Thursday, July 30, 2015

Melanie Browne- A Poem

Hashtag Shark Bait

people spending
summer dollars,
don't want to be
don't want to lose
an arm or leg
or part of their stomach,
& stay close to the shore,
politicians gearing up
for the 2016 race,
spending summer dollars,
throw bait in the water,
wait for the people to come,
then once elected
they head back out to sea

Douglas Polk- Three Poems

Secretary Savior

John Kerry,
the savior returned,
testifying before congress,
a lifetime cross to bear,
a social elite,
grilled and abused,
by peasants,
lesser men and women than himself,
justice his own,
railing against the war in Vietnam,
when a young man,
telling lurid gossip,
hard to believe,
now years later,
back before congress,
and in favor of treating with Iran,
obtuse in his arguments,
a common mind,
spewing concepts,
more akin to a spider's web,
than a foundation for logical thought,
still arrogant,
and ignorant,
after all these years,
a life wasted,
trapped in a web,
of his own making,
the savior secretary sacrificed,
aloof and alone,
but no one cares.

The Schooling

professor Obama,
schooling us all,
in the logic of ivy tower diplomacy,
the real world ignored,
while an illusion is formed,
pages and pages of paper,
construct a world of rules and regulations,
a house of cards,
life the ideal,
lived between the typeset lines,
the suffering never actually seen,
paper thin,
created and enforced,
by the printed word,
lines in the sand,
no longer exist,
sentence after sentence,
filled with nouns and verbs,
interpreted as each nation chooses,
while the professor hides in the ivy tower.

Secretary Moniz

the hair brings to mind,
a beatnik poet,
but sadly his words do not flow,
immersed in science,
he answers the trivial,
with rambling statements,
sentences of uncertain beginnings,
and confusing ends,
knowledgeable in nuclear physics,
unfamiliar with history,
and seemingly unaware of right or wrong,
or morality,
a high priest of science,
isolated from the day to day,
a child taken advantage of,
across the negotiating table.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

John Grey- Three Poems

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, Perceptions and Sanskrit with work upcoming in South Carolina Review, Gargoyle, Owen Wister Review and Louisiana Literature.   


Her nail fought hard against the itch
in her right shoulder. And he battled
the lint in his sweater to an honorable
draw. The kids were the combatants

who actually got to lay hands on one
another but just a push here, a kick
in the shins there. And just as prelude
to the real war: the boy versus all

fifty state capitals, the girl against
the knots in her hair. These were
skirmishes the news forgot in its lust
for bloodier confrontations. No suicide

bombers but a wine glass fell and shattered.
No bodies on stretchers but Band-Aid on
finger cut, dirty clothes in hamper.
According to a reporter in Iraq,

people are afraid. The streets are empty.
So the world is a dangerous place.
But try living elsewhere.


The speeding tickets in the glove compartment
don't say much for his obedience to one law at least.
He collects them like…
you bite your thought like it' s a tongue,
before the word "women" slips out.
He ignores the signs.
Should you ignore the one you made -
"Brenda, are you sure?"

And then he accelerates that convertible
on a straight stretch of highway
even though you beg him to slow down.
Your feelings, his needs,
and only one steering wheel.
Will it always be like this?
A crash? A breakup?
Blood or tears ~
they both pour from a vein.

He's going even faster.
Your heart plays ping pong with your throat.
You love him,
but not at this speed.
He slaps the wind around
like it's your face.
And whatever's in the rearview
gets what it deserves.

Finally, he stops, parks by an overlook.
"Lovely," you both say,
he for the drama,  you for the stillness.


The cemetery forgets itself.
Every stone, every angel,
even that rich man's mausoleum
gleam with sun.
Where is the gloom my emotions promised?
Am I in the wrong place?

In truth, I expected rain.
Not everywhere,
just here,
a gray cloud drooping
over the graveyard
as if pulled on
by the unwitting magnetism of the dead.

But the sun shines broadly.
Amid all these names and dates,
it still finds time for photosynthesis.
It follows me and my bundle of flowers.
Then it's at my side.
And, finally, it somehow reaches
the grave ahead of me.

