Friday, March 29, 2013

J.K. Durick- Two Poems

                         Reading History

It’s quite a story we’ve told ourselves about ourselves,
Filled with foolishness and heroism, mirth and squalor,
Good guys and bad. We were that second ruler in the
Third dynasty who killed his brother to get the job and
Was done in by his mother for compromising his sister.
We were Alexander running out of worlds to conquer,
We crossed Rubicon after Rubicon, watched them sail
West, joined Crusades, and found cures. We blessed
Troops going into battle and our dead afterwards. We
Invented and built, bombed and restored. Our story
Tells of egos as big as Bonaparte’s, as small as a saint’s;
It finds the bodies we hid and our kindness mid-disaster,
The mountains we climbed and the forests we leveled.
History walks us through our many selves, points out
The times we failed and the times we didn’t, admits to
Weaknesses and shortcomings, tells what we have done,
Makes us memorize things we did, tests us over and over:
Who did this, who did that, how many were there and how
Many were left after what we did what we did? History is
A frightening tale that builds itself all around us as we read,
We are trapped in this new chapter, stuck between these
New pages, ink barely dry, drying as we speak, as we guess
About what’s next and what we will think of ourselves
When we read about us then.

         Going Home
The floor tilts and turns
angles away, jars and jolts,
then begins to sway.
This isn’t the way
It’s supposed to be.
Now, when it’s me
in this slant
in this humbling, stumble 
this tumble and toss
that time has done
to me.
Distances blend it
lend it a bit of grace,
a bit of humor
it doesn’t deserve.
Up close when I’m part
of it, it loses the laugh
I know, I can hear.
The stairs catch me
stretch and bend
ask me to sit a bit,
take the load off,
but the mind doesn’t
work that way
at least, not today.
How do rooms lose
their shape, like this?
What happened to the door?
When did light become
This flow, this river
I can’t swim in, anymore?

J. K. Durick is presently a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Literary Juice, Napalm and Novocain, Third Wednesday, and Common Ground Review.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Nicholas Keys- Poetry


At what hallowed cost?-An anti-hero at Hiroshima?-
And all the souls that were lost-
And all the souls that are still lost-
A hollow host, a hollow cost, a holocaust-
Halos on the heads of the cast out and caustic,
A singular ghost, a toast in the war room of cause-
Raw devotion, national dissonance,
Concentrate, Concentrate, reach for ambivalence-
The claws-The clause-

Stay up all night,
Waiting for a way to the sunlight,
Blight, ripened struggles, growing withered,
Weathered in the cold, growing old,
Slithering like a feather through the wind,
Homeless, Hopeless, handing blankets out to strangers-waiting for a bus-
4:30 A.M. Houston-Lullaby, After-
Rain, A reign of cityscapes, downtown,
Huddled for warmth, covered faces of parents and an infant,
Infinite, inferno of the lights-
Staying up all night, blinded by-
The street lights-
Waiting for a way to the sunlight-

Old Enough To Drink
Brotherly Love, a way from Philly;
Through Baltimore, yearning for more,
Before the loss of my abilities,
Soaring across a bay’s tranquility,
Exploring the rural and urban communities,
Pouring perceptions into my eyes,
Enamored by the vast open empty ocean of skies,
Idealizing heroes in clouds and a proud sensibility,
Feeling criticized and ostracized-self conscious and sensitive,
Living for the day-Obey! -Obey! Demonstrative!
If only it were easy-To live a life of leisure,
A constant overture-lured into a constant cure,
Drinking for a purpose-A temporary life, a temporary fall,
Stalling stress and Time for another day,
Homeless in the Capital, A way to Washington D.C.,
Washing away the impurities and begging for mercy,
Elderly woman wandering cold, sleeping on a monument,
A territories land falsely sold, an artificial commitment,
On a statue commemorating Columbus,
Dismantle attributes-condemned to always be less;
Out of D.C. to the capital of the confederacy,
Poor in Richmond, Antebellum Aristocracy,
At the whitened house of divided civil democracy,
Keep the union together without upkeep,
Sleeping giant awakens in a modern oligopoly;
To Atlanta-Atlas holding the land and oceans of the earth,
Traveling and giving birth a cityscape and transportation worth,
Drinking bottle after bottle of the short and long cure:
Of dependency, of mediocrity, and of complacency;
Through Birmingham to a pyramid at Memphis,
Blues harmonizing pacifists waiting for the bus of progress,
Heavy hearts and light headed feeling of brevity,
Many wounded souls healed before arriving in Dallas,
At a restaurant buzzed and brewed-coffee and a hot meal,
Outlasting the night, last stop as an outcast-
Fast to New Orleans on a fattened Tuesday,
Swaying with the parades of alcohol and emptied cares-Late-
Into the night on a bus back to Houston,
Stammering drunk-wondering where the stumbling Sun has gong to-
You and only you-A year of drinking-
Sinking ships and falling empires-tired-thinking,
Drunk and Lucky-On my way back to Philly-

