Friday, December 26, 2014

A Poem by Paul Tristram

Cast Adrift Upon A Sea Of Unrequited Love

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

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


Monday, December 22, 2014

Two Poems by Ralph Monday

Distant Smoke

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

In Praise of Indifference

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Poem by Scott Thomas Outlar

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

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Poem by Ag Synclair

when the writer decided to share relationship advice

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

you’ll find yourself
spewing page after page

of blunt force trauma
bandaging wounds

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

you’ll never quite get it
all back

the bones
will never heal

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

Monday, December 15, 2014

Two Poems by Ken L. Jones

Beyond Summer

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


The Erosion Of

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

For the past thirty-five years Ken L. Jones has been a professionally published author who has done everything from writing Donald Duck Comic books to creating things for Freddy Krueger to say in some of his movies.  In the last six years he has concentrated on his lifelong ambition of becoming a published poet and he has published widely in all genres of that discipline in books, online, in chapbooks and in several solo collections of poetry.