Thursday, October 30, 2014

Gene McCormick- Art



                                                              Paris Rooftops I




                                                               Paris Rooftops II




                                                              Paris Rooftops III



Gene McCormick is a writer who paints without preference for either discipline.  His art is in private and commercial collections and he has illustrated a number of books.  He is the illustrator for Misfitmagazine.net.

Rose Mary Boehm- Three Poems


Another Mermaid Story

A small, brown village
on the Cornish coast.
Ruby married Fred.
She’d had enough of filing
in the ‘Museum for Fishing and Smuggling’.
Fred liked Ruby because she was round
and sleek as a seal.
A slight scent of ocean
hovered over her skin.

Ravenous triplets sucked her dry.
In the supermarket she pushed
a tank with three activated
missiles from aisle to aisle.

Ruby soon neglected them.
Preferred to watch
the silvery catches
in the harbour.

Fred hired a nanny. Took to her.
Ruby took to the fishermen.
Both grew into the comfortable
co-existence of mutual dislike.

Ruby disappeared.
Fred drank her health.
In the bar that night a fisherman
mentioned that he’d seen a selky
swim out into the Celtic Sea.



Bye, Mum

You took off, left behind your memories.
My brain’s gone off orbit.
Know what? As far as memories go
I like yours better.

Sitting on a pile of clothes; can’t find my socks.
Do you know what drugs do to your self?
Know what? As far as selves go
I like yours better.

The big empty house lives, whispers and threatens.
When I needed you, you lived your life, selfish cow.
Know what? As far as lives go
I like yours better.

It’s alright now. No it’s not.
You took off. And so did I.
Know what? As far as takeoffs go
I like yours better.

There was a time when it no longer hurt.
You took your CDs.
Know what? As far as music goes
I like yours better.

In the mornings the blue spiders of the early hours
crawl over me.
And it’s all over now.
Know what? As far as endings go,
I like mine better.


(first published in my poetry collection 'Tangents', 2010/11, UK)



clandestine

meet me at the old
victoria station hotel
make it eleven.

hookers, lovers, trains
pass sooty windows

don’t bring luggage
just remember
how I loved you
last winter in Antwerp.

your wet skin reflects
the almost light
under these high ceilings,
bent venetian blinds hide
curtains torn by time,
the station clock
has no mercy.



A German-born UK national, Rose Mary Boehm lives and works in Lima, Peru. Author of two novels and a poetry collection published in 2011 in the UK, ‘TANGENTS’, her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in a good two dozen US poetry reviews as well as some print anthologies, and Diane Lockward’s The Crafty Poet. She won third price in in the 2009 Margaret Reid Poetry Contest for Traditional Verse (US), and has been a finalist in several GR contests, winning it in October 2014. 

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

Thousand-Legger at Midnight

I rise to pee at midnight
and it’s nice to see 
no gunman in the bathroom 
waiting to shoot me

but there’s a thousand-legger,
a centipede, if you will,
in the tub, disoriented 
by the light

walking in circles
like an unhappy cat.  
He’s obviously upset 
he can’t escape the tub

because of the high walls.
A mystery how he got there.
The walls won’t let him go 
where life might dictate.

Now that autumn’s here, 
maybe he’s come to visit
or maybe spend the winter.
He doesn’t know it but 

he won’t survive my wife
well known to other insects,
now deceased, as Big Foot. 
Every once in awhile 

he tries to crawl the wall 
but falls to the floor again, 
the longest centipede
I’ve ever seen, a caboose

suddenly left behind, 
deserted on a railroad track,  
going nowhere till my wife 
applies her heel. 



On Tippy Toes

On tippy toes 
with arms outstretched
my grandson asks 

how old are you
and so I tell him 
I'm sooooo old 

that when I stretch 
my arms like his
to exercise them

vultures land and
caucus there.
My grandson says

he puts his arms out 
so robins will build 
nests on them

and raise their chicks. 
He never takes a nap 
because he has to keep

his eyes on the clouds
to shoo away hawks 
circling for supper.



