Our editor's new book, Standards of Sadiddy, is now available from Lit Fest Press!

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Accompanied by Unlikely’s own Justin Herrmann on drums and his brother Jordan on bass, Momma Molasses explores the limitations of life with traditional American rhythms, straightforward melodies, and clear, sophisticated lyricism.

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In the morning before school, while her mother and sisters discussed the topics of the day such as gluten (against it), the Ice Bucket Challenge (for it), and the growing number of civilians being shot by law enforcement professionals (for it), Bookworm read the Cheerios box.

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The wolf in the woods took my daughter
Locked her in the boardroom where she took
Down that dummy corporation
With only straw and a spinning wheel

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They dance badly. Thousands of preteen heat proms
burning each other alive, smashing wheels into forks and spoons,
and fucking on beds made of thick, wet, addictive paint.

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Otis pops the trunk. We carry 3 cases of bottled Rolling Rock beer to my 2nd-floor apartment. He sets a fat bag of weed, an elk-horn pipe, a small metal pipe, & a lighter with a Pittsburgh Pirates emblem on the kitchen table. We're reading our poems at the Erie Art Annex at 8. By then, there's no way we'll be sober.

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Sinking into the fine fibers
Fluffed cotton candy
The aching head marvels
Over the fading soreness
That was just unbearable

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subtle as a snapped neck’s whispering

drag/drag/drag alone
             of the bitten blood

semblance of dry light

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It was five days ago that the train carrying Billy Rae flew off the tracks, killing fifteen people, including Billy.

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Maybe you did not (openly) feel shame. Or you understood shame, attracted it, embodied it, were given little pieces of it every time you called a parent, every time you handed in an assignment, every time you drove your car or rode your bike, every time you went to the doctor or therapist or your beautician or barber, every time you walked into a gym full of perfection, every time you looked into your crooked mirror.

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O’er a galleon, reflected in the river the frightened animal’s open mouth land a table covered with candles of a large hole at the top of the world the cars drive toward me with muffled headlights free an animal sitting high in a tree

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not everybody who dies will be guilty
not everybody
who dies will be coward
nor deserves
to be ground up and roasted

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I laid in bed, trying to wish the morning away and ignore all the racket Dani made as she finished her breakfast, all bowl scrapy and slurping. The neighbors had been going at it for a while, quiet enough to begin with, but soon they were moaning and rutting the bed so it squeaked and popped. I put Dani’s pillow over my face and tried to wish that away too, but the noises got in my blood so much that I fapped.

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