Dec 3, 2008


Confessions of Pistachio Pudding
By Joseph DeMarco

The pudding said to the whipped cream
"I love the way you feel on top of me...
all light and sugary...but I have a confession
I was not always a bowl of Pistachio Pudding
I used to be Lancelot
I suspect you were once Guinevere
I suspect that maybe Dave Matthews
Was once Mozart
I suspect that writers reciprocally
create the same masterpieces over and over again
Just changing them
But leaving the same message
and thus 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,' became 'Satellite'
I suspect that possibly Arthur Laurents was William Shakespeare and that's why Westside Story and Romeo and Juliet are so similar
I suspect a lot of things that animate objects would never suspect
When your inanimate you see things others can't
and so my delectable whipped cream
I suspect I have known you before."

Taken From his longer poem, “Confessions of Inanimate Objects”

Gorilla Wars, B.Pomeroy

Gorilla Wars
By Barry Pomeroy

This is probably the very first thing that I remember about the end.
In the last days of the gorilla wars, a group of about twenty of us,
some of us wounded were crowded together on the top floor, perhaps
three stories from the ground of a building that seemed like a church.
Through the huge wall windows that were on three sides of the room,
wall windows like the ones in the sub cafeteria, we could see the
trees outside and the windows themselves crawling with apes, most of
them—Planet of the Apes—style gorillas.

You cannot imagine how grim, how desperate I felt. We didn't have a
hope in hell, twenty of us and some wounded, and perhaps five hundred
of them. I pulled out my Opinel knife, opened it and locked the blade,
all with a sense of futility.

The windows began to smash and the next impression I had (for so often
the impressions of real fighting is unlike that imagined), is hurried
chaotic and meaningless. I stuck my knife into the chest of a gorilla
which had come too close. But the blade of my knife was not made for
fighting, was made more for slicing fresh French bread, broke off
inside of the beast. I was left without a weapon in an already doomed

I may have blacked out for a time or even wiped some events from my
mind but my next memory is of a queue. All of the humans were lining
up to be routed to god knows where. Near the beginning of the line I
remember imagining that we were probably to be sent to work camps of a
kind, for the apes were being very specific with our paperwork, a kind
of attention we would hardly warrant if we were to be put to death.
I remember the sense of personal desolation standing there with
knowledge or feeling for the doom that was sure now to overtake us,
with my girlfriend by my side. I remember looking at her and thinking
that as suited as I am to these desperate times, as much as I could
handle our horrendous future, I would rather that she was anywhere but
here with me.

How could anyone who had lived a normal life be able to cope with what
lies ahead? I was thinking to myself, it is so tough now, times have
gotten tight, and will screw themselves still tighter. Life will get
more and more difficult and unpredictable and then death. The people
around me seemed as complacent as if they were in an uncomfortable
situation in their ordinary lives, and I remember thinking, I wish you
weren't here, you don't know what lies ahead.

Just, P.Kanev

By Peycho Kanev

I was driving the truck today
on the express way
passing by people with expensive cars
expensive lives stupid dreams
everybody is nobody here
we don’t care about each other
like the eagle don’t care about the fly
or the flower
oh just this blue-collar dead end job
just this bottle in my fridge that keep me
going for one more day
does anybody here on this road care that I
have been read all the great books
and I am still reading in the night
that I speak 4 languages
that I have the ability to love
as the lion rips a piece of flesh from
the zebra
but nobody don’t even know my name
and we keep driving
everyone sinking in their own stupid world
I reach a prison bus
and I look at the faces at the windows
and they seem happy to me

I am thinking that maybe they did not
convey the right person
but I wasn’t completely

Nov 3, 2008

Happy as Hell, G.A.Waters

Happy as Hell
by Gil A. Waters

I'm sitting in the slum that I call home
and I'm just waiting for a sign
While the world around me crumbles
and the rich get richer all the time
I spend my life waiting for something
in a world without hope
So don't be surprised if I pick up a gun
when the word "freedom" is such a joke

I'm looking out from the inside
and I wonder what it's like
When all the dreams that I have
are so far from a very real life
It was a playground
when I was a child,
but now I'm all grown up
It's not a game anymore
and I know what I want

Happy as hell
and waiting for my time
Happy as hell
and screaming on the inside

They think their souls were made from gold,
but I can see through their disguise
And soon I'm going to show them
what the world is really like
There's a silver lining
in every dark cloud
and now I've found mine
They can't keep me down forever;
I'll give them all a big surprise

The Cold War may be over,
but the one in the street is still alive
Eating flesh with every passing day,
but no one hears the cries
The Christ never comes
to raise me from my tomb
So it's just me and my anger
as I claw my way through

Happy as hell
and waiting for my time
Happy as hell
and screaming on the inside

Honeyed Words..., B.A.Hardie

Honeyed Words, Voice of the Tempter
by Brian Anthony Hardie

Coffee couches surf the denim
Plague, or sorcerers of belonging and a
Forgotten brainwave. Ticking slow,
A reggae slumber in an
Erie state of malicious
Pondering, deep in an Oregon
Hearing you, inner void, is
Not a life to interpret. My
Silk life drains human
Nerves while the sirens soundscape
My palms.
They hold a dialect starving
For comfort in an accent treasured
By satin sin.
Truth subverts through whips alive
And the dull spikes need. Light moments
Intriguing the past. Hollow trees
Savoring the lie, strumming the
Eyes of anger pending rage under
Your cruel sky.
Is such like wind the grief of
Romance? And
Why such a burn in the ache
Of our heart?
Madness scattered black pedals
On the gates of intimate
Gardens. Ending with a
Melody sung flat to the hills
Put to rest by a trembling son.

Relax, J.Grey

by John Grey

On a warm afternoon,
my blood flutters
in a butterfly's wings.
In the guise of a wildflower,
my hands rise
in a thin green stalk.
My breath is free
to join the other air
at any time.
My heart beats
like a tree grows.
Where I lie,
my body is more
soft, dry grass.
I don't so much
look up at the sky
as release my eyes
among it.

Battered City, G.Beck

Battered City
by Gary Beck

The explosion caught me by surprise and knocked me off my feet. I was one of the lucky ones. I hadn't reached the building yet. The blast, shock waves, flying glass, metal and concrete shards killed I don't know how many, and wounded many more. I may have hit a wall with a thump that would leave me bruised for weeks, but I was intact. A quick personal body search confirmed my instant diagnosis. I tested the various parts of the apparatus and found they still worked. Everything hurt, but I got up and joined the other walking wounded, who were going to aid the victims with the best survival chances, at least until emergency services arrived and took over. If they arrived. Secondary explosions went off nearby, indicating that al Qaeda had closed the access routes for ambulances and fire trucks.
This seemed to be the standard type of terrorist attack that had become painfully frequent. A medium-size office building without any particular political, economic, or military significance was targeted. A suicide bomber detonated himself in the lobby at rush hour, then improvised explosive devices were set off nearby to prevent assistance from reaching the site. I had developed some skills in evaluating survivor's chances and although I still had misgivings, I tried to the best of my ability to practice humane triage. It was a harsh process that hardened my heart to suffering, but it was the only choice, except for shirking responsibility to my fellow victims. They needed my help. I might need theirs soon. You never knew these days.
This was one more tragedy in the series of organized attacks that had recently swept the city. The first series targeted open-air markets. The pattern was simple. A suicider detonated himself, killing and wounding dozens. When the crowd panicked and stampeded, a second bomber detonated himself and killed many more. After several markets were devastated, people shopped elsewhere. The next series targeted cineplexes. Bombers detonated devices filled with nails in three or more screens at the same time, killing hundreds. People stopped going to the movies. The most recent attacks were the unexpected assaults on average workers, in average buildings, and was sorely testing the morale of a people under siege.
I managed to grope my way through the smoke and set about the horrible task of separating those who had a chance to survive. Other men and women were doing the same thing and we worked quietly, without supervision and cooperated whenever we reached the same victim. Blood, broken human bodies, and severed parts were everywhere. The moans, cries and screams of the wounded were getting louder. Facial expressions were either anguished or bewildered. We did our best for hours. At last the sound of approaching sirens told us that help would be here soon. I stared at a terrified young woman's face and whispered soothing words, as I tried to stop the arterial flow above her missing leg. Help would not arrive in time for her. EMS finally took over. I knew there would be no work today, so I headed for the subway, fervently hoping they wouldn't bomb it before I got home. I couldn't help thinking that it was time to pack up the family and leave New York City.

