Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Poem by Michael Rush

Marked as Fragile

You said you were just a paperweight
resting upon scrawled letters.
You were more than that to me;
you were a snow-globe.
I remember you shaking, shaken
into a blizzard,
                       gloss white
beneath a glass veneer so thin
it might crumble in calloused hands.

My words felt cumbersome
(like they could start an avalanche)
so we spoke in whispers;
mimicking goldfish,
mouthing circles
like a secret code,
definitions of you, of me, of us.

When you shattered, squeezed-to-burst,
every page that cushioned you
was saturated.  I was left
with lips pressed to shards
and the word 'fragile'
from my tongue.

Michael Rush considers himself to be a hidden poet.  Nobody except a very select minority in his life knows that he writes poetry.  Living and working in a small, self-contained town makes it hard to stay invisible.  He fights for his anonymity because he is most comfortable in the margins.  So few get to truly know him in person that only those who read his poetry will discover each aspect of his personality.  A socially conscious, sensitive and even opinionated writer, waiting to share that with those willing to read.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Poem by Cassandra Dallett

Without Grace

I sit
in the redwoods
on the deck
wondering why would I . . .
feel bad for leaving you
Why does it matter so much to me
that you still need me?
Every other moment
I think I'll stay
Love you when your massive muscles sag
when your head shines bald
I will cradle you when you fail
be the back bone a motherless man is missing
and every third moment--
I think I'll flee
do all the things
you would not want me to
be stingy
and private
an old lady
an apartment
full of books
collecting dust

Cassandra Dallett lives in Oakland, CA.  Cassandra writes of a counter culture childhood in Vermont and her ongoing adolescence in the San Francisco Bay Are.  A reluctant poet she believed poetry better left to the hippies and beats of her parent's generation.  While taking classes at Berkeley Community College she stumbled, or rather dragged her feet, into poetry.  When her father died in late 2006, wanting to keep his stories alive she wrote her first poem, Talk Story, a poem about a father who never shut up it won Poem of the Month at the Beat Museum of San Francisco.  Cassandra reads out often and in addition to several chapbooks.  She has been published online and in print magazines such as Slip Stream, Sparkle and Blink, The Bicycle Review, Chiron Review, River Babble and Up the River.  A full-length book of poetry, Wet Recklessness, was released from Manic D Press in May of 2014.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Three Poems by Dah


A thread of light:  the fog
opens, like a sinkhole, lifts
and heaves itself onto a shelf
of clear sky.  Dissolves.

What are left are memories
seared by the sun:  golden skin,
milk-blood, soft tendrils,
a thousand heavens.

I saw your radiant face
bloom and grow into a lover's
indulgence.  Your eyes:  a vine
of blue grapes.

I may be avoiding, or hiding
from, how memories cut
into the heart:  a mane
of blonde, river-musk,

silvery moonlight
rubbed with fertile kisses.
Our mouths were wolves
intoxicated with prey.

Have I mentioned that over time
I've looked for you?  My desire,
as lonesome as old steel.
Do you remember

that you covered your mouth
when I first tried to kiss you?
A perfect blush of star-fruit
trembled between us

and gathered momentum,
like prisms gather light,
nerves overheated
by a mass of pulsations.

So, why does love thin and blur
till nothing is left?--the inlet
of the heart, like a sponge,
soaking up the emptiness.

One Word

I keep writing
as if everything around me
is gone.
Deep into June, the cherries
are planets in a green universe.

I have dreamed for too long,
as if the nights are poems
lost in morning's fields:
I reach for you, in craving,
in skin.  Obsession.

A chilled stillness after a rain,
the ground is heavy, blind, useless.
The runoff enters earth,
a simple river for the faceless,
the lifeless.  Never-ending.

If I call out just one word to you,
will you know it?

