Thursday, May 30, 2013

Two Poems by Martin Willitts, Jr.

Not Seeing Eye-to-Eye
Not seeing eye-to-eye, avoiding seeing
what is in front of us, when all we could see
was clear sailing. There is no boat in this story.
No oars to cling to. Only the drowining.
Not looking into the other’s eyes is a sign
of avoiding the obvious. What were we supposed to see?
The sign should have said: Danger ahead.
But we cruised as if the roads were speedways.
We ignored the turnoffs. We thought we knew
where we were going, and it did not matter
how we get there. We forgot to go together.
We could blame the maps. I could.
Now you are somewhere else. I got lost on my own.
I found another traveling companion.
When I look into her eyes, you are not hitchhiking.
No matter, burning darkness
or lack of indelible light, there are
always two kinds of unkind deaths.
Neither is silent restlessness,
nor noisy orchids.
This is echo and lack of echo,
guilty annexes
where heart refuses to listen.
Two dearth-whispers
from summoning.
Disorderly angels follow
banging soft gongs. What remains
is silence, sweltering silence.
Burnt once by loss, seared twice
by memory, flailed skin.
What goes away returns
lost in ruins.
Martin Willitts Jr has four full length poetry collections and over 20 chapbooks including recently, “Late All Night Sessions with Charlie “the Bird” Parker and the Members of Birdland, in Take-Three” (A Kind Of a Hurricane Press, ebook, 2013). His forthcoming poetry books include “Waiting For The Day To Open Its Wings” (UNBOUND Content, 2013), “Art Is the Impression of an Artist” (Edgar and Lenore's Publishing House, 2013), “City Of Tents” (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2013), "A Is for Aorta" (Seven Circles Press, e-book, 2013), "Swimming In the Ladle of Stars" (Kattywompus Press, 2013),  and he is the winner of the inaugural Wild Earth Poetry Contest for his full length collection “Searching For What Is Not There” (Hiraeth Press, 2013).

Friday, May 24, 2013

A Poem by Rick Hartwell

After the Talk
Morning’s first whiff, sun burnt pine,
Nostrils spiced and alert,
Better than fresh baked rolls.
Splashed water from pond fountain,
Syncopated waterfall backbeat,
Ears pricked to goldfish music.
Early breeze dislodges hair strands,
Whisked arm hairs tickle, tingle,
Water blowback chills her face.
Plucked and sucked dandelion stem,
Transports several decades,
Sweet as recalled childhood.
Mourning doves atop the ivied wall,
A third in the pine, shunned,
Sad laments from an empty bed.
Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school (remember the hormonally-challenged?) English teacher living in Moreno Valley, 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. He can be reached at

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Two Poems by Dawnell Harrison


You poison everything
You touch like a

Hemlock-headed witch.
The night thickens and

Laments as the twined
Noise in the tar-colored

Night rides down
From the twisted oak

I cannot hold your

Wretched hands.
I cannot trust that which

Is demonic.
I ride the waves of the

Moon’s light alone down
To the earth’s floor.
I must be an island.


The stars glisten in the indigo sky
as the moon shows its bald luminescent

face in the cold hours of the night.
I wait for you in our icy bed to come

and melt the frost away.
I cling to my heart -

my soul lingers like a child wanting
some candy.

Dawnell Harrision has been published in over 100 magazines and journals including The Endicott Review, The Journal, Fowl Feathered Review, The Bitchin' Kitsch, Vox Poetica, The Tower Journal, Queen's Quarterly, and many others.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Poem by Sharon Fedor


You amble out,
celestial glob,
put on your pitted
smirky face,

And yet they kiss,
they laugh and touch,
they ramble on
in easy pace,

You practice more,
you snarl, bare teeth,
and wobble wide
a Western stance,

But they are loathe
to back away,
they find you still
at every chance,

They love you so,
they seek you out,
but you will not
stay dim, undaunted

You grow wild
in size and glow,
and then, aghast,
they tremble, haunted.

