Saturday, June 29, 2013

Virginie Colline- Haiku

The Blind Woman's Haiku

Mind, night and ocean
the magnetic obscureness
of her fiery tale

The Ghost of a Blind Female Street Singer by Utagawa Hiroshige

You can read Virginie Colline's latest poems in The Rusty Truck, The Fat City Review, Winamop and Boston Poetry Magazine.

A.J. Huffman- Three Poems

Set . . . Match . . .

The level bubbles red (stop) not
yellow (pause).  Flip
the flag.  The play
[ing field] has been empty.  4 years
of silence = emotion
                                 al evolution.
You call it disengagement.  But that is
another equation.  Entirely
inappropriate, I begin to disprove all
constraints consistent with
[your] gravitation
                             al pulling.  I am
all thumbs and thoughts, scraping
erasures over blanks filled in
with zeros.  That is a history
worth recording.  For posterity,
I pose in contemplation (mostly
for the cameras).  In reality,
I am immune to every gradient
pheromonal influx of this relation
you title:

Sifting Out All the Impossibilities

I am bubbling (over?)
with ideological idioms of breath
and breast and blood.  Where
am I in this nightmare's rampage?
Trampled or triumphant
hold the same space.  And
both are too abandoned
to separate my shadow. 
Let alone my resourcefulness
regarding misunderstanding.
The whole scenario is misguided
(at best).  Beastly.  Bleeding
amongst exhaustion's drippings:
Discards over dreams.
(Now that's a house worth folding for.
Or) Falling over.
The biomathmatical calculations
take on a captivating glow.
Is it power or pyre?
Guess we'll have to wait
and see what flavor the ashes flow.

My Brain is Fried

Sliced on angle to keep
the flavor in, it wilts in bubbling
puddles of butter-flavored Pam.
Losing color (and calories?)
with every prolonged minute of this
forced interaction with onions
(their stench alone, shading it green).
A flip finds the other side
crispy and crackling with exacerbation
at being overdone.  It always believed it was
more sunny-side-up-smiling-eyes, feels
cheated of its chance to drool
at point of puncture, mourns such mock
metaphoric death as it drops,
an unceremonious plop,
onto chipped enamel plate.

A.J. Huffman is a poet and freelance writer in Daytona Beach, Florida.  She has previously published six collections of poetry all available on Amazon.comShe has also published her work in numerous national and international literary journals.  She has is the editor for six online poetry journals for Kind of a Hurricane Press ( ).  Find more about A.J. Huffman, including additional information and links to her work at and!/poetess222.  

B.Z. Niditch- Three Poems


Forgetting Visconti
for one night
and tuning in
to Tuesday Weld
in "Pretty Poison"
about a cheer leader
then "Snakebite"
which scared
the pants off me
all because
you passed
on to me
in living color
the three "R's"
and resentment
having no answers
to your album
of questions,
preferring to open wide
my third story windows
along the Channel
and play tenor sax


The promises of love
are not for a night
in a noisy warped
amusement park
when emotions climb
like roller coasters
which flood light over us
in a spectacle,
what about
our shredded nerves
of a Dear John letter
in the morning
for convenience sake
kept in a musical box
in a deafened past
that often makes
us cynical,
yet love was obliging
when Eros calls on us
with lighthearted gestures
upon a melancholy day
and slips out like cat
in a black handbag
with big changing mirrors
you carry
by the fun house
in your over sized look
of goodbye.


Nature,like time
every memory
its forgotten miles
of word loss
from the cold reality
of a gentle affair
as you trudge up
the great blue hillsides
trying to find that crevice
of your former love poem,
it's summer now here
in your absence
with my new watch on
you handed me
for luck
by these Japanese trees,
bidding a farewell
to a curious letter
I cannot locate
framed to the earth
into innocent oblivion.

