Monday, November 30, 2015

David J. Thompson- A Photo

                                                             "Route 96, Kansas"

Kinga Fabo- Three Poems


I don't know what it is but very ill-
intended. Surely a woman must belong to it.
And something like a laughter.

I am rotating the city on me,
rotating my beauty. That's that!
Many keys, small keyholes whirling.

Gazes cannot be all in vain. And the answer?
Merely a jeer.
The vase hugs and kills me, can't breathe.

Now my features – even with the best intentions –
cannot be called beautiful.
And her? The girl? Her trendy perfume

is Poison. For me a real poison indeed.
And the vase?
It hugs and kills me.

But what am I to do without?

(Translated by Kinga Fabó)

© Kinga Fabó

While In Action

While in action you don’t disturb
me a bit. Just go to bed and sleep.
You’re being so vulgar, hon. And like
snow: soft and sneaky.

Admitted: thirty minutes sentiments, inane
silence, claptrap. Shot. Ladies,
in my ping-pong heart the game is
at rest. Some other time. Perhaps.

(Translated by Katalin N. Ullrich)

© Kinga Fabó

Isadora Duncan Dancing

Like sculpture at first. Then, as if the sun rose in her, long
A small smile; then very much so.

The beauty
of the rite shone; whirling.

She whirled and whirled,
Only the body spoke. The body carried her


Her dance a spell
swirling the air, a spiral she was


her shawl, the half circle around her,
the curve of the sea-shore and

the dancer and the dance apart…

(Trascreated by Cathy Strisik and Veronica Golos based on Katalin N. Ullrich’s translation.)

© Kinga Fabó


Kinga Fabó is an acclaimed Hungarian poet (linguist, essayist). Her recent bilingual Indonesian-English poetry book is Racun/Poison, 2015, Jakarta.

Jennifer Lagier- A Poem & Photo

Streets of Pain

The homeless sleep among dunes,
inside battered vans or decrepit RVs
on quiet, dead-end streets,
push shopping carts filled
with meager belongings.

In parks and wetlands,
I find empty whiskey bottles
men wrapped in filthy blankets
huddled on cardboard under shrubs
waiting for sunrise.

Hank, George, and Zeb
inhabit streets of pain
forage for handouts,
strung out or psychotic,
part of the everyday landscape. 

Randall Rogers- Three Poems

I Love The Ugly!

I look at all the women
I am attracted to, and think,
gee, what about all the
women I'm not attracted
to? What do I feel for them?
Compassion, I tell myself,
infinite compassion.
Then, thinking further, and
looking deeper, I see that
all beauty is ephemeral,
and the only real beauty
is in the heart and mind,
and I say darn it all to heck,
I love the ugly!

Never Really That Wrong

Whenever I encounter
old people, I can't help
but think of all the broken
hearts and dastardly doings
they probably committed
when they were young,
supple, and strong. And
my compassion for them
seemingly is not so strong.
Then, some speak, or do
what they do, and I realize
instantly, this one, or these
ones, were, I bet, never
really that wrong.

From Now Through Forever

I know I should count
my blessings, but I
can't help but think
I should be blessed
a little more.
I just ask I feel
alright for the rest
of my life,
and I feel
best when and
after I die.

Noel Negele- A Poem

Life is Mediocre Most of The Time.

And so are we.
It takes little self- knowledge
and a little more acceptance
to see this.

in the promises we don't keep
though it takes little effort to accomplish.

In your own tired eyes
in the morning, brushing your teeth
feeling quite bad because you're not bad
nor good-
you just are,
a utensil that once contained the false air
of possibility
but that now is all too true
in its emptiness.

In the dissapointing lovers,
in the dissapointing friends
in the dissapointing family.

Defeat after defeat.
Nothing but nothing.

Getting up from bed
like climbing a mountain.

Floating in life
like a ring of smoke
dissolving in the air;
the terrible, slow and stable
fade away occuring.

As lifeless as the guts of the lamp
dug out by the bloody hands
of the butcher.

Like flies shut in the palm
of a cruel God-
our insides dripping 
between his fingers.

Not even tragedy, just dull pain.
Unchallenged submission
with no bickering.

Taking a nap on your couch
at four in the afternoon
with the television on mute,
realizing you haven't had a laugh
or as much as a giggle
in five months or more.

