December 22, 2003-January 4, 2004: Taylor Graham and Alayna Tagariello

week of December 22, 2003-January 4, 2004

Taylor Graham and Alayna Tagariello

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Taylor Graham

Bio (auto)

My husband and I still train our dogs for search-and-rescue, and I help him with his wildlife field projects My poems appear online in Carnelian, The Melic Review, Poems Niederngasse, Poetry Magazine, Wicked Alice and elsewhere My latest collections are Lies of the Visible (Snark Publishing, 2003) and Harmonics (Poet’s Corner Press, 2003).

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Taylor Graham and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Delivery Failed

The mail is full of the bones of poems,
their flesh irradiated away Beige plastic disks arrive empty,
their huge capacity for words
sucked dry, their fertilized
yolks quite fried
Or, in piles of paper envelopes
they enfold their particles of praise:
warehoused against the fear
of contagion; unsorted, undeliverable
You know all this, and yet
in your single room
you go on fingering each vertebra
of sound and the possible spaces
in between Your keyboard
cords them together How does a spine move
about itself? How do the parts
grow grammar and nerve-
endings, and leap to music,
and learn to dance?

At night you open the window
and let your poems loose
to the westbound moon

too high for postal rays,
luminous as a CD-ROM,
its iridescent disk pulling a tide
of words pale as fear but
waxing like hope.

Lago di Garda

Today it’s so hot and hazy, my thoughts
evaporate before I can translate them
into the common language here,

along with what I wonder
if I saw
this afternoon, as we sailed the lake’s edge
past seven villages with names
I savor in my mouth but can’t pronounce,
all gathered in a splashing crescendo
of sound, water beaten together
with Mediterranean light, and all
the sun-smeared greens and reds, smells
of oven-baked bread and garlic,
and the townsfolk singing in their
incomprehensibly intimate

and across the lake whose waves
lap and lull with water-voices, shades
from verdigris-lavender distances,
one voice yelled something
that sounded like
“aiuto” or else “eureka “

On the lake whispering to itself
with its many voices
this vacation afternoon,
I don’t know
if I heard a man drowning,
or a mermaid offering sunken treasure
So far from my native words,
what could I possibly do?

Hunkering In

Green leaves make good neighbors But now the foliage is lifting
like wild geese without wings It falls and settles in heaps
on the ground: gold facsimiles
of sun Daylight’s shunted
so far south, it shines on things
that were obscured all summer:
our view to the north, for instance,
with a neighbor’s tilting porch I’d almost forgotten that neighbor,
sight out of mind I’ve walked
among trees that stand now
practically naked, like the view
of neighbor-deck and neighbor-
window And only a coming snow
for cover.

Casting Off Tenure

You’ll start your Great
American Novel in fourteen months
when you retire Why wait?

That’s the sweet unsettled
joy of poetry, as opposed to
fiction, which bears

the terrible weight of
verisimilitude And truth?
Whereas poetry casts off

the bonds of reason, those long
entangling chains, to simply
dance It’s ephemeral

and portable I’ve written scads
of subway couplets on the way
to work, and seen them

splashed above my head
that very evening, riding
home I eat poems

for lunch, they aren’t fattening I carry baskets of small
produce in my mind Bitter

melon sliced thin
as haiku A bunch of couplets
like seedless grapes So

write your magnum opus
when you think you finally find
in your residue of life

the time.


Our young bitch must have dug you
from your mother’s warren,
and brought you here: a toy,
no mite-threat to her own pups
barely weaned She’s doing
her mother-dog-dance about you,
suckle for a drying teat
You might be two days old: squat,
sable with a white spot
on your head That means Jack-
rabbit: the famished tooth
turned against our garden We shoot your kin
Now you lie like camouflage,
cold and dead No I touch,
you blink I’ll speak to you
as to a puppy, softly,
while I carry you away.

The Princess in the Tower

mourn everything the regent brings against
them: how they didn’t learn their lessons,
how once they snickered up the nanny’s
skirts as she was gazing out the window
looking for the king’s entourage A king
remains king, even when dead And so
the princes fill their gullet of repentance
with tears and sweat no, princes do not
sweat But they can drag-step themselves up
the worn steps of a tower, which proves
to be the quick way down Stones hold them
to their crowns The regent reigns And in their six-foot cell they sing
as thin and hopeless as burned-out stars,
looking down on the world from a high
barred window, no longer
up the world’s skirts.

Alayna Tagariello


Alayna has been writing poetry for approximately 15 years She is a recipient of the Walt Whitman Poetry Award, and has participated in poetry workshops with former Walt Whitman Society Poet-in-Residence, Robert Bly Alayna is a media/communications specialist at a large international company She currently resides in New York City, NY

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Alayna Tagariello and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Girl, Jazz

It doesn’t mean a thing
If it don’t got that swing
I’m on the street
Hot and smoky kebab capitalism
Fills my nostrils
And the deep cavity of my chest The buildings bow to me majestically
I own this stride
Weaving through pockets of bodies
Bustling blind past catcallers and the XXX men
Pimping postcards of pussy Strange fruit dangle from plastic hands of storefront mannequins,
Waving halfheartedly towards the cashmere clad Promised Land My stride becomes a catacomb
Of dark tunnels dug out deep from persecution
– Candle lit caves cover me catholically –
Blood buzz in the back of my brain
I’m on the street
Clothes I’ve got rhythm, music, my man
Who could ask for anything more?
My strut is my opus
Be-bop bombastic
Caustic cacophony
Cramped quarters
Come on!
The billboards boast but
The dot com’s are toast When the money’s gone,
The art beats on There’s still poetry on the street
There’s still hunt in my feet It’s in my veins
It’s in the taxi lanes
– Asphalt like Atlantis –
Buried cities beneath my heels
A buzzing white-hot wonder in every pavement crack Whispering sweet and blue,
The street sages preach on every corner Homilies and psalms tumble from their lips and trumpet button pushing fingers
Each note climbing closer to God I’m on the street
Clothes Like the one small patch of sky
Unmarred by ragged skyline,
I am blue, open, cloudy, distant
In my solitude People passing me ask why and I say because I like it It’s a golden nuance,
It’s a traveling one-man circus in the roadway Bike messengers do a two-wheel tango down Madison Avenue,
These designer kamikazes adorned with walkie-talkies and precious papers,
They get it goin’ from King Street to West 110th I’m on the street
Clothes I am evolved as my own island I am alive as the street I am like the music
Life set to a beat
The rat-tat-tat of drumstick to hollow overturned plastic drum
The thump thump thump of a world you don’t know because
You don’t see it
You just want right by
Blind to the melody
Deaf to the architecture
Unable to taste that electric current on your tongue but
I see
No one can hurt me because
I am free
Because I’m on the street
Because I’m in my work clothes
Because I am girl
Because i am jazz.

December 15-21, 2003: Jonathan Hayes and Jennifer Mitts

week of December 15-21, 2003

Jonathan Hayes and Jennifer Mitts

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Jonathan Hayes

Bio (auto)

Jonathan Hayes is the author of Echoes from the Sarcophagus (3300 Press, 1997), St Paul Hotel (Ex Nihilo Press, 2000), and self invented (split chapbook with Mark Sonnenfeld, Marymark Press, 2003) Recently published by M.A.G , Remark, and Sidereality; he edits the literary / art magazine Over the Transom.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Jonathan Hayes and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Curse

Roger Clemens walks across the outfield grass

and rubs the plaque of a homerun god
like one would the belly of a golden buddha

looming above the stadium

a baby laughs

Like Eyes of the Tapster

When creation is hot
in the basement of a cool mind,
and dogs run through the street
without leashes or order,
your dark pint remains
unfinished on a wooden bar.


The announcement
of freshly-smacked after shave

The contamination
of armpit sweat in a yellow Izod

And the mistake of being human

Eisenhower paragraphs of tight logic

The smell
of coffee in a deli cup


star explodes
periodic table of elements

lifting skull
to nebula above

a circus beyond feeling

Harvest Moon

They come home at night
off rainy streets
Going into warm apartments
that reek of the past
And sleep on mattresses
that slowly break them.

Jennifer Mitts


Jennifer Mitts was born and raised in Chattanooga and now resides in Knoxville, Tennessee, with her husband, Pulitzer-nominated poet Scott Holstad She holds a BA in English and an MS in Education, both from the University of Tennessee It was at UT that Jennifer found her writing voice under the instruction of renowned poet Marilyn Kallet Jennifer currently teaches English and journalism at an East Tennessee high school She has been a regional judge for the annual National Women’s Club Poetry Contest since 1999 Her work has been published in various magazines and journals, including Poetry Motel, SaucyVox, and The Little River Journal
Visit Jennifer on the web HERE

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Jennifer Mitts and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

For Sleep

Read, toss, left side, turn,
right side, spin, tangled in
sheets while outside thunder pitches
The queen of repression can’t get to sleep
would rather bend to distraction
than do it alone
with his face in mind,
his hand on my throat,
ravenous, unhinged, and desperate
like I recall
from that hungry April night
Sharon O , 
could I borrow your husband?
I wanna be Primitive tonight.

Yayin Halal
(A psalm of wine)

My one-of-a-kind Schwartzbart kiddush cup
overflows with wine,
fruit of the vine,
blessed are You who creates it
Rabbi Asa dipped gauze in it for baby Levi
to suckle at the bris It was held high as he received his name,
was joyfully lifted at his first Shabbos five days
and will be tipped again
at his first Chanukah,
his Bereshit bar mitzvah,
and one day, praise G-d,
his wedding Baruch atah

I flinch as Christians kidnap the drink,
changing it to bitter blood,
human blood,
the Torah-forbidden sacrifice
Ignoring “I shall not change,”
they deliberately deny His plain talk B.C.E ,
Creator, eager Bridegroom, azvatany
I’ve seen Marnie shed tears
over their creation of another god I’ve spat on myself for blindly accepting
their beliefs I shudder for my dead grandparents
who were intelligent but blind
and therefore useless,
never bothering to read the Torah
in the book they carried every Sunday
I changed, Baruch HaSh-em!

December 8-14, 2003: Scott C. Holstad and Jackie Goldstein

week of December 8-14, 2003

Scott C Holstad and Jackie Goldstein

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Scott C Holstad

Bio (auto)

I have published 14 books of poetry My work has appeared in hundreds of magazines in dozens of countries, including The Minnesota Review, Wisconsin Review, Poetry Ireland Review, Arkansas Review, Pacific Review, Lullwater Review, and Southern Review I currently live in Knoxville, TN, with my wife Jennifer and our two cats
Visit Scott on the web here: http://www.well.com/user/sch/

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Scott C Holstad and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


The day began simply enough,
cigarette in hand, coffee,
black and bitter, wadded up
newspaper, and after
got out of bed You were
there too, and you wanted to
debate the meaning of our
existence, but I couldn’t
at that moment
Outside, the birds sang
to each other, words of
wisdom, clouds of the
finest smoke, a mob of
blue jays descended on
the bird feeder, the
light still peachy
If there are lessons to be
Learned and gauntlets run,
If you remain holy,
The seed will be taken right from your hand.


I am a broken down car,
a miscast icon, a busted
toy to be thrown away
The lights overhead
cast shadows in ways
only the gods can see,
yet I can foretell the
future and it is this:

I cannot satisfy your
needs, your desire for
a family, home, ongoing
stability I’m a rover,
a roamer, don’t want
kids-the very thought
appalls me

We talked last night,
finally, and as frightening
as it was, the resultant
relief was like the first
bite into a fresh pear,
glorious and sweet-
all the bad washed
away, and I thank you,
hold you blameless,
wish us the best of
luck, and try not to
think of 8 years
going down the
toilet in ever
increasing waves.


For my Dad,
who called from Canada
to check up on me when
I was in the psych wards,
who came out to be with
me after I got out of jail,
who supported me, was
my iron rod, endured a
suicide attempt, started
to cry when he saw my
bloody body, red
knife in hand, who talked
sports with me, Calvinism,
therapy, jobs, women, to
the Dad I always wanted
and who was there for me
when I counted most,
as he always is,
this one’s for you!


Pound for pound
the best one of the bunch,
a fighter, scratcher, pit bull,
she can nail Œem to the
floor in one second flat,
her body’s beautiful,
but her mind’s a work
of art, whirling madly,
twisting and turning
she’s a REAL woman
and she won’t let
you forget it.


Counting sheep no longer works
after you reach 500 You move
on to cows, with similar results The
day comes crashing down on you
and you can’t escape it, the
water fountain gossip, the boss
bearing down on you, the
deadlines creeping ever closer,
the rip you tore in your trousers,
your NT machine crashing
seven times, losing work to
the PC abyss, knowing you have
built up a great backlog there
You go home, have two shots
of Jack, read through the bills,
fix yourself a TV dinner, watch
the Jorden-less Bulls lose
another one, take a bath,
think carefully about slitting
your wrists, knowing you
don’t have the guts to do it
and you go to bed
Sheep number one Sheep number two Sheep number three Sheep number.

Jackie Goldstein


I scribble in Merrick, in Nassau County, an hour outside of NYC I am the editor for the Health & Living Department at Ritro.com (Real Insight Through Raw Opinion) My poems and articles have landed in Poetry Motel, Spent Meat, Remark, and Thunder Sandwich I am a frequent contributor to Babel Magazine, which recently published an anthology entitled, “The Bukowski Hangover Project,” where two of my poems appear

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Jackie Goldstein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Squeezed Out of Space

I slipped around the corner
to find my space, but found
a shiny penny and a condom wrapper
floating in a rivulet about to abort
their mission and jump to a sure death
in the sewer
The geometric equation
of my space seeped out
the ragged tear in the window
screen as my neurotic dog
smashed through it; or
the lunatic animal might
have mistaken it for a biscuit
Squeezed out of that which
I lacked, like toothpaste from the tube,
I searched for my smeared
existence around the sink I thought it might be spinning in
the toilet, and tried to fish it out
with dental floss
Careful consideration mixed in an
abstract proportion of prayer and meditation,
gave way to conclusion: The apparition
which I failed to grasp could be
in that which was jammed
on his swaggering genitals
Or might be in the foil packet that held
the condom, and is now swimming
in spermicidal residue Maybe it was sucked into his penis.

Sex in The Suburbs

It cries in the pasty faces
of the women as they move
on automatic through the Kmart parking lot The men lodged behind their
lawnmowers bathed in beer and sweat They peer into the suburban jungle
and strain to notice the wan
expressions of their neighbors They pray for life beyond
the broken picket fence
Women satiate themselves drowning
in soap operas and organizing fund
raisers for the PTA The men spend
hours cruising the internet chatting
with teenagers, and on websites
masturbating over baby porn
The prognosis for recovery is slim The most prevalent cure is divorce Most choose to stagnate, wading
in a pool of toxic logic; or they cheat Either way, they wade into the arms
of a savior that is alarmingly
similar to the dead weight
they thought left behind.

Courtroom Melodrama

My husband sat stoic in the row in front of me They were the type of seats I sat in as a kid
in the school auditorium; not like the courtroom
on TV, but with surreal melodrama permeating the air
It was the initial phase of family court Our lawyers were five feet away arguing
in a loud exchange of seemingly hushed tones I couldn’t make out a word I’d hoped he would
score points, which seems meaningless now
The stress pressed against me like a wool blanket My nerves vibrated in tight knots through the legal bullshit Nothing conclusive would be decided that day We were not allowed in the judge’s chambers
while the hired hands presented their arguments
The Honorable Judge is a woman in her early 40’s;
I wondered if that would push in my favor My friend told me all the judges are corrupt,
or addicts in bed with the sleezeball attorneys
that appear slick and accomplished
I was waiting to be sentenced,
and had no control over the outcome My life was wavering in the balance
of subjective intention It was the beginning
of what I didn’t know would be years,
marked by statements from the law firm
screaming my diminished retainer
There will be no winners Surviving
with the least collateral damage is the best
I can expect I shook my lawyer’s hand
and thanked him It seemed like the thing to do;
and be grateful it was only 2 hours @ $250.00 per.

Offer A Prayer

I spent hours hating you The weight of which translated into Burger King
and Dunkin Donuts I didn’t quite get what you had to offer Whatever it was contained me, held me prisoner,
and was stronger than I could ever anticipate
I regard you as no less than an alcoholic without the ale,
although any addict would have gotten more consolation
than I had to offer you I did the work; years
of psychoanalysis offered no profound conclusions It’s obvious you’re an exaggerated reproduction
of my father and I the passive aggressive
my mother portrayed so well
And now,
its your turn I’m not waiting around till you figure
it out I can stand back and allow you your success;
you need not fail for me to succeed I am not that noble; there are times
when I gloat as you fall on your ass My false believe: It will redeem my pain
I release you with no regret, except
that I had not done it sooner Off you go, in my prayers
with the homeless and those in despair I can offer you a that, at the very least.

December 1-7, 2003: Lisa Allender and James L. Smith

week of December 1-7, 2003

Lisa Allender and James L Smith

click here for submission guidelines

Lisa Allender

Bio (auto)

Lisa Allender is an actress who lives in the Atlanta area, and is Host of several Open Mics She began writing seriously in 1996, and was published immediately She will direct the”Three-Day-Jam-A-Thon”(or, for the terminally hip, the”3D Jam”) which will happen from Friday, January 9th-Sunday, January 11th, 2004! 48 Hours, NONSTOP, of POETRY!! Open Mic, featured authors, speakers, workshops, Theatre Pieces, Music, Artwork! Lisa wishes to thank her family for all their encouragement!

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Lisa Allender and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The French are Famous For

We walked amid tourists at the tower
the one he called “ugly, infamous “
“Let’s go to St Denis “
“It’s dangerous,” he warned We arrived
A model, Monique
showed no fashion sense
Vanilla ice cream dream woman
needed no clothes
blonde rain fell over her shoulders
spilled down her back
as I instructed her in weak French
to watch us as we watched her
“Deux,” she whispered
“Two?” I asked
“Use two,” he explained Two fingers went inside of me
She was speaking more French
my vulva understood
all her pretty words She fell back upon her yellow blanket
fondled those sighing breasts
gentled two fingers into her own inner flesh,
and I, so American, asked to see
“More, More “
I shuddered and watched her dress
tight against her ass
imagined her naked again
and asked for her real name and if she wanted coffee?
We walked her to the metro
I waved goodbye and ran to hold
Van Gogh in my eyes
“The blue room at Arles”
at Musee d’Orsay It was dark as we reached Montmarte There were no warm towels,
just an inattentive staff
the French are famous for
no service
but only in the hotels.

James L Smith


James Smith originally from New York is now a Colorado poet and screenplay writer His poetry is published in many Journals, anthologies and magazines throughout the U.S and Europe. 

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by James L Smith and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Blank page

Trying to see further
Through a consensus of right and wrong
Looking for a truly blank page
Your mascara drips between my legs
You are focused
Deadly inspiration


Writing notes to yourself
On cocktail napkins

On you’re way to San Francisco
In your new red

You said it was our duty
To see all we can
And show others through art

We were alone when we talked
Clamoring glasses and bruting voices
Replaced with every word you spoke

You read my poem
You had to leave soon

You were springtime on a bar stool
Drinking bourbon

November 24-30, 2003: Alex Stolis and Dave Nordling

week of November 24-30, 2003

Alex Stolis and Dave Nordling

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Alex Stolis

Bio (auto)

Alex lives and works in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Alex Stolis and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Gary New-Duluth
(Reason #1 to not Believe in God)

He hates this town
and every time he speaks
of it you can see his eyes
roll and a smirk

spread across his face He closes the Steel Plant
for kicks; tells Gabriel
it was either that or flood

the Mississippi,
said he’s bored
with water, wants something quieter,
longer lasting
Something that would move people,
shake them and start some action
is the way he puts it This town never was sharp

but word spread wild
like weeds in sidewalk cracks
and the mean breath that blows
over Superior fills our lungs

as bars empty and wives leave
and husbands grind their heels
in black dirt and wait
for the miracle that never happens.

Reason #2 to not Believe in God

He never washes his hands
after an accident, I’m tired of prayers
he whispers to Moses,
his eyes turn grey
when hearing the sound
of a sparrow falling
The moon never provides enough
shade and the night has become dull
like a mannequins black eyes;

he sits in a field and listens
to the wind through cornstalks,
watches as the sun falls,
burns leaves and waits
as sparks float to the sky
to dance with stars but no one leads
and no music is heard.

The Pull of the Moon
(Reason #3 to not Believe in God)

No day is ever born at the same time,
tomorrow is the  knife’s edge
that you cut your wrist on;

yesterday is the Mississippi,
water flooding this bored town
turning it dark red;

I watch orange and yellow
run down a faded sign
that marks Highway 23
Today, the earth turns
brown, the sky moves slow I make up patterns in the clouds, one
is a rabbit, one is a dog
and one is you,
head turned west
arm pointing to the sun.

Dave Nordling


My name is Dave Nordling and I am a professional engineer with a major aerospace company in Los Angeles I live in Agoura Hills, CA, just outside of the great SFV
I have been a featured reader at a few venues in the Los Angeles area including the Cobalt Cafe My work has been featured in such places online as UnlikelyStories.orgDufusPoeticDiversity and planetmag.com I have also had my work in anthologies such as the Poets of Midnight collection I put together this year commemorating the Midnight Special bookstore’s departure from the 3rd street promenade
I have one book of poetry, From the Blue Folder, which is available for $5 I am also editor of the newly formed outfit, Off-World Publications, a manuscript and layout service for poets and spoken word artists

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Dave Nordling and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Another Hotel

Another hotel room
TV in the upper corner
held like a wild animal
with steel bolted collar
to metal tube post

I drop my garment bag
and travel case
to the stranger I’ll sleep on A night (or is it day)
is here
six hours more
I’ll walk into a new language
maybe I’ll get to use my alphabet
maybe not
I’m grateful for the sink
with civilized, sterilized
sounding like my own
in my tired hands
to my weary face I think I’ve become older
My shoes go first
tumbling ahead of my shirt
my belt
overnight case extraction
brings witch-doctor ointments
liquids and vials
I brought from my tribe
to this foreign place
I need a familiar ritual
Navigating the knobs
and fixtures familiar,
some not
I perform the cleansing rites
of the arrived passenger Walking about the stark
solitary room, dressed
like an immodest native,
I find my quarters
I extract my costumes
from the precarious folds
of my traveller’s pack
Inspect them Adjust them I will show myself outside
with them
On the single Scandinavian chair,
wooden and plain,
I plot my course
identify the sites
sensing distance
by past steps taken in these very shoes
arranged by the bed
I will learn from each second
when the sun rises in the new east I pray to my God, their God, our god
thanks for safe passage
for good humor of those I meet
for protection in situations unseen
and for sleep to take me soon.

The Typewriter

When my mom first saw it,
She totally freaked When my dad first saw it,
He only asked, “Why did I get it?”
When my brother first saw it,
He thought it was very cool When I first saw it,
It looked like a lot of fun
I didn’t keep it a secret
Because it is my right to have it I keep it in its box
Because it can be dangerous I knew when I found one
It would become precious
And rare some day
Some have asked me
What use is it My mom first thought
it was a typewriter That’s why she flipped She wasn’t wrong It is a typewriter
It only writes one letter,


Up to 50 times from its banana Through paper, wood, and metal
In nearly perfect letters
A little more
Than 9 millimeters wide.

November 17-23, 2003: Anthony Liccione and Melanie Simms

week of November 17-23, 2003

Anthony Liccione and Melanie Simms

click here for submission guidelines

Anthony Liccione

Bio (auto)

My poetry has appeared in Haggard and Halloo, Wicked Alice, Parnassus, Eagle’s Flight, Poet’s Review, Ariga, Pale Forest, Taj Mahal Review, Biff’s Board, Poet’s Review, Audrie Poetry Press , Cold Glass, HazMat Review, Sidewalk’s End and soon to appear in The Surface (December issue). 

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Nan Byrne and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

An Epic In God’s Eye

He knew me It was a dark surrounding,
where voices outside renounced me
And whisper Varnish with flowers and fill with dirt Drop the casket Dig a hole They did all they knew-

My son,
gray touching and receding,
with his son standing above
silent in his soccer cleats
I laid back
having no feeling-
ambiance to pain Metal into metal
and rubber screeched A thrashing force,
we collided Too quick to stop Intersection,
the other car would
run his flashing red,
my light was green
I drove off,
gave the cashier twenty
dollars and filled the gas tank She already at the family
picnic, my wife took her car I was bringing the tuna salad
Retirement finally,
thirty-year dedication Wished me well to my R and R
from the power plant They poured the champagne
as I blew out the candles A surprise party
Fulfilled grandfather My eyes have seen,
a double of me,
Seven hours of labor
a proud father suffered Same smell of sanitary
medicine clung
in the hospital halls Been here once before,
thirty years ago
She gave up her ghost
in the fullness of cat years-
if a cat did have one
hers would be guided
by angels The mound of dirt,
fragile bones laid
under the green grass
in the backyard
A soldier, a man,
my son The Air Force
was first choice-
served him well,
after high school A fine decision
in his twenty year
Youth to adult Now he is crossing
from a boy to a man Just yesterday,
we changed his diaper-
told him to look both ways
when crossing the street 2017
He gave me the smiles
I could not give at his age The wonder,
I thought was lost The magic,
that was dust in my pocket I wanted to give him
what I lacked
Late baptism and much loved A handful with reddish hair Eight pounds eight ounces-
he was delivered We yearned to have a child
We bought a comfortable
house, just small enough for us Student loans to repay,
I took a job at the power plant
She came in my life-
erased my sufferings Money did not matter,
it would come later Just that I was there
for her and she
for me
The years
would envelop sorrow Many homes, many people
many strangers A death in the family,
cut a quarter pie
Came home drunk,
smashed his fist through
the unwanted locked door Wine hiding in the cellar,
an alcoholic disappearing,
living in fear He hit her for control,
wanted to have her soul Throwing silverware
at each other,
around the kitchen table I was five
Amongst three daughters,
a sought after son-
I, the last child
They cut the cord and circumcised Birth Where voices outside pronounced me,
it was a dark surrounding He knew me.

Mayhem In The Coffee Shop

only coffee shop
in town where the smell
of cigarette smoke merges
in the air of bacon and eggs she walks in
high heels, long legs,
newspapers drop
silverware clink and stop-
the broken in waitress
wishing for her attraction
and impression
as she remembers her ambition
before she got pregnant
close to graduation
how she didn’t finish
and had to find a job
after her boyfriend left her-
now known as Anna-
the only girl in the shop,
where the truckers drop in
for desperate conversation,
three, four days of foul
clinging to their body
yellow gritty teeth,
smile at her
for a second refill her son now ten,
for ten years
she tipped that same pot
fetched their food
for little tip all the men turn
heads to peek at
this woman dressed in pink,
think she is too pretty
for this truck stop coffee shop
where the rolling stones
sing of their wild horses;
her perfume scent
making the town’s drunk
sneeze bitter in his wine the men grumble
a few whistle,
never seeing such woman
from their road side kill
hitching a ride and what did it take,
when she ignored the hounds
and made her way to the
greasy counter
asking for a cup of coffee to go,
along with her pretty smile
perfect straight white teeth she tipped her coffee pot
once more for an actual woman never had she beheld a rose
in her nine to five world hair fell in time
caught the tear in Anna’s eye
before rolling off her lash,
as she watched the woman
make her path to the two-way
swinging door the place where nobody knows
the way it’s going to be.


An unopened mind
is like ground beef
stuffed in a bell pepper
With an open mind
I can peel away
four hundred faces of skin
and fit a name for each,
shade in sunglasses
and were both strangers I ever pass my father
I wouldn’t have known
if bump shoulders
I have fallen into a dream
of myself free falling in
open blue Turns into a nightmare
of rapid eye movement,
head planted in two pillows-
sheets strung on pillars of sweat
after I hit bottom with eyes
open blue
and my fear thanks science
for being amiss,
saying I’m lucky
to have waken up But rather
I should have died in my sleep When I awoke screaming
A happy face can be
read in 1.3 seconds,
angry face 1.9 and the
screaming under 2
I open my mind
like a surgeon
under study-
each hemisphere
of the brain
curved in nerves
of consciousness,
I write these words
with the rightness
of heart, there is
a creative side that
most people don’t use,
some would rather
relish on television
or feed the fish with worms
hanging on starving poles
The truth is Olive oil is a fine
source of vitamin E
for the skin and hair Soak it up with Italian
bread and eat,
great on the arteries Pour on your forehead,
and it won’t clog pores I use to know a friend
to have masturbated with it Cod oil could be unsafe
if used frequently
A moon cycle is known
to give signals when full,
and control tides:
the human body 90% water,
could burst when boiled 1500 Finland’s took their lives
when there was a New Moon
There is power in choice It is to my choosing
to accept incoming messages
and to my lack of knowledge
to reject negativity If one wants to find
truth and believe,
he should first begin
by counting the stars-
and when he hits
that certain number
he will come to understand
that life is eternal
Memory could be a curse
for one person
and a blessing to another,
this process is called cognition-
if grounded well in senses
winnowing out thoughts from walls
first must come from pain
and then from pleasure
Notion to notion
word for word,
the tongue
is man’s greatest weapon,
able to revive a coma toast
or pierce the grate and make
one turn in his grave
A young fool
will always die in shame,
an old fool,
will forget and just die.

Melanie Simms


Melanie Simms is a new poet emerging under the mentorships of poets Gary Young, David Swanger, and John Taggart She has been published in various notable e-zines including; Zuzu’s Petals, Poetry Bay, CLAM (UC Berkelely), Penn Literary Review (Univ, of PA) among several others Currently Melanie Simms lives in the “Beatle-less” Liverpool, PA, while jealously, her sister, artist Cassandra Fell, lives within miles of Liverpool, England
Melanie resides with her 14 yr old son (and wanna-be rock star), and 7 month
old white kitten, Isis
At the moment, she is the host of Shippensburg University Poetry at the Ezra
Lehman Library

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Melanie Simms and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


When we reach the airport, the chaueffer opens
our doors and hands us our luggage You smile at me
and tip him more than you need to
We honeymoon beneath the stars
of Miami Beach where rolling waves caress the sand
the way you caress my skin and kiss my mouth, and
I cant tell the difference between the salt of your kiss
and the salt of the ocean You whisper, “I will love you forever”
Years pass We become two soft La-Z-Boy recliners
in front of a color t.v gazing into the familiar smiles
that grace the pages of wedding album;
the one hand-stitched by my mother It is brown now, and brittle along the edges
One morning you announce between the cornflakes
and instant coffee that you want out I watch you leave, but as the evening fades
I imagine you back in your chair,
I imagine that you have only stepped out
for an evening walk
How has it come to this?
All our dreams
packed away into one little suitcase,
and carried off so easily?

Back to Paradise
-for Gary Young-

She’s new,
polished by the California sunlight
into a brown-sugared sweetness; with
eyes the color of lapis; reflecting a
Pacific Ocean that stretches out
She is touched by West Coast paradise,
and even in these dismal, proper corners
of the East, she delights in sharing smiles,
illuminating a world with a heart that says,
“Follow me; let’s party, catch a wave!”

if these land-lubbers could, these country
farm folk who’ve forgotten how to dance
they would ride that wave with her,
into that sweet ocean of joy,
but she is an enigma here,
a girl outside her element,
defied by an alien sunlight
Sweet child of California,
touched by the light of a much kinder god,
follow Rand- McNally’s little blue roads back home,
back to paradise!

