Saturday, January 31, 2015

Scott Thomas Outlar- A Poem

To and Fro
One step outside
where the wind whistles and howls,
blistering my naked ears –
I’ve not worn headphones today;
I want to hear the agony
along with the ecstasy
of every sound the dying earth makes
as Winter scrapes away the leaves
and creates skeletons all around.

One step onto the street,
paved in dark asphalt murder
with white lines of ghost blood
running straight as an arrow down the middle –
that’s where I stay, in balance,
in rhythm, with harmonic gestures
guiding each footfall as I dance
through the days of desolation and destruction.

One step onto the main road,
machines of raging thunder
roaring by at a steady clip
upon black rubber bullets to nowhere –
a smog in the air, a gasoline gulp,
a hazy fog of collective consciousness
hanging palpably above the scene
carrying all the lost dreams and remorse
of a million daily commuters
dragging their half-dead carcasses back home
where maybe there’s a lukewarm plate of dinner
waiting on the table for them to scarf down
before hitting the hay and sleeping away the pain.

One step into the park
where the air is fresh and vital,
oxygenating my blood, clearing my mind
and detoxifying my polluted lungs.
Walk by the lake where turtles
bath in the sun upon rocks
and ducks leisurely paddle along
with orange webbed feet beneath the water.
Birds chirp in the trees
but get drowned out by a plane above
as it pours out trails of toxic whatever –
so much for the fresh oxygen,
soon enough it’ll be laced with heavy metals
for a neuron path lobotomy.

One step into the woods,
escaping under the cover of a tall rise forest.
Shade from the sun
and a brief respite
from the workaday madness and the incessant drumbeat
toward a job, toward a war, toward a drug,
toward a gadget, toward a television screen,
toward an election, toward a sales-pitch savior,
toward whatever new, trendy, topnotch,
fashionable fad has stolen the hearts and minds
of a zombie population this particular week.

One step at a time,
retracing my path
back to where I began –
nothing seems to matter anymore.
I’ve simply seen too much of it all,
time and time again, ad infinitum
through the eternal recurrence
as the cycles of history replay on repeat.
Not ennui or apathy.
Not enlightenment or nirvana.
Just detached observation
of a terrible and awesome existence
moving one step at a time
and going somewhere.

Scott Thomas Outlar dances beneath the stars to the sweet sound of nature's celestial song, laughing all the while at life's existential problems, and waiting for the next round of chaos to commence.  He recently took the plunge into the world of social media by creating where more of his writing can be found.

Arif Ahmad- A Poem

This I believe

Such is the nature of this beast that I believe not one conflict of any nature or scale is an unequivocal complete fault of only one side

Not one

And if this premise can be agreed upon

Then therein lies the solution

Friday, January 30, 2015

Jennifer Lagier- Three Poems & Photos

King Tides

January, 84 degrees--winter missing in action.
Persistent drought, freakish heat, substantiate global warming.
King tides, cruel reminder of far-away rain storms
soaking geography, not California.

Swollen surf sweeps fishermen off coastal boulders,
mesmerizes beachcombers, driftwood collectors.
Engorged ocean glows, pushes itself ashore.
Burnished lagoon floods low-lying wetlands.

Gold sunrise brings no epiphany or resolution,
just higher surge, dryer hilltops and meadows.
It’s another big buildup, symptoms of tempest
without drenching drama.


Malevolent willow punctures white cowl of calla.
Skinny twig protrudes, mirrors erect yellow stamen.

Morning chill pierces, penetrates layers of clothes,
hip joints, stiff knees, arthritic fingers.

Pine needles, cones mingle with rotting wreckage
of intrusive toadstools, rubbery mushrooms.

I wander granite trail past faux Tudor cottages.
Gold sun pokes through blue above restless ocean.

Blackbirds chatter, disrupt contemplation.
Passing jet streams lacerate clear horizon.


Icy breeze off morning surf validates winter.
Fuzzy sunrise blares above misted hills,
dark collage of pine and palm,
incongruous Lover’s Point grove,
slanting, ramshackle cypress.

