Monday, October 31, 2011

Kushal Poddar- A Poem

 Apparent Dissociation

The father stoops over the perambulator
and examines his child with lab precision.
Her nonsense words weigh less than
twenty-one grams.

His face reappears in the floating position
one day, while dusting a cabinet,
to no apparent association.

He comes down from whatever he is.
How much does he weigh now?

Kushal Poddar (1977- ) resides in the city of Kolkata, India. Apart from poetries, he has written fictions and scripts for television mini-series as well.

His English poems have been published in the online and print magazines all over the world. He is the author of “All Our Fictional Dreams” and been published in “Poor Poet’s Pantry: Collaborative Poems”. The forthcoming book is “Surviving Cyber Life”.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Kevin Ridgeway- Three Poems

Dispatches from the Meat Locker

I used to cut the meat
at the town co-op
slicing the prosciutto
and dicing the preservative-free
locally grown ham
I didn’t know what prosciutto was
and I didn’t know the difference
between my hams
cutting away at
roast beef arteries and
smoking Newport’s in the alleyway
coughing up blood and sweat and vomit--

I was a vegetarian.

Sloppy nauseous
luncheon surgeon that I was,
I dazzled with my
product presentation that they
taught during orientation,
holding my hand up
in the air with of a hunk of cow
but faltered when told
they wanted thin sheaths
and not the bulging slab
rudely breathing in
my outstretched palm.

I don’t know why I stayed
on for two weeks,
or why I didn’t deck the
old, balding pony tail New Age stallion
who admonished me for
not changing my rubber gloves
as I stood there
with bacon
covering my arms
and shoulder blades
like wartime cold cut medals

Roughhouse Mind

within the depths
of my weary skull
ferries boats
of ill repute
steam along
rivers of blood
coursing through my brain
where artificial horses
round the bends of
dwarf track races
surrounded by
wooden shanty walls
adorned with
winking dollar ale signs
beer batter slowly
boiling off from
last night

women with long silk
stockings and salty mouths
keep rooms at
the front of my mind
sailors bite beer bottle
caps off of with their teeth and
spit them on the floor
amidst the stale peanut shells
drifting toward the back
of my mind and
down my spine
into no man’s land

these snub nosed
cracker jack box
cartoon crooks,
sloppy hot belly gamblers,
and beautifully ugly prostitutes
fight over the
winning horse’s ticket
slowly burn my mind down

and put it out of business

America the Weird

The older, weirder America is
what sends my seceding mind
into the clouds
above a continent
that holds
a mammoth anthology
of wisdom’s misadventure
my head scratched into chipped
dandruff queries regarding the mystique
of the music in its bayous, its rivers
its trains, its highways, its mountains,
its deserts, its decorations, its corner
liquor store politicians, its hustle
bustle in funk urban mazes, its rallying
cries of freedom from every direction.

When I can smell America,
when I can taste it coming
off a Greyhound regardless
of north-south east-west
those are the times when
the art that lurks behind
its wide curtains surges
through the veins leading
to my third-generation
mutt immigrant heart
and a flow of joy and 
rivers of rage and grief
join together in unity--
these are the times
when I’ve had my eternal
passport stamped
and I’m an American

Bio:  Kevin Ridgeway is a writer from Southern California, where he currently lives in a shady bungalow with his girlfriend and their one-eyed cat.  Recent work can be found in The Camel Saloon, Underground Voices, Dark Chaos and The Legendary. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lee Stern- Two Poems


I am afraid there are mobilities
upon which I can no longer stand.
And telling you this doesn’t upset me as much as I thought.
I thought that I would be able to stand there
with both feet on the ground,
using up my energy as a last resort.
When it became apparent that it wasn’t going to work out like that,
I panicked and started shredding all of my favorite books.
And I was so used to doing that, and saying that,
that every time I tried to move away from you
I only ended up further away from myself.
What the mobilities needed, I guess,
was a different way of determining if life
was to be lived full of advantages.
Or, if not advantages, reasons
that left when the world was restored.


