Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Poem by Maria Arana


dove soars
            whimpers in flight

falls to ashes
            dances the wild fire

neglects the skylight of our hearts

Maria Arana is a teacher, writer, and poet.  Some of her poetry appears in the San Gabriel Valley Quarterly Poetry, Stepping Stones Magazine, Work to a Calm, The Altadena Poetry Review, Westward Quarterly, and others.  You can find her at http://rainingvoices.blogspot.com

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Three Poems by Linda M. Crate

i don't miss you

go ahead
and leave the arrow there
you already shot me
through the heart,
and no act of remorse could
tear it out now;
it as much a part of me that sorrow and anger
as the joy and laughter and happiness
i could never let
anyone destroy me
so i grew into the pain and let it grow
into me to make me
i am a special kind of weird--
but i have feathers now
that burn with fires i have never known before you
so thank you for shattering me
i had to become stronger
the weak little rabbit hearted girl had to die
because i could never achieve my dreams if i were still her,
and so you can wipe your eyes
i am already getting my
my vengeance is my success because you'll watch me
achieve all my dreams without you;
there's no turning back
i don't miss you

kiss the flame

maybe you thought
i would be a good little girl
just lay still
become another of your blue lipped
angels that you kiss
when you grow bored of being
but i've always been a rebel;
i rose from the ocean
you left me in
burned straight through my ashes and
ascended into the sky--
i know you think you've done no wrong
that all the blame is mine
because you warned me that you were
a knave,
but a girl in love pays no heed to warnings
from the lips of a man who has
charmed her;
you have to know that being untrue
is never excused
so i don't accept your unapology--
you were insincere, you were a liar, you oozed
charisma and charm you never meant;
you are the worst sort of liar
because you think you're telling the truth
but the truth could never be so distorted--
go ahead and kiss the flame
you need it's edification
because you have the tongue of a serpent
i could never accept your lies,
and neither should anyone else have to.

sweet honesty

i'll use my blood
to warn
anyone you love to stay away
because i don't want
any other woman
to make you her god when we both
know you're a pathetic
excuse for even a
and i tire of hearing your excuses
of letting all the blame fall
heavy on me like that
autumn kiss you placed on my lips
that chased away leaves from their trees;
i will use my voice as a weapon
all your prospects of joy and love
before you can destroy them
as you've shattered my
i am not that eager
rabbit hearted girl that you left behind
trying to please you
i need no man
that doesn't need me so you can say i've taken
all your memories and burned them
like the gifts you gave me.

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.  Her novel Dragons & Magic is forthcoming through Ravenswood Publishing.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

A Poem by Theresa Darling

How to Say Good-Bye

     -- for Christina

Begin with snow in winter
Tulips for spring, sun in summer.
Autumn requires exercise,
Creativity, questions expecting
Answers.  At least three
crows, no matter the season
               one to notice
               two to blink
               three to realize
Acceptance arrives long after
He dies, when a blue jay
Hawk and heron cross paths
               one leaves a feather
               one brings tears
               another makes you smile
Allow words to form in chimes
Hanging from the apricot tree
He planted instead of the apple.

You will resist
Until the starless night clears
Without reason,
               one smile
               every touch
               this breath

Theresa Darling's poetry has been published in The Green Hills Literary Journal, Baily's Beads, Hellbender Journal, Kind of a Hurricane Press and The Cellar Door.  Her poem "Another Departure" was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2014.  She recently fulfilled a lifelong dream by moving to Vermont, where she hopes to live happily ever after with her husband Reg and two shelter cats.

Friday, October 16, 2015

A Poem by Noel Negele

Loss of Love

At dawn
With loss of love
Coming down from cocaine
On a stool
With a beer and a shot of vodka
Trying to bring some giggle
In the rotting serotonin levels
Of my brain;
Looking at the bored dancer
Wrap her thighs around that pole
As crude hands hold money like
Proud flags of debauchery

If there is a time for a heart attack
It is now, to fall off the stool suddenly
On my way down of the mountain
Of despair, the clenching finally final
And not a single one
In this lousy cavern of vice
To notice or care enough
To call somebody

The streets are a desert now
The people are scorpions
Their love is a quicksand

While all the regrets will
Echo loudly in the chamber
Of our souls
We will all ride
The burning carriage of death
Some day
And hopefully
It will be all our enemies
Dragging our content asses
From one darkness
To a far better one.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Three Poems by Sheikha A.


I would be walking on burning coals;

I could offer abnegation,
a knife with it

and tell you to begin cutting
for penance

for having walked away first
before you

or I could offer poetry,
the way to my mysteries once again

and my words heal your brokenness

while I continue to scatter
while you continue to lament

until there are more pieces of me
than (have had made of) you

and your detecting sight
forgets its patriarchal pedantic

instructions to remind me
the only way to clean you
from my vessel

is sinking deeper than where water ends;

allowing you regnant
over my religion gone awry,

turning into:

that less-picked book on your shelf,

the unattractive oxidization on your ring,

the miscreant scent on your skin.


I have already paced the window thrice
like a superstitious ritual, since most of you
have appeared to me through windows; or was
it that you stood at the door, and I looked in
all the wrong places -- I think I should write
about how I've been tucking away neatly
all the items in my drawers, cupboards, cabinets
and how I remember the way you picked up scents
on me, and your fingers judging softness of skin;
I should write, at least, to end my writing
that writes about you indefinitely without pause
and find the right stones to help me build a dam
against the fracas of words, reminding myself
of your eloquence and impatience with hesitations;
maybe, instead, I should stand by a mirror
to watch the way my pen slants on paper
and the way my hand poises, knowing about
your penchant for elegance; I must practice
more, my words must be less of a hustle,
since as keenly as your ears would lean
towards me, your eyes never missed a note;

right now, the window stands
like a perfect upright rectangle, the night sky
staring through, like your deep-black eyes,
the mirror watching me from the other end,
and I standing at this point again -- trapped
between your gaze and my precarious soul;

I select all and press delete.


It was a moment within a moment

kind of a moment, when I didn't know,

couldn't know which set of life
to look (through) into;

crossroads aren't made
of cement and asphalt,

they come like flesh,

many in number,
and the road just winds

out like it doesn't know
the purpose of its construct

and the seed you willfully
throw away after having
broken it

starts to grow the type
of flowers

of the kind of colors
that you can never be,

and no amount of water can revive
the eyes that perished,

and no proximity of contact can decrypt
the meaning of knowing.