Sitting Shiva in a Hotel Lobby, D.Mahoney

Sitting Shiva in a Hotel Lobby
by Donal Mahoney

For a year this image has haunted me.
Over and over I hear on the gramophone
Cohen put in my ear
“Feature this:
On a crowded elevator
a strange woman in a baseball cap
unbuttons your fly.”
That image is on the ceiling every night
as I sit shiva in the lobby
of this small hotel,
a hookah, like a tired cobra,
coiled at my feet,
a shamrock in my buttonhole
dead from the last parade.
Night after night,
I think about this strange woman
as each hour I watch
the doors of the elevator
part and give birth.
I observe each new guest carefully,
hoping the woman in the baseball cap
will tire of the rain and ride up
in the elevator and register.
I want her to sit in the lobby
and talk with us.
We who are guests here forever
have eons to hear
what she has to say.
We have paid our rent in advance.
We can afford to sit here and see.

Oct 10, 2008

Sealed Moments, S.D.Turann

By Santiago del Dardano Turann

Each moment holds its revelation:

They mostly fade away

And wither in the mute contraction

Of time's unending play

On cliff sides of extinction.

Man leaves the half-unmolded clay

To melt beneath a thousand

Thin frazzled thoughts that through the day,

A waving magician's hand,

Are so much wind-torn hay.

What is the key to that green land

That gives life to each moment?

Is it lost in the starry band

From which it can't be rent

To fall as dew upon the sand

A silver secret sent?

Those Who Dance...Cayci/McCormick

Those Who Dance to the Rhythm of Their Own Music
By Üzeyir Lokman Cayci
Translated by Joneve McCormick

Those who nourish themselves on meats, dairy products and desserts
Cannot estimate you at your fair value.

Even if stone cracked, you cannot make them open
The windows of their farm …
People like you are not included in their center of interest
You do not exist …
Hereafter you must know
That they do not have time to bless you!

Their eyes are always fixed from above you
While they bow
With smiles above their double chins
Before the sovereign...the sultan.
Do you think for an instant that they acknowledge you?

If you ask my opinion on this subject
It is because the ends of their twine
Are in the hands of other people.
Don't take exception to the fact
That they are taken for kings!

Do not wait for them
In the wrong places
Vainly hoping
They will consider you a man …

Even if you write hundreds of letters
To these men of the closed doors
Intending to see or speak to them
You will not receive a single response …
Be wary and attentive;
Above everything
Allow them their haughty airs.
By thinking themselves important
They will look at you scornfully!

They well like fondling
Each others' backs …
It is no longer to the point
To listen to their dialogues "with admiration"
To extol their writings "enthusiastically"
To reward their facts "by clapping" …

Do not waste your time
Or put your attention here …
Think of other things.

Laptev Sea, R.Wink

Laptev Sea
By Richard Wink

An artist picks up a piece of broken glass
he plucks his body hair
like guitar strings.
His mother shows concern by bringing him a tray of cheese on toast
Careful, we are talking about a tortured artist
there should be squalor
and pitiful wallowing
and yet what can we hear.
The sound of a running water
a nice hot bath
with bubbles spilling over
the side of the tub


Sep 17, 2008

The Ghost, J.Visconti

By Jason Visconti

He sashays his sheet with a good haunt.
He rides up his airspace like the tail of a wing.
When he lifts, the color of rooms change
and the sky spits up a sheen of black.
He flutters out of range.
His bird self sighs on landing.
He draws you in on a single draft of despair.
He whips himself up then disappears.
The moon will take him,
a cellar of soot under night’s torch.
Then a hazy film of white light.
A dart at the stars of the sky--
fanning into the night.
A cold chill of hollow unbroken.
A wind at such heights.

Sep 3, 2008

Winning the Prize, J.Yung

Winning the Prize
Janet Yung

The lawn and garden award sign mysteriously disappeared from Ellen’s yard. It had been there the night before, but now was gone. Ellen didn’t notice it was missing when she went out for the morning paper or when she watered the pots of geraniums and petunias lining the porch.

She was dressed and on her way to work when she spotted something wasn’t right about the house. At the curb, it came to her. The sign, announcing the much coveted award was hers, was gone.

The award was a fleeting thing -- given annually to only the best manicured and designed front yards in the neighborhood. Judges surveyed the area throughout the month of June and then green signs announcing this yard was worthy appeared before the Fourth of July. In August, the signs would be collected, stored over the winter till next growing season.

This was the first year Ellen won the award, beating out the competition on either side.

“Well, I suppose it’s your year,” Mrs. Hobson, Ellen’s neighbor to the east conceded when the Hobson’s yard had been overlooked.

“You’ve been a great inspiration,” Ellen replied in a nod to the loser. Then, Mrs. Hobson began to ignore Ellen, pretending not to see her while Ellen was in the yard, pulling the errant weed from the prize winning shrubs and beds of impatiens.

“I think Mrs. Hobson is unhappy about the award,” Ellen confided to her husband, Larry who laughed off the suggestion.

“Don’t worry about it,” Larry said, but Ellen couldn’t help it. She went outside to give everything another drink and pluck out the spent geranium stems. Holding the hose, her eyes kept drifting to where the sign had been planted, imaging if she studied the spot long enough, it would reappear. Ellen felt eyes on her and when she looked up, spotted lace curtains falling back into place in Mrs. Hobson’s window.

Inside, Ellen rummaged through her junk drawer in the kitchen, digging out the phone numbers for the neighborhood association.

“What are you doing?” Larry asked, in the kitchen for an after dinner snack.

“I’m going to call Laura and find out if the signs were picked up early.” Larry shrugged while she dialed the number.

Five minutes later, Larry was back in the kitchen. “What’s the verdict?”


“About the sign?”

“They haven’t picked them up yet. Laura said sometimes kids take them as a prank.”

Then, Ellen gathered up the kitchen trash and headed for the dumpster. It didn’t do any good to fret about it. Opening up the lid to deposit her trash, she spotted the sign. It was at the bottom of the bin, covered in red sauce. She dropped the lid as the back door to the Hobson’s slammed shut.

The Shower, C.Effinger

The Shower
By Christy Effinger

I didn’t mean to get drunk at the baby shower, honest, but I couldn’t find a shot glass in Haley’s kitchen, so I had to pour the rum straight into my punch. What kind of housewife doesn’t keep a shot glass in her kitchen? I have five or six squirreled away in mine. While the other women played some game that involved sniffing at melted candy bars in diapers—no, really—I downed two glasses of spiked punch. Then, while they played a game trying to guess the width of Melissa’s girth, I downed two more. I wandered into the living room just as the women passed around the ultrasound picture. When the picture came to me, I held it up to the light. “It’s precious,” I cried, “just precious,” and then someone told me I was holding it upside down.

Fireball Lily, B.Hatfield

Fireball Lily
By Brad Hatfield

I sit in the garden of the Baccarat resort,
with an untouched drink, writing a report.
I see no contradiction, nothing athwart,
in the lily’s beauty and lethal sangfroid;
bright orange bursts cunningly deployed
on a solitary stem--and poison alkaloid
surging in its veins. Pygmies in Cameroon
mix this flower to tip crude harpoons
and fell young bucks in the shade at noon.