November 10-16, 2003: Nan Byrne and R. Paul Craig

week of November 10-16, 2003

Nan Byrne and R Paul Craig

click here for submission guidelines

Nan Byrne

Bio (auto)

Nan Byrne is a recent graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with an MFA in fiction She lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia Her work has appeared in the  New Orleans Review, Seattle Review, So To Speak: A Feminist Journal of Language and Art, and others A recipient of a fellowship from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts she is currently at work on a screenplay.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Nan Byrne and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

American Landscape

Something is happening in the picture A boy stares
into the lens of the camera a third eye focused
on a Chevy IROC idling blue gray smoke
behind him Thin as a question mark
Repeats the story he carries in his bones
Pulls off his baseball cap
runs his fingers through the bristles Smiles
This picture was taken in Wheaton, Kansas
or Durban, North Carolina, Albuquerque The boy is a neighbor, a face from the high school
yearbook Your son or mine If you look closely
you can see the growth plate settling
somewhere between the skull
and the groin The boy’s name is Doe
or Davey, but you can call him Delmore
if you want to get him mad
Pale skinned like his mother Lion maned
Pineapple hands He fixes cars down at the Shell
But all you see is the cowlick, upturned jeans
This can only be the fifties, but Eisenhower
has been dead for forty years Boys grow slowly
in the country How the sun moves
through the trees in winter Hiding warmth
inside the spaces of the absent leaves
Like fireflies gathering in the dusky twilight
holding fast to a disappearing life There’s nothing
that this boy is missing No place he’d rather be

Ice Cream

In 1955
my grandmother’s brain
short&Mac246;circuited An embolism
pushed its way
into an artery Her future over
before we met
Like flat soda she sat
all day No fizz or bubble
A shadow in a sweater
Dark hair neatly stacked,
flowered housedress, black pegged shoes
A grandma outline
Every Sunday afternoon we arrived
Supper was at two
Meat and potatoes in a mixing bowl
My grandfather fussed in the kitchen
Everything was liver
Never leaving her chair
Where’s your coat? She’d say
Don’t you know there’s a war on?
This in the 60’s
long before the government
ran the lottery that no one wanted to win
On her lap a red vinyl pocketbook
A lifetime of secrets
matchbooks, balls of toilet paper,
bakery string Black and white flickers
were our only diversion
Sing Along with Mitch
Could things be worse?
At five ice cream would arrive
packed in pints from the neighborhood store
Monochrome flavors, vanilla or chocolate,
only strawberry, rich and complex
offered any hope
We swallowed mouthfuls down
savoring the soft cool taste
While she slowly sucked her spoon
This small delight introducing us.


I walked the spindled path back
to my childhood home
Beer can in hand
Mouth twisted into courage (or some
approximation of an unfamiliar thing)
Approached memories settled on ancient feet,
all the while feeling like a sailor who lives for years
far above the water line then finds himself
once again at sea         
.In a blade of grass to drown

Gone: the days where land and water meet
Gone: snowsuits and balloons Gone: gone
I drank the moon I drank the beer
Anounced my name to the night
Blessed myself, walked beside myself
Across the years
in God’s slurried soup

R Paul Craig


My name is R Paul Craig, and I live in Friendswood, Texas with my wife, two children and a cat I have published a few poems in small journals

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by R Paul Craig and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


For months
I couldn’t leave
her alone It was
dangerous She
wept, I listened;
she was inconsolable When she rose I stood
next to her, by the
window I put my
arms around her and
wouldn’t let go If she
jumped she would have
to take me along She
didn’t have the strength
to kill me along with
herself I felt her body
yield when the tension
waned and she turned
to me from the despair
of her decision
We both fell asleep,


The last book
my father gave
to me was about
Napoleon It was
written from an
American point
of view and Napoleon
seemed like an evil
tyrant, who wanted
control of everything,
of everywhere I was
reading this book when
my father died My
distaste for Napoleon
has been unshakable
ever since.

November 3-9, 2003: Faith Mairee and Collin Kelley

week of November 3-9, 2003

Faith Mairee and Collin Kelley

click here for submission guidelines

Faith Mairee

Bio (auto)

I write from Cocoa, Florida My poems have appeared in Poet Magazine, By-line Magazine, Cable Week, Wide Open Magazine, Alley Cat Magazine and some have been published by Seminole Community College in Sanford, Florida Others have been published in various anthologies
Visit faith on the web: http://community.webtv.net/faithmairee/THEPOETRYOFFAITH

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Faith Mairee and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Cattle Egret

he struts across the plaza parking lot
like he was mr universe
proud as hell to be
the cattle egret that he is

his appearance is flawless
except for the perpetual
grease spots on his back
from slipping under parked cars
looking for bugs and lizards to eat

this is his fourth winter here
and i feel compelled
to name him something
charlie seems to suit him
although to this day
he won’t answer to
anything he’s called

Collin Kelley


Atlanta native Collin Kelley is an award-winning poet, playwright and journalist His debut volume of poetry, “Better To Travel,” was published in September and the launch party was one of the Atlanta Literary Festival’s most attended events His poetry has appeared in The Pedestal, The Harrow, Welter, Offerings, Alternative Arts & Literature and SubtleTea.com His play, “The Dark Horse,” won the 1994 Deep South Writers Award and the 1997 Georgia Theatre Conference Award His interview with German filmmaking legend Wim Wenders will be published this fall in MovieMaker magazine By day, Kelley is the managing editor for Atlanta Intown magazine “Better To Travel” is available from amazon.com and other online stores Visit www.collinkelley.com for more information

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Collin Kelley and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


You sleep on the floor while
syrupy words drip from my
pen Another treatise on the subject
of not having We agree our love is an
undefined place The only certainty is our
inability to do without the
other, this co-dependency we
both subscribe to, this Sunday
puzzle I cannot solve Not even a sticky fumbling to
show there is anything beyond
status quo, my revisionist
virginity a bonfire I typically burn for your touch,
while your fingers remain just
out of reach You are moving across town,
like this will change anything The boundaries remain intact,
and like politicians, we
gerrymander the lines seeking
partisan advantage.


There is poetry in the strangest places:
Your tangled hair, the words that form
on my lips yet remain unspoken The sound of a phone ringing in an empty
room, bouncing off the hardwoods A cigarette burning, dangling on your lips One long ash that refuses to drop, to fall
away from the fire That is my soul.
Slowly turning to dust as you take one
more drag.

Peter Greenaway

Our worlds collide over
music and poetry In that too familiar place
where I planned suicide
and your girlfriend was raped I lived,
you turned to men,
almost died The chemo
killing you faster than
the cancer We are both in remission
You love the absurdity and
uncertainty of Peter Greenaway
films The changing colors of Helen
Mirren’s dress, the treachery of
numbers and skipping rope, the
insanity of architecture The critics wouldn’t understand
us either
We are stranger than fiction,
we color outside the lines,
we speak on the phone long
distance as if communicating
from different continents You are further north, closer
to London, the place we
both agree on The place we could happily
succumb to, the music, the
literature, the cinemas on every
corner where we could sit all day The proximity of our shoulders
electric, your hand on my inner
thigh the center of the universe These joys un-numbered,
living some other life, answerable
only to the whim of fate,
giving ourselves up to the uncertainty
We get into the leaking boat,
row out,
taking on water Holding hands as we slip into
the blackness Cheating death at our leisure,
surrendering to that perfect
finite weight.

October 27-November 2, 2003: Andy Baron and Luke Buckham

week of October 27-November 2, 2003

Andy Baron and Luke Buckham

click here for submission guidelines

Andy Baron

Bio (auto)

My name is Andy Baron I live in Houston, Texas I write poems.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Andy Baron and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Upon Learning the Details of Anne Sexton’s Suicide, I Fall Asleep

and dream
a girl’s voice
haunting me:

“after they die,
the dead go on

breathing “
I am shown
their calm faces,
grey and quiet
as wet clay
I am shown
a chest growing,
The child
taunts me madly: “I
told you so!
I told you so!”

Every year,
nearing her birth-
day, Anne fantasized
the end of awful-
the arrival

at God I awaken, still
night, and death
is everycolor- sandcolor,
mecolor There is

no other But the dark
ocean is alive-
the black sky,
My knees are bent My feet are still My breathing steams
I tighten the oars
into water and flex
my boat forward
through the sea This is

the happiest rowing These are
the cleanest strides Exercise, that’s all One two one two
A voice again
only now it’s new:

“As you approach me,
I approach you “

Luke Buckham


I have recently moved to a weird little place called Keene, NH, where most of the citizens seem to live by New England poet Robert Frost’s declaration “good fences make good neighbors I am in chronic disagreement with this idea–I think that good doorways make good neighbors Hopefully someday I’ll write a line good enough to cancel Frost’s and make this area less frosty People must learn how to be friendlier or we will all die of loneliness
Sometimes I write poems

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Luke Buckham and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

while she sleeps

Tonight the streetlights of a mute planet
are stretching their arms through our windows
trying to cradle you My body isn’t big enough Little whirlwinds of sand and leaves
play on the sidewalks like disintegrating children. 
Streets appear and disappear
in the blink of traffic lights and imitate infinity Past the boundaries of our crumpled town
Past the yellow arms that stretch through our window
Past the useless newspapers that never make a dent in reality
Blowing under the bridge to be eaten by the river,
Tyrants plots to overthrow tyrants,
feeding off the boredom of each other’s impossibly predictable cruelties,
and all I want to do is crawl
into the harsh silence of your hair and die
I don’t ever want to hear a newscaster’s monotone again
telling me in bland language that the air that surrounds your sleep
is going to be sucked out without a voice
by a missile or a meteorite And I’m tired of seeing my old friends
turned into robots by other, older robots I would kill the gods to make you smile
I wish I had never read that boring book
about the end of the world Now the orange digits of the clock
blink at your naked body like hungry animals
that have never bothered to eat You’re a cherub surrounded by gasping machines,
and I’m so tired that the moon squats
like a sumo wrestler preparing for his fat battle
on my forehead every time that I lay down
in your shadow that drifts quickly across the sheets
in a prism’d assault of sightless headlights. 
I don’t want these nightmares
to make their homes in your body. 
Last night when we were on top
of each other in the pushing air
I thought I felt a lump in your breast. 
Nobody on earth has ever deserved cancer,
but there it is I would kill the gods to make you smile. 
None of the so-called great religious texts
have ever described the way a girl looks
when she sleeps on my helpless bed. 
So I can’t trust a word they say. 
But do I remember meeting Jesus once,
late at night sitting on a park bench in Philadelphia. 
We didn’t have much to say to each other. 
I was on my way to a dance club
and he was on his way to the cross. 
I asked him why the so-called great religious texts
had never gleefully described god’s obvious handiwork
in the shape of your ass I told him that none of the psalmists
ever sang about it They were too busy
pleading for the teeth of their enemies
to be shattered in a sandal-clad kick He was too worried to answer me I tried to cheer him up, but his frown
was like the shadow of ocean waves,
crashing constantly but never into a smile,
and he kept saying to the empty, granite air,
“I don’t know what’s going on in the heavenly offices. 
I just wish I knew that this was going to be enough to satisfy them ” 
I told him that we never know
if what we do is going to be enough for anyone,
and tried to get him to come dancing,
but he said there wasn’t time There’s never enough time. 
Even gods can’t seem to conquer this problem. 
Now he hangs so quietly on his cross,
and we hang noisily on mine
I’m going to watch you sleep
until the furniture grows into my body,
and I become a part of your stationary dreams. 
Ambulances push the summer air
into whooshing fragments outside,
and you turn over with the funeral procession of youth      
already making its way across your face. 
I want to stop the wrinkles from forming
prematurely around your eyes,
but your spirit is too old for your skin. 
It keeps pushing its way out And we’ve done things in this room
that would make all the angels
stare in amused disbelief,
the action of our bodies has made us older. 
The church steeples and radio towers
lean into our windows with blank eyes
in fields of spiritual static
to see what we’ll think of next
Someday I’m going to walk out on a high cliff
above this mechanical city that is a false god’s wristwatch
and burn all the documents of our existence in the same fire Then we’ll be together without all these names I’ll watch the birth certificates
and botched marriage licenses,
the senseless pay-stubs
and the insurance forms
that can’t save anything worth saving,
glide off my fingers like limp birds
above the over-organized world
to be eaten in that fire, and the flames
will no longer make their homes in my nerves. 
On that day there will be no more gods and devils,
just you and I making love above
a field of crushed stars
and hollowly-singing beerbottles
that our guardian angles threw
when they got drunk on their watch,
grinding our mortal symetry
into disgruntled music on the rocks.

October 20-26, 2003: Karey Stram and Michael Pacholski

week of October 20-26, 2003

Karey Stram and Michael Pacholski

click here for submission guidelines

Karey Stram

Bio (auto)

I’m 47 and live in Staten Island, New York I’m a free-lance writer/performer I write and perform poetry and some comedy I moved to New York to focus on my writing after many years as a defense attorney in Washington, DC To date I have two novels, a play, a few short stories and an awful lot of poetry-mostly unpublished

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Karey Stram and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Wreck of the Andrew Barberi

I took the last safe trip on the Andrew J Barberi
Which had been slogging back and forth
Across and back
the New York Harbor
For countless years

I’d slept in that morning
after a long night
Tip-tapping at my keyboard
Trying to put yet another
Unpublishable novel to bed

My subconscious must have gleaned
The perfect time for me to make my bi-weekly trek
Across the harbor
and into mid-town Manhattan

I pulled myself together and caught the 2:30 ferry

As I entered he terminal I tried to guess
Which vessel would be at the dock
The JFK I thought
No It was the Barberi
One of the newer, not so nice boats

Gale force winds were blowing across the water
I shivered in my late summer attire
Wishing I’d worn my sneakers
Instead of the too-large Tivas
Which look like rafts attached to my
Battered souls

I wondered how the gusty weather
Affected the ferry’s navigation
As the ship plunged through
Choppy waves on its way to South Ferry

Had I abandoned my errands and stayed on board
I might have been at the front of the boat
As it crashed into the dock on its return trip

If I’d known her fate
I would have wished her Godspeed
And farewell, stout friend
As I stepped upon dry land

Now I wonder if street musicians
Kept playing
like they did on the Titanic
As the ship hit the dock
Panic ensued and
Bodies flew
Over the deck
into the cold green swell

Luck was with me that day

I conducted my business
And subwayed back
to South Ferry
To find a confused crowd
Straining to hear a muffled message
that ferry service was


My heart dropped to my feet
I felt like a fetus with a
Severed umbilical cord
Or a junkie missing a fix

I had two bucks in small change
And ten empty fare cards in my pocket
I felt stranded
Left high and dry
Helpless as a babe
But only for a minute or two

Then I straightened my back
And followed the pack
Of marooned commuters
Out of the terminal
Towards Mecca?


I crossed my fingers
Asked strangers for advice
And found my way to the
End of the X-bus line
To wait, I presumed, for ages
And to worry about whether
I’d be permitted to ride

I pulled out my dime store novel
Preparing to suffer in silence
When low and behold
And X-8 huffed and grumbled
Up to the curb and opened its doors
Right at my feet

I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t say
“Oh no-these people behind me
have been waiting for oh so long


Grateful I was
for this promising twist of fate
and climbed into the bus
taking the last empty seat
Others behind me, more worthy,
would have to stand

No one grumbled
or condemned me as an opportunist
Perhaps they thought
they would have done the same
given the chance

There was a cheerful air on the bus
Those with radios or cell phones
disseminated information
about the shipwreck
and fellow travelers chattered and speculated
about the cause and the fate of the
passengers and the pilot

We settled in for what we thought would be
a long trip through Brooklyn
and over the Verrazano

But the night was young
And we were safe
And lucky
Not decapitated or dead
Or sopping wet from a spill
In the drink
Or stuck in a line of hungry
Angry, tired and cold commuters

Or firebombed
Or blacked out
Or 911-ed

We crossed the bridge
In less than half the time predicted

I got off at the first stop
To await another bus
Once again wondering
If I would be permitted
To ride for free

I gave 20 cents to a high school student
Who wanted to call home
And after I finally climbed aboard the 51 bus
My charity was rewarded tenfold
When a fellow traveler paid my fare

Cosmic Karma held fast that day

And if anyone tries to tell me
That New Yorkers are a
Grumpy, unpleasant, hard mouthed lot
I’ll say

Michael Pacholski


I’m Michael Pacholski I live in Gimpo, S.Korea (Bldg 313, Apt 101 if you want to go that far with it) I have a masters degree in creative writing from Illinois State University

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Michael Pacholski and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Who knows where this one will go
what words and labels should I stick
together to call lines
and to whom are these lines singing
lamentably like a croaking frog
staring at a fly on a glue pad and staring
is it him or you or me or that one
on the park bench using
a half loaf of moldy bread for a pillow
or that one
what are the listings
of the clean detoxed bums in royal rags
and absinthe dreamers wearing the green glitter
the long-haired longers and princes
the flea catchers
and future pallbearers of the street
who knows where these and future tides go
do tides bury their heads in the sand
when bigger tides swallow them
do they smack them
in the lips
who is that figure
in silhouette
far off
by the lighthouse
barefoot in the tides
did he skip a rock in the tide
was it a bottle
did he slash a piece of glass
across his neck
he went forward
and, from thereon,
blended like syrup in a tequila sunrise
I would have called out a name
to see if he would turn
but I knew no name
I knew no name for him

October 13-19, 2003: David Herrle and Elizabeth P. Glixman

week of October 13-19, 2003

David Herrle and Elizabeth P Glixman

click here for submission guidelines

David Herrle

Bio (auto)

David Herrle is a working Pittsburgh writer whose first short fiction collection,  Anywhere But Her, was officially published July 2003 He is the founder and editor of SubtleTea.com, founder and mediator of Castle Shannon Library’s Monthly Muses Writers Forum, and an occasional participant in various art events and readings In 2002 his self-published poetry book, Doomsinger Smiles, inspired the poetry collection he has recently finished for agents/presses: Venus Egmont (Fiction Girl Poems)
Herrle is also currently shopping a 5-part novel, Love Is Blonde, and is gradually working on an epic novel about a fictional woman’s life, Where Are You, Fine-Wine Face?  Groundwork for a collaborative anthology of poetry and prose through SubtleTea is one of the many projects Herrle has in mind at present
He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his earth angel, M.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by David Herrle and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Sees Her Ex

She took a drag on her Lucky Strike
squinted held it in
smoke out nostrils
dragon jets
her teeth showing
said “sorry”
I nodded thinking it had been
in her lungs
or even silk inside
She took another drag
squinted held it in
smoke out nostrils
dragon jets
said “there’s that bastard”
the smoke in my face again
this time didn’t say sorry
saw her watching him
flirt with sexies
her teeth hidden
by tight upset lips.

Eve Walks Through the Orchard

Last fall she was high heels over head
hopelessly hopeful
in the arrested moment
stretched over countless hotel
nights with the tallest man she’d ever dated
Chases around king-sized beds
sipping brandy until dizzy
chewed banana smashed through their teeth
and mashing it together with their tongues There’s something ultra-intimate about
swapping sloppy banana with a man
He always said nothing could go wrong in a hotel
until one night the police were in the hall
and they saw something under a blanket
wheeled to the elevator They closed the door
and laughed Horrible, but they laughed They laughed and couldn’t stop
because they were so alive
and they made love like frenzied lions She cried his name like someone
shattered on rocks pleading for help
One night she half-awoke and half-dreamed
that he packed his clothes and tip-toed to the door The next day she called the desk and found
that he had checked out and claimed she would pay the bill She felt ashamed to be naked
Now she walks through the orchard
upturned collar
wind pressing at her back Shed trees frozen like dead women Amused that this reverie comes
to her a year later, crunching over
fiery leaves, she thinks
He wouldn’t need a ladder to pick
the highest apple
She wonders if he’d offer her a bite Or if they’d chew it into sauce and share it in a kiss
But there are no apples anyway In due time, in due time.

Elizabeth P Glixman


Elizabeth P Glixman (Worcester, Massachusetts) writes poetry, nonfiction, and short stories Her work can be seen in e-zines and print publications including Small Spiral Notebook, Snow Monkey, Outsider Ink, storySouth, Pig Iron Malt, Doorknobs and Body Paint, 3 A.M Magazine, Chocolate for A Woman’s Soul II,  Whole Life Times, In Possee Review, and Muse Apprentice Guild

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Elizabeth P Glixman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Creator

In his yellow glory Amen Ra
wakes the land 
each day
above and around the Nile River
Amen Ra brings happiness
to infertility
with melted snows 
and flooded rivers

He inherited this job
from a mother
whose gardening skills
won her a prize
at the country 
It is hard to tell when she lived
or if the story is real
for she was a woman creator
and not much is known about Eve
except the rib

The land after death and in-between is hidden 
in pyramids 
and ancient letters 
the solar disks
the plumes
the eagle’s head
the goat
The hand of Amen Ra
is invisible
No one can decipher
the complete 

It is five o’clock
Amen Ra is pleased with this day’s work
It is good
He boats across the red and violet western sky
in his creaky ship 
to sleep the peace of a labor well done
Tomorrow he will
bring dawn to men
laboring in the fields 
who bow to him
at days end
and proclaim him the creator of all
in the darkness

Published in Snow Monkey

Voices At Night

Do you want him dead?
These were the words I heard before sleep
when all I wanted was a lullaby Brutal words arrived in my ears from the dark hall
Whose exit led to the back door,
Where I could see stars and pine trees
Through bullet proof square pieces of glass
Last month when it snowed
crystals larger than moth balls,
there was a fight
Blood red in the snow,
In the backyard with the stars and the trees
next to the door with the glass, where all is visible Enraged fists and clenched teeth were dim
In the shadows of the moon
It was all about laying actions down on the line
About money
It was an f you fist thing
Hidden in trees in the yard White powder in brown bags
Money, dark as a boy’s skin
From the window I watched. 
The strange hand movement that was their kiss
felt sweaty in my palms Between these boys was victory
They hugged
I do not understand their language
Those do you want him dead words sleep with me,
I am afraid to hear past twelve midnight
when the murder words slid under my door,
From the hall where the stars do not live,
I remember the moon’s face, shining bright
And the red lines of blood on the boys’ arms

It is night, no words appear in the hall I tell the cow in my lullaby to jump quickly over the moon,
There are brown bags that daylight will seize

Published in Tough Times

An Invitation

I am planning to make love to myself in the middle of Main Street this Tuesday at eight a.m My angel, my devil, my woman will be there in view of all You are all invited
Pretending I am acting but knowing the truth I will kiss my lips reflected
in the mirror of the crimson puddle on my right where soldiers died for peace and mothers cried in shame Their lips, my lips walk on another face in another universe

In hallucinations of golden sands I will toss through the granular mounds of my mind
sifting and sorting, telling the terrorists of history to go away You are not welcome here My feet will hit cement near the city’s plaza, moist blankets of sun burnt sugars
cover toes, legs, a belly softer than dust, and a limb that was left from the last war
I will roll on the sidewalk No one will see anything but passing traffic A person at the bus stop glances blindly, not aware of reflections His mirrors are covered with cloth so heavy
the sunlight is gone from his eyes Moaning Crying In isolated fulfillment
I will laugh in surrendering pain
Roll down the hills of childhood in grass stained pants
and clothes my brother never wore At the bottom I will rise
peacefully and fall towards the mountaintop
Everyone who can see will clap at the performance, leave his or her name in the guest book, and search for their own mountain to climb
Published in Skyline Literary Magazine

Cast Iron Pan Speaks

Harsh weighty overcast cooking pan
cajoles me in the electrified heat Flushed with burning, he is glowing,
demanding the removal of all fans Energy quantifies time No need for coolness
Breakfast Lunch Dinner Yoked circle chicken gift
condenses codifies Crispness is an option Completed Steamy swelling tomato
sauce ionized by cooking

My expertise is exactness Exhilarate my leaden edge
Notch my sweat in degrees,
Slowly grease my grace Lead me to satisfaction The stainless steel-protruding spatula
Is my icing Scraps Tingles Releases my iron will Removing rusty resistance Ignites I love the pain in my pan

October 6-12, 2003: Jade Blackmore and Adam Joseph

week of October 6-12, 2003

Jade Blackmore and Adam Joseph

click here for submission guidelines

Jade Blackmore

Bio (auto)

Jade Blackmore is a poet, writer and advertising coordinator in Los Angeles Her work has been published in hundreds of small press zines, consumer magazines and websites She is currently a self-help columnist for Moondance.org, and also contributes articles about rock music to Suite101.com and RockConfidential.com Her websites:
and www.jadeblackmore.com

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Jade Blackmore and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Hollywood Eulogy

Girl in beret,
(Closet junkie)
faces melting into mustard
as bums watch Incognito splashes,
sidewalks on fire Gunshots scattered by the altar of Mary Mercedes voodoo Brownshirts in Beverly Hills
procure shrunken heads in trophy cases Temporary poet with two black eyes and Grace Slick’s voice courts a millionaire biker Dozens of raggy-bearded bikers escort them to his Bel Aire mansion on their wedding day Neon red blood coats the parking meters along chic street Get spit on riding the bus to Westwood See an Indiana schoolgirl’s bedtime fantasy butchered in the back of a van in Farmer’s Market The insiders smell poverty like dogs smelling meat and attack Reality pukes up miracles like so much synthesized garbage Cocaine high, calypso target Angel blonde screaming in bathroom, Laurel Canyon tripping Saxophone players from hell
curdle beneath the sewers of Hollywood Boulevard providing the city’s soundtrack
for a Marlboro
or a bottle of beer A dancing minstrel long past his prime has a rich ex-cheerleader support him
while he pursues a stale dream But the city knows Fame is just a freaky old man
gliding down a carpet of vultures.


a note for the doctor taped on her stomach marilyn
with nothing on but the radio,
dyeing her pubic hair for the first time everybody’s got something in common with
quite mad,
like her mother marilyn
with no make-up
a country bumpkin
in flip-brimmed hat someone should have warned her
about jealous Italians marilyn
wired for sound
in the president’s bed ,
her consummate body
limp as spongecake
after Bobby left the fuzzy end of the lollipop the pursued lips marilyn
shivering in sweater in times square subway the backalley abortions, the fruitless womb marilyn
running up belltower stairs
in high heels
when the roses stopped coming.

the problem with comets

is that they catch your eye,
so quick and bright against the sky,
retinas burn every 75 years or so,
a comet tricks you into thinking
it’s a permanent fixture
of the solar system you look in the sky years later
and expect to see it
flailing past the Big Dipper,
a grandiose peacock of the air you remember it that way,
not acknowledging
the deep trench that sucks you in
or the unwieldy cinder
that ferments the soil.

Adam Joseph


My name is Adam Joseph I reside in San Bernardino, CA; and I am 24 years old

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Adam Joseph and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Born Again Auto-Body

drop off the car
simply wait for an estimation
simply wait for instruction upon demand,
for high dollar expense to be taken
as an exchange for apparitions of goods and service simply continue to wait
simply make use of loose time,
and the minimalist waiting area,
its two chairs ” broken zenith -coffee percolated sixty times over -uninteresting selection of old periodicals
-uninteresting people,
simplicity was not in time’ s schedule
only passing slow enough through darkened ages,
reaching enlightenment,
enlightened with no troubadour or study of the golden mean,
but churches, monasteries, mosques, and islamic nations yielded all focus on national economic balancing and a welfare reform,
simply wait, now accompanied by my disgust,
not entertained by the dollar bills that inevitably continue to be plucked from my conspicuous consumerism,
in waiting, I somehow invited the company of any available fanatic who was in dire need of helping anybody and everybody find jesus amongst the minimalist backdrop of burnt coffee and suspicious specialty service,
it was a negro who stood hyperactively beside a window,
taking a break from the mental assistance of helping the crew service his jalopy,
that’ s when his movements shifted into a gear that pointed in my direction,
” shit!” was my apparent expression, while he had that look,
that twinkle of gospel in his eyes yearning to be forced upon unwilling audiences,
gospel was not alone in his eyes,
noticing the yellow-filmed cataracts that had taken refuge there as well,
he was as negro as the night,
leaning down with a gratuitously sinful touch to my knee,
he whispered me a question,
” have you found christ?”
” I wasn’ t aware he was hiding ”
shit began hitting any fans that occupied my space and had no mercy,
ball busting rambunctious laughter persisted and
coexisted with sympathetic tears we forcibly wept as a homage to me,
he took several walks to certain imaginary destinations,
upon return quoting matthew, peter, and john
not saint john mind you,
twisting tongues into ultimate knots
almost saved me from his own horrible truth,
continuing to spray jesus and magdelin,
he touched and tapped,
under impressions that my personal space was on a leave of absence,

still negro as the night,
he discovered that my interest was never roused in his continuous game of hide and go seek,
in which he never had the chance to hide,
just infinitely seeking a hider who is never to be found,
I quietly sketched out a drawing of this eternal one-sided game and presented it to the negro, 
his eyes now reflected his worry that I may burn in some imaginary destination for such a blasphemous disbelief,
I assured him that I was a lost cause and he should move onto those who were actively in fear of eternal hellfire,
eagerly, I got right back to the six-day-old joe, the broken television, the uninteresting magazines and made sure to leave out the uninteresting people.

a bookstore

in this bookstore
is an annex
and a cellar
in this annex and cellar
I spend some time browsing
never between the two
that’ s where the gaudy people discuss disease along with others
while gays discuss humanism
and the bastards cease to converse on hedonism

they tell me there’ s history
imbedded in the annals of this bookstore
there are spectacular amounts of black and white photographs of literary icons
either the annex or the cellar

I spend more time in the annex
than the cellar
surrounded by millions of poems and
pungent b.o and phenomenal men blurting phrases,
” fucking faggots, I hate them”
quiet enough for all to hear

the same phenomenal men
sit comfortably in small chairs
absorbing the works of Blake and Elliot
attention less to those scuffling by

in this bookstore skinny hairy men
have written stories of sodomy, opium, and love
one thousand times over
moving to the ivy league
and dying soon after

in this bookstore
I strive for the comparable death
to my predecessors
hoping for more than repugnant b.o to rub off onto me when I go

The hot

the hot made for the heatest day
i’ ve come to know,
i noticed eyeliner, rogue, and lipstick forming
vibrant lakes,
after dripping off millions of strangers
we once called mom

ugly people, ugly belief, ugly conscience
were all revealed by a horrible
unrealistic sun

social practice, character, and sensibility
were thrown out to the curb
replaced by buckets of cold water,
dousing expensive linens and silk threads

one of every man’ s legs had a sweaty testicle or two
super glued to it so tight,
they formed lines in front of
the jaws of life

my shirt clung to my chest and back
giving me another constant discomfort,
causing my hate to grow
directed at innocent bystanders

a chorus of bickering and moaning
duets of whining and bitching
solo fits of hysteria (the solos went to the females)

the government employed and the fully uniformed,
passes by thinking of ways to die before tomorrow
i gave suggestions to the more pathetic ones,
the ones without state issues hand guns or revolvers

I say
that hot was the heatest hot
ever remembered

people’ s faces gnawed off, unstapled,
silicon implants,
sifting through city streets,
at unimaginable speeds

heaps of melted prosthetics, ivory, gold, and silver teeth,
and mountains of epoxy and polyps,

the hot continued to linger through the dusk
into the evening
no considerable commotion being caused
but still no relief
only masses of steam draining off boiling asphalt

the darkness only kept the sickening faces a secret
from themselves
i knew they were there,
naked, revealed

in the hot

they were all alike,
forced to tell the truth for the first time
in the hot

i was one of those truth tellers

September 29-October 5, 2003: P.J. Nights, John Poch and Marc Awodey

week of September 29-October 5, 2003

This week presenting the winners of the
2003 (sixth annual) Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest:

see the complete contest details here

PJ Nights
John Poch
Marc Awodey

click here for submission guidelines

PJ Nights

Bio (auto)

P.J Nights lives in Brunswick, Maine She teaches physics and astronomy further inland, and is the senior poetry editor of MiPo Her poetry appears in print in Animus, Penumbra, the 2002 Slow Trains Anthology and the textbook, Language of Prejudice
Her works have been published on the web at Apples & Oranges, Steel Point Quarterly, The Green Tricycle, Erotica Readers & Writers Association, Slow Trains, CleanSheets, The Lightning Bell Poetry Journal, MiPo, LotusBlooms, the muse apprentice guild, Lingerings, Mind Caviar,  Amoret, the Emerald Collection, Ophelia’s Muse, Tasha Klein’s Gallery, Hoot Island, Writer’s Hood, Tryst, La Rosa Blanca, MiPo Print, and Erosha Her poetry has been recognized by the IPBC, NPAC and the Preditors & Editors Reader’s Poll She was chosen as the Poet Laureate for the Spring ’02 edition of Amoret’s Emerald Collection
She won first place in this year’s contest.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by P.J Nights and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

three parts wormwood, one part Solomon’s Seal

it starts with one word
and then I find myself adding
all the accoutrements

.to sculpt a space
.where you might appear

to chorizo, I scramble in some eggs
over a can of sterno
c’mon, john, look! my swiss army knife
has a spork and a toothpick!