Along the affluent side of Monterey Bay,
granite shore instead of soft dune,
seaside village with bright Victorians
unlike my flimsy townhouse
tucked between ocean and wetland.

Harsh Marina habitat, less protected,
roughly shaped by wind and salty drizzle,
toughens what it doesn’t annihilate,
shelters hawks, muse and poet.

Jennifer Lagier is in training to raise dead snakes from the grave, sea serpents from winter torpor.

B.Z. Niditch- Three Poems


Today's sky
will not be missed
in a sorry shade 
of black and blue
when Arctic air
quietly smuggled in
from Canada freezes
the lifeless bodies
of snow into ice
bright figurines
and my sax
is exposed 
as an orange
eaten on my motorcycle
on the jazzy corner
for my timely gig,
yet a poet is still
a Beat for life
in his runaway suit
when the same shade
shines in darkness
from a cool club
on the blind window
stares back at him
with a sponged fog
on a wasted visage
and an angel stranger
helps the poet
with the gas
both knowing the blahs
will not outlast
the skittering waters
on our faces
and that spring 
may be early
when words
will go down
and the sax
will again beat out
its underground notes
to play the Blues. 


Would you mind leaving
me off at a bus stop
in Los Angeles,
a runaway 
who's run out of bread
and grief
needs to make a call
back east
in a cavernous dawn
bone tired
troubled by despairing 
in silences of direction
a winter's pawned jacket
covered with dried blood
drunk with echoes
and thoughts of ecstasy.


Hearing Coltrane
in the late A.M.
in my sound proof room
releasing my own riffs
and still believing in art
as a mistaken phone call
leads to a museum date,
finding a neighbors
break up note
in a diary
lying under the floorboard
by the fish tank's
own blue dimentia
and playing solo
of daring mortality
resting on a high note
of early optimism
until the daily news broadcast
spreads its headlines
where a few good stories
make my day.

B.Z. NIDITCH is a poet, playwright, fiction writer and teacher. 

His work is widely published in journals and magazines throughout the world, including:Columbia: A Magazine of Poetry and Art; The Literary Review; Denver Quarterly; Hawaii Review; LeGuepard (France); Kadmos (France); Prism International; Jejune (Czech Republic); Leopold Bloom (Budapest);  Antioch Review; and Prairie Schooner, among others. His latest poetry collections are “Lorca at Sevilla”,”Captive Cities.” 

He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Gene McCormick- Paris Art

Gene McCormick is a writer who paints without preference for either discipline.  His art is in private and commercial collections and he has illustrated a number of books.  He is the illustrator for

Painting #1     Metra Serenade, Gare St.-Lazare, Paris
Painting #2     Hydrant I
Painting #3     Main Street 

Stefanie Bennett- Two Poems


If the sky had a voice
I envisage
We’d buckle under
The bent over
Exit wounds
Just as
The willow
In bright water.

Published in Boston Poetry Magazine 2/12/14

RITES, THE Mojave: (In Memory of Flight MH17)

When all else failed
The great heart
Of the Joshua Tree
A Tipi ‘fire-build’
In the desert’s
Arena –.
It was a signal.
It is the signal.

Published in Boston Poetry Magazine 2/12/14

Stefanie Bennett has published several books of poetry, a novel and a libretto. Her poetry
has been published by The Camel Saloon, The Mindless Muse, Aleola Journal, The Provo
Canyon Review, Communion, IS&T, Record-Magazine and others. Of mixed ancestry
[Italian/Irish/Paugussett-Shawnee] she was born in Queensland, Australia, in 1945.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Deirdre Hines- A Poem

The Wind Tree

headlights replace red votive flames
around the wind tree's branches
startling awake a sleeper below-

a bone white wind whittles away
billboard papers proclaiming lies
masquerading as the only answer-

scatters the smog in all directions
then catches in a stinking pool
a star cluster and one half moon-

a runaway off his ritalin
tugs on his only wheels
two teases stole to throw away

the branch that knocks them down
is pyrographed with the tree of life
drop falls into his shaking hands-

lightning spells zeds in pylons
until the hush of no electric
throws all five into relief-

two wasters running for their life
from a stick dancing boy
in step

with an awakened sleeper
in harmony with
the Tao of  psithurism.

