2016

December 26, 2016 – January 1, 2017: Poetry from Russell Brickey and Robert Wynne

​Russell Brickey and Robert Wynne

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


​Russell Brickey
russell.brickey@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Russell Brickey (Boardman, Ohio) has collections out from Wild Leaf, Spuyten Duyvil, and Aldritch Book.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Russell Brickey and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

 

How Monstrous the Sunflowers

Bearded sun-eyes lunge at the garden.

How momentous the wind
Quaking in their fractured shoulders,
Yawing their monastic chaos.

The reign of white muddy feet
Anchors the kingdom.

 

What Time Means

There is no way the young bison
Will outmaneuver the wolves
Which scatter him from the herd.

For months I carried grit
From a playground brawl
Under the translucent skin of my palm.

Despite your best efforts,
The naked chick fallen from the bough
Dies parched under the cover
Of a Mayberry Bush.

A dragon wades to the sea shore.
No one will ever know.

Eventually the sea will win.
It must.
Its old enemy cannot withstand.

Meanwhile,

Glaciers calve hearts of ice
That turn the salt sweet.

Nothing beautiful, nothing terrible remains.
This is what the hours mean,

So familiar it frightens us both.

 

 


Robert Wynne
robert.wynne@sbcglobal.net

Bio (auto)

Robert Wynne sends greeting from the abstract wastelands of Endicott, New York. He is a firm believer in writing as catharsis, and in the need to continuously search for an unattainable and constantly evolving absolute truth. His latest collections are Approximate Wilderness (2016 Flutter Press) and A Nation of Assholes With Guns (Scars Publications). All pertinent facts about his life are buried somewhere in his writing. Visit John’s blog here.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Robert Wynne and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Cargo Shorts in Peril: The Button Speaks

 

The cheese is noticeably frowning
across the burger’s greasy horizon
in another sheepish victory for gravity

only the roof of your mouth
fails to acknowledge. This is how lunch begins:
with the quiet whimper of my brittle plastic

keening low at your waist, hot fat
sliding down fingers slick enough
to fumble that ironic Diet Coke

into a light brown puddle
next to the fries. Consequences
are never on the menu

but this is the meal that will finally
split the tiny threaded cross
at the heart of me, until I fall silently

like any sacrifice made to stave off
life’s perpetual parade of damage.
Today, the belt earns its keep

and I land face down near your shoe,
my broken back still arched
like Atlas, unburdened but so lost.

 

What walks down stairs, alone or in pairs?

 

Silver spring casts no shadow
descending methodically step by step
to plant a cold metal kiss

on the nose of the curious dog
as if she were the Queen herself.
More active than any pet rock

the coil stretches like a worm
escaping train tracks, tail whipping
up and away from each moment

into a future where Sea Monkeys
run the government, a Spirograph
explains how to read palms, and robots

face off red vs. blue, one always
failing to keep its head intact.
Dancing from one hand to another

it wears no shoes, kisses no frogs,
eats nothing at all – not even pie!
Only a hum, a ringing thrum emanates

as it slides smoothly away
like any wondrous thing
that’s already obsolete.

 

Running from Writer’s Block

 

But my shoes are mismatched:
a blue and white Nike Air

and a Marvin the Martian slipper.
My left knee is so swollen

I am no longer allowed to enter
Indonesia or Ukraine, for fear

that elective knee enlargements
will skyrocket. I rub dill on my joints

as I hobble forward, announcing
I’m now a seasoned sprinter

with a bad sense of humor.
I pass a yogurt shop in the midst of

a melting out of business sale.
I’m chasing the sun, so I can reach up

and squelch that hot, bright bulb
after coaxing smiles from the stern lot

that guards the Queen, particularly Brian
because he’s acting like the last man

in the dugout during a blowout win.
Pain can be the aftermath of choices

in favor of distance and new shoes,
or to use air hockey as a distraction

to avoid the inevitable. Words fail
when used to heat soup, or to open

another envelope with a Rejection.
The instructions are simple: run

until you can’t run any more, write
because in truth you can’t stop.

 

The Cosmic Eclipse Tomato

 

Indigo and dark green, impressionistic orb
filling an empty palm like proof

that creation myths are still being written.
Brad Gates breeds heirloom tomatoes

like a vegetable God, painting thin skin
with each new vision, giving life

to world after world: deep red and green
Berkeley Tie-Die Heart, yellow flickering

in a Solar Flare, orange speckles
dotting each Dark Galaxy. Sliced open

they flower into such sweet bruises,
all creation laid bare like an apology

to the salad sitting silent, stunned.

 

 

 

 


December 19-25, 2016: Poetry from David Lucas and John Sweet

​David Lucas and John Sweet

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


​David Lucas
dalucas@ysu.edu

Bio (auto)

David Lucas is a poet/academic who lives in Youngstown, Ohio. He was an editor at the Penguin Review and a scriptwriter for the Youngstown Film Group. David has an MA in English from Youngstown State where he teaches composition and rhetoric.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​David Lucas and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


That Couch

There was this couch
Electric blue
A real 80’s-deco-sorta-thing
It used to hover in our living room
Mostly unacknowledged
Except when it was
Kissing our asses
Drinking our anxiety
Observing our 2 AM drunken fights
the incredulous stares
the bad sex
the good sex (though it can’t remember)
Listening to the shortstop sentences
the hysterical prayers to deaf Gods
Watching all the silent meals
spent looking away from one another

It felt us weep
Stole our remotes
Our glasses
Our dreams

And then later, I think,
We threw it out
Ejecting it from the bones of an old house
To the curb
Then to the dump
Where it sits
Wasting with other memories
Under the deep infinite canvas

 



John Sweet
bleedinghorse99@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

John Sweet sends greeting from the abstract wastelands of Endicott, New York. He is a firm believer in writing as catharsis, and in the need to continuously search for an unattainable and constantly evolving absolute truth. His latest collections are Approximate Wilderness (2016 Flutter Press) and A Nation of Assholes With Guns (Scars Publications). All pertinent facts about his life are buried somewhere in his writing. Visit John’s blog here.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by John Sweet and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

cover yr ears & shade yr eyes

sunlit hills straight down to
the edge of the parking lot and the
parking lot empty

weeds pushing up through
cracks in the pavement

belief is what’s brought you
this far, and then what?

insurance will pay for the abortion

the coup will fail

twenty thousand dead in the
blinding summer heat and all of
the survivors starving, but no one likes
a crybaby so just shut your mouth
and write your fucking poems

learn to levitate

consider what any government has
ever achieved by
killing the artists and the children

all theories bleed themselves
dry in the here and now

 


December 12-18, 2016: Poetry from Randolph Bridgeman and Douglas Richardson

​Randolph Bridgeman and Douglas Richardson

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


​Randolph Bridgeman
randolph.bridgeman@navy.mil

Bio (auto)

Randolph Bridgeman lives in Lexngton Park, Maryland, beside the Chesapeake Bay and graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and is the recipient of the Edward T. Lewis Poetry Prize. He was a Lannan Fellow for the Folgers Shakespearian Theater 04-05 poetry reading series. He teaches Poetry for 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students, enrolled in the 21st Century After School Program at Great Mills High School in Lexington Park MD. His poems have been published in numerous poetry reviews and anthologies. He has four books of poems, South of Everywhere 2005, Mechanic on Duty 2008, The Odd Testament 2013, and The Poet Laureate of Cracker Town 2015. His fifth book, Color Outside The Lines, is forthcoming in 2017.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Randolph Bridgeman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


stepfathers

joseph must have had the toughest
daddy issues not that every kid
doesn’t think their father is God
but what if he actually is
and when the holy ghosts
been in your woman
how do you stack up to that
most men would have dumped her
and no one would have blamed him
or my father who came home
from the war to a pregnant wife
but like joseph he wanted to
do the right thing too
and still it ate away at him
every argument my parents
had ended with my father saying
oh yeah well you fucked
the next door neighbor
and i wonder if it ate away
at joseph too
with the father
the son
the holy ghost
and marry too
he must have felt like a fifth wheel
like most of us stepfathers do
joseph with his honorable mention
and the rest of us with no
mention at all

 



Douglas Richardson
weakcreature@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Douglas Richardson is a poet, novelist, and editor who lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Jen. He is also Winston, the Weak Creature Press bison. Visit him on the web here. See his books on Amazon here.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Douglas Richardson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Mean and Nice

I’d like to roll Wes Anderson’s
windows down, so the bees can fly
in and around

I’d like to give Van Gogh
an audio tour
of the Musee d’Orsay

I’d like to thank Ed Ruscha
for undiscovering the country

I’d like to sit with Lady Di
and watch Amelie


The Street-Art Oil Painting

The street-art oil painting from Venice Beach, California,
contained a hidden image meant just for him,
told him he was a chosen one
from the western wall of his studio apartment,
seduced him, said he belonged among philosopher kings
or rock stars on late-night talk shows,
then turned on him, got him mocked in pretentious bars,
erased good, simple memories like the morning newspaper
on the porch of his childhood home;
so he shredded it with a box cutter
and scattered it across the street
with the neighbors watching.
Now he has humility, notoriety,
a wizard’s beard that whistles in the dark.


Bishop, California

I’d like to be in Bishop, California
In the Eastern Sierra Nevada
In the aisles of a hardware store
In the season of blue jeans and flannel
Buying tools for home improvement
Turning a nickel for a gumball on my way out the door

I’d like to be in a booth in a diner looking at the snowy mountains
My fingers through the ear of a cup of coffee
Green pines, hot breakfast, close family
Living the life of a builder and a fixer
New wrenches in the back of my truck
And not a thief for miles around


MIB

Men in black beanies sit in a Jack in the Box
where no one over the age of forty
has ever smiled. Ask them whether
the moon is new or full and they couldn’t say
because the sky no longer captivates them,
or perhaps it does hold them captive
and so the light they see might as well be
the light in this room, cool, even, anemic.
Moody devils, lonesome beauties,
if only I could lead them out the door
and into their ideal worlds.

 

 

 

 


December 5-11, 2016: Poetry from ​Graham Fulton and Dan Hendrickson

​Graham Fulton and Dan Hendrickson

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


​Graham Fulton
hfulton32@btinternet.com

Bio (auto)

Graham Fulton lives in Paisley in Scotland. His 14 published books include Humouring the Iron Bar Man (Polygon), One Day in the Life of Jimmy Denisovich (Smokestack Books), Photographing Ghosts (Roncadora Press) and Pub Dogs of Glasgow (Freight Books). His poems
have been translated into several languages. His most
recent collections are Brian Wilson in Swansea Bus Station (Red Squirrel Press) and Paragraphs at the End of the World (Penniless Press). He runs Controlled Explosion Press.
www.grahamfulton-poetry.com

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Graham Fulton and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Raw

Sheridan Wyoming

I open a drawer in Sheridan Wyoming
and find a colourful book of porn
Men and women doing it for real
Men and women doing it for money
Making a living to be alive
Glossy ….stapled
Next to the Gideon
A sex gift left by a previous guest
He ….or she ….probably laughed
as they pictured our faces
goggling in awe
at prime American genital stars
Grand Canyon vulvas
Skyscraping knobs
Maybe it’s been there for years
Maybe it’s been there
since the days
of the pioneers
I turn
a few pages
Ignore the bible
Later
as we finally brave
the life-sapping heat
to sample slaughtered indigenous meat
I hide it in a spare plastic bag
push it into the quietest bin
The republic of flies
and thin crust pizza

We don’t want the ethnic cleaner to think
it was us
who sullied her frontier hotel
We don’t want her judgement
branding the backs
of our twisted Christian Caucasian skulls
We left the porn in the drawer

 



Dan Hendrickson
dan1812@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Dan Hendrickson lives in Minneapolis. He is a middle-aged poet, with a blizzard gray beard. He’s sedate, but a reflective fellow, one prone to introspection. About life, Hendrickson will only say, "Over time, our borders are erased."

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Dan Hendrickson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Los Angeles Plays Itself

The Los Angeles River
runs through my chest.
Most of it has been diced up,
altered and diverted into
makeshift concrete channels.
But there’s a very small section
of it that’s still fairly pristine,
where the waters flow peacefully
and mostly true.
If you could see that portion,
you’d probably think, ‘This is how
all of it must have been, once.’

And you might even be right
about that.
I’m the wrong person
to ask.
That guy’s long gone.
I’m all that’s left.

 

November 28 – December 4, 2016: Poetry from Maria A. Arana and Thom Young

​Maria A. Arana and Thom Young

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


​Maria A. Arana

Bio (auto)

Maria A. Arana is a teacher, writer, and poet from the Los Angeles area. Her work has been published in Spectrum, Work to a Calm, the Altadena Poetry Review, vox poetica, and others. You can find her at https://rainingvoices.blogspot.com and on Twitter here.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Maria A. Arana and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Preparation

………..spring from bed
out of shower
………..close the door
get some paper
…………. ……….pencil
eraser
…………. ……….sit down
start
don’t stop now
if only I could
…………. ……….remember
…………. ……….what to write
I’d be done
I’d be done

 



Thom Young
bjm319@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Thom Young is a writer from Texas. His work has been in Poetry Quarterly, The Commonline Journal, 3am magazine, Crack the Spine, Word Riot, 48th Street Press, and many other places. A 2016 Pushcart Prize Nominee. He is one of Amazon’s most popular poets hitting #1 in Poetry Anthologies and Short Stories and his latest A Little Black Dress Called Madness hit #1 Poetry in Germany. See his other titles here.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Thom Young and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Walk

I go on long walks everyday
hoping to get hit by a car
or die
either one can cost you everything
i wave at the old ladies by the pool
"there goes the writer."
they say
"he seems like such a nice young man."
they say
and
i smile
lock your doors
the wild hearted son
is back


Purple Onion

as I write another poem
3 gun shots kill something
or
someone
maybe it’s the old guy
two houses down with the laughing
Bulldog
he finally had enough
no more purple onions
at 2am
on Rye with yellow mustard
he cried as his old lady pulled the trigger
that’s the end
and ch. 5 is showing a re-play
of the Rose Bowl parade
and they don’t look happy
again.

 

November 21-27, 2016: Poetry from Linda Leedy Schneider and Akshaya Pawaskar

​Linda Leedy Schneider and Akshaya Pawaskar

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


​Linda Leedy Schneider
loschneide@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Linda Leedy Schneider, winner of the 2012 Contemporary American Poetry Prize, is a political activist, poetry and writing mentor, psychotherapist in private practice, and former faculty member at Aquinas College and Kendall College of Art and Design. Her poetry received a Readers’ Choice Award from Pedestal Magazine and has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. Linda facilitates workshops nationally including The Manhattan Writing Workshop which she founded and has led since 2008. Published in hundreds of literary magazines including The Pedestal Magazine, Rattle, The Sow’s Ear and the Journal of American Poetry, Linda has written six collections of poetry including Some Days: Poetry of a Psychotherapist (Plain View Press) and has edited two collections of poetry written by poets whom she has mentored: Mentor’s Bouquet (Finishing Line Press) and Poems From 84th Street (Pudding House Publications). Linda lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan and believes a regular writing ritual leads to discovery, authenticity, personal growth and even JOY.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Linda Leedy Schneider and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Memories of My Daughter’s Wedding

A thunderstorm brought the ceremony out of the garden
into the sunroom where candles glowed.
Two flower girls scattered yellow and pink petals.
Vows were spoken that have passed through generations
like ivy following a wall, brick by brick.
The kiss at the altar was long and real.
The bride danced with her father, wiped his tears.
Her grandmother, pink and blue scarf carefully knotted
over her blue suit, smiled and called her by name.

But three days later when I visited assisted living and said,
“Wasn’t it a wonderful wedding, Mother?”
Her grandmother raised her head like a horse from the hay
and asked, “Was I there?”

Previously published in Peninsular Poets

 



Akshaya Pawaskar
akshaya.pawaskar@outlook.com

Bio (auto)

Akshaya Pawaskar is a doctor practicing in Goa, India, dabbling in poetry in her spare time. She has been published in Efiction India, writer’s ezine and few anthologies by Lost Tower Publications.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Akshaya Pawaskar and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Fisherman’s wharf

Pier juts tongued in the mouth
Of fisherman’s wharf, madding
Crowd away, at the waterfront
She sits like a painting splaying
Legs under the Azure carpeted
San Francisco bay.

Bikers are strolling for a change
Swimmers, fishes with full body
suits dripping ruddy out of water
She sunbathes oblivious to bruit
And dogs navigating their loyals
As they whiff astray.

Serene daylight sits lightly over
All anatomies even spotlighting
The ancient land of penitentiary
Salt eroded. For in that moment
She is the Spaniard who named
La Isla de Alcatraz.

Once perhaps the land swooped
With pelicans but not one extant
as the air leaves no winged trails
Except the whiskers of sea lions
Project like periscopes and a tiny
head follows suit.

Between the floppy calm flippers
Clapping, enfolding fatty blubber
And history weighing heavy with
lighthouse Illuminating its purlieu
And once ruthless criminals held
Insular in the cells.

She feels Ghirardelli square’s ice
Cream headache, grating yet light
spirit of pinniped species staring
sans wink pervades ambivalence
In her being. She waits for a cure,
A sea lion’s kiss.

November 14-20, 2016: Poetry from Diane Elayne Dees and Jeanie Greensfelder

​Diane Elayne Dees and Jeanie Greensfelder

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


​Diane Elayne Dees
dianeedees@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Diane Elayne Dees is a writer and psychotherapist in Covington, Louisiana. Her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies. Diane also publishes Women Who Serve, which provides commentary on women’s professional tennis throughout the world.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Diane Elayne Dees and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Fashion Statement

In a closet in Chatauqua
hangs an elegant unworn pantsuit,
its silky fabric woven
to withstand the chilly weather
and the ravages of time.
Elsewhere, as the daylight dims,
everything unravels.

 



Jeanie Greensfelder
geniegreensfelder@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Jeanie Greensfelder grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. A psychologist and poet, she seeks to understand herself and others on this shared journey, filled, as Joseph Campbell wrote, with sorrowful joys and joyful sorrows. She now lives in San Luis Obispo, CA with her husband Andy. She is the author of Biting the Apple (Penciled In, 2012), and Marriage and Other Leaps of Faith (Penciled In, 2015). Her poems have been published at Writer’s Almanac and American Life in Poetry; in anthologies and in multiple journals. Visit Jeanie on the web: jeaniegreensfelder.com and jeaniegreensfelder.blogspot.com.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Jeanie Greensfelder and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


What We Knew In 1947

We knew about George Washington,
the axe, the tree: to never tell a lie.
In second grade we didn’t know much, but
we knew Bobby’s dad never got to third grade;
we knew to stay away from Hank Parker
who had lice; we knew men in cars would honk
and offer rides, but to just keep walking; we knew
to fend for ourselves after school;
we knew kids from the Hebrew Home
had been left there by their parents; we knew
the neighbor man who touched girls
and asked Does that feel good? We knew
to run past the domed insane asylum;
we knew Jamie had fits and fell on the floor—
we knew not to look, but we did; we knew
Joey stole candy from Mr. Wolff’s store;
we knew Nick Bell got a beating most nights; and
we knew not to tell grownups what we knew.


(from Biting the Apple, Penciled In, 2012)

 

 


November 7-13, 2016: Poetry from Marie C Lecrivain and Terez Peipins

​Marie C Lecrivain and Terez Peipins

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


​Marie C Lecrivain
mariel671@gmail.com

Bio

Marie C Lecrivain (Los Angeles, CA), is the editor-publisher of poeticdiversity: the litzine of Los Angeles, a Pushcart Prize nominee, and writer-in-residence in her apartment. She’s the author of several works of poetry and fiction, including The Virtual Tablet of Irma Tre (© 2014 Edgar & Lenore’s Publishing House), Grimm Conversations (© 2015 Sybaritic Press), and Philemon’s Gambit:Sonnets and Photographs (© 2016 International Word Bank Press).

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Marie C Lecrivain and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


NLP: A Success Story

Birth control starts in childhood
with the admonition,

You’re going to end up
just like her…

one of the family malcontents,
who, in the old days,
would’ve marked time
by the passage of the sun
through a grimy window
while chained in the attic

Decades of this mantra
migrate through the bloodstream,
become fused to the bone,
and are scrawled across uterine walls
in bloody script. What new life
wants to spend nine moons
in an oubliette like that?

I’ve navigated my life
by this phrase. Now,
I look back on
what I’ve missed,
who I’ve dismissed,
and what I might’ve been,
and though I’m alone,
I’m strangely proud
these words will never
pass my lips to harm
the ones I could’ve loved.

 

 



Terez Peipins
tspeipins@yahoo.com

Bio

The poetry, fiction, and essays of Terez Peipins have appeared in publications both in the United States and abroad including Anak Sastra, Barcelona Ink, The Barcelona Review, The Buffalo News, Conte, The Kentucky Review, Melusine, and Pedestal, among many others. She is the author of three chapbooks of poetry. Her novel, The Shadow of Silver Birch is published by Black Rose Writing. She won the 2016 Natasha Trethewey Prize in poetry from the Atlanta Writers Club. Visit Terez on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Terez Peipins and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Return to New York

Midnight July fifteenth
off the airport bus,
past Port Authority,
dragging luggage,
I return to a new America,
a new Times Square.
Street souls no longer
spill out of corners,
nor beggars
rattling coins
in cups,
straight out
of Damon Runyon.

TKTS recall a golden age.
Dancers in boas, kick
us back to a 50’s trance.

Past erased
in a new millennium empire.
Billboards rise over
emporiums,
product names
burnt in our brains.

Tourists in sneakers, shorts,
push past me
A sidewalk gorged
with pink fed flesh.

Consumption is bliss.
Tokyo descends
on New York,
now just as clean.

No longer the generator
of tales,
of the young stripper
at the Metropole,
of the bum prying
a shoe loose from
an art installation.