Gramps Is Still Nuts about Granny

Granny wants to go to a movie 
back in the old neighborhood 
where she and Gramps used to
neck in high school but Gramps 

doesn't want to drive that far  
and tells Granny he’ll go if she sits 
in the balcony and wears a skirt 
he can slide his hand under 

during the Coming Attractions.
Granny asks Gramps if he isn’t 
a little old for that kind of thing  
and Gramps says he’d rather put 

his head under there and let Granny 
box his ears with her thighs 
and listen to his sighs as he harvests 
fruit still ripe in the orchard.


Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Alan Catlin- Three Poems


After the Closing of the Dime Museum & Flea Circus

“If you’ve ever talked to somebody
with two heads you know they know
something you don’t.” Diane Arbus

Underwater lights in over chlorinated
indoor pool give off a toxic light,
graygreen and shimmering, surreal as
the party goers sipping drinks from
plastic cups: high balls and fruit punches
with tiny umbrellas, mimosas colored red
as a Hawaiian Sunset, long neck beers,
some with straws for better access,
drinking all the way down to the end.
Function sign outside the pool room,
the thick-with-condensation sliding glass
double doors, says “Welcome Freaks”,
they who are gathered here one last time
after closing of last Flea Circus on the circuit;
all those sideshow attractions: bearded ladies,
one trick pony dwarf albinos, sword swallowers
and fire eaters, armless twins, deformants all,
medical curiosities and their touts, all unwanted
and unemployed, dressed in their costumes
one final time; their glitter and their glow
in the harsh, damaged light.



The Last Drop

Barroom misted Prussian blue,
toxic with smoke, substances
that are legal and those that are
not.  Hate rock tunes on the juke,
full contact, no rules, Ultimate
Fighting machines on flat screen
TV’s, big money riding on the
outcome of the match between
body art model skinhead versus
the wild black man with dyed
purple/green Mohawked hair;
the kind of blood sport that leaves
splatters on the barroom wall,
barely visible on layered grime,
years of viscera, layered slime
already encrusted there. So densely
packed in here everyone is moving
standing still. Sweat stains the bar top
yellow and everyone is breathing
the same canned heat, released.
All the emergency doors are locked,
alarm bells muted as the ultimate
fight goes on. The room so tense
and tight, you wonder what will set
it off. You wonder when.



Time

Lives spent in crosshairs of
night vision scopes, souls
mortally wounded, body and
brain soon to follow. Faces of
dead people you might have
known frozen as cameos
in fossilized eyes of stuffed
creatures, wild cats and deer,
antelopes and steers, horror show
galleries wax museum figures
gain admittance to see, paying
double to watch ghosts walk as
humans.  Time out of mind,
at railway’s end, electric cars
derailed, spewing sparks like
tracer rounds, one mad minute
after the next.  Nowhere to go
someone isn’t watching. Glow
worms crawling ceilings, illuminating
walls, caterpillars carpeting floors.
Every day like this.
How long can it go on?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sy Roth- A Poem


A Picture in the Garden Book of Zion


Midway life’s journey I was made aware
That I had strayed into a dark forest,
And the right path appeared not anywhere.
Ah, tongue cannot describe how it oppressed,
This wood, so harsh dismal and wild, that fear
At thought of it strikes now into my breast.

Dante—Canto I—Inferno


Part I--When Real

discarded clothing warms the torpid ground
gelatinous figures stretched thin along the margins
hunger for their share.

frightened youth,
cap pulled tight to his eyebrows
shuts out reality
but can just see the whispering woman
mouthing words through her twitching lips.

stripped to camisole,
her being waits among the clutter they will leave
she, stooped vermin,
restive among the heaps of other vermin
their harbinger eyes ablaze in their just spring--
hands outstretched to hold back the sky,
that trembles.

dark visages for an inky Charon voyage
greet a netherworld wrapped in their silence.
others wait behind in sweaty clumps,
millenniums of them
twitching to the nearby, staccato pings
final authoring of a hopeful resurrection.

wrap themselves in prayer shawls
camel-ride into their sunset
arbeit set to the rhythm of the next burst of a
mysterious chorus on a Glenn Miller afternoon,
she, fearful that her touch would sear the child.