Withered reactions, vivid actions, slithering words-
Mention-Attention-To an untimely death,
Daughter slaughtered by fate’s slate of injustice-
Too soon-taken, forsaken noose-forgotten,
Reminds me of her-Reminds me of him,
List the memories-humorous and opaque,
List the places-she could have been-if?
Fists of passion ashamed, blaming themselves,
Coughing as laughter, open home-open wounds
Still bleeding-Still dreaming of a life with her,
Continuation of what could have been,
Who she could have been-if?
Before-The seen and unseen-an untimely death,
An untimely end, withered-

Waiting in a parking lot,
Waiting in a car,
Refusing to take a chance,
Refusing to go ‘far’-
Into the distance,
What was sough?-What was fought?-
Waiting in a chair-impaired-
Unable to move-solitary, removed-
Fusing chances with gains-
Pain in a city of the plain-

Poor in Richmond,
Homeless in the Capital,
Sleeping on a monument,
Outside a union station,
Soar into grandeur,
Old town-new city,
Pitied old-cherished new,
All that I knew,
All that could be known,
On your own,
Lonely road,
Backwards-towards the wards,
Of Heaven’s war,
Of a broken home-

Tears in her eyes,
The lies-whitened cries of innocence,
Mourning clothes in closets untouched,
Untamed and rough terrain,
Tears in her sky,
Clouds above morning-
The eyes of never waking,
The eyes of perpetual truth,
Ruthless destiny-Infinity abused,
The lies-what she said to her,
Her last words-immortal curse-

Chain-smoking cigarettes in regret,
To forgive-to forget,
Set the sun ablaze with sorrow,
Hallow fault lines-earthquake tomorrow-

The Fall-            The Tall-
The Follow-            The Slow-
The Flow-            The Foe-
The Flower-            The Tower-

Unequal distribution-retribution-
Moral constitution-
What is right for one and not the other?
Cover of brightness, hour’s after-
Lover of darkness-slower laughter for a pause,
Here and after-clear and feared-
The Distracter-

Treating a stranger as a child,
Defiled time-apparent parent,
Heir-repaired-And an heir apparent-
Apparitions of a spirit descendent,
Heritage dismemberment-

Would-commitment to suicide,
Should have-submitted to the inside,
Bureaucracy of a wooden would be battle cry,
Outside-The world is vast, cast out-
Last out-

Contrary to what is thought,
Contrary to why both sides fought,
Civil-War-distracted from what was sough-
Misinformation, misguided inspiration, misguided patriotism-

The way in which they speak,
Is as if she is still there,
Next to them, an exception,
They are the people to remember her,
They are the people to dream about her,
To imagine a hand upon a shoulder,
Boulder fields and rivers of the colder hearts,
Hurt-heal me! Heal me!

Refrain-Trains across countries-Detained,
With/out rights-National identity-
Rational insanity-

Power lines-fences and adjoined property-
Residential-forest-roads of the loading bay of reason-

Join or die-
What for-War-
It cannot be peaceful-
It cannot be-
A knot
A tangled thread-
Join or die-
They said
By whose hands
By those who command
By those who state no choice
By those who silence our voice?