Leeroy Berlin- Two Poems

chevy minotaurs wander the desert

childhood dreams wither with age
where they play
where adults sit in the somnolent shade
and families gather in resentment round coolers filled with beer.
twisting paths of liquid stone bake in the untended sun
cement poles and alien trees
reach for siblings across the road,
and shelter the lost from feeling.
endless cinderblocks, stacked and mortared walls
wide second-story windows gouged from pastel boxes
peer out at traffic and
a thousand permutated castles
defended by suburban moats
under chain and lock
peer out over automated progression
through a maze with no egress but collision
and no ingress but a kind of death.


calling a rose a gun makes it something
women are always surprised when I say their names
i'm not sure if it's the rarity
or the acknowledgment
that they exist
i’ve screwed a lot of ‘hey you’s
on sofas
on twin beds
on the floor of a laundromat.
different faces
and voices
smiles and cries
but always just
'hey you.'

knowing a name has never given me power
you can’t control something that way
but 'hey you' is a slave to my desires
and 'hey you'
can't hurt me the way ... can.

bio:  Leeroy Berlin was swept out to sea in an unseasonal typhoon.  Somehow he washed ashore back in LaLaland, and is waiting for the day he can afford airfare back to paradise.  Read more of his poetry at

Robert Demaree- Tanka Sequence

Town and Country: Three Tankas

August 2010

Couple paddling by,
Canoe caught in golden glint,
Cool August evening.
Without other evidence
He assumes they are in love.

Battle of Wits

Chipmunks foraging
Under the new bird feeder
Tries to climb pole,
Senses the baffle, turns back,
Smarter than you would have thought.

Big Box

Wal-Mart, nine a.m.:
Aisles empty, almost cheerful,
Mammoth TV screens
Side-by-side, all but unwatched:
Yesterday’s football highlights.

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

The Whole Mad Swirl

I was out of control, spinning 
on the whirligig of youth, 
giddy to be caught 
in what Kerouac called 
"the whole mad swirl
of everything to come."
I didn't know what to expect. 
I was ready for nothing
though I had spent years 
in solitary confinement

with books, exams and degrees.
You would think I'd have learned 
something about life as it is,
not as I wished it to be. 
I went out on the street 
to look for work
and was surprised to discover 
no one spoke Old English 
like Beowulf or Middle English
like the Wife of Bath.

An old professor told me 
I talked the way 
e.e. cummings wrote 
and no one would hire me.
A few years later I married 
woman with several degrees. 
She thought I was normal.
We had five kids in six years 
and drove landlords bonkers.
"The Lord will provide," 

we said, and He did.
Fifty years later, the five kids
have rucksacks of their own
packed with jobs, marriages
children and good lives
measured against 
the standard of most.
Their mother is dead, 
and like everyone else
on this strange planet 

I am in the process 
of dying in the jaws
of what Kerouac called 
"the whole mad swirl
of everything to come."
I have seen almost all 
of "everything to come" 
except for the best part
and that, I am told, 
will take my breath away.

Ross Vassilev- A Poem


when this body dies
I hope someone'll scatter the ashes
among the dumpster weeds

I'll be a spirit in the woods
which is the only place I ever truly loved

and yes, I'll remember all of you
and yes, I'll be cursing all of you

 just like I did in this life.

