Monday, April 30, 2012

Linda M. Crate- Three Poems


you're the adder
in the grass I must slay
for your poison has
killed many with its mighty
zing; lips of false promises denied
glitter in your greedy eyes
be still and die, venomous snake,
before I crush your head under my heel.

broken castle

oceans of emotion lay buried beneath
the surface and they threaten to overwhelm
and destroy me, but you conjure only the
best moons and stars to pirouette their
light into my life; I had once forgotten
the topography of a smile yet you have
revived the sunshine in my life when I
thought darkness would sweep into
me and drag me  through a riptide you
were there to rescue me a princess locked
in a castle of herself - you broke the
glass of introspection and forced me to
breathe in the reality of the world and
you, and I'm all the better for it.

goblin queen

if you were Jareth
I'd be your goblin queen,
I would kiss away
your anger and hold unto
my owl in a love fiercer
than the talons of a hawk
or the teeth of a bobcat -
you danced your magic
into my life;
you stripped away all
illusions that life was predicatable
or easy, yet through all
the marrow of me you
bit through you left me a
promise of eternity,
and I would be a fool
if I didn't take it -
dance over me your riddles
wash me into you,
pour your love into my hips
and gyrate sense out of meaning,
give me the rainbow
you once promised me,
and let us recolor this world.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

John Grochalski- A Poem

between stupidity and jealousy

i always think the worst
of children in this digital age

that they are
lazy, dull, and ignorant
slabs of flesh

but here it is
a saturday morning in april

a stone’s throw
from my thirty-eight birthday

and i’m walking behind some kid
down a dewy spring street

heading to work
with another goddamned hangover
and a pathetic lunch

while in his hands
this kid has

movies, video games
and a worn looking baseball glove

a whole day
clasped to his breast
as he knocks on a neighbor’s door

and is let inside
by someone’s beautiful mother

while i continue
down the drowsy street alone

my mind stuck somewhere
between stupidity and jealousy

my heart like a hangman’s noose
in the stiff, yellow sun.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

David Pointer- A Poem

Global Domination Hits a Snag

After the Black Panthers,
Malcolm X, the Weathermen,
and others fought for economic
and social justices it was a
posthumous Martin Luther
King continuously receiving
all the corporate media credit,
as the system moved in with
bulldozers-n-bad money dreams
erecting correctional facilities,
adding SWAT teams turbo,
outsourcing billionaires and
their corrupt fortunes to the
Cayman Islands as the world
wide wage slavery progressed
into the Occupy Zone like Zorro
reincarnated in 99 percent of
of an erect population, and
they were tired of being
shoved off the global
imbalance beams of
high world finance.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

Boysenberry Eyes Awhirl

A Caseworker's Nightmare

In a corner of the room
scribbles of loose yarn soar,
interweave and dive

like coasters at a carnival.
At dusk rats slither from the drain
and barrel through the room

stirring atom puffs of dust
beneath the paper sprung
tongue out from each wall.

Tails wound tight, the rats
skate their figure eights
between the table legs and swirl.

They pause to supper on salami bits, 
gherkin nodes, crusts of ancient bread.
At dawn, with boysenberry eyes awhirl,

they belly back and leap atop the sink.
Popping sounds announce
the drain has called them home.

Donal Mahoney spent two years as a 
caseworker in the Cabrini-Green Housing 
Project in Chicago, circa early 1960s,
with 458 families in two high-rise buildings.
Fantasies like this are the result.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Doug Draime- Two Poems

 Jesus Is Now

sanctifying your rotting thoughts

purifying the vessel of wrong action

&  illusionary desire
which you once called you    
is a light moving up inside you 

burning to a crisp/ ending the days of

hateful coalition of wayward spirits 
&  pointless thoughts

that assembly of confusion

which devastates the promise

of your faith

In My Dream

 There were 10 literary critics,
all poets, mostly elitist asses, sitting at a long table.
I’m sitting on a lounge chair
drinking a Pepsi in a glass
with ice and lime, and munching
on potato chips.  They’re acting
as judge and jury, debating among
themselves, as to whether
I am any good as a poet.  And I’m
sipping on my Pepsi
trying to remember if I ever wrote
a poem for a collective body of poets?
Yes, I had, I remembered, I’d written several  poems very  
critical the literary establishment.
I lose my train of thought when
a pretty, sexy young lady begins to read one
of my poems (she says).  But it’s not my poem,
it’s one by Steve Richmond, which I’ve read before,
a very good one, so I listen intently and don’t bother
to correct her.  I always wished I’d written that poem.
When she finishes a swishy looking guy
at the far end of
the table gets up and tells her
it’s Richmond’s.  She glares at him, sits down embarrassed
and starts sorting through
hundreds of my poems (and  hopefully a few of Richmond’s). 
Then they all begin arguing and sorting through the stuff.