Maybe the lady in the red dress knows what to say.
It’s been my experience that, if they’re wearing
a red dress, they know exactly what’s going on.
And the shoes don’t even have to match.
Or the bonnet or the gloves.
It’s the red quality of the dress.
And you can trust me on this.
I’ve investigated this very carefully.
Because once there was a woman who saved the world.
And she was wearing a red dress.
And when she took it off there were daisy chains
looking for mementos in cabinets that couldn’t be stilled.

Bio: Lee lives in Los Angeles. On average he writes ten poems for each one that is submittable.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

Caseworker: Yams and Plantain

   The Housing Project
     Summer in Chicago

Bienvenido’s comin’ over,
says his wife,
to ‘splain me
why the kids
have got no rice,
no beans,
how the landlord’s
shovin’ notes beneath
the door again.
In Puerto Rico Bienvenido
dug up yams,
was paid in plantain,
came over here,
brought his wife,
then his kids.
First New York,
then Chicago,
gave up yams,
gave up plantain,
just to drum
and make a living.

Oddly, this is another poem that came out of real life. When I was a pup fresh out of grad school and didn't want to teach, I took a job as a caseworker in the projects--458 families in two gigantic buildings. Kennedy was president and there was hope, real or false, in the land. But I'll never forget talking to those families. Believe me, times were tough for them back then but times right now are tougher for the country and especially for people like Bienvenido and others. They seem to have no hope. Today, white as I am, I could not go into those buildings if they still existed because I'd be robbed or shot. I understand the problem but I have no solutions. I simply fear that things will continue to get worse. And I see no solution in either political party. Some day I hope to do a piece about the guy in the projects caught barbecuing in his bathtub on the 14th floor. That was a humdinger. 

Donal Mahoney has had work published in Dead Snakes and other publications in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sarah E. White- A Poem


He calls her Honey
In a casual way
Out of habit really
From years of practice
It rolls off his tongue without thinking
About the meaning
She has been his Honey for a long, long time
Now he speaks the word
Without emotion
Saying it without feeling
Honey is just who she is
Or rather who she used to be
His sweet, sweet love
Something delicious
Something pure
Through each passing year though
His Honey has turned sour
Age and anger have changed her
Until all that sweetness was gone
Curdled and turned
Into something he can’t quite describe
Something without beauty or love
Something different
With a strange and ugly name
So he calls her Honey
For lack of anything better to say

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Melanie Browne- A Poem


I drag you
in from the field,
you tell me
you swallowed
a crow,
it tickles your throat,
causes a tightness
in your chest,
I meditate
on the word
then walk you
back to the field,
lie down beside you
and wait for the
wind to sing,
 for the straw to fly
through the air,
until we disappear,
our shoes
still warming
the tangerine

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

Mostly Basie with a Little Bach

Whenever I see a new woman, I know 
I should look at her hair and her eyes and her smile  
before I decide if she's worth the small talk
and the dinner later 
and whatever else she may require 
before she becomes taffy, 
pliant and smiling. 
But that never works for me.
Whenever I see a new woman, 
what matters to me is never 
her hair or her eyes or her smile;

what matters to me is her saunter 
as I stroll behind her.
If her moon comes over the mountain
and loops in languor, left to right, 
and then loops back again,
primed for another revolution, then
I introduce myself immediately
no matter where we are, 
in the stairwell or on the street
and that's when I see for the first time
her hair and her eyes and her smile  
but they are never a distraction since
I'm lost in the music of her saunter.

Years ago, tall and loping Carol Ann
took a train to Chicago, 
found a job and then one summer day 
walked ahead of me on Michigan Avenue 
while I surveyed her universe amid 
the cabs screeching, horns beeping, 
a driver's middle finger rising. 
Suddenly she turned and said hello 
and we shook hands and I saw her smile 
dart like a minnow and then disappear 
as she frowned and asked   
why was I walking behind her. 

