Monday, September 30, 2013

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

Songwriter's Nightmare

Where did it go?
I really don't know.
I lost it weeks ago
in the middle of the night.
Too tired to get up.
Said I'd take care of it
first thing in the morning.
Didn't want to wake the wife.
Now it's lost in the ether
with some others, gone forever.
They never come back.

I feel like the blind man
in the yard next door
trying to find the red ball 
his guide dog failed to fetch.
How does he know it was red?
Or the lothario memorialized
in the paper this morning
for crawling out the window
when his lover's husband 
caught an early plane home.
Left his pants and wallet behind.

Some things never come back,
sometimes for the better
but not this time.
The next time I wake up
in the middle of the night
and hear the band playing
a new song in my head
I'll get up, believe me,
and write everything down.
It might be another 
"Moonlight in Vermont."

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri. 

Nathan J.D.L.- A Poem

 I'm putting my money where my mouth is - a slot for consumption and a thrill in return.
Hands slip around the joystick and clasp it tight – like a warrior parading his stiff manhood before the enemy to shake their confidence, rattle them like this coin box.
The L.E.D's forming the display burst into life – forming characters made of red and blue and green flashing squares.


Game on bitches!

Rule the kingdom? Topple the emperor? Save the little mushroom people?

Child's play for me.

I'm the adult-grown version of the kid that once played with glee. I have experience on my side now.

Prepare to die you fascist dictator, you communist bully – cowering behind your tanks, police-state soldiers hiding beneath your shields.

Daddy's home!

The game begins. Lives are gained... and taken.

A few minutes pass and my game is over – bravado defeated and pockets left empty.


Feeling sorry for myself I wonder if that should not have been an option when I openly and happily strolled in to the arcade to begin with.

About: Nathan J.D.L. Rowark

Nathan J.D.L. Rowark is a poet and horror novelist from London, England.
His works include over fifty poems and stories published in various e-zines, anthologies, and magazines since his return as a storyteller in 2010.
He is the founder of Horrified Press (, and hopes to help publicise some of the great new stars working in modern horror today.

Jennifer Lagier- Three Poems

Celebrating my 64th Birthday in the Dead Zone
The Boardroom bass beat
stuns eardrums a block away.
Flat screen TVs illuminate
a fenced courtyard.
Four young women stuffed
into black dresses smoke,
gossip at a cement picnic table.
The front door security guy
doesn’t bother checking my ID,
looks at wrinkles, greying hair,
waves me inside.
A wall of jolting music assaults,
insults the senses.
Twenty-something men line
the bar; trolling females
cluster optimistically
around bistro counters.
Red lights pulse within
a glass mezzanine where
the DJ spins disc after disc
of seething cacophony,
no discernible lyrics.
It’s 93 degrees,
night of Yom Kippur,
drinks and indiscretions abound,
not a person atoning.
line: they like to test us
It’s three a.m.,
hours since the crash
of pictures torn from wall,
something slammed,
cursing, screams,
then a thrown bottle.
I’d go down to plead,
but it’s never wise
to get that close
while Irish whiskey’s
still flowing,
dope pipe and cannabis
next to a tangle of cables,
black game controllers.
Soon you’ll be nodding off,
releasing my clenched heart,
allowing the dogs and me
to breathe easy, offer thanks
behind our locked door.
Sleep comes to erase
another night in the war zone,
arms me to survive
like a guardian angel.
Cognitive Dissonance
He reads the restraining order,
thinks, “She must be kidding.”
He shoots up testosterone,
steroids, knocks back
a couple cans of Red Bull.
Angrily jumps
into his Hummer,
tracks her down.
Just before their driveway,
intercepts her moving car.
He honks, watches as she
locks the doors,
screams into a cell phone.
When six cops in
two police cars arrive,
he impatiently tells them
“This is just a mistake;
she’s confused.
I’ll tell her to explain,
clear it all up.”
He is still shoving
and yelling
as officers apply Tasers,
then handcuffs,
wrestle his thrashing,
muscle-bound body
onto to the ground.
Jennifer Lagier’s lounge entourage usually includes a bevy of arm candy snakes, preferably alive, but with enough pinot noir, dead can work too.

