Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Simon Anton Nino Diego Baena- 2 Poems

Something About the Night

I always muse and complain
that there is something about the night.
The way it conceals the pebble and the dove
from my prying eyes. I could say, 
the moon is the mistress of the night.
And the pallid moon glows 
above our monuments of rust.
Maybe, I would write another poem
about the night, tonight, something 
clear and more concise, for the night
is a coffin covered with a wreath
of sunflowers. Every midnight,
phantoms prowl the avenues
of the city of molasses
where darkness becomes
a womb of memories: 
my father's cardiac arrest 
and an ashtray filled with cigarettes.
It is in the darkness of the night
that I often try to escape 
my nightmares with sleeping pills 
and razorblades. If I had only 
prevented my father's death, then 
there would be the light of the sun
in every indented lines of poetry 
I write, within the blanket 
and venom of the night.

I Don't Want to Write

I don't want to write poetry.
I'm tired of moving
in between the zephyr
and the rays of a waning sunlight.
I just want to relax
and drink my lipton tea.
I will close my worn-out eyes,
open my ears much wider
than its actual size.

Then I will listen
to the rhythm of silence
in this moonless night.

Let the flickering stars speak for themselves.
Let the asphalt roads express themselves
in the quantity of roadkills and accidents.
Let the stoplights and the electric wires compete
with lovers' kisses underneath.

I don't want to write short stories.

Let the bellowing sea write
her sonnets in the hide of dolphins
and floating carcasses of archaic shipwrecks.

For once allow the headlights
to become the creative artist
in the highway of darkness.

Leave me alone, please.
All I want is to enjoy the solitude of being
a nonentity in this lightless balcony.

Simon Anton Nino Diego Baena . 
Some of his poems have already been published in Philippines Free Press, Philippines Graphic magazine, Eastlit online literary journal, and Kabisdak online.

Craig Stormont- A Poem


I lived by a code for a long time
giving my middle finger to the grid
it took me far away to many places
convinced that people and their ways are hell

my blood brother Walter Ross broke through
before they cracked his skull for kicks
a street drunk that most would not care to look at
we shared a half gallon of vodka one snowy evening in Boston
intent on freezing to death together but failing

that was another lifetime
before colleges and teaching and those involved in that racket
where I met a girl I dreamed of all my life
and the code faded

she became nothing more than a lie and insult
posing her way to the top of some imaginary garden filled with pretense and shit
a son was born of it
he is all that matters now

I sometimes wake from nightmares of her
and the deceitful evil opportunist she is
bent on cutting the chain of her from my memory
while worrying for my stolen son
the ghost of long dead Walter rattles invitation in my brain

he was love - she just pain
both are gone – I remain
with proof that people can be worse than any hell imaginable

Denny E. Marshall- Art

                                         Eye Bending

Denny E. Marshall has had art and poetry published, some recently. He does have a website with previously published works. The web address is www.dennymarshall.com. He also has a “Guest Artist Page” on his dot net site if any artist would like to submit. (See Guidelines)

B.Z. Niditch- A Poem


Almost blind
with a somnambulist's
white stick as a cane
street walker
in a spas' search
desperate for first light
with an eccentric smile
hands me a Degas print
on a snowy Paris night,
before a jazz rehearsal
to appear on stage
yet I witness
on this print
elegant dancers
in pink chemise
thinking of the painter
taking refuge
with champagne
in hand
at the ballet doors
behind these mirrors
fixing his 'stache
for an evening's
light pleasures
with a teared napkin
from the cold
over his dour complexion
with an unexplained kiss
of surprised insouciance.

Ralph Monday- Three Poems

All the Doubles Never Known

Doubles are never thought about much.
A primary mode of existence, they shape
Minds like water inflated balloons.
They float about, particles in space, exist
As three dimensional twins, patterns
Projecting outward shaping myth.
Doublemint twins so wholesome,
Encapsulating an America still possessed
Of a moral and ethical center not out of
Double down in poker, marriage, lovers.
Staring down a double barreled shotgun.
Loitering over twin bra cups loosened by
The wrong person. Sliding into the second
Relationship off a long double—out.
Biblical doublets that are not just
Binary bedfellows boasting reality.
Double servings of just about anything—
Double martinis, double rum and coke—after
2 a.m. double trouble. Double jeopardy lying
Like perfume on both shoulders.
50s televised twin beds, Puritan single
Twining introduced by the Mayflower and
The Arabella. Double meanings for double
Lives. Binary stars pulsating with double drum
beats doubling over in double time. Tennis doubles
playing a different game off the court.
Double lanes leading to nowhere. At the end the
Doppelganger dancing in double time.

