Thursday, December 29, 2011

Jason E. Hodges- A Poem

Technicolor Eyes

Out on the sidewalks
The sidewalks of this dirt covered town
I found myself fortunate
To find who the good book calls Christ
At least this is who her mind said she was at that moment
And her pills when she took them were as sweet as sugar-stick-candy
Their bright colors made them slide down with ease
They covered her world in bright Technicolor
Tunnel vision she said would allow me to see her
In the lower atmosphere
For now she was an astronaut
She was floating with her little box-doll and could see St. Frances
Along with St. Mary who was standing beside her
I smiled so kindly as she began to explain
I told you I’m on a different atmosphere
I feel fine in this place
Where my hair looks like Rose-Colored-Platinum
You can laugh and play with the stars up here
I tell you, I can sit in the curve of the moon
If you had tunnel vision you could see me up here
You have to have Technicolor Eyes
But you have to watch out for the devil
He’ll shoot you in the back
He did that to me
Then he stole my silver dollar
But now I’m okay because I am Moses
I’m not hungry at all
I’m in a different atmosphere with Technicolor Eyes

Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal- 3 Poems


The shadows know my name.
I go by bird brain. I am not a bird,
but the shadows don't care.
When it's hot outside I always
find some shade by a tree or
a building. There the shadows
call my name in a soft low tone.
Sometimes it's the wind that talks.
I can't tell the two apart. I do not
listen to what the little birds say.
They gossip too much.


You cover me
with oblivion.
My heart is bare,
cold like the winter.
I feel nothing.
Life is precarious.
You cover me
with oblivion.
I’m the ashes
brought to be buried.
I feel transparent
like life’s silences.
Twilight shadows
fill my travels.  You
cover me with
At night I contemplate
love’s nostalgia,
love’s oblivion.
Tremulous shadows
inhabit my dreams.


I am only here to clear up a warrant
and then I am gone.
Do not mix me up with some crazed
lunatic, because
I am sane. I need to get my red suitcase.
My paperwork is
in it. My record contract is there.
I don’t want the cops
to continue to get away with their story
about me being
naked on the beach. That’s just bull.
I would say shit, but
I don’t talk like that unless I am mad.
You would not like to
see me get mad. I will do terrible things
to this place if I
do. I’m like The Incredible Hulk, but
I won’t get green or
big. I’ll keep my shirt
on. But don’t test me because I’m a hard
woman to handle.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Donal Mahoney- A Poem


In the waiting room, I squeeze 
this old rosary a nun gave me 
the day I got back from Iraq.

I was still in a daze on a gurney
and I still had sand in my hair.
Some of it remains, no matter 

how many showers I take. 
Sand from Iraq lingers, I'm told,
until you go bald, and then

you are able to concentrate
on other things.
What might they be, I wonder.

But today, in this waiting room,
I squeeze the rosary tighter  
when I hear, louder than 

the gunshots crackling in my dreams, 
the real screams of that little boy 
right over there, the one who's 

rapped his elbow off the radiator.
Lord, listen to him scream! 
Each week he comes with his mother 

for her follow-up appointment. 
He sounds like the jet 
that takes me back at night

to that little village in Iraq
where the sand puffs up  
in mushroom clouds

above the bullets
as the children scream 
in their hovels louder 

than that little boy  
screaming over there.
Maybe everyone 

in this waiting room
listening to him scream  
can come with me now 

to that village in Iraq.
Sitting here, I know 
that boy's pain so well 

that in my fist 
this rosary no longer
knows my prayers. 

Donal Mahoney has had poems published in Dead Snakes and other publications in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Sarah E. White- A Poem

Through the Forest

I was walking with you though the forest
You holding my hand in the most gentle way
But not just holding it
Caressing it, loving it as we walked
Your touch fills me with such sensation
A tingle that starts so small
Radiates from my hand that you hold so genuinely
It flows into my chest and pounds away at my heart
Pulsing, pumping, flowing
I breathe, try to breathe it in
The trees sway softly in the breeze as we walk
Soft morning light sparkles through the light green hue of the maple leaves
Sparkling all around us in this dazzling moment
Time standing as still as my eyes stare into yours
I am swept away by you and the way you hold my hand
It’s like you have held it for a lifetime
A lifetime that we have yet to live
The way my heart pounds at the thought of simply walking with you once again
Thinking about the next walk, next time
The joy of a stolen moment
This is our time
This forest is our place, the sanctuary where we hide
Where we are alone
Alone together
You and I and this forest
The sunlight and the trees
Hand holding and hearts pounding in the safety of this moment

