Friday, February 28, 2014

Joanna M. Weston- Three Poems


the sky here hangs
an upside-down bowl
bleeding snow or sunshine

hills rise like low breasts
that I would cling to
wanting them rounded higher

I saw a girl snow-shoeing
Centre Street yesterday
wished you had seen her
cherry red ski-suit
orange tuque and mitts

the colours warmer
braver than I


here freshly turned earth
rain lashes windows
roses curtsey wet derisions
and laburnum casts black seeds

next year we’ll seed wild flowers
for soldier poets remembered
with poppies that bloom
from sonnets underground

in foreign fields gravelled
between worn gravestones
handed rosemary sage and rue
day after war after war


should I give advice
balance it
in judgement

turn sideways
for a narrow view
bend the words to your shape
twist and twirl them
from a sheepshank knot
fly them from the ceiling
on wings of unreason

whistle my advice
to a forgettable tune
strangle it with gloved hands

don’t get prickled
scarred or cut
by foolishness

once you’ve murdered
the poor thing
dig a grave and stuff it
far down in caverns
hung with rotted silk

JOANNA M. WESTON. Married; has two cats, multiple spiders, a herd of deer, and two derelict hen-houses. Her middle-reader, ‘Those Blue Shoes', published by Clarity House Press; and poetry, ‘A Summer Father’, published by Frontenac House of Calgary. Her eBooks found at her blog:

Michael Cluff- A Poem

Gusts 1

The cheeky breezes
bromides hiding prejudice
in social
intellectual insults
unsettled Noelle
much more
than the wild winds
of plasma
shooting off
the sun
a boiling brontosaur
which never hides
behind homilies
traditions, any isms
and the three piece
pinstriped suit
her professor
almost always
dons at dawn.

Pijush Kanti Deb- A Poem

Addiction---A Disease

Drugs and witches stand side by side
and hand in hand,
project a girdle of illusion
around them with glittering
and charismatic waves of amusements-
luxurious and intoxicated,
enchant the poor half -bloomed youths
to enter the girdle floating on the waves
and get lost and diverted from the origin.

Mr. Alas--maybe, a famous film artist
and Miss Lucky---maybe, a young and pretty pop-star
found themselves circumscribed
with the web of ensnaring drugs and alcohol,
got addicted to these sweet poisons.
Quite unlucky was poor Alas,
couldn't digest the hard affection of drugs,
couldn't tear the web up to sneak away
and couldn't warn the world against it
as he was sucked to death
by the tentacles of devilish drugs
and left alone mercilessly in his apartment.

Miss Lucky was well-fated-
could look behind in right time,
could avail a proper treatment
and could sneak down to the origin
to warn the world against the mesmerizing poison.
She is an open pen now to write,
''Drugs is not cute, cool or admirable'',
and '' Addiction is a disease'',
a benevolent too in appealing to mankind-
an awareness is ought to be raised
against the fatal drug-disease,
an appropriate treatment be made universal
for the victims to bring them back
from illusive fantasy to truthful reality.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

John Yohe- Two Poems

Your love
I lift your love out of its cage
writhing in my hands
hissing and rattling
open mouth fangs
scales smooth and slippery
an earth scent
I lower your love scared and angry
to the ground
to walk upon
to test my faith
to demonstrate my dominion
and your love accepts my weight
and I speak in tongues
raising your love again
draping it around my neck
it rises
as if to strike
as if to bite
but instead lowers itself
down into my shirt

The One
            Tu es pure, tu es encore plus
            pure que moi-même
If I say I have given up nothing
it is not true
and the smoke doesn’t care
if I go
her mouth
her eyes
I may be the only one to speak of them
the only one to have been surrounded
and choked by the heat
and fire has a face
a hated face
a hating face
your face
you who I will not name who other men have known
the dirt says: on me
the ashes say: on me
embers sense your presence
and our best moments
still burn
the sadness of knowing you
the sadness of having you
or not
the impatience of waiting
the corruption
you who forgets
who brings absence and takes me from the world
I hate you for crying
which destroys me and creates itself
like fire

Born in Puerto Rico, John Yohe grew up in Michigan, and currently lives in Portland, Oregon. He has worked as a wildland firefighter, deckhand/oiler, runner/busboy, bike messenger, wilderness ranger, as well as a teacher of writing.  A complete list of his publications, and poetry, fiction and non-fiction writing samples, can be found at his website: johnyohe dot com

