Saturday, August 31, 2013

Ross Vassilev- A Poem

the ride

it's slow walking
when yr hands are cuffed behind yr back
and even yr ankles are cuffed together

the blonde policewoman was nice enough
making sure I didn't bang my head on the roof
of the squad car as I got in

I wanted to compliment her
on her big round beautiful ass
but I thought better of it

it was a hot summer night
hot in the back of the squad car too

I remembered the idea
that the whole world is only a dream

but the handcuffs and anklecuffs were real enough
as I watched the full moon rising
through the window of the squad car

I thought about what a million other people
might be doing at that moment
while I was waiting for my ride to begin

at the station
they took away my belt and shoelaces

I found out later that the guy in the next cell
was a co-worker I barely knew

it's a small world.

Jennifer Lagier- A Poem

The Wounds She Leaves Behind

It’s Friday night. In preparation, Camille stuffs
swollen 36Cs into a push-up black bra
exposing promises, white breasts suggesting
last supper to a mark ready for resurrection or death.

The silver see-through tunic is cinched
tightly with a wide, silver-studded belt.
Goddess leggings emphasize her ass.
Camille is hungry, looking for meat,
another night of collecting scalps.

She stalks the rich men’s lounge.
Targets at the piano bar take notice,
calculate their chances while
mentally counting the hundreds in their pockets.
Do it now: purchase an opportunity to escape for
an hour or two between rented thighs.

Michael Cluff- A Poem


Dub-dub drama
people fighting
for the farthest
point above the globe,
it must be done
their way
nothing else
is good or graceful
to them.

A slug
or persimmon tree
never worries
the sun and water
of an average day
completes them.

Paul Tristram- A Poem

You’re Just Like Your Father, You Are!

I did not ask for the blood
               that flows through my veins.
Hair colour, skin pigment, bone structure,
                     feet size or hand shape.
Do you think I wanted to inherit his
                                         and all the
                                         long bouts of
                                         anger and apathy?
Of course not
                     that would be
                             absolutely ridiculous.
I would have asked for a longer list
                                                    than the one above
and then cranked up the volume of the LOT.
I have ambition,
                          I differ.

© Paul Tristram 2004

Published in Moodswing, Issue Twelve, Summer 2004

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.

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

Woodpeckers and Cable News

Simply because anchors 
have little to say means 
they'll keep saying it 
till others believe.
This is America.
They have that right.

Woodpeckers drum 
on maple and oak 
and redwood trees
hours each day 
for insects that 
keep them alive.

Matthews and Hannity
drum on noggins 
at night for converts 
among the faithful
on couches 
and recliners.

They're popes without 
mitre or crozier, preaching 
in America's Square, 
infallible for an hour
while in the forests
woodpeckers sleep.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, MO

John Grochalski- Three Poems


nobody had a clue
what they were always fighting about
but every so often
they’d slam down their beers
and put up their fists
they’d dance around the small bar
like a couple of worn-out heavyweights
ducking and jabbing
while the rest of us tired bastards
made love to our drinks
and tried to listen to the jukebox
tried to carve out a few hours
before bed and work the next day
of course someone had to shout
knock him the hell out!
but then just like that
the fight would be over
and they’d go back to bullshitting and drinking
like they were the best of friends
it would be sooner rather than later
that one of them would start again
then the fists would come up
and the dance would begin anew
ali and frazier
fred and ginger
they’d sometimes take it into the street
and do their little routine for the stiffs
carrying pizzas and ice cream
a lot of us waited for some citizen to call the cops
and someone in the bar would always shout
for the love of christ, lock the goddamned doors!
but no one got there in time
and they’d be back inside again
the best of pals
arms slung around each other’s shoulders
like war buddies
ready to fight and drink off and on all night
until one of them passed out
or stumbled the hell home
we never figured out what it was between them

but they were something to watch
in between the mets innings
and grateful dead songs

even though they never landed a punch

when the joint closed for good
and the bunch of us went scattering for other stools
i always thought i’d end up somewhere
and see those two guys again
doing their crooked waltz as the sun came down

but eventually all the great ones retire or they get too old

they lose the zest for violence

and the rest of us blood thirsty fools
get nothing in return for our patronage
but stale beer and adele songs playing for hours

some old fuck muttering to himself
or the seven o’clock news
blaring from two wide screen televisions
on another useless friday night

enemy state

passing the street festival
twelve days of work and one off

and the people are smiling
sitting in the cruel sun drinking sodas and light beer
eating corn on the cob and greasy wieners

all that i can think
waiting to cross the street with my wine bottles
my red eyes and the merciless pain in the small of my back

is how disgusting they all look

how they look like grinning, chomping road kill
a rested and well-adjusted farce if ever i saw one
and that each and every one of these slap-happy cretins
from the youngest to the oldest
have become my true and stark sworn enemies
this place morphed into my fucking prison

