Thursday, May 7, 2015

A Poem by Mercedes Webb-Pullman

13 uses for love

I love seeing cities
in rear view

and your morning smile opening
even before your eyes.

I'm moved by
the second movement;
I'm sure the cellist
will prove a good investment.

Grace today--
every traffic light
from the fire station to Oriental Bay
past the railway station
to the biscuit tin
turned green for me--
I felt like
President Kennedy.

I really admire your work
with the Palestinian Zapatistas

and I adore garlic prawns
cooked tails on, the Spanish way
soaking up olive oil
and crunchy bits of garlic and chili
with chunks of bread
and a cold pinot gris

I'm amazed at what you've done
with the bathroom, so original,

amusing and flippant
like Frank Zappa's music.

I'm hot for cool
blue clarinets

and passionate about
pomegranates and

I dissolve in Courtney
square hole Love
's music but not in her acting.

Somehow it's satisfying
that the Fairlane is longer
than the house is wide

and I'm happy that
Butch Cassidy
thought of going
to Australia
just before
he died.

Mercedes Webb-Pullman graduated from IIML Victoria University Wellington with MA in Creative Writing in 2011.  Her poems and the odd short story have appeared online, in print and in her books Food 4 Thought, Numeralla Dreaming, After the Danse, Ono, Looking for Kerouac, Tasseography, Bravo Charlie Foxtrot and Collected Poems 2008-2014.  She lives on the Kapiti Coast, New Zealand.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A Poem by Karen Sylvia Rockwell

remembering love

remembering love    in flashes    as i move through traffic   //   i see your hands on the wheel    poised    as they were then   //   you turn towards me   and i see your face   smiling lovingly   as it did then   //   the light turns green   i accelerate   with a smile   remembering

melancholy seeps in slowly   as Little Texas and i   fill the air   with laments about   what might have been   and i recall   what used to be   //   turning left along Sunset    i study forms   with backpacks   slung casually over one shoulder   never finding you

my heart yearns   as my head rebels   offering every explanation   for why it is   all in the past   and why   it should remain that way   //  they both agree    that alone   is better    for always   says my head   with our memories   whispers my heart

bittersweet resignation   accompanies me along the drive   as the wipers   clear drizzle   from the pain   //   intermittently   //   interrupting   //   remembering

After her Ma passed away in 2008, Karen Sylvia Rockwell became fierce about writing, diving into workshops and readings.  She is celebrating the recognition her work is receiving, including being awarded 1st Place in Room Magazine's 2013 Poetry Contest.  Karen's work is featured in Room, Deep Water Literary Journal, The Saving Bannister, OffSIDE, Cranberry Tree Press's Happenstance, Ascent Aspirations' 2014 Bizarre Anthology, Womanspirit's In Our Own Voice, Vanessa Shields' Poetry ON Demand, vol. 2, and several anthologies of The Ontario Poetry Society and of Polar Expressions Publishing.  Karen lives in Belle River Ontario.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Three Poems by Alan Catlin

Making Love to Russian Music

"mantra-no one has been hurt,
no one has been killed"
                    -- C.D. Wright

"Asperity" he said,
the word stuck
between them as
they lay, not talking,
side by side on the bed,
naked as the lovers
they once were,
"Asperity contains us-
a bitter fruit of longing,"
he said, staring at
the cracked ceiling,
flecks of light on
the painted dark,
listening to the clock radio,
"An aching distilled from silence"
lying still as false hopes of elation,
joy, amassing as a passion,
drawn and quartered into
blunted notes, the mute
terror of their sudden
embracing, a fourth movement
of the Pathetique, their distressed
flesh swept together, prone above
a shattered bank.

The Edge

"Her bare

Feet seem to be saying:
We have come so far it is over."

                      -- Sylvia Plath

Lovers traced the white scars
on her body but knew better than
to ask how she acquired them.
Discarded torn black t-shirt
spelled her life to date in red
letters, "Born Poor and Brought
Up Hard."  If she had been pretty
once it had been beaten out of her
by professionals, masters of hurt
with broken knuckles and whipsaw
tongues they used on naked flesh
like razor blades to open wounds
they would not allow to heal.
Escape was a possibility she was
never allowed to entertain,
became a wildness in her that she
would learn to express with broken beer
bottles and homemade shivs that
found homes in vital organs inflicting
fatal wounds in those who had done
her harm.  On the street, years later,
the wildness in her remained,
as a wicked passion, insatiable and
expressive as pain, as violet as white
lightning in a cracking-along-the-edges
jars waiting to be partaken of, to be sipped,
where lips and fire meet.

Living the Dream

After Power Point presentation
in hotel lounge playing the macho
fool for the ladies, wedding ring impression
clearly visible to all who care to look,
jejune banter endless fascinating to
the all night, pay-as-you-go girls,
for whom all pick up lines are as fresh
as yesterday's beside-the-road-kill.
A couple of intimate drinks in low light
lounge, she looks like a goddess in
high heels, ready to rock and roll with
room service libations and pay per view
porn, so willing and available no price
mentioned or discussed, he thinks he is
the luckiest of God's creatures scoring big
on good looks and charm, one night away
from heaven on a half-shell, though his reality
has a stomach pump in it, an overdose
administered while he is in the head,
room ransacked by professionals, anything
of value long gone, not even the lingering
scent of hundred dollar an ounce perfume
left behind.

