Friday, December 26, 2014

A Poem by Paul Tristram

Cast Adrift Upon A Sea Of Unrequited Love

They paddle around mournfully
with Martyr bones for oars
upon rafts of broken dreams and wishes.
Shades of what they really could be,
almost ghosts, still alive and breathing.
Watching, watching, forever watching
that which is not meant to be theirs!
Faithful and dedicated always
in their tunnel-visioned suffering.
Self anointed outcasts
of Love’s bright kingdom.
Dooming themselves with fists of rage,
souls barren now of all but envy.
The twisting and the torture
and the murder in their eyes,
sucking colourful rainbows
out of the skies and screaming
them back out as storm clouds.
The ridiculous, unnecessary,
self corruption becomes the entire
point of each vengeful day.
Do not pity them, these foul vultures
who selfishly slammed the open door
tight on all other offers
of Springtime which came their way.

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight, this too may pass, yet.  You can read his poems and stories here!


Monday, December 22, 2014

Two Poems by Ralph Monday

Distant Smoke

This is where we are now--agents of smoke
curling about each other, filtering away
thoughts, obscuring moment's meaning
like sand hiding the riddle of the Sphinx.
I don't know how we got here.  There was
no plan, no war battalions set in motion
by seedy politicians.
Just thoughts, words, deeds, I suppose.
Is this the nature of a man, a woman?
Unable, unwilling, or unaware
that the crisis is not Ophelia's,
nor the rising conflict in a soap?
Rising action begins in a look, a touch,
fingertips stroking long, auburn hair,
the day settling over like frost on an
autumn apple orchard.
Climax that moment, that cold instant
when you no longer look at me the same.
Your thoughts turned elsewhere
to some momentary mirage in the distance,
some fantasy played in the mind,
some actor performing a role for you
that will last only for a short time,
an off off non-Broadway play
without substance, empty theme--social
pantomimes engaged in capital gain
for the pursuer, inflated flesh currency
that devalues human meaning into
commodity of the instant--like
toothpaste, or toilet paper, or fast food,
an end where the beginning
cannot be regained.
Denouement on that stage where
moment's present actor voices
scripted lines--exits stage left through
artificial smoke made by fog machines.

In Praise of Indifference

No balance now, you tilt toward indifference,
irrelevance to those that once mattered.
            You stand on that pier unnecessary to
walk upon, clouds so dark they hide the sea,
soothing, healing waters that refused to pass
your lips.

There is some hope in the box in the nether
world woven by secret choices.
              If you knew wisdom you would know
that for those possessing logic praises may be still
sung for a time--those instances where memory
overcomes desire.

These electrical thoughts bestowing tender
mercies, a rationale that cannot be explained
               save only through remembering:
how you wore a black dress now turned into
shroud.  How winter is surely your season,
snow falling through autumn's leaves--

where graces lie absent on the quiet ground,
and you walk like a thin shadow, feet
               bare in the cold, blue thoughts footstep
by footstep defining your two dimensions--
proneness to whim and linear fragment,
therefore desire without disciplined temperament.

A Gris painting, grim, cubed portraiture measures
the uneven lines, a cello's October notes baritones
               out that day's makeup, so that you
live a life of refused grace.  Your kind born
crippled, remaining so by choice, cherubims
chased away by refusal to know the difference.

Praise could easily be won by bowed concession
that a mosque, a cathedral, an ancient pagan temple,
               is but mortared earth, brick and stone.
The house that you build with your hands fall
through fancied folly, so walk this desert

illuminated by a cold, pearl moon,
searching for water in bare rock--
               your baptism immersal
by Faustian priest, saving communion wafer
spit out through ragged teeth in
praise of indifference.

Ralph Monday is an Associate Professor of English at Roane State Community College in Harriman, TN, where he teaches composition, literature, and creative writing courses.  In fall 2013, he had poems published in The New Plains Review, New Liberties Review, Fiction Week Literary Review, and was represented as the featured poet with 12 poems in the December issue of Poetry Repairs.  In winter 2014, he had poems published in Dead Snakes.  Summer 2014, he had a poem in Contemporary Poetry:  An Anthology of Best Present Day Poems.  His work has appeared in publications such as The Phoenix, Bitter Creek Review, Full of Crow, Impressions, Kookamonga Square, Deep Waters, Jacket Magazine, The New Plains Review, New Liberties Review, cc&d, Crack the Spine, The Camel Saloon, Dead Snakes, Jellyfish Whispers, Pyrokinection, Red River Review, Burningword, and Poetry Repairs.  Featured Poet of the week May, 2014, Poetry Super Highway.  Forthcoming poems in Blood Moon Rising, Crack the Spine Best Of Anthology and Down in the Dirt Magazine.  His poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Houghton Mifflin's "Best Of" Anthologies, as well as other awards.  A chapbook, All American Girl and Other Poems, was published in July 2014.  A book, Empty Houses and American Renditions will be published by Hen House Press in Fall 2014.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Poem by Scott Thomas Outlar