.the once-empty sleeping bag
.rises and falls with your snores

yellow needs more definition
you aren’t the type to materialize
saint-like in a solar flare, 
no special glasses needed
or pinholes to peep through

but rub it to butter-yes!
the burnished blonde wood
of a vintage Guild

.and your voice curls
.in the nest of my belly

manias-addictions, obsessions
I’ve the pen, the perfect nib, 
the blackest of India inks
with which to write yours down

on a square of paper
that I fold upon itself nine times
(no more creases possible
in such a shape)
to slip beneath my mattress

.where you’ll leave your mark,
.a purple bruise on my spine

invocation-incense burned
in a waning moon, my lips around
that first embryonic word

.one of yours

John Poch


John Poch (Lubbock, Texas) earned an M.F.A in Poetry from the University of Florida and a Ph.D in English from the University of North Texas. He was the Colgate University Creative Writing Fellow from 2000-2001 and now is a member of the creative writing faculty at Texas Tech University. His chapbook of fifteen sonnets, In Defense of the Fall, was published by Trilobite Press in 2000 He won The Nation/Discovery Prize in 1998
John won second place in this year’s contest

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by John Poch and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Why I Just Dropped the Nature Bouquet

Like a cocoon full of its writhing moth, 
at the park’s edge, lying beneath a tree
a couple struggles almost secretly
within the thin white sheet they have brought
Daylight still and nearly home from my walk
around this summer-baked Lubbock lake
bubbling with methane gas or maybe
catfish gasps, I am close enough to see
she is on top In the fingers of one hand
I hold what I’ve found: a dove feather, 
several sprigs of curly willow And
a butterfly wing Nothing in the other
She must think me strange She sees
I see Where are the police,
neither of us will say She softly sighs
something to the man below, but he won’t
look over He is hardly there, his eyes
must be rolled back so far in his mind
dissolving like pills In assent, 
he only nods he mustn’t, for a moment,
move or breathe Silly me, I want
to comfort her I am close enough to tell
that two wisps of her hair are falling spent
over them like long dark tassels of a veil
We are all close to something here
For a moment, I roll my eyes upward
like him, but not as deep into the sky They are waiting for me to disappear
I am looking away, but I can’t look away
Who looks away at the end of the world?

Marc Awodey


Marc Awodey writes poetry full-time His work has appeared worldwide in a number of publications, including Humanitas, Writer’s Journal, Plainsong, Portland Review, Lexicon, and Midwest Poetry Review His first collection of poetry, Telegrams from the Psych Ward and Other Poems, was published in 2002 Awodey, who holds an M.F.A from Cranbrook Academy of Art, is also an award-winning art critic, an accomplished visual artist, and the 2000 Poetry Slam Nationals “head to head” Haiku Champion He lives in Burlington, Vermont, with his family Marc’s third place winning poem is a section of his book NEW YORK a haibun journey

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Marc Awodey and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Numb Flesh

         virgins stalk dumbo
dressed in black like Ezra Pound
before  his  capture

 Talented, abused people His eyes could not meet
any other eyes  David muttered
  dull              obscenities
upon seeing a few exposed boards
of hardwood floor smothered
under green   linoleum There are many talented people                          Pickled eggs
 in a gallon jar  A table cloth A greasy vinyl table cloth A scab of dried ketchup      reddish brown
and cracked  rots  on a greasy vinyl  table cloth         Rhymes like raw colors danced
an odd little jig behind his eyes   Moor Door Whore Deplore Ignore           Semaphore-  he grinned  over Semaphore It reminded him of boats
in distress, and that he was still wearing
his pea coat He had once watched a gutted cabin cruiser
              get way hauled away
onto a hill of slime- at the city dump
  sunk- stabbed in the back
  by a guy in Oakley sunglasses,
and a filthy captain’s hat
acting like he was      nervous
about disposing of a fiberglass boat that way    as seagulls circled and laughed The dump in high summer   
has an indescribable    fetor    An unwashable  stench     It just needs to wear off
           over    time
Jim Morrison yowls
don’t you love her madly
            as    the glitter ball
john Berryman                         
growled     at a wide-eyed
sophomore class-   you will never know
the old navigator would soon hoist sail
farewells to the wind  
fly     for  the edge
           to savor
the syntax of obscurity’s
blank verse   sonnet

in the night
manumit these
let me be-     

dumbo, dumbo, drum
   in and out the artists go
     waxed before they wane
frayed sheaf of vanities
my advantage       
for Waskow-
maybe  you   should move!
 the artists carp
   of cold lofts
i’ve survived              on    ice
twisting through gutters
dumbo-  my mind
       paris green
soon-    erasure marks

i wish haiku were fiction
i’d give a
 for it to be so

it’s an evil journey-
   no eurydice- why go?
without beatrice
   i’m  lost
cock    fights
don’t you love her
joey heaves   

let’s call it  haibun
shoot my insulin-   weaving
 men’s room
        no Stanhope

in the trash
diabetics should not drink-
let’s call this   eating
  and then
boston after the reading-
let’s call that                   talking

where has Waskow gone?
him and grad school Eric
dumbo studios-
two hours this dive
stuck-  a pinned down frog
on york street  
spinning     haiku   tops

wrinkled leaves
kid artists- jabber     walking
hearts quick,  hearts tranquil
on the rocks
good friday
york street lights
          glow redder
dumbo grows fatter
o  k
stranded here-
got no keys
into brooklyn
can’t read subway maps

fatalistic  plan
it’s like playing
     a tabla
  how my fingers tap
squeezing new york ticks
maybe we’ll see something
  we escape the lips    
my harmonica
it’s back home-  snow entombs
i’d   play it  here

dumbo-     lofty met-
rip the F from MFA
  i should warn Eric
i should
         cast   this   out-
a message in a coke can
      drifts down
lake champlain

dumbo dumb     foul     play
disgust marauds
my griege gut    no-
      this ain’t haiku
Kerouac        i think
seeing Issa-
hallucinated his haiku

now   joey    goes    home
my crisscrossed vision cannot
quite   make out my home
love    fear     loss
   home      sea
nyc   brooklyn  boston
  vermont   met   dumbo

some ulla-lulla-
borrowed blanket
         for guinness
all down the

everyday- i  guess poorly
place,  win,        or show?
dumbo chum      dumber-
how come
you don’t teach?
i only know
        confer cigarettes
Ulysses- green puffs
sailing  through my spectacles
blindly       wandering
dumbo- you hammer
thanks for showing me
this grin
       a fine evening
york street-   thanks
this helmet fits just fine
 -makes    the welkin

on his beat boots
 camels became parliaments
       while night
slaughtered him

twenty bucks-
greek town,
       new york   
has a thousand eyes
i only see lines
-bottles in lines
-rest room lines
can’t unencrypt them
   where is Cezanne?
where are the pigeons
i didn’t feed at the met?
   the kids   double   up
   to shade  couple,  and
connect  dots  with soft
   five      marlboros-
Giotto’s angels roll
into purgatory
new artists appear
sir, can i have this seat?
i say-
                  help yourself
he smiles, nods his head
thinks it’s a figure of speech-
  i     near      psychosis
poems all amplified
the long grin- the figures
of speech
budweiser is swill
one blue match
from the Stanhope
game shows from                 hades
    foreign tongue-
de paroles vacante
       et  ce corps
         symbolists grope-
drunken bastards- hash eaters
         stillborn in a jar
misshapen   haiku
this poem will only fail
when it    is     published
  get me  out of     here     
dumbo- acronyms
abound  like     no
           don’t say it
      it’s getting too tight
17 gaunt syllables

the    butcher                splatters

 and our roman heads!
 weeping for red tuscany
 what could i have done?

Eric- you must smoke!
what good is grad school if you don’t
yes-    smoke   like a      ham
blitter dall gumbo
my fear and dear vermont
 i will tumble there
salons  of  boston!

i will come and read to you
of paris          green bronze   
where the fuck              Waskow?  
-how can i illuminate
chained to a      damned stone?
artists leave
artists arrive
from frozen york street-
they crave the warm seats       i lust haiku truth
how few books you really sold
how few oil paintings
how few marlboros
is that box really crush proof
is budweiser      gall
     must gold   be so foul

is   alle kunst ist lokal
for real? if so why?
             why bother going?
to new york city    ever?
shun Cezanne?  haiku?

Dante!      Orpheus!
guide my ambergris to light
     Ulysses- your bow

where in hell     
i can dig no deeper here
it beats
it’s still warm
is this not enough?
must i throw it on the bar
      drag it

through the snow?

September 22-28, 2003: Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz and Linda K. Sienkiewicz

week of September 22-28, 2003

Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz and Linda K Sienkiewicz

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Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz

Bio (auto)

Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz is a poet and fiction writer living in Las Cruces, New Mexico She writes for children and adults, and her work has appeared in a variety of online and print journals She is an assistant fiction editor for Small Spiral Notebook and is on the editorial board of Scrivener’s Pen Literary Journal, Inc.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

Night Game

It is the middle of the night I hear my daughter
up, scampering to find me It is a hot night
another hot New Mexico summer
and I am lying,
not in my bed,
but on the kitchen floor,
cool Mexican tile beneath me
Mom, she calls out And then, again: Mom She concedes this game of hide and go seek
we have not agreed to play
But I hold on to a few moments,
then softly say: Ollie, ollie, oxen free I’m here, my voice guides through the darkness I’m here
.first published in The Ink


the paisley one
for my wrists
and the black
to blanket my sight
and red, yes,
to capture the sighs
but you choose
the silk that will hold
my ankles
the width
of your desire
and then, bind me, love set me free.

one a.m (eastern standard time)

i was drunk again the operator dialed the number
as i threw up in the rain the bars were open
people still out on the streets
and i thought new york
was too crowded to be alone
i told you this when you answered
the phone; you asked what
the hell it was supposed to mean i don’t know i guess i wanted
to say join me or let me
come home
but i was suffocating in the wine,
my feet soaked with vomit
and rain, and all i could hear
was your angry breathing
then the operator cut in
and asked me to deposit a dollar- 85
for additional minutes
i had the money, but realized
the lines were already dead:

i couldn’t speak you wouldn’t listen
.previously published in El Ojito

Linda K Sienkiewicz

Bio (auto)

I’m a poet, free-lance writer and artist from Rochester, MI I’ve had poems published in Slipstream, Clackamas Literary Review, Rattle, Spoon River Poetry Review and others and a short story on cleansheets.com I have two chapbooks, “Postcard of a Naked Man” by March Street Press, and “Dear Jim” which was published as part of Main Street Rag’s poetry chapbook contest I also won The Heartlands Today chapbook award in ’97 and was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize Writing poetry is the best way for me to make sense of the strangeness of memory and logic My website is Wallpaper the Sky

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Linda K Sienkiewicz and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

Too Soon

I pour my third glass of Merlot
and address a sympathy card The cat leaps up, bats her foam ball
under my feet: this is rapture The dog rips into a beef-basted
chew bone: this is bliss The whole room
stinks like dead cow but it’s nice
to have content animals My father’s
girlfriend’s sister died yesterday Heavy
smoker, stole stranger’s cigarette butts
from ashtrays to keep her habit I can’t get used to saying father’s girlfriend They’re tennis partners who live together Sleep together too, I imagine The dog vomits a rawhide strip It’s nice to vomit and be content There’s only one time that I ever feel
so animal, so immersed in the joy
of the moment, even if painful,
and that’s during sex My husband lolls
in bed, I walk downstairs, naked under
my robe, cunt still faintly buzzed Once you let go, the body takes over
and nothing matters— not cigarettes,
wine, I’m sorry for your loss,
the Black Hawk my son will fly
over Afghanistan and certainly not the alarm
which brings tomorrow too soon
.forthcoming in Prairie Schooner

Wake Up

Let’s call my first life practice,
and death—
a pop quiz I’ll cram all night and wake up
as someone else
wearing a bracelet from God
that wards off cold sweats,
bird splat,
false hope
Or as a Fed Ex package
tagged for Virginia Beach I’d be delivered
to your arms
and you would say
Yes, stay
I’m tired
I woke myself
from a dream shouting
There’s a hole in the screen
and you were a firefly
then a star
then a comet
swooshing six hundred and forty two
miles out of reach
and you didn’t look back
Let’s forget cramming
I’ll blast down the coast
like Hurricane Floyd
and break both your arms I’ll throw myself
from your balcony
into the Atlantic
and wake up
as someone
even I won’t

September 15-21, 2003: Elizabeth Willett and Paul Corman Roberts

week of September 15-21, 2003

Elizabeth Willett and Paul Corman Roberts

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Elizabeth Willett

Bio (auto)

I am an ex-School teacher/administrator I inconvenienced students from grade 2 through grad school at one time or another I have a BA in Education, an MA as a Reading Specialist, and an MA in Educational Administration under my belt and no desire for more I freelance design commercial web sites and have four that are up on line I live in Florida or New Jersey depending on the season with my indulgent husband and two eccentric cats (I know, I know, that’s redundant) I am just now starting to submit some of my poems for publication ByLine Magazine: 2nd place in the Humorous Poem category, honorable mention in the Sense of Place Poem category.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Elizabeth Willett and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

A Rainy Night in North Carolina

Squinting and leaning
closer to the smeary windshield
I envy his sleeping form
A steady low rumbling
from the rear seat cage
advertises one cat’s misery
the other mercifully asleep
Dear God, what in hell are we doing
roaring along route ninety-five
hauling our lives behind us
like combat-pursued refugees?

The low riding trailer slews
in the wake of an eighteen-wheeler I know my grandmother’s china won’t make it I wrapped each piece
but it’s paper thin and I know I will lose it

joining all my other losses,
one parent too young, one too sad,
my marriage,  a job, my dog,
accidentally run over by my ex,
now all behind me
Navigating by halo rimmed headlights
past blurry imperatives-MERGE, YIELD
and ranks of low priced stop-overs,
an elastic bungee cord of memories
hooks to the past and drags it along also.

One of the Reasons I Stopped Believing in God

Once, I don’t remember how the subject came up,
you told me that on the night
after your father died,
you saw him at the foot of your bed,
just standing there looking at you,
he wasn’t shimmery or wavery
or any kind of unsubstantial,
he just was, the way he always was,
there at the foot of your bed,
looking at you
Now, after your funeral,
I look and look at the foot
of the bed,
maybe it takes more than a day
maybe you need a few days
to get here.


It was weathered, mottled with vines
and seasons of slimy khaki leaves piled
in the eaves and drifting on the roof,
nature’s slow motion wrecking crews
We didn’t question why a house was in the woods,
or try to figure out why no one lived there anymore If we had looked and wondered instead
of searching for stones, we might have spotted

the frayed rope swing, thought of the kids
who’d once played here, pictured the family farming
and eating pies and cobblers, fruits of the
hundreds of trees in the orchard
But we didn’t know the knobby giants around us were
apple trees, or consider the likelihood that they
were warped and twisted from loneliness,
or bother to wonder if trees might have feelings
We were callow residents of the present Old had no value History was what we hadn’t
created yet A venerable farmhouse with more character
than most of us would ever have, was a target.


slowly the buzz grows
all feeling shrinks
ebon edges feather
and stretch
the ball of myself
coils inward
cold invades and becomes
the buzzing conquers
and yellow fades to loud
winding tighter
dawn is eternity

My Un-doing

Unpadded pew-like benches
circle a drab mosaic floor

I thought it would
be clean, elegant and formal,
but perhaps the statue
of justice is not the only blind
one around here
Eight erstwhile couples
sitting, pacing, avoiding A door opens
eyes rotate in unison
to a called name
then fourteen heads droop
I walk up the stark aisle,
bordered by more forlorn pews
to a battered oak table I stroke it in empathy
A robot voice and stare
initiates the I don’ts My oaken sister and I
weather one more insult I, however, walk free.

Heart Racing

Windows wide to the muggy night
my tunnel visioned stare is centered
on glowing tail lights
Tires hum
then squeal around corners
high-speed shadows emerge
stretch and disappear
after-images lick at my eyes
Cars halt at our wailing There is an almost palpable sense
of mortal apprehension
from staring drivers
I curse the remoteness
of the hospital
and consider my heart Healthy blood pushes through
body I don’t want to know
what it feels like to be an orphan.

The Psych Lesson

In Psych 101 the professor blew up a balloon
The president met with the joint chiefs of staff
and shoved his fist in one side,
to plan an invasion that would stop terrorism
we observed stoically as
If we create a coalition of nations
the balloon bulged out the other and send in thousands of troops
“If this is you”, he spoke quickly,
to eliminate weapons of mass destruction
“And my pushing is the repression of a problem”,
we will rid the world of this trouble
we began to get interested
Some nations agreed they should, 
clearly he was getting at something,
quash this evil regime and hit them fast
he pointed at the bulge as he pushed harder
Bombs and guns and tanks swarmed, 
we watched it grow larger, pale
Iraqis hailed the conquering troops
and dangerously stretched,
Fifty-seven Americans have been killed
“What do you think will happen here?”
by sniper fire since the end of the war

Paul Corman Roberts

Bio (auto)

I am the producer of the annual San Francisco Anti-Slam (Worst Poem Contest) each Fall, while keeping a low profile amongst the savage Republican hordes of San Rafael My work has been published in 42opus, Cherry Bleeds and Prosodia, and is forthcoming in Canopic Jar, The Sacred Grounds Anthology #14, and the Muse Apprentice Guild.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Paul Corman Roberts and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

Dead Lot’s Wife

From behind the near sky
You skin left sitting and dressed
A convention of human ass trudge
A fast please breath waltz and
Rock hard feet working it all out
You felt him singing the
Cold smile and
Everyone made the lingering wild gowns
Of tiny wee-moons though they have
But one giving rose cup like

Watching the night things swim on ship’s sails then
Explore a delicate tongue beat above
A thousand blind moans, no
It is not essential thinking water or

Sweet corduroy melon drool we must
Question which cooking knife will
Produce black poetry smear shines its
Weak and rusted rimshot recall
Stopped by no one above the sky.

Arcata Theater Foyer (1977)

This monolith, lifeless and cold by day
One attraction claims to be Kentucky Fried
Stale popcorn air lies between marquis slots:
Sinbad’s steely sword glare upon the undead

This arcade a cool shelter from stifling hippies
The “more organic than thou” rap spilling
Out from the co-op past the box office
Another movie with Redford and Fonda
Grown ups are always talking about them
But I can’t picture what they look like
You never see them quite like you see

Everyone else on these walls, airbrushed and
Gorgeous, as if they’re all from outer space Sure enough: “The Invasion of the Body
Snatchers” is said to be “Coming Next Week “

Mom has got the brown rice and granola
Time to go home, but she also lingers
Dropping hints about what I might expect
>From enchantments installed in these walls
Cinderella’s dress falls off her shoulder
Within the aural musk of a shirtless prince
Strange, I don’t remember his tongue in her ear Mom says I won’t be able to see that film
There is enchantment enough in this arcade
Who cares about the health food supermarket?
It reeks of dead plants and weird, smiley people
Not the fantastic creatures mere yards away.

Bug U

What void
In the smooth
Delirious ice forest
Springs its winter prisoner
Heaved of dark blue
Blazes an old iron heart Vast steel light
Speaks the sacred moment
To a bug universe

September 8-14, 2003: Suzi Kaplan Olmsted and Janan Platt

week of September 8-14, 2003

Suzi Kaplan Olmsted and Janan Platt

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Suzi Kaplan Olmsted

Bio (auto)

Suzi Kaplan Olmsted has appeared in The Sun, Blue Satellite, 51%, F.T.S, Lummox Journal, getunderground.com and Napalm Health Spa She is also one of illustrators of The Ellyn Maybe Coloring Book (Sacred Beverage Press, 1997) She has been a student of Deena Metzger since 1994 and now lives in San Francisco with her husband, poet Marc Olmsted and extraordinary cats Girly-Girl and Boyly-Boy.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Suzi Kaplan Olmsted and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

The Milk of Human Kindness

I’m walking in the rain on the way to work
Exhausted, with a terrible cough
Thinking about how hard it is
Carrying all these dark stories
Accumulated in my head as a counselor
Building up a pain mountain.
This morning on the news they announced
A new game show –
Whoever can spend a million dollars
In less than half an hour
(With no notice)
(Just getting a call from Donald Trump)
(Spending every penny completely before another half hour has passed)
Gets to keep it.
I walk all the way to work
Thinking I know exactly how to win this game –
Give all the money away.
Every penny.
Thinking about the people who
Like me
Carry around years and years of horror stories in their heads
And don’t get paid enough to live in the city where they work
I wonder how much you actually have to get paid to keep
Feeling okay about this
To not want to cry when they talk about their parents raping them
To still have more than a hope’s shard when you see their kids in tow
Learning the same things, the same way, or even harder
I figure out a scheme so I can give the money away and still get the taxes paid
And not have the money pissed away by the stupidity of
The non-profit people
Also thinking about just how stupid I know they can be
And a man in very elegant rags swoops up on me in the rain
We are alone on the sidewalk in the light rain
He has made a sign on a square of used cardboard
But he says the same thing “I’m looking for the milk of human kindness “
“I’m running a little short on human kindness today “
He says he really just needs a cup of coffee.
I don’t get him that either.

Not a Ballerina

Soft ass pressed against red velvet seat
Floppy thighs spread trying not to touch the stranger at my side
Dancers float without effort
Legs lifted in zero gravity
Nutcracker fairies hover and I sink deeper into my own lost plans
Once held before ballet class as an exemplar of perfect ballet feet
I groan quietly as I can getting up for intermission


Driving through the hot December San Fernando Valley
I pass several car carriers full of newly minted Mercedes
Shiny and fresh, perfect
Then I get stuck for miles behind 
another carrier with
a jaguar convertible
(giant bucket holding disconnected parts on its back seat),
an old Volkswagen engine cover lodged firmly into its own bumper, Datsuns, Hondas, and other cars that would never be whole again
a dull sheen in the southern California sun
headed for the crusher
the driver in no hurry to get them anywhere
I choose not to pass
turning on my headlights
joining the procession

Passing Judgement

As I drag myself home from a 12 hour day
working with junkies, drunks
and the kids who will become them
passing two ragged men on the dark park bench –
One announces
“We are judges, and we have determined that you are
a really classy lady “
From my derelict madhouse fan club
I get that a lot

pink tutu, green sweatpants

Perfect San Francisco Sunday morning
park shining January cold
little Albert toddles away
from his mother
with pink tutu over green sweatpants
Mom gently calls
no Albert no
we’re not doing that now
come back here
pink tutu over green sweatpants
still flying away
on tiny legs
sweet, sweet, mommy no

The Words

Why do you have
so much stuff
they ask me
as I work to get
admitted to the
mental ward the
night of my 39th
I’m a professional I
think, it’s hard to
get them to keep
you, but they’re
not interested in
my reasons for
they want to know
why I have 20 books
and more magazines
than I can carry
and other questions
that I forget to
answer before they
come to the next
I couldn’t remember
how to pack
and words were
more urgent. 
They leave me cold
on a gurney and
tell me nicely “Now
don’t you wander
from here” and I
pile the books
around me while
I wait for someone
to bring me sleep
and stop the words.

Evading Sedation

Shitting charcoal for three days
Finally sedated
Not dead
Like Dee Dee Ramone
Just back to rehab

Without You

No little kisses as I climb into bed long after you have gone to sleep
No arm around my shoulders as I try to change positions in the dawn light
No dozing to the sound of a mad melody sung to a cat following your every move

Hospital Poem

You’re going to be so far
and my rings
.have fallen off
.because my fingers
.have lost all
.their meat

“Hey Nutcase”

says Julie on the phone
friend magnetized the first day of
pre-school, neither of us two years old yet
now both 39
I’ve answered the payphone in the mental ward
we’re veterans of rehab and psych wards
Julie’s in her apt where the next door mariachi music is too loud
She can make me laugh so loud
The wardens run over to shush
We compare psych med side effects
we hate,
the relative merits of institutional food
who makes a better temporary best friend
the depressed borderline who sleeps 18 hours a day
or the girl in the dissociative fugue
who’s perfectly normal 30 % of the day but sings to
herself in Spanish the rest of the time.
Twice a week at Miss Anita’s house
for yoga class and carrot juice when we were 4 4 times
a month at the psychiatrist now,
talk & medication checks,
doing the 21st century asana
we could give a class

Janan Platt

Bio (auto)

Janan Platt works in accounting during the day Her web site is alienflower.org She is also the co-writer (with Stephen Mack) of a computer technical manual She lives in a small, tourist town south of Mt Shasta, California.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Janan Platt and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Hello I Want My Counter to Skyrocket

I’m sorry if I disturb you,
but hello I want my flowers to explode
sideways to the cosmos Call it
middle age crisis Hello I want
Madonna to find Saddam
while riding her bicycle
and wearing Puma sweats
in England I want my hello
to hit the charts My Web page
is just sitting there I want,
I want, I want I’m sorry,
can you please help me for free.
I hear you can crash MSIE
with just 5 lines of HTML code.
But, hello, you show me
the URL to a freakish Turkish
comedy Hello, they’ve killed
Cal! He was making an under
ground movie with Holly in Seattle
His address has expired It must
be a conspiracy I want my rocket
to sky counter Just to one thousand
by June Can you help me
with my code Hello, hello, hello?


This is sand, where I went from dark to light,
where the turtle and toad dig,
sad green skin that sags,
tongues of salt, the eyes
touched with fossil and foam.
Aleatoric sounds float
where the kelp swims freely.

The heat absorbs like water
and the silt is like a powder
choking and dismal.
Some ice plant grows here
brighter than a dream.
This is clay, unfired and healthy
fermenting in the humus.

Grasshopper parts and dead beetles
are ingredients by the stream.
My adulthood is a pastlife debt,
no score keepers, not a plan.
I will take the soil to fill the holes.
God’s tangled hair is the roots
that my shovel cannot cut.

September 1-7, 2003: Jeffrey Alfier and Aurora Antonovic

week of September 1-7, 2003

Jeffrey Alfier and Aurora Antonovic

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Jeffrey Alfier

Bio (auto)

Jeffrey Alfier, a former Air Force officer, is a technical writer living in Schwedelbach, Germany He is published in several journals including The Adirondack Review, Border Senses, Columbia Review, The Explicator (forthcoming), and Valparaiso Poetry Review His work recently appeared in Penumbra-the Art & Literary Annual of California State University, Stanislaus.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Jeffrey Alfier and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

Highway Begins South of Window Rock

The enemies you made in this town know
you said too much to another man’s wife
telling her that she smelled like a warm bed,
taking to heart Billy Holiday’s words
that bread and love must come before sermons,
though it’s not worth the crushing obsession
when betrayal stings like a Phaedra kiss
Such are the debts this town never forgives
when even longing is loss The last place
you swore was home didn’t have your address When protest turned riot in 89′
and strip mines on the San Juan burned your lungs
you gave up on offers of redemption,
your patience worn thin as invasion routes
Now you claim this road puts all behind you,
where the sky dreams in ecstasy of hawks
and vanishing points grieve for horizons The reservation stretches behind you
where Route 12 runs like a scar Its echoes
sound like lovemaking in an empty room.

Apache Trout

Spring means spawning in the tributaries
and legends say willows are a birthright Your disguise of yellow and olive skin
melds your compass to the late summer moons
that glint off shades of conifer forests Here, your ancestors dreamed six hundred miles
in a profligate span of three rivers
that outsiders stocked with your hostile kin
while men corrupted to indifference
made you a refugee in headwaters
But you were summoned back by your namesake
long before the grazers and timber men
repented in hatcheries Natives say
if they build you one more stream, your rebirth
will make history buy back the legends.

Early April: War Funeral in the Midwest

The blue shroud trimming his shiny coffin
and your black dress are brushed by a spring breeze
that finds your eyes downcast like Andromache,
when she saw the future of her city
dragged behind a chariot of madness
Some other headstone in the field reads ‘Bach’,
but no one thinks of Leipzig cantatas
distilling an incoherence of tears
when stock futures are up, oil prices down,
and cities we conquered drift with snipers.

Aurora Antonovic

Bio (auto)

Aurora Antonovic is a Canadian freelance writer, visual artist, and the former co-editor and columnist for the now-defunct GT Times Her poetry has appeared in six countries and three continents, most recently in Megaera, Thunder Sandwich, Skyline, Reflections Journal, Poet’s Pen, The Sidewalk’s End, Makata, write-away, The Moriarty Papers, and Poetic Voices, the latter in which she appeared as featured poet for May 2003 She is currently completing work on a collection of poetry entitled, “SoHo in September” She resides in Ontario, Canada.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Aurora Antonovic and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

Interview With A —  “Poet” (for lack of a better name)

She told me how “her people” had always been the victim of prejudice,
and that the reason she qualified for so much grant money was because
of the “disability” her race offered her;
The thing is, I couldn’t tell what “race” she was
I saw an aging woman before me, bitter with her cheating husband,
complaining because she wasn’t pretty enough,
or, truth be told, talented enough, to really make it,
everything was everyone else’s fault you see;
I heard about how the world owed her funds to keep her failing gallery going,
even though the work in it wasn’t any good, anyway,
the world owed her money to self-publish terrible poetry books that no one really ever read;
I had only consented to interviewing her because she had begged to be given a chance;
I did a quick skim at my notes to be sure I had her name down right:
it was a typical, Anglo-Saxon name What was I missing?
“You know,” she said as she stuffed greasy fries in her already-full mouth,
“It’s the Jews who kept me back, those neo-cons who control every facet
of government, who don’t want to see someone like me succeed” I looked away from the sour-smelling ketchup that slid down one corner of her flabby lips onto her shapeless jaw that was still gabbing,
while she went on and on about how she was a victim of bigotry,
as she bashed an entire people and culture for her pathetic shortcomings

Conspiratorial Whisper

“You know,” she went on in self-important tones
in what was, I imagine,  supposed to be a whisper,
“Jewish women can’t have orgasms” I bit my lip
to stop myself from wildly laughing, tried to deep breathe
and tune out this ridiculous conversation;
I did weigh the option of shutting her up, but thought it best
to let her ignorance run its course Perhaps it would spare someone else from having the trouble of hearing such drivel
that day hey, never let it be said  I’m not a humanitarian
By now, she had finished her burger, fries, and Coke,  began to rise her considerable
bulk up from the table, her closed purse in tow while my coffee sat untouched,
then changed her mind and leaned across the table,
“I’ve slept with a hundred men,” she said with a superior sniff,
then looked quickly to see if I was buying any of it “My people are real women,
and we know how to satisfy men “
“Say”, she said in an injured tone, “I haven’t had a date in so long, not even
a freaking kiss”, then, brightening, “Think you could fix me up?”


She rose up from the table, wiping her greasy fingers down the
front of her jeans while I looked at the full napkin dispenser in front of me
“You gonna write this up?” She asks
“Well” I begin
“Tell people all about me?” she asks
“I will write something, “I say, “maybe in poem form” “Cool!” she says
“Can I see it?”
“Oh, you’ll see it all right,” I say with resolve,
Glad to get out of that grease-filled diner
Glad to get into the great outdoors
Where I can get my first breath of fresh air all day
And then quickly home where I can wash away the scent of
Cloying bigotry and the sourness of rampant racism.