Jon Bennett- Three Poems


It takes 5 minutes to catch the first perch
and it’s the biggest I’ve ever seen.
I catch two more, walk to the lagoon
gut the fish, throw the innards -
sad for the fish, and I hate perch
mushy as mashed potatoes.

Walking back to camp
I think about RW
When me and my girlfriend
were in Europe,” he'd said,
we saw people traveling alone
and I felt so sorry for them.”

I make a fire and cook the fish
eat it with balsamic vinegar
and the last of the warm beer.
The perch is as mushy as I’d remembered
but that’s what there is to eat
and I make do.

She Was a Nervous Wreck

I went in and Dr. Wang did his thing.
There was a new hygienist,
mascaraed eyes peering above the mask.
She couldn't have been more than 20
and Dr. Wang's Mandarin
had a gentler lilt with her.

As I was leaving they led in
a white woman using a walker.
“I need to talk to you,” she said to Dr. Wang.
They went into his office
but I could still hear them.
“Its a culture thing,” she said,
“I'm just more comfortable
with my own kind.”

I live with the Chinese
and one of my favorite things about them is
I can't understand a word
they say.


A man went to the doctor and told him,
“my shit smells awful.”
The doctor looked at him.
“It smells worse than it should,” explained the man,
“and also, it's an unhealthy shade of brown.”
The doctor checked his watch,
he was late for a tee off.
“Is there anything else?” he asked.
“In fact,” said the man, “I have recently finished
writing a novel, it's taken a decade,
and everyone I've submitted it to
says it's absolute crap
and so I feel, perhaps,
I've been wasting my time.”
“Time is never wasted,” said the doctor
again checking his watch,
“it is merely lost.”

Bio:  Jon Bennett is a poet and musician living in San Francisco's Chinatown.  He is currently seeking a publisher for his first novel, "The Unfat," a speculative sci-fi story about autism.  You can link up with him at to see his latest poems.

B.Z. Niditch- Three Poems


The clock goes off, 2010
in my cold Budapest room
at the Autumnal Equinox
I'm late as usual
for my rehearsal
of Bartok's sonata in C
at the Budapest Cafe
without excuse
knowing this music
pierced my sleepwalking
rush downstairs
with a strudel in hand
comb the river
with a cool breeze
by quivering hilly trees
on my tucked out shirt
bells turn up from roofs
where at first light
a cyan blue sky serves
us another color
of unconsumed sunshine
feeling like a third horseman
holding my violin case
sonata notes and rosin bag
close to the poet
Atilla Jozsef's statue
suddenly recalling
as if in a mirrored epiphany
in another world
a critic who telling us
the trio we practiced
underwritten by Szigeti
was influenced
by Benny Goodman
when jazz modulated
our composer's music.


After your reading
you told us of finding
love beads
in San Francisco
under a bed
of a flop house cot
where Kerouac slept
after doing imitations
with a bounty hunter
from New Orleans
floored by the piano
at door stop time
playing Ravel
for the left hand
after the last war,
punch drunk
after Mardi Gras
in the fever of words
by a no exit sign
which shaped you
in your lost and found
life of a poet
catching a chill
from the Bay rains
in your sleeping bag
half opened
with the hands
of a blanket angel
wanting a juice
from every bar
of brawling justice
by the other side
of the road.


Weighed down by first light
of the sun on the sister river
flowing its scales on waves,
the sea whirred on winds
along weeds and dunes
and dawn's helpless waters
and here on my roped kayak
by crags Fall's enigmas
anchored for my early voyage
amid orange's once tall trees
resembling a Cezanne print
here finding sea shells
is my pleasure
to kneel  on the shore
and gather white shells
from one 's wet fingers
just for a moment's perfection
without worry yet feeling
like Melville or Conrad
on his meanderings
without a history,only exile.