New York memories
flicker and fade
like the Nasdaq quotes.

 

 



 

October 31 – November 4, 2016: Poetry from Latorial D. W. Faison and Ali Liebegott

​Latorial D. W. Faison and Ali Liebegott

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


​Latorial D. W. Faison
faisons3@aol.com

Bio

Poet, author, educator, and military spouse, Latorial D. W. Faison, was born and raised in rural Southampton County, Virginia. She studied English Literature at the University of Virginia and completed graduate studies at VA TECH. Faison is the author of I Am Woman, flesh, Love Poems, Immaculate Perceptions, Secrets of My Soul, 28 Days of Poetry Celebrating Black History (Volumes 1-3), The Marriage Bed, and children’s book Kendall’s Golf Lesson. Faison’s poetry has appeared in Deep South Magazine, Obsidian, Blackberry Magazine, About Place Journal, Southern Women’s Review, Kalyani Magazine, Mandala Journal, Chickenbones, The Chattahoochee Review, Electronic Corpse: poems from a digital salon, and elsewhere. Faison currently resides in Woodbridge, Virginia with her husband and sons. While Faison has presence on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, her official website is www.latorialfaison.com.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Latorial D. W. Faison and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Last Day

This twisting of esophageal matters
this forceful overseeing of lambs
this coat of unnecessary colors,
this abandonment of green pastures
this anatomy of chaos,
this politics of a Judas kiss
this second death without a second coming
his temple money-changers have built anew.


A Haiku: America c. 2016

There’s so much hell here
Black tears, Black lives, Black matters
White falling from sky

 

 



Ali Liebegott
friendofducks@gmail.com

Bio

Ali Liebegott has published three books: The Beautifully Worthless, The IHOP Papers, and Cha-Ching! She is the recipient of two Lambda Literary Awards and a Ferro-Grumley Award. She has read and performed her work throughout the United States and Canada with the legendary queer literary tour Sister Spit. In collaboration with Michelle Tea and Elizabeth Pickens she created The RADAR LAB, a free queer writer’s retreat from 2009-2013. in 2010 she took a train trip across America to interview poets for a project called The Heart has many Doors–. She currently lives in Los Angeles and writes for the Emmy Award-winning show Transparent.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Ali Liebegott and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


After Richard Avedon’s Show at the SF MOMA
or Tell the Donor Family a Little Bit About Yourself

A few weeks after my third knee surgery
I found a pamphlet and preaddressed envelope
with suggestions on how to thank the donor family
for my cadaver graft if I chose to.
 
I’d forgotten a piece of someone dead was inside me.
 
Tell the donor family a little bit about yourself,
the pamphlet instructed.
 
I never considered telling them the truth.
Since youth I’ve practiced evaporating
and now it’s routine like a magic trick
or second language I slip in and out of.
 
I put my life in a flour sifter and banged it twice
into the kitchen counter to try and write my letter.
 
Extracted, a single fact
from at least ten lives ago:
I played soccer.
 
I left out that I was queer and a poet
and a forty-year-old depressed cashier
and deliberated before I checked the box
that said YES
I wouldn’t mind if the donor family
contacted me on receipt of my letter. 
 
Loss makes people crazy.
What if they stalk me
missing their loved one,
I thought, crazily?
 
Until I know if the operation was successful
the only good to come out of it
is a temporary disabled placard that lets me
park for free in front of the SF MOMA.
 
It’s our anniversary but I wander away from you.
I like to think in museums,
feel myself changed by the pieces before me.
 
I start writing a poem with the line
What can I do with my small life but offer it to you?
 
You’re across the room looking into Malcolm X’s eyes.
 
The only portrait of Avedon’s wife
is crammed in a corner.  I try to study
her face but my eyes keep returning
to her thin, gold wedding band.
 
After the museum can we limp to a pawn shop
and I’ll buy you a ring like hers?
You don’t give a shit about jewelry
that tells the world one person owns another.
 
I wander into the American Midwest Room
and stare at a portrait of a woman with heavy eyelids
and deep lines across her forehead.
It’s the room of  people who’ve seen shit—
unrecognizable names and titles:
drifter, carny, unemployed field hand, rattlesnake skinner.
No one’s smiling, especially the drifter.
 
Disappointment changes a face.
The eyes relax into a hostile glare,
the hitchhiker’s lips—
pursed into a permanent fuck you.
 
Avedon was a hunter crouched in a tree
ready to snap up disgust and despair, I think.
Then I learn he had a makeup man
smearing dust across the miner’s cheek.
 
There’s no Janis Joplin or Carson McCullers
in the American Midwest Room—
no Beckett grimacing through a wall of snowflakes.
 
I find you in front of Warhol after he’d been shot,
faceless with a black turtleneck and shiny leather jacket.
Some people are so famous you know them from their torsos.
I study the winding road of puckered scars
on Warhol’s chest as I do my heel lifts. 
Up on my toes and then down again,
the cadaver pieces help to build muscles
around the knee that’s been shitty for twenty five years. 
The surgeon called my bad leg my chicken leg
and it made me love him.
 
I try to take in Warhol’s Factory shot
through the cloud of inane chatter about Candy Darling.
In the room the idiots come and go talking of Warhol’s transsexual.
 
In the last room, portraits taken in the final year of Avedon’s life:
Bjork, and then a triptych of self-portraits.
Avedon looks everywhere but the camera. 
I can’t tell if he knows his own death is near.
I’m looking at his body for signs of it packing its bags.
 
His pants are dirty, like he’s spilled oatmeal on them.
And that’s how we leave this world I guess–
looking down with some kind of food spilled on our pants.

 

 



 

October 24-30, 2016: Poetry from Jon Wesick and Steve Klepetar

​Jon Wesick and Steve Klepetar

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


​Jon Wesick
jwesick@sbcglobal.net

Bio

Host of San Diego’s Gelato Poetry Series, author of the poetry collection Words of Power Dances of Freedom, and an editor of the San Diego Poetry Annual, Jon Wesick has published over three hundred poems in journals such as the Atlanta Review, Pearl, and Slipstream. He has also published nearly a hundred short stories. One was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. One of his poems won the Editor’s Choice Award in the 2016 Spirit First Contest. Another won second place in the 2007 African American Writers and Artists contest. One had a link on the Car Talk website. Jon has a Ph.D. in physics and is a longtime student of Buddhism and the martial arts. Visit Jon on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Jon Wesick and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Last Day

As each vacation’s end approaches,
I’m once again a boy on Sunday night
just hours from my dreaded return to junior high.
I make the best of the time left.

Serendipity! The Portland Corgi Walk
hundreds of stubby-legged dogs, eyes shining,
ears tall as microwave towers

A sunny afternoon on Brussels’ Grand Place
cobblestones, guild halls,
Neo Gothic house of Hapsburg kings.
European TV all night
Weather reports from Turkey. Turkey!
Belgian ale and Arab pastries for breakfast
– pistachio, honey, rose water

Dublin throws me a going-away party
with a musical in my hotel – man and woman
singing about the death of their love.
Yeat’s ghost leads me around the corner
to his Abbey Theatre. A cabby
shows me his hurling stick at the airport.

Feeling like an old Asia hand after five weeks,
I climb the ramp to a 747. The boy in front asks,
“How many years you been here?
I’ve been for three.”

Hong Kong, a typhoon buys me an extra day.
“Would you like some green tea, sir?”
the valet turns down my bedspread.
“Why yes! Yes, I would!”

 



Steve Klepetar
sfklepetar@stcloudstate.edu

Bio

Steve Klepetar lives in Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where he taught literature and creative writing at Saint Cloud State University. Klepetar’s work has appeared worldwide, in such journals as Boston Literary Magazine, Deep Water, Expound, The Muse: India, Red River Review, Snakeskin, Voices Israel, Ygdrasil, and many others. Several of his poems have been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize (including three in 2015). He has also done several collaborations with composer Richard Lavenda of Rice University in Houston, including a one-act opera, Barricades, for which he wrote the libretto. Klepetar is the author of ten poetry collections and chapbooks, the most recent of which include The Li Bo Poems (Flutter Press, 2016) and Family Reunion (forthcoming from Big Table Publishing). Download his free chapbook "Return of the Bride of Frankenstein" here.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Steve Klepetar and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


No Time

We had no time to fling ourselves into air,
or ride warm currents above sea cliffs.
If we had it to do over again, we might
have changed bodies with the Storm Petrel,
that flew only at night, skimming moonlight
shimmering on the surface of the bay.
But we were hurried and harried into earth
where our fingers grew to enormous size
and our eyesight shrank to a blurry frame.
We found caves and learned to listen in the dark.
We coaxed fire from stones, rubbed ourselves
with clay and ash. We smelled fungi growing
in the rock seams, and there we invented God,
who had scratched us from dirt, and towered
in our dreams like a great crow with golden eyes.


Midnight Sky

It was never about the broken
branch dangling from the last
unmarked elm. It wasn’t the arm

swinging uselessly at my side;
not lightning strikes in a late
summer storm, or the burnt

out light above the porch door.
It had nothing to do
with the copper-headed bird

pinging against window glass
again and again until I shooed
her away with a broom and tore

down her nest with merciless
hands. It might have been the heat,
I don’t know, or the fact

that my shadow pooled around
my shoes, a dark circle squeezing
head through knees. That

and the bright hole in midnight sky
through which I leapt, a silver fish
straining toward ancestral breeding grounds.


The Cowgirl Who Freed the Moon

I know a cowgirl who owns a dozen horses
out in the country not far from a small
town on the Minnesota plains. She owns
a lawnmower and a stove and goes riding
when the moon is full. Sometimes she rides
up into the stars. Coyotes watch warily,
judging distance by the angle of her ascent.
They fear the bullets in her eyes.
She rebuilds engines, strips washing machines,
changes hoses and belts, votes
for women who aren’t afraid to lose
or wear their hair in braids down to their hips.
I saw her in the mirror once, looking past
my shoulder, face like a stone angel
in streetlight glare. I offered her my gloves.
Her thin fingers seemed to stretch
as they caught the light. It was colder then,
windows thick with ice where the wind crept in.
We sat in her kitchen drinking milk she brought
from a nearby farm. It was delicious, thick
with cream. Once she brought me a cake
plastered with icing and my name stitched
in pink. I ate a piece, but it made my molars ache.
Next day we woke to see a lake in her yard,
but by afternoon it had drained to a small pond.
Late that night we looked out to see the gibbous
moon stuck fast in its frozen heart.
We had to chip for hours, almost until dawn.
Then she backed her truck out of the garage,
hooked the winch around one narrow end to set it free.

 

 



 

October 17-23, 2016: Poetry from Jennifer Bradpiece, Jo Angela Edwins, and Luisa A. Igloria

This week presenting the winners of the 2016 (19th annual)
Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest:

Jennifer Bradpiece, Jo Angela Edwins and Luisa A. Igloria

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


Jennifer Bradpiece
crystallil@hotmail.com

Bio

Jennifer Bradpiece won first place in the 2016 Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest

I was born and raised in the multifaceted muse, Los Angeles, where I still reside. I have my Bachelors in Creative Writing from Antioch University. When I’m not rescuing Pit Bulls, I try to remain active in the Los Angeles writing and art scene: I’ve interned at Beyond Baroque and I often collaborate with multi-media artists on projects. My poetry has been published in various journals and online zines, including The Nervous Breakdown, 491 Magazine, Mas Tequila Review, and The Common Ground Review. I have poetry forthcoming in Degenerate Literature Review and NeosAlexandria: The Dark Ones Anthology among others.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Jennifer Bradpiece and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Biography

My mother is a hospital bed.

My mother is a glamorous 5’10
in her long cut slacks.

My mother is steel and metal plowing cold linoleum.

My mother is a hand model at 16 in New York.

My mother is a POW inside her skin.

My mother is a text book editor in her 30s.

My mother is hemorrhaging morphine metaphors at the mouth.

My mother is a cross-word Sudoku queen.

My mother swears she’s been probed by aliens;
they watch us now, and wait.

My mother is all perfumed in her cigarette plums, anointed in sweet
white wine, and lit by a Hawaiian sunset.

My mother hisses at the well-dressed palliative care doctor
every time she walks in her room.

My mother calls her the “Angel of Death.”

My mother whispers to me and giggles about toe-faeries as i massage her feet.

My mother is a Japanese wood cutting.

My mother’s voice is not my mother’s voice.

My mother was called communist by a small town cop
because she wore black and read beat poetry.

My mother is all Xrays and radioactive dyes.

My mother loses her love: impaled in a trap in Vietnam.

My mother contains a PICC line to another dimension.

My mother marries her high school boyfriend to move to London.

My mother is shrinking like dry sands in high tide.

My mother sees her aunt in flames on a movie screen
the day a lit cigarette eats the bed.

My mother dreams the death of another in an early morning news radio headline.

My mother marries her divorce attorney.

My mother is the recoil left behind a fired gun.

My mother adopts all my friends and lovers while i orphan myself for years.

My mother and i recognize each other the night her arm grows four times its size.

My mother nearly drowns as a child.

My mother sees her body underwater from a tree branch above.

My mother reads Runes to us every New Years Day.

My mother is an octopus, her translucent tentacles all inked out.

My mother wears falls, dresses like Twiggy, looks like a young Catherine Denueve.

My mother is a pharaoh, tugging the tubes in her sarcophagus,
wild eyed,
summoning us all to follow.

 

(First published in Riprap Journal 37)

 

 


Jo Angela Edwins
JEdwins@FMARION.EDU

Bio

Dr. Jo Angela Edwins won second place in the 2016 Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest.

She teaches poetry writing, American literature, general literature, and composition at Francis Marion University in St. Florence, California. She received her Ph.D. in English with a focus on contemporary American literature at the University of Tennessee. She has published articles and book reviews on contemporary American poetry and has also published poems in various journals and magazines, including Calyx, Naugatuck River Review, New South, and Sojourn. She is the 2014 Carrie McCray Nickens Fellowship award winner in poetry from the South Carolina Academy of Authors. Her first chapbook Play was released by Finishing Line Press in May, 2016.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Luisa Igloria and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

 

This Year

The brothers at the fraternity house decided
to smear a blow-up doll with scarlet paint
and leave it in the yard, head bowed, legs splayed,
a cheap Halloween decoration.

Four women were found murdered in this small city
in three months. A grandmother who sang in church,
hunched in a ditch. Two women, cousins,
sunken in shallow graves behind
their killers’ ramshackle house.
Another woman, shrouded in an urban field
overgrown with kudzu. Workers cleaning
the wide lot smelled what they thought was a dead
stray dog for days and said nothing, only hacked
with greater care the nearer they came to the corner
that hid what made them afraid. In another
county, a woman, home from communion,
discovered her pug, a puppy, her first pet,
roasted in an oven, the door wedged shut
with her grandmother’s parson’s chair.

And people wonder still
why we tell sad women’s stories.
We listen to such questions. We light candles.
Put on a pot of tea. Pull dark bread
from the cupboards. Ask the people to sit down



Luisa A. Igloria
luisa.igloria61@gmail.com

Bio

Luisa A. Iglora won third place in the 2016 Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest.

Originally from Baguio City in the Philippines, Luisa A. Igloria is the author of 13 books of poetry and 1 chapbook. She has four daughters and now makes her home in Virginia with most of her family. She is a Professor of Creative Writing and English, and from 2009-2015 was Director of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University. Her work has appeared or been accepted in numerous anthologies and journals including New England Review, The Common, Poetry, Crab Orchard Review, The Missouri Review, Indiana Review, Poetry East, Umbrella, Sweet, qarrtsiluni, poemeleon, Smartish Pace, Rattle, The North American Review, Bellingham Review, Shearsman (UK), PRISM International (Canada), Poetry Salzburg Review (Austria), The Asian Pacific American Journal, and TriQuarterly.Vist her on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Luisa Igloria and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

 

Only let the body find the chime

In the country,
we save all the bits

of leftover string, the fat
that drips from the sides

of rusted nails. Waste not,
sings the crooked bird

in the clock that tells
the time a hundred ways—

or waste away.
In the afternoons,

when the sun begins to drop
through the thin atmosphere,

we sit on the porch
and begin our real work:

someone has to do it,
someone has to find the hollow

reeds through which the wind,
strafing through, might make

a different kind of sound
from the ones we know.

 


 

October 10-16, 2016: Poetry from Louie Crew Clay and Austin Davis

​Louie Crew Clay and Austin Davis

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


​Louie Crew Clay
louie.clay@comcast.net

Bio (auto)

Queer poet Louie Crew Clay, 79½, an Alabama native and an emeritus professor at Rutgers, lives in East Orange, NJ, with his husband Ernest Clay. Editors have published 2,612 of Louie Clay’s poems and essays, including Letters from Samaria: The Prose and Poetry of Louie Crew Clay, NYC: Seabury Press, November 2015. Louie’s latest book Letters from Samaria: The Prose and Poetry of Louie Crew Clay (November 2015) is available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle. See Louie’s Wikipedia page here. The University of Michigan collects Clay’s papers.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Louie Crew Clay and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Lost half the day

Lost half the day on lust,
with binoculars
and movies.

Then washed clothes.

 



Austin Davis
austin.davis@cox.net

Bio (auto)

Austin Davis is a poet from Mesa, Arizona. His first collection of poetry titled "A Drizzle At Dawn" has been published and is currently being sold on Amazon.com and in Barnes and Noble. Poetry from this collection has been published in literary magazines, most recently in Sleet Magazine and Minds Eye.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Austin Davis and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Harder to Kill

She lathers her skin with Dove
and cooks her meals
at home every night.
She likes to watch the pictures
retract in and expand out
in the slide show
like her rhythmic breathing,
and the usual beating of her heart
against her chest.
A soft confusion,
an enlightening breath
she sits at her desk
and thinks about why
it is harder to kill our people
when we read their poetry.

 

 



October 3-9, 2016: Poetry from John Reinhart and Lisa Stice

​John Reinhart and ​Lisa Stice

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


​John Reinhart
johnreinhart@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

An arsonist by trade, John Reinhart spends his spare time gluing things together. He lives on an urban farmlette in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, with his wife, three children, dog, cat, duck, goats, chickens, pigeons, and undoubtedly mice. He is a Frequent Contributor at the Songs of Eretz Poetry Review and his chapbook, "encircled," is available from Prolific Press. You may find more of his poetry and links to yet more at http://www.patreon.com/johnreinhart. You can also connect with him at https://www.facebook.com/JohnReinhartPoet.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​John Reinhart and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Jennifer Worries

Jennifer worries what her neighbors will
think since the door panel fell off her
car not to mention the car itself, not the
latest model though highly reliable.
She worries about her children
eating dirt, eating worms, eating well
and about their social life without a
passenger door panel. The Joneses
don’t even live on her block and no one
sees them around anyway, yet the
bedtime myth abounds and though the
cold war ended, consumer armament
rages in overgrown boxes, buzzing like
new packages of bees at the post office,
waiting for freedom. She just quit her
job because life is too short and her
kids are still young and now she worries
about life with four chickens, two
children, one income, and a reliable
car with no passenger side door panel.

(First published in The Vocabula Review)

 



​Lisa Stice
houlistice@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Lisa Stice received a BA in English literature from Mesa State College (now Colorado Mesa University) and an MFA in creative writing and literary arts from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She is a military wife who lives in Hampstead, North Carolina with her husband, daughter and dog. She is the author of a full-length poetry collection, Uniform (Aldrich Press, 2016). You can find out more about her and her publications at lisastice.wordpress.com and facebook.com/LisaSticePoet.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Lisa Stice and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Backyard Play

this was different
from where they came
so they built defenses

walled cities
of empty shoe boxes
the piling up of pine cones

they went into a corner
talked about it together—
this strange place

as she petted his back
as he turned to lick her cheek
they forgot to be frightened

*some words borrowed from “Chapter VII in which
Kanga and Baby Roo Come to the Forest, and Piglet
Has a Bath” Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne (“Nobody
seemed to know where they came from, but they were
in
the Forest,” “went into a corner,” “forgot to be frightened”)
and from “Attacks by Stratagem” The Art of War by Sun Tzu
(“walled cities,” “the piling up of mounds”)


Because Everything Else Is Quite Unequal

The goats push begging noses
through chain link
…………………………you ration
out alfalfa pellets
…………………………let them
receive their fair shares
from your upturned palms.

*part of the title is borrowed from “Attacks by Stratagem”
The Art of War by Sun Tzu (“quite unequal”)

 

 



September 26 – October 2, 2016: Poetry from Elizabeth Alford and J.I. Kleinberg

​Elizabeth Alford and ​J.I. Kleinberg​

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


​Elizabeth Alford
rivenliether@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Elizabeth Alford (Hayward, California) is a magna cum laude graduate of California State University, East Bay (B.A. English, 2014). She currently lives in Hayward, California, is an amateur photographer, and spends most of her time writing Japanese short forms. Her work has recently appeared at Cultured Vultures, Silver Birch Press, Hedgerow, and Failed Haiku. Follow her poetry adventures @ http://www.facebook.com/ElizabethAlfordPoetry

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Elizabeth Alford and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Poetry is a Verb

…………."… Poetry is a verb, not a noun." – Jane Hirshfield

When canyons rise to meet the cliffs
and the rivers all run dry;
when the air we need is hard to breathe,
come poetry with me.

For the sea itself is drowning
and the deserts cry for rain.
The bread we eat has tainted grain;
come poetry with me.

While the roads we take are crumbling
and our sidewalks fall apart,
a drifting leaf is no sign of peace;
come poetry with me.

When ancient trees are paved away,
stillbirthing barren land,
and the life we know has given way
once Fate has dealt our hand;

we’ll watch the stars above implode,
believing we’re still free.
When the world is gone, you’ll understand.
Come poetry with me.