A Blue Tear, Frozen

A white cloud knows its own demise,
slowly, in the sky's mouth, its body vaporized.

now the clear sky reflects a blue that affects me

Even that woman across the street, her long,
dark coat, somehow,

shows your absence, or the state of our love's demise, and
I cannot punish anybody for the distance confusion burrows

yet the dull cold of sadness always brings me to my knees
and, still, every morning I light a wick and melt candle wax

on the grass, and dawn bursts into angels, their wings
untouched by another's hands, and I confess to them

while cupping images of you in my mind only to search
through them for something alive.

That day I watched you keeping yourself graceful,
a blue tear frozen, and your delicate wings folded,

tucked in, and pulled back from me.  I watched you,
your lips trembling and mine pale,

then I watched you form
into the past.

Dah's poetry has appeared in Sandy River Review, Stone Voices Magazine, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Orion headless, River & South Review, Perfume River Review, Miracle Magazine, Eunoia Review, Digital Papercut and The Muse, and is forthcoming in The Cape Rock, Lost Coast Review, Literature Today, Poetry Pacific, Zygote in my Coffee, Red Wolf Journal, Deep Tissue Magazine, Jellyfish Whispers, Dead Snakes Journal, Rose Red Review, and, Empty Sink Publishing.  The author of three collections of poetry from Stillpoint Books, Dah lives in Berkeley, California, where he is working on the manuscript for his fourth book.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Four Poems by Alexis Child

Die for Me

Death comes to a man like a dream
But there are no real goodbyes
Only a hint of something mysterious inside
Dying a little death each and every time
Whisper my name and I will
know I am still alive
Exhale, inhale me in beyond just a memory
Promise me no more futures
No farewells, no painful goodbyes
Now die for me, my darling
The veil is worn thin
The night calls to us
under this anguished moon
Embrace heaven and hell
Where we both belong
Remember us as we were
Let us begin again
Toll the bell


The candle is my moonlight
Where hope has a key
The light shines in your smile
But fear is far-reaching
Drawing blank looks
vague as fog
Without love we are lost
Were you drawn across
the sky to save me
When loneliness is my lot?
I crawl to the past
that has battered me
Shadow enemies have
stolen the years
I do not have time
for the 12th of never
as you speak in many tongues
worshipping my silence

Symphony of Shadows

You are in every song
Long after the music is over
You've vanished like a melody
Now just a memory
Feels like years since
you've been here
and I can't move on
You've gone like the trailing
garments of a ghost
There are echoes and
whispers of you
The walls are closing in
here in the darkness:
The dying flame of existence
You'll be the only light I see
There is a symphony of
Are there no shadows
where you are?

The Blood Inside Me

The universe was in your eyes
where there was a world unborn
Your face was in every flower
You were an angel here on earth
where the sky opened up
whispering love's goodbye
I worship you with your ashes
There are man ways to heaven
I long to see my Father's face
again in your gaze
You are crowned as the sun
And the full moon will light my way
as you kiss the earth
and I am found

Alexis Child hails from Toronto, Canada; horror in its purest form:  a calculated crime both against the aspirations of the soul and affections of the heart.  She worked at a Call Crisis Center befriending demons of the mind that roam freely amongst her writings.  She lived with a Calico-cat child sleuthing all that went bump in the night & is haunted by the memory of her cat.  She is currently signed to Nostilevo Records.  Her fiction has been featured in The House of Pain, Lost Souls, Screams of Terror,, The Official Nephilim Site, and U.K.'s Dark of Night Magazine.  Her poetry has been featured in numerous online and print publications, including Black Petals, Blood Moon Rising, Estronomicon eZine, Death Head Grin, Midnight Lullabies Anthology, Sein und Werden, The Horror Zine, and elsewhere.  Her first collection of poetry, "Devil in the Clock" will be released in print in the future by Witchfinder Press.  Visit her website:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Poem by Stacy Lynn Mar