Be Careful of Stuff

When the wheels wobble and come off,
shadows cast clouds, the sky becomes bronze.
The caged bird looks at it all and doesn’t sing.
That is the spell that the tilt-a-whirl rejects
circus clowns. Time for house cleaning.
You know that you have to wear the cleanest,
dirty shirt, sweep away the cobwebs, listen
not to lowing animals on the radio. Keep focused.
This too will pass. Break out ancient texts for help.
The Bible, Iliad, and Aeneid are ok, but beware
Odysseus. Smoke that book in your pipe and end
up being drowned by sirens, the police looking for
you because the wheel flew off and decimated poor
Ms. Clary’s poodle. Just as well. She didn’t want it
anyway because it could never be housetrained, just
like your last girlfriend, the hoarder, who nearly
drowned you with 24 pitchers of zero water.
Two zodiacs there, 12 and 12; you damn sure know
to avoid Scorpio. Get a wheelbarrow and keep emptying
out. If nothing works, stop and pray, send in money
to a needy televangelist. Get on the prayer list.
Maybe you’ll get a spanking new wheel sent down
from heaven.

Blackbird Testament

At dusk the blackbirds sprang up
From the stubble of a van Gogh
wheat field
in unison, primitive force explosion.
A storm cloud of matted ink periods
moving simultaneously in harmony
like a barbershop quartet.
The flock was not broken, knew what
to do without knowing. An ancient
unity possessed them, but it was
the two of us standing in the cold,
watching, that needed exorcism
where we were mute
in the silence spanning years
of slammed doors, broken dishes,
flicker of TVs in separate rooms.
The blackbirds wheeling now like
an angry storm funneled up as an
organic whole,
some dark opal collection,  not
the broken thing we were seeking respite.
We peered at them
where they vanished like some medieval
specter at the thin edge of the field.
We knew they understood earth's
magnetic cello sounding out through
the stream of their thoughts, flapping
wings, a text carved against the twilight, a
bitter bible we did not wish to read,
for we tongued the testament. 

Ralph Monday is an Associate Professor of English at Roane State Community College in Harriman, TN., where he teaches composition, literature, and creative writing courses. In fall 2013 he had poems published in The New Plains Review, New Liberties Review, Fiction Week Literary Review, and was represented as the featured poet with 12 poems in the December issue of Poetry Repairs. In winter 2014 he had poems published in Dead Snakes. Summer 2014 had a poem in Contemporary Poetry: An Anthology of Best Present Day Poems. His work has appeared in publications such as The Phoenix, Bitter Creek Review, Full of Crow, Impressions, Kookamonga Square, Deep Waters, Jacket Magazine, The New Plains Review, New Liberties Review, Crack the Spine, The Camel Saloon, Dead Snakes, Jellyfish Whispers, Pyrokinection, Red River Review, Burningword  and Poetry Repairs. Featured Poet of the week May, 2014 Poetry Super Highway. Forthcoming: Poems in Blood Moon Rising. Crack the Spine best of anthology and Down in the Dirt Magazine. His poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Houghton Mifflin’s “Best of” Anthologies, as well as other awards. A book, Empty Houses and American Renditions will be published by Hen House Press in Fall 2014.

Jay Passer- Three Poems


sitting on the edge of the bed
at the hotel paradise

hum of the garbage can city
vibrates smudged windowpane

arms itch, lungs wheeze
a rope dangles off a fire escape

curtains fall at twilight
cheap literature stokes the flames

trembling before lipsticked mirror
hotel deduced by dusty corridors

cop helicopters hound rooftops
naturally scheming

a tiresome bone fracture drags
metatarsal across worn carpeting

welcome to the truth
bold as a body done believing

in daydreams of the heart
sump pumps of love hospitalized

the blinking lights behind
cityscape fallen from charred cave wall


the closer one comes to death
the more the world resembles a madhouse
the promise of the early days
the hope sleazily wrapped
in worship of dark alleyway noir
now the sagging, deflated heart
sighs and stale cheese sandwiches
the boringly mediocre details of love
it’s easier to meditate on the wasted chances
the frivolity of a cloud or squeal of tires
before impact
a baseball game on the radio in mid-May
a good book with a bad ending
a couple bucks
a brother’s divorce pending
the closer one approaches the inevitable
the more certain one is of the minutiae
the dimple rather than a smile
one fine gray hair