Part II When Shadows Fall

sweat of lambs
baaing.
bowing bleat of their mournful tunes
a Shema-marching horde
fades in the morass of sputtering prayers,
pitter-patter of a million small feet
goose-stepping to a raucous kettle drum
Wagnerian caterwauling adrift in the air,
gasps at the reality of their dawning---
interrogative hands stretch against the darkling sky
whispered curses whipped by an unruly wind,
pigeon-holed to their silent god.


Part III When Fiction

the galleries at the forest’s edge are filled with them
Silent watchers
a Chthonic monster chorus.

booty beckons
cursing the existence of the others
and their uplifted arms
and their frozen white bodies.

they titter in anticipation--
blast them all to hell for making them spelunkers-
beating their rat-a-tat drum solo.

deed done,
noisy crescendo melts them into the ground
shatters the silence of death
rapine, they pillage through the piles
hands drawn like hands in death rictus
scratching at the ground and the warm clothing.
smash their ears silent
against their own puffing wind.


Part IV Extinction

a sirocco of silence descends--
skritching cockroaches abide
in the refuse heaped
where booty a sea of velvet
litters the verdant fields.

the Valkyries,
restless ants,
cigarette smoke curling,
they waiting for the next picture
to be taken
seventh ring sealed.

Paul Tristram- Three Poems

  
The Azure Lure

For Fourteen long years now
he has watched the changing
Seasons come and go
through a Prison Cell Window.
The Azure Skies of Summer
Torment him the most,
it is then that he feels
his Damned Soul cry inside.
‘There is just so much to do
out there, so much to see,
so much to Feel and Experience.
But never for me, no more!
Instead I let a Different
kind of Azure Lure me
into a Violent, Murderous Trap
of Betrayal, Revenge and Cruelty.
All that I Achieved in the End
was to Free Her from Madness
whilst Condemning Myself,
Completely, to a Life Wasted’


© Paul Tristram 2014



The Dance Of The Tarantula

Under sour milk moon and shivering stars
she descends the silky, sticky cobwebbed ladder
with beady little narcissistic eyes
aglow with mischief and murder.
Stepping down with a slow swagger
onto the windowsill terra firma
and delightedly crushes across the carpet
of empty husks and shell skeletons.
Made from wonderful ex-victims,
bluebottles, houseflies, butterflies and moths
all now deliciously drained and digested.
A joyous graveyard of limbs and wings
fracturing and dusting to bits and pieces
beneath her delicate yet authoritative size 8’s.
She twirls in a giddy trance of evil euphoria
for a delightful minute or two,
exhilarated by the snap, crackle and pop
emanating from the carnage below her.
Then after building up a torturous appetite
she starts scaling upwards
into the deep, morbid shadows once more.
Towards the upside down, partially fluttering,
begging, desperate, tasty morsel
bound, gagged and awaiting vampiric surgery.


© Paul Tristram 2014



The Libertine’s Little Black Book

Tumbled out of his sleazy overcoat pocket
one dark, damp Winter’s night
and lay there waiting and glowing in mischief.
The next morning a Nun named Chastity
stumbled upon it by the fountain in the market square
where it called out in a throbbing half-silence.
It was wearing an old cracked, fleshy type cover
and as she stooped to pick it up
a dark coldness seeped into her gentle fingertips
and started swarming up both of her arms.
Her once serene head instantly filled to the brim
with crying, screaming and bestial moaning,
whilst nostrils and taste buds flooded and swamped
with alcohol, smoke and many other unfamiliar
shades of foul, unpleasant wickedness.
Her soul started wretching and coming loose
from its fixings until she threw back down the book
to the ground with a ‘God Almighty’
and all the Angelic Faith she could muster.
She cringingly shook the darkness back out
from her fingertips as she hurriedly ran away,
leaving the laughing book to await
a less challenging route back home to its Master.


© Paul Tristram 2014



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.
 