John Kaniecki- Three Poems

A Splinter on my Cross
By John Kaniecki
You’re a splinter on my cross
The memory of your wrong
Is vivid and strong
Satan alone to gain
Both our loss
Excruciating pain
You’re a splinter on my cross
In Jail   Published on Jerry Jazz

By John Kaniecki
Says the hood to the guard
“Aw man don’t you know life is hard?”
Said the guard to the hood
“Aw man it’s just that you ain’t no good!”
The prisoner clenches his fists on the cold steel bars
And gave the officer a serious stare
“Brother I don’t know who you are,
“But I certainly know that you don’t care!!”
The blue uniformed man’s face turned red
Confused if he felt anger or shame
Screaming, “Man your kind should all be dead,
“You ain’t got nobody but yourself to blame!!”
In the cage he sought to control his rage
The guard with nothing further to say
Simply walked away
Another criminal called from a distant cell
“Man don’t you know they gonna give you hell?”
The human being, God’s very own special creation
Replied stoically without hesitation
“If they give me hell that would be bliss
“Cause even hell is better than this.”
Sylvia’s Garden   Published in Westward Quarterly

By John Kaniecki
Before the sun rises in the end of winter’s death
With chilly hands and frigid breath
Working the soil with rake and hoe
Knowing come summer a blessing to grow
Carefully placing precious seed in pot
Each cherished child never forgot
Watered and watched until they sprout
Green little creatures coming out
Early spring, past the last frost
Praying to God not one to be lost
In the soil measured apart
With cautious hands and loving heart
Early morn to water with hose
Fulfilling expectations the garden grows
Repeating the watering in the eve
Love is doing what you believe
In summer heat a bounteous place
Smiles all over Sylvia’s face
Fresh lettuce and tomato to pick at will
Mother Earth sharing her thrill
Fall comes and we harvest more
Sharing with Trevor and Ron next door
Resting now as the labor is past
How the season has gone so fast!
Looking over the garden leaves in decay
I am confident of another day
Sylvia’s garden will reappear
As long as the Lord gives us another year

Ralph Monday- Three Poems

The Witch Within and Without

Funny how some young people show
in their face how they will look when old,
almost as though the age patina exists
from birth. By wiping away the green oxidation
with imagination, the future spills out
like termites from a log, the past an imprinted
image burned into a shroud.

In the computer lab this young girl sat like a
sphinx scrying the screen for a vision of some
digital dragon come to breathe fire. So intent,
not knowing the flesh would melt away like
gears turning in cogs, the simulacra of her today,
the witch within, the appearance she would take on.

            But which witch?

One staked in the dark ages like some collector’s
insect? Twisted and torn on the inquisitor’s rack,
human threads wrapped around a spindle?

            Both witches and more.

She is and will become the hanged witches Sarah Good,
Martha Carrier, sheriffed to the noose, inert dolls
suspended by an age’s filaments.

            She knows none of this.

Her kind has been accused before the garden was prepared.
Her terrible loins state of being covering men’s black eyes,
her breasts, buttocks, marked by moles, the stain
of Ecclesiastes.

Better that she give up her webbed spying, hobble pregnant
and bowed through the kitchen, maid to the domestic
priest. Cover her nakedness with autumn leaves, stir not
the serpent in the conjure pot.

Paint her fingers and toes with a veneer of acceptance,
wear the rituals of her sex, dress in subtleties like thin
pencil strokes erasing the witch within.
Demure eyes turned downward, a smile like smoke lifting
up all her ages, she sees the witches without.

To Mom with Love

When I was little I would pick up rocks,
imagine they were living things, warm
little puppies, kittens. No one to love them
I pocketed them like adoring birthday cards
never received from my mother. Took them home,
gave them warm soapy baths in the sink,
cut out bits of fabric, clothed them so they were safe,
made little towels and blankets and things,
tucked them in like little dolls.
Their stony faces smiled approval but I was
overwhelmed because there were too many rocks
in the world. I would not be able to love them all.
The rocks were my only friends.
They lived in little cardboard houses,
doors and windows cut by a steak knife.
Opened up my handmade Barbie dream house that I
filled with love. I caressed them, sang lullabies to
wish them good night. They were my children needing
protection, the terrene connection I sought.
I cared for them as a mother would her offspring.
No one noticed.