Sheikha A. hails from Pakistan and United Arab Emirates and is the author of a short poetry collection titled, Spaced (Hammer and Anvil Books, 2013) available on kindle.  Her work appears in over 40 literary zines/journals/magazines such as Red Fez, The Muse, Ygdrasil, A New Ulster, Pyrokinection, Mad Swirl, Carcinogenic Poetry, ken*again, American Diversity Report to name a few, and several anthologies by Silver Birch Press.  Her recent publications have been in Switch [the Difference] anthology by Kind of a Hurricane Press and Twenty Seven Signs -- Poetry Anthology by Lady Chaos Press.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Two Poems by Rick Hartwell

Late Elegy

I recall sitting there on the floor, you and I,
dividing up our books into yours and mine.

You kept the boy, although his holidays,
like the tomes and paperbacks, were halved.

I don't remember the titles we argued over,
just the bitterness of our shared selfishness.

The boy was outside, swinging in half-arcs
from an oak beside our rented house in Felton.

So much of our marriage seemed rented, too,
hence ownership of the books weighed large.

I don't have left a single one of those books,
having given them away along with much else.

Our joining was ten years of due dates hit and
missed with wear and tear taken into account.

Together we buried two premature sons, some
friendships, numberless pets, and our feelings.

Thirty years later we buried the boy, you and I,
from our opposite sides of a high desert mosque.

I set aside any latent resentment when you died
soon after, yet we remain without reconciliation.

How It Feels to Watch the Sex of Surf

Bold, brash thrashings bursting forth,
tethered only to a fluid core.
Cantilevered medusas
beckon an arrested,
frozen shore.
Cacophonies of dazzling
color mesmerize the eyes.
Hypnotic, liquid hybrids
hunger, cannot be ignored.
They draw and repulse,
capture and expel.
Visual stings of concentration
focus the senses for an instant only,
then race backward again,
to be captivated again,
assaulted again
Cornucopias of form
and foam pour forth
until eyes, ears and mind
can hold no more
and sated,
avert, away
to think,
to ponder,
most of all,

Sunday, October 11, 2015

A Poem by Inna Dulchevsky

I've Been Looking

A secret sign on my body
Where you left your lips
Steam of your eyes
Touch of your voice
Your scent

               I'm at the valley of dreams
               Flying inside of my own
               Where you kiss me
               Cradle me
               Just like a child
               Innocent being
               Looking for hands

               Smear own carnival
               Distinctive colors
               No shades
               Burst emotions' bubble
               On canvas-like surface
               Square after square
               Of an infinite mirror
               Glossy areas    Slippery life
               Thin ice
               So cold!
               To sink inside
               Down to the cream color bones
               Hidden painting
               With thick melancholy
               Portrait of suffering
               Best selling art
               No one knows

Million of dots
Hectic movements
Turn after turn
Lines in-between
One-way street
Frightened to miss
Corner of silence
Inaudible place
With muted sign on my body
From never having known you

Inna Dulchevsky spent her early school years in Belarus.  She currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.  She was awarded the First Prize 2014 David B. Silver Poetry Competition.  Inna's work has been published in numerous anthologies, books, and journals including Pyrokinection, Jellyfish Whispers, Petals in the Pan Anthology, book Laveder, The Cannon's Mouth, The Otter, New Poetry, Calliope Magazine, Aquillrelle Anthology, 4th annual Lummox Poetry Anthology, Antheon, and is forthcoming in Element(ary) . . . My Dear Anthology and Calliope Magazine Anniversary Issue.  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.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Three Poems by J. J. Campbell

broken fortune cookies

whispers in the
middle of the

star crossed lovers
trying to hold on
for a few more

the future is
written inside
broken fortune

there are no
winning numbers

that rainbow has
no gold at the end
of it

bottle up your
hatred and despair
and sell it on the
open market

the last woman
on earth will smile
and finally invite
you in

crush your fears

the pictures have
faded like the
memory of you
in my arms

i always wanted
to crush your
fears and laugh
with you one
day when we
made it to the

i failed at that

there is no sorry
that will bring
you back to me

these gentle tears
are all i have left

i let them soak
into the paper

one by one

the first kiss

the first

the last lazy
weekend in

the goodbye
i never saw

the evil urges within

the old voices
fill my veins
with enough

here comes
a beauty

and even
though i am
this will not
end up well

my cynical
ass can't say
no to a body
like that

this is when
the evil urges
within remind
me that

i enjoy the
abuse from
time to time

J.J. Campbell has give up the farm life and is now trapped in suburbia.  He's been widely published over the years, most recently at Nerve Cowboy, This is Poetry Vol. 2, Dead Snakes, Pyrokinection, and Horror Sleaze Trash.  You can find J.J. most days at his highly entertaining blog, evil delights.  http://evildelights.blogspot.com

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Two Poems by Rose Mary Boehm


We used to fish
with first morning light,
the waking leaves
and early birds, the stillness
of Dutch waters.
Jumping fish
startled us.

Your call conjured up
damaged enchantments.

I have this space
deep inside.  Something
buried alive,
still writhing
when dawn breaks
an unquiet night.

Though you got old,
you knew
that we'd been lovers.
The strain in your voice
told me you remembered.

For the Lover I Left

In nights of unsung beauty--and there are
always some--you heal the wounds inflicted
by Vesuvian fires in the underworld branding
your flesh when you had no coin
to pay the ferryman, and no redemption.

The portal built by you, my eager architect,
was meant for two.  But only I went through.
You stayed behind mistaking liberty
for latitude and open fields for toil.

I left the safety of your promises, abandoned
my own expectations and paid my crossing
with my breath.  I waved to you who lingered
on the other shore, but our separation
was so much more than distance.

There were occasions when you almost
crossed the river, buoyed by your apprehension.
I have moved on.  Your master plan is out of date.
But there's a cabin where the ferry stops, just on
the right, behind the giant Tree of Life, where you
can rest awhile.  It's filled with smiles.

