Thursday, December 1, 2016

Due to personal issues this project and all others associated with Kind of a Hurricane Press are closed indefinitely.  All work that has already been published will remain live on the site.  All work that was accepted but has not been published is now released back to the author.  All print copies and issues will remain available through their current sales channels.

Friday, July 29, 2016

A Poem by Alan Walowitz

Endings Set Us Free

Call All County Vacuum
and they bring the big green truck
to clean up most everything--
fire, flood, petroleum spills--
but not this botched goodbye,
messy enough to qualify for special rates,
and oddly without the usual junk and detritus
that by rights we ought to be able to call on
to salve each I've-been-wronged,
or to look back on fondly one day
with a heartfelt but quizzical, why did I care?
as it's swept out with the old year's dust.

Let's take this drift into full estrangement
and make it work for us.
You could live a long time,
the Flying Dutchman of the cyber oceans,
everybody's BFF;
or here I am, patiently awaiting
the next Transit of Venus--
true, not due till next century,
but if I insist on seeing it, I'll have to hang on--
so what if I'll feel bad all the while,
crane my turkey neck to the sun
then go completely blind.

Alan Walowitz has been published various places on the web and off.  He's proud to be a Contributing Editor at Verse-Virtual, an Online Community Journal of Poetry, and is also happily employed as a teacher at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY and St. John's University in his native borough of Queens.  Alan's chapbook, Exactly Like Love, will be published by Osedax Press in June.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Three Poems by Andrew M. Bowen


The world wears white tonight, the white of ghosts:
by snow, shivers, and sleet, I conjure you,
O Shannon Red, a drunken poem to toast
the fairest and the cruelest of my ghosts.

How strange to call your shade in winter's chill
when summer's dying heat caused hearts to stew
and summer sired your tawny hair, your will
of velvet iron, and eyes like sleepy rills.

But winter saw our passion's courses run.
At first I lit your eyes like sudden rays
gladden a sodden day; at last you shunned;
saw me a thug accused of murder one.

As winter's death signals the spring's first beat,
this conjure tolls the end of icebound days
for I will live, will not allow defeat
to deaden joy and sap my soul of heat.

Farewell, sweet spook:  if I had loved a host,
each one as lovely as a virgin coast
and richer than computer moguls' boasts,
still, Shannon, you would be my favorite ghost

Sonnet for Shannon 6

A naughty boy once taught a river to dive
and wed the night to birth an egg of gold;
whether he's good or bad, he is alive
and never stood a regiment so bold.
He launched a gleaming shaft straight through my heart
thus fanning endless desire for your caress
and should relentless fate dictate we part
his bow will plunge my soul in endless darkness.
I'm just a puppet on a golden string,
a flesh automaton without a hope,
enthralled by dreams of bliss and golden rings,
but I fear I'll hang from a dirty rope.
In wondrous beauty dawns the birth of love;
its death more dark than endless night above.

Finis (Or How Could You Treat Me This Way, Sweet Princess?)

Bounce up, plummet down,
my heart's ridden a bungee
cord, rejoicing we
might join, dreading the cold of
your outer void.  It failed to
shock that you chose him,
but silence wounds:  to learn it
from the Net, to know
you threw my heart away like
an unwanted basketball.

Andrew M. Bowen works as an insurance salesman in Bloomington, IN.  He has published 74 poems and recently submitted his first two novels for publication.  He is also an actor who has appeared in eight independent films, seven stage productions, and two radio teleplays.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

A Poem by Phil Wood

After He Leaves for Walk

She closes the blinds.  Her mind's in grass
that's ankle deep, in need of sleep--
a goodbye wave unwraps the quiet,
replays those easy times beyond

the knotted ground where standing on
the creaking bridge they'd play with sticks
their childhood game.  His twisted twig
spinning towards a sandy bank

and comes to rest; hers skips
a crop of rock--its slender wood,
so sleek and dark, gliding the stream
to deeper pools as spiders thread

silence beneath the shade of pine.
All happiness is hoarded in webs.

Phil Wood works in a statistics office.  He enjoys working with numbers and words.  His writing can be found in various publications:  Sein und Werden, The Centrifugal Eye, Message in a Bottle, Streetcake Magazine, London Grip, The Open Mouse, Ink Sweat and Tears, The Angry Manifesto, Poet and Geek, The Stare's Nest, The Lampeter Review, The Screech Owl, The Recusant, DM du Jour, Three Drops from a Cauldron, Clear Poetry, The Fat Damsel, Dactylzine, Autumn Sky Poetry, Jellyfish Whispers, Noon Journal of the Short Poem.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Three Poems by Angelica Fuse

Sign of Parting

let this be our
sign of parting
black bird
I have long thought
about the words
I would say
but a slamming door
seems to suffice.


take your arm
off my socket
take your leg
off my thigh
take your tongue
pluck it back
into your mouth
do not come here
for solace
do not look here
for release.


a breeze blows
that becomes
a hurricane

a hurricane
goes to the root
tears up the tooth
throws over
the whole
damn mess.

Angelica Fuse is an unquiet voice, who has suddenly decided to write instead of just read the works of others.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Two Poems by anggo genorga


i call her from time to time
after a day's work usually
but it's not every day; she
doesn't know it's me on the
other line and all i tell her
is to transfer me to their IT
department adapting different
tone and even doing an accent
at some point.  she used to
recognize my voice right away
but time had already changed
that.  it's the best that i could do--
me calling her and her not knowing
it was me, keeping that peace of mind
she had sought for so long always
in check and unbothered.

the final chapter

being on the same page
               is not

being on the same page
               at all.

anggo genorga was born and raised in the Philippines and currently resides in Dubai moonlighting as a manager of a band called Wonder Woman's Electric Bra.  Recent writings can be found in Dead Snakes, Paper and Ink Zine, The Odd Magazine, Midnight Lane Boutique and Guide to Kulchur.  Also in Boston Poetry Magazine, Empty Mirror, Mad Swirl, Screech Owl and Silver Birch Press' Bukowski:  An Anthology of Poetry & Prose about Charles Bukowski and the book for benefit Verses Typhoon Yolanda:  A Storm of Filipino Poets by Meritage Press.  More writings at deviationcummeditation,

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Three Poems by Natalie Crick

For You

This month her depression began.
He obsessed her.
She tied her heart with ribbon like a present,
Licking his fingers and kissing his feet.

Words failed her.
She breathed him in like a terrible secret,
A childless woman beneath the ivory moon.
But what about his eyes, his eyes, his eyes.

Walking in the Winter trees
Were his shadows in the fog.
He was innocent as a lamb.
Sleep, my Angel,

Deaf and dumb
As the drugged summer sun.
My Love,
I want you.

Sleepwalkers in Love

I keep thinking of you,
Making love to you.
She still had those dreams,
Stricken with night tremors
Like a child shaking in nightmare.

He did not come home last night.
Where were you?
He would go off into the woods,
Melting away into the black dark.
But, promise me, you cannot tell anyone else.

A friend of her died only yesterday.
She was so emotional with every breath.
Her thoughts lurched around inside her skull.
Oh Christ!  It is her again,
Drowning in the fields outside her window.

She was chalk white as a ghost girl.
A pale moth stared down from the roof
like an enormous bird
Risen from the dead.
Where did you go last night?

Insomniac.  The moth had the face of her husband.
They woke in a forest of black pine,
Naked as beautiful animals,
Waking in a daze as if it were years later,
All of the villagers old and grey and gone.

She was blank-brained as a doll or some birthday gift.
He would guard her like his heart.
They were in love.
But, you know what lies can do.
She turned to him in his sleep.

Fever Floats

Throw it away,
Syrup to somersaults.
Nothing has changed.  Night hangs
So low my eyes sing:
Tell me what you see in it.

I am a gift
Of teeth and blood and hair.
And now, crawling
Through shit,
I am begging you.

