Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal- Two Poems


Her cadaver hair
grew long and firm.
Through the ages
her beauty was
endless.  Death
only stopped her
heart and silenced
her voice, but her
beauty remained.
Through some curse
or gift she did not
rot or decompose.
Her eyes were blue
as the day she died.
It was haunting
to see her sitting
in the cellar with
her long black hair
dressed in her best
summer dress.


Behind these sad walls
like prisoners
growing old
without knowing
if you and I will find
more pleasant walls.
Scorpions crawl from under
a rock into our dreams.
Far from lovely
the damage is done.
I kiss your mouth,
but you don’t kiss me.

Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal is the author of two recent poetry collections, Songs For Oblivion, published by Alternating Current Press, and Peering Into The Sun, published by Poet's Democracy.  He works in the mental health field in Los Angeles, CA.  His poems have appeared online and in print in journals such Penny Ante Feud, Tryst, and Zygote In My Coffee.

Bryan Murphy- A Poem

Ruling Out The Equaliser

Tinpot dictator? Capable enough to snuff out
the Thatcher brat’s attempted coup,
to woo a Swiss dictator who understands
the need for PR stunts
like this award of half a Cup of Nations
to a microstate where oil flows like blood.

Face is all, money the make-up to salvage it.
From his second-best purse, the dictator’s son
empties a year’s earnings of half the population
at the feet of the “National Lightning”,
151st best team in our world.

Opponents, like officials, calculate their due,
and duly act as though they’ve got it.

Lightning strikes Libya and Senegal
from the path to glory,
before orange-shirted “Elephants”
trample the usurpers,
restore a semblance of merit
to the spectacle,
which no-one watches live.

The circus moves on. South Africa next.
The world’s attention floodlights fail.
A shroud once more encases
Equatorial Guinea’s heart of darkness.

What happens now? History regurgitates.
Oil powers the wheels of bulldozers,
clearing shanties for developers,
not for the souls who live there.
Migrants get harassed by bribe-sucking cops
with inflated stop-and-search concessions.
Students are acquainted with jails,
the continent’s worst, lest they protest
when summit-bound dignitaries
come from afar, some months hence.
A news blackout leaves the rest
to our imagination.

The sport itself still searches
among warehouses full of its gold
for the beauty it has sloughed:
cynical, corrupt, creeping
every day closer to the apex of its hubris,
every moment more akin to Equatorial Guinea.

Bryan Murphy is a former teacher and translator who now concentrates on his own words. A lifelong soccer fan, he divides his time among England, Italy and the wider world. His work has recently appeared in Descant, Eunoia Review, Indigo Rising, Rose & Thorn, The Camel Saloon, The Pygmy Giant, The Rainbow Rose, The View from Here and Transparent Words. A novella of ideas, Goodbye Padania, is forthcoming.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Felino A. Soriano- Poetry

from Quartet Dialogues

Of piano


if or when-if
(delineated fractions of possible interaction)
child indents space within a laughing lean of
hilarious momentum, a specified
            meander into swing of woven spirals, spinning
as with the dizzy proclamation of game-game




sectioned freedoms


discovering experience as learn or
aspiring dedicated reality and
running exhilaration, play

Of drums


in increments of imbalance
the sporadic evolves
ocular pronouncement the
heard/aware /\applaud/adhere
becoming in the strength of benign
movement a
surgical elation involves
modular timeframes as
desolate findings
away from the tributary
frequency hands donate as
vulgar tools of misplaced


interpret the fade of focal yelling
in the
            center of strength’s underlining fathoms of space, nor of space
affects mirror of following(storm)though
couldn’t thus can’t is the true pastime
emotional productions, the tear of the swell
inflames every cheek of redundant
responsive foundation

Felino A. Soriano has authored 51 collections of poetry, including Of language|s| the rain speaks (quarter after press, 2012), Of oscillating fathoms these nonverbal chants (Argotist Ebooks, 2012), and Analyzed Depictions (white sky books, 2012).  He publishes the online endeavors Counterexample Poetics and Differentia Press.  His work finds foundation in philosophical studies and connection to various idioms of jazz music.  He lives in California with his wife and family and is a case manager and advocate for adults with developmental and physical disabilities.  For further information, please visit