August 25-31, 2003: Michele Lamberti and Maisie

week of August 25-31, 2003

Michele Lamberti and Maisie

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Michele Lamberti

Bio (auto)

Born (1973) and raised in Germany, Mülheim a d Ruhr; near Cologne My parents were immigrants from Italy I´ve studied economics (what a waste of time ;)) quite succesfully and I´m now working as a Controller for a german pipecoating company.  2 Months before my 30th birthday I had an epiphany: I love poetry

I also do you like chess, house music and italian food
How come: An Italian living in Germany who writes in English?

Why does somebody fall in love with the wrong woman and marries her?

Because she lets him bone her

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Michele Lamberti and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

St James Park

The tufted duck dives, comes up late,
with nothing more than a single bead
of ice-white water, centred
on her back, between her black wings,
behind those always focussed eyes.

Totem & Teatime

“I can no longer shop happily”
Lost in the supermarket, Strummer/Jones

1 I trick the squirrel My brother
and his girlfriend did the same On my knees, upon the concrete,
(like them besides the meadow),
I show him my left fist,
as if it isn´t empty,
but full of first-class Spanish nuts I know: he will not resist The brown
blitz descends from a scots pine I open my fist
and it´s him Two spirits
As I weigh his claws in my hand,
he sees exactly, that I have nothing Then he stares straight into my filthy face For a very long squirrel-time
2 Who am I to mess with
the ruler of this park?
Don´t you know: the white swan
is busy fighting naked children;
the big-headed black swan sells
dull feathers on a seedy TV show All the others do not count Now:
Do you know who I am?

3 That night,
naked in front of my mirror,
I wrote: “You shall not
eat a squirrel” on my chest
and loved the living
colour of each letter.


Bio (auto)

i live in a seaside town called Lowestoft on the most eastern part of the United Kingdom I am a simple mind with many legs and interests
Visit Maisie on the web here: http://www.xanga.com/maisie97

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Maisie and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author


sitting so still its ridiculous
by the widest water in the world
watchful for the first ripple

staying by the line motionless
as a stature which surveys a town centre mindful whether the string will stop

its silent waving in the wind whether the fish will bite at
the tender flesh of the wriggling maggot

slowly drowning to death
in the still reaches of the pond
beyond the tall waving reeds

full of summer promise,
finds me a daydream
Dorset evening

Sudden Death

A cat chased by a dog
In a moment of sex-driven
Desire cannot run fast It’s stuck to the pavement

In wonder, how the earth
Still moves passes it’s mind
And whether there’s gonna be
Fish for tea, or milk

To drink, his last moments Caught by the death grin
Of the dog’s invasive grab
Scissors them away


Me I don’t do
I dont do drugs but ok, give me
Another asperin,
a glass of wine
freshly pour’d good
vintage, or a pot
Drop me a quick fix
Into a teacup Or how about a coffee
And a quick fag smoked over a nice
naughty cream cake I don’t do drugs But i’m still
Addicted .I’d say .

August 18-24, 2003: Michael Ladanyi and David Howerton

week of August 18-24, 2003

Michael Ladanyi and David Howerton

click here for submission guidelines

Michael Paul Ladanyi

Bio (auto)

Michael’s chapbook, Palm Shadows, was released in June 2002 by Purple Rose Publications, Mar Vista CA, the printers of Promise Magazine His chapbook, Spelling Crows of Winter, will be released by Pudding House Press,
<http://puddinghouse.com>http://puddinghouse.com in the late summer of 2003 He is currently searching for a publisher for his full length poetry book, Humming Riddles In Naked Seasons, and his chapbook, The Artist in a Field of Worms
Michael Paul Ladanyi resides with his wife and two daughters in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains His poetry has appeared over two hundred times in print and online journals in the US and abroad during the last two years His most recent print publications include: Snow Monkey, Spring 2003, Maxis Review, (Marygrove College, MI) Spring 2003, Joey and the Black Boots, Spring 2003 farewell issue #41, and The Circle, #24 Winter 2003 His most recent online publications include: ken*again, Volume 4 #2 Summer 2003, Write-away-poetry, Summer 2003, The Muse Apprentice Guild, Spring 2003, Poems Niederngasse, #57 May 2003, Voices, Spring 2003 and The Pedestal Magazine, Summer 2003 issue #16 His work is upcoming in several magazines and collections of poetry, including the anthology, In Our Own Words: A Generation Defining Itself Volume 5, Tryst, Poetry Life&Times, James River Poetry Review, among others
Michael’s poetry has been featured in several magazines and journals, and he has been awarded many Editor’s Choice and Poem of the Issue Awards He received a Poet’s Hall of Fame Nomination from Skyline Literary Magazine, (May 2002 issue) for his piece, Liquid Chiron’s and Periwinkle Sound, and placed in the top ten of the Net Poetry and Art Competition, (Dec 2002) with his piece, Spelling Crows of Winter
Michael served as a poetry editor with Rustlings of the Wind for over a year, until the publisher decided to close the magazine after a successful five year run He is a poetry reviewer with the magazine Write-away-poetry, and the founder, creator, publisher and co-editor of Adagio Verse Quarterly.l

While his first, and deepest passion, is poetry, Michael also enjoys music, to the point that he has completely filled one wall of his living room with the largest entertainment center he could find, and the rest of the room with as many stereo speakers, sub woofers and anything else that plugs in and creates sound This is all much to the dismay of his wife, who can often be heard screaming, “There’s no more room in here!”

When not writing and spending time with family, he enjoys collecting antique glassware ranging from the 1890’s to the 1960’s, which he stacks on what shelves in the living room that are not covered by stereo speakers.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Michael Ladanyi and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

The Artist in a Field of Worms

He quickly digs in his pockets for change,
hoping to scrounge enough to pay
for a half-price afternoon museum ticket Finding it, he slides the handful of warm
coins and two crumpled dollar bills into the tray In front of a charcoal and pencil Buddha
he shuffles a pocket-book of Ginsberg’s
poems and the museum’s guide to that
weeks featured artwork Long thick
lines of charcoal stare at him as
splintered face bones, drunk and
love-forced sections of dry black earth He imagines the artist in a field of worms,
grinding his long-cheated hands into
a water-papered sky, sticky fingers
smearing across 90 miles of snaking white,
mud, grass and dung covering his feet—
and wishes he were there.

Unrecognized Patterns

~For William~

The rheumy sun has failed this
cool august morning;
it hangs by thin, bone-sung arms,
a gaunt loss onto itself
William, I have often wondered
how calm my clacking blood
would grow if I were to hold this
suicidal repose, if I were to leave
these colored words to rot,

to wander grey layers of skewed
seasons we once lived;

each night to walk unrecognized
patterns our eyes have traced
upon blue-suckled, blood-drawn days
What would they teach themselves
that we have not languished over?
Would they, as frightened sparrows,
be released from behind my eyes?

My voice seems to rise and
fall as manqué echoes trapped
beneath cold river stones,
leaving me only naked sighs.

The Sun Will Sit and Cry

The sun will sit and cry and tell
me of a thousand yellow griefs,
how the slim-fingered sky meets
and breaks, plays blue cords
of sweet despair locked in fading
sighs and green-etched currents
beneath our greater deaths
The sun will sit and cry and show
me how to weep as drizzled moss
below purple-hearted oaks, grey arms
of what we see in ourselves that
glitters as stars upon shadows
of timed souls, our wider eyes cutting
their teeth, scrawling upon bare bone.

David E Howerton

Bio (auto)

I’m a part time programmer part time cook Live in the American River Canyon just outside of Auburn, California I done some landscaping sign painting cooking and even made jewelry for awhile to make ends meet I live a rather quiet life there are three adult daughters and a cat who insists that he’s boss My hobbies include type design, soapstone carving, and walks in the woods, and collecting dragons.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by David E Howerton and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

cleaning house

Bits, of lint and hair
clutter carpet unswept
since last year Some places are easier
to clean, but only
after getting really dirty So much like minds and spirits
not bedrooms and livingrooms.

dusty stacks of books

Dust ladden air thich
swirls like galaxies
in sunrays speckling walls
stacks of books
covered in drifts of dust
waiting for a rag
then a moving to some
overladden shelf
where several thousand more
stand ranked.

day forgotten question

watching clouds small gray fleeing east
shadows fly brief moments Seeing relief for a minute or two
then July sun yellow-ivory bright hot
returns stinging flesh Driving
thin skined people in doors
where shadows sit thick hiding dust and lint Being awake wondering when quiet will ease
afternoon spent digging through books
looking for a forgotten question
whose answer isn’t remembered either In pale twilight where dust gathers
every surface covered in books and papers
seeing a unending job
maybe a break and a nap will help.

everything off

a weak day
brings traffic noise
and hot wind
sucking any energy away
leaving me
sitting quiet
dark room
everything off
shades closed

August 11-17, 2003: Ruth Mark and Eric Rossborough

week of August 11-17, 2003

Ruth Mark and Eric Rossborough

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Ruth Mark

Bio (auto)

Ruth Mark is a licensed psychologist and freelance writer Originally from a small town in Northern Ireland, she currently lives in Hilversum, The Netherlands She has also lived in Scotland and in France Her work has been published in diverse print and web venues including Riviera Reporter, Dakota House Journal, Poems Niederngasse, Snakeskin etc.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Ruth Mark and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

Doury Road had no Greenhouse
Make a circle first by looping the short snake
Of crocheted stitches, joining head to tail
Continue looping, pulling gently-not too tight
Expanding the circle in a lace filigree
Of loose-looping, therapy in the wool
The click and flash of the hook-needle
Against her gold wedding band That click the secret ingredient
Of perfect crochetwork, the added spice
Used for making rugs, left out of food Her cooking a mismatch, bland as wallpaper paste
Peas, potatoes, meat-indecipherable in the sludge
She’d take her postcard piles out on rainy days
The splash on the grey panes keeping us burrowed
Twitchy as rabbits, nervous with boredom
Our youthful energy bubbling like lava
Just under the surface Empire State,
Liberty and endless old grainy photos
Of long-ago ladies she traveled with
Sitting down to buffet dinners
The camera always trained on their
Mountainous plates Forks, knives clutched
In expectance, and up to lipsticked grinning mouths I knew what folk mean by
‘Ladies who lunch’ aged 10
The disparity between her doily-bottomed pastries
Good china for important guests-chipped cups for us –
And my mother’s delicious coffee cakes
Served up as wedges on plates
She had every colour of thread under the sun
A rainbow of shine and texture
Organized from earthy browns to vibrant ochre
The deep aquamarine and cobalt dividing the pack Her Singer kept polished in the back room
The window looking out on the arm of the garden
As wide and as long as the bench A dressmakers dummy missing its head
Stood pride-of-place, middle of the narrow room
Posing in the latest creation-some blouse perhaps
That needed new buttons or a clean lace collar
“For the lady next-door-but-one” The head-Judy-we called it
My cousin would frighten my sister with –
The youngest of our trio, horrified by its
Polystyrene fakeness, dented nose
Its no-eyed molded face, lack of hair
Her hair was tinted a funny shade of blue
Curls set every two weeks by my aunt or
Mum would come, patience personified
And dab the hair with lotion, add a paper
And roll the spiky sausages all over
While she’d complain if they went in to tight
Clucking her tongue while instructions flowed And mum would set her face,
And methodically roll-an hour, two
Easily passing, the smell of peroxide thick as fog in the air
That was then, this is now
And the same woman lies
Most of the day in bed, the air
A hothouse, the greenhouse she never had Gone her tended garden, the hedges
That needed forever clipped
The gravel drive that was a nightmare
For the motorist, its incline deceptive
The sweep in front of the house sharp
As the scissors she wielded in her sewing room Gone too the postcards, snapshots of America
Europe Perhaps they’re in shoeboxes
Hidden away in some aunt’s cubbyhole
Forlorn, forgotten-like she is to a degree –
My Dad attends once a week
A difficult hour carried out with grace
His mother, her essence wasted
Reduced to this shell, marking time
She finally has her own greenhouse What could ever grow in it?

Eric Rossborough

Bio (auto)

Before moving to Madison, Wisconsin, I lived in Los Angeles for many years, where I attended the Thursday night workshop at Beyond Baroque in Venice Last week I was featured at Barnes and Noble here and deemed so offensive the mike was turned off within the first five minutes My work has appeared or will be appearing in Nerve Cowboy, Poetry Motel, Schizmogenesis, Seldom Nocturne, Cup of Poems, Madigan Pages, and other publications I am engineer and a host of “Radio Literature” on WORT, and am an editor for the magazine Premiere Generation Ink
See more of Eric’s work on the web here and here.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Eric Rossborough and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

First Woman

.Sex And The City was — is a book written by Candace Bushnell, who looks just like one of the actresses on the show Could I get one of these fast lane women to sleep with me? I hope that woman got a lot of goddamn money for the TV show Remember when Cynthia and Julie and I visited that woman Claire, in her apartment in New York City, 1982 Her trash can was stuffed with suicidal poetry Julie became quite worried Later Claire sold a TV show idea Cynthia was very excited, but nothing came of it And who is she friends with? Of course Cynthia met her through the Chapdelaines We called this woman up from Scott’s apartment Cynthia was drunkenly trying to fix her up with Scott “Eric likes poetry, put him on the phone ” They put me on the phone and I’m talking to her, but Claire was drunk herself and thought she was talking to Scott still, not a seventeen year old She was all caustic and cynical, and I’m right out of Wayland, delivered direct from suburbia, by bus “Do you want to go to bed?” I said I thought she sounded tired That weekend we went to a bar and I insisted on ordering a beer, ’cause I heard they wouldn’t card in New York My father was like, “Eric has had his first beer ” I don’t know if it was my first one or not, but I ordered a Miller Or a Bud I was all Billie Holiday and Velvet Underground, looking for them around every corner My Mother said, “That girl sounds more like Eric’s type ” But she was too old I was in high school The last time I saw her was at Cynthia and Jim’s wedding in 1987 She was drunk and dancing and didn’t remember me at all
.The suburban milieu was my forest I went home to that snow and put on my Billie Holiday record “Some get a kick from a plane ” Yellow and white cover I put the needle down, listened to the crackle, took my codeine and settled down to write Outside the white pines stood I was going to be a writer, all right Perhaps that’s all I really need to think of But what would such a New York woman think of me, going off to live in the Wisconsin woods? Dripping seeds and pine needles and smelling of mulch? It’s almost too much to fathom!

Rehearsal Space

.A child about to be born needs a briefing on what to expect What? You should just think about sex And money “Cause money, and sex, are running my life!” That’s from Nigheist Picture it, the bottle of water, the bottle of beer, the gatorade, the smell of spilled stale beer in the rehearsal space and dirty hunks of carpet The crude heavy metal of the drums and the amps Heavy to move around and not soft in any aspect And then the sound BA NAA! Hard and mean and very loud Enough to hurt a little baby’s ears Better watch it In one rehearsal space a homeless young woman was changing her baby’s shit filled diapers and I got kind of mad about it I was not the kind of person I am today and am a little embarrassed One time we threw out one of the members of Anthrax because we had to practice He was in there, long hair, with a couple of very redneck looking skinheads They had to go drink somewhere else That’s the end of the story To a rock musician the world is full of beer and pot to a way lesser extent Hard liquor some but mainly, beer I never did particularly like the skunk beer smell in summer and the sweat I would soak my jeans clean through and drink gatorade It was a good let out but the mind of the rock musician is on physical things and I could never get there all the way I was more appreciative of the damage it did than the life itself I always wanted to be one of them fistfight guys but it’s just not me One time I rehearsed with Steve and Chris and this time I was on the mike instead of the drums and I poured down about five beers in no time and it was like, Whoo hee! It didn’t affect me at all On the train ride home I felt just like Waylon Jennings.

Crazy Horse

.When I was in third grade Crazy Horse was new in the school library, and its clear cellophane wrapping shone over the colored picture on the cover No photographs for Crazy Horse The book was long to me It felt strong, and thick in my hand I felt ambitious and enterprising I knew I was stepping into my birthright, going places meant for me alone On the way home from school the air was fresh, breezy with natural smells and blue overhead I climbed a hill floor of pine needles to sit and read under the waving trees Rocks jutted out of the ground here and there It seemed right to be outside for a while, with such a book The words were taking me to strange half-remembered places The slick covered book slipped out of my hand as I slid down the steep hill, away and ahead of me It bounced off a rock, and landed in the small ditch that ran along the aqueduct I followed home from school every day Now Crazy Horse had a little marking of rock on it, and a couple pine needles showed through the clear jacket cover The book was now not new as before I had found my world, not so much in the problems of Curly with his brown hair as the feeling of wide open spaces, in a page, and the singing woodlot of white pines, big enough to hold me.

August 4-10, 2003: Loren Kleinman and Elizabeth Sim Peña

week of August 4-10, 2003

Loren Kleinman and Elizabeth Sim Peña

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Loren Kleinman

Bio (auto)

Loren Kleinman’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in “Poetry Motel,” “Promise Magazine,” “Split Shot: A Journal of Literary Art,” “Hipnosis: New Jersey’s Art and Entertainment Magazine,” “The M.A.G ,” In Other Words, Aspirations: The Art of Writing, “Sol Magazine,” “Conception,” “Karawane,” as well as other journals and anthologies She has been a featured poet at Ramapo College for Women’s History Month and was nominated for the 2000 Pushcart Prize (best of the small presses), for her manuscript, Up, Down, Sideways, and Across Her book, Flamenco Sketches, is the winner of the 2003 Spire Press Poetry Prize She is currently working on her next poetry collection, I Want No Paradise.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Loren Kleinman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

I Want No Paradise

“This is the end,”
my mother says And, this is how life looks when it is
into nothing, nothing at all, but a monument, to
some splintered driftwood drifting This is how the
body erodes
a condition of existence

Why do I have to be here, to see this? To watch mass,
this weight hang, 
shadowed It is the beginning of a movie, the way the
motion is slow,
the way credits string across the air like painted
breath, how
you are supposed to watch, 
His body holds together like some artifact, sings
as the magpie sings spotted and cracked His body
solid and blank Some great fish stuck in the
shallows He is naked and terrified, showing himself: bright
stomach, raw eyes All of this turning over, folding
I want no paradise I want nothing if I can’t feel
death, sprouting like wild marjoram I want nothing, 
if I can’t feel the nails of this day protruding from
my throat
the thickness of my tears exploding like bombs, if I
can’t feel dead, too
“This is the end,” my mother says “This is it ” This
is when the
bones scrape against one another, when they touch, for
the first time
in the heat of it all, when they are immersed I look
at his skin,
placid and poor I want to crawl underneath his
nails, down
down into his feet, where it is dark and deep and
absolutely clear.

Elizabeth Sim Peña

Bio (auto)

Elizabeth Sim Peña recently relocated to Bellingham, WA where she works as a freelance writer, photographer, and artist She has had poetry and other writings published in various online journals and independent print publications Some of her writings and portfolio are featured at http://www.recordofagirl.com She currently spends her time writing about social justice and peace issues and manages http://www.espiritu.nu/redjewel (Red Jewel Distro) which is a feminist project distributing DIY goods, zines, and music made by women.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Elizabeth Sim Peña and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

.fire in the sky
it was seven o five when i was greeted by the fire in the sky the flames
that jumped from cloud to cloud as the desert closed its doors to the sun
called me back to the scorched hills of the palouse-where scared white
people sleep under their blankets grumbling about the colored people and the
faggots and the dykes that keep their country spoiled
i’m reminded about the time when wsu was called a fag lover and i wonder
(sometimes outloud) “whats so bad about loving fags?” and then i remember
that they meant it to sting they wrote the vowels and the consonants as if
fags were animals-fucking-animals when really .we’re just people loving
and i’m reminded about the time when “nigger” was scrawled with a pen
spitting fire like the sun that scorches those hills and i thought “in this
town? i’m surprised we haven’t found them like ‘strange fruit’ ” not yet
anyway not yet a lot of states fry ’em all the time they say we’ve moved
on .but moved on to what?

and i’m thinkin’ about the time when a girl told me she wanted to be a star
on t.v like all those other people even though those other people didn’t
really look quite like her
actually, she looked kinda like me
and she pasted little barbie look-a-likes on her walls and she was too
anxious to fill her bra and she took too many trips to the bathroom and
sometimes i’d see her hide her food
i’d tell her, hey, don’t turn your tits into numbers and put a size
expectation on your ass besides, i think you’re already pretty cute
but she ended up vomiting everythin’ i told her and the only thing she
ended up eating was a tube to feed her
I knew I really liked her when she told me “girl, you color me like a womyn
to womyn revolution” That voice was like the sigh and harmony of 6 strings
enveloped by solid cherry mahogany We explored our bends, crevices, and
stretchmarks that told of our wisdom
Our knowledge Our anger
Not just about the wage gap that states we get fucked for having a cunt

But about the rapes that spread like wildfire throughout every town every
city every &Mac185; women every 3 minutes
About all the universities that tell me I might cause trouble because I
demand respect and I’m a woman and brown and yellow and queer all at the
same time and they don’t know what to do with me
About the violence that stabs women in too many homes on too many occasions
and the cops who turn their backs only to shine their loaded dicks in the
faces of others who just want food
About the assholes that let me hold a dishrag but not hold up my voice
About the global gag rule
About the history of slavery (yes its still relevant) and the presence of
slavery in our factories abusing brown people overseas and in the military
and in the homes of housewives or as I like to call them: working women
About how the freedom of all people should be obvious but instead is buried
under sweat, blood, and bodies
About the poverty striking this country and the millions hiding in the bombs
we like to blow shit up with

About the president that isn’t my president
About america’s hard on for oil power greed power bombs power

And then I realized our bodies are messages
Our hands clasp to form a fistraise These lips are shaped and ready to aim These mouths are weapons ready to fire We walk in protest and use our boots to carve out an existence beyond THIS
I am reminded of this war waged against my body
This war waged against the bodies of mujeres
Of sisters And brothers I say no And I will fight.

marriage icicles

Mom cooked salty feesh
and looked towards
her private window
to find irises poking
through dirty snow

they taunt her nose
to catch a smell barefoot, tread softly
through icicle gardens
leaving streaks of red behind
cold mists envelop wounds
below ankles stop to admire
a melting one;
glass necklace beads roll

slowly down its slope-
a little dagger
waiting to fall marriage icicles wait,

melt and drops collect
on foreheads,
run down slim shoulders
tired arms, down beaten fingers
that clutch letters
from his vietnamese lovers
love teases and dad
is at the other end
with taut fishing line.


I kimchi scent under cherry blossom trees,
baby chopsticks with fortune cookie wisdom
written at the fat bamboo head,
storage jars that smell of last year’s
salty harvest, dried squid at baseball games:
chew chew chew
II public street markets infested with
fish smells, streets littered with
odd, $1 wooden sticks no one
would really want but me
III baffle friends with chopstick talent
pick up pennies and leaves off
dirty floors on command It isn’t
impossible; practice with pens
IV the almond eyes are typical but
the dark skin isn’t very Chiiineesee
‘that’s more us than you It makes you
nothing, really ‘ Can I stop being a
foreign country brochure now?

July 28-August 3, 2003: Milner Place and Emma Alvarez Gibson

week of July 28-August 3, 2003

Milner Place and Emma Alvarez Gibson

click here for submission guidelines

Milner Place

Bio (auto)

Milner Place Huddersfield, England 7 books of published poetry Latest,
Caminante, just out from Wrecking Ball Press.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Milner Place and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

A Mountain in a Bare Room

The hard margins of cold panes compress
the silence, music is only smoke of woodwind,

drum of rain, and if you think you’re dead
you’re not far out Today is mother’s day,

the milk is on the doorstep, but in Peru
the earth shakes, mountains are on the move,

and in the Urals bees compete with Geiger-counters Here, between stolid walls, pursed lips,

the air is thicker than a huckster’s skin, burning
the eyes that seek to see dust devils in a land

so far away, so dry and still that every sound
is made of glass.

The Desert

would appear to have been
around some time-this road an arrow
in its flight from then to when Mesquite and tumbling weed, cacti
with stubby arms, hands severed
as they raise them in surrender
to the sun This is an open space
where time is measured by the skins
of snakes and music of a desiccated wind
that whistles on a tinny flute, twists
in dervish dance among the thorns until
sun fall and the sharp knives of night
An eagle buccaneering in the sky;
a sand grouse dusts The word is dry.


The sun hammers the corrugated iron,
cracks the thin boards; but over the sea
the clouds push their black hearts closer

and it is discussed that the evening
will be a washing out of the runnels of shit;
plastic buckets and old tins will find

their appropriate pitches, and the children
who go down to the city with boxes of brushes,
rags and polish, are near to becoming apathetic
This afternoon the music is only anticipating
the drumbeat; aguardiente is opening the eyes
of old men and bright dresses are all the colours

of the desperation of hope And this is a brief
time of the sleeping of spiders and a shining
of moonstones on the buckles of sad shoes.


Falling off the soft sound,
breaking the painted window to let in
the scent of gangrene; to see clearly
the toad writhing in the snake’s gorge,

and the carnations
in the buttonholes of bankers
And you should know
how Jose Cisneros died in the dark hut
to the clicking of rosaries;
lungs choked with broken rock
and no spare coins to close the eyes
And I could tell you
how Felicidad Consuelo and Maria Benavides
were raped in the cells But you should know all this

from the cries of desolate birds,
muteness of dark-leafed trees.

Emma Alvarez Gibson

Bio (auto)

Emma Alvarez Gibson is an editor by trade and many other things by design, some of which are unfit to print She hopes to one day overshadow Charles Bukowski and Mike Watt as the most famous resident of San Pedro, California Read more of Emma’s work here: Heart of the Underground.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Emma Alvarez Gibson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author


There are people who do not say
I miss you; they listen
for smoke signals
in spaces others fill
with words They recall
names and events,
they offer only
things you hadn’t the
courage to ask for
I know when you’ve missed me:
you want to tell me
everything that’s happened
until you’re no longer
by the fence of
words between us.

The Early Show

I know why you were there
your blue shirt
and awkward graying hair
said almost as much
as the wall of silence
you wore, and
the waves of fear
that rippled out
away from you,
stony, careful
I could hear you
preparing your reasons
for the leaders
of an inquisition
that would not come
Leaning away
from my friends
I watched it unravel
my purple scarf
winding around
my neck,
wrapping around
my hands,
Slumped down,
I wept as
each page turned,
snapshots: the phone call,
the confusion, the deliberate
look, the clumsy
weakness, the need
a gaping hole
water bottle squeaked I turned and
cowered: thirsty strangers
were drinking me in,
ants wading through
discarded meat
When it was over
you stood
on the steps,
staring at the picture
a look like no oxygen,
that shame
You struggled against
the tremendous gust
of nothing
that forced its way back
inside of you, as it had
not done with me I wanted to tell you I knew:
to scare you, or maybe
to comfort you I wanted to ask you
if he’s sorry.


I could subsist
on your breath alone;
to you, I
devour it
late at night
or when
you are watching
television It is an entire
maybe two Violet’s gum has
on this
achingly perfect
All of your ideas
pour in
like helium I rise and settle
more deeply

July 21-27, 2003: Jack Conway and Lillian Baker Kennedy

week of July 21-27, 2003

Jack Conway and Lillian Baker Kennedy

click here for submission guidelines

Jack Conway

Bio (auto)

Jack Conway’s recent publications include: Rattle, “My Picnic With Lolita”; The Antioch Review, “The Robert Lowell Memorial Bowling Trophy”; The Adirondack Review, “Making Crank Calls to the Gas Chamber”; The University of Iowa Press, “That’s What Happens When You Let Hamlet Play Quarterback”; The Peregrine Review, “The Military History of a Meal”; Light, “I Found American Literature’s Wallet”; Ralph, “When Billy Collins Met Anne Sexton” and The Norton Book of Light Verse, “Clothes make the Man.” His book of poems, “Life Sentences” was published in 2002 by North Country Press.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Jack Conway and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

Old Dog, New Trick

How the Stooges Broke Up
Oh woe is Moe,
the act must go,
Curly’s dressed up like Shirley
and just won’t repent Larry’s tried hari-kari
and no one remembers poor Shemp The sum of the parts
is always much greater,
so please do remind me
to murder you later.

Goodbye Buoys and Grills

Summer closes like a clam Even the ocean knows Waves don’t crash as playfully They steal away instead,
like a self-made widow Beaches are deserted The wind whips across,
barren parking lots,
strewn with broken glass
and cook-out trash Flips don’t flop,
flags don’t flap,
outside cafes are under wraps Lawn chairs folded under stairs Grills still, no glowing charcoal percolates Umbrellas go in cellars
Terry cloth is boxed Straw hats stacked
Awnings rolled
Sails furled Baseballs lie uncaught Even gardens know the score
and bloom no more Summer home,
some are not Goodbye lemonade days,
lemon moon nights Goodbye buoys and grills.

Poem on the Range

Oh, give me a poem, where the similes roam,
Where the ballads and couplets engage Where seldom is heard, a non-active verb,
and show, don’t tell is the rage Poem, poem on the page,
Where the metaphors are always at play Where seldom is heard, an unrhyming word
and it all sounds like St Vincent Millay.

The Philosophical Weather Report

There were regulars, always, at the counter;
having ice cream; chewing the fat,
watching the black & white television
that was on a shelf, over the counter There was somebody with a baseball cap
that everyone called “Patch,” not for any good reason
I could tell And a fat lady, who took up two stools
and wore a nurse’s uniform I watched her 
eat two banana splits, once, without even coming up for air It was a spa; sold cigarettes, magazines,
had a soda fountain, a long mirror behind it
where you could watch yourself with red, vinyl-topped
stools that swiveled and squeaked Her name was Helen Girlie, a platinum blonde;
from Texas someone said, who wore cat glasses,
with diamonds at the points, and red lipstick
and too much make-up on her eyes Always in a tan, uniform, a colorless dress
that rustled, like a paper bag, when her legs
moved beneath it and huge, cushioned, white shoes
that squealed on the tiles behind the counter “I’m on my feet all day,” she’d say Someone said she was a dancer, during the war,
Las Vegas, New York, somewhere where people
paid to watch girls dance, who married a soldier
and stayed behind to run the store There was always
a cigarette dangling from her lips and ice cream scoop
in the front pocket of her dress We watched her
endlessly gliding and squeaking behind
the soda fountain counter, pretending to read
the comics There was a fish tank beside the
magazine rack Sometimes she’d let us feed them “Isn’t it nice,” she said “In goldfish heaven,
there is peace tonight The pirate ship’s been righted
and the deep-sea diver’s blowing bubbles again Now, get out Stop hanging around here
unless you’re going to buy something What is it you want!?”
On television, over the fountain,
Socrates gives the weather report, dressed
in a tunic, wearing a wreath on his head “Anyone who doesn’t take an earthquake personally
is an idiot,” he says Patch agrees philosophically
What is it we want? We think of the rustle
beneath her dress as we roll back out
into the atmosphere.

