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Poem by Jeff Santosuosso

 

Inflatable Joseph

Inflatable Joseph stands sentry over Mary’s boy-child
permanently nestled in a nylon manger,
which hovers airborne yet earthbound,
never quite touching earth, never quite ascendant.
A wise man alongside
and symbolically behind our billowing hero
bears a rippling gift, probably the myrrh.
I’m not sure which of the three he is.
This invertebrate monarch has a beard
and an Eastern windy wisdom.
so it must be Balthasar.

Careful not to pull too tightly
on Inflatable Joseph as you erect or raze him
to begin or end this season of worship.
One false tug and he’s torn. Even a pinprick
brings Yuletide frustration.
Hell, at least you can see a tear,
like some great shaving error alongside his oxygenated Adam’s Apple
and tape it with color-coordinated electrician’s tape,
a sort of spiritual styptic pencil.

Inflatable Joseph sinks to Earth long after dark,
like the wetted Wicked Witch of the West,
minus the “Oh, what a world”
He rises the next evening, beaconing the night
Like some over-yeasted holy bread
to stand doughy, be-fanned sentinel
over our Savior once more.

 

Jeff Santosuosso is a business consultant and award-winning poet living in Pensacola, FL. He is Editor-in-Chief of Panoply, an online journal of poetry and short prose. Jeff’s work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and has appeared in San Pedro River Review, South Florida Poetry Journal, Mojave Dessert Review, The Lake (UK), Red Fez, First Literary Review-East, Texas Poetry Calendar, Avocet, and other online and print publications.

Brett Stout is a 38-year-old artist and writer. He is a high school dropout and former construction worker turned college graduate and Paramedic. He creates controversial art while breathing toxic paint fumes from a small cramped apartment referred to as “the nerd lab” in Myrtle Beach, SC. His artwork has appeared in a wide range of various media from small webzines like the Paradise Review to the University of Oklahoma Medical School Journal.

 

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Poem by Jinnie Connelly

 

Biohazard

The goal is to create,
execute, and assess
a plan to dispose of hazardous materials
including but not limited
to you.

Place used and spent materials
in red Biohazard bag.
Seal tightly, deposit in labeled receptacle
with other discarded
feelings and emotions.

 

Jinnie Connelly has been published in several paper journals including Soundings East, Amelia, among others.

Brett Stout is a 38-year-old artist and writer. He is a high school dropout and former construction worker turned college graduate and Paramedic. He creates controversial art while breathing toxic paint fumes from a small cramped apartment referred to as “the nerd lab” in Myrtle Beach, SC. His artwork has appeared in a wide range of various media from small webzines like the Paradise Review to the University of Oklahoma Medical School Journal.

 

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Poem by Brett Stout

 

Permeating with Socialist Cockroaches

toenail clippings
of the gods
and
the pigs of hell are circling
their troughs,

developing timid sores in Ghana
while on safari
the pictures are on Instagram
if your voyeuristic atomic eyes
want to see
while
the care package of deceit
is sent UPS
and C.O.D,

blood drips casually
from a triumphant head
now
resting comfortably on a
wooden mahogany antique stake
yet
no one notices
as they pass it by
on foot
in cars
on the way to the
mall,

the
aberration grows as
crows and vultures are preparing
a gluten free meal
for all the starving
children
with their seductive knives
of nature
and boring landscape
paintings,

torn flesh
dances with the stars
at
midnight
the tyranny of arteries and veins
has now been repressed
foam and bone
await their lucid release
as
various muscles are now
protruding
and are on
display
at fine art museums
around
Paris,

no,

stitches
Band-Aids
drugs
antibiotics
or ambulance rides
can save you now,

you are truly
free.

 

Brett Stout is a 38-year-old artist and writer. He is a high school dropout and former construction worker turned college graduate and Paramedic. He creates controversial art while breathing toxic paint fumes from a small cramped apartment referred to as “the nerd lab” in Myrtle Beach, SC. His artwork has appeared in a wide range of various media from small webzines like the Paradise Review to the University of Oklahoma Medical School Journal.