Thursday, January 26, 2012

Linda Crate- 3 Poems

no reprieve 
you dance your spondees 
upon me in sea urchins 
that tickle my fingers in 
the depths of the sea, you
must impress your noxious
presence upon me even if
I am enjoying myself and
especially then; I want a
moment’s reprieve from
the world and you’re there
to force me back to the face
of reality riddled with his
garish scars and boring stories —
I would much rather roam
freely in the sea of my mind;
so if you would kindly remove
your foot from my imagination
I will proceed to live my life.

death comes in slants
he takes a little of you

bit by bit he steals a 
little something from

you; a familiar face 
that you once knew

a smile that once 
stretched the length

of your face; the
topography of the

hands you once knew
so very well all those

years ago, it leaves you
a comatose wilted rose.

uncomfortable skin 
he laughed at her as she
came pirouetting out in
her favorite gown sewn
by the hand of truth, he
tore some fabric out in
fissures so that only the
half truths and lies were
clothing her form; she 
did not feel comfortable
in the solace of these
bones that gnawed at 
the tissues of her heart —
burning fissures of black
into her silver soul, an
absinthe of sorts; but he
told her that it was all
going to be okay, that it
didn’t matter, that nothing
mattered; this moment 
would be immortal, that
their love would spin out
a tale more well known 
than any tale of Shakespeare.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sarah E. White- A Poem

Soaking and Drowning

I can always count on them
Always to be there
On them I can depend
A constant and a comfort
I know where they will be
Always right where I left them
Waiting patiently for me to arrive
Sitting quietly
They will never leave me
But I can leave them
And that I often do
Leaving them waiting
Just sitting there quietly
Patiently awaiting
Waiting for me to arrive
And give them attention
Returning to them
For I need them so
And they need me
They have to have me
The dishes that await me
Wash the dishes
They don’t do themselves
They don’t do anything
They sit and wait for me
Soaking slowly
Drowning me

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Russell Streur- Three Poems


Time travel
Fatal accident
Crisis deepens
Payoff uncertain
Bad step
Terror laws
Holy war
Negative consequences

“They must know,”
the scientist said,
“Something we don’t.”

Collateral damage
No mercy.


Cold war
The wrong taxi
Feedback loop
Insider trading
Woes persist
New limits
Spring crushed
Substance banned
Hostile action

“The situation is grim,”
the coordinator said.
“It goes on for a very long time.”

No food
Choke point.


How it all began
Alternate version
An invisible thread
Management shuffle
Blood of ordinary people
Unintended consequences
Parade of the rich
Stability maintenance

‘The big picture,”
the executive director said,
“is restricted visibility.”

Zero day
The usual suspects.
Russell Streur is a born-again dissident residing in Johns Creek, Georgia.  He operates the world’s original on-line poetry bar,The Camel Saloon, catering to dromedaries, malcontents and jewels of the world at   The beer is cold, the whiskey Irish, and the door is always open.

Jamie Grefe- A Poem


Draped in white, Beijing dust floats in 
red clumps to fingertips, and itching, we 
sing ourselves mad to February explosions, 
for spring is coming. 

The close family sunk, back from the hospital room, 
a fevered child shoots a plastic pistol, I smoke circles, 
scrape vomit, wipe black velvet to rings round the sky, 
blow kisses for my enemy is here. 

And, it's your birthday again, once on the second, but not 
on the twenty third and you're bloated, escaped breath is a 
womb and the child dream-sleeps through these firecracker nights
where gunshots and laugh-tracks are all we have.

But, two makes a family, Old Mother's bawling in 
the kitchen over green beans or shaved beards and I'm gone,
outside with pig fur in the yard making sure they don't 
accidentally eat one of those flakes of red rice paper, those 
yearly gifts of early death. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Christopher Hivner- Three Poems