It still feels as if she is here,
I can see her as clear as day,
I know there is no way,
I hope to-Stay-

Sounds of the rails,
Train horns in the distance,
Hail to the tyrant,
Rants for a remembrance-

Pale-sails forming clouds,
God of wind, sins of a windfall continent,
Gaping holes in deserts, an abyss of cohorts,
Colliding hordes of golden horses,
Short time up on the earth’s shattered soil,
For better or worse-
For betterment or for a worsened,
Lightened and hardened heart,
Out of sight, Out of mind,
Rewind the victory,
Remind them of their victory,
Remind them of them of their story,
Let us live until were an infant,
Grow younger-flow from death-
To a light giving expansion,
A-horizon, brief and belief,
Leaves of a weave, threads diseased-

A.J. Huffman- Three Poems

The Skin I Choose

to wear is soiled.  Smudged,
scarred, and scarcely identifiable
as my own  I hold myself up
before the sun.  I sparkle.
Alive, the pieces of me are print
[ed/ing] with visible soundings
of you.  Wham, blam, bang.  A touch
crashes like shotgun.  I am
blue and silver and solidly under-
estimated [as a target].  Bullseye!
Bullshit!  I am waiting for the sin
to dry.  Shake it off.  I’m a lizard baby.
Nail me to the wall.  Just
understand, there is no guarantee.
Tomorrow’s scales already smell
of the same stain.


My temperature rises at the sight of blood
drained.  I am
inexplicably drawn to the pallid
gray of freshly rotting flesh.  More
malleable once rigor mortis fades.  The cold
touch calls me.  I cannot
help myself.  Only death can
release me.

Vote Clothes

for pills.  Yes, pills.  All pills.  No pill
uncoated.  It is a cruel world,
and we should not have to suffer swallowing
gritty medications.  This is the 21st Century,
we have electric
cars and satellite everything, my tongue
should never have to bear the bitter
indignity of a naked pill.

A.J. Huffman is a poet and freelance writer in Daytona Beach, Florida.  She has previously published six collections of poetry all available on Amazon.comShe has also published her work in numerous national and international literary journals.  She has is the editor for six online poetry journals for Kind of a Hurricane Press 
( ).  Find more about A.J. Huffman, including additional information and links to her work at and!/poetess222

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Virginie Colline- Haiku

Montmartre Haiku

Frantic French Cancan
the March wind goes through the mill
on the Butte Montmartre

le moulin de la galette, paris
Le Moulin de la Galette by Vincent van Gogh

You can read Virginie Colline's poems in The Four Quarters Magazine, Spinozablue, Litbomb and Poetry Jar, among others.

Tom Hatch- A Poem


Remember that time we went
Skinny dipping the sound of distant
Birds, doves mourn, cardinals singing
Voices through the trees off blue sky
North placed us south our pounding passion

Lay on soft white pine needles the
Smell of us slight sap in the breeze

Remember this I tell my bones
Taking them aside for a one on one
Remember her next to us her weight and size 
And eyes, feet and hands
Don't lie there doing nothing for eternity 
As all the dawns, mornings, days, evenings
Play above chasing the wind, and rain
Where our shadows danced into one

Bones you bond with eternity I'll
Be dead but bones do not forget
after the worms have
Eaten off the flesh of you my host
Hold off the worms from your marrow and hold our memory
Of her tight embrace from the days of sweet
Swim and love on the soft pine needle floor
Do not forget under the forest floor
Join with the roots of trees and see and listen
For me through the opening buds in spring