Lillian Baker Kennedy

Bio (auto)

I wrote my first poem in 2000 I didn’t know it was a poem I just knew it had to be written That was “Mother” (Apples and Orangeswww.aopoetry.com, November, 2001) I practice law, live in Auburn, Maine in an old cape bordered by wild roses This summer, I’m leaving home for a journey to Bread Loaf My first poetry collection, Tomorrow After Night, was released this summer It features cover art by Samuel Bak and is available on amazon.com Thanks for taking a look
Visit Lillian on the web at: www.lawyerpoetry.com

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Lillian Baker Kennedy and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

Jack Nicholson

I want to be a poet like Jack Nicholson
with a wink that cuts straight to the nerve,
a little scheming under sighing laissez-faire My occasional unfaithfulness forgivable
even essential to who I am,
the wolf who raises eyebrows in surprise
when fate has struck the fatal blow,
then slowly, broadly grins
Previously published in Pine Island Journal of New England Poetry,
Spring/Summer, 2002), Off the Coast, May, 2003; Legal Studies Forum, 2003;
Kennedy, Lillian Baker, Tomorrow After Night (Bay River Press 2003)

Between Here and Ireland

My dentist, born on Danforth Street,
once told me he traveled to Ireland
There, returned home
I walk MacNair
past the granite rocks,
avoiding the paved path
littered with human spoor We journey further east
Here, the sunrise still speaks
though the bay is gray and flat Creidne stirs Her father, banished to night My hound, surely a Finn,
frolics in the sand, and backtalks
every effort to rein him in
The wind blistering my face,
I call upon my kin,
big Celtic women with auburn hair
flowing down to their waist Women who knew
how to dance around a fire,
sniff the air for traitors,
women who stood up to their men
who loved them for it
At the faintest hint of morning,
on the furthest edge of land,
I summon forth a company
to collect these hyacinths
strewn on the sea
between here and Ireland
Previously published in A Sense of Place: Collected Maine Poems
(Bay River Press 2002); Legal Studies Forum, 2003;
Kennedy, Lillian Baker, Tomorrow After Night (Bay River Press 2003)

Sing to Me No Words

At wakes let the women keen Let the men sit silently,
only their bowler hats tap,
tapping against their knees
I want to give birth
the way we conceived,
mud-faced pagans
guttural under our breaths Breach the mask Let loose the bare-assed wail Sing to me no words
At wakes let the women keen Let the men sit silently,
only their bowler hats tap,
tapping against their knees
Previously published in Legal Studies Forum, 2003;
Kennedy, Lillian Baker, Tomorrow After Night (Bay River Press 2003)

Baser Things

There are houses where no one knows
how to light a cigarette on a stove
There are houses where people talk
in their throats and never scream
There are houses where newspaper
is always read, unused for baser things
But those houses don’t know a mop
casually waltzed to an Old Opry beat
Those houses don’t know the heat
a woman can find in a big-bellied stove
Men in those houses come back slightly
flushed from the gym No mud is tracked in
Some houses, born low, still know the
Rough, raucous laughter of gritty souls
Some houses that hum still know how to sing
Previously published in Monkey’s Fist, 2003;
Kennedy, Lillian Baker, Tomorrow After Night (Bay River Press 2003)

You Knew Why

You took the dishwasher when you left I imagined the truck’s metal ramp
dropped like a gangplank
to the living room
You sold it along with the car All those trips Our youngest,
buckled in his car seat,
squalled You knew why
At the time, I judged you harshly I didn’t understand how
someone could strip himself
naked, then go to another coast
As I approach fifty, I understand
how someone wants to get to the skin I can understand the freedom of it
and also the return, the smaller trailer
swaying on the hitch, slowing
the progress over the hills
Previously published in Ibbetson St Press, June 2003,
Kennedy, Lillian Baker, Tomorrow After Night (Bay River Press 2003)

My Mother Dying

It wasn’t what she said
when I leaned over It was the look,
wide, unfocused,
dark, wet I looked
in that deep
sorrowing sea
of leaky boats,
sailors’ ropes
strewn out
over the clamshell
stretched out beach
Her lying in that bed
on a white sheet
it’s own beach and
her with her feet
out of water What could I do
but wade in and sink?
The undertow sucked at
my feet, my naked feet,

Previously published in Legal Studies Forum, 2003;
Kennedy, Lillian Baker, Tomorrow After Night (Bay River Press 2003)

July 14-20, 2003: Eric Beeny and Laura Lentz

week of July 14-20, 2003

Eric Beeny and Laura Lentz

click here for submission guidelines

Eric Beeny

Bio (auto)

I’m twenty-two I live in Buffalo, NY I go to school Work

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Eric Beeny and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

a trunk in the attic

back then, you disemboweled
the box of tissues
i banged the triangle
against the ringing in my ears
your uvula was a windshield
wiper as i drove
through the valleys in your voice,
only to find you blowing my nose
my diphragm was a trampoline,
a button you pushed
to open my head’s trap door
i always wondered how
you got up there
i thought that elephant
was a forklift.


crumbs of my breath
spat along the early pillow
first fragments of
a previous night’s punch
in the face
like religion when
death finds a priest.


i want to parachute
into your bed

on muscle relaxers

flling down
the fire escape

while choking on the cap
of my asthma pump
i would be a leaf
floating in a glass of water,

sunlight trembling
in my veins

when you set me down
on the coffee table.

Laura Lentz

Bio (auto)

Laura Lentz resides in a beach city in Los Angeles County with her eight-year old daughter She owns a small Latino publishing company, is a poet, a writer and a journalist She writes and publishes humorous pieces on the dark side of parenting and is addicted to poetry.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Laura Lentz and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

The Magician

My father disappeared often –
an accomplished magician,
he showed my mother
how to slice him in half,
push his head, with torso
to one side of the house,
his legs to another
For days he would remain
this way,
in two boxes,
never once asking
to made whole again,
never once asking for any of us
to push him back together
We moved around him as though
he wasn’t there-set the table,
watched television,
went to school
Eventually, the red scarf
would turn into a dove,
the wind would tap at the windows

and he would return to us,
in his suit and tie
fresh from the commuter train He opened the front door
of our house
with an odd look on his face,
as if seeing us all
for the very first time –

the woman he loved
coming from the kitchen,
his children rushing toward him
in relief,
their small arms wrapping around
his unsturdy legs,
pulling his hands free,
making him whole once again.


Linda’s father wrote
Rock Around the Clock
that what she tells us
and we believe her
We write that we hate
our mothers in our
black composition books,
but we love our fathers,
even those that have gone
We see Linda’s father
as an escapee from this
small, oppressive town
that has locked the door
behind us, the whole world
just on the other side
Even the piano
he left behind, untuned,
or the vintage car
with no engine
rusting in the driveway
forgives him leaving
But the beautiful mother
left to raise three daughters,
coming home from her
second job, exhausted,
she cannot be forgiven,
not now.

July 7-13, 2003: Chad Davidson, Erin Elizabeth and Jonathan Penton

week of July 7-13, 2003

Chad Davidson,
Erin Elizabeth
Jonathan Penton

the judges of the
2003 Poetry Super Highway
Poetry Contest

click here for submission guidelines

Chad Davidson

Bio (auto)

Chad Davidson is author of a collection of poems entitled Consolation Miracle (Southern Illinois University Press, 2003), winner of the Crab Orchard Prize He is also the recipient of a New York State Thayer Fellowship in the Arts, a Walter E Dakin Fellowship to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to study at the University of Perugia, Italy His poems and translations have appeared or are forthcoming in Colorado Review, Crab Orchard Review, DoubleTake, The Literary Review, The Paris Review, Pequod, Poet Lore, and others He is currently an assistant professor of English at the State University of West Georgia http://www.siu.edu/~siupress/titles/f03_titles/davidson_miracle.htm

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Chad Davidson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

The Tiniest Green Hummingbird in the World

Its throat feathers (or gorgets)
refracting in the feeder’s glare
shimmer as a fly’s eyes do Hovering, unbiased toward

one way or another of being
pin-sized and nonpasserine,
it greets the greatest of your trees
with the cool of the millionth

divide of itself, new-worldly The two crows now settling like
battered kettles uneven on
the grape wood, or the woodchucks

caravaning through timothy
appear distant as continental
plates, leagues under a strange sea
prone to flood, to freeze of a night,

thaw come morning—a cerulean
a bird like this could swim or fly in Motionless to any eye
but its own, bejeweled, needle-like,

or rather eye-of-the-needle-like,
it stuns with a silence of flight
which serves only to keep you praising
its sideshift, eager as a piston,

exact as the time it teaches
by severing a pendulum If the blisters of its eyes rise
to meet yours, be still Breathe

in small bursts as to feign
its fluttering Registering
the smallest fracture of the air
it’s mastered, the bird will receive

you without the slightest chill Or you will pass through,
as you have done each spring
morning through this country

fog-quilted and sluggish,
the geometric necessity
of a tiny thing’s nearness
the only fugitive you’d harbor
Two-and-one-half inches, the size
of a thumb bent thumbing
a sketchbook or, supine, hitchhiking:
this bird and six-foot hum around

some lilac and the world
it’s fastened to Quickly, snatch
a snapshot of yourself as you
glisten orbitally in

the bird’s third passing, sugared
in red solution Good Developed
in your red room, those prints display
only one pair of wings

above the shrill horizon, and the you
tethered to its thin vision Remember the Continental Divide?
You were the one dividing.


March-weary, I waver in the atrium
under a million golden flies A mosaic
of crows crowds the piazza like a shadow
of the piazza flown free the many yellow-
coated men moving with the ease
of figure skaters across boardwalks Inside St Marks, perspectiveless, byzantine,
saints stand frozen in their whirling waters—
the reverse of everything this city holds:
that night is a one-legged bird with mercury eyes,
dying every time a faithful touches it Faith, night says, is a water mortuary Outside the rain drowns the piazza Who teaches this city to drown itself?

Keeping the House

You like the fish in its glass, how it whirls
your house around, mouthing Os This house is a lung, collapsed Yet you scissor hours into snowflakes

with your Windex and your Pledge,
your Hoover hovering above the hardwood Picture the world in a vacuum,
a tiny thing in its own hourglass
Like the black plastic vacuum’s black work
after spilling coffee: no matter
how you turn the vacuum’s hole
the grounds will not relieve the ground

entirely of blackness Just as this day
will not allow its twin to roll it over
clockwise What’s the matter with the world
being twenty-four hours older, wiser each day?

To think: no birthday Just birthing,
continual, punctual This world grounds you In its finest hour, you think, it is a daisy
cutter fluttering down to the ground
You can almost feel the day dismember,
it and the fish swimming in it Which is why you stop vacuuming Because every day is the twenty-fourth hour

of a larger day turning around,
collapsing Your hour’s come round
at last Go on Turn around Pledge Will your bed remember you?


Inside your mind’s limousine,
your body with its way of sitting barward A glass ice bin sweats
Yet only the lewdest of beer murals
rouses your driver from the windshield
sheer as a nightgown’s underside
Above, the Tequila-Sunrise-colored sun
cherryless but cheery
through your glass septum
Marred, pacified, your face—
in the post-impressionism of a wet window—
couldn’t be more tropical, spotted

like a whitesand inlet or leopard
in a tree with a limousine sheen You want to be your hand in the pool

of your lap, two fingers pointing
inward, rabbit-eared but pointless Exiting you might understand the point

of red dripping down the glass sky
sugared in barlight, and the photographer
saying open your eyes and say whiskey Your body’s grown a gown around that word.

Erin Elizabeth

Bio (auto)

Erin Elizabeth makes her home in Binghamton, New York, where she finishing her BA in Creative Writing and bribing MFA programs. Erin is the editor-in-chief of Stirring : A Literary Collection and a founder of Sundress Publications. Her poetry has appeared in over forty literary journals including Pif, Pedestal Magazine, 2River View, Gravity, Miller’s Pond, Agneiska’s Dowry, Black Bear Review, and Eclectica She is a 16-time winner of the now-defunct Insomniacs’ Poetry Slam and was voted Favorite Featured Poet of 1999 by the readers of Poetry Super Highway Recently she was awarded a fellowship to attend the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Erin Elizabeth and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

The Annex of Sleep

In these dreams, the traffic cones are minks. 
The Susquehanna is not a shriveled bank,
this hydrophobic season, so fitful in its giving. 
The bridge is all we talk about —
how three hundred strands of light can transform a city
Sometimes, you are here, though smaller,
with darker hair So familiar, I wonder if that is all
you could become — tired sheets weekly washed,
the opening of green bean cans If I bridled you,
shifted the bit into the hollow place
where your smartest teeth should be, would you buck,
become a blackbird as you do when I sleep,
listing all the ingredients of a nest,
pulling a pink worm from the shallow earth
Two nights ago, you were behind me, grasping
my shoulders at the neck I started to tell you
about the Redbank graveyard, all the concrete
stones saying “Baby”, about the year Hugo hit,
freed the neighbors’ dogs who packed together
and disemboweled a stray grey kitten in my carport Almost told you about the night he bent me
over his frameless bed
Wake me and I will feed your cats, I plead But you turn and say,
No No Sleep. 

.Previously Published in Miller’s Pond

Tuesday Night Moon

Shiftless girl,
you are not the bright-
headed daughter of Zeus,
a pearl adrift in surf Nor are you alone
in your perihelion pregnancy,
round and rebellious in a fish tank
of sky
No, sweet,
you are a dime
sewn into the ceaseless
soft of Navajo velvet,
worried and restless,
because you are the only polished
thing there
Previously published in Piernian Springs .

This is not Rhode Island

“It is absurd to think that providence is quiet “
Mary scours the frost from a folding chair, gathers her legs. 

Winter streets with their burnished breath, sloppy shoulders,
the mulberry moon lodged in the front yard sycamore is sick

on its own slumber New snow, fissured on the holly, dines
on her attention She mangles the poor pavement of it with a stone
“This is not Rhode Island This is not New York This is a place where front doors aren’t hinged,

and winter is let to fester in its filth “
She unsheathes her legs, flings her hat

in a snarled sphere against her house “I will set this town ablaze ” 

The traffic light, three moons on the snow, shifts,
and she pulls at the holly coolly
.Previously published in Avatar Review

Jonathan Penton

Bio (auto)

Jonathan Penton lives in various places throughout the American South, where his bad teeth are celebrated, not maligned He is the editor and webmaster of unlikelystories.org, and the webmaster of bigbridge.org and iracohen.org Horses whisper to him.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Jonathan Penton and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

When did I start smoking? And why?
I can taste the ash on my hand

An airport in a strange city,
burdened with two bulky bags,
with hours left to wait This is no time to get nervous This is no time to ask questions French fries and fear weigh down the air,
and the police are eyeing me in the
same way I am eyeing them.

After the madness of the 20th Century
and the apocalyptic opening
of the 21st

There’s always someone
in a dirt-floor bar
with a twanging Texas voice
singing love songs
like it never mattered
at all

One of us is very ill.


I see everything
all the way down
from the time when the world is a
patchwork of fields and forests
stretching out past the horizon
to the time when the tops of the trees
stare into my face

I see it all
every pine needle, every lost aphid
my senses are infinitesimal
in their precision
and all the beauty opens up for me
>From the curve of the earth
to the immediacy of this situation
and I am sad
so sad
that it is all about to end


I will never write a poem
as beautiful
as the orange embers
in the bottom of this fire

And I will never write a poem
as meaningful
as that dumb bitch pontificating
on the beauty of a tree

And in that moment
just before your spray
given the options
was it really so much easier to
turn away and face the wall
find comfort in some instant too long
gone and duck the question of
whatever you and I might represent

decline to comment
on the differences between you then and now
and choose to spend this time away
keep everything I might offer at
bay spend moments staring into space
looking for someplace you won’t find
letting me watch as you
seek solitude
the moment
that you

June 16-July 6, 2003: B.J. Hale and Bradley Mason Hamlin

week of June 16-July 6, 2003

B.J Hale and Bradley Mason Hamlin

click here for submission guidelines

B.J Hale

Bio (auto)

My name is Bobby Ray Hale I am from a small industrial town of Kingsport which is located in Northeast Tennessee My location explains my hillbilly name Im an 18 year old poet/DJ/musician/artist These poems are meditations on the hyper-modern culture and how it affects (infects) us
See more of B.J ‘s work here.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by B.J Hale and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

a boy
who watches
so much
reality television
that he has lines
and all the “characters”
bible verses
should be frothing at the mouth
for he is surely

man woman child can
seeee and dominate
so impressive though
most hairy and
awkward warm touch
finds spots to please
with the enthusiasm of home
alterations hypnotic
.who did shout and
.kick shins in
.doubt tantrums
.who did let go
.of slippery rocks
.succumbing to fear
courageous cursing
shows laughing ass
holes for what they
are laughing ass
holes but showers
of saliva worship male
female giving takes
a more solid structure
begs for vibrations
real humbled.

“I swear
to God
if she was a character
in the script no she was just so .I would totally kill her “

Bradley Mason Hamlin

Bio (auto)

Bradley Mason Hamlin was born in Los Angeles and raised on both the east and west sides of the territory He served in the United States Navy from 1981 to 1984 He now writes poems, short stories, and novels and works for Mystery Island Publications His hobbies include watching cartoons and listening to the blues.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Bradley Mason Hamlin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

Bottom Feeders

I see you
coming down to the bottom
of the mud
with me
searching the dark earth
for the last good gold coin
the deep buried treasure
of humanity
and there it is
against your fingertips
as you run out of breath
you have found
only the bones
of those who have drowned
before you.

Black Fire

scream for
angel’s wings
just this once
give me
over the
just this once
let me see
as a

June 9-15, 2003: Donna Kuhn and Leili Besharat

week of June 9-15, 2003

Donna Kuhn and Leili Besharat

click here for submission guidelines

Donna Kuhn

Bio (auto)

Donna Kuhn has published her poems in over 100 print and online journals and anthologies including Santa Clara Review, Poetry New York, Red Dirt, fuel,  Poesy, Naked Poetry, Unlikely Stories, Spadra, Juxta, Onyx, Moria, Alchemix, Sendecki, Mesechabe, Churn, 5-trope, Lost and Found Times, Wired Hearts, Big Bridge, Red Coral Grotto, Pig Iron Malt, Ten Thousand Monkeys, Moondance, asspants, The Tomcat, Porter Gulch Review, poetry motel, Sonoma Mandala, The Dickens, Tunnel Road Anthology and her chapbook, no bird on yr arm, has been published by Tamaphyr Mountain Press
Her poetry has been choreographed by Natica Angillys’ Poetic Dance Theater and is also incorporated into her own visual art and multimedia poetry/dance videos She has read and performed her poetry in venues in The Bay Area, Colorado and Maryland, often with musical accompaniment Her teaching experience includes teaching poetry in public schools, at the college level, at mental health clinics, and at nursing homes and retirement centers through adult education in which she holds two teaching credentials Her B.A is in Alternative/Creative Writing from Sonoma State University and she has done graduate work in creative writing at Colorado State University She lives in Aptos, California
Visit Donna on the web here: www.onlinewebart.com

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Donna Kuhn and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

he only draws

i ate fish and all the funeral shoes shut up
u dream in the room like its all smoky horses
the scheme u dream in and im walking away
yr eyes, thighs, bees, 6 beers
yr eyes are full of stuff
like a skeleton without a thrift store
i dream in the room u cant swallow yr eyes
i ate fish and someone has big r.v ‘s
i’m in the sand limping over a blue moon
ya ya in michigan; seahorses came
in handmade alligators
yr eyes, 5 funeral shoes
seahorse guns stayed away
i am walking in the scheme u dreamed in


two women have silverware
i got pepper, who cares

cellphone of birds so hollow
the winters over and love

is in my flat aluminium
baby skull mountains

the resolutions step back
pepsodent baby skin

wont flower i say now dragon
pull my macaroni buddha

fingers like teaspoons of eyes
kmart ate the traffics

laundromat heart, she says
everyone, now dragon

this dragon, all her romaine
cant learn her, cant learn her

i am the thing

get yrself dark urban pterodactyls, girl
so i say so i say, u say san diego moon
without eyes, u say horses arent the moon
so here are mermaids
girl of gray too beautiful, falling apart
small birds downhill in boulder
nebraska jumps on the bed with a skeleton
green sponge is burning in yr head
if i could lead my red war
life burned the moon and life burned
the girl of grey, blue trees down, hoot crap
palestinian moon carries yr blue
so happy, i am the thing

Leili Besharat

Bio (auto)

Leili Florence Besharat was born in Tehran, Iran in 1970 and grew up in Connecticut, Italy and Georgia. After graduating from the writing program at Goddard College, she began teaching and travel writing She is a recipient of a Macdowell Colony Fellowship, as well as a Fulbright Teacher’s Fund Fellowship to Japan for her work in teaching Japanese She lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand and will be moving to Kathmandu to work in an orphanage come summer.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Leili Besharat and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

The Sensual Details Surrounding The Anecdotes

It was his country because
he liked its women
and because he whispered in my ear
words he barely understood
But we were ghosts
speaking dead languages
Then pinholes of light
began safing me
Drink, drink, they would melt into my ear
Formulate a liquid answer
to a lie and stick to it
Fib your way into that feather bed
and sleep like a voluptuary
Deny them
nothing you would deny yourself
Feel that double negative inside
then rush it
Sacrum bent like a dog about to be blindsided
by its own heat
by a rush of fists and wheels
Then grind the brakes and force
the stick into that velocity which
coins men
Makes them patter and junk
their former lives
for something so close
to faith that we can taste
the salt lick smothering the engine
Dissembling form
Raking formlessness and
Scripturing violence
into the grooves of his body
.for historical accuracy’s sake
.as a memory exercise
Making ripe things rank by
pressing thumbs
very tightly into either side
until they meet in the middle
Flesh of the fruit extinguished 
Spilling sugar left and right
Radiating into every perimeter imaginable
how do you take to water?
Equador holds out for us
palms tightly pressed against the glass
Cracks open a fig and mouths
‘see what we mean
when we say orchid this,
finch that’

June 2-8, 2003: Lisa Haviland and Kelly Fremon

week of June 2-8, 2003

Lisa Haviland and Kelly Fremon

click here for submission guidelines

Lisa Haviland

Bio (auto)

Lisa Haviland recently obtained a Master’s in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California She is currently working on her first full-length play, Clocks, a World War II-era waltz set in New Orleans Her first play, Mary Contrary, was a finalist in Theatre Three Productions’ Sixth Annual Festival of One-Acts on Long Island Lisa’s current poetry publications include Resume and Smoke at AnotherAmerica.org She recently produced her first chapbook, Dagez, presented during the annual Master Poetry Class reading at USC Lisa lives in Venice, biding time until she returns to Louisiana.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Lisa Haviland and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author


A blindeyed Buddhist stole my old journals, my childhood
She keeps them locked
in the spare bedroom
California I’ll have to file a claim, claim
the crime
California You’re scenery to tear us all
Did you mean to destroy
the notion of eating
in America?

How long
can your young
women starve themselves?

The old lady is brittle,
bone, stone cold dead alone I can smell her stink
underwater-I won’t go
in the ocean
California The shiny happy people
pardoned their brains and have taken
up pilates in mindnumbing waves
California The local Venice lama
gave me a crystal
The chord broke
Everybody knows you’re hollow
My cat won’t go out either
California They congregate
outside my window anyway, never
They’re happy
They’re new
They shine
They woo

I’m in bed
with a blanket up
over my head
The Buddhist still holds my childhood
behind a locked door in Malibu, clutching
the only key.

Kelly Fremon

Bio (auto)

Kelly Fremon is 23 years old and will probably never date a guy who wears velcro sandals and definitely not if they’re worn together with socks She likes turkey, talking in accents, and once allegedly ate dinner with John Cusack, or possibly they we’re just at the same restaurant, she tends to lie about things like that On most days you will find her in her Hollywood apartment writing screenplays and concocting unique meals out of the four unexpired items in her refridgerator.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Kelly Fremon and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

Mid Air

When you first get to heaven you look like shit
cause you’ve been flying through space for nearly an hour
You’ve got star spit splattered across your face and
little baby planets stuck between your teeth
there are comets caught in the nappy parts of your hair, 
your eyes are glued shut with space boogers
and you smell like the moon’s B.O
It’s really kind of unpleasant

But don’t worry about that Don’t worry, Kevin

See, up in heaven they’ve got these special angels who
wear these big white glittery HAZMAT suits and
when you come soaring into the hanger they
catch you and scrub you and rub you and
throw you into a big bubbly salt bath

Then they send you to the higher-ups
Jesus and Buddha and all those nice guys
And that
is when they start
The Peeling

The Peeling, that’s right
They take this huge cheese-slicer device and
peel off all your skin ’til they get down to the core

No, no, don’t be scared, Kevin, it doesn’t hurt, doesn’t hurt at all
So they start peeling and they peel and they peel and they peel and
pieces of yourself are flying all over the place, 
there are your thighs over there in the corner, 
your nose sliding across the tiles, and whoop!
there goes the ass you always wanted gone

They keep peeling deeper and deeper and
suddenly you look down, and honest to god, 
there on the floor right beside your ears
is your self-critic spread out like hair clippings
and then somebody sweeps your broken heart into the garbage
and loneliness is tossed upside-down next to your ass

More and more layers come flying off and soon
the floor is piling higher and higher with
“you’re not good enoughs” and “you can’t do its” and
over there, right over there in a place all its own, is one perfectly fresh
“I just don’t feel that way about you,”
lying far away where it can’t hurt you anymore

So there you are, just standing there looking down at all
the pieces of yourself spread out over the floor like
something out of an epic battle scene, 
and for one fleeting moment
for just one passing moment-

you want them all back

But as I said, it’s just a passing moment, 
just one small insignificant moment and
as quick as that moment passes another one comes swooping in and
soon you feel full and ready and charged and
you feel yourself growing bigger and freer getting taller and wilder and
suddenly your arms are shooting sideways and diagonal you’re
jumping up in the air like they do in those toyota commercials you’ve got
these unstoppable jazz hands! jazz hands!, and
you can’t help yelling crazy things like “God, it’s good to be home!” and
“Woaaaaah! Who turned on the lights?!”
You’re dancing with top hats and canes and
singing Andrea Bocelli and Enya at the
tippity top of your lungs in a big ecstatic spectacle of operatic magic everyone
is rushing up to you to compliment you on your
new sparkly god sandals, 
not to mention that perfect purple shade of your soul

Souls are always either purple or pink
Did I tell you that?

Mine’s purple
I like purple

What color do you like, Kevin?

Kevin, what color?


I knew you were gonna say black

Black because it’s the only thing you can see when you open your eyes, 
black because it’s the only thing you can hear when you close your eyes, 
black because it’s the color of secrets only you know, 
black because it’s the very distance between you and everyone, and black –
because that’s exactly what happens when a brain dies inside a body that’s still alive

When will you come home, Kevin?

I wish I could crack open your head and let all the madness spill out
I wish I could slip into your dark eyes and ride the monsters until we tamed those beasts
I wish I could just speak the language of the ghosts who heavy your head like that
You’re so heavy, Kevin

And there’s freedom in there-I know it Trust me, I know it
I feel it every time I remember the nonsense and
the pressure and this day-in-day-out mess that someone decided to call reality, 
I don’t blame you, I don’t

I just miss you

And sometimes I think that if you don’t get better, if you don’t come back, 
then maybe I’ll just come to you
I could sneak into your bumblebee robot world and
we’d both run from FBI agents trying to kills us and
find secret messages in news articles and
Shhhhhh!!!! Keep your voice down!
They’re listening to us

But tonight with you here looking at me with eyes that can’t stop losing themselves, 
with thoughts that turn and twist around corners in mazes of chaos-
I understand why you try to dive off the high board into that empty swimming pool
I understand why you want to jump off that tall, tall building

Because in the air-in mid air-there’s just you and your truth

No one to tell crazy from uncrazy Just mid air
Like leaping from canyon to grand canyon
No heads shaking at your secrets
no one to look at you the way people look at open caskets
Just free falling out of a plane
You can laugh at the ground the whole way down if you want, call gravity the mad man

But Kevin, you don’t have to jump off any buildings You’ve been sailing through space for nearly a month now-
you look like shit

There’s a hanger open for you this side of heaven, 
I keep trying to land you here so I can clean you up, 
and try to peel off all the layers

Because I know you’re in there

I know you’re in there somewhere singing and dancing, jumping up in the air
I can see it even now
And it’s not black anymore, Kevin

Everything is purple.

May 26-June 1, 2003: C.C. Russell and Terrie Leigh Relf

week of May 26-June 1, 2003

C.C Russell and Terrie Leigh Relf

click here for submission guidelines

C.C Russell

Bio (auto)

I currently work as the assistant manager of a video games store in Hicksville, New York on Long Island where I live with my wife In the past, I have worked as a convenience store clerk, a hotel desk clerk and d.j at a small bar in Wyoming My poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming from Xconnect, The Owen Wister Review, Whiskey Island Magazine and Lungfull! amongst others I hold a BA in English from the University of Wyoming.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by C.C Russell and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author


Avoid skin Believe
in the god
of Thursdays
Take small steps
Don’t think
too much
(previously published in Joey and the Black Boots magazine, #41)

Another Saturday Night

You paint
a watercolor valentine
on your wrist
You say
the right words
You pretend
your knuckles
are not broken.

The Burn and the Drainage

And the white
of that darkness,
driving through a blizzard
across I-80
spun out
trying to keep
the road
underneath you
Bonnie, that night, when things
nearly lost themselves
and you found salvation
in a small tattoo
on your breast.

Terrie Leigh Relf

Bio (auto)

Terrie Leigh Relf lives in San Diego, CA She hopes that you won’t hold that against her .Among other things, she’s the poetry editor and “Poet’s Workshop” columnist for writersmonthly.us and emcees an open mic at Santos on the 4th Sunday of every month, from 5-7pm Upcoming publications include NFG, Underworlds, Sidereality, and EUTO.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Terrie Leigh Relf and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

Washington St Bridge

I look down from the edge
of the vajra-blue suspension bridge
tatooed teens in torn clothes
lean against a concrete slab of wall

they wait for something
and I wonder what that something is

even  though I want to read
the sand-etched quote from Lao Tzu
I don’t cross the bridge
because I’m afraid of heighths

we look skyward
the sound of ten-thousand cranes
shaking the bridge

Cliterature: on the origins of language

my clitorus says she wants to write a poem
I told her to be quiet
that I was trying to sleep
but she was insistent
I told her that it’s been awhile
since she’s been out and about
and that poetry of the moment
of experience
is preferable to
the ponderings of
confabulated memories

perhaps she should wait until
she has more recent experience

but she was adamant
said, I have memories of many hands
and tongues
and there once was a toe or two

all right
I tell her
go ahead
and this is what she said

I am the origin of language
the first sound thrust
from labial mouth
I am the universal tongue
pressed against fecund flesh
I defy definition
pulsate with meaning
signify awe

for those who think
I am arbitrary
a nuisance
a subject/object
of social disorder

for when severed
or otherwise tarnished
I will be your

May 19-25, 2003: Kenneth Clark and Mike Levy

week of May 19-25, 2003

Kenneth Clark and Mike Levy

click here for submission guidelines

Kenneth Clark

Bio (auto)

Kenneth Clark resides in Athens, Georgia after growing up in New Orleans, Louisiana A Texan by birth and a lifelong traveller, he finds solace in movement and writes poems that are intentionally rift with contradictions, subtle disagreements, and elements in opposition his poems have appeared here in PoetrySuperHighway and several now-defunct online ‘zines, in addition to limited print success he is currently finishing his first novel.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Kenneth Clark and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author


in between alarm and cold off the window
that crawls under blankets, underwear;

as our coffee machine drips, or
the intermitttent hum of television
news cries Wake Up! Wake Up!

daytime’s for those whose tongue know only talk–

but five more minutes; relax–
& instead of good morning, fall
back to sleep before we return

to daytime that’s lesser by design

why i like panties

peripherally, i spy at clothing stores
the maze of low-cut bikini unmentionables
while women shop for their everyday
garments with utilitarian efficiency

this weekend i’ll join them and the tease
of mannequins like a mad art collector
set free in the louvre

Maysan mantra

we wait
by the phone and mailbox
while late march

chases us inside
to fireplace comfort;
when did ouroboros
undo herself

to strike here
from around the world?
these Appalachians

mimic Al Muthanna–
daytime’s quiescence
& noised cold of night

on the news, blood rhetoric
slips between commercials
and forced laughter–
this is the future

we are saving
for you, daughter–
to replace Nagasaki
& Dresden

with Al Amarah, 
Al Kut, Al Hillah.

