Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Alan Catlin- Three Poems

The Perfect Storm

"Where did it come from
& how did they get it?"
was the refrain medical
examiners like homicide
detectives pondering
 imponderables, demise of
'the slant six', a half dozen
homeless drunks pooled
resources contained by
brown paper bags & a half
pint of pure white lightning,
the idea was drop a shot of
clear stuff into the devil's
own brew and they'd be
doing a Tango on Main Street
though it turned out to be more
of a Heartbreak Tango,
an impromptu Conga line
with Old Mr. Bones, pure
alcohol sent straight to
the brain inducing a perfect
storm involving two hemi-
spheres, a free fire zone of
imploding, already soft with
drink, tissues, one last massive
cerebral event, 'haven't seen
anything like this since that
short lived grain alcohol craze,
at least they died with a buzz on'
smacked in the face by a killer wave

Liquid Oblivion

Their lives could be
measured in shot glasses,
all their time spent
on barstools or lying
nearby, marked at home
by rings worn into
wooden coasters straight
through & onto surface
of bar top, he in for
the long haul, every
waking moment not
spent in the office,
engaged in pursuit
of liquid oblivion,
elixirs of forgetfulness,
all the libations from
lotus eating land,
songs of sirens annoying
distractions along these
ragged shores of his
own personal Styx,
the little woman along
for the ferry ride,
fully understanding,
following the path
of liquidity was the only
way she could go with
him where he needed
to go, black circles under
their eyes likes tree rings,
each new mark another
year spent in solitary
contemplation of the end.

Flaming Armadillo

His greased monkey
shine t-shirt sd.
& it appeared
as if he'd been
sleeping in one
of those burn
barrels for hazardous
waste or maybe
just manning the
post that started
the flame & had
become so taken
with his work that he
forgot to stand back
behind that caution
line or maybe he
was on the way to
an audition for some
heavy metal band as
a drummer with a
name like SPINAL
TAP, whatever his
story it was apparent
that if he started
rubbing his hands
together, you'd better
stand back.

David S. Pointer- A Poem

Club Scene Commotion: 1986

A wasted Hell’s Angel biker
slammed into me while I was
coupled to a wonder woman
type of girl then he latched
onto my coat telling me how
Ann and Nancy Wilson had
stopped and handed him ‘a
f… dollar bill’ after he
had been released from jail
having been DWI arrested
twice in the same day and
wasn’t homeless like the two
lady rock stars thought when
they halted their stretch limo
in altruistic exhaust fume idle
that day in the City of Angels
surely chasing my perfumed
wonder woman away eight or
even ten well-housed years later

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

The Mudslide

Oso, Washington 2014

Under the mud he can hear the men 
digging and cursing but they 
can't hear him scream.

The mud won't let him scream.
He was out for a walk when the mud
came down the hill like lava 

covering him and the woman, 
an arranged marriage of strangers 
sinking and screaming

He wonders how long he'll be there. 
He can't recall the prayer
his grandmother taught him.

He wonders if the woman can hear 
the men digging and cursing
and if she's able to scream.

Same Old Story

When Martha gets home from 
cooking class this afternoon,
Martin will be gone 

after 30 years of marriage.
Martha won't know why
but it's the same old story

another woman
this one young and beautiful
but deaf and mute as well

a woman Martin likes 
because her body speaks 
a language all its own

a woman who stays home
unless Martin chooses
to walk her 

along with Sparky,
an old sheepdog his wife 
gave him as a pup.

First Warm Day 

Great joy today.
The sun and the breeze
have the mockingbird 
flitting from branch 
to branch, warning 
the other birds.

My wife fills the feeder 
with thistle and sits 
on the bench with
the cat at her feet 
making ablutions. 
From the kitchen
I watch goldfinches
thrive on the thistle.  

An old stewing hen
bubbles on the stove.
Tonight it will arrive
with a cast of dumplings 
big as the clouds.   

The radio bleats
the Cardinals have lost 
to the Pirates.
On a day like today 
who can possibly care.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Pijush Kanti Deb- Two Poems

 The Tossing of a Coin
A catapult-comprising of two fingers-
representing the acts of my lustful beckoning of eyes
and your passionate crawling down to my unexplored mine
without any valid permit,
tosses a coin up along with its two- sides.
I am engraved in one- side
dancing with some blissful blossoms
and mirthful pea-cocks,
and thrown alone in other side
amid a dreadful desert
standing abandoned, ashamed, injured and confused.
The uprising coin disappears in the sky.

Maybe, it flies up to the Heaven and the Hell as well,
consults for a few moments with the authorities
and starts its inevitable downfall
confirming my fortune of tomorrow
and rushes down towards the ground of reality
where I stand with my three trembling entities-
body, mind and soul
waiting for the unalterable verdict of the coin.

