Perfect Citizenship Award

Poetry by Thomas L. Vaultonburg Γ Street-Art by Spogo

large_txt_134z4xzmy grandparents

never dared

interfere with

the lifelong civics

lesson that


from classrooms,

radios, factories,


encyclopedia salesmen,

faucets and

Hee Haw

so when they

had the decency

to die weeks

before retirement

the government

sent a

Perfect Citizenship Award

and a check

not big enough

to box up the remains.

-Thomas L. Vaultonburglarge_txt_3v1wm0s


For six years I have lived at the geographic heart of Rockford, Illinois, in a tall building with a bird’s-eye view of the street below. I have seen my neighborhood, still America’s 3rd most dangerous, start to turn around and the beginning stages of gentrification take place. The East Siders who wouldn’t have dared come here only five years ago now attend a wide array of music, arts, and cultural events Downtown. The bands, artists, and restaurants that kept those events coming are no small part of the upturn. Zombie Logic Press is where I edited this Review, published books by Jesus Correa and C.J. Campbell, and started my new venture, Outsider Poetry.

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