Saturday, November 30, 2013

Jeremy- Three Poems

Cradle Guard

automaton prime
you indoctrinate us blind
feeding on the fine
fueling it with crime
do you think about our future
when you plan on your own time

automaton prime
did you see good language die
do you know what's in our eyes
living such a lie
avoiding real solution
so your cradle guard can fly

automaton prime
defining reason and rhyme
drawing every line
crafting every sign
spread this addiction
in our infant information
captured our attention
with cosmic valuation
spoiled our existence
by extreme anticipation
neglecting all creation
symphonizing circulation
orchestrating automation

selfish is defined
monsterously blind
more entangled through time
we're all in this together
our turn to face the weather
without breaks or rewinding
it takes all reminding

every day is today
for the love

Conscious Evolution

Good that we have created games to keep our fight challenged, without having to harm ourselves, for what would we be able to become without fight?

Rats deprived of physical and social play become less intelligent at problem solving; compare this with our society that causes us to avoid and alienate each other, living in boxes and brainwashed into a slave machine that supports the absurdly indulgent of power through an invention of money, information and law. Good and evil don't actually exist, only consciousness in a transition of birth from the animal ego, with arbitrary intelligence.

Such an honorable daydream of humanity is used to distract us from an overpopulation that flows with an addiction to comfort, taken advantage by disqualifying a circulatory wisdom. Free education is not only about the opportunity for people to earn their power through understanding, but so truth can be uncensored, that reality can prevail.

Only shedding light can ever solve a problem, as truth inverses evil.

They think sacrifice gives power, that to be rich you must have the poor, but it's a tyrannical fantasy to justify slavery, an apotheosis of ego, the vindictive monster of vanity. Inventions of terrorism and the illusion that strangers want to hurt you is keeping this machine well oiled; we are gears, turning against each other, as our hope is being worn like a mask.

What army could possibly be stronger than an intelligent, healthy and loving people? Art is better when it's not trying to be something because then it can make the best of itself.

Lobster Monster

blooded beyond unrealistic surrender
bothered by a profound pretender
engendering this cosmic doubt
a runaway train on a suicide route
why die now - when bound to find out

the insurmountable coercion of time
confirming the wisdom of nature
thrusting untappedly - this mortality
to swim with sharks and join brutality

eyes voracious by rapacious thought
bone and flesh by sand and rock
a tear rolls and rips and drops
no message is sent not wickedly bent
by benevolent twist it stops

Ian C. Smith- Three Poems

County Killarney

A foul wretch, I slink like a ravaged hound
from the mildewed caravan we rented
(for campers, a step up from in-tented)
to distance her from my rank smell, the sound.
She hurries through the shadows to find a phone
speaks to a doctor, urges him to come.
They clean and comfort, he injects my bum
asks no fee, leaves us drained lovebirds alone.

From Slieve Mish, my weakness in abatement
we look down on our deserted campground
that Edenic scene of my debasement
camera clicking three-sixty around.
South, the Channel Islands and sexy France
east, the harbor at Cork, north, Galway Bay
westward the Atlantic, the U.S.A.
but my view is the grim view of lost chance.
I fear, back with the crack in the city
she’ll have nothing left for me but pity.  

Patrick paints a picture

Red lilac & gold, our son
reflects his mother’s lovely face &
so important is this

study of devotion he
caresses each detail in
complete concentration &

I criticise his grey attitude
towards all responsibilities
except his island of art

I, who can’t even attract
his mother & don’t understand
a computer’s psyche

don’t know what love is
love, abstract facts of hope & grief
blurred, with no clear outline


The patrolman, this middle-aged migrant,
wonders what has become of his dreams.
In the hot days he wakes, worry like a bruise.
Now his torchlight shakes, earlier arrivals,
midnight rats, whisper across shined shoes.

This stretched summer, his memory of sad songs,
he considers his wife’s epic regret,
his son’s sneers, her recital of wrongs
while his new car’s curved flanks dazzle
like any parked status symbol’s should.

The son sings of kookaburras in gum trees,
collects footy heroes, baulks
bewilderment in a hybrid accent
mocking seniority, talks
of failure to grasp the rules of new games.

