Monday, July 29, 2013

Linda M. Crate- Three Poems

don't doubt the dreamer 
my temper is flaring
your station plays too much static
not enough music to sooth the
dragon buried in the flames
of my soul shining silver as the moon
you think you understand because you're
older, but you do not know the secret
strands of my truth buried in the
conch shells of the moon;
many moons have smiled at me prophecies
that your eyes could not see no matter
how widely they were open —
promise shines in my horizon where you see
nothing but ash and dust, you would
overlook me my happiness
simply to pursue me my destruction
unwittingly, of course, but still just as cruel
to suffer;
allow me to dream, to hope, to endure 
without criticism and judgment
cascading down all my mountains because you
may know, but you do not know me —
i am not the average star 
blazing in the galaxy,
my flame burns brighter than the sun and one day
the world will be ensconced in the light
of purity that will save them from their inequity
all because i dared to dream.

my sunshine 
dancing on your eyelashes
brings me closer to heaven
with a smile
lacking your presence
only drowns me in rain drops 
fluttering on eyelashes
of strangers
singing me into some cruel
despondency known
only in the weight of country roads
that force their loneliness down
my throat until i am stagnant with hatred
of this place,
and i wonder if you'll remember your
promise to retrieve me from
this land of ever winter
where ice dances
even in the dew of summer —
once i slew my own
gorgons, but i entrusted that task
to you along with my heart;
maybe i should take up the helm once more
slice through the throats of every dragon
burning their flames upon my skin
until happiness again
can find me in your 
loving arms.

You Will Feel My Anger In the Trees 
It's hard to be happy when you know the man you love betrayed you. Instead of falling on his knees before God and asking for his advice and forgiveness. You did what was convenient to you thinking only of yourself and her. You did not consider me. If you did, you would have never done this. And yet in knowing all this. I love you. Why? I wish I knew. All I know is, I wanted to knock all your teeth down your throat last night. Now I'm writing you love poems. I wish I understood my heart because my mind doesn't understand, at all. I wish you well. I wish her no unkindness. Know also I pray that one day you will come to your senses and realize I was right. One day I will love you again, but today is the day I burn fires of anger and wrath. Today the trees the sun halos will scream with my rage.

Corey Wade- A Poem

The Sun of Heraclitus

I saw a young musician
playing on the train’s platform.
I was transported
sixteen years back
to Bloomington, Indiana,
where the long-haired mod son
of Nike France’s president
preached philosophy
and cooked Ramen noodles
under the breaking night.
We scrutinized the
What Is
of Parmenides
with stone-glazed eyes
high from the annals of philosophy.
We lifted the sun of Heraclitus
initiated Pythagorean rites
and left for the winding paths
of Zen Buddhism
nearly following a monk
whom the professors
could not understand.
Romain Tesler,
I saw you in Berkeley,
You look the same age,
You have the same dark hair
and light scruff
filling out your face.
Then I became a fool
asking the ageless musician,
Romain, Romain,
is that you?

Corey Wade studied under Neeli Cherkovski at the New College of California completing an MFA in Writing & Consciousness. His poetry has been published in Black Heart Magazine, Censored Poets, Queen Vic Knives and vox poetica. His prose-piece, “Memoirs of a White Arab-American,” a response to the aftermath of 9/11, was excerpted in The Berkeley Daily Planet and Peace News before being published in Mizna. Wade previously edited the multi-user blog Publicagent, UNITE! zines and griot newspaper. A Master of Science (CSUEB), he currently chairs the math department at the Independent Study Program of Berkeley Public Schools.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Jennifer Lagier- Three Poems

He used to take time
to hide the dead soldiers
before I got home,
mixed alcohol
with oxycodone,
marijuana, cocaine.
Didn’t want to hear
lectures about his liver,
drunken tumbles,
missed work days.
Now he doesn’t bother
to camouflage the vodka bottle
with bags of frozen vegetables,
too hard to find
after a handful of norcos,
two or three bottles of wine.
By midnight,
he’s unresponsive,
video games blaring,
booze spilled on the carpet.
I check respiration, pulse,
my heart on empty,
wonder whether to
celebrate liberation
or dial 911.
Hammer Time
Tonight you are volatile,
pound yourself into me
as if I am an enemy
you need to vanquish.
Screaming, you throw
a computer mouse across the room,
slam the t.v. remote
against my glass table.
You take another bong hit,
pour more shots of Crown Royal,
scowl, dare anyone
to incur your displeasure.
I remember my father once told me:
if your only tool is a hammer,
then every problem looks like a nail
you want to batter.
On the Town
The barrista at Fermentations
shows me the sixteen stitches
over her eyebrow, tells me
how the local physician’s assistant
sewed her up for only $35.
She promises an introduction,
my insurance against
future tanked-up disasters,
says when I move here,
we’ll be best buds forever.
At Mozzi’s, old drunken hippies
play rotation pool.
Nailed to the ceiling,
a wagon wheel light, signs
from bankrupt local businesses.
Over-the-hill sluts shriek,
expose more side boob
than necessary,
take up all the bar stools.
A bright yellow poster
hangs on the door:
Guys: No Shirt-No Service
Gals: No Shirt-Free Drinks
This is my kingdom;
these are my people.
Brief Bio:

Jennifer Lagier loves Friday night tequila shooters with all the dead snakes she has encountered in myriad bars.

B.Z. Niditch- Three Poems


Wishing for July's silence
to soothe a crazy time
on bogs and hammock
enticed by collected winds
locating my recalled map
from my back pack
lost in a milkweed forest,
as a mourning dove dives
into blackened waters,
the river still eludes me
from its burly breezes
from last Friday's storm
shelling the home harbor
and points North,
the radio news
travels briskly
as local sailors vanish
like gulls abandoned
dragged away by the sky
as poisoned plants
tousle my trousers,
an oar floats at a distance
so many miles
on a remote bridge
needing a superhuman tongue
to search for unveiling voices,
for a river can be merciless
like dusk,rain,even the sun.


Unexpected haven
out to the sea
wishing to carve your initials
by the Apple Tree cafe
in this shade of dawn
along a childhood path
clearing wrinkled meadows
by July jackdaws and jays
where no spy or observer
would pick this jetty
by Land's End silence
among undiscovered rocks
at this coastal port,
soon embraced
on beds of sand shells
to expect a listening echo
in your hot glassy hands.


Start from a page
of what seems safe
to proceed with memory
at your own pace,
guide your lips
to press for the word
in a last bloody chance,
then unleash
a surprising adverb
intended to bury
any internal opposition
or the outward image,
be firm as the last line
in a biting poem.

Paul Tristram- Two Poems

Set Me Free

Scratch islands into my eyes
some paramount pretty view.
Wipe deceit from my ears
let honesty come on through.
Take the garbage from my head
superglue together my heart.
Teach to me forgiveness
unvolume anger for a start.
Take sarcasm from my smile
and paranoia from my walk.
Unplant the seeds of insanity
harvest up every deluded stalk.
Let me sleep with angels
let sex be what it should be.
Kiss the frog of my soul
set the man inside free.

© Paul Tristram 2003

Published in Panda Quarterly Poetry, Issue 19, July 2004


I want to be alone
I want to be only free.
Free from all of you people
free from your cloned stupidity.
Communities are nothing but cancer
neighbourhoods nothing but a disease.
They suck souls like vampires
destroying individuality with ease.
Populated by blind minded fools
with morals standing at attention.
With my back to the masses
I seek only solitary redemption.
My sins they number many
feeble attempts at fighting back.
Against the teeth of the Establishment
I am merely a puppy in a sack.
Drowning in another man’s laws
created before my cruel birth.
As I hold them up to the light
I see not a single gram of worth.
But still a puppet on a string
refusing to join the dance.
As false masters bind my spirits
at every single given chance.
I simply cannot play the game
I can neither win or lose.
I will not bow down to convention
nor lick the government’s shoes.
Insecure with the system’s security
unsettled by normality’s apathy.
I discard the rat race
and all it stands for happily.
Why struggle on in torment
why sacrifice my precious time.
Reshaping my own integrity
so I can cowardly stand in line.
I cannot censor my emotions
I will not wrong my rights.
I shall not live another man’s dream
while my own is in my sight.
I wear a talisman of logic
I carry a weapon of commonsense.
I disagree wholeheartedly
I will sit upon no fence.
I’ve been crucified by nosey kindness
I’ve been numbed by mortal misery.
A heart with load so heavy
unrequited love bigger than the sea.
I stood before you open
but you made me slam the door.
Dissecting my innocent desires
you made me sorrow’s whore.
I hate until exhaustion
I curse, I spit, I fight.
Every time that I am cornered
every time that reality bites.
Slave to me is a feeling
not just a five-letter word.
I feel it almost constantly
each time the truth is unheard.
Always thrown into the deep end
since the hour of my birth.
Pushed back in every time
that I try to find my worth.
The pillars of the communities
are built upon the foundation of lies.
Gardeners of instinct’s blossoms
cutting creativity down to size.
Alienation and ostracism
now replace the cracking whip.
I can feel the fingers pointing
as I leave this sinking ship.
World you should have been wonderful
humanity should sing but she cries.
I could have given you all so much
instead of becoming so hermitized.