Is it playing devil's advocate?
Or more likely, it's antonym?
I'm here to be nothing but morose
and yet it offers a presence
at odds with those buried below me.

All around, there are pools of brightness.
Even the willows give up
all pretense of shade and shadow.
Can I really place my bouquet
and be happy doing so?

The word is dark, dammit.
Or if not, the last word in oblivious.

Robert Lavett Smith- Three Poems


     “O, que j’aime la solitude!”
          —Marc-Antoine Girard de Saint-Amant (1594-1661)

One Marc-Antoine Girard de Saint-Amant
Praised places he called “sacred to the night,”
Far from the city’s stale, degraded light:
Festering marshlands, ruined battlements.
I know the holy quietude he meant;
Enraptured by his lines, I tried to write
An eloquent adieu to all things bright,
But I was much too young, my time misspent.
I haven’t learned to love my solitude.
The dull dead throng around me every day:
I know the scent of almonds they exude,
The gentle resignation of decay.
I know they come to comfort, not to brood—
I also know they haven’t come to stay.


Dad’s fatherly advice was always wrong.
Raised on a dairy farm in New York State,
He never managed to anticipate
Trouble, hocking his horse sense for a song.
The safest bet was just to play along—
His harebrained schemes weren’t open to debate,
And I learned early not to take the bait:
Decades of stifled laughter make one strong.
I had to draw the line at his insistence,
When I was struggling as a book store clerk,
I sacrifice my weekend on the chance
The boss was grateful for my unpaid work—
A doubtful move in any circumstance.
I loved my Dad, but he could be a jerk.


The throats of muted trumpets do not fail,
No hesitation mars their silver voices;
The singer’s instrument has faced hard choices:
These last eroded notes are cracked and pale.
The orchestra’s quixotic clarity
Sounds brighter now that ever in the forties—
And yet the croon that loved to tempt and tease
Seems ragged, strained, and frankly, elderly.
Though something of his swagger may endure,
This music, set aside for twenty years,
Surprises: unexpectedly one hears
Discordances not evident before.
It seems a lifetime since The Voice fell dumb;
No one believes the best is yet to come.

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. He has recently begun work on an new collection of sonnets—his second foray into the form—which is entitled Sturgeon Moon, and which will hopefully be published by Full Court Press at the end of the year.

Jonathan Beale- Three Poems

The Winter Bouquets

After the painting by Morris Graves’

Surrounded by four dull walls
On one hung a view, a looking eye:
The glass: stemmed of thought –
The sticks brittle in the air and water.

Pieces as thoughts
Like a Japanese poem:
The parts of nature segmented
As if intended by a mischievous deity 
Looking skyward or hell bound.
Is the mind set of man.
Corrupted simple forms in a game.

A hard woody exterior
Displaying nothing
Brash edges
Forgotten by the artists
hand and eye 
And cut off from nature’s breast.

Leaving the room I looked back
At the winter to come against the summer sun.


The old woman that lives at the end of the lane.
As she has... forever.
Eternally stamped and as dishevelled
as the sea washed seafront.
Youth subtly avoiding her. 

As she, hangs her washing on the line.
Ignoring the winds kiss.
The ceramic walls
Of her home she decorates in her evening wishes
Cheroot’s plastered over the floor.

Along with the oils and colours
Of paintings she creates.
Her time split between -
Incessant, loquaciousness, and monastic silence.
In this cul-de-sac.

Of forgotten dreams she labours.
Against times idling thumb twittering.
And as the wolf whistles
To the girls into the night
She stares blankly through the gin and cigarillos.

Within the antique d├ęcor
She lives by breathing the briny air
The turquoise and white as her eyes
Her life is slipping by, like the quayside ropes
Of the leaving ships.

Her grammar of life, now no longer understood.
Her anger, raw as the marrow, red as paprika.
Growing life pressured by the lost leaves of her life
The rickety old rocking chair goes on – rocking - just.
The world unseen through smoke stained glass.