Edgar Albright- Two Poems


in the spring
in the rain

is just like Paris
in the rain

or Portland
in the rain

or anywhere else
in the rain

with its blooming romance
and thousand
philosophic deaths


I'm keenly aware
that it's possible
i'll perish someday

and find myself
in some kind of hell
or void
or distant dream

where everybody's ass is chapped
and no one cares for

or alters their voice with helium

i'm keenly aware
it's possible
that i'll just go on
dying forever

edgar albright resents capital letters

Linda M. Crate- Two Poems

what is this country
coming to?
we're so far into hell's
handbasket i'm surprised the
sunlight can still find us
immorality and injustice rings 
loudest in a world of apathy
and indifference; in a world where
i'm right and you're wrong i'm
big and you're small mentality still exists —
prepare for battle, war is on the horizon
of every blackened cloud;
this fury of our darkest hour lays it's
angry palm before us, wanting nothing more
to crush us beneath it's bloodied hands
have we learned nothing of the past?
are we doomed to repeat the same mistakes
because people are all either not enough well read
or illiterate zombies that care not a dram for
books or education? can we not swallow
our pride and wear a bit of humility? why is it so hard
to admit that what we're doing and where we're
going isn't where we want to be?
women, men, and children in our nation once great
deserve better than the best this land is giving them
you shake your fist at gays, at women,
at anyone who thinks differently than you do?
then perish men in a sea of your own hatred
because love is the greatest magic of them all and she
could heal you, but you choose to give into the
darkness of your hearts and for that there must be consequence.

i was happy once before you
but now that you're gone 
i've forgotten to smile i asked the moon
but all he knew was of grey and silver
i asked the sun,
but found her laughter irritating not contagious
there's no denying it
you ate my pretty little red heart
now i'm yours; forever yours — 
what kind of manner of monster are you?
a charming man in wolves clothing
or a charismatic wolf in the disguise of man?
i suppose it doesn't matter, 
either way you've devoured my joy
for it only exists when i'm with you as if
the topography of a smile can only
be found in the presence of your love — 
all the sunshine in the world could not give
me the bliss of your passionate kiss
startling leaves off the trees in autumn;
you gave me a necklace
and a butterfly ring
for you my heart sings,  and if i had to spend
eternity with anyone then shine me seven
infinities spent in the comfort of your arms
because anywhere else is misery — 
your pretty white raven sitting in the tree,
has now been stained your shade of
indigo black hiding behind every smirk of your eyes.

Michael Cluff- A Poem


Tired to prove to Monroe
the come-on was no ill-timed
but a begged for

the counteraction tripled away
from a set of yesterdays
controlled by elephant pajamas

She blinked once
in reverse and Monroe dissipated
a blip now ionized near to Io.

Another space expiated
back to blank
snow singing in dark.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Craig Kurtz- Three Poems


Unlisted is my name,
unscheduled is my home.
I paralyzed my files,
set the toner to flare
& printed antimatter.
I switched the code,
scooped the dead data
into a zip-lock bag
& unpublished
the funnel.

Involuntary is my name,
unwelcome is my home.
I spindled the ribbon,
severed the certificate
& laminated the scan.
Ipseity was cracked,
signatures reversed
& indexes traced
to corpuscles,

Occupant is my name,
atlas is my address.
I ruptured my insert,
scrambled the veins
& substituted registrant.
My larynx is a mirror,
my gender is a xerox
& my cartridge


Thinking like a poet
causes problems
on resumes
on first dates
at traffic lights

Use only as directed.

Thinking like a poet
causes hardships
in supermarkets
in parking lots
at traffic lights
under arrest.

What if the perfect word
was triceratops

Restrictions may apply.

What if the best idea
void where prohibited
— inexpressible.

Contents under pressure.

Thinking like a poet

What if
numinous misunderstandings
loved you?


you are reading. Not quite.
Surrogates retrieved from
words you use. Here is my brain
attempting to reach you.
It's an elliptical route.

Emotion map w/ experience
storage. Lifetime of usage. 
Unverified events cannot be
exchanged. Only their
communication transpires.

Take mine. I know only words
corresponding to yours. We
intend alignment of meaning.
Once I say words
they are yours.

We have projections. Under
new management. Inventory
lonely. Meaning reaches
you in ways I cannot

I wasn't there. Schematic terms.
Context at your urging.
I am undefined. Collation
I trust you.

Your words amend me.
Equidistant interpretations.
Infinite transcriptions.
The instant it's uttered,
it's altered.

Affinity may be attempting
you. These words are
ingredients, not
equivalents. Copy
& trust accordingly.



Craig Kurtz lives at Twin Oaks Intentional Community where he writes poetry while simultaneously handcrafting hammocks. Recent work appears in Out of Our, Randomly Accessed Poetics, Penny Ante Feud, The Bitchin' Kitsch and others. His first record, The Philosophic Collage, 1981, was reissued by BDR in 2012. He has been a staff writer for Perfect Sound Forever since 2003.