Pumping Organ Vibrations
Hearing your voice again is vile and poisonous,
like weathered, withered red vines of soured wine left to rot
out in the rain from January until March
as the tides crash to and fro in heavy doses of intoxication.
Lost my stomach for the illuminated halo crown
while aimlessly wandering the city streets and listening to cascades
of mumbled silent decadent half dreams
brought forth from the inspiration of reclusive hermits
living in the wilderness as a sacramental ritual unto the old gods.
The baker of a dozen pathological liars
leads the thieves along a broken trail with a million to one odds
of ever finding the karmic scales that tip left and right before crashing.
They will surely never find the center where the shape holds
her angles in perpetuity like perfect angel wing delight
aloft in the skyline symmetry of an occulted geometric spectrum of light
built by an architectural denizen of a coming new day and age.
Science could never figure out the radicalized epiphany of enlightenment.
Triad, quadrupled, triangulated,
circled in the cosmic synchronistic spin,
rhyming to the rhythm of daylight sunshine found within
before bursting out to thank the Heavens with a hearty laugh of madness.
Hell was not a fire, thank you very much,
yet somehow my flesh was roasted by tired demon beasts.
The jagged rock hard belligerence of ten infinite eternal feasts
celebrates the rage and wrath of decadent disease
while carrying off atoms from a stellar nebular eclipse
as stars weakly whine with whispered hollow blips,
blinking bleakly at a hollow point sky
as the horizontal plane of contact loses all grip,
slipping from the wet tongue on tongue taste
that gets missed the most when saying Grace.
He lies slowly, methodically, into his grave
as the funeral songs of Mecca are played.
Scott Thomas Outlar burst forth from the womb of primordial ooze with thoughts of Renaissance, Revolution and Revelation dancing and careening across the neuron synapses of his consciousness. He came to Earth with both a sword and a rose; with love for all that which is good, and hatred for all that which is evil. He spends most of his time trying to discern the difference between the two polar extremes. When not caught up in such spiritual fervor and rapture, he likes to chill out and write. Poetry, essays, rants, ravings, screeds - basically whatever happens to flow at any given time. Examples of his work can be seen in journals such as Dissident Voice, Ascent Aspirations, Loose Change Magazine, The Fanzine, and Oracular Tree. Scott can be reached at

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Poem by Ag Synclair

when the writer decided to share relationship advice

when all of it shits the bed
the tumble is long,

you’ll find yourself
spewing page after page

of blunt force trauma
bandaging wounds

with whiskey, and women
you’ll forget by morning.

you’ll never quite get it
all back

the bones
will never heal

and the smell
will never leave.
From the safety of his boring suburban New Hampshire condo, Ag Synclair publishes The Montucky Review and edits poetry forThe Bookends Review. Widely published in the small presses, he manages to fly under the radar. Deftly.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Two Poems by Ken L. Jones

Beyond Summer

The unmade lavender storm won’t last forever on this vintage October day
When something as old as dry flowers and as blue as the ocean breezes
Yet half broken still in its precious delight
Brings up things unbidden like the memory of her skin which will glow forever
And like marijuana fields will never be totally stopped
These unsubtle manifestations are indicative of either wisdom or its ghost
But all of this was just a caterpillar in those now evaporated days
When the harvesting of Ms Perfect’s red grapes that were spread out like Egyptian hieroglyphics
Always started with a six-pack of something old-fashioned and quite winged
And that I can still taste in the lost and found of my unwanted dreams
Where I also remember how foolish she was when she thought that in a Chinatown
That spoke in iambic pentameter that she had said goodbye forever
Not realizing that she will always be a prisoner in the high, high tower of my poetry


The Erosion Of

The pale skin of her breath had all the rhythm of Toulouse Lautrec
Her eyes were pastels in a five and dime store
Accentuated by a harbor of petticoats I only rarely ventured into
Below the moonlit lake that was her swirling hair
And the way she looked at me
While she ate French fries like a ballerina
Haunts me still like some only once savored wine
Until like a churchyard seagull I lost sight of long ago
The blurring dark of my memories swallows her up again whole
And I am left shipwrecked in the midst of winter
Where I once again get whittled down by a sleep that can no longer be denied

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.  

Friday, November 21, 2014

A Poem by James A. Wilkinson


I can't escape the echoes.
The lingering trace of a stolen kiss
That once melted me away to nothing.
Memories of bodies pressed together tightly till fully melded.
I see her black beetle eyes, deeper than forever,
Hypnotically drawing me back into her orbit.
Things are surely destined to crash and burn once more.
But the choice isn't mine to make,
For my mind is no longer my own.
The emerald wasp has pricked me deep.
And I surrender gladly.

