Yellow Mama Archives II

Harris Coverly

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Acuff, Gale
Ahern, Edward
Allen, R. A.
Alleyne, Chris
Andes, Tom
Arnold, Sandra
Aronoff, Mikki
Ayers, Tony
Baber, Bill
Baird, Meg
Baker, J. D.
Balaz, Joe
Barker, Adelaide
Barker, Tom
Barnett, Brian
Barry, Tina
Bartlett, Daniel C.
Bayly, Karen
Beckman, Paul
Bellani, Arnaav
Berriozabal, Luis Cuauhtemoc
Beveridge, Robert
Blakey, James
Burke, Wayne F.
Burnwell, Otto
Campbell, J. J.
Cancel, Charlie
Capshaw, Ron
Carr, Steve
Carrabis, Joseph
Centorbi, David Calogero
Christensen, Jan
Clifton, Gary
Cody, Bethany
Costello, Bruce
Coverly, Harris
Crist, Kenneth James
Cumming, Scott
Davie, Andrew
Davis, Michael D.
Degani, Gay
De Neve, M. A.
Dillon, John J.
Dominguez, Diana
Dorman, Roy
Doughty, Brandon
Doyle, John
Dunham, T. Fox
Ebel, Pamela
Fagan, Brian Peter
Fillion, Tom
Fortier, M. L.
Fowler, Michael
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Grech, Amy
Greenberg, KJ Hannah
Grey, John
Hagerty, David
Hardin, Scott
Held, Shari
Hicks, Darryl
Hivner, Christopher
Hoerner, Keith
Hohmann, Kurt
Holt, M. J.
Holtzman, Bernice
Hopson, Kevin
Hubbs, Damon
Irwin, Daniel S.
Jabaut, Mark
Jermin, Wayne
Jeschonek, Robert
Johns. Roger
Kanner, Mike
Karl, Frank S.
Kempe, Lucinda
Kennedy, Cecilia
Keshigian, Michael
Kitcher, William
Kompany, James
Koperwas, Tom
Larsen, Ted R.
Le Due, Richard
Leotta, Joan
Lester, Louella
Lubaczewski, Paul
Lucas, Gregory E.
Luer, Ken
Lukas, Anthony
Lyon, Hillary
Mannone, John C.
Martinez, Richard
McConnell, Logan
McQuiston, Rick
Middleton, Bradford
Milam, Chris
Mladinic, Peter
Mobili, Juan
Mullins, Ian
Myers, Jen
Nielsen, Ayaz Daryl
Nielsen, Judith
Onken, Bernard
Owen, Deidre J.
Park, Jon
Parker, Becky
Pettus, Robert
Plath, Rob
Prusky, Steve
Radcliffe, Paul
Reddick, Niles M.
Reutter, G. Emil
Robson, Merrilee
Rollins, Janna
Rose, Brad
Rosmus, Cindy
Ross, Gary Earl
Rowland, C. A.
Saier, Monique
Sarkar, Partha
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Slota, Richelle Lee
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Taylor, J. M.
Temples. Phillip
Traverso Jr., Dionisio "Don"
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Verlaine, Rp
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Waldman, Dr. Mel
Weibezahl, Robert
Weil, Lester L.
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Wilhide, Zachary
Williams, E. E.
Williams, K. A.
Wilsky, Jim
Wiseman-Rose, Sophia
Woods, Jonathan
Young, Mark
Zackel, Fred
Zelvin, Elizabeth
Zeigler, Martin
Zimmerman, Thomas
Zumpe, Lee Clark

Don’t...!

 

by Harris Coverley

 

 

Don’t peek in there

Don’t go in that house

Don’t “hang” in the basement

Don’t check out the attic

Don’t turn around

Don’t be a hero

Don’t be a dweeb

Don’t whistle after midnight

Don’t attend the high school dance

Don’t go to the beach party

Don’t be a slut

Don’t be a virgin

Don’t be macho

Don’t be kind and gentle

Don’t be clueless

 

The monster is coming

And he has taken the form of your brother

Or maybe your father

 

Don’t trip over a branch

Don’t slip on the leaves

Don’t run out of gas

Don’t split up into smaller groups

Don’t go and see where Johnny went

Don’t wonder what the neighbours might have heard

Don’t investigate that noise

Don’t go and look out the window

 

The monster is coming

It can smell your fear

And taste your blood already

 

Don’t just stand there—RUN!

 

RUN—and don’t ask!