Dennis Villelmi- Two Poems

"What I Had Stolen For Heaven's Sake"

As jade, obtained as the de facto hue of heaven-
   It was theft, though; the criminal was indispensable.
I woke up in, or fell asleep and dreamt in, the Nanjing gardens;
I was caught quickly by the leopard lilies, their beauty and their
   Offers to cure me of the the previous hour's arrows.
The gardens gave me rock to sit on, my steps managed with
   Buckling legs.
       'I have not, however, the jade.  And as I hired the thief, the
           sky I got it for by twist won't allow me the wings.  All
           heaven would have me do is simply count the massacred.'

-Carthage is whispering.  It's cultured its gardens from time to time
    And in an album of locales.  Blood, salt, Baal and the beating of
    Roman sandals.

       'Dido wanted some change though; change as jade.'

"Greenhouse Hot Contempt"

347 pages of crossroads.
I know it was petty of me-
Petty wrath for over wilted gerbers.
Yet, there was another reason I cursed you:
That was my death; my death you took.
My death you lie there with.
I'm done with biography and greenhouses, or so I
Was till I made the mistake of training you.
Now it'll be another season at least of planting and
Consolidation.  Dirty, leafy, 90  degrees F crossroads.
It's damn frantic to the right, the left it's like Sicily and Korea
Peppers, the candy-like scent and the green death I'm again
I wish the owner would fire all the harvesters by New Year's.

Dennis Villelmi is the author of the gothic epic poem "Fretensis," as well as the dystopian short story, "The Apian Way." (Dagda Publishing)  Additionally, he has a good number of poems published by Dagda, Dead Snakes, and Aphelion webzine.  He also writes freelance for 

Bart Solarczyk- Three Poems

Prayer & Fetish

This thing that beefed
& broadened you
muscled & cocksure
is leaving now
it has its own death
to attend

it's leaving
& no medicine
can conjure its return
prayer & fetish
reduced to mocking jokes

no give, no getting back
always the same ending
the hollow weight of loss
the sag & bend
of meat & bone

it's gone
& you shrivel
in its absence

body shrinks to stump
mind a pickled egg
& the man
a ghost of words
trapped in a poem.

Less Of Her

Staccato beeps, a crippled soundtrack
green machines & lasers
venomous dark spots
killing what's been kissed

waking hard, she's still here
beautiful but less of her
eyes too sad to leave
but looking for a door.

Dusting The Moon

Dusting the moon
with drunken wishes

as gravity
folds our wings

falling through
last call

with nothing

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Janne Karlsson- For Doug Draime

BIO:  Doug Draime, you will be remembered. Rest in Peace, my friend.

John Swain- A Poem

Isle Royale

The rising island moves in light
as lake waves cut deep coves
unseen from the ancient stone ridge.

Freed to receive
a trembling vision in the aspen and birch,
leaves sound vibrating a canopy bell
electric in my arms
I stand transfixed among.

Exhausted in my sweat
as clothes dry on the open shore,
fox shadows run from a hanging bandana.
I taste the clean water on my tongue
and then only the sun in blue.

Quiet and alone the heights wander
lakes within the lake,
a rainstorm pillars in the distance
while the water in my metal cup
looms like the harvest sky. 

John Swain lives in Louisville, Kentucky. Least Bittern Books published his second collection, Under the Mountain Born.

Sanjeev Sethi- Two Poems

The recently released, This Summer and That Summer, (Bloomsbury) is Sanjeev Sethi’s third book of poems. His work also includes well-received volumes, Nine Summers Later and Suddenly For Someone. He has, at various phases of his career, written for newspapers, magazines, and journals. He has produced radio and television programs.
His poems have found a home in The London Magazine, The Fortnightly Review, Allegro Poetry Magazine,  Otoliths, Lemon Hound, Solstice Literary Magazine, Off the Coast Literary Journal, Synesthesia Literary Journal, Oddball Magazine, Hamilton Stone Review, Indian Literature, Journal of the Poetry Society (India), The Hindu, The Statesman, and elsewhere. He lives in Mumbai, India.
Poems are forthcoming in Sentinel Literary Quarterly, and  Literary Orphans.

Well-versed tomes whitewashing
the inner maquette of maestros,
clutter literary hallways.
Does limelight rescue them
from their private curse?
Does arrival compose suffering?