Aug 18, 2008

Fish Harbor, J.Henry

Fish Harbor
By Jack Henry

i remember
the clang of halyards cry
well before the dawn

long thin bows cut
silver glass
sending tides
of rise and fall

a longing bellows moan
of the inner harbor
buoy greets them
as they go, off to
chase a crimson sun
gulls in their wake
as slowly gather speed

lights dim fade exhaust
as angry pistons kick
w/soulful force

i can hear the men
on the black wood decks
laugh, drink
coffee and go about
their day

we settle back to slumber
three hours before
a mid-week rise
no other sound, or sight
or thought crosses
through my mind, other
than the gentle creak
of a world spinning



Stop Worrying So Much, M.Russell

Stop Worrying So Much!
By Maranda Russell

"Tension is what you think you should be. Relaxation is what you are." Chinese Proverb.

This quote really spoke to me. I have spent so much time tense and anxious about all that I feel I should be that I'm not, and all the things I think I should be doing, but can't. If I could just learn to be me, and be content with that, I could truly be relaxed. At peace. Tranquil. And that sounds heavenly to me.

I am a naturally wound up and nervous person that is seldom at peace. I am constantly looking for a cause to fight, an injustice to fix, a nit to pick. If I feel sick I start imagining I have cancer. If someone is late, they died in a car wreck. I am the meaning of the word worrywart. My boss at work is always telling me to "calm down skippy!" But one of the things I worry the most about is how I feel I'm not good enough. I haven't achieved enough, I haven't made a big enough difference in the world, I haven't made my million so I can give it to the poor.

So I'm thinking I really need to learn to relax. Be happy with who I am and where I am at in life. Not feel so useless if the kitchen is dirty and the cats stink. Or if I stink for that matter. It's pretty hot here today so I probably do stink. But maybe that's ok. I can always go take a bath. Is it really worth feeling like a failure because I don't always smell like a delicate rose? Or beating myself up because I ate some oreos and my pants are a little tight? Maybe instead I should thank God I'm not starving to death and that I have clothes to wear at all. I can't help but think when I am at the end of my life, I will look back and regret wasting all this time worrying about things I can't change and striving for what is always out of reach.

Spring's Sleeping, A.T. Leverton

Spring's Sleeping
By Adam Tod Leverton

What causes the spring
to wake in fits
like the restless sleep of a drunk man?
The dogs barking in heat
the birds-winging exhausted to roost?
No. It is the old woman
stooped over, wearing slippers,
sweeping the dirt with a too short brush,
muttering curses under her breath
She has disturbed Spring's sleeping.

Jul 31, 2008

Nothing Blond...B.D.Howell

By Bryon D. Howell

Brooke Hogan was recently
as calling the

"a bunch of stupid people."

Within the same 24-hour
a 5.4 Earthquake

much of California.

The tremors could be
all the way

into Nevada.

Do you see now what
when a blond says

something intelligent?

The entire West Coast ...


Jul 24, 2008

The Bridge, M.W.Rees

The Bridge
By Mary Willow Rees

I ventured onto this bridge to get away
from loving one who stopped loving me.
All around is gray,
Water below, lifeless, in which to drown,
Sky above, dimly lit by an unseen sun.
No warmth can reach me.
Only the watery depths below,
The weeping sky above.
I am suspended here on a bridge, also gray,
Waiting to see if I can cross.

Jul 23, 2008

I'm Content, K.C.Wheat

I'm Content
by K.C. Wheat

Sometimes late at night
Wife's asleep, baby's sleeping
The dishes are done.
I take off my shirt
Check the email
Maybe catch a ballgame on TV.
I notice a peace
And a surprising sense
Of accomplishment.

Jul 17, 2008

Calling All Amahs!, L.Crew

Calling All Amahs!
By Louie Crew

sturdy reeeeeeeeeeeed
tic cups.

Get your sturdy red plaaaaaaaaas
tic cup
owwnly wuuuuuun

tic cups,
step right up
and get yooooore
sturdy red plaaaaaaaaas
tic cups,
with a diiiiiime
thrown iiiin
for good meaaaaaaaaaaaaaaas

tic cups!

Biiiiiiiiig wuns,
reeeeeeglar wuns,
smaaaaaaall wuns,
get yooooore
sturdy red plaaaaaaaas
tic cup
right here,
owwnly wuuuuuun

be cauwwwwght

tle it,
tle it,
let them
has giiiiiiiven.
that dime,
that dime,
when you siiiiiiiiiiit
in the cooooooooold.

tic cups.
Get yoooooore
sturdy red
tic cup
owwnly wuuuuuun

without ooooooooooone.

Maaaaaaake it
Maaaaaaake it
sooooow that theeeeeeeeeey
will seeeeeeeeeeee

tic cups.
get yooooore
sturdy red
tic cup
only wuuuuuun

Reciprocation, A.M.Bratten

by April Michelle Bratten

i can only repeat,
just as a stuttering child--
i say to him,
i can only repeat myself.
i lie, i do--
without using any words.
my flesh, it's there--
always there, a constant.
it tells lies, it says words.
but his words--
they transfix me,
numbing and cold,
they lull me to sleep.
cold! hard! spell!
and his eyes,
his eyes,
damn those sugary eyes--
tinged with pink
as if to shed a tear.
i just want him
so badly--
too badly to--
i just want to rock him to sleep.
i hear the murmurs,
righteousness! I! swear!
i hear the murmurs
of an insane child.
i hear them, i do.
without the realization
that these words--
they are mine.
my flesh tells lies.
lies! sold! me!
my secrets, your secrets
are not spread, revealed.
they are only lies,
i told him they are lies--
not meant to be believed.
just close your ears,
my love,
just close your ears and forget.
but he can not, will not
hear my words--
these strangled words.
i can only repeat,
(repeat! repeat! repeat!)
just as a stuttering child--
i say to him,
i can only repeat myself.

Jul 9, 2008

Brain Washing, Z.Alexandra

Brain Washing
By Zoe Alexandra

Better Late Than Never
but never is a place
I'm too scared to go
all the in-betweens
give me panic attacks

Once you called me
an in-between
and I took offense

If I can't be the best
I better be the worst

I've met so many women
who claim to read men
like directions to the nearest
gas station

All I can read are the instructions
on your clothing
wash in warm water, gentle cycle, hand dry

So let's come clean
If your kind of love is
than my brain
was dirty,
it needed a rinse.

Jun 30, 2008

I Should Have...M.A.Kechula

By Michael A. Kechula

When I saw Kerry, I nearly died. She looked gaunt, a virtual skeleton.

“Are you well, Kerry?"

“Never felt better. I’m on a rice diet. My boyfriend insists I'm too heavy.”

Heavy? Six months ago, she had six-pack abs, tight butt, and was a good athlete. Now, she looked as if she might soon expire.

She said she wanted to be perfect for her boyfriend. I thought him a brutal bastard, who wanted her a corpse.

I wondered if I should say something, considering we were supposed to be joyously celebrating our common birthday? Today she turned twenty, and I turned twenty-nine.

She'd called and invited me to a picnic for just the two of us. Her idea of a birthday celebration at the beach was wonderful. What a charmer.

We’d always clicked since meeting at the university. She thought there was a mystical tie between us, because we’d been born the same day. I figured someday I’d take her up on that. Maybe after my divorce.

Our picnic seemed more for me, than her. She ate only a handful of rice, but had made me huge, delicious, roast beef sandwiches. Plus wine and homemade apple pie. Faced with her emaciation, I felt like a czar feasting in front of a starving peasant.

