Friday, May 31, 2013

Kelley White- Two Poems

Potter Place

Before Peyton there was Potter
who packed houses in Boston
and Baltimore, best entertainer
of his day, who said he was the bastard
son of a baronet and a slave, who said
he was creole, who said he was Indian,
never saying if American or Asian, who
danced on eggs, pulled seven wagons
with his chest, curled in an oven with raw
mincemeat pies and came out unbaked,
retired to a small New Hampshire hamlet, built
a grand house, followed his wife up a rope
and disappeared, and then the house
disappeared, and the town, all gone but
for a square rock-walled paddock graveyard
and a green and white historical plaque:
“This 19th century master of the black
arts was known throughout America.”
And down the road in Franklin is born
the massmurderer Dr. Holmes.

Salt Lake Shocker

and HERE’s the photo to prove it! 
3-legged skater banned! Hockey
players are America’s smartest
athletes.  Every time I get plastered
my wife gets pregnant!  Nessie pregnant--
& Champ’s the daddy.  American monster
left her high & dry, charge angry Scots! 
Cleveland fights back.  New Jersey bum
is the real King of England! “If they let her
on the ice, we’re toast,” say superstars.
Statue of the Queen has human skin.
Coot, 89, has  world’s oldest working
dentures.  Gal strangled by her own bra &
panties. Mama was a saint–but I killed
her anyway! “They just keep getting tighter
and tighter!” Virgin Mary says: Repent–
the End Times are here. Egypt seeks
return of ‘McMummies’ from McDonald’s. 
Bighearted boss opens brewery for employees! 
Raccoons drink beer but won’t do laundry. 
I’m God’s gift to women–& I’ve got
12 kids to prove it! U.S. exporting lap
dancers to Afghanistan. I’m short, fat
and ugly–but gals ADORE me!
Was I wicked in a past life? Psychic fly
swatted. ‘It was a terrible, terrible mistake,’
says secretary.  I’m dying to marry
the lunatic who shot me twice!  If I had
taken your advice,  Dotti, I wouldn’t be

Pediatrician Kelley White worked in inner-city Philadelphia and now works in rural New Hampshire. Her poems have appeared in journals including Exquisite Corpse, Rattle and JAMA.  Her most recent books are TOXIC ENVIRONMENT (Boston Poet Press) and TWO BIRDS IN FLAME (Beech River Books.) She received a 2008 PCA grant.

Carlos Rojas Jr.- A Poem

        Our Fallen
Walking the streets of Africa,
these massacres occur so unexpected
the other night some Marines died,
never be resurrected
everyone's got a day & time,
nothing in life's perfected
their families cry,
these are the times we see life in perspective
the purpose for the hurting,
these modern day disasters
I wish that I could call it,
I feel no one would answer
prayers for the dead
but they live on
as we continue fighting
these are my brothers,
this is family, we stand as one united
for all Marines who witnessed death but just couldn't escape
may the Lord's angels give you peace, and guide you to his gates
AMEN - Lyrical
4/12/12 Dedicated to Cpl.Kerns and Cpl.Reyes
My name is Carlos Rojas Jr.(Lcpl Rojas) I am a U.S. Marine
who wrote this last year after we lost 2 Marines in Morocco. 
God Bless.

Contact Info:   Twitter/Lyricalpoet305  

Melanie Browne- A Poem

For A Friend Who Walked Out Of The English Patient

You could have just closed
your eyes, tried a little 
transcendental meditation,
that might have hushed the noises
in your head,
a nurse that's always talking,
a burn patient with boring stories,
only Willem Dafoe is truly interesting,
an existential aside-
he's like the rabbit in Wonderland,
jumping about with fingerless gloves,
asking questions about the
state of our moral compass,
but even if meditation doesn't work for you,
there's a gory starvation scene,
people get buried alive in sand!
a plane begins to crash and burn,
dear friend where have you
buried your sympathies?
surely not with Kill Bill,
a movie with
confucious consciousness,
popping eyeballs
but no joie de vivre

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Alan Catlin- Three Poems

Coming Home 1968

No one had to ask,
"Where have you been?"
nights he broke free
from the compound/house,
parents secured, that is locked
in their bedroom, all lines
of communication severed,
illegal weapon set on lock
and load as he readied himself
for a solitary patrol dressed in
full camo and black face paint
using light of a quarter moon
to lead the way down Garfield
Place to the jungle on Ocean
Ave where Charlie was dug in,
sleeping, just four blocks
from home and a half a world,
half a lifetime away.