Monday, June 25, 2012

John Tustin- A Poem


drinking in jagged light
from a broken bottle
and the lips and gums bleed a bit

it’s no fun to drink alone
it’s no fun to bleed alone
these fucking shards of light

like splinters in my eye
the last thing I need right now
is sight

as I pass out in the basement
wedged between
the washing machine

and penetrating slivers
of past, present
and future

broken glass
broken me

First appeared in Thirteen Myna Birds.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ross Vassilev- A Poem

noise and fury

watching all the smoke and ashes
on TV on 9/11
I didn't feel much of anything
I watched all the noise and fury
like anyone else would watch a movie
I canceled my appointment
with the dentist
I checked out for the day
like I do most days
I felt cut off from all the people
crying on TV
and contempt for all the ones
demanding revenge
I wondered which country or
countries would get it this time
maybe Sudan
maybe Iraq
maybe Serbia again
and for some reason
I recalled a night when I was 16
we had each retired
to our separate rooms
all three of us trapped
in a lost place
in a small town at the edge of
and I remembered
lying on my bed
where the fuck am I
and how the hell did we all get here?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A.J. Huffman- Three Poems

Liquid Skies

I want every rainbow
to die
right alongside my own.
I want all their colors gone.
I want to watch
as they drip
down the cosmic drain.
Clogging it.
Is the future.
So perfectly dull
and lifeless.
Promising nothing
as it devours everything.
To keep itself alive.
To keep myself alive.
I need its tragedy
to breed.
Covering me.
Covering you.
Until we are the same.
Two twins.
In the stain
of a pain
the sky
will never forget.

Emotional Effigy

I am like an elevator
with every button pushed.
I am afraid to meet the ground.
There is nothing there for me.
I will always be empty.
My passengers -- just temporary memories.
Pitiful attempts at swallowing life.
They always leave.
Or I spit them out.
They can see I am closed
for repairs that will never be complete.
It’s okay.
They have other ways.
I have even seen them once.
Those optimistic stairs.
Coming or going.
They say “always up.”
Too much.
I cannot take the strain.
My cables are fragile.
I live every moment
an inch away
from “forever down.”

The Future’s Glare

I am terrified.
But complacency is the killer
I refuse to fall to.
There are other angels
more worthy
of my mind
and my body’s bloody death.
Sin for instance.
And silence is another.
In fact, my battle
between those two
could be a utopian dream.
An epic tale.
Full of scars and scales.
And a hero?
Well, maybe not.
I am too flawed.
And prefer to be alone.
With the wind
as the only witness.
To my violent trends.

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. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Christopher Oie Keller- A Poem

in memoriam M.S.

How many times can we say there are no words
before the words themselves reproach the silence?

A Muslim in Arizona ran his daughter down
in a Jeep Cherokee for being too “Americanized.”

The Oregon fall has been more beautiful this year
than any other in recent memory: orange leaves, crisp air –

a student where I substitute teach hung himself
and was put on life support, dying. He is gone,

people claim blues music is sad, but the hope
of continuing on sings in every minor seventh.

After giving millions to Pakistan, their government
refuses to hear our female Secretary of State,

and what color is the sky? What color our
oceans? What color is the blood in our veins?

BIO: “So You Think You Can Dance” reject Christopher Oie Keller earned his MAT from Western Oregon University. A former Victoria’s Secret supervisor, he now substitute teaches in Portland. He enjoys gardening and still thinks he can dance. His work has appeared in publications such as The Delinquent, Leveler, and Fogged Clarity and will be appearing in The James Dickey Review and The African American Review. He also got engaged March 5th of this year to someone who understands the writing process.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

Fresh, Tinned Or Frozen
Father was a snap bean,
that’s all, Sis,
nothing more.
Fresh, tinned or frozen,
the greens of snap beans vary.
Neighbors in the yard,
clerks at the store,
folks at church,
you and me and bawling Ma,
for years we fed his strange chameleons
so we can swear, on the Bible,
Father was a snap bean,
that’s all, Sis.
Nothing more.
Fresh, tinned or frozen.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Robert Demaree- Two Poems


Somewhere a database
Holds the names,
Linked perhaps to a short bio,
Longer if you wish to pay,
Of all those living
At any given moment.
In another file,
All who have ever lived.
Clever software makes
Instantaneous changes.
One file will grow some,
Then contract a bit;
The other only grows.