Mike Levy

Bio (auto)

Mike Levy lives in Brooklyn, New York and has a very common name This Mike Levy does not know the Point of Life; he is neither a Pilates instructor nor Tony Blair’s special envoy to the Middle East, nor was he ever a member of The Sneetches All of the Dr and Professor Mike Levys are other people This Mike Levy, formerly a reporter for The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, is currently enjoying New York City springtime and looking for a job.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Mike Levy and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

Six O’clock in the Afternoon

In August, when it is hottest On a hill, covered in grass like a mutant lettuce, crisp, painted-green, behind the museum, behind the museum’s amphitheater, surrounded by tar pits Children keep walking by, off to what? With their parents and their little brothers, with their reading the signs and pointing at the tar pits
We had neglected to bring any sort of stuffed animal, and then the subject of stuffed animals came up; we began to regret it There’s a slope to a hill, grassy or no, makes lying on one’s side hard
Tar pits We didn’t come to see them What did we come to see? We saw naked men sweating bronze rust in the garden, we saw maritime Salem millionaires’ chairs, and their lamps, we saw ancient Mexican bowls and claymen and claywomen We saw three buildings that Rem Koolhaas wants to make
It was air conditioned, but the elevators didn’t work We missed China, Korea, Japan, and the history of fashion We didn’t come to see them either, anyway
We took off our shoes and somehow she got into the mirror hallway installation before me, and ducked through Guards checked our tickets as we walked in the gallery Everyone seemed to resent each other at the doorway But no one else was inside
We read the signs and pointed at the paintings We talked about the news I talked softly, but the reception was good; I called a friend to talk about dinner tomorrow We walked around the giant room of giant paintings from a long time ago as if we owned the place We talked about things that happened a long time ago, things I had pictures of We talked about national public radio
Now we know how a responsible public institution can water a hill so green The sweat of a thousand pairs of desperate lovers, holding hands and smiling into the public sun Don’t give me it’s too salty It’s not very salty We talk about men with beards We talk about Kermit the Frog
Even on a grassy hill in August six o’clock in the afternoon doesn’t last; on a hill of buckled concrete next to the bus stop stars come out like branches, prick my arm and under my nose We stop at the stuffed animal store to get away from them and hug nearly everything inside We linger in the digital recorded voice talking creatures section We exit the revolving door and exit We navigate the sidewalks side by side
Quieter than streetlights the traffic on Beverly Boulevard honks.

May 12-18, 2003: Our fifth annual Yom Hashoah issue

week of May 12-18, 2003

Our fifth annual Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) issue

Erika Abbott
Lisa Beatman
Jim Bennett
F.J Bergmann
Tom Berman
Charles Bernstein
Bengt O Bjorklund
Roland Francis Bravo
Lynne Bronstein
Michael Burch
Tony Bush
Howard Camner
Ruth Daigon
T.J Daniels
Susie Davidson
Cliff Fyman
Peter Shayne Griffin
Arthur Isaacson
Larry Jaffe
Stephen M James
Kristin Johnson
Tammy Kaiser
Peter Kenny
Judy Z Kronenfeld

here for submission guidelines

Erika Abbott

Bio (auto)

Erika Abbott lives in Valley Glen, California.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Erika Abbott and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Baking, Burning
dreams gone up in flames
souls cry out: ” let people know what happened!”
Cries for help ignored Ovens keep people warm.

Lisa Beatman

Bio (auto)

My work has most recently been published in Lilith Magazine, the Hawaii Pacific Review, and the Abiko Quarterly Some of my work will be forthcoming in Lonely Planet, and Rhino My collection, “Ladies’ Night at the Blue Hill Spa”, was published by Bear House Publishing I live in (well, next to) a cemetary in Boston

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Lisa Beatman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Taut Over Bones

Defined by light
Skin lampshades
What marrow we have
What tallow unburnt.

Jim Bennett

Bio (auto)

Visit Jim on the web in the following spots:

POETRY KIT-Voted Poetry Super-Highway best resource 2001

PK On-line Poetry Workshop

JIM BENNETT-Publisher’s site

Some songs

An interview


The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Jim Bennett and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

where did all the people go?

deaf to the crying
blind to the plumes of smoke
when the stench of burning
and the ash fell like snow
did no one ever ask
where did all the people go?

with the smell from the camp
and the sounds of gunfire
punctuating every day
did no one know?
did no one ever ask
where did all the people go?

F.J Bergmann

Bio (auto)

F.J Bergmann is living in Madison, Wisconsin for the fourth or fifth time She studied psychology, biochemistry, and fine arts at the University of Wisconsin, and is currently a web designer and illustrator Previously, she spent twenty-five years working with horses She is working on projects involving digital art, hypertext, and Flash poetry She maintains www.madpoetry.org, a public service website for poetry in Madison, Wisconsin, as well as her own site, www.fibitz.com She reads at spoken word venues and has been published in Margie The American Journal of Poetry, Wind, Pavement Saw, RealPoetik, in the anthology Connected: Poetry on Life In The Age Of Computers, and at the 2002 Electronic Literature Symposium She won the 2003 Mary Roberts Rinehart National Poetry Award and her manuscript Sauce Robert won the 2002 Pavement Saw chapbook competition She received awards from the Atlanta Review poetry competition in 2000, 2001, and 2002, and a partial scholarship to the 2002 Catskill Writers Workshop Her favorite authors all write science fiction.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by F.J Bergmann and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Dès le moment
que j’ai su que tout ce qui mène au sommet
d’aujourd’hui peut se voir seulement
comme un effet
de cette lumière affreuse, dorée,
étincellante et jaune, étoilée,
qui comme un souffle de catafalque nous arrive
des hiers lointains à travers les peaux juives,
émane des milliards de crânes vides
jetés dans la fosse commune monstre du passé,
j’ai fait serment
On ne finira jamais cette guerre;
reculant en arrière, suivant les traces des dégats,
aucun ne saura pourquoi
ces choses atroces ont été faites De ce qui est rapellé, je n’en reviens pas
et je n’en reviendra jamais
de ce pays lumineux d’aprés-midi, des champs de blé
tachés de pavots comme les blessures
qui apparaissent dans une foule mitraillée Dans les brumes grises du dernier siècle
le bruit grondant des vielles injures reverbre
entre le grésillement infini des larmes oubliées;
les cendres des morts coulent dans la pluie brûlante
Je me hisserai de cette boue infâme
par les langues mortes de mes souliers Je verrai dans mes rêves la poussière
des cadavres pourris, un demain ébloui,
se réunir avec leurs âmes vivantes
à neuf sur la terre.


At the moment
when I knew that all that has brought us
to the apex of the present can be seen solely
as an effect of that appalling golden light,
glittering yellow, starry,
that like the exhalation from a catacomb
reaches us from distant yesterdays
through lampshade skins
or emanates from the millions of empty skulls
discarded in the monstrous common grave of the past,
I made a vow
War never ends:
looking backward, following the traces of destruction,
no one will ever know why those atrocities took place Of what is remembered, I cannot bring myself to understand,
and I will never come back from that luminous afternoon
landscape of deceptive peace, the wheatfields
speckled with poppies like bloody wounds
sprayed across a machine-gunned crowd In the dark clouds of the last century
the rumble of ancient injustices reverberates
amid the endless spatter of forgotten tears;
the ashes of the dead dissolve in the burning rain
I will lift myself out of that fouled mud
by the dead tongues of my shoes I will summon a shining tomorrow
where the dust of decayed cadavers
will unite in glory with their living souls
to renew the earth.

Tom Berman

Bio (auto)

Tom Berman has been a member of Kibbutz Amiad in the Upper Galilee, Israel for almost 50 years, on and off He is a scientist, specializing in aquatic microbiology Much of his research has been focused on Lake Kinneret (also known as the Sea of Galilee) but occasionally he has also worked on various real seas and oceans
He grew up and attended school in Glasgow, Scotland having arrived there aged 5 from Czechoslovakia with the Kindertransport in 1939
Further education was in the U.S.A, at Rutgers University and M.I.T He is married with one wife, three daughters, five granddaughters and a grandson Most of his publications to date have been scientific but now and again he has had some poems appear in press His first collection, Shards a Handful of Verse, is available from the vaults of Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc Recently he has been elected Editor in Chief of the “Voices Israel ” Anthology.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Tom Berman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Leather Suitcase

They don’t
make suitcases
like that
any more
Time was,
when voyage meant
train, steamship
distances unbridgeable
waiting for a thinning mail
weeks, then months,
then nothing

Time was,
when this case
was made
solid, leather,
heavy stitching
with protective edges
at the corners
Children’s train,
across the Reich
and starts again
a lighted gangplank,
night ferry to gray-misted
sea-gulled Harwich
again the rails
reaching flat across
East Anglia,
to London

There’s the suitcase
in my bedroom,
a silent witness
with two labels

“Masaryk Station, Praha”
“Royal Scot, London-Glasgow”

Leather suitcase
from a far-off country,

containing all the love
parents could pack
for a five year old
off on a journey
for life.

Charles Bernstein

Bio (auto)

Charles Bernstein’s poetry has been published in several journals, including: Lucid Moon, Flipside, Tomorrow Magazine, Sex In Public, Churches, Children & Daddies, Blindman’s Rainbow, Oyez Review, Grey Lodge Pub and Magnetic Poetry: Book of Poetry (Workman Press) From 1986 to 1991, he published the poetry fanzine, Cops Hate Poetry In 1999, Charles was a national Poetry Slam finalist He has been featured on National Public Radio and has performed throughout the United States He published the poetry chapbook Shortness Of Breath (PROTEST-1997), was featured on the CD & cassette compilations respectively, Tripped Back Up (Niteskool Productions-1998) & Drum Poems (Wymbs Productions-1997) and released the CD, Errorwrist: Nine Muses Of Error In Underconstructualism (PROTEST-2002) This summer, he will be publishing the poetry book, Ordering A Pizza In The Middle Of The Revolution (The Printer Inc)
Charles Bernstein resides in Evanston, Illinois Charles Bernstein is related to Charles Bernstein.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Charles Bernstein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Stinkpatch 321456

His blue eyes saved him
From wilting in the ovens
The brown eyes
Black eyes
Green eyes
Oh how they fried, fried in ovens like bird
Carved on the plate for dinner
And he cries for the tattoo on his ass
Cries for those who have fucked him, laughed
Cries for the rabbis
Who asked him to pull down his pants
Cries in his vodka, cries on his desk
Cries in my hands
In my hands like a baby with a tattoo in its ass
Smells the smell of burning feathers
It’s no wonder why he has asthma

Bengt O Bjorklund

Bio (auto)

I am a 54 year old artist, poet, journalist, photographer and thinker born in Stockholm I have spent almost twenty years outside my country, five years in a Turkish jail, where I met William Hayes (I was portrayed as Eric in the movie Midnight Express) since then I have played in various unsuccessful bands, published a few books of poetry, in Swedish, had art exhibitions in both in Sweden and Denmark, worked as a journalist/lay out man/photographer for a few years etc.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Bengt O Bjorklund and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Crystal nights have lost
their historic impact
as Palestinian youths
adapt lethal opposition
The undocumented
and very personal
everyday reality of
either one of the historic

Compounds of cruelty
does not give
a free ticket to a social
and supreme view
Whoever needs our
immediate span of attention
should not be there,
not now, nor ever.

Roland Francis Bravo

Bio (auto)

My name is Roland Francis Bravo, of the group BODO I live and work in South Florida and in my native Caribbean, (I am Cuban) I am a poet and a singer-songwriter having written and produced several musical theatrical productions in Miami and in New York Currently I am promoting my new CD “Evil People” through my webpage business: www.bododesigns.com

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Roland Francis Bravo and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


In the beginnning I was in shock I recall feeling that
strange sensation,
the irresistible one that you feel travelling
through your body,
you know, like when you actually feel
your blood rushing through your veins and arteries,
exchanging gases through millions of capillaries It’s an awful feeling that makes you think
that any minnute you are going to
just collapse,
or fall,
die In the beginning yes, I visited memorials,
surounded by beautiful reflective pools
that surround mausoleums of solitude,
temples built to memories,
to death,
to the attempt to wipe out
a race of
and innocent
people I was stunned, then as I thought,
and meditated, prayed and calculated,
dreamed and asked for counsel,
walked through ancient books
and borrowed other people’s
strange reactions,
I realised that G-d does not
act like a child,
lashing out,
seeking anhilation but I’ve also thought that children do
act like the better know the love of G-d
when they
seek not
understanding When they look up
and say

Lynne Bronstein

Bio (auto)

Lynne Bronstein has published three books of poetry Her work has appeared in publications such as Caffeine, On Target, California Poetry Calendar, and on the web sites Poetry SuperHighway.com and Muse Apprentice Guild.com She is preparing a new book of more recent poetry.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Lynne Bronstein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Bones and Ashes

I am descended
From a long line of rabbis A genetic memory
Of the captive audience
Tells me I must speak,
Must always speak
To whatever congregation
Is huddled before me
In Lublin town, great grandfather
So they tell me, kept a school,
Not a cheder but a high school
For Jews of promising intellect His name appeared as the author
Of books on theology The books and school
And all that told of their existence
Burned with the bodies
Of my relatives still in Lublin
After the cold invasion

Swirling in that bitter breeze
Ashes carried the intoning
Of my great-grandfather
And of the bright youths bending an ear
To lessons of the world
Through a shroud of deafness
And almost forty years I hear them:
Late but heeded messages
From Treblinka,
From Mae Donnick
(Some say the Holocaust never occurred Of course The Holocaust
Like many Jewish memories
Is a memory of nothing A history of nothingness,
Daily upon more nothingness
And to be without a past
Is surely to be without a future)
No, this line begins again
With what my dreams and memories tell me:
A son escaped Lublin and came to America
To sing the liturgy on the East Side New York
With a wife, four daughters,
And a son who was my father And I resume the liturgy
In a different language
For a different audience
But the intent’s the same I must speak against every image
Of wind blowing ashes,
Of congregations silenced,
Of words, ignored, unheard,
Locked up, smashed,
Burned, gassed,
Put in a desk drawer and forgotten,
Stamped with the disapproval
Of a court I never elected,
Cut off for lack of funds,
Laughed down, interrupted All invasions of the temple
I shall stare down with an implacable wrath
And keyn eyn hora against the evil eye May my poems and stories be the living echo
Of that lonely hiss relict of the Polish nights,
The whispering of the Bronstein line
To its congregation of bones.


Lublin-city in Poland, formerly the home of the largest
Jewish population in Poland outside of Warsaw
Cheder-religious school where students are instructed
in the Torah (five books of Moses)
Treblinka, Mae Donnick-concentration camps My relatives
in Lublin died in these camps
Keyn Eyn Hora-a saying “to ward off the evil eye.”

Michael Burch

Bio (auto)

Michael R Burch is the poetry editor of The HyperTexts He has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and his work has appeared in over ninety literary journals in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia and India, including: Poetry Magazine, Verse, Unlikely Stories, Light Quarterly, Numbat, Poet Lore, The Eclectic Muse, The Aurorean, The Lyric, Lonzie’s Fried Chicken, Black Bear Review, Icon, ByLine, Writer’s Journal, Penumbra, and Nebo.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Michael Burch and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Pfennig Postcard, Wrong Address

We saw their pictures:
tortured out of our imaginations
like golems
We could not believe
in their frail extremities
or their gaunt faces:

pallid as our disbelief They are not
with us now
We have:
huddled them
into the backroomsofconscience
We have:
consigned them
to the ovensofsilence
We have:
buried them in the mass graves
of circumstancesbeyondourcontrol
We have
so little left

to remind us:
how painfully unsightful they were.

Tony Bush

Bio (auto)

Aged early forties now, still living half way up a mountain in South Wales UK and still banging out verse Book published recently-“26 Images Spoken” (see http://www.nelsonn.com or http://www.tonybush.esmartweb.com for further details) so check it out if you’re interested Also writing rock, pop, country songs with my compadre Rob Deaves, so the music world better look out I’m on my way And hell will follow with me Maybe. 

Oh, any bars or cafes wanting someone to read poetry for free, I’m you’re man Just check out my stuff and let me know There’s nothing more I like than inflicting myself on the general public Probably why I’m mostly prevented from doing so by the powers that be
Finally, history has one great value for current and future generations and it lies in this single true fact: “they who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it ” I sincerely believe that those souls who were murdered beneath the foul and disgusting auspices of The Holocaust deserve in the very least that we never forget-and in so doing learn the lessons that history teaches us.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Tony Bush and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

This Song

This song I wrote for you to tell you how I feel,
To make you see my world in complex black and white,
This song I wrote for you, so that I am real,
So much more than dreams forged in the dead of night
This song I wrote for you in tortured words of proof,
To change your little mind, to turn your head around,
This song I wrote for you, a testament of truth,
To rip your rules to shreds and sink them in the ground

This song I wrote for you, each syllable drips fear,
To make you feel a hint of when every grave was mass,
This song I wrote for you, to make the visions clear,
The scalpels and the needles, the ovens and the gas
This song I wrote for you, in charcoal forest glades,
The wastelands of a heart, in fields down by the sea,
This song I wrote for you with blood and razor blades,
This song I wrote for you, so you could gather me.

Howard Camner

Bio (auto)

Howard Camner is the author of fifteen books of poetry His works are included in major literary collections worldwide, including ten historical archives and six royal libraries He represents the United States in the Poet 2000 Sculpted Library, an international exhibition of the works of contemporary poets He resides in Miami with his wife and children.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Howard Camner and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


These tattooed numbers
unlike life
are about all that is left of me

I, who ask God every day
where He was
while His children were getting slaughtered

I, who wish on Him every day
nothing less than eternal life
That He might live forever
and never
What could be more punishment than that?

Ruth Daigon

Bio (auto)

Ruth Daigon was founder and editor of Poets On: for twenty years until it ceased publication Her poems have been widely published in E mags , print mags, antholgies and collections She was  Poet-Of-The-Month on The University of Chile’s Pares Cum Paribus (an “E” chapbook in English and Spanish) (Her  chapbooks appear in WEBDELSOL, the ALSOP REVIEW, FORPOETRY, POETRYMAGAZINE, THREE CANDLE REVIEW, KOTA’S POETRY ANTHOLOGY both in hard cover and on the web Some of her earlier poetry collections are “Between One Future And The Next” (Papier-Mache Press) 1995, “About A Year” (Small Poetry Press)  1996  Daigon’s  poetry awards include   “The Ann Stanford Poetry Prize”, 1997 (University of Southern California Anthology, 1998) and The Greensboro Poetry Award (Greensboro Arts Council, 2000) Her poetry collections continue with “The Moon Inside” (Gravity/Newton’s Baby December ,1999) She is part of  Pudding House Publications Poetry Chapbook Series “Ruth Daigon’s Greatest Hits 1970-2000”  “Payday At The Triangle” (Small Poetry Press Select Poets  Series) based on the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City, 1911 was published in 2001and one of many readings was performed  in the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in Manhattan, the area where the fire occurred Her latest poetry book is “Handfuls of Time” (Small Poetry Press, Select Poets Series) in 2002 Her poetry was published by the State Department in their literary exchange with Thailand and their translation program has just issued the first book of American poets in English and Thai in which she appears Her poetry also appeared on the Garrison Keillor show.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Ruth Daigon and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Before The Blaze

Under the hammered sky
we move in narrow sandals
where something lies half-buried

and the everyday happens
a suitcase,  a parcel
and a man loses both his legs
Armies arrange to grow imaginary
planes trace unknown paths
their engines droning sorrow
The earth’s in constant motion
and the dark hurtles toward us
at the speed of light

We walk time on a leash
in this smoldering landscape
with rocks enough to carve
tombstones for all the dead

Words lean against each other Skin peels from thoughts
We’re searching for the fullness
before  the blaze of bone and wing

Branches rattle obituaries
The past spreads like a stain
and we grow small with distance
measuring robes of earth.


T.J. Daniels

Bio (auto)

I wrote these words, but millions of innocent lives were taken I’ve only written about what happened to them, they were the ones that suffered, not I T J Daniels lives in Wisconsin.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by T.J Daniels and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

And None Escaped

Some people said that it never happened
Those same people said that it could never happen
because other Nations would never allow it to
But six million people
were slaughtered
They were all of the same faith
the same heritage

Because one nation
or should I say
the ruler of that nation
did not like
for whatever reason
their religous beliefs
or their heritage
When I was a very young boy
I saw some of the news reels
of the atrosities
that were shown at movie theaters
I saw trucks
that were left running
and had a hose attached to the tail pipe
and the other end went into long metal buildings
I know that there were people inside each of those buildings
and there were many buildings
side by side
Many innocent people willing entered those buildings
because they were told that there were showers inside
But once inside, instead of water,
they heard the hiss of the killing exhaust gas
from the trucks parked outside
And each building had heavy metal doors
that were locked from the outside
And none escaped
I hope that it’s never allowed to happen again.

Susie Davidson

Bio (auto)

Susie Davidson, aka Susie D (www.SusieD.com) is a Boston-area poet and a weekly correspondent for the Jewish Advocate (www.thejewishadvocate.com), The Cambridge Chronicle, The Cambridge Tab and the Brookline Tab (all at townonline.com) She has over 150 poetry publications, won the 2002 Cambridge Poetry Awards’ Best Political Poem Award (for “Viva La Causa, Viva Chavez”) and was nominated for the Best Political Poem Award for 2003

Her poems appear monthly in Massachusetts Mensa’s The Beacon as “Susie D’s Poetry Corner ” She has written articles for local newspapers and music magazines including The Beat! and Boston Rock and is the afternoon receptionist at Harvard’s American Repertory Theatre She fronts a postpunk poetry band, Sound the Word and moderates the internet discussion group ProgressiveChat@yahoogroups.com
Susie has authored the poetry volumes It’s Only Life ñ Rhythmic Forays into Politics and Human Nature (1992), After Gary (1996) and Selected Poetry of Susie D (2002) She began and managed JP’s World Stage and Cambridge’s Small Circle of Friends coffeehouses, hosted the poetry show “The Spoken Scene” on WZBC-FM and has performed at First Night Boston, the Bread and Roses Festival in Lawrence, CBGB’s in NYC and other locales She reads poetry at various Boston/Cambridge poetry venues Her first book, I Refused To Die, due this summer on Somerville, Massachusetts-based Ibbetson Street Press.will chronicle the stories of approximately 16 Boston-area Holocaust survivors and World War II liberating soldiers and will also include poetry, photos and essays by local contributors
Susie is an active member of the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action and The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life
Her late father, Bernard Davidson, wrote the official Massachusetts Patriotic State Song, “Massachusetts (Because of You Our Land is Free)” She owned and operated My Type, Inc , a Harvard Square typesetting and graphics company, from 1984-92.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Susie Davidson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Six Million Souls

Six Million Souls for the soul of us all,
we of the blessed, born after the call
the ugly black cloud of that perilous time
swaying nations and governments into the crime
Six Million Souls for the soul of us all,
the darkest of ages, humanity’s fall Children and innocents tortured and killed,
Six million visions and dreams unfulfilled
Herded like cattle, stripped of all worth,
hungry and sick in the dregs of the earth,
parents and siblings shot down in full sight,
boxcars of bodies transported at night
Six Million Souls for the soul of us all,
now etched in stone of memorial hall Our own hallowed nation ignoring the pain,
Eleanore Roosevelt speaking in vain
Six Million Souls for the soul of us all,
frozen in bigotry, backs to the wall,
victims of genocide, subhuman plan,
centuries of prejudice in one vile man
Six Million Souls for the soul of us all Survivors and progeny, rise up, stand tall
So horrors and holocausts will finally end
Never to manifest-NEVER AGAIN.

Clif Fyman

Bio (auto)

I live in New York City and attend readings at The Poetry Project.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Cliff Fyman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Birches are a Melancholy Tree

I went to Auschwitz-Birkenau with a persecution
.and wept
Others go to Auschwitz-Birkenau with bystander guilt
.and weep
We’ll go to Auschwitz-Birkenau with each other
.and weep

She went to Auschwitz-Birkenau with her SS father’s
.suicide in her hair
She reads her father’s loving suicide note
.to his dear daughter
.in the barracks at Auschwitz-Birkenau
.and borrows a blade from a shadowy hand
.to cut her father’s suicide from her hair
She’ll go on reading her father’s loving note
.in the barracks
.in cold rain and failing light and colorful
.ribbons but she’ll never cut
.her father’s suicide from her hair

A Warsaw Jew said, says, and will say,
“Poland is not a cemetary”
“Poland is not a cemetary”
“Poland is not a cemetary”

I went to Auschwitz-Birkenau with Germans to find out
.what they feel
Germans go to Auschwitz-Birkenau with me to find out
.if I’ll listen
None of us’ll say much at first at Auschwitz-Birkenau
.because first we all must cry

They went to Auschwitz-Birkenau to die
We go to Auschwitz-Birkenau to die
You may be going to Auschwitz-Birkenau to die
.so you ought to listen

A Zen Buddhist went to Auschwitz-Birkenau to sit
.and listen
We’re siting by him by the railroad tracks
.and listening
It’ll be quiet sitting by him by the railroad tracks
.and listening
.for birds
.that will not return to Auschwitz-Birkenau

A rabbi sang Kaddish by a melancholy tree
A rabbi sings Kaddish by a melancholy tree
A rabbi will sing Kaddish by a melancholy tree

Birkenau was named after birches
.because the Nazi’s liked nature
Birkenau is named after birches
.because the Nazi’s like nature
Birkenau will be named after birches
.because the Nazi’s will like nature

Birches are a melancholy tree

Peter Shayne Griffin

Bio (auto)

Peter Shayne Griffin was introduced to the consequences of war at the tender age of four His oldest brother was killed in action in Korea in March 1951 Another brother participated in the first test detonations of atomic bombs used in close support of ground troops When he was 17, Peter joined the Army and became a paratrooper, following in the footsteps of these two older brothers
He was among the first Screaming Eagles to arrive in Viet Nam, in July of 1965 Twenty-nine years later, he was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action at the Battle of Dak To (Operation Hawthorne) in June 1966 He also served in the 82nd Airborne Division
He has written numerous military poems spanning WW II, Korea and Viet Nam He is the official poet of the 101st Airborne Division Association’s Fort Campbell, Kentucky Monument Committee He has a regular column in Airborne Quarterly He is a regular contributor to The First Screaming Eagles in Viet Nam, a periodical of and about soldiers of the first brigade (separate), 101st Airborne Division His poetry has appeared in several newspapers, and military magazines including The Screaming EagleThe Rakkasan Shimbun (the voice of the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team) and the Static Line
He and his wife, Brenda, have been married thirty sir years and reside in Madison, North Carolina They have two children and three granddaughters.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Peter Shayne Griffin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Thousand Yard Stare

If I live to be a thousand ,
I will never understand The odyssey of a soldier’s life,
Fighting for one’s homeland
To see men die in battle,
A terrible thing indeed To see the wounded suffer,
All crying out in need !

From shot and shell,
Man’s earthly hell One prays to God,
The battles to quell
As bad as this,  there’s worse to see,
The poor bastards in captivity Men,  women,  children,  all the same,
All subjected to unspeakable pain
To enter the camp,  to set them free,
One can’t believe their agony The smell of death,  all over the place,
The looks of horror on their face
Imprisoned in wire,  spirits broken,
Sadistic guards,  crematory fires Infestation,  humiliation,
Machine gun towers,  humanity soured
Hatred persists,  tattoos above wrists,
Privacy gone, striped uniforms Stars of David become despised labels,
Starvation reigns,  dignity chained
Jews,  Russians,  Poles,  and the French,
Starved to death,  thrown in the trench Bodies in heaps,  pulled golden teeth,
Desperation thrived,  tortured lives
Chained to bunks,  stagnant air stunk,
Lying in waste,  dying in place Maggots and flies,  children’s cries,
Polluted water,  missing daughters !

If I live to be a thousand,
I will never understand To be a paratrooper,
To enter no man’s land
To depict such an evil setting,
Still sets my stomach retching To see such evil,  men have done,
To see the skeletons,  one by one !

Difficult to tell,  the horrors I’ve seen,
People reduced to pitiful beings Enslaved,  starved,  and murdered,
To please the God damned Fuehrer !

Piles of bodies,  lie everywhere,
Survivors in filth, stench fills the air Pitiful beings,  I cringed at their touch,
How in the hell,  could they suffer so much !

Men and women,  living in fear,
All possessed “The Thousand Yard Stare” !
Empty eyes,  staring in space,
Praying to God,  to spare their race !

If I live to be a thousand,
I will never understand What it was to be a child,
To live in no man’s land !

Horror was their way of life,
Terror was their daily strife Made to watch their parents die,
All they could do,  was scream and cry !

The children,  the poor children,
How they suffered so Life became their nightmare,
Never to outgrow
Unable to stop the madness,
Limited in what I could do I can’t erase the image,
The hell that they went through !

The way their lives were ended,
Leaves mankind most offended Horrors endured together,
Tossed in pits,  interred forever !

In a way,  the dead are lucky,
For they are quiet now God’s embrace has stopped their pain,
Heavenly peace is their domain
Time heals all wounds,  so they say,
But they weren’t there,  to share that day Time stands still when hatred reigns,
Scars so deep,  can’t stop the pain !

The evil that some men can do,
Haunts other men,  their whole lives through If I live a thousand years,
I will always possess,  “THE THOUSAND YARD STARE” !

True story through the eyes of Trooper Mickey Cohen,
Division Headquarters, 101st Airborne, WW II, Landsberg,
Lager #5, Germany.

Arthur Isaacson

Bio (auto)

I am 65, married, retired Writing poetry for about six years Born and raised in NYC, I now live in Clinton, Connecticut I’m published regularly in the New York print magazine “Skyline.”

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Arthur Isaacson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Holocaust Museum

It was a long walk, quiet chilling, eyes
cast down and throat held tight to fight the rise
of hot revulsion welling up inside,
fearful of each corridor’s surprise
Steel and glass immaculately divide
each horrendous view as it collides
with next unspeakable depiction shown
and will could not my painful feelings hide
I cried and did not stay where glass and stone
walled in the voices of survivors known
who told of truths the world refused to see
‘til liberation found their skin and bone
I crossed a sunny bridge that eerily
became the tomb of all activity
one town had borne until to hell they went
to leave no trace they lived in actuality
And raced to freedom where my breath could vent
the suffocating evil that fermented
in my gut, which will not leave me still All must go to know the evil and extent

that ate the souls of those who lived, for thrill,
Inhuman as our brother’s blood they spilled In grief I went to see their story told
to find a soaring faith they had not killed
I shall tell their story till I’m old
In awe of courage more than I control,
and if I cease to feel that dreadful pain
I shall return, to not forget, ever again.

Larry Jaffe

Bio (auto)

Jaffe is the International Readings Coordinator for the United Nations Dialogue among Civilizations through Poetry undertaking, Co-Founder of Poets for Peace/United Poets Coalition and is the Poet-in-Residence/Director of Writer’s Voice for the Los Angeles Ketchum Downtown YMCA He has been featured at numerous readings and poetry festivals throughout the United States and abroad Jaffe’s work can be found in a variety of publications and anthologies He has 5 books:  Jewish Soulfood, Unprotected Poetry CD and book, Greatest Hits, Lying Half-Naked in the Doorway and L A Rhapsody.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Larry Jaffe and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Making Lampshades

Picture Nazi lamp makers,
divine artistes keeping lights
on for the Nazi Republic
–carefully laying out skins
scored of Jewish flesh…

Magnifying lenses wave  
from cadaverous skulls
meticulously searching
for flaws and scars
Hands caress skins,
sorting perfect backs
sans freckle and blemish
for perfect lamps
shining bright into
the darkness
Nazi craftsmen drink beer,
smoke cigarettes, joke as their
ash spills on skins…

— only making lampshades
not burning bodies…

They dismiss thoughts of
carcass stripped bare
of hide as filigree gold
melts from teeth
to make… lamps
—  religious eloquence, and human touch

Nazi artisans follow detailed
Instructions on the assembly
of lampshades manufactured
of fine Jewish leather
Courteous Nazi craftsmen
draw upon resources
concentrate on technique
quietly immortalize six million
Jews in light.

Stephen M James

Bio (auto)

Stephen M James is from a small town with one stoplight named Burkesville, KY and is pursueing a Media Communications degree at a small liberals college He enjoys writing for his poetry site, www.tpkpoetry.com as he has for over four years Cheese is good, and so is God.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Stephen M James and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Bathing, October 8, 1944

I couldn’t wait for the station when I saw the train smoke,
A nice cushion to sit on–I had only been on a train once
–but I had loved it
Yellow stars under a yellow sun
it’s not my color, but it was my mother’s,
said it was too bright for a tradesmen’s wife–
on the Sabbath Dark bodies shuffling past the light beams
between large cracks in the overused cattle car,
What did they do with all that beef?


