Thursday, October 8, 2015

Two Poems by Rose Mary Boehm


We used to fish
with first morning light,
the waking leaves
and early birds, the stillness
of Dutch waters.
Jumping fish
startled us.

Your call conjured up
damaged enchantments.

I have this space
deep inside.  Something
buried alive,
still writhing
when dawn breaks
an unquiet night.

Though you got old,
you knew
that we'd been lovers.
The strain in your voice
told me you remembered.

For the Lover I Left

In nights of unsung beauty--and there are
always some--you heal the wounds inflicted
by Vesuvian fires in the underworld branding
your flesh when you had no coin
to pay the ferryman, and no redemption.

The portal built by you, my eager architect,
was meant for two.  But only I went through.
You stayed behind mistaking liberty
for latitude and open fields for toil.

I left the safety of your promises, abandoned
my own expectations and paid my crossing
with my breath.  I waved to you who lingered
on the other shore, but our separation
was so much more than distance.

There were occasions when you almost
crossed the river, buoyed by your apprehension.
I have moved on.  Your master plan is out of date.
But there's a cabin where the ferry stops, just on
the right, behind the giant Tree of Life, where you
can rest awhile.  It's filled with smiles.

A German-born UK national, Rose Mary Boehm lives and works in Lima, Peru.  Author of two novels and a poetry collection (Tangents) published in 2011 in the UK, well over 100 of her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in a good two dozens US poetry reviews as well as some print anthologies, and Diane Lockward's The Crafty Poet.  She won third prize in the 2009 Margaret Reid Poetry Contest for Traditional Verse (US), was semi-finalist in the Naugatuck poetry contest 2012/13 and has been a finalist in several GR contests, winning it in October 2014.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A Poem by Brenton Booth

Memories of Her

Mourning lost days like
the lonely streetlights
and all the tired faces
walking to unwanted
jobs they can't afford
to leave every day
the sounds always the same
like a familiar story
told again and again
or a song that no matter
how many times you hear
always makes you cry
or the vain sun
or the angry breeze
or the thawing snow
on the mountain tops
or the solitary pigeon
sitting on the window
all these things that
remind me of her
what she said
the way her hair sat
on her shoulders
the dreams we both
living like an immortal
that won't let go
in my tired mind
yelling when I am
talking complete sense
when I am confused
somber when I am
holding onto my heart
like all the sad beautiful
poems I once knew and
wished I'd written
but are now just a hazy
distorted memory to me
like her
and our time together.

Brenton Booth lives in Sydney, Australia.  Poetry and fiction of his has recently been printed in Chiron Review, Mas Tequila Review, Paper and Ink, Zombie Logic and Bold Monkey.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Two Poems by Sarah Russell

Moving On

We had run out of words.
He paid the check,
anxious to leave.
"Thanks for lunch," I said.

"Yeah.  Sure.  I'll pick him up
at five for the weekend, OK?
Glad we could talk.  Glad
you understand."

"Jamie says he likes her,"
I said.  "Happy for you."
His cellphone rang, and he mimed
he had to take it as he walked away.
I sat staring at the crumbs we'd left,
my empty glass.

Reclaiming True

After four years of I love you's
he said he'd never leave her.

I told him to get out.

Then I double-checked the sell-by date
on milk I bought that morning;

took off my shoe, compared the size inside
to what was on the box;

checked outside when the weather guy
said 65 and cloudy;

pinched my arm hard, relished
the red/purple welt.

Sarah Russell is the poetry editor for Voices and co-edits Pastiche, a local literary journal.  Her poetry is forthcoming or has appeared in Red River Review, Misfit Magazine, The Houseboat, and Poppy Road Review, among others.  Follow her work at

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Two Poems by A.J. Huffman

With Acerbity

I swallow the memories of our time
together, choking on the chunks,
the happiness, random and coated,
overly sweet.  Clear away the last residual
tastes of doubt, could-be’s and what-if’s,
with a final dramatic inhale.  Cleansed,
my vocabularic palette shines, rejuvenated
by the melodic explosion of conjoined syllables,
repressed far too long.  Released,
the echo encompasses my body, reminds
of the power of oration.  The enchanted tone
of regeneration smiles through
the proper enunciations of goodbye.

I Remember

the way you looked when you said
you didn’t love me.  When you said
you tried, but . . . I tuned out the rest,
having heard all its variations in the past,
focused instead on the shape of your mouth.
I recognized its shape, a record player’s,
broken, your tongue a needle, skipping and
scratching the same scar deeper into my heart.