I told her I was on my way to the noon Mass
at Holy Name Cathedral and she was welcome 
to come along. The sermon wouldn't be much, 
I said, but the coffee and bagels afterward 
would be plentiful, enough to cover lunch.
And Jesus Christ Himself would be there.
She didn't believe me, not at all, 
and she hasn't believed me since. 

That was thirty years ago and now
her smile is still a minnow
darting here and there but now 
it's more important than her saunter 
which is still a symphony, 
mostly Basie with a little Bach.

And I no longer traipse Michigan Avenue 
as I did years ago looking for new moons 
swirling in my universe. Instead, 
I take my lunch in a little bag 
on a long train from the suburbs
and I marvel at one fact:
It's been thirty years since I first heard 
the music in her saunter
and Carol Ann and I are 
still together, praise the Lord. 
Who can believe it? Not I. 
Carol Ann says she knew 
the ending from the start. 
Lord, Almighty. Fancy that.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sarah E. White- A Poem

Coats of Paint

Thick coats of paint, white paint
Can make anything look clean
Slathering it on
Cleaning it up to a shiny new beginning
Globing it into the holes and crevices
Letting it seep down in
Filling in the darkness
Making it all so fresh and new
Starting again
A brand new layer of layering is done
The thickening of your skin
The sound it makes as you slop it around
Is a sound of music
So fulfilling
Conducting this symphony
Covering up what’s dirty
Covering the dust with utmost perfection
Sealing in its secrets
History is now another level deeper
Stroke after heavy stroke
As you lay them smoothly down
Coats of paint
How many of these have you worn?
Painting until your hands ache
Can’t stop until it’s done
Starting again
Another coat of paint
On an already thick old skin

Bio for Sarah E. White
My first published work was in 1994. I’m influenced by the works of Anne Sexton, Zora Neale Hurston, Shel Silverstein and Ogden Nash. My previous work can be found in The Devil’s Advocate, The Camel Saloon, The Fringe Magazine,The Rainbow Rose, Books On Blog and Going Dark.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Craig Scott- A Poem


I want a theme song that plays every time I enter the room. I want
raspberry-flavored frozen yogurt. I want to be prolific. I want to
take a nap. I want to go camping. I want to drive across country. I
want to see Iceland. I want to sell you a bridge. I want for once to
be in the loop. I want to rip someone’s throat out like Dalton in Road
House. I want to fake an orgasm. I want to hike more. I want to fart
less. I want avocado on my sandwich. I want to chase away the geese. I
want to burn my credit cards. I want a less awkward smile. I want my
dog to miss me when I’m gone. I want to help. I want a new car. I want
to go where no one knows my name. I want to find a good Indian
restaurant. I want to be taller. I want a newly discovered bacterium
to be named after me. I want a cool nickname. I want to stop snoring
in my sleep. I want to witness the year 1 Billion. I want to read Moby
Dick. I want baklava for breakfast. I want clear skin. I want to kick
a hole in the tv. I want to know what you’re thinking right now.

Bio: Craig Scott recently saw the publication of his collaborative
collection Tales From a French Envelope, written with Catfish McDaris.
It is available through

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

So Fingertips Kiss
Five kids, eight years. 
And then one day my wife 
shouts to me on the tractor
roaring in the field:
“I’ve had enough.”
And like a ballerina,
she rises on one foot, sole
of the other foot firm
against her knee
and with arms overhead
so fingertips kiss,
she smiles,
and then like a helicopter
lifts into the air,
whirls over the garage
and keeps rising.
I can do nothing now
but curse
and be proud.
As if at the ballet,
I applaud from the tractor
and blink at the inferno
as she hits the sun.


Donal Mahoney has worked as an editor for one publication or another for most of his life, probably because words are the one thing he can handle without making too many mistakes. Tools and mechanical things have always buffaloed him. But give him a blank page, and he'll happily step back and throw words at it like buckshot. And then he'll step forward and keep rearranging them until the deadline, real or imagined, arrives.