James A. Wilkinson hails from the North East of England.  His focus is on acting as a kind of librarian to his past.  Trying to rationalize the chaos.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Poem by henry 7. reneau, jr.


the quantum physics of
attraction solely dependent
upon a singular view

still life two enigmatic
now lickety-split

his &
her (lipstick smeared)
cigarettes flattened on the pavement

two impossible
(smashed & torn)
to read the remnants

cleaved two heartbeats
torn asunder
two break apart

or two holding on
across some distance
as cleaving athwart
the distance grown fonder

henry 7. reneau, jr. writes words in fire to wake the world ablaze:  free verse illuminated by courage that empathizes with all the awful moments, launching a freight train warning that blazes from the heart, like a chambered bullet exploding inadvertently.   

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Two Poems by John Grey

Bye Bye Johnny

his touch
has less hands
than a clock

his kisses
fall off her face
like swatted house flies

all those things
the moon tricked her
into believing--
laughs, if she's honest
lies, if she's sincere

hearts retreat from beating
to Morse code

nerves calm,
got their stories right at last

on a sheet's clammy
wet spot
is sweat alone

I Have My Own Importance to Attend to

I break the plane of your surface,
as my lips on your lips,
holy upon holy,
moon, light, couch, zipper--
this will have ramifications
like world war three starting.

Look at that guy in the photograph.
Your father is it?
He most certainly would not . . .
He would not try to . . .
He would not say or do anything.

But I'm tired of living like
I'm the only one that matters,
the only one loving
at any given time.

Responsibility . . . how about a rain check?

I should drown myself,
leave it to a morgue attendant
to identify this man--
not your fingers,
not your yearning.
Lots of water in the lungs
and let's let see if I take
all feelings down with me.

Yes, sex is what the stars
would be doing if they weren't stars.
And I do twinkle and shine a lot.

Outside, there's traffic,
people watering their gardens--
bad choices on their part.

They leave it all up to me.

Well, of course, you have a say,
a role, in this.
What I mean is,
who's writing this poem?
me or you?

John Grey is an Australian born poet.  Recently published in Paterson Literary Review, Southern California Review and Natural Bridge with work upcoming in New Plains Review, Leading Edge and Louisiana Literature.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Three Poems by April Salzano

He Loved Me Like a Whore

like he was running out
of time.  His hands were
everywhere his tongue
would not go.  He loved me
like an ocean that threatened
to drown us both, carry our wasted
bodies to shore, enough salt
to cleanse any wound.  He loved me
like I was no longer
breathing.  The air he exhaled
was a breeze from that moment
he was just passing through.

Five Years Later

His ghost is still driving
every silver truck, is still
crouching with a flashlight
in front of every breaker box
in every basement.  His skin
still finds its way under my hands
at the worst moments,
thick with what I have learned
to call regret, a practice
in the dark art of denial.

Forget Me Not

Here is the image I have burned
into your head, leftover
from brief visits to my bed,
one of what would be three times
you fucked me,
both senseless and over,
both literally and metaphorically.  I am on top
of you, sweat soaking skin and sheets.
The taste on my lips is your flavor combined with mine.
You do not resist as my tongue invades territory
of your mouth, landscape of your chest, hard,
beyond male-model perfect, sufficiently supplemented.
Almost flawless, scarless, supine, yours is a body that begs
to be mounted, but never dominated.  More for effect
than pleasure, you reverse our positions without separation.
Animals locked in rhythm without regret, we crash
and climb in unison, my nails in your back,
intentionally tearing the skin with marks you cannot hide.

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 at Kind of a Hurricane Press (

Friday, November 7, 2014

A Poem by Ken L. Jones

A Garden Full Of Serpents

I remember how you grew into a stranger
In the lonely midnight that turned to morning
Where you gathered flowers more numerous
Than the babies you would never have by me
While the rolling endless clouds danced at your command
Until nothing but my dreams remained
On that day born from a guitar
Made of butterflies that only Orpheus could play
By a singing seashore that we once rode like a seesaw
Where I tarry not now that all those painted summers are gone
And disappeared into an ungentle bay of cruel waves
Near the sweet milk of a forest where acorns
Crown the snow of days now grown so short
Recalling how the rusty roles
We once played became broken mirrors during the saddest hours
Which any human has ever chosen to report.

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.  

Monday, November 3, 2014

Two Poems by Rehan Qayoom

I Should Have Known

We met
When the snows were melting from the mountain-tops
When the cherry-tree's first buds were in bloom
The entire park heralded the coming of spring with its sweet fragrance
The nightingale had just begun to sing
We strolled
Arm in arm
In cherry blossom-strewn streets
Catching at butterflies and glow-worms until
The rain came to join us
Like a dear friend

The day the first leaf fell from the trees
I bent down to pick it up
Turned around
Saw you were gone!
Now I collect my tears in broken leaf-images
I should have known our time together
Was to last
As long as spring did.

In a Way We Are All Dr. Faustus

In a way
We are all Dr. Faustus
Some barter their souls
For pleasure's sake
And some under blackmail or duress
Some pawn their eyes
To begin trading in dreams
Others are led to mortgage their entire mind-set
It has only to be seen
What currency is in circulation
So according to an estimate of the Wall Street of life
Among those who can afford to buy, sell or invest
Self respect is a popular commodity!

