Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Three Poems by Linda M. Crate

a raven called karma

cut down to the bone
my feathers
stuck out of my shoulders
at weird angles as you
struck out
with your parallelograms
of rage and insincerity
seeking to destroy every fabric
of my being into the
same void that sings your name,
but you forgot that i am
like persephone
preferring peace but also knowing war;
i will burn you in the ashes of
your chaos--
once you witnessed my descent,
but now watch my
burning through memories like bones
ripping out your fur the same way you did my feathers
without touching you at all
because my best revenge
is success.

you are your own noose

i offered you
my naked heart and soul
you saw neither
all you ever did was satisfy
your need,
but nothing was ever enough;
you were gone
far before you left me
i kept holding on
knowing that patience is a virtue
you killed me with all that
but when you came back to me
it was only to tell me that it was over
maybe it was something i knew
before you said it,
but i kept clinging to hope with all of my
talons insisting that we could
one day be one;
i think the more you didn't need me the more
my heart decided to love you--
it wasn't fair, it wasn't right
what you did;
but life is seldom fair or right yet i know one day
i will see you stumble and fall and i will be
on the ladder of success--
you will call my name,
and i will pause but for a moment before
leaving you to drown beneath
the waves of your own lust.

you never let me be me

i come alive
when i feel the memories
of you and i slip away
because i know
my heart is
and there are no harpy claws
needed on my part
to rip you to pieces
because karma
will hit you harder than i ever could;
let her have your liver
i never could
stand the taste--
your gilded cage doesn't taste
so sweet to me anymore
because my song
is for
and i don't have to succumb to your
rage or whims anymore;
i can just fly wherever i want--
you tried to tame me,
but i am wild
don't need your instruction to be me
i've done it all my life.

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.  The second novel of this series, Dragons & Magic, was published in October 2015.  Her poetry collection, Sing Your Own Song, is forthcoming through Barometric Pressures Authors' Series.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Three Poems from JD DeHart

D. Spare

He thought he was
the perfect man, just
wanted to help, a fine
being, strapping (and
that's not even a term
he ever used), but then

all the best plans
he could fit together
formed a blasting cap
and all he could watch
was the splintering.

Human Shaped Human

They mused about
their mismatch, how their
words often tried
to replace the other's,

How they could not
escape their own essential
ingredients anymore,

They were cartoon characters
with endless bubbles
of dialogue trying to overstep,
overshadow the other

So they had their cafe
ending, letting the sun set
on an empty park bench.

What a Hero He Was

Yes, he made promises
and pictured a mailbox
with their names on it,

yes, he made observations
and corrections, thought
himself a good father,

but the emblem on his chest
turned pale, too much washing,
I suppose,

his beacon in the sky
became cloudy, his efforts
muddy, and his cape

became another bunched
mess on the bedroom floor.

JD DeHart is a writer and teacher.  His chapbook, The Truth About Snails, is available on Amazon.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Three Poems by Rose Mary Boehm

Going Over Old Ground

It all happened so fast.  Before we knew
each other we'd said "yes" and many more
things we regretted.  Still, we meant them
at the time.  You were into peace and love,

and I earned the cash, desperately
trying to be hip with the young
crowd you pulled in.  I suppose the kids

didn't help.  You felt guilty, I washed
the nappies by hand.

Then, one day, you found the golden stone
and there were parties, designer clothes
and private schools.  You drunkenly buzzed
from flower to flower.
I got lost in your excesses.

Once the kids had left home, I was ready.
You took me to the harbor.  When my ship
pulled anchor and I saw you getting smaller
on that pier and in my heart, I wondered
where do good intentions go?


I pulled up my collar.
Discreet dark-blue scarf
wrapped around my mouth.
Dark glasses.

Right at the front.
but for the camera.
Just another groupie.

Hundreds of years
after leaving this town
I had nothing better
to do than freeze
on this winter day in London,
outside my famous
ex's town house.
And there he was.
A common sound rose,
a sonorous sigh.

His new blonde trophy
tried to make herself visible.
He remained firm.
There could only be one
point of interest.

For a moment I thought
he had seen through my disguise.
For a moment I wanted
my camera to be a gun.

The Girl Without a Head Scarf

Amira left home.
Dumped her headscarf
somewhere between Tangiers and Marseille.

Marcel strutted.
Frigid Arab bitch,
he hissed to her denial.
Whispered secrets into her skin.