She said her boyfriend had given her a new car battery for a b-day present. I tried to remain poker-faced. Good thing she couldn’t read my mind: she’d have seen, “freakin’ cold bastard” splashed across my gray matter.

She gave me an intricately woven, macramé key ring. Probably labored on it for weeks. What a terrific gift!

But my gift to her turned out to be an embarrassing, poor choice. A pound of fine Belgian chocolates. Rice-only eaters don’t permit themselves such wondrous luxuries.

Damn! How could I have known she’d been starving herself? Five pounds of basmati would have been a more appropriate gift. But that would’ve been just as hokey as a car battery.

Finally, I mentioned how fit she’d looked when we took Creative Writing together, six months ago. Hoped to make a point about her present appearance. I also mentioned how some men are cruel victimizers. She acted as if she didn’t catch my drift.

The man obviously didn’t love her. How could he watch a loved one waste away?

I thought, Kerry, love ME, instead. I’ll give you deep love that nurtures, not the perverse, sadistic kind that destroys. Why waste your life on a man who wants you dead?

But something urged me not to tell her. So, I didn’t speak my heart.

Now I wonder what might’ve happened if I’d told her that day how easy it would’ve been to fall in love with her? Perhaps she’d have said she was flattered, but think otherwise. Maybe she’d have downgraded our comfy friendship.

I lost track of her.

Until I read her obituary.

Isolation, M.Russell

By Maranda Russell

I want to walk away
and never return.
I want to move to Greece,
where the sun always shines
on the turquise waters,
and the pure white houses glow.
I want real food.
True home-cooked stuff,
not hamburger helper.
I want to live
and breathe deeply
where people still live together.
a community.
a family.
I hate this isolation we've created.

The Crazed Centaur, S.D.Turann

By Santiago del Dardano Turann

I galloped Pendus Mountain paths of pine wood

My heart with such force thrashing that it could

Kick through my ribs and turn this trail to mud

With seething storms of boiling centaur blood!

It's not the blood red fly-caps' magic in me

(That makes us dance in blissful ecstasy)

But on my back there clings one of those eroi

Who mocking with his arrows makes me his toy.

I am a mighty spearman wielding death

From my thick arms and chest for Achaean and Lapith

I leap up rocks fast as the storm wind blows;

Yet I am conquered by mere vapor arrows.

Pine needles slice my skin, twist my long hair

But can not knock him off, the boy nightmare!

I'll plunge into the icy Peneus River

And in the ageless water purge my fever.

Loney Meeting, A.L. Auverigne

A Lonely Meeting
By Amanda Lawrence Auverigne

"That movie was so lame." Julia said.
"Yeah, but what did you expect?" Kailee said.
"I expected to be entertained for two and a half hours after giving
the man in the glass box my nine dollars. I mean. Did you even laugh
once? I think it was supposed to be a comedy." Julia said.
"With all of those body parts flying and people exploding? I thought
it was horror?" Kailee asked.
"And all those explosions. I mean, how many times can you torch the
same house and not realize that the guy you're after is not in it?"
Julia said.
"It was the same house? I counted a couple of apartment buildings, a
boat house a castle." Kailee said.
"Yeah, and what was that whole thing with the castle? They just like
ended up in another country after falling into the ocean." Julia
"I thought they fell in a dam." Kailee said.
"How can you fall into a dam? You can fall into a reservoir. Not a
dam. You can fall on top of a dam. Not in it." Julia said.
"They did. Just before they blew it up." Kailee said.
"They blew up a lot of stuff in that movie. And it didn't help that
when the people talked you couldn't hear a word they were saying. But
when they started shooting it was really loud." Julia said.
"I guess they figured they could get everyone's attention by making
the violence really really loud." Kailee said.
"Well, two and a half hours of my life. Gone!" Julia said.
"Well, there's an art film playing at the Price Theatre on Triton
Avenue. Let's try to catch it. It's like three buck day or
something." Kailee said.
"What's playing?" Julia said.
"Some movie about some pervert who locks a girl up in a room and
plays mind games with her. She gets out and she starts stalking him.
Does the same to him and then at the end she has to decide if she's
gonna do him in or not. It got a lot of good reviews at that Italian
film festival. And oh, it's in French." Kailee said.
"Okay, let's go." Julia said.

Jun 3, 2008

My Foot, E.R.Winkler

By Elaine R. Winkler

After Jane Hirshfield

A foot is not one big toe and four smaller.

Nor is it a sole and instep,
not ligaments and bones,
not tendons, or skin and blood vessels.

My foot does not write novels,
or paint oils on canvas,
it is not the pavement where it has walked,
not in its footprint,
not in painted toenails.

Nor is my foot my garden where I cool it,
not the shoe it wears,
nor the footbath wherein it’s washed,
not the powder that soothes.

The foot of the bed is not it.
Foothills are not it.
The footstool whereupon it rests is not it.

My foot has a single necessary job,
in my estimation.

To put itself forward, then follow the other,
to keep moving me through my life.

The Last Time, C.Sernotti

The Last Time I Saw My Father's Head
By Craig Sernotti

The last time I saw my father's head
it wasn't on his shoulders.
It was in my lap
barking like a tough
telling me to get a life
a job
some pussy
like any real man would.
Can't this wait
I said
until after I'm done
jerking off?
I can't concentrate
with you bothering me.
That's when
the police knocked down my door
& when they grabbed me
I came

For You, Y.Williams

For You
By Yvonne Williams

You ask for a story from me. I suppose I should start with you. You will be the character who will fill my pages with action and love and heartache. You will be the person whose thoughts my pen will deliver to the world. But how does an ordinary person metamorphosize into one who will survive throughout the ages? Where do I begin this seemingly unachievable tale?
Do I recount the number of times that you have wanted to kick yourself in the vain hope that all of the stupid things that have escaped your lips will somehow reverse themselves and flow backward onto your tongue? But, suppose I give the specific account of a specific moment during a specific day, will you then be comfortable living outside of anonymity? Or will you curl back under the pages hoping that those who saw you will someday forget that they ever noticed at all?
Shall I express the gravity that dwells within the swirling crevices of your fingerprint as the buds of your tongue lick the tip of your finger in order to more easily turn the page? But, if I tell of the feel of canyons languorously swiping against the tips of volcanoes, would you deny that such a sensation had ever existed anywhere in proximity of your body? Or will you rejoice in the knowledge that you are capable of experiencing life so profoundly?
But then, what if I incorporate those moments of fear when your ears rang cold with the rapid thump-thumping of your heart. Or when the sweat from your brow delivered a clammy stickiness to the webs of your fingers? Would you wipe the gluey residue from your palms onto the thighs of your pants then declare that fright has never resided beneath the transparent shell of your flesh? Or would you fall to your knees and beg for admittance into the clique of humanity?
Tell me truly, if you knew that my story was about you, would you insist that I start with a man on a boat who is hopelessly lost at sea and only wants to find his way home?