The Rosewater dew

The rosewater dew
Falls on every diesel engine and rust smothered piece
Of man’s metallic creativity
Breathes life into and through every leaf

The Living and loving are asleep
The dreams slip in and out through the ears and eyes
The sullen poets cast their rod & line
To catch a word on a line 

Mel Waldman- A Poem




On the night
the jabberwocky universe,
full moon,
an author
his unfinished manuscript,
a mansion
infinite rooms

he meets his mad characters
 speak to him,
flaming secrets,
the psycho creator;

he scurries
burning labyrinths,
in search
vanishing truths
an obscure identity
his birth,

he became a rabid character
his unfinished manuscript
the night of the full moon,

the universe
swirled unfathomably
the flames


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Jennifer Lagier- Three Poems & Photos

Cambria Pines

The trees are whispering,
murmur intimations of rising wind,
cicada symphonies,
drippy incursions of fog.

Ground squirrels patrol parched terrain,
as hikers approach, whistle, sound the alarm.
Jays curse from dusty oaks,
pursue one another into yellowing boughs.

Dry forest creaks, dances in the breeze.
Needles spill from stressed, rusty pines.
Red-headed woodpeckers drill dying limbs,
dismantle diseased wood, fallen logs.

Sweet Water Springs

Fog lifts from wetlands, wraps itself
like a lavender scarf around Morro Rock.

Lanky egrets wade through shallow lagoon
escorted by a flotilla of mud-colored ducks.

Drought has diminished both sweet water ponds.
There are no turtles, tadpoles, or golden-eyed frogs.

Stressed pickleweed fringes estuary waterways.
A single wild radish blooms beneath coyote bush.

Small birds flit among silver eucalyptus, lift the heart,
fill uncertain morning with bright, promising songs.

Poison Oak Path

A spooked doe bounces over fallen logs,
vanishes into scarlet blear of thick poison oak.

Sunrise pulses mysteriously behind drifting mist.
I follow a thin deer trail that loops between pines and sea.

From gold ridgetop, I see rattlesnake grass thickets,
hear the suck and sluice of invisible waves.

Something clatters among dry seed pods, shattered cones,
morphs to brash stellar jay as waking squirrels stir.

Blackbirds and bunnies make themselves known.
Unwritten adventure hides behind foggy scrim.

Cameron West- Three Poems

"The Hands of Time"

The times passing by from a minute to an hour,
gathering courage is what people do after they cower.
Whispering to others about false information,
but doesn't connect to the truth for a direct correlation.
People go by suffering from an illness or more,
Time comes in, to present anew which isn't a bore.
Sometimes thinking it can be over in an instant,
but actually lasting for several decades (hmm...) that's maleficent.
With numerous objections with deep mindsets, 
coming and going just like trading in bets.
As Time goes on, we will soon be told,
people tend to be sly and rude but underneath, they're actually bold.
Time controls all inside a swift moving sphere, 
being the shape of the Earth, but like a movement of a spear.

"The Blue Moon Sensation"

Out of the whole year, there is one day,
where people seem to have the need to speak and say.
Thoughts and emotions flowing in and out,
conversing therapeutic words around and about.
One ear in, one ear out, expressing 'you' only,
saying that you need no one, but feeling lonely.
Asking someone to go on a date for positivity,
seeing that it only added towards yours curiosity.
Feeling like you're entering chambered doors,
just like being trapped inside and out with no one to hear your roars.
Viewing all the actions about your past,
wishing you could control Time, knowing it's your last.
Lights flickered, water poured, darkness scattered,
glass cracked, embers sparked, and minds battered.
Once every blue moon sends combinations,
but once the day ends, it comes with congratulations.

"Bleak Winter"

Windy thoughts coming from above,
flying through the clouds such as a dove.
Cold winters chilling to the bones,
polar caps and ice tips are just winter's cones.
Sounds and emotions bouncing off the walls,
waiting on the morning  blues to interrupt the echoing calls.
Using the knowledge already gathered at the edge,
falling down into a snowy abyss from a ledge.
Cold-minded ideas flaking off the brain,
shivering for warmth of the body to sustain.
Storing and rationing for the sake of survival,
beginning to view the native mind as a tribal.
On a quest for clearance and understanding,
but can't be too forceful and demanding.
Polar ceramics framed in the lighthouse,
all inhabitants frozen to the bone and quiet as a mouse.
 Bio: Hello, my name is Cameron West and I have had a passionate interest in poetry with great creativity ever since I read the graceful poems "John Donne's Statue" by John Peale Bishop and "The Ceiling" by Theodore Roethke as these poems reminded me of quite deep characteristics of my interests. The reason of why I want to submit my poetry to this publication is from the interest of sharing my stored poems to the world to see and for those effected to grasped the ideas I share to them.