Voodoo Love

The jungle, the Caribbean, New Orleans—
heated scents, scalded souls, the woman’s
voodoo, the man’s slavery, her magic
changes him into

                        a being of lost eyes
                        limbs shackled
                        mind constructed


Michelangelo flaking away marble
molding the form locked within
hands, fingers, locks of hair become


                        drive of ovum, sperm
                        flagellating worms
                        blind in the hole


woman sister to Madame LaLaurie, Rahab,
Shamhat, tricks of the trade, love magic
adherent, skirt shackled mind, homunculus
sculpted thing


                        burnt bone bits
                        of cave debris
                        slivered flesh


for her table the feast
her moon’s monthly harvest
a gravity catching orbit
old old story

Ralph Monday is an Associate Professor of English at Roane State Community College in Harriman, TN., where he teaches composition, literature, and creative writing courses. This fall he had poems published in The New Plains Review, New Liberties Review, Fiction Week Literary Review, and is represented as the featured poet with 12 poems in the December issue of Poetry Repairs. His work has appeared in publications such as The Phoenix, Bitter Creek Review, Impressions, Kookamonga Square, Deep Waters, Jacket Magazine, The New Plains Review, New Liberties Review and Poetry Repairs.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Richard Schnap- A Poem


Sometimes I might see him
At a copy center printing
The faces of homeless veterans
Of long-forgotten wars

And sometimes I might see him
Taping posters for a reading
Of the poems he writes to silence
The demons in his mind

And sometimes I might see him
Spraying paint on walls for vengeance
Against the ones defiling
The nature of the world

But few choose to remember
And fewer still to listen
For the gestures of defiance
Are the first to be erased

Brittany Zedalis- A Poem

Curtain of Stars

my footsteps echo through the cavern,
the ice shines and sparkles, my
breath condenses into white mist, while
I slowly emerge from darkness,
thrown into a vortex of lights and shooting stars,
alone, but not completely, for the sky
itself is a companion, with billions of luminous spheres
and unforeseen worlds, blink and you might
miss it, it is here I'm reminded of
the immensity that is our world, here
in this frozen wasteland, gazing up at
the curtain of stars

Brittany Zedalis is a 21 year old college senior who is studying to be an elementary teacher. She has been writing poetry since middle school, and it is, in essence, her getaway. She plans to publish a book of poems one day, and runs her own photography business called Zedalis Photography.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Ron Riekki- Three Poems


The people who lost their jobs didn’t
lose them.  They are still right there,

easily found.  You can’t lose something
that big.  These aren’t car keys we’re

talking about.  These are the things that
make car keys possible.  The car keys

aren’t missing either.  They are non-
existent.  Or actually, they exist, but

the car no longer exists.  So the key
is worthless.  Or not worthless, but

worth less.  Much less.  It’s just a key.
No door.  No engine.  It’s like a pill

without a body.  A wolf without a pig.
The wolf just sits there.  It takes a deep

breath, worthless.  Worth less.  Just air
sitting in its lungs.  A brick house

flipping it off.  A brick house just
lettin’ it all hang out.  The lady’s stacked

and that’s a fact and by stacked we mean
flesh, which has connotations of Shylock,

lawyers, bloody show, butcher shops,
and other implications of work.

The Paramedic Said, “Doctors are Stupid,”

which isn’t exactly a stunning sentence in and of
itself.  Just doctors and stupidity.  Nothing much more

to the thought.  Gastroenterologists somewhere are discussing
epistemology, but this medic wants to make things simple.

Just M.D.s and dumb.  An equal sign.  A taut tautology.
For tots.  “Thems is dummies.”  And the Headless Horseman

is out there somewhere complaining about Ichabod Cranes,
jealous of his head.  “Ichabod Cranes have heads.”  And

they do.  A big one.  Or not big.  A normal size one.
But big compared to someone who just has air for a head.

In fact, the Headless Horseman does have a head,
if you count oxygen.  Which he doesn’t need to breathe,

because that’s what he is.  The paramedic has killed seven
people.  He tells us this in class.  A sense of pride.

Because he’s saved around a thousand or two.  Maybe three.
Maybe not.  Maybe less.  Maybe less than one head.

On the Train from the Czech Republic to Hungary

I sit, with a cold
forming in my chest.
It’s counting to three-
thousand.  Outside
the window, the ghosts
of trees kick by.

Short bio: Ron Riekki wrote the novel U.P. and edited The Way North (Wayne State University Press,, a 2014 Michigan Notable Book).

