Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Poem by April Salzano

The Real Story

I thought I had a story to tell
of quick death, of love
passing, of tragedy.
Eyes of a blue dog looked upon,
finally. Of finding and losing the one
person who knew me, who I could know
like a thought, completed, translated
into words at last, like the relief of dreams
that find their way into daylight, captured.
Of a bite not preceded by bark, what omniscience
failed to see. Of subliminal-
probably, unspoken as the breath
of heat made real, then consumed by its own
fire, burned alive. That was not my story.
Mine was one of survival, instinct
rather than will. Flight
rather than fight. Not territorial
pissing, but leaving a marked place
as far behind as my heart can allow.

April Salzano teaches college writing in Pennsylvania and is working on her first (several) poetry collections and an autobiographical work on raising a child with Autsim. Her work has appeared in Poetry Salzburg, Pyrokinection, Convergence, Ascent Aspiration, Deadsnakes, The Rainbow Rose and other online and print journals and is forthcoming in Inclement, Poetry Quarterly and Bluestem.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Poem by Lance Sheridan and Barbara Sutton

waited for him.
like a derailed train
in an empty station.
waited a minute
waited an hour.
waited.  just.  like
the victims in the
train wreck
already packed off
to somewhere else
to sleep.
to sleep as drops of
anguish run down
mascaraed faces.
steam from a passing
ghost train
chokes her heart
chokes her breath,
drifts into her
conceals in her
the dimming light
from a hidden
an anniversary
never came
he lay in the
he got up
walk upon the
where she
he touches
she collapses in
his arms.
that night
collapses into
the lining of his
the flower has
again. . .
Lance Sheridan:  Published writer -- Bits and Pieces to Ponder/Self-Help/2002
Published poet -- Poet Interview on November 8, 2012 by a Salisbury University Journalism Major/Salisbury, MD; poem 'Night into Day/Goodnight Till the Morning Sun'/11-12/Napalm and Novocain; poem 'Night into Day/Goodnight Till The Morning Sun' has been accepted for inclusion in the 2012 Best of Anthology, Storm Cycle
Blog --; has received over 75,000 views sing June 2012. 
Barbara Sutton:
All of her writings with Lance Sheridan are in Visual Freestyle Works.  'We sift the human storm, the lift storm, through the dust and debris of thier souls, animating it into thoughts and words.  And then we write, not guessing where it might go, exhaling our last breath toward the light.'  Together they have received many accolades on their pennings from other poets.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Poem from Damien Healy

Beyond CPR

No comfort.
No coalescence.
No continuance.
Experiences which can’t be undone.
Words which can’t be unsaid.
Feelings which can’t be unabated.
No pleasantries.
No placation.
No predestination.
Wounds that are too deep to heal.
Truths that are too strong to subdue.
Lies that are too many to hide.
No response.
No recognition.
No recourse.

Damien Healy was born in Dublin, Ireland but has been living in Osaka, Japan for the past 20 years. He holds an MA in Applied Linguistics and teaches English language at a Japanese university. He has written three textbooks for Japanese university students and has published several papers on language teaching. He has recently found the time and energy to start writing poetry again. He has had poems published in "The Weekenders" and "Ofipress".

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Poem by Andrew Kreider


She’s been thinking
about things that don’t need,
thinking about things that don’t want,
or cling, or hate, after
six months or six years

thinking about how far
she has driven in this
stupid dark blue Windstar
with its half-demolished bumper
and overflowing bag of trash

thinking about him, and the other her,
and why he won’t be on time,
and the smell of his cologne,
thinking about red wine and promises
about anything at all

because sometimes it’s easier that way.
Born and raised in London, England, Andrew Kreider has lived for over twenty years in northern Indiana. He has published three chapbooks, and has an active poetry blog under the title Penguin Poems.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Two Poems by Sy Roth

A Study in Scarlet
Scarlet woman,
harbinger of ruddy ill will,
heaves tsunamic waves ashore
that spill over him.

Throaty song of dissolution.
Crimson rumbles,
shake the earth with
belching eructations.

Force of nature--
smoke-belching, vermillion eruption,
burst of lightning emerging
from the merest earthly gurgle.

The tirade barrels on,
express train through a red night.
Ears, plastic appendages.
Another sleepless night.

Her eyes glow volcanic.
Mouth a gaping chasm,
florid tongue flapping
like a soaring eagle.

Murky, magma-filled balls
erupt in rubicund clots
scorching his roseate forehead.
In the wake, he, a tumbling bit of flotsam.

A Bifurcated Road

Indifference nestles between the sheets.
The two poles roll over
and mumble hasty goodnights sometimes,
passion a long-forgotten puppy-dog romp.
Sensuality replaced by time,
waxy faces and bloated bellies.

They are reality stars
without substance and they fill empty spaces.
Desire, along with the dust bunnies ,
swept under the bed,
replaced by C-Pap-induced memories,
an etude of Siren-slurping susurrations,
nightly hissed asps in the darkness.

