Summer 2007

Spring 2007

Winter 2007

Autumn 2006

Summer 2006

Spring 2006

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Fall 2005

Summer 2005

Editor's Note


SNR's Writers



Because she told me

she could cut hair with
with a cheese grater &
because she knew Lincoln
was a red-necked fart packed
into a pigskin & thus saved
me from a sad professorship
there & because in the tail end
of my youth I staggered down
the dark alleys of her home soil,
I will now play this Indian poker
for a few hands though I know
I’m too old to win, but it doesn’t
matter because she said she loved
dirty, old warriors like me.

Googling Myself

In a futile exercise
to excise loneliness,
I Googled myself
& yes, it felt good
when I found my name
as a reference in her online
vita & followed a link to her
homepage & the subsequent
photographs, her conjugal
scrapbook with husband
seeming to be a proper
academic egghead who
could never have had the
foggiest notion that she
whispered wild perversions
to me long before she
said, “I do” to him, but
what I can’t remember
is if our souls connected.
Did they? If they did
then why did I ditch her
when I could’ve had her?
She looks so delicious in her
white wedding dress that
I’m Googling what’s left of
my weak flesh right now.

Winter in the Blood

Blizzard, blizzard, white
hair snow congregating
at the temples & I have
not thawed a single
soul in three years.

Okay, everybody sing.

Monja, Monja.
I want your big begonia.

Groin Fruit

I tell you they are not the normal fruit of the womb concocted by removing the Fruit of the Looms. They are groin fruit, grown in vats…

Imprimus. There are but a handful of people who know that during the first term of the second or third worst president in the history of the republic, this nation entered into a secret agreement on the blending of races. Human sperm could fluster the eggs of gray, reptilian off-worlders resulting in a newness some called Merindians. Thus, at the age of thirty, Vardo, a Merindian was born fully formed thanks to the birthing vats. In private moments, he smiled & swelled at the irony of a six-foot hairy chested babe in swaddling clothes with an implanted education & a computer-generated history. He was placed in a teaching position at a highly touted mountain college, a redundancy to be sure. When Vardo was vibrant with juices flowing, he understood everything he saw, yet he questioned so much that his head filled with charged air. In order to hold more answers he had to grow a fatter brain. He read, questioned, studied & became an expert so self- acclaimed that his brain became lopsided. He had to walk around with his head on his shoulder like a beefsteak tomato, the kind that grow genetically obscene & eventually break their own green spines. The years went by & Vardo became nothing more than an off-world Mister Chips. He had no family. Though he’d been married several times, he’d never been satisfied, indeed he’d had sex forward & backwards outside of wedlock & never could grasp the allure as humans did.

“Tomato-head” he called himself, shriveling with age. Vardo tried to diminish what he’d learned & seen by slicing the fruit & passing out semi-historical redness to every dilettante begging for a life but soon he discovered that most of this fervently mindless planet had little or no taste for history. Only the Now was important. Where these humans came from, who their grandparents were mattered less than directions to the nearest Starbuck’s. The whys & wherefores of their lives were like minor hemorrhoids of the soul, but their very apathy made him even hungrier. His tired brain grew grandly again. He was unable to stop searching for the fool’s medicine of knowledge & the nervous citizens gawked at his poor, fat Merindian head which he now had to carry with both of his alky hands.

And so it came to pass that one day in a Wal-Mart “Superstore,” Vardo happened upon a plasma TV hooked up to a tiny satellite dish. Its glare gave him immediate relief so he signed his name on the dotted line & ordered a system at once. Within two days his head shrank back to a normal circumference. He began walking around smiling. He chatted up mindless neighbors, pleasantly bereft of his thinking labors. He felt more human than ever, but he also had tremendous Merindian nightmares. He dreamed of disease, destruction, & darkness. He awoke a week later with a wide eternal smile pasted upon his face & sang into a pistol breaking the mighty, mighty silence. In a few days, Vardo was in the birthing tanks soon to swim into life again.

Copyright 2007, Adrian C. Louis. © This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws.
It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author.

Adrian C. Louis has been a professor in the Minnesota State University system since 1999. He has written ten books of poems and two works of fiction: Wild Indians & Other Creatures, short stories, and Skins, a novel. Skins was produced as a feature film with a theatrical release in 2002. His 2006 collection of poems, Logorrhea (Northwestern University Press), was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.