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Jason E. Hodges- A Poem


At times honesty a bitch
It seems now
There’s no comfortable room in my home
For there are elephants of unspeakable pain lurking in most
Sitting waiting
Waiting to pop into my mind
Waiting to crush me with all of their power
Push me down to the floor
So I walk
Quietly I walk past them
Tiptoeing while carrying this heavy burden
Ever so quietly I walk
Through the rooms that hold teardrops of sadness and uncontrollable shaking
For I have to keep walking through this place of my living
I have no where to go
Their dark eyes fall upon me
Their smiles pull softly as they wait for the discussion to begin
Their long gray trunks point at me
Gently, they motion to me
But I keep walking
I try not to see them
I’m thinking of how not to think at all
So I can make it into the few rooms that are left
That have no elephants
With memories of mind changing images
Rooms of safety where I can retreat
To my writing
To my Art
To anything that keeps these creatures at bay
If only for a moment
If only for a night

Monday, December 19, 2011

Jeffrey Park- A Poem


Watching him shuffle along the aisle
you think perhaps he sees things
that I never would see: hidden patterns,
designs created by the cigarette butts

and chewing gum wrappers
all this – unless – unless he’s just
a sly fox playing us all for fools
his bowed posture nothing more than a nod

to our expectations. Easier to just go along
with his little game. But if you ever
found a private moment between stations
you might have a quiet word,

not overplaying it, keeping in mind that less
is always so much more –
I share in your secret, friend. I won’t
be the one who spills your clever beans.

Jeffrey Park currently lives in Munich, Germany, where he works at a private secondary school and teaches business English to adults. His latest poems have appeared in Subliminal Interiors, Mobius, Punk Soul Poet, The Corner Club Press, FortyOunceBachelors and elsewhere.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Amit Parmessur- Two Poems

You Are No Cartoon Gal

Your hair is so curled in innocence
that it has fallen all over your right eye.
Or, is it an intended half
Peek-a-boo of a new, lively girlie?
I can see the milky moon in your face;
I can see your virtuous visage in the moon.
There is a plethora of magical black rivulets
going & tangoing all along your beautiful hair,
without your consent. There’s a wild
reverie in your veiled eye too but
I know you’ve learnt life’s not a comic cartoon.
On your lovely, naïve cheeks the wounds
of unfair battles and misfortune are still visible,
but now your melodic smile will flourish,
furtively, making you a most merry woman.
Always be as childish and multi-colored
as your Sammy & Molly tee-shirt, poetic gal.
Behind you it is blue paradise, behold,
filled with long episodes of freedom.
Whatever episode you choose you’ll
taste your dreams, and your scars will fade.
Your tight lips wrapped in pale pink wax
are singing so many hymns nowadays— lemme
hear you a bit tonight, before you start dreaming,
charming flower.
Remember, many men would love to be
your lucky wristwatch, without your consent…

Snake Hunting

As if he’d thrown his toned body
into the lush grass,
like a lame stone flying.
To see those shining muscles—
what if he were to coil around our ankles!
I had to ask myself why
he should dangle on
that mossy rock like that. He
was intimidating.
See, see if you understand the
watercolor stripes he’s
proudly sporting.
The burn in his throat,
I see nothing more mighty.
You care nothing for
his youthful eyes that plead
for a life smooth as the pieces
of Kraft Cheese left in our battered bags?
African friends, abandon this snake.
I am not a seasoned hunter—
let’s chase something else.
I’m just a few meters from him—
Wake up, now, big snake.
I’m holding the trembling stick,
running like a mad crab
towards him.
As if he would plunge into
the sound of the dull forest now!
There I go.
There he slithers away.
We followed.

Born in 1983 Amit Parmessur is one of the editors of poetry magazine The Rainbow Rose. Since 2010, his poems have appeared in around 100 literary magazines, such as: Ann Arbor Review, The Camel Saloon, Calliope Nerve, Damazine, Zouch Magazine and many others. He is nominated for the Pushcart Prize and lives in Quatre-Bornes, Mauritius.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

Whinny and Spit

When a man’s young,
this work is hard
but it pays well
and he can feed
the wife and kids.
In the morning
he throws crates off trucks,
and after lunch
throws crates again
till five or six o’clock.
But as he grows older,
and some say
ready to retire,
he has to stop
in the late afternoon,
mount his throne of skids,
let his legs drip over the side,
toss his head, inhale,
whinny and spit.


Donal Mahoney's father came to America from Ireland just before the Great Depression. A legal immigrant, he had jobs like the one described in the poem. That is why, many decades later, it is difficult for Mahoney to worry about whether an immigrant is legal or not when he sees one working his buttocks off in the noonday sun.  