Reflections and Definitions 
My poorness gets different reflections
from different mirrors-
set in the eyes of my nearest and dearest
and hence different definitions are propounded,
conceived by their perceived hearts
and proclaimed  by their open lips.

My father- my earthly creator
defines me as a mistake-
incorrigible during his life-time
and shows his tired back
to the eyes of my dogmatic compulsion.

My dream-girl- the only rose of my thorny garland
repents for choosing me as her only man,
finds a similarity between
falling in my heart and plunging into a dirty ditch
and suffers from a sudden headache
in my passionate presence.

The government- my God father
endures me as an ugly black spot
on the forehead of my motherland,
non -effaceable despite of a series of washing-
plan-wise year after year
and leaves me alone on automatic measure.

My mother- my divine oasis.
bestows my helplessness with the shadow of
inspiration in my burning desert,
considers me with all her sympathy
as a penniless and compelled unemployed
and embraces affectionately me and my hidden tears.

B.A. Varghese- A Poem

Have Another Byte

Partake in the abundant hot hors d'oeuvres
of Google. Load your plate with moist stuffed web
sites, healthy news feeds, heaping spoons of mashed
tall facts from Wikipedia with thick
links drizzled over. Please avoid the blogs
because they are so full of ham. Inhale
with speed a Facebook casserole. Not Sure
why people like the taste. Check out the legs
on that, but grab the breast instead. And wash
it down with floods of email junk. Enjoy
the jelly Twitter sauce, so sweet at first
but sickening when overly indulged.
Too stuffed to have another byte on this
vast internet thanksgiving? It is, just
in fact, too much to take in all at once.

Now information indigestion starts.

B. A. Varghese graduated from Polytechnic University (New York) in 1993 and has been working in the Information Technology field ever since. Inspired to explore his artistic side, he has earned a B.A. in English from the University of South Florida and is currently in the process of working toward an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. His works have appeared in Cleaver Magazine, Apalachee Review, Rose Red Review, and other literary journals. (

Monday, April 14, 2014

Michael Keshigian- Three Poems


In his need to add a verse,
he swayed in front
of a blank white wall,
harnessed like a climber,
then rappelled
once he completed a sentence
stroked with his tongue,
dyed spittle from its tip,
like a sharpie,
expressed his thoughts
though the words
never took shape,
sentences turned into
straight and curved lines.
Day morphed to night,
but the wall grew brighter.
His mind’s eye
stared at the phantom formation
in front of him only to discover
the dyed strokes
transforming into a dense
galactic sweep of starlight,
universal graffiti,
that camouflaged his thoughts.
Then the stars detached
and like snowflakes,
swirled around his ample mane
as the bottom quickly rose.
He laughed and contorted
to avoid the imprint
that would ultimately define him.


through the unnoticed hours
beyond midnight,
keyboard, mouse, connected
to an ample screen
in the circle
of the florescent desk lamp
where you invite me in.
Months matter little,
the house is usually dark,
the hungry pellet stove,
always on the wane,
yet those companions
consume my attention
and help me formulate
a thought or impression
into a sentence
I hope one day
will be worth acknowledging,
a redundant insight
presented with a new cast
of wordly characters.
Without the opportunity,
there would only be
my tired soul
persistently yearning,
wastefully oozing
sentiments that would puddle
then eventually dry
upon the floor.


It will be at least Spring
before his friends
see him again at the lake,
a while before he traverses
the frozen crests and isolated inlets
at dawn or dusk
in a caravan of snowmobiles,
shouting and pointing out to each other,
as they sped along,
the magnificent murals that
winter’s snow and ice created
upon the wharfs and empty homes
hugging the craggily shoreline.
He’s staying put in the city,
rising early to visit
the corner coffee shop,
watching the suits and skirts
scurry off to office duties,
dodging the traffic
the stop lights greet on every block
while he slowly sips
and reads one of only two
surviving city papers.
The noise, so prevalent
this time of day, is his safety net,
the crowds, his company,
unlike the aloneness the lake allotted
when he fell through the ice,
last in line, and no one noticed
until marine patrol pulled
his stupefied body and sunken vehicle
from out the icy depths of certain death.
The city is beautiful in the winter,
the waitress was saying
as she refreshed his brew.
He contemplated, silently nodded,
enjoying the prospect of the mundane.

Douglas Polk- A Poem

A 21st Century Administration

the Secretary of State works on a paper peace,
existing only in lines of words,
wallpaper applied to cover the holes,
first Iran,
now Israel and Palestine,
agreements worthless,
but props to wave in the leaders' hands,
Syria explodes with death and destruction,
the President too weak to take a stand,
polling data,
rules the nation,
when decisions needed to be made,
countries invaded with no place to turn,
ponder the future,
as the President ponders his basketball bracket,
a twenty first century administration,
too civilized to offend, 
and defend the old ideals,
of the centuries past.