© Paul Tristram 2009

Published in Monomyth, Volume 9.1, Issue 45, Winter 2009

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.

Michael Cluff- A Poem

  Follies Michael

 wingtip shoes
 faith in the goodness of ours.
 Two of the triad
 have been satisfying
 with cup of green tea
 and pralines,
 ways to overcome
 the evaluation of thirty-three
 student papers in seventeen hours
 the added weight
 the old- fashioned
 quaint style sense
 perceived and percolates
 volcanic and rendering
 towards a self-immolation
 of a freezing
 hyperbolic kind.
 The reminder does not hurt
 like the others
 but malingers and maligns
 into a heavy bergere
 which consumes
 and vomits nitre vapors
 on many of my
 unoccupied, unformed

Tohnee Torrez- Three Poems


I'll wait for you
The day after
And most likely the day after that.
On the fourth day, I'll just hope
That I can stop caring about
Someone who won't make time for me.

More Burdens

Pills and drink
To stop the flow of thought
and kill this damned headache.
A longing for solace, a prayer for peaceful sleep,
or maybe
just a slug to the brain.

Can we just leave the heavy thoughts?
Carry what we can on our backs,
Make our way to the oasis without
the guilt, the sorrow or the shame.


It's hard to be your everything
When there's only room for one.

You still love him, don't you?

You smile and pretend like you
don't care anymore
but I can taste the tears on your lips.

Tohnee Torrez is a breathing lump of muscle relaxers and alcohol. Multi-musician, poet, hopeless romantic.

Andrew Jarvis- Three Poems

Water Waste

A rotten octopus no longer electric,
a mess of kelp strangling driftwood,
and shells, there must always be shells.

Sea cucumbers, seaweed, and snails,
a trilogy of neon green and woven brown
displayed as if offered to  some sea god.

The sea stars have rolled over,
their suction cups sucked dry
with no coral nearby to hug them.

A gull picks through the remains,
his beak sorting out sea bits,
so that nothing living escapes.

The crabs, the clams, the cockles,
he even digs in the beach
to ensure no life is buried.

He tugs at some fishing line,
struggles with it while releasing
that dead sea smell, that smell.

He does not stay long,
leaving to find the living,
wanting nothing of the dead.


The first found
goes to the girl,
the Kwakiutl cutter,
to flesh the man’s find,
from the dorsal down
to the tail tethered
by stakes at the sides.

How viscid it is,
creeping the back
to the blowhole, where
it flows to the flippers
to condense in fat
with plankton, salt,
and sea grass
grooming the sides –
a trove of red and white
baleen and bowels.

It pours
into her palms,
the first daughter
honored with flesh –
a luster of lard
gleaming in light:
a toast to the fat of it.

~Choreography (Johns Hopkins University, 2007)


The teeth chew deep,
tearing away tissue
and noshing at nodes.

There must be a way,
a bomb to blast that tumor
and spare the basal cells.

There must be a leash
to hold back the bite
of all dogging you.

They need a golden gun
armed with magic shot
to pellet its penetration.

If they can burn witches,
they can cure cancer.
Both work black magic.

And with no werewolf nearby,
there is a silver bullet for you.

Andrew Jarvis is the author of two published chapbooks of poetry, Choreography (Johns Hopkins University, 2007) and Sound Points (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2013). He holds an M.A. in Writing (Poetry) from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in English from the University of Maryland. His poems have appeared in both of their literary journals, as well as the Weekly Avocet and the Federal Poet. He received an Honorable Mention for the 2013 Homebound Publications Poetry Prize. He is a professional writer and editor, and he also have been an adjunct professor of English at the University of the District of Columbia.

Douglas Polk- Two Poems

In Politics

right and wrong no longer exist,
if in fact they ever did,
actions relative,
no consequences paid,
morality only a word,
rose colored glasses worn on every face,
trust gone,
while the masses manipulated,
back and forth,
no one wins,
everyone loses,
in politics.
America Re-defined
black now white,
Orwell a prophet,
in a sense,
the prism through which the world seen,
turned on its head,
rights argued,
until none exist,
reality pliable,
dependent on political view,
the world waits,
while America finds,
and re-defines herself,
and the future.