I don’t know
was my stock answer
when she asked
a question.
Sometimes I did know
but didn’t care,
other times
I wasn’t really
listening to her.
She peppered me
with inquiries
about the world,
a place that had
left my insides
as sharp
as shattered glass.
On and on
her tongue
formed words
and the breath
in her lungs
pushed them out
for the nitrogen-rich air
to carry
into my ears.
I don’t know
was always
my answer
between puffs
of generic cigarettes.
One day
I would break,
I felt it
in the pit
of my stomach.
One day
I would answer
all of the questions
and then I would
cease to matter
to her.
I lit another cig
inhaling deeply,
preparing my
heart and lungs
for the day
she walks away.
Classic Rock
I waited in the car
through the Rolling Stones,
Neil Young,
American Pie and the Beatles,
I waited through
three in a row
from The Who
and a request
for Pink Floyd,
the 17 minute one,
I waited for her
to leave his apartment,
straightening her dress,
fussing with her hair.
I waited to see it
before I hated her,
had to experience it
so I could
let go of what
I held in.
I waited until
she drove away
to shed the tears
that had been living
under my skin,
to acknowledge the sick
that was eating
my stomach.
I waited through
Cheap Trick, Zeppelin
and until
the street was empty
to get out
of my car
and walk to
the apartment
where my wife’s
presence lingered
in the air
and on the bed sheets.
I hummed Ziggy Stardust
while I waited
for him
to answer the door
and sang
“Welcome to the Jungle”
as I put
a bullet in his brain.
My head
was full of static
as I walked
back to the car,
interference from somewhere
wiped my thoughts
to white.
I drove home
through weather reports,
traffic updates
and ticket give-aways,
all getting lost
in the noise
my mind
found soothing.
I waited in my driveway
through my
muttered prayer,
the neighbor’s dog barking
and the
chambering of a bullet
inside my gun.
As I turned off
the car,
the DJ
put on the blues.

As Secret Writing Flourishes
The news plays in the background,
CNN talking heads 24 hours nonstop.
I hear about the bombs that went off
and the bombs that didn’t.
4 a.m. and the pretty blond
is telling me the same things
that the pretty brunette told me
12 hours earlier.
4 a.m. and I still don’t sleep,
three days and counting.
I watch the images
and read the headlines
but turn the sound down
so I can hear what remains
of your voice trapped
in the cracks of the plaster.
The Sun rises behind the house
while the overseas stock markets gain
and you tell me again
why I’m an asshole.
A fire in Cleveland rages out of control
while I wait for the apology
that always came, but this time
it sounds insincere
because your voice is fading,
the remnants too slender to register.
Your old letters are spread out
on the floor, trapping me
on the couch
so I don’t step on them,
but I can’t read your words anymore,
written in French or Gaelic
or some secret code.
What were you trying to tell me?
A man breathless and sweating,
speaking frantically
of his daughter wandering off
in a crowded Wal-Mart.
Under his impassioned face
CNN is trying to tell me something
with scrolling words
but I can’t read them.
I pick up your letters
and I know
her name is Missy, and she’s 4 years old.
I look at the TV screen
and it says
I am all you need.
Missy is wearing red shorts
and a white top.
You wish I understood
when you cry.
Missy was last seen
looking at the fish tanks.
It might be a mistake,
but you need to leave.
I drop your letters and turn off the TV,
sad realizations driving me.
If I find Missy
maybe I’ll find you,
but I’m a thousand miles away
from Indiana
and if you were standing next to me
I wouldn’t know where you were.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

David S. Pointer- A Poem


The rich grab up all the money
like a Mexican land grant, and
the bottom end poor are left
pondering early burial by
crack pipe, or tiny paycheck,

Mitt Romney’s cross-border
                              bank roll
safe, secure, and insured as

his corporate raider retreats

Bio: David S. Pointer has recent acceptances at "Black-Listed Magazine," "Portland Occupier," "Rattle," and elsewhere.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Linda Crate- 3 Poems


you swallowed me into void,
the arms of black loneliness
circled me like vultures before
they devoured what was left
of me; I let them rip the fissures
of moon silver clean off the
bone, I could not force myself
to care until I saw her osculation —
against your own lips, I claimed
the birds of prey for my own;
I fashioned myself wings of black —
when you least expected it, I pecked
your eyes out piece by piece simply
to ensure you that I was the master,
and you had never controlled me.

you’re a boat  

lovely face it is a
boat drifting out to
sea, gliding across
the water as graceful
as a swan; pirouetting
against a landscape
of melancholy, the
topography of your
lips pierces the white
of snow with a snatch
of crimson feathers, a
cardinal to rescue us
from the trite scene of
rolling white thundering
across the hills; I don’t
think I've ever loved
you more than I do now.

