2012

December 24, 2012-January 5, 2013: Dave Waddell and Josefine Petersen

Dave Waddell and Josefine Petersen


Send us your poetry for POET OF THE WEEK
consideration. Click here for submission guidelines.


Dave Waddell
jrosewaddell@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

I am an amateur award-winning photographer, poet/writer and retired gentleman. I live about 40 minutes from Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada. Out in the country here we are greatly concerned with metaphors and almost every farmer i’ve met has a tall twisted yarn. Often they go too far but I still like them.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Dave Waddell and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Strangely…. I Felt Like Andy Rooney

A baby elephant and a baby bloodhound have got a new set of clothes and they are much too large for them
The elephant and the hound both have big ears but refuse to listen to a world full of noise
The elephant disappears against his grey background
The hound disappears on a rug by the fire;
As for myself, I can’t disappear until after I eat supper
Then I go into a newspaper with the TV going and I hold it away from me
It’s a mystical experience to disappear with an elephant, a hound and a newspaper, but I can do it

In Connecticut the forests are magnificent in the fall, are they not? ….then they disappear
Everything that I look at and think of is there one minute and then like a mystery it’s gone?
Next month I’m going to say, ‘you’re 78 years old man and you are stuffed full of ideas and things, and experience is just the food that helps your mind grow
Everything looks good and it smells good and you can hang it all in your head like a coat in a closet;
But then slowly you forget something about them…they fade and return and fade again
Then they are there like the elephant in a grey background and the hound on a rug by the fire and the Connecticut forest; how the hell can a whole Connecticut forest disappear? well, it does, and they do.

The baby bloodhounds are on the scent trail of the baby elephants
The baby bloodhounds step lively with a Ha Ha Ha and the baby elephants step along with their trumpets blowing bubbles, pop, pop, pop, above their big ears, yes, yes, yes, and their sad eyes that are not sad
And what I say is, “Baby, hey baby, let’s bounce baby, bounce
Into the moonbeams, baby, let’s you and I slip away
After our fight is over, it will be a bright new day
We’ll make the world all over and slip away;
The world is only a bubble, you have a big hat pin
There’s champagne by the tubful, let’s you and I step in
Into the moonbeams, baby, Oh, where you been.”


Josefine Petersen
petersenjosefine@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

I grew up in Stockholm, Sweden. In 2005 I moved to LA, where I currently live. Franklin Village, Hollywood to be more exact. Writing helped me through some tough times, and over the past few years it has become one of my biggest passions.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Josefine Petersen and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Storm

You were like a wind
Something that pushed me
I was naked
Didn’t have any clothes
They were torn up
To pieces
My clothes
I didn’t have a choice
You were like a storm
Hungry
Greedy
You ripped my clothes
Like a wind
My clothes
Didn’t matter
My core
Didn’t matter
It wasn’t there
Neither was I
Neither were you
As you tore my clothes
No one was there anymore


December 17-23, 2012: Jamie Elliott Keith and Eamonn Lorigan

Jamie Elliott Keith and Eamonn Lorigan


BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
 click here for submission guidelines.


Jamie Elliott Keith
kjkjz@comcast.net

Bio (auto)

Jamie Elliott Keith lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, and is continually astounded by the power of words. Her works have been published in such publications as Every Day Poets, drown in my own fears, and Thick With Conviction.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Jamie Elliott Keith and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Paint the House Blue

The years have dulled the tint, but, oh, when new—
a splash of tropics stained the country lane.
Aghast, the neighbors spoke against the hue.
Did he not know the proper shade to paint
a house? Not beachy like the public pool,
but something mute and showing more restraint.
His children snidely laughed in their replies,
but not his wife, the girl with azure eyes.


Anniversary

A door
in our old house
swings slowly shut
with a chink of the latch
and each of us
on the other side.


Eamonn Lorigan
eamonnlorigan@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Eamonn Lorigan is an annuated Irishman with a spotty publication history trying to write one decent poem every couple of days for the rest of his miserable God-bedeviled life in the obviously contradictory hope that he will thereby find salvation. Age has not brought him maturity and he tends to be the oldest guy at his local poetry slams. Eamonn’s work has appeared in such venues as Carve Magazine, Muse Apprentice Guild, Literary Potpourri, Literary Burlesque, Slowtrains, a Literary Journal, Phantom Kangaroo, The Beatnik, Poetry Super Highway (including the 2012 Holocaust Memorial Issue) and Loch Raven Literary Review. He lives in New Hampshire with his wife and two sons. Some of his poetry can be read at his website, Eamonnlorigan.blogspot.com.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Eamonn Lorigan and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Florida Kaddish

Florida
sunshine
fierce
as god
almighty People
were not meant
to live
in this drained
swamp state
but we live
on air conditioning
& hope
unreasoned here
streets clogged
with old slow driving
sluggish blood moving
through narrowed
veins My doctor says
my cholesterol is
high enough I should consider
religion
Genetic she says probably
one of my parents
had big cholesterol
too: father maybe,
Died eighty six
walking back from nursing
home breakfast
collapsing on gleaming
linoleum Derry New Hampshire
not twenty miles
from my home wife sons
I hadn’t
known seen
him twenty years
maybe more
cremated him
(skinny undertaker
born again adam’s
apple bobbing
like original sin
offered to pray
with me
over cardboard box
Later met his lover
slack haired woman lost
in mourning
not much older
than me Glad
someone loved old
bastard someone
sorry to see him
go Here Florida though
years later
other nursing
home where senile
wait for morphine angel
Mother once I emerged
from you now you are
erased & I say
perhaps Kaddish
just like Allen
Ginsburg only
you aren’t dead
yet, are you, Ma
&your brain isn’t crazy
only damaged and emptied
& home I brought
the old man’s dust
from Affordable Cremation Services
throat bobbing Christian
body burner
to wait in cedar closet
basement all long winter
until ground thawed
enough to plant him
& now my mother
& all the garden of emptied
old get watered
twice a day
until they are plucked
& delivered &
Christ everything
is loss I said
Honey I’d like you
to meet my
dad as I carried him
boxed & roasted
into kitchen
& Kaddish
is for everyone
me & my cholesterol
even in Florida
this afternoon
beside my brain starved
mother & old man dead
at last & yes my soul
will magnify the lord
forever in his light
long & hopeless
burns eternal
endless eye of god
Sunshine. Burnt Father
Emptied Mother
We all die
Eventually
blessed
in Florida.


December 10-16, 2012: Paul DeVito and Stanley H. Barkan

Paul DeVito and Stanley H. Barkan


BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
 click here for submission guidelines.


Paul DeVito
devitopaul.devito@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Paul DeVito is a poet from Fayetteville, New York.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Paul DeVito and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Out of the Storm

She flew in my window
with such a rush,
the wind swept back the curtains,
she looked at me and
alighted on the dresser
next to the vase of wildflowers,
she seemed so calm
all of a sudden, so happy
to be out of the storm,
I closed the window
and smoothed the curtains,
the candle finally settled down
and I sat down to eat dinner,
suddenly she lifted her wings
and flew around the room
quickly, around and around
until she landed on my plate
and began to eat my bread.


Stanley H. Barkan
cccpoetry@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Stanley H. Barkan, the editor/publisher of the Cross-Cultural Review Series of World Literature and Art, has, to this 40th anniversary year, produced some 400 titles in 50 different languages. His own work has been translated into 25 different languages, and published in 15 collections, several of them bilingual He was New York City’s 1991 Poetry Teacher of the Year (awarded by Poets House and the Board of Education) and the 1996 winner of the Poor Richard’s Award, “The Best of the Small Presses” (awarded by the Small Press Center), for “25 years of high quality publishing.” He lives with his artist-wife, Bebe, in Merrick, Long Island.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Stanley H. Barkan and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

April

If not the cruelest,
then certainly
the most unkind.
The buds peek out
of the last snows
only to be blown away,
ripped from their dreaming roots.
Rains still come
but mix with ice.
All the earth
readies
for bright new starts
without true promise.
Which is worse:
expectation
of things not to come
or none at all?
The day the fledglings
fly from their nests
they find the beaks of falcons,
the claws of cats.

 

May

So
the flowers
have come,
at last.
Millefiore—
all the colors
of the mythic rainbow.
The little girls wear them
in their hair,
prepare
for the dance
around the pole
we dreamt about
as children.
Butterflies are still
in chrysalis,
moths in pupa.
When hint of summer sun
will warm their cool cocoons,
they’ll spread their wings
and flutter out
on petals firm to the seed
on edge of branch,
open to the greater
and lesser lamps
spotlighting
their all too brief
encounter with the air.

 

December

As inevitable as death,
December comes
with snow and ice
covering
rooftops, eaves,
crowns of trees,
mountaintops,
valleys.
The moon is wafer,
the sky black
with chalk-scrawled stars.
All the lakes frosted—
everyone can
walk on water.
Only the evergreens
retain their fierce grip
on the stuff of earth,
stretching towards Heaven.
White feathers fall—
geese arrow south,
honking, “Tomorrow!
Tomorrow!”

 

 


December 3-9, 2012: Martin Gottlieb Cohen and Zev Davis

Martin Gottlieb Cohen and Zev Davis


BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
 click here for submission guidelines.


Martin Gottlieb Cohen
martin1223@comcast.net

Bio (auto)

Martin Gottlieb Cohen was born in the South Bronx somewhere on Simpson Street, went to a Yeshiva on East Broadway and Canal Street, and then lived in the South of Brooklyn, the South of Long Island, The Southern Tier of Upstate New York, The South of Manhattan, and finally South Jersey in Egg Harbor. Listen to Martin read some of his work here: http://listen-to-voices.tumblr.com/

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Martin Gottlieb Cohen and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Remembering: A Sequence

debris
in a cloud––
people

nine-eleven
the wind in my ears

twilight
the blackbird’s silence
from tree to tree


Zev Davis
d2343@012.net.il

Bio (auto)

I was born in Detroit in 1943 and lived there until coming to Upper Nazareth, ISRAEL in 1981. I’ve been writing poetry since high school, but for all sorts of conventional reasons I never had the "potatoes" to manage a "literary" or otherwise artistic career. Mostly working and raising a family, a wife plus four, and soon enough a total of fourteen grandchildren. In the between there were poems, some of them were published, some of them are lost in a damaged hard disc.
Over the last year, as well, I have been collaborating with a Northern California poet, from Crescent City. In fact, he is mostly responsible for me getting back to the craft. Like the Phoenix, there are yet newer poems. In a month or so I will be coming out with my first chapbook.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Zev Davis and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Robotics

What do books know about anything,
what do they tell you, if
you have a question that begs
an answer when it has
no idea where to look, not even

a piece of paper will suffice. A stray neuron lights up,
perhaps. An apple falls
from a tree the same time as your eye
watches it hit the ground,
sets off a multitude of images . . . All at once
a world that never was comes
into existence. Here and now,

a blob of clay, at a potter’s wheel, either
you move your feet, or it’s
nothing at all. In your head, ephemeral
all by itself alone, nourished by the heart . . .

Don’t deceive yourself, don’t even imagine
the messages from upstairs mean
anything. The electrodes are granules
of puffed rice that wouldn’t snap, crackle,
or pop without the fresh air

the lungs bring. The life you lead
doesn’t mean a hill of beans
without the blood that surrounds
the cranium. What gathers the moments . . .

visions call for more, sounds
send a rush order, quick. Love has arrived,
run to her, kiss her before she goes away. Then
you remember how sad
it was the last time you met. Flashes
back and forth, back and forth. You

sit down. Leave the books on the shelf,
collect your thoughts. No matter
what you do . . . a notepad on a drawing board,
an automatic pencil so your hand can go anywhere. Words
that evoke what she is

sort out the confusion. Slowly the mind comforts
the heart. The heart reminds the head not
to forget, that they
depend on each other.


November 26 – December 2, 2012: Liv Lansdale and A.J. Huffman

Liv Lansdale and A.J. Huffman


BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
 click here for submission guidelines.


Liv Lansdale
livlansdale@poetsatwork.com

Bio (auto)

I’m Liv Lansdale, I’m twenty, and I grew up in Towson, MD, where I currently live. I’ve edited a few literary magazines, interned at Baltimore’s City Lit Press, and am a double major (creative writing and sustainable development) at Columbia University. I once caught a shark with my bare hands.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Liv Lansdale and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Explaining It

Each metaphor is an extension of itself.
Searching for a flashlight in the dark
to find whatever needs finding, life
on a canvas painted by a stranger.