 



​J.I. Kleinberg​
jikleinberg@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

A Pushcart nominee, J.I. Kleinberg is co-editor of Noisy Water: Poetry from Whatcom County, Washington (Other Mind Press 2015). Her poetry has appeared recently in One, Diagram, PoemMemoirStory, Clover: A Literary Rag, The Precise Dimension of Light (Leaf Press, 2016) and elsewhere. She lives in Bellingham, Washington, and blogs most days at chocolateisaverb.wordpress.com and thepoetrydepartment.wordpress.com.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​J.I. Kleinberg​ and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


January morning

I imagined a bear
lumbering black hump
in the back by the bin
when I looked out the window
this morning but no bear
was there just the green bin
steady and square
and the dark road
and leafless limbs
swaying in November
wind that should have denned
but wanders instead
the alleys of January


on this coast

you can always reach land
by heading north
he says
but now
 
stilled
 
afloat in fog
 
colorless
sea-scented cocoon
 
blind
I grasp
at slippery rails
turn from air’s chill bite
toward any warmth
squint for shadows
mountains
shore
a lighthouse beam
a drift of kelp
 
listen
for gull or goose
wave or whale
motor
voice
a buoy’s moan
a warning bell
 
waiting
listening
ebb tide in my veins
pulled to the horizon

 

 



September 19-25, 2016: Poetry from John L. Stanizzi and M. A. Istvan Jr.

​John L. Stanizzi and M. A. Istvan Jr.

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


​John L. Stanizzi
jnc4251@aol.com

Bio (auto)

John L. Stanizzi, of Coventry, Connecticut, is the author of Ecstasy Among Ghosts, Sleepwalking, Dance Against the Wall (www.antrimhousebooks.com), and After the Bell, and Hallelujah Time! (www.bigtablepublishing.com). His poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, The New York Quarterly, American Life In Poetry, Chiron Review, Tar River Poetry, Rattle, Passages North, The Spoon River Quarterly, Poet Lore, The Connecticut River Review, Freshwater, Boston Literary Review, and many other publications. He has new work forthcoming in Raintown Review, Off the Coast, and LIPS. John has read at many venues throughout Connecticut, including The Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, RJ Julia Booksellers, and the Arts Café Mystic, and his work has been featured on Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac. He is currently an adjunct professor of English at Manchester Community College. He lives with his wife, Carol. Visit John on the web here: http://www.johnlstanizzi.com/

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​John L. Stanizzi and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)

………….for my students at Manchester Community College

My student from Nam speaks hardly any
English, and yet here she is trying hard
to comprehend the nonsense of John Donne
attempting to con a girl with some jive
about a flea. And my boy from Haiti
rolls his eyes with disgust when I bring up
Daddy and Plath and ovens and babies.
I have students from the Dominican,
Ukraine, Puerto Rico, and the good old
U.S. of A, all of them chasing what
they heard was the pot of gold they’d find here.
And I’m sure I see the traces of smiles
when I say that if Jamiaca Kinkaid
can rise up from the ashes, so can you.

 



M. A. Istvan Jr.
maistvanjr@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

M. A. Istvan Jr., an animal dealer based out of Austin TX, has spearheaded a campaign to display zoo creatures in “unnatural” settings. According to Istvan, displaying animals in unnatural settings brings the animal itself into stark relief. “We go to zoos to see animals,” Istvan says. “The problem is that, when placed in replicas of their natural habitat, animals have a tendency to fade into the background—sometimes in the most literal sense. But the days of kids wondering where the lion is are numbered.” Istvan thinks that his new approach will help stimulate a zoo industry whose dwindling over the last decade has meant dwindling resources for animal conservation. “I do not call for a return of the bear back to the cramped cage of the Victorian menagerie,” Istvan insists against detractors. “I envision walruses, for example, in replicas of office mailrooms. Minimal adornment on the animal itself. Perhaps only a bowtie in the case of the walrus.”

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by M. A. Istvan Jr. and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


My Neighbor’s Passing

1
 
It was calm outside my window
two days ago. No ambulance
like today. No weeping, hugging,
like now. No lady at my door
informing me, reluctant to open
with morning breath: “Cancer.
It came back. He wouldn’t sleep.
He gave in just now. It was time.
The kids got to kiss him goodbye.”
 
It was calm outside my window
two days ago. My son, dimpled
with defiance, rolled his ball down
to the road. My neighbor, masked
for oxygen in the truck I knew
him to drive, creaked and groaned
back from bingo with his old lady.
 
Passing us that peach afternoon
(just after my dash for the ball),
the man gave full-armed waves
behind the glass with tired eyes.
In a tone opposite my frustration,
I said, “Give a wave!” My son
disregarded the ball and stared
dimpleless, dirt-digging fingers
bobbing. Neither wanted it to end,
it seemed. Neither wanted to be
snapped from the snuggle across
distances. And the garage door
descended with slow drama.
 
2
 
I think because this might be
what I would do too, I wonder
if he fixated upon this image
of my son in peach. I wonder
if the image of my staring son
backgrounded even close faces:
wife, kids, grandkids. I wonder
if it glowed through the rucking
of garments nightlong, refusal
to sleep from fear of never
waking (each nodding off
a dropping down a black hole,
the voices and the fan buzz
cutting out each time). I wonder
if it stood through complaints
by grandkids at daybreak: “Mom,
I didn’t want cheese!” “Mom,
today’s the sleepover!” I wonder
if it thrust forth through concern
about the unsaid and the undone,
as he lied in that bed of recall,
eyes more aware than anyone
could know, than soft breaths
and glassiness let on. I wonder
if it reposed through­­ the gurgles,
through their desired decreasing
in frequency and violence,
through the giving in to rest,
the slip of the last breath. I hope
that it gave him comfort if this
happened to be the case. I worry
that it would haunt me to the end.

 



September 12-18, 2016: Poetry from Jonathan Hayes and Don Kingfisher Campbell

​Jonathan Hayes and Don Kingfisher Campbell

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


​Jonathan Hayes
jsh619@earthlink.net

Bio (auto)

Jonathan Hayes lives in Santa Cruz, California and is the editor / publisher of the long-running small press mag, "Over the Transom."

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Jonathan Hayes and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Way Some Poets Roll

I rec’d a submission letter today, so I thought,
to my humble magazine, Over the Transom

The poet had no poems in his letter
just a cover letter and a business card

The business card said, "A Moment in Infinity”

His cover letter stated he had been locked up
with Ginsberg for 24 hours during an anti-war protest

And that I should go to his web-site
and select some poems

A “Moment in Infinity”

I repeat to myself

 



Don Kingfisher Campbell
kingfisher1031@charter.net

Bio (auto)

Don Kingfisher Campbell, MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, has been a coach and judge for California Poetry Out Loud, a
performing poet/teacher for Red Hen Press Youth Writing Workshops, Los
Angeles Area Coordinator and Board Member of California Poets In The
Schools, poetry editor of Angel City Review, publisher of Spectrum and the
San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly, leader of the Emerging Urban Poets
writing and Deep Critique workshops, organizer of the San Gabriel Valley
Poetry Festival, and host of the Saturday Afternoon Poetry reading series in
Pasadena, California. For awards, features, and publication credits, please
go to: http://dkc1031.blogspot.com

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Don Kingfisher Campbell and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Rectangular Man

Opens his almond eyes
Waking to strips of light from blinds
Reaches over to the bedside table

To grope for his glasses
Shaped like SUV’s
Sees an office building outside the window

Gets up from his bed
Looks around at four corners
Bookcases, tables, chairs, printer

Heads to the bathroom
Aims into the oval
Moseys over to the kitchen

To shake a cereal box
Pour milk from a carton
Scoops irregular flakes with a spoon

Then he grabs the charged cellphone
Switches on the living room television
Plops onto the long sofa to eat

Later brushes his teeth with a stick
Drinks from a cup
Spits into the sink

Marches to the front door
Swings it out to walk the walkway
Down steps

To the carport
Opens driver door
Descends into seat

Rolls along driveway to the gate
Turns onto the street
Glances at sidewalk trees

Pulls into parking lot
Slowly searches for a space
Parks between white lines

 



August 29 – September 4, 2016: Poetry from M.J. Mellor and John Schulte

​M.J. Mellor and John Schulte

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


​M.J. Mellor
m.j.mellor@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

M.J. Mellor is a writer and poet who lives in London. His upbringing in Mid-Wales and struggles with his mental health influence much of his work, as does his quest to feed and fill an open mind. He writes to understand the human condition and to make sense of his own. He is currently working on his first collection of poetry and his first novel.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​M.J. Mellor and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Sonder

Thursday morning, 9.20am.
Hectares of cars –
metal in motion.
Streets lined with shoes.
Faces,
bodies,
all somewhere,
all something.
Roads meet, roads lead
we’ll never take.
Always somewhere,
always something.
Every sole glued to the earth,
all moving, knowing, being, doing.
Yet all nothing, all nowhere,
all no one to me and I will
always be no one.

 

 



John Schulte
johnschulte@me.com

Bio (auto)

John Schulte is a San Juan Capistrano, California writer and developer of animation, toys, books, and entertainment properties. He served on the development team for the wildly popular, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He studied poetry at the University of Oklahoma during the visiting professorships of Pulitzer Prize winner Maya Angelou and celebrated East Indian poet, Shiv K. Kumar. He is the author of the poetry collection Blue Muse Rising: Poetic Dust That Connects US. He also studied film writing with his Czech mentor, Arnost Lustig. Schulte co-wrote and co-produced a pilot for Garry Marshall, called Four Stars. He co-produced a teenage novel series with his brother, called Time Capsule Murders. Schulte also edited books by Edgar Award-winning authoress, Barbara Brooks Wallace. He is a member of the Authors Guild and a member of the Academy of American Poets. His poetic work has appeared in sundry anthologies, literary journals, and magazines. Visit John on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by John Schulte and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


He was a Lenin Grad

In the Shostakovich of my mind
drab grey factory stacks
spew green mercury
into young lung sacs
while the red flag unfurls the star
reigning atop the hammer and sickle
revolting against the tsar

Grotesque Mahlerian marches
chromatically kicking against the Great Purge
surge into harmonies cacophonous
coarse contrapuntal chords
billow and bellow brazenly to stifle the venom
mocking hymns of victory play counterpoint
to a myriad of celluloid chintz and banality
bombastically blasting forth to over-score action

In the Shostakovich of my mind
a frustrating frenzy of fiery fretting
and soaring strenuous strains of duress
are caressed by tremulous timpani
as tumultuous storms parade
into the Kremlin — the Soviet cerebellum
the Shostakovich of my mind
where there is no rest in disingenuous triumph

The triumvirate of Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt
could not cease the siege upon spirits
until finally a concert swelled out encircling the city,
bloated like starving bellies kept alive by boiled belts
once around their waists, now waifish and weathered
a ragtag band of performers, a skeleton orchestra
playing a calamitous composition of culture and courage
brash Brucknerian brassy and boisterous
a tumultuous testimony of terror
an inquisition for blood
an invasion of slow and ruthless torture
blaring from the bassoons
crying from the clarinets
singing from the strings
dying from the drums
a psychological Squall as shells shot
skyward then downward bombarding back the enemy
premature Nazis champagne-toasted at the Astoria
900 days ended with half a million burials
as six notes descended to resurrect a city’s soul

 



August 22-28, 2016: Nick Abanavas and Keith Moul

​Nick Abanavas and Keith Moul

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


​Nick Abanavas
nabanavas@nyc.rr.com

Bio (auto)

Nick Abanavas is a born and raised New Yorker and a second generation artist. He has lived in New York City, Kansas City and San Francisco and now resides in Kips Bay, Manhattan.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Nick Abanavas and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Last Annual Hum-A-Long

Rap-tappa-tap
tappa-tap-tappa-tap-tappa
ratty-at-dat-rappa-tat
tappa-rat

The whiz-bang of heavy semi’s
rolling on wooden wheels
throttles across West Broadway
herding toward the light called…TUNNEL.

Between tides
the river stutters
drip dripping leaky faucets
as Frank n’ Stein sizzles, tapping
a third rails source
that the monster might live.

At home
no vacancy summons interest
for stale, half-empty shelves.

Eat Out!

 

 



Keith Moul
moulpoemsphotos@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Keith Moul’s poems and photos are published widely. Finishing Line Press released a chap called The Future as a Picnic Lunch in 2015. Aldrich Press published Naked Among Possibilities in July, 2016. He has lived comfortably in Port Angeles, Washington for about 2 years.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Keith Moul and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


At an All Night Movie

sBy this time, it’s hard to tell
why the Russian mouth eating
English (Oscar Homulka)
consented to say its lines.
The director must have lost
his ear or failed to review
the film, or, perhaps, fallen
asleep like these movie fans,
and snored.
……………….I see the second
feature for the third time.  I
will not sleep.  I will not die
into the motion of that mouth,
the chewing of this language,
the slumped silence in these seats.
 
Outside fog clings to street lights,
silver calyxes of flowers
used to cold and fast growing
beneath the civic headstones
of night.
……………All of us–the man
wish a diseased cough, the man
who throughout six shows and three
intermissions has not moved
from his broken seat, the man
with a mouth like Homulka
who hasn’t said a word, and
perhaps hasn’t eaten–all
view the picture from behind
rows of headstones, until morning,
like some director, orders
the flowers cut and printed
and all things covered in fog.
 


Originally published in "The Lamp in the Spine,"
No. 3, Winter, 1972, pp. 70-71.

 



August 15-21, 2016: Poetry from Yin Xiaoyuan and James Babbs

​Yin Xiaoyuan and James Babbs

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


​Yin Xiaoyuan
catherineink@163.com

Bio (auto)

Yin Xiaoyuan (Yīn Xiǎoyuán, “殷晓媛” in Chinese) is an avant-garde, crossover epic poet as well as a trans-genre & multilingual writer, founder of Encyclopedic Poetry School (in the year of 2007), initiator of hermaphroditic writing movement and chief drafter of Declaration of Hermaphroditic Writing. She is author of 18 encyclopaedic epics (add up to a total of 70 thousand lines) and 24 series of short poems with themes varying from physics, chemistry, biology, geography, geology, psychology, calligraphy, photography, musicology, geometry, atmospheric science to information sciences. She has gained membership of Translators Association of China, the Poetry Institute of China and of Beijing Writers’ Association. Her works in Chinese, English, Japanese, German and French were widely published home and abroad in U.S.A.,Canada, Japan, Germany, Australian and Thailand, etc. 7 books written by her have been published so far.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Yin Xiaoyuan and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Alternating Current, either Turbulent or Serene

On the beach, you asked the man in grayish windbreaker:
 ‘How do you define ‘The Will’?’
He drew a sine-wave with his finger in the sand, then wiped it away
With waves at his command. A capful of vinegar, and seething calories of vegetables
In your stomach, turning and burning, gave you the illusion
Of snakes slithering away somewhere behind. Last night on your way home,
 
There was a repeat of the scene, in which she refused to allow you
To touch her rain-drenched violin. ‘Keep your distance, am I clear?
Only one of the strings is the zero line, you just can’t tell which!’ She smiled weirdly
And ran upstairs. The string which snapped during the performance
Dragged along behind her, was as thick as a towrope. Confused, standing still there,
 
You tossed a coin into the air, and heard it
Droning fast, with strong and weak beats, alternating,
A downpour and a flood – overflowing in different directions.
Fourteen days are needed to dry your nets, and clear
All water-level data. Landforms, temperature, light from above
 
And your masculinity, will be turned inside out like a coat
On the other side of the globe.

 



James Babbs
j.babbs@mchsi.com

Bio (auto)

James Babbs is a writer, a dreamer, a three-time loser and an all-around nice guy who just wants to be left alone. He lives in the small town of Stanford, Illinois, population 700 and holding. James is the author of Disturbing The Light (2013), The Weight of Invisible Things (2013), Another Beautiful Night (2010) & Dictionary of Chaos, and has hundreds of poems and a few short stories scattered all over the internet.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by James Babbs and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


So There

so there we were
the two of us
you and me
and our love
was a bird with broken wings
the bird couldn’t fly
but the bird would sing
in the evenings
after the light had died
and the songs it sang
were songs full of sadness
songs of madness
songs about forgotten dreams
and all of the songs the bird sang
sounded so beautiful
and we listened to them
we knew what the songs were for
but we never danced
we just sat there
across from each other
the two of us
you and me


Big Fat Moon

big fat moon
stained red in the sky
late night hours and
I’m driving back home
remembering
the angry words we exchanged
while trying to navigate
the dark curves of the road
up ahead
deer caught momentarily
in the glare of my headlights
I slam on the brakes
holding my breath
before the sudden movement
when the deer disappears
into the darkness again
so what is it about this
that reminds me of love

 



August 1-7, 2016: Poetry from David Spicer and Domenic J. Scopa

​David Spicer and Domenic J. Scopa

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


​David Spicer
earwinxus@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

David Spicer has had poems in Yellow Mama, Reed Magazine, Slim Volume, The Laughing Dog, In Between Hangovers, The American Poetry Review, Easy Street, Ploughshares, Bad Acid Laboratories, Inc., Dead Snakes, and in A Galaxy of Starfish: An Anthology of Modern Surrealism (Salo Press, 2016). He has been nominated for a Pushcart, is the author of one full-length collection of poems and four chapbooks, and is the former editor of Raccoon, Outlaw, and Ion Books. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​David Spicer and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

If Interested, Call 634-5683

Since kindergarten communion I’ve
swallowed revelations that fell
into my clutches, held baggage that
chose to bump my belly, and straggled
to the archives of the library
in my psyche, hibernating like books
crowding a deserted dresser. When ready
to accept the crystal thinking of the Greeks,
a loudmouth newscaster’s votives
to hallucinogens, or plump research
about Mao over intercoms, I surrendered,
unlocking prophecies in recovered cantos
of Pound and Emily the Martyr. Now,
I eat rhubarb pie with milk the color
of bored snow, or radishes garnishing
duck flattened to my specifications.
I haven’t unlocked the furnace under the bare
light bulb of my crumbling basement in years,
but if you visit, whistle Dixie and I’ll drop
the water pump I’m fixing, open the rusty door
with welcoming, palsied arms, and prepare
the bathwater to soothe bruises you and I
have endured, like every other clipped body
in this sad, random world of lost idiots.

 



Domenic J. Scopa
djscopa@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Domenic Scopa is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee and the 2014 recipient of the Robert K. Johnson Poetry Prize and Garvin Tate Merit Scholarship. He holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. His poetry and translations have been featured in Poetry Quarterly, Reed Magazine, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Reunion: The Dallas Review, Belleville Park Pages, and many others. He is currently an adjunct professor for the Changing Lives Through Literature program at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He is also a copyeditor for The Tishman Review and a manuscript reader for Hunger Mountain.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Domenic J. Scopa and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


In the Land of Fields

The final time my babysitter sinned
was when he mapped a way,
and made forgiveness possible
for how his hips slammed into me.
If I could do it, he might also,
someday, wherever he strayed,
be so humble to forgive himself.
 
*
 
Wanting solitude,
longing for the simple loneliness of travel,
I said farewell and flew to Poland.
Descending, I looked down
at snow powdering fields,
and small towns,
each house with a steeple roof-
Then the scowling tarmac,
thump of touchdown…
Then nothing…
Still he followed,
and every woman I held close
felt like my captive.
Run away. Or don’t.
Most of my decisions have seemed wrong.
 
*
 
Once, at dusk, I strolled
the foggy streets of Warsaw,
the pavement puddled,
…………and reflecting,
and at that hour, alone,
I stopped hearing the sigh of traffic,
discussions, the racket
of winter wind lifting leaves
high above the sidewalk lamps.
 
When I heard my nephew was born,
I thought, how noisy
this world must be for him,
…………how mortal.
That night, to spite a missing person,
I refused to listen
to the sound of cathedral bells…
to spite a missing person…
To be honest, I was still attached.
My babysitter died and I was still attached.
It seems so strange to say it
…………quite like that-
But how else can I say it?
 
*
 
When I wake up,
I confront the mirror,
press the safety razor to my skin.
I uproot a breath.
My body craves to hold,
…………and be held.
Because there are faces
I may never see again,
…………I must say
there are two things about darkness
and what it does to us-
Her bright, hooker eyes
when I flicked the light switch off,
how the pupils constricted
as if in blind faith,
 
and my babysitter closing
…………the closet door,
shadowed and speechless. 

 



July 25-31, 2016: Poetry from Nate Maye and Melissa Watt

​Nate Maye and Melissa Watt

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


​Nate Maye
natemaye3@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Nate Maye is a poet originally from and currently living in Austin, Texas

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Nate Maye and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Moonlit

along this path
with no lights
we live in an ancient time

when the power
goes out
we are reminded
of the real odor our
humanity carries

the real sounds
of scraping
all around us.


Constant

she says she is
constant
even wears it as a name

but she’s inconsistent
a sentence started
but never finished

a sound began
then falling off, a cascading
person, sliding away.

 

 

 

 

 



Melissa Watt

Bio (auto)

Melissa Watt holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. Her poems are featured or forthcoming in The Breakwater Review, Ohio Edit, and Lunch Ticket. If she’s not writing, she’s probably singing karaoke with a live band or catching spiders and taking them outside as a favor to her loved ones.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Melissa Watt and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Insomniac

Count down from a hundred
to escape the waking
dread but it happens again.
Over five of them this time

crouch near the nightlight:
Centenarian ghosts in your home.
Downstairs, you find one
hunkered in the pantry with the Ritz.

Stare down his manacle-eyes’
dribble and glitter. Then sit
quietly in the den as one
by one, they come together

to take apart your coffee table.
Don’t ask why. Finally
Paul’s old harmonica shines
in moonlight. Close your eyes—

let the tremolo of old
sweep you clean, drift
over sleeping lapwings
until the world shakes alive.