Beneath the Wheel 1970

Life  in that year was a traveling
circus for him, an experience
somewhere between a religious
conversion and a mystical vision
of demons and devils competing
for first crack at a mind already raging
out of control with a draft notice
in one hand and an invitation to
appear at Whitehall Street in NYC
for a physical that could be the major
determining factor as to whether
the next few years would become an
expense paid jungle vacation in
South East Asia or studying another
corpus, the dead white men also known
as the major English authors; began
living in a gulf somewhere between
being a kind of blind leading the blind
student teacher of disaffected youth,
and the living dead, becoming a
different kind of walking casualty/
work in progress as  an unemployed,
unemployable long hair/ walking stress
machine on the edge of a precipice
of an inherited schizophrenic malaise
exacerbated by depression especially
now that a child had been born and another
was on the way; he wasn't quite broken on
the wheel of life but was riding on the rim of
the blown spare, half way to hell and asking
directions for how to get all the way there.

Our Big Night at the Movies, Utica, N.Y. 1969

Thursday night, one showing only
double features: Russ Meyer,
quadruple Double D babes,
Flesh Gordon takeoffs, soft porn
with a sense of humor, underbelly
of Hollywood stars and starlets:
Cynthia Myers, Long Dong Silver,
Donna Does It, John Hardwood,
Betty Boobs. Posted: No Alcohol Allowed
sleazoid theater, beverages snuck in
by the six pack in oversized,
multi-pocket, Army surplus jackets.
Weed smoking in Men’s Room timed
piss breaks, “a little weed will do ya”,
shifts. Ushers paid not to really care
or notice, dirty old men and long haired
college students, as long as they don’t
burn the place down. Extra charge
for Special Foreign Import Features”
“Carmen Baby”, “My Sister, My Love”,
Fanny’s Hill”. All almost as boring
as Carmen’s whore friend chewing gum
and talking on the phone as she got laid.
Still, Carmen and extra long necked Chianti
bottle, was the best thing on stage anyone
had seen since The Inferno burned down.
Ugly hooker working parking lot after flicks,
group rates available, “I’ve got the real
stuff you boys are looking for.”
“Hold that thought, Sweetheart,”
exit lines as cars sped off, mid-term
exams, overdue papers, Vietnam War,
could wait for another day, another
week of cheap beer and Mary Jane,
Oh, Sweet, Merciful Mary Jane.

Emily Strauss- Two Poems

Heritage Days Bass Fishing Contest

Drove the levee road to Lover’s Landing
for the striped bass fishin’— the river wide
and slow there— stepped into the bar
decorated in beer pictures of tan antlered elk
and mountain brooks, the one-toothed
owner let me sleep under a wide shade tree.

Old bikers in the dirt lot were standing around
passing time, one leaned on his carved wood cane,
the pale fishermen were burned red, their women
drove the giant diesel trucks. At the weighing
tent tournament contestants carried their prizes

high by the mouth, joked loudly to the bystanders
watching and waiting, got their numbers recorded,
country line-dancing music blasted from the jukebox
inside competing with the jocular beer drunk-in-the-
heat Americans back-slapping and guffawing.

The filthy mongrel terrier slept splayed out
in the dust, time and traffic left far back
in the week— finally everyone asleep
in their fancy trailers and RVs bought
for just this kind of day, the cottonwoods
wafting white tufts silently on the grass.