Writing the music to your question
not counting the half hour you
shouldn’t have spent in bed.
Little can be said on that.

And then you try wanting to set fire
to a dollar bill, but you surrender
to practicality every time. Such
failure lends you credibility.

So declare the problem solved, after
having decided a certain action
was the solution. There is no –
& never will be – proof.

Otherwise why explore mystery
(with an upper case m)? Why
cultivate awareness of your
galaxy, its rings & belts

& little phenomena, that all swirl
around the black hole we share?
Go fight, then, a finger puppet
war over buttons, & the way

we hide from our children. It ends
when you liken me to a horse, in
turns ridiculous & breathtaking.
You better believe it.

Still, much of me is scared
like hell: a wavelength
reradiated against
my will.

 

Natural Phenomena

Don’t cry. Honestly, the surprise
was not of being touched
but his own reaction.

After he scratched his head,
avoiding eye contact
by examining his fingers:
he didn’t know
if it was dandruff
under his nails
or if the nails themselves
were turning to powder
the way the rest of him
seemed to be transforming
(again, one must avoid moisture
at all costs).

Back to surprise.
We knew, for instance, there was
an earthquake because of the
wind chimes
…………… not what came next.


A.J. Huffman
poetess222@live.com

Bio (auto)

A.J. Huffman is a poet and freelance writer in Daytona Beach, Florida. She has previously published six collections of poetry all available on Amazon.com. She has also published her work in numerous national and international literary journals. Most recently, she has accepted the position as editor for four online poetry journals for Kind of a Hurricane Press ( www.kindofahurricanepress.com ). Find more about A.J. Huffman, including additional information and links to her work at HERE and HERE.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by A.J. Huffman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

I Have No Room

for another
diagnosis. OCD, bipolar, schizophrenic,
borderline, Aspergers, split
personality. Keep your opinion, labels,
prescriptions, useless government cuts
calling themselves supportive funding, and bigotry.
Leave me to my self-
contained dementia. I am building
castles out of commas. You are creating comas
in place of common emotions. Tell me, which
do you think is causing the real damage? You
blinked first. Too bad
you can’t tapdance. A sidestep
shuffle would be a useful skill. To step lightly
and with feeling. Don’t
give me that condescending look. I don’t need
your approval. We are fine in here,
all by myself.


November 19-25, 2012: Taylor Graham and Amber Hollinger

Taylor Graham and Amber Hollinger


BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
 click here for submission guidelines.


Taylor Graham
poetspiper@att.net

Bio (auto)

Taylor Graham (Placerville, CA) is a volunteer search-and-rescue dog handler in the Sierra Nevada. Her poems have appeared in American Literary Review, The Iowa Review, The New York Quarterly, Poetry International, Southern Humanities Review, and elsewhere. She’s included in the anthologies Villanelles (Everyman’s Library, 2012) and California Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present (Santa Clara University, 2004). Her book The Downstairs Dance Floor was awarded the Robert Philips Poetry Chapbook Prize, and she’s a finalist in Poets & Writers’ California Writers Exchange. Her latest book – Walking with Elihu: poems on Elihu Burritt, the Learned Blacksmith – is available on Amazon. Her work-in-progress is a collection of dog poems – her SAR dogs over the past 40 years, and her challenging puppy-in-training, Loki.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Taylor Graham and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

In the Rough

The other pups sold for eight hundred,
a thousand. She was bought,
brought back. Too bright, too hard.

A diamond?
We got her for a prayer,

now we’re paying.
Choke-chains and pinch-collars. “No!”
She pulls me

out the door, over the hill – look,
it’s morning!

Dawn gleams gold-amber
in a pup’s thousand-carat eye.
Here’s purple thistle

for absolutely free,
an emerald dragonfly.

 

We Named Her Loki

And that means mischief.
Loki, Norse trickster god, shape-shifter.

It takes active verbs
just to name this sable bitch-puppy,

earthquake inside our walls.
Teeth and bark.

Loki –
never low-key –

but finally asleep
after a morning’s mayhem

she twitches in puppy-dreams, chasing
rabbits, giants, mythic monsters,

or just keeping time
to her fierce heart-drummer.


Amber Hollinger
adholli@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

I love to weave stories, and I hope to contribute something good to the world by sharing my work. I am a wandering writer and (displaced?) dreamer who, after a five-year writing hiatus, returned to creating poetry and short stories following the loss of a full time job last Spring. I have a Masters in International Relations – not writing – from the University of Sussex. I recently completed, and have been submitting for publication, my first book of poetry (S)urge. I am now working to complete two poetry chapbooks. I happily teach dance, edit/proofread for pay, tutor students of all ages, and am searching for a new awesome full time job.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Amber Hollinger and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Damn you, November

Damn you,
November.

For taking her.
My love. My friend.
My silver moon.

She was all I knew of feeling,
Felt of kneeling,
And I held her
Like darkness clings to truth.

Your chill sank in with the night air.
It shrouded us unlucky –
Prayers swallowed our solace –
And the world was too much for her.

She shook with blue fever
And I
Shivered in turn.
Sea storm nightmares.

Damn you, November.
You fiend. You folly.
You shadowed ice-beast.

Damn you for taking her –
My mind.


November 12-18, 2012: Thomas Piekarski and Allen Qing Yuan

Thomas Piekarski and Allen Qing Yuan


BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
 click here for submission guidelines.


Thomas Piekarski
tbaker16@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Thomas Piekarski is a former editor of the California State Poetry Quarterly. His theater and restaurant reviews have been published in various newspapers, with poetry and interviews appearing in numerous national journals, among them Portland Review, Kestrel, Cream City Review, Nimrod, New Plains Review, Poetry Quarterly, and Clockhouse Review. He has published a travel guide, Best Choices In Northern California (Gable &Gray), and Time Lines (Nimbus Press), a book of poems. He works as a fine art salesman in Carmel-By-The-Sea, California.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Thomas Piekarski and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Lady Who Waded

The lady who waded in Pacific surf
with only her panties on later lay
in the sand, constructing dream castles.

Spring had come early, but now
it was June, and the century mark
about to strike the Central Valley.

She’d ridden a white elephant through
virgin snow in a severe blizzard
in the middle of winter. She’d watched

Zeus snoozing as his minions oversaw
the building of pyramids predating
Giza’s. A circus coming to town,

she pretended that the sharks
who’d eluded fishermen’s nets
never got old nor wet.

And when Amen came around
she’d flaunt her delicious nipples
that turned to spears in his face.


Allen Qing Yuan
yuans@shaw.ca

Bio (auto)

Allen Qing Yuan, born in Canada and aged 17, currently attends high school in Vancouver and has had poems published or forthcoming in more than 40 literary journals across 12 countries, which include Cannon’s Mouth, Cirque, Cordite Poetry Review, Istanbul Literary Review, Literary Review of Canada, MOBIUS, Ottawa Arts Review, Paris/Atlantic, PoetsWest, Taj Mahal Review and Toronto Quarterly.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Allen Qing Yuan and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Komodo Monitor

Staring menacingly at all observers
You being the greatest observer of all

Claws scraping the loose earth
Scaly tail weaving through the sky

Rocky exterior grinding rock
Squinty eyes seeing all

And you wonder
What more is beyond this glass?


November 5-11, 2012: Rebecca Lu Kiernan and Steven Kunert

Rebecca Lu Kiernan and Steven Kunert


BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
 click here for submission guidelines.


Rebecca Lu Kiernan
geckogalpoet@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Rebecca Lu Kiernan has published in MS. MAGAZINE, ASIMOV’S SCIENCE FICTION, NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW
and numerous books and magazines in the U.S and Australia. Her first poetry collection, "Sex With Trees…" was published by 2 River Press. Canada’s YGDRASIL released her second collection, "The Man Who Remembered Too Much". Kiernan was nominated for a Rhysling award for her sci fi tale of seduction, "When a Snake Bites You in the Ass". She lives on the gulf coast. Visit her on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Rebecca Lu Kiernan and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Gifts from Scientists

Thank you
For the velociraptor you cloned me for Christmas
And the unbreachable hex translation
Of blueprints for other-world devices.
Thank you
For the cigar box
Of artfully arranged broken birds
And the rainbow glitter you glued
To their gently twitching feathers.
Thank you
For discovering
The extinction level event asteroid
And naming it after me!
When you pushed my eye into the telescope
I could have sworn
You were giving me a star.
Thank you
For the broken birds,
Easily discarded
Instead of the merciless words,
A cross from which
I could never have climbed down


The Case Against Chaos

We were promised
Trick candles and red velvet cake,
Midnight fireworks,
Champagne in cave-crystal flutes.
You wore a Tom Ford tuxedo in abyss blue.
My transparent gown of glitter
Made promises the night could not keep.

Giant screens showed a split-screen view
Of asteroid and missile.
Bach filled the silence.
No one will ever know
What ruined the math.

In a flash,
Our skeletons fused in cognizant embrace.

Had I more time,
I like to think I would have told you,
Nothing of me was true
And I destroyed every universe
In which we would not meet
Just to spend these seven years
Entangled with you.


Steven Kunert
skunert@oregonstate.edu

Bio (auto)

Steven Kunert teaches writing at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. He has published prose and poetry for over thirty years, most recently in Wordriver, Fogged Clarity, Six Sentences, decomP and Word Riot, and he has an essay forthcoming in Apeiron Review. His poems previously appeared in Poetry Super Highway in 2008, 2010 and 2011.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Steven Kunert and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

A Perfect Goodbye

Just before I die,
may I hear meadowlark music
as a woodpecker drums
and a goldfinch twitters in flight.

May hummingbirds buzz beneath
a kingfisher’s machine-gun call
while warblers cheep, nuthatches whee
and swallows swoop and sing.

Allow flickers to wacka-wacka,
crows to raucously caw,
grackles to raise hackles,
and scrub jays to talk squawk.

And may I hear this tune:
the flapping-wings whoosh
of herons and sandhill cranes
against the yodel of a loon.

Then, drifting from open windows
may the sounds of my last words
drift to be procured
in the memory of a mockingbird.


October 29 – November 4, 2012: Diana Savastyanova and Dianne Alvine

Diana Sea and Dianne Alvine


BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
 click here for submission guidelines.


Diana Sea

Bio (auto)

Diana Sea is an old lady stuck in a 22 year old body. She spends her working days around art and writes about things she knows too well or not at all. She lives in Los Angeles, CA. Visit her on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Diana Sea and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

untitled

Well, are you?

(I was drawing
made-up flowers
on a coffee-stained
napkin as you
casually repeated
something that
matters to you)

Oh me? Oh no,
I’m new-fashioned,
I don’t fall in—
I don’t fall at all.
I’ve got an
unsteady stream
of insignificant others
who care too much
or not enough.


Dianne Alvine
dianealvine@comcast.net

Bio (auto)

I am a retired social worker from Barnegat, New Jersey who has worked with developmentally / emotionally challenged adults. I have been writing poetry since I was a child. I recently had several of my poems published in a local magazine, and have been published in some anthologies. I love, love, love reading and writing poetry. I have recently ‘rescued’ a little dog from a local shelter. She joins another ‘rescue’ ( a cat named Poe), and my bischon ZuZu.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Dianne Alvine and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Eternity

The day you returned to me
the sky seemed as blue
as the day you left,
you said you had to go away
to save yourself from drowning,
and I waited,
like a sailor’s wife,
whispering your name
like a mantra,
as one long string
of endless moments
slipped into the next,
each one no more or less
different than the other,
except for your
absence.


October 22-28, 2012: Victoria Hogan and D.M. Aderibigbe

Victoria Hogan and D.M. Aderibigbe


BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
 click here for submission guidelines.


Victoria Hogan
vikkyhogan@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Victoria Hogan, 21, currently resides in Los Angeles. She returns to California after spending two years in New York, where she studied acting by day and worked in a Jazz bar by night, and London, England where she studied Shakespeare. Victoria spends much of her time traveling, acting, and scribbling on notepads. Lots of scribbling on notepads. Visit Victoria on the web here: www.victoria-hogan.com

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Jesse Bradley and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

untitled

I had a dream last night
That he asked me to stay longer
So I did.