Alan Catlin has published over fifty chapbooks and full length books of poetry.  His next chapbook is Beautiful Mutants from Night Ballet Press.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Poem by Ken L. Jones

Shadows Grown in a Nursery

The music of autumn is a stag's head full of slumber
Creeping like a weird Dutch Ferris wheel
That makes King Kong do your bidding
Even as the rib cage of a harmonica
Leads us to a honeyed atonement
That is blinding orange in its brightness
Oh Kathy I still remember the thrill
Of touching your skin which would never be mine
And how that made a pirate of me
Taking what I willed of an island divine
And even now that I've tasted more permanent delights
In the dark with Miss Donna who is forever mine
Still the echoes of what we once had torment me
And reverberate throughout my memories
Wish such a force that they smite, oh how they smite.

For the past thirty-five years Ken L. Jones has been a professionally published author who has done everything from writing Donald Duck Comic books to creating things for Freddy Krueger to say in some of his movies.  In the last six years he has concentrated on his lifelong ambition of becoming a published poet and he has published widely in all genres of that discipline in books, online, in chapbooks and in several solo collections of poetry.  

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Two Poems by Nina Bennett

After He Leaves

I pull the sheets taut,
straighten the down comforter,
settle into the center of what is,
once again, my bed.

Fantasy Island

She spends the weekend emptying
her dresser, nightstand, bookcase, her
drawers from the shared desk.  No place
now to store legal papers, courtesy
copy of his divorce petition, list
of premarital property that in two days
he will remove.
Earrings, hand lotion, lipstick
jumbled in boxes retrieved from the attic,
clothes in piles on the pale green rug
she chose for serenity, books stacked
in towers like the ones her granddaughter
builds with brightly colored wooden blocks.
The highest setting
on the vacuum cleaner can't pull up
the four circles where thick legs
of the antique oak table settled
for nineteen years.
She covers the crushed
carpet with turrets of books,
traces the faint outline of the absent
Oriental rug with walls of boxes.
While he plays house on fantasy
island, she climbs over a palisade
of sweaters, sits inside
her cardboard castle, watches
news of a commuter plane crash
near Buffalo, fifty dead,
possible pilot error.  She clutches
a stuffed dragon bought on a birthday
trip to London, wonders if it's feasible
to emerge from the wreckage intact.

Delaware native Nina Bennett is the author of Sound Effects (2013, Broadkill Press Key Poetry Series chapbook #4).  Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies such as Kansas City Voices, Big River Poetry Review, Shark Reef, Bryant Literary Review, Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, Philadelphia Stories, and The Broadkill Review.  Nina was a 2012 Best of the Net nominee.

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Poem by Emer Davis


In the folds
Of her cloak,
The white foam
Leaves behind
Its mark.
Her feet wedged into the sand,
She remembers his hand
Sliding down her back.
Silver waves
Cleansing away
Secrets from the past.

Emer Davis, a poet and writer, was born in Dublin and grew up on Achill Island off the west coast of Ireland.  She has lived in London, Dublin, Drogheda and Abu Dhabi.  She has one book of poems published, Kill Your Television, and two eBooks published -- Name Tag and To Tear Your Breath Away.  She organized a monthly open mic poetry session and a poetry group the Viaduct Bards in Ireland.  Several of her poems and short stories have been published in Ireland, Mexico, UK, USA and the UAE.  She was a regular performer at Rooftops Rhythms in Abu Dhabi until July 2014 and read at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair in 2013.  Having recently returned to Ireland in 2014, she is currently working on a non-fiction book and a new collection of poems.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Poem by Lynn Hoffman

afternoon light

there, can you see it?
the mercurial the way she conjures the color
of light in middle afternoon
a greenish-blue along her hip
near orange down her leg.
i swear i see the dancing halo
as the wind shakes the treeshadow
along her spine, around her ass.
it is nipple-pink and fuzzy brown, that light
not dry, not roman, not farsighted,
it's venetian and it's blind.
it's in the shadow of damp red sheets
it tastes like salted flesh,
it moans at me, like pain, that light
and it smells a bit like love.


i'm your 87th lover,
you're my 61st
and still we wonder
at the russet
in the dusk.


this great sex is killing us
we never talk i don't know
which team you root for
you don't know which root
i teem with.

why just the other night,
we damn near died:
i refused to come so that
i could watch your face
one more time and you
you squeezed yourself around me
and one of us forgot to breathe
and all the air turned into fire
and we woke up later covered
in ashes and cinders,
smile-smothered and dopey-drowned.

this great sex is killing us
we can each barely stand the sight
of the other dressed, untouched
vertical and composed.

we went to dinner and with the soup
you were telling me about the history
of guatemala and i was imagining
the consummation of the consumption
of this consummate you.

this great sex is killing us
you are losing faith in the faith
of many lovers.  i have become
indifferent to my professed indifference.

this great sex is killing us.
i know because we fall asleep
with flesh impressed with flesh
a little, a lust alive
a little like a blissful death.

Lynn Hoffman has been merchant seaman, teacher, chef and cab driver.  He's published three novels:  The Bachelor's Cat, Philadelphia Personal and bang-BANG.  He's also written The New Short Course in Wine and The Short Course in Beer.  Skyhorse Books just published a second, expanded edition of the beer book.  A few years ago, he started writing poetry.  In 2011, his poem, The Would-be Lepidopterist was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  His memoir of a funny year with cancer, Radiation Days will be published in March 2014.  Most of the time he just loafs and fishes.