Tom paid his dues in the NYC SoHo art scene in the 70s, 80s and 90s. He was awarded two NEA grants for sculpture back then. And taught at various colleges and universities in the NYC metro area in art. He loves to write...sculpture takes up too much space and money. He has published at The Mind[less] Muse an A. J. Huffman site and is a regular at The Camel Saloon and BoySlut. He lives in CT with a few farms up and down the road works in Manhattan. His train ride to and from NYC is his solace, study and den where it all begins and ends.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Linda M. Crate- A Poem

return to me 
looking back for one last time
our eyes don't meet,
it's hard to cross the threshold
for us both;
we know this parting will be for far
too long, we both cried —
you promise me this won't last forever,
but there's no end in sight;
you see what can't be seen and repair
the damage done to me, but here
in this wasteland i stand alone
everyone here is waiting to rip me to pieces
greedy to have me back
to do everything for me that i couldn't
when i was away,
and i just want oblivion to swallow me
in his sweet embrace,
softer than feathers yet not as sweet
as your kiss;
like a broken sparrow's wings
i falter here, in this place i cannot survive
my heart is shattering like the bones
that won't mend quickly enough —
nothing else matters except that you're not here,
and i'm missing you the way lovers do
because we were meant to be together not apart
for if you're ice then i'm snow,
and if you're an adjective i'm the noun you're
describing more beautifully —
we are the same two people looking out at sea,
and even if we have to remain seven eternities apart
i'd be willing to spend my infinity with you
because we're immortal as the stars,
together we'll always shine
apart we are as an indigo black night without flame.

Friday, March 22, 2013

BZ Niditch- Three Poems


Just as you are
waiting for me
at the port of call
after a night
of James Dean films
a sea gull catches
our red eyes
which fail us
at the usual
home harbor
at first vessel light
crumbling in
our wearied faces
in dawn's sunshine
we taking off
our motorcycle jackets
near the shore drive
our black boots
on gluey seaweed
by the open waters
unlocking the kayak
over the bridge
soon to be absorbed
by ripened shadows
of waves undertow
in the tidal basin
watching the fish
nose dive below us
near the cargo ships
bringing in pink salmon,
with lobsters and squid
launched on schedule
hearing sailor sounds
by the sea voices
from the mainland
cry out between meshes
of the waves frenzy
veined with shade
from the light house
encircled by shore birds.


Waking up
in a tent city
turning up
on charred first light
over a sleeping bag
stolen up town,
a write on poet
with a long rap sheet
sings by a cold wind,
a bird nibbles
at your right ear,
feeling alone
threadbare in
a back jacket pocket
the judge signed
letter head says
you're facing time,
with long cut hair
falls on his muscle shirt,
stolen from up town
a wan body
bruised and reddened
with two broken ribs
enraged by fate
digs in
by needled syringes
for the long March
in the backwater city
near a park bench. 


Under strobe lights
roped off by one another
trying to appear calm
after an all night
of preparation
in an insomniac dawn
feeling ashen
with long lines
of curiosity
reading my thoughts
and the barometer
down to zero
in this sun parlor
of a studio
with a bilingual ensemble
now pinned down
to go over
the upbeat spoof     
of a comedy
as the second interview
dwindles in a muffled sound
of motionless air
on the cold pavement
a gentleman in a red scarf
handing out coffee cups
gives me a thumbs up.

BZ Niditch is published widely in the UK, North America, France, Japan and Australia.

Daniel Wilcox- A Poem

Ah, Bird Poop Van

Ah, bird poop van,
there in the far corner of the fast food lot
where wind-blown paper congregates,
and you squat against the curb,

a rusted Ford Econoline home,
spattered with a thousand puked starbursts
of smell on your dull finish,
a metal fadedness of has been.

Your owner in his tourist-trash hat
and long dirty hair hanging to his collar,
squats on the splattered grass,
grizzled before his future demise,
a throwback to Ashbury
where he used to panhandle.

He sits with his wilted wildflower
in her faded jeans splotched with patches,
sipping their mocha coffee on the matted grass
wary for the squad car to cruise by again,
and roust them out of their corner nest
under the gilded arches.

But, oh, you rest and rust so easy–
at least there are no fowl in sight.