He wrote me a letter
Titled it:
Victoria Lynn Hogan
And said some nice things.

We sat on the couch
And didn’t lie.
It felt good.

His hands were rough
I didn’t mind
I climbed on top of him.

The next day
He called me
And called me
I wondered why.

When I woke up
I realized that
I’m incapable of surprises.


untitled

Or how about
Those I’ve hurt.
Intricate knots, obstructions made
And un made
Instantly drawn back to
The retention of my actions
The damage I constructed
So much so that
Even later
I cannot return to you
Disassembled
Without losing my dignity.

I apologize
If I am dust


D.M. Aderibigbe
dammyg1989@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

D.M. Aderibigbe is a 23-year old writer from , an undergraduate student of History and Strategic Studies of the University of Lagos. He writes poetry, fiction, non-fiction, plays and lyrics. His work has been published or forthcoming in the UK, Canada, Australia, Nepal, India, South Africa and the United States by, Vox Poetica, Pressboard press, UP Literature, HUSMW Press, The New Black Magazine, Misfits’ Miscellany, Thickjam, Ditch Poetry, Bluepepper,The Applicant, Rusty Nail, Jellyfish Whispers, Wordriot, Pyrokinection, Red River Review, Carcinogenic Poetry, Deadbeats, Napalm and Novocain and Kritya. His poems have been included in the anthology ON THE WORDS OF LOVE by the Canadian group, Poets with Voices Strong. His debut book of fiction, Sisyphean, will be published in America, soon. He lives and schools in Lagos.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by D.M. Aderibigbe and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Final Turn

I become a human before anyone does that morning,
I do house chores, while the rest are spirits.

I finish, before my aunt turns human, then her husband, then
The driver, then mum.
I hide my problems under the lenses of my
Fashionable sunglasses, like the body is worn in clothes,
Ready to return to the fake glitz of my school.

I greet my aunt and her husband, leave mum, thinking
She’s still a spirit.
"Son, don’t you want to greet me?" Mum’s infirm voice filters into me, like the cigarette’s smokes.
"I didn’t know you were you awake." I reply.

I rub her scaly face with hope and love,
turn my back to mum for the meantime, till the end of time.


October 15-21: Katherine Czerwinski, Lisette Alonso and Maggie Westland

This week presenting the winners of the
2012 (15th annual) Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest:

Katherine Czerwinski, Lisette Alonso and Maggie Westland


BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
 click here for submission guidelines.


Katherine Czerwinski
que_si_@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Katherine Czerwinski won first place in the 2012 Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest. Originally from Chicago, she has lived in Los Angeles for eight years. She completed her first chapbook this summer, Bailarines and Burning Towers, and is at work on her second, Mermaids and Mountain Lions. She has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Illinois in Urbana and a master’s degree in Education from the University of Illinois in Chicago. She is currently applying to MFA programs. Her poetry evokes the rhythm of music and the duality of human nature.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Katherine Czerwinski and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Dangle Mountain

Our arrival in the night was greeted by
bats — their ragged paths,
our crooked lives,
pitched on a slope,
sliding down,
falling off the table,
slanting.

Sleeping outside I’m like cold cuts,
trapped in a canvas tabernacle,
nylon sack throttled,
rocks in my ribs,
ambushed and scruffy.
I awake slipping:
I don’t belong here on an incline,
trying to hang on,
vigilant as prey,
sloping.

I want to wing with the bats — absconding
from caves, escorted
by echoes, wandering
blind on the wind’s whimsy, jagging
through the ultrasonic night.

But in the morning the sun blazes like propane,
and all is awash in glintiness,
and the wandering becomes
weighty, and the wind
heavy, and we’re staked down good into this
tilted ground,
like the tents that didn’t blow away in the night, we’re left leaning.


Lisette Alonso
mrsbear@bellsouth.net

Bio (auto)

Lisette Alonso won second place in the 2012 Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest. She lives in Hialeah, Florida and is a stay-at-home mother of three and a native South Floridian. She tries to find time to write between loads of laundry and her children’s pleas for attention.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Lisette Alonso and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Ways Your Mother Stoned You

First with a handful of pebbles
tossed at the shoreline
in full sun, warm water
lapping your bare toes,
both of you laughing,
smelling of aloe,
swimsuits reflecting noon sky.
Then later with coral,
a giant hunk of jagged rock,
coarse edges once buried,
girth partially concealed.
You wonder how she can lift
something so big to hurl it,
this tiny woman with sagging teeth.
But you see something
in the tight set of her jaw,
in the way her eyes have darkened
from the color of the sea
to the color of silt.
This woman could launch
an entire mountain
from her damp curved palm
and you, blinking cow that you are,
wouldn’t know enough
to move aside.


Maggie Westland
calkypo@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Maggie Westland won third place in the 2012 Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest. Shegrew up in Kentucky where she graduated from the University of Louisville with a B.A. in English and Creative Writing, and an M.D. and daughter, Natasha, from the University of Kentucky. Son Max arrived on the cusp of a Pensacola tornado.Maggie reads the OED for fun, cooks, hikes, swims, travels, and photographs wildflowers and sunsets. Her poetry has appeared in The Guardian Unlimited, Never Bury Poetry, Daybreak, The Forge, Grinnell Review, New South Revue, North Carolina Award Winning Poems, and Mademoiselle. The muse has followed her from Florida to Michigan, North Carolina to Texas, and London, England. A three time Californian, she now resides in Thousand Oaks with her husband Richard. She is a member of the Razor Babes poetry collective.Visit her on the web here: http://www.maggiewestland.com/

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Maggie Westland and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Aroma of Magenta

Stir fry this sunset
in hot sweet oil.
Turn quickly
before it sinks.

Steep red onion skins
to blood.
Now, dip one fresh
boiled egg
until ardor turns
in your hand.

Aroma of magenta
could be plum
curried tandoori
vintage Syrah
in cool
bright glass

me, flushed
from touch.

 


October 8-14, 2012: William Wright Harris and Frances Macaulay Forde

William Wright Harris and Frances Macaulay Forde


BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
 click here for submission guidelines.


William Wright Harris
wwhpoet@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

I wake up for poetry. My poetry has appeared in twelve countries in such publications as The Cannon’s Mouth, Poetry Salzburg Review, Ascent Aspirations, generations and Write On!!! A graduate from the University of Tennessee- Knoxville, I have studied poetry in workshop settings. As a hobby, I collect places I have been published. In my work I juxtapose concrete images with abstract notions, often write in structures such as non-rhyming couplets and triadic verse, stress economy, and utilize such literary conceits as the ekphrastik poem, parallel structure, and the incorporation of mythology within my work.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Jesse Bradley and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

on her deathbed

madame monet
rests in lines of linens
& hues of blues
breathing the scent of
her life from
her children &
her marriage bed
in the sunrise
of that final day &
her husband
frantically painting
her even then

camille sur son lit de mort


ode to shusaku arakawa

untitled 1969

i have decided to leave this canvas completely blank


with straw hat

van gogh stares
out from his canvas
red beard caressed
by the wind of one
of his last breaths
eyes stabbing with
their somber dignity
posing with one of
his few possessions
before putting a
bullet in his stomach


Frances Macaulay Forde
frances@francesmacaulayforde.com

Bio (auto)

Frances Macaulay Forde writes for page, stage and screen and lives in Perth, on the Sunset Coast of Western Australia. She’s been published on the page, stage and in film and awarded in Australia, Canada and the United States. These three poems are taken from her latest chapbook ‘Love’ – details on her website http://francesmacaulayforde.com

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Frances Macaulay Forde and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Before you…

… I slept in a bed
without creases
only pulled up
the sheet to straighten
smooth – no effort at all
ready for the next dreamtime
now I love my wrinkles…


The Boffin

Bookshops are like lovers.
They numb in black & white
then seduce you with colour,
titillate & tempt your soul
until you finally let go,
find the courage to close

the book – pages which leave
you gasping… The breath of air
on your face feels like a slap.


October 1-7, 2012: Boghos L. Artinian and Stephen Sleboda

Boghos L. Artinian and Stephen Sleboda


BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
 click here for submission guidelines.


Boghos L. Artinian
artinian@inco.com.lb

Bio (auto)

The author, who is a 70 year physician living and working in Beirut since 1975, read an article written by classmate about his recent scaling of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Jesse Bradley and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Classmates at 70

Oh no. Not the Kilimanjaro!
You have always beaten me—and now
even to such visible heights.
I have spinal stenosis,
and I wouldn’t trust my heart
at such high altitudes.
I have done my mountain climbing
in my adolescence – just 7000 feet.
No, I do not envy you.
You might as well go into orbit
and write about it.
I will just keep writing poetry!


Stephen Sleboda
slebodes@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Stephen Sleboda lives in a small cabin off NineMilePond in Wilbraham, Ma. He sings, plays recorder & watches a garden.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Stephen Sleboda and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Pigeons Eyes

Deep down where you know the reflection from past atrocities in the pigeons eyes

Where water is yellow, sand is blue, and they mean it when they say they care about you

Deep down in trenchcoat village with raspy-voice Van, detective Dan and the purple sinister-plan-Man, by the light of the match near the throw-away-baby can, it’s there tears fall in early hours before crows and sparrows borrow each others feathers, it’s there deep down in the fabric of a courtroom appearance shawl, or near the wall where she had her say, Madonna and all.

Deep down the language continues to snag on sticks under sidewalks in waterways where rats & bones, pebbles & rags, sand & sorrow, unfurl their freedoms for no one to see


September 24-30, 2012: Jesse Bradley and Ryan Ramon Weaver

J. Bradley and Ryan Ramon Weaver


BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
 click here for submission guidelines.


J. Bradley
senryujournalist@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

J. Bradley is the Web Editor of Monkeybicycle and the Falconer of Fiction at NAP. Offline, he lives in Orlando, FL. Online, he lives at http://iheartfailure.net.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Jesse Bradley and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Our Skin Is Our Jewelry

I accidentally baptized myself
with Evan Williams and Coke,
sought contrition against
the small of your back.

I wielded apologies like hatchets,
cut hand hold in your clothes
to climb, grip when the gust
of your shoulder shrug rushed past.

Around you, I go from Steve to Stefan,
your arms a science barely explained.


Lee Road

The ice cubes ran from The Everglades
sweating from the mop.

Our flask prepared us against
the questionable New York zip code
of our pizza slices.

In fifty years, our server could be
the love interest from The Notebook.


What I Did That Evening

With whiskey as a periscope,
I can see your house from here.

My pupils flinch at your open
bathroom window. I wait, hope
Alfred Hitchcock doesn’t appear
in this scene.

I’ll wear an oversized suit as power armor,
build a second story on your house,
play an acoustic Paper Jamz guitar
outside your new bedroom; the bed
isn’t on fire until we say so.


Ryan Ramon Weaver
senryujournalist@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Ryan Ramon Weaver is from Laguna Niguel, California. He has been writing in a conscious, progressive manner for the past 6 years. He draws and paints as well and has been for over 8 years now. Ryan’s main focus with anything is understanding, and it shows for the most part in his artwork and writings. He tries to attempt to grasp an understanding of our social condition, whether it be the good, bad or ugly and convey it as honestly as he can, though at certain points one must eventually choose a side.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Ryan Ramon Weaver and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

A Goodbye

History has moments when
the present negates
the allotted heap of time.
Those moments are city
streets
looking lovely from the night
just as the Sun begins his stretch
to the subtle sound of
work,
stirring up the dawn.
The concrete, glass, this place.
I haven’t slept yet and either has
this city,
she’s still in her towel, standing,
smiling
in the kitchen drinking her water
holding the mug with both hands.
This street has it all,
but I’m still in that kitchen somehow,
and I’m still smiling.