Monday, October 10, 2011

David S. Pointer- A Poem

Among The Unhired

Employment deprivation
unequally applied
throughout the society
to certain invisible
more likely to taste
Snakeslayer .45 lead
than lead a life thought
to be guaranteed by
their academic credentials
any small paycheck
could put one of these
people back in the bi-weekly
pressure chamber world
of low paid life, but some
have wives, or parents
or inheritances: others
fend off bottom level
boredom and stress by
sporadically hearing the
spray of bone spreading
bullets peppering their
dilapidated neighborhoods

Bio: David S. Pointer has recent acceptances at "Popshot," "Ottawa Arts Journal," and seriously misses "Beatlick News" since the passing of Editor Joe Speer.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Jason E. Hodges- Three Poems


Drips of rain slid down my window
The hospital’s window in the room of my waiting
Waiting in my room
Waiting and watching for what is to come
Looking out this pane of glass high in the skyline
It holds my refection all too well
Showing me off without any shyness
My life as real as reality gets
Stranded stares from nights of unrest
Lines of time now show in my face
Wavy from the water and rain
Running down the window’s outside
But not nearly wavy enough
Distorted but far from disillusioned
Of the task ahead of me now
For the rain keeps falling outside and in
Storming on both sides of the window
Once again storms have blown into my life
Breached the levees that have held in my mind
Moaned and creaked from the stress I’m under
But sometimes it’s good for the dam to finally give way
Spill into the spillway of new beginnings
Holding no more hidden secrets of hiding
For one day it has to stop raining
And the sunsets of hope will set in the sky

Seeing The Unseen

Seeing the unseen is sometimes difficult
What matters most to the writer
Should be
The art of the unspoken word
The only thing that matters at all
Speaking and thinking the new idea
The dream that lives in your head
If written on a napkin
For only a waitress to find at the end of her shift
When her legs want to give out
Write it
Uplift her
Move her
Or the busboy scraping unwanted food for minimum wage
Wondering how he will pay rent and tuition
Wondering how he will eat as he throws good food away
Write it
Express it
Give him hope tomorrow will be better
Your audience will find you
This is the life I’ve chosen to live
Writing for the world of the blue-collar
The world of the scarred not of the scarring
Scratching the earth with my poet’s plow point of words
For living your life on a path not of your choosing
Is not living your life at all
Ruled by the ruler
From the kingdom of timecards
The land of quotas and cubicles
Is a land not really alive

Those Dirt-Hearted Blues

The strings of my guitar bend and moan
Stretch with sound
Slide with the glass bottle that covers my finger
Melt away into the backwoods of Mississippi
The back woods of The South
Melt and flow into the sweet water of the delta
Mix with the fog that creeps in on the dance floor
Slides around long legs a dancing
High heels a stepping
Men and women movin’ with all that they got
To the sound I’m playin’ tonight
My fret board covered in sweat
Dripping from the hot air around me
And the lights casting the stage
My guitar sings out
Speaks so clearly to the people in the crowd
As my fingers move with all of my feelings
None of it matters tonight
For tonight is takin’ what we're given
The worries of that day smear into the night
Into the notes I’m a playin’
Notes carried on the exhale of a cigarette
Up to the tin roof that shakes from the bass drum behind me
Notes carried from the first sip of the last drink of the night
When the dew settles on the bud of a blue morning-glory
Waiting patently for the new day to arrive

Monday, October 3, 2011

Lee Stern- A Poem


Maybe there’s somebody dancing tonight
And he seems to enjoy it.
Maybe the music, because it’s just right for him,
is encouraging him to dance like he’s a dreamer.
Maybe this person that I’m talking about
is dancing because everybody else is dancing
and he doesn’t want to be left out
and made into an example.
And, yes, maybe, if you asked him,
what the purpose of dancing was,
he’d stop for a few minutes and have to think about it.
He’d have to think what it was like to move from one place to another.
And then move back again to the place where you may have started;
the place where motion was born.
The place where distance became a commodity that never ran still.

Bio:  Lee lives in Los Angeles and tries to write a poem a day.  He's published over 200 of them, many on the internet.