Shoes, clothing, watches and jewelry piled–
I add,
didn’t even glance
another girl inspected and stripped as
families separate and lines form
At last, a shower after days on the train!
No steam rose from the building ahead Oh no, cold showers–I hate cold showers It is cold and there is no soap a cough from the shivering elderly man to my right.

Kristin Johnson

Bio (auto)

Kristin Johnson is an award-winning acclaimed poet and published author Johnson owns and operates Poems For You, a personalized poem service that recognizes the healing powers of romance and gentility that are essential yet often lacking in modern life A graduate of the University of Southern California Master of Professional Writing Program, Johnson has been writing and presenting for nine years She is extremely active in organizations such as Women in Film and the National League of American Pen Women Her most recent publications include Butterfly Wings: A Love Story (2000, iUniverse), and Christmas Cookies are for Giving (available September 2003, Tyr Publishing, www.tyrpublishing.com) PublishAmerica has accepted the MS she co-wrote with two-time Nobel Prize nominee Sir Rupert A L Perrin, M.D , entitled “Ordinary Miracles: My Incredible Spiritual, Artistic, and Scientific Journey,” which is in press She won the Blue Mountain Arts Tri-Annual Poetry Contest and the 1999 Edward Moses Award for her short story “Sinatra’s Dogs ” Her plays, “Greetings and Salutations,” and “No Women Allowed,” were produced in November 2002 in Palm Springs.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Kristin Johnson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Book of Names

Winter trees cast their frozen life limbs
across the book of names
each name now perfectly preserved
as the sap and dormant leaves
inside the book
itself once a tree
that stood in winter like the guard towers
just a fact of life, like the frost
the tree
like the guard towers at Treblinka, Dachau
Bergen-Belsen, Auschwitz
now transformed
into a memorial
a reminder
that those now frozen by history’s hate
will never know sunshine
nor blooming
and yet
the gentle sun cuts across the shadows
like students’ trembling voices
each name
each soul
that now knows
eternal summer

Tammy Kaiser

Bio (auto)

Tammy Kaiser is a mother of two She teaches Jewish Studies and Holocaust Education in the Seattle Area Tammy is the author of Making Love in the War Zone and Memorials, Poetry for Performance She has recently returned from a trip to Poland where she participated in the March of the Living and recreated the Death March of the persecuted from Auschwitz to Birkenau.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Tammy Kaiser and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


It was called Canada,
A pile of refuse in courtyard number two
composed of objects that had once
belonged to the deportees with
such little material value to the SS
that the ober commanded it all burned
Food, documents, diplomas,
military decorations, passports,
marriage certificates
And the pictures Thousands of pictures Young married couples, 
elderly groups,
pretty girls,
young men in military uniforms
And the holy objects Bibles, prayer beads,
prayer books with carefully
inked notations recording dates
of important events-births, 
marriages, deaths Sometimes, flowers culled from
the graves of beloved parents
and grandparents in all the
Jewish cemeteries from the
four corners of Europe were pressed
between the pages of the books
and piously preserved
Canada, a benign place
of smoldering memories
centered between the gates of hell
and number two crematorium,
reduced to a pile of silvery ash.

Peter Kenny

Bio (auto)

Peter Kenny lives in London, edits www.anothersun.co.uk and has had numerous poems published This poem is about trying to understand the relationship between German philosopher Heidegger, and the poet Paul Celan.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Peter Kenny and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Heidegger in the forest

Always the same questions The forest —
That astonishing phenomenon —
Is about to remember itself But why are these yellow celandine
Woven into the hedgerows like stars?
Why is there spring and not spring?

And here there is always this presence,
Of that Juden poet who knows me;
Who came to sign my visitors’ book
With the black ink of the unmentioned;
Who bears my shamanic language
Like a token sewn close to his star
I consider this fact in a clearing:
His family were fed to the flames
But the fire that dwells in his sorrow
Cannot unblock my frozen mouth He has dogged my solitary tracks,
And I? I went once to his readings
This mental picture torments me:
The poet and his risen mother I see his mother’s hair, he kisses it
He lets it stream through his fingers
Like it was the strands of his people
Still unshorn from the head of Being
Why is there Auschwitz and not Auschwitz?
Thoughts like sleepers shifting on the shelves;
Always the same questions Was is das — die Philosophie?
Was is das?

Judy Z Kronenfeld

Bio (auto)

Judy Kronenfeld is the author of a book of poems, Shadow of Wings (Bellflower Press, 1991) and of a chapbook, Disappeared Down Deep Wells and Still Falling (The Inevitable Press, 2000), as well as of a critical study, KING LEAR and the Naked Truth (Duke University Press, 1998) She has had poems, stories, and essays published in numerous magazines Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Full Circle, The Evansville Review, Hubbub, The Montserrat Review, The MacGuffin, Poetry International, Pearl, Potpourri, Free Lunch, ONTHEBUS, The Sow&Mac226;s Ear, Under the Sun, and So Luminous the Wildflowers (Tebot Bach, 2003)–an anthology of California poets–among others She teaches in the Department of Creative Writing at the University of California–Riversid

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Judy Z Kronenfeld and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Long and Short of Memory

My father greets me at his new assisted
living facility, as if I were the long-awaited
Messiah: one hand on each treasured cheek
and a soulful look through the eyes,
clear to the back of my skull I earned the same last week
.He looks like someone
has stolen his luggage, ripped off the labels,
wrapped one change of clothes in brown paper and string,
and deported him to this life Yesterday, midnight, he called “home”–
my home–and asked for me by my dead mother’s name
.But his clock resets: it’s the Sunday visit plus dinner
out Now a resident’s face in the hall,
as we lock his door, is somehow stirring;
now he can’t stop talking A name comes back to him,
like a message that made the trip in a bottle
at sea, Hedwig Schlüsser! who lived
on their floor, in Germany–where only his sister’s family
made the mistake of staying–60-odd years before He’s so
delighted, decanting the name, like a fine wine,
Hedwig Schlüsser! while I stare again
at the decoupage “memory-box” near his door
with “U.S ” squeezed in before “MILITARY,”
thankfully effaced Dad
didn’t digest that first “personal”
project patched by the well-meaning
staff from his biographical shreds But I’d
gasped I’d marched to the reception desk–
anger fed by warring sadness and relief
that he hadn’t even noticed what looked to me
like pride in the S.S
* * *

Now, in the balmy, unencumbered present,
when my tricky van door won’t open
as I’m about to hand him in, Dad’s
thrilled to solve the problem; he palms me aside
like a traffic cop, bungs and bangs the door
with his fist But it takes rear-ending–which I do,
bump, bump, bump with my butt, until
it engages Then open it does, and Dad, clambering in
and showing me his, smiles his joke:
“I guess it takes the tuchis to do that right “

And after dinner, after the silences
between repeats of Hedwig Schlüsser!
after the happiness of a glass of wine,
when I am driving home alone,
I savor that childhood word that passed
between us, its vibrating nucleus of meaning
surrounded by whizzing electron rings of meaning–

tuchis, with its vaguely repellent
familiarity, its smack
of suppers eaten one haunch
on the kitchen table, uncle’s pinches,
grandma’s kissing praise
of baby fat, its lingering tang of
mother coming with you
to the doctor’s, loud remarks on failed diets
and broad-beamed spinsters 
in desperate knits, its patrimony 
of fourth floor walkups–
siblings crushed four to a bed–

this word we still own,
marked with our identification tags,
our return addresses

Originally published in SHIRIM, A JEWISH POETRY JOURNAL
(Vol XIX, Number 1, 2000)

Michael Levy

Bio (auto)

In 1998 Michael established Point of Life, Inc , as a vehicle to project his philosophy and spiritual understanding The website www.pointoflife.com and the associated newsletter (Point Of Life Global Newsletter) are visited and read by thousands of people around the world every month Michael is a frequent speaker on radio, television and at seminars where he shares and discusses his views about the purpose of life, finding peace and enjoyment and leading a healthy, stress-free life In 2002 Michael was invited to become a member of the prestigious Templeton Speaker’s Bureau
Michael has recently established the Point of Life Foundation, a National Heritage Foundation dedicated to bridging the gap between science and religion and to bringing a clear, unbiased message to the general public to help them lead a meaningful, sharing and enjoyable existence Starting in 2003 the Point of Life Foundation will present seminars and conferences bringing together opinion leaders from the fields of science, religion, medicine, philosophy and nutrition to help find common guidelines for leading a purposeful life
Michael Levy is the author four books “What is the Point? ISBN 0966806905”, “Minds of Blue Souls of Gold”ISBN 0966806913 , “Enjoy Yourself-It’s Later Than You Think”ISBN “0966806921 and “Invest with a Genius”ISBN “0966806948 His poetry and essays now grace many web sites, Journals and Magazines throughout the world
Web Sites :http://www.pointoflife.com and http://www.polfoundation.org

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Michael Levy and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


As the beautiful lady left the room
escorted by two jack boot Nazi’s
an aroma of extinction marched in
there was no more music
she had just finished composing
a masterpiece Ironic .she called it ‘Eclipse’
she never did come out of the camp
now; the gorgeous form has gone
it is fifty-five years since she disappeared
they are playing her composition tonight
in the illustrious concert hall
nobody there has ever met her
Ah! But; the remembrance will always live on!

Scott Malby

Bio (auto)

Scott Malby lives along the central Oregon coast just outside of Coos Bay A thought provoking interview can be found with him at the Tin Lustre Mobile site.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Scott Malby and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

What Remembrance is this?

“Traveler, beware: keep
a curious eye on the glooms of the highway,
the mysterious crowding the walls “

.Pablo Neruda

a Traveler,
what remembrance
Is this?
The hurried warning The trains, the smoke,
The whips

Who are these brides
dressed in numberless
yards of mourning Where are the grooms
with their grinning skulls
dancing a puppet’s dance Rising out of ash

And what of history
with its gaunt smile
like an orphan
waking from its bed
of euphemisms,
crawling forward
at the knees, spilling
cups of blood
that out of love
and the sins
of our fathers we
might in remembrance

There’s no use hiding it,
man is a drawer of water A hewer of wood He builds
concentration camps
and drowns babies When his Gods perish
and he forgets his past,
the world turns inside out
like a transforming negative;
black where it should be
light where
man becomes a wasp
filling his belly
with venom before
he strikes

b Swallowing the pain
of existence;
of promises and desires
we are bound to walk
barefoot over broken glass
through this valley
of numbered days,
the grief of remembrance
branding our flesh

Know that the battle
waged in each of us
is for all of us and like
a Tibetan prayer
song or Mandela of satin
and bone
our passage
is a trail of blood
giving back to the gloom
its dues

c History breathe deep Be encompassing Speak of the terrible
terrors we would escape
as we sleep;
that in our running
away we don’t run toward
what in ourselves
we fear the most

Heave with the sweat
of the personal
that we may wrestle
that metaphysical bull
in ourselves
to the ground
and like a fallen angel
choking with dust,
dragged to our knees
suck up the honesty
of our own grieving
juices purloined
from its throat

In speaking
for yourself speak
for us all
at the moment of
our seduction
into that labyrinth,
that gloom of highway,
of good and bad,
of past, future,
and present tense,
toward the unknowable
we are bound
there to confront
the glowing red eye
of the bull, the violence
in ourselves Our own destruction.


Kelly A Malone

Bio (auto)

I am the mother of three active boys I also have a wonderful husband and a full time job as a Project Analyst in a Cancer Research Department in the health care industry I was born in Southern California in May of 1963 I still live here and I still love it I have been writing since I was around twelve years old My primary poetic influences are Ogden Nash, Edna St Vincent Millay and Dorothy Parker Some of my published credits include York University’s School of Women’s Studies Journal, Cappers Magazine, The Rearview Quarterly, The Penwood Review, The Wesleyan Advocate Magazine, Free-Verse Magazine, The Street Corner magazine, Promise Magazine, Poems Niederngasse.com, Pulsar Ligden Poetry Society and The New American Review, Albany University’s Press “Offcourse”, Temple University’s Press “Schuylkill”, and Duke University’s “Voices Journal”, to name a few I have written a book of poems that I hope to have published one day as well as a children’s novel.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Kelly A Malone and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Auschwitz Child

Gentle child, receive this cloak
Wrap warmth around your fear
Look past the sorrow, through the smoke
Until again it’s clear

Look past the horror that you feel
For I’ll retrieve your light
Release the heartache you conceal
Release it to the night

Your sullen eyes hold so much pain
Your hands are stained with grief
I’ll gladly free you from the chain
And offer you relief

This child who is in despair
This child left to die
A life that no adult should bear
A soul for which we cry

Ascend my precious, past the stars
Where comfort waits above
Relinquish life’s oppressive scars
Replace them with my love

Unite again with simple dreams
Let mother brush your hair
Gone, the anguish and the screams
Replaced, the love and care

No more outcries in the night
Or sudden, shrill alarms
Cherished peace in gleaming white
Has wrapped you in its arms

I’ll place you by your fathers’ side
Your siblings gather round’
Again you have a sense of pride
Your family safe and sound

Karen Mandell

Bio (auto)

I’ve been published in a variety of literary magazines and taught writing at the college level in Minnesota and Massachusetts My father was on the last boat out of Danzig, Poland in late August, 1939, and none of his family survived.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Karen Mandell and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


They rang the bell when I was at the counter,
one hand grasping the knobbly neck of a summer squash,
the other wielding the knife I was intent on vegetable
decapitation, first the squash and then the potato heads Given a reprieve, they waited while I opened the door
to the young couple I barely noticed the girl, scraped back
hair twisted into a pony tail, round face, but the boy,
the boy in wire glasses gripping a clipboard
wrapped his words around my neck and pulled me
into a world where polar bears, mothers and cubs, awaited
certain death from arctic drilling, where forests would be clear cut,
where roads would extend across national parks like razors slicing through skin Who hadn’t heard all of this before?
You agree with our policies, don&Mac226;t you, he asked
as I reached for my checkbook, and when I said yes
I thought he would throw his arms around my neck
and take me with him and the girl, three resistance fighters
hiding in the woods, using sloughed off birch bark as bowls
for wild raspberries foraged at daybreak, raiding barns before dawn
for pilfered eggs, commandeering trains carrying munitions to the front,
and, when the mission failed, jumping from the train The boy died,
pulled by unyielding forces It wasn’t this boy who died but another,
another boy with wire glasses, my father calling out to him
fifty years later when he too would be pulled, commandeered
by forces he was past fighting.

Daniel McGinn

Bio (auto)

Daniel McGinn who lives in Whittier California, has been a part of the OC/LA/909 poetry scene since 1995 He has co-hosted a weekly reading series, was a member of the 1996 Los Angeles National Slam team, and has been a regular contributor to the OC Weekly and Next Magazine He recently celebrated his 26th wedding anniversary to poet Lori McGinn and the birth of their first grandchild, Emma Grace Saunders.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Daniel McGinn and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Dreaming of Warsaw

night breaks down into a murder of crows
you talk in your sleep with a polish accent
dark fruit drops from the shadow trees
you ask me for tea with two lumps please

you talk in your sleep with a polish accent
you fidget in sleep with each siren’s pass
you ask me for tea with two lumps please
your breathing is marching like boots in a village

you fidget in sleep with each siren’s pass
dreams rip to shreds like claws on black paper
your breathing is marching like boots in a village
black dogs held back by black leather leashes

dreams rip to shreds like claws on black paper
multiply stench by the shaking of trains
black dogs held back by black leather leashes
walk the banks of the hungry human river

multiply stench by the shaking of trains
explode the hinges and my dream slaps the floor
walk the banks of the hungry human river
naked in my kitchen as they search for children

explode the hinges and my dream slaps the floor
dark fruit drops from the shadow trees
naked in my kitchen as they search for children
my night breaks down into a murder of crows

Stephen Mead

Bio (auto)

Stephen Mead lives in Albany, New York Visit him on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Stephen Mead and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


This chiascuro is only
smoke against glass,
is that flat cloud
pressed to this skylight
or, no, that cloud is fat,
& I, the thin one
pressed, a franc
in a book, the diary
of an attic
yet breathing jet streams
which have nothing to do with
ack ack beyond black outs,
no, nothing to do with this
mole life at the top
of some suburban
underground house,
subversive because
it’s safe enough just
to let shadows imagine light

shafts .past .cracks

Neil Meili

Bio (auto)

Neil Meili lives in Canada, Texas.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Neil Meili and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Child of the survivors

for Iudita

Artists without hands
hold the brush with their feet

Without hands or feet
hold the brush in their teeth

As for me and my friend
we are reduced to navels

And small circles
in the center of
the canvas

Mick Moss

Bio (auto)

Mick Moss lives in Liverpool, England.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Mick Moss and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


It’s not so much the sights
or sounds
I remember
but the smell

adding insult to atrocity
the guards said
it smelled like
roasting pork

I wouldn’t know
to me it smelled like
not fire and brimstone
but the clinging
sickly sweet
of the end of

Leslie Maryann Neal

Bio (auto)

Leslie Maryann Neal lives in Los Angeles where even breathing can be considered performance art.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Leslie Maryann Neal and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

For Anne Frank

I see your sunken face,
eyes deep as wells
but there is no water They are not blue
You at Auschwitz,
crying for the gypsy girls
riding the potholed road
to the crematory Your mother died in the dark
you left behind
when they took you
on the train,
still glowing with hope
You at Belsen
through the winter,
living on air and sand
and your own stubbornness,
long enough to see
one week more of spring
than your sister,
not long enough to see
your sixteenth birthday
In those twenty-five
months on Prinsengracht,
kissing Peter Van Daan
in the moonlight
through the attic window,
his hands in your hair,
did you know theyíd shave
off those pretty curls?

Laurence Overmire

Bio (auto)

Laurence Overmire is an actor/director/writer who has worked on stage, film and television His poetry has been widely published in the U.S and abroad, including “American Muse,” “Kimera,” “Main Street Rag Poetry Journal,” “Red Coral,” “Lynx: Poetry from Bath,” “Samsara Quarterly,” “Jack Magazine,” “Stirring,” “Free Zone Quarterly,” “Pogonip,” “Kookamonga Square” and many others.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Laurence Overmire and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Lest We Forget

The movie was about Jews
In some prison camp or something

A long time ago, who knows
And most of them died but this

One survived and that was about it We left as soon as it was over

And went out and got pizza.

Ben Passikoff

Bio (auto)

Ben Passikoff lives in Flushing, New York.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Ben Passikoff and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Divide By Zero

Warming old distance
like serious sun, my intense
Celsius caresses decay –

my inner oleander
odoring colon, liver, bronchi,
bongo-beating blood
Among the stars is relevance Here on our only spin
we rhyme our skins awhile,

and sullen snow creams
earth We join
the white majoriy of skeletons
Night stalks me, spreadpaws
pacing cage,
belly hanging, animal
Copious God, your
inventory colors,
balanced by priestly

accountants, murderhanded
initialing the ovens
where Jewbodies bubbled –

between destructions –
your tears fall in water
Again, your nailing eyes
pierce me to last wood,

Norman S Pollack

Bio (auto)

I was born on January 1, 1942 and grew up in New Jersey South Florida has been my home since 1977 I was a high school English in a suburban community in New Jersey (11 years) I have also owned three bookstores,  served as an Executive Director for non-profit organizations for seventeen years and now currently own a software company I am also the co-owner of the poetry writing website, Poem Train.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Norman S Pollack and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

A Triptych: From the Mountains

(1) From the mountains to a hurricane

From the Pacific mountains
they set them down,
those lofty pines With deliberate chainsaws, 
they shattered the silent nights
while ears could still hear
the buildings rising
The armies marched apace While broken splintered pillars
were loaded like slain ghetto victims,
on to cross country wheels They were less majestic, 
lying prone,
not moved by winds
off distant shores
The flatbed hearses
all in a row,
conveyed their cargo ====
a caravan of progress
down the highway
All milling about,
some stood for hours
for the hurricane to arrive

(2) From the mountains-to a cemetery

From the Tatra mountains of Poland, 
the wind saw them cut down Those lofty pines were
Once supple, and strong
Now like shattered glass, 
the silent nights
can only hear the saplings’ sighs

The armies marched apace
while splintered branches, 
and brittle, mangled twigs, 
were piled onto pushcarts
The cargo loaded, 
=== lying prone ===
unmoved by prayers;
they never heard from
those who were not there

Boxcar hearses
on cross country wheels, 
those caravans of progress
hauled half-dead timber
down groaning tracks
In the shadow of Gerlach, *
those once majestic pines, 
are now a graveyard’s raw material
Milling about, 
they stand for hours
in line for selection, 
soon to be sawdust

* the name of the highest peak of the
Tatra Mountains

(3) From the mountains-to a mountain

From the oldest mountains, 
he was told to cut down
those ancient trees
made strong by prescribed flames Lightning shattered
the silent nights, 
and the water drowned
the saplings’ sighs
They had marched apace, 
two by two, 
to save the world from itself, 
loaded like victims, 
the would-be survivors
The cargo secured, 
they were unable to move
until the storm began;
There was a clap of thunder,
then came the fear of dying
for those who were part
of an unnatural selection,
a floating caravan of One
Time’s shadow passed over
the devastation,  until finally,
two left the graveyard One returned with the branch
of hope

Atop a Turkish mountain, 
millennia away
from the peaceful mountains, 
from the Tatra mountains, 
and further still
from the forest’s necessary surface fires, 
some began to plant
the seeds again.

Vera Rich

Bio (auto)

Vera Rich lives wherever at the moment she hangs her handbag but has a home-base in London She has been a professional writer since the age of 15; and a full-time (and selfsupporting) writer and literary translator since leaving university in 1961 Apart from her own poetry and translations from Belarusian, Ukrainian, Polish, Russian, Romanian, Spanish and Icelandic, her published work includes a monograph ‘The Image of the Jew in Belarusian Literature-the Post-Stalin period’ (KTAV, New York, 1984) In 1997 she was awarded the Ivan Franko prize for services to Ukrainian literature She is founder and editor of MANIFOLD-magazine of new poetry and founder of the ‘Manifold Voices’ live poetry troupe.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Vera Rich and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Holocaust Monument-Rehovot

At first the mind leaps at the balanced scrolls,
Thinking: ‘How is it managed, where the mid-line,
The counter-weight, the pivot, holding skew
These twenty tonnes of solid metal?’
Comes fascination of the well-wrought image:
The heart torn from the Torah, tattooed numbers
And the fountain of everlasting tears; it seems
Almost too skillful, as if intellect
Not grief inspired it Later, only later,
Soul is aware of pain that dare not know
Itself for what it is, seeking relief
In a plethora of interwoven symbols -And seeking vainly .


Bio (auto)

Born in Chicago, Ryfkah now resides in La Mirada, California with two of her three daughters She is a sixth grade teacher at Los Alisos Middle School in Norwalk She is an avid student of Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism, and of the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov Ryfkah has been published in anthologies including a chapbook collection of her own work, If Venus Had Arms, by the North Orange County Poetry Continuum and various print and on-line magazines She has been featured at poetry venues throughout the Los Angeles area She is currently a member of WomanSong, a troupe of women poets who speak out against abuse and for the celebration of life

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Ryfkah and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Ashes to Ashes

Ashes slough off as water drips from nozzle
Fire devours hill after hill Panicked horses shriek
Coyotes wail in the moonless night
Sparks spew on rooftop Garden hose plays god

Our dog Phoenix ran when the sky moltened
He hightailed through the cypress grove
down the canyon away from the blaze
A cougar’s ruby eyes flicker in the dust

The Magic Flute sings in the living room
Bird people float through smoky yellow
Bull horn announcements repeat
.Evacuate .Evacuate Now

Grandpa Leibowitz built this house himself
his family perished in holocaust flames
so we take these trickling hoses
sprinkle our home for redemption

Gabriella Salas

Bio (auto)

Gabriella Salas lives in Texas She is the board owner of a community of artists and writers with diverse, eclectic and beat style called Literary with a Kick! Poetic Haven Her works have been published at MiPo, Salty Dreams, Locust Magazine, Poetic Reflections, Skyline Publications and Adagio Verse Quarterly
She is the Producer and Sr Editor for two ezines: 2Avant Quarterly and DaNaHo Muse (multicultural art & poetry underground review).

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Gabriella Salas and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Hush Sweet Anne

Walking toward the stars
lighting a frail-boned path,
art spills agony stones
lined collectively for freedom
as a nation remembers
A high price paid for prejudicial
hatred torn into yellow sand Mourning tears and fears
of Jewish children echoing
across the shore
waving innocent flags
of their unconditional acceptance
Hitler and the Gestapo crows
with swastikas engraved
in historical sorrow, uplifts
a collective pain marked
by a generation tattooed
like the numbers they were assigned
Wind blows an uncommon sound,
piercing bites of terror ridden into humanity Huddled in mass unmarked graves
stockpiled onto the next
era to grieve
Wailing sounds upon a photographic
wall of agony,
it blows against my face Wiping countless moisture
from my eyes shed
in pensive reflection
as the images
retell their plight
All I can do is listen to skeletons
that walked, talked and breathed
infusions of their past
that held out in determination
against Adolf, Goebbel and Dachau
Rattling in the concentration breeze
it freeze frames Auschwitz’s painful tale
into the museum exhibit,
where life blood
of the next generations
must remember, learn and overcome.

Jeff Schweers

Bio (auto)

My name is Jeff Schweers, I was born on Long Island, NY, but have lived in Florida most of my adult life I currently ive in Bradenton, Florida (south of Tampa on the Gulf) and I’m a newspaper editor I’ve been writing poetry since high school.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Jeff Schweers and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

To the remembered:

We passed through fire on our way to heaven
Burned off the impurities that weigh down our souls:
Gold fillings, eyeglass frames and bone
All that remains of our mortal remains
Scattered in the dust
Sift it through your fingers
But never find a trace of who we were
Not there, not ever, not again.

Diane Siegel

Bio (auto)

Diane Siegel lives in Northridge, CA Poetry is two years new as a serious pursuit She has been published in the San Gabriel Valley Review of Poetry, Dufus, the online journal, and on the Poetry Super Highway as a poet of the week in the 9-11 commemoration in September of 2002 She is looking forward to the upcoming publication of Bold Ink, the second anthology of the teen girls and their mentors of the Los Angeles organization WriteGirl Diane says visit their website and send them your support.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Diane Siegel and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

I Think I Will Watch the Holocaust on TV

In respect of the dead there will be no commercials
No sales pitches for cat food or deodorant
In respect for the dead there will be no interruptions
Just this night
Just this premiere evening
We will forsake commerce for tears

You can watch her falling deeper
falling deeper into darkness and hate
You can sit there on your couch
and cry for her in this latest version
Cry for Anne, this time standing
behind barbed wire on the movie set
made just for your viewing

It is what happened we are telling you
The final chapter of mud
The part of the shrinking
The part of the sleeping, the dying
This is the version for our time

What we notice bears witness to our time
Hate those crass ads, hate them really
But when we watched in the sixties
did we notice the theme music for breaks
the blaring alarm calling owners to feed their cats
this brand
Did we notice or just welcome the break point
The five minutes when we didn’t have to cry
Didn’t have to worry about the footsteps in the apartment
above the shop
Didn’t have to worry about treachery and betrayal

Not for the five minute commercial
that was when we ate
went to the bathroom,
lived outside the ghetto
the camp
the trains

Maybe life is like a commercial
A break in years between dying
between hatred and killing
A break to do business
Before killing
Before lining up the victims

Can’t keep it up all the time
Thank God for commercials
I can’t take watching her die one more time

If you look at it all together
Edit it into one reel
Pick them for impact and variety
Even let the Twilight Zone
pull the escaped Nazi into a painting
Eternal suffering on an oil paint cross
If you take out the commercials
You will be standing next to the
cupboard at two AM
Crying until you wish your mother
dead and gone would hold
you until the sobbing stopped
A break,
a break
a noncommercial break
To breathe again

Anne Silver

Bio (auto)

Anne Silver is the author of “Bare Root” Terrapin Press, 2002.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Anne Silver and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Look! A penny!
Walking home in the smog-smudged sunshine
on the first of many crappy days in my new school,
walking with Joanne Sonnhalter, my new friend next door
who liked me even though I had a Detroit doo-whop do
and she had a straight blond curtain of hair “Look! A penny!, as if she didn’t hear me the first time I squatted, had my fingertip on Lincoln’s face
when she yelled
Don’t touch that You’ll be a Jew The eggshell air shattered, the white chips rained,
my spirit-dust on the ground My grandmother told me
Polish kids had beat her
when she was my age and
because half of my family
had been fuel in Germany’s campaign
to rid the world of us just eighteen years before,
I felt my luck was suddenly as worthless
as that penny
and left it on the asphalt
as I would so many other pennies
that would be hurled at me in Arcadia, California
The only thing I said on that long walk home was
I already am a Jew, Joanne And she said I was just looking out for you.

Julia Stein

Bio (auto)

Julia Stein has recently published two books of poetry, Walker Woman and Shulamith Both are published by West End Press and distributed by University of New Mexico Press.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Julia Stein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Dark Girl

Ashen haired
dark Jewish girl
mother of the starving ghetto
the burning ghetto
our lady of the bunkers
with her grenade
black hair huge dark eyes
too dark to have passed
outside the ghetto
leading her children through the sewers
to the dark forest

the dark ghetto girl
the last round-up
in the Warsaw ghetto resistance
beret on her head
herded to the death trains
squeezed in a car with eighty others
she pried loose a plank
jumped off the train
ran into the blackness of the woods

how dark
so dark she blends into the night
blends into the forest with the partisans
look for her
with her gun and her grenade
in the darkness of the forest
the starless black sky
you’ll never find her
she still lives.

T.L. Stokes

Bio (auto)

T.L Stokes lives in Snoqualmie, Washington with an English Mastiff named Bogart Previously, her work has appeared in print and online literary journals, some of which include: Ancient Wind Press, the 2River View, Stirring, Ludlow Press, Little Brown Poetry, the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory, etc Currently at Pierian Springs Upcoming in Comrades Press Print Journal, UK, the Gin Bender Review, and Compassionately Stoneground Books, NY Recently she joined the staff at Little Brown Poetry as one of their poetry editors.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by T.L Stokes and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

after we left the ghetto

April 19-May 16, 1943

We forgot it was spring
somewhere in the world,

so busy were we counting minutes,
our steps We tasted each spoon of food
until it was gone
We listened for wings at the door,
boots on the cold street,

my heart was steel
I held my children
breathing in the scent of their
little bodies
My own body was that of a warrior
suddenly, I ran errands
under guns, dropped
pieces of paper,

and always, always
time was like bats against our ears
I could see death
in multiplying shadows,

rising taller, black
was its throat,

slit and bleeding
Sometimes death was a maiden,
stroking the lucky ones
who passed quickly,

without closing their eyes
Hush, hush my children
we will all go together,
our home is gone
swallowed by cloud,

and silence covers
all the rest
We are in a strange place now
Come closer while we stand on the ramp Trains are leaving, they’ve taken
the luggage
Hold tight Here, be quiet!
I slip my heart into your hands,
put it under your Star of David,

shhh don’t tell anyone,
there now, go,

go with the man.

