Friday, May 22, 2015

Richard Schnap- Three Poems


It will make you hear
A symphony in the traffic
Passing on the street

It will make you see
The moon wear faces
That keep on changing

It will make you believe
That the machines of the world
Are really succubi

It will make you think
That mirrors are all
The gateways to Hell

It will make you feel
Like you are a character
In the Book of Revelations

And it will make you cry
At a song’s secret meaning
Knowing it will fade


She wanted a child
But couldn’t conceive
As if her body
Conspired against her

Like a terrorist planting
A bomb in her womb
To be detonated
By remote control

And the harder she tried
The more she failed
Like she was fighting
A losing battle

Against a foe
That knew her flaws
Better than she
Knew them herself


When the man she loved
Stripped off his mask
Revealing the skull

She cut off all ties
With the outside world
And fell into the arms
Of sleep

Where she stained the walls
With tapestries of smoke
While collecting trinkets
And toys

Till there was nothing left
But an empty dream
As she woke up in time
To die

Paul Tristram- Three Poems

Unique As Ever And Very Clever

I watched the way her fingers
worked magic and perfection
into completely
controlled craftsmanship.
I was in absolute awe
just like everyone else watching.
When she finished
and the spell broke,
she glanced at us applauding,
blushed a ‘thank you’
and beautifully smiled,
before humbly walking away.

© Paul Tristram 2015

Hell Cometh Closer

They dragged her in backwards
by the wrist restraints.
Lifted her long, soiled skirts
(She always wore two of them,
one to protect herself from temptation
and the other to keep out The Devil!)
and stuck the needle into her right arse cheek.
As she thrashed her long, unkempt, black hair
around in a whipping motion
screeching a dragged out “N-N-N-O-O-O!”
and hissing and spitting like a deranged wildcat.
One of the arresting officers present
stepped to one side, avoiding a flying splash
of saliva just in the nick of time
and shouted impatiently and with disgust
“Marion, every single drop of that dirty shit
that touches me, my co officers
or any of the nurses present
who are doing their job and trying to help you,
will be classed as an individual assault.
You should have kept up with your medication,
you can’t keep running into Gloucester Cathedral,
flashing your tits to the horrified tourists
and attacking the priests whilst yelling
‘Hell Cometh Closer’ as if it’s their fault.
Now calm the fuck down and go to sleep, please!”

© Paul Tristram 2015

Shivering Under The Sun/Melting Under The Moon

Disjointed and out of place for weeks now,
everywhere a rose patch except right here.
Echoes and hiccups of false prosperity
will not breadcrumb a crooked path
back to anywhere but unhelpful nostalgia.
The reckless gamble was only disguised as a game,
the arms of the Almshouse remain invisible to winners.
The ‘bargain section’ does not inspire confidence,
the ‘broken and damaged corner’ far less so.
The lessons there are easily won but far harder to swallow
and reinforce themselves daily
like toothache and six am roadwork’s grinding forever
outside the window of your sleepless quarters,
long after you have received the message and choked
a thousand times upon the brutal, stark point of it all.
Night time is just another colour,
for darkness is a feeling
and no stars pierce or brighten
that inward, brooding stretch of sky. 
The wealth of experience is oftentimes bought
with chunks of innocence and miles of childhood smiles.
Life is sometimes Victory, often times Defeat
but mostly the swirling, unsure currents that River the In Between.

© Paul Tristram 2015

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight, this too may pass, yet.

Buy his book ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at
And also read his poems and stories here!

Noel Negele- Two Poems


This is why our existence
is so sad in essence
because we cannot comprehend
a beginning or an end
but both take place

and our mind wonders
sometimes more than what is wise
but the state of life
has the decency and kindness
to distract us from the perpetual affliction
with senses 

but the wonder
cannot cease to happen 
inside your skull-
roots sown from the confusion -
and give away to a more
easy living,
it comes when we’re alone-
loneliness is when the gates open
and it comes out to our minds-
elbows on ledge
staring down and contemplating of falling

as animals tear each other apart
for food
men tear each other apart
for profit

as banks sponsor armies
children with bulged guts
stagger among a debris of 
left overs

and when the sun gives away to darkness
they like to hold tight on each other
it makes them immune 
to the nothingness that is everything
they like to tell tales of love
as the new days begin
but the same mistakes occur
they like to tell lies of love
so they can stall the hurt.

They turn to god
because they are afraid and desperate
they turn to many gods
because one lie is not enough
and then they fight each other for their lies
because love is not enough religion for them

what we need now
is a wonderful illusion
to dive in head first

a blanket from the agony
a deluded sense of purpose
a conviction of self importance

repeat after me

we are good and jolly people
we are good and jolly people.

Spring Rejection.