We could trick the tightrope,
And be swallowed whole,
Letting the stars mold and peel,
Or lick the cylinders, tears fall white.
The final act.

Natalie Crick has found delight in writing all of her life and first began writing when she was a very young girl.  Her poetry is influenced by melancholic confessional Women's poetry.  Her poetry has been published in a range of journals and magazines including Cannons Mouth, Cyphers, Ariadne's Thread, Carillon and National Poetry Anthology 2013.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Three Poems from Bryan Damien Nichols

Night Piece

    -- for Michelle

Our appetites like waxwings at a feast
Of mulberry trees--fraught with thirst and fruit:
Exertion's sweat was waterfall for tongue
And lip, and could be seen to grace the teeth.
What salty water made, our contrast crowned:
My marble-colored flesh paired with your bands
Of silky brown--a pivot here and there
On pastel sheets turned, by moisture, like hair,
A darker hue--and with a painter's hands.
What can you say when shadows now abound
When light should reign--and when time is so brief?
What can you say when love seems now unsung
Because it can't be called great?  Is it moot
To think of this?  Is there truly no feast?

For Michelle

I dreamt you as a rainbow amidst white,
Though I was in white, but awaiting you;
And you dreamt me as strands of onyx,
Scarlet, and sapphire twisting round you,
Like licorice round a marble statue.
And I understood
Your Love, waving by your grace.
And you understood me twisting round you.

We both live and Love, my Michelle.
So when you weep, I think of this
Doubly layered dream and wonder
Why you, so full and frank and alive,
Should dread what dreams may come,
Though they arrive through me,
Or through you.

The Meeting

     -- for Michelle

I culled you from the background:
From foamy forest green and lethargic yellow
You arose in bright blue and bright red,
Your eyes like lanterns of strange fire
Thrusting onyx into the air.

You culled me from the background:
I was one--one among many--
Staring at you.

Our first encounter was but appetite.
Our words like stupid symbols.
The handshake was a masquerade,
Seconds long.  And more masquerading
For many minutes.

Then something else happened.

Does life erupt this way?
Does fate reign this way?

It's as if a thousand arrows
Were shot by some drunk
And only one found its mark.

Bryan Damien Nichols was born in Houma, Louisiana, on August 30, 1978.  He earned a B.A., summa cum laude, in Philosophy from Baylor University, and a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law.  He has practiced law both in Houston and in Texas' Rio Grande Valley.  Bryan currently lives in Los Fresnos, Texas, with his loving wife, Michelle.  Bryan is best known for the poetry he writes through his two heteronyms:  (1) Kjell Nykvist; and (2) Alexander Shacklebury.  These two heteronyms were featured in Bryan's debut poetry collection, Whispers From Within (Sarah Book Publishing).  In his new collection, by contrast, Bryan writes in his own name, and explores numerous themes and issues that are important to him personally.  Through his heteronyms, and in his own name, Bryan has been published in dozens of literary journals, ezines, magazines, and anthologies.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Three Poems by Linda M. Crate

a raven called karma

cut down to the bone
my feathers
stuck out of my shoulders
at weird angles as you
struck out
with your parallelograms
of rage and insincerity
seeking to destroy every fabric
of my being into the
same void that sings your name,
but you forgot that i am
like persephone
preferring peace but also knowing war;
i will burn you in the ashes of
your chaos--
once you witnessed my descent,
but now watch my
burning through memories like bones
ripping out your fur the same way you did my feathers
without touching you at all
because my best revenge
is success.

you are your own noose

i offered you
my naked heart and soul
you saw neither
all you ever did was satisfy
your need,
but nothing was ever enough;
you were gone
far before you left me
i kept holding on
knowing that patience is a virtue
you killed me with all that
but when you came back to me
it was only to tell me that it was over
maybe it was something i knew
before you said it,
but i kept clinging to hope with all of my
talons insisting that we could
one day be one;
i think the more you didn't need me the more
my heart decided to love you--
it wasn't fair, it wasn't right
what you did;
but life is seldom fair or right yet i know one day
i will see you stumble and fall and i will be
on the ladder of success--
you will call my name,
and i will pause but for a moment before
leaving you to drown beneath
the waves of your own lust.

you never let me be me

i come alive
when i feel the memories
of you and i slip away
because i know
my heart is
and there are no harpy claws
needed on my part
to rip you to pieces
because karma
will hit you harder than i ever could;
let her have your liver
i never could
stand the taste--
your gilded cage doesn't taste
so sweet to me anymore
because my song
is for
and i don't have to succumb to your
rage or whims anymore;
i can just fly wherever i want--
you tried to tame me,
but i am wild
don't need your instruction to be me
i've done it all my life.

Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville.  Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print.  Recently her two chapbooks, A Mermaid Crashing into Dawn (Fowlpox Press, June 2013) and Less Than a Man (The Camel Saloon, January 2014) were published.  Her fantasy novel, Blood & Magic, was published in March 2015.  The second novel of this series, Dragons & Magic, was published in October 2015.  Her poetry collection, Sing Your Own Song, is forthcoming through Barometric Pressures Authors' Series.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Three Poems from JD DeHart

D. Spare

He thought he was
the perfect man, just
wanted to help, a fine
being, strapping (and
that's not even a term
he ever used), but then

all the best plans
he could fit together
formed a blasting cap
and all he could watch
was the splintering.

Human Shaped Human

They mused about
their mismatch, how their
words often tried
to replace the other's,

How they could not
escape their own essential
ingredients anymore,

They were cartoon characters
with endless bubbles
of dialogue trying to overstep,
overshadow the other

So they had their cafe
ending, letting the sun set
on an empty park bench.

What a Hero He Was

Yes, he made promises
and pictured a mailbox
with their names on it,

yes, he made observations
and corrections, thought
himself a good father,

but the emblem on his chest
turned pale, too much washing,
I suppose,

his beacon in the sky
became cloudy, his efforts
muddy, and his cape

became another bunched
mess on the bedroom floor.

JD DeHart is a writer and teacher.  His chapbook, The Truth About Snails, is available on Amazon.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Three Poems by Rose Mary Boehm

Going Over Old Ground

It all happened so fast.  Before we knew
each other we'd said "yes" and many more
things we regretted.  Still, we meant them
at the time.  You were into peace and love,

and I earned the cash, desperately
trying to be hip with the young
crowd you pulled in.  I suppose the kids

didn't help.  You felt guilty, I washed
the nappies by hand.

Then, one day, you found the golden stone
and there were parties, designer clothes
and private schools.  You drunkenly buzzed
from flower to flower.
I got lost in your excesses.

Once the kids had left home, I was ready.
You took me to the harbor.  When my ship
pulled anchor and I saw you getting smaller
on that pier and in my heart, I wondered
where do good intentions go?


I pulled up my collar.
Discreet dark-blue scarf
wrapped around my mouth.
Dark glasses.

Right at the front.
but for the camera.
Just another groupie.

Hundreds of years
after leaving this town
I had nothing better
to do than freeze
on this winter day in London,
outside my famous
ex's town house.
And there he was.
A common sound rose,
a sonorous sigh.

His new blonde trophy
tried to make herself visible.
He remained firm.
There could only be one
point of interest.

For a moment I thought
he had seen through my disguise.
For a moment I wanted
my camera to be a gun.

The Girl Without a Head Scarf

Amira left home.
Dumped her headscarf
somewhere between Tangiers and Marseille.

Marcel strutted.
Frigid Arab bitch,
he hissed to her denial.
Whispered secrets into her skin.

Amira had become voiceless,
adrift at a great distance from herself.

When he buried his need
deep insider her
in that room-by-the-hour,
no salvation was offered,
and none taken.
He stared at her with malice.
Amira exhaled
and was empty.