Alison Ross- A Poem

Empathy for the devil 

There is sympathy and there is empathy and then there is the hole inside my head. The devil told me he'd take a look at it, but he doesn't do house calls and anyway, my kitchen is a mess. So I rang the doctor instead, and he prescribed a large dose of apathy, and plenty of restless sleep. When the devil called asking me to a dinner party at midnight in the garden of pseudo-evil, I yawned and fell back into my Baudelaire nightmare, where the flowers smell like narcissism and the wine tastes like the aftermath of excessive calculation. 

And besides, I never really liked solving equations, which is maybe why I have this hole inside my head. 

Author bio: 

Clockwise Cat publisher and editor Alison Ross has been published here, there, elsewhere and nowhere. She experienced rave-levels of ecstasy when she found out she was shortlisted for the 2014 Erbacce Prize among 20 others, down from 5,000 entries. She was also giddily bemused when was nominated for the Best of the Net a few years back, though she lost out to savvier scribes. Alison's chapbook, Clockwise Cats, released by the venerable Fowlpox Press, will subvert your dissonant dystopia into a euphonious utopia of Zen-Surrealist bliss. 



Brittany Zedalis- Two Poems

Midnight Eyes

During a trek through a frigid woodland,

something flashed before my eyes, white,

ripping me from silent solitude,

an owl starkly contrasted against the earthen tones,

I watched, devoted and inquisitive of this enigma

as its claws touched down just before me,

midnight eyes fixated on my own, motionless,

my feet fastened to the soil beneath,

I struggle to pull myself free, to reach beyond the barrier,

while the creature continued to stare, in such silence

that I was sure I must have been deafened,

my fingers outstretched, straining,

longing for just one connection, however brief,

and with the distance scant between,

its wings spread in blinding light, vanished,

restoring my solitude


Today, as the clock strikes twelve,
I am thrust through starlight and nebulas 

back to an era long since past, 

where freedom rang from the sky above 

and your voice was the very foundation beneath my feet, 

your long, slim fingers grasped my hands, 

lifting me from perdition into light,
again I am swept away into memory, 

as once again you lifted me up, 

instead in this moment it was to cheers
and tears fell down your cheeks in pride, 

violently I am ripped from peace, I remember, 

the consistent clicking of machines and staff scurrying by, 

anxious, waiting, pacing, 

then relief so brief filled my heart as yours continued on, 

but in finality, I stumble into the darkness, 

 your heartbeat beating on so slowly 

that I felt mine would stop if a moment of silence passed, 

and suddenly I am choking, I am pleading for air and life 

while reaching for those long, slim fingers that once lifted me up, 

I crash, and I am fallen.

Brittany Zedalis is a writer residing in North Carolina. She has been writing poetry for many years and it is a part of her down to her bones. Previously, her poems have appeared in The Camel Saloon, Haiku Journal, Mad Swirl, Leaves of Ink, Verse Land, and in one E-Zine interview.

Stefanie Bennett- Two Poems

Beyond reasonable doubt
There’s an entrapment
The lesion
Of the spirit
Contorts to -
The abandoned echo
Into a judicial
Stone kiss.
Perversity preys upon itself.
Is not kind
                 - Fevering
The white-washed hands
Of faith’s tactician...
Where hearts, hung
Like Bedouin relics
- Are made to be
FIRST; The Chill       
If it’s not written in any book –
Or scroll
Of ocean green...
The compass is caught
And the forests
                        Are afire, watch!
... As the earth rolls over
Its unattached
New leaf –.