First published in The Bicycle Review, February 2010

Brief Bio:
Daniel Wilcox's wandering lines have appeared in many magazines including Word Riot, The Centrifugal Eye, Write Room, Mad Swirl, Camel Saloon, and Unlikely Stories IV. Three large collections of his published poetry are in print: Dark Energy, Psalms, Yawps, and Howls, and selah river.  He recently completed a speculative novel which is wandering. Before that, he hiked through Nebraska, Cal State University Long Beach (Creative Writing), Montana, Pennsylvania, Europe, Palestine/Israel, Arizona...  Now he resides with his wife on the central coast of California.

Patrick Longe- Two Poems

Only You Know What You Know

legions in the brain follow the flute
sounding in the tumble, glide & flip
of emotional strains like fifty-two pick-up

        as we mull, as we handle tarnished thin membranes
        faces on the floor, are memories gone poor
        of the things of this world, fifty-two cards
        sing the score of well-worn faculties
        portions of the club, portions of the heart
        they cajole and retort in splendor of dissection

the drama of grown speaks of the gone would have again
in conditions of spades, in conditions of diamonds

        when shuffled the muse is unshuffled
        known again that the moon can moan
        the one-eyed jack who asks how could you forget?

Ingrained Sane

everybody has motivation
and, necessarily a motive

their watch though isn’t my clock.
look around say “just like any other day.”
my friend says yes and no.

it’s again the wandering, the checking out.

“that never ends does it?”

just a matter of whether you’re aware
of the dare that comes with living

to spike the bubbles others blow.
must be done with forgiveness, for often

it’s some kinda ingrained sane
can’t be talked to

called love.

Patrick Longe has been writing poetry since 1987.  His poems have appeared in Main Street Rag, The Metro Times (Detroit), Red Hawk Review and over forty other publications.  Previously a lifelong resident of southeast Michigan he moved to Florida in 2000 to be close to his young children.  A journalism graduate of Wayne State University he has worked in corporate communications for over twenty years. He is also an avid photojournalist.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Joseph Robert- A Poem

Memorising The Big Bad
The Big Bad bequeathed a hogshead of Worst Times,
And that soured Superfund site, a heavy-metal-runoff adolescence,
On which to erect,
The box girder skeleton of poor boundaries,
On which to hang,
The pre-fab walls of a chaotic personality,
On which to pin,
The bitter artist’s saddest delusion:
That Lemonade will fountain,
From a dwarf lime, and a pilfered sachet of sweetener.

And thus arises the kind of misery,
Worthy of birthing vampires.

Joseph Robert detests poems about orchards and racists, not poems about racists, but actual racists. He is 190 centimetres tall, is a firm believer that the Guinness in Dublin is the best due to the rats in the vats, and drinks Bushmills whisky. He likes visiting orchards when the fruit is ripe.

Paul Tristram- Two Poems


Exercise rules the body;
love rules the heart.
Sex rules the senses;
imagination is ruled by art.
Intelligence rules the mind;
experience rules the soul.
While excess and addiction
they rule over the whole.


Published in Inclement (Poetry For The Modern Soul) Volume 5, Issue 4, Winter 2005

In A Sack

It’s strange beyond belief
kicking upside down in a sack,
it’s like being trapped in curtains
or falling through the roof of a marquee
and missing the floor.
You can feel the strength, the power
just up past your feet,
you can do nothing
but struggle helplessly and hope
for no water.

Published in Visionary Tongue, Issue Twenty, May 2006

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories and sketches 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.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Jeremiah Walton- A Poem

LSD Theory of

Everything connected,
Everything harmonized
as it is, should and shouldn't
Slowly fading as light does into the ocean depths
Slowly growing as light does from the ocean depths
We are always becoming something
We are always being something
This is
as it is.
"You're just not used to pure Being."
howls the poet rushing madly to his notepad
(previously published in my nonprofit ebook LSD Giggles)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Gene McCormick- A Poem

Population: 700

Ties are not required of human drones
slogging through nine-to-five
casual working environments
but such by-the-hour support systems
don’t live in preening residences
on lots of an acre or larger,
overbuilt houses forcing themselves
to the edges of landscaped tracts:
more house, less grass for the
weekly lawn service to mow.
Heading east to west, vice versa,
it wouldn’t take five minutes
to drive end-to-village-end
of the hard-to-arrive-at destination.
North to south, a bit less.