Rehan Qayoom is a poet, editor and translator from London.  Qayoom writes poetry in both English and Urdu and has appeared in numerous literary publications and anthologies.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

A Poem by Quin Nootebos

I will wash myself of you,
your inequity stains me.
My balance is precarious--
you should have known better,
when push came to shove,
that I'd fall for you,
rather than take you down with me.

I'll never forget the fights,
the words in anger,
and the silent screaming.
I will never forget,
the look in your eyes,
or the tears streaming down your face.
I will also never forget
your laugh,
your smile,
the way you made me feel--
I never wanted to leave your side.
You were my hearts guide,
you took me to places,
to places I'd been
and places I'd always wanted to go.
I will always remember
the love in my heart,
the love in my eyes,
the look of surprise when I realized
that you loved me too.

Quin Nootebos, 22 years of age, has been writing poetry since 15.  Has traveled throughout Australia, Canada, the United States and Hong Kong.  Realizing that his life is a brief collection of the hopes, heart-aches, trials and tribulations, he plans on publishing his works and setting his life out for others to help others go through similar experiences or to enlighten others to expand the way they experience their own lives.

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. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Two Poems by Margery Hauser


We lay together
I twined around you like ivy on oak.
Warm and dark
a soft blanket of silence
comforted and carried us
together into a single dream.

          Morning came
          dreams dissolved.
          Light shone in the space
          between you and my idea of you.

We faced each other
you a wall against which
I flung myself.
Silence cold and gray
froze and shattered
strewing the ground with
fractured passion.

          no I wish no I can't
          no I meant no I should
          no but you no you wouldn't
          no you didn't no you never

          Shards of us pierced my soul
          desire catalyzed memory
          memory blurred and grew
          soft at the edges.

I sit alone in silence.
Our last words hang
in the empty air.
I breathe them in
like toxic fog
and my heart

You said you were an open book

but you were written in a language
I could not decipher.

I did not know the grammar to translate your soul
parse the syntax of your heart.

Lost in a maze of modifiers
and descriptives,
confused by indecipherable
diacritical marks,
cryptic conjugations and declensions,

we spoke at
not with each other
ashamed to admit
we'd failed to understand --
each believing the failure
was ours alone.

Margery Hauser is a New York City poet whose work has appeared in Point Mass, Poetica Magazine, Umbrella, The Jewish Women's Literary Annual, Mobius, and other journals, both print and online.  She is the author of Fairyland Mail (NoNet Press, 2013) and a member of the Parkside Poets Collective.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Three Poems by Cristine A. Gruber

Within an Empty Email

Reading the ill-timed
message yet again,
I brush my thumb
across the screen,
the derision
in your words
through the pores
of my skin.
My written
is logical
and sound,
to further
bury the pain.
In the final
before sleep claims
the remains of the day,
I swear
I can hear God laughing
at the futility of the human spirit.


This moment as I think of the declaration
from that safe place we both harbor,
I know where the importance lies.

From the scaffolding of a bridge
built over a constantly changing landscape,
I weigh the consequences of such a pronouncement,
such an all-encompassing oversight of being.

I'm caught in the wake of the changing tide,
the weight of the decision pressing down on my chest,
with mere moments to respire before surfacing
to a made-to-scale model of life.

Re-attaching as with pre-cut puzzle pieces,
essentials are fitted back together,
precisely, and yet so precariously.


The headboard
has a crack in it, five inches
from the top, nine inches across.

I've no idea
how it happened, nor
any clue how long it's been there.

When the movers
arrive to pack up the house,
one of them notices the fissure

in the marital bed,
asking how long it's
been damaged in that way.

I'd say, though I'm
sure he means no harm.

I shrug
and say I've no idea
when the split first occurred,

but it's
clearly grown
to unbearable dimensions.

I pack the rest
of my things, then call
the Salvation Army to pick up the bed.

Cristine A. Gruber has had worked featured in numerous magazines, including:  North American Review, Writer's Digest, Writers' Journal, Ascent Aspirations, California Quarterly, Dead Snakes Online Journal, The Endicott Review, Garbanzo Literary Journal, The Homestead Review, Iodine Poetry Journal, Kind of a Hurricane Press:  Something's Brewing Anthology, Miller's Pond Poetry Magazine, The Penwood Review, Poem, Thema, The Tule Review, and Westward Quarterly.  Her first full-length collection of poetry, Lifeline, was released by Infinity Publishing and is available from