You can read his poems and stories here! http://paultristram.blogspot.co.uk/

Richard Schnap- A Poem


CONSCRIPTION

He strides past as if he’s possessed
By the ghost of a soldier marching to battle
In an endless war against himself

Unsmiling and silent, eyes on the ground,
Hunting an enemy he’s pursued so long
He can barely remember his name

But once I saw him holding hands
With a pretty girl, laughing together,
As if a ceasefire had been declared

That seemed to end just as it began
Leaving him to wait for his next order
In the no-man’s-land of his ravaged heart

Ayaz Daryl Nielsen- Three Poems


inner-city slum, the relaxed dive
consciences hibernate there
the fumes of cigarettes, booze and meth,
dried sweat-stink, grease-stained blankets
homeless misfits with measured oblivions
their hunger abiding in all dimensions
punctuated only by upheaval and
sometimes, you know, I miss it



yesterday, fucked up
today, fucking up again
tomorrow, well, probably
extra-special fuck-ups
and all of them,
it seems, in tune



small spider bite
moves me out of grim conceits 
and back into this day



ayaz daryl nielsen, husband, father, veteran, x-roughneck (as on oil rigs)/hospice nurse, editor of bear creek haiku (25+ years/120+ issues), homes include Lilliput Review, Jellyfish Whispers, Boston Literary Magazine, Dead Snakes, Shamrock, and! bearcreekhaiku.blogspot.com (translates as joie de vivre)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Jennifer Lagier- Three Poems & Photos

 
 
 
 
Redwood Retreat
Cazadero, September 2014
 
Precarious dirt road
ploughs uphill to sunset ridge
past buckeyes and redwoods
overlooking dry river.
 
Sequoia sentinels
drag feathery limbs
through morning mist
as it hangs above canyon.
 
Tough skinned survivors
stretch skyward from
mosaic forest mulch,
cloak a fairytale cabin.
 
Stellar jays screech
insults to common crows,
whet their beaks
upon fallen pine cones.
 
I sip coffee, wrestle images,
invoke imperfect poetry,
explore every what if
from this tiny oak table.

 
 
 
 
Still Life
 
"Not love, not the wind, not the inside of stone."    ~ Mary Oliver
 
Sleepy bohemian village is beginning to waken:
tourists at tables, scent of coffee, toasted cinnamon bagels.
Fall garlands, faux goblins and ghosts, mingle with pumpkins.
Witchy Halloween dioramas decorate store fronts.
 
Curiosity pulls me along haunted streets,
down enchanted trail past rusty leaf drifts,
toward intersection of estuary and ocean.
Spectral light suffuses transient beach strand.
 
Sunrise sucks ephemeral mist from blanketed bay,
bares lavender fog banks, gilded fairytale headlands,
conjures dour ravens speaking in tongues,
the one-legged sea gull who circles for handouts.

 
 
 
 
Breach
 
The sea boils with a combination
of brown kelp and anchovies.
 
Terns fling themselves from gray sky, belly flop
like clowns, disappear under wave spume.
 
Lacy umbrellas erupt across agitated bay.
Breaching whales spout just off shoreline.
 
Wherever birds congregate, misty blow follows.
Behemoth flukes rip apart silver spindrift.
 
This is a prehistoric flashback: raw, watery
planet that teems with magnificent monsters.



Jennifer Lagier is an unrepentant snake follower.

Donal Mahoney- A Poem


Let’s Solve These Problems, America!

The poor are hungry in America.
Their numbers would fill stadiums 
throughout this prosperous land.
And feral cats are running wild,
eating songbirds in our yards,
plucking koi from garden ponds.
What can Americans do?

We can trap those feral cats,
knock them on the noggin, skin 
and marinade them overnight, 
barbecue them in the morning,

visit homeless camps
and invite the poor to stadiums 
across America to feast at halftime. 
Let them eat and give them traps 
to catch their own feral cats
and become self-sustaining.  

Next, to solve the problem of Ebola 
we can make Liberia the 51st state,
send food stamps to our new citizens 
and enroll them in Obamacare. 
There’s room in Texas should
they decide to emigrate. 


Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.