Jeremiah Walton- A Poem

Hampton, Love Me Back

Under the dock
untouched by
morning light
morning dew
down a sleeping spider's leg
The pubic hairs
of the beach
are infested
with crabs.
Teenagers yawn
with the gulls
and wake
with sand
under nails
and fire
on their breath
warm nugs
of weed
into beach air
I love the smell
of the ocean.

(Originally published by Boston Poetry Magazine.)

Tom Hatch- A Poem

Hobbies III

Buttoning your cardigan 
From the top down
The hobby of it being 
Unbuttoning and rebuttoning
Is part of that hobby
Walking down the street
The beautiful girl just ahead
Is a hobby when you catch up
To her and keep pace with
Her hobby for few seconds
So people think you are a couple
The worst part of that hobby
Is when she realizes that you 
Are doing this 
Then slowing down 
Or speeding up becomes a hobby
The hobby of every
Breath you take is yours 
Then the bright sunlight 
Hits the air
The hobby of seeing all the 
Dust particles that are there
Then the hobby of telling 
Yourself it is not as bad 
As cottonwood season
The hobby of a big sneeze 
Waiting for someone to 
Say god bless you is a hobby
Part of that hobby is no one does
Another sentence to that
Hobby is everyone says 
Gesundheit and god 
Bless you 
The hobby of thinking leave me alone
Why did I sneeze 
It inches me closer to death
Another worst hobby
Is realizing the women
Sitting behind me on
The train are going
To talk all the way to Grand Central

One last thought
The hobby of when did
Banks stop looking like banks
Not holes in the wall
In the mall the hobby of
Giant Doric columns

Monday, June 24, 2013

Michael Dwayne Smith- Two Poems

Across the Embarcadero

A red ferryboat turns on the bay.

Three gulls spin above it,
then pinwheel against glints of sky.

Wingless, we consider these spirals
magical, as alchemists might,
that like may conjure like,
that the heart, astonished
as it beholds this ascension from below,
may suddenly leap and bend upward.

Nestlings, our imagination precedes
evolution: We will fly, the curvity
of our desire blooming with feathers,
our weightless thoughts
gliding upward in the pure
oxygen of heaven, which also we have so

deeply imagined. Sails crest the water.
A flock of gulls turns to circle the pier,

wings fanning out against sea’s gravity.

Portrait, in Miniature

I think of you,
and the smallest breeze disperses you
like the leaves of an unbound novel.

I am unable to sweep up with my hands
what remains of you.

I think of you,
but you disappear by degrees everyday
like leaves beneath a falling snow.

I am undone by how increasingly hard it is
to see you at all.

The more I think of you, the more your face
fades to an intaglio of sorrow,
the more withered and veined we become.

I cannot retrieve you.

I see only this locket
portrait I’ve painted: winter’s twin bodies
in our bed, clothed, untouched,

uncomforted—neither sleeping
as night’s last howl and stir leaves us.

Michael Dwayne Smith is a California desert native and graduate of the creative writing program at U.C. Riverside. He's the poetry editor at Cease, Cows Literary Journal and has been a professor since long after the cows came home. His work appears in cool journals like burntdistrictWord RiotdecomP>kill authorHeavy Feather Review, Monkeybicycle, and The Cortland Review. Michael lives near a ghost town with his wife and rescued animals--follow him at

B.Z. Niditch- Three Poems


Your first holiday
with no love letter
falling into strangeness
out of hand
barefoot by dunes
on the warm shore
after summer school
once seeming immortal
in sober exercises
and lesson plans
that never go into effect
making up for laziness
and lost time
in those marred days
of false disciplines
down heated corridors
with hospice smells
and sorry lunches
on purple edged vases
replicas of the Romans
who occupied our world.


Here at my urban read
adolescence pumps
out a rascal's diary
and return to my past
with signs everywhere
like effaced wounds
of disappointments
apprenticed by visions
on sleepless hours
stroked by kilometers
of magnetic language
grown up from running
on fragments of words
in uppermost fervor
of memory not distant,
in an expressionist time.