Melanie Browne- Three Poems

Wandering the Wilderness with a Cappuccino and a quarter tank of gas

Lately I have taken to
wandering in the
existential wilderness
it is a strange place,
with no Burger Kings
or Starbucks,
only Sartre and
Jung and large
doses of cappuccino,
I have no compass,
no GPS if I get lost,
and only my mind
to hack through
the underbrush,
but my mind is
not trustworthy-
& why i am in
the wilderness
to start with

The Problem of Time

Sartre says time is too large;
that it cannot be filled up,
but we try to fill it
with all kinds of nonsense,
such as what we think of one
another, the dimple in our
elbows, whether to buy
organic fruit or some
cheap malt liquor,
our time-fillers are not so different from
each other, our politics
all weigh very much the same
on a boredom scale,
our tedious obsessions
smell like drug store knock
off cologne or an elephant stampede
take your pick of these time fillers,
Sartre says they will melt
like the witch of the East,
my suggestion is to gamble
on the light of the moon,
to bet on the milky way,
our thoughts not worth
a carton of cigarettes
as time will only spit
them out into the abyss

i, misanthrope

Saturday morning,
the high school
marching band
starts to intrude
on my dreams,
they are marching
through the neighborhood
to raise money
for a trip or something,
crap,those drums are loud
i say to the world.
Just the other day
I found the t-shirt
my brother made for me,
the one that says misanthrope
and I run my fingers
across the letters,
i say it over and over
and I pull the shirt
over my head and
nurse a small hangover
with a giant cup of coffee,
wishing i had gotten up sooner

Michael Cluff- Three Poems

Sour Salt

In the year
of celebrating
as the "Backwards Lady"
in the north part
of the county
just before the wildfires
settled in
as usual,

Appleton shot out
all the fake flamingos
in Mrs. Bannister's sideyard,

and Dad never came home
for a very long time
every other weekend evening
or so it seemed.

A cousin
nearly divorced
her husband
after he was held hostage
half a week
and almost died----
the way one normally does.

Appleton hurt too much,
love tastes a bit
too close to sour salt

when the wet season
and November 2nd
rolls in

sand spikes
in the neutral air.

Blondie Moreno

Vodka on the veranda
attache case dismembered
an executive dives
into foes
only financially hidebound.

Arnie Swenson and Brandon Bigelow

Exercises extensively
with his Mercury door handles
a fourscore minute fitness plan
he declares with an air
exact days
of Noah's flood
for each side.

The psychiatrist
watches from his fourth floor off ice window
sets up another appointment
then strips off
his expensive wingtip shoes
and argyle socks
and chews on a clean toenail
for a random change.

Alan Catlin- Three Poems

Kelly Flores with Caspar the Ghost, Halloween,
HELP Shelter, South Bronx, NY 1993
after Mary Ellen Mark

In this impersonal place,
spare, undecorated like a
rent-by-the-hour, twenty
bucks an hour, clean sheets
and towels extra, maids always
at your service, room; the child
seems so small, smaller than
she actually is, perched on a
dresser table near the sound off
picture on, TV, dressed as a
clown,  a player in a children's opera,
punch 'n judy play, already a
displaced person lacking clear
direction, looking puzzled, lost,
listening to whispered secrets,
encoded advice from Casper the
Friendly Ghost, emissary from
another, more forgiving world.

Higher Than Kites, Higher Than the Moon

Faulkner would have recognized
these guys as next door neighbors
to the Snopes, refugees from a
field study on the cause, effect
and harm caused by rampant inbreeding,
people who went on family affairs in
a pickup that looked as if it had spent
the War Years, the Punic War Years,
buried in a pile of compost and mud,
flatbed rusting through to the main
frame, muffler long ago left along side
the hardened ruts of what passed for
main roads to Nowhere, a place where
they and their kind lived, carrying a
homemade coffin with them wherever
they went that carried the remains of
a significant other inside, extra
pre-cuts for what fell out over 'Shine
and roadkill feasts on holidays, home
comings and funerals, tipping over
out houses on the way home for fun,
higher than kites, higher than the moon. 

The Napier Family 1989
after Shelby Lee Adams

Their family portrait shows only
three of sixteen offspring, the boys
who survived into their twenties for
a family shoot, not bothering with
formalities like shirts, all the better
to show off their grotesque scars:
a belly so grotesquely disfigured,
it is difficult to imagine how it got
that way, a growth maybe removed
by anesthetized-with-alcohol home
surgery, cauterized with boiling water
or maybe through acts of violence
like the ones that removed so many of
their kin from the picture: the son shot
by the father, a daughter poisoned by
relatives, another son shot by a brother,
others by strangers, law enforcement
agents, all these local legends story
tellers dwell on, concentrating on
the more amusing aspects of their drunken
stunts: on the son who has his address
tattooed on his knuckles and hand so
the sheriffs will know whose people
he belongs to, where to drop him off
when the sentence is done or sooner,
if the verdict was death, the alcohol
black out permanent and the next binge
begun, though it is the son with a home-
styled haircut who thrusts his head into
the shot at the last moment that attracts
the most attention, a wicked smile on his
profiled face, a knife scar prominent
stretching all the way from his lip the length
of his jaw tells all that you will ever need
to know about the family lineage; the ones
gone and the few who remain.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Tom Hatch- A Poem