Dying Plants

in each dream I find them:
dried, wasting away in some corner
forgotten months ago, it's amazing
they still live, the soil cracked
in their tiny pots, I must water
them immediately, perhaps
they will revive, I mustn't neglect
them again amidst the chaos
of divorce, moving away, the house
and garden a shambles, I remember
when each one arrived, tended
so carefully and now look at them—
barely alive, poor bedraggled stems,
shriveled leaves, they must look like
me, nearly hopeless but I shall mend
them, here's my watering can, let me
find them all, I won't forget next time,
here-- a sip of water, the dirt soaking it up
instantly, I can leave now.

Emily Strauss has an M.A. in English, but is self-taught in poetry. Over 100 of her poems appear in dozens of online venues and in anthologies. The natural world is generally her framework; she often focuses on the tension between nature and humanity, using concrete images to illuminate the loss of meaning between them. She is a semi-retired teacher living in California.

Mark Nenadov- Two Poems

Lakeside Park in Early Spring

I've never had a better brunch with you
at a Dutch restaurant than this one
where way too much food
was piled on three individual plates,
each plate being fit to be divided in half
and scarfed down with syrup
    and ketchup
and maybe a little shaved ham.

The person behind us seemed a bit cold
    and old
as she squinted into some newspaper
perhaps documenting a dreary council meeting
in this little lazy lakeside town.

We left with a bit too much in the gut sack
and pack back into the car
off to the barber
where you had to sit in a line
and the barber might
    barb real fine
but the times have changed
and he says, "no sir, we don't do
straight razor shaves anymore".

And before long we are leaving downtown
down to the water
at Lakeside park
the trees still stand bare
with flowers just starting to bloom
and enough sun to
    dispel the gloom
and just enough fog everywhere
to restrict the zoom on my camera
and a dreamy duck edges along the rippled water.

This part of our day won't need a wallet, I imagine,
unless we stop for ice cream or something.
Well, I suppose
everyone has a right
    to dream.

Winter Abode

Silent night—put more bricks on the fire
    tonight is the final night
when the snow owl flies—so light up your pipe
be alert
you're frozen to the core
    you wise old man
owlish in all your ways
swallow your pride
smell the delight of the winter night
don't you hide
    throw chalky bricks on the fire
and light your pipe
    it's warm inside.   

(Previously appeared in Boston Poetry Magazine - May 24, 2013)

Bio: Mark Nenadov is a poet from Essex, Ontario, Canada. He lives with his lovely wife and their baby daughter. Mark's poems have appeared in publications in the United States, Canada, and Ireland. He also has a poem in the Whisky Sour City anthology recently published by Black Moss Press. See for more details.

Sarah Lucille Marchant- Two Poems

To dissect inflections

Your voice takes up a shape not unlike a pyroclastic flow
singe my peacemaking, eat away at my sugar tongue

a swarm of cloud clings to you;
there is ash in your eyelashes, my dear

I gnaw at the ‘why’ behind all slidings in your words
unparalleled, this pitch throbs electric, 

rubbing against dead air 
while the queen observes coldly.


Someone stop this
sick cycle
this morsel of fog
this granule of devil-dust
lodged in my throat
as hours
pile up, breaking
my back.
If my sobs could purge
this virus, if shards
of glass and loose teeth
could bleed this phantom dry,
I would emerge
from my tomb of blankets
blinking fitfully
trying to familiarize
myself with the morning.

Sarah Lucille Marchant is a Missouri resident and university student, studying journalism, literature, and public relations. She is a contributing poet at the Flaneur art blog, a slush reader at Every Day Poets, and has had her writing published several places online and in print.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

J.K. Durick- Two Poems

                              Inside the Box
Thinking in here isn’t as easy as it may at first appear with all
these well-worn paths making so very little difference, these
prescribed routines, kept appointments, good manners and
such. There’s something to say for comfortable conformity
and expected outcomes, appropriate language and clothing,
the gentle rain of certainty, the approval  and applause of
family and friends. There is something to say for the usual,
the ordinary, vanilla without any toppings, the predictable
without any embellishment, without fireworks or fanfare.
In here we celebrate the accepted, we foresee the foreseeable,
we predict the predictable, the probable, the most likely.
We love the sound of the obvious, believe only the believable.
And sometimes, we reach out and feel these enclosing walls,
the flapped over cardboard top and this flooring. We carefully
measure the space, rebreathe the air we just breathed, and
touch the limits very carefully and we feel safely empowered.