September 17-23, 2012: T.L. Stokes and Agholor Leonard Obiaderi

week of September 10-16, 2012

T.L. Stokes and Agholor Leonard Obiaderi

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here.for submission guidelines


T.L. Stokes
floodwaterphotography@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

T.L. Stokes grew up on a small fox-shaped island in the Puget Sound. After school she migrated to the Snoqualmie Valley in Washington state and ever since has lived up and down the Snoqualmie River in various small towns. Now she’s usually on a large farm a short ways from Fall City, a town with one street, one gun shop, one market, and two gas stations. Previoiusly Stokes has appeared in Ancient Wind Press, Comrades Press, Little Brown Poetry, Ludlow Press, The Gin Bender Review, Pierian Springs, The 2River View, Stirring – A Literary Magazine, Circle Magazine, Words on Walls, Snow Monkey by Ravena Press, Compassionately Stoneground Books, and others.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by T.L. Stokes and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Dr. James Orbinski

A boy of man, skinny and definitive, stands talking with some people. He could be
your son. If you watch his eyes they become larger, and you can fall into
the things he’s seen. I watched the stories come alive and somehow he made
friends with the nightmares and when he opens his mouth, all the victims
of genocide have a voice. The woman lay bleeding to death from places where
her breasts used to be, her ears were gone, a man’s seed splashed on her thighs.
Stripes from the machete were like a broken sun across her face. The doctor,
began to stitch up what he could and pulled a little too tightly on her skin, and
she reached out gently touching his arm. He looked at her and saw she
was a woman, her wounds, and he turns his face slightly to the right
as the camera keeps shooting, his eyes go there, that far off look,
into the innocence of a memory that continues to burn him.



Agholor Leonard Obiaderi
obiaderi@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Agholor Leonard Obiaderi holds a Bachelor’s degree in the English Language.He teaches in a secondary school in Delta State, Nigeria but also finds time for his hobbies which include writing poetry and reading crime novels. His poems have been published in UptheStairCase Quarterly; Barnwood International Magazine; and Shortstory Library.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Agholor Leonard Obiaderi and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Slipping Into Night

Your forehead is sculptured
into ridges, eyebrows
converge in wings
like a bird. Your face

pictures you trying hard to
recall how your moon transformed
into eight phases of fog.

Monday;
you punched my ribs. I only
came to collect the garbage.
Nowadays, you forget even
your own instructions.

Tuesday;
the cleaning woman departs,
a washrag of tears. She is
your fifth in a year. I cannot
rescue you from these darkened
craters
when your eclipse descends.

Wednesday;
your neighbours explain to
the cops why we both have
round foreheads and high cheek-bones.
I am your name you
no longer remember.

Thursday;
dusk blossoms into
its phase of blood again. You
recall my face briefly then
mirrors veil your eyes.

Friday;
grows a forked tongue. I am
torn between finding a refuge
for you and leaving
you in the grey
place
where you no longer remember
my name.

 


 

September 10-16, 2012: Craig Kurtz and Sy Roth

week of September 10-16, 2012

Craig Kurtz and Sy Roth

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here.for submission guidelines


Craig Kurtz

Bio (auto)

Craig Kurtz, age 53, Asperger’s, lives at Twin Oaks Intentional Community (Louisa, VA.). Recorded The Philosophic Collage EP in 1981, now in reissue. Staff writer 10 years for Perfect Sound Forever. Other publications include Monthly Review, Scram, Popmatters and Mad Swirl.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Craig Kurtz and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Remember those crazy

days. High metabolism days.
Soldering nonsense into white
noise, up all night, making
rorschach clusters. Caffeinated
like crazy.

Remember those vertigo days.
Package of plasma dubbed onto
stereopticon cathexis. Jungian.
Bohemian. Color xeroxed
like crazy.

Remember those synthesized
days. 1950’s typewriter
flanging blackouts into pousse
cafés. Tickertaping
like crazy.

Remember those poetry astronaut
days. Cassettes w/ imbricated
blueprints twisted into super 8
octaves. Silk screening the id
like crazy.

Remember braille cootie-
catcher days. Orgone
accumulators & language
games still chording
like crazy.



Sy Roth
sydad@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Sy Roth (Brookhaven Township, Long Island, New York) is a retired school administrator and has finally found the sounds of silence and the time to think whole thoughts. This has led him to find words and the ability to shape them. He has published in Visceral Uterus, Amulet, BlogNostics, Every Day Poets, Barefoot Review, Haggard and Halloo, Misfits Miscellany and The Eloquent Atheist. Recently, he won a poetry contest sponsored by Newsday.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Sy Roth and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Sea Urchin’s Abode

Chaz removes the dishes and objet d’art wrapped in old newsprint
tosses the boxes aside like spent tubes of toothpaste
forming a pyramid in the middle of his living room.
Later he stacks them neatly
untenanted teenagers smoking joints in an alleyway.

They rest where he discarded them,
in a niche, on the sidewalk, beside the worn steps of his Brownstone
soldiers waiting to be deployed, disposed or recycled.
Neatly stacked bundles wrapped in white string
abandoned monument of those who reside between solid walls,
those who live warmly above,
in their orderly rooms among their cherished objects.

And he shuffles by, down below,
sea urchin pushing his shopping cart
laden with crammed plastic bags, his city catchalls.
He searches the sidewalks and alleyways—
droll, malodorous man–
sees in it a city
in the cardboard, an ephemeral home
for his hodge-podge of collectibles.


 

September 3-9, 2012: Daniel Dewey and Ross Leese

week of September 3-9, 2012

Daniel Dewey and Ross Leese

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here.for submission guidelines


Daniel Dewey
visionsteen@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

My name is Daniel and I have been writing poetry ever since I could hold a pen. I live on the northeastern edge of Pasadena and love to play the guitar, take long walks on the beach…wait, wrong submission. I am a father, teacher, friend, and publishing my poetry is long overdue. You know.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Daniel Dewey and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Grateful Alive

The smell of old books
Ten year old provolone
At room temperature from the
Roman deli
A winning trifecta
A cold beer after work
Old movie houses
Butter and salt on freshly popped popcorn
Breaking off the edges of a glazed old fashion doughnut
Chopin’s Nocturnes
New guitar strings
A 220 yard drive straight down the fairway
“Talking about it” with my son
The Redwood Forest
Campfires at the beach
Gogol Bordello
Paco Pena
Coffee grinders and paper shredders
Lakers in HD
A beautiful stranger
Thai peanut sauce
Crisp mornings after it rains
Jumping on a pile of leaves
Rolling down a grassy hill
The World’s Most Interesting Man can bite me!



Ross Leese
rossleese@live.co.uk

Bio (auto)

Ross Leese is 32 years too old and comes from Doncaster in the cold north of England.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Ross Leese and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

and all the tablets the doctors
the good advice count for nothing

sometimes I become
aware

that the best years
of my
life

are probably
behind
me–

and it’s these type of
realizations
alone

that cause you
to lie
awake
in
bed

with the cold sweat
on your
brow

and your
heart
beating faster

than
trains.


 

August 27 – September 2, 2012: Paul Lobo Portugés and Michael Lee Johnson

week of August 27 – September 2, 2012

Paul Lobo Portugés and Michael Lee Johnson

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here.for submission guidelines


Paul Lobo Portugés
pportuges@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Paul Lobo Portugés–reared in Merkel, West Texas, until saved by UCLA, the American Film Institute, and UC Berkeley. Teaches creative writing at UCSB. Taught creative writing at UC Berkeley, USC, SBCC, and the University of Provence. Proud father of two sons. Books include The Visionary Poetics of Allen Ginsberg, Saving Grace, Hands Across the Earth, The Flower Vendor, Paper Song, Aztec Birth, The Body Electric Journal, The Silent Spring of Rachel Carson, and Mao (forthcoming, Word Palace Press). Poems are scattered in small magazines across the Americas, Europe, and Asia . Wrote a few films including Jack and Marilyn. Behind the Veil, Shakespeare’s Last Bed, Fire From the Mountain, et al. Poetry videos include To My Beloved, Kiss, The Lonely Wind, Lovers, Of Her I Sing, Fathermine, Stones from Heaven, The Killing Fields of Darfur (forthcoming). Received awards from the National Endowment, the Ford Foundation, the American Film Institute, The Rockefeller/Bellagio Foundation, and the Fulbright Commission, et al.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Paul Lobo Portugés and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Agent Orange

Before the war the forest was our treasure
What we loved the most
Birds of all colors funny monkeys
We swam in the cool waters
Drank from the pure springs
Our forest held back the rains as we listened
Children sang in the trees
After the poison after the war the forest is dead
It gives us nothing
But mournful silence and nights of emptiness

In my soul I do not feel happy
When I spent my days digging ditches
To feed my family I didn’t… didn’t know
The earth was death
And then my 2nd daughter died
She was barely seven
Now my only son has no bone marrow
His head is misshapen his eyes too large
On New Years we took his picture
For the family altar to remember him
When he too will be gone
Not very long now the American doctor says

When I Am With You

When I rub your hair you become a waterfall
When I stroke your forehead you are a swan
When I touch your eyes your are a light tower
When I kiss your mouth you are bread from the oven
When I massage your neck you are a bird
When I embrace you you become tears
When I trace yr back you become a deer
When I fondle your breasts you are a ripple
When I lick your nipples you become a live wire
When I stroke your ass your are a lioness
When I brush your thighs you are a snake
When I grab your feet you become a cloud
When I hold your pubis you become a violet
When I finger your clitoris you become a clitoris
When I am inside you you are the earth in spring
When you come I am with you



Michael Lee Johnson
promomanusa@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Michael Lee Johnson is a poet, freelance writer and small business owner of custom imprinted promotional products and apparel: www.promoman.us, from Itasca, Illinois. He is heavily influenced by: Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Irving Layton, Herman Hesse, Leonard Cohen, and Allen Ginsberg. His new poetry chapbook with pictures, titled From Which Place the Morning Rises, and his new photo version of The Lost American: from Exile to Freedom are available here. The original version of The Lost American: from Exile to Freedom, can be found here. New Chapbook: Challenge of Night and Day, and Chicago Poems. Michael has been published in over 25 countries. He is also editor/publisher of six poetry sites, all open for submission, which can be found at his Web site: http://poetryman.mysite.com.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Michael Lee Johnson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Apparently, David

There are categories of hell here.
Apparently
David died of
chronic liver disease
February 28, 2012.

Fact, I was a newspaper reporter.
I am a chronic drunk.

David’s drinking became his sin.
Sin is the crack of the Devil’s butt.
It tossed a good man into hell.
Dandelions faded with him when
the burning began.

His widow was a chronic bitch.
Locals called her “Nightmare Boogie.”

His wife of 14 years
celebrated his passing;
she pissed on his pictures.

She was simple a mindless fragment.

Her life was understated, full of fragments.

She got drunk on the night David died.
She thought it was butterscotch wine.
Confused, Cherry Lee, kept it simple;
she recognized the mix up,
it was butterscotch schnapps.

Either way, Cherry Lee helped
evaporate David’s heart.

There were no memorial services.

David’s ashes are still in a fruit box;
mounted on the top of her toilet bowl.

No urn, present or past tense.
No obituary, too late.

Only a label, a tag on the cinerary stating:
“this is David’s discount Funeral Home.”

There are no survivors here.

*Special note. This poem evolved from an email dialogue
with Kim Fregia about David, her friend, before his untimely
death. I’ve tried but haven’t been able to touch base with
her since. Her original poem with my editing can be found
at Itasca Illinois: Poetry & Willow Tree Dreams.

 


 

August 20-26, 2012: Clint Hirschfield and Emily Strauss

week of August 20-26, 2012

Clint Hirschfield and Emily Strauss

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here.for submission guidelines


Clint Hirschfield
ranger4man@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

A man stands alone exposing his naked feelings for all the world to see, verbal freedoms show the nakedness, they are not dreams. Stripping down are words of letting it all go; that is who I am, writing frees my mind and soul. Clint Hirschfield lives in Madison, Wisconsin and is the author of THE CLOSET and the forthcoming collection POETIC ILLUSIONS.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Clint Hirschfield and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Walking Tall

I took her by the hand.
We ended up walking.
But me being so bold…
I turned and kissed her twice.

 



Emily Strauss
emily_strauss@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

I am a retired English teacher and have written my whole life. I am living in the heart of Silicon Valley, Sunnyvale California, and though I am here I am not OF here. This place is an alien world of fast moving immigrants and grubbing others. I have over two dozen pieces published online here and there, with some appearing in the near future.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Emily Strauss and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Avocados on the Coast

Smooth green hardness
falling from squat trees
in the thick fog split open
full of oily sea-salted
flesh like sunbathers
lying on the sand after
a tropical storm.
Taste them with lemon,
taste me with them.