Sponge Poem

Boil sponges in a pot but weigh them down or they will rise
like Jesus or absorbent swiss cheesed rebels.
You want them to stay below the surface for a purpose:

so that when you dish soap your pink plates, your glorified
macaroon holders, your delicate daisy glasses, when you scrub
mugs hard in the morning because a friend sent a picture text

of her freshly ornamented finger with the question,
“guess what?!” and you’re lost for words that aren’t jaded
or homicidal, when you just need to do something with your hands —

you want your tools to be unsullied, not architecture for bacteria,
perpetuators of chaos. You want peace when you stand
at the sink with a mindful drizzle of Dawn after working a double

at the Applebee’s or when you’ve just walked home from your lover’s
at 2am because you’re hoarse from forcing disparate lives to overlap
or sync, so the least you can do is have immaculate sponges.


Dreamwake

My dream lives in a soft spot of my skull- faded, creeping.
It is Jesus in your grilled cheese: the holy ordinary, mysterious

as our hunk of sun, gilded but binding us to the earth.
Sometimes I feel the burning borders of my heart give way

as we enact the obligatory predation of the workweek.
The dreaming sleeps. We: a gallery of mimics behind

our tablets on the verge of forgetting love as a way of life.
Our bodies were not put here to ignore the ability to embrace,

to droan, hangdog, under fluorescents, up and down the same
hallway for a bathroom break- a minute to breathe.

What brio is left,after thirteen years spent underused in offices, derogated
through coffee making? In the evening, suddenly, I, too, own a burning

pair of wings. A noise bleeds through my breathing- the treble of violets.
Here is our inheritance of light: God’s leonine burnishing.

 

 

 



July 18-24, 2016: poetry from M. Brett Gaffney, Helen Townsend and Trish Hopkinson

M. Brett Gaffney, Helen Townsend and Trish Hopkinson

(the judges of the 2016 Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest)

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


M. Brett Gaffney
mbrettgaffney@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

M. Brett Gaffney, originally from Houston, Texas, holds an MFA in Poetry from Southern Illinois University and edits art and poetry for Gingerbread House. Her poems have appeared in Exit 7, Penduline, Permafrost, Devilfish Review, Still: the Journal, Fruita Pulp, museum of americana, BlazeVOX, and Zone 3, among others. Her chapbook, Feeding the Dead, is forthcoming in 2016 from Porkbelly Press. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her partner and their dog, Ava, and works across the river in northern Kentucky as a library associate, promoting poetry whenever she can.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by M. Brett Gaffney and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Hellhound, Lost

Wandering pup—devil dog, heart full of smoke,
digs up gardens, little graves,
…………sheds a coat of gunpowder across this city.
Shreds of souls hang from his jowls like tired trash.

Beast of reckoning, of judgment, rests at the crossroads
of alleyway and back road, cries to a moon
………………………………that has forgotten his name.

Red-eyed stray trots in the rain, looks into houses,
through cracked doors, windowsills, these barriers
between light and dark, watches families
with warm laughs, sitting around the fireplace.

He whines,
…………soaked with longing,
and a Labrador lifts her head, barks, as if to say
…………………………………………………there is death. I see him
………………………………………………………and he is like me.

Some day he hopes a pair of hands
like this mother’s with her soft crochet,
will fold over his face, smooth past
…………the licks of flame and flea to find
…………the hound with cracked paws,
………………………………………..sleepy teeth.

One day, he thinks, they will wash the blood
from my bones, bring me a bed full of raven feathers,
feed me animals I have not killed,
…………………………………………chickens maybe,
……………………whose wings were never made for flight.



…………(previously published by BlazeVOC)

 

Six Flags

The steel and wooden
monsters lie in scraps,
limbs and teeth, tiny screws
scattered at the bottom of a dumpster,
termites burrowing into grains,
marrow of rollercoaster bones.

The ground remembers
the sweat and spit and beer
that seeped through concrete,
the screams to clockwork clicks,
the hurried breath
and before the spiraling
down, a chance encounter
of your hand between her legs.

Our knuckles worn white on rusty
handlebars, legs dangled,
grackles on curved flight,
cotton candy like static hair,
fingers in the mouth.

This field seems too small
for all our summers,
when we pressed each
other into the jaws
of mechanized youth
and came out blushing
with hair in our face,
soda cans dripping sugar
from our sun burnt lips.

After you left in October
someone died here.
His belt slithered loose and he fell.
There was yellow tape for weeks.

Afterwards the lights
still pulsed over
the highway at night—
the moon was at my feet,
her scream was in the wind,
and we were weightless without you.



…………(previously published by Zone 3)

 

 

 

 

 

 


Helen Townsend
prsgrlks@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Helen Townsend grew up in Fort Scott, Kansas, has lived in different spots around the world, and now finds herself in Indianapolis. If she were independently wealthy, she would spend her days hopping planes, practicing yoga, writing poetry, going for runs, and saving all the animals in the world. Because she is not independently wealthy, and has a short attention span, Helen has done many things over the years—taught English to speakers of other languages, taught high school English, taught yoga, coordinated the Indiana State Refugee Health Program, to name a few. Currently, she is a TB Nurse Case Manager.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Helen Townsend and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

 

Forgiving the Enemy

The walnut must have just fallen
unseen until the center of her foot
landed on it, then rolled off
along with a ligament and a piece of bone.
A year of runs full stopped.
If only she were a superhero, she could fix it
spin time back and miss the thing
now lying with its outer softness cracked
or a yogi and go further still
to want to patch it, reattach it
hang it, green and perfect, back in its tree.

 

Your First Red Carpet Gig

He is beautiful.
He is articulate.
He compares the wrinkles
on his character’s face
to the Nazca lines of Peru.
What put them there
he never gets to as you
prod his smile, his eyes
his ab swag, his chest hair.

He says archeologists use
brooms not shovels “like so”
and begins his impression
of Emmett Kelly sweeping
the spotlight onto your toe
Then he smiles like your big
brother’s best friend you chased
and kissed once on the elbow.

 

The Decay of Before

Analog tape can only hold onto sound for so long.
Music rolls from reel to reel until the glued on notes
start falling off in little flakes of iron oxide.
It takes twenty or thirty years
but eventually the tape fades
from brown to clear
as surprising as if with each press
of my fingers playing Hanon piano scales
the notations fall off the page
and lay in a pile on the keyboard.

We become instructionless.

Then it’s like a tennis game
we can play with words like love.
Each volley—you.
Seen for the first time.
Brand new spin and the perfect place
to land in the net of my hands, a place
I didn’t even know existed until just this now.

 

 

 

 



Trish Hopkinson
trishntyler@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Trish Hopkinson has always loved words—in fact, her mother tells everyone she was born with a pen in her hand. She has two chapbooks Emissions and Pieced Into Treetops and has been published in several anthologies and journals, including Stirring, Chagrin River Review, and The Found Poetry Review. Hopkinson is co-founder of a local poetry group, Rock Canyon Poets. She is a product director by profession and resides in Utah with her handsome husband and their two outstanding children. You can follow her poetry adventures at http://trishhopkinson.com/.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Trish Hopkinson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

 

Wouldn’t a flyswatter be easier

Bare legs stuck to the vinyl seats
like flies on flypaper,
windows rolled down,
hands swooping in the wind,
barely grown-in buck teeth
beneath summer grins

on our way to Pioneer Drive-in.
Mom paid five dollars for the whole
station wagon load, tires grinding
their way across gravel
to a dusky spot near the screen.
Moths had already started to school

like silver fish in projector light
and a familiar cotton candy and
popcorn butter breath radiated
from the rickety refreshments stand.
We climbed atop the oxidized roof,
tossing up a few old quilts

and stained pillows to cushion our ribs
from the luggage rack rails.
My best friend and I had said goodbye
to 6th grade and helllooo to Ralph Macchio.
Hormones swooned into high-pitched
palpitations as he appeared

on the whitewashed boards—
all awkward and Karate-Kid-like.
Mr. Miyagi meant to make him a man.
We meant for him to make us women,
to capture us in his arms—gently,
like a fly in chopsticks.

We dreamt of maturity and sophistication,
the kind that would know
just what to say when we met . . .
The crackle of sun-scorched speaker,
a tinny soundtrack revelation,
and a little brother moonboot

thumping the ceiling from inside
shouting to share the Red Vines
abruptly brought us back—alarm clock style.
We hit snooze and wondered into a world
of Hollywood infamy and young love
where boys and girls held hands

and teens danced in the moonlight.
A world soon rushed away by
windshield wipers in Autumn rain.


originally published in Drunk Monkeys
August 2015


South Side

Suburban, but where
100 year-old homes creak
poor kids from their seams,

flaky paint facades and weedy
yards wait for stapled food stamps
to drop into the mailbox.

There should be religion here—
with a steeple on every corner
alongside a dime bag or a beggar.

Gospel is a thick fog, but only
spawns boredom in young people,
no matter how loud the sermon,

no matter how low parents set
the thermostat or how long they make
the bread and milk last,

it won’t be enough to keep
a teen from looking elsewhere
for something that feels

whiskey in your belly good,
warm hand on your thigh good.
Something to squelch envy,

to take notice, to be different.
It’s easy to sneak out
like lean gray mice

squeezing through a crevice,
pressing against the night—
go car-hopping, steal beer

and cigarettes from C-stores,
find glue or paint thinner or
gasoline to huff,

easy to coax a ride from
a mullet on a bullet bike,
easy to wrap legs around

a boy in the vacant lot,
easy enough that no other body
flinches when the kid

who lived in the mint-green
house on the south side
chokes on his tongue

and dies in his attic room
from a brain tumor.
Most of us knew him.

Some of us expect
to go the same way.

 

…………originally published in Stirring:A Literary Collection
…………Volume 18, Edition 4:April 2016

 

 

 

 



July 11-17, 2016: Poetry from Taylor Graham and Mike Finley

​Taylor Graham and Mike Finley

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


​Taylor Graham
poetspiper@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Taylor Graham is a volunteer search-and-rescue dog handler living outside Placerville, CA with a husband, three German Shepherds, and four Rhode Island Reds. She’s just been selected as inaugural poet laureate of El Dorado County. Her poems appear in California Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present, The Iowa Review, Medusa’s Kitchen, New York Quarterly, Southern Humanities Review, and elsewhere. Her latest collection is Uplift (Cold River Press, 2016).

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Taylor Graham and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Shadow Theory, Spring

Redbrown rocks have heaped/heaved themselves
over eons, a blocky maze, an anklebreaker.
The black pup sits watching TV, the universe
in terms of π. Don’t lead those pups pied-pipering
over the rocks, they’re too young to anchor
their shadows.
I knew a dog named Pi whose feats
were circumscribed by nothing, the constant π.
Let’s go. Pups follow, ships on a geologic ocean
tiding slower than the mind of man. A crux of this
fractured world, the conviction of Can’t. –
Of course you can.
They’re safe as any babe
on this side of an abyss. Brave hearts adventuring
the universe.
Balanced on boulders, waggling
ears to tail, sailing arcs over rock-heap laughing
with every puppy-tooth. My lie, the π of truth.


Maneuvers

Up Marshall Grade I’m behind an old rig
plastered with bumper stickers, the most legible,
Protected by 2nd Amendment Security.
Voice of the Divide. We’re headed up-country.
Is it safe to pass? Meanwhile, my security
is asleep in the back of my truck. Soon
he’ll be trotting – more likely loping, that’s his
style – leading me into the unknown of
middle-school on a Saturday, looking for the
neighbor girl. She’s hiding
for him to find. I lighten at the way he brightens
when he’s getting close to his target.
He loves this game of search and rescue, not
destroy. He loves it better than dinner
(kibble on the deck), pursuing an ancient
instinct to follow, to find, to lick his quarry
in the face, his joy.

 

 

 

 

 



Mike Finley
mfinley98@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Mike Finley is a Pushcart Winner (not a nominee). He has published many books of poems, and poetry videos. He has collaborated on projects with master bread bake Danny Klecko. He lives in St. Paul.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Mike Finley and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


I Am Goya

With less than a day’s notice, the KGB gave Siberian poet Andrej Vosnesenski
a visa to fly to Minnesota. There was no time to promote the event.

A handful of writers and scholars and a few Soviet emigrés cluster
in the front rows of the roped off Northrop Auditorium,
a mere 50 people dotting the 5,000 seats while, standing like a speck
upon the giant stage, the poet groans and lifts his fist
like a guillotine blade, poised to come down hard.

He reads his famous poem about Goya, the Spanish painter
of the post-Napoleonic years, regarded by many
as the last of the old masters and the first of the moderns,
assailing power for its crushing offenses.

An English actor translates Voznesenski, but no one listens to that blow-dried fop.

All eyes are on the pumping hand, all ears attuned to Vosnesenski’s
condemnation of tyrants.
No one understands, and yet everyone understands.
And as he moves into action, one word thunders through the auditorium – GOYA!

GOYA reanimates the frozen corpses of the field.
GOYA daubs you with the blood of your victims.
The dashed, the dead, the unblinking eyes.
GOYA accosts you with your gruesome crimes.
GOYA wields the hammer that cracks the rock.
GOYA swings the scythe that mows down grain.

Even when all the words against you are shredded …
Even when the books have made a roaring fire …
The lies that murdered millions come back on you
GOYA is implacable in the face of every rifle
GOYA sees who you are … GOYA stabs and stabs with his truth …
GOYA announces that the day is over.
The whited dead cry out for justice You mighty leaders have not prevailed
You are vanquished by your deeds Your generations are sown with lime.
You have not won, you are dead and just don’t know.
GOYA!

Afterward the reading breaks up and the poets and professors drive
through the snow and ice to Chester Anderson’s to boast and jostle and drink .
Voznesenski alone at the end of the couch with a shy puzzled frown on his face.
Several beers later, I take to the bathroom,
where Chester’s golden retriever lies on a pink poof rug.
I step over the dog to pee. Behind me, Voznesenski creeps into the room
and kneels by the dog on the pink poof rug,
a foot from the stream splashing against the porcelain lip.
He scratches the dogs ears and smiles seraphically.
His two eyes closed, his face held out, the dew alighting
like communion from the dead Christ on his face,
as if finally,
finally
free.

 



July 4-10, 2016: Poetry from Jane Ellen Glasser and Angele Ellis

​Jane Ellen Glasser and Angele Ellis

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


​Jane Ellen Glasser
jegpoet@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Jane Ellen Glasser’s poetry has appeared in journals, such as Hudson Review, Southern Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and Georgia Review. In the past she reviewed poetry books for the Virginian-Pilot, edited poetry for the Ghent Quarterly and Lady Jane’s Miscellany, and co-founded the nonprofit arts organization and journal New Virginia Review. A first collection of her poetry, Naming the Darkness, with an introduction by W. D. Snodgrass, was issued by Road Publishers in 1991. She won the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry 2005 for Light Persists and The Long Life won the Poetica Publishing Company Chapbook Contest in 2011. The Red Coat, published in 2013, is available from FutureCycle Press, which also published the chapbook Cracks in 2015. Her full-length poetry collection “In the Shadow of Paradise” has been accepted by FutureCycle Press and will be available in 2017. Her work may be previewed on her website: www.janeellenglasser.com

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Jane Ellen Glasser and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

One Apple

Why claim the whole orchard
or even one tree bowed
with fruit, at its base
a devil of bees feasting?

One is enough for a treatise
on beauty, sin, and death.
What else could tell us
so much about ourselves,

we who were schooled by Eve,
a queen pandering poison,
the worm. Just one granted
access to the Elysian Fields,
slammed Eden’s Gates.

Cezanne swore he’d astonish
Paris with an apple, and he did.


How to Ripen

Picked green, sour, odorless, hard,

place Bartlett pears
in a brown paper bag, seal tight;

submerge mangoes
in a copious container of rice;

infiltrate one ripe kiwifruit
in a bowl of green plums;

like a Cezanne painting, lay peaches
on a clean linen towel, cover with another;

let a banana and avocado on the counter
quicken with touch;

in a straw basket, watch passion
fruit make love to honeydew.

Oh, what propinquity and climacteric
hormones produce!

 

 

 

 

 



Angele Ellis
angeleelli@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Angele Ellis lives in Friendship, both a Pittsburgh neighborhood and a state of mind. Her poetry, fiction, and reviews have appeared in over fifty publications and ten anthologies. She is author of Arab on Radar (Six Gallery Press), Spared (A Main Street Rag Editors’ Choice Chapbook), and a forthcoming collection of poetry and flash fiction inspired by her adopted city.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Angele Ellis and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Heart of Glass

All that blighted August, I cursed the mugger heat of Philadelphia,
city of brotherly love. To groove with this highflown phrase, recall
the melodious roar of a SEPTA conductor, in Barry White baritone—
Cit-tee of Bruthah-lee LOOVE. My last pair of Summer L’Eggs
shredded to bits in the office bathroom. Back in the retrosexual,
women wore pantyhose to work even as the thermometer spurted—
bare shins were indecent, marking you as a bag lady or a slut
with no time to change after a tearing night of booze and fun.

My legs were slick from a slog to McSorley’s—landmark bar loved
by Harry, long with the Irish shades. McSorley’s, where I saw
baseball great Pete Rose up close and too personal—manhandling
a blonde not his wife, gobbling fries like Moe Howard on steroids.
My madeleine a stale block of peanut butter, Mary Jane candies
piled like bricks at the antique register. No beer. I looked like a kid,
and (unlike my coworkers) I never drank until after five, when
martinis shook under the yardarm. Fuck the clock, stuck at two.

Back to the quotidian grind. I was a tech writer or doc specialist,
forking thick pages of verbage—near rhyme with garbage—
into the maws of disdainful programmers. Just out of college,
I was earning—in today’s devalued dollars—60K. In my soul,
I was a poet or painter or Jules Feiffer dancer—like Franny & Sherry,
in black leotards and batik skirts swaying over shoeless (stockinged) feet.
Pure trouble, those posers—not even making a pretense of work.
Harry thought they gave our computer-driven office an artsy ambiance.

So young, but I rarely felt it, stopping after work on South 13th Street
for peppers and tomatoes at the Asian produce stand. Too hot
for a soft pretzel, and if I ate anything on the sidewalk, blow-dried
jerks with Jersey plates, cruising for hookers, would shout out,
Hey baby, suck my dick. I never had the nerve to yell, Get your pal to do it.
That year, all the streetwalkers looked like Debbie Harry, silently crooning
“Call Me.” Beautiful barely clad gay men strolled hand in hand
in serene self-absorption. That was the summer I saw my first nipple ring,

on a chest like a lost Greek statue. Remember: all this happened
before…before There died a myriad / And of the best, among them…
Inside The Lenox, our sad doorman, a mocha bruise on his temple,
greeted me as Miss. I combed my mail from its brass hive, punched
the elevator to 13, gears grinding to my studio, Triskaidekaphobia Tower.
I collapsed on my sofa bed, staring slantwise at the silverdust Delaware
as the sun pulsed onward like a stained glass heart, and the death rattle
of the air conditioner raised goosebumps on my still-downy knees.

 



June 27 – July 3, 2016: Poetry from Ken Allan Dronsfield and Howie Good

​Ken Allan Dronsfield and ⁣Howie Good

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


​Ken Allan Dronsfield
kadfield@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Ken Allan Dronsfield is a Published Poet and Author originally from Hampton New Hampshire, now residing in Seminole Oklahoma. He enjoys thunderstorms, walking in the woods at night, playing guitar and spending time with his cats Merlin and Willa. He is the Co-Editor of the new Poetry Anthology titled, "Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze" available at Amazon.com. His published work can be found in Journals, Magazines and Blogs throughout the Web including: Indiana Voice Journal, Belle Reve Journal, Peeking Cat Magazine, Dead Snakes, UFO Gigolo, Bewildering Stories and many others.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Ken Allan Dronsfield and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Adjunct

Radiation box
ramen boiling
fear my warped
conscience as
a brain shrivels
speed dancing
to a Slow Ride
Christmas lights
still flash in June,
timed lightning
strikes on this
angry of nights
raindrops fall
like full sacks
of wet mice
sleep tight.

 

 

 

 



⁣Howie Good
goodh51@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Howie Good is the author of Danger Acts Starring Unstable Elements, winner of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ⁣Howie Good and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Broken Flowers

The daffodils had been open
for only a day when the winds came
and knocked
most of them over.
I brought the ones with bent
or broken stems in the house
and put them in a tall blue vase
and put the vase on the table.
This is what life is like after 60.
While your friends are having babies,
mine are having heart attacks.

 



June 20-26, 2016: Poetry from Shelly Blankman and Erren Kelly

​Shelly Blankman and ⁣Erren Kelly

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


​Shelly Blankman
jonbshellb@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Shelly Blankman’s poetry has appeared in Silver Birch Press, Ekphrastic, and Verse-Virtual. This author has been writing poetry for many years, but professionally has focused mostly on public relations and journalism. Her news releases and feature news articles have appeared in national newspapers and magazines. After working many years as copy editor, she now spends her time enjoying scrapbooking, cardmaking, refereeing four cats, and of course, writing. She resides in Columbia, Maryland with her husband Jon and is the proud mom of two sons, Joshua, 29, who lives in Texas, and Richard, 31, who lives in New York.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Shelly Blankman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

My Father’s Typewriter

You never knew, did you,
how your typing lulled me
to sleep, saved me
from starless nights,
when I lay in bed, afraid
the sun would never rise?

You never knew, did you,
how much I laughed inside,
watching you hunt and peck
faster than others who’d been taught
the proper way?

You never knew how I loved the smell
of carbon ribbon or how I hated
the “c” so faded it had to be
pounded to show on paper,
those thin yellow sheets that ripped
if you pulled just a little too hard
from the carriage.

I wrote my first paper on that typewriter
and your grandsons used it, too,
long after science slew the dinosaur
and left the typewriter in its wake
a useless fossil.
The typewriter is silent;
two years now, you’ve been gone.
It’s caked with dust, the “c” still broken,
but it doesn’t matter anymore.