Michael Cluff- A Poem

Harrison and Hildalgo


In the northeast niche,
Archie Milliken
started to unmercifully
dyed his greying hair
vastly varying colors
too nearly neon at times
for even liberal comforts.

All because over in Valmonte,
a cashier
at a Cuban restaurant
offer him a senior discount
on July 5th
of his 54th year
four months and one week
before 55 would bite
him in the bottom
or elsewhere.

He died last week
his vanity fell on him
heavy mahogany and brass.

Eric Robert Nolan- Two Poems


Greenwich grows cold
Early in January.
The lights on the affluent avenue
Dim a little in
The great, gray, and opaque
Gauntlet of early night,
Chilling a quaint Connecticut.

This midwinter street
Has all its doors adorned.
The colorful shops and boutiques
Are still convivial, with
The festive season.  Each
Door resembles a gift.
Brightly, gaily lit,
And traced with laurel.

Janus, God of Doors,
God of Bridges, God of
Vision and hindsight both –
What better a month’s motif
For me in my apostasy
Than a two-faced God?

Garrulous, I arrive
Drugged to the eyes:
Swimming in cheap caffeine,
Smelling of nicotine,
All doped up
On the intellectual chic:
Jefferson’s exhortation
About “the price of freedom,”
Christopher Hitchens’ analyses.

Sonnets once softened
Footfalls around my bed.
Scribbled on reams, my dreams
Cushioned a hardwood floor
In my apartment in Queens,
At the age of 33.

Gone is the Bard of my summers.
Gone is the young man’s heart.
Gone is the carefree verse.
Gone is inculpable art.
This winter day
The poem in my pocket
Is a militant tract.

The door where I arrive
Is inscripted, “Caroline’s Coffees.”
It’s Blue. 
The little pedant in me
Ponders its use of the plural.
Within, the wealthy lament
The traffic at the Whitestone Bridge.
The flavor of aged grapes mates
With the delectable scents
Of their expensive coffee (“coffees?”)
Some winery among
The darkened Blue-blooded hills
Has struck some deal and now
Its twenty-something delegate
Offers me a taste.
To you, I move in haste.

Your peck at my cheek
Brings in the scents
Of tea, used books and irises.
Isn’t it just like you
To drink tea at a coffee house?

Knowing your favorite perfume
I’ve brought you one as a joke.  Its
Blue is the symbol for Faith, Belief.
Its White is for Purity.
Its deepening petals
Symbolize eloquence too.
I know these things from you.
After I brought you
Antipathy’s lexicon
You taught me the language of flowers.

“You’re misunderstanding Janus,”
You say patiently,
Raising the Blue porcelain
Again to your angular lips.
I love the way that they dip
Lithely down at their center
Vaguely making the shape
Of a swallow flying at dusk.
All your rebuttals fall
As softly as flower petals
On water.

“It isn’t a dichotomy.”
You tell me, gently suggesting
The eisegesis of
My own divided heart.

“It’s about transitions,
“Passages and changes.
“Janus is the God of Gates.
“One face looks
“Back to recall the past,
“One face looks
“To a new and better future.
“It’s about beginnings.
“The future is a Gift.”

Your fingers trace
Down the length of my jaw
As ivy is known to trace
The face of an aging edifice, and its
Slowly eroding stone.

All at once, your touch
Is as eloquent as Jefferson,
As judicious as Hitchens.
“Sometimes, Eric,” you tell me,
“To look back is to forgive.”

And at once you are my Blue,
My Belief, my Bridge
My Gift, and now my Gate,
The high and nearly blinding
Azure of my every
Nascent New Year
From this until the last,
Moving past each past,
Enshrined in memory here,
Like dried flower petals
In a favorite book.

If words ever fail me,
And I am consigned to arrive
At Auden’s “Lion’s Mouth,”
Ever unsated by poetry,
I will bring as sustenance,
My memories of you
And eloquence in flowers –
A poet struck dumb but holding
Fistfuls of irises.

© Eric Robert Nolan 2014

Elizabeth Mitchell Haiku:
Elizabeth Mit–
–chell, I suck at haiku. Please!
Love me anyway!
© Eric Robert Nolan 2014

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Jennifer Lagier- Three Poems & Photos

Wasted Land

Shredded fog floats above dying coastline.
Salt mist mocks parched earth,
no substitution for rainfall.
Deceived fruit trees offer
doomed pink and white blossoms.
Unrelenting sun aggravates parched chaparral.
Soon gardens will become gray wreckage,
shriveled effigies of what used to be flowers.
Dry hills, lifeless pines are powder keg
tinder for inevitable fire.
We bargain to break the long drought,
implore mourning Demeter to heal
a blasted land, revive ponds and rivers,
bestow a benediction of restorative water.