 


 

August 13-19: RC deWinter and Sy Roth

week of August 13-19, 2012

RC deWinter and Sy Roth

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here.for submission guidelines


RC deWinter
rcdewinter@comcast.net

Bio (auto)

RC deWinter is a writer, photographer, digital artist and singer-songwriter living and working in Middletown, Connecticut. Her poetry has been published in “Uno, A Poetry Anthology,” “Pink Panther Magazine,” “The Sun”, “Poems Niederngasse,” “The Gall,” “The 2River View” and many other print and online publications.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by RC deWinter and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


that online thing

the small screen glows bluely
in the darkened room.
my eyes unfocus sometimes;
i spend many hours of every day
staring at words and punctuation,
staring at pixels, light and color,
proportion and alignment,
focusing on what i call
cunt-hair corrections,
and even then i miss a few.

even with all that punishment
to the eyes,
when the work is done and i can relax
i grab the phone and boot
the only world of friends i know.
we talk, we laugh,
we bitch about life and love –
or in some cases, the lack of it.
there’s bitter griping
about our country, the world and our place in it.

some don’t understand
this dedication to a universe unreal,
but if you live a life like mine
you surely do.
it’s a reaching out
for light and warmth and
the sound of another human voice,
even if that voice is reduced to
billions of dots in black
on that bluegray screen.

some do it because they’re bored,
some do it because what’s sitting at home
with them is unfaceable,
some do it because they’re afraid
to touch another in any other way.
but we all do it –
hour after hour, day after day,
night after night –
because someplace deep in our souls
we don’t want to be alone.

 



Sy Roth
sydad@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Sy Roth is a retired school administrator and has finally found the sounds of silence and the time to think whole thoughts. This has led him to find words and the ability to shape them. He has published in Visceral Uterus, Amulet, BlogNostics, Every Day Poets, Barefoot Review, Haggard and Halloo, Misfits Miscellany, Mad Swirl, Larks Fiction Magazine, Danse Macabre, Bitchin’ Kitch, Bong is Bard, Humber Pie and The Eloquent Atheist.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Sy Roth and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Body Electric

Historical reality lies submerged
where ancestors hid secret cracks in the dam,
leaky fissures on the verge of collapse,
bedbugs playing hide and seek between the sheets.
 
An electronic spelunker clicked a Bix Beiderbeck tune,
snapping images from the darkness beneath the skin
her wand swirling in figure eights and axels and lutzes
seeking  the pulsing rhythms beneath.
 
She is Intent on finding mini-avenues into
an infernal jungle of road bumps.
Swooshing seashell sounds clamor to the surface,
a stereo of ageless oceans fomenting their plan,
axis powers conspiring to find wormholes.
 
Breathless air intake–
Gray images of silence warp and woof through the brain
lurking in places that will have an end
when the electric song goes quiet.


August 6-12, 2012: Patrick Theron Erickson and Mel C. Thompson

week of August 6-12, 2012

Patrick Theron Erickson and Mel C. Thompson

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here.for submission guidelines


Patrick Theron Erickson
pastor@peacelutherangarland.org

Bio (auto)

With this submission Patrick’s avocation goes without saying. As for vocation, he is a parish pastor, a shepherd of sheep, a small flock with no sheep dog and no hang-dog expression. Or he is the sheep dog, a small dog, with the hang-dog expression. Secretariat was his mentor, though he has never been an over-achiever and has never gained on the competition. He resonates to a friend’s definition of change: change coming at us a lot faster because you can punch a whole lot more, a whole lot faster down digital broadband “glass” fiber than an old copper co-axial landline cable.

P.S. Of late Patrick’s work has appeared in Assisi; Calliope Poets; A Clean, Well-Lighted Place. Patrick makes his home in Garland, Texas, with his wife Judy, her brother Steve, and an odd assortment of cats.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Patrick Theron Erickson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Ask her about the morning after
and she will blush deeply

the way a prune blushes

even a dried prune

But who knows this
except the one who is fond of prunes

dry prunes in particular
dry and pitted?

Ask about the morning yourself
and perhaps you too will blush deeply

like a prune
pitted of course

a dried prune
or a dried fig
from a dry tree

and you a eunuch

a dry tree yourself.

 



Mel C. Thompson
zinelife@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Mel C. Thompson has been anthologized in Poetry Salzburg Review, (University of Austria at Salzburg), the Beatitude Golden Anniversary Issue (1959-2009), The Las Positas College Anthology and Poets From Hell (New American Underground Poetry). In the 90s the author started Mel Thompson Publishing under the labels of Cyborg Productions, Blue Beetle Press and Citi-Voice Magazine, where he published such literary figures as Michael McClure, Alan Kaufman and Bruce Isaacson. He is semi-retired from active publishing, although he still publishes other authors from time to time. Also in the 90s his poetry was published in such magazines as The Chiron Review, The Bay Area Guardian, Wordwrights and the The Haight Ashbury Literary Review. In recent years he has been published in The World Poets Journal, (China), The California Quarterly, and several times in Over The Transom, (San Francisco). In June of 2011 he had two broadsides published by 48th Street Press, which was then operating out of Caracas Venezuela. He has been written about or interviewed by media outlets ranging from USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, Canadian Public Broadcasting and Geo (France). He has recently published an Amazon book called “Nothing Holy – Tales of Zen Buddhist Scoundrels.”

Visit Mel on the web here: http://www.melcthompson.com/

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Mel C. Thompson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

A Religious Poem

And is not your desire
for sexual union really
the desire for unspeakable
animal union with God Itself?

And is not your search
for the perfect lover really
the search for the unknowable
terrible love of life which
is no one but Space and Matter?

And does not that awesome,
uncompromising love cause you
to discard every lover and
wreak destruction on every affair
until all others are gone
but She who alone and only
remains your partner in death?

And is not your quest
for the hardest, the longest,
the most deeply plunging orgasm
really the search for the Source
of orgasm, the Source of bliss
and weeping and all manner
of glorious, selfless submission?

And are not your nights of
alcohol-drenched, pungent, mindless
fucking and sucking on bended knees
with tears and pleas to be spanked
really nights you’d feign spend with
The Creator of hard cocks, the
Creator of swollen vaginas, since
the beginning of wet pussy time
and eternal almighty cum squirting?

And would you not now,
but for proud fear of emasculation
and precious, bitchy vanity,
turn your ink-blot life over
to that creatureless, amorphous Zero?

I think you would. I would
too, if only I could stop running
from: the ominous desert sun and
the black forest with no one in it
and the boat which sails empty
upon the freezing rings of Neptune.

Yes, I would surrender to
the Sex Monster with no pubic hair,
the one who actually does
happily go and fuck Himself,
if only I had a white flag to wave
to all His armies of androgynous angels,
if only I had a white flag to wave
to the seed of war in my own testicles,
if only I could remember
the color white.


 

July 30 – August 5, 2012: David Romanda and George Moore

week of July 30 – August 5, 2012

David Romanda and George Moore

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here.for submission guidelines


David Romanda
david.romanda@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

David Romanda lives in Kawasaki City, Japan. His poetry is forthcoming in Gargoyle Magazine, The New York Quarterly and PANK. Visit him on the web here: http://www.nyqpoets.net/poet/davidromanda

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by David Romanda and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


slip off your name

but leave
the high-cut dress on

leave
the lavender orchid

at your hip
for a little longer


Originally appeared in FreeFall Magazine

 



George Moore
George.Moore@colorado.edu

Bio (auto)

George Moore was recently married to Canadian poet Tammy Armstrong. He lives in Colorado outside Lyons, which is outside Boulder. He has a collection coming out next spring with Salmon Press, called Children’s Drawings of the Universe, and has been publishing online and internationally in places including Queen’s Quarterly, Blast, Semaphore and Dublin Quarterly. He has also been twice nominated for Pushcart Prizes, as well as the Best of the Web and Best of the Net awards, and was a finalist for The Rhysling Poetry Prize, and the Wolfson Poetry Prize.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by George Moore and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Gardening

I am here among cauliflowers
wild in this uberous garden;
someone else¹s, some years ago,
neglected a decade,

let go to seed for weed
mingling cauliflowers,
fighting for space
of sapling crowded yard¹s edge

in last tenant¹s order. I¹m here,
white brains blossomed,
immutable like stones
in green dandelion stems,

solid as eyes.
I pluck them up by nerve ends,
they have struggled so hard
to be plucked up,

to be eaten and unalienable,
delicious, as if being itself were.
Crazy to think them portals
in a world wholly past and empty,

a place where people ate,
grew, furrowed; shallow
graves of gardens,
reckless with vine.

Here¹s to the cauliflower, then,
from the first dimension,
back for the plucking, a head-first
birth, a earthy, imperishable brain.


 

July 23-29, 2012: Holly Day and Robert Wynne

week of July 23-29, 2012

Holly Day and Robert Wynne

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here.for submission guidelines


Holly Day
lalena@bitstream.net

Bio (auto)

Holly Day is a housewife and mother of two living in Minneapolis, Minnesota who teaches needlepoint classes in the Minneapolis school district. Her poetry has recently appeared in Hawai’i Pacific Review, The Oxford American, and Slipstream. Her book publications include The Book Of, A Bright Patch of Sunlight, Music Composition for Dummies, Guitar-All-in-One for Dummies, and Music Theory for Dummies, which has recently been translated into French, Dutch, Spanish, Russian, and Portuguese.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Holly Day and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


60 Years

she pushes him dutifully
up and down the aisles of the supermarket
the wheels of his wheelchair
screaming

“he beats me, you know”
she whispers
confidentially



Robert Wynne
Robert.Wynne@SBCGlobal.net

Bio (auto)

Robert Wynne earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. He is the author of 6 chapbooks, and 3 full-length books of poetry. His first full-length collection, “Remembering How to Sleep,” was the recipient of the Poetry Society of Texas’ 2006 Eakin Book Award. His second full-length collection, “Museum of Parallel Art,” was published in February 2008 by Tebot Bach Press. Tebot Bach published his third collection, “Self-Portrait as Odysseus” in 2011. He has won numerous prizes, and his poetry has appeared in magazines and anthologies throughout North America. He lives in Burleson, TX with his wife, daughter and 4 rambunctious dogs, and his online home is www.rwynne.com.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Robert Wynne and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Missionary Position Available

Qualified applicant sought for full-time position. Must be comfortable prone, and able to handle relations with a variety of different cultures. Leg strength, sharp nails and inviting demeanor are plusses, but flexibility not required. Will report directly to top man. Key responsibilities include managing reception, convincing candidates they’ve seen God, and encouraging future participation. May need to exhibit more enthusiasm than is appropriate, up to and including speaking in tongues. Language can’t be trusted anyway, which is why there will be no talking during the interview.

Alexander Calder’s Craft Hour

Thanks for joining us today!
If you’ll gather your materials

we’ll get started. Be sure to select
a strong but flexible metal

as the frame for your mobile.
For the decorations, you’ll want

something light enough
to suspend disbelief, but

heavy enough to matter:
more substantial than

potato chips, and easier to use
than ashes. Consider perhaps

family photos, ink pens,
a watch with a dead battery

or your first book of poems.
Next, you will begin

punching holes in each item
and threading the metal

through them. Balance is key
so you’ll want to pay attention

to how a matchbook can be
overwhelmed by the 8-ball

opposite it. A bottle opener
works well across from

an empty bottle, and a penny
weighs about the same

as a paperclip which has been
coated in blue or green plastic.

Red paperclips are heavier.
When you bring yourself

to something you are unwilling
or unable to suspend, you’re done.

Hang the results in a doorway
like mistletoe, and sing

quietly to yourself every time
you pass under it. Don’t worry

if it doesn’t hum along;
it may be tired from carrying

so much meaning.