A subdivision morning,
In the part of Virginia that is not really the South,
In the part of March that is not quite spring:
Slivers of sunlight angle around clouds
In a sky of washed-out blue,
A dull glint on slate-gray waters (not a real lake).
Master Sergeants keep their boats here.
Pines, some ice-snapped, some in arabesque
Before a solitary daffodil, tinged with frost.
Frances and Paul (not their real names) are packing to move again,
Up the interstate, an hour farther north.
Children of this waning American century,
They carry little furniture but lots of sweaters, compact disks,
Wedding gifts in boxes they came in,
To a warren of townhomes,
Each with a shallow-rooted tree
Set in soil fortified with fratricidal blood,
Where the builder’s shovel has turned over Minie balls,
Pieces of bayonets, buckles,
Belongings of other sojourners
In this now accentless land.

“Northern Virginia” appeared in Thorny Locust March 2001

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, June 11, 2012

Neil Ellman- A Poem

The Earth is a Man
(after the painting by Roberto Sebastián
Antonio Matta Echaurren)

Not like any you know
not with a face
but nevertheless
gapes surprise
at its own odd shape
or with a mind
it somehow sees
reason in its
thoughtless seas
it almost remembers
in its shale and schist
the infant child
then man
pitted on wobbly feet
by its own conceit—
the earth is a man
or was.

Neil Ellman lives and writes in New Jersey.  His poems, many of which are ekphrastic and based on works of modern art, appear in numerous print and online journals throughout the world, from Australia to Zimbabwe.  The latest of his eight chapbooks, Convergence & Conversion, is now available from The Knives Forks and Spoons Press.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

John Grochalski- A Poem


i want to love
get to know it
love thy neighbor
as thyself
but on the buses
the streets
in the stores
the bars
and cafes
we seem to fail
each other
with every breath

and there is nothing
that either of us
can really do about it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

James Babbs- Three Poems

May of 83

I went to see his car
the one he was driving that night
when he got drunk and drove it
off the road at high speed
the night he never came home
I went with my uncle and my father
somebody’s farm outside of town
where my father said they could leave it
I went with them to see it
I needed to know for myself
I didn’t believe it
even when they kept telling me
I knew it had to be
some kind of mistake
shivering as we walked behind the barn
before I saw the mangled body
the windshield shattered to pieces
the pain twisting in my stomach
that took my breath away

Beautiful Silence

I’m an asshole and don’t know
how to talk to people
she screams at me
before slamming the door
leaving me alone
sitting in the darkness
reaching for the bottle
pouring myself another drink
the beautiful silence
so soft and warm around me
maybe she’s right and
I am an asshole
but there are far worse things
than this in the world

My Heart Beating

the first time I told her
I loved her
we were lying together in bed
naked beneath the blankets
awash in the afterglow
her fingers brushing my arm
she didn’t look at me
but I heard her say
I guess
I expected fireworks
going off in my head
I wanted some kind of
beautiful music playing
but all I got was laughter
spilling from the television
the sound of my heart
beating like a drum

I have published hundreds of poems over the last several years in print journals and online.  I live in the same small town where I grew up.  I work for the government but don’t like to talk about it.  I have a cherry tree and two grapevines in my back yard and several pesky rabbits.  My books are available from, &

Monday, June 4, 2012

Linda M. Crate- A Poem

mantle of truth

the embrace of calamity engulfs me,
the putrid scent hugs me to its bosom -
I never go looking for the black bones
of trouble, but sometimes they find me
and pull me into their gaping jaws; today
will be different from the other days I
have decided to march in pursuit of truth,
I will unearth him from his grave
allowing him to spill his light brighter
than the eyes of sun star shimmering on the
dew; you tell me a secret and it
unravels me to my deepest mantle of life.