Willie Smith- Two Poems


I come walking up the sidewalk to see you,
to see you
I keep walking up the sidewalk,
walking up the sidewalk, the
sidewalk is walking up to you,
the sidewalk is coming up to you,
the sidewalk is falling,
you are falling at the sidewalk,
you are falling
and are now asleep.

Listen to the colors of my speech.
Inhale the nascence of sensation,
feel the ebony idols of the unconscious
incandesce. The colors of my speech
reflect acceptance, from violet yes
to scarlet yes, your acceptance
of obedience. I command you
to obey black,
obey like Atlas,
like machinery without complaint
and without oil other than
the colors of my speech. I command you to
obey black.

The subject awakes on command.
The hypnotist holds before the subject
a blackboard. The subject
picks up the chalk and writes on the slate:
I obey.


I’m smoking midnight special
on the night train,
waiting above the market
on a corner on vine
in vain for a lift
beyond the half-dream
of nicotine and wine.
Another puff, another glug,
no other goal
than to drain the pain.

Rain streaks the fog in the
cone of a streetlight whose pole  
I lean against alone, feet
on the curb, nothing
to disturb the soul, save the spice
of that unattainable plane.
Another glug, another puff
on another link to the chain,
no other goal than
to myself to complain.

Maintain the rhyme, repeat the beat,
hold an old gold inside the mind.
Stain the teeth, cure the lungs,
pickle the brain. Just so
my complaint remains
this refrain: I’m
smoking midnight special
on the night train.

First appeared in Hobo Camp.

Bradford Middleton- Two Poems


A bottle of cheapness is all the goodness I need
Fuck those banana chomping health nuts
Their boring lives would make me want to die
Their existence is futile because
One day we all die

The rivers become full of Cava
And the planet will get drunk
Violence will explode and
Expel all those who have ravaged it

The fat obese fit will go the same way as
Us healthy drunk smokers will because one day
We all die


I'm sick of fucking editors rejecting my words stating simply they are
not what they are looking for
Isn't there more to it than just what you're looking for?
How about something original, unusual or just plain insane
Why do you reject such stories when all you seem to publish is shit?
Boring literary nonsense that leaves me yawning as I reach the end of
the first dull sentence
How about publishing something that grips, taking the reader on a trip
It leaves them hot, wanting a whole lot more
Of glimpses into a life that is beyond their reality
A life they could barely handle yet which they call cliché-ridden in
their denial
My existence is that, nothing more but occasionally a little bit less
When you reject my words it's like you're rejecting my life

Friday, April 11, 2014

Linda M. Crate- Three Poems

green leaf 
so softly sings your beauty
a fae with wings
like a butterfly whose innocence
shines like the sunbeams
bent through the
crimson of your hair and your haunted
eyes know the pain of loves had and lost yet
you continue onward,
leaving the past behind because there
are reasons our eyes face forward
even if sometimes our hearts
don't understand;
you do,
i can see it in the fragility of your smile
your guarded emotions 
it is hard for you to let people in,
yet you do
because without them you would wither
like a root,
and you wish to flourish like a green leaf.

looking forward 
you were lost in the pale
of his moonlight
sweet faerie
with your wings of white
yet you still found
the magic of today let it embrace
you to smile again,
and sometimes i wish i were
so strong to let it go as you have;
but memories 
have always lingered forever
in my mind
the wind whispers me secrets of 
old and new
creaking beneath the tulips
singing in the song of the oldest birds
pounding beneath the hooves
of doe and fawn,
and sometimes even buck;
yet no one's given me wisdom quite like yours
or an embrace of kindness so firm
i will take your advice
because as you so aptly said we must look
forward for looking backward always
makes us clumsy little fools
unable to escape things we cannot change.

teach me your secrets
your pale blue necklace
matches the sky blue of your eyes
so vibrant and beautiful
your white wings wrap you like an
angel, but you smile bitterly at
that analogy insist you're not quite that
innocent; but you try to be good
dear fae, teach me the magic
of tomorrow so that i might flit with the
butterflies of today, and let my
worries melt away in the sun as you do;
i wanted too much to fit in when i
was born to stand out,
and now that i've taken my place people aim
their arrows like artemis the archer;
i know not how to feel except this anger whose
fuse has long been lit
my passion has always burned bright
teach me how to regain my 
patience that's waning,
grow me like a flower blooms and never
let me wilt because i have already
rose once from my ashes
i don't know how many times i can rise again.