Deirdre Hines is an award winning poet. Her first collection of poems, "The Language of
Coats" was published by New Island Press in 2012. She has won the Listowel Poetry
Collection Prize (2011) and been shortlisted for The Patrick Kavanagh Award and the
Gregory O'Donohue International Poetry Prize. You can hear her read some of these poems
by visitng her website

Adreyo Sen- A Poem

Late to Chocolate
His first taste of chocolate at 31 -
an event to him not vivant.

It did not convey, in over-sweet bliss
the joys of a childhood missed.

Growing up had been hard, but happy,
or something very much like it.

Rose Mary Boehm- Three Poems

After the Floods

Relentless programming of blood sacrifices consumes
the halcyon days of summer. Autumn gold hides
behind blind transom windows and hoary doors.

Transient bitterness settles in the dark, squishy roots
of inducement. Turning lazily in the river waters,
swollen wooden shapes hint at their former integrity.

Colliding fronts squash floating stars, giving
no inducement to those who would stay.

Early Dawn

At this hour the world is dark and empty.
Her toes don’t have to touch the cold stone floor
to understand the value of a warm bed.
She doesn’t have to lift the curtain to confirm
the green mix of pale-yellow street lamps
and the first blue morning glow. She turns
over, reaches across for his body and her
hand finds no purchase. She buries her face
in his pillow, takes a deep breath and remembers
his bent back, coat collar up against the wind.


once seen can never be forgotten,
nor the deaf percussionist.
Zbigniew’s reincarnation in the
e-minor concierto by van den Budenmayer.
Ghost stored in tin cans and
spilled all over the old tapes.
Les Marionettes transformed
into music between gardens.

A German-born UK national, Rose Mary Boehm lives and works in Lima, Peru. Author of two novels and a poetry collection published in 2011 in the UK, ‘TANGENTS’, her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in a good two dozen US poetry reviews as well as some print anthologies, and Diane Lockward’s The Crafty Poet. She won third price in in the 2009 Margaret Reid Poetry Contest for Traditional Verse (US), was semi-finalist in the Naugatuck poetry contest 2012/13 and has been a finalist in several GR contests, winning it in October 2014.

Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal- 3 Poems

I can’t stand for losing.
I can’t let the tortoise beat me.
The sun shines expertly.
The fly won’t leave me alone.
It comes at me like an arrow
It’s cruel just like the sun.
I have been shackled to a
tree.  My flesh is burning up.
I have had enough of the sun
and the fly.  I don’t feel well.
I can’t let the tortoise beat me.
I want to call the race off.
Songs of despair
worm throughout my soft skull.
The dark songs hum
loud at night and whisper
in the morning.  Like full-
blown lullabies the songs
are calm and sweet,
then turn melancholy.
The songs go on
in perpetuity.
They will not end.
They follow me around.
They’re the shovel and the
dirt, preparing me for the grave.
Drinking cold beer
with a tooth ache.
It does not feel
too good at all.
Drinking cold beer
with an old flame,
it does not feel
too good at all,
when the past is
brought back and all
the reasons why
we are apart.
Drinking cold beer
does not help when
the tooth and heart
are hurting just
as much.  At least
I could have the
tooth extracted. 
The old flame burns,
but in time I
could douse that
flame with cold beer.

S. Black- Three Poems

both sides of the street

she phones
out of hours
from the new runaround
on the other side of the street
a class act
she needs some release
from the twenty-four seven
and has no desire
for conservation
he knows his place
she presses the button
he leaves the door open

end of all worlds

a man hates the world
so he retreats to a corner
and creates another
but soon enough
he despises it just as much
so he perseveres
until he runs out of worlds
to conquer
runs out of corners
to back into

what you get used to

it comes and it comes
straight from hell
it hunts us down
teeth bared
snapping at our heels
and has done for as long
as we dare to remember
but it's amazing
what you get used to
we just don't look around
S. Black- Other work may be found at the likes of Ink, Sweat and Tears, Message in a Bottle, the Screech Owl, Snakeskin and Dog-Ear. Now residing in the Thames Valley (UK).