May 29, 2008

Nothing Underneath, T.Gerken

Nothing Underneath
By Theo Gerken

Sing me a love song
and I'll answer in praise
but give it to me rough
and I'll be right in your face
As we met
we had our battles
of which I won
Soon I sensed you were of another kind
the archetype
of not my kind
the way you impacted me
caught us wondering
left the truth hanging
about the beating and the banging
how I'd wake up
so completely uncalled for
between four white walls
in hospital
stunned by psychological warfare and bad food
by my only visitor
always my inquisitor
so questioning
so calculating
and to force himself upon me
filling me
with his slow mechanical rage
sincerely smiling
while dehydrating my face
bits of me
were leaving me
now the others around
came convinced
you and me were unsound
they said it was a fifty-fifty blame
that all my problems
put your high earning name to shame
but then hospitalised
again and again
for no reason
for a moment
they saw reason
started questioning
I left the truth hanging
about the beating and the banging
they started seeing
patterns of abuse
pushing me
to expose the truth
seeing this
you were loosing this game
unless using change
to clear your own name
selling yourself
as though you said my mother
should have sold me
being the whore she was
giving birth to me
Sing me a love song
and I'll answer in praise
with you
it never happened
so I'll always be disgraced
caught in the circle of seeking your approval
it is sad to see
I am a refuge
in this relationship and in my own home
I keep moving
But knowledge of what I seek
and again
the rug is pulled beneath my feet
pulled from underneath
pushed from up above
contracting gravity to your favour
showing the skies
the righteousness of you endeavour
loosing ground
sinking right through it
sinking through earths' surface
try beat me to it
the only memory of her master
was natural disaster
emptying my core
convinced there is more
raging upon my waters
threatening to me leave
relieved and furious
saying things I couldn't believe
this struggle
seemed ignite a spark
the twinkle is in the eye
I beg the twilight to be your guiding light
you come on to me
your intentions to scared to tell
saying you'll do right as I please
I'm thinking oh God please
fucked breathless 'til I could breathe no more
fucked heartless emptying me to the core
fucked blue white gold and yellow
as all the colours of the rainbow
hit me right in the face
and I'll kneel in praise
appropriate behaviour
has come to be my saviour
once more
touched by the breeze of death
once again
screwed by what has nothing underneath
filled with seeds of evil
too tired to stand up
deprived of free will
to make the final cut
thinking about the baby
what sin it will bring
but love infinite
I almost change my mind
before realizing environmental factors
can do nothing to this kind

Silent Mary, K.C.Wheat

Silent Mary
by K.C. Wheat

Mary Ann takes off her jeans.
Leaves them on the floor right there.
Then she stares at me over her shoulder,
With her elbows resting on the table.
Her Afro smells like cigarettes
As I watch one bead of sweat
Slowly roll down her spine,
Make a left turn, trace her hip,
And wet my hand.

May 28, 2008

Lost in Time, J.J.Fay

Lost in time
By Jennifer Joan Fay

Skin with becoming aging signs
Something only told by lost time
Thoughtless thoughts
And a heartless soul
An emotionless mind
Destroyed by time
So confused, so unaware
Such a lost soul without a care.
Forbidden Love
The sun in it's fiery glare
How I love it's warmth
Solace, consoling
Yet not nearly as comforting as your soothing arms.
Your heart beating close to mine
With every waking breath you take
Don't make me feel as though this has been a mistake.
Anxiously awaiting you
The torrential pour
The howling winds
The silent line
The endless whines
Anticipating seeing you
Anxiously awaiting home
Awaiting your touch
Your elated kiss
As the clock slowly winds
It gets slower with each waking time
The slow quiet room
Yet gabbing away
The tired eyes
And the anxious await.

Life, L.H.Berry,Jr.

By Lawrence H. Berry, Jr.

Mother Nature is crying.
The earth is still frying.
Fact finders are prying.
Bush is still lying.
Everybody''s still buying.
Time is just flying.
God is now dying.
The Pope is now sighing.
Life''s lessons applying.
But, I''m still trying.

Beer One...,E.Sullivan

Beer One of Twelve
By Ed Sullivan

Crack. Smell. Sip. Sip. I love the taste of cold beer. The brand name don’t matter, as long as it’s not that cheap, cheap shit. As long as a twelve pack costs more than eight bucks, and the beer is cold, I love the taste. Sip. Especially the first Sip of my first beer after a long hard day of sleep, Sip. That’s always the best. Sip.


As I take a seat on my favorite chair and turn on the ballgame, I chug the remainder contently. Toss the empty can in the general direction of the kitchen. I reach into the box and grab another and I know like a pitcher knows how to throw it’s all down hill from here, sometimes even to the depths of hell. Oh well.


Our World Our Duty, N.Kabir

Our World, Our Duty
by Nabila Kabir
It would be a much happier place to dwell in –
To inhabit,
If people would just walk as far as a trash can –
To throw away their garbage.
It would be a less complicated place to live,
If people were busy doing their jobs
Instead of –
Finding excuses of not getting it done.
Now tell me –
Am I not right?
If, when walking, we didn’t have to step over
Empty soda cans and old flyers
In our every step.
Wouldn’t it be a prettier place to occupy,
To reside in,
If honesty filled our hearts?
Why is it that once someone drops their phone,
They loose hope of ever finding it?
Why is it that,
There are security guards
In front of every door of a simple store like
Do we not see the world in which we breathe in –
The world in which we stroll in –
is filled with filth?
Now tell me –
Is the filth not a result of our actions?
Because we would rather steal –
Than buy.
Because we would rather lie –
Than then tell the truth.
Honesty is rare and –
Loiterers are common.
The reason our work never gets done
Is because we are lazy.
The reason our wallet gets stolen
Is because of our dishonesty.
So next time you walk by a trash –
Throw your trash in it.
Next time you find a phone or a wallet,
Turn it in.
Because then –
The world would be a much happier place to dwell in –
To inhabit.
Now tell me –
Am I not right?

May 15, 2008

Picking Etiquette, G.Bosacker

By Gerald Bosacker

You can pick a wife or a rose,
and then quite sensibly
the right card, your teeth or new clothes,
a guitar, a friend or your foes,
and often, quite privately
that icky stuff between your toes.
Pick garden weed that stubborn grows
and winning numbers I suppose
or your butt when no one knows
but mothers and teachers agree
it's never nice to pick your nose.

The Bones Once Protruded..., N.Kuwik

By Nicole Kuwik

My mind
pushes me up against a wall
holding a fist
to my face threatening to

So I sneak into spiral notebooks
neatly listed with numbers
which once added to equal
fifteen, sixteen, seventeen...
when I was still
sinking somwhere
along the transfer from sand to swamp

I login to forums about triggers
and thinspiration and taste
raw carrot and stomach acid,
toilet water and white tile,
salty tears on grey stairs

My hands turn orange like
a flamingo eating
shrimp to make her pink
and my bones ache with the
of it all

Apr 30, 2008

Give Pizza Chants, M.Adomaitis

Give Pizza Chants
by Mark Adomaitis

Five days a week at our desks working from nine to five,
Yet only at lunchtime do we all come alive;
Jill shouts “Burgers!” - Jane yells “Fish!” - they sing and even dance;
Yet I am victorious, giving pizza chants…
Give me a piece of pizza please!
Don't make me get down on my knees!
Double sausage and extra cheese
and pile on those anchovies!

It’s Sunday, we’re at the bar, the score is nine to eight,
Yet only at half-time do we communicate;
Bob shrieks “Tacos!” – Bill yelps “Subs!” - I take my same old stance;
I always get what I want, giving pizza chants…
Give me pizza or give me death!
No, I am not on crystal-meth!
Let garlic be on my last breath
or heads will roll like in Macbeth!

Now you’re home, the day is done, what would you like to eat?
You and your precious loved ones begin to compete;
She says burgers, he wants fish - but I’ll tell in advance:
You’ll always be the winner giving pizza chants…
Give me P-I-double Z-A!
Let's order two pies - What the hey?!
Don't let me be in disarray-
Look! Here they come! Hip, hip hooray!