I can still hear you tapping,
smell the carbon, see the paper,
and remember how all those
years ago, you and your typewriter
saved me from starless nights.

 

 

 

 



⁣Erren Kelly
errenkelly76@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Erren Kelly is a a Pushcart nominated poet from Los Angeles. He has been writing for 25 years and hasover 150 publications in print and online in such publications as Hiram Poetry Review, Mudfish, Poetry Magazine (online), Ceremony, Cactus Heart, Similar Peaks, Gloom Cupboard, Poetry Salzburg and other publications. He has also been published in anthologies such as " Fertile Ground," and Beyond The Frontier.” My work can also been seen on Youtube under the "Gallery Cabaret" links. Erren is the author of the book, "Disturbing The Peace" on Night Ballet Press and the chapbook, "The Rah Rah Girl," Forthcoming from Barometric Press. Erren recieved his B.A. in English-Creative Writing from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He also loves to read and to travel, having visited 45 states and Canada and Europe. The themes in Erren’s writings vary, but he always has a soft spot for subjects and people who are not in the mainstream. But he never limits himself to anything. He always tries to keep an open mind.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ⁣Erren Kelly and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Flower Lady Of Echo Park

Rumor has it
She once tried out for
The Miss America pageant
In ’76
And narrowly missed the preliminaries
Some say she was once married
To a guy
Who worked with Donald Trump
But she just changes the subject
Whenever she’s asked

Her flower stand is in
Front of
Walgreens
Sometimes, I say hi to her as i’m
Going to a bookstore across the
Street

You can never read too
Much

Latinos
Outnumber whites in L.A.
Yet are killed more than
Whites
Mexican girls pretend to
"No habla.ingles," when they
Don’t want to be
Bothered
Condos are quickly replacing
The old school houses
Here

A Chicano poet
Thanks me for showing up
At a poetry reading on LaBrea Drive
Otherwise, he would’ve been
The only colored person there

I watch a white girl
Doing stand up
Wearing an NWA. t-shirt
She does an impersonation
Of a Mexican
cheech. and chong.
Would appreciate.

I joke with her
Telling her, "she does mexican
Well."

Donald Trump is obscenely
Popular and no one
Laughs at the thought
He could be president

Mexican girls look like
Kate Upton
And white girls pay hundreds
Of dollars
For a tan
some blacks and chicanas
Hate

I give the flower lady a
Five dollar bill
She tries to give
Me a bouquet
But I refuse

I know now the dirtiest
Word in the English language
Isn’t the words
I hear hipster girls use
As they talk over
Coffee

The dirtiest word is
Change.

 



June 13-19, 2016: Poetry from Suzanne O’Connell and Ed Ahern

​Suzanne O’Connell and ⁣Ed Ahern

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


​Suzanne O’Connell
suzanneoconnell@ca.rr.com

Bio (auto)

Suzanne O’Connell’s recently published work can be found in Forge, Atlanta Review, Crack The Spine, The Louisville Review, Found Poetry Review, Chiron Review, The Hollins Critic, and Burningword Literary Journal among others. She lives in Los Angeles. O’Connell was nominated for The Pushcart Prize and for a Best Of The Net Award in 2015. Her first poetry collection, “A Prayer For Torn Stockings,” was published by Garden Oak Press in May, 2016. Visit her on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Suzanne O’Connell and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Freeway Messenger

It must have been done at night.
From what I remember, there was a full moon.
It would have shone on him like a searchlight
as he leaned over the railing of the freeway bridge,
spray can in hand. Maybe a friend held his ankles.

The traffic continued under him in both directions.
Cars merged onto the 10 freeway or exited from it.
Did the passengers look up and wonder
if the guy on the bridge was about to jump?
Or did they keep driving,
turn the radio up,
forget about him?

I understand the freeway messenger.
I have messages to send too,
but I wouldn’t risk my life to send them.
I once read that Adolph Wolfli,
in a mental institution, made paper airplanes
out of his writing and flew them
out the window to pedestrians below.

Our tagger risked his life to send us his message.
It took time and two colors of spray paint.
LIFE IS FULL OF B_ _ _ _ , he wrote.
The last word was shaky.
Maybe he was tired, or dizzy from spray fumes.
Maybe he heard a police siren coming.
We will never know if he wanted to tell us:
Life is Full Of Bumps, or Burps, or Bombs, or Bums.


The Science Lesson

Last night, my grandson explained
that gravitational waves exist,
an extra ocean up above.
I didn’t understand him.

As he spoke, I pictured
my ankles in the ocean,
waves rippling around them
like waves might flow
around the black holes.

Our transparent nature
is but a skinny voice,
a wisp of wire that connects us
to the universe.

My grandson,
my teacher,
my miracle,
I don’t understand him either.

He pastes his used contact lenses
to the bedroom wall,
creating a new universe,
an ocean of tiny sparkling mirrors.

 

 

 

 



⁣Ed Ahern
Salmonier@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Ed Ahern resumed writing after forty odd years in foreign intelligence and international sales. He has his original wife, but advises that after forty eight years they are both out of warranty. Ed’s had over a hundred twenty poems and stories published so far, and two books. Ed lives in Fairfield, Connecticut.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ⁣Ed Ahern and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Digger

We called him Digger
because when he wasn’t too drunk
he dug graves.

We called him Digger
because he thought poorly
and a dog’s name seemed apt.

We called him Digger
because we needed to isolate
his sickness from our own.

We called him Digger
because he smiled as
his addiction betrayed him.

We called him Digger
because our help
failed each time.

We called him Digger
because when he went missing
we didn’t remember his name.

 



June 6-12, 2016: Poetry from Joan Colby and Tomás Sánchez Hidalgo

​Joan Colby and ⁣Tomás Sánchez Hidalgo

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


​Joan Colby
JoanMC@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review,etc. Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards, an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She has published 16 books including Selected Poems” from FutureCycle Press which received the 2013 FutureCycle Prize and “Ribcage” from Glass Lyre Press which has been awarded the 2015 Kithara Book Prize.Colby is also a senior editor of FutureCycle Press and an associate editor of Kentucky Review. Visit Joan on the web here. See her books on Amazon here.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Joan Colby and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Finger of Birth Strangled Babe

Macbeth

Cord twisted on the throat.
Blue and bloated, not
The child they’d hoped
Would absolve them,
Divine the split between
Desire and abnegation.

The sonogram providing
No cautionary film
Of what might occur,
They discard. That coiled
Shape, that promise,
A tiny finger discernible,
How it clutched
At their hearts, turning
Them face to face.

Now they face
A crib of ashes, pellets
Of finger bone, carried off
In a soft blanket, a stranger
Who will never know them.

 

 

 



⁣Tomás Sánchez Hidalgo
tsanchez3@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

TS Hidalgo (43 of Madrid, Spain) holds a BBA (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), a MBA (IE Business School), a Master in Creative Writing (Hotel Kafka) and a Certificate in Management and the Arts (New York University). His works have been published in magazines like, among others, Otoliths, By&By, Poems-For-All, Clementine, The Unrorean, Alien Mouth, Haggard&Halloo, Trascendent Zero and Crack the Spine, and has been winner of prizes like Criaturas feroces (Editorial Destino) and Pandora Magazine in short story or finalist at Festival Eñe in novel. He has developed his career in finance and stock-market.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ⁣Tomás Sánchez Hidalgo and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Ladders in Spain

First,
check the ladder´s closure,
next, place it firmly against the tree;
when you get to the top,
never look fixed face to the sun,
nor the clouds neither
(or you get dizzy).
Now, you simply look into the distance,
had you seen them before?,
builders!:
yes, they are builders!:
they seem today a worn book of hymns.
Obviously, someone has tampered
the ladder´s closure
(and 23 forgotten monuments
of a country that no longer exists
and seem to come from the future).

 



May 30 – June 5, 2016: Poetry from Jack e Lorts and Chelsey van der Munnik

​Jack e Lorts and ⁣Chelsey van der Munnik

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


​Jack e Lorts
jclorts@centurytel.net

Bio (auto)

A retired educator living in Fossil, a small isolated town in eastern Oregon, Jack e Lorts served as both school superintendent (retiring in 2004) and as mayor for six years. His poems has appeared widely, if infrequently, over the past 50+ years in such places as Arizona Quarterly, Kansas Quarterly, English Journal, Arsenic Lobster and many other ephemeral journals. He is author of three chapbook, most recently “Dear Gilbert Sorrentino and Other Poems.” “Ephram Pratt Reads Numbers in the Sky” appeared in Clackamas Literary Review 2012.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Jack e Lorts and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Poem for a Friend of Richard Brautigan

My daughter’s
ex-father-in-law
was Richard Brautigan’s
best friend in high school
Richard actually
lived with them.

I understand Pete,
who’s about 80 now,
taught him
how to trout fish.
Pete’s a good man.
He’s been a
Disciples of Christ pastor
for fifty years,
a Diamond with Amway.
Richard knew he was
a good man, too.

I wonder if Brautigan
attended
the San Francisco
First Christian Church?
I doubt it;
maybe Glide Memorial.

 

 

 



⁣Chelsey van der Munnik
clvm306@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Chelsey van der Munnik is a poet and university student studying psychology and writing in Plattsburgh, NY. Her work has been previously published in Broad!, Crack the Spine, and ZPlatt. She received the Hassler Award and the Robert Frost Poetry Prize from SUNY Plattsburgh.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ⁣Chelsey van der Munnik and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Pool

I wear my pool skin
playing with you
I’ll hold you as you’re
floating eyes catch mine
Look at us

your pool skin on mine
gliding swimsuit
sticking between our
small bodies

we’re three feet deep
in each other’s blood
shot eyes
I knew then

my front crawl
your back stroke
could make one whole
pair of women

 



May 23-29, 2016: Poetry from Richard Rensberry and Darren C. Demaree

​Richard Rensberry and ⁣Darren C. Demaree

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


​Richard Rensberry
richardrensberry@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Richard Rensberry is the author of the recently published poetry book; The Wolf Pack Moon. This is his first book of poetry since 1992, at which time he exited the writing field to delve into other pursuits. Upon his return to writing in 2012 Richard has also authored several children’s books as author at QuickTurtle Books®. Richard’s home is in Fairview, Michigan. His writing blog can be found at richardrensberry.com

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Richard Rensberry and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Mother and Father

If I were the rain,
I would be less begrudging.
I’d teach Heaven how to beat
a rhythmical drum. I would
speak fluent and decisive electricity. I‘d strike up
a conversation with the wind
and babble with the trees and roofs. If I were the rain,
I’d hammer away as if I could play
the piano like Jerry Lee.
I’d fill large buckets. I’d gorge the streams.
I’d purge the skies with claps of thunder
If I were the rain. I’d be anxious to please.
I’d be the crescendo in a symphony choir.
I’d be mother and father to the land and seas.


The Rock

If I were a rock,
I’d be el capitan. I’d dominate
the landscape with a stone face
and intimidation. I could
hurl men like sacks into submission. I could
catch your breath and push you to the edge
of adrenalin. If I were a rock,
I’d scrape the sky in Philadelphia. I’d echo
the proclamations of Benjamin Franklin,
Thomas Paine and the constitution. I’d raise a monument
to common sense and confine the Fed
to a dank cell in Alcatraz prison. If I were a rock,
I’d fit in your pocket, I’d be smooth in your hand
and fly in abundance when the socialists come
with teargas, bullets and handcuffs. If I were a rock,
I’d tumble from the walls of the fortresses built
too big to fail, and crumble
to dust.


Dirty Words

If I were a toothbrush,
I’d know my way
around your tongue.
I’d have knowledge
of how to avoid its deceit
and all your trash-
talking ways. I’d know
the ups and downs
of your teeth, how
their vulgar bite
involves your own
misdeeds. I’d seethe
and find reasons
for your obscenities with girls.
I’d remember how
to get my bristles up.
I wouldn’t hide in the drawer
or idle around the sink.
If I were a toothbrush, I’d leap
off the counter and clean
your bleeping teeth.


The Big House

If I were San Quentin,
I would hold the key
to everything evil.
My heart would beat
with the tattooed fists
of men sentenced
into my keep, boys gone
crazy as their crimes.
I’d feel like guilt
most of the time. I’d be a maze
of whispers and lies. Truth,
if it existed at all, would arrive
in shackles, whimper and fold
on death row.
I’d have rats for eyes.
I would hold you close
and gnaw on your will. Time
would stagger, stumble and fall
still as their victims.
If I were San Quentin,
I’d have an IQ
of ten. I’d clatter and clank
the whole night through.
I’d hone my shank
and lower my pants.
I’d show you the sorriest
crack of an ass
if I were San Quentin.

 

 

 



⁣Darren C. Demaree
darrencdemaree@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

My poems have appeared, or are scheduled to appear in numerous magazines/journals, including the South Dakota Review, Meridian, The Louisville Review, Diagram, and the Colorado Review. I am the author of "As We Refer To Our Bodies" (2013, 8th House), "Temporary Champions" (2014, Main Street Rag), "The Pony Governor" (2015, After the Pause Press), and "Not For Art Nor Prayer"(2015, 8th House). I am the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology. I am currently living and writing in Columbus, Ohio with my wife and children. Visit him on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ⁣Darren C. Demaree and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


A Letter to Auguste Rodin
About Other Parts of Ohio

There are so many needs
filled

with this structure
of waterways

& blind-drawer
selections

of artistic want
& if we could level

the fields to watch
your son watch us back,

I think, maybe,
he would roll

his shoulders
behind his chest

& lead the rest of us
for one fallow season.


A Letter to Auguste Rodin About
Cold Drinks in Cold Weather

A full bottle groans
& the idea of the season
cracks before

the explosion
& the shards land
again where shards land

when a gradient
& a frozen man
are left to gravity’s will

& wonderfully
terrible wind
from the lake

that first thought
of giving alcohol
to a scarred statue.

 



May 16-22, 2016: Poetry from Nicole Rollender and J. H. Johns

​Nicole Rollender and ⁣J. H. Johns

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


​Nicole Rollender
nicmarie30@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Nicole Rollender’s work has appeared in The Adroit Journal, Alaska Quarterly Review, Best New Poets, Memorious, Muzzle Magazine, The Journal, THRUSH Poetry Journal, West Branch, Word Riot and others. Louder Than Everything You Love (ELJ Editions, 2015) is her first full-length poetry collection. She’s the author of the poetry chapbooks Arrangement of Desire (Pudding House Publications, 2007), Absence of Stars (dancing girl press & studio, 2015), Bone of My Bone, a winner in Blood Pudding Press’s 2015 Chapbook Contest, and Ghost Tongue (Porkbelly Press, 2016). Rollender, who’s based in Williamstown, NJ, has received poetry prizes from CALYX Journal, Ruminate Magazine and Princemere Journal. Visit her online at www.nicolerollender.com.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Nicole Rollender and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Even the Living Can Haunt

Through the window glass, the light cast its own kind
of shadow, blanching the rug, saying, remember me: when

I first realized I wouldn’t always see my grandmother slicing
cabbage, her sloped back slowly moving under her checkered

dress. Among the trees inching back to brown, then dropping
leaves, I was my grandmother’s shadow, watching her start to die.

Later, holding her as a spirit, so quiet that for a moment I thought
I trapped her between my fingers, until she rose like steam fast

and bright, a candle burst, and then all night, nothing. And for
all the days since, when I open the windows, no winged thing flies

in or out. Yet, in my latest poem a girl shakes her crinolines outside,
and the townspeople ignore a dog bloodying its neck to escape

the chain. That’s why I write this lightning-struck tree as beautiful,
as when I read a medieval calligrapher’s illuminated fire—watching

the saints’ beloved city rained upon with flames, God’s name shut
up in their bones. Those blackened branches holding light, scattering

ashes across the page. And my own ghost singing in my throat,
turning its hourglass of snow.

 



⁣J. H. Johns
jhjohnsnyc@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

J. H. Johns “grew up and came of age” while living in East Tennessee and Middle Georgia. Specifically, the two places “responsible” for the writer that he has become are Knoxville, Tennessee and Milledgeville, Georgia. Since then, he has moved on to Chicago- for a brief stint- and New York City- for a significantly longer stay. Currently, he is “holed up” in a small town where when he is not writing, he tends to his “nature preserve” and his “back forty.” His goal is to surround his house with all sorts of vegetation so as to obscure it from the gaze of the “locals.” He is assisted in this task by his coonhound buddy and companion, Roma.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ⁣J. H. Johns and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


There Was a Time

There was a time
when attraction was attraction,
and “pair-up”
wasn’t the same
as “cash in,”
when
“cash in”
wasn’t behind-
I love you.



May 9-15, 2016: Poetry from Corey D. Cook and Ryan Quinn Flanagan

​Corey D. Cook and ⁣Ryan Quinn Flanagan

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


​Corey D. Cook
corey.douglas.cook@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Corey D. Cook’s fourth chapbook, White Flag Raised, was recently released by Kattywompus Press and is available for purchase online (http://kattywompuspress.com/). He edits Red Eft Review and lives in Thetford Center, Vermont.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Corey D. Cook and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Second Grader

The day before
she drew a picture
of her house
and family.

Her.
Her sister.
Their mother
and father;
a blaze of red hair
above his scowling face.

The neighbors said
it was the shrieking
that woke them.

That his car
was missing
from the driveway.

The next day
at recess
a classmate
shoveling pea stone
into a bucket
paused,
announced:

I smell fire.


Previously published in
Columbia College Literary Review

 



⁣Ryan Quinn Flanagan
cyanogen_rqf@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Ryan Quinn Flanagan presently resides in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada under ten feet of snow. His work can be found both in print and online. He has authored the books The Blue of Every Flame (eptember 2015) and Bildungsroman, No! (June, 2015) He has an affinity for dragonflies, discount tequila, and all things sarcastic.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ⁣Ryan Quinn Flanagan and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Ewok

I like to watch those space movies
from the late 1970s
and early 80s
because they seem so
far away.
And it is good to know
that everyone has problems.

Even those hairy little bastards
on Endor.



18th Annual Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) Poetry Issue

Our eighteenth annual Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) issue.

Ananya S. Guha
Boghos L. Artinian
Bryan Damien Nichols
Bryant Rogers
Carol Kanter
Clara Ray Rusinek Klein

Daniel Irwin
Dave Ludford
David Ades
David Supper
David Sermersheim
David Horner
Donal Mahoney
Douglas Steele
Gayle Kaune
Giovanni Scifo

Hanoch Guy
Helen Bar-Lev
I.B. Rad
Ivan Klein
Jay Passer
Jean Colonomos
Jo-Anne Aylard
Kaye Voigt Abikhaled
Larry Burns
Marsha Carow Markman
Martina Robles Gallegos
Mary Leary
Mary Langer Thompson
Matthew Scott Harris
Michael Brownstein
Michael Burch
Michael Virga
Neil Meili
Patricia Brooks
R. Bremner
Rifkah Goldberg
Rosalind.J. Lee
Samantha Terrell
Shirley Bell
Stephen Mead
Susan Olsburgh
Susan Beth Furst
Susan Solarz
Sy Roth
Tina Hacker
Victoria Elizabeth Ruwi
Vinita Agrawal


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


Ananya S. Guha
nnyguha48@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Ananya S Guha lives in Shillong in North East India. He has been writing poetry and publishing them world wide, for over thirty years.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Ananya S. Guha and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Spotlights Of Disease

to begin at nothing
is a wrong starting point,
the circle of doubt is polka dotted
in transmigration of holocaust souls.
I want to be, be, be.
What is, is not
the fire in the body.
What is, is not death
but fouled carcasses
bodies devoid of history.
I want to be, be in crucifixes
of self, in edifices
of living when die is cast
nothing, beginning, ending.
Sing a dirge, litany of praises please.
Cast out the flesh, carved from the bodies
which at times transfigured into little
demons of hope.
Ominous spotlights of disease.


Boghos L. Artinian
artinian@inco.com.lb

Bio (auto)

Boghos L. Artinian is a physician in General Practice in Beirut since 1968 and a part-time poet since 1986. Most of his poetry is scientific and medical as his frustration in his inability to publish scientific articles forced him to publish them in verse. The poem ‘Garbis’ is an actual tragedy and one outcome of the Armenian genocide of 1915.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Boghos L. Artinian and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Garbis

‘O cursed Turk that raped my mother
And sired me! I am killing your son!’
Cried Garbis– born following the exodus,
Yet kept and raised to adolescence .
And one day she confessed the terrible ‘sin’
She had committed after her children,
Her Armenian children, were ruthlessly slain.
Then Garbis emptied a single bullet
Into his mouth and fell, avenging his mother
And his Armenian half sisters and brothers.


Bryan Damien Nichols
bryandnichols@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Bryan Damien Nichols was born in Houma, Louisiana, on August 30, 1978. He earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Baylor University and a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law. He has practiced law both in Houston and in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. Bryan currently lives in Los Fresnos, Texas, with his loving wife, Michelle. Bryan is best known for writing poetry through two different heteronyms: (1) Kjell Nykvist; and (2) Alexander Shacklebury. Generally speaking, Kjell provides an optimistic worldview, while Alexander provides a pessimistic worldview. Kjell and Alexander are not mere “extensions” of Mr. Nichols; instead, each heteronym is a unique character with his own personality, poetic style, and biography. Bryan’s debut collection of poetry, Whispers From Within, was published in 2015 by Sarah Book Publishing, a small, independent Texas press.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Bryan Damien Nichols and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Remember

In those dark times, the air was ash:
Black fire consumed all. Consumed the minds
Of those who murdered Innocents. Consumed
The eyes of those who chose not to see.
Consumed the streets, the fields, the shops,
The trees. The earth was made, it seemed,
Of shifting, graphite-colored dunes.