Umpteen evenings 
spent drinking
to perks of partnership.
As absorption grew  
promises and premises
were swapped
with steam and spirit.
But the chessboard outside
the honky-tonk
had other theories…
I am on the wagon.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

Flotsam and Jetsam

They're usually poor people,
sometimes considered
the flotsam of society,
always in the way
at the grocery store,
at the post office.
They can’t find their money,
if they have any.
They’re never in a hurry.
They have nowhere to go

and you’re always in line 
behind them, a busy man 
with people to see,
appointments to keep,
deadlines to meet.
You try to be patient.
You know flotsam loiters
until life takes it away.

Later in retirement 
you stand on a street corner
leaning on your cane 
waiting for the light to change 
but for you it never does.
You now have something 
in common with flotsam. 

In a year, maybe less,
you will be jetsam as
birds soar over your plot
four seasons of the year.
You won’t be aware
that on street corners
all over the world 
the lights won’t change for
other folks still in a hurry, 
those who don’t realize yet 
flotsam and jetsam 
at some point in time
have something in common.
They have nowhere to go.

Big Difference

Behind every great man 
is a woman 
making him who he is.

Behind every great woman 
is a man
watching her walk.

A Milkshake Brings Advice

I bring a milkshake every other week
to an old man in a nursing home,
a refugee from Germany who paid me  
50 cents to cut his grass when I was 
a kid in Chicago after WWII.

I couldn’t understand him then
and I can’t understand him now 
but 50 cents was big money 
in 1950, 10 candy bars,
10 popsicles or maybe 5 Cokes.
Or I could mix and match and trade 
Pete the Collector for a baseball card.

Now my old neighbor sits in bed
and swigs his milkshake as I tell him  
that I drove by his house the other day 
and the new owners have planted 
roses and lilies everywhere.
Every color imaginable.
A botanical garden in bloom.
He blinks at me, smiles
and takes a final swig. 

Because of the language problem
we never talk about anything
except the house he will never 
see again and then marvel that 
he will turn 100 soon, quite a feat.
He smiles at that as well.

But he doesn’t smile when I get up 
to leave and offers me advice 
in the thunder of his accent:
“Someone had better stop ISIS now.
When I was a kid in Berlin, no one
stopped Hitler the bastard then."

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Bradley Williams- A Cartoon

See website at:

Noel Negele- Two Poems

About My Good Friend John

It happened usually
at dawn, while the sun started to come up
and we all wished the night lasted for two days-
when we came down from
the drugs hard,
our feet feeling like truck tires
instead of feathers
that we talked about the really serious stuff-
Syria, Hamas, immigration problems
world hunger, pharmaceutical companies
extremists, conspiracies, enviromental downslides
and there was always this bold guy telling us
about economical wars going on
and that we were really close to something awful-
this in truth was only a way of coping with sadness
talking about worse things
though we were, and still are, poorly educated
and the majority of us with criminal records.
But anyway, this is about my good friend John
leaning over the plate- a plastic straw jammed into his right nostril
just after I've told him to it call it a day,
that we had done enough self destructing
to last us for two life times,
my good friend John falling on the ground
flapping like a fish out of water,
foam coming out of his mouth
his eyes nowhere to be seen-
death rocking him hard before
taking him from us,
my good friend John
the more good looking one
the kinder one
dying in front of our eyes
bringing a flash in my mind
of him laughing at fourteen years of age
all rose-cheeked and careless,
remaining still, suddenly, at last
like a puppet whose strings were released
as if someone up there got bored
or disgusted more than the usual,
my good friend John
who is no longer
like so many good people out there
leaving us behind, remorseful and horrified
for all the chances of kindness we missed,
for all the love we came short.

Night Time.

Five in the morning.
Strolling along the whore houses and coughing
alongside dangerous friends with self-sabotaging tendencies
as the field of the sky becomes a menacing purple
all the lovely darkness giving away to gruesome light...
Time waits for no man.

After window shopping for a while
( the shamelessness so very honest and blunt )
you head in, more dead than alive, too drunk for a remarkable erection
and rub your carcass against this woman much older than you
with bruises on her thighs and no matress on the bed
inside a room that smells like a junky's sneeze.

You know there are vaulters everywhere.
Men with heads tucked into shoulders-
barely a sign of life in them.
Stoic, mean women under the red lights.
Flesh for money.
Cheap affection that will have to do.