Doctors, lawyers, and stockbrokers
make up the enclave’s earning power
and by day they all wear ties.
Home from their places of work
the first order of non-business
is unknotting, draping imported
multi-colored tie silk on special racks
sequestered in walk-in closets.
Ties are a pricey ornamentation
without practical function;
the men in these houses have many.
They like them.

Brief Bio: Gene McCormick was kidnapped at age six by a roving band of evil circus clowns, who fed him nothing but cotton candy for five years. He escaped by being shot out of a cannon, landing on top of Himalayan Mountain #28, where he learned the meaning of life ("It is FULFILLMENT. Go in peace.").

Afzal Moolla- A Poem

My Madness, Me...

Confined by this straight-jacket,
strapped in, numb and dumbed,
a washed-out, has-been, also-ran,

body, eyes, the equilibrium of mind,
rattling like stones in an old tin-can.

Still, I am, 

I am,

and I am unchained,

my dreams taking flight, soaring,
above these claustrophobic walls,
of synapses, and dungeons of stone,

swooping through green valleys,
taking a detour to savour the joys,

soaked in torrential, evergreen memories,
of a younger man, with passion in his bone.

I am.

My wings unclipped, unshackled, free,

I am, and though I am unable to see,

I am.

At long last,


Afzal Moolla was born to exiled South African parents engaged in the struggle against
Apartheid in South Africa.  He currently lives and works in Johannesburg.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Alan Catlin- Two Poems

                                               The Mysterious Stranger

                                                walked in after a lifetime sunning
                                                himself in a place where the ozone
                                                layer had completely been deleted or,
on the edge of some rain forest
where the climate was changing so rapidly
                                                it radically effected anyone who went there
                                                in ways that can only be imagined. 
Maybe it was the unspeakable
                                                rankness of his rotting clothes covered by
something that might either have once been
mud or engine grease, and permanently
sealed with a impenetrable slimy gloss
                                                like a polyurethane scented with assorted
                                                barnyard animal feces, and the bottom layer
                                                of the rare bird room of a Bronx Zoo,
where it was conceivable he might have been
a regular, dreaming of a lottery win that
would bring unlimited pints of Wild Irish Rose,
                                                and Cheeze Curls for a years, until the cash
                                                ran out, or was stolen.  
I watched him trying to complete a thought
that began, “Could I have----“ and ended with
                                                him standing up, addressing a tree alongside
Western Avenue, a newly acquired one dollar
bill in his hand, a locked door at his back
                                                ----a moment of your time, a draught beer
                                                anything at all?

                                                To a Person Sitting in Darkness

                                                sitting at the far end of the bar
                                                after hours, the silent TV,
                                                flash dancing MTV images in the cold,
                                                harsh, early dawn lighting.
                                                What is left of the bar’s interior,
                                                covered in spilt beers, rank whiskeys,
                                                smoked cigarettes; all the filled up
                                                ashes trays of post-midnight dreams. 
                                                Five pints of Bass Ale, and two double
                                                extra dry Robert Roys, for the road,
                                                doesn't touch, or remove, the darkness
                                                lingering inside. The only motivation
                                                to move, a force of nature, 
an empty glass.

Alan Catlin is a very retired barman. Twenty five of his thirty years of service were spent behind an Irish bar and all he has to show for it is a button that says 98% Blarney Free and a blinking, green, Miller Lite bottle cap.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

Last Irish Christening
We christened Megan
Catholic today
just as we had,
years ago, Sean and Nora.
Afterward my wife and I,
with relatives and friends,
talked and joked as Megan slept
through drinks and barbecue
Father fixed behind the phlox
in Mother’s garden.
That was Sunday.
Now, on Monday,
Sue and I begin
another week of work
and all the years
we’ll have to wait
before we’ll know
if Megan swings
the razor of good reason.
We need to know
because of Sean and Nora.
They slew us
at the age of treason.