        Some Assembly Required
I’m looking for the instructions for all this,
The step-by-step plans the maker
Claimed would come along with it all,
You know, figure A and figure B, tab H
And flap Y, those easy to follow directions
Promised me when I bought into all this.
I’d gather the proper tools and spread them
Out on a level surface, situated just right.
I’d plan; leave off enough time in my day.
Perhaps, I’d make a pot of coffee or two,
Get my reading glasses, make sure there’s
Enough light to see things right, this once.
Perhaps, I’d try them out in Spanish this time,
Or French, or German, just to see if it ends
The same way for everyone else.
If I find I need help I could call in an expert,
Maybe look things up on the internet,
Google it, or even call in a neighbor or two.
I’m looking for these instructions everywhere.
Perhaps, my copy is gone, was thrown out, like
So many other things I’ve needed over the years.
Perhaps, I should ad lib, fake it, make it, take it,
Just go on with all this, instruction-less, blind,
The blind leading the blind, hoping.

Ross Vassilev- A Poem


there's the sun
the horrible, horrible sun
barreling through my mind
raining down all its foul energy
bestowing it on the children
little shits running around
with their sickening innocence

there's the old ladies
who live and die next door
wrinkled old prunes
returning to the dust
from whence they came

the one good thing
is the flowers: lounging about
like naked women sitting around
with their legs spread open.

Christopher Hivner- A Poem

In the Dark and in the Light
The desperation found me
in the a.m.
as it always did,
lying in bed
staring through
the haze of her breathing
looking for lies
that I could live with.
My head on a pillow
of my fingers,
propped at the perfect angle
to see the wall
and it's absence
of anything of me,
mine or ours.
She turned in her sleep
slipping her arm
over my chest,
resting her head
on my shoulder
before mumbling unconsciously
about missing things.
Her hair still held remnants 
of her flowery shampoo
mixed with the day's dirt.
The hairs tickled my nose
making me dream
of childhood,
my dog's fur 
under my hand,
a spring sky overhead,
the horizon
showing me the way forward.
Hearing the tick of the clock
as another hour turns
I slide my hand
over her warm skin
eliciting a coo.
She pushes tighter against me
settling a soft hand
on my stomach.
In a few hours
light will return
leaving me behind
in the darkness
where I mean more to her.                                     
The sun will steal
my relevance 
leaving me nailed
to the bare wall.
The only thing of mine here 
is me.
Bio: Christopher Hivner writes from a small town in Pennsylvania surrounded by books and the echoes of music. He has recently been published in Yellow Mama, Eye on Life and Illumen. A collection of short horror stories, “The Spaces Between Your Screams” was published in 2008. A chapbook of poetry, “The Silence Brushes My Cheek Like Glass” was published by Scars Publications and can be read for free at
twitter: @your_screams


Monday, May 27, 2013

Robert Demaree- Two Haiku/Senryu

Haiku Gazetteer: North Carolina

Fraternity house,
Two Anglo-Saxon last names:
Kinston, Rocky Mount.

Liberal bias,
Don’t think like the rest of us:
Durham, Chapel Hill.

Factories empty,
Furniture, textiles outsourced:
Burlington, High Point.

Barrier island,
Thin strand supports huge condos:
Kitty Hawk, Nags Head.


Chronic Condition

Doctors’ offices:
Golf magazines
Four years old.

Medicine Box

Fourteen-slot pill box:
Thought I filled it yesterday:
Time a faceless clock.

Aching Joints

Not an easy job,
Washing inside car windows:
Arthritic shoulders.


Naturally enough:
The orthopedist’s office:
People that you know.

Independent Living

In the parking lot,
Signs of who and where we are:
Widows in Buicks.