A German-born UK national, Rose Mary Boehm lives and works in Lima, Peru.  Author of Tangents, a poetry collection published in the UK in 2010/2011, her work has been widely published in US poetry journals (online and print).  She was twice winner of the Goodreads monthly competition, and a new poetry collection is earmarked for publication in May/June in the US.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Three Poems by Ken L. Jones

The Poet's Revenge

The red cupid silhouette thumb tacked to our wall
Like the one I once had a child has a torn heart
Which will soon detach from its hand
But the roller disco break dancing gangsta'
In Michael Jackson's Bad is the greatest thing I ever saw
On my TV since Topo Gigigo first kissed Ed Sullivan
And the long hungered after onion rings
Being cooked in our black skillet in forbidden oil
Will complement the almost raw steak with which it will be served
Yet I am still overcome with emotions painted by hand
That are as evolved as any amphibian
As I become lost once again
In her eyes that were wider than the blossoms of orange trees
And were bluer than the bluest willow china
That ever appeared upon this earth
As I walked with her down a prim avenue
Teeming with miniature dolls where her message of love
Was my afternoon rum and I need none other besides it
On the island's north shore that like sugar dissolved
But soon after she abandoned me to a shelf in the local discount store
Someone who thought I was something else
Soon took charge of me for a well intentioned makeover
But no matter how hard I tried to fake being what this wonderful woman wanted
It was a festering mistake and when I finally burst free after many a spring
She was repulsed by my talents and said that they were trivial things
And so now as I listen to the night's musicianship
And I long beyond longing to cross o're to it
But lack the surrender which would accomplish this
Still I want to say that I am unshaken
In my belief in true love even after this Valentine's Day
That screamed with bared teeth
From inside of the mouth which once gave me such peace
But then I can't give what I don't have and neither can she
But oh how I wish she would stop shrieking like some banshee
About things that never were and can never be
Perhaps in this reality or any other

I Reveal

When I needed something to begin to thaw
She had empathy for my yen to experience the rosy tint of dreamland
And then as she smiled like Gone With The Wind
She wasn't afraid to flash forward in that November
That was like ghost peppers growing
In the intense sunlight of the waterfalls of Jupiter
And all was still and fine until we met Loki on the Yellow Brick Road
On that midnight that was as hazy as a painting by Basquiat
As our love once so constant became like swirling wine
Pregnant with the first born of nothing happened
Back during those skyscraping years in flux
Just before my journey into all that mutates
Cast me adrift upon this mummified sea
That ends in one blind alleyway after another

And Shrink

I want to live in the past there is no future
The present reeks like a war zone
That can no longer breathe
And our long lost love is a frozen goddess
Tucked in a wicker basket full of dead sunsets
Where once we were star crossed lovers
Who went to see The Stones
But these days we know
Only the questionable delight of being rusty machines
Now that we live together alone

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.  

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Two Poems by Renata Connors

I Wish You Loved Me

Pitch dark, icy, indifferent sunrays
spread on my back
and through the window
your hand lay on the floor,
warm, firm, loving.

Don't hurry cloud,
wait a little,
give me a chance
to step on it.

I Can't Think of a More Attractive River

You've walked through me
like a ghost of pain
leaving heavy grey sludge
in your wake
and awake I am, all night,
until the narrow hour
between the dog and the wolf,
the weakest hour of the night,
darkness gone,
light yet to come

I'm desperately trying to suck the balm out of one word
but receive the strings of a hundred treadmill thoughts.
Pinned to the center of the flutter wheel
I'm holding anger like a crucifix
and I wish the stream
that makes it all go round and round
was called Lethe.
I'd drop everything, I'd let go,
the water would have it,
the water would swallow me,
I'd sleep.

Renata Connors is a poet and songwriter based in Tynemouth, Tyne & Wear.  Her poems were published in an online poetry magazine The Fat Damsel.  She has performed her poetry and songs at many different venues around the North East.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Three Poems by Ken L. Jones

No Admittance

My mission in life was her rosy cheeks
As she looked into her freckled mirror
In the motel that was in her stomach
Where I once stared at the ceiling of a racy novel
During that lost time that was her last child
Back when she was still the queen bee
Of the diamond brilliance of each breath that she took
Until I gravitated towards the eerie green tomatoes
That were the same color as her eyes
And lost forever her cinnamon laughter
So neurological and repeating
And yet still all of that is a thing with wings
Even now in the donation bins and the garage rafters
That are my late night sleeplessness
And oh how I long for any kind of freeing sensation
But my thoughts are like a needle getting picked up off of a record player
Near a motion sensitive river that is in an early freeze
Where I wish oh how I wish that I would have had it in me
To bow down low and surrender to her bliss

Remove the Paint

In years back whose flesh was bright red
There was something freeing about our untrapped appetites
That put fresh batteries in my brain
Every time we suddenly she our clothes
But now I am frostier than ever
As I groan for you in this bed made of lumps of coal
Remembering how we went back and forth from one body to another
Until whatever else there was to learn
Became the boundary that separates so many rivers
Even as it freezes them to their very cores

It Doesn't Take Long for the Gold to Come Off

Long ago when I first got lost in the crimson brokenness of the Beatles
I met a woman whose room was lit with sweat and her perfume
Her blue eyes were a mismatched tea set
Her old children's books were her pet cats
Purchased after she explored Mary Shelly's lumbering old antique shop
One day because of a rainstorm on an island of molasses
Like boundless beauty that I sing of now
Like a Roswell guitarist in a faraday cage without ears
Since I am no longer a farmer of revelations
But what does it really matter now that all of that chips and rusts away
And my Mona Lisa has become a Sapphic dreamer
But still I can't forget our first time together
But like the most effective of narcotics
That is something that I long for
But that will never again to me get prescribed
In the Martian opera that is my old age that I can barely hear
In the sad, sad hours of midnight
That holds me like a spider's web above these aborted fetal tides

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, June 3, 2016

Three Poems by J.J. Campbell

certain scars

lost loves finding
each other after
many years

many, many nights
of he said she said

and other bundles
of bullshit

yet a smile

a hug

a gentle kiss on the
cheek erases so much

except for the burning
pit in my stomach that
will always remember
you as that bitch there

certain scars never

no matter what
medicine or god
you believe in

the bitter pills of life

i close my eyes each
night knowing there's
a likely chance i will
never get to fall in
love again

and the more that
sinks in the easier
it is to swallow the
bitter pills of life

i keep hoping to be
wrong but i stopped
believing in miracles
when i was a child

one day i'll close my
eyes and be granted
the wish of never
opening them again

now there's something
to look forward to

smothered with what could have been

your soft
lips and
my cynical

i suppose i
can look at
the past and
be happy i
got to
at all

or i could
think back
and be
with what
could have

as i fumble
through old
letters and
articles of

off another
bottle of

J.J. Campbell is old enough to know better.  He's currently trapped in suburbia, watching his mental health erode.  He's been widely published over the years, most recently at Pyrokinection, Horror Sleaze Trash, Mad Swirl, BoySlut and Dead Snakes.  You can find him each day on his highly entertaining blog, evil delights.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Three Poems by H. Edgar Hix

Hebetic Reunion
(for Ellen)

when i heard you'd gotten married
someone inside me died 20 years ago

it seems the 18 year old is in the 38 years old
like a layer of gravel in the ground

or a ring in a tree that records the winter was mild
but the spring was plagued by hard frosts

My Bed

Soft fortress
offering protection from
dragons of thought
black knights of fear,
wizards of summoning
things bright and dangerous.

Focus of my night light:
mini spotlight on
a sheet too clean
for too long; X-rated stage
for G-rated plays.

The place marked "You Are Here"
on the map on the wall of my life;
just off shore from my water bottle.

Now We Have

I knew her when those eyes were fourteen
(and mine sixteen).

Our faces have been sculpted by the chisels of adolescence
and painted darker by the white sable brushes of marriage.

I knew her when those lips were red with cherry ice cream
I bought her when my date canceled one Saturday night.