When I talk to you
Sometimes with the 
Whole picture of Bruegel or Bosch   
It goes unnoticed you
Only see what can
Be seen through 
A keyhole of the damned
Never the whole picture
Of the multitude and attitude 
That are the damned 
In the room 
With the opened door


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 he is a regular at The Camel Saloon and BoySlut and Dead Snakes. He has published at The Mind[less] Muse, Jellyfish Whispers, Napalm and Novocain, Rusty Truck 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.

Peter Dabbene- A Poem


Somehow it’s worked out so
my children will meet them
at the same age I did...

Those streets were like the aftermath of some great dread battle, and,
secretly shaken by the wanton waste of life, I crunched their
writhing bodies under bike tires to escape the sight and sound.

I read they came again in ‘96, but
I was wrapped up in the city, safeguarded
by sidewalks, subways, and the absence of trees.

Suburbs offer no protection—their arrival imminent,
I am afraid now, as then, but with a more defined terror
of something else, staring from the other side of the windshield
—two lidless eyes, crimson and soulless, tymbals singing judgment,
 an ancient, deafening  reproach that only I can translate.

My son and daughter will watch out of windows, disturbed but
without the words to describe their fear. I’ll tell them cycles
always continue, and that one day they’ll understand the
true nature of the question:: What have you done with your time?


Peter Dabbene’s poetry has been published in many online and print literary journals, and collected in the book Optimism. His stories can be found online at,,,, and elsewhere, and his comic book work can be seen in the graphic novel Ark and the magazine Futurequake. He has published two story collections, Prime Movements and Glossolalia, and a novel, Mister Dreyfus' Demons. His latest book is the humor collection Spamming the Spammers (with Dieter P. Bieny). He writes a monthly column for the Hamilton Post (viewable at and reviews for BlueInk Review and Foreword Reviews His plays have been performed in New Jersey and Philadelphia venues. His website is

Michael Cluff- A Poem

Lorraine Townshend

It was a hard find
took a lot of my energy, know how
and  time
worth it?

that is only for me
to say.

They were not of my generation
but ten years before
yet still worth the swooning
none and nevertheless.

Those four
were better than good
than God
I quickly found out
seeing them one early February
Sunday night;
in fact,
they were quite
in my
and many minds.

Now to again have
their 45
back in my hands,
after nearly two and a half decades ,
my  solid stainless steel safe
is worth all the years
of grovelling
as a garbage collector
in a high crime area

so having it back
on a vinyl, no less, disc
with clay red and yellow swirl-
embossed label
is utopia, nirvana,
kismet, salaams, salmagundi

And  now
with gusto and sincerity

I feel fine.

Felino A. Soriano- Three Poems

from Espials


beyond where wind
                        at the wandering waist
its alabaster hands among dust and diligent fulcrums
of returning
                                    hopping leaves, spirals of
orange intertwine bodies

blue or blue/green
pertaining to perspective’s angled interpretation—

                                                                lists form
·         intuitive formations
·         found selections of
·         or finished nouns

whirling within paradigms
shaping with orchestrating
                                                    nuance dissolves amid this water’s
beginning crawl
fascination with
recalling devotion of breeze’s
fundamental figuration


running as do fumes’
verticality of mirrors
sensed and serene or
saddened when an
isolation transpires
tardiness of totality
is verbal in the context
of waiting’s deliberative


artistry of the fly


                         continued aerial
catapulting rejuvenated                        solace
watching as
waiting wanderers wander
within subliminal contracts
their prosodic eyes
sign into mis
fortune of future’s elongated trickery