Linda M. Crate- Three Poems

a better future 
an angry wound
scorches me with misery
our flowers of romance
nothing but mere ash
but like a phoenix
we will rise again, burn those
memories with ones that
shine even brighter lights of heaven
than we ever remembered
dancing there before;
this sadness will not linger a forever
in me, but until you remember
the locks of autumn blazing in my hair
kissing away your doubt and
confusion a smile will
not remember me —
i can be happy without you, but with you
my joy was at its utmost perfection,
and so i cannot forget
this passion beating in my breast
my love for you is eternal
it is romance, spirited, emotional, physical —
you captivate and entice me,
sometimes the mystery and intrigue irritates
and annoys like the gnats
biting at my shoulders
you were the only one that's ever felt like home,
and the one i will entrust forever with my
heart chipped and broken as it is
i know you will not let it
shatter; i know there are better tomorrows than this
burning their face in the ashes of these words
false and insincere.

should you return
as you promised i know all
the gates of my rage
would be shattered into oblivion,
rust would erode my cynicism
into void;
the sun would shine topographies
of a smile across my face once more and
all these bitter sunsets would be
plunged into the pomegranates
of their clouds —
however, if you don't ever
come and i am left here forever i fear
the worse will come over me
i'll become a witch great and terrible
fearsome with her wrath
of a love lost
into some ocean i cannot discern;
everyone else has broken all their promises to me
why would you be any different?
i just thought you were someone worth suffering
for, but maybe in the end you're another
irritating gnat i need to smash into
the dust —
maybe, however, you're the light that remembers me my mantle
as a star blazing in the ancient clockwork of the sky.

love's embrace 
when i was younger i used to pluck shedding hairs
from my mane and kiss them bidding them adieu 
telling them to find my lover, the prince that'd rescue me
i wonder if they ever did find him
or if some eager bird snatched them for her nest;
maybe they caressed his flesh in a dream or they just blew into
the ocean to become the joke of fish and gulls —
skies strange and turbulent may contain them in another realm
where some alien remembers my name more loudly
than i can whisper all the equations of algebra,
but maybe rumors of truth danced into 
the air before the hairs died their deaths into the dust —
if they did find the one that was meant to slay all my dragons with
(and not for me) then i do wonder in what tempest was he
caught? maybe he's still making that journey,
and will find me when i step into some foreign place 
simply by chance;
or maybe they're still blowing in pursuit of finding him as i'm
plucking every face of daisies inquiring about a loving man
they tell me to ask the buttercups, but all they can tell me is of
yellow and every shade of happiness singing in the
tissue paper wings of butterflies —
i want to flit to the flower that holds the happiness of love in
his iridescent palm, swaying so softly his kiss feels
more like an embrace.

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

Blinking Like Ferrets

I've been too busy
the last two years to chat
with anyone in the office.
Today, however, I pause
at the pencil sharpener
while my co-workers
calculate and jot.
It makes no difference, you see,
if I remain silent until retirement
or if suddenly I start talking again.

All we must remember is
that we decay together,
that this charade
we give ourselves to
doesn't require that we speak,
that all we must do, really,
is calculate and jot.

If we calculate well,
if we jot well, the charade
will carry us through.
In the end, we'll see what is true
when blinking like ferrets
we emerge in sunlight,
gaping and gasping,
free of this maze created
by the family of man.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ross Vassilev- A Poem

all the king's horses...

I was the freak
the weirdo
the retard with crooked legs
who stammered;
I stopped showering
or brushing my teeth
cuz I didn't give a shit anymore;
I'm a bum and a loser
who doesn't wanna work
who got fired from almost
every job I ever had
sometimes after a few days
sometimes a few hours;
all I wanna do now
is kiss the rising sun
and talk to the white clouds
while the bankers steal
the reporters lie
and the idiots go off
to fight for their rotten country
in Afghanistan.

