Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Nerve Cowboy Fall 2009 Issue 28

Nerve Cowboy publishes poems that are gritty, witty, and sometimes downright disturbing. If you recall, I interviewed the editors at Nerve Cowboy a while back and if you’d like to read the interview, please use the link below:


The most recent issue is full of interesting and enlightening poems with which I am delighted to share several with you:

Beauty Mark

Wedged underneath his widow’s-peak,
It’s a brown boulder poised to fall and crush his nose.
It’s a slow-motion bullet to his brain –
An unexploded cancer-bomb – a ship-gutting rock
That juts from a pale, wrinkled sea.

Like Navajos who let Grandmother Spider share their homes,
Does he respect the mole’s right to be
Loathsome? Does he think it lends character
To his hangdog mug? Is he imprisoned by the male mentality
That calls cosmetic concerns pussifeid?

Is the thing a wit? A sorcerer? A seer?
Has he insured it? Set up its college fund?
What gall to gripe, I can’t get laid,
With that turn-off knob shadowing his bed.
“I don’t trust it,” a woman told me. “It looks too well-fed.”

It’s a great conversation piece – when he can’t hear.
(Who’d dare ask, “How’s it hangin’?” when he’s near?)
Sometimes I fear it’s speaking straight to me:
You bedded Pam, and never called.
You let Mom die miserably in a nursing home.

I stay as far away as I can get,
As if it might leap onto my chin and burn,
Or hiss, “I see you when you think you’re most alone” –
As if its small cask holds the secret of grief
To which my heart, that hopeless drunk, always returns.

By: Charles Harper Webb of Glendale, CA

Isn’t this a funny and gruesome poem? Mr. Webb brings the gruesomeness to life with lines such as “a ship-gutting rock/that juts from a pale, wrinkled sea,” “shadowing his bed,” and “I stay as far away as I can get,/As if it might leap onto my chin an burn,” which causes me to protect my own chin from this large and scary mole on another man’s head. What an entertaining poem about a subject that is loathsome for most of us to endure for ourselves and witness in others.

Mark Weber-Type Poem

So my latest rejection comes from Iowa,
about a week before Christmas:
Thank you for allowing us
to consider your work…”
I picture the writer
at a desk overlooking a corn field.
There’s a droopy plant
on the windowsill
and a volume of Yeats or Keats
It has been a tough day,
and here I come,
galloping into that landscape
with my palm trees and deserts,
coyotes and surfers.

By: Dorothea Grossman of Albuquerque, NM

I like this poem because I write and submit poems, too, just like many of you who read this blog. The ending lines are my favorite, “here I come,/galloping into that landscape” as though the writer had the audacity to interrupt the scene of the editor’s desk by brining “palm trees and deserts,/coyotes and surfers” in direct juxtaposition of Iowa cornfields. These lines also hint that the juxtaposition may be what leads to the rejection notice. Either way, as writers we comfort ourselves with any means available in the face of rejection and this poem is demonstrative of this.

6:24 AM

One day I got up
I put on a fresh pot of coffee
And as it began to brew
At 6:24am
I picked up the old New York Times
That I had collected throughout the week to read
And threw them out
I took out a fresh clean sheet of white paper
And wrote a letter
To my old friend
I addressed it to her parent’s house
In Connecticut
She’s married now
Somewhere in Massachusetts
When the coffee was done
I opened up my fridge
I put the milk on the counter
And I threw out all the old Chinese take-out boxes
I threw out the glass container of left over asparagus
Then I poured my coffee and went outside
I lit a fresh cigarette
The ash stood out
As it fell on yellow and red leaves
On my small stone patio

By: Writer Unknown

What a shame that there’s no writer to name! The editors include a note in their introduction that if this writer reads their journal to please give their name and I am asking the same if the writer happens to read this blog. This poem is a lovely snapshot of daily morning ritual and reminiscing. While it is simple it is also endearing as the poet foregoes reading the collected newspapers to write a letter to an old friend instead. I long to hear more of the story—does the married friend write back? Perhaps there will be a sequel to the poem and perhaps it will be accompanied by the writer’s name.

If you enjoyed this sample of poems, you can find more information about Nerve Cowboy with details how to subscribe ($22 for two years, four issues) and submission guidelines, by checking out their site:


Thanks always for reading, please click in tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

1 comment:

DesireO said...

Hey!Im writer unknown from this issue and also the last one, but it was not intentional.I read your blog, so glad to hear you liked 6:24am. My name is Desire Oliver, I'm from Long Island, New York.