Trading Futures, Nikki Roszko

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Trading Futures by Nikki Roszko

Trading Futures Copyright 2003 by Nikki Roszko

Poet Bio
Nikki Roszko

Main Street Rag, Winter 2004
The Hold, September 2003

Sample Poems
Fresh Meat        Casper Under Sheets        American        Mother

Poet Bio

Nikki Roszko  
Nikki Roszko is a poet, journalist, multimedia artist and full-time defender of civil liberties. Trading Futures is her first published poetry chapbook. You can find her on the web at and sometimes in the art section of She lives, works and starts trouble in Philadelphia with Atari the Bad and the rest of her extended family.

“The difference between a moth and butterfly is stripes and spots.” With this line, Roszko sets the tone for what is an uneasy journey into a dark corner of poetic musing. Invariably, Roszko chooses moths over butterflies, the ugly against the beautiful. Her poetry is tainted with the obscene as commonplace, flights of sexual fancy and furtive trysts under stairwells, back alley abortions—the subject matter is treated seriously, but as a testament to the world we live in.

— Frank S. Palmisano III
Main Street Rag Reviews, Winter 2004
Read the complete review at Main Street Rag

From Slipstream, one expects a poetry of what we understand to be urban, and we are here justly rewarded with a fine first time book offering to the god Steel Eros or goddess Concrete Venus. I am thinking the poetry tragically hot. There is a form of veiled copulation (and not so concealed) going on everywhere throughout this poetry. As in living in a city, when you walk by a building, a multi-dwelling, who in there is in the grasp of sex? Here is a pulling back of the wall and inside, it is humid and dank, gray and sensual, not harsh but motel, not romantic, but not without allure. Tart yet so teasing.

— Michael Basinski
The Hold, September 2003
Vist The Hold at


Fresh Meat

the bus rides when he
took her books

ground them into the wet
floor caked with mud
from shoes

arms bruised
from the chain he wound
around his hand

boys are tough but
girls worse fingernails
digging flesh

she welcomed then even
desparate touches
begged for glances
mean, grey

in the afternoon
schoolyard when teachers
had gone there was
no one but him and her and

making patterns
in her face

Copyright ©2003 Nikki Roszko
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Casper Under Sheets

My lips turned him red
        from the neck up he smiled and went limp

Together we formed
a pair like    he could be my    bully bodyguard
        beat up the other boys
        for me

His square shoulders
white white skin

we on the soft sand
sat and smoked drugs

My lips turned him red
        lipstick stain    he kept talking

Together we stomped
the streets like    seventeen year olds     highschool
        kids tossing cigarettes in
The chip in his
front tooth smile

we broke into the minibus
when we locked the keys inside

My lips turned him red
        his veiny neck    he kept talking
Together we fought
it like married people    bickering
        when he brought her home

The closed door
locked behind his eyes

and the awkward tittering

Copyright ©2003 Nikki Roszko

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Lost her virginity in the back
of a Chevy Cordoba a big
American car that had sticky
vinyl seats.

He fixed engines
that’s what he did
and he had grease
beneath his fingernails.

Saw her father throw
a gray kitten against the
brick wall in her back yard,
the neighbor’s kitten

had gotten into the trash,

She was an engine,
herself at night
tinkered and greased
until she turned over.

He showed her how
to jump a car
don’t cross the wires
hands steady.

Copyright ©2003 Nikki Roszko
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she asks for my help,
brings a coat-hanger
and waits for me
in a back street

he hovers over
his face whiter than

she looks religiously
for blood tries
to squeeze it out

and it is up to me
to hold her hand
until she bleeds

Copyright ©2003 Nikki Roszko
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