Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Kiriti Sengupta- Three Poems


Experience Personified 

As I walk along an abandoned play ground
In the morning, I see new grasses bathed
In the dew of dawn
Putting off my shoes I stand bare footed
and I walk again

Tiny droplets envelop my feet
And permeate the skin of my toes

I don’t call it a feeling,
I would rather name it
My experience



(Un)Timely Grant 

The air smells heavy

Father calls up his son
He wants to offer him
The chair

Mom says, “It is too early for him,
Let my son keep afloat!”

Father is yet to inform family,
Boss has approved his prayer
And he is allowed to leave.



Gateway To God
 
Prayers carry lives within
They are expressions
Our desires take refuge in—

For all worldly pleasures and fulfillment
We remain scared, perhaps

Wishes are chanted with closed eyes
And we continue to live being frightened

Like an inevitable death
An enormous God steps in




Bio: Kiriti Sengupta is the author of the bestselling trilogy; My Glass of WineThe Reverse Tree and Healing Waters Floating Lamps. Sengupta is based at Calcutta, India.


Monday, December 28, 2015

David J. Thompson- A Photo


                                                                         "VIA"

Donal Mahoney- Two Poems


Pants on Fire

Rhoda, I can’t say why Amanda 
was picked and not Tiffany  
for anchor of our Nightly News.
I interviewed both 
because Mr. Smith wanted 
a woman’s opinion.
I honestly don’t know.

made a recommendation
and sent it to Mr. Jones
who sent it to Mr. Smith
who made the final decision.
I found little difference 
between the two.

A day later Mr. Smith sent Mr. Jones
a formal email with a copy to me
saying Amanda would be the anchor 
and Tiffany would return 
to morning news.
I’m glad it was not my decision.
I could have picked either.

Earlier in our careers, Rhoda,
you and I both did on-air TV and radio. 
Now you write a media column
and I direct this program.
As women, we know
the demands of television 
differ from those 
of radio and print.

But I can assure you, 
one woman to another, 
despite what readers and viewers 
may think, Amanda’s cup size 
was never a factor.
Mr. Smith says if you put that 
in your column, you better 
believe we’ll sue.



Father Spoke in Code

Father spoke in code
Mother understood.
She would cry
once he went to bed.
I never understood the code.
My sister didn't either. 
As we got older, we quit
asking Mother what he said.

A feral cat claimed our yard.
It would leap the fence 
when anyone appeared.
Except, of course, Father.
When he came out to walk
around the garden after supper, 
the cat would sit straight up,
then rub against his leg
and look at him as if it understood 
what others never could

My sister used to say 
the two of us were proof 
Father and Mother 
got together twice.
I told her I wasn't so certain.
I looked a lot like Mr. Brompton,
the next-door neighbor.
He used to buy us sugar cones
from the ice cream truck.

My sister, by the way, didn't look 
like anyone in the family either,
but that was 40 years ago
when I last saw her.
I went away to college 
and she got married.
We were never close after that. 
Not even Christmas cards.

Forty years is a long time.
Now, we plan to get together
for a weekend this summer
before one of us dies.
I suggested we wait
till one of us is terminal.
What's the rush, I said.
But my wife told her
I was only kidding,
that we'll be coming
and not to make a fuss.
Burgers and hot dogs
will do just fine.

I know what Sis and I 
will talk about that weekend,
the two people we'll always
have in common, no matter 
how many years and miles
may lie between us.
Father and Mother have been 
dead for decades now
but they're still alive in us.
I talk in code, my wife says,
and my sister cries a lot, 
now that her husband's dead.
The one thing I want to know
is if my sister knows
what happened to the cat.
It knew the code,
may have had some answers.


——————————————————
Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri. 


Jennifer Lagier- A Photo


                                                               "Cambria Sunset"

Bruce Mundhenke- Two Poems


Before The Flame

Candles are we before the flame,
Receiving the flame, but not higher,
We are fashioned to serve the flame,
And the flame will serve the fire.



Little Candle

Little candle
Burning in the night,
Soon you will be helped
By morning's light.