uncle jimmy 

the moon is grey as your eyes and as
fractured as your yellowing bones;
I see you in every silver rain and every
melancholy grey day, I miss you when
I read Catcher in the Rye and wonder
why you liked it; I could never relate
to Holden, I’ve known the sting of
isolation and I’ve been the outcast for
several years and many moons, but I
still couldn’t understand the fascination —
you used to paint and I envy that, your
skill was extraordinary; I couldn’t do
the wondrous things you did with a paint
brush to save my life, but though we
used different mediums we’re both artists —
I wish I could make you proud, I wish
you could see my words; I wish that 
you could be revived from death somehow
just so you could spend more day on this
earth with us, it seems unreal that twelve
spans of three hundred and sixty five have
already passed like you have; it seems 
that you’ve been gone far too long.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

Mixed Couple on the Morning Train

      Chicago, 2009

Because he works in an office and is white
and because she who tans anyway has just
returned from a week at the Beach,
the commuters are certain she’s not black
yet they rustle in their seats.
They want to see her hands flick.
They want to see if rivers run dark
through ivory palms.
Martin may be dead
and Obama may have won
but in Chicago this morning at dawn
a rainbow of people
still rustle in their seats. 

We have elected an African-American as president of the United States 
and we have declared a national holiday in honor of Martin Luther King, 
but some things may never change, and maybe that's normal 
for the human condition, whatever the race

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sarah E. White- A Poem

Silly Life

Boggled completely
I am utterly befuddled
And also thrown for a loop
Exasperated at the thought
My eyes are unbelieving
Uncomprehending it at all
What a joke
Lovely words and phrases for a dirty word
Silly life
Such a thorny rose
So sweet to breathe
As my fingers bleed
I pricked them deep this time
While I was distracted
By senses more powerful than beauty
Softer than the delicate petals
That encapsulates its essence
I take in the warm aroma of life
Of desire
To take it into me
It pierces quickly
And now I bleed freely
The blood flows in dark scarlet droplets
Streaks down the smooth pale skin of my fingers
It plummets in a freefall of redness down to the floor
Happily bandaging
Taking in the sweetness of its many layers
Savoring the sweet sting
And sucking the salty tips of my fingers
Utterly befuddled by life’s delicate balance

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Linda Crate- 3 Poems

my time is not now 
silly boy you mistook forgiveness
with forgetting, I would be stupid

to loose my hold of those memories
that still cut like shards of glass, the

words you aimed at my head like a 
rifle before pulling the trigger, I’ll

not hold your transgressions against
you, but I’ll never trust you again;

you wounded me deeper than the
ocean, eroded me worst than the

sea eating away at rocks; you burned
my heart into stardust the rest of me

will follow one day, but not by you
I’ll go on my own day and terms.

a proton and a neutron 
you trip over the syllables like a laughing girl,
like I always falter when I walk; I over or under
calculate each step, always such a klutz; but my
words flow like honey whereas you trip over your
vernacular and walk straight, perhaps, we could
help one another if we weren’t so proud to admit
that we have problems, maybe we were the two
hinges of a door separated at birth; maybe that’s
how we can complete each other so perfectly
without knowing how it is that opposites attract —
it’s like we’re back in science class and I’m a
proton and you’re a neutron, it’s like these bones
and lips and marrow have nothing to do with the
fabric of whom we truly are; it’s just window
dressing masking the skeletons of life that no 
one wants to see, we shine as brightly as the stars
together, but as individuals we’re lacking, please
never send me back out there in the world alone.

the hold of winter 
threadbare branches of wizened
trees hold their arms without leaves
so proudly, as if enamored by their
own strength which lends them
to stand without their children; the
cardinal sits upon them, cutting
across the dreary landscape of winter’s
alms thrust into the aorta of the land;

like the pieces of you that froze over
my heart in icy fingers; you were a
parasite like winter, stealing the marrow
from my bones and leaving me weary —
I dreamed of spring days coming to
thaw away all the damages that ravaged
against my brow; but you chased her 
pastel skirts away for as long as you could;

you wanted me to suffer the crime of
loving you; I never understood why you
were so cruel, why you had to erode away
at my heart piece by piece before throwing
me to the mouth of jagged rocks; you say
I’m not always the martyr, but I’m not always
the one to blame, sometimes the facsimiles
spun pour from your mouth in absinthe not mine.