There is no I
Only we

Animals for the petting zoo
Or meat counter

Which would you prefer

Kind sir?
Shopping for fetish

moan for Bon Appetite
Gratification paramount

At the drive-thru

Don’t bother to think
There is no I

Only all one can 

Now get back to
Passer's work has appeared in print and online since 1988.  He lives and works in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco, the city of his birth. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

April Salzano- Three Poems

Inside Looking In
The mountains have not mattered
since Monday. I have been alone
in my empty house of cards, holding
my breath, protecting my walls.
The truth is on the bathroom floor,
writhing in indifference, loose hair,
speck of dust, so much standing
water, I have to turn my head, wade
through currentless suds. The vanity
is made of rotted wood, pine
that loses its knots, knobs
that loosen at every turn. The door
is locked from the outside.

Our Bodies Are Baskets
carrying everything that is
put inside, holding tight
as membranes. We are
snakes, engulfing prey twice
our size. Our jaws unhinge,
we expand, sated on meat
of miracles.

Before Dawn
My lungs are on the floor,
a pair of kings, played
like bagpipes with accordion precision.
The moon is in my eye, a wafer, a penny
candy. My heart is a piƱata, its destiny
hanging in the balance. I breathe
feathers, exhale wings in terrible song.
Then someone decides to run
the vacuum cleaner, clear the room.

Bio:  Recently nominated for two Pushcart prizes, April Salzano teaches college writing in Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband and two sons. She is currently working on a memoir on raising a child with autism and several collections of poetry. Her work has appeared in journals such as Convergence, Ascent Aspirations, The Camel Saloon, Centrifugal Eye, Deadsnakes, Visceral Uterus, Salome, Poetry Quarterly, Writing Tomorrow and Rattle. The author also serves as co-editor at Kind of a Hurricane Press (www.kindofahurricanepress.com).

Paul Tristram- Three Poems

A Rat Named Ben

When I was around 19 or 20 years old,
three of us shared a house in Allister Street
just off the top of Winsor Road in Neath.
We had a couple of cages in the living room
with a black hooded rat living in one of them
and a smaller brown hooded rat in the other.
They used to be in just the one cage together
but we had to split them up because they had
started breeding like…well, like rats actually.
We ended up giving away the babies for free.
It was the male rat that I had for the longest
his name was Ben (Yes, just like the film!)
He was massive,  just as big as a rat could get,
from my wrist to my elbow, well not quite
but then again not too far off of that either.
And he was just so placid and friendly,
the female you couldn’t have out for too long
because she wouldn’t keep still for a second.
Whilst Ben on the other hand would just sit
on my left leg, up towards my knee drinking
the occasional 5% beer drop off my finger
chilling out with us listening to sleaze music.
If I remember correctly, I think his favourite
song was ‘Babylon’ by ‘Faster Pussycat.’

© Paul Tristram 2014

The Moonlight Bounced Off The Roof Slates With A Bang!

As I slunk surreptitiously and delusionally
DOwn the confused cobblestone road
‘shhh-ing’ myself through yawning giggles.
Focusing then un-focusing through and around
the late evenings pear imitation raindrops.
A woman in a Welsh bonnet and shawl
whispered sideways in Napoleon’s voice
“Vermin and lice and all things nice!”
as we passed in the dark tangoing shadows
which loiter under Rolling Pin Thug Bridge.
“Didn’t hurt one bit!” I smiled in reply
then mournfully realizing that the Damned
‘Walking Cane Thief’ had struck once more
I sighed mournfully and oblongly thrice
then finally changed my determined mind.
“We need flowers blooming at midnight!”
I decided with barely an hour to lose,
so I swung left then right then left again
neurotically and at a pace up Crooked Lane.
Chasing my colourful, cartwheeling brain
back to the One-eyed  Beggar Slut Laboratory,
where I rolled up my shirt sleeves once again.