Then, out of shadows one fatigued night,
a neat circle head-centre in frosted glass.
Police find no shell near the warehouse
but our patrolman quits while he can,
gives his son a gun story, leaves out the fright. 

Bio:  Ian C Smith’s work has appeared in Axon:Creative Explorations,The Best Australian Poetry, London Grip, Poetry Salzburg Review, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, The Weekend Australian,& Westerly  His latest book is Here Where I Work,Ginninderra Press (Adelaide).  He lives in the Gippsland Lakes area of Victoria, Australia.

Richard Schnap- A Poem


First there’s the bright-eyed toddler
Beaming like a newly opened flower
Eager for his first taste of the world

Then the unsmiling youngster
Who’s learned that life is a journey
On a road rife with pitfalls and traps

Next the black and white teenager
Posed stiffly in a suit and tie
As if he’s found it best to play dead

And finally the matured adult
His face concealed by a mask
So he’s mistaken for somebody else

Jeremiah Walton- A Poem


I’ve found apathy under my scalp
harboring a dagger.
Mouth is whetstone.
Tongue is splinter
covered in paper cut. 
Gun is hole capped pocket.
I am kite full of whiskey,
caught in own tail,
too pathetic to find new lips.
That is a metaphor for suicide.
(That was not insult to your intelligence.
I'm just imagery laden and tired.)
The magnitude
of your individual existence
is a seismograph

BIO:  Jeremiah Walton is 18, was raised in N.H., and is currently traveling cross country.  He manages W.I.S.H. Publishing, The Traveling Poet, Nostrovia! Poetry, and is an editor for UndergroundBooks.  Jeremiah blogs at Gatsby's Abandoned Children, where most of his collections are available free.

Michael Johnsen- A Poem


Millions of tiny lives
Tiny windows
Tiny lives
The currents
The bursting stream
  So minute
He used to be
A glimmer in the stream
Of tiny lives
He looked at them
And was separated

She looked into the horizon
From the obelisk she could see
Millions of tiny lives
She felt a longing
To join them
She saw herself
Like the triangle
In a circle peg

He opened up a beer
Drank to those who read
And those who fucked
Up there
In their tiny bedrooms
With their tiny pillows

She put on a dress
And knew
What it represented
It’s time
It’s fleeting
Like most things
She turned away from

He wondered if anyone
Felt the way he did
That they could meet
Maybe talk
Maybe then he would see
How irrational it was

Tiny lives blurred about the day
Just living
Nothing else
No dreaming
Nothing else
They were really
Going to do this

He grabbed a belt
She tied the rope

Stood up
And dropped down
The little tiny lives
Becoming what they always were
Little tiny puppets

Christopher Kenneth Hanson- 3 Poems

" A Contingency Of Sorrow"

My gesture sings replete;----
Shall we now crow in stark circumference?
In deep blue cantos, we as prophetic,
Sung in the devious mid-day sun
I, as hunted for thy prism-
I, as demon hawk elegy
Of the stoic cohorts-
This unwelcome consortium
This somber casket;
A dapper coffin of despair-
Sung into a grainy pea green fog now
As myriad rain paints the still of your tongue
As still drops wilt the back of my somber throat.

“Of Bedside Manner”

In shade,
Said noon crept through
Blood red curtain.
Now, crisp yellow light ensnares
The worn oak panel-
And dust lined cabinets:
were stained dark green.
Sounds of autumn wind
parade through the sky
And hounds still barking-
echo from chained cellar doors:
A black bird could perch and
survey the scene-
Ducking its head through:
multiple planes
In dim light,
I want to wither here alone-
Inside pale linens.
As candle wax lay,
soft scent of magnolia.
by the by-
 I will refuse to note
an alternate time.

"The Day Watchers And The Week End"
                                                       {for little Jeanie et al.}

Said sun came quick on Saturday;
As for blue skies--- definite.
And reigning daffodils
carry certain quips sought
for boundaries unmet, namely.

These day watchers, with big watery
eyes peer the sky line mesmerized-
hooked off the gleaming arcs;
of the congealed orange/red marked lines--
as an egg sun would crack over these white yolk clouds.