Tom Hatch- Three Poems


You are welcome in my house
At the top of the stairs
Leaving gifts of burning silhouettes 
And shadows that will fade
Reflecting off the neighbors 
Window teaching fiery colors
On the hot side analogous in yellows
oranges lighting up the shade 
On the dining room wall
If this were fall in many 
Rows of golden corn stalks
But this is cold early spring 
That you have warmed
The frost away
And my heart for a few 
More minutes then 
My sun you have become day
As chatted on the train platform
We gossip about your accent 
Becoming RA at midday 
Balanced on god's head
That balance lost as
Fading to a tumble into nights shadows
Gathering up your rays

What a Lucky Day

A lucky day to sit by
The window singing
The far never reaching one point perspective 
With yellow aired
The rain running mud
Down the bank to the train track
A lonely blue plastic bucket
Getting less lonely filling
With water soon to reflect
A clear sky 
The yellow sun thinking
We are so lucky we do
Not have to fight the
Stars, the moon
And the sun that would be a tall order

The Beat of the Mimeograph Machine

This was huge and smelled of denatured
Alcohol there was a two foot high
Box to stand on to operate
This machine she would do the
Hully gully and Watusi 
Like a go, go girl
To the beat of the turning
Drum producing
Pages with letters of
Blue ink also smudged on 
Her hands and fingers
Waving them while her dipping knees gyrated

I loved it when she
Said come let's go make some
Copies in mimeo
Room we let the drum turn
Our hearts in the
University art department
Intoxicated on denatured alcohol 
We would always lock 
The door until the drum
Stopped beating 
Leaving with a stack that was
Tomorrow's syllabus

Anthony Arnott- Two Poems

Biting fight/Fighting bite

It is a fear.
To dry out.
To dry up.
To no longer
think the words they
aren’t expecting
to read.
To lose that bite
that allowed
me to get away
with it for so long,
too long. The fear
has come to
the fight.

Always Cold

Always cold.
You’ve made me always cold.

And tired. You’ve made me

ask the questions I don’t want to know the answers to.
            You’ve made me look back and see things differently. You’ve made

            me alone, staring into a future we were going to share

                                                            You’ve made me hate
                                    myself for not seeing it


             Anthony Arnott lives in Jarrow, South Tyneside, and works as an English teacher. In April 2013, his collection, The Genius who drank all the milk, was released. This was the follow-up to his August 2011 debut, Behind Barcodes, both of which were published by erbacce-press. For two years, he was a Poetry Editor for The Black Market Review
  A keen reader, Anthony has read in support of Jerome Rothenberg and has had fifty-word stories published in 50 to 1 and Postcard Shorts.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Alan Catlin- Two Poems

                                    Never the Same Father Twice

                                    "She has a new baby every
                                    fifteen months whether she
                                    needs one or not, all of 23,
                                    four kids already & another
                                    on the way, says, "A girl's
                                    got to have some company
                                    when her man is away."
                                    indicating that they were
                                    doing hard time in a place
                                    where the only women allowed
                                    were matrons, lawyers &
                                    shrinks, none of whom got
                                    close enough to be touched-
                                    this getting locked up  a kind
                                    of bad habit her men always
                                    seemed to cultivate or else
                                    she just liked them lean &
                                    mean & horny which was
                                    short hand for crazy, oversexed
                                    and living out of desperation
                                    in a fast lane that always seemed
                                    to stop outside her door along
                                    with plain clothes cops, uniformed
                                    officers of the law, process servers,
                                    repo men, eviction notice carriers,
                                    rental furniture repossessors, none
                                    of whom she answers the door for,
                                    telling the kids to lie still and shut
                                    up or else-and they did knowing
                                    full well that her 'or else' worse
                                    that anything they could imagine,
                                    that could be pounding on the soon-
                                    to-be-padlocked front door.

To Hell in a Handbasket

At the recruiting office
they asked him straight out if
he was interested in becoming,
'A Rocket Technician'.
He thought about it for a full
ten seconds, liked the sound
of, 'A Rocket Technician, huh!?
"Sure, sign me up." Learned
Lesson Numero Uno of enlisted
life, Always Inquire what these
things mean before committing
yourself. Found out his job was
loading rockets onto gunships
and once they were secure,
he was to assume his primary
job function as a side-hatch-
gunner, firing support on missions.
Early on he heard the co-pilot take some
incoming, turned to look and caught
a round in the area where his right
eye used to be.  If he hadn't turned
just then, he would have caught that
round square in the temple and have
become a dead rocket technician/
side-gunner.  He went over to Nam
mostly crazy, came back all the way
crazy and a whole lot more. Sd. "My
duty was like going to hell in a hand-
basket" and looking at him now, you
figured, once he reached his destination,
there was no coming back.