© Paul Tristram 2014

The End Of That Means Nothing

I feel nothing for you now!
Even the disgust has evaporated.
‘Time heals everything’ they say,
Well yes, it does, completely.
The only thing left is my wonder
of how I could have been so blind?
You are the most spoilt, selfish person
that I have had the misfortune to meet.
It’s like ‘The Picture Of Dorian Grey’
except the picture is not hidden
away in some dark attic somewhere,
the picture is your rotten soul.
The ugliness is like a cancer
you are riddled through with it.
I’m just lucky to have escaped
with merely minor bruising.
God help anyone who goes near you!
Good riddance, they are welcome to you
all of those poor demented souls.

© Paul Tristram 2013

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.

Linda M. Crate- Three Poems

the raven's flight 
she was a laugh
always a laugh
always cascading down 
her lips,
but you told her to be quiet
not to laugh so much
she then became serious and
that wasn't right, either,
you told her to laugh
she remembered
well that you were the one that told
her to stop
so she merely raised her eyebrows—
in her gaiety she had not
been enough for you,
and now she was still too flawed
to impress a smile upon
your features;
so she flew away
left naught but one white feather
the color of the most
perfect cloud
to remind you of her imperfect
should you deign to miss her.

a free bird 
she's so gone
that girl that fell in love with 
demure and sweet
with golden rivers of laughter
deigning to listen to your
most haughty words
she's so gone
that girl
believing every word that flowed from
your lips was honey,
and that you were some kind-of god
on earth
that girl is gone;
i am here now with all my wisdom
and i have laughter
but it's not for you
she's so gone
that girl that waited for your every whisper to
disrobe her in the heat of the moment,
she's so gone
that girl that laughed a little too much
at words that weren't of any
she's so gone,
but even now i care too much
wondering what happened of you but
she's so gone
that girl that trailed her tulips
'round your windows
hoping you'd
fall just as desperately in love with her
because i'm so glad you freed
from your wicked
games, your unkind spell
the birdcage that was too thin to hold
anything but desire.

monster in the mirror 
maybe i danced too close to the
devil in your eyes,
but i didn't believe you'd hurt
me as badly as you did;
ravens have
but i didn't have the heart to claw your eyes
out even if you devoured my heart—
don't ask me any questions
you told me too many lies,
a piece of my innocence
with your insincerity so sincere it fooled me at the time;
but i am no longer your fool
my white feathers
will not bury the black of your disease—
you think i'm crazy?
well, that's not fair
the thought process encompassed in your mind
if you have no intention of marrying someone,
then you have no right to be with them;
you're a gorgeous nightmare,
but i'll go a step
with my insults
i want you to free every girl you've ever trapped in your dreams
like you did me;
we all deserve freedom from your fangs—
i didn't deserve destruction,
but neither did they
one day,
you'll see yourself when you look at your reflection
instead of a man
there'll be a monster looking back
at you.

B.Z. Niditch- Two Poems


We  slow danced
to the Penguins
"Earth Angel"
smothered by
my first love
lowering our voices
and eyes,
we realize
that young crushes
rarely go anywhere
except in blushes
or in the bushes
and Linda
called me her Prince
and I composed
lyrics to her
as my teen lover
she eventually moved
out West
and a Hollywood star
and years later
when I worked
on film scripts
as a summer job
for my uncle
we recognized each other
at a party
on Fairfax Avenue
in West Los Angeles
at a when we were 
both tranquilized
by all the guitar glitter
and rock energy
when the crowd
became so loud
in glamour and clamor,
we walked outside,
and I sang to her
from "Earth Angel"
and asked her
to be my bride.

On Shepard Street
in Harvard Square
where we shopped
as runaways
for wine and cheese
when on sale
these poets came
to this apartment
we were told
by neighbors
to share their stuff
Aiken, Eliot, Lowell
and after that
Plath ,Sextant, Bishop
it was rough to stay up
even in the chatter
but there was always laughter
in the highway
by our small studio flat
there was vocal jazz 
they called scat
in improvisation
here where I was at
as a young Beat
but when you 
are young and in love
does it matter 
when there is little to eat
I asked my friends
for a welcome mat
and a next door neighbor
who did psychic readings
came through for us
though the prophecies
in the parlor never came about.