SPOTLIGHT: Blank Canvas On Bloody Pavement by Dan Holt

Mumbly Peg

Throwing knives at our feet

Setting fires on the hill
with gasoline

Jumping off the garage roof

Throwing rocks
at cars on route six

Cutting a switch
from the willow tree
so your dad could whip your ass

We were small town kids
who had yet to discover
drugs and alcohol 

Killing Rabbits

There was a cat in my neighborhood

that used to kill rabbits

The blood really stood out

against its white fur

My father thought the cat

should leave the rabbits

for him to kill

The cat was just

trying to follow the food chain

We’d go hunting

and after my dad shot a rabbit

I would cut out its heart

and feed it to our dogs

And the blood

would really stand out against my pale white skin


He just sat there
staring at me
his hand
in his pocket
and blood
smeared on his jacket

I wanted to ask
where he had been
and what he had seen
but I was afraid

He took out a pack of cigarettes
and I said
what kind do you smoke?
and he said
what does it matter?
they all burn your lungs the same way

Before he left
he asked me to hold his jacket
and it wasn’t until after he had gone
that I realized that I was still holding the jacket
and the blood wasn’t real

I lit one of his smokes
and inhaled deep
feeling the menthol scorch my lungs


That flask shaped bottle
just seems to fit
your hand
If you’re lucky
that shit will
make you go blind
and wake up
in a courtyard
in the pissing rain
covered in mud
and vomit
hoping you haven’t
pissed yourself
college students
who don’t know
how to drink
We call it
black out juice
like that’s
a good thing


I clean my fingernails
with an Exacto knife
It’s not the safest way
but sometimes
the blade pierces your finger
and for a second
you really feel something
Then you stick your finger
in your mouth
and taste the blood


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