The Innocents were the victims were
The Innocents. What can you say
To a tortured people, those whose arms
And fingers looked like bent steel
When sons were ripped from fathers,
Daughters from mothers, siblings
From siblings? Can there be solace
For those whose white fire to survive, at times,
Was snuffed-out by the fire within those
Who set all aflame? Can there be
An apology for the woman who,
As a girl, had her arm stained with numbers
By needle, ink, and blood?

But all was not fire, steel, and ash.
For those Innocents, blessed by God
And His covenants and His laws, arose–
Like the Phoenix–from the dark ashes.
Majestic wings, Canaan-made and glowing
In bright violet, gold, green, and blue,
Kiss the air proudly, triumphantly
Each day.


Bryant Rogers
bryantrogers@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

My name is Bryant Rogers, from Jamaica, New York. I am an African American poet who wants to speak for all of the African American Jews whose lives were also lost in the Holocaust. I want to share stories I’ve heard from relatives and friends, who’s stories have never been told. This poem is for the special Holocaust Remembrance Day issue

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Bryant Rogers and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Red Coat

.he still on duty,
.see the evil beauty,
benefits, no retire
Nazi Soldier, girl blood colder/
.protecting one/ came out
to have playground fun/
behind her machine gun/
alley way street walk, of sunset sun/
tears turn into escape to Jews lost/
who pedestrians going run to, back to they self boss/
the girl in the red blood coat
wash her off, she fresh in the hood, like dove soap

firer works in the sky, bullets popping/
women children crying/
worse then Japan atomic bomb, shells dropping/
little girl, keep walking/ broken voices of street
shoppers talking, dogs barking/
.robbers robbing robbers, stealing
do momma daddy, see this killing/
the girl in the red blood coat
wash her off, she fresh in the hood, like dove soap

.she witnessing, it was her standout,
alfit age/ that got her through this brave/
how can you forget, police man
hit several with one bullet/
same issue, different toilet /
.lives matter, thanks for
the hideout, under my bed
the sound of the noise, of
the little girl please don’t pull it


Carol Kanter
cnkan@cnkanter.com

Bio (auto)

Carol Kanter’s work has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies. Atlanta Review gave her three International Merit Awards before publishing three others of her poems. FinishingLine Press published her two chapbooks, “Out of Southern Africa,” (2005); “Chronicle of Dog,” (2006). “No Secret Where Elephants Walk,” (2010) and “Where the Sacred Dwells, Namaste” (2012) marry Carol’s poetry to her husband’s photography from Africa and from India, Nepal and Bhutan. Check
it out : www.DualArtsPress.com.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Carol Kanter and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Haunted House

I. Survivor (to her daughter)

……………..…Phantom hands
drag on barbed wire loops
countless still shots

of al my dead
who I remember to keep
alive. They stalk my dreams.

I never meant to hand
these nightmares down but,
given what I went through,

you see I had no choice.
So, ach! you must excuse me,
after all I’ve done for you,

and offer me forgiveness
I cannot give myself,
not seeing for the life of me how
I have any right to be.

II. Daughter’s Response

……………..…On and on
your barbed wire loop drags
pictures I can almost see:

relatives I never met but know
you charge me to save
so they won’t get lost.

I hold them in my dreams,
but still you scream out
in the night. I try

to remember to thank
you and God for everything,
and only blame myself

when I want more, because
it’s bad to wish so long
as you can’t rest.

III. Adult Daughter’s Response

Ghosts pull less
since I cut the barbed wire down

and secured our still shot family
history in a spectral photo album

which I try only to look through
on remembrance days, announcing

for your grandkids each great-great-
who gave us noses, initials, a belief

that we deserve to live. We honor
them by resting easy in their names.

IV. Granddaughter’s Response

I found old barbed wire in our attic.

Its smoky points
sometimes rip at me in dreams.

Let’s use it for a fence
to keep out those bad guys you say
might come again.

I want to ask you
why would they bother us?
what would they blame us for?
who outside our family can you trust?

I want to ask you
not to always work so hard
to remember,
to make God write you in the Book.
Rest. Come play with me

so you see how good it is to be alive.


Clara Ray Rusinek Klein
scriptorobscura@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Clara Ray Rusinek Klein is bilingual in Spanish and English. She holds a BA magna cum laude in Political Science with a minor in Religious Studies. Ms. Klein is an internationally published creative writer and author and the founder and Editor in Chief of A Quiet Courage, an online journal of microfiction and poetry in 100 words or less. On December 23, 2015, A Quiet Courage was named among the twelve best literary journals of 2015 by Authors Publish Magazine, just over eight months after its founding on April 2nd, 2015. Ms. Klein is a two-time 100 Word Story photo story winner, with her one-hundred-word stories Defector and Airport Shuttle respectively. Her one-hundred-word story Ostdeutschland was chosen as an Editor’s Pick on Postcard Shorts. For more information and a full list of current publications: clararayrusinekklein.wordpress.com.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Clara Ray Rusinek Klein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Munich, 1941

He wears his best suit,
she clutches her purse.
He holds her arm as they walk away,
leaving behind his great-great grandfather’s Torah
with its cover of gold thread
sitting on the mantel.

They don’t speak
as they board the streetcar.
Sitting in the back row,
they hold hands, hardly daring
to look at each other.

At the next stop,
a young Gestapo officer boards,
pistol holstered,
his armband a reminder
of the constant presence of death.
The policeman advances down the aisle,
checking each passenger’s papers.

In the back row,
he can’t breathe.
His pulse thunders in his ears.
She squeezes his hand.
Then he thinks of it.
He can’t tell her.

“You stupid bitch! You worthless cow!
How could you forget our papers?!
You stupid, stupid woman!
How could you do such a thing?!
You good-for-nothing bitch!”

She stares at him, tears of
bewilderment filling her eyes.

Keep crying, he thinks.

It will be more believable this way.


Daniel Irwin
niwrid@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Daniel S. Irwin lives in Sparta, Illinois, where he was born and raised. Retired military now writer and actor.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Daniel Irwin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Tears In The Morning

Grandmother would have tears in the morning.
Another dream, another remembrance.
We understood that it had been terrible for her.
And, of course, it was.
The misguided craziness, the terror, the beasts.
But, Grandmother would thank God for the dreams
And said the tears were from happiness,
Visions of friends and family and a wonderful life
Before the darkness, before the world grew mad.
We said that we understood…but how can anyone,
Unless you had been there.


Dave Ludford
dave.ludford@outlook.com

Bio (auto)

Dave Ludford is a poet and short story writer from Nuneaton, England.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Dave Ludford and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Remembrance

Every night for over a year, before his passing
The old man would take out his violin and sit
On his balcony and play low, melancholy tunes
Music so sad the birds would stop singing.
Often the same tune, played over and over;
Occasionally a new harmony would favour the air
With its sorrowful beauty and grace. After half an hour
He would stop, walk back into his rooms, and close the door.

In the evening there would be music;
His music, played the way he wanted it played
To honour those who had passed before him.
For now he watched the children run and laugh
In the park near his apartment, his brow creased
With a secret history that nobody wanted to hear.
His story, his music
Performed to an audience of one.

Now there is no more music
Only a candle, lit every night,
By a neighbour whose family
Suffered, too.
“Good night, my old friend.
You are with God.
Goodnight, goodnight.”


David Ades
davidades@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

David Adès is a Pushcart Prize nominated poet who recently relocated to Sydney, Australia after living in Pittsburgh since 2011. He has been a member of Friendly Street Poets since 1979. He is the author of Mapping the World (Friendly Street Poets / Wakefield Press, 2008) commended for the Anne Elder Award 2008, and the chapbook Only the Questions Are Eternal (Garron Publishing, 2015). His poems have appeared widely in Australia and the U.S. in publications including over 20 of the Friendly Street Readers, and numerous literary magazines and have also been widely anthologized, most recently in Verse Envisioned: Poems from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and Works of Art They Have Inspired. In 2014 David was awarded the inaugural University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize and was also shortlisted for the Newcastle Poetry Prize.‬

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by David Ades and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Auschwitz (Tel Aviv, 1984)

1.

A name,
a signpost to evil, a witch’s house rank
with the smell of a deadly brew:

five parts the twitching of dead limbs,
ten parts the putrefaction of burning flesh;
a sky filled with ash, darkness uncorked,

screams lost in a mirror maze,
swirling essence of two million severed dreams,
irrevocable diversion of the world’s destiny.

I was not there.
This belongs to an earlier generation,
remains a unique inheritance.

I do not remember: I cannot forget.

2.

A word,
settled deep in the Jewish vocabulary.
The dead spread gnarled

and ancient roots among the living,
hunger for the green shoots of an echoed life,
clamour not to be cut down again

from memory, poisoned by revisionists
to an even greater death,
an even greater non-existence.

3.

A silence,
sharp as a corpse at the moment of death
follows the Russian girl’s question

in the Hebrew class in Tel Aviv:
What she asks is Auschwitz?
The air expels an inhuman sob:

the dead are dying again,
their heritage suppressed,
vanquished unto death.


David Supper
davidmsupper@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Started out at Art College in the 60’s and worked as a Graphic Designer until the early 70’s. Made a switch to education and worked in secondary schools as an art teacher for 34 years. Now working as a full time artist, with work sold by London Gallery and shortly to open my home as a gallery for prospective buyers. People can view my work on my website: withspaceinmind.com. My unique style I describe as Hard-edge Realism and the paintings are medium to large. All are for sale of course! I currently live and work in Nottingham, England, but as I travel a lot my subject matter is often influenced by what I discover overseas. I recently re-married and my wife, Bryony, is an ex-professional actress turned children’s author and we are trying to get her current project off the ground.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by David Supper and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Remember

And so it continues……..
The lies and the accusations
The never-ending, just existing
Is enough, no too much!
Seventy years on, the true revelations
The hate that defies logic
Educate to kill a Jew
And nobody cares about the truth,
Reason, humanity.
We have seen it all before
Over and over again
Senseless special rules, vilified
We suffer, we are the chosen
Chosen to be spat upon.
Blamed, condemned – for what?
We killed Yehoshua, not the Romans>?
We stole a land that was stolen from us?
Not given back by a majority vote?
When we defend ourselves
From attack it is a grievous fault,
Twisted logic grows from this hate
Boycotted, divested, sanctioned,
And when we protest
They sneer and they jibe and complain
The Yids are playing the Holocaust card again,
Zionists equated as Nazis, Apartheidt state
Is the cry. The tears though are ours…..
For the lost generations, trapped, gassed,
And burnt in the Death Camps
There was no escape for them – or for us!
Israel is the beacon, though its light grows dim,
Shout out to the world: we will survive,
Your hatred will consume you – not the Jews!


David Sermersheim
dsermersheim@snet.net

Bio (auto)

The author taught at The Hotchkiss School (Ct.) for 33 years; has had poems published in “The Aurorean”, “Ancient Paths”, “Sacred Journeys”, “Cloudbank” “Iodine Review”, ”Everyday Poems”, “Writing Raw”, “Poetry Pacific” and "Poetry Super Highway" as well as other journals and quarterlies. He was a MacDowell Fellow and has a book, “Meditations”, listed on Amazon.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by David Sermersheim and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Nie Wieder

(for Vera Klement)

sacred images hover
as masks on
pure white stillness
in the glare
of the unstated ………………………..peace has found rest
ablaze in vivid tableaus ………….in a field that holds ashes
…………………………………………………of the unforgotten
……………………………………………….where poppies bow
silent hymns sound ………………..in idle winds
in memory …………………………….whispering names of
to the unforgotten…………………..the unknown ones
vanished in innocence……………always among us
without a chance to sing

consecrated
in the hellish pyre ………………..anthems to the fallen
of a contemptuous void ………..die in echoes
where reason lost its way………..down silent corridors
………………………………………………..that speak ‘nie wieder’
………………………………………………..to nameless spirits entombed
………………………………………………..in cold gray stone

the hand that remembers
trembles with the weighted toil
of memories filling woven baskets
of radiant hues of another time

“light and dark
good and evil
life……death” ………………………...‘eins mit er ich auch jetz’
…………(Vera Klement) ………………………………(Paul Celan)


David Horner
davidhorner51@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

David Horner is a freelance teacher trainer living near Paris, France.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by David Horner and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

On a Visit to Auschwitz

In the air whispering screams fill my head,
And swirl like snowflakes abandoned in the autumn mists.
Spectral memories haunt the empty huts,
And the stillness seeps into my consciousness,
 
Tugging at awareness, while chillingly unaware
Of the seared white horror imprinted in the very air.
Beyond the fences life was lived in selective blindness:
A back turned cannot see what it does not want to see,
 
Nor hear the night trains rolling by. Yet now a pall hangs
All around: the pall of death denied and uncelebrated.
I look around; the autumn cold thickens into sound
And turns my eyes to the ovens where singly burned
 
The dead and sometimes dying. I turn my back
So not to see, but still I hear the whispering screams.
Selective blindness cannot hide the eerie stillness
Nor remove the buried truth: here died the many,
 
And here interned and interred generations died together
And left their trace of ineffable humanity and indelible cruelty:
Scratch marks in the fabric of time; the air Munch-like torn and
Warped into the twisted grimace of a scream.


Donal Mahoney
donalmahoney@charter.net

Bio (auto)

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis Missouri. Some of his earliest work can be found at here and some of his newer work here.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Donal Mahoney and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Ancient Paradox Alive Today

After two thousand years
we still have folks
who blame the Jews

for killing Christ even though
Pilate the Gentile could have
let him go and kept Barabbas.

This would have meant
no crucifixion, no resurrection.
Heaven’s gates would still

be closed—perhaps forever,
thus making it impossible
for anyone to blame the Jews

for doing what they had to do
for Heaven’s gates to open.
And those who blame the Jews

would still be waiting for a Savior
the way the Jews await the Messiah
they believe will come.


Douglas Steele
douglassteele57@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Doug Steele is a lifetime Wisconsinite residing in Portage. His prose and free verse have been featured in numerous print and on-line publications including Maudlin House Magazine, Gambling the Isle, Straylight Literary Magazine, The Courtship of Winds, and Sediments Literary Arts Journal. He is a media personality, broadcaster, member of the Pauquette Wordcrafters Group, Academy of American Poets, and the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. Doug’s recent Chapbook “Rivers, Streams, and Dreams” was released in December 2015. His work can be seen at www.douglassteelepoetry.com

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Douglas Steele and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Tylawa Village

I “Boze Promos Nam"  (God help us)
 
On Tylawa village’s
Outer ring
 
Choking fire raged.
Burning
smiles faith hearts
Swallowing
huts crops lives memories
Destroying
families’ worlds futures pasts.
Forever’s.
 
In this Tylawa village
One flame
Changed all.
 
Bastard Raging fire.
Releasing
Weeping, tearing of shirts
Wanting him back from war
Praying for the young
Wishing away Nazis.
 
At dusk
Johovahs chosen were
Gathered.  Solutioned.
With order.
 
II  "Boze Przebacz Im” (God forgive them)
 
In this Tylawa village’s
Outer ring
 
A fire raged
In Isaac’s heart.
Crouching, short breathing
Lined up in the mud
 
 
He felt burning SS lead 
Met the ground
Was passed by for dead  
As one can be.
 
 
III  "Jesters tylko prochem I cienie" (We are but dust and shadows )
 
Before strutting Norsemen came,
All was harvest delight
Plus dance.  
All was today’s world
with no regrets.
All perfect meter,
Rhyme, time.
 
After stomping Norsemen left,
We –  dust on the land.
Scattered.  Soulless.  Powder.
We us they me I –
never lived.
We, but a memory. 
Bones for the ages.
 
Tempest  dancing  ashes…
 
A fire raged
Though the veins of Isaac’s many others.
Their now’s stolen.
As He. 
 
In this Tylawa Village
Outer ring(less),
There is no more.
 
Only whispers left
In the wind
 
To tell the story.


Gayle Kaune
gkaune@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Gayle Kaune is published widely in literary magazines. Her chapbooks include Concentric Circles and N-Sid-Sen Star. Her book, Still Life in the Physical World, was published by Blue Begonia press and her latest, All the Birds Awake, is from Tebot Bach. She is a retired psychotherapist and lives with her husband in Port Townsend, WA and winters for a month or two in the Sonoran desert.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Gayle Kaune and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Justice

—this Tarot card teaches us how the universe works,
so we can better understand it —
…………………………………………..Barbara Moore, Tarot

Morning and the lesser finches
have returned to the feeder.
Our woman sits on the patio, reads
how the Holocaust
History Museum has just opened
in the nearby city.

Two hundred thirty-three survivors
moved to Arizona after World War II.
Their stories are told in words
and photos.

The finches peck frantically at the sock-like
net filled with seed. Our woman remembers
the films she showed her history classes–
hundreds of bodies bulldozed
into mass graves.

(Now three hummingbirds have come
to suck sugar from their feeder). She reads
the story of a survivor,
Meyer Neuman. When he entered
Auschwitz he watched his wife and three
young children being separated, marched
to the gas chambers. Later, Nazis shoved
him from a three-story building, then tossed
him on a cart of cadavers.

Somehow, Neuman survives.

After the War he meets another
woman from the Camps. They immigrate
to Arizona, create a new family, birth four children.

A family of six, living with a ghost
family of five. Some nights
the children wake to their parents’ cries.

‘What is the karma of such atrocities?’
our woman wonders, drinking coffee,
as she draws the Justice card
from her Tarot deck.

The morning doves console her with their coos,
while the man next door
balances on a ladder. His saw
amputates the branches of a tree
with a high-pitched whine.


Giovanni Scifo
giovanniscifo@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

My name is Giovanni Scifo and I live in Colorado here is my submission entitled Matchsticks.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Giovanni Scifo and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Matchsticks

Matchsticks
stacked sticks
putrid is the ground
sunken eyes
and hollow mouths
cry out without a sound
frantic flies feed
upon a spread
flavored with tears
a black and white nightmare
that embodies all our fears
Matchsticks
stacked sticks
burn without a fight
a field of ash
and glowing ember
warms the morning light
one by one
the old and young
stripped naked they fall
for those the end comes swiftly
against the cold chamber wall
Matchsticks
stacked sticks
thrown hastefully in a pit
an act so heinous
only Satan could commit
GI’s storm the death camp
but alas it’s much too late
for the matchsticks and stacked sticks
beyond the barbed wire gate


Hanoch Guy
hanochkguypoet@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Hanoch Guy spent his childhood among cacti and citrus groves He is a bilingual poet in Hebrew and English, He is professor emeritus of Hebrew and Jewish literature at Temple university.He has published extensively and won awards in Poetica, Mad Poet society. Poetry matters and Poetry Super Highway. Hanoch is the author of The road to Timbuktu/Travel Poems, Terra Treblinka; Holocaust poems, We Pass Each Other on the Stairs, Sirocco and Scorpions: Poems of Israel and Palestine. Hanoch resides in Elkins Park Pa.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Hanoch Guy and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Thou shall forget

Yehudah Elkana
Buried in the cattle car
At ten.
Kaddish whisperers die
on top of him.
Rust envelopes
wasps nests fill the wheels,
Russian soldiers carry out
corpses ,drag him out
to Auschwitz gate,
send him to a refugee camp.

Now a professor in Jerusalem
Plants flower
In his garden on Mount Scopus.

Watering his garden
He passionately recite new commandments:
Thou shall forget
Holocaust,pogrom,temple’s destruction.
We survivors are the only one entitled
To instruct you:
Forget and sing


Helen Bar-Lev
hbarlev@netvision.net.il

Bio (auto)

Helen Bar-Lev is a landscape artist and poet, born in New York in 1942. www.helenbarlev.com She holds a B.A. in Anthropology, has lived in Israel for 45 years and has held over 90 exhibitions of her landscape paintings, 33 of which were one-woman shows. Her poems and artwork have appeared in numerous online and print anthologies. 7 Poetry collections all illustrated by Helen. She was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2013. Helen is Assistant to the President of Voices Israel group of poets in English www.voicesisrael.com and Senior Editor of Cyclamens and Swords Publishing, www.cyclamensandswords.com.She lives in Metulla, Israel with her poet-partner Johnmichael Simon.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Helen Bar-Lev and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

You can’t get away from it

the holocaust
sits mournfully
in the radio and television
in the sirens
all forcing you to remember
to reflect
even though
it would be best not to

best just to let go of it
like all the deaths
of all the friends
the shock
then the grief
then the acceptance
the continuance

But this one horror persists
perhaps it is not so much
the loss
as the barbarism behind it
the sophisticated culture
that thought of it
executed it
conscience gone blank
humanity slipping back down
the evolutionary tree

Everything about this era
is troublesome
but the barbarity
perhaps most of all

Today, when all these thoughts
and memories and nightmares
are called forth
I am certain
I shall never sleep again


I.B. Rad
IBRadeck@aol.com

Bio (auto)

I.B. Rad is a widely published New York City poet.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by I.B. Rad and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Dancing at "The Abyss"

There’s a club dubbed "The Abyss"
where everyone who’s anyone
dances on the edge,
where terrorist and general
separatist and loyalist,
leftist and conservative,
elbow one another,
high on jingoistic near beer
and solidarity’s addicting upper,
cultural-ethnic superiority,
where war and death
prance cheek to cheek
to an orchestration so enthralling,
with a culmination so invigorating,
it’s left all caterwauling,
" From crematoria of Europe,
to killing fields of Rwanda,
Syria, Cambodia,
we’re dancing at The Abyss"


Ivan Klein
starfirepress@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Ivan Klein lives in downtown Manhattan, is the author of Alternatives to Silence from Starfire Press and a chapbook on the sumi-e paintings of Koho Yamamoto. He has been published in Leviathan, The Jewish Literary Journal, Urban Graffiti and the Forward among other publications. His poems have appeared in several previous PSH annual Yom Hashoah issues. A poem sequence on the Japanese poet Sakutaro Hagiwara is in the current issue of the online magazine Arteidolia.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Ivan Klein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

In The Garden Of The Sanitorium

After a poem by Nelly Sachs*

……..……..…….The poet as madwoman / the madwoman as poet

……..There to be protected against the vicious radio messaging of the
Nazi cabal that had hunted her down & penetrated the walls of her one room
refugee apartment in Stockholm with their cunning & all-knowing antennae & microphones.
             