Hitchhiking to Maine

Sometimes the words
Can drop, semi-syllables
Like small explosions
In an empty room.
A relationship can become
Mere arithmetic,
Subtracted then divided
Into a series of vocabulary,
Whispery-lyric in a dim-lit room,
Sunday crossword puzzle
Left undone,
Each empty square a sad eye,
Abandoned as the old backpack
He used to stuff
For three-day holidays
Meant only for me,
Then abandon in my laundry room
Like an unused dresser drawer.
I imagine him with it now,
Hitchhiker on a back country road
Throwing the withered army tote
Onto the back of classic Harley's
And vintage muscle cars,
Into the beds of hay-littered
Country pick-up trucks,
It's pull-strings clutched
Like a lifeline between
His nicotine-stained fingers,
Yellow as the palest stars,
Pale the way his eye-whites
Have darkened, his liver sick.
Sometimes lost love just leaves,
Walks into the cemetery fog of night,
Sad and poetic, smelling of
Cheap alcohol and bar grease,
A stranger in old sneakers
And bell-bottom blue jeans.

Stacy Lynn Mar is a 30-something American poet.  Inspired by the works of Sharon Olds and Anne Sexton, her work is primarily confessional.  She holds three graduate degrees in psychology and attended Lindsey Wilson College of Human Sciences as well as Ellis College of NYIT for a BA in English.  Shacy divides her time between her young daughter, her forays into writing, a genuine love of books, film, coffee, vintage things, and her life partner.  She is founder and masthead of a new literary ezine for women, Pink. Girl. Ink, and also has a book review blog.  She invites you to visit her personal blog  

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Poem by Karen Berry

Disassembly Required

It was an unbuilding,
more deliberate than a demolition
a deconstruction accomplished over time
a plank-by-plank denuding
of our most basic structure
as patient, planned, and organized
as the original architecture.

Remember, this was a decision,
this prizing-out of driven nails,
this breaking away of all supports,
these careful taps to dislodge mortar
from every dusted brick.  Lifting the planks,
pulling down the ceiling, unhangin the doors,
the windows not shattered, but closed, latched,
then unshimmed, unsashed, uninstalled.
You did it all on purpose.

The house is down.  I hardly remember
what it looked like, standing.
It's been counted, divided, shared-out.
But now you stand between the stacks
with a list, gesturing here and there,
along among the beams and braces,
the shingles, fittings, screws and steps,
smiling your encouragement,
speaking words of salvage.

Karen Berry lives and works in Portland, Oregon.  Her poetry has been published in Goblin Fruit, Fireweed, Seek It, Prairie Poetry, and many more journals and anthologies.  Her poem "Ceres" was nominated for the Dwarf Star Poetry Prize, and her piece "Caught" was a runner-up in The Binnacle's ultra-short fiction competition.  Her first novel, Love and Mahem at Francie June Memorial Trailer Park, was published in June of 2014.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Three Poems by A.J. Huffman

Hollows That Bleed

I draw a heart
across the page.
But it stays empty.
My love, it seems, is hollow.
I try to force in letters
to make sense.
But they always come up:
That’s me.
And future?
Wipe the stage.
Try again.
This time I will go deeper.
Set this latest stain.
In blood.


Shots fired over lines I never knew you set,
and me on a stool in their center.
I know this war.
I have lost it again and again.
If I breathe, if I move,
it is over.
I would prefer to just swallow
the shells.

Daily Mail

I am an addict, lying
naked in the gravel.  I am dying
for your words, for a word,
for a sign that I am
still in your thoughts
as I watch you lick
the stamp that will level me
faster than four tires.  I wait,
in a bag of unnecessity,
for the final page
to turn my breath

A.J. Huffman has published nine solo chapbooks and one joint chapbook through various small presses.  She also has two new full-length poetry collections forthcoming: Another Blood Jet (Eldritch Press) and A Few Bullets Short of Home (mgv2>publishing).  She is a Pushcart Prize nominee, and her poetry, fiction, haiku and photography have appeared in hundreds of 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.