A German-born UK national, Rose Mary Boehm lives and works in Lima, Peru.  Author of two novels and a poetry collection (Tangents) published in 2011 in the UK, well over 100 of her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in a good two dozens US poetry reviews as well as some print anthologies, and Diane Lockward's The Crafty Poet.  She won third prize in the 2009 Margaret Reid Poetry Contest for Traditional Verse (US), was semi-finalist in the Naugatuck poetry contest 2012/13 and has been a finalist in several GR contests, winning it in October 2014.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A Poem by Brenton Booth

Memories of Her

Mourning lost days like
the lonely streetlights
and all the tired faces
walking to unwanted
jobs they can't afford
to leave every day
the sounds always the same
like a familiar story
told again and again
or a song that no matter
how many times you hear
always makes you cry
or the vain sun
or the angry breeze
or the thawing snow
on the mountain tops
or the solitary pigeon
sitting on the window
all these things that
remind me of her
what she said
the way her hair sat
on her shoulders
the dreams we both
living like an immortal
that won't let go
in my tired mind
yelling when I am
talking complete sense
when I am confused
somber when I am
holding onto my heart
like all the sad beautiful
poems I once knew and
wished I'd written
but are now just a hazy
distorted memory to me
like her
and our time together.

Brenton Booth lives in Sydney, Australia.  Poetry and fiction of his has recently been printed in Chiron Review, Mas Tequila Review, Paper and Ink, Zombie Logic and Bold Monkey.  brentonbooth.weebly.com

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Two Poems by Sarah Russell

Moving On

We had run out of words.
He paid the check,
anxious to leave.
"Thanks for lunch," I said.

"Yeah.  Sure.  I'll pick him up
at five for the weekend, OK?
Glad we could talk.  Glad
you understand."

"Jamie says he likes her,"
I said.  "Happy for you."
His cellphone rang, and he mimed
he had to take it as he walked away.
I sat staring at the crumbs we'd left,
my empty glass.

Reclaiming True

After four years of I love you's
he said he'd never leave her.

I told him to get out.

Then I double-checked the sell-by date
on milk I bought that morning;

took off my shoe, compared the size inside
to what was on the box;

checked outside when the weather guy
said 65 and cloudy;

pinched my arm hard, relished
the red/purple welt.

Sarah Russell is the poetry editor for Voices and co-edits Pastiche, a local literary journal.  Her poetry is forthcoming or has appeared in Red River Review, Misfit Magazine, The Houseboat, and Poppy Road Review, among others.  Follow her work at www.SarahRussellPoetry.com

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Two Poems by A.J. Huffman

With Acerbity

I swallow the memories of our time
together, choking on the chunks,
the happiness, random and coated,
overly sweet.  Clear away the last residual
tastes of doubt, could-be’s and what-if’s,
with a final dramatic inhale.  Cleansed,
my vocabularic palette shines, rejuvenated
by the melodic explosion of conjoined syllables,
repressed far too long.  Released,
the echo encompasses my body, reminds
of the power of oration.  The enchanted tone
of regeneration smiles through
the proper enunciations of goodbye.

I Remember

the way you looked when you said
you didn’t love me.  When you said
you tried, but . . . I tuned out the rest,
having heard all its variations in the past,
focused instead on the shape of your mouth.
I recognized its shape, a record player’s,
broken, your tongue a needle, skipping and
scratching the same scar deeper into my heart.

A.J. Huffman has published eleven 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), and Butchery of the Innocent (Scars Publications) are now available from their respective publishers.  She has two additional poetry collections forthcoming:  Degeneration (Pink Girl Ink) and A Bizarre Burning of Bees (Transcendent Zero Press).  She is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a two-time Best of Net nominee, and has published over 2300 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.  www.kindofahurricanepress.com.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Three Poems by J.J. Campbell

ghosts creeping in the back of your mind

turn on the sad songs
and remember the only
time she kissed your

another empty bottle
for the floor

saturday night alone


the lost souls raging
right until the sunset

ghosts creeping in
the back of your

surely one of them
must think you were
the one that got away

everyone laughs and
opens another bottle

and here you thought
women liked a good
sense of humor

these hands used to make you smile

lost in the deep
pools of regret

buried in the old
books of wise old
men smart enough
to find love and
squeeze it until
death greets them
one evening

i'd give anything
to hold you this

your dark hair
and soft skin
sending my

these hands used
to make you smile

perhaps one day
they can be of
service to you

two in the morning

wishful thinking
at two in the

your lips should
be somewhere
near mine right

instead they are
wrapped around
a cock not attached
to my body

i look at my bottle
of lotion with

how many pumps
until it starts to
feel like you

pour another glass
of something

and this time
add a few pills

J.J. Campbell has given up the farm life and is trapped in suburbia.  He's been widely published over the years, most notably at Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, Dead Snakes, The Camel Saloon and Horror Sleaze Trash.  His most recent collection, Sofisticated White Trash (Interior Noise Press), is available wherever you happen to buy books these days.  You can find J.J. most days bitching about things only he cares about on his highly entertaining blog, evil delights. (http://evildelights.blogspot.com)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Three Poems by April Salzano

Days or Years Later

I travel the length of your name
down a driveway that is no longer
ours, my pace slower than it should be
in the middle of another winter.  Six feet
of snow has fallen between every yesterday
and tomorrow.  I might be walking
backwards, waking down.
The good thing about a prison
is its walls.  From down here, everything
looks the same as the day we left,
but those are someone else's
curtains, another family's blinds.
My kitchen is as empty
as the Pennsylvania sky.  I cannot find
any reasons for nostalgia, any cause
for such concern.  I would knock
on the door, but I still have the key.
I would only be returning
to the ghost of a dog, the bitch
of a moon, and neither worth howling at.

Body Parts

lay scattered across the autopsy of your page, exhumed
from memory's shallow grave to make metaphor.
Tiny breasts with brown candy nipples, yonic disrespect
under the guise of ode titled elegy.  Small doll-thighs
around misrepresented cock.  Everything but anything
of mine.  Not my skinny legs or stretch-marked stomach.
Not my inadequate hips or the freckles on my aging skin.
Not the curve of my heel as my feet considered
so many other directions in a decade of snow.  No
mention of the one pussy that tore open
to give you life.  Not once, but twice.

Why I Can't Eat Toast and Other Aversions

It's not the butter-side-up logic, all soft and melted,
laced with crunchy contradictions as it is, or the tongue-
to-roof-of-mouth freeing of what sticks there.  It's not
the crumbs in my hair.  Those shake out easy/enough.
It's not the crust-border-conundrum I face each time
I hold the loaf-dictated shape up and consider biting.
I can reconcile that.  I makes sense//It is something
about the way my ex-husband baked toast in the oven
for a year in London, where we found ourselves
toasterless and terrified.  My anxiety-infested mornings
and catastrophizing evenings could be sedated with
two slices and a cup of tea back then, my share
of the antidepressants swallowed on socialized
medicine's dime.  By today's standards I am just
as shaky, and I still refuse to clean the crumb-trap,
that secret door at the bottom where everything
that should be buttered and broken stays in waiting.