Sharon Fedor spends her days engaging students officially designated as fascinating and unique. She nudges them toward calm competence and creative expression. She promotes the joy of discovery. When she is not teaching, you may find her conjuring images of her own for her first collection of poetry, or walking her dog, Inga, amid the horses of Tree Tops Park in Davie, Florida, where she lives with her husband, Michael, and texts her daughter, Chloe Noelle, student of violin, in NYC.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Poem by Valentina Cano

The moon is red tonight
and I’m not sure why,
The color weaves like feathers,
softly stroking the chalky surface.
It reminds me of you.
Not strange.
Everything does.
Even red feathers
dancing across a rock
that has never seen
them, you, or me.

Valentina Cano is a student of classical singing who spends whatever free time either writing or reading. Her works have appeared in Exercise Bowler, Blinking Cursor, Theory Train, Cartier Street Press, Berg Gasse 19, Precious Metals, A Handful of Dust, The Scarlet Sound, The Adroit Journal, Perceptions Literary Magazine, Welcome to Wherever, The Corner Club Press, Death Rattle, Danse Macabre, Subliminal Interiors, Generations Literary Journal, A Narrow Fellow, Super Poetry Highway, Stream Press, Stone Telling, Popshot, Golden Sparrow Literary Review, Rem Magazine, Structo, The 22 Magazine, The Black Fox Literary Magazine, Niteblade, Tuck Magazine, Ontologica, Congruent Spaces Magazine, Pipe Dream, Decades Review, Anatomy, Lowestof Chronicle, Muddy River Poetry Review, Lady Ink Magazine, Spark Anthology, Awaken Consciousness Magazine, Vine Leaves Literary Magazine, Avalon Literary Review, Caduceus,White Masquerade Anthology and Perhaps I'm Wrong About the World. Her poetry has been nominated for Best of the Web and the Pushcart Prize.You can find her here:

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Poem by Rhonda Parrish

The Day After

Sunbeams feel cold,
white as a naked fluorescent bulb,
hard as concrete,
and as unfeeling.
They ravage the shadows
as I did your trust
throw each scratch
she carved into my flesh
into stark relief.
Silent testimony to last night's betrayal.

Despite being a fantastic procrastinator, Rhonda Parrish manages to find time to run Niteblade Magazine, edit anthologies and write. Most (but not all) of her work falls into the speculative end of the genre spectrum but she isn't a big fan of labels. She also maintains a blog at and loves sushi.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Poem by Seamas Carraher

for caoilfhionn costello

She absolves her human being with this dance.
She throws it at me like a net.
"This is a reason for winter," she says,
"unlike your politics."
i choke her easiness with another question.
She walks away and drowns in whatever
you call it.
i feel this cold and this hard on a dirty
bus returning from Dublin.
i empty the house with it and its remains.
It is still Autumn.
And there is no one listening.
It is still Autumn and we could be drunk
but it would be someone else.
She forges my emotion and dedicates it to
They have starved sensibly in this feeling.
It is both Irish and Imperial.
A product of famine.
i have stopped trying to feed the ones
i have inherited.
My life is dull in its eternal moments.
Much like the cold that accuses the dole queue.
My life tells me i am not here, not really.
That i have suffered in a continual birth of
They cannot be me, nor themselves,
now not even Autumn.
There is too much and too little significance.
Still, here in the middle things change.
i tell her the leaves will grow again.
i tell her this cloud could pass.
And these murderous walls rot.
But she will feed these children irrespective
of whether they are ours or not.
And here:
(where we have been rounded and beaten
here where we call this animal oppression
and these myths truth! and this mirror reality!)
she feeds them, unanswering.
i. can. not. ever. understand this.
It is like a collision among the tools.
In this way i put my burning tongue in her heart.
Such an Internationale!