Whispering a Rimbaud
poem in an attic
hiding with a slogan
by a blinking past
you recall
your first piano recital
at six playing Satie
doomed like a voice
inside you piano notes
hiding apparitions
up the staircase
locking the school doors,
memory moves
in my leafy eyes,
a love letter
left on your bureau
falls in a shaving mug
by a Balzac miniature
given to you at school
before graduation.

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

Waiting for Answers to Resumes Mailed Weeks Ago

A phone call from anywhere would be nice,
even a call from that clerk at Sears
with an apology for charging that dryer
to my last employer
or even a call from the company I phoned
for estimates on the fence we need
to run to the alley, take two lefts,
and dash back to the house,
the fence we hope will keep the kids
from threshing the neighbor's 
lilacs and phlox
or even a call from my wife
about the fever Meg had this morning
and a third reminder to record
the check for the penicillin.
Yes, today or tomorrow,
a phone call from anywhere would be nice.

This poem first appeared in Salt Lick Magazine,
a print publication, in 1971. The author wrote it
when he was out of work and had five children 
to feed. The scars of unemployment are difficult
to erase.

Paul Tristram- Two Poems

A Break

I had a break from
serious poetry and
wrote me some Haiku.

Impossible Wishes

The sky outside of this window seems to be made of a dark sort of living skin,
I can almost feel it breathing, the stars are merely ulcers in the belly of its
being. No wonder birds only choose to fly and sing in the daytime- well except
for owls but they fly with the aid of silent wing feathers so as not to disturb its
quiet melancholy.
The planet earth is simply the dust that has collected beneath its mattress, we
mean nothing to it, we are merely an annoying buzzing which disturbs its
slumber with tiny high-pitched drunken cries and fireworks.
The song thrush which rests in the hedgerow waits patiently for the dawn to lift
away the skies depression while the Prozac sun filters its soft warm medication
into the pores of its soft skin, giving it the strength to carry on for at least one
more day.
I pity the sky; it has no eyelids to close, its view is only temporarily cleansed by
the passing of the many indifferent rain clouds. What does the moon matter
when it can only shine for its selfish self, as for the other planets, they
unhelpfully turn away in uncaring disbelief to talk two-facedly with the meteors
about the alien satellites we’ve sent up amongst their tired midst.
Would a sudden night time rainbow not spare the pain of the skies midnight
watch, would it not show us that there is life beyond the realms of light?
As something far stronger than gravity chains me here to this slightly insane
typewriter, I fancy the world as a graveyard- a temporary one of course- which
waits irritably for me to stop my defiant tip-tapping of keys and to come join in
the repose of stillness.
Ah, in the hammock of my dreams tonight, I shall send multitudes of unspoken,
unbroken secrets upwards into its tired heart, to explode into sparks of wonder,
emancipating its emotions, freeing its anguish and giving back hope and
laughter to its fragile sphere, maybe then the night can once again sleep with
the deep, blissfulness of infancy just like I remember it doing when I was young
and innocent.
Yes, I know, impossible wishes but I’m sure you won’t begrudge me at least

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories and sketches published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight, this too may pass, yet.

Joseph James Cawein- A Poem

blank pages

few things intimidate me more than blank pages

i still prefer to fill them slowly and with the most care i can muster

if you can't muster enough care to fill a blank page with the most care you can muster, who will conquer the universe?

who will fill my mind with radioactive bobcats?

i try to muster the most care i can muster because i have a profound interest in what makes a bobcat radioactive

blank pages should be respected until they are no longer blank pages and then they should be enjoyed and beaten with a stick

and then they should be burned

and then there will be more blank pages

Robert F. Gross- Three Poems


Lift his body out of the pond
He’s dead isn’t he

A pile of paperbacks
A wrought iron chair
A basket of white geraniums

A boy in a three-piece suit
At the height of summer scholarship

He never shared thoughts
About himself
Just Theocritus and Virgil

Let him dry on the lawn
Let the sunlight speak to him

Empedocles’ Estate Sale

You cannot see this thought
rising to heaven old and stale--
scaly body and forked tail.