Monday, January 26, 2015

Robert Lavett Smith- Three Poems


Bram Stoker, whose suppressed homosexuality
is implicit in the horror with which women
are regarded in Dracula, wrote long, gushing
letters to Walt Whitman as a young man, praising
the poet’s understanding of “men like ourselves.”

The older writer responded with bewildered
kindness, flattered perhaps by the adulation,
but rightly suspicious of its callow sincerity.
The two never actually met; shortly thereafter,
Stoker fell under the spell of the flamboyant

Shakespearian actor Sir Henry Irving, who
sported a deep black velvet cape, and strode
through gaslight with preternatural assurance,
while the stage manager fluttered around him
like a moth drawn to an incinerating flame.

The rest is buried between the lines, interred
in the “decrepit earth” of the nineteenth century.
No consummation ever occurred that we know.
Twelve novels and three short story collections
were disregarded, unmentioned in any obituary.


Raindrops on cold glass
trace the memory of light


Dad’s condition grows steadily worse,
the situation somehow unforeseen despite
months of deathbed vigils followed by apparent
rallying—although these miraculous recoveries
are always temporary. Tonight, on the phone,
Mom says the hospice nurse anticipates
no further improvement, a steep decline
is not unusual when the end finally nears.

What’s different this time, she tells me,
is that his body, after long illness,
is at last fairly healthy, but his mind
emptying rapidly, all recognition gone:
the chord in his brain reduced to white noise,
wind whistling through a broken window,
or the radiant wail of solar flares
in the spaces between stars.

Raised in New Jersey, Robert Lavett Smith has lived since 1987 in San Francisco, where for the past sixteen years he has worked as a Special Education Paraprofessional. He has studied with Charles Simic and the late Galway Kinnell. He is the author of several chapbooks and three full-length poetry collections, the most recent of which is The Widower Considers Candles (Full Court Press, 2014).Two poems from this newest book have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

Stefanie Bennett- Two Poems

FREEZE: The Coalition of the Un-willing, Mariupol   
Around the bend they came,
Past the broken ground.
The know-it-alls
Who cannot recognize
Goose-flesh from
(Pardon me)
A horse’s arse
One step “back
To the future’s”
Sure footed
Titanium heart.
On nights of the full moon
I batten
Down the hatch
For who knows what city-slickers,
Layabouts and deceivers
Will tally up to.
All and sundry’s fumigated,
The wicker chair
And covered
In hoar frost
- The lair where an
Meteor squats and
His Promethean shock-
Jock tale
... Of devil’s dust
Gone loco.
Beware the pith
And marrow,
- He intones.
Sucking eggs
That makes
Men wise...
Stefanie Bennett has published several books of poetry, a novel and a libretto. Her poetry
has been published by The Camel Saloon, The Mindless Muse, Aleola Journal, The Provo
Canyon Review, Communion, IS&T, Record-Magazine and others. Of mixed ancestry
[Italian/Irish/Paugussett-Shawnee] she was born in Queensland, Australia, in 1945.

Paul Tristram- Three Poems

…As She Lifted The Curtain Hem Of Her Circus Dress Of Promiscuity
And Relaxed…Unfaithfully…Once Again.
(God Upturned The Table With The Cards
Which He Had Just Been Playing Patience Upon And Lost!)

…and as she set off once again, smiling
down that familiar road
of learnt behaviour/destruction.
Carefree and stupidly
heading straight towards the wreckage
that we kept pulling her free from.
We shook our heads,
surrendering to the inevitable
and turned and walked away.
After eighteen months
of destitute complaining and self-pity
she hasn’t quite learnt her lesson
but I hear that she’s at least
on her way, hooray!

© Paul Tristram 2015 

 To Imprison The Moment

I have kept that special moment here
all of this time and no one suspected.
The little miracle sent to help me
wrapped and cloaked in ancient magic.
A wonderful secret, a knowledge
that no one else (Alive!) is privy too.
The thing that keeps me protected so.
Sometimes in the very beginning
I would fear that its whispering would
alert the wrong ears in our direction
but cleverness is part of the bundle.
It gleams like a knife but only for me
and it still smells exactly like it used to.
I would share it with the lost and lonely
but it really does not fraction or multiply.