Moon left quick on Sunday
 as for the deep pallid skies---a gale
Of lingering----pulped ruby roses wept
for boundaries, not shared.

Michael Keshigian- Three Poems


In order to think,
to contemplate and appreciate
dilemmas brought on by modern life,
he often took to strolling
through the public gardens,
just far enough away
from the street crowd and traffic noise,
building at the intersection
of Bolyston and Tremont,
amid the calmness of time honored trees
and sprawling greenways
that survived the patriotic acts of revolution.
Distractions down the winding,
narrow tar paths were minimal,
no vendors, beggars, prostitutes,
or public speakers attracting crowds
this day, only a place to find refuge.
So he reflected upon his quickly dissipating,
limited allotment of time,
his acquiescence to a battle
once valiantly fought,
his lack of owning responsibility,
the feigning privilege and apathy
gathering years seem to imply
and the folly of those who still engage.
A female runner skirted by,
lithe, youthful, amazingly trim,
stealing his daydream.
Boston is wonderful, he muttered,
the air so full of rebellion.
He wandered off again
into a comic reverie of pursuit
and the tender excitement of discovery.
I must find my running shoes, he mused.


This was the house’s charm,
acres of seclusion
with a Victorian façade
and a veranda that rambled.
Inside, the hand carved wood décor
hid spiders and various phantom creatures
from the view of antique chairs
and furniture randomly scattered
about the living room.
It was abandoned quite sloppily,
by a woman claimed
to have suffered depression
after her husband disappeared.
Empty boxes, petrified flowers
in waterless vases, matted hair
tangled in dust kittens,
crowded the grimy tables,
while strewn on the rickety couch,
a pair of woman’s underwear.
One hundred years ago,
the home was an estate, now a relic
before deconstruction
by a family desiring isolation,
akin to the former proprietors.
Their tour uncovered
a partial portrait of the old woman,
chests and drawers full of dresses,
sweaters, purses, old report cards,
and oddly enough three pairs of eyes
and three red tongues
of apparently blind and speechless
teddy bears,
their dead corpses found later,
stuffed in the closet atop each other,
gagged and buried
beneath a comforter
in the far back bedroom.


Two days ago
the sun caught me stealing light
to illuminate a poem,

demanded restitution,
then reported me to Mother Nature
who posted my likeness about the land.

Soon, the ocean, forest, birds, flowers, et. al.
filed suit for substantial abuse
and complacent philandering without permission.

I pleaded guilty;
admitted taking breath from wind
for deliverance,

marshmallows from the sky to sweeten song,
and rage from the ocean
to instill a sense of urgency.

Convicted and confined to a windowless room,
no writing, visitation
or glimpses of stolen sights,

I was sentenced to imagine beauty
without embezzlement
and the wholesale exploitation of words.

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

Marcia and the Locusts

Marcia was 17 the first time 
thousands of locusts rose 
from the fields of her father's farm 
and filled the air, sounding 
like zithers unable to stop.
Her father was angry 
but Marcia loved the music 
the locusts made. 
She was in high school then 
and chose to make 
locusts the focus 
of her senior paper. 

At the town library 
she learned locusts 
spend 17 years 
deep in the soil, 
feeding on fluids 
from roots of trees 
that make them 
strong enough 
to emerge  
at the proper time
to court and reproduce. 
Courtship requires 
the males to gather 
in a circle and sing until 
the females agree
to make them fathers.

Courtship and mating 
and laying of eggs 
takes almost two months 
and then the locusts fall 
from the air and die.
Marcia remembers 
the iridescent shells 
on the ground shining.
She was always careful 
not to step on them.
She cried when
the rain and the wind 
took them away

Now 17 years later Marcia is 34 
and the locusts are back again.  
Her dead father can't hear them
and Marcia no longer loves the music 
the way she did in high school.
Now she stays in the house 
and keeps the windows closed 
and relies on the air-conditioner   
to drown out the locusts.
Marcia has patience, however.
She knows what will happen.
She reads her Bible 
and sucks on lemon drops,
knowing the locusts will die.

In the seventh week,
the locusts fall from the air
in raindrops, then torrents.
"It is finished," Marcia says.
She pulls on her father's boots
and goes out in the fields
and stomps on the shells 
covering the ground
but she stomps carefully.