……..Protected from herself, from the image of the recently captured
Eichmann’s jackbooted, obscene face, the open wound of her martyred dead.
   
……..She walks alone, guilty in the starlit midnight snow,
clutching the living, stirring buds of the frozen tree branch
she has broken off for her very own.
            
……..Eyes wide open, poor heart failing,
……..she begins to compose the music of
……..the coming Spring in her beloved high German language.

*A Nobel Laureate for Literature in 1966,
the middle of the decade of her frequent
psychiatric hospitalizations.


Jay Passer
jp8521984@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Jay Passer’s poetry has been published in print and online since 1988. He lives and works in San Francisco, the city of his birth.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Jay Passer and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the Jay Passer.

Cantos and Resurrection

Pound was rambling, yeah,
Ezra exhorting from his 6×6 cage
insufficiently post-war.
they found him just crazy enough
not to shoot him for treason.

Mahler avoided the great wars
spinning off in spiritual tangents
conducting opera but with no time to write any.

Richard Strauss outlived Mahler by 40 years and
provided the soundtrack for 2001: A Space Odyssey –
tough love through hard times.

flashback:
Modigliani drank absinthe, smoked hashish
and wildly gesticulated before dropping dead from TB.
a week later Jeanne H. threw herself out a 3-story window
embryo included.

Chaim Soutine, long escaped from the shtetl
became a rich man, while Marcel Duchamp
decided to never finish another painting.

so Pound says to Ernest Hemingway
Join me in Rapallo, the uninvited clause:
Let’s be besties someday back in the States!
with a curtain-call to the provincial,
Fascism so closeted, so orgiastic.

Gustav M. traveled from station to station
Austria via Bohemia
converted to Christianity in order to legally conduct,
then keeled over dead
before any worldwide diabolical substantiation
could cull him from the intelligentsia.

those were good hard times alright –
they still are.

the Americans eventually sorted it all out, right?
The Rape of Europa
Picasso safe on the cover of Life magazine
as Max Jacob is marched off for extermination
among millions of others who never had a chance to make it:
you can listen to their voices on a perpetually looping recording
at the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem.

you can sit aside sibilantly muttering
while the reconnaissance of countless souls vibrate,
you can gaze at what the emaciated convicts
delicately carved out of canes of wood and composed with blood
on slight fragments of discarded parchment
you can escape to the men’s room
all these decades later and lock yourself in a stall.

the wonder of what blooms beneath barbed wire,
the color of the nightmare oblivious to sentience,
and how to carry on.

they went mad.
they died mad.
Artaud gazing at his shoe at Ivry-Sur-Seine,
Celine with his hounds and parrots and clothespins in Meudon
the air thick with the stench of ennui, so very close to
des usines de munitions.

and so many others – now more than ever.
Mahler has never possessed such quintessence.


Jean Colonomos
jcolonomos@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Jean Colonomos lives in Topanga, CA. She appreciates Poetry Super Highway’s honoring Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Jean Colonomos and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

One More Day

……..…….—for Lola, Kuba and Jacob,
……..…….survivors of this story.

In the was time,
on a back street in Paris,
a woman and two men flee
their cramped apartment.
Day and night the men hide
in the bathroom where
no footsteps can be heard.
No males or Jews are allowed.
Unless the three are picked up beforehand,
they’ll receive forged passports from
the French underground, permitting
passage to Spain. Undetected
when they leave the building,
they’re surprised by a Nazi checkpoint
which hadn’t been there
the day before when the woman
scoured the streets.

In the was time,
on a back street in Paris,
a Polish Jew without papers
is as good as dead. She aches
for her five-year-old-son staying
with a Catholic family while
they await new papers, longs to
roam his field of curls.
But how to save themselves?
As they walk towards death,
perhaps to project a party mood,
she leads them in the French national anthem.
As if light were burning the one-way sign
to heaven, the Germans, unfamiliar with
this occupied country’s language, lift the gate
and let the fake Frenchmen pass.
On the other side of the gate,
their unbowed song is still heard.


Jo-Anne Aylard
jo@aylard.ca

Bio (auto)

My name is Jo-Anne Aylard and I live in Bright’s Grove, Ontario Canada. I have been writing poetry for many years and have been published several times in ‘Quills’, a poetry anthology in Canada as well as a Canadian anthology called ‘Existere’. I have also been shortlisted for a poetry contest in ‘Lichen’ magazine and my work has been workshopped by esteemed author David Bergen on CBC. My poetry has also been published in several chapbooks.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Jo-Anne Aylard and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Etty

(In honour of Etty Hillesum)

She was
a dark
and
troubled
girl
until she
found God
within her
and was
transformed
into
light
during
the world’s
darkest
hour.
 
She
went
from
Westerbork
to
Auschwitz,
throwing
a postcard
from
the
train
onto
Dutch
dirt
where
a farmer
found
it.
 
"We left
the camp
singing,"
she
wrote.

I am
forever
in awe
of such
a bold,
brave
heart.


Kaye Voigt Abikhaled
abikhaled@utexas.edu

Bio (auto)

Kaye Voigt Abikhaled, born in Berlin, Germany, immigrated to the U.S. in 1960. Her poetry has been published in state, national and international poetry journals. Editor, A Galaxy of Verse, 1999-2004; appointed Counselor for the Austin, Texas area of the Poetry Society of Texas; First Runner Up, The Fernando Rielo World Prize for Mystical Poetry, Madrid, Spain, 2000. Childhood in the Third Reich: WW II and Its Aftermath, (Mellen Poetry Press, 2000); a bilingual edition in German, translated by the author, 2006. Kaye lives in Austin, TX.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Kaye Voigt Abikhaled and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Paul Celan

An invitation to visit Munich 
a friend had plans
I have a colleague who is depressed
let us take him for coffee in the park 

 
spatial apartment that air raids had spared
we rang the buzzer bell   
he cracked a wedge at last
lead us through the dark foyer
through the mirrored living room
to a multi tiered library
(we followed him like sheep)
 
he settled back into his chair
at the end of a long table
and pulled his thick
winter coat around his neck
 
I’m Paul, he said at last
turned his attention to his papers
I cast sideways glances
galley pages in a circle

um mich die Toten      wollen Sie mich auch
           erschiessen?
 
             und was dann?
                    wer begräbt
                         die Erstmaligen?

 
frightening words
still haunted a post war world
denied by Germans
 
You need a break, said my friend
let us go for a walk in the park
get fresh air 
a cup of coffee and a fine
piece of Nusstorte –
but Paul demurred
 
he looked at me at last
his beautiful eyes made me want
to lie down in them
I noticed his receding hair line
decided to show respect –
May I open the window?
he said No
It is a beautiful day
come let us take a walk
to the Konditorei down the street
you would like that, wouldn’t you?
he stared at his pages and his notes
 
in the heavy stillness
I felt his deep sorrow weigh into me
desperate to lighten his mood
forced small talk
he answered monosyllabic
stared at his hands
folded in his lap
his pale expression
nearly made me sob
 
my friend wandered around
the library of leather bound volumes
the parquet creaking under his feet
charming away the minutes

my fifteen years burbled enthusiasm
Come, I said, you look pale
you need something sweet to wake your heart
at last he smiled
glad to see his demeanor lighten
forged ahead
Let’s get  some fresh air
sun and coffee and cake –
he looked at his notes and shook his head
 
in desperation I turned to my friend
She means it, why not give in
you’ll be glad you did
 
I saw a chance – went out on my ledge:
And if you prefer
I’ll even buy you a beer
at last he laughed
bemused at such risqué invitation
no respected female would dare
in 1949
I rose triumphant – alright a beer it is
bent to take his arm
he slightly stiffened
over his shoulder he said
I’m glad you came
please let yourself out
 
Paul Celan was no longer aware of us
disappointed we left
sad and helpless
a devastated young man

who had witnessed the murders
of his family and classmates
condemned to suffer guilt
of sole survivor


Larry Burns
951lmb@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Larry Burns is a SoCal native. Most of his work reveals elements of that history and geography with simple situations that provide plenty of room for the reader to create a particular meaning or subject. He believes that writing is a community effort, with the writer as the focal point; writing creates an outwardly radiating expression and description of the human condition. All things serve the Wheel.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Larry Burns and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Under the Sky So Blue

The ancient Fear
grips me Good.
And I sweat.
And I fret.
And it is all I can do
to flip you the bird.
 
If you are really there,
I hope it gives you a
thunderous belly laugh
 
Seeing your reflection
in such an antic.
 
I hope.
I hope to God
you have a Funny Bone.


Marsha Carow Markman
marshamarkman@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Marsha Carow Markman earned a Ph.D. in English Education from the University of Maryland, College Park. She taught at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and, returning to her California home, in the English Department at California Lutheran University. Her publications include: The American Journey (Vols. 1 and 2) and Writing Women’s Lives, with Drs. Susan Corey and Jonathan Boe; Editor and writer of Piri Piroska Bodnar’s Holocaust memoir, Out of the Shadows; poems in If We Dance . . . A Collection of Poems ;and articles in scholarly journals. Markman divides her time between homes in Woodland Hills, California and Annapolis, Maryland.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Marsha Carow Markman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Find Me

amid this rubble stark as stone
a tangled heap among these ruins
whitened by an August sun
find me where my days are done

discarded in a twisted mound
together in this house of shame
scars forever on these lands
seeping scabs on human hands

in this place forget me not
nor rituals that brought us here
hatred from an ancient tome
find me G-d then take me home


Martina Robles Gallegos
Selbor2015@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

I came from Mexico and lived in Altadena and Pasadena through high school. I moved to Oxnard and attended community college. I attended California State University, Northridge and got my teaching credential then taught for almost 18 years in Hueneme Elementary School District. I suffered a work injury followed by a stroke. I resumed my Master’s after hospitalization. I graduated with my M.A. June 2015. Works have appeared in Altadena Poetry Review, Hometown Pasadena, and Spectrum. I live in Oxnard, CA.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Martina Robles Gallegos and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

May Humanity Never Forget

Some think of the Shoah as climate change;
It wasn’t real; didn’t happen; isn’t happening.
We can’t ignore that at least six million Jews
were murdered in hellish ways
by order of a demented, heartless man.
Images or starving and emaciated Jews
still live in memories of conscience.
Star of David was more often target to death.
‘Survivors’ carried era’s nightmares to their graves.
Humanity ignores what’s unfathomable;
the incomprehensible must be discarded,
but that’s a recipe for recurrence.
The Holocaust will never leave memories
of survivors’ descendants who still persevere
to tell the story humanity insists on forgetting.
Sometimes it feels like another Holocaust
looms on the horizon, and it oozes in
through unrestrained, hate-carrying leaders.
Forget the things we want to relive.
Huge events that destroy and kill humans
will also destroy humanity.
Each new event will be more destructive,
so never forget the Holocaust!


Mary Leary
acertainblue@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Mary Leary’s poetry has been published since she was a teenager. She is especially happy about having been featured on KPBS FM, in Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend: Women Writers on Baseball (Faber & Faber) & The Unbearables Big Book of Sex (Autonomedia), & winning 3rd place in the 2008 Book Habit poetry contest. Currently based in San Diego, she is also a music journalist & programmer.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Mary Leary and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

I’m against the potential morbidity

of being born Jewish and Irish
I wish I’d said to the creative
before it all started.  Egyptian torture alone
could engross any neurotic – let alone
the gas vans
and some Catholic closets.  Just

doom from the start
I wish I’d said to the director
who arrived all in black and who
hated the Blasters. I mean, how many times
do I need to explain

that all-black is so tired
unless you’re tall & Germanic
‘cause then all bets are off.
It’s so

easy to see
how some tall men in black
made some girls shave their heads
before tearing off clothes, running straight
into water
that wasn’t


Mary Langer Thompson
mh_thompson@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Mary Langer Thompson’s first collection of poetry, Poems in Water, published by Green Fuse Poetic Arts of Loveland Colorado, is available on Amazon.com. She was the 2012 Senior Poet Laureate of California. She resides in Apple Valley, California with her husband, Dave.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Mary Langer Thompson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Sneak Peek

I’m supposed to be asleep,
But my door is open a crack, enough
to see and hear our black and white TV.
I prop my head on my arm
as a film with a dark-haired girl begins.

She looks my age, nearly thirteen, and smart.
She has an older sister, Margo.
Why is she leaving her home, her school?
Why are there police in the streets with rifles?
Officers in our town smile and wave.
I’m supposed to look for them if in trouble.
Why is she wearing a star on her coat?
It stands out grainy white.
Why go live in an attic?

Anne likes movie stars, too.
She puts pictures on her new wall.
I have Sandra Dee, Bobby Darin, Annette,
Liz and Debbie on mine.

Others are moving in now, like when
Auntie had surgery and came to live with us.
I had to give up this bed.
Mrs.van Daan pets her fur coat.
My aunt says she’s too old for a new one.
No fake teeth for my uncle, either,
but he can chew apples with his gums.

There’s Peter.
Anne feels changes in her body.
Like I feel.
She loves Peter.

That siren. Ours don’t sound like that,
the wail going up and down.
It can’t mean they are coming for them,
Margo, their mom and dad, that dentist
and all the others, Peter,
even Anne.
How did they discover that bookcase
that hides the door?
.
Did they hear Mouskie, Peter’s cat?
My cat, Nick, sleeps at the foot of my bed.

I muffle my cries in my pillow.
Nick lifts his head, looks around.
Could even a cat betray you?
Anne and the rest are so quiet.
The police use their weapons to break down the door.

No one ever told me
that war might not care about a girl like me.
Wouldn’t care whether I grew up,
kissed a boy, grew old, cried.


Matthew Scott Harris
duyeer93@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Matthew Scott Harris begat during April shower made unheralded debut (nine months later) on a brutally cold January thirteenth. His conception wrought as second offspring and only son of boyce and the late harriet harris. He counts himself as a lucky papa of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. His two near adult darling daughters capstone as he tra verses and wends along the long and winding road of life. His father – employed as a mechanical engineer with general electric – heard the powerful lungs of this gangly newborn prior to being permitted to cradle said enfant non terrible. Extreme shyness in tandem with a congenital speech defect (submucous cleft palate) seemed to alienate him from other classmates. As an outside neutral observer, he passively watched with gut wrenching agony how others seemed socially attached, and rarely invited him to join in any reindeer games. The absence of clear-cut goals found him enrolling and withdrawing from countless colleges and/or universities.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Matthew Scott Harris and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

letter to Esther Bauer

no doubt ye did cower
at world word two darkest hour
yet summoned forth survival power
to withstand the infernal third Reich tower.

my life and hard times – with abject despair
will never approximate terror and fear
felt by huddling masses forced to sustain gear
of genocidal machine, which we must continue to hear
even when the sole survival does pass on and dis a pear
to…who knows where?

yet one with Semitic lineage, though an atheist to boot
although fifty three, not considered an ole coot
knows even the upbeat music of Mozart magic flute
cannot in the least offset rampage of life and loot
perpetrated by heinous henchmen of Hitler silent & mute
reverberations of genocide thru offspring need root
out vestiges of deadly Nazism which vibrant shoot.

those few in number who endured galling beast
where the ferocious maws of extermination did feast
which forced human sacrifices wheels greased
this horrible lumbering mythical Aryan leased
and leashed to quash all traces of Levant yeast!


Michael Brownstein
mhbrownstein@ymail.com

Bio (auto)

Michael H. Brownstein has been widely published throughout the small and literary presses. His work has appeared in The Café Review, American Letters and Commentary, Skidrow Penthouse, Xavier Review, Hotel Amerika, Free Lunch, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review, Poetry Super Highway and others. In addition, he has nine poetry chapbooks including The Shooting Gallery (Samidat Press, 1987), Poems from the Body Bag (Ommation Press, 1988), A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004), What Stone Is (Fractal Edge Press, 2005), and I Was a Teacher Once (Ten Page Press, 2011). He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011) and administrates the websites http://projectagentorange.com/ and http://projectagentorange.com/simplemachinesforum/

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Michael Brownstein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Strength in Spirit and Faith

The duck of winter heavy with clouds of snow and sleet,
did not offer relief, nor did the shacks built for strong men,
nor did the barbed wire fences bent to keep us in.

There is a story about how the slaves in Mississippi,
tired of the abuse and hatred of slave owners and overseers
leaped into the air and flew home.

The winter that year was colder than most,
And the strong among us—for we were all strong—
Worked with pain and insight, a knowledge of evil.

The slaves filled the skies with outstretched arms.
For a moment, the skies blackened with their shapes
their shadows, and then they were gone.

Behind the fences, within the camps of poisoned minds
and ignorance, we sang Torah, praised God,
and we too knew how to fly away: We built community. .

There is solace in flight, solace in prayer, solace in praise.
There is solace in light and shadow,
solace in flight and thoughts of flight.

When the war ended, our suffering was still great,
but we were strong before the war, and we were stronger
after it came to a closing and we are even stronger now.


Michael Burch
mikerburch@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Michael R. Burch is an American poet and editor of Holocaust poetry who lives in Nashville, Tennessee. He edits and publishes www.thehypertexts.com.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Michael Burch and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Epitaph for a Child of the Holocaust

I lived as best I could, and then I died.
Be careful where you step: the grave is wide.

The Burning of the Books
by Bertolt Brecht
translation by Michael R. Burch

When the Regime
commanded the unlawful books to be burned,
teams of dull oxen hauled huge cartloads to the bonfires.

Then a banished writer, one of the best,
scanning the list of excommunicated texts,
became enraged: he’d been excluded!

He rushed to his desk, full of contemptuous wrath,
to write fierce letters to the morons in power —
Burn me! he wrote with his blazing pen —
Haven’t I always reported the truth?
Now here you are, treating me like a liar!
Burn me!


Michael Virga

Bio (auto)

The passing of Prince & The New Yorker cover current (May 2, 2016) at the time of this composition coupled with an NEA Big Read in-progress in my home-city Birmingham (AL). http://www.bsc.edu/features/bigread/index.cfm an edition concurrent with the 20th National Poetry Month which waxed special to my calling: I ranged around the metro engaging in the buffet of related events and feeling stronger for rekindling my literary kinship with sister Emily Dickinson by way of of our "purple host," my (and my father’s) alma mater. — and that’s how the spirit moved me upon receiving the call for this 18th annual Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) issue.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Michael Virga and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

no race to the finishing line

The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.

— Portia, Shakespeare’s heroine-in-disguise

on the outside of ruthless
walls — over the cast
of faucets leaking gas —
free from the stream of illusion . . .

. . . the run-off of the after-birth
jetting through roofless sky
like a watercolor with the shower
of spring light levitating on
an expressionistic canvas
of clouds dripping blue-violet
lilac iris indigo & lavender

botanical manna from the divine garden

of Sister Emily’s bannerless "purple host"
floral in form fragrance & function
to caress all the hues
Ruth watering for truth with just
that certain slant of whitelight
that washes clean the gray from the slate

All the colors no longer bleeding
& dying instead to arrive Home
showing up in the clear


Neil Meili
meilineil@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Neil Meili: Edmonton, Alberta and Austin, Texas. Most recent book: Putting aside the Mask for the Moment.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Neil Meili and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

If a Jew Falls in the Forest

and no-one hears
was there a sound

The Holocaust of Hitler
was not the only wiping out of millions
in man’s history of murdering his fellow man

People of the Americas do not think
there was no genocide on our side
of a hundred million, maybe more

Every year we hear
Haven’t we heard enough
can’t they ever, ever, ever let it go

Put your ear against a forest
They are teaching us to listen


Patricia Brooks
pbrooks@whidbey.net

Bio (auto)

Patricia Brooks is the published author of two novels, short fiction and poetry. She now lives in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Patricia Brooks and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Bread upon the waters

Their children looked to the sky and wailed,
What have we done?

Before long, will our children be wailing,
What have we done?


R. Bremner
rongnan3@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

R. Bremner, of Glen Ridge via Lyndhurst, NJ, USA, writes of dead kings and many things he can’t define, the clutter in your mind, and the color of time. He was in the very first issue of Passaic Review, along with Allen Ginsberg. He has appeared in dozens of other journals, including International Poetry Review, Yellow Chair Review, Poetry Super Highway, and Poets Online. Please look for his eBooks You are once again the stranger and Poems for the Narrow on Amazon, BN, Lulu, Itunes, and Smashwords. You’re welcome to visit him at Poets & Writers, where milk and cookies are waiting: http://www.pw.org/content/r_bremner

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by R. Bremner and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The sky still darkens at evening

“Now the tears in the gutter
are flooding the sea.
Why was I born?”

-Laura Nyro

The sky still darkens at evening
The sun still wakes up in early morn
I’m told the waves still break on the shoreline
The frost comes overnight in November
How can all these things keep on?
Don’t they know it’s all changed?
That the earth has turned backwards on its axis
and now down is up, up is down?

I try to joke but the joke is on us
And I can’t laugh, can’t even cry anymore
I used to count days, and mark them
With a twig In the dirt behind a shed
Now I’m not allowed near that shed
And I don’t count the days anymore anyway
Instead I count bodies, bodies not people
Bodies that go into that building one way
Bodies that come out another
Bodies I used to see and know
But now I don’t see anymore
Bodies that fall to the ground before me
And bodies that wish that they could

But these are not just bodies, they’re people
Friends I have known for some years or a day
Or family, scattered here, there, and afar
Some I never knew till just now

But they’re better off being just bodies
For then I don’t mourn them as much
When the sun still wakes up in the early morn
And the sky still darkens at evening.