© Paul Tristram 2014

A Scab Upon The Face Of Love

He swaggered into the ballroom
dressed as a swashbuckling pirate,
bowed thrice and smiled as nearly
everyone applauded or squirmed.
She burst out of the audience
screaming like a banshee,
in the clobber of Marie Antoinette.
“You are wearing the wrong costume,
my dear heartbreaker. Yours is still
hanging by the dressing room window
upon a bloody butchers hook.
I spent days sewing it together myself,
it’s made entirely of rotting raw meat
and stinking offal, mostly pigs hearts
mixed in with the occasional arsehole.
It has your filthy name branded
with vindictiveness into the right breast,
Mr. Scab Upon The Face Of Love!”
She snarled, gnashed, kicked and clawed
whilst being dragged away backwards
down the long entrance hall of shame,
to be cast out mercilessly into the cold
Winter of snow and approaching lunacy.
Far away from the warmth of the party,
future love, respect, her class, dignity
and every sane thing she’d ever known.

© Paul Tristram 2014

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.

You can read his poems and stories here!

Janne Karlsson- Cartoon

"Janne Karlsson will always write stupid bios where he´s basically just telling people to buy his books and shit and then go fuck themselves. His website is here, by the way:"

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

World Cup

The ISIS Brit
tall in the desert

blade by his side
talks to the camera

severs the head 
of the orange infidel

kneeling beside him 
kicks the head

across the sand
while the world 

has a beer
in its coliseum

deaf to Satan
shouting “Goal!

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Scott Thomas Outlar- A Poem

A Return to Glory

The Winter chill is a velvet blanket
draped over my skin
to bring out the raw frigid emotions
that return my ancestral memories
to the days when my forefathers
survived in caves at night after slaughtering
large beasts in the field by day and then feasting
upon the roasted flesh from the fire
that was sparked with the flame of evolutionary ingenuity.
A part of me longs for a return
to those harrowing, threat-filled, simpler times
when adrenaline and testosterone
ruled the roost, and Man
clawed his way to the top of the food chain
one sacrificial ceremony at a time.
I long to gnaw on the fresh bones
of a woolly mammoth brought down
after days on end spent tracking its herd’s location.
I long to thrust the hand carved spear into its side.
I long to shred the fur from its skin.
I long to wear the wool
and dance to the wild rhythmic beats
that only the shamans and madmen 
who are connected to deceased spirits
can hear as the strange song pours forth
from a holy synchronized force
that flows with an energy beyond temporal understanding.
I long for the primal rage and bloodlust.
I long to let loose from these lungs
with a warning to all challengers
that the King Ape has ascended,
and that all who are not with me
have become potential enemies or prey.
The Winter chill through my open window
disturbs my furnace heated comfort,
arousing all types of preternatural instincts to surface
inside the safety of this suburban home. 

Scott Thomas Outlar flows and fluxes with the Tao River, gazes at stars, laughs at life's existential problems, dances to the rhythms of the celestial song, and writes prose-fusion poetry dedicated to the Phoenix Generation.  His work appears weekly at Dissident Voice, and recently in venues such as Medusa's Kitchen, Section 8 Magazine, Corner Club Press, W.I.S.H, and The Kitchen Poet.  He can be reached at

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Richard Schnap- A Poem


There are those in life
Who follow the rules
They are told to obey

To root for the home team
To read the best-sellers
To save for the future

And there are those in life
Who make up the rules
For millions to obey

To pay their taxes
To buy the right products
To learn to shoot

And there are those in life
Who do not follow rules
Who never obey

To be labeled mad
To have impossible dreams
To converse with God

Ayaz Daryl Nielsen- Three Poems

deeper than spring mud
my bull-shitter buddy
tells another one

empty homesteads              
to dust

small-town politics                         
kicking court-house walls
not the mayor

ayaz daryl nielsen, x-roughneck (as on oil rigs)/hospice nurse, editor of bear creek haiku (25+ years/125+ issues), homes for poems include Lilliput Review, SCIFAIKUEST, Shemom, Shamrock, Kind of a Hurricane, and!   online at  bear creek haiku  poetry, poems and info 