Ramona Thompson- Two Poems

Let Snakes Remind Strangers
You're different
You're nothing like them
Not even close
So why question?
Why ache to belong?
Where you don't and never will
Be happy
In the company of those vicious vipers

One by one forward
If you let them
With their poisons

They will consume you
Turn you
Against friends and family
Both old and new
So while you still can
Let snakes remind strangers
About their dangers
Don't join in
Whatever you do

No fiend
In your reflection
No monster mask
You hide behind
You're you
And that's all you should be
No matter what they may try and tell you
You don't have to
Jump on that demonic bandwagon
Not unless you really want to
And when you think about it
Do you?

2015 Ramona Thompson

Viper's Grip

Am I in love?
Or am I in danger?
Feels as if
I hardly know him at all
Never met his family
Never met his friends
Am I lost or am I found?
Will this love turn fatal?
It frightens me
To think
We got here
To this point so fast

He's the best of me
Most times
Other times he's the worse
And it feeds
All my fears
The future a murky swamp
His charms so easy
His rage also
Torn between 2 extremes
Should I stay or should I go?
I just don't know

My friends have warned
My family has laughed
Two different views
Which one is right?
I feel like a bug
Strayed too close to the light
Burned by being
Just a little too curious
Dare I give in and say yes?
Yes to his ring tonight?

The moment of truth has arrived
No turning back now
I must face him
Accept or reject
All of him
Win or lose him
And still I'm so unsure
So torn
Between true love and true fear
And tonight I tremble
As I question
Am I in love with him?
Or am I being ruthlessly crushed?
Inside the viper's grip

2015 Ramona Thompson
Ramona Thompson has been writing for more than 20 years. Her past and current credits include Dead Snakes, Infernal Ink, Blood Moon Rising, Howl, Calvary Cross and many more.
Readers/fans may reach her on facebook or via her e-mail  

Ross Vassilev- A Poem

bars made of sun

if you're insane and lonely
there's nothing to do
but write poetry
as the dead flies multiply
on the windowsill
for the sky is cracked
and humanity is cracked
and you can play live chess
on the Internet
till the end of time
or till a brilliant, blinding sun
explodes somewhere
and destroys
the entire surface of the Earth,
whichever comes first.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Daniel Wilcox- Three Poems

One Dog Night 

After we drove


a ranch road into pasture
by the frozen stream,

I sat in the truck cab looking...


splotch-starred darkness,
through the cracked, pitted windshield,

while the ranch cook grimaced and cursed.

He jumped from the driver's seat,
back to the pickup bed,

shot the pensive dog,
and dumped him
into a snow bank

—for vultures and the rot of spring.

And, me, sitting in the cab,
feeling like Lenny.

First pub. in Unlikely Stories 2.0

Film Over Our Eyes

We ‘dry’ Baptists
Got guts and minds
Immersed in
The ocean of no-nothing,
New ‘cawled’
Wet with innocence
In the dawn of don’t;
Y’u no know do knows
Of both spellings
Including no film
Except (“see no…”)

Over our youthful eyes
Not only did we no fast
Moving… but picture this:
No poesy, no do-si-do,
No rolling rockabilly,
Only Billy the Graham, “Just
As I Am” that is,
Not the Graham of Fillmore’s
“White Rabbit”;
No Slick, but grace, yes.

Oh, the film over our eyes


My first date
Wanted to see Hailey Mills. Wheeling,
Dizzy (not Walt or Dean) with worry
I walked her down
With trepidation
Under the glaring marque
Into that pit wallow of wrong

(“Abandon hope, all who enter here…”)

Only to find the Disney film
Summer Magic,
Rather moving, a picture
Of overly decent fun,
Not dangerous at all, not like
The images in my own mind
Mined deep into surging lava;

Oh, the film over our eyes

Fast frame a few
Years into our Medusa’d future,
And projectors gone wild,
R-shuttering eyes strange
Wide into
The restricted blazoned
Display, Beyond PG
(Pretty Gross), so graphic;

And many a theater
Became an ‘easy ride’
For this Bible belt boy
Into carnal knowledge,

