Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Poem by Rukhaya MK

On Valentine's Day

They ask me
Am I in love
I had not
I wasI am not
Will not be.

The past seems now
pointless as the pictures
in my wedding album
where the bride and groom
were once caught in a race
with sealed promises
on the lips of the groom
and vagrant hopes
in the eyes of the bride-
Three two one…
the bride racing halfway
through the starting point
not seeing him tag along
ending her expectations half-way
waiting for him to catch up-
he never came.

The album returns
now content to be where it is-
locked in a remote past.
Hurt so many times
she became accustomed to it
dressing it each time
And then the hurt began
to grow in her
Then it grew into her
Now she was the hurt
You couldn’t tell apart
from her and the hurt…

The pain is not the misery now
It is the scary lack of feel
the unsounded numbness
the vacant heart
that lives but no longer feels.

Yes,love had once
knocked on my door
And the doors were wide open
frantically forcefully fanatically
The sounds have now fled
but the echoes are still there.

Rukhaya MK, literary critic, poet and academician, has published her works in anthologies and journals.  An award-winning writer, she has won accolades in writing at the university level, state level, national level and international level.  The prizes pertain to essay writing, film criticism, versification, story-writing, screenplay-writing and slogan writing.  She has also won prizes in painting, elocution and computer designing.  Rukhaya is also editor of a national collection of poems called Inklinks, and on the editorial board of the journal, Discourse.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Two Poems by Niall Rasputin

mourning walk

I bare-pad down
the zig-zag path
of broken laughter
and glowing-hot screams
breathe razorblades
cry buckshot
piss magma
stop by your plaintive grave
to remember why
and where I'm walking
this rancid world
without you
is not fit for maggot
nor man
just keep moving
toward the bastard sun
until he gets spooked
and swallows
me whole
then we'll dance victory
in that voluptuous molten belly
like ghost-dog gypsies
and start our dream
over again
love and meanness
are fireproof

in the mucky midst
of your delicious deceit
your coy dog smile
was like a sack full of dead kittens
on a wood and feather altar
to the Lord of Futile Fuckery
who was worshipped
circa bone nose rings
by ancient hunchback assholes
who ball-busted their spouses
to make it rain.
and they really needed rain.
and you really slit me open
(my affection is bleeding out
like a bruised sunset)
Niall Rasputin lives on a houseboat in SE Louisiana.  He is in love with the swamp, but often has secret trysts with the stars.  He believes that laughter and song are the finest of all opiates.  He writes his madenesses and passions down as a form of daily exorcism.  He will never understand his own species, but will die trying.  He is never wrong, because he refuses to know anything.  He is 245 in dog years.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Poem by Patrick Williamson

Love desert me

A sliding dance mix pushed us to a darkness of obsession-al love
in the recesses of mind distortion –
unpeopled it preyed on us
& we preyed on ex-lovers, attempts to get off with
a girl that we messed up - the her that
rollercoasted me from peak to trough,
each lift, glimpse, word and dropped clue,
so much wasted watching.

So much reworking and pouring over
bad poetry metaphors so personal not even
the intended falling rain could decipher,
I wonder if I could now. Spy on her, arranging that
improbable second of smile

Stilted mode & spirit level.
making up for lost time
in a world almost beyond recognition,
where the song remains the same.

You should have known better.
I didn't know anything else.
I thought that was life, thought
each moment counts, think now

know each moment counts
each moment is vital.

Patrick Williamson is an English poet and translator currently living near Paris. He has translated Tunisian poet Tahar Bekri and Quebecois poet Gilles Cyr. In 1995 and 2003, he was invited to the Festival International de Poésie at Trois-Rivières in Québec. He is the editor of Quarante et un poètes de Grande-Bretagne (Ecrits des Forges/Le Temps de Cerises, 2003) and editor and translator of The Parley Tree, Poets from French-speaking Africa and the Arab World (Arc Publications, 2012). Latest poetry collections: Locked in, or out?, Red Ceilings Press, and Bacon, Bits, & Buriton, Corrupt Press, both in 2011.

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Poem from the Editor, A.J. Huffman

Of Adverbs and Misguided Affairs

Reluctantly.  I am speaking
backwards (against myself).  You are
the embodied antonym for complacency,
compliancy and co-dependency.
And yet we play together so harmonically.
A symphony of sin and sun and silence
[laughing].  We are a communal
(of sorts).  An undecyphered language
locked in lethargy.  Hesitation seems to be
our Rosetta.  (Motion our only road block).
Statistically stasis should resolve
our burning [desire to resist].  Feelings
falter blindly between four hands and numerous
fingers pointlessly passing [nothing]
through nothing but layers and levels
of disillusioned dark.