Monday, October 13, 2014

Three Poems by J.J. Campbell

dripping from your lips

whispering sweet
nothings to sleeping
angels on a lonely
saturday night

it must be years now
that i have chased
after this ghost
called love

a myth

a story told by
the elders

yet i can close my
eyes and see it
dripping from
your lips

and how i long for
those to be placed
right in the middle
of my soul

longing isn't the
right word anymore

this kind of desperation
usually ends up with
terms used by the police

the same lucky stars

wish upon the
same lucky stars
you saw the first
time you looked
in her eyes

a wise man is
laughing about
the most beautiful
dream and the
nightmares that

i haven't been
in love in so
long that i truly
don't know
what to do

in a sense, i
am freed from
those restrictions

although, it's
rather hard to
convince a cynic
that his next step
won't be into a
fresh pile of shit

dance in the glory

press your voodoo
lips upon my bloody
tears underneath the
last full moon either
one of us will ever
get to see

may we close our
eyes and dance in
the glory of the
drugs that brought
us here

acid rain dripping
off of the leaves
that refuse to change colors

my nightmares
are the only things
that ever have a
chance of coming

i catch the sparkle
of fading stars in
the corner of your

this must be the
hell my mother
warned me about

J.J. Campbell (1976-?) lives and writes on a farm in Ohio.  He's been widely published over the years, most recently at Dead Snakes, The Camel Saloon, Pink Litter, Jellyfish Whispers, and Fuck Art, Let's Dance. His most recent book, Sofisticated White Trash (Interior Noise Press) is available wherever you happen to buy books these days.  You can find him most days on his highly entertaining blog, evil delights (

Friday, October 10, 2014

A Poem by Mikel K

Because of Her

Because of her,
he bit his nail so hard
that his finger started bleeding.

The pain surprised him.
He wanted to cry.
Not because of his fingernail,
but because of her.

Poetry by Mikel K has appeared in:  Subtle Tea, drown in my own fears, poetic diversity, Zygote in My Coffee, The Blue Lake Review, Swimming with Elephants, The Georgia Review, The Reeve Report, Lowlife Magazine, The Political Dogma, World Wide, Open Salon, and Beagle Bugle.  He was a music columnist for a Constitution.  He has been voted best poet in Atlanta for the last two years by readers of Creative Loafing, Atlanta's weekly newspaper.  You can buy a book by K at

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Two Poems by Miki Byrne

I Could if I Wanted to

On the day my final decree flopped on the doormat,
dead, flat as the marriage it ended, I went to Plymouth.
Spent four hours chicketty-chacking on a rocking train.
Heard mumble-voiced announcement of Cheltenham Spa,
Bristol Temple Meads.  Exeter St. David's.
Gathered old friends on arrival.  Roared in glorious freedom
round The Hoe, Barbican, dockside pubs.
Collected stray Marines on drink-soaked skirmishing leave,
delighted to join forces.  We dangled our feet over a stone jetty.
Spaced man, woman, man, woman like starlings on a ridge tile.
Watched waves wash in.  Saw one of the lads puke,
wipe his mouth with a hand's back.  Yell for more beer.
I eyed the talent.  Allowed wine soaked lust to bubble, ferment
in reckless bonhomie.  Felt the weight of years lift.
Fixed my eye on the handsome quiet one.
Enjoyed the knowledge that I could, if I wanted.


After he left, followed his own dreams,
the narrow-boat changed.  Became hers alone.
It's comfort doubled.  Wrapped around her.
Became a haven of solitude set in miles of green.
A moat on one side, on the other,
a drawbridge raised at will.
Lap of water against hull soothed.
Fires roar comforted.
The cabins steel-sided strength bled into her.
No-one could intrude.  Peace was a strong arm
about her shoulders.  Healing, holding her upright.
Thoughts loosened from the screaming knots
they had twisted into.  Spread out in ripples
like the shining green water.
Untangled, floated ahead--in a new path.
Enticing to follow.

Miki Byrne has written three poetry collections, had work included in over 120 poetry magazines and anthologies and won prizes for her poetry.  She has read on both Radio and TV, judged poetry competitions and was a finalist for Poet Laureate of Gloucestershire.  Her latest collection, Flying Through Houses, is available now from Indigo Dreams Publishing.  Miki is disabled and lives near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, UK.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Three Poems by Ralph Monday

Love the Fiber Optics

God may be dead but love is not.  The internet has revived
                    Strange thing the way that time is not linear or cyclical,

but rather a weird juxtaposition of images, memories, experiences
all jumping about like pieces in a puzzle.
The way surfing works, the dead made living, all fitting into the
living room picture frame, Scotch and sofa, roses and violins,
                a few tapping keys like Poe's raven at the window.

                     Here, controlling the screen, and forgotten goddesses of the 40s, 50s

live again, images placed in the mind and they know time and kudos,
but more importantly Kairos, a moment of indeterminate time where
everything happens.

                      Like now and Gigi Montaigne, Mollie O'Day sit in this room

drinking Turkish coffee, giggling, alive in death, digital tropes that bring
with them the lost values of another time, stirring romance of creatures
who know that this instant matters.
They love me as I them, the more so for bringing conversation, drink, flowers,
to black and white images snapped decades ago that is the present moment.