 

July 16-22, 2012: Amber Decker, Brenda Levy Tate and Buxton Wells

week of July 16-22, 2012

Amber Decker, Brenda Levy Tate and Buxton Wells

(the judges of the 2012 Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest)

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here.for submission guidelines


Amber Decker
foxfire0002@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Born in 1982, Amber Decker has been many things besides a poet– a sales girl, a rodeo princess, a security guard, and a warehouse worker to name just a few. These days, Amber lives in West Virginia and spends her free time reading fantasy novels, playing video games, traveling and attending college. She does the “poet thing” semi-regularly on her blog: http://roughverse.wordpress.com, and she’s beyond excited to have the opportunity to help judge this year’s Poetry Super Highway poetry contest.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Amber Decker and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Trick Or Treat

there is a prayer scrawled on rice paper
in the bottom of a bowl that sits
on the lighted porch of a house
whose residents take themselves and the devil
too seriously

we have no use for their prayers
we have come in robes and bed sheets
and plastic masks with hungry mouths
and a demonic lust for jawbreakers

although I may have seen the Virgin Mary
or Jesus in the blood of the eggs
we sacrificed on the altar
of their front door

(originally appeared in decomP Magazine, October 2007)


At 7pm

you boarded a plane to Las Vegas,
bound for a supporting role in a wedding
you did not believe had anything to do with love
or with the blessings of any sort of god.
Earlier, we’d made love on an old mattress
on the floor of your best friend’s apartment,
the hard shell of your suitcase banging
into my knee, your mouth wet
with the harsh scrape of my name.
There was little romance in it,
only the frenzy unleashed
in the face of the not-knowing,
the possibility of unhappy endings, cutthroat desire.
I do not love you. Or, rather, I love you
as I would love a deck of cards
while waiting for a train or a bus. You are
something to keep my mind and hands busy.
You are safe, predictable,
blond and vanilla as a Playboy centerfold.
Our goodbyes fly across a crowded room
like small white birds.
At the ticket counter,
you kissed me with lips smooth as Carey Grant.
In the car, the radio played songs to name
every sort of love that does not bloom
in my heart for you, and the long white lines of the road,
like dark-haired college boys
with bodies pale as ghosts,
took me home to bed.



Brenda Levy Tate
faranya@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Brenda Levy Tate lives in southwestern Nova Scotia on the banks of the Tusket River, with three cats and a dog – all adopted from shelters. Every morning she walks her camera through her gardens to the shore, hoping to capture both the familiar and the unexpected – an eagle drowning a loon, a fern spangled with dew, two fishermen drifting on the current. As a poet, she tries to do likewise, turning from visual images to verbal translation of her own perceptions. She has published three collections, the latest being Wingflash from Pink Petticoat Press (2011) and is working on a fourth that combines both poetry and photography. Her work has frequently appeared among the winners of IBPC poetry competitions and she was named by IBPC as one of its top ten poets of the decade ending in 2010. Brenda has also received several Pushcart nominations. This is her third go-round as judge of the PSH contest.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Brenda Levy Tate and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

post-modernist

I shape this poem – a continent
crowded with words, refugees
in some internment camp. Tiers
of wire keep them from touching 
each other. The space outside 
races into dunes, where a lonely
hawk scours the steel air, finds 
nothing. He cannot eat children, 
racked arms, melting-moon eyes, 
unpalatable even in his need.
 
For every cramped and broken
line, another voice diminishes.
Mothers with huge bellies, babies
much the same, all pass under
my fingers. Keys clack and thud,
skeletal falling-downs. I stumble
over a turn, wince at my cut sole.
 
The end has arrived like a dust sun,
plunging among the hills. I can lay
no further tributes here, before
these unmarked graves.  My hands
print the glass as I stare through,
outlines of bones – mine or theirs,
it is impossible to distinguish now.
The dead are buried in white paper.
Their only names are what I invent.

Tern, Tern, Tern

The glacier that left her this beach
(twelve thousand cold years gone)
made no plans for sanderlings
or the waver of abandoned lives.

Every stone shines under the morning
and foamwater pulses up, back, up – over
its highest ridge from yesterday.
Rockweed wrack, woman-wreck.

Arctic migrants loop and scoop the sky.
They scythe toward her, then lift
easy – shrugging the magnet’s pull.
She can never manage half so well.

The fog sneaks in, merciful to the one
who wears her sorrow like a red shirt.
It will surely darken to match the millennia,
fade by the coming of the next great ice.

But meanwhile, the seabirds swing their pale
blades. She sidles through mist – crabwise,
tender. At the harvest, she begs, let me fall
and die beneath sharp,
………………………………….oh-beautiful wings.

(from Wingflash, by Brenda Levy Tate, Pink Petticoat Press 2011)

 


Buxton Wells
buxtonwells@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Buxton Wells lives in Memphis, Tennessee. He has published online with Umbrella,Poetry Super Highway, carte blanche and others.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Buxton Wells and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Zeroth Year

He stared and stared in the camera well,
the crimson carpet flooded the sunken stage.
And there, in the mist of peoples,
in the auditorium, the heart he’d dragged
and dropped out of time in his throat
was caught, a river mouth choked
on its own drift—gorged in winter,
hysterical in flood.

He jumped from the railing, flattened out
and hit the mudbank square,
missing the water. His laid-open mouth,
his heart above the head of the passes
counted his blessings backwards
in river miles.
He would’ve grounded, topped around
before he drifted far.

A Line of Sight

On I-40 west of Amarillo, westbound,
far from home, you glance off to the right
and see all the way to Saskatchewan,
somewhere north of Nebraska. Along this
meridian a tourist could stand and relieve
himself on his way to see gorgeous scenery,
even the badlands—looking for some bluish
hump of mountain range, some redrock
escarpment in Utah, low water in Lake Powell,
power lines to Phoenix and L.A., Carmel
by the perfectly pacific rime of the ocean’s
edge, part of one of the ribbons of that
continuity, like a tearaway strip on a mailer,
opening to a continent, or one of a thousand
islands, opened to the main the prosaic bulk
of the interior, mountains and flats, like this
stretch just west of Amarillo, before the blue
mesas appear on the western horizon and the
trip becomes visually ‘eventful’, while the
sphere would resume its curvature and its
difficult music, a pale yellow describing
the arc from here to Saskatoon. You might
call a halt along this line before you strike out
west and reach the sea, where land ends and
the rock-spirit begins, where its adherents,
being privileged like towers to stand and
stare, take up towering as an avocation.
Along this line a pilgrimage would spoil.
Here the colonizer and hater of settlements
are one man—tall hawker, tender of house
and garden, founder of the ocean view.


July 2-8, 2012: Jan Oskar Hansen and Jessica Barksdale

week of July 2-15, 2012

Jan Oskar Hansen and Jessica Barksdale

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here.for submission guidelines


Jan Oskar Hansen
oskar.hansen@sapo.pt

Bio (auto)

Jan Oskar Hansen is a poet from Benafim, Portugal.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Jan Oskar Hansen and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Ageing

I saw a picture of him in the newspaper the famous writer
at seventy two, and thought: my god, he looks old; yet I´m
older than him. He was going on about his illnesses like they
should be badges of honour. I look like him, but my mirror
says I look not a day over fifty two which is a blessing.
We are all narcissists at heart and stuck with an image of
ourselves that is untrue, but life cannot rob us of our delusion.
A warning though, do not smile to women who have not got
a wrinkle or two and need to dye their hair.

 



Jessica Barksdale
jbarkinclan@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Jessica Barksdale is the author of twelve traditionally published novels. She is a professor of English at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California and teaches online writing classes for UCLA Extension. She lives in Oakland with her husband.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Jessica Barksdale and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Regret

The first bite of mean is delightful,
a tentative nibble
of a luscious mushroom,
the kind that grows at the base
of the wrong tree,
something you picked
on a careless day.

Ah, so delicious,
the flavor in your mouth
like butter,
like gravy,
and then you are dead.


June 25 – July 1, 2012: Teresa Tulipano and Joan McNerney

week of June 25 – July 1, 2012

Teresa Tulipano and Joan McNerney

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here.for submission guidelines


Teresa Tulipano
teretulip@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Teresa Tulipano was born in San Francisco, CA, grew up in England and the Republic of Panama, and she now lives with her dear husband in Brooklyn, NY. She used to cover the San Francisco Bay Area’s night beat for the Contra Costa Times and wrote the nightlife section of Time Out’s guidebook to San Francisco. She published a chapbook, The Whetting Stone, and her poems have been published or are forthcoming in Lines+Stars, Marco Polo Arts Mag, Menacing Hedge, and Two Hawks Quarterly.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Teresa Tulipano and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Coney

It is still too early for what’s left of Coney Island’s boardwalk next to the sea
to be open, but there are a few smoking carnies, creaking slow hustlers, tying back
shutters with gnarled fingers. Those former forms of themselves have withered,
important teeth missing, grimy faces creased from years of suspicious squint, and their
sinew braided, leathered arms now covered with soft blue impressions – watercolors
where once were pin-up girls, tigers and flaming skulls.

This work has been done in early April for thirteen decades, re-dressing the rickety
tawdry game of chance shacks that appeal to rubes – a slap of whitewash across the
frayed boards and splintered rigging, a splash over lumps of ancient dirt consisting of
lifetimes of dropped cotton candy, torn coaster tickets and hotdog wrappers mulched
under baseboards. Signs slung cockeyed by winter winds that need to be re-hung, are
hurriedly touched up with crude daubs of day-glo paint.

Most of the rides are gone and the sideshows, too, what remains is chained behind a fence –
a busted caravan in the corner of the lot, rusty metal cages that once resembled sidecars,
lengths of disembodied coaster track, stacks of peeling, fading, hand-painted, plyboard
freakshow signs: The Wild Man of Borneo, Fat Baby Alpine and Rob Roy the Wonder
Albino, which are guarded by a gentle, pinkish-white pit bull lolling on a plank in the one
patch of sun on the lot.

The dog there to keep the restless impoverished youths, those jackal vandals, from
jumping the fence and dismantling the rides for sport and trophies. His morning bowl of
dry chunks is always gone by noon and he laps rusty water from the dented paint can
until he can’t reach it. He paces because the memory in his bounding muscles demands it
of him. He is lonely and barks expectantly at any men who pass, but few do, so he
sleeps, twitching, the rest of the day,

dreaming of his one true love all, shining brightly, mighty, setting him free to run back to
the time when there were still Dutch rabbits to chase and chomp from burrows in the
sand, when he was Jo-Jo the Dogfaced Boy and she was Ursa the Bear Girl, stars the both
of them, strolling down the boardwalk, fine as you could please, her paw tucked tenderly
in his crooked arm, his furry face silky and groomed, when the crowds would part for
them to take their turn on the Wonder Wheel.

Espíritu Santo

We don’t point with fingers, we pout our lips towards what we want and the store keeper
will fetch it down, a bolt of red cloth, a cylinder of Ajax, a hairy coconut

We greet with light kisses, while touching the elbow, the shoulder, the forearm of the
person we are kissing, we make direct eye contact and keep it while conversing

We paint our toes dark red and tip them with opalescent white, we paint stars like the
fields on our flag, paint flowers like heliotropes, paint crosses to show our faith

We wear American clothes whenever we can get them, Calvin Klein jeans, Panama Jack
t-shirts, Bass flip flops, but we have montuna skirts in our closets too

Our dances are allegories, reenactments of the triumphs of angels over devils, virtue over
sin, they are named after little birds, little flowers, little bulls, they are danced hip to hip

Our heroes are generals who negotiated shrewdly, priests who covered golden altars with
mud, doctors who cured malaria with a thin coating of gasoline on standing water

Our people survived conquistadors who sacked our cities, churches who captured our
souls, troupes who marched black boots across the thin neck of our isthmus

Our belief is in the trinity; when Tía Rebecca shows us the plantation, she points out
banana, banana, banana, montuno, montuno, montuno, Padre, Hijo y Espíritu Santo

 



 Joan McNerney
poetryjoan@statetel.com

Bio (auto)

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Blueline, 63 channels, Spectrum, and three Bright Spring Press Anthologies. She has been nominated twice for Best of the Net in 2011. Four of her books have been published by fine small literary presses.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Joan McNerney and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Lost My Voice

Around the house under the bed,
on top of book shelves,
perhaps flung over my closet door,
or hidden inside cubby holes.

Have to look for it at all my usual haunts.
Check out the library, ask my pharmacist
circle gas stations and stomp up down
that dam old supermarket.

Not anywhere…geez this is tiring
better sit down and think.
When did I last have my voice.
Is it missing or maybe somebody took it?

Now I remember losing my voice at
the doctors’ office. Did those creeps
steal it for insurance purposes?
Makes me want to scream.

I’ll get to them tomorrow!