Resurrecting the Dead

Bronze sky glows above jagged bay after
minor storm passes, drops a teaser of moisture.

Parched earth absorbs what it can, not enough rain
to produce puddles, recharge aquifers, saturate hillsides.

Thirsty habitat dwindles, even xeriscape dying.
Succulents, ice plant are barely maintaining.

As an act of faith, I plant primroses to
counteract shriveled twigs, shrunken foliage.

Among ashy garden ruins, last year’s daffodils
appear like burnished grail, optimistic Lazarus tokens.

First Rainfall

February has come unglued, become our new winter.
Tight skies finally crack, permit the season’s first rainfall.
Broken petals, yellow pollen cascade from dripping trees.
Impromptu waterfalls gurgle down slick streets,
float premature spring tokens upon choppy bay.
King tides pound shrinking beaches, gouge away sand.

I feel myself open, become a wet pagan,
dance with abandon beneath welcome downpour.
Bring on dark skies, turgid storm clouds, rumbling thunder.
Let thirsty earth, dying chaparral drink until sated.
Return wildflowers, new green to sere hills and parched valleys.
Celebrate precipitation; long drought is broken.

Jennifer Lagier encourages canine anarchy in Carmel as she aspires to a new career as a snake charmer.

Monday, February 17, 2014

B.Z. Niditch- Three Poems


Standing frozen
by a an outside stall
of a used bookstore
enjoying French,
a nomad of a kid
notices PAROLES
"Words" by
Jacques Prevert
for fifty cents
putting my bus fare away
and with my new book
sit on a back bench
in the park
how could anything
in this world
compare with the way
this poet made out
in a language soaring
out of my hands
the sun came through
and I had a baguette
full of cheese,
what more do I ever regret
words, a roll, the river
nothing, but a fresh path
of ease.


Trying to write
a hit rock and roll song
but down on his luck
(this being off the record)
with only this one hit
played at local clubs
teen age years ago,
this poet wrote
it on a jagged napkin
over a paper plate
this hot vanilla tune
created a local sensation
on the local radio station
for a whole winter,
but the big shot executives
from the Big Apple
said I was too hungry
for an easy success
because I would not change
the unfaltering words
of the tune
about someone close to me,
and was literally beaten up
like an omelet
in a New York minute,
yet "Chic"
was on local charts
for a frenzied season
which my classmates
danced to at proms
on windy street corners,
yet this emerging poet
was poor mouthed in subways
old coins put into his eyes
waiting to die for a song,
"When there was time to live
and love,"
my lyrics spoke to fans,
even at my lame adolescence
red eyed and out there
as a four seasoned refugee
walking like a runaway
no one recognizes for a Beat.


An unsigned student visa
left on the coffee table
by your uncle's Parisian
opera glasses,
a sighting of Salinger
with an autograph seeker
to the recluse author
of "Catcher in the Rye"
lost to all appearances
at first light,
grief welcomes us
waiting for the dawn,
an owl rises
under nameless oak,
near a red spotted sports car
of teenagers
wanting to survive
a joy ride to celebrate,
quick flashes
of months that trickle by,
giving yourself sunshine
in a landscape's absence
on transparent miles
of travel. 

John Grochalski- Two Poems


i hear this kid at the computer going
oh shit
and out of the corner of my eye
i see a conveyor belt of chickens
getting their necks sliced
the kid keeps flinching
oh shit
oh shit
jerking back like he’s watching a horror flick
this is a horror flick
american made and processed
even i can’t turn away from it
from men with blurry faces
swinging chickens against walls
from cows being strung up and gutted
animals with legs broken and left to die in alleyways
from pigs being attacked by tasers
all for the dollar menu and the midnight munchies
a mouthwatering twelve piece bucket riding shotgun
if you want to know what the kids
are doing after school
it’s this
watching cows being pushed along
stepping in their own shit and mooing
flinching as some guy punts a turkey forty yards
the hack
hack of necks
some fucker punching a pig in the face
stabbing piglets with pens
meaty bodies mutilated and left hobbling
eyes full of pus
hanging upside down alive
after feeding them the testicles of their young
cows stabbed and dragged
animals sleeping on piss stained straw
chicken shit piled six feet high and next to the cages
pools of blood coagulating on the concrete
methane buzzing the air
oh shit
oh shit for sure
but at least the kids aren’t watching porn