David J. Thompson- A Photo


                                                              "Segovia Aquaduct"



Ananya S. Guha- A Poem


Marigolds
 
I love the marigolds in your hair
they flip and dance
like floating water
on the lake's cover
lilies and petals
marigolds in your hair
pinned sprightly,
leave fragrance
of indelible foot prints.

Jennifer Lagier- A Photo


                                                           "Driftwood Creature"



Saturday, December 26, 2015

Eric Robert Nolan- A Poem


“On Donald Trump”
It’s George Orwell’s prediction —
A wealth of vague words leads
the intellectually
destitute’s convictions.
(c)  Eric Robert Nolan 2015
BIO: Eric Robert Nolan’s debut novel is the postapocalyptic science fiction story, “The Dogs Don’t Bark In Brooklyn Any More.”  It was published by Dagda Publishing and will be the first of a series of books entitled “The Wolf War Saga.”
Eric’s poetry and short stories have been featured by Dagda Publishing, Every Day Poets, Every Day Fiction, Illumen, Under The Bed, Dead Beats Literary Blog, Microfiction Monday Magazine, Dead Snakes, Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine, The Bright Light Cafe, Aphelion, Tales of the Zombie War, The International War Veterans’ Poetry Archive, and elsewhere.  His poems were also included in anthology format in Dagda Publishing’s “Threads” in September 2013.  Eric’s science fiction/horror short story, “At the End of the World, My Daughter Wept Metal,” was published in January 2014 in Dagda’s short story anthology, “All Hail the New Flesh.”
 

DB Cox- A Poem


psychedelic redneck

aging without grace
wearing my hat
pulled low over one eye
splitting the world in half
maintaining my spot
on the statistical fringe
fiddle-fucking with the envelope
of the psychiatric bell curve
caught
between these walls of sameness
a whiskey wilderness
inhabited by:

-alcoholics

-blood-bank whores

-would-be motorcycle misfits

-lonely war veterans replaying
 tales of rockets red glare
 bombs bursting in air

-donald trump patriots
 trying to make a case
 for another mystic politician
 spouting meaningless metaphors--
 a wall of white noise
 to mask the defects
 & imperfections
 of one more march
 in the wrong direction
 down a dead-end street
 past the same old lies
 that somehow remain standing
 as shit falls all around
 another arrogant
 master plan
 to tame an insane world

one graying blues man
loiters in the shadows
reeling under the weight
of too much input
looking for the hush
at the center
of the honky tonk universe

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Paul Tristram- Two Poems & Photo


Twopenny Hangover

This rope has worn my armpits red raw
and they are starting to fester
where the scabs keep sliding, night after night.
My back is crooked from the leaning,
I’m walking about the place half doubled up
without realizing I’m doing it most of the time.
I have shooting pains all up and down my neck
whenever I try and look anywhere but forward
and I am paying good hard found money
for the privilege of causing this slow deformity
upon my once strong and upright body.
But it’s either this or the dreaded ‘Ground’
…Christ Alive, something dies inside me
each time that I say the word ‘Ground’.
There is nothing more cold and wretched
than laying down there, it eats its way into
your bones and it gets harder to get back up
onto your feet each time you are forced there.
It’s the place where Dignity and Purpose
abandons you leaving defeat and Russian
Roulette with ‘Death by Exposure’ in its place.


© Paul Tristram 2015




All ‘Round The Shop

History was the only class
in school
which I behaved myself in
and not because
I had any interest in it, neither.
It was the way the Teacher
approached it
which made it so different.
The first thing he said to us,
as soon as our collective arses
had barely sat down
was that he would not be
giving us books
to write in…for the whole year.
Also that he would not be
writing anything down
upon the blackboard either.
He reckoned
that way we would just copy
and not learn much,
instead he wanted us to just sit
and listen as he told stories.
He was a short, middle-aged guy
in a tweed suit
with those leather oval
patches on the elbows.
With the softest spoken voice
I had ever heard on a man,
there was nothing
but calmness about him.
The class was full of
Punks, Skinheads and Herberts
but we all sat as still as statues,
as well behaved as blind dogs.
As he went ‘all ‘round the shop’
with his magical stories of
Kings & Queens & Treachery
…group spellbound completely
until that end of lesson bell rang
and we became hooligans again.