They dress in their closets.
Bed partners who reside indifferently
offer comforts in dram-sized measuring spoons
papered over by blank, colorless dreams.

Sy Roth comes riding in and then canters out. Oftentimes, the head is bowed by reality; other times, he is proud to have said something noteworthy. cRetired after forty-two years as teacher/school administrator, he now resides in Mount Sinai, far from Moses and the tablets. This has led him to find words for solace. He spends his time writing and playing his guitar. He has published in many online publications such as BlogNostics, Every Day Poets, Danse Macabre, Bitchin’ Kitsch, Bong is Bard, The Artistic Muse, Palimpsest, Dead Snakes, Euphemism, Humanimalz Literary Journal, Ascent Aspirations, Fowl Feathered Review, Vayavya, Wilderness House Journal, Aberration Labyrinth, Mindless(Muse), Em Dash, South Townsville Micropoetry Journal, Vox Poetica, Clutching at Straws, Downer Magazine, Every Day Poems, Avalon Literary Review and Kerouac’s Dog. One of his poems, Forsaken Man, was selected for Best of 2012 poems in Storm Cycle. Also selected Poet of the Month in Poetry Super Highway, September 2012. His work was also read at Palimpsest Poetry Festival in December 2012.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Poem by Rex Sexton


I sit in the empty theater, smoking

cigarettes, sipping liquor, which I

can do here since I am, perennially,

an audience of one and won’t annoy

anyone in this old movie house no one

else can enter (why would they bother?)

watching archival films with unknown

actors – comedies, tragedies, romances,

mysteries, all magical deliriums like all

flicks shot in cinemascope and Technicolor.

There we are together, side by side and

holding hands as we enjoy our ride though

life inside the streetcar named desire. How

young we were! How happy! How

beautiful life is!

“It’s so wonderful!” You exclaim.

“Not as wonderful as you are” I declaim.

“Nothing is, or ever will be.”

“I love you.”

“I love you.”

The reel breaks. The theater goes black.

I sip my drink in the darkness, smoke

Rex Sexton is a Surrealist painter exhibiting in Philadelphia and Chicago. His latest book of stories and poems “Night Without Stars” received 5 stars from ForeWord Clarion Reviews, which commented on the “wild beauty” and “joy of this collection … the prose rabid, people hustling to survive their circumstances …” Another recent collection of stories and poems “The Time Hotel” was described by Kirkus Discoveries as “… a deeply thought-provoking …compelling reading experience.” His short story “Holy Night” received an Eric Hoffer Award and was published in Best New Writing 2007. Recent poems have been published in reviews such as Mobius, The Poetry Magazine, Willow Review, Mother Earth International and Edge, recent fiction in Saranac Review, The Long Story, Straylight, Left Curve, Children, Churches and Daddies, Art Times, and Foliate Oak.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Two Poems by Gabrielle Petitto

I would
If I could, I would turn it back to the day it all began
I was young and you had it all figured out.
If I could, I would call you up
let you know how you've destroyed me.
If I could, I would have never fallen in love with
those eyes.
If I could, I would die
 in your arms
rather than be without you now.
If I could, I would stab a knife right through the center of
 your heart.
I would watch you die like a bird fighting to live
and fly,
as I have every day since I left.
If I could, I would have made you come after me.
If I could, I would send pins and needles down
your spine--
make your body shake, make your blood shiver.
If I could, I would be your first.
I would be your last.
I would be every breath you inhale,
every sigh you exhale,
every promise that you break.
If I could, I would be your only hope
to a life worth living.
If I could, I would be a drug,
get inside of you- kill your brain cells,
be an addiction so that you can't think.
Don't look now-- but baby, your alone.
I guess we all die
broken hearts.
If I could, I would.
What Do They Know
Nightfall sweeps
and we close our doors.
Inadequate love is our illusion.
A scapegoat and a sacrifice
deters the panic of this
forbiiden love.
You watch as I
stumble away--
to an ordinary life of rationality.
I'd like to see you
grativate to what I call, my reality.
Exhiliration flies through my rosy red cheeks
and flourishes into this dampening night air--
I scratch at my head,
I claw at my skin,
I erase myself as every passionate strand of hair is ripped out
for the glory of reason
to do
what they tell us
is right. 
Gabrielle Petitto graduated from Plattsburgh State University with her bachelors in English Literature and Business.  In 2011, Gabrielle completed her Masters in English Literature with hopes of publishing her work which includes poetry, fiction, and memoir writing. She has a strong passion for travel and adventure, but for now Gabrielle's home is in Long Island, NY, where she writes in her spare time and enjoys her career as a Staffing Manager for Robert Half International. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Poem by Jennifer Fauci