Now we have blue veins in our wrists
shaped like lightning bolts.

I knew her when our hands were sticky with stolen sweets,
when our feet were bright, clicking on hardwood floors;

before our faces found their lines,
before we heard the slow thunder.

H.Edgar Hix lives with his wife, seven cats, one dog, and numerous collections in a little white house in south Minneapolis.  He hopes his writing will live many places with many people.  Recent poetry has appeared in Time of Singing, Mutuality, Pyrokinection, One Sentence Poems, and Right Hand Pointing.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Three Poems by A.J. Huffman

I Dreamed I Was a Seal

and you were a shark,
predatory and prepared
to attack.  I knowingly dove
into your ocean, baiting your teeth.
Neither of us was surprised
when our subsequent contact
turned both our worlds red.

Because There Were Things Missing

Seven sleeping capsules.
His keys.
My heart.  Failure
is what happens outside
the dark.

Pieces of Heat

In this growing, moving softness,
you are a valium.  I swallow
without thought.  You handle like liquid,
coating my mouth in repressed desire.
Like a prism of memory, you tickle,
and I choke on my own
desperation.  Together we have become
a prison of blindness.  No bed remains
unstained by our regret.

A.J. Huffman has published twelve solo chapbooks and one joint chapbook through various small presses.  Her new poetry collections, Another Blood Jet (Eldritch Press), A Few Bullets Short of Home (mgv2>publishing), Butchery of the Innocent (Scars Publications), Degeneration (Pink Girl Ink) and A Bizarre Burning of Bees (Transcendent Zero Press) are now available from their respective publishers and  She is a four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a two-time Best of Net nominee, and has published over 2400 poems in various national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, Bone Orchard, EgoPHobia, and Kritya.  She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Three Poems by Joanna M. Weston


chained to my chair
I wait for words
to rise from the table
adjectives I can eat
to digest separation

I fly action outward
pile nouns before me
while verbs circle
pulling the ache
of your absence
into my mouth

That Dancing Time

you and I shared
so many silences

those of dawn before
birds broke darkness

mid-morning as we
headed into work

hours dreaming
of where we'd been

where we might be going
before love spoke again

we lulled the evening
into long farewells

and forgot the months
of dancing hearts

Heard by Night

    1st line from Thomas James' Going Back

yes, I have known something of the dark you speak of
sentences vibrating through a distant night

an impenetrable conversation of verbs
the last cocktail party before we left

spectral discussions even as midnight chimes
opening the door to a blank looking-glass

or a confusion of absolutes on the phone
texting foreign languages by candlelight

moments of romance at the winter solstice
words tossed like stars to cover embarrassment

hold darkness as the perfection of love
nothing can be said when all is done

Joanna M. Weston is married, has two cats, multiple spiders, a herd of deer, and two derelict hen houses.  Her middle reader, Frame and The McGuire, was published by Tradewind Books, and her poetry book, A Summer Father, was published by Frontenac House of Calgary.  Her eBooks can be found at her blog:

Friday, May 6, 2016

A Poem by Margaret Holbrook

We Had Nothing

We had nothing, so much
of it that we could
hold it in our hands,
let it slip through our fingers
fine as gold,
weightless, abundant.
We had so much
saving everything we had
for a rainy day, hoping
it wouldn't come,
it didn't.

We got through,
found ourselves in a
better situation, less
nothing, more of something
We saved and saved and saved.
Anything we wanted
was ours, yours and mine.
We set some aside for a rainy day,
hoping it wouldn't come,
it didn't.

We got through, we were
on our feet,
everything we wanted
more than we needed.
Too much to hold in our
hands, too heavy to slip
through our fingers.
We knew the rainy day
must come,
it did.

A deluge swept all of it
from under our feet, took
the whole lot from us,
left us with nothing, except
each other, shop-soiled
goods left on the shelf
after all else has
been taken.

Do you remember when
we had nothing?

Margaret Holbrook is a writer of plays, poetry and fiction.  She lives in Cheshire, UK and has had her work published in several anthologies, most recently Schooldays published by Paper Swan Press, and in the following magazines, Orbis, SLO, The Dawntreader, The Journal, The SHOp, Reflections, Areopagus, the caterpillar, and online in, The Poetry Shed, Jellyfish Whispers and Napalm and Novocain.  Her first poetry collection, Hobby Horses Will Dance, was published in 2014.  Margaret leads the Creative Writing Workshop for Chapel Arts in Chapel en le Frith, Derbyshire.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A Poem by Joseph K. Wells

My Time With You

Your presence
is like a gentle perfume

nestled in the grooves
of the crooked fate lines
on my palms

that evaporates
into thin air
as I struggle to stop it
in my clamped fists

and am left with
two tired, sweaty

Empty . . .

Joseph K. Wells earns his livelihood as a businessman, occupational therapist and adjunct professor.  He was also paid for being a special police officer for a week.  He has been published but has not been paid for his poetry yet.

Monday, May 2, 2016

A Poem by Wayne Russell

The Loss

As beauty lies weeping, somewhere
out there, up in the frozen tundra of
northern snowy winters dream.

Sins of my heart, beating longing for
you and this infused raven abyss, bring
thee back to my longing arms.

Forest of clay melt beneath ashen Gothic
feet, your absence an eternal torment,
kiss me quick; bury my memory with the
ages gone before.

Intrusive the silent frost of your black eyes
lye, lament thrust and gathered upon lonely
window pane, strewn empty inner child,
lost; forlorn.

The ensuing years pass and reap regrets.

Here I am with you, concussed in a strange
dream, out in the bitter chill of formlessness,
vagrancy of night, running rampant with the
golden wolfs of Dionysus, a bastard child;
reaping what he has sewn.

Wayne Russell is a creative writer that hails from Tampa, Florida.  He has been published in Nomadic Voices Magazine, Zaira Journal, Danse Macabre, The Bitchin' Kitschs', and Rolling Thunder Press.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Poem by Paul Tristram

Over Blue Cheese Dressing

He broke her down to ghostlike
within a matter of premeditated merciless minutes.
Words poisoned with an unfair, exaggerated truth
when not completely false and cruel
with no other purpose than being hurtful.
She sat shocked and temporarily defenseless,
letting this new reality slowly suffocate
and smother her funny bone battered senses.
Unable to comprehend the Changeling
now sitting smirking wickedly before her.
When that narcissistic actor's mask slips
and you first see that disgusting beast
squirming naked within its seething ugliness
heaven dies somewhere deep inside of your.
They think they've tricked you and they have
but they've also unwittingly tricked themselves.
You will recover, slowly and in time
but they will never again find a heart and love
as pure and true as yours to soothe their troubled soul.
In the end karma always settles its debts
and they have damned themselves to all but falseness.

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.  But his books "Scribblings of a Madman" (Lit Fest Press) "Poetry from the Nearest Barstool" at and a split poetry book "The Raven and the Vagabond Heart" with Bethany W Pope at  You can also read his poems and stories here:

Friday, April 29, 2016

A Poem by Pearse Murray

You Pulled Me

And you said that I was your sunglow.
But you also said, "Not too close," reminding me
That the sun's function is to warm the earth
not to burn it.
You hopped on a freight train which rolled
On steel-silk lines across the Prairie
And dipped into the horizon
Vibrating my heart's yearnings.
For the distance and nearness of you
My body asks where did you go?
The scream in the heart
Cannot fully hold, cannot fully let go.
You tug at me but you are not there.
Will distance become our way of life?
And as the cooling of the heart reaches its frazzle,
I cannot add more silence to the silence of longing.

Pearse Murray has published poems and short fiction in a wide variety of print and online media.  He was born in Ireland and lives in upstate New York.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Poem by Norma Ketzis Bernstock

Cleaning House

He's in her pantry,
in the jars of sauce,
the Old Bay tin,
the mushroom cans.
He's in the fridge,
the second shelf,
the olive tapenade.
On the left,
the produce drawer,
blueberries and red.

