December 11, 2015 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION


Laurel L. Perez






We are civilized

we won’t live on welfare

as the less-than-civilized might.


Bellies swollen with hunger

cannot wait to mix powdered milk,

cannot wait to cook the meat –

            eating the powder like candy

            washed down with with water

            eating ground beef raw

                        pink and red curls of fat

                        agitated deep in the gut.

A time when going home didn’t mean

going to a place to live

rather the antithesis (not) doing

as ordered, meant yelling, slapping

                                                                              Every lack drove the living out

            Didn’t want to stop caring

            didn’t want to be made to let

            the family cycle clear

            no one leave this place fully alive



                        Run – every lack drives the living out.







Ending as Beginning



It smells

of things dying and newly burnt


see through paper

a train roars through him


a scream shoots

down a hospital corridor


bleak public schools


behind walls

the smell of excrement


pearl and opal drips spill

outside red


probin a vein

a pale white statue


a flowing swoop of blood and young muscle

eyes phosphorescent


roll end after end, pinwheel

shitting and pissing in terror



some obscure function


the silent frequency

knew how to wait


cut rate abortions

take my advice —


Just how stuffy human beings can be

a violent change in climate


Talks, rants

what a lark


Let me start again…









Laurel L. Perez

Laurel L. Perez is an instructor of Composition at Lincoln College in Lincoln, IL. She is also a PhD candidate and instructor at Illinois State University. Her concentrations are in poetry, creative nonfiction, and composition and rhetoric. She has published a few poems in Literary Orphans, and Yellow Chair Review, and is currently working on a chapbook currently titled: The Pressure Of: A Meditation on Damage, as well as a new project, on the aesthetics and culture of Punk rock.


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