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 Prize 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 forthcoming in spring, 2015 from Dancing Girl Press.  The author serves as co-editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press (www.kindofahurricanepress.com).

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Poem by Ralph Monday

That Vortex Vibe

The guy ran a better deal than
Barnum and Bailey.
It was once upon a time
stuff when we first met.
You know the deal
Flowers and chocolate,
long soul-bearing walks
in the woods,
sex like the opening scene
of a porno classic.
Then you were Marilyn Chambers
before Behind the Green Door,
still the Ivory soap girl,
Snow White, not Mary Magdalene,
beauty before he became the beast.
You got sucked in--like we all do--
into his black vortex.
You became his child, a stupid toy
thing, mannequin that he dressed at
will.  He controlled everything:
money, perspective,
made you feel dumb for not realizing
his genius, how right he was, how
wrong you were,
trophy on the mantle,
you started wondering what was
wrong with you, didn't you?
You wrote long texts explaining
how you feel,
that he ignored.
You did everything he asked
in an attempt to please.
All in vain.
He found another supply,
didn't he?
Left you spinning in
the hole.
Don't worry.
He'll be back.

Ralph Monday is Associate Professor of English at Roane State Community College in Harriman, TN, and published in over 50 journals.  A chapbook, All American Girl and Other Poems, was published in July 2014.  A book, Lost Houses and American Renditions, is scheduled for publication, May 2015 by Aldrich Press.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Three Poems by S. Black

her song

i am found hiding
with her song
the breaking dawn
the latest colour
of her hair
and the sacred places
where the love
used to begin

maybe just maybe
time hasn't wasted its time on us

she farts again
i can't take it anymore

the new girlfriend

i heard it said
she wasn't all bad
and it is funny
in this light
there is a resemblance
but in another
she reminds me of her
in that wedding photo
the one they found
on the path
that follows the river

total recall

i burned all memory
there was nothing left
last night
2:30 a.m.
in the 24-hour supermarket
i saw a woman
she looked
nothing like her
it was uncanny

S. Black has been mining for a heart of gold since 1967, and lives in the UK.  Other writing may be found at the likes of Clutching at Straws, Gutter Eloquence, Red Fex, Tanka Undertow, and Deadsnakes.

S. Black - Mining for a heart of gold since 1967, lives in the UK. Other writing may be found at the likes of Clutching at Straws, Gutter Eloquence, Red Fez, Tanka Undertow and Deadsnakes.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

A Poem by Mercedes Webb-Pullman

13 uses for love

I love seeing cities
in rear view

and your morning smile opening
even before your eyes.

I'm moved by
the second movement;
I'm sure the cellist
will prove a good investment.

Grace today--
every traffic light
from the fire station to Oriental Bay
past the railway station
to the biscuit tin
turned green for me--
I felt like
President Kennedy.

I really admire your work
with the Palestinian Zapatistas

and I adore garlic prawns
cooked tails on, the Spanish way
soaking up olive oil
and crunchy bits of garlic and chili
with chunks of bread
and a cold pinot gris

I'm amazed at what you've done
with the bathroom, so original,

amusing and flippant
like Frank Zappa's music.

I'm hot for cool
blue clarinets

and passionate about
pomegranates and

I dissolve in Courtney
square hole Love
's music but not in her acting.

Somehow it's satisfying
that the Fairlane is longer
than the house is wide

and I'm happy that
Butch Cassidy
thought of going
to Australia
just before
he died.

Mercedes Webb-Pullman graduated from IIML Victoria University Wellington with MA in Creative Writing in 2011.  Her poems and the odd short story have appeared online, in print and in her books Food 4 Thought, Numeralla Dreaming, After the Danse, Ono, Looking for Kerouac, Tasseography, Bravo Charlie Foxtrot and Collected Poems 2008-2014.  She lives on the Kapiti Coast, New Zealand.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A Poem by Karen Sylvia Rockwell

remembering love

remembering love    in flashes    as i move through traffic   //   i see your hands on the wheel    poised    as they were then   //   you turn towards me   and i see your face   smiling lovingly   as it did then   //   the light turns green   i accelerate   with a smile   remembering

melancholy seeps in slowly   as Little Texas and i   fill the air   with laments about   what might have been   and i recall   what used to be   //   turning left along Sunset    i study forms   with backpacks   slung casually over one shoulder   never finding you

my heart yearns   as my head rebels   offering every explanation   for why it is   all in the past   and why   it should remain that way   //  they both agree    that alone   is better    for always   says my head   with our memories   whispers my heart

bittersweet resignation   accompanies me along the drive   as the wipers   clear drizzle   from the pain   //   intermittently   //   interrupting   //   remembering

After her Ma passed away in 2008, Karen Sylvia Rockwell became fierce about writing, diving into workshops and readings.  She is celebrating the recognition her work is receiving, including being awarded 1st Place in Room Magazine's 2013 Poetry Contest.  Karen's work is featured in Room, Deep Water Literary Journal, The Saving Bannister, OffSIDE, Cranberry Tree Press's Happenstance, Ascent Aspirations' 2014 Bizarre Anthology, Womanspirit's In Our Own Voice, Vanessa Shields' Poetry ON Demand, vol. 2, and several anthologies of The Ontario Poetry Society and of Polar Expressions Publishing.  Karen lives in Belle River Ontario.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Three Poems by Alan Catlin

Making Love to Russian Music

"mantra-no one has been hurt,
no one has been killed"
                    -- C.D. Wright

"Asperity" he said,
the word stuck
between them as
they lay, not talking,
side by side on the bed,
naked as the lovers
they once were,
"Asperity contains us-
a bitter fruit of longing,"
he said, staring at
the cracked ceiling,
flecks of light on
the painted dark,
listening to the clock radio,
"An aching distilled from silence"
lying still as false hopes of elation,
joy, amassing as a passion,
drawn and quartered into
blunted notes, the mute
terror of their sudden
embracing, a fourth movement
of the Pathetique, their distressed
flesh swept together, prone above
a shattered bank.