my enemy state with cheap carnival rides
fried dough and another shitty local band
playing covers of dreadful radio songs
and when the light changes
i turn from this obnoxious circus and walk on
somnolent and brow-beaten
by the hapless art of my existence

but still so very very glad
that i’m not an ounce like any of them
and that i
don’t own a gun

to the girl getting out of the elevator
last saturday night

my sense of humor
is often ill-timed
but my aim is true
so when you came popping out of the elevator
in that golden halter top and mini

looking as deadly
as a tank in tiananmen square

and didn’t see me at first

i probably shouldn’t have smiled at you
and chuckled embarrassedly
when you shouted, holy shit
and clasped your chest
like you were heading for a heart attack

but i couldn’t help it

and no offense over the dirty look you gave me
as you and that ass of yours walked away

it was well-deserved
for an old creep like me

who’d failed to apologize
for having nothing better to do
in the magic of a saturday night

but stand there in the hallway
with a bag full of cat shit and garbage

accidentally scaring the hell
out of pretty girls.

James Babbs- Three Poems

They Found a Body

in the field
not far from my house
last night
I saw the lights
outside my window
but I didn’t know
what was going on
until the morning
when I saw it on the news
they found the body of a woman
badly decomposed
they don’t know
what happened to her
they think
she may have been there
for a long time and
I drive down that road
every day
on my way to work


the beautiful woman gets up
and slowly leaves the room
she doesn’t say goodbye
you sip your coffee
and gaze at the empty chair
you catch the faint scent
from her lingering perfume
you spend several minutes
after she’s gone
trying to give her a name
you contemplate
your place in the universe
you return home
and sit in the driveway
before entering the empty house

In the Warmth of the Sun

I’m thinking about death again
sitting out in the front yard
and it just crosses my mind
I’m watching the cars
as they drive past my house
the grass turning green
and it’s almost time
to start mowing the yard again
I need to drive to the station
and fill my cans up with gas
but I’m thinking about death again
while drinking a cold beer
trying to remember
something my brother said
the morning before he left

Michael Cluff- A Poem

 Not So Bad  (for Jose Saramago)

Crouching on a newer island
where California once was,
Bruce waits
for a tide
that never comes.

Sagebrush and yucca blossoms
aren't enough
the chalky stream
is starting to run low to
lower to lowest.

Helicopters will fetch him up soon
and Margo as well
he suns himself
under the Hollywood sign
while she scampers by
on a camel
freed from the zoo.

Waves of heat
caper kilometers away
and Catalina is closer
than it as ever been before.

Alixandria Moore- Three Poems

Falling In and Out

We were built into a monument,
stones stacked into columns—
a skyscraper of limbs intertwined.
While finding a home on the backs of one another,
we became a collaboration of souls
until we were strangers to ourselves;
our legs still attached. 

Rivers of people rushed at our feet,
flowing into one another and
into us—

but you aren’t made of stone,
only flesh disguised as the immovable.
You handed pieces of yourself to the willing;
auctioning off your marble limbs and cement organs,
even plucking the clump of
pulsing granite from between
the columns
keeping us intertwined
until I was standing alone.

I’ve been looking for you
underneath the cracks of doorways,
in the pockets of strangers,
from rooftops to alley ways
but you have become a currency;
traded for bread and milk,
to those with a craving.

We were built into a monument.
Kissing the sky
above the stream of  people.
I just never thought
I’d have to see it

The Sunday Night Before You Left

The grass was crystallized from the cold,
clinging to the backs of our coats and heads.
We leaned into one another, into Earth
picking pieces of sky for our collection.

You told me the sky was made for holding,
because it held so many things.
The stars, burning still in the grasp of the sky
and the moon, a solid rock held captive.

We pressed our hands together,
as if when we let them sink,
they’d never find their way back again.

Leaning into you, into Earth
with pieces of sky in our hands
was when you told me you loved me,
and I believed you then. 

Ashes to Ashes

I am scraps
and bones crafted
from your skin.

My limbs are yours,
wrapped in Irish cream
freckled and pail.
My temper is yours,
sparked by the prick of a finger
or the whistle of a tea kettle,
burning like I do.

My hair, unruly and wild,
mimics the rough curls of brown
brushed back behind your ears.
I can fit in the blue waves in your eyes,
swing by the legs of smoke rings
spiraling from your cigarette
still burning in between your
middle and index finger.

You made a bed of the recliner in your
tattered country home with your arm
resting on a ketchup stain
that was matted to the fabric as you slept.

The smoke from the cigarette grew hungry
and devoured the carpet underneath you
until you sat in a sea of flames.
Fast asleep as the flames grabbed the
end table, lamp shade, pillows
on the couch, and eventually you.

The same bones that created me
scattered into ashes—
gliding through the clouds of smoke
and angry rushing flames.

I am in your bones, the crease in your lips when you
smile, in the red of your blood running hot,
and you left me swinging
by the legs of smoke rings
as they took you.