Stumbling away from a sleep
you don’t want to loosen your grasp on
and its 6:30 in the morning
and it always happens at pretty much 6:30 in the morning
when the girls in the dreams push you away
tauntingly and cheerfully
to face the ceiling
and the mocking twittering of the birds

to stroll around in an empty apartment
as the first shops open
as the first coffees are poured 

watching the news
the minimal truths occasionally thrown
between the cyclical lies
smoking a cigarette on the window
peeling an egg and devouring it without salt

opened up to a worthlessness 
like a chess board missing 7 pawns
like a predator without the sharpness on the teeth

it has flashes of a genius
she said
but it doesn’t quite stretch out to a whole.

Marcus Bales- A Poem

Thin Blue Lie

In Carolina's coastal plain
are black men by the hundreds, slain
unjustly by white cops who've cried
each murder can be justified
because armed white cops live in fear
of unarmed black civilians here.
The bad cops kill, and we can't trust
the good cops not to be unjust
and join the cover-up campaign.
But, as that video makes plain,
of black men who've unjustly died
and afterwards the cops have lied,
none died -- hanged, choked, stabbed, clubbed, or shot --
unjustly as did Walter Scott.

John Grochalski- Three Poems

name in lights

the doctor has got his name in lights
behind a desk in a glass structure
in the posh part of park slope, brooklyn

it must be costing him a fortune in lives

it’s not even his own name
it’s his father’s but he’s inheriting it
when he takes over the business

the doctor has got all of his papers spread out on his desk
you can barely see them with all of these lights

he tells my wife
oh, most doctors without their name in lights
will tell you that you don’t need chemo for a cancer like this

but me?
i want to give you the full blast of it

hair loss, pasty skin, mouth sores,
low white cell count, possible heart problems
the future fear of bone marrow cancer and leukemia

all for the sheer joy of staying alive another thirty or forty years
and letting them work you until you’re dead

a lot of doctors won’t do that for you
but i will because i’m pro-chemotherapy

i wonder if the doctor has ever had the poison himself
has he ever taken a drink of anything that tasted like gasoline?

the doctor’s got pictures of his kids on a shelf
a picture of his wife but no wedding ring
just in case a hot cancer skank comes waltzing through the doors

i look at the ceramic doodads on his desk
multi-colored bowls and mugs that say, world’s best dad

he looks at me and smiles through the glare
he says, if it were my wife or if it were my family….

the doctor says his patients are like his family too
that’s why he’s recommending the full-on chemotherapy
all of the poisons he can push through my wife’s system

i try to forget about his name in those big lights
his posh office and his expensive suit

my wife still kind of crying in the seat next to me

as he rises to shake my hand
and tells me that everything will be fine

with a smile as wide and white as those lights
as big and heavy as ahab’s motherfucking whale.

baltimore burns

while i sit
in a hotel room in berlin
drinking vodka and wine
in my underwear
like the prince of germany
the final speck of DNA
bridging the gap
between a country
that enslaved millions
and one that just went ahead
and gassed them.

the people behind us on the sidewalk

the people behind us on the sidewalk
are getting on my fucking nerves

it happens a lot in this city

you’re never alone
there’s always someone behind you day or night

i’ve learned to deal with it
as part of the charm of living here in sodom and gomorrah

but not this morning

these people behind us on the sidewalk
are working my last bit of patience

i’m trying to calm my wife about her MRI
i’m trying to quell my own fears with confidence

normally we’d walk faster
but neither of us want to go where we’re headed

the people behind us on the sidewalk
are making it so hard

talking about their goddamned cell phones
some fucking television show
they spent all day yesterday streaming
in between world cup soccer matches

what luck they must have to have it so fucking easy

i can’t even think with their chatter
and my wife can tell that i’m in a mood

she doesn’t need this from me or from them
she’s got enough to worry about this morning

would it be impolite to turn around
and tell the people behind us on the sidewalk
to maybe shut the fuck up about whether or not
they want mexican or thai for lunch?

finally my wife makes the move
she says, i have something in my shoe

so we stop to let the people behind us on the sidewalk go
but they are in no hurry too

her in her stupid, floppy summer hat
and him in some fucking disney hoodie in the heat

what grown man wears walt disney shit? i ask

we end up overtaking them at the street light
thankfully we go one way and they go the other
off to iced coffee daydreams and red velvet cupcake heaven

the people behind us on the sidewalk
finally out of our lives forever

until we see them again in the waiting room
of the MRI office

where she goes up to the desk to fill out paperwork
as he keeps his eyes planted on her

his look one that i’ve learned to recognize
in my own mirror

that of utter horror and astounding disbelief.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Denny E. Marshall- Three Poems

She Is Radiation

She is light, like the stars,
A reactor in my heart, in a way
Or a ray, I see my freedom decay,
So nuclear, with her love
Spills the fallout my way, in the neon
Of my life, she radiates all day.