A Quarter Past Time to Move On

 Lightly torn girl of summer
calm down.
Swaying leaves float all over the sky.
A black diamond achieves brilliance.
Shoot the bullet that burns a hole through the heart.
You left after the locked door.
Your bright smile appears to be unclear.
Stand at the shore.
Turn around just to be given away.
He’s hungry for you.
There is no substitute for starving
only waiting.
You finally gave it away for nothing.
You’re not to blame.
Forlorn eyes, clouded with doubt.
It’s a loss to understand.
Send for the dawn.
Jennifer Fauci graduated from Adelphi University with a degree in English Literature and Communications. She writes poetry, children’s stories and YA fiction. Her freelance work can be seen in Newsday, The and The Latin Kitchen. She has a passion for travel, creative writing and loves anything British. She currently lives and writes on Long Island, NY.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Poem by Michael H. Brownstein

One morning you roll over and wake to a stranger,
your body splintering into hard time.
Suddenly fingers do not remember how to lift a fork,
feet need a rhythm to climb the stairs,
even hair refuses the demands of a comb.
At the hospital, they make a study in mistakes,
the hard gurney bending too much into the wrong shape,
doctors arriving to play doctor, tests made, blood drawn.
They check your ears, look long into your eyes,
move you from one room to another, tell you to go home.
Sometimes there is nothing more anyone can do.
They send you away with prescriptions for pain and swelling,
directions you can barely see, your eyes so full of fire,
the skin surrounding them sulfur yellow and rotting eggs.
So it goes. All of your life this is your body.
It did its work and brought comfort to you.
Tonight you try to walk a straight line down the hallway.
Even in bright light, shadows are instruments of pain.

Michael H. Brownstein has been widely published throughout the small and literary presses. His work has appeared in The CafĂ© Review, American Letters and Commentary, Skidrow Penthouse, Xavier Review, Hotel Amerika, Free Lunch, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review, and others. In addition, he has nine poetry chapbooks including The Shooting Gallery (Samidat Press, 1987), Poems from the Body Bag (Ommation Press, 1988), A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004), What Stone Is (Fractal Edge Press, 2005), I Was a Teacher Once (Ten Page Press, 2011) and Firestorm: A Rendering of Torah-- (Camel Saloon Press, 2012). He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011).  Brownstein taught elementary school in Chicago’s inner city (he is now retired), but he continues to study authentic African instruments, conducts grant-writing workshops for educators, designs websites and records performance and music pieces with grants from the City of Chicago?s Department of Cultural Affairs, the Oppenheimer Foundation, BP Leadership Grants, and others.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Two Poems by Chris Butler


When she blew me

the last kiss,

I tried to

pocket and save it

for an eternal later,

but I didn’t know

I was also carrying

around a hole,

so it’s long lost

with all of my

loose change.

Money Shot

I can no longer

take pleasure

in pornography,

for fear

that the girl,

whose love

I once

suffered over,

might be the star

of the money shot.
Chris Butler is a twentysomething nobody shouting from the Quiet Corner of Connecticut.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Two Poems by Michael Estabrook

the worst day ever in my life

Winter, first semester away at college,

I take the train on Saturday, like usual,

to my girlfriend’s school,

meet her in the dorm lobby.

She sits, quiet, not looking at me,

one pretty leg folded under,

a beautiful girl, so collegiate, so confident,

fresh as new winter snow.

“I’m so sorry, Mike” she says,

looking out through the window,

“But I can’t see you today.”

I didn’t see this coming, nope,

broadsided by this one.

We had been together

since high school, three years now,

and were serious, at least

I thought we were serious.

“I have a date today with another guy.”

My heart sinks like a stone

down to the bottom of the sea.

“I need to date other guys to be certain

you are the right one for me.”

I’m dumbfounded, shattered, I shrug.

What could I do? It is useless to protest.

But before leaving the campus

I go over to the cafeteria,

watch from an upper window

as she and her new boyfriend

come in for lunch, watch her giggling

and playful, throwing little snowballs

at her new beau, her lustrous

brown hair catching the sun.
Instead of trying to kiss and paw at her
I remember that dismal,
uncertain time in college
(lost in the mists of life’s dark,
tangled jungle)
when my wife
(my girlfriend then)
decided she needed to wander,
to date other guys. If instead
of trying to kiss and paw at her,
these short-sighted jackasses
(thank God for that)
would have been chivalrous
and caring, selfless and concerned
about what she thought and felt
and had to say, she might
have connected with something
in one of them, something
she admired and needed
and came to love, something
she has never found in me.
Things might have been
very different than they are today.
Certainly if she had dated another guy
even a handful of times
I wouldn’t be here right now.
Michael Estabrook is a baby boomer who began getting his poetry published in the late 1980s. Over the years he has published 15 poetry chapbooks, his most recent entitled “When the Muse Speaks.” His interests include history, art, music, theatre, opera, and his wife who just happens to be the most beautiful woman he has ever known.