She's cleaning house,
sweeping out,
removing signs of him:
the books he left,
the socks and shorts,
slippers by the door,
the sateen sheets he loved so much,
he loved her on those sheets.
She'll wash and scrub and bleach them clean,
the sheets belong to her.
She'll sleep on sheets he never touched,
she'll sleep alone,

Norma Ketzis Bernstock lives in Milford, Pennsylvania.  Her poetry has appeared online and in many print journals and anthologies including Connecticut River Review, Paterson Literary Review, Lips and Stillwater Review.  Her most recent chapbook, Don't Write a Poem About Me After I'm Dead, was published in 2011 by Big Table Publishing.  Her previous achievements include a Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Scholarship to the  Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts and recognition by the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Three Poems by A.J. Huffman

Swimming in Yellow

Yellow swimsuit + ocean = sharkbite.
The strange man with an obvious death wish
on television could not have explained it
any better, and I thought, how unfortunate
that one of the most popular beach songs inspired
myself, and doubtlessly millions of other females
to buy yellow polka-dotted bikinis. 

I rush to my summer drawer immediately, yank
the suicidal fabric from its home, toss it
in the garage with the other bleached out suits
set aside for chlorinated water only.  I make a note
to pick up a new black suit or two, a color
the great white predators all but ignore. 
Then I make another note to pick
up a pair of camouflage swim trunks
to send to my ex for his birthday.  Underwater
predators confuse them for sea turtles, often
like to take a tiny bite
or two.

Color Fills the Universe

He flickers, a thick viscous light—
life-generating.  She is
kaleidoscopic cavern—
endless, formless, all-
consuming.  Their touch is
simple, studded with fierceness—
desire set ablaze.  The world burns
around them like a rainbow
whose sole purpose is to dissolve
their skin.

Tossed Salad

I hate you like a tossed salad.
A bowl full of healthy
diet-perpetuating rabbit food.
I pick at tasteless
leaves slathered in oil and vinegar. 
Fork over fork, I consume.
My inner carnivore growls
in protest.  Remains

A.J. Huffman has published twelve full-length poetry collections, thirteen solo poetry chapbooks and one joint poetry chapbook through various small presses.  Her most recent releases, Degeneration (Pink Girl Ink), A Bizarre Burning of Bees (Transcendent Zero Press), and Familiar Illusions (Flutter Press) are now available from their respective publishers.  She is a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a two-time Best of Net nominee, and has published over 2500 poems in various national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, The Bookends Review, Bone Orchard, Corvus Review, EgoPHobia, and Kritya.  She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Three Poems by Linda M. Crate

you can't run

it played out like
an anime
the sort i didn't like
i was the first love
only so you could find a second one
at the same time,
but i was the one that was punished;
just like in the anime world you were never
punished for your sin
i was just scorched for loving you--
so hard i tried to get
you back,
but then you told me of her and how she completed
you and gave me the unapology of the year
full of false sincerity and lies
so i am not sorry that i hurt you with my letter
i hope that my words always carve
deep into every orifice of  your soul and i hope that
the universe punishes you with the ire
of a thousand angry unicorns--
and just like the animes i like to watch you're going
to have to face me again after all the hurt
you put me through
i wonder if you'll make it all about you
at her wdding or if you'll ignore me completely
or if we'll gaze at one another
like in an anime,
and you'll be shattered while i'll be fine.

burnt flesh

you were voldemort
leaving behind a thousand scars
as you shattered other's lives
you only hated me
because i stood up to you and i wouldn't
die just like harry,
and i promise you that you will
regret making me your
i will hex you into the most painful corner
of oblivion
if you thought severus or dumbledore were ones
to be reckoned with you ought to
see me when i'm
in a foul mood--
you always told me that i didn't have a temper,
but what would you know?
you're only a self-absorbed man who thinks
only of lust and revenge and one who runs
from his problems,
but you can't always run;
as intelligent as they say you are
you are quite a fool--
one day we will face one another again and i will
make sure you're the one that hurts
i'll be the one that scars you
so you can know what it feels like as i burn
through your skin.

just a fly

i know i should pity you
because you don't know how to feel
or what a heart is meant to
be used for,
but i cannot;
you broke me so thoroughly for the purpose
of nourishing only your own soul
that i just want to shatter you
i want the whole world
to see your
blackened heart and for them to see that your
charisma like tom riddle's
is only a farce--
those cold blue eyes remind me only of winter
sharp and jagged as the icicles you
thrust through my heart,
but like fawkes
i knew enough to rise from my ashes;
because i am a raven with the heart of a phoenix
i will reinvent myself to survive,
but you will perish
under a tide of self-loathing because you
crave change you're not brave
enough to seek--
i will smash you beneath oceans of success
make you see that i'm the writer and you're just the
fly who wishes he could hold a pen.

Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvania native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville.  Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print.  Recently her two chapbooks, A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press--June 2013) and Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon--January 2014) were published.  Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015.  Her novel Dragons & Magic was published in October 2015.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Three Poems by Bob Carlton

Love Poem Without the Word Heart

Set down
amid concrete and steel,
city streets and smells,
I am left
in silence and solitude
to fill with my emptiness
the erotic void of your absence.


stooped and bent
I appear
a human question mark
and you
my answer
proved false

For and To Make Seven

You do not exist
any more
for me.

Or any less
for that matter.
And matter it does
to me.

Bob Carlton lives and works in Leander, TX.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Three Poems by Amber Decker

The Better to Eat You With My Dear

Part of me is still the lonely girl
who waits for you
at the edge of the woods,
basket full of bread and wine,
red dress falling around her feet
like autumn leaves.
We can agree
that we learned to hunt
because we were hungry.
We learned to light fires
because we were afraid of the dark.
When we heard growls in the night,
we fed what climbed into bed with us
to keep it from swallowing us whole.
And you once scooped out a man's kneecaps
with shards of broken glass.
And you once tore open another man's belly,
and cast him into the river
with a belly full of stones.
It's a game, you said.
And everything was funny.
I loved your fingers, those same fingers
you put inside me until I was bloody
and screaming.  And what can you do
but turn back once you have come to the end
of the path, to the place where thorns
tangle and drag through the thin white sheet
of your skin like teeth?
You run.  You run like hell.
You keep running.


Voice you'd know anywhere,
you'd swear could pull you from the grave,
dirt curdling under your fingernails
as you clawed your way up and closer
to a ghost made of only a handful
of syllables and breath,

voice that wrestled you from the grip
of nightmares when you'd thrash in bed,
beat the pillow senseless,
twist yourself into a cocoon of blankets,
emerge shaken and raw into the womb
of the dark bed, a lovely
startled, just-born creature safe in an embrace
you were promised would survive
whatever raging hell you carried inside of you,

voice that murmured the softest words
when you woke, dazed, in the hospital bed,
forearms burning, fire leaping vein to vein
where a single shard of broken glass
had shredded skin into long, curling ribbons,
colored the bath water thick and red as merlot,

voice that swooped through your ribcage
while you made love, like a swallow
cut from black velvet, lured you
over ledges again and again until
you learned how to conquer the sky
on your own, and the moon hung
above you like a cat's crooked grin,

voice like a scalpel sliding
into the milky gray fetus of a stillborn pig,
a starless wish, unfinished,
undreamed, says without falter don't
call here again.