Amira had become voiceless,
adrift at a great distance from herself.

When he buried his need
deep insider her
in that room-by-the-hour,
no salvation was offered,
and none taken.
He stared at her with malice.
Amira exhaled
and was empty.

A German-born UK national, Rose Mary Boehm lives and works in Lima, Peru.  Author of Tangents, a poetry collection published in the UK in 2010/2011, her work has been widely published in US poetry journals (online and print).  She was twice winner of the Goodreads monthly competition, and a new poetry collection is earmarked for publication in May/June in the US.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Three Poems by Ken L. Jones

The Poet's Revenge

The red cupid silhouette thumb tacked to our wall
Like the one I once had a child has a torn heart
Which will soon detach from its hand
But the roller disco break dancing gangsta'
In Michael Jackson's Bad is the greatest thing I ever saw
On my TV since Topo Gigigo first kissed Ed Sullivan
And the long hungered after onion rings
Being cooked in our black skillet in forbidden oil
Will complement the almost raw steak with which it will be served
Yet I am still overcome with emotions painted by hand
That are as evolved as any amphibian
As I become lost once again
In her eyes that were wider than the blossoms of orange trees
And were bluer than the bluest willow china
That ever appeared upon this earth
As I walked with her down a prim avenue
Teeming with miniature dolls where her message of love
Was my afternoon rum and I need none other besides it
On the island's north shore that like sugar dissolved
But soon after she abandoned me to a shelf in the local discount store
Someone who thought I was something else
Soon took charge of me for a well intentioned makeover
But no matter how hard I tried to fake being what this wonderful woman wanted
It was a festering mistake and when I finally burst free after many a spring
She was repulsed by my talents and said that they were trivial things
And so now as I listen to the night's musicianship
And I long beyond longing to cross o're to it
But lack the surrender which would accomplish this
Still I want to say that I am unshaken
In my belief in true love even after this Valentine's Day
That screamed with bared teeth
From inside of the mouth which once gave me such peace
But then I can't give what I don't have and neither can she
But oh how I wish she would stop shrieking like some banshee
About things that never were and can never be
Perhaps in this reality or any other

I Reveal

When I needed something to begin to thaw
She had empathy for my yen to experience the rosy tint of dreamland
And then as she smiled like Gone With The Wind
She wasn't afraid to flash forward in that November
That was like ghost peppers growing
In the intense sunlight of the waterfalls of Jupiter
And all was still and fine until we met Loki on the Yellow Brick Road
On that midnight that was as hazy as a painting by Basquiat
As our love once so constant became like swirling wine
Pregnant with the first born of nothing happened
Back during those skyscraping years in flux
Just before my journey into all that mutates
Cast me adrift upon this mummified sea
That ends in one blind alleyway after another

And Shrink

I want to live in the past there is no future
The present reeks like a war zone
That can no longer breathe
And our long lost love is a frozen goddess
Tucked in a wicker basket full of dead sunsets
Where once we were star crossed lovers
Who went to see The Stones
But these days we know
Only the questionable delight of being rusty machines
Now that we live together alone

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.  

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Two Poems by Renata Connors

I Wish You Loved Me

Pitch dark, icy, indifferent sunrays
spread on my back
and through the window
your hand lay on the floor,
warm, firm, loving.

Don't hurry cloud,
wait a little,
give me a chance
to step on it.

I Can't Think of a More Attractive River

You've walked through me
like a ghost of pain
leaving heavy grey sludge
in your wake
and awake I am, all night,
until the narrow hour
between the dog and the wolf,
the weakest hour of the night,
darkness gone,
light yet to come

I'm desperately trying to suck the balm out of one word
but receive the strings of a hundred treadmill thoughts.
Pinned to the center of the flutter wheel
I'm holding anger like a crucifix
and I wish the stream
that makes it all go round and round
was called Lethe.
I'd drop everything, I'd let go,
the water would have it,
the water would swallow me,
I'd sleep.