The Edge

"Her bare

Feet seem to be saying:
We have come so far it is over."

                      -- Sylvia Plath

Lovers traced the white scars
on her body but knew better than
to ask how she acquired them.
Discarded torn black t-shirt
spelled her life to date in red
letters, "Born Poor and Brought
Up Hard."  If she had been pretty
once it had been beaten out of her
by professionals, masters of hurt
with broken knuckles and whipsaw
tongues they used on naked flesh
like razor blades to open wounds
they would not allow to heal.
Escape was a possibility she was
never allowed to entertain,
became a wildness in her that she
would learn to express with broken beer
bottles and homemade shivs that
found homes in vital organs inflicting
fatal wounds in those who had done
her harm.  On the street, years later,
the wildness in her remained,
as a wicked passion, insatiable and
expressive as pain, as violet as white
lightning in a cracking-along-the-edges
jars waiting to be partaken of, to be sipped,
where lips and fire meet.

Living the Dream

After Power Point presentation
in hotel lounge playing the macho
fool for the ladies, wedding ring impression
clearly visible to all who care to look,
jejune banter endless fascinating to
the all night, pay-as-you-go girls,
for whom all pick up lines are as fresh
as yesterday's beside-the-road-kill.
A couple of intimate drinks in low light
lounge, she looks like a goddess in
high heels, ready to rock and roll with
room service libations and pay per view
porn, so willing and available no price
mentioned or discussed, he thinks he is
the luckiest of God's creatures scoring big
on good looks and charm, one night away
from heaven on a half-shell, though his reality
has a stomach pump in it, an overdose
administered while he is in the head,
room ransacked by professionals, anything
of value long gone, not even the lingering
scent of hundred dollar an ounce perfume
left behind.

Alan Catlin has published over fifty chapbooks and full length books of poetry.  His next chapbook is Beautiful Mutants from Night Ballet Press.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Poem by Ken L. Jones

Shadows Grown in a Nursery

The music of autumn is a stag's head full of slumber
Creeping like a weird Dutch Ferris wheel
That makes King Kong do your bidding
Even as the rib cage of a harmonica
Leads us to a honeyed atonement
That is blinding orange in its brightness
Oh Kathy I still remember the thrill
Of touching your skin which would never be mine
And how that made a pirate of me
Taking what I willed of an island divine
And even now that I've tasted more permanent delights
In the dark with Miss Donna who is forever mine
Still the echoes of what we once had torment me
And reverberate throughout my memories
Wish such a force that they smite, oh how they smite.

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.  

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Two Poems by Nina Bennett

After He Leaves

I pull the sheets taut,
straighten the down comforter,
settle into the center of what is,
once again, my bed.

Fantasy Island

She spends the weekend emptying
her dresser, nightstand, bookcase, her
drawers from the shared desk.  No place
now to store legal papers, courtesy
copy of his divorce petition, list
of premarital property that in two days
he will remove.
Earrings, hand lotion, lipstick
jumbled in boxes retrieved from the attic,
clothes in piles on the pale green rug
she chose for serenity, books stacked
in towers like the ones her granddaughter
builds with brightly colored wooden blocks.
The highest setting
on the vacuum cleaner can't pull up
the four circles where thick legs
of the antique oak table settled
for nineteen years.
She covers the crushed
carpet with turrets of books,
traces the faint outline of the absent
Oriental rug with walls of boxes.
While he plays house on fantasy
island, she climbs over a palisade
of sweaters, sits inside
her cardboard castle, watches
news of a commuter plane crash
near Buffalo, fifty dead,
possible pilot error.  She clutches
a stuffed dragon bought on a birthday
trip to London, wonders if it's feasible
to emerge from the wreckage intact.

Delaware native Nina Bennett is the author of Sound Effects (2013, Broadkill Press Key Poetry Series chapbook #4).  Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies such as Kansas City Voices, Big River Poetry Review, Shark Reef, Bryant Literary Review, Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, Philadelphia Stories, and The Broadkill Review.  Nina was a 2012 Best of the Net nominee.

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Poem by Emer Davis


In the folds
Of her cloak,
The white foam
Leaves behind
Its mark.
Her feet wedged into the sand,
She remembers his hand
Sliding down her back.
Silver waves
Cleansing away
Secrets from the past.

Emer Davis, a poet and writer, was born in Dublin and grew up on Achill Island off the west coast of Ireland.  She has lived in London, Dublin, Drogheda and Abu Dhabi.  She has one book of poems published, Kill Your Television, and two eBooks published -- Name Tag and To Tear Your Breath Away.  She organized a monthly open mic poetry session and a poetry group the Viaduct Bards in Ireland.  Several of her poems and short stories have been published in Ireland, Mexico, UK, USA and the UAE.  She was a regular performer at Rooftops Rhythms in Abu Dhabi until July 2014 and read at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair in 2013.  Having recently returned to Ireland in 2014, she is currently working on a non-fiction book and a new collection of poems.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Poem by Lynn Hoffman

afternoon light

there, can you see it?
the mercurial the way she conjures the color
of light in middle afternoon
a greenish-blue along her hip
near orange down her leg.
i swear i see the dancing halo
as the wind shakes the treeshadow
along her spine, around her ass.
it is nipple-pink and fuzzy brown, that light
not dry, not roman, not farsighted,
it's venetian and it's blind.
it's in the shadow of damp red sheets
it tastes like salted flesh,
it moans at me, like pain, that light
and it smells a bit like love.


i'm your 87th lover,
you're my 61st
and still we wonder
at the russet
in the dusk.


this great sex is killing us
we never talk i don't know
which team you root for
you don't know which root
i teem with.

why just the other night,
we damn near died:
i refused to come so that
i could watch your face
one more time and you
you squeezed yourself around me
and one of us forgot to breathe
and all the air turned into fire
and we woke up later covered
in ashes and cinders,
smile-smothered and dopey-drowned.

this great sex is killing us
we can each barely stand the sight
of the other dressed, untouched
vertical and composed.

we went to dinner and with the soup
you were telling me about the history
of guatemala and i was imagining
the consummation of the consumption
of this consummate you.

this great sex is killing us
you are losing faith in the faith
of many lovers.  i have become
indifferent to my professed indifference.

this great sex is killing us.
i know because we fall asleep
with flesh impressed with flesh
a little, a lust alive
a little like a blissful death.