Graphic blood-letting,
Words never Scriptur’d,
Negative nude scenes
Razing our senses,
And vicarious mayhem;

Oh, the film over our eyes

Gazing (“see no, know…”);
I been through the mills
Thrown too many times down
Into the sea,
Those millstones around our necks;
Next stop,

(Not Hailey’s picture show,
Or that last one down
Texas-mixed way,
Nor Cecil’s 'B' Mills),

But the brain(swine)wash
Of a ‘Last Tango’d’ mind--
Been ‘Brando’d’, thanks Simon,
(Not Simple, but the Paul’d one)
Down the starred Walk of Fame,

Oh, the film over our eyes

Glazed, cataract-vague vision
Unholywood’d, Ash-shamed
Y’u know,

First pub. The Camel Saloon


She said, Never
Have I a single evil urge
And argued urgently, so ardently,
Yes, really sincerely
In her secular innocence.
Or was that self-chosen
Ignorance, blind-sided?
The bar so minimally debased
That only the vile need apply
For infamous, wicked status--
The debauched ones
An open conduit to debouch
The pit?

He said, Always
Have I had a mingled evil urge
And grieved urgently, so dejectedly,
Yes, really repentantly
In his sacred guilt.
Or was that self-chosen
Obsession, blind-sided?
The star so supremely zenithed
That only the pure need apply
For exalted, righted status--
The chaste ones
An open conduit to deliver
The peak?

First pub. The Camel Saloon

Brief Bio: Daniel's wandering lines have appeared in many magazines in the United States, Canada, and overseas including Contemporary American Voices, Write Room, Static Movement, vox poetica, Fish Food, Poetry Pacific, Counterexample Poetics, and Unlikely Stories IV.

Before that Daniel hiked through the University of Nebraska, Cal State University, Long Beach (Creative Writing), Montana, Pennsylvania, Europe, Arizona, and Palestine/Israel. He now lives on the central coast of California with his quilting wife.

Noel Negele- A Poem

Present Memories

Her hair’s short-
A tomboy beauty
She always shares her cigarettes
And she can handle silence,
A girl with an indie heart
Self educated more than system educated
A rebel at every chance
Despises drama
But somehow draws plenty of it

She rubs you when you feel awful
She drinks with you and as much as you
And in the morning she always sleeps more than you
She loves you and doesn’t mind telling you
She shares her socks and gives you money
And asks for sex just as easily

She stares at you while you sleep
With adoring eyes
Her fingers streaming from your forehead
To your lips to your neck
To your chest
And you want to open your eyes
So you can see her smooth, dreamer smile
But you enjoy the feeling 
Of her finger tips too much

While the rays of the afternoon sun
Make their way through the shutters
Giving untouchable orange to the room

And your breathing
And hers
Like a prologue to a symphony
And the sound of the far away waves
And the cicadas on the trees
Taking their place
And the stillness of joy
And the surging of happiness
Into the moment
Stretching left and right
Engulfing body and soul
And the world entire

As something close to perfection
Coexists with us both.

Joe Brennand- Three Poems

Three Sweet Haiku

my heart melts
in our dance of love
Champaign on ice

on bended knee
a ring in my hand
will you marry me?

autumn sunrise
through the passing years
I stand by you


small poems can be found at The Camel Saloon, Plum Tree Taven and Writers Haven

Robert Demaree- Three Poems


Cold Cuts

In the deli line:
Lebanon bologna, please,
Half-pound, sliced quite thin.
The man in line next to me
Says, “I love Lebanese food.”

Waiting Room

Morning TV shows:
The only people who watch:
Customers waiting
At the Chevrolet dealer:
An oil change, Steve Harvey next.

Calm Water

A cloudy Sunday,
No power boats on the pond:
Three generations
Kayaking single-file:
Paddles rotate like windmills.

Robert Demaree is the author of three book-length collections of poems, including After Labor Day, published in April 2014 by Beech River Books.  In 2013 his poems received first place in competitions sponsored by the Poetry Society of New Hampshire and the Burlington Writers Club He is a retired school administrator with ties to North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, where he lives four months of the year. His poems have appeared in over 150 periodicals. For further information see 

Donal Mahoney- A Poem

Going to Planned Parenthood Again

“We had the other ones done there,” says Tammy. 
"Why not go there again? Everything went well.
No complications. Who cares about the publicity? 
Bunch of do-gooders with hidden cameras.

