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,  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, 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  His experimental lit-rap video is at  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: 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  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.