Lynn Hoffman has been merchant seaman, teacher, chef and cab driver.  He's published three novels:  The Bachelor's Cat, Philadelphia Personal and bang-BANG.  He's also written The New Short Course in Wine and The Short Course in Beer.  Skyhorse Books just published a second, expanded edition of the beer book.  A few years ago, he started writing poetry.  In 2011, his poem, The Would-be Lepidopterist was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  His memoir of a funny year with cancer, Radiation Days will be published in March 2014.  Most of the time he just loafs and fishes.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Poem by Wanda Morrow Clevenger

flashback flash forward

laying there
in the dark
makes it
ten times

yanked from
dreamfree calm
bedhair peace
no cute kitten
platitude posters
Bobby Flay brunches

just the dark
flash forwards
and you

Wanda Morrow Clevenger lives in Hettick, IL -- population 200 give or take.  She has published over 300 pieces of work in 114 print and electronic publications over the past seven years.  Her debut book, This Same Small Town in Each of Us, published in 2011 (Edgar & Lenore's Publishing House).  She maintains a magazine-style blog of published work and book purchase link called "It's All Just Telling Tales Out of School:  http://wic-wlcblog.blogspot.com/.  A full length poetry manuscript is currently searching for a publisher.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Poem by Brihintha Burggee

Ruhi (My Soul)

You're only a blurred image,
Of smiles, affection and piety
A fragile mirage,
I breathe in every moment.
You are the whisper of every prayer,
From a heart whose longing has left it barren.

My ruhi, my qalbi --
Every night you sneak into my bed,
Thrusting a map from my heart to yours,
Tracing away ancient grief with your fingers,
One detour at a time until dawn breaks in,
And you point to your chest, "This is your home,"

I am lost to handful of mornings,
Jealous of the silence of wakefulness that pulls you away,
Like the ocean teasing the shore only to leave it parched.

*Ruhi:  Soul
Qalbi:  Heart

Age 20, Brihintha Burggee is enjoying the experience of writing her first poems.  She lives in a small paradise island called Mauritius in the middle of the Indian Ocean.  Her works have been previously published by The Rainbow Rose, The Camel Saloon, Mad Swirl, Leaves of Ink, Black Mirror Magazine, and Pyrokinection.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Two Poems by Jason D. DeHart


A form turning, the wood shavings
pile up in the floor.
She was told she was beautiful.
A father holds the keys to the car
out, says, Don't put a scratch on it.
But he kind of loved her.
A grandmother tells someone else's
daughter not to wear so much makeup,
makes her look like a harlot.
She wants to say stop, but cannot.
A kind man decides not to be quite so
nice anymore because he's tired of footprints
and glass in his back.
The world they built together is over.
We separate the thousand elements we are not
from the single molecules we are.
Shavings pile up in the floor.

Alphabet Soup

Using Arabic symbols and sounds
in the throat, we spell
our love for one another, or
our vitriol.
Love, really, love?
It's a broad sound, a wavering
We raise theories about time,
God, and space, all confined
within the fractured space
of the human mouth.
Language, an arbitrary set of phonemes,
words constructed from smaller points,
the bones of lost meanings
making new frightening creatures.
Our bright colors tell one another
to hold some people in high regard;
to belittle others.  The old-fashioned
in-crowd and those to be excluded.
We use whom, but never in public.
Worse yet, we hide our meanings behind
the shadow of semantics, adding shades
to the grunts and sighs.

Jason D. DeHart is the author of the blog, jasondehartjustliving.blogspot.com.  His writing has appeared in a variety of publications.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Two Poems by Steve Klepetar

In the Gathering Dark

When you held my breath in trembling hands I knew
we were good for something, for eggplants and ovens

in the fall.  I know your hair, how it streams like rain along
slender shoulders, splashes down your mahogany back.

The taste of you, your melon skin, your marmalade neck,
your shadow flickering on the pale blue wall.  I sit above

these last green leaves, confront a drifting sun, that elusive
shape of vanishing light.  Who says these bleeding days

must end and all our rest rise up and wince in pain?  I know
your eyes, those glowing coals in sudden moonlight, your ribs

tinkling like keys and the wistful shape of your mouth and tongue,
as good as a river of song, a swelling name in the gathering dark.

When Last We Met

You in your formal
clothes and me, cotton-mouthed
dangling from a creaky limb --
             salamanders and oak, spells
             whispered through trees

Where have your henchmen gone,
those heavy breathing clones?

It's raining and raining now, here
in the city of lies --
             wet flags and in the green rectangle
             of park, wet leaves falling all day

Nothing you say now will keep
the midnight away --
             your face a hole in the sky, your lips
             a bright track of flame

Steve Klepetar's work has received several nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, including three in 2014.  Three collections appeared in 2013:  Speaking to the Field Mice (Sweatshoppe Publications), Blue Season (with Joseph Lisowski, mgv2>publishing), and My Son Writes a Report on the Warsaw Ghetto (Flutter Press).  An echapbook, Return of the Bride of Frankenstein, came out in 2014 as part of the Barometric Pressures series of echapbooks by Kind of a Hurricane Press.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Poem by Julie A. Dickson

Mulled Over

I sit on the old porch swing,
roughened wood and frayed ropes
moving slowly with a creaky sway,
smoke curling from a heavy mug
of hot steaming mulled wine.

Rocking, I am transported back.
Memories rustle like dry leaves
pulling at the outer fringes,
an elusive fragrance I crave,
tugging and teasing at my senses.

Visions of you distorted by tears,
no sounds of laughter present now,
your touch empty from my hand.
Mulled aroma of cloves envelop me,
only cinnamon and dreams remain.

Julie A. Dickson is the author of Bullied into Silence (Piscataqua Press), Forest Nectars (Morris Publishing), as well as several young adult fiction novels available on Amazon.  Her poetry has appeared in The Harvard Press, The Portsmouth Herald, The Poet's Touchstone, Page & Spine, Van Gogh's Ear, Five Willows Literary Review, The Avocet Nature Review and Tic Toc Anthology (Kind of a Hurricane Press).  Ms. Dickson resides in New Hampshire with three rescued cats and is an active member of the Poetry Society of NH.