© Paul Tristram 2015




In Britain we have a series of unused railway lines and these are old workmen's sheds scattered along them, the homeless use them sometimes.




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.
 

Buy his books ‘Scribblings Of A Madman’ (Lit Fest Press)  http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1943170096
 

‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1326241036
And a split poetry book ‘The Raven And The Vagabond Heart’ with Bethany W Pope
at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1326415204
 

You can also read his poems and stories here! http://paultristram.blogspot.co.uk/


Daniel Wilcox- Three Poems


bidingTimeabiding

bite my teeth on famous lines
a hole lot of fragmented shells;
hunger hollows within--
deepening abyss
of lost longing
lone-ranging, reigning the distance
of a round heartless night

of a round heart-last light
lane-ranging, raining the day-stance
of last longing
steepening a-bless
heaven hallows within--
a whole lot of fragranced shalls;
bide my heart on famous lines



The Road to Elsewhere

The highway to ‘hail,
Hail Afghans all here,’

(“Give me your ears…”)

Is paved with good intentions and ‘IUO’s.’
On that yellow ‘book’ road, tell tales-where-banned

Men of lairs acclaim executive offense…
Come out of your pious lores, you liars.
But we’re all so right, we over weird, of the west wind…

Our shocked awe amazes
(“You, too …’brutal’?”)

We’re not in Kansas
Anymore, nor never were. Was?

A last ‘stand’ stammering
In that season--the dogs of Mars and a sheep’s head,

She slumps to the bleeding ground.*
Shot for All...
Uh…
Can't we get a heart?


*Another woman executed by the Taliban
First pub. in Fish Food Magazine, November 2014



One
So awe fulled the birthing
             of God's presence, new cauled
             in humble manger's destiny,

The base and apex of
             a starred cave's presents
             of all future festivals

Yet abandoned, forsaken to
             the crowned world's nails,
             every man's cursedness;

Farthest reach of faith
             this Apocalypso dancer
             crosses the Cosmos,

Morning us night-less;
             he compassions Earth
             ever peopling Heaven,

Emptying the pitiless bottom
             zeroing Apollyon 
             into ever's Now
            
Beloved one, Eashoa, Jesus
             child of the  masses
             point man for us all.


First pub. in The Greensilk Journal, Winter 2007



Brief Bio: Daniel's wandering lines have appeared in many magazines in the United States, Canada, and overseas including Contemporary American Voices, Write Room, Static Movement, Word Riot, Fish Food, Poetry Pacific, Counterexample Poetics, and Unlikely Stories IV.

Before that Daniel hiked through the University of Nebraska, Cal State University, Long Beach (Creative Writing), Montana, Pennsylvania, Europe, Arizona, and Palestine/Israel. He now lives on the central coast of California with his quilting wife.


Charles Rammelkamp- A Photo


                                                           "May We Help You?"



Jennifer Lagier- A Photo


                                                      "Sunrise off Lovers' Point"



Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Charles Rammelkamp- A Photo


                                                                    "Invisible"



David J. Thompson- A Photo


                                                                      "Lucha"



Alan Catlin- A Poem


12 Pubs of Christmas

Last days celebratory mood,
outlining a liquid station of the cross,
dressed in Cratchitt clothes before
the Scrooge and Marley Christmas
bonus checks: torn painter’s pants,
in-the-rough work shirts, disposable
everything for the long crawl home.
Some have a six hour time limit,
others four, staggered stats, stumbling
finish.
One team is on a short beer ration
with baby Jamie sides, others tall
stouts with depth charge sweeteners
inside; white lines and roll your owns,
in the gents or on the road, between
stops; half way to stretcher service
and wheelchairs.
Three quarters of the way to destination’s
end, their faces are a whiter shade of pale,
look like death camp tourists one stop from
the flame; their designated  driver has
a hearse.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Bruce Mundhenke- A Poem


Gifts of Wonder

Found a butterfly wing
On my walk today.
Placed it in my left hand
And it blew away.

I saw a large owl
Fly across a field of hay.
I knew the sound of silence
In a different way.

I watched wheat dancing
In the evening wind.
It seemed a moment of beauty
That would never end.