television sets in bars

friday afternoon
and we’re surrounded by cancer
yet this bar is no respite

there’s a television at one end of the bar
another directly across the room

they are playing this medical show
with some floppy haired doctor
telling everyone in earshot and beyond
that caramel coloring could give you cancer

i can’t even enjoy a beer because of this guy
because of the way the televisions echo in the bar
like we’re in a club full of old degenerates

i can’t even hear myself think, i tell my wife
then i start my shit where i just close off and sit there

i don’t know what i wanted
a quiet friday afternoon for me and the mrs.
to get drunk on beer and talk movies and books
forget cancer and this unforgiving winter

if only for a few hours

but now i got this doctor blaring in my ear
about carcinogenic gases from soda and from frying potatoes

maybe next he’ll talk about how the air
can give you cancer

i down my first pint
i have to get the out of here, i tell my wife

it’s these television sets in bars
they weren’t so bad when they were small and tubular
and hung off into the distance

now every joint has some sixty-inch monster
that we’re stuck with
that permeates every nuance of the moment

i feel like i’m in an electronics store instead of a pub
it’s background noise, my wife says
these people are used to it

it’s giving me an aneurysm,  i complain
while the floppy haired doctor tells us
how cleaning supplies can give you cancer too

he’s a smiling angel of death

he’s raising my ire
and this echo off the dueling televisions is raising my heart rate

i’m playing music, my wife says
because she’s better at salvaging things than i am

i grow too content with the rot and the decline

she gets up from the bar to slide dollars in the juke
she asks the bartender to turn the televisions down
and he acquiesces with glee

because maybe he was looking for an escape from this malaise

life is really that simple at moments, i think
even with it being cancer all the time

then it’s the opening of street fighting man
and another round of beer

old men are doing their best mick jagger
talking about the old times

it’s like we all woke up

on the television, the floppy haired doctor
is holding up an apple
that’s probably going to give us all cancer too

but we wouldn’t know it
because we can’t hear him

and ignorance like this
is finally bliss.

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

We'll Feel Better, Dearie, Not to Worry

Some days my wife has aches 
and I have pains.
Other days I have aches
and she has pains.
We tell each other
all about it from our rockers 
sipping Earl Grey tea 
in tinkling porcelain cups
while watching DVDs 
of Lawrence Welk,
the late conductor nonpareil,
who's trying now to get
the Seraphim and Cherubim 
to sing "God Bless America." 

My wife and I are at an age 
where no quick fix exists,
no slow fix either.
Finally I tell her what 
neither of us wants to hear:
We'll feel better, Dearie,
not to worry, 
once we're dead.
It's the dying
that's a problem but
we're getting there.
Been on the road since birth.
We've paid the tolls.
It's been a trip.
Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, MIssouri.

Linda M. Crate- A Poem

ego boost

you liked thoughts of us. the idea of someone being yours. but you didn't like us. you never loved me, it was just a lie you liked to say when you could see you were losing me. liked the thought of someone lying close to you, but you never liked me. appreciated my beauty and my body, but not the package of me. why did i give you all my secrets when all you gave me were lies? sweet honeyed things that tasted quite like ambrosia, i almost made you a god. good thing i came to my senses, woke before i was destroyed, before i became just another of your blue lipped angels beneath the ice. my voice was but a sweet whisper in your ear, i was good for your ego. but you weren't good for mine.

Paul Tristram- A Poem

Lined Up

That’s the way it was
he’d pull on his boots and sit there
rolling up Old Holborn
with red Rizla papers,
six, seven or eight
that’s what he’d take
six, seven or eight.
We’d only be gone for an hour
and he only ever smoked two
one on the way there
one on the way back from there
but it was a comfort
being prepared.
He drowned
with four un-smoked cigarettes
in his pocket
and no one was prepared,
apart from his smoking habit
which died with him.