Rifkah Goldberg
rifkahg@netvision.net.il

Bio (auto)

Rifkah (Rita) Goldberg writes poetry and aphorisms, and is a long-time oil painter. She has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Cambridge University and works as a freelance writer and editor. Born in London in 1950, she has been living in Jerusalem since 1975, has two sons, ten grandchildren and five step-grandchildren, and is married to the writer Shalom Freedman.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Rifkah Goldberg and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Serving God

Sent out in your youth from
Holocaust-bound Poland
Most of your family lost

To start a lifetime
Spanning the world
Helping others to find God

For the past two decades
Retired in the land where our
Forefathers fashioned prayer

Now from your sick-bed
Miraculously rise and
Put one foot before the other

Slowly struggle to reach
The small synagogue where
Inscrutably you lead the prayers

From the emergency room
And rickety ambulance
You come not to miss a day

Becoming steadily more difficult
Still manage to make your way
Through the sun-bathed streets

Then prayer-sated return
Holding your helper’s hand
Over the darkened stones

All the time coming closer to showing those
Who cannot master this seemingly simple art
How to pray in our question-filled troubled world


Rosalind.J. Lee
rosalind.j.lee@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Rosalind J. Lee is a name for a woman with a divided past. It is not her real name. She was moved around from home to home, not always finding her feet, and always half afraid to sleep. She now lives in the village of Mattishall, Norfolk, UK, where she once had riding lessons with Alistair Crowley, and writing lessons with Tolkien. The nearest city is Norwich.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Rosalind.J. Lee and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Recipe

Part 1

My adoptive mother’s recipe for fruit cake
set on lined paper torn from an exercise book
has stood the test of time. She wrote

the ingredients, from currants, black as sin
to hot red cherries, a dust dance of flour.
The movement of the wooden spoon.

Rites we were not to witness,
………………………………………….the making –
We children reasoned a why.
The tale of babies in the saucepan
set to broil, tap, tap, tap on the lid.

Father’s outraged face,
he too was excluded,
the never spoken arguments.

The cake would lay in a sellotaped tin, rich dark,
swollen in spirit. For three months
her long piano fingers would stroke the sides.

She never played, didn’t dust the piano –
her first concert, she was scared sick,
and fled the stage. When I was ill –

I’d sit on the stairs, clad in a nightie,
and the music would trickle allegro,
wave after wave, under the door.

After the three months, she’d whip out the tin,
turn the cake out, and line it with yellow almond paste,
and decorate it with royal icing, piped rosettes,
the ornaments and the slogan.

Part 2

In ways we are similar –
You taught a solitary existence.
Your not played music, a muscle trapped and frozen.
Creativity, was desired and dangerous.
How not to want: wanting.

We lived –
A step out of society, not aware of the danger.
In supermarkets your look could upset towers
of tins, coffee jars, and tool cases.

Before your death, we took to talk by phone.
Conversations, about politics, news nit bits,
how to change the world we lived in.

How to deduce it all. You no longer baked,
had no one to bake for. Before people payed you,
for Celebration, Banana and Walnut cakes.

I knew you didn’t love me, more that
we found the level that good neighbors talk.
Yet, for all that, we needed the connection.

The crocodiles moved in, you weakened;
shards of dark, spiked the end of your life,
as light pierced mine. I cannot give up.

The recipe says the cake will last a long time
if it remains unsealed in the tin. At the end:
you didn’t ask for me, family came first.

Yet on days when
I’m not well, I hear music. I see you spread
giant fingers over the keys, and the music
rises, on the back of my eyelids.


Samantha Terrell
poetrybysamantha@outlook.com

Bio (auto)

Samantha Terrell holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. Her poetry is intended to give voice to societal issues around the globe, and can be found in: DoveTales by Writing for Peace (Colorado); Ebola, a chapbook by West Chester University (Pennsylvania); NonBinary Review by Zoetic Press (online), and elsewhere. She has been a contributor to PS, Poetry Salon (California), and has written her own chapbook, entitled Honesty, for almost five years. Visit Samantha on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Samantha Terrell and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Humble Me

Baptize me
in your
Red Sea,
so I may know
what you know,

that I may go
where you
go.
Make a way,
away from the waves

of humanity’s woes,
that we
might undergo
a transformation
of peaceful collaboration,

admitting over and over again,
that we must drown
our own hopes and sins,
to keep
each other afloat, in this world of waves and deep.


Shirley Bell
sabell1@sky.com

Bio (auto)

Shirley Bell lives in the UK, in Boston, Lincolnshire. Her poetry had been widely published and she is now putting all of her published poems together for the Special Collections Archive at the University of Lincoln.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Shirley Bell and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Babi Yar.

Shostakovich is playing: it is Symphony 13, Babi Yar.
Can music explain it? Can words? Babi Yar.
It sits on the tongue like a mumble of bones,
“All Yids must come; bring documents, money, valuables

and also warm clothing, linen, etc.”
And there’s the hook. Clothes mean a future. In the
serpent words there is a devious hope and it calms them,
like cattle at the abattoir, not to panic yet. Not to think.

The commander of the Einsatzkommando boasted,
“until the very moment of their execution,” they
“ still believed in their resettlement,
thanks to an extremely clever organization”.

And the bureaucracy makes it easy. Do this. Do that
Lapping and lulling them. Although there are dogs with sharp
teeth and soldiers pushing. But ‘Luggage here’. It’s possible
that they will load it onto a train to their impossible future.

Every step now tolls. Babi Yar. It is a funeral march.
And they take off their clothes and add each garment to its own
particular pile. Do they think now? Of fingers sorting through
those lots, assigning them. If they hesitate they are pushed

and kicked for they, too, are destined to join the heaps, but for
a simpler sorting. They are unclothed and their flesh is tender
and vulnerable. There is only one journey
for the stripped and bared to the truth. A naked mother

holds her baby to her breast and the child is wrapped in
the comfortable eternity of sweet milk. They go in tens. Here
is a terrible new bed of the freshly dead, lying in layers.
With each shot they fall on the ones that went before them

on that terrible voyage into an unrepentant hell, of targets,
contracts, officials, records, tags. The lists, the lists.
And all those futures obliterated. And God is not looking.
There is no absolution here, on the lip of this particular abyss.


All material in "Babi Yar." is taken from the
Wikepedia entry on the massacre at Babi Yar in 1941.


Stephen Mead
mead815@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

A resident of NY, Stephen Mead is a published artist, writer, maker of short-collage films and sound-collage downloads. His latest P.O.D. amazon release is an art-text hybrid, "According to the Order of Nature (We too are Cosmos Made)", a work which takes to task the words which have been used against LGBT folks from time immemorial. In 2014 he began a webpage to gather links of his poetry being published in such zines as Great Works, Unlikely Stories, Quill & Parchment, etc., in one place: http://stephenmead.weebly.com/links-to/poetry-on-the-line-stephen-mead

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Stephen Mead and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Desperate Journeys

(with thanks to Ursula H.)

Have I forgotten the future Nazis
who smashed barn kittens,
the flung laughter of derisive fists?
Of the bullies that become bigger,
the monsters among us,
has numbness taken over?
 
To the hills, then the stars,
from whence cometh—–
 
St. Rita beseeches still
do not question the tests
of hunger’s tyranny creating snitches
amid the Harriet Tubmans.
 
Look hard, breathe long
the ashes of ancestors falling
as the living who were victim
to the inhuman that persist
brutally human enough.
 
How deep their ravines are,
how inventive the torturous mechanisms
in simple Bic lighters and tongs for ice.
As ulcers they travel inward
leaving landscapes a travelogue
of imploded glass, of driftwood flesh
in napalm fog…
 
Still, while they are at it,
others eternally use for bandages
their very own fingers.

They journey each on a collision course,
force and its opposite:
 
days of open hand.


Susan Olsburgh
olsburgh.susan@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Susan Olsburgh was born in the North East of England . Her parents were victims of Nazi Oppression and were glad to find a safe haven in the UK in 1938. For the past five years Susan has lived near Netanya, in Israel. She facilitates a monthly poetry appreciation activity for adults and is currently the national president of Voices Israel, an organisation for poets writing in English in Israel.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Susan Olsburgh and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Papers Please

"Achtung! Where are your papers?"
In drawers, in boxes, filed and unfiled,
"Your papers are not in order. You have defied."
Randomly stacked, partially sorted,
Methodical arrangements are time-aborted.
Why can’t you toss these into the bin?
To throw them out would be a sin.
You surely won’t need this anymore.
Leave it. Please return it to the store.
Files, dusty as decorator’s dustsheets,
Could be the key to family heartbeats.
Try sorting them and you’ll be amazed
What yellowed papers Father salvaged.
Returned to containers the rescued records go
So that grandchildren’s grandchildren may also know.


Susan Beth Furst
sfurst14@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Susan Beth Furst is a writer and poet. She enjoys writing prose and considers herself a haiku artist. She was "Poet of the Week," on the Poetry Super Highway. Her poems have appeared in The Avocet, Haikuniverse, and "The Best of Kindness," anthology by the Origami Poets Project. She lives in Woodbridge, Virginia with her husband Herb and a canary named Mozart. You can also find her at beautifuldefect.com.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Susan Beth Furst and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Poet

Ninety four years old
she tells me her stories
about the ghetto
and Auschwitz
and Stutthoff
I struggle with the words
and write poems
that do not rhyme –
I inspire her she says,
so she writes her own stories –
seamless and beautiful,
perfect – the first time.


Susan Solarz
solaking19@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Susan Solarz of Sacramento, California is the child of two Holocaust survivors. Her parents, Renee Gitla Berlinska Solarz (Renia) and Simon Solarz (Szymon) were both from Lodz, Poland and survived the Lodz ghetto, labor camps at Auschwitz and other concentration camps. Her parents met when they were at a displaced persons (DP) camp in Hannover, Germany. They emigrated together to the United States in 1950 and settled in Los Angeles, where Susan was born. Since retiring at the end of 2013, Susan has been sharing her passion for nature with schoolchildren as a docent at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center and is active in various local environmental groups. Susan has been active in Sacramento’s Holocaust Remembrance committee and 2nd Generation group for many years.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Susan Solarz and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

In Honor of Renia

Renia picked flowers at her summer home
In the Polish countryside
Laughed and played

Plucked like unripe fruit
Girls in the ghetto did not see the green leaves
They did not smell the roses
They did not dance with the boys to happy tunes
They smelled the stench of the ghetto 
And then the smoke of burning bodies at Auschwitz
They were hungry and lean and sick

Alone, after the branches crashed to the ground
Parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, and babies murdered
How did they climb the tree of life again 
And dance the hora?

My mother, liberated from Bergen Belsen in 1945
After Auschwitz and the Lodz Ghetto
Married Szymon in Hannover, the DP camp
Older, handsome man, whose wife and young daughter perished

I stand before you a child of survivors
A new blossom
I heard my parents’ stories 
In hushed voices in the wind

On this spring day 
Let us remember:
Those whose voices we no longer hear
The souls who cry out


Sy Roth
rothseymour@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Sy Roth lives in Mt. Sinai, New York

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Sy Roth and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

From Something You Said

You stood

stolid salt pillar
after the conflagration
buildings burning behind you
smoke rising in oily, black columns.
 
You listened to their whimpers
read the tatoos
and failed to believe in never again
drowned in their losses
missing a caress
a pat, drowning in palliative dreams

skeletal bodies 
their ashes dammed from Jerusalem,

wrapped sans prayers shawl.
 
the crouching beasts
mass–
cicadas on their seventeen year journey
will fill the air with their screeching
where memories fade that never were
into the gray images of them
swept by the tractors into their black hole
 
a thought from something you said
left unsaid
what bleached bones rest
beside  the hidden graves
of the nameless?


Tina Hacker
thacker1@kc.rr.com

Bio (auto)

Tina Hacker lives in Leawood, KS, with her husband Lynn Norton who is a sculptor and excellent editor. Tina’s full-length poetry book, Listening to Night Whistles, was published in May, 2014, by Aldrich Press. Her chapbook titled, Cutting It, was released in late 2010 by The Lives You Touch Publications. Tina served as Co-president of The Writers Place and Vice-President of the Midwest Region for Women in Communications. Since 1976, she has been poetry editor for Veterans’ Voices, a journal of writing by veterans. This year she is being named a Muse, an honor given by The Writers Place for all the work she has done for that organization and for the Kanas City literary community.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Tina Hacker and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Hiding Places

Some survived because they hid
behind false walls, in secret attics,
under floors in pits the Nazis missed.

When I was a child, I hid inside a shadow
when obliging drapes held sunlight
at bay. I felt invisible except Mother

always found me. Sometimes angry,
she’d ask, “Why didn’t you come
when I called?” I wouldn’t answer.

I hoped my stillness would shimmer
like a mirage, blurring me until
I was sure I was safe. I never knew

when I was safe. In my first apartment
I looked for a place. Bent down to peer
under our bed. Too childish, too obvious.

I pushed our large recliner into a corner
and crouched behind. A tweed grizzly
guarding my cave, but its hulking body

left revealing gaps. Maybe bury myself
beneath piles of pillows, become invisible
under shams, throws, bolsters on our bed.

My husband said I was silly. This is America.
Can’t happen here. But I never knew
when I was safe, could never feel safe enough.

Halloween is three weeks away. Bottles
of false blood, elastic gore, plastic wounds
from vampires, zombies, ghouls

line shelves. Make-believe fatal wounds.
Look bloody, look repulsive, look dead, I thought.
Lie very still, hide in plain sight.


Previously Published in
Coal City Review 2010,
Lawrence, Kansas


Victoria Elizabeth Ruwi
eyewhispers@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Victoria Elizabeth Ruwi, from San Diego, California, survived cancer and began writing poetry. Her book, Eye Whispers, is a life affirming reflection on her experiences.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Victoria Elizabeth Ruwi and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

April 19th

all day long my barely seeing hardly hearing aunt sits with her house robe on eyes sunk deeply her only child a daughter died in 1992 she can’t understand why i must leave her my own daughter will be home soon as i go aunt eula sits at the window waiting home early enough to glance out worried because jennifer is late the neighbor who rarely speaks to me knocks oh she has a dead cat in her yard she is afraid to touch it i go in her backyard first time ever she somehow begins to tell me about three years ago when she saw that man she’ll never forget his face jump over my back fence caucasian man with his sandy hair in a ponytail and gloves on his hands but she didn’t want to get involved she’d know him if she saw him to this day i can’t tell her how a year ago when her daughter’s young baby died i wanted to say how sorry i was just didn’t know how too late now she feels you (i think that’s me) must be braver than her to pick up a carcass without caring in such a way my gloved hands hold a plastic sack to bag the dead a box to put bagged dead cat in i was brave when the bomb went off in the frankfurt american shopping center i flip my five year old to the ground throw myself on top of her she hasn’t forgotten earthquakes scare her too i was brave when the corpses in bags came in from beirut (lebanon) watching bodies be sewn together for burial morticians eating pizza their smeared in guts unwashed gloved hands i was more afraid walking the grounds of dachau the air still ashen with filaments of jews murdered there the earth still screaming souls don’t rest incinerators still exist grand memorial inscribed in many languages the words Never Again militia skinheads a bomb in oklahoma the children we awake living


Vinita Agrawal
vinitaagrawal18@yahoo.co.in

Bio (auto)

Vinita is an award wining mumbai based poet. She has authored three book of poetry two of which – The Longest Pleasure and The Silk Of Hunger are available on Amazon. Visit Vinita on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Vinita Agrawal and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Rimless Coffin

A bouquet of a million bones were blanketed in winds
Peonydaisybloodroot sprouted nervously in the soils of death

Children in hollow collarbones gleamed white in the brilliant moon
Made grown men cry

A cradle of ashes held the pink flesh
And smoke stitched horror on time’s poor face

A reconciliatory sky – bridged earth with water, sun with moon
And the prevaricating gray of mother’s eyes with the puzzled blue gaze of toddlers

If showy rulers had thought beyond race
History would not have lost precious pollens

Countries were not enemies, people were.
Everywhere, soldiers strutted like vultures looking for meat

They sloughed smiles off innocence for a long time to come
Holocaust was a rimless, lidless coffin…not a single orchid was laid on it.


April 25-May 1, 2016: Poetry from Richard Widerkehr, and Michael Paul Hogan

​Richard Widerkehr, and ⁣Michael Paul Hogan

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


​Richard Widerkehr,
fordwid@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Richard Widerkehr received his M.A. from Columbia University and won two Hopwood first prizes for poetry at the University of Michigan. He has two book-length collections of poems: The Way Home (Plain View Press) and Her Story of Fire (Egress Studio Press). Tarragon Books published his novel, Sedimental Journey, about a geologist in love with a fictional character. Recent work has appeared in Rattle, Poetry Super Highway, Floating Bridge Review, Cirque, Penumbra, Clay Bird Review, and Salt River Review. He lives in Bellingham, WA, and is one of the poetry editors for Shark Reef Review.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Richard Widerkehr, and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Plucking Flowers

………….for my mother


…………1

In the E.R. on your gurney,
you ask, “Is this real?”
You don’t
recognize Olga,

who’s cared for you
three years.
You push us away,
throw urine-soaked sheets

across the room
“I keep seeing her face
inside a vase,”
you say.

Yet you laugh
when she asks,
“Do you believe in God
or evolution?”…………


…………2

You sleep two nights
and days, then sit up,
plucking flowers

from the air. “What do
you see?” I ask.
“I see God,” you reply.


…………3 ..A Week Later, You Come Home

We let you sleep,
sleep being just sleep,
not a ghost

antithesis to breath.
My eyes rest
on my sister’s portrait.



…………
4 ..We Tell You You Said, “I See God”

You wince and ask,
“I said that? I remember

the ambulance door closing.
I was losing everything.”


…………5 ..Your Doctor Asked, “Can We Put
………….. ..A Feeding Tube In?”

I drive home at midnight–
a gray-white scroll
of moonlit clouds unfolds.
Something behind the sky
hides its face in beauty.
I hate beauty. “Why don’t you
show your face?” I shout,
my voice, a raven’s croak.
Next morning, you sit up.
“God’s right here,” you say.
Did I pierce the night sky
for one second–
my cry more faithful
than prayer?

 



⁣Michael Paul Hogan
michaelpaulhogan@yahoo.co.uk

Bio (auto)

Michael Paul Hogan (London, England) is a poet and journalist whose work has appeared extensively in the USA, UK, India and China. The author of five poetry collections, he is currently working on a collection of Surrealist short stories.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ⁣Michael Paul Hogan and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


The Garden of Allah

The evening has smoothed itself out
like cellophane. The girl across the court
talks on the telephone in her underwear;
talks from room to room, disappearing
and reappearing, as though performing

in two plays at once: now angry, now
pleading. An actress with two leading roles
and an audience of two: one listening, the
other watching… I light a cigarette and,
strangely, she does the same. We smoke together

across the silence of the courtyard and
it’s listening she’s doing now, half-sitting
on the back of a canework chair, half naked,
twisting the telephone cord around her hand
as though reeling her lover in.



April 18-24, 2016: Poetry from KG Newman and Alex Stolis

​KG Newman and ⁣Alex Stolis

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


​KG Newman
knewman@coloradosportsnetwork.com

Bio (auto)

KG Newman is the editor of a high school sports website, ColoradoSportsNetwork.com, and lives in Aurora, Colo. He is an Arizona State University graduate and his first collection of poems, While Dreaming of Diamonds in Wintertime, is available on Amazon.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​KG Newman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

City Fog

Coffee steams. Ding of the Metro. Suites
of flash fashion, SMS shorthand as
the noodles in the soup microwaving

in the office kitchen. Sooner or later
it breaks you—first it’s the check
engine light, then an infinitude

of clogged highway on-ramps,
singular paper clips in a box
in a box in the back of a trailer.

Put a down payment on
a house, lift a cork from
a barrel of ice wine,

discover an American equity
so mundane, so first-world hard,
it sings you to sleep at the wheel.

 

Polydipsia

Drinking my beer while holding
my baby is the closest I come
to being Buddha—night after
night, neighborhoods of my liver
dying off while he outgrows
one onesie, then the next.
It’s like scoops of flickering
streetlight plus the gravel
we rode in on, all the fine bits
of rock and time I can fit
in a fist. It’s cross-eyed looks
we give each other at
the end of every sixer,
birds in blue who flock
to smoke, grass growing
in the patchy backyard where,
in the corner, I pour out
the last sips and hope
to grow a tree.

 



⁣Alex Stolis
stolisalex@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Alex lives in Minneapolis.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ⁣Alex Stolis and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Schoolhouse Rock
The Weather Show

No mittens, no boots, no scarf; fifteen feet of pure
white snow. Newspaper crumpled in sleeves. Too
dark to even see the sky. If there was a God he’d
know enough not to show up. Relics, incantations;
raise your hands and lower your head, one more
verse and salvation will come. It is guaranteed.
It is foretold. It is a whisper in a quiet room when
her husband isn’t home.


Schoolhouse Rock
Telegraph Line

There is nowhere for us to go so we keep to ourselves.
An overheard conversation burns. The rhythm of this
world doesn’t match up with the subtext; a warm rush
of wind is an unfulfilled promise. She brushes a loose
strand of hair behind her ear. Bone turns to ash; a ticket
is blown off the platform. The sky is dead and nobody
knows it.


Schoolhouse Rock
Lucky Seven

It gets harder to count the number of innocents, harder
yet to separate them from the victorious. I am afraid to
listen to your voice. Afraid I won’t recognize it or worse;
that I will. Don’t come home I won’t be there, all that’s
left is history, locked in a room. I wake in a strange bed,
dreamless and in ruins. Pure white sheets, blank white
walls, bare feet touch the floor and it is spring. This time
the blackout is perfect.



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