Monday, March 16, 2015

A Poem by Barbara Gurney


there was you
wanting me to stay
offering your strength
to bite my shame
spit it out into colourful memories
design a new beginning
create a building block of happiness

there was me
thinking I should go
disgraced by my choices
huddled in my past
a monochrome of solitude
unable to take
not willing to give

so I left
took humiliation with me
wrapping it around lost dreams

Barbara Gurney is based in a southern suburb of Perth, Western Australia.  She writes across several genres including fiction for adults and children, and free verse poetry.  Although an optimistic person, Barbara's poetry often explores the mournful side of life.  Her unpredictable thought processes are an advantage when creating short stores.  Barbara's novel Road to Hanging Rock was released in November 2013.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

A Poem by Dawnell Harrison


We once walked arm-in-arm,
but now your burn circles of fire

into the air with your hand.
You lit me with acetylene--

my body up in red flames
that marks the horizon grey.

I lick the back doorstep eaves
of your home--

I want it to burn
to the blood-soaked ground,

red upon red,
forever melting into my eyes.

Dawnell Harrison has been published in over 200 magazines and journals including Poetrymagazine.com, Queen's Quarterly, The Fowl Feathered Review, Danse Macabre, Mobius and many others.  Also she has had 5 books published entitled, Voyager, The maverick posse, The fire behind my eyes, The love death, and The color red does not sleep.

Friday, March 13, 2015

A Poem by John Pursch

Perforated Smoke

I first laid eyes on her
in noon-hour standoff
certainty of contrail breath
swirling swallowed heat
to thighs of disrepair.

She struggled
to speak in
blinding rage
of retrograde
temporal sloth
moving overlap
through seaweed
statue question

Kicking off
from twenty-story
mundane lookalike
she's fading now to
perforated smoke.

John Pursch lives in Tucson, Arizona.  His work has been nominated for Best of the Net and has appeared in many literary journals.  A collection of his poetry, Intunesia, is available in paperback at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/whiteskybooks.  His experimental lit-rap video is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l33aUs7obVc.  He's @johnpursch on Twitter and john.pursch on Facebook.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Poem by Marianne Szlyk

Wendy used to think that November was the safest month.
The evenings came early.  Mornings came late.
She rose in the dark, worked, and returned home.
The holidays lay ahead with their foods and feuds,
a banquet of mixed emotions, acid greens
staining the blue and white tinsel d├ęcor.
But in Novembers past, she could not imagine extreme weather:
neither summer’s hands around her throat, knees on her chest
nor winter’s treachery tripping her up at every turn.

She imagined a calm life with the one she loved.
They stayed in together.  Apart,
they were planets, their orbits rarely meeting.

Yet everything ends when it ends. 
Love is not the lease on an apartment.
A heart will stop alone.
This November, Wendy stands at her attic window,
looking out at the newly leafless trees, the empty street,
the cold sun, the full clouds, the short day.
Watching for what will come, willing her feelings to go,
she stands, a sharpened face in the muted month
that nonetheless, for her, promises sorrow.

Marianne Szlyk  recently published her first chapbook, Listening to Electric Cambodia, Looking Up at Trees of Heaven, at Kind of a Hurricane Press:  http://barometricpressures.blogspot.com/2014/10/listening-to-electric-cambodia-looking.html. Her poem "Walking Past Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Winter" has been nominated for the 2014 Best of the Net.  She also edits a poetry blog-zine at http://thesongis.blogspot.com/  and hopes that you will consider submitting a poem there.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Two Poems by A.J. Huffman

Welcomed.  But Scarcely Belonging.

Not even the day-stars
can understand
my insecurity.
They are still burning.
But still alive.
I am nowhere.
In light
and dark.
I am undefined.
And you are unconcerned.
As long as your fingers
can still reach

through me.

No Room for Shattered Mouths

Even your silence commands
my attention.
Actually focuses it.
Like a bow.
Pulled too tight.
Too quickly.
I cannot breathe.
But that is not a trick.
Not your trick, at least.
You are too complete
                                  ly full
of this not quite death.
I touch you.
Your eyes are cold.
But sharp.
They cut me.
To teach me.

My screams
have fallen.
To me.

A.J. Huffman has published eleven solo chapbooks and one joint chapbook through various small presses.  Her new poetry collection, Another Blood Jet, is not available from Eldritch Press.  She has two more poetry collections forthcoming:  A Few Bullets Short of Home, from mgv2>publishing and Degeneration, from Pink. Girl. Ink.  She is a Multiple Pushcart Prize nominee, and has published over 2100 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.  www.kindofahurricanepress.com

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Results for the 2014 Editor's Choice Contest are in!!!

And the Winner is . . .

Scavenger Hunt by Donna Barkman

2nd place goes to . . .

Visitation Tuesday by Denise Weuve

3rd place goes to . . .

Mathematics by Christopher Hivner

This year we had three Honorable Mentions.  They are . . .

The Traffic in Old Ladies by Mary Newell
this small rain by Alexis Rhone Fancher
Signs of the Apolcalypse by Terri Simon

To read the winning poems and to see the complete list of finalists go to Kind of a Hurricane's Editor's Choice Contest Site:  http://editorschoiceaward.blogspot.com/ 

Friday, February 27, 2015

A Poem by Sy Roth

Lost is a Curve Beyond

Orange strips of cirrus,
Wispy thinning hair scrims
A hazy background shroud on their stage.

A no-exit street
Dead end of morning ablutions
Where late summer winds are stilled
And ground heat dissipates
Cooled by their snail-like terpsichorean sashaying,
Butterfly shutters in their world.

She holds his Member's Only jacket
Slung over her arm.
His pant legs curled four times
To reveal whitish-yellow skin
On hairless legs.
And she watches him, two steps behind
In the hush of the morning
An oranged halo of her white hair,
Runes above her.

Her passage, whistling soft,
A fleeting tranquility of a morn
In a dead end Ending.

A lamppost offers him a plie greeting
And he bends interminably to her comic opera
Until buttocks want to rest on his heels
But refuse the invitation.
And as interminably, he rises
Genuflects to the morn
And motions her to move on with him.

Beyond the gate
On the other side,
He achingly dawdles in a decades march
To save his day, and
She follows behind
Member's Only jacket
Swings awkwardly in their silence.

The cirrus clouds
Are blown into cumulus marshmallows
And the hushed street
Loses them in curve beyond.