The obituary said:
By whose reckoning?

Robert Demaree is the author of four collections of poems, including Fathers and Teachers, April 2007, and  Mileposts, October 2009, both published by Beech River Books, and Things He Thought He Already Knew, published online in 2007 by Slow Trains. The winner of the 2013 Burlington Writers Club Poetry Award, he is a retired school administrator with ties to North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, where he lives four months of the year. He has had over 650 poems published or accepted by 130 periodicals. For further information see 

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

Corner Office
Unlike his peers
his office holds
no photo of a wife
no indication that he has
fathered five
and probably
will father more.
There’s a silver ashtray, though,
and a tinkling chandelier 
and carpeting
his wife would like
soars across the floor.

Donal Mahoney spent his life
working in offices because 
he was no good with tools.

Michael Keshigian- Three Poems


He stood there,
staring back at me,
odd expression upon his face,
he smiled after I did
from the other side
of a huge pane window
on the newly renovated office building,
appearing a bit more disheveled
than I remembered, more wrinkles
supporting his grimace
and receding hairline,
acknowledging me
when I nodded hello.
I use to know him well,
athletic, sculpted, artistic,
a well defined physique,
but his apparent paunch
negated any recent activity.
This window man
I thought I knew,
musician, writer, runner, dreamer,
now feasted off the stale menu
of advancing age,
aches, excuses, laziness,
failing eyesight and an appetite
for attained rights
decades seem to imply.
Yet I accepted him,
embraced him for who was,
aware that he would be the lone soul
to accompany me
toward the tunnel’s light
when all others have drawn the blinds.
“Walk with me,” I say.
He stays close.


Once the rocking subsided,
as the sweat dried
to salty trails
and tsunami breaths
quieted to placid ripples,
she whispered verse into his ear,
rhythmic, romantic incantations
she memorized
to conclude such an event,
it lulled him to sleep
and she departed
as he drifted deeply,
riding the words into a dream,
suspended for hours
until he awoke to find
her pillow pronouncing
the indentation of her head
braided with blond reminders
of heated affection
tempered now
by the empty bed
and impending sunrise.
He glanced at the phone
upon the nightstand
whose lines initiated seduction
and the enchantment bound upon him,
wanton syllables
that pierced his armor.
No longer sleepy,
he stared, anticipating its ring
and the voice
that delivered his desire of rhymes.


His home was full of collectibles,
paintings, books, crafts,
possessing various degrees
of monetary worth and desirability,
yet what he cherished most
were items of menial worth
but considerable sentimentality,
items that pulled him back in time,
a large coffee can
he painted green for his
three year old son gathering rocks,
elementary songbooks,
a dilapidated grandfather’s rocking chair,
springs so rusty
they would snap if weighted upon,
the old Doberman’s chew toy,
his father’s tools,
buildup from previous generations
he hopes his children
will have the courage to discard
as he did, devoid of thought,
with his mother-in-law’s mementos
when his wife
was lost in remembrance,
grasping old photographs
and birthday cards
she once sent with our children’s
infant signatures attached.

Gene McCormick- Three Poems

The Neighbor’s House

It is a sun-faded, pinkish salmon-colored aluminum sided split-level so popular in the nineteen-fifties. The eaves and trim are white, dark shingles cover the roof and electrical wires run from and alongside the house. The furniture is straightforward, chosen for family functionality over style and, fifteen years later, is still serviceable. Being late May there is no smoke from the chimney and in fact the air conditioning is on. There are no children playing outside on the porch nor in the front or back yard where the swing set is motionless and no one sits at the aluminum patio tube furniture adjacent to the sliding glass door or fools with the gardening tools laying about, mostly because it is Tuesday during school hours. The flag in the southwest corner of the front yard near the bed of impatiens and next to the driveway is at full staff and wafting a bit, though the air is still enough to hear a phone ringing from inside the house. Robins and finches flit about the unpainted concrete birdbath.