Mike Subritzky

Bio (auto)

Background: Born in Kati Kati, New Zealand, from an old Polish noble family (enobled Poland 1495) Education Saint Joseph’s Convent Waihi, Waihi College Retired professional soldier Captain Served in the Royal New Zealand Navy, Royal New Zealand Artillery, Royal New Zealand Air Force, US Navy-Task Force 43 Antarctica, Polish (Independent) Reserve Brigade 13 Tours of Duty, including peacekeeping Operation Agila (Rhodesian war) New Zealand war poet Numerous published papers, documents, articles and poems in a wide variety of media; a dozen books on a variety of subjects and, The Subritzky Legend (Heritage Press, 1990)-Official New Zealand Sesqui Centennial Project, The Vietnam Scrapbook “The Second ANZAC Adventure” (Three Feathers, 1995), History of the Polish Government (in exile) 1939-1990 (Three Feathers, 1996) Nominated for New Zealand Book of the Year Awards 1996; named Book of the Quarter by Texas State University April-June 1998; honoured by the NZ ex-Vietnam Services Association by having a copy of his book The Vietnam Scrapbook “The Second ANZAC Adventure” laid at the Vietnam War Memorial “Wall” in Washington D.C during the 1997 pilgrimage; awarded the American Vietnam Veterans (honorary) Distinguished Service Medal 1997, citation “for his contribution to all veterans of the Asian conflict and immortalising the Vietnam Veterans of New Zealand for all time” US Congressional Cold War Citation 2000 Numerous poetry awards “The Flak Jacket Collection”, an anthology of personal war poems 2001 Assisted with with the official New Zealand Millennium Television Series “Our People-Our Century” TVNZ, 2000 Most recently was selected to have his work published in the Australian war poetry anthology “The Happy Warrior” President IWVPA 20001
Subritzky has written some of the most important New Zealand war poetry of the 20th and 21st century, and is one of the best known New Zealand poets on the international scene

He is regarded as ‘The Kiwi Kipling’

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Mike Subritzky and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Welcome to Auschwitz

“Welcome to Auschwitz ” The survivor said A paradox really, he’s a Christian and his name is Stanislaus
I step down from the bus and blink into the kaleidoscope
of a dappled morning sunlight Nothing has changed!
It is all still there! Just like the photographs taken by the Home Army
No bodies, but the awful presence of death,
enormous death, 10 kilometres of death…
Auschwitz 1-A Slave Labour Camp…
Auschwitz 2-A Death Camp…
Auschwitz 3-A Chemical/Munitions Factory…
Death envelopes me, engulfs me, enters my body
through my eyes, mouth and ears,
whilst in the hedge-grove a song bird warbles…
Perhaps a blackbird or maybe a thrush
I am afraid and the hyper-vigilance of the soldier returns…
I want my rifle, bayonet and combat gear “Jesus protect me ” I whisper

I stand beside Ada Steiner-Auschwitz No 67082,
she is from Haifa and the blue wound on her forearm
is clearly visible…For her this is no visit,
she is returning to the nightmares of her childhood Stanislaus also bears the blue wound,
they nod and greet each other…children who survived One a Jew and one a Christian
“My dear Comrades!
I could not eliminate all lice
And Jews in one year. 
But in the course of time,
And if you help me,
This end will be attained “

So said Hans Frank,
Nazi Governor General of Poland Auschwitz, 10 kilometres of death…
A true monument to German Efficiency!

The gravel crunches beneath my feet
as we walk between the electric wires
and enter the gate, the sign reads
“Work Will Set You Free”
…Another bloody paradox
And all the while Stanislaus calls the numbers
eighty thousand Russians starved here Thirty thousand Poles; gassed mostly Two hundred and fifty thousand gypsies many thousands of political prisoners, mainly German
and 2.5 million Jews…
“Zyklon B” at its very best
January 27, 1945, and Liberation 7000 starving inmates remain, 
836,525 items of women’s clothing, 
348,820 items of men’s clothing, 
43,525 pairs of shoes, 460 artificial limbs, 
7 tons of human hair .and so he continues
I see the mountain of children’s shoes,
and leave the warehouse as the tears begin to flow

In the sunlight once more, I walk down the avenue
past the work-party gallows, towards the gas chamber
and the sole, remaining crematoria I hear the sound of gravel (and bone fragments) crunching underfoot,
and the warble of the songbirds nesting in the hedge-grove I will wash away the taste of death tonight
with a bottle of good Zubrowka vodka, and sing…
But I shall never forget this day, 
or this place, or the murder that happened here NEVER!

Jan Theuninck

Bio (auto)

Jan Theuninck was born (54.O6.O7) in Zonnebeke (Belgium) where he still lives Also known under the pen name of ORC, a few of his poems became famous e.g “Stalag Zehn B”,”Papirac”,”Yperite”, “Tyne Cot” and “Shoa”, which is an early warning against an ideological hate Native speaker in Dutch, he writes in French, sometimes in English or German His work has been translated in many languages and is given in courses at different universities Jan Theuninck is also an abstract minimalist.  Known works are : “Beyond the limit”, Fagospatose, Homo multiculturalis T , Pantospherose, “3B”, etc .

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Jan Theuninck and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Stalag Zehn B

the feldwebel became a general
the campdoctor , a professor
and we the jews-it&Mac226;s banal
we stayed jewish-no error .

Paula Villegas

Bio (auto)

Paula Villegas lives in Santa Monica, California She has worked in the mental health and addiction field for 25 years.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Paula Villegas and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


The lies
They told
We believed
We were fooled
Killed us

We blamed
For so long
For not knowing
The tricks
The traps
The brain
Our minds
Against us
Stripping us
They wanted
We held
Most sacred

We kept
It close
His it
To the end
We died
They died
We rest
In peace
And our children
And their children
And all future

Michael Virga

Bio (auto)

Michael Virga (mv) is a cyber-poet residing in Birmingham, Alabama His poems have appeared on-line & in print.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Michael Virga and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


No water drips
from a shower head

leaking gas
No birds
are heard around

a cleansing camp

or from the tower
as the clock concentrates

like the wolf’s eyes narrow
After the rain
pellets the brush,
the birds pick up
where they left off.

May 5-11, 2003: Corey Mesler and Shelly Reed

week of May 5-11, 2003

Corey Mesler and Shelly Reed

click here for submission guidelines

Corey Mesler

Bio (auto)

I have published prose and/or poetry in Yellow Silk, Pindeldyboz, Mars Hill Review, Pikeville Review, Center, Small Press Review, Jabberwock Review, Rattle, Orchid, Quick Fiction, Timber Creek Review, Green Egg, Poetry Motel, Raintown Review, Potomac Review, Poetry Super Highway, Big Muddy, Slant, Wilmington Blues, Drought, Rockhurst Review, Wavelength, Lilliput Review, Pearl, Aurorean, Lucid Moon, Heeltap, Sunny Outside, Fish Drum, Into the Teeth of the Wind, Mid-American Poetry Review, Independence Boulevard, Midday Moon, Turnrow,  Now Here Nowhere, Dust, Cherotic Revolutionary, Cotyledon, Buckle &, Iodine, Snakeskin (England), Flashpoint, Minas Tirith Evening Star, Drexel Online, Freewheelin’ (England), Pitchfork, Anthology, Poet Lore, Spillway, The Pegasus Review, Reverb, Kimera, Thema, Kumquat Meringue, Lonzie’s Fried Chicken, Both Sides Now, Electric Acorn (Dublin), Razor Wire, Gin Bender, Blue Unicorn, Black Dirt, The Spirit that Moves Us, Wind, Red Rock Review, Art Times, Concrete Wolf, Memphis Magazine, Rhino, Visions International, others I have a chapbook of poems, Piecework, from the Wing and a Wheel Press I have work in the anthologies Full Court: A Literary Anthology of Basketball (Breakaway Books), Pocket Parenting Poetry Guide (Pudding Press), Intimate Kisses: The Poetry of Sexual Pleasure (New World Press) and Smashing Icons (Curious Rooms) I recently won the Moonfire Poetry Chapbook Competition and my chapbook will be published by Still Waters Press in 2003
One of my short stories was chosen for the 2002 edition of New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best, edited by Shannon Ravenel
My novel-in-dialogue, Talk, was published by Livingston Press in 2002 Raves from Lee Smith, Robert Olen Butler, Steve Stern, Debra Spark, Suzanne Kingsbury, Frederick Barthelme and John Grisham
I’ve been a book reviewer (for The Commercial Appeal, BookPage, The Memphis Flyer, Brightleaf), fiction editor (for Ion Books/raccoon), university press sales rep, grant committee judge (for The Oregon Arts Council), father and son With my wife I own Burke’s Book Store, one of the country’s oldest (1875) and best independent bookstores.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Corey Mesler and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

Strictly Blowjob

She had a boyfriend, that’s the first thing Yet, afternoons, when it could be
worked out, she visited my rooms and
undressed She had a body like
a cheerleader’s, strong of hip and thigh And she would jazz me with her
electric maw, time and time again I came in her mouth, those fluid
afternoons, too numerous to name,
while Van Morrison doodled away on the
stereo But, that was all she wanted,
she wanted to suck me Once, in a moment
of enthusiasm, I tried to enter her
elsewhere She looked at me the way
Cleopatra looked at the victims of her asp She seemed almost puzzled She had
a boyfriend, friends I was strictly blowjob.

Full Frontal Irony

I’ve always had a smart mouth
for someone not too bright In school it occasionally saved me
from the bullies Here it
gets me into hot water, when I want,
occasionally to, you know, haunt you.


The blood on the sink
is not mine The face in the mirror

is strange to me It smiles
when I grimace I wake to terrible change.

1954 Young Continued

“There are floors/that want to digest
their furniture into/flowers and trees.”

Richard Brautigan

In our house, on our young street,
under the doting arms of Yggdrasil,
it is sometimes cold in winter
and warm in summer It is an old
house on a young street; its walls
like dream-walls But, still,
huddled in here, with the tv glowing
and music burbling from some-
where or other, and the laughter
of our small daughter tingling
along the rafters, it is Haven Fly circles three times and settles
on the rug over the antediluvian
floor furnace Someone told me
this is how a dog finds its sitio,
its exact right place And the
stars overhead whirl in tarantism,
just as they have done for centuries,
shedding flakes of light down
on our old house on our young street,
where we continue to live a life
even gods envy and even animals bless.

Shelly Reed

Bio (auto)

Shelly Reed lives, works, writes and plays in Norwalk, Iowa, USA.  For her, creativity is a drug she cannot live in absence of.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Shelly Reed and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

personals, cityview

feeling ignored?
need relief from chapped hands?
try my hips on for size reusable, inflatable woman seeks mark rothko-type must tolerate occasional role play-
no handcuffs, will consider silk ribbons guaranteed to give your hands an orgasm
and make your mother jealous not for the timid of heart
nor the stapled of stomach final poem holds a gene pool of tongue
and the secret twenty-seventh
letter of the alphabet in soup
floating spices and this week’s lotto #’s.

An Eclipse During Whiskey

The mirror opens its mouth,
a paean in D minor tongues
the night awake
Dolls with missing eyes
check their coifs, smooth
faded skirts with fingers
peeling porcelain flesh
The train begins its
figure-eight journey over
imaginary track and a pile
of severed Barbie legs
Tears fall from the mannequin’s eyes;
a monk kneels on his wooden leg
in blood pooling at the man-made
woman’s sandaled feet
Rain begins; a centipede hastens Death returns
wearing false eyelashes
and patent leather boots.

postcard 1

bolts of wedding gown fabric
spread over cornfields
brilliant as your glass eye
in a wince of moon


wish you

wish you could

recognize me
in this gown of snow

April 28-May 4, 2003: J. Kevin Wolfe and Victoria Locke

week of April 28-May 4, 2003

J Kevin Wolfe and Victoria Locke

click here for submission guidelines

J Kevin Wolfe

Bio (auto)

J Kevin Wolfe’s poems have appeared in over 60 ezines and in a dozen print publications His ebook, ‘The Year of Purple Lawn Furniture‘, is the first launchable Palm OS ebook.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by J Kevin Wolfe and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

Bosnian Coffee

Grind beans to graphite ‘Not fine enough’ Mensura says
Mohammud’s chuckle rumbles

Roast half-a-minute in the pot Gilded handle arches
Pot smalls at the brim

A teaspoon heap for each half-demitasse ‘Refuge tore
the shirts off our backs
This ritual of coffee
is all we could carry’

Add half-a-pot of boiling water Stir A froth tans the surface
‘Blood’s not this thick’

Add the other half Mohammud lights a Drina
It demures in his hand

Secrete blackvenom into thimbles The oil’s skin rises
into a rainbow of indigoes

Don’t let it sit ‘Bean ghosts grow bitter’
His laugh thunders
It frightens the Drina’s smoke

Place two sugar cubes beside each Sockheads bombed his house
They missed his laugh

Dip the diamonds Nibble War gnawed Sarajevo
His dirty jokes kept them sane

Swig the silt Repeat at 4pm Specks pepper the bottom
and haunt the cup


Ethel I thought I’d stop by Henry what are you doing here?
-Oh hello dear

You told me
you put on your best sweater
for a lodge meeting
-I’m having tea dear

Tea? With Ethel?
We’re not having sex
We’re having tea

You’re not capable
of sex anymore
You’re capable
of tea

Drown Out

God tries to fill
a church with light
He never

Or maybe
He uses darkness
to accent
His point

The windows
bleed sun
It drowns out
the pastor

shifts focus
from the sermon
to Himself

A hundred souls
sequestered in pews
None listen

Each wonders
what God is doing
on His day off

Victoria Locke

Bio (auto)

Victoria lives somewhere in Southern California with her family of cats and dogs She is currently making a career out of finding a career She has been published by Shiela-Na-Gig, 51%, Black Cross Magazine, and a few others too embarrasing to list

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Victoria Locke and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

Ass Transplant

Granted it’s not life threatening
Like say needing a heart or a liver
But still I’d like it
An ass transplant
They can keep their brain and fake tits
But some of those bitches out there
Need their ass stolen
Taken in a whole new way
They’d run out real quick to get their hair or nails
But instead they’d meet me and I’d switch my big ass
With their little one
Knock them down
Say mean things
Pull their hair
Drag them into public restrooms and then it’d be on
And I’d emerge beaming with their ass
But what’s really good is they’d have mine
Can you imagine the phone calls?
The rotten things they’d say about me to
Their best girl friends
Aaawww, it’d be so damn fun!
I’d buy the skimpiest underwear
Hell, I’d buy thongs and drop
My keys a lot on busy boulevards
Try to perfect that “Who, me?” look
Victimize men with a shock of hair
Seen from behind of course while I
Bend at the waist in my mini skirt
And then some guy would want a piece of my ass
That wasn’t really my ass and
He might even say something like
“You have a great ass”
And he’d think I was just making excuses if I said
“Well, I like it too but it’s not really my ass
it’s someone else’s I had to beat some raunchy
bitch up and then I stole her ass”
See, it just sounds lame
Like I don’t really want to sit across the table and
Watch the man chew and that might not be the case
So I’d have to lie about it
I hate to have to lie
Nothing worse than a liar
But I would still like an ass transplant
I’d still like somebody else’s ass
Yeah, I’d still like to steal some ass
Yes I would

Advice From Mom

“If a man doesn’t want to fondle your breasts and
Stick his finger up your snatch, don’t get involved
with him, Vicki “

April 21-27, 2003: Christopher Soden and Donald Ryburn

week of April 21-27, 2003

Christopher Soden and Donald Ryburn

click here for submission guidelines

Christopher Soden

Bio (auto)

A native Texan, Christopher Stephen Soden has been pursuing his vocation as a poet now for over 25 years, recently branching out into performance pieces and play-writing He majored in English at Southern Methodist University where he was poetry editor of the student literary magazine: Espejo In December he was accepted into Vermont College’s MFA Program in Writing He is President of The Dallas Poets Community, a workshop that seeks to advance the cause, expression and appreciation of poetry He has been honored by The Poetry Society of America’s Poetry in Motion Series, Fourth Unity, Distinguished Poets of Dallas, Richland College and The artsDFW Poetry Contest, among others His work has appeared in Gertrude, WordWrights!, The Chiron Review, The Dallas Review, Borderlands, New Texas 2002 and The James White Review It can also be found in the anthologies: Blood Offerings, Other Testaments, Gents, Bad Boys and Barbarians, Above Us Only Sky, Touch of Eros, A Certain Touch and Best of Texas Writing 2 He lives in Plano, Texas and likes to spend his leisure time doing crosswords, singing with the radio, taking long, hot showers, eating out, sleeeeping, going to movies and making sock monkeys.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Christopher Soden and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

Between Frog Princes

I count our time apart since before
our first collusion and after
the sunny cold Christmas morning
I ran out to your car, still wearing
my robe of black silk Inappropriate
demeanor for a sovereign, perhaps
Still though, what else could I
have done, knowing you were leaving
alone, to spend the holiday balance
with your mother, viable queen
of wind and tide?

The cool summer moon has ascended
over the castle, and I take respite
supposing your eyes are watching
the same moon Solitary dangle
I strip by the pool and sing
the long low raspy songs
of frog hunger, sometimes playing
my oboe, reflective and bleak Amongst the alleys and hills
and brooks our peasant brothers
add their aching boy harmony
Gradually the petals of the orchid
you tasted split and capitulate,
and I am there, again, suddenly,
lost in a lather of frosty stars
and simmering champagne, sin
and error pining from the radio
And you and I, frail and vigorous
in our wanting, desire keen
and negotiable as a blade
across the open palm,
pummeled with the insistent
rhythm of unmistakable craving
Princesses do not comprehend
the tender hide beneath our stripes
and linen, damp and swarthy,
the way our mouths part
as croak music burbles
from the transformation of hope
There is a secret kingdom,
Terry, Frog Prince of Giddings,
where you will find grieving ends
and bruises soothed and sutures
administered with careful index
and thumb tips, and you are

always welcome There is
drought here, and every night
I do the rain dance (the one
every black tadpole knows)
but it is just not the same.


When God was a boy every season
had its taste and His fingers and palms
caressed the world’s marvels with arrogance
and bliss: sticky root and the spider’s
lush coat, the water’s brief memory and rapture
in a jackdaw’s abandoned nest He slept

in hyacinth clusters or cool sand or dry prairie
grass that tickled His ears and spoke
to him all the night The rain had quit
nine days when he found a shuddering
brook and joined the water as the elbow
joins a sleeve When he stood to break

its composure the air was a great song flowering
and unflowering the bagpipe of his lungs He traced the current till a Crush bottle shard
opened a new mouth at the bottom
of His foot He didn’t notice till his pause
to feed and piss, then sat and stroked

the new autumn quarter moon, wincing
at the warm bristle and chill Carefully
He removed the token from His sole,
and placed it on His tongue, shutting His eyes
to seal the memory It still hangs from

His key chain When He kneaded the clay
to shape us, He remembered how the talisman
had unlocked the channel of His private ocean:
the edge that brought Him to the start of gravity,
to sleep without assuaging, and used it to carve
our own eye slits, splitting them like husks
in the Spring.


Consider the discovery
of a green wool stocking,
untying it to find a small
jar of aromatic salve,
laced with exotic spices
for weary temples,

or Aberdeen Heather Soap
for discouragement,
or a bottled blizzard
for dwindling faith Consider the burden
of hours lifted, past
mistakes evaporating
like steam
A ceramic elephant falls
and shatters to reveal
sticky raw brown opium,
or seeds of moonflowers,
or redeemable passage
on the Orient Express
A voice you can’t identify
on your message service
confesses, I had a dream
of flight
.Mama has kissed
you goodnight and you wake
to discover a naked boy
weeping, in the nursery
He comes from a place unknown
to you: second star to the right,
and straight on till morning You will help him reconcile
to his shadow, and he will
guide you in the discipline
of intuition and loft
You are sooty and daft
and remarkable You belong
to no one Listen Big Ben
is counting down to the end
of your sorrow Only just this
moment comes the changing hour,
The nursery window gapes The skyline of London awaits Your jig shakes loose
like a wet schnauzer You were not made to fall You can fly You can fly You can fly.

the hand i was dealt

i knew you in halls and tawdry yellow gloss
of first school days ashen sky of recess
before i understood words like queer sissy faggot
bruiser too cool for smarts while i failed
to comprehend the history of our transaction:
fathers conferring failure upon sons and sons
transmitting futility to other sons of living
up to our dicks repugnance of thinking
another boy had anything for you the hand
withdrawn the other lad forever backing away
smiling you spat the words of our estrangement
before realising i had made some kind of choice
i might say the clock and personal witness
have only vindicated me though what to make
of your clammy paw priming my languid manhood
under godâs cold mercury vapor angels
in parking lot of cruise park and rest
stop i could not begin to say


Pinocchio has left Geppetto for the splendid
teeming world of thunder and phenomena,
smoke and red buttons, lather of hops,
blind to the miracles swimming inside
his hobbly body, child of wings and bells,
bred of a blue air nymph and a woodcarver’s
despair He has found a job in the theatre,
feature performer amongst the marionettes Dancing with other puppets, the only
one that is not a sham, exactly, he is
surrounded by jointed dolls who began
as he did, as wood, but cannot truly
reason or act, learn or regret, only
echo the vibration of soul tremors,
druggy confection of red candy hearts We are privy to some sacred gag,
watching this dope, this enchanted
hunk of timber strutting and capering,
I got no strings to hold me down,
and know this is sad though we are
not sure why Time enough to find
the lonely place, with no constraint
or tether of those who will miss
our company if we must work late,
or bail us out of jail, or let us
know if we’re being selfish,
or unkind, or not getting enough sleep Time enough for this green stone
adrift in the cornerless realms
of black galaxies, to cut us loose
to the land of angels, goblins, sprites
where cold beauty and sparkly charm
waft upward like the songs of departed
immortals groping for God’s tender care What favor overtook Pinocchio when
that blue goddess stirred his molecules,
when stolid oak became sentient
to taste the exquisite misery
of insouciance, of wings and bells?
There are no strings on me.

Donald Ryburn

Bio (auto)

Donald Ryburn is the editor of 4*9*1—-Imagination He is a neo-native visionary artist/photographer He is co-author (with Aubrey) of the book Poetry Pathology His poetry and photography have appeared in hundreds of print journals, anthologies, and on-line zines, including Black Moon, 4*9*1, Poetry Motel, Pacific Coast Journal, Bitter Oleander, Onionhead,  and Art/Mag (print) and Poetry Super Highway, Poetry Tonight, Room Without Walls, India Journal,  Indie Journal, Archeflamboeth , Entropic, Grassroots Poetry, Electric Acorn, Wired Art For Wired Hearts, Bluff Magazine, /noserialmice, Some Words, Crystal Middlemas, Poetry Down-Under, The Poetry Kit, Poetry Life & Times (interview), Creative Voice, Vistula, The Miserere Review, Unlikely Stories, Lynx Poetry -Bath, England,  Marmsweb, Poetry! Yes! Now!, 7th-Circle, (on-line) He is a member of the Tvlvhvse Wokvkiye Ceremonial Grounds of the Mvskoke Nation

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Donald Ryburn and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author


Ursula, I remember the shadows,
Ghosts of true human love
That lived in your beautiful, pale eyes

Ursula, I remember you said,
“Salamanders demanded the areolas of my breasts as last rites”
Before the firing squads of your father

Ursula, I remember the shower
Of bullets at dawn
The sounds of exploded flesh

Ursula, I remember a final unworthy breath

Ursula in Montepulciano

Ursula, I remember the velvet pepper
Of Montepulciano wine
On my tongue
As I drank from the precious stones of your navel

Ursula,  I remember these stones held images
Of ancient Germany
As if insects in amber
Suddenly alive

Ursula, we were not in Turkmenistan
Where no one is allowed to grow old
Or the black woods of your homeland
We were in Georgia
A place where diamonds mutated to steel
And love transcended distance
Became lost and afraid


stone’s voice;
night, alone
grape peels shaped as corks
float on the liquid of cocoons
death finds only the damp clothes
stone once wore
in a field of lilies
where he twirled an invisible beloved
in a harsh rain
iridescent green quetzal

Perfect Beauty

” .perfect beauty has nothing to say “
Carlos Pellicer

She became a quetzal,
Mute, beautiful, alive,
She refused the tomb of time,
As I, with the tongue of ten salamanders,
Imprisoned within stone,
Wait some nebulous magic,
To set me free,
In this room shredded by hope,
I listen to myself,
As I count fifteen Septembers,
She was so immaculate,
Her red feathers flamed down,
Art nouveau curves,
Spoke a language of truth,
In an ancient April wind

April 14-20, 2003: Alain Sherter and George Henson

week of April 14-20, 2003

Alain Sherter and George Henson

click here for submission guidelines

Alain Sherter

Bio (auto)

Sherter, 37, is a journalist who lives and works in New York City, not necessarily in that order He loves books and is occasionally ironic, especially when writing in the third person.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Alain Sherter and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

I’m Not Writing

Thoughts like supplicants kneel in the rain
They mill about the plain goosefleshed with cold and the godhead
Barking amens at the sky
A preacher dips his partner in a waltz
But man they stink these fornicating pilgrims
Is it any wonder I can’t get any work done?
Besides, Elohim’s on the nod in Okinawa
He’s on the downtown bus and the uptown train
He’s a transvestite vamping down Eighth Avenue
A poet on the lam
He’s a Chinese couple cooking up a storm
Or none of these, just
Perhaps it’s easier to give in and
join the mizzled horde
Cross the road like a child and weep
But probably not

Ode to Czeslaw’s Birds

Press the hard 8s and damn it all
Press all the hards, $5 all round
The ideology of dice rules this stretch of baize
Where the blistered palm, the tragic palm
Cradles chips like an heirloom whose heir
Has gone missing
Strangers make a family at the roll
Our love a cocked wrist
Faith splayed like fingers
Joy a fist
A shooter on a streak is as
Pretty as the blonde serving drinks
No one knows us as she will not
Our fingers reveal nothing but their solitude
And now the matins bell is ringing and damn it all

>From the depths the surface is a sky
Fish make beds among the dulse and purple laver
And dream of history
There is no earth for them
Only the monumental water
Home of homes
When they whisper in their sleep
Pearls of air impale the dark
Beads strung on silence
At the top the sun awaits to
Lift them into rain
A drop falls for hours before fragmenting
On the windshield of a car heading north
Toward clearer weather
  Toward day

August, New York

Turn through, over
sightline beyond porch of
old house Bending girl by,

of blooming tree Driveways
and mower roar Cicada
hymn Jagged line

from France to boy
on lake, of sandbar Cigale
chant of noon Car

Ride to pine church,
needle hush Like
joy Cone dusk, butter cake
Am gone, like this
place Never was?
No salt marsh, nor senna

leaf All to come Of
come Bending boy, of
grass and star-milk
Place I am,
was, wrens buying bread  
for last flights

home Gare du Nord, with
paper sacks of
midnight I

Counts steps, sleep
hum City of my birth, these
broken feet assemble

Me Choosing
time is near Always,
in one way, alive to chance encounters.

George Henson

Bio (auto)

My name is George Henson and I am a professor of Spanish at Collin County Community College in Plano, Texas In addition to reading locally, I have been published in ForcesThe Red River Review and Thundersandwich My chapbook, Works in Progress, is forthcoming I reside in Dallas, Texas. 

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by George Henson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

A las 12 at 7-11

They descend on Seven-Eleven at noon
in sus trocas,[1] with three in the cab and
three more in the bed, cansados[2] after
six hours of manual labor,
para calentar su almuerzo[3],
stored in Tupperware or on plates wrapped in tinfoil,
carried unapologetically in plastic bags
obtained during the weekly outing to
Carnaval or Fiesta[4],
tied around the handles,
not once, but two or three times,
quién sabe por qué[5] They huddle around the microwave
that gringos[6] use for heating
store-bought burritos
the irony certainly escapes them
and while they unwrap
last night’s enchiladas or carne guisada[7],
accompanied perhaps by arroz y frijoles[8],
prepared con cariño [9]by their
wives, and in some cases, mothers,
they fill Big Gulp cups with Fanta or Coca Cola,
and search for Conchas or Mantecadas[10],
made by Bimbo, S.A[11] , now owned by Mrs Baird’s[12],
sweet reminders del sabor de México[13],
pastries bought for 3 or 4 pesos[14] at home,
and at least a dollar twenty-nine in the good ol’ US,
a day’s wage in Tamaulipas or Chihuahua[15],
just one way they pay for a better life
al otro lado del Bravo [16]

[1] their trucks (Tex-Mex)
[2] tired
[3] to heat up their lunch
[4] two predominately Hispanic Supermarket chains
[5] who knows why
[6] a term historically viewed as pejorative for Americans
[7] a stewed meat dish
[8] rice and beans
[9] with love (lit with affection)
[10] three pastries either homemade or sold commercially
[11] Bimbo, Inc , the most popular manufacturer of breads and bakery products in Mexico
[12] a Texas-based bread and bakery products manufacturer
[13] of the taste of Mexico
[14] a peso is approximately 10 U.S cents
[15] two northern Mexican states bordering the U.S [16] on the other side of the Bravo Mexicans call the Rio Grande the Río Bravo.

Kingsville, 1970

ramos niños y nada más [1]
We were children and nothing more We ran down narrow caliche[2] streets,
where passing Coca-Cola trucks raised clouds of dust,
leaving in their wake gritos y toses[3]
and stinging eyes, and bead necklaces
around tiny sweat-soaked necks,
necklaces that would disappear
in every bathtub in the barrio[4] by 10 p.m (That’s 9 on school nights )
Beneath flickering street lights and dancing fireflies
we played al escondite[5],
hiding behind el vecino’s [6] Rambler bought new in 1965,
correteando[7] between cookie-cutter houses
and old beat-up garbage cans,
stopping only long enough to buy raspados[8]
at don Cenaide’s snow cone stand
on the corner of la calle Ella,[9]
sometimes raspberry, y a veces de fresa [10]
And while los viejos[11] played dominos
and smoked cigars on front porches,
las abuelas[12] swept the caliche dust
that floated in through open windows
from once-red linoleum floors,
now faded from daily moppings
with no sé cuántos[13] gallons of Clorox It’s funny how bleach erases everything but memories

[1] We were children and nothing more [2] saltpeter: used, instead of asphalt, as a road filler in barrio neighborhoods
[3] shouts and coughs
[4] neighborhood
[5] hide-and-seek
[6] the neighbor’s
[7] running around
[8] snow cones
[9] Elle Street
[10] and sometimes strawberry
[11] the old men
[12] the grandmothers
[13] I don’t know how many

Destiny’s Child

With her leopard-print cell phone in hand
and Destiny’s Child in the Sony in-dash,
she drives her lime green
Beetle from home to the corner Starbuck’s
for a pre-school tall skinny–
she likes her lattes just like her men–
flavored with two pink packets
and a dash of cinnamon,
then on to campus, doing a one-woman
balancing act between in-coming calls,
changing tracks and
sipping her caffeine-charged breakfast,
careful not to spill on her DKNY Weaving in and out of
soccer moms and school buses,
she accents her drive with soprano screeches of
whatever! and fuck you!
“No, not you, fuck the lady in the mini van
driving totally too slow in the school zone “
Barreling into the parking lot,
she straddles the line between two spaces,
methodically returns Destiny’s Child to its proper place
in her 100-disc urban attaché,
detaches the face from her CD player,
careful not to chip a French tip,
and puts it in her Dooney & Bourke,
then applies a fresh coat of pink frost
in the rearview mirror She gets out of her Bug,
clicks in double time across the asphalt lot
in her Prada open toes,
click, click, click,
switching her cell phone
from left to right in between,
“Shit, I’m gonna be late to class,” and
“like, the prof’s gonna be totally pissed,”
keeping beat in her designer heels, she adds,
“whatever, I’m so sure, like,
why do we have to take English anyway?
I’m fashion merchandizing “

Elegy in a Suburban Front Yard

In Poe-esque poetic prose,
you assault the English language
in a bacchanalian gang-bang,
gorging every line
with jumbled gerunds
and mixed metaphors Ranting,
riding psychotic rough shod
in an alliterative rage,
You hurl insults
in a rhyming frenzy,
like hand grenades Stopping only to piss
and plunder AOL,
you parade around half-naked
on the Lawn,
howling at the Moon,
demanding Diana inspire you,
summoning Saint Brighid to guide you,
spilling your semen
in venereal ecstasy
as Somnus mourns your sleeplessness
and the neighbors call the police.


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