 

June 18-24, 2012: Dustin Junkert and Geraldine O’Kane

week of June 18-24, 2012

Dustin Junkert and Geraldine O’Kane

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here.for submission guidelines


Dustin Junkert
djunkert@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Dustin started writing in order to impress girls. Most girls aren’t all that impressed by writing, he has found. But here’s hoping. Dustin lives in Portland, OR. He recently had an essay published in the New York Times, and poems in The Journal, South Carolina Review, the minnesota review, Weber, Georgetown Review, GW Review and New Delta Review.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Dustin Junkert and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


American Embassy

At the first Starbucks in Moscow
I ordered a latte in Russian.
“What size?” the barista asked.

I told her I don’t speak English then said
“Grande,” rolling the r. “You speak Italian, then?”
She asked wryly, again in English.

The drink cost the equivalent of fifteen dollars.
Everyone was sitting around in sweaters
reading The New York Times between phone calls.

With a sharpie in hand, she asked my name.
“Vladimir,” I told her. She looked up
at me, smirked and wrote

American on the side of the cup. I told her
she’s a crook for charging so much.
She told me I’m a crook for paying so much.

Fable

for Charles Simic

My favorite,
if that’s what we’re doing, is the one where
the tortoise waddles home and, awfully late,
of course, is slated to give a motivational
speech at the local Knights of Columbus
chapter. He’s discouraged when Zeno,
drunk by the back water cooler, about dies
laughing at the prospect of finishing a race.

Plein Air

Today the lake is terribly watery
and the trees are made of wood.

At night the lightless fields reflect
the dark spots between stars.

Deep cries out to deep.
The sun seeks out our brightest.

The moon is not for us, and no one
has a word for the colored clouds.

The Lessons of the World

For A. Camus

For the one-hundredth, and certainly not
the last time, I stared at the mosquito
bite on my arm. A searching

stare, as if it were The Gospels
or an Escher painting.

The paramedics rushed past me
to attend to what I would later find
out was the last breath of a man in my building.

Two small birds visit me most
mornings, perched
on the windowsill looking in,

but if I open the window they will fly. Believe

me. The lessons of the world

are few. In fact, there is only one.
But it is always right.

The State of My Heart

God and I share a small bed and I am dead
tired. In the silence, I think

of something funny
and can’t hold a laugh
back. Nothing, but

I must try
to explain.

This is how we talk.

There are other beds, you know. I know.

 



 Geraldine O’Kane
oceanangel2525@hotmail.co.uk

Bio (auto)

Based in Northern Ireland Geraldine O’Kane has been writing poetry for over 10 years, she has had several poems published in local magazine’s and online e-zine’s, Black Cat Poems, Speech Therapy and Allo Trope. She has previously been part of a local writing group at the Craic Theatre and has performed some of her work in local Theatres and the Dungannon Borough Council Arts Festival. Her poetry is mostly inspired by observation and the human condition and emotion. She is currently working full-time for a national newspaper and is currently studying for her degree.

Visit Geraldine on the web here: voicaversa.weebly.com

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Geraldine O’Kane and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Portrait: Reaction

A convoy of salty emissions
traverse your cheeks,
tangible – they magnify
a newly discovered world,
population two
you and I.

Life and Dreams

They sleep in separate bedrooms,
dream in parallel
worlds,

chaffing

at each other’s
edges.

Theory: San-Chol

Framed by a copper mane
dark sanguine limbs
curl to hide charred intestines,
veins and roots reposing unstirred
their final resting place;
etched morosely over the backdrop,
of melancholic beeches
lamenting for the beautiful and the broken.


June 11-17, 2012: J.K. Durick and Gene Grabiner

week of June 11-17, 2012

J.K. Durick and Gene Grabiner

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here.for submission guidelines


J.K. Durick

Bio (auto)

J.K. Durick lives in South Burlington, VT and is presently a writing instructor at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Third Wednesday, Steam Ticket Poetry Repairs, and SN Review.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by J.K. Durick and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Ambulance

Efficiency enters before they do,
their blue shoulders and baggage,
the sigh and silence of careful haste.
You nod and then point. They move
down your hall to the bedroom –
a walk you’ve made a thousand times –
and they have questions, questions
of who and when and how much,
and you wish you could lie, make
things all better with your words,
appearances too easily deceive
and sometimes don’t.

Now they have it, it’s theirs, your
familiar things turn strange, all
domestic associations dwindle down
to this. The bed you knew, the room,
even the people you knew before
become strangers, garbled radio voices,
a second siren blaring and a wall of
neighbors watching.

 



 Gene Grabiner
genegrab1@verizon.net

Bio (auto)

Gene Grabiner’s poetry has appeared in the following publications: Blue Collar Review, J Journal, In Our Own Words (ezine), Poets Against the War (web site), Earth’s Daughters, HazMat Review, Mediphors, Eclectic Literary Forum, Esprit, Wordsmith, Images, Poetica, Cutural Studies<->Critical Methodologies, Transformations, the Buffalo News, etc. His work has frequently been anthologized and is also forthcoming in; IFPOR Anthology 3, (Toronto), the Western New York Poetry Anthology (Buffalo), and in the D-Day Anthology, published by mgversion2>datura, Nantes, France. He is listed in Occupy Writers (web site), reads in Canada and the U.S., and was a featured poet at the Jackson Heights Poetry Festival (2010), and a semi-finalist in the “Discover”/The Nation national poetry competition, Unterberg Poetry Center (2002). Grabiner received his M.Crim. and PhD from Berkeley, lives in Buffalo, New York, and recently retired as SUNY Distinguished Service Professor from Erie Community College.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Gene Grabiner and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Gameboy

with drones, there are
no pilots to become casualties.
―NPR report, September 4, 2007

Some fast thumbs joystick
kid from Vegas in this windowless
desert room out by the Spring Range,
sits
in front of a huge quad array,
backlit vid screens.
Room in perpetual fluorescent daylight
just like casinos downtown.
Gets laser right on target,
on the money, on the button,
it’s a win.
Collateralizes that insurgent
Afghan wedding party.
Breaks for ham
sandwich, some pop and a smoke before
ducking back down
in his bunker, Creech Air Force Base.

Fingered

When the slim disease
came to Sing-Sing,
the hacks would shove in dinner
on metal trays
with brooms: a
quarantine shuffleboard.

He had blotches on his face,
or his teeth rotted or maybe
he was queer, with a strange cancer—
worked in the kitchen. So when other cons
burned his cell,
he got administrative segregation,
was sent to the hospital—
out of the narrow alleys
of their lives.

One time, this lifer met with the counselor,
filled out a form,
handed back the pen.
She just sat there,
pen untouched on the table.

When the slim disease
came to Clinton, hacks in the yard
wore goggles, gas masks, gloves.

In that beginning,
AIDS fingered eight thousand when it came inside.


 

June 4-10, 2012: Mary Ann Castle and G. David Schwartz

week of May 28 – June 3, 2012

Mary Ann Castle and G. David Schwartz

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here.for submission guidelines


Mary Ann Castle
mac615@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Mary Ann Castle is a social anthropologist by training and lives in the Bronx, New York.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Mary Ann Castle and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Janie

in a 56th Street doorway
empty storefront
lives Janie,
stroking the mosaic
entrance floor
getting ready for night life
legs stretched out straight black skirt
glitter- pink
nail polish,
matted
beehive hair
arranging, rearranging black
garbage bags
encircling her
like prophetic oak leaves
in that ancient
cave mouth
tourist-guy approaches,
stares
What is this apparition—
broke, strung out
man, woman,
hijra?
suddenly, a proud Cumaean Sibyl,
Janie shakes her
blondish wig
runs a finger slowly
across the stubble
above her upper lip slips
into a trance–
what is her story
what are her memories
what is life lived
in a doorway?
Janie,
once beautiful transvestite,
queen
of downtown piers―
mutters
words of mystery and
dread.

 



 G. David Schwartz
davidschwartzg@aol.com

Bio (auto)

G. David Schwartz – the former president of Seedhouse, the online interfaith committee. Schwartz is the author of A Jewish Appraisal of Dialogue and Midrash and Working Out Of The Book. Currently a volunteer at Drake Hospital in Cincinnati, Schwartz continues to write. His newest book, Shards And Stanzas (Baltimore, PublishAmerica, 2012) is now in stores or can be ordered on line.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by G. David Schwartz and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

I Do Not Use My Toes

I do not use my toes
Every single day
I don’t even have to think
They just stomp my way

I Look Into The Mirror

I look into the mirror
And wonder what I did
I use to have pitch black hair
when I was a kid

Why I Do Not Touch
the Vacuum Clear

A vacuum cleaner in the hall
Does not breaks any law
But me reaching for it
May make me go and fall


May 28 – June 3, 2012: Patricia D’Alessandro and Aftab Yusuf Shaikh

week of May 28 – June 3, 2012

Patricia D’Alessandro and Aftab Yusuf Shaikh

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here.for submission guidelines


Patricia D’Alessandro
ciaopat12@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Poet Patricia D’Alessandro has been writing poetry for over 40 years, and is a Graduate of the University of San Francisco, earning her B.S. in 1980, in Human Relations & Organizational  Behavior,  while working at Levi Strauss &Co., in San  Francisco subsidized by LS&Co, to enable her to move forward as an administrative assistant in the Merchandising Department. Host of POETRY ON THE PODIUM, a three-day BROWN-BAG noontime poetry event at SAN FRANCISCO’s EMBARCADERO CENTER, presenting Bay Area Poets (three per day), including FRANCES MAYES; the late Stan Rice, and California Poet Laureate Emeritus, AL YOUNG, currently, she hosts the Barnes&Noble/Palm Desert/Westfield Center’s monthly poetry series “Valley Voices of the Muse,” having done the same in Sacramento for “TEA & EMPATHY”  for the Wellspring Women’s Center, sponsored by POETS & WRITERS MAGAZINE through a grant received from the James Irvine Foundation.  She lives in Desert Hot Springs, where she is working on her seventh volume of poetry to publish at the end of 2012, and is an essayist/artist/photographer, published in various literary journals and she hopes to live to celebrate 100, in 2024.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Patricia D’Alessandro and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Fibinocci on a Theme
of Adrienne Rich from
Diving Into the Wreck

Out in this desert we are testing bombs
on the anatomy of the park.

List the equipment –
the key has not been found.

A woman made this film
like a wire photo composition

staring through the clearing with a certain resolution
while we sit up smoking and talking of how to live.

Details
never on TV.

Avante! Avante!

Meet me at the barricades
ala Liberte
if the government dares
touch my Social Security.

I didn’t live 88 years
to have what’s mine
absconded by crooks
who work in banks
in government,
and on Wall Street.

Let them carry me to jail
in a chair like the Pope’s
for committing mayhem
in the name of
Liberte
my aged breasts uncovered
flapping in the wind
just as hers in France,
shouting

VIVA AMERICA!



 Aftab Yusuf Shaikh
ayshaikh@live.in

Bio (auto)

Aftab Yusuf Shaikh has been writing since the early age of eight and has since then authored a number of poems, many of which have been featured in publications like The Istanbul Literary Review, Muse India, Moon Washed Kisses Magazine, The Barefoot Review,etc. His prime interest lies in culture, society, religion and psychology. He has self published a collection of his poetry titled ‘Poems-Twenty Ten.’ Born and brought up in Mumbai, he considers the city as his muse along with some others like New York and Jerusalem. He is currently pursuing his Bachelors in English Literature and Psychology from the University of Mumbai.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Aftab Yusuf Shaikh and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Love Note

I ate your flesh once
out of fury,
I tore your hair, too.
I remember
I have drenched your skirt
once when I wept for a week,
and I even spat on your frock
when we were in bed,

Yes, New York,
I love you.
Ofcourse, I do,
but not the way I loved
that cursed daughter of yours!