A.J. Huffman is a poet and freelance writer in Daytona Beach, Florida.  She has previously published six collections of poetry all available on Amazon.comShe has also published her work in numerous national and international literary journals. Find more about A.J. Huffman, including additional information and links to her work at and!/poetess222

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Three Poems by James Sanchez

There is a tear in my eye
As I write the obituary for us
It tickles as it sallies down the contour of my cheek
Monday mornings we sat at a café counter
A well worn paper in my hands
A well fingered Blackberry in yours
Ambient sounds
Din of working class life
Coughs sighs laughs sneezes
Bitter truths
We are lost
I steady myself against the desk
The one purchased on a Sunday at the bazaar
It rained
We walked to the tent
You smiled
Smile of contentment
No strings love
You hired him on a Tuesday
Or was it…
Young wild
Drug addled but free
Unencumbered by the rituals of domesticity
It was gradual
I have that
No whirl wind
Like the shore line of Daytona
We faded methodically
A puddle forms on the space bar

Juana held her sanity tightly
A newborn clinging to a mother’s once chiseled legs
Her edge has shifted towards the rear of the mind
Space between lost loves
A stream rolling
Carrying the recognition
The bed is unmade
Paper Mache Mountains
Formed from hate fucking
The lust for meaning
To have a place to settle one’s bones
Sweat stains mingle with confused sperm
Purpose in conflict with action
He was drenched in liquor
A glance across a bar
A siren’s call
The wreckage gathers at the foot of an altar
Worshiper of sleep
Offering for the uninterested god

I touch her hand gently like wispy sigh
Her eyes tell me to proceed with dread
Black embers of self-doubt draw and quarter my resolve
It was all a game before
Polite gestures
Unsure hand placements
Corrective glances
I was so new
Twilight bathes her tonight while she hums along to others melodies
I have been waiting for my chance
She sweats deception and intrigue
The rivulets of strain and excess escape towards the bottom
I am mesmerized by…
She turns to see who it might be
Who it should be
I smile with the ease of one who knows
She wipes her eyes

James Sanchez is a Poet and Teacher from Hialeah, Florida. He holds a B.A. in English from Florida International University. He teaches English and Creative Writing at Ronald W. Reagan/ Doral Senior High School. His work has appeared in The Apeiron Review, The Weekenders, and The Acentos Review among others. He resides in Miami with his wife and son.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Two Poems by Cassandra Dallett


it’s me
who zooms out into dark nights
headlights music and heels
clackety clack down the stairs
whistle into my inbox
It’s me
who stays up too late
half bottle by the bed
wet towels on the floor
the lock twisted
in a closed bedroom door
I’m hungover
moving almost fast enough
to outrun exhaustion
and my old back pain
perpetually plotting
my next move.

The rain finally came
took forever
a low grey hangover
to get warm I’m wearing a bathrobe
over my skinny jeans
sobbed at you before you left
blamed you
for the expensive abortion pills
for the brief moments
you stole inside me
my back to you
wanting only a massage
and a hot pack
after work
having told you
a long time ago
was over.

Cassandra Dallett occupies Oakland, CA. Cassandra writes of a counter culture childhood in Vermont and her ongoing adolescence in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has published in Slip Stream, Sparkle and Blink, Hip Mama, The Chiron Review, Bleed Me A River, Ascent Aspirations, Criminal Class Review, Enizagam, The Delinquent and The Milvia Street Journal among many others. Look for links and chapbooks on

Friday, February 8, 2013

Three Poems by Cassandra Dallett

Found a Pawn Slip

for the diamond
I bought you.
How much more fun
it was
on the way up,
then this extended

Drove past you just now
on the street
piece by piece
the clothes I’d given you
black Pea coat
black Jordan’s
black hat
too late
with a flash of reddish brown cheek
my horn was slow
the pavement slick.
And me
pen moving blindly across a notebook
in my lap,

Now I’m texting while driving
feel I need to say
it’s not all
your fault
I’m the loser
that picked you out.
who’s cooking dinner,
and picking up the kids?
Did you find an apartment?

At a red light
I notice graffiti
it says “follow your”
with the symbol of heart
“Shiiiit, that’s how I got lost!”