                      Alas that the relationship ended before it began.

Papyrus Lips on Stone

I like to think of your rebuttals as portraits you will someday
allow me to paint, as ancient inventions newly rediscovered,
where you will translate for me Egyptian hieroglyphs and write
a new text with papyrus lips that color mine berry red.
Take me by the hand to see the pharaoh enclosed in his
granite tomb, whisper that we will ride his sunboat with him
to a new afterlife, and if we are not gods in this mortal coil,
we will become titans in the next.  There you will wear my
odors and perfume me with the desert's sullen sands, lead
my hand to the mystery of your thigh so that I feel your substance
peeled back, like the layers of rock piled high upon on another:
this deposit white sandstone, that one jagged slate, further down,
a seam of black coal streaked with feathered sulfur; down and down
to the core of beginnings where I will know your morning hallelujahs,
evening prayers, drink you like communion wine and the swallows
etch out your name on a sky singing a psalm to your thanksgiving.

Requiem for a Love Affair

They are not soft angels, heralds who come flying
on granite wings stiff as stone.  They hold in their
unhuman hands tablets and write upon them
commandments of the genital gods.
Seraphim of the love affair the first rule is to know
the dark one, the other walking wet streets after
theater of the sheets.  These angels bring grinning
satisfaction to requited love, mind specters, disembodied,
they seek out houses where women have eaten the moss
turned gray from a dry garden, men have emerged from
caves to hunt.
They know the power of secret sighs, lust redezvous,
Lady Gaga's dance, entrancement of cinema and CD,
umbra forces resurrected in different guises like
moon phases settled over a woman's moods.
Their's is the genie's bottle, uncorked, where Freud's
perfumes drift out and tattoo animal hieroglyphics
on long black skirts and men drink from gothic
goblets turned by Augustine before the conversion
beneath the tree.
The second commandment is that of the streets,
smoke filled bars for camouflage, Dionysus in every
glass, twisting through the speakers and women's
long legs trace out a modern Delphic oracle--
wine and dance, video voodoo the new testament
driving the earnest ecclesiastical reform.
In his embrace she would know the other's dark
hair, tempers and mysteries, her eyes stared deep
into love's abyss, the nucleus, the core as modern
now as his fingertips talking to her skin.
The dark angels know this and rejoice, choirs of
them gathered together like flocks of crows
singing phantom aria after phantom aria.  They
know that this is not a funeral mass, contained as
they are in world thought--this a litany, a petition,
a supplication for the cyclical invocation, turning
like a hawk in flight, endless shadow dance, a ballet
of relationships forged in flesh, in bone, in blood.

Ralph Monday is an Associate Professor of English at Roane State Community College in Harriman, TN, where he teaches composition, literature, and creative writing courses.  In fall 2013 he had poems published in The New Plains Review, New Liberties Review, Fiction Week Literary Review, and was represented as the featured poet with 12 poems in the December issue of Poetry Repairs.  In winter 2014 he had poems published in Dead Snakes.  Summer 2014 had a poem in Contemporary Poetry:  An Anthology of Best Present Day Poems.  His work has appeared in publications such as The Phoenix, Bitter Creek Review, Full of Crow, Impressions, Kookamonga Square, Deep Waters, Jacket Magazine, The New Plains Review, New Liberties Review, cc&d, Crack the Spine, The Camel Saloon, Dead Snakes, Jellyfish Whispers, Pyrokinection, Red River Review, Burningword and Poetry Repairs.  Featured Poet of the Week May, 2014 on Poetry Super Highway.  Forthcoming:  poems in Blood Moon Rising, Crack the Spine best of anthology and Down in the Dirt Magazine.  His poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Houghton Mifflin's "Best of" Anthologies, as well as other awards.  A chapbook, All American Girl and Other Poems, was published in July 2014.  A book, Empty Houses and American Renditions, will be published by Hen House Press in Fall 2014.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

A Poem by Iain Macdonald

Already Broken

As soon as my elbow grazed
the wineglass left carelessly close
to the counter's edge, I was
already reaching for the broom,
knowing that was all she wrote.

Somewhere in the final years,
long after we'd given up
on trying to find the perfect gift,
you came home from a yard sale
with four glass goblets, each one
large enough to hold a good
half-bottle of Sonoma red.

I loved them on sight, while you
grew to loathe that love.
Now, only two remain, and
as I sweep up sharp-edged
shards from the linoleum floor
of my single-room apartment,
I imagine that I hear you laugh.
Sympathetically, I hope.
Enough's been spilled already;
no need for malice now.
Whatever we think we have,
we come to learn, will not endure.

Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Iain Macdonald currently lives in Arcata, California.  He has earned his bread and beer in various ways, from flower picker to factory hand, merchant marine officer to high school teacher.  His chapbooks, Plotting the Course and Transit Report are published by March Street Press.  A third chapbook, The Wrecker's Yard, has been accepted for publication by Kattywompus Press.