Monday, December 12, 2011

Jason E. Hodges- A Poem

The Hyena

In this world, this world of ours
The Hyena stands with a sharpened grin
Gnashes his teeth, and digs in his claws
All while preaching his words and making his profit
Mother Mary, do they read your son’s words at all?
Or do they speak to the flocks with prewritten text of what better words might be? Promising plenty the Hyena will do and using all that he can
Then dropping from his followers heavy and full
Like a tick stretched to the limit by his consumption
How strange it all is to me
For I’m not one of these beasts, nor do I follow their way
So I naturally struggle when I encounter their masses
Constantly choking on all that they feed me
What they show me
For a Paper Rose looks like the best smelling flower
Perception is seeing what they want you to see
Like stained-glass telling its story with all of its bright and wonderful colors
Yet dull when the sun doesn’t shine its way
And the cast shadows of candles wash over beloved Mother Mary
But still we pray to her
Beg of her
Hoping she will reach out and touch us
Come to life in some miraculous way
Hold us
Reassure us
Make our world feel better than what our eyes see day after day
In this world
This world of ours
Where the hyena gnashes his teeth and the weak follow his way

Friday, December 9, 2011

Sarah Gamutan- A Poem

Living With Avengers
Dilated capillaries were looking for you.
They wanted home deep inside your green
varicose veins. They crawled on such thin
bones, gargled blood and chewed marrows.
They gnawed like rats, spun around your
knees and gave so much pain each time your
head was  higher in altitude. The mind and
heart debated as to “who should kill the rust in
you”. The way you tossed and turned like an
impish slug was hideous. But you were that
careless. That’s why they wanted to kill you -
Like another tell- tale heart. That’s why they
resided in your system, said you were special
but only crushed your  bones slowly but surely.
That  time, vengeance was hurtful and coercible.

Sarah Gamutan's poems and stories are forthcoming in Poetry Space and Microstory a Week. She lives in Philippines where she works as a Customer Support Associate by night and a poet at heart by day.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Lee Stern- Three Poems


Maybe there’s a space in the missing rain that I don’t know about.
And maybe you tried to tell me but I didn’t pay any attention.
Maybe there’re some directions I should have known about.
And if I had listened carefully to what you said,
I would have known what was going on.
But it’s the space in the missing rain
that compels me to tell you that I don’t know anything about the clouds.
If I knew anything about the clouds
I would stand on my feet and shout it out clearly.
I would write a new chapter about even the smallest ones
so there would be no misunderstanding.
And I would do all of that without even requesting payment.
Without standing in a place of benign memories.
Without asking why winter’s voices were lost
when the sounds of the faces were wet.


Maybe it was the strange way of breathing
that brought me to this place.
I was used to breathing with my mouth and my nose.
But these people used their words to inhale the air.
And it was that reason alone
that caused me to be attracted to them.
And sometimes the biggest words brought in the least amount of air.
In other words, just the opposite of what you might have thought.
It was like a whole language that was dedicated to their lungs.
And in between checking out other possibilities, that was what I thought.
And I also thought that the smallest words
held onto the air for the longest time.
And I didn’t want to become bedridden so I had to agree.
I had to measure the words I inhaled.
And the simple cloth upon which I recorded the edge of their days.


I can remember most of the things you told me.
I can remember the playful things and the serious things.
When you told me that an oak tree
had to be planted somewhere,
I went out of my way to remember that.
When you told me that everybody had to ring a bell,
and not mistake it for anything else,
it was the same thing and the same reaction.
And when you told me that you were going to love me until the end of tomorrow,
I had no choice but to keep those words in front of me like little parachutes.
Dangling in the weather.
Colliding with hopes wearing thin.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sarah E. White- A Poem

The Creek

My life has come full circle
I have made it finally back
To my favorite place in the world
This place where my childhood was lived
Paths of adventure and intrigue
Where I romped and ran
Within the cool clay walls of the earth
This place was home
The cool water rippling through the hillside
Continually carving its path
The earthen smell of safety
Fills me with such life even now
Such security
A place where I felt most free
To be one with the earth, one with myself
Truly seeing the many layers
Finally eye level with the world
As time stands still
I gaze at the landscape from the creek bottom
I feel the energy around me
The trickle of water flowing beneath me
Beside me
Flowing through me
Washing over the bare bones of my soul
The crunch of rocks shifting under my feet
I trudge onward
My life flows forward
But my childhood is encapsulated here
In memory
In the creek

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

Griggs' Bar and Grill

In two more hours I'll have to shower,
shave and coffee-prop my lids
and otherwise prepare for day. It's 4 a.m.
and now the barkeep, Griggs,

is rushing me, the first 
to come, the last to leave, 
the lad who just an hour before
was coaxed to quaff one more.

At work I'll cummerbund a smile,
hold my head and sit all day,
play another endless game
of solitaire or tic-tac-toe. 

Griggs' apron's off. The neon's out
and now he'll set the locks in back.
The spittle, butts and half-slain beers
he'll leave for Willie who'll soon be here

to dance his broom between
the tables and the scattered chairs
as smoothly as Kelly or Astaire.
At 6 a.m., he'll climb the ladder 

near the door and aim his broom
through the transom toward the sky.
Each morning Willie puts another 
bullet through the eye of sunrise.

Donal Mahoney quit drinking many years ago as a preface to marriage. Today he doesn't miss the liquor, but he does miss the people he would see late at night while sitting at the end of the bar. At times, even when he was sober, the later it got, the more the whole scene seemed like a ballet, despite the raucous music from the juke box.