Friday, May 23, 2014

Two Poems by A.J. Huffman

Letting Logic Lie

quietly between us

I hold your secrets
of unfeeling
locked in the ebony sun
of my mind
as you play
at bending the barriers
that hold us in stalemate
certain I will break
for you

My job is to mirror all you are not

You search me for the expected
what you know is there
finding only saddened serenity
and your surprise
when you realize you pushed
too hard
                into your world
when I looked you in the eye

And swore we had never met
is a drop of blood permeating the ocean.
An infusion of color consuming initial point
of contact, slowly spreading in wash
of tendrils.  Temporary is the label
of their touch.  They tickle, tease with soft
hues that distort vision, but quickly grow
weak, dissolve until there is nothing
but the original body, flowing, untainted
by memory.
A.J. Huffman has published seven solo chapbooks and one joint chapbook through various small presses.  Her eighth solo chapbook, Drippings from a Painted Mind, won the 2013 Two Wolves Chapbook Contest.  She is a Pushcart Prize nominee, and her poetry, fiction, haiku, and photography have appeared in hundreds of national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, Bone Orchard, EgoPHobia, Kritya, and Offerta Speciale, in which her work appeared in both English and Italian translation.  She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press.

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Poem by J.J. Campbell

All the Damn Yesterdays
laying naked in
a casket of regret
wondering whose
lips are touching
your soul tonight
all the damn
yesterdays pile
together and are
quietly being set
on fire in my mind
some mistakes
are unforgivable
and no matter how
often the sun rises
the next day
the pain never
ceases to crush
me each damn
it's the stubborn
bastard that lights
the candle in the
window and refuses
to give up hope
old romantics
rarely die with
a smile on their
J.J. Campbell (1976 - ?) lives and writes in Ohio. He's been widely published over the years, most recently at Dead Snakes, ZYX, Nerve Cowboy, The Camel Saloon and Pyrokinection. His most recent collection, Sofisticated White Trash, is available wherever people buy books these days. You can find him most days on his highly entertaining blog, evil delights (

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Three Poems by April Salzano

The Eyes That Consumed Me

were eating someone else.
I was collateral damage to her
tragedy.  His mouth spoke
words that buried me in ash,
burned me in place, still life,
photo-imperfect and forever

Getting What I Deserve

You were a smokeless structure
fire that I should have extinguished
before the heat scarred me.  Forgetting
would be a blessing, a welcome breath
of amnesia where I suffocate on memory,
held down by regret.  Your body was
a false idol I worshipped blindly
at the temple of adulterers.  If mistakes
are letters, sew one to my chest.
Thread needle through skin to punish me
for what I did not do when I was forever
altered by your touch -- because I let it
remind me momentarily of someone else.

Pinned in the Past

I am held hostage
by curse with no antidote.
I do not want to remember
loving you.  I am pulling
arms out of faded blue
flannel shirt you never buttoned.
I've got one leg stuck
in the 90's, all grunge-love,
lost in feigned apathy and suicide
music.  Something's in the way
of happiness, then as much as now.

April Salzano teaches college writing in Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband and two sons.  Most recently, she was nominated for two Pushcart prizes and finished her first collection of poetry.  She is working on a memoir on raising a child with autism.  Her work has appeared in journals such as Convergence, Ascent Aspirations, The Camel Saloon, Centrifugal Eye, Deadsnakes, Visceral Uterus, Salome, Poetry Quarterly, Writing Tomorrow and Rattle.  The author also serves as co-editor at Kind of a Hurricane Press.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Three Poems by Allison Grayhurst