Mark Adomaitis

NIce Day, S.France

Nice Day
By Sam France

Snot, teenaged and manic hilarious I was
half-drunk stumbling giggling out of deli, Saturday one o'clock sweating in mammoth overcoat + spider hair in face humid as fuck for absolutely no reason lighting menthol cigarette (menthol/ I was retarded) with yellow lighter, yellow always the coolest besides maybe white which is bad luck and finally eye-contact with smiley black guy scooting along sidewalk like a funny god and I am magical + predict dialogue will be:
"Hey, Man, can I bum a cigarette?"
Here he comes and
"Hey, Man, can I get a smoke?'
"Sure, brotha –"
Brotha, always Brotha,and he's off,
he'll probably be back shaking his head laughing politely asking to bum a light but he can go to 7-11 grab some of those free hick matches 'cause
I'm off down Labrea marching triumphant and infinite, nice day and street symphonies bursting outta the head no need for headphones squeezed earholes this is surround-sound sunny concerto, Baby, low bus bass lines plus ambulance ambience over bum band beach boys harmonies slurred and insane
& me, goofy white kid turns corner into flea market shopping for girls
and hey, there's old Cate workin' her stand, (don't look surprised, Dumbass, why do you think you're here?) the jean shorts and infinite curly blonde hair hello don'tcha wish she didn't look so good all the time? heehee
and the hot blood flows up into skull quick, of course, some black hole and
what can he do
besides grin crazily and wave? Looking like a manic preacher
he greets her giggling and walks
almost to say that
This is all your fault,
I have seen the World and don'tcha wish you came?
Have a nice day.

Jack, Jack and Gerald, CL Borge

by Clyde L. Borg
Jack, Jack and Gerard,
Hanging out on Bethune Street,
Talking girls and baseball.
Reading Mickey Spillane.

Jack, Jack and Gerard,
Gathering at El Mundo Bar,
Drinking Rhingold cans,
Tasting Seagrams and 4 Roses.

Jack, Jack and Gerard,
Making easy choices,
Deciding on RKO or Sheridan,
Bowling or roller derby.

Jack, Jack and Gerard,
Graduating high school,
Going into service,
Getting married.

Jack, Jack and Gerard,
Drinking takes its toll,
Passing early the result,
Missing them I am.

Apr 15, 2008

Bloody Mary Sunday, M.Adomaitis

Bloody Mary Sunday
by Mark Adomaitis

The dog that bit us late, last evening
Was truly a prohibited grain;
We’d counterattack with a six-pack
But that won’t annihilate our pain…

A cool juice of pulpy vermillion
With an unbridled horse radish bite!
A celery beam so crisp and green
Like the money we spent last night!

Lavishly topped with a red hot sauce
Then it’s hours on the couch for us;
The TV guide helps plan our ride
Until the pitcher is vacuous!

If we ever run out of vodka
We’ll make a jug with whiskey or gin;
Since we all still define alcohol
Absolutely the best medicine!

Envy the Beast, K.McIntyre

Envy the Beast
by Katherine McIntyre

All consuming, overwhelming,
its whimsical green tendrils,
carving bags under my eyes and
furrowing my brow.

Vines threatening to choke,
they cast a spell upon my senses,
until drowning in a plethora
Of futility; sludge-like steps.

I am entangled more than ever
down this path of putrid entropy,
Stumbling as I perceive
hazy thoughts that bring much agony.

My syrupy cough contaminated,
Like bile in my throat,
I choke to see what I imagined,
vile tragedy, my mouth offended,

The vines descend in endless spirals
carrying their circular disease,
my fingers grasp upon some logic,
and small sentimentality.

Within my grasp is truth and honesty,
As my clinging vines snap,
A thought of loyalty between us

To Beauty Pageant Judges, G. Bosacker

by Gerald Bosacker

No stitch mark or discerned stitches,
nor pockmarked skin that shows or snitches,
this gloried miss is free from glitches
deserving crown you could install.

The scars she bears are all inside,
her bio skips the nights she cried
mute victim of her parent's pride,
no sadder star can you recall.

As Queens need more than pretty faces
she's well rehearsed in social graces
with perfect smile, rescued from braces,
segued amid her demure drawl.

You have the power to place her first,
or send her home, her bubble burst;
no matter which, your choice accursed
since you don't measure soul at all.

Apr 9, 2008

News of the World, P.Vision

News of the World, by Pablo Vision

You sold that child into slavery; you have suffered every parent's worst nightmare; you left her alone; we have never done anything like that, ever; you are victims of the cruelest crime imaginable; you killed her accidentally; you murdered her; you had the audacity to try and get on with your lives; our hearts go out to you, we will stand by you, forever; we have taken down the posters; we are still looking; you played tennis; you wore make up; we saw her; it was not her; you courted us for the publicity which we could give; ungratefully you questioned our opinions; you used us; we abused you; you phoned the police straight away; you didn't; there is an innocent explanation; you are as guilty as sin; you washed that cat; we can see the pain on your face; we can see through that charade; you are in our every thoughts; you went to church to pray; you hid her body; your loss is our loss; you cold heartless bitch; (with tears in our eyes) you poor, poor, woman; we want to forget and get on with our lives; we will never forget, we will never stop looking; we are obsessed; we are bored; why are you and your one white child worth more than a continent of starving black children; we can so identify with something so close to home, and too close for comfort; we know you so well; we know all the details of what really happened; we don't know you at all; we have no idea what really happened; but you will be judged; we will judge you; we already are; the shadow of the tree that extends over so many countries, over so many lives; lives like yours, and lives not like yours; what really happened, and who are you?

Apr 1, 2008

Chainsaws In My Soup, R.Plath

Chainsaws In My Soup
by Rob Plath

i stir
the large pot
of soup
w/a big

it's beginging
to bubble

it causes
me to think
of the

the first cell

is this what
the creator
must've felt

a buffoon
w/ as spoon
making life

i feel disgusted

i want the
of things

i'd feel better
in my soup

Sh-t Job, M.Jackley

Shit Job
by Mark Jackley

Night comes and I stare
at the spruce in my front yard.
It teeters in the breeze
like a shy dancer
holding the hem of her dress,
on the verge of leaping,
any second now,
towards dark applause.

Perspective: Overpass, D.W.Davis

Perspective: Overpass
by Devin Wayne Davis

rome of tomorrow;
parthenon off-ramp;
swap-meet coliseum;
car lot catacombs
beneath the freeway.

Lemon Drops, L.Singer

Lemon Drops
by Liz Singer

My head is a lemon,
full of sour thoughts
that squeeze out
onto dry, cracked lips.

As I squint and release,
the last drops slip.

Yellow tears fall
on raw, white hands
and lemon drops glow
from my red fingernails.

They shimmer and shine,
leading to my future.
Her stolen air breathes
life into me and I inhale.

Cheeks singe and eyes sting,
but no more tears can pour
from the dried up slits.

I can’t make my squinted face
smile yet- not till the sour taste
is gone. But soon I’ll expel
the last lemon drops and breathe,
because she knows I can.

Mar 20, 2008

Just Words, E.L.Collins

Just Words
by Elizabeth L. Collins

Who is essentially me –
my picture?
Or the pictures I paint
with my words?
Poems and prose -
lined up in rows.
Some are his story
some are hers -
all just words.

Is the eye the sole
window to the soul?
Or does writing
share more,
bare more,
lay naked the heart
by words penned?
Choose carefully:
may befriend
or offend.

We leave behind
our reflection
when we reflect
our thoughts
onto the page.
Height, weight, sex, age
matter not!
Ideas the only measure -
words our gift,
our treasure.

The Middle of Her Life, M.Amyx

The Middle of Her Life
by Meredy Amyx

Ilana in the doctor's waiting room.
I knew that would happen. Eight, no, nine empty seats in this waiting room and she has to take the one right next to me. It's bad enough that he's called me in to talk about the test results, it's bad enough sitting here just waiting and not being able to stop thinking about it, all the horrible things they could have found, and me only forty-four, the middle of my life, bad enough without being crowded by someone who smells of garlic and wearing that revolting shade of puce that I can't even look down at the magazine in my lap without seeing.