And when you puke your guts out on the stairs
and it's that hollow thing echoing in the alley
your friends laugh
and you laugh too.

Alan Catlin- Three Poems

 The Vampire

 "There was this guy that
 hung out in school who always
 dressed up like Bela Lugosi.
 You know: complete vampire deluxe
 attire including white face and
 cape.  Rumor had it, he slept
 in a coffin and went to class
 always dressed in black.
 Someone told me, they saw him
 drink a glass of blood but I
 thought that was a bit extreme
 even for Ithaca.  He was weird
 though, no doubting that.
 No matter how late you staggered
 back toward the dorm you might
 sort of see him tinkering with
 the hearse, of course, he had
 a hearse with wall to wall carpeting
 and quadraphonic sound.
 God only knows where he got it all
 because it was like new.
 I guess his people had money,
 old money, if you know what I mean.
 Let me tell you that was one campus
 that didn't look forward to Halloween."

 Talking Them Off the Ledge

 "You don't know what it's like
 to be an RA.  Last year, I talked
 three people off the ledge.
 That's a hell of a way to wake up
 at three in the morning watching
 this chick strung out on God knows what
 walking the line outside a fifth floor
 window.  I got her in but it wasn't easy.
 Her side of the room was empty inside of
 twelve hours.  No one, I mean absolutely
 no one knows what happened to her.
 The most surprising one was these
 three roommates who were like tight
 getting gassed together and two of them
 turn real ugly and start to beat the shit
 out of the other one.  What a bloody mess!
 Much screaming and yelling.
 I wondered what she did, like blow
 both girl's boyfriends or something.
 Whatever it was, they were like heavily
 into serious shit like tossing her out
 the window.  That turned out to be
 another disappearing act.
 The third one was into pills and
 liquor but mostly pills.  Her roommate
 got me up with one of those:"Sheila's,
 been locked in the bathroom for hours
 with a six pack of razor blades."
 Luckily they were mostly superficial.
 I hear she's in stir some place heavy.
 My mother's a real riot, says you got it
 nice and easy not having to pay room
 and board for two years and you get
 a stipend on top of that just to
 babysit a bunch of college kids."

 A Discontinued Line

 They discontinued her model in a fit
 of rationality somewhere in the early seventies.
 The reasoning had something to do with
 bad genes warped on acid and too much
 contaminated free love.  I was tempted
 to check her out for antique plates but
 it wasn't necessary; the outfit she was
 wearing was so out of date and willfully
 deliberate.  She was into giving the old man
 she was with a history lesson, the object
 of which was an unsecured loan of two bills
 she owed this guy,
"Vince, you remember him, the mental patient."
But it would be awhile before she got to that.
 "I'm going to have it removed." She began.
 "It's going to hurt, tattoos are permanent."
 "I don't care, it's not me anymore."
 "What is it of?"
 "A butterfly but it's on my right tit.
 When I got it, I thought it was cute.
 I should have known.  It was my ex's idea."
 "You could be disfigured."
 "I already am, give me a break."
 I thought Burger King was getting to be
 a greater bargain every day: an in flight
 ten buck mall movie, plus a meal all for
 just a couple of bucks. 
 It was my kind of movie too.
 I get off looking at washed out, ditzy
 red heads and hearing an inspired,
 crazed story of a lifetime abusing
 everything she touched.
 "I'm living with William now but I'm still
 seeing Vince."
 "Why is that?"
 "Vince is kind of different, he gets under
 your skin and stays there.  We were having sex
 once and this stuff, God it was awful, came off
 his ass in my hands.  I almost puked."
 "What was it."
 "I guess it was skin, I don't know but
 it sure was disgusting."
 "Why do you do these things to yourself?"
 "It's for William," she says, almost meaning it,
 "Vince is going to kill him if we don't come
  up with the money." We both believe her. 