I saw the sunlight shine
Upon a drop of dew.
Beheld a jewel of beauty
That's esteemed by few.

I saw a streak of light
In a night time sky,
And the universe changed
Before my eyes.

I heard a word of truth
In a quiet room,
And it did not speak
Of impending doom.

These are gifts of wonder
Sent to you and me,
And have been on their way
Throughout eternity.


David J. Thompson- A Photo


                                                                       "Scarf"



Charles Rammelkamp- Three Poems


The Reunion

The Neocon Republican asshole,
but a  landsman,
was back at the gym this morning
after a two-week trip,
the centerpiece of which
was his wife’s fiftieth high school reunion.

“Hey, Jimbo!” I heard him calling
to another guy in the showers
while I got ready for my swim –
the gregarious loudmouth of the locker room;
but it’d been a little too quiet
while he was away, too monastic.
I like his spirit.

“Hey, Fish!” I called to him.
“How was your trip?”
A rotund guy, Fish reminds me
of Nikita Khrushchev –
a former weightlifter gone to flab,
man-breasts wagging like beagles’ ears.

“FANtastic!” Fish enthused.
“You should have seen
those sixty-eight year old grandmas
boogying on the dance floor!
Just goes to show you,
you ain’t dead until you’re dead.”  




You Know He’s Schizophrenic

Fish, the seventy-year old bodybuilder,
confided in the locker room
about another guy, Curtis,
who told me, the first time I met him,
that he had “cognitive disabilities.”

Curtis reminded me of Benjy
in The Sound and the Fury,
or Lenny in Of Mice and Men,
except he wasn’t a lumbering giant.

Always full of hard-to-follow- stories,
Curtis trailed Fish or whoever he could latch onto
– sometimes me – around the gym
like a sort of puppy, talking on and on
about whatever was on his mind;
he claimed to be in touch with Homeland Security,
the Department of Transportation, other government agencies,
in a way that made me think of conspiracy theorists,
and I imagined him writing letters that nobody read.

At Christmas he brought us all cards and gifts,
bringing to mind the retarded kid
who presents balls of string to the prettiest girl in school.

But schizophrenic?
I looked it up, and in a general way, maybe:
abnormal social behavior, confused thinking,
reduced social engagement and emotional expression,
false beliefs, lack of motivation.

“Hi, Charlie!” he greets me,
that slap-happy grin on his face,
trademark engineer’s cap shading his wild blue eyes,
offering his fist for a comradely bump
as I enter the athletic club,
head to the locker room for my morning swim,
gym bag hoisted over my shoulder.



On Fire


“Gaza’s burning out of control;
there’s a widespread Ebola epidemic,
and all anybody can talk about
is this comedian who killed himself,”
Paula complains, her indignation monumental.

I think of my own trivial concerns,
the pretty unserious stuff I write about,
my banal longings,
the losses I mourn  --

and I’m so glad I’m not Paula,
seething with the burn of her resentment,
buoyed by her sense of being
more “serious” than anybody else,
her furious sympathy, her compassionate outrage.


Ananya S. Guha- A Poem


Untitled

There is not much one can do
when winter's sun plays the ghost
and trees with flailing arms, seem repentant
of days gone, with summer cherry kisses 
disappearing. The glistening white on fields
is reminder to a past which has lost ways. 
School. The fields are no longer green.
Swishing of cricket bats- the sound, inviolate
Childhood is one such switch over.
Yet love the summer houses look pale
as winter merges with these quiescent hills
witness to thunderous rains and clapping of clouds.
Sounds merge with clouds and the hills as if lying supine
wait patiently for the crow, another season.



David J. Thompson- A Photo


                                                             "Eyeless In Yellow"



Mike Perkins- Three Poems


Mike Perkins lives and writes in Columbia, Missouri.