Ilana in the kitchen.
Those damn fools have redesigned the cranberry jelly can. What's the matter with them? Before, you just opened both ends and the jelly slid right out. Now the bottom is rounded and the can opener won't work. Look, you can't even poke a hole in it to break the vacuum. You have to run a knife around the inside, and still it doesn't come. The turkey's done, I've got potatoes to mash, gravy to make, and everybody else just sitting around snacking and drinking, spoiling their appetites, and I've been standing here for ten minutes shaking this damn can and I can't get the jelly out. Those cheap corporate bastards have figured out how to save an extra fraction of a cent with a different can, and they don't care what it does to my life. I swear to God sometimes I feel like the universe saves up all its torments for me.

Ilana on the freeway ramp.
Idiot. He's not going to let me in. I don't believe it. I can't go straight more than another few seconds. The lanes merge. He's just blocking me. He's doing it on purpose. When I speed up, he speeds up. I should slow down. Why should I let him make me? There's someone right behind him. I have to get ahead of him. What the fuck did he pick on me for? He's nobody I know. Fucking idiot. What the hell, who cares, I'm just going to step on it and run right ahead of him and cut him off, and

Ilana in the middle of her life.
Turns out the middle of Ilana's life was when she was twenty-two. She didn't know it then. Now she does.

Mar 17, 2008

Life After Politics, J.H.Johns

by J. H. Johns

I’m Eliot Spitzer
I’m here to tell you about

(holds up a condom in foil)

you know,
after a hard day
of governing in Albany-
or even when I’m kicking back
in my Park Avenue apartment-

there comes a time
when I think about slipping into a

yes, Trojans-

and even though I don’t use them-
they are the safest thing
between yesterday and tomorrow-

take it from me-
Client Number Nine-
try Trojans-

they won’t keep the Feds from getting you
they’re the best insurance you can buy-

this side of Wall Street-

whether you’re just having fun
or dropping a thousand dollars an hour-


Mar 10, 2008

Summer Storm, J.Grey

Summer Storm
by John Grey

Can't love while the storm is raging.
Thunder's like tanks rolling over the horizon.
Lightning takes pot shots from behind the sky.
Love is on the bed, not under it.
Can't feel good in the middle of something
when our nerves are so anxious for it to end.
The heart can't do double duty.
No floating in its own nectar
when it's pounding against the rib cage,
leaping into the throat.
We are never farther apart
than when we huddle together in the parlor
while the enemy gathers overhead.
I whisper your name,
give your hiding place away.

Mar 7, 2008

Unsaying the New Word, C.Mesler

Unsaying the New Word
By Corey Mesler

The new word was found in the wild.
It seemed to be waiting for someone
to pick it up but that is just fancy
on the part of the men who find new words.
The new word was indifferent. It
cared not whether it was to be used or not.
Still, many lined up to be the first to
use the new word. In the line the talk was
mostly about the news, how on Mars
there was an avalanche, how the President
had lost more brain cells. No one really
let on that the new word was all-important.
It was the kind of word that could change
things. But that is better left unsaid.
The new word, to be frank, makes some
people uneasy. Every new word does.
That’s why in this story we will not be
using the new word. Still, we may save it.
One never knows when a new word
will be just what one wants, an absolution.

Closer Apart, S.Newman

Closer Apart
By S.L. Newman

Only freaks come out at night
No regrets of course you’re right
Your gentle voice in sync resides
Uncommon truths can never lie
Orange yellow a purple hue
Beyond what is enough for you
Melting glances hide my face
Even rapture can’t replace
Letting go the one I choose
Crowded garden of statues
Prisoner of tender bliss
OMG Are you serious?

Caretaker of Atlantis, W.Doreski

Caretaker of Atlantis
By William Doreski

Atlas ruled a stony coastline
he called Atlantis. Canals
fed a vast central plain, fruit trees
prospered. The cities featured baths,
palaces, race-courses, temples,
and dredged and well-marked harbors.

Atlas was the son of Poseidon
and half-brother of Prometheus,
but because of greed and cruelty
on the part of five pairs of male twins—
perhaps his sons or his brothers—
the gods evoked a deluge
that overwhelmed Atlantis
and buried its harbors and temples
under mudslides big as continents.

Atlas, father of the Pleiades,
the Hyades, and the Hesperides,
shrugged off disaster and went to work
holding up the starry heavens,
and has done so ever since, except
on vacations and paid holidays.

Meanwhile I’ve spent my whole life
as the caretaker of Atlantis,
what’s left of it: a few marble blocks,
a witty inscription, a plain
of dried mud. I’ve nothing to do
but poke here and there with a trowel
and make sure the dead remain dead.

Occasionally Atlas stoops
from his cosmic task to make certain
I’m still on the job. The sea washes
up and over the muddy plain,
leaving rags of seaweed for me
to sweep into piles to dry and burn,

making masses of flame some people
tell me some mythic personage
might be able to see from the moon.

Mar 6, 2008

Bleeding Breeding America, R.Withrow

Bleeding Breeding America
by Richie Withrow

Breeding America,
bleeding breathing plastic people seeking freedom skin to disintegrate their lonesome fate, praying their hate sinless in the cold winter
kissing underneath mistletoe watching fireworks explode,
escaping the deep,
floating on commercial waves
rowing their boat from the tide that takes them to the endless bottom,
Exhausted from the tales of rotting souls full of bright diamonds,
moving mindless one foot in front of the other
stepping into the path of temporary lovers;
Exploring their colorful covers,
reading the words to death,
on to the next book looking for the hidden form of fire
to hide behind your back to burn the next.
Blessed with bedtime stories,
mourning the morning sun that comes up and reveals your make-up smeared pillow cases. Taking the space in your nine to five,
suit and tie closet watching the dancing robots clean their desks and wash their shiny cars
hoping that the glimmer of the stars reflect off of the dissected screen of disaster,
subconsciously scoping their last breath,
soaked in dead end day dreams pleading for a moonless sky
choking on the medicine that floods their cabinets masking their sickly habits,
All sick to their stomach but still smiling wide
hiding their inside pain that drains out their dirty mouths.
- I can no longer sleep
Because I hear these silent screams that tic tock like clockwork every second,
A revolution will begin that was once a dream,
and we will make the difference.

Mar 3, 2008

Dreams, C.Crowley

by Claire Crowley

In the shadows of the night
shards of sunlight
creep into my eyes.

Dreams of you seep into my mind.
Dave Matthews plays in the background
of this place underground.
We can talk all night
while the candles melt their wax
and destiny hangs overhead.

At the bottom of the bottle
I reach for something sober
to make sense of this: your smile is my addiction.

Maybe I’ll never be able to touch you,
but tangible things always break apart anyway.
You own the thoughts
in which I dream
and that’s more than I could ever need.

My Jungle is The Jury, J.Hartley

My Jungle is The Jury
by James Hartley

I was standing there in the African Veldt, minding my own
business, waiting for the traffic light to change. When it did,
I started to step across the game trail, but a herd of okapi
thundered by, running the light, and I jumped back. When the
okapi were past I looked in both directions and crossed. She was
waiting for me on the other side of the trail, leaning up
against the front of a grass hut that sold fast food - gazelle
burgers, maybe, or cheetah steak.

She must have been rich, the way she was dressed. Her loin cloth
was embroidered in genuine gold, and the diamond in her navel
must have been 12 or 13 carats. The only thing unusual about her
was the shrunken head she wore on a leather thong about her
neck. She spotted me walking toward her. "You must be Sam
Nk'spade," she said in a sultry voice that matched the sultry

"That's me," I answered. "And you're Tiffany Tikitiki, the one
who sent me the letter. Come on, let's go to my office."

We turned and walked along the side of the game trail until we
came to the cheap office tree where I have my office. We climbed
the vine to my branch, walked out to the office, and entered. I
waved her to the pile of leaves I keep for guests, and squatted
down behind my desk. "OK, Mrs. Tikitiki, what is the problem?"

"My husband was murdered by the mob. They put out a contract on
him, and some gorilla rubbed him out."