 

May 28 – June 3, 2012: Patricia D'Alessandro and Aftab Yusuf Shaikh

week of May 28 – June 3, 2012

Patricia D’Alessandro and Aftab Yusuf Shaikh

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here.for submission guidelines


Patricia D’Alessandro
ciaopat12@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Poet Patricia D’Alessandro has been writing poetry for over 40 years, and is a Graduate of the University of San Francisco, earning her B.S. in 1980, in Human Relations & Organizational  Behavior,  while working at Levi Strauss &Co., in San  Francisco subsidized by LS&Co, to enable her to move forward as an administrative assistant in the Merchandising Department. Host of POETRY ON THE PODIUM, a three-day BROWN-BAG noontime poetry event at SAN FRANCISCO’s EMBARCADERO CENTER, presenting Bay Area Poets (three per day), including FRANCES MAYES; the late Stan Rice, and California Poet Laureate Emeritus, AL YOUNG, currently, she hosts the Barnes&Noble/Palm Desert/Westfield Center’s monthly poetry series “Valley Voices of the Muse,” having done the same in Sacramento for “TEA & EMPATHY”  for the Wellspring Women’s Center, sponsored by POETS & WRITERS MAGAZINE through a grant received from the James Irvine Foundation.  She lives in Desert Hot Springs, where she is working on her seventh volume of poetry to publish at the end of 2012, and is an essayist/artist/photographer, published in various literary journals and she hopes to live to celebrate 100, in 2024.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Patricia D’Alessandro and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Fibinocci on a Theme
of Adrienne Rich from
Diving Into the Wreck

Out in this desert we are testing bombs
on the anatomy of the park.

List the equipment –
the key has not been found.

A woman made this film
like a wire photo composition

staring through the clearing with a certain resolution
while we sit up smoking and talking of how to live.

Details
never on TV.

Avante! Avante!

Meet me at the barricades
ala Liberte
if the government dares
touch my Social Security.

I didn’t live 88 years
to have what’s mine
absconded by crooks
who work in banks
in government,
and on Wall Street.

Let them carry me to jail
in a chair like the Pope’s
for committing mayhem
in the name of
Liberte
my aged breasts uncovered
flapping in the wind
just as hers in France,
shouting

VIVA AMERICA!



 Aftab Yusuf Shaikh
ayshaikh@live.in

Bio (auto)

Aftab Yusuf Shaikh has been writing since the early age of eight and has since then authored a number of poems, many of which have been featured in publications like The Istanbul Literary Review, Muse India, Moon Washed Kisses Magazine, The Barefoot Review,etc. His prime interest lies in culture, society, religion and psychology. He has self published a collection of his poetry titled ‘Poems-Twenty Ten.’ Born and brought up in Mumbai, he considers the city as his muse along with some others like New York
and Jerusalem. He is currently pursuing his Bachelors in English Literature and Psychology from the University of Mumbai.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Aftab Yusuf Shaikh and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Love Note

I ate your flesh once
out of fury,
I tore your hair, too.
I remember
I have drenched your skirt
once when I wept for a week,
and I even spat on your frock
when we were in bed,

Yes, New York,
I love you.
Ofcourse, I do,
but not the way I loved
that cursed daughter of yours!


 

May 21-27, 2012: Walter Ruhlmann and Samantha H. Weiner

week of May 21-27, 2012

Walter Ruhlmann and Samantha H. Weiner

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here.for submission guidelines


Walter Ruhlmann
wruhlmann@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Walter Ruhlmann was born in 1974 in France. He currently lives in Nantes where he works as an English teacher. He has been publishing mgversion2>datura (ex-Mauvaise graine) for over fifteen years. Walter is the author of several poetry chapbooks and e-books in French and English and has published poems in various printed and electronic publications world wide. He is a 2012 Pushcart Prize nominee for his translation of Martine Morillon-Carreau’s poem “Sand début ni fin, ce rêve” published in the January 2011 issue of Magnapoets. His blog http://lorchideenoctambule.hautetfort.com/

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Walter Ruhlmann and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


The Visa

We had this car which brown colour reminded me of hazel nuts
or my daily chocolate cup – yet slightly lighter, remember?
More like the puddles of water
crowding the paths around the hood.
The various patches erosion carved each time it rained
or pissed
or poured
down over this green landscape.

The car was square just like the one in a child’s sketch
with an aerial sticking out
looking like some uncanny branch
a mark of exclamation speech
a blade of tin
aluminium or steel.

My dad drove that car everyday
to go to work,
and we also climbed into it – the four of us – the family
when we had to meet the grannies.

Going up there in Bray county
also meant visiting the cemeteries.
This car I loathed so much then became
my best of friends, my only need
for there was nothing I detested more than
stepping in the damp Norman weather
to wander in the alleys around the cold, dark marble stones
marked with the scary faces
and covering the bodies of
dead people I did not even know.



 Samantha H. Weiner
ladysamwrites@aol.com

Bio (auto)

I am a writer from Plainview, Long Island, New York. I enjoy writing poetry and short stories as well as doing arts and crafts. I have a B.A in English.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Samantha H. Weiner and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Ode to My Allergies

Morning breaks and I start coughing
A sign of what’s to come
My nose runs the Boston Marathon
No stretching beforehand, it just takes off
Looks back at me, the great Sphinx
And runs further away
Until right before the finish line
It slows down and backs up
Glues itself in place
And causes a traffic jam in my sinuses…

I open my mouth to speak
Only nothing comes out
I haven’t a voice
And I admit to some that’s a blessing
I clear my throat
I sound like a cat hacking up hairballs
I take a Benedryl, which completely knocks me out..

I wake up and I start coughing again
And then one eye starts to itch
I take a tissue and dab it
Waterfalls emerge from my tear ducts
As if my heart had been broken
Onions look at me and start to cry
Someone asks me “what’s wrong?”
To which I reply with a hefty sneeze
And they answer their own question
“Oh it’s just your allergies.”


May 14-20, 2012: Judith R. Robinson and John Tustin

week of May 14-20, 2012

Judith R. Robinson and John Tustin

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here.for submission guidelines


Judith R. Robinson
pghdazzler@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Judith R. Robinson is an editor, teacher, fiction writer and poet from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A 1980 summa cum laude graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, listed in the Directory of American Poets and Writers. She is the author of several books, most recently Orange Fire, 2012, Main Street Rag Publishing; author

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Judith R. Robinson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Urbanity

how to tolerate crowds
of human strangers
all those bodies that sweat
and push and displace
space and air and seats
on buses or clog the roadways
I don’t mean robbers
rapists or molesters
or anything like that
I mean the strangers who
load up on wine in restaurants
and scream their shrill
heads off when you are trying to eat
the ones who smell lousy
that you have to wait behind
in long lines at the store
the ones who run red lights
and cut you off in traffic
and what about all the pretending
that goes on? One honest curmudgeon
said hell is other people but few
will admit that is the truth
nor will most admit a reasonable
preference for dogs.



 John Tustin
johnhtustin@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

John Tustin (New Hyde Park, NY) is a 40 year old diagnosed obsessive compulsive with attention deficit disorder. A former bed-wetter and stutterer, he often cries alone in a dark room, trembling with fear that his children will be taken away from him. He has been published in The Arbitrary Journal and Who-Gives-A-Shit-Nobody-Reads-It-But-The-Contributors-Quarterly. His mother is dead, as are his dreams. He is eagerly checking his email, the window, and the mirror looking for something to give him a feeling of worth. He has 763 rejection letters, diarrhea, a GED and a cat named Shadow.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by John Tustin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Rhyming fun for Ailments
Real, Suspected and
Imagined

Diverticulitis –
a hole in
the colon

Ulcer –
lit cigarette butt
burnin’ the gut

Gonorrhea –
paid cash,
got bad gash

Concussion –
found in the wrong bed
got bashed in the head

Broken heart –
you left that night
now it don’t beat right


 

May 7-13, 2012: David Chorlton and William Cullen, Jr.

week of May 7-13, 2012

David Chorlton and William Cullen, Jr.

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here.for submission guidelines


David Chorlton
rdchorlton@netzero.com

Bio (auto)

David Chorlton was born in Austria, grew up in England, and spent several years in Vienna before moving to Phoenix in1978. Over three decades, he has become ever more drawn into the landscapes of Arizona, both physically and in his poetry. Despite this, his newest book is a work of fiction with its origins in 1960s Vienna: The Taste of Fog, from Rain Mountain Press.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by David Chorlton and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Faces

Fransisco Renteria’s life seems not
to be happening to him
if we believe his smile, the careless
hat tilting toward his left ear
and a scar that covers up an itch
crawling across his cheek. But Hilario Hidalgo
knows damn well
there won’t be an appeal, even
as he rolls his version of the story
on his tongue behind
closed lips. While his friend makes light
of the situation, he’s ready to hang,
and that the victims deserved
what happened to them is shown
in a drop of light crossing
the iris of his eye.

Mission Nights

The mission’s priest completes
one day’s list of baptisms and deaths
before taking down the whip
from its hook on the wall
beside the window in his cell
where the wind passes through
and he feels its many tails.



 William Cullen, Jr.
bill_cullen_99@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

William Cullen, Jr., is a veteran and works at a non-profit in Brooklyn, NY. He’s married and has two college-age sons. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Boston Literary Magazine, Camroc Press Review, Christian Science Monitor, Gulf Stream, Pirene’s Fountain, Spillway and Wild Goose Poetry Review. He was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2010.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by William Cullen, Jr. and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Icarus Redivivus

I watch my son fall
flying high on his drugs
and imagine him
crashing on his mother’s grave
trying to reach her in heaven.


 

April 30 – May 6, 2012: Steve Ramirez and Jay Passer

week of April 30 – May 6, 2012

Steve Ramirez and Jay Passer

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here.for submission guidelines


Steve Ramirez
silentboba@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Steve Ramirez has never been captured on film (unless you count the spectral image taken at the infamous 1951 séance). While attempting to dance with a drop of rain at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance in Wichita Falls, he discovered a talent for fog. Yesterday morning, he graciously accepted the award for Most Inspired before falling back to sleep. He usually sees at 24 frames per second, but when kissing switches to a high speed camera on a revolving track. Previous occupations include: coal miner, poltergeist, hubcap salesman, medical leech, spatial geographer and mongoose.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Steve Ramirez and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Matilda

On his 12th birthday, she asked him if he wanted to play doctor.
They snuck into the basement and she made him undress.
She pressed her lips to his chest and told him he had a heart murmur.

Surgery wouldn’t be required, but he’d have to stop
falling in love with strangers for at least two weeks.

For his 14th birthday, she wanted to play house.
Again, she told him to undress and they climbed
under a sheet of canvas, matted with old paint.

He couldn’t quite get comfortable no matter
how they twined the puzzles of their limbs.

She said this is how their lives would become.

When she turned 16, she invited him to a party
at her parent’s house and kissed him next to the lake
while her family was calling her to blow out the candles.

Then she kicked him in the shin and couldn’t stop giggling.

On prom night, she told him she wanted to make love.

She had paid for a room already, watched him undress,
then walked up to him and pressed her lips to his chest,
before telling him the heart murmur had gotten worse,
and this time, surgery couldn’t be avoided.

There was no other way to be sure.



 Jay Passer
jp8521984@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Jay Passer’s work has been around the block, published in the little mags and online since 1988. Author of several chapbooks, most recently Only Human By Condition, available from Crisis Chronicles Press. A forthcoming chap, At The End Of The Street, due out late 2012 from Corrupt Press. Passer spends most of his time wandering up and down the Northern Pacific Coast doing what Americans are so very fond of, dreaming.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Jay Passer and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Obsolete as the Radio is Bleak

All the jazz settings
All the fedoras
The emergency calls to the fire department
Televised rescue scenarios
Soundtracks of catcalls for taxicabs
The double-decker bus set to third-world imbroglio
How to cut off a chicken’s head with aplomb
While balancing cell phones from fingertip to ear
Cybernetic showgirls strut and advertise
Timpani set to porn on the fly
To the power of ten fingering the spine
Where motive begins captured in the telescopic lens
Session musician incapacitated
The smooth child sitting in a roomful of eyes
Cigarette plumes and rocks glass in hand
All the black-and-white sirens
The still-life alibis
All the established outtakes of couture
The boots and fancy oyster shell specs
Inimitable street-life flashing the price
How to forge the ticket
One winner away from
I’m out of here

Dry Cycle

the launderette window glazed with humidity
and inside, disembodied voices warble out
from front load washers and plastic ficus
the cheap martyred opinion of Ms. Pac-Man
the parallel universe of a 19th Zenith
doling dozens of quarters 48 minutes twice
the filth of the life wrung out
vanquished to the consciousness
of sewer-dwelling phantom crocs
I steal a glance at the tube-top girl
wrapped in army blanket
sagacious in anonymity
cold room
humility
errands amended
gas jet shuddering
and rain
cleansing the streets of tomorrow


 

Latest PSH Live Show