the solo is offered
but nobody hurt each other
in the orange juice
out there.

So it’s Monday morning &
here I am doing
my donut-on-a-stick kind of thing
and there’s this guy
leaning against the water cooler
talking about how he used to be
a stage acrobat
and I say hey guy well I’ve never
seen someone do
a boring backflip
but anything is possible25—Stop: 

shiver-call your mother!
flock what she’s doing
just raft her now or
terminate her.

People used to be afraid of women
so of course I am overwhelmed with love
for Sarah Connor
all three of her
how needles bow to her
every piece of the franchise.

Centuries ago the Fox sisters heard tapping
from the other side26
three shuffling heads
tsk-tsking at the great beyond.

Somewhere cockroaches are having
almost a block party
they collect around our feet
because we feed them & care
for them & step on their heads

& if each of us is the only exception
to every ugly thing forever27 then aren’t we also
a hard mother.

Originally published 4/22/15 within her Awst Collection. This piece is the second piece from her chapbook. The third piece, Toeing the Real, is an essay of annotations based on the first two pieces and was nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Prize. 

I Found the Crawlspace Roomy

By RE Katz

Our secret is a scream. I believe you were
born a silo filled to the brim with
jazz. Not the kind anyone would want
at a pool party or in a mine, which
is probably why you give me a sidehug
like you're concealing a weapon or a
wild animal virus. There was no time
you were not gone, saying look we
can leave each other breath marks
in the regular air. Now there are balloons
in the breeze, like closed captioning.
I want to make a car show with every
car I’ve ever cried in. All lined up they
will communicate something so simple it is
a kind of birdseed. It is "the ceiling is
so bare". Because I love you I will
bend you backward as far as you
can go and lean over your hot right
angle of a body so that I may spit champagne
carefully onto your face. This has a lot to do
with the time we bought a hundred grilled
cheese sandwiches and handed them out on
the streets of Central Square. This has a lot
to do with milk and math and how the
airport is just the worst kind of weather.

Originally published in Issue 9 of Bat City Review.