At 34 Marcia's in no hurry.
Before each stomp, 
she names each shell 
Billy, John, Chuck,
Terrence or Lester, 
the names of men 
who have courted her
during the 17 years 
since high school
They all made promises 
Marcia loved to hear, 
promises she can recite 
like a favorite prayer.
She made each man happy
as best she could.
They would grunt
like swine the first night,
some of them for many nights. 
But then like locusts 
they would disappear.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Michael Cluff- A Poem


Alena bought no farms
took no primrose path
or ever wore rose-colored glasses

she fell into loin lust heat heavy soul strafing love---
that was enough
to send platitudes
to the far edge of the
Crab Nebula.

Monday, November 25, 2013

B.Z. Niditch- Three Poems

(for Margaret Atwood)

The nightfall sky
fades by rain
where your nature
still reaches out to us
on our shadows
in an Autumn repose
of dissolving darkness
with your mysterious
presence of language
flies like the mourning bird
will return to us as new life
with its clairvoyant
voice by the woods
where wan memory
resides below
I can still hear your novel voice
on the B.B.C. and C.B.C.
at us earth-wise who read you.


Surprised by the anonymity
trembling on the frozen sea
in the staring eyes
of distracted tourists
eager for a ship's ride
toss silver coins
by emptying their pockets
for good luck in the ocean,
gulls rise on the silent sky
then hang out by the boat
water lashes my jacket
with a last collection of words
of a poisoned love letter inside
the wind sweeps by the porthole
in cold breathless air
I'm always carrying
a poet's still harbored notes,
with galleys of navigation
under my pale sleeve.


My teacher called me captain
speaking in French
of this bi-coastal skiff,
I was just a school boy enraptured
with rowing out here by waves
so black and blue
it almost tears and foams
wet with these wavered colors
wreathed in a sailor suit
at dusk, full of stars
and sprinkled with eclipses
when the sky moves higher
by a bird cloud horizon
soaring from silken water
its breath beyond gull voices
resounding over the silvery Seine
from a procession of Parisian light
asking the moon's exiled laugh
not to forget the face
of a deeply blue chilled poet
enjoying wildly the winds,
half-kidding in a threadbare coat
to answer all the jokes
directed toward my rowing
by grey shadows
backside at the dock
this young poet takes shelter
from his sleepy weariness
contemplating the night's air
like a newborn embracing
these decomposing notes
of a day dream world
releasing his silky thoughts
on board with words
that will survive this voyage.

Paul Tristram- A Poem

F-Ward (Here We Come!)

On the verge of another breakdown,
suicidal to the very bone
she takes another shot
of gin and misery.
And screams perfectly
inside her head
as her soul falls backwards
in upon itself.
And the squirming starts
again its movement
and rhythm of anger.
The clawing inside her
brain and face
makes her fidget and jump
like a bag of drowning rats.
She tries to focus
and concentrate
upon the curse that is circling her
but again
she ends up too dizzy.
Collapsing from exhaustion
her mind ledge-leaps
into sleep
which is the safest place
for her at the moment.

© Paul Tristram 2013

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.

Richard Schnap- A Poem


There’s the painter whose forte
Is covering canvases with his blood
Screams at the father who never smiled

The dancer who pirouettes
With a medical school skeleton
Making love with her betraying husband

The performer who swims naked
Across a poisoned river at night
Caught in the clutches of bullies

And the actress who crosses stages
Dragging the heads of old boyfriends
Stained memories fused to her heart

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Alan Catlin- Three Poems

Doom Fox

She arrived in planet
bar as if she had been
airlifted from a Vegas
casino where she had
been performing a one
woman revue that
revealed more of her  
body that what might
have been in her mind.
Someone had loaded her
up with high grade snow,
then given the word to
Scottie to "beam 'er down"
and began taking notes
for a possible inter-
galactic comedy of errors
that would reveal the baseness
of human emotions when
confronted with the ultimate
sexual play thing.  I couldn't
imagine why a neighborhood
bar in Upstate New York
had been chosen for the site
of this particular experiment
in terror but I could see
that when the results were
tabulated, what she was doing
with the flies at the bar, was
going to rate in the Top Ten of
All Time personal appearances.
In fact the way these guys
were tripping over themselves
trying to impress The Fox made
me think this was a new kind
of spontaneous reality TV thing
like the Romans used to have
in The Coliseum though instead                        
of being voted off the island or
out of the bar, you were eaten
alive and the corpse left for
the birds to pick apart once
the show was over.