A.J. Huffman has published eleven solo chapbooks and one joint chapbook through various small presses.  her new poetry collections, Another Blood Jet (Eldritch Press), A Few Bullets Short of Home (mgv2>publishing), and Butchery of the Innocent (Scars Publications) are now available from their respective publishers.  She has two additional poetry collections forthcoming:  Degeneration (Pink Girl Ink) and A Bizarre Burning of Bees (Transcendent Zero Press).  She is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a two-time Best of Net nominee, and has published over 2300 poems in various national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, Bone Orchard, EgoPHobia, and Kritya.  She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Three Poems by J.J. Campbell

ghosts creeping in the back of your mind

turn on the sad songs
and remember the only
time she kissed your

another empty bottle
for the floor

saturday night alone


the lost souls raging
right until the sunset

ghosts creeping in
the back of your

surely one of them
must think you were
the one that got away

everyone laughs and
opens another bottle

and here you thought
women liked a good
sense of humor

these hands used to make you smile

lost in the deep
pools of regret

buried in the old
books of wise old
men smart enough
to find love and
squeeze it until
death greets them
one evening

i'd give anything
to hold you this

your dark hair
and soft skin
sending my

these hands used
to make you smile

perhaps one day
they can be of
service to you

two in the morning

wishful thinking
at two in the

your lips should
be somewhere
near mine right

instead they are
wrapped around
a cock not attached
to my body

i look at my bottle
of lotion with

how many pumps
until it starts to
feel like you

pour another glass
of something

and this time
add a few pills

J.J. Campbell has given up the farm life and is trapped in suburbia.  He's been widely published over the years, most notably at Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, Dead Snakes, The Camel Saloon and Horror Sleaze Trash.  His most recent collection, Sofisticated White Trash (Interior Noise Press), is available wherever you happen to buy books these days.  You can find J.J. most days bitching about things only he cares about on his highly entertaining blog, evil delights. (

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Three Poems by April Salzano

Days or Years Later

I travel the length of your name
down a driveway that is no longer
ours, my pace slower than it should be
in the middle of another winter.  Six feet
of snow has fallen between every yesterday
and tomorrow.  I might be walking
backwards, waking down.
The good thing about a prison
is its walls.  From down here, everything
looks the same as the day we left,
but those are someone else's
curtains, another family's blinds.
My kitchen is as empty
as the Pennsylvania sky.  I cannot find
any reasons for nostalgia, any cause
for such concern.  I would knock
on the door, but I still have the key.
I would only be returning
to the ghost of a dog, the bitch
of a moon, and neither worth howling at.

Body Parts

lay scattered across the autopsy of your page, exhumed
from memory's shallow grave to make metaphor.
Tiny breasts with brown candy nipples, yonic disrespect
under the guise of ode titled elegy.  Small doll-thighs
around misrepresented cock.  Everything but anything
of mine.  Not my skinny legs or stretch-marked stomach.
Not my inadequate hips or the freckles on my aging skin.
Not the curve of my heel as my feet considered
so many other directions in a decade of snow.  No
mention of the one pussy that tore open
to give you life.  Not once, but twice.

Why I Can't Eat Toast and Other Aversions

It's not the butter-side-up logic, all soft and melted,
laced with crunchy contradictions as it is, or the tongue-
to-roof-of-mouth freeing of what sticks there.  It's not
the crumbs in my hair.  Those shake out easy/enough.
It's not the crust-border-conundrum I face each time
I hold the loaf-dictated shape up and consider biting.
I can reconcile that.  I makes sense//It is something
about the way my ex-husband baked toast in the oven
for a year in London, where we found ourselves
toasterless and terrified.  My anxiety-infested mornings
and catastrophizing evenings could be sedated with
two slices and a cup of tea back then, my share
of the antidepressants swallowed on socialized
medicine's dime.  By today's standards I am just
as shaky, and I still refuse to clean the crumb-trap,
that secret door at the bottom where everything
that should be buttered and broken stays in waiting.

April Salzano teaches college writing in Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband and two sons.  She is currently working on a memoir on raising a child with autism and several collections of poetry.  Her work has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in journals such as Convergence, Ascent Aspirations, The Camel Saloon, Centrifugal Eye, DeadSnakes, Visceral Uterus, Salome, Poetry Quarterly, Writing Tomorrow and Rattle.  Her first chapbook, The Girl of My Dreams, is forthcoming in spring, 2015 from Dancing Girl Press.  The author serves as co-editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press (

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Poem by Ralph Monday

That Vortex Vibe

The guy ran a better deal than
Barnum and Bailey.
It was once upon a time
stuff when we first met.
You know the deal
Flowers and chocolate,
long soul-bearing walks
in the woods,
sex like the opening scene
of a porno classic.
Then you were Marilyn Chambers
before Behind the Green Door,
still the Ivory soap girl,
Snow White, not Mary Magdalene,
beauty before he became the beast.
You got sucked in--like we all do--
into his black vortex.
You became his child, a stupid toy
thing, mannequin that he dressed at
will.  He controlled everything:
money, perspective,
made you feel dumb for not realizing
his genius, how right he was, how
wrong you were,
trophy on the mantle,
you started wondering what was
wrong with you, didn't you?
You wrote long texts explaining
how you feel,
that he ignored.
You did everything he asked
in an attempt to please.
All in vain.
He found another supply,
didn't he?
Left you spinning in
the hole.
Don't worry.
He'll be back.

Ralph Monday is Associate Professor of English at Roane State Community College in Harriman, TN, and published in over 50 journals.  A chapbook, All American Girl and Other Poems, was published in July 2014.  A book, Lost Houses and American Renditions, is scheduled for publication, May 2015 by Aldrich Press.