“I don’t care about the publicity,” says Jason. 
“But if I’m the father and they’re going to sell 
the heart, brains and liver of my fetus, I want 
a share in the proceeds. There would be no
fetus, parts or proceeds if it weren’t for me. 
They wouldn’t have anything to sell.”

“You’re absolutely nuts,” says Tammy, 
“absolutely nuts. If they pay you, 
they’ll have to pay every other 
guy who gets a girl pregnant. 
What about me? I’m the pregnant one. 
I’m the one they’re taking it from. 
Why shouldn’t I get paid, Jason?”

“We should both get paid,” says Jason. 
"Let’s go down there and tell them 
either we get a share of the proceeds 
or you’ll have the baby instead. 
Then we’ll add to the population,
use disposable diapers, flush the toilet 
too often and eventually make 
the world warmer than it is.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Bradley Williams- A Cartoon

                                         See my website at:

Richard Schnap- A Poem


Sometimes people just vanish
Never to be seen again

As if they’re abducted by aliens
Taken in the middle of the night

The girl you courted in high school
Disappearing without a clue

The beggar on the sidewalk each morning
Becoming just an empty space

The man with the guitar on the corner
Whose music is nowhere to be heard

The woman who’d wave as she passed you
Gone before you learned her name

But the worst is when you encounter
A friend that you thought was dead

With the same face you remember
But eyes that are light years away

Linda M. Crate- Three Poems

in pursuit of truth 
everyone tells me
that i am strange as if that's the 
worst insult you can 
but i still dive into the wreck
into the me and she and he and all the blues
and greens and blacks;
i prefer the golden scarlet carnelian kisses of
sunsets burning against my flesh
and dancing in my hair,
but sometimes just sometimes
i embrace the darkness and the void
they always want the sunshine but i revel in the rain
washing against my skin as i descend the ladder
and leap into the inky waters of 
maudlin faces greet me beyond the surface and so i 
dig deeper
because there is always something more
than what is anticipated
i find peace in the eyes of dead ships and mermaid fins
to see the light kiss the water
like a lover,
and i wonder if the moon is jealous of the sea
so she crashes her angrily against the rocks out of mere
jealousy and spite because she knows the sun
has been untrue;
no one joins me on these voyages
they are too wild for them to reckon but i have always been
sitting on the teeth of the most ferocious eloquency
ready to cut into the truth.

wicked wolf 
bones are heavy to carry
i refuse to remember
it would serve no purpose
except to make me cry,
and i've already
have birthed enough rivers of grief
into existence in the vanity
that is your name;
nothing i could say or do would make
you love me the way i loved you
because you never did even
care not even a little bit
you don't destroy people you love—
all you ever offered me
were the silences that cut my heart
i gave you all of me and carried your bones
so many moons simply so you could shrug mine off
like snakeskin and bite into my throat
with fangs 
so merciless even a vampire would cringe
before using them,
you are the most profound monster;
even other monsters wouldn't rip scars so deep as you—
remember the bad guy always dies in the
novel and in the movie and in life
they say the good die young but sometimes so do the
and i hope for once life is fair
makes you lose faith in a love you never believed in
as she rips you petal from petal so none of the
roses you have stolen are yours.

forgetting your name 
i'll color the roses
with your blood,
and paint the moon in the silver
of your soul;
will rip you apart and feed your
bones to the wolves
you claim are your fathers—
i'll let the carrion
feast upon your flesh for ravens are
my brothers and crows my
and your mocking lips shall fall into
no longer shall anyone hear
the song of the
mocking jay and the world will sleep more
restful knowing one monster has
been slain because
i am a monster slayer 
capable of tying her own corset and everything
my heels will be at your throat
you'll see the fury in my eyes you always
denied was there—
i will burn you in the fires of your own lust
until you can stand no more,
and watch as the universe forgets
your name.