Helios Grimm


by Harris Coverley

 


eyelids torn like wet toilet paper

the awakening an explosion

the trees outside with those branches

black veins against the dirt blue sky

pulsing hard

throbbing with the blood of the scrub

the whole world silently screaming

firstly my name,

and then something like:

                hey, I’m here . . .


hey, I’m here . . .


hey, I’m here . . .


a billion times in two seconds

before I close my eyes

and retreat back to the other place.

some dreams are just the day

wearing a mask of dark light.


Hunter

 

by Harris Coverley


my many victims


truculent—yet succulent

great to be undead



The Mauler

 

by Harris Coverley

 

 

He took off his glasses

And then pulled off his jumper in one quick move

Along with his T-shirt

 

And he showed me his chest tattoo:

 

ANCOAT LADS

1993

 

In dull ink

Between sagging pectorals

 

Fair and greying skin stretched across a withering frame

With a few threads of muscle left for show

 

“I’ll never stop crimin’ me,”

He told me

“I’ve made too much money from it for me to stop now!”

 

I roughly calculated his net profit in my head:

About 5.32

Plus thirteen years inside

 

He pulled his top back on

And replaced his glasses

Cheap but modern

A gift from Her Majesty

 

“So boy, if you see this face, you’d better start runnin’!”

 

He tapped on the bars with his knuckles

And then against his chest

(They almost made the same sound)

 

He opened his mouth to stretch his jaw

Revealing a throng of brown-capped stubs

 

I decided to take his advice

And knocked on the steel door

To have the guard let me out

 

It had been an interesting interview

Not a good one

But an interesting one.



The Mob

 

by Harris Coverley

 

 

one mouth

spread across two thousand holes

with anything up to

sixty-four thousand teeth

between them

 

all screaming

all shouting

all grinding

torches alight

the stomping of four thousand feet

the rustle of coats

the frequent spitting

the occasional chortling

 

four thousand hands

whipping on you

scoring you

tearing you

blistering exhausted skin

shattering flesh

 

but upon your own lips

a bitten tongue licking the blood away

you manage to offer them

from the heap of you on the ground

a response:

 

“never . . . I say . . . never . . .”

 

Bloodbound

 

by Harris Coverley

 

A most usual task:

A portrait fair and quick

Done with the airbrush

 

A grand old house

Brown and tall

Nestled in turquoise hedges

 

That exquisite young lady

Who took me upstairs

To a loft full of minor masterpieces

 

Revealing my medium

To glaze upon the canvas bare—

Her own blood!

 

What could I do?

My machine was ready

And my belly almost empty

 

I inserted the tube into her wrist

Thin and pallid as it already was

And sat her opposite my easel

 

Plasma deep and rich and fresh

Oxidising in its journey

From vein-bound royal blue

 

The outline of her precious face

Down to her swan-like neck

And across her slender shoulders

 

Drying as brown as the house’s bricks

Runnings smoothed with a millimetre brush

Abstract made into visage naturale

 

Taking a break for both to rest

She struggling ‘round to see my efforts—

“It’s lovely!” declared with weakened tongue

 

Then back to work!

The final strands of red to brown

The intricate fiddling of a perfectionist

 

“Done my lady!” proudly exclaimed

Yet exclaimed to a shrivelled corpse

Propped up in her chair with widest grin

 

Hung on the wall by my own hand

In that big and silent house

I closed the grand door after me

 

Leaving up within that loft:

Two smiling ladies

One of blood and one bereft

 

A day’s good work

For a month’s sustenance

The artist’s living.


Paradise

 

by Harris Coverley

 

the arch of your hip in the morning sun

the indentation in the mattress

the open window allowing in a rustle

the soft and slow regime of respiration

the popping of springs as you get up

and walk as Eve to the bathroom



The Now Outside

 

by Harris Coverley

 

 

when you stand outside

on the vacant street

at 2 a.m.

 

the road clear

with not even a distant draught of traffic

 

the lights at the far crossroads

changing dumbly and obediently

for nobody

 

the wheezing rattle

of a neighbour’s ventilation system

 

the town hall bell tolling

just to prove to itself that it’s still there

 

you could mutter an oath

and no living sentience would hear you

 

you sponge all that in

 

and you finally realise

just how big eternity

is.

Along with previously in Yellow Mama, Harris Coverley has verse published or forthcoming in Polu Texni, Spectral RealmsCalifornia QuarterlyCorvus ReviewThe Oddville PressBetter Than StarbucksEgoPHobia5-7-5 Haiku Journal, and many others. He lives in Manchester, England.

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