A guy wearing a Walt Whitman mask
stands up to read a light verse
thing I wrote for the Wall Street Journal.
Most of them snicker at me when
he finishes, and asked me 
what I had to say in my defense. Defense?

(I’m addicted to grocery store brands of
potato chips, and those I was munching on
were a Safeway brand, which are particularly
yummy--so I finished the ones
in my hand and washed them down with a large
gulp of Pepsi)  I smiled and cleared my
throat.  “Look,” I said, “I didn’t choose writing,
writing chose me.  It just comes through me
that’s all.  That poem is the same as the rest
and I kind of like it.”  I said my piece and took
another drink of Pepsi.
“And that’s another thing,” says a 
little guy with glasses, who looks like
a myopic Fidel Castro, “all this nonsense
about poems coming through you, and,
all your Christian tendencies, have no
place in contemporary literature.”
The little guy sits down squinting at me.
I looked around and shrugged, and the sexy lady
who read the Richmond poem catches my eye.
She winks and reaches up to touch a
small gold cross hanging around her neck.
I wink and smile back.  And as I sat there
I remembered a John Berryman poem
in which he says, that Jesus Christ is
the only true literary critic.  So, I tell them
that.  Wow, that really pissed them off!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Robert Demaree- Three Poems


The supermarket is not crowded:
Shoppers up and down the aisles
With a calm seriousness,
Notebooks of coupons, unadvertised specials,
A kind of reverence, the sense that
Perhaps they should be somewhere else.
For some it is like any other Sunday,
With its own rituals:
Young couples in tennis get-ups
Admire their children, make plans.
An older couple ponders produce:
For her it is a day fraught
With memory, a father gone;
For him, one of two days in the year
When those metaphoric readings
Simply will not fly.


Midnight: an unexpected snow
Brightens our court at Golden Pines,
Thick whiteness caught in amber streetlight,
Moist cotton balls, fluffy on our small trees
In the clear Piedmont dawn.
It’s beautiful, our neighbors say,
Thinking of other places they have lived.

On my seventieth birthday I drive into town for barbecue,
Listening to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons,
Their soaring falsetto harmonies
From sorrowful New Jersey towns
Not far from my own,
The undertow of time,
Those unchangeable places of our birth
That took some of us a while to figure out.
At the funeral home, the casket truck,
Up from Mississippi, makes a stop:
The routineness of it.

It is afternoon, sixty degrees,
And, of course, the Carolina snow is gone,
Except for fringes in the roof’s shadow,
And by the curb, graying,
Like other snows I’ve seen.

“Yesterday’s Snow” appeared in Poets’ Touchstone Winter 2009


Muffled in the rustling of papers,
Sign here, initial there:
We have sold the house:
Fifty years,
Same family, same ’phone number.
Scott and Alice are young;
They will redecorate
With colors I do not need to see.
What follows we choose to call
The next part and not the last.
Alice will have to pick up
The rest of the fallen camellia blooms.

“Closing Costs” appeared in Still Crazy January 2008

Robert Demaree is the author of four collections of poems, including Fathers and Teachers (2007) and Mileposts (2009), both published by Beech River Books. The winner of the 2007 Conway, N.H., Library Poetry Award, he is a retired school administrator with ties to North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire in the eastern U.S. He has had over 550 poems published or accepted by 125 periodicals in the U.S., Canada and U.K., including Cold Mountain Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Miller’s Pond, MediaVirus, Bolts of Silk, Louisville Review and Paris/Atlantic, and in four anthologies including the 2008 and 2010 editions of Poet’s Guide to New Hampshire and Celebrating Poets over 70.. For further information see 

Monday, April 16, 2012

A.J. Huffman- A Poem

A Letter from Hell

I never asked you to save me.
Or build me a castle
made of glass.
And now you expect me
to polish your armor.
On my knees?
I am sorry.
You are mistaken.
You have mistaken
For something else.
A dream maybe.
All floating white and gold.
Just waiting for Mr. Right.
But I never wanted to be a princess.
Never wanted my edges curved
and matched to your own.
I don’t need a knight.
I don’t want a prince.
And horses --
white or not --
are hard on the ass.