Felino Antonio Soriano’s work finds its foundation in created co√∂ccurrences, predicated on his strong connection to various idioms of jazz music.  His poetry appears in varied online and print publications, including Wood Coin, The ORIGINAL Van Gogh’s Ear Anthology, Unlikely Stories: Episode IV, Indefinite Space, BlazeVOX, Clockwise Cat, experiential-experimental-literature, E·ratio, Split Lip Magazine, Sunfish, Otoliths, and elsewhere.  Recent poetry collections include Of these voices (whitesky ebooks, 2013) Pathos|particular invocation (Fowlpox Press, 2013), Extolment in the praising exhalation of jazz (Kind of a Hurricane Press, 2013), and the collaborative volume with poet, Heller Levinson and visual artist, Linda Lynch, Hinge Trio (La Alameda Press, 2012).  He lives in California with his wife and family and is the director of supported living and independent living programs providing supports to adults with developmental disabilities. Links to his published and forthcoming poems, books, interviews, images, etc. can be found at

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Linda M. Crate- A Poem

that's life

tearing you down
won't help
reconstruct myself
it took me a while to
realize that;
i apologize i never was the
kind of person that could
just let go
i'm not a tree i don't thoughtlessly
drop leaves -
can't help but wish things were
back to the way i remember
you were always
teasing me about paying me back
in spades,
can i have the spades now?
i suppose i've been
arrogant in my own way
when insisting
that you were a jerk even if you
were i didn't need to rub
it in your face;
guess life just keeps moving on without me
wish i could catch my breath
keep in step,
i miss you -
yes, i know you love her, but i really
wish you could at least be my
all these silences hanging in the air
cut me with memories
rain always remembers me your smiling face
crazy dances in the down pour,
a rain soaked kiss before
you left for work
if you cannot let me love you
at least let me be your friend?
i've only ever wanted
your happiness,
and though i wish it could be me to make you smile
i'm glad you're happy
just wish i weren't so miserable.

Nancy May- Three Haiku

a nightingale’s song
rocks you to sleep
a bedtime story

colours of the rainbow
a summer’s day
takes a stroll

moth riddled antelope
meaning nothing to you
sharing our secret


Nancy May has haiku published in Haiku Journal, Three Line Poetry, Poetry Quarterly, Inclement Poetry, Twisted Dreams Magazine, Vox Poetica, Eskimo Pie, Icebox, Dark Pens, Daily Love, Leaves of Ink, The Blue Hour Magazine, The Camel Saloon and Kernels.  Haiku will soon be published in Danse Macabre – An online literary magazine, Mused - the BellaOnline Literary Review and Writer’s Haven.

Brittany Zedalis- A Poem


Words Words creeping into the Back of my mind Into my soul Words tearing at my heart Words slithering in between Truth and lies Words pounding In my brain Breaking down walls I didn't even know Were there Words Powerful things Words can heal Even the most Fragile of people Or shatter what's left Of their being Words Words are weapons
Brittany Zedalis is a married 21 year old poet who has been published in The Camel Saloon, Leaves of Ink and Verse Land. She loves animals and even has her own ball python. Poetry is her emotional outlet and she has been writing for many years.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Paul Tristram- Two Poems

Creative Backstabbing

They sit all along the public bar
other peoples business on their lips.
They discuss, preach and lecture
in between lewdness and beer sips.
Backwards in their clairvoyancy
they later predict all past wrongs.
While ignoring their stagnant lives
and singing their drunken songs.
Slyly they reassure each other
that they know better than the rest.
They shake hands, nod and wink
for only they know what’s best.
But they stop conversing about you
whenever you walk into the place.
A smile replaces the arrogance
that was dripping from each face.
They change just like chameleons
right into the colour of your mood.
Ask questions with fake concern
your confidence becomes their food.
Leave them there on their barstools
leave them there to feed else where.
there will always be fresh victims
blindly walking into their lair.

© Paul Tristram 2007

Published in Lookout, Issue No 32, Winter 2007

Cool, Calm And Pathetic

Bound to senseless rituals
created before my birth.
Satellite dish amnesia
the Jones’s judge my worth.
Cool, calm and pathetic
I wear my clothes with care.
Don’t speak of individuality
No, I would not even dare.
A street of fashion victims,
a close of designer label clothes.
We all look the same
but some have a browner nose.
Kevin from across the street
is a hero to us all.
He goes to shop in London
and to Paris for his smalls.
My three-piece suite is epic,
bathroom blends with the sky.
Kitchen immaculate but pretty,
conservatory a marvel to the eye.
With wine list under arm
I entertain from dining room bar.
Later I’ll sleep in the garage
having sex with my wonderful car.