She is radiation,
Like the glow in her face.

The signals, the bright lights
That she turns up on me, the energy,
The half-life’s; in her eyes I see green,
Like secrets, like a mission,
I see her on my screen, in the neon
Of my life, she radiates all day.

She is radiation,
Radiating from the inside

Oh Great Sky

Oh great sky.

The horizon struck with pitchfork wedge,
Throbbing holes shoot pulsing red.
Screamed in violet as it bleed,
Dripped as it was held on edge.

Oh great sky…
Not the chameleon,
Nor the juggler,
Only the chameleon that juggles.
Which feast,
Will the fork carve tonight?
To be certain,
Nothing that we have ever feasted on before!

The sunset slammed by hammer sledge,
The cavity on clouds it fed.
Expose a floating flowerbed,
As sunlight rays slide down the ledge.

Oh great sky!

Monsters In Us All

All of us are ugly
Sometimes in our life
Many men out there
Are beating their wives
Some of us are alcoholics
Destroying our lives
Some of us are maniacs
And stab with knives
Some of us just tell
Little tiny lies
Some of us use words
To make a child cry
How many times have you
Made a bad call
When you could see
The monsters in us all
Either something big
Or something small
Nobody wants to admit to
The monsters in us all
When was the last time?
You made some racial joke
Or forgot about your friends
When you were high on coke
Some of us use women
For our selfish needs
Some of us love money
And are prisoners of greed
Some of us have no values
That is hard to believe
Some of us hate
What does that achieve
Nobody wants to admit
The monsters in us all

Denny E. Marshall has had art, poetry, & fiction published, some recently. See more at


Jennifer Lagier- 3 Poems & Photos

Moonstone Gardens
I visit the converted dining room,
remember an indoor waterfall, raindrops
bleeding through dry-rotted ceiling,
spattering into pots placed between tables.
We drank champagne, nibbled quiche,
thought he looked tired,
but didn’t know he was dying.
Mortality is undignified, never convenient.
Closed and sold while we buried our dead,
the old restaurant moldered.
Now, like Phoenix, it has regenerated from ashes,
transformed to trendy coffee bar/upscale delicatessen.
We move on, deal with details.
The family circle grows smaller.
Cautiously, we return to favorite haunts.
Time doesn’t heal, just imposes adjustments.
Heron & Surfers
He’s nearly four feet tall, fearlessly
wades through alyssum and beach grass
spooks small ground squirrels who scurry
along boardwalk, forage for foodstuffs.
Ignoring joggers and dog walkers,
he fixes a gold eye upon boisterous surfers.
They straddle their boards, wait to snag,
then slide down a sleek wave wall.
When I approach, he leisurely ascends.
Muscular, blue-gray wings haul
him safely aloft and untouchable
through benign morning breeze.
Rapt Raptor
A red tail hawk circles Moonstone Beach,
surveys  baby bunny and tiny squirrel smorgasbord.
Dog walkers interrupt his hunt, send him packing.
He flaps to the top of a dying pine where he glowers.
Half-tame rodents take advantage
of generous tourist handouts,
creep from beneath wild radish, twisted snags,
claim peanut trophies.
I lurk upon ragged ocean bluff,
silently observe predators and their prey.
With notebook and camera,
pounce to capture the drama.

Stefanie Bennett- A Poem

At a loose end, I once
Nursed an adversary
Closer than
A robo-cop
In the vernacular:
Blah! Now I’ve to learn
The slipknot
Of Li Po’s
Ornamental drum
The breadth
Of the Bodhi
Ashen branched
He challenges –,
“I pull my dagger,
I peer four ways...”
I commiserate. Say,
‘The floral path
Never been swept
For a guest...’
Defence and offence
Is on
The traps.
Stefanie Bennett has published several volumes of poetry and had poems appear with
Mad Swirl, The Camel Saloon, Illya’s Honey, Jelly-fish Whispers, Shot Glass Journal,
Ink, Sweat and Tears and others. She has acted as a publishing editor and worked
with Arts Action for Peace. Of mixed ancestry [Italian/Irish/Paugussett-Shawnee] she
was born in North Queensland, Australia, May 6th, 1945.

Douglas Polk- Two Poems

The economy

no longer about the numbers,
if it ever was,
politicians emphasize race,
more brown or black people,
than white,
idle hands collect the government benefits,
operatives secure the votes,
while most people toil to pay the bills,
the Obama economy,
payback for slavery,
and the crusades.

Beneath the Myth

reality warped,
in search of coin,
thoughts and emotions,
tools to manipulate,
reality viewed in thousands of ways,
boardrooms and ghettos,
scratch and claw,
time precious,
before the cameras,
and microphones,
with the whores and sluts of the media,
both female and male,
the reality already bought and paid for.