A.J. Huffman is a poet and freelance writer in Daytona Beach, Florida.  She has previously published four collections of poetry: The Difference Between Shadows and Stars, Carrying Yesterday, Cognitive Distortion, and . . . And Other Such Nonsense.  She has also published her work in national and international literary journals such as Avon Literary Intelligencer, Writer's Gazette, and The Penwood Review.  Find more about A.J. Huffman, including additional information and links to her work at and!/poetess222. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

Straight in His Caneback Chair
      Ireland to America, long ago
In this Kerryman’s eyes
big ships sail
and lighthouses flicker
light years away.
He’s 70 today and sits 
tombstone straight
in his caneback chair,
waves at a flake
hanging from his nose,
misses and curses.
It’s his first curse of the day
and he’s ready for anything,
an ancient ram braced for the British
climbing through the mist.
His children, parents themselves now,
sit in his parlor, silent around him.
When they hear his first curse,
they know it’s 20 years earlier
and Father is calling
a meeting of the family.
They shift in their chairs
as his eyes and his words
whiz around the room
like bees liquored up
looking for something to sink into.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Robert Demaree- A Poem


Of bladder and by the cello concerto’s
Petty dissonance
I wait in the prostate line
At intermission.
My wife’s dimmed vision
Scans the lobby, seeking mine
Among gray heads
That bob upon a sea of blue blazers.
What is it that draws us here?
Perhaps the aching melancholy
Of a Russian adagio;
More likely the crisp precision,
The tying off of loose ends,
In those short Mozart symphonies
That seem to end so suddenly.

Robert Demaree is the author of four collections of poems, including Fathers and Teachers (2007) and Mileposts (2009), both published by Beech River Books. The winner of the 2007 Conway, N.H., Library Poetry Award, he is a retired school administrator with ties to North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire in the eastern U.S. He has had over 550 poems published or accepted by 125 periodicals in the U.S., Canada and U.K., including Cold Mountain Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Miller’s Pond, MediaVirus, Bolts of Silk, Louisville Review and Paris/Atlantic, and in four anthologies including the 2008 and 2010 editions of Poet’s Guide to New Hampshire and Celebrating Poets over 70.. For further information see 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Doug Draime- Three Poems

Jesus In Wartime

The bodies are piled
like slaughtered and rotting cattle,
in abandoned stockyards.
And each morning before sunrise,
the decision is made
in a business like and calm way
to aim the big guns,
drop the big bombs
to destroy a handful of people
clustered among many thousands.
The military shuck and jive,
to justify these insidious deeds,
as the Leader of The Free World
is on his knees praising Jesus
for the death and mayhem.
This Jesus is diametrically opposed to the one I know
His Jesus is a warmongering imperialist who loves only billionaires
and millionaires and the idoits who worship them.
This Jesus he prays to, appears to love nothing scared, or honorable,
or righteous, or humane.
This Jesus entrenched like cancer by lies and madness.
This Jesus adding to the plies of bodies, as if human life and
Creation mean nothing. 

This Side Of The Mystery Game

Death is the bottomless pit, a ravenous
beast that
gets us all in the
It even got Tolstoy who denied it.
And Dylan Thomas who raged against it.
Even Christ, though they say
he came back for
a visit; bloody as hell,
walking through
talking to invisible people even
doubting Thomas could see.
Jesus came back hungry
asking for wine and something to eat.
And as he ate a plate of Jewish stir fry
and several glasses of wine,
he started wisecracking about
the lack of sustenance
in the ethers, and demanding
Mary Magdalene’s apostleship,
which pissed off all the Jewish men
and all the Roman men
and all the wannabe men. And they killed
him again
and he walked through the wall back into “death”.
Wasn’t that the point,
that he “died” like the rest of us?
Like the bum, the poet, the mortician,
the politician, like the great Joe Lewis murdered
by the humiliation of Las Vegas, like you
and me, like John Lennon shot down
by his biggest fan, like most of us living ordinary lives,
dying ordinary deaths, 
like everyman and everywoman.
Death is the bottomless pit (and our most deceptive illusion), 
that every human falls into, and is never seen again, at least not
on this side of the mystery game  


Starless, moonless, hopeless
filled with shadows
of ravaged dreams.
On a platter, a bloody platter
engraved with
cannibal dragons
sits the
magnificent head
of the Baptist.
Salome whirls her incestuous whoredom
around the marble floor.
The music of the dance
floats through the stagnant
and murderous air.
As the lamb of God, a few miles away
lies prone in prayer,
he feels the
ax through
his own
sanctified flesh.
His head 
rolling slowly
from the pallet
of His repose,
like a comet
passing through
the cosmos of dead
and dying stars

This Side Of The Mystery Game first appeared in Cause & Effect Magazine in 2007, and
John first appeared in Ancient Paths around 2004 or 5.