© Paul Tristram 2006

Published in Poetry Monthly, Issue 133, April 2007

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography 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.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Shaquana Adams- A Poem

Dear Darien #3

Too often I cursed this hand for only being able to write. 
As many times as I think of you
I want to draw your face, just once.
I would draw the scar above your right eyebrow that no one would 
see otherwise,
the pain in your eyes from when you told me your father 
bashed your mothers head against a table,
the wonder of a child in a man’s body,
and your lips which defy racial stereotypes 
by being bigger than mine.
I think I would lose myself whilst drawing your hair.
It would provoke too many passionate memories
For my shattered heart to take.

Shaquana Adams is an internationally published poet with a fondness for the color purple. Her poems can be found in Napalm and Novocain, Dead Snakes, Inkapture, Snow Island Review, Bicycle Review, Verse Land, and The World of Myth. She is quiet on the outside but goofy on the inside and writes because the best thing about writing is that she can say what she needs to say. It is an awesome experience.

Michael Cluff- Two Poems

Day 14

The wind batters the numbus
I see around his head
he in the bow-tie
strached white shirt
and blue herringbone sportscoat
gray dress slacks
and brown wingtips.
I worry that the miracle
has happened
the one to set
me into a place
of pariahs and
unsatisfactory grades.
Then Mr. Drago
the street light
is open to my full view.
I sigh but out of angst
since my difficult class
is now unblessedly
meeting again
but at least
he is not the
I have always
and feared him
to be...

Day 25

The one minute deluge
of white noise
static inside the internal catcomb
induces not a reaction
in Roberto
who puts on his tight blue dress shirt
red wool knit tie
graey cuffed slacks
blue-green glen plaid sports coat
and black wingtips
just every other work Wednesday
since Nixon was expelled
from the White House
and proceeds
forever forth.

Douglas Polk- A Poem

A Drone Strike
(killing an American terrorist)

you will die today,
or maybe tomorrow afternoon,
the details are being worked out,
but rest assured,
killing you will happen soon,
just have some legal hoops to jump through,
need to do this right,
not like some mob hit in the middle of the night,
you are an American,
you deserve to be killed right,
but we got to get our papers in order first,
the devil is in the details.

Duane Locke- Two Poems


The proud insurance salesman asked,
“Do you want insurance
To protect your home?”

No, I replied, I want insurance
To protect me from my home.


An authentic wedding
Requires a wedding cake
And requires
Three people:
Three creators of fiction.

Kim Bonaventure- Two Poems


The energy flows in many
directions with certain purpose
following diverse paths

The reeds changing direction
in the wind brought forth
by an everlasting hope

Perhaps happiness or some
laughter overheard in the distance

The bright sunlight beckons
to the skin of glistening sorrow

A need to reach out and be felt
or even heard -- again -- in a
different direction with perhaps
another purpose

But always a climax
to the same end.

"Cold Night's Harbor"

The soul takes its
signal from the
heart within as

passion pulses forward
so quickly


the heart brings
forth feelings
and emotions

So choked up
that expression is
now impossible

and masked behind a
veiled eminence which

wants to shout with
vibrancy and pitch
but falls silent

upon calloused ears


the sound is


Keeping a Bio brief -- here it goes. I have been writer my entire life -- for as long as I can remember. I think it began when I was in grammar school, and the only thing that kept me from the insanity brought on by the boredom of my teachers droning on was my ability to disappear into the world my imaginative mind would create. Often, I'd scribble what I was thinking, and more often than not, that scribble would be torn up by the teacher, with a punishment dished out in the form of a writing assignment. Joke was on them -- they were merely helping me hone my craft! Hah!

My life on planet Earth started out in The Bronx, 53 years ago. I grew up in good old Yonkers, NY and survived 13 years of Catholic school. I now reside in Fairfield County, CT with my hubby and soul mate of 24 years, our yellow Labrador, and the ultimate joy of our lives, our 19-year-old son, who is currently living in our nation's capital where he is honing his craft as a musician.

I am, indeed, a published writer of over 30 freelance articles and too many poems to count. I did, in fact, overcome my experiences in Catholic school and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Pace University (NYC) where I was the proud and honored recipient of the 1985 Sara Willis Writing Award and the 1985 recipient of the English Departmental Award for Academic and Creative Excellence. But most importantly, I was gifted wonderful educators, my professors, who taught me how to write, how to learn, and how to live -- true to myself.

So here I am at 53 -- and when I'm not taking walks with my hubby, listening to my son's latest songs, tending to my home, or reading a great book, I'm still writing and still looking to share my thoughts and words with others -- if not simply to express myself but to share my experiences and make someone's life a bit more enriched or comforted.