Friday, October 3, 2014

A Poem by Deborah Cole

Shopping for One

Went to the store
like I always do,
walked right by those pies.
No, stopped, considered--
lemon meringue, cherry, apple,
all stacked neatly there.
Then walked on.
You won't be there to
eat them.
Went home with a
lighter bag, heavy heart.
Hope someone will
buy those pies
so they won't be left alone.

Deborah Cole is a psychologist and does counseling and coaching with adults and adolescents.  She resides in Massachusetts, where she has had a private practice of psychology for over 30 years.  Writing is her avocation and she has a special interest in poetry that expresses aspects of everyday human emotions.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Poem by Rick Hartwell

She's Gone Again

Just visiting this time
So I expect her back
But lonely for all that

House echoes are different
With too few bodies in bed

Night Reversal

Used to being counted among
prowling people of the night,
somehow my circadian rhythm
reversed polarity over years.

Now I break day differently,
greeting each dawn graciously,
rather than defiantly cursing
threads of light and noise.

Bubbling gurgles of runoff,
well-kept sprinklered lawns,
more soothing now than
soft swirls of soiled toilets,
dispelling smell and stain,
vomit and alcohol diarrhea.

In past serving as beds and comfort,
depending on one's point of view,
gutters now are salutary, rather than
discriminatory, liquid sounds melodic
counterpoint to early morning traffic.

Other dawn breakers now curse the sun,
longing for dark, hiding desires of the night;
secretly I know best who's better off,
being no longer hunter or prey, but
just another member of the dawn patrol.

Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school English teacher living in Southern California.  He believes in the succinct, that the small becomes large; and, like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, that the instant contains eternity.  Given his druthers, if he's not writing, Rick would rather still be tailing plywood in a mill in Oregon. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Poem by Liz Egan

When He Leaves You


When he leaves you, he will say, "It's not you, it's me."  He will say it is all his fault.  He will say
he has changed, there's nothing you can do, things are not the same anymore.  He will say he
knows it hurts you now but this will make you happy later.

                                                    (You will say, out loud, "Can we please just talk about this?")

                                                                      He will say his mind is made up.  He will say he still
                                                                      loves you.  He will say I hope we can still be friends.


When he leaves you, he will say, "Of course it's you, you crazy bitch!"  He will say it is all your
fault.  He will say you changed.  He will say you are not the girl he married.

                                (You will say, to yourself, "Well, no.  Mostly because I am no longer a girl.")

                                            He will say none of his friends ever liked you.  He will say you were
                                                            a mistake.  He will say he doesn't love you, not anymore.

                                                                  He will say he is keeping the television, by the way.
                                            He will say don't call me.  He will say I don't want to see you again.



When he leaves you, he will say nothing.  No explanation, no reason why.  When you scream
and cry and thrash on the ground shouting, "Just talk to me!" he will only blink and say, "I
don't know what you want me to say."  He will be gone by the time you come home from the
grocery store, arms loaded with the apple juice and Little Debbie snacks and rack of lamb you
know he loves.  He will leave you in the bed that smells like him, alone in a hurricane with the
wind rattling the windows and a leak sprung overhead.

Liz Egan holds an MFA in fiction writing from George Mason University.  Her writing has been published in ink & coda and Sliced Bread.  She teaches writing and directs the writing center at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi.

Friday, September 26, 2014

A Poem by Paul Tristram

A Naive Trap for Love-Sick Souls

She unclasped the ornate
silver Celtic chain
from around her neck
and held up the little
coffin shaped locket
to my ear and I listened
at the little hinge upon the side
just like to the sea inside a shell
as she had instructed.

"It's faint but I can hear them.
It's like being in a back bedroom
of a terraced house late at night
when it's perfectly quiet outside
then hearing someone groaning
loudly in every consecutive house
all down the side of your road.
How fascinating and remarkable,
will you show me how it's done?"

"In its native tongue it is called
'a naive trap for love-sick souls'
Yes, I will show you soon enough
just be patient while I finish tiring
of our present moments together!"

Seven Severely Severed Sentiments

I was going to write an intricate essay,
bringing into play
both the weight of rumours
and the coldness of known fact.
Woven intelligently and skillfully
with outside influences; the weather,
the privatization of both
British Rain and Royal Mail,
morning hangovers and other general
irritabilities, curses and daily obstacles.
Interjected with sarcastic humour
and peppered with cold-blooded horror.
Segment the entire lot into seven meaty parts
to later psycho-analyse, point fingers at,
tar and feather, flog publically
and use as some form of insane evidence
for a horrible-yet to be decided-future date!
But what is the point, really?
When I simply just do not like you anymore
and it is all your fault not mine, sunshine.