Two overflowing plastic trash cans stand at the front curb, near the flagpole, waiting weekly pickup: there is no car or SUV in the driveway and closed garage doors make it uncertain if there is a vehicle parked within.

Sitting in the front seat of a Chevy Silverado in the adjacent driveway, engine off but keys in the ignition, it takes little effort to see over the shrubs, to observe the upper window, the only window at that level of the neighbor’s house, where a female walks past the un-curtained uncovered window. She walks neither slow nor with haste but with the purpose of doing what a woman alone in a house might be inclined to do, passing by every minute or so, sometimes every fifteen minutes. Sometimes an hour, or longer.

The Business Lunch

Waiting at the hostess station
like the proper businessmen they are,
the two suits exchange small talk
and are rewarded by being gifted
a table set among pillars and posts,
making visual monitoring by
surrounding diners problematic.

A forever-age-thirty-nine server
efficiently takes their order:
chicken parmesan for one,
grilled salmon for the other;
one drinks tea, the other just water.
Both are old school: clean-shaven,
shirts, ties, suit jackets;
one wears a tie clip and cufflinks
and carries a briefcase, one doesn’t.
The former signs with a fountain pen.

The shared mealtime is a
Punch and Judy show,
the businessman on the left
pointing and gesturing,
the other holding up charts and graphs.
Talk of “parallel paths” leaks out among
nods, smiles and controlled laughs
that punctuate lunch as if scripted.

Paperwork is shuffled, put away;
the most direct route
to the airport is agreed on:
standing, they shake hands.
Lunch is consumed in less than an hour,
plans and contracts finalized.
Meeting over.

The hostess smiles a wordless goodbye
as the sun only slightly tilts west.

The Tuesday Breakfast Special

Ed sits at his accustomed booth
for the first time in months.
Trying to save a few bucks,
he hasn’t been eating out but notes
little has changed at The Greek’s,
least of all the burnt goat and feta
scent of breakfast specials.
How ya doin’? he greets Tanya,
his preferred greasy spoon waitress.
Just fair, she says, just fair.
Husband, kid problems? he asks
and she says No it’s just me.
Feel like I’m going to explode.
My heart’s too fast
and my blood pressure’s so high
the doctor wants to put me
in the hospital even without insurance.
Says I have neurological problems.
You know, a brain disorder.
It’s like I’m at warp speed and the rest
of the world is in a school zone.
I’m on valium and some other
medicine starts with a “c.”

Smiling, Ed does what he can:
Your hair is longer; it looks good.
Thank you, she says, I’m letting it grow
long in summer, short in winter. Ass backward.
Well, you look pretty, he says,
averting eyes dead from thirty years
serving cheap food for minimum wage
and now further drugged by relaxants.

Keeping up appearances is hard when
my husband’s been out of work since
the lumber yard went bust.
And what he makes plowing driveways
and mowing yards don’t help much
even with unemployment checks.
Then two of my kids moved out and that
broke my heart.
I tore up my bedroom the other night.
Trashed the wallpaper, shattered the
vanity mirror and don’t have a clue why.
Just because.

Leaving a two-dollar tip for a $6.75
three-egg bacon omelet Tuesday special
didn’t seem like it was gonna help much.

Three months later, there are changes.

Tanya’s green eyes are clear and bright.
I’m off of valium now, she says,
setting down a menu and list of specials,
but I still take blood pressure meds.
My doctor made me take a week’s vacation
doing nothing, which helped a lot
but sure worried my regular customers.
Now that spring is here I can get
cheap therapy by gardening on off days.
Don’t need Medicare for fresh air.
Katie, my youngest, is moving back home
and knows she’ll have to pitch in.
With nice weather coming Steve’s
mowing lawns at thirty
houses and he is starting
to get a few businesses.
My head has slowed down
like normal brains,
or so they tell me.
I’m having a good day.
Today is a good day.
A good day, today.