© Paul Tristram 2006

Published in Lookout, Issue No 25, Spring 2006

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

Zambezi in Zimbabwe

River rafting in Montana 
is a fine way to spend 
your vacation but it's 
not the same as 
river rafting in Zimbabwe. 
No Sir Ree, Bob!

You can roar down 
the Zambezi River 
on a big raft with other
tourists hoping 
to get away from it all
in the splendor of Africa.

A thoughtful man,
your guide in the Safari hat
will explain before you 
hit the water that your raft 
will indeed flip over 
at some point 

and when it does 
he says you shouldn't 
worry and swim for shore.
No Sir Ree, Bob!
You should stay right there
in the washing machine

of rapids bobbing 
up and down and wait for 
the other guide in the Safari hat
to pull alongside in his motor boat
and pluck you out of the water
so you can live 

to write something like this. 
This is what guides
on the Zambezi in Zimbabwe 
do for a living--send you out
on a big raft that will flip over
so they can save you.

But they're not in a rush 
because didn't they give you 
a life jacket and a crash helmet?  
However, if you're in a hurry
to reach land and choose 
to swim to shore 

across the beautiful Zambezi
the way you may have swum 
across a river in Montana
you'll discover close to this shore
that you are lunch for one 
of many crocodiles 

who wait in the still water
six feet or so from shore.
The crocodiles make a living 
waiting for tourists who swim
ferociously like Diana Nyad.
Two chomps, maybe three

if you're a pleasantly plump fellow, 
and then digestion begins.
You and your crash helmet 
and your life jacket will 
need a day or so to 
convert to crocodile dreck 

and dissolve in the Zambezi.
Whatever your faith,
believe me, it will take effort
to re-assemble you 
in time for the resurrection.
Yes Sir Ree, Bob!

Richard Schnap- Two Poems


She hid in a realm
Of paperback romances
A library of longing

Becoming the damsel
Rescued from the clutches
Of her dog-eared world

But her heart still yearned
For the real-life hero
Who would want to know her

To see her as more
Than a story whose plot
Went nowhere at all


He appears like a ghost from a vanished past
Silently sitting at a table alone
With a face that resembles a Mayan king
Of a realm that was conquered centuries ago

Now he just crouches over a can of beer
Vacantly staring at the white man’s world
That transformed his temples for tourists to climb
Where once he predicted the end of the world

Michael Cluff- A Poem

Veronica Fitzgerald

Slot car racing
was peripheral
never a major concern
though pleasant
a faugh
as far as Father
saw it

"Girls should not
do such things."

A divertissement then
became deadly serious

Drag racing
is now my forte.

I will work this line well
much money every year.

Dad does not mind now

"It keeps her
off the streets,"
is his rejoinder
while adding salt
to anything
within his reach.

Dawnell Harrison- Three Poems

Tidal blood

The tidal blood
in my veins ignites
a fire in my mind.
Do we need another
soul to cling to and if so,
can they intersect
into a white bliss
or will they forever clash
wills like the swords
of titans...

Blue moon

The wind fluttered above
a warm blue moon
up over the ocean.
The roar of the sea
draws me in like a poultice
sucking the anger from a boil.
The bulbous thick moon
spills blossoms of light
onto trembling waters.

Fallen away

What was soft inside me
has fallen away -
broken off like an icicle
from my back doorstep eaves.
My heart lies within
but bleeds without.
The whispering of the stars
love the sky while
the silky moon tempers
white bursts of light.