The Funny Thing is

I thought about hugging you this morning
how your stocky body fills my arms
and that maybe if I squeezed hard
you’d be

Just ok
just not broken anymore
an aching abandoned boy
bones shifting around unhappily
under all that muscle
all that sunshine I used to call your skin
it does light a room
but maybe that was hunger
illuminating your man shell
wiser women would have run
but I wanted to touch it
feel the warmth of your pliable insides
all those guts your mother twisted up
mixing your batter till your idealism and revulsion for woman
was all syrupy like regurgitated Robotussin
burning on the way out
but sweet I mean Damn!
most of us are ridiculous enough to enjoy adoration
we just never understand the price of it
I was your pop star dirtying my reluctant pedestal
you sticking cameras in my face
tripping me up with questions
and broadcasting my failures all over the place
I didn’t want to be part of it
your slippery image
one minute your “good girl”
the next minute “a loose woman”
I see now how you were turned to an object
a babysitter masturbating on you
a mother who threw you away
I get it how
you need to fuck on top
so as not to suffocate
I do too
for the same crushed down reasons.

The Spook Inside


I say this is for your own good.

I am cold
to break you
over the recycle bin.

In bed I will wrap myself in sheets of ice.
Build walls with my back
a door slamming, foot pounder, I live in the walls.

In the car you press my nerves
You are loud sound ridiculous
can’t see we are hurtling towards
my past, an ex
a person who represents what you have now become
this is his turf
and you too, are about to be a foot note
but you can’t hear it over your own voice.

We’ve had fun playing house.
Now we play in the funhouse.
Our reflections, distorted red paint smiles,
can see the accident up ahead.

It was in the cards
I only have two good weeks a month,
the other two something wicked inside
leaks out on my wet tongue.

In the movie we watched last night
The Doctor’s secretary said this-
A ghost is an emotion bent out of shape,
condemned to repeat itself time and time again.”

And there I was,
needy and naked on the screen,
a broken-burnt thing haunting the closets of children.

Cassandra Dallett occupies Oakland, CA. Cassandra writes of a counter culture childhood in Vermont and her ongoing adolescence in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has published in Slip Stream, Sparkle and Blink, Hip Mama, The Chiron Review, Bleed Me A River, Ascent Aspirations, Criminal Class Review, Enizagam, The Delinquent and The Milvia Street Journal among many others. Look for links and chapbooks on

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Poem by Seamas Carraher

In my dream i can't touch you

In my dream i can't touch you
for the telephone line's twisted
and the world between my fingers'
softer than a snowflake
in my sleepy membranes
and all the balloons are blowing away.
Still i hang on the line
and the silence is like
a hammer
cutting the inside of my head
from your words
where they hang from the trees
like Bosnian corpses
in an ununderstanding of war.
There's no way ever to understand this.
There are things
harder than this rock inside my head,
this rock at the heart of the world
i inflate at dawn
with the galaxy of your goodbyes
i never accept,
and my life's only a membrane
like a window
onto these parts of my self
i'm rowing in air and river and desperation
with no sight ever of land.
In my dream the phone goes dead
and i have been here before because
i could never leave
in a misunderstanding of that other time
long forgotten
when i am like god
a bit beyond the speed of light
an unvoiced air of presence
and after all my journeys
i am dropped
between her legs in a confusion
of water and blood
searching through my eyes and fingertips
for a clue to these crying lungs
to the light long lost
to the question forming
in the cold of a dark January
where i will never be a bird again
at the shore or the seaedge or cliffedge.
And my eyes no longer leak
the memory of how
there is no one here
not really,
how we are all born
over and over,
all falling down
in a downpour of miracles,
this multitude of ghosts and me,
and my thought wakes
and i realise for the endless time:
i am so lonely
i almost
to breathe.

Séamas Carraher was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1956. He survives on the Ballyogan estate, in south County Dublin, at present. Recent publications include poems in the Rusty Nail, The Camel Saloon, Dead Beats, Red River Review, Word Riot, The Junk Lot Review, Dead Flowers, Pyrokinection, Dead Snakes, Carcinogenic Poetry, Napalm & Novacain, ditch, Bone Orchard Poetry, Istanbul Literary Review and Pemmican. Previously his work has been published in Left Curve (No. 13, 14 & 20), Compages, Poetry Ireland Review, the Anthology of Irish Poetry and the Irish Socialist (newspaper).