Séamas Carraher was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1956. He writes on the Ballyogan estate, in south County Dublin, at present.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Two Poems by J.K. Durick

How It Works

Your carefully selected words
Stumble, misspoken
Become what she expected
What she thought you’d say.
Words can do that so easily
Intention disappears
Frame of reference slips
And now she can sit smugly
Back readying her attack
On what she heard you say.
Explaining it, reviewing it
Parsing out what you said
Will do nothing now
That it has become history
Part of that transcript
An unchangeable part of
What he said and she said
What you said and she heard.
Words can dig holes, can fly free
Can jump the tracks, run away
Can stand alone, wear disguises
Can scratch, can cut deep, and
Words can seal a fate – like now.

Playing at It
It isn’t a game after all, a lob just over the net
To his or her non-existent backhand, fifteen-love.
It isn’t a game after all, horses at the old hoop,
Jump shots, set shots, hooks till someone misses.
It isn’t a game after all, ten pins down the alley,
Strikes and spares, in the gutter and over the line.
It isn’t a game after all, with pawns and rooks
Protecting the queen and the king’s last move.
It isn’t a game after all, just one live bullet in six,
A spin, then to the temple, then pull the trigger,
And after all that, it wasn’t a game after all.

J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Literary Juice, Jellyfish Whispers, Third Wednesday, and Common Ground Review.

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Poem by M.J. Iuppa

When There’s Nothing Left To Say
After days of travel & talk, I
looked in my rearview mirror & saw
winter inside my eyes– blue-black hues–

texture of clouds, taking forever
to cross the sky. Ground fog rose
in my chest & settled in my throat.

I could no longer sing along, pretending
that I was going to wake to a day
unlike any other . . .

M.J.Iuppa lives on a small farm near the shores of Lake Ontario. For the past eight years, she and her husband Peter Tonery have been committed to food sustainability. She has numerous publications (poetry, fiction, nonfiction and plays) in national and international journals as well as two full length poetry collections Night Traveler (Foothills, 2003) and Within Reach (Cherry Grove Collection, 2010) and five chapbooks; her latest prose chapbook Between Worlds is forthcoming from Foothills. She served as the poetry adviser (2007-2012) for the New York Foundation for the Arts, and since 1986, has worked as a teaching artist in the schools, K-12 for a variety of agencies (RCSD, BOCES 2, Young Audiences, Genesee Valley BOCES, Project U.N.I.Q.U.E. and V.I.T.A.L. Writers & Books, and others) Currently she is Writer-in-Residence and Director of Arts Minor Program at St. John Fisher College.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

A Poem by Alessandra Mascarin


When the last trickle will have covered the scarlet skin
When the last flame will have rained into grey dust
When my flavour will not wear the memory of your fingers anymore

I will have lost also the last love


And at the end
of such immensity
what remains is just a hole

Inside there is a song,
a blast of wind
and a piece of sea

Alessandra Mascarin is an Italian lady of 22 currently living in the UK.
She has recently graduated in Foreign languages and literatures - English and Spanish - and her strongest passion, developed mostly in the last two years, is writing poetry.
She usually writes her works in Italian, translating her best into English and Spanish.
She is also interested in body psychology, modern art and travelling to enter in contact with new worlds, realities and cultures.
She is looking for a future in the literary world, from the creative writing to the translation field.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Poem by Linda M. Crate

a soul bereft

the world is not enough
it never is; you wanted more
you yearned to steal the
stars from my eyes, the laughter
from every summer crimson
sunset i gleamed; once i may have
remained compliant to your
behest, but now i refuse to give you
the right to slake your thirstat my expense —
vampire, you stole my heart away
once in march and kept it for
an entire year; yet you became
more distant than winter,
after you drank your fill of my innocence
leaving me alone and afraid of every
shadow that didn't sing your name —
you wanted to steal my luster,
but i refused to give it to you though it
may have broken my spirit
i wasn't going to give you the only piece of
myself that yet remained in my hands;
it was the only penance i could pay the gods
for giving my soul away to a man.