Time passes everywhere except in The Greek’s,
where three breakfast specials, one of which
is always an omelet variant, are posted
daily on a chalk board.  A disused ashtray
(no smoking in restaurants for years now)
of jellies, orange marmalade and apple butter,
sits on each table and booth with real and
artificial sweeteners and a ketchup bottle.
Thick coffee cups sit upside down in saucers,
awaiting service, and a battered newspaper
is available, missing the sports section
and with the crossword already filled out.

Tanya has not worked her regular shift
the last several times Ed ate there.
He asks her friend Kathi.
She’s okay, she only works Mondays,
Tuesdays and Fridays now but she’s doing good.

Funny thing about The Greek’s parking lot.
There are always more cars parked in it
than there are customers in the restaurant.
Some may park and walk next door to Wendy’s,
or go to the other side and shop the 7-Eleven.
The parking lot is nearly full. The greasy spoon
seems empty.

Winter turns to spring…
Since smoking is banned in restaurants
young patrons catch a smoke outside
just as there are one or two obnoxious
cell phone users inside spewing loud artificial
conversation.  If they would throw in some sex,
Ed considers, it wouldn’t be so boring.
Retirees talk away their remaining time
at the larger six-top tables.
On this day during Memorial Day week, a time
to reflect, honor and commemorate, tiny flags
adorn tables and booths, stuck in miniature
glass vases of paper flowers. Some Greek, Macedonian,
Serbo-Croatian, U.S., French, and German.
One Confederate flag and a few Ed can’t identify.
It’s an international neighborhood.
Everyone’s lost someone in some war or another.

Tanya is gone, replaced by Opal, petite, but for an alcoholic
paunch fifty-ish, blue-eyed bright-haired blonde, her
ponytail pulled tight to accentuate
silvery earrings, a colored glass necklace,
too much makeup and red tortoise shell
prescription glasses perched on her head.
Snug black tee shirt and slacks, trendy
and youthful, but crow’s feet, taut neck lines
and a subservient, beat-down demeanor
confirm decades of waitressing and men
only she could love but anyone could attract.

Opal doesn’t know Ed’s usual order
nor has she paid her dues allowing baseball,
football or sex banter. Near the end of his meal
Opal leans slightly toward him—
Everything good?
Yes, perfect, he answers, having treated himself
to eggs benedict instead of the bacon-and-cheese
three-egg omelet special. Ed takes large bites,
overloading each forkful, quickly clearing the plate.

Opal sets the check by his newspaper with
her name and a smiley face in pink marker—
Need anything else today? she asks.

Brief Bio: One could say that Gene McCormick once scaled the Eiffel Tower in his bare feet to get a bird's-eye view of Marcel Proust's grave.

Tom Hatch- A Poem

Thinking Like a Deaf Blind Dog

I can't see anything
I can't hear anything
Only the feel of two
Paws hitting the ground 
At the same time
That I cannot see
Then the other two paws
That I cannot hear
the joints are sore
happiness then upon
My tail wags joints
Are there even in pain
Leading to a place
A gully or culvert
Where it is a sleepy hollow
That I will be found
Before I die alone
Which is ok my 
Tail I cannot control
Wags beyond the
Deaf and blindness
If it were me it would be stew
I am licking in the silent air alone
Tom paid his dues in the SoHo art scene way back when. He was awarded two NEA grants for sculpture back then. And taught at various colleges and universities in the NYC metro area in art (including Princeton and U of Penn. in Philly). He feels like a regular at The Camel Saloon and BoySlut. He has published at The Mind[less] Muse, Jellyfish Whispers, Napalm and Novocain, Dead Snakes and Pyrokinection among others. He has recently had a poem nominated for The Best on The Net. He lives in CT with a few farms up and down the road works in Manhattan. His train ride to and from NYC is his solace, study and den where it all begins and ends.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Dawnell Harrison- Three Poems


Love unties the dark nettles
Of the night as the twisted

Hours lose twined noise trailed
In the oak trees.

Love unbolts the locks
Of every heart beating its

Thump thump in the weary
Hours of a strung-out night.

Love unravels the strings
Of the soul in the brambled

Plenitude of an endlessly
Starry sky.