Linda Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry has been published in various journals the latest of which including: Skive, The Scarlet Sound, and Speech Therapy.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bryan Murphy- A Poem

Dog Day Sundown

Far from winter and work, the sun still sets
on a perfect, dog-free bay in southern Mexico.

Filaments of eye-candy cloud
squeeze the horizon into layers,

then part the curtain on the evening’s stars:
Mars and Venus, crescent waxing moon.

A watcher on the beach sifts sand,
peers at what thoughtless fingers raise:

a leather collar, cut sharp, stained dark,
a name engraved - “Tigre, Posada Las Americas”.

Inside the town, once clouds reclaim the night,
the mayor sleeps deep and sound.

She’s paved the road outside her house, raised taxes,
“cleansed” the beach. A second term may come.

Bryan Murphy is a former teacher, translator and frequent visitor to the Pacific coast of Mexico. His poems "Rule of the Road" and "Bloody Student Cuts" appeared in Dead Snakes in March 2011. He lives in Turin, Italy. A volume of his short stories, provisionally entitled "Padania Blues" is forthcoming.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Maria Cristina De Guzman- A Poem

Defense of the Ancients
In oblivion, she crawls, leaps,
runs, and spreads her wicked wings
to fly away from the warmth of home
to sneak into the dark and dismal town
where narrow paths lead to ecstasy,
camaraderie, death and victory.
Trailing the landmines buried by
the threesome trusted heroes
who feed her penchant for salve
that brings venom to her veins
yet lends a warming breath
from the savage torches, that ties
her willing arms to the filthy cape
of the mighty enchantress.
In oblivion, she retreats, runs away
from the raging battle of traitors
who dream to kill themselves
in the same cold war of the weakling
which enticed the enchantress to die
with a hero that casts both fire and ice
to hide their temple from the sinless snipers.
She invisibly…slowly… fakes a hallow death
to allure the scourges never to hinder
her righteous vow to defend the ancients.

Bio: Maria Cristina De Guzman loves to play DotA during her spare time. This poetry is about her struggles in defending what she considers as her ANCIENTS in real life.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

Envelope in the Pigeonhole
This evening when I return to the hotel
I see in my pigeonhole
Angela’s writing
on a yellow envelope.
What excuse will she have for not writing?
Too busy, perhaps,
stirring cauldrons of soup
while the cats dash about licking her calves.
Or don’t the cats know enough
to lick at her calves?
Would that I were the cats
and the cats were taller.

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

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Glenn W. Cooper- A Poem

It Runs Through Me

Breakfast time and a scientist is spooning dark matter into a cereal bowl …
He has just a small portion of it in a cardboard box, caught in the lab in a device too terrible for articulation …
A never-ending expansion, beyond the cereal bowl, beyond the room, beyond even the house …
Why can’t you put that stuff away? someone says. You’re always playing with that stuff.
It runs through me as it runs through all of us, the scientist says.
What he puts in the bowl expands the bowl.
Galaxies pushed further and further apart …
Snap! Crackle! Pop!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Maria Cristina De Guzman- A Poem

Memoir of a Mistress

Centuries of sundown mourned,
yet Manoah's loss was still a victory
for his tribe, set apart for light
from the impure warmth of unredeemed.

Upon his tongue lied the sweetest lie,
which tied her liberty to kiss and tell
the innocence that once conceived by
his younger days of abstinence.

Riddles and scribbles out of honey and bones
paved a destiny to his virgin braids.
Remember those knives on those papyrus
he needless to utter, for it were written long ago.

Old tribe sent plagues to her back,
reminding her of spoiled blood in lion's claws
that invaded the depth of his blameless soul
where the truth was hidden for centuries.

Hopes still cling to the twosome pillars
that broke her faith in his impeccable strength.
Stains on his mighty linear limbs
still haunt the remnants of her sanity.

The world has pierced her on the vineyard's earth
where past spat his royal blood,
that slowly turned into enticing green
once blown soft whispers upon in dawn.

Thou shall not blame her for Zorah's grief,
if his bones were crushed to a soiled carcass.
Caresses laid him to the depth of slumber
but her sinful hands did not cut his braids.

Bio: Maria Cristina De Guzman has been writing poems since she was six. She lives in Cebu, Philippines. Writing poetry is her first love. Her poem "Memoir of a Mistress" is actually written out of a very interesting event in her life that has completely changed her ideas about friendship, love and betrayal.