Nancy May- Three Poems

distant thunder
a bolt of lightning
drizzle of kisses

on a frozen pond
a shower of leaves
we part ways

feathers ruffle
snow fallen branches
silence between us

Nancy May has haiku published inThree 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, Kernels, Mused – The BellaOnline Literary Review, Dead Snakes, Danse Macabre – An online literary Magazine, High Coupe, A Handful of Stones, Lyrical Passion Poetry E-Zine, UFO Gigolo, 50 Haikus, The Germ, Boston Literary Review, Be happy Zone, Every Day Poets, Cattails, Ppigpenn, Creatrix Journal and M58.

She is a monthly contributor at The Camel Saloon and Poems and Poetry. She has reached The Heron’s Nest consideration stage twice and the Chrysanthemum consideration stage once. She is working on her first haiku collection.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Denny E. Marshall- Art

                                                                   The Guitar

Ross Vassilev- A Poem

therefore ...

down the street
with the sun
the wind
and the blue sky
God is waiting
for me to say
profound while
the white
butterflies dance
in my head
the cars speed by
and I remember
that day
in 2nd grade
when I got up
and showed it
to the girl sitting
in front of me
I tell God
he doesn't exist
so I must be
talking to myself
I am God with
nothing but
these eyes in my
head staring at
my white hands—
I am alive.

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

Charley on My Harley

The nightmare woke my father every night 
for years. He had no idea what it meant 
and so he wrote the story down and hoped 
some day he'd understand it.

He lost the note that night but 
found it decades later in a drawer 
next to the glass eye he popped out 
the stormy night that Mother left.

Mom came back to "make their marriage work"
after she'd been gone for 20 years
but Father told her they had been divorced 
for at least 10 years. Despite her tears,

Father told her, "Maude, after all this time,
let's agree that you were gone before you left 
so let me tell you all about the nightmare 
I've had every night since you rode off

with Charley on my Harley. I wrote the story down 
to tell the kids but they grew up and left 
before I had a chance to ask if they knew 
what the nightmare meant. 

Maybe you can help me understand it, Maude
The note says this: 'What purpose does a rabbit have 
other than as prey? What difference does 
a rainbow make in a rabbit’s day?'

Now you say you love me, Maude, 
but the kids are grown and gone 
so take my Harley and go find Charley.
It's time I put my eye back in."

A Walmart Way of Life

Opal the widow next door
shouts to Hilda over the fence
as they hang out their wash

on a sunny morning that
Walmart's having a big sale
on toilet paper and she's

stocked up now for the year
unless she gets diarrhea.
Then Hilda tells Opal she

would stock up on that too 
but her doctor has told her
she could live for many years

so she has to save in case 
she ever needs a cat scan
Opal says not to worry since

she will give Hilda the ad
the next time Walmart 
runs a sale on pet stuff.

A Matter of Business 

Every day at noon
when church bells peal
Rufus stops counting his money
gets up from his roll-top desk
lights a Cuban cigar
pours a glass of fine wine
and looks out his garret window

hoping to see Martha 
his neighbor dead in the snow
dropped by a heart attack 
or maybe black ice.
Either will do.
Too old to shovel the walk
she can’t afford to have it done.

Rufus never thought Martha
would live this long.
When she finally dies 
the property reverts to him
the result of a deal he cut
with her dead husband Mort
years ago when the couple 

needed his money and Rufus
figured they’d die in no time.
Mort was quick to cooperate
but Martha has been a turtle.
Twice now Rufus has lost
good buyers for the place 
rehabbers think is worth fixing.

Rufus doesn’t agree 
but he’ll sell the place in seconds
to anyone who offers the money.
For now, when church bells peal
Rufus lights a cigar, drinks wine,
looks out the window and thinks,
Hurry up Martha and die.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.