No sun shines

Luminescence cracks where
No sun shines.

Where no rivers run,
The waters of the soul pull in

Their tears.
Twilight shines behind my eyes

As the earth cries to be loved.
The earth is barren and without

In this wind-strewn night
Searching for its heart's sleeve
To bare its soul upon.

Roots and marrow

By the roots of the stars
And the marrow of the moon

All go quietly into the long
Silent night.

Sparrows do not stir and
The lake is like a sheet

Of glass as the indigo night
Lays down its transgressions

And opens its arms to cradle
All of those in need of its magic.

I have been published in over 100 magazines and journals including The Endicott Review, The Journal, Fowl Feathered Review, Jellyfish Whispers, The Bitchin' Kitsch, Vox Poetica, The Tower Journal, Queen's Quarterly, and many others. 

Also, I have had 3 books of poetry published through reputable publishers titled Voyager, The maverick posse, and The fire behind my eyes.  Furthermore, I possess a BA from The University of Washington. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Daniel Wilcox- Two Poems

The Last Libation

Jim Town, across the county line
Where many a poor Cheyenne
Emptied his dim future
In the short, sotted glass;

Nothing new of this watery fire,
The forked-tongue libation
Passed from the pallid men
Down to generations of the lost,

To those hunched at the rail-
Descendants of red men who
Counted coup with shining valor-
But these instead pour out their souled

Lives to Chief Bacchus of the bottle;
Restricted to behind the dark bars,
They shuffle the time worn cards,
Then slump, no longer ruling the plains.

But the Rez’s young girl, his cousin,
Only 12, copper-templed and kind,
With glorious raven hair, now
In the gathering Montana dusk

Tips on the dirt walk, sour breathed,
Staggers on the ‘warn’ path
Through Lame Deer village,
And passes down, then gone.

Says another tribe’s brave,
A leader in translation,
My heart is sick…

I will drink no more forever.

Previously published in Sentinel Poetry Online, United Kingdom, November 2007

Midnight Voyager

Past muggy midnight,
Working 7-11 on the late shift,
I’m the moonlighting student
Washing the wall-to-wall windows outside,

Pushing the strong pole up and down
In the fogged, moist
Huntington Beach night,
Then I go inside and stock shelves with the last

Of the cans--sweet peaches, chili and meat,
And wait on the handful of customers,
A trucker, two teen cruisers, and an elderly gent.
Later a friendly Mexican family comes in

With 5 rambunctious kids
Going who knows where at 3 A.M.,
No doubt journeying far.
While the kids scamper in lively dances

And the parents load up a large basket,
The door chime sounds
And a comely young woman strolls in,
Frilly skirt swaying;

She walks to the cooler in the back,
Side steps two running boys,
And returns to the counter
With an Orange Crush

Smiling up at me,
Where I’m reading “Recuerdo”
By Millay from my college text--
The girl leans forward on the counter,

Her green blouse like a palm-frond basket
In the market, the partially open scarf
Revealing her harvest,
Two soft mangoes, succulent skin.

She looks up, her soft eyes
Large and luminous;
I return her warm smile, then look away
To the permanent ‘Keys’
On the register;
Rejecting the easy way, the brief flush and rise,
Longing instead for the music
That moves the invisible spheres,
The endless, passionate ‘reel.’
No voyeur, I am a midnight voyager
Journeying toward another country
Like the Hebrews, longing for the hidden one.

Previously published in La Frente International Literary Magazine, France, November 2007 

Brief Bio:
Daniel Wilcox's wandering lines have appeared in many magazines including Word Riot, Recusant, Write Room, Mouse Tales Press, Camel Saloon, vox poetica, Mad Swirl, and Unlikely Stories IV.  Three large collections of his published poetry are in print: Dark Energy,Psalms, Yawps, and Howls, and selah river.  Before that, he hiked through Nebraska, Cal State University LongBeach (Creative Writing), Montana, Pennsylvania, Europe, Palestine/Israel,Arizona...  Now he resides with his wife on the central coast of California.