(I Swear) This is Not a Love Poem

My back has always hurt
since the night I was ten and chased
our gray house cat up and down
the upstairs hallway, slipped and landed
on my tailbone.  I have never walked quite right
since then, and I have a knack for falling
down stairs or in love, getting busted up.
We are all damaged.  In fact, I was once
convinced I had found my soul mate
in the cornflower blue eyes of a man
whose childhood was spent being
his father's ashtray, scars
from cigarettes like the thumbprints of the devil
on either side of his spine, the curve of his neck,
where he loved to be kissed,
where he tucked me when we laid side by side
in his sleeping bag down by the river.
He left me sleeping, to wake alone
with my fingers pressed into the red earth.
This is why I told you I wanted
something better this time,
because I believe we are more than bodies,
more than sacks of blood and meat
and stupid, godforsaken hearts that
shatter like brown bottles across
the hard corners of a lover's name.
On New Year's Eve, I tasted the possibility
of us in my throat like good whiskey.
You said you needed space, so I followed
the North Star across two states
and found only the frozen ground
at the end of a driveway that led
to a house bigger than my resolve
when I said fuck it, because I didn't need
to be loved by anyone, anyway.
I am thankful that I couldn't see my face
when the doctor told me in his soft voice that
there was permanent damage to my heart.
Someday, I will be dead, and this body will be
nothing but ashes and bone fragments and teeth.
The flakes of my skin will stay buried
in the woodwork of my house, in the basket
of unwashed clothing, the crevices of my
worn-out mattress.  Strands of my hair will
climb like ivy inside the walls of my shower.
I will live in the air and the water
and the pearl-gray shivers of moonlight
in tree branches, and even if my memory
is only good enough for a couple verses
in some half-written song, shitty lyrics
secreted away between the pages
of Mein Kampf, and you keep stumbling home
drunk off your ass at 4 a.m. with a rage under your tongue
that you can't bear, I would still come
to kiss and smooth the creases
from your forehead as you sleep
and wind myself around your legs like a black cat
until you wake, safe, still haunted by the things
you won't allow yourself to believe in,
or especially by those you will.

Amber Decker is a thirty-something poet and musician from West Virginia.  She was the recipient of Cultural Weekly's 2015 Jack Grapes Poetry Prize, and her work has been included in the groundbreaking literary ezine, Exquisite Corpse, as well as other hip venues for alternative writing:  Zygote in My Coffee, Phantom Kangaroo, Hobo Camp Review, decomP, Red Fez, and Black Heart Magazine, to name a few.  Amber is a lover of comic books, horror culture, good wine, better whiskey, tattoos, and rock and roll.  Her latest collection of poems, The Girl Who Left You, is available from California's notorious Six Ft. Swells Press.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

A Poem by Seamas Carraher


     for Teresa

This detonator-love-drug
that wakes us early and
breaks all the pieces,
coming like a slow train
into the station,
for always it's a Sunday morning
on the deserted platform here.

This terrorist bomb for
the visiting tourists,
though there are
no strangers left
in this strange land,
no map to make our way
among these unfamiliar faces.

So make your own way now,
even though it is not spring
nor summer
but some sad solitary season
another silent lament:

how, after we had fought
war after war
in the days of all the beating clocks
(the uncountable days of all
these drunken doctors)

the strangeness ended here,
on this deserted platform,
heart beating heart
in our shared forgetfulness.

That only in the passing
is our presence together
visited, my
and happy-ever-after,
sweetheart.  You

Seamas Carraher was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1956.  He survives on the Ballyogan estate, in Carrickmines, South County Dublin, at present.  His work has been published in various print and online journals.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Poem by Learnmore Edwin Zvada

Diary of a Maddened Woman

When I depart from these walls
My eyes will not see across the table
Behind which your image hung
The manner of your arrogance stinking like the rest of you
I will not hear your reprimanding voice that carried itself like a god
Terrorizing my ego, dressing me down to a faceless apparition
Making me feel less of an animal than the rest of them that you tamed
When dichotomy becomes of a vine upon the tongue,
Treacherous as it goes down on me
I will drink liquor the way a dam swallows up a river
Up to my hair and down to my feet
Till your face looks funny in my eyes
With my face looks funny in my eyes
With my face a safe distance from your fist
I will remember how to cry
Against the floor that leads to the loony house
And you, my husband, will laugh like a copulating hyena
Then I will remember how you broke me
Like one of your useless coffee cups
On that chair where I used to sit, like a dumb cat
Whilst you wove a dream for me
But all that won't be a part of the story
The one I will narrate before the real lunatics
Down at the loony house
No, to them I will be the mad woman
From sun rise to sun set, I will sing bush
Biting and beating the crap out of them all
There I will stay, till I am grey in the head
Someday I will hear about it from the man on the radio
That you maddened another one of your bimbos
Then I will laugh and laugh
Till all the lunatics join in my laughter
And the pedophiliac shrinik will throw in a remark,
"Holy cow!  The gawk is getting better!"
The Girl With Roses In Her Hair
The first time my heart was broken
UPon the heart of a dead wood, I dug myself a shallow grave
Then I met Molly abreast the tall-stalked loquat tree
She was the girl with roses involved in the strands of her hair
And the eye that was shy to my regard
She made me believe in sunsets
The slyly circumvention of stars shooting through the daytime sky
I slowly grew into this art
Fluently, I relinquished to such romance
So we strode into the dead of the wood
With us a shovel, a smile and suiting kiss
In a minute's lapse our sorrows we buried amongst the wood's dead
Twoscore years I remained at her bosom
Centring on an undulating rise in her form
Woman filled, a seasonal grade in the craft of perfection
Such arrogant sport for the libidinous eye
In her I happened as she gradually happened to me
But upon a cruel summer Molly shoved a knife through my heart
She left me to bleed all the love I had fed on for so long
There we were again, my shovel and I
Bound for the place where they bury wounded hearts
To this date, my journey is not ended
I'm still to find her among the loquats
Sowing herself onto some lad's collar
And if the galaxies orient us into the same milky way
I shall whisper this one thing in her ear
"I will love you to my grave"

Learnmore Edwin Zvada is a poet from Zimbabwe's Harare Province where he is currently studying towards a degree in engineering.  He fell in love with poetry at a tender age.  Some of his poems have appeared in locales such as, The Literary Yard, Tuck Magazine, Duane's PoeTree, POEBITA Poetry Magazine and Whispers.  At the present moment, he is working on his first poetry book.  Apart from poetry, Learnmore is an ardent lover of photograph and music.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Three Poems by Charles Heathcote

The Post

Her silence told me there would be
no more late night conversations
about sparkling vampires and rosy apples,
no more shared books sent via Royal Mail
with the pocket money we squirreled away.

I had made the mistake,
my indiscretion our introduction to summer.
She did not forgive me as I had forgiven her,
asked me for time whilst she went to California for three months
and I stayed home to babysit grandmothers, cousins and children.
She saw the coast and long lost relatives
on a cruise to celebrate the end of her exams.

The silence began when she returned,
our words no longer filled with the lemonade fizz of enthusiasm.
She treated me with courtesy and I asked where I could return her books--
an address in York--she would cross the country for university
though we barely found time for each other.

I sent the books,
recorded delivery.

Sweet Store

and he offered this, his lollipop,
saccharine sweet, candy-striped,
said that after one taste I would be hooked
that the aftertaste would linger in my memory
like Starburst or Haribo or Hubba-Bubba gum,
always swallowing though they called it bad for you

but I had my fill of jelly men,
a younger me would bite their feet off first,
save precious attention for the head,
press it between my fingers and watch it oozed
now I ate them whole,
refused to acknowledge their similar faces

now he offered this, his lollipop,
when I wished for more than sweets
when I craved the one who held them.

Be Still

You put a smile on my face
when you whispered all your lies,
when you told me I was beautiful
with my reflection in your eyes;
it'd only been three hours
yet I'd never felt more alive

we sat and drank till two a.m.
shared our nonsense and our fears;
your calluses along my palm,
breaths brushed against my ear
and you held my hand like someone
who knew what they had planned;
guess you worked too hard at being kind
for us to just be friends.

I let you in,
didn't mean I had to let you in.

I am not a challenge,
a puzzle you can't figure out
think you only crave somebody
who says they won't make a sound.