Glenn Hardin- Three Poems


The gods of chaos rattle
cold metallic air down the back
of my neck, and they blindside
my karma.  My fingernails
begin to itch, and my skin
erupts with a miracle dose
of my blotchy inner life.
My outmuscled soul curls
into a ball and the dung beetles
roll it away.  I've forgotten
more than I remember, but guess
what?  I remember everything
again.  It's not a curse,
but the payback channels
a gaggle of stars,
and the divine wrinkles home
a fractal reality that speaks
for itself and tells me to stop.

for Tammy Dietz

Please Tammy, don't you be upset
if I cough up more than I ate.
The wizards of love march
on the tombstone in my heart,
and they choke the weeds there
for nettles, that's all it is.
And because I follow their lead I can
waltz the vultures down, I can stare
at death like any mystic will.
And because I follow their lead
built up toxins rumble through me
at odd hours visions I can eat
on a stick but can't swallow.


Laughing that time
is in a hurry against him,
Rembrandt van Rijn
laughs at you and me too,
his uglified nose
a carney outlaw meant
to scare the pants off
the ghost in his eyes,
opening the lines
in his face
so you can almost hear
his low country cackle
and feel his body heat,
so you can clear the way
to see for yourself
his look of triumph;
spoils of the war
with himself the red
and yellow light wins
for keeping him alive.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

B.Z. Niditch- Three Poems


One timed, then two
by love and music
where competition
is everywhere
in shadowless words
played out in these boxes
that move me
with frozen out regrets
in the big city
but I will let my poems
created out of sunshine
and my sax made of rain
dissolve into whirlwinds
of cool resolve
to rip my passions out
of my being
pushing away these boxes
of unspoken clean lines
and have my fling
not to wound
but to be a free spirit
with a riff of melodies
unspoken or unchained
rocking between
a vagabond and sky
beyond reach
of the underworld.


The neon light
transmits the silence
sometime at a space
from this first jazz notes
buzzing along the Big Apple
of how in a pub or club
we pick and choose
what is aesthetically right
for a connoisseur
composing sounds
on ink red sheet music
from the chilled night
once living off
subterranean graffiti
on city walls
of how lucky a runaway
is to be still alive
with all my alibis
becoming almost like
a metronome in the dark,
motioning when the jazz
of smooth language gives us
the startled perfect lexicon
composing in the tone
of augmented notes
which leads to song.


Poetry is written not with ideas but words

Practicing my Debussy
on my borrowed violin
and turning to my sax
as the consuming sunshine
in my one room of desire
exchanging lots of notes
turning my two  red eyelids
with pangs of improvisation
on the impatient window sill
intent on a blood orange
resembling my Cezanne print,
this poem now warmed by
a horizon of Central Park
in a denouement of the night
having dreams of Mallarme
drenched by a somnambulist
in a muted blue bathrobe
against the wall of Cezanne
the wind is good from outside
erupting in a once beaten
memory of loss
amazed at the earth's caresses
in daylight's expression
awakening to an astonished bird
on the alcove whose wings
from living trees
absorb the sky traffic
new phrases come closer
black and visa less
from my expired passport
in the hollow of my chilled
hands of intertwined words.                  

Barbara Link- Two Poems

                 Tuolomne Meadows                                              
                  So it begins
                  at the night camp,
                  the stars open the universe—
                  pine trees point the way,
                  the dark drapes blue taffeta,
                  we sleep on the earth,
                  above the sky turns
                  like a planetarium ceiling,
                  I hang on for the ride,
                  the air lifts my fingers,
                  no space between my skin and the sky,
                  my bones full of amber light
                  I leave the earth,
                  touch the green fire
                  of the northern lights.

                 Light’s Companions 
                  Life is not a hoax,
                  my fingernails grow,
                  your eyes are Mayan ruins
                  overgrown with green vines,
                  we breathe each other’s air,
                  Brut, Giorgio and garlic,
                  our noses touch, our mouths search
                  dark air for each other,
                  we blend our edges together,
                  separate with a soundless sigh,
                  a part of each other’s light.

Bio: Award-winning California author and poet, Barbara Link, has had three stories aired on KVPR, a National Public Radio Affiliate. Her poetry and fiction  have appeared in numerous literary magazines and small presses. She also received the Sacramento State University Bazzanella Prize for fiction. Her memoir, Blue Shy was published in 2010 and awarded first prize in the Sacramento Friends of the Library First Chapter contest.

Partial list of publications. American River Review, Poetry Now, Earth’s Daughters, Mindprint Review, Anima, Whitefish Review, Missouri Review, Women’s Compendium, Hardpan