Sy Roth comes riding in and then canters out.  Oftentimes, head is bowed by reality; other times, he proud to have said something noteworthy.  Retired 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 Visceral Uterus, Amulet, BlogNostics, Every Day Poets, Barefoot Review, Haggard and Halloo, Misfits Miscellany, Larks Fiction Magazine, Danse Macabre, Bitchin' Kitsch, Bong is Bard, Humber Pie, Poetry Super Highway, Penwood Review, Masque Publications, Foliate Oak, Miller's Pond Poetry, The Artistic Muse, Word Riot, Samizdat Literary Journal, Right Hand Pointing, The Screech Owl, Epiphany, Red Poppy Review, Big River, Poehemians, Nostrovia Poetry's Milk and Honey, Siren, Palimpset, Dead Snakes, Euphemism, Humanimalz Literary Journal, Ascent Aspirations, Fowl Feathered Review, Vayavya, Wilderness House Journal, Aberration Labyrinth, Mind[less] Muse, Em Dash and Kerouac's Dog.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Two Poems by Ken L. Jones

A Road Map Made of Fish Hooks

A litany of black-eyed Susan's
Bound in Moroccan began to bloom
Odd little summer had begun at last
After a winter that was a start stop feast
Until my cerebral cortex became a bass fiddle
Which as someone bowed it gave me very little peace
And all that ever saved me were her lips
Which were like an old Ernest Hemingway novel
As they opened like a flower
And drained me of my pride and power.

Canned Orange Slices and Yellow Eight-Track Leaves

Her voice is now nothing but a bit of trivia to me
As I listen to the ocean waves forget their words
While I wait for the melodies of approaching sleep
As darkness falls with all the poetry of Buddy Holly
And I go gentle into the cornfields once again
Where seeds and quartz grin like a painting of the reefs
Of my hotel room where after all these decades
I forgive the darkness of her angelic face.

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.  

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Poem by Scott Thomas Outlar

Some Aren’t Poisonous
This was the station where she left us,
orbiting now somewhere in the parallel,
gone adrift in search of nothing
in that pretty little head of hers.
But we all knew it wouldn’t last forever
so cancel your charges down to the last consumer.
Not open on Sundays in this dried out husk of a town.
A bounty has been placed on the head of three men;
five cents, ten cents, maybe a quarter-
If you drag them home alive
If you don’t damage all that’s left
Before and After pictures shake the leaves
during a Dirty Autumn Amber Breeze,
casting dust away in smog-filled proportions.
Hasn’t been cleared up just yet.
Hasn’t been made right by now
so it probably never will be.
Basking in tomorrows that never come-
just another today, one by one.
Repetitiously chasing home your rhythm
as the drum beats faster in my tick tock visions.
Hearts explode in critical mass, organs produce a festering plague;
it doesn’t have to be that way;
it never was supposed to cave.
Stalactite cavernous regions of death,
buried deep in her sacred sarcophagus,
are still praying to the sun or Sol;
still prompting the players to join in the ancient festivities;
still moving the pawns with the piper;
still confusing the snake with the viper.
Scott Thomas Outlar lives as simply as possible, spending his days sleeping, eating, reading, researching, taking meditative walks, gazing at stars, pondering existential quandaries, listening to music, drinking copious amounts of wine, and writing prose-fusion poetry dedicated to the Phoenix Generation.  His work has appeared in various venues via magazines, journals and websites, including Dissident Voice, Dead Snakes, Jellyfish Whispers, The Kitchen Poet, Aphelion, Strike-the-Root, and Ascent Aspirations.  Scott can be reached at 17Numa@gmail.com.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Two Poems by Stefanie Bennett


     "Everybody knows that the dice are loaded,
     Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed"

                                   -- L. Cohen & S. Robinson

He said, 'I lend you love'
Which meant - "Lease," -
The aftertaste
Of lips
On spent tourmaline.

The attache of indifference
Doesn't come
To terms
With chancery -
Doesn't see
The meteor fall

Or how she aggregates
The delicate
Architecture of a leaf . . .

The Numbers

It wasn't perfect, we did not
Go down
In flames
Or fly
The cerebral kite
On shores
Less foreign.

Drifting, interfused
With twists
Of fallibility,
And Gitanes
Tasting like
Corn syrup - we

Read Ferlinghetti's
City Lights,
The last bus
To 'specifics'
That didn't add up

And an end that
Never was.

Stefanie Bennett has published eighteen books of poetry and poems online; Boston Poetry, The New Verse News, Poetry24, and others.  Of mixed ancestry (Italian/Irish/Paugussett-Shawnee) she was born in Townsville, Qld, Australia in 1945.  Stafanie's new poetry title "The Vanishing" is due at year's end from Walleah Press.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

A Poem by Ken Seide

Taxonomy of Breakups
Did you see the breakup coming?
How were the two of you before the breakup?
Who broke up with whom?
Are you in touch after the breakup?
Are you over the breakup?
You didn’t see it coming, especially because
she was swooning and said so.
She was kind and committed
soon before the breakup.
(She took you to the doctor,
took you home with her,
put you to sleep in her bed.)
Then she broke up.
She said that you could ask her why,
but only on the phone,
she didn’t email about such things.
But you were out of questions by then.
You miss her and
the breakup hurts.
You saw it coming, but only looking back, because
she had been so loving.
(She sang to you in bed,
she left her seat at dinner to sit on your lap.)
She had complained only once before.
The breakup was her doing.
She sent a friendly email months later,
but you didn’t want to be her friend.
You miss her and it hurts,
presumably forever.
You saw it coming from the night you met
(which was also the night you first kissed,
that warm November night,
when you rolled down her car window, played the radio loud,
danced in the parking lot, and laughed at the police cruiser gliding by).
Her only virtue, it turned out,
was charisma.
Her erratic acts finally forced you to flee.
You told her that the farewell was final,
because you couldn’t get over her if you knew, if you hoped,
that she would contact you again, next month or years from now.
She hasn’t contacted you,
but you’re still not over her.
You knew that breaking up was possible, because
you both kept threatening to do it.
Things began joyously
(on your first date, you read each other poetry,
you gave her a necklace you had made
from a Noah’s Ark charm),
then degenerated.
You unleashed fears in each other, like dogs bounding up from the cellar.
The breakup was mutual; so was the regret.
You told her that you would erase her messages without reading them.
She still sends emails and texts,
which you erase without reading.
You miss her and it hurts.
Ken Seide is the pen name of a resident of Newton, Massachusetts, USA. His love and post-love poems have appeared in New Vilna Review, Muddy River Poetry Review, SN Review, Soul-Lit, and elsewhere. His flash fiction appeared in Storm Cycle 2013.