Renata Connors is a poet and songwriter based in Tynemouth, Tyne & Wear.  Her poems were published in an online poetry magazine The Fat Damsel.  She has performed her poetry and songs at many different venues around the North East.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Three Poems by Ken L. Jones

No Admittance

My mission in life was her rosy cheeks
As she looked into her freckled mirror
In the motel that was in her stomach
Where I once stared at the ceiling of a racy novel
During that lost time that was her last child
Back when she was still the queen bee
Of the diamond brilliance of each breath that she took
Until I gravitated towards the eerie green tomatoes
That were the same color as her eyes
And lost forever her cinnamon laughter
So neurological and repeating
And yet still all of that is a thing with wings
Even now in the donation bins and the garage rafters
That are my late night sleeplessness
And oh how I long for any kind of freeing sensation
But my thoughts are like a needle getting picked up off of a record player
Near a motion sensitive river that is in an early freeze
Where I wish oh how I wish that I would have had it in me
To bow down low and surrender to her bliss

Remove the Paint

In years back whose flesh was bright red
There was something freeing about our untrapped appetites
That put fresh batteries in my brain
Every time we suddenly she our clothes
But now I am frostier than ever
As I groan for you in this bed made of lumps of coal
Remembering how we went back and forth from one body to another
Until whatever else there was to learn
Became the boundary that separates so many rivers
Even as it freezes them to their very cores

It Doesn't Take Long for the Gold to Come Off

Long ago when I first got lost in the crimson brokenness of the Beatles
I met a woman whose room was lit with sweat and her perfume
Her blue eyes were a mismatched tea set
Her old children's books were her pet cats
Purchased after she explored Mary Shelly's lumbering old antique shop
One day because of a rainstorm on an island of molasses
Like boundless beauty that I sing of now
Like a Roswell guitarist in a faraday cage without ears
Since I am no longer a farmer of revelations
But what does it really matter now that all of that chips and rusts away
And my Mona Lisa has become a Sapphic dreamer
But still I can't forget our first time together
But like the most effective of narcotics
That is something that I long for
But that will never again to me get prescribed
In the Martian opera that is my old age that I can barely hear
In the sad, sad hours of midnight
That holds me like a spider's web above these aborted fetal tides

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.  

Friday, June 3, 2016

Three Poems by J.J. Campbell

certain scars

lost loves finding
each other after
many years

many, many nights
of he said she said

and other bundles
of bullshit

yet a smile

a hug

a gentle kiss on the
cheek erases so much

except for the burning
pit in my stomach that
will always remember
you as that bitch there

certain scars never

no matter what
medicine or god
you believe in

the bitter pills of life

i close my eyes each
night knowing there's
a likely chance i will
never get to fall in
love again

and the more that
sinks in the easier
it is to swallow the
bitter pills of life

i keep hoping to be
wrong but i stopped
believing in miracles
when i was a child

one day i'll close my
eyes and be granted
the wish of never
opening them again

now there's something
to look forward to

smothered with what could have been

your soft
lips and
my cynical

i suppose i
can look at
the past and
be happy i
got to
at all

or i could
think back
and be
with what
could have

as i fumble
through old
letters and
articles of

off another
bottle of

J.J. Campbell is old enough to know better.  He's currently trapped in suburbia, watching his mental health erode.  He's been widely published over the years, most recently at Pyrokinection, Horror Sleaze Trash, Mad Swirl, BoySlut and Dead Snakes.  You can find him each day on his highly entertaining blog, evil delights.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Three Poems by H. Edgar Hix

Hebetic Reunion
(for Ellen)

when i heard you'd gotten married
someone inside me died 20 years ago

it seems the 18 year old is in the 38 years old
like a layer of gravel in the ground

or a ring in a tree that records the winter was mild
but the spring was plagued by hard frosts

My Bed

Soft fortress
offering protection from
dragons of thought
black knights of fear,
wizards of summoning
things bright and dangerous.

Focus of my night light:
mini spotlight on
a sheet too clean
for too long; X-rated stage
for G-rated plays.

The place marked "You Are Here"
on the map on the wall of my life;
just off shore from my water bottle.

Now We Have

I knew her when those eyes were fourteen
(and mine sixteen).

Our faces have been sculpted by the chisels of adolescence
and painted darker by the white sable brushes of marriage.

I knew her when those lips were red with cherry ice cream
I bought her when my date canceled one Saturday night.

Now we have blue veins in our wrists
shaped like lightning bolts.

I knew her when our hands were sticky with stolen sweets,
when our feet were bright, clicking on hardwood floors;

before our faces found their lines,
before we heard the slow thunder.

H.Edgar Hix lives with his wife, seven cats, one dog, and numerous collections in a little white house in south Minneapolis.  He hopes his writing will live many places with many people.  Recent poetry has appeared in Time of Singing, Mutuality, Pyrokinection, One Sentence Poems, and Right Hand Pointing.