It is not the same as being limited
by loneliness, these feelings of broken fidelity,
abandonment. It is not enough to germinate
in this grief, pleading for a picture
of better times, appealing to
memory, sentiment, knowing
I could be wrong.
Those days, married
to your insatiable outpourings, ecstasy
just to listen, to share our minds - walking
on streetcar tracks at 4 a.m. and never sleeping.
I carried you like a book, wilting always in life, but never
when mingled with your stature. Between us,
nothing was spoiled, not soft either.
I was delivered by your high forehead and
by your crazed emotions. I was celebrating.
If it was only
paper flowers, a painted-on sunrise or
imagined completeness, in that time, I was
devoured by my own individuality, stripped
of my conditioning, a person to reckon with, lean on -
whole. I was so much better than I am here, as I am
salvaging a heartbeat from habit, marked by a used-up destiny,
just me with these crippled hands, bare feet, no mentor
to merge with, nothing
to follow.
    One small awakening to accept
acceptance - a lethargic arm on my shoulder
weighing down. Air that is security has never been my ocean.
I have never been able to trigger kinships in a field of sunlight. No light
has more volume.
I am content in places where my imagination can reign,
where definition is arbitrary, redundant, and not very useful.
    I tried to love you, dive into your trachea, show
you the substance that enriches my cells. But we have
different vocations: I make windows. And you stand outside
with your scales of distraction, participating, socially at ease.
    You have grown tall, wedded as you are
to the world’s expectations.
What once was lean, marvelously eccentric,
has become typical, robust
as an animated ideal.
    You gave up your awkward insecurities, replaced them
with suave affection and loveless sex. You are not warm,
though you feign warmth. You know how to act -
teeth set in alignment, and your apparel - clean of cat hairs,
with the appropriate amount of ingenuity,
just enough to generate interest but not alarm.           
    Old people are getting older and dying,
they can hardly believe
it has come down to this. They lose their lovers,
have appendages aching with weakness - fingers
that cannot move on cue to stroke a cheek,
fingers that want to flesh out, plump up,
become tantalizing again.
    I have taken you with my fingers,
awakening the soft space between
your naval and groin. I have laid across,
massaged every ounce of need
into the vulnerable region separating your hipbones.
And I would go further.
But you have no natural shade,
and it is too exhausting to keep toting around your wares.
    You supplied me with inspiration. The postage is paid.
I must move closer to the edge of the road for you.
I must make room,
walk past, surpass, enter
my Rosewood red front door, without.
You Would Not Have Me
I would have taken the whole of you
in one hand, guiding you
through the pressured caverns of
a multi-layered release, and not let go
until your anguish was exposed and then relieved.
But you would not have me,
immune to my inferno and my skin
electrified with desire
for you to hold me, tuning out a rhythm on
my clustered nerves. You would not have me,
not slice such intensity with your tongue, not offer ease,
just a little ease, to my rising frenzy. And you,
stoically contained, flirting with a superficial smile
and with those blind to your tall form. I could have
freed you into the depths
where ugly things wake to a surprising beauty,
glowing with rapture, like a last breath
before surrender. You could have
been mine.
Allison Grayhurst is a full member of the League of Canadian Poets. She has over 370 poems published in more than 190 international journals and anthologies. Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers in 1995. Since then she has published ten other books of poetry and four collections with Edge Unlimited Publishing. Prior to the publication of Somewhere Falling she had a poetry book published, Common Dream, and four chapbooks published by The Plowman. Her poetry chapbook The River is Blind was published by Ottawa publisher above/ground press December 2012. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay;

Saturday, May 3, 2014

A Poem by Richard Schnap


He warned her when he met her
That someday he’d throw her away
Like the pizza box in his back seat

But she thought she’d be the one
Whose taste he wouldn’t tire of
And save in the freezer of his heart

And then there came the day
He pushed her from his car
Onto the asphalt of a trash-strewn road

Where she lay there in the gutter
Of a lonely stretch of highway
Buffeted by an indifferent wind

Richard Schnap is a poet, songwriter and collagist living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His poems have most recently appeared locally, nationally and overseas in a variety of print and online publications.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Three Poems by Paul Tristram

She Was Insensitive To My Sensitivity

…so I refrained from looking
as she chose to not wave goodbye.

Following Yesterday’s Telephone Conversation

I would like to formerly
hand in my resignation
from this relationship.
I want no part
in the twisted machinery
of your schemes.
I want a permanent out,
to be gone from the lies,
deceit and game playing.
I have never before
had the misfortune
to witness the sickening
behaviour of such a slimy,
vicious group of Bastards
in all of my life.
Good Riddance!
To the lot of you.
The further into the past
you go and the quicker
that it happens is the only
blessing that I ask for.
I do not even want to be
around to watch the claws
of Karma rip you all
into miserable little pieces.

Yours Truly
the one who survived
and got away.

Beating A Path

Beating a path
away from your heart
was far quicker and needed
much less preparation
than the one that got me there
in the first place.
It was more of a reaction,
like jumping backwards
from a face-burn.
Jesus Christ! I can’t even describe
the monster that I found there?
It’s almost funny, in a sick way.
Now that I’m far away
from the horrible crap
that you are eternally chained to.
I merely emotionally scraped it off
from the bottom of my shoe,
stepped out of the shadows
and back into the sunshine again.
Take a deep breath, my son
it was all just a horrible dream.

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.