"Some guy rubbed him out?"

"No, some gorilla! Big, hairy, your typical gorilla."

"You have any evidence?"

She lifted the shrunken head and said, "This is him. Look at
him. Just look at him! Owwwhhh!" She started to cry and dropped
the head to fumble in her purse for a leaf to blow her nose on.
After a while she calmed down.

I was beginning to suspect that this case was going to be
anything but simple.

* * * * * * * * * *

The above partial manuscript was found in the abandoned library
of the long-defunct Mount Jackson College, an obscure school in
northwestern New Jersey. Scattered notes nearby suggest that
this may have been an early draft of a collaboration between
Dashiell Hammett and Papa Hemingway. Confirmation of this would
be a major milestone in the History of American Literature.

Can anyone out there in the academic community help us with
this? Notes, more of the manuscript, anything? Thanks.

Once Upon A Timely Moment, T.Sheehan

Once Upon A Timely Moment
by Tom Sheehan

Apprehensive, she pushed open the door to take a final look, to check the Earth as far as she could see, to measure, to see if the gods she held were less than perfect. This was her world. The terror she found was in the measurement, in the time she had spent exploring dividend possibilities, the market’s surge, a late movie thought more boisterous than life itself, someone’s divorce, chicanery and outright theft, and a rigged election all too soon winked at. It came at her, the swift thought: our feet are caught in place: we are sucked into loam and hardpan and left for all of this rock; we are locked up tighter than the grip of stable Earth’s 17-degree axis. Escape is not here, or atonement for us. She kept saying “we,” kept herself aligned in that rare and human confederacy. There was assessment and agreement not known about; at that moment, in one half-held breath, hoe in hand, eyes gone to marble, a gaunt Filipino suddenly apprehends a minor shift in the Earth’s crust. It is the awed way she would know a tilt at a pinball machine. Beyond him, her, momentous Krakatoa, an island yet, proves to be imaginative again at the foot of history, and is no longer breathless. And deeper yet, farther away, thought to be buried out there in the fluffed accountabilities of Time, one long horse-tailed, red-eyed, incommutable comet picks up a little bit of left hand English… just for the hell of it.

Perplexity, B.Frauman

by Barry Frauman

Elusive illusioning man,
I want you
don't want you
don't know anymore what you'll do to me.

Feb 29, 2008

Postman, L.Monteferrante

Postman, by Luigi Monteferrante

In the days of letter writing
On onion skin paper
The author sharpened wood with a steely blade

I beg your pardon:
A coffee please
If it’s not too late

And so she begins
You came to mind
And here he is

The Postman
Between her or him
Pen and paper

A loved one
A friend
Rarely strangers

As happens
In the days of letter writing

The pale blue envelope
Its racing colors
Sealed with a slip of the tongue

Or an orange sponge run
Under the faucet
The letter is stamped and posted

Or simply mailed
Once received
Opened to words

Heaped like sadness
Or delight
Better still

A Postman’s fun
To open the envelop and snoop
Read its contents

Alter the course of events
Interrupt a letter’s flight
Or progress

And in perfect hand duplicate
And here the fun
Altering words and meaning

Intention and feeling
Declarations made
Confession withheld

Hints dropped
So love turns to hate
Hate beauty grief indifference

Anger joy elation depression
This Postman’s job
The same as Fate’s

Feb 27, 2008

Red Rocking Chair, M.L.Johnson

Red Rocking Chair, by Michael Lee Johnson

A red rocking chair
abandoned in a field
of freshly cut clover,
rocks back and forth-
squeaks each time
the wind pushes
at its back,


Feb 22, 2008

Nirvana Is, D.McLean

Nirvana Is, by David McLean

nirvana is not this
vague agitation,
it is the “is”
in the “not”
and we do not
live it, it is not

Feb 20, 2008

Cruising 1973, D.B.McCoy

by David B. McCoy

--for Rhonda

It was our senior high school year; Rhonda and I were cruising back roads in Pennsylvania. And though it was a dark, moonless night in early winter, I was brashly driving too fast.

The moment we flew over one small knoll they were there—standing stock still in front of the car—their eyes glowing like candles: Eight deer. I slammed on the brakes—preventing an explosion of fur, muscle and steel—preventing, perhaps, our own deaths.

That was twenty years ago. But from that night on, like the dull ache some feel right before the weather is about to change, I have felt the movement of deer in my bones.

Feb 18, 2008

To Pop, R.Standley

TO POP by Ryan Standley
That whole summer long my big sis Heather and I were both home, and partied quite a bit in Pop's basement bar. With a claw hammer, we tried to pry off the padlocked cabinet of his booze-stash, unsuccessfully, and I knew he was up there, looking down, laughing at us. When I finally opened it (miraculously picked with a paperclip) there was only a half bottle of scotch, which me and Heather both hated, but drank anyway. We invited friends over and played pool and pinball (Pop had bought a full-size Flash Gordon machine) and played cards in his restaurant style booth (complete with Steak and Shake menus). Mom never was a good sleeper but she stayed upstairs in her bedroom and put up with our shenanigans till the wee hours, knowing me and sis were together, ignoring the loud music, clinking of glasses, and our friends' constant laughter.

Heather and I laughed a great deal. Getting drunk together was the only way to forget about Pop for a while, the serious side of him anyways. We'd rant about the good times, the family vacations to everywhere from the Grand Canyon, to New York, Mt. Rushmore, and Disneyland, with annual camping trips to Wisconsin Dells in between. Pop loved to drive and bought us a big brown conversion van that had a wooden table in the backseat so you could play cards, while he drank beer out of a plastic cup and sped along the freeway with his fuzz-buster plugged into the cigarette lighter.

Pop was one of the first to buy a cell phone too, always a techno-buff. The phone rig was as big as a briefcase, with a little cord that extended out for the receiver. I remember calling Grandma and Grandpa on the way down to visit, and I'd say, "Hi, we just passed Bloomington, Bye." I hung up and Pop would smile, "Isn't that something? We're in a car talking on the phone! What do you think?" He figured out email in its infancy to correspond with Heather in Germany. He changed the oil on all the cars, built the back porch, installed the ceiling fan in my room, erected a cement-floored shed in the backyard, and was always fixing junk in the workshop. He could get a clock to tick again and even a busted CD player to spin. He had collections of tools, metal cars that were piggy banks, and brand name watches that he bought with proof of purchases off cereal boxes. He kept a Captain Crunch figurine and an Oscar Meyer Weiner whistle from his youth (that he was convinced were worth thousands of dollars someday). He refurbished and repainted antiques, made wood and newspaper lacquered plaques, and blamed such toxic fumes (along with cigarettes) for the cancer diagnoses. In eighth grade I studied chain reactions in science class, and he was up all night putting together PVC pipe, pulleys, silicone glue, pin balls, and wood scraps to create the most elaborate C- grade I ever received (only cause the teacher knew I didn't make it, but it's surely displayed in his classroom still today.) When I was a boy scout we made it to the regional pine wood derby race in Rockford. During high school football, he was on the sideline with his state-of-the-art video camera and filmed my one and only interception-touchdown. I later recorded that audio onto a tape. I missed his voice and all the pride it held for me. "Get that, Bruce?" The amazed coach asked him. "I sure did. Yup."

I could go on with these stories and I did with Heather at the marble-top bar Pop built. But sometimes I'd have to stop, like I am now. I felt like I was doing all the talking, like I had more memories than she did, and maybe I was worsening her situation. And when she reads this, I hope she feels better and realizes how far she's come, we've both come (I love you). And I'm sure she had more stories then, and was too sad to spill 'em, or maybe she was too busy laughing at my silly ass. That summer we laughed and drank, "To Pop", but didn't laugh as much as we do now, and didn't laugh at all back then without a drink around.