You said that I could say no
you wouldn't make demands
but you were holding me down
before we'd even held hands;
you had me up against a wall
but I had to turn my back:
I know that I am beautiful,
you're a coward, not a man

and I let you in,
didn't mean I had to let you in.
And I chose to let you go
and if that means you leave me
I won't follow you.

Charles Heathcote has always lived in Macclesfield and very rarely leaves.  Since 2011, he has been secretary to the Macclesfield Creative Writing Group.  In 2013, he graduated from MMU Cheshire with a BA in Creative Writing.  He released his first collection of monologues, Our Doris, in 2015.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Three Poems by Janet Trenchard

Self Reflection in a Wine Cooler

Think of your life.
I begin, sipping a wine cooler,
as a herd of wildebeest, and your husband
as the weakest link in the herd,
and Jodi, the lioness, that must by nature's law,
bring down that weakest link . . . No.
Think of your husband
as something thick and sticky like rubber cement
and Jodi is pulling him off you, freeing you
. . . No.  He's something dry and rigid,
brittle and ossified and she's
a jackhammer, breaking it up,
and you just want to float away
on a piece of broken patio . . .
I pour myself another wine cooler.
Think of Jodi as a fly, I begin again,
you live for years with your husband drinking
wine coolers that you don't even like
when all along she's in the house,
checking out wallpaper,
measuring windows
and just circling.

Prickly Pear

She knew now that what she needed was all this pale sand,
so cleansing and elemental, gently abrasive.
She set down the small paper bag
containing the prickly pear, wondering how
anyone ever got at the sweet fruit.
Wondering that anyone tried.
The old man next door had handed her the brown bag, saying
"So delicious.  You just have to be careful.
Use a pliers."
Maybe she should just dig a deep hole
and drop it in.  Then no one would get hurt.
But infinite as the sand appears
the tides have the power to sweep back
vast curtains of it, and there it would be;
A dangerous fruit bleeding into the sand,
thorns threatening furiously.
No.  She'd keep it.
She  had a pliers.
And she had to taste it.

Cracked Patio

There's always a bottle of wine
on the table
and a glass in my hand,
I open the book,
there's always a book,
there's always a whale poster,
over a clawfoot tub,
there's always Nina Simone on the stereo,
and a floor heater to dance around,
there's always bamboo by the shed
for the kids to jump into from the roof,
there's always a wedgewood stove,
a pile of laundry, a pot of beans,
and dishes to do,
there's always a cracked patio out the kitchen door,
and when you stood there looking up,
a cigarette in your hand,
there was always a hole in the sky
with light raining down.

Janet Trenchard paints and writes poetry.  Often as not she is channeling the Pink Curler Headed Ones.  She has tried to stop but she keeps catching them passing through the doors of her mind.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A Poem by Dave Schwartz

She Left With No Kissing

She left with no kissing
But thankfully no singing
She will be missing

Dave Schwartz is the former President of Seed House, an online interfaith community forum.  He has also published three books, A Jewish Appraisal of Dialogue (1994), Midrash and Working Out of the book (2004), and most recently Shards and Stanzas (2011).

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Three Poems 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.

Continues to Blur

The night before the atomic age became timeless
Back when heartbreak was a brand new bag
Back when she was as pretty as an arcade video game
'Neath the Chinese lanterns in the notebooks of the fluid decades
That were such an autumn feast
Back before her soul wept only pirate anthems
That dangle like my favorite novel's passages now in front of me
But then I always knew that I would be awkward in heaven
Back then just after my rare and antique childhood evaporated in front of me
As she hung it up like garlands of when she was a little girl
Back before we became two fearful strangers
Rubbed raw by over forty year's turmoil

Faintly Narcotic

I wake up in heartbreak at the tip of an island
That is like a black widow spider's kiss
To a sound of waves that are like melted chocolate chips
But all of its spectacular unspoiled beauty has at its center a heart of coal
For she is forever and long denied me
And gone except in thoughts that I can no longer control

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.  

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Three Poems by J.J. Campbell

patiently waiting

i pick up the phone
but i never hit any

i know no matter
what i could say

you have moved

and it's not that i
lost some amazing
chance at the
woman of my

it's that you never
took the time to
realize what was
patiently waiting
for you on the
other end of the

star crossed
and lost

oh my beautiful

what could have

the sad realization

whispers behind
long bangs and
wild eyes

suddenly the sad
realization that
i'm not cool
enough anymore
for whispers

the pretty girls
only chuckle
as you get older

sweet lips and my broken heart

old memories of
your sweet lips
and my broken

the sad thoughts
of telling the love
of my life goodbye

these old bones
still wish it could
have been different

but i'm sure deep
down i know it
wasn't meant to

that doesn't make
up for all these lost
years of loneliness

the nights of driving
by all our old places
and thinking what
woman are you with

haunted by the
cruelty of reality


fuck you

J.J. Campbell is old enough to know better.  He's currently trapped in suburbia, slowly going insane.  He's been widely published over the last 20 years, most recently at Dead Snakes, Horror Sleaze Trash, Yellow Mama, Mad Swirl, and Your One Phone Call.  You can find him most days waxing poetic at his highly entertaining blog, evil delights.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A Poem by Inna Dulchevsky

After Snow Fall

Snowflakes hug tree branches
with its restful sleep
may freeze my veins
                         you are not here
I will be gone
as if late winter's ice
touched by the sun's smile
leaves nothing but a vapor
ghost no one perceives

I fly on the flames of your tongue
you see nothing   but
stunning sparks
you feel nothing but
unbounded desire
like a playful child
who plays with fire
and burns my wings

                           my soul sings
starling in the spring
flying free in an
infinite presence
on the limitless air

vapor covers flame's ashes
molten snow floods the earth
streams all pain in nowhere
dries in the gust of butterfly wings
burns green leaves on tree
drinks the flower's nectar

Inna Dulchevsky spent her early school years in Belarus.  She currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.  She was awarded the Frist Prize 2014 David B. Silver Poetry Competition.  Inna's work has been published in numerous anthologies, books and journals including Pyrokinection, Jellyfish Whispers, Napalm and Novocain, Petals in the Pan Anthology, Element(ary) My Dear Anthology, Happy Holidays! Anthology, book Lavender, The Cannon's Mouth, The Otter, New Poetry, Calliope Magazine, Calliope Magazine Anniversary Issue, Aquillrelle Anthology 4th annual Lummox Poetry Anthology, KNOT Magazine, Antheon, and is forthcoming in Secrets and Dreams Anthology.  Her interests include metaphysics, philosophy, meditation and yoga.  The light and expansion of consciousness through the connection with inner-self and nature are essential in the writing of her poetry.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Three Poems by April Salzano

Everyone But You

was in that room, in dream
or in form, counting
blessings like prayers.  The ghost
of a son, shadow of a childhood
spent flapping and blocking sounds,
each one the new worst offender.
I waited a lifetime for one
acknowledgement of fault.  None
was made or implied, though all eyes spoke
what you could not find strength to say.

You Took Me Years

to undo.  I never thought you would
be something I could say
I survived.  In truth,
I miss loving you less
than I miss loving who I was when we were
young, empty, full
of nothing but ideas
about who we would become.
That was certainty, those clear
days without nostalgia, before
we had anything to look back on,
before you ate our children whole,
licked your fingers.
Before you emptied
the picnic blanket
of crumbs, killed all the ants,
and blocked out what was
left of the sun.

What Happens When We

outgrow our old metaphors,
when they deconstruct,
return to original meanings
like they are naked,
standing, waiting to be clothed
by someone else?