One Will Walk Away

in the end both
parties will know one has
won, and another has
lost, with no excuses no
room for nonsense as truth
disrobes dancing
wantonly bare assed in
your face no attempt to
cover up the private parts
of lives that
became
untangled with such
rapidity such
force as the
fog of ambiguity lifts to
reveal the scene of
an existential
execution one
will stay behind
standing
proudly unrepentant
as the other will surely fall ran
through
by the poison of
cupid's arrow



Marlboros

I was addicted first to you
then Marlboro Reds
sometimes the cravings
come back
both of you were
hard habits to break
that nearly killed me
just moments ago
it occurred to me
that if some fairy
granted a wish
that I could choose
one or the other
without suffering
any further ill effects
I'd cheerfully choose
a faithful companion
that reliably delivered
more pleasure
I'd light up a Marlboro
in vague
remembrance of you



The Little White House

there was anger there
in that little white house
and the scent of the household
was unfamiliar to me then
such that it took
many years to realize
who was responsible
what went wrong
when it started
how the clammy hand
of helplessness
held everyone down that lived there
such that some resigned their office
others raged
but you fought free
like a wild animal
that chews their own leg off
mad to escape the trap
there was anger there
in that little white house
but the odor of
it was fear
and a certain kind
of latent madness

Kiriti Sengupta- A Poem


Clues To Name

An experiment I undertook. A seed slept in dark, clueless; no viable chant … what if awakened by a mantra? A syllable to prefix and suffix, and thus was my pride and prejudice! Got confined, even as I wish to move on. Now the pride is dear; dearer than my dearest…
#
Following some cunning way I was keen to taste some greatness. A tree stands with its green veil. Through its branches I noticed the ascent of sap, but it had no salt. Some names sweet … some seeds added at source!
#
As one finds it apt! Just the way the mind seeks. My mind. Mantra bears lust … petty you, you blame the luster! Lust reinstated … inevitable it is…
#
Immersion via the mirror … good bye to the goddess, but the lion keeps awake with his eyes closed. His eyes are terrific … mesmerizing, or giving all as I surrender. The first involves mixing while the latter denotes craving!
#
Deviations bring popularity … endless celebrations. Fists full of water and free donation … serving the pilgrims. Withdrawal reversed…
#
Complete bath and a full dip … no excuses, please … be it the pollution sick! You sprinkle drops, however … your wisdom runs into the lustrous hole. Incenses are not burn by wet hands, they say. Prohibited it is. Water has no call, no d├ęcor either; it floats the bone and the mortal frames free!



Bio: Kiriti Sengupta is the author of the bestselling trilogy; My Glass of WineThe Reverse Tree and Healing Waters Floating Lamps. Sengupta is based at Calcutta, India.


Jennifer Jones- Three Poems


embracing our love
two hearts entwined
together, forever

an archer’s bow
targets your heart
together we grow close

no price tag
in the January sales
two hearts, one soul


Bio:

Small poems can be found on UFO Gigolo
 
 

James Diaz- Two Poems & Picture


Tallest Building I Ain't Never

Spot me 
or whatever
time the town closes
in an hour
as if 
bartender 
I didn't know 
you live and
some don't 
make it

dirty water drinking
sophisticated 
subway conversations
by sterilized him and her
right next to those who are
already slowly dying
garbage bags on their feet

so annoying
but the i-phone
is outdated
graphic for sexual
service my end of the world
is bad day
hand bag
sold out

next
on line

next

there you are! Yes you!
The universe is in your back yard,
you are sixteen today
and your parents named you
after a vegetable,

Spinach Rodriguez
future Senator
earthly pain in the ass.

What world window
have you forgotten to close lately?

In there, look- some bent
in pain are watching
the day turn to night,
and sleep is beside the point

now

aren't you glad you came
for the drinks
but stayed for the social
consciousness? 

Are we there yet?



The I is not neutral 

That shit
is over
talking about what got you
here

you might need
me when I no longer
need myself

so

fuck this rehabilitation scheme
mumbling all the time

I feel...

right?

Somehow unresolved, no
I am a nervous wreck!!!

Ever walk into a department store 
and suddenly realize that you're
not supposed to be in there
because you are fucking homeless
and being completely without 
onto-logically
is a crime

from which we don't recover?

Isn't that interesting?
From a rhetorical viewpoint,
which gender device
is the author employing
when he/she writes
'I no longer need myself?'

COLD, I CAN'T FEEL MY FEET
CAN'T YOU SEE how small my world
has become?

Class, what do we think,
should we give him some money
even if it gets spent on booze?