Beyond any kind of order.
Beyond the stares of your father.
Inevitably made of history.

A rheumatic reliquary
arranged like spokes of mind--
the radiation of a certitude

Released. Smear a little spittle
from your mouth on the horizon
while it arduously ascends.

The trees may talk to you.

In Lieu of an Epilogue

It does not speak to this
any longer
the subject of love

It does not speak
the dry mouth
swollen tongue

It does not

It does
distant speechless
as the sky

Robert F. Gross is a playwright, director, and poet who currently lives in Rochester, New York but is preparing to hop a freighter to Hamburg. His work has recently appeared in Wilde Oats, Danse Macabre, BoySlut and Philosophy After Dark. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Benny Biesek- A Poem

Trouble Is

I am down here with Flora and she is nuts.
She proclaims that faith in God in my
Mind vanished ten years ago.

Ten years ago I was working at least
One job and had a woman in my life
Who got me square between the eyes.

Now I am prone to beg for not begging
For mercy. To make matters worse,
I can hardly spell "mercy" right no mo'.

Robert Barry Tipping- A Poem

 The Tomb

Who are you? with your destiny of doom
You wield your will with a stick in a back to front act of cruelty
Embalmed as duty evil blind
In a universe of ancient truths secure
In a shadow forever

Who are you? in shape and form you make no sense
Or justify the future floods of reality
We are not really different from you
Restless arcane germ of the future
You leave as you came in still without prophecy
Nor seeking reflection or disgrace

Who are you? when you violently shake
With another promise empty of thought
No measure of time inverted

Who are you? snared in the realm of the tomb

Mike Cluff- A Poem


Potash is too nearby
washed down from the yellowooded hills
but too far away
from where the huckleberries,
the magic of my youth,
sleep until some winters
so distant to count towards
slip them out
into reams of blue lichen
and fibulas looked scorched.

in a sauce
of ash and asperity
will be served no more
this week
to a quadroon
of no one's making.

Monday, June 17, 2013

K.S. Mahaffey- A Poem

“Sitting Through a Lecture with Split Personalities”
Brilliant eyes flee to the window.
She is lost in a pool of excitement,
While her body remains in the room.
Her silence is all they hear.
During the lecture,
She has the capacity to linger in the wind.
A “U” is written on her face in the sun,
While in the room, her pen lays dormant.
Her parents wait.
The professor and classmates wait.
The judge and jury wait.
As her mind plays with all the decadent scenarios she creates.
Laying in the grass.
Taking a walk.
Talking to an old friend.
And then killing the bastard.
(Whoever he may be.)
But her luscious lips,
Cherry glazed,
And poised like the sun as it falls behind the horizon,
Let those frivolous thoughts recede into the back end of her mind.
If she were to speak on the matter, she would say:
“Go ahead and lock up my body. My mind will still play.”
And she reads this poem to "her class",
Only to hear the judge say she that she is not guilty by reason of insanity.

Linda M. Crate- A Poem

rain dance 
the rhythmic footprints
of rain washes away entropy
reigns in some sort of serendipity
i found when falling into his
azure blue moon eyes, 
dancing becomes a second nature
as i pirouette in the silver blossoms
singing his name in my heart;
i remember once he was soaking
wet with his hair matted to his neck,
and when he kissed me i felt like
i was graced with the osculation of a
king breathing his golden warmth 
against my rosemary flowers —
there was a lesson in this, there's always
a silver lining to entropy hanging on the elbows
of the bitter grey moon; i just wish i could
have captured the light in his eyes in an lantern
so i could remember that now as i grope around in
the thick of this dark cave without a clue as to
where i'll find the balm to kiss away the sting of 
recently opened wounds, threatening to bleed dry the
fabric of my heart crimson as a sunset.