                The Porn Star and the Detective, Off Hours, Talking in a Bar

In the circles she traveled
taking your clothes off and
getting it on with complete
strangers was thought of
as glamorous just because
someone was getting it all
on film and johns would pay
real money to see what most
people did in the privacy of
their own homes.
She thought of herself as
a kind of movie star but
he disagreed.
"What do you call what it
is you get paid to do?"
"I'm a porn star."
"Now, where I come from
they call taking off your
clothes and sleeping with       
strangers a whore."
"I make $2,000 an hour.
Sometimes more. Show me
a whore who makes that
kind of money."
"You take money for sex,
"Yes, but this is different."
"You take money for sex,
you're a whore.  You could
look it up."
Now that her balloon was
thoroughly deflated, you could
see her losing her composure,
see her body minders flexing
their muscles ready to rumble.
What happened next depended
upon which book he suggested
she look whore up in.  My money
wasn't on the Holy Bible but
you never knew.  That cop was
one crazy son of a bitch and
the law was on his side.         

                                                 The Dropouts                                                   

They seem to gather
for impromptu meetings
of The Dropouts of High
School Unwed Mothers
of Schenectady at local
Dunkin Donuts where
a woman worker of age
is considered past her
prime, old before her time
& a rare beast who must
be incredibly desperate to
work for no benefits,
bare minimum wage &,
by-osmosis, sugar &
caffeine buzz. The not
working girls are dressed
for bigger and better things
in transparent pants so tight
you could read size, design
& washing instructions on
their underwear while waiting
on line as they trade
pregnancy horror stories:
massive weight gains, water
retentions, near toxemia,
constant spotting, traumatic
post partum blues, plaintive
low notes that keep on
playing all through the night.

Monday, November 18, 2013

J.J. Campbell- A Poem

where the corn once was

a day of sunshine

rare anymore it

the power went
out last night just
as i was reading 
a letter from a fan

some would take
that as a sign from

i simply thought
these assholes out
here have a hard
time driving in 
the rain

one hour later i
was trying to figure
out how i can afford
a generator simply
so i don't have to
reset all these damn

a day of sunshine

a cool breeze

leaves starting to
gather where the
corn once was

i believe i found
my pulse


J.J. Campbell (1976 - soon) lives and writes on a farm in Brookville, Ohio. He's been widely published over the years, most recently at Miracle Magazine, The Camel Saloon, Gutter Eloquence Magazine, Regardless Of Authority, and ZYX. He's been collaborating with the Swedish artist Janne Karlsson over the last few months for a project that will hopefully see the light of day sometime soon. In the meantime, buy his latest creation, Sofisticated White Trash (Interior Noise Press, 2013) on,, etc. You can find out more on his poetry, his obsession with sports, and other mindless ramblings at his blog, evil delights (

Robert Demaree- A Poem


The places we lived when we were thirty,
Streets of friends on the way up,
Fairfax County, Jefferson Parish,
Super Bowl parties, seven-layer dip,
Dads walking in the street
Halloween night, beer in hand,
While kids rang doorbells.
And yet that time, that chemistry
Proved delicate,
Could not withstand divorce,
Transfer to Armonk, New York.

So now, as the eighth decade rolls on,
New bonds and chemistries at Golden Pines,
Fast friendships formed, short-term investment,
Monthly breakfasts,
Names of grandchildren learned,
Symphonies and speakers heard, small trees
Cared for in young yards—Golden Pines
A posting not subject to transfer:
Shifts in population accepted
With a certain wistful equanimity,
Budgets for memorial gifts,
Extra coffee cakes in the freezer,
Against the inexorable day when
No one on our street
Remembers when it was new.

("Neighborhoods" appeared in Pyrokinection, July 2013)