I said I would make this my magnum opus. 
Wrung out shirts like tongues from the 

radiator’s mouth, rain pins us down from 
the inside, this time. A piano collapses open

is splayed. I’d sooner extract each single key
now broken, than fix the thing and 

finger you Für Elise.

You never expected this to happen but I did.
I thrust my hand and push you bed-wards by the chest.
Drifting, as you do, you are yanked hard awake
and upwards by your hair. A smart pinch commands
my hips and yes, I wear my finer feelings like 

I wear this apparatus: elegantly.

The rest is entropy. On this occasion, I’ll drink.
A slug of St. Emilion coughs out of a knocked glass
and, on top of everything, you remind me you smoke.
About the bed are dotted instruments — of darkness?
Of music? Don’t tease me, but, of torture?
If you’re looking for your phone, it’s there.
Nestled in your underwear.

I think of the dismantled piano. I wonder about us.
A fate come undone, imbalance of order, how can

the student come to lecture a professor, an
idolater venerate the divine from behind?
Between me, this nagging shiver of duty. 
Blow your smoke in my face.

I started calling for you long before you knew my name 
again I’ll come astride you so you can say it out again.
However briefly your whistling kettle wailed for me
I won’t forget
how the steam you gave was so close
you got everybody wet.

Scout Bolton is a poet, artist and editor from the North of England. She has previously been featured in places such as The Guardian, 3:AM, and Keep This Bag Away From Children. She is the author of the collections Softcore Cloudstep (79Rat Press) and Wild Heather (The Accomplices) and her art has been featured at the Syracuse University Art Gallery and in the anthology MACRO (Boost House).

Lebanon Blues by Douglas Payne


She cut your eyeballs out of the family
album beloved, put gelatin green leaves 
between your two thighs. 

I don’t know what I take away 
from this: one palette of hair color
shades from zyklon blue to your red-eyed 
blushing blonde. I wonder

if everything is 
recorded: when I walk across the street
to give away my cigarettes to eighth graders:
listen to old men talk about their relationships
with their dogs, wheelchairs, their grandsons
who play basketball on the street in the dark. 

The lamplights on the street 
burning out for the dark, neighbors
in ragged sedans pitching water balloons
packed with driveway gravel.

Tell everyone about fucking your friend’s older brother
inside an abandoned windmill in the summer,
your mother crying in the dark 
with a gun in her mouth. 

I dreamed this just yesterday even though 
your baby pictures blur in my high, melted evening, de Kooning -- 
Someone put this Patti Smith record on backwards
and that same fuck drank all of the bombay gin my god.

There a dog sleeping on the carpet, his drool collecting
on the corner of your glowing star map fallen from 
the ceiling. Cardboard cutout ghost of a dead singer
in your bathroom. Now today it’s next week and I am asleep 
on a park bench in a town I’ve never been to: Lebanon, KY.

Douglas Payne is a poet from San Diego, CA with aspirations to flee east or north. He is the author of If You Have Ghosts (Amphetamine Sulphate, 2019) and Salted Rook (Chest-o-Drawers Press, 2017). His work has appeared in various venues including decomP Magazine, SCAB Magazine, Angel City Review, and the blog of author Dennis Cooper.