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight, this too may pass, yet.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Poem by Ken L. Jones

Shared Memories

The warbling birds left plenty unsaid during the hours
That wilted in the winter sun on that icy beach
That cooed sweet nothings that were never meant for me
But unknown to the world of many sizes
I was born and raised in life on the moon
And even though my existence has been
Far from a pool of honey at least I always had you
You never exactly left
Even if you weren't always there for me
And if sometimes you filled me with regrets
Still you are here
Something you've always told me counts for everything in the end
And so for that I will have to take your work
I wanted all of this to be much more than that
But perhaps that's neither of our faults but is the very nature
Of this mortal world where little that's good or right ever gets done
And when it does it's at the highest of prices and is very little fun
Which explains why at the end of most people's lives
The smart ones always seek elsewhere than here when they search for paradise

For the past thirty-five plus 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 his poetry.  This volume held a great allure for him as he has long been an aficionado of such places of chance and fun.  His earliest memory almost six decades ago was of the well-known The Pike amusement park in Long Beach, California, which he lived very close to.  Later when he was in grade school his parents bought a house in Anaheim, California, that was only a skateboard's ride away from Disneyland where he often went and was lucky enough to become friendly with its creator Walt Disney which years later resulted in him being employed by Disney Studios doing various creative things there for a time.  Just prior to that when he was first married he worked full-time at Knott's Berry Farm where he met its founder Walter Knott.  To this day he remains fascinated by places like this and they often seep into both the poetry he writes and the many works of prose fiction that he has also concurrently published in the last decade.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Poem by Susan Dale


A barb wire
              around us
A ragged tear
   Beyond repair
             Arrow piercing
      this bloodless vein

Susan Dale's poems and fiction are on Kind of a Hurricane Press, Ken*Again, Penman Review, Inner Art Journal, Feathered Flounder, Garbanzo, and Linden Avenue.  In 2007, she won the grand prize for poetry from Oneswan.  She has two published chapbooks on the internet:  Spaces Among Spaces on and Bending the Spaces of Time on Baromentric Pressures Authors Series.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Poem by Theresa A. Cancro

Glower Scrapings

Your malcontent mixes
with ennui in the morning, just
watch it cast mortal slices among
minced words until we fall
into the basin under the sink,
bits of shaved lead, sexy-less
yet still druzy, sparks beneath
flannel, loose and shifty.

Shall we break the edges
of that wilted rose, never notice
where its soft petals land,
slink away while walls crumble
around us as a moth slips
off chipped piano keys, those
dirty teeth grinning at
our final demise?

Theresa A. Cancro (Wilmington, Delaware) writes poetry and fiction.  Many of her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in print and online publications, including Jellyfish Whispers, Pyrokinection, Kind of a Hurricane Press anthologies, Dead Snakes, Kumquat Poetry, Leaves of Ink, The Artistic Muse, A Hundred Gourds, Cattails, Shamrock Haiku Journal, Chrysanthemum, and tinywords, among others.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Two Poems by Ken L. Jones

Aire for Cathy Mc

She was the loveliest shamrock in all of March
And will be as long as the pot is on the boil
China blue was her beauty
And her wonder graceful like a fiddle that
Had no name but the sugar of candy
And only three daylight wishes were her ransom
As she took from me all that she desired
Then left me like a ransacked beehive
A Spanish gallon shipwrecked on the coast of Ireland

All That Has Been Left Unsaid

I wait for sleep to cloud my sight
I seek oblivion in the night
Oh but then the morning comes
And when the wind warms cross my neck
I think in leaping hearted joy
That it is your perfumed breath
But then the realization comes upon me
Like a fishbone caught up in my throat
That I am alone in this ocean of men
A floating bottle without a note
Inside of it to explain myself
Or give a reason why
The city should not devour me whole
Why I should live when thousands die
And in the suicide of wind chimes
I remember looking into your eyes
Like flowing neon reflecting off of a
Brand new sports car's highly waxed hide
And all of this is monstrous to me now
A torn photograph whose negative long ago died
And so is our history chipping apart
One tiny piece at a time
Until all that I can recall
Is your smooth belly
Covered in sandy wine
Your hand clutching a giant
Chunk of sea ravaged coral
And you wore nothing more than that
And god have mercy were you adorable
My face has been ripped off from my head
But still I shamble through my unnatural routes
Refusing to go away like a bad disco tune
Or spent radioactive rods
In the debris of a shadowed moon
Once we obtained a passport of light
From a distant star
But unlike God who finger-paints
With volcanoes deserts and veldts
We only used it to fade out into gossamer threads
Heavy with the aroma of a single kiss
We were too busy tapping into
The primal instincts of a puppet show
That collapsed like a paper lantern
Infected with anthrax when touched by us
Not so very long ago

Ken L. Jones has written everything from Donald Duck comic books to dialogue for the Freddy Krueger movies for the past thirty plus years.  In the last three years he has gained great notice for his vast publication of horro poetry which has appeared in many anthology books, blogs, magazines and websites and especially in his first solo book of poetry Bad Harvest and Other Poems.  He is also publishing recently in the many fine anthology poetry books that Kind of a Hurricane Press is putting out.