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 Award 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 available from Dancing Girl Press.  The author serves as co-editor at Kind of a Hurricane Press.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A Poem by Bryan Crumpley

Where Rivers Flow

The ocean's waves rage and crash at their feet
The weather is cool, the wind is soft, and there are stars
The night reveals nebulas and sleeping giants
He questions the effects of stars on souls
She chews her nails

Love is stingy, like the placement of rainclouds
Between them there is desert
"Like California, I am dry," He says to her, shrugging, empty.
"Unlike California you have hoses and oceans and rivers and rain," She says.

The blood moon is here and the waves rise leaving nothing in tide pools
"Salvation is so deep down, I know I'll drown."
"You can swim."
"The undertow is too strong."
"So you will merely stand by the shore?"
He shrugs, "I am destined a desert."

"But look at Mars where rivers flow!" She says.
"In little streams and tributaries, barely visible!" He says.
"But there they are, patient and waiting, slowly eroding stone!"
The two stare into the heavens.

He has felt without rivers for longer than he can remember.
"Sometimes things just end, without purpose, without reason."
"And sometimes there's water on Mars, just waiting."

Bryan Crumpley is a Chicago writer and human person.  He is the cofounder and editor of Dali's Lovechild Literary Magazine.  Bryan likes stars and sunshine.  Bryan has been recently published in Crack the Spine and Johnny America.  More of his work can be found at

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Three Poems by J.J. Campbell

playing in these fields

i can still remember
sitting on the porch

holding hands

sharing a cigarette


talking about our
children one day
playing in these

the only time
in my life that
a future felt
like it was
even possible

you are married
to another woman

and any kids are
left in the towel
on the floor

not exactly the
future i thought
of on that old

the kisses taste
somewhat bitter
in hindsight

come over and play house

sometimes the hate
bubbles up inside
of me

i look for your
beautiful face
to calm me down

but you left years
ago and i'm pretty
sure that means
you're not coming

walking alone in
a grocery store

wondering if any
of these lonely
women want to
come over and
play house

the demon always
looks for streaks
in the hair and
yoga pants

i tend to look for
stunning eyes and
a sophisticated brain

i would compromise
and settle for the
middle but

there is no
with the evil
inside of me

slowly going to hell

the last time
i kissed your
lips the world
was broken
and slowly
going to

it's almost
like time
has stood
still ever

J.J. Campbell is stuck in suburbia slowly going insane.  He's been widely published over the years, most recently at Dead Snakes, Mad Swirl, Your One Phone Call, Horror Sleaze Trash and Misfit Magazine.  On most days, you can find J.J. bitching and moaning about things only he cares about on his highly entertaining blog, evil delights.

Monday, February 1, 2016

A Poem by Jimmy Pappas

Last Words

The message was brief:  She's dying.  She wants to see you.
In twenty years of marriage, nothing was ever that simple.
Even the divorce we both wanted turned into a thousand-
piece jigsaw puzzle.  Curiosity trumped all other feelings,
so I made the trip.  Her relatives greeted me with affection.
No one wanted to ruin the final wish of a dying woman.
They led me into the room where she had been propped up
on pillows while she waited for my arrival.  She looked like
Skeletor, a Masters of the Universe character our son
played with before he went through a windshield searching
for the dryad in the tree.  With all the guards having fled,
her skull planned its escape from prison.  It did its best Edward G.
Robinson imitation.  Nyaaah, try and stop me now ya lousy screw,
nyaaah.  Then she gave me one of her patented cliche smiles.
What the hell,.  I smiled back.  The others left so we could be
alone.  I sat down by her bedside, held her hand, and bent over
to whisper in her ear, I am going to piss on your grave.

Jimmy Pappas received an MA in English Literature from Rivier University.  His poems have been published  in such journals as Atticus Review, Dead Snakes, Kentucky Review, Cha:  An Asian Literary Journal, Off the Coast, Boston Literary Magazine, and War Literature and the Arts.  He is a recent first-prize winner of the Poetry Society of New Hampshire's National Contest.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Two Poems by Bea Garth


Sunlight crumbles
drifts like snow
everywhere we look
it is white
--the air cracks
flashing lights
cameras poised
click at our
singed eyebrows
knock kneed
we hurry off
to wash our hands
lather elbows
teeth gummed
from a sweet caress
--everything must froth:

fingernails shine beneath
their white halos
reveal pink moons,
ears buzz
from hydrogen peroxide
waste baskets careen
while your smile floats
a brilliant ghost
stairs dribble hot wax
coat your back
as they carry you down
and away
--the cold hits hard,
my hand reaches,
the sunlight cracks,
emptiness remains.


I felt your voice
whisper to me
causing the down
on my neck to rise
chilled then warmed
with pleasure.

Now I stand alone
facing this massive bed
heavy white knotted
like a white capped sea
bobbing, twisting
under the moonlight
--I crawl under a corner
and fall asleep.

It is this persistent unreality
that hurts when I see you
--a thousand nuances
sink and fray
sea tossed
in this rough no-time.
You look at your watch
and I set my own.
Salt-water mists
swirls about our legs,
congeals, pulls us
like peanut brittle
a sudden slap--the door shut--
our hearts hardening
there is nothing we can do
but break

Bea Garth is known for creating visually rich narrative poetry as well as for her unique visual art.  Early on Bea was influenced by her grandfather and great aunt's love of poetry and Asian art plus her parents' early occupation as archeologists.  She has been an extemporaneous poetry and arts organizer and editor off and on for many years in the San Jose, California area as well as Eugene, Oregon.  Currently she is president of Quicksilver Artists, a San Jose art and poetry group.  She is often found painting and writing in her studio with her cat Keiko or renovating houses as a property manager.  She will have her manuscript of poetry and drawings called, Eating the Peach, published sometime this next year by Blue Bone Books.  She has previously had poems and artwork published in a variety of small press magazines including The Song Is, Synchronized Chaos, Lake City Poets, Alchemy, Poetic Space, Denali, Coyote's Dance, The Other Paper, Writing for Our Lives, Caesura, Fresh Hot Bread, Sparring with Beatnik Ghosts, Sheffield Phoenix Press (cover for Where The Wild Ox Roam) and the poetry anthologies Elegant Stew, Women's Dreams/Women's Visions and Song of Los Gatos.  You can find examples of Bea's artwork and poetry at

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Three Poems by Ken L. Jones

A Year Alone in Oz

Long Beach was a bowl of Chinese porridge
A storm of honeybees in my autumn parlor
Where my old quilt became a calligraphy brush
As I chased the seagulls and kissed her treasure right on its lips
And ours was indeed a most delicate merging
In the midst of those wispy one way streets
Back when there were still harps a'plenty
And more than enough angels to strum them
When 'ere they pleased
Until I looked for a summer that didn't yet exist as
I learned my own great expense
That eventually we all become artifacts
And that all of that happens much too fast
As decades crumble and cannon last
Till only chimera like memories of the past
Become a tunnel of love ride in a swan boat made for one
Smelling of stale dust motes and setting suns

Buyer's Remorse

Once long ago near the gilded splendor of secondhand book stores
The tide pools of Saturday night revealed blue steel waves
That were served up on toast and then sparkling without a map in hand
They settled on the deserted sunset thoroughfares of the origami like water
That was blooming with all that we didn't plan
Back when the pale moon hinted at free love
Back before I first became the shepherd of dinosaurs
Back when such darkness was but the prelude
That coiled in her "I will always love yous"
That eventually wilted since they were blurted out too freely
And therefore could not stand up to the price of purchase
Once they had been bought

A Tangle of Glances

The brambles and thorns of morning quivered like a koi fish
In that gentle dream of haystacks where she first made freckled love to me
That trembled like a painting of that dawning in the mirror of her hair
So like burnished gold and then while she gestured like a daguerreotype
Explaining how all this could not last because it was never meant to be
But still none of that matters anymore now that it's all devolved into summer repeats
But still I hear her voice so fetching in the secrets of its own dance moves
Where something struggled to make a baby that could never be
A 'borning because we had become imaginary in the acid rain much too soon

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.