Chad Repko- Three Poems

Short BIO: Chad Repko is a poet from Pottstown PA.


spawn from womb
that is different from you
which makes you different too
weird isn't it
our tired head nod orbit
floating yet cemented
Masculinity needs to be reinvented

the body,
celestial by invention
the mind,
needing to live by true intention
move by love's will alone
through caverns and taverns
of the darkest embryos of light
and being mindful
of electrons I invite

this spirit
wants to share smiles
after the files of the brain
pack on miles for the insane
how bizarre this tried path
is often derailed from your vengeance
and your wrath
oh, and I've fucked up too
just like you
crashed, frustrated, withdrew


our singularity
our crazy fucking terrestrial attitude
leaving holes in our visual magnitude
should be what we express
down this fucking cosmic avenue

or perhaps
I'm from a different place
a spectrum of abnormality
a twisted duality
between nightmare and fantasy
between Masculinity and Femininity
homo sapien and divinity
tied together so brilliantly

yet we bet on
your time clocks and wrist watch
your arguments and displaced anger
your commentators and experts
your big green money making machine
we demean
our conjunction for routine

but for all it's worth in this galactic travel
I wish compassion for those still residing in Umbra

The Evolution of Self

it's true what they say
it's not the years,
it's the mileage
to grow
and gain such knowledge
of self
the struggle between
the soul and the mind
with the body being the battlefield
that gets weighted in time

they say you look old
but i still like to fuck in the rain
some things change
while others stay the same
through capitalism
the zombie filled cannibalism
that sick one-eyed Willie green
pump caffeine into the machine
see your time flushed down the latrine
and school pride
of friends and family that have died
east side
where the rival towns collide
I don't need that damn divide
for as I am grown
that hatred need not apply

across time I have traveled
through books, through timelines
by the skin of my teeth
I have battled
through constants and variables
through love, through love lost
through space and energy
back to love's synergy
but never blinking off course
because there has always been a source
the eyes, the stars, the galaxies
upon galaxies
that do not end
but yet a planet
that rests on our tiny shoulders
how beautiful our short life grows
before the dirt begin to enclose
grab your friend and fucking love them
we have already seen it all
it's been hard-linked to the brain-stem
with our little time here
we can stop the train
that's quickly headed for the cliff
so that our children
won't have to see this abyss
but luckily
your rules do not apply to me

and you ask
"what do you see when you look in the mirror?"
I see mileage

and my future


Because of 30 second car commercials
 Because of Christ and the cross
Because of Democrats and Republicans
 Because of profits and loss
Because of celebrity news
 Because we care how they fall
Because of social networking
 Because of that new strip mall
Because I suck at sports
 Because no pain no gain
Because of MTV, BET, FOX and CNN
 Because it's all starting to sound the same

Because of my mother and father
 Because I thought Snow White was hot
Because Morticia Addams wore leather and lace
 Because of Mushrooms and because of pot
Because of your ribbons, marches, and parades
 Because of your borders and all of your flags
Because of your aliens, your Roswell, your billboards
 Because of your doctors and xanax hash tags
Because of Preachers, your rabbis, your gurus
 Because of your character attacks
Because you are only your driver's license
Because of Property, income and fuel tax
 Because the leaders are packaged theater
 Because they control the energy grid
Because of creativity
 Because of the ego and the ID
Because of Collagen lips and silicone tits
 Because of acne cream, and Rogain
Because of woman's daily and men's fitness
 Because this fakeness is hard to maintain
Because of cowboys and Indians
 Because we have lost our essence
Because we are addicted to feeling old
 Because we forget we are still in our adolescence

Jonathan Hayes- Three Poems

jonathan hayes lives in santa cruz, california with his wife and their cat.
for the past twenty years he's been responsible for the american small press magazine,
over the transom. his last book was "american haiku" (mel c. thompson publishing, 2013).

Last Night of the Pumpkin

It glowed brilliant orange in the neighborhood
Bugs festering within it and annoying the air
Its candle held ground still lit in its belly
While in the cold distance our cat pounced on mice
The front yard dark at night with an October breeze
“The horror, the horror,” the mice bleeped
Then in her arms the wife brought the cat back home like a child
After bowing down to blow the pumpkin’s candle out for the night

Last Smoke

I wait for the storm
The strong breeze


To rattle the street signs
By the constant highway

The feral rabbits by the river
And the very dark levee of wine

Sometimes a black cat
Will introduce the full moon

The river is a creature sleeping
In her own blankets of ripples

On the river bank
A heron hides like a ninja

This is open game


A river rat walked into the local bookshop
Took a chair in the corner reading magazines

A dead fly fell from under the cuff of his denim jeans

Paul Tristram- Three Poems

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.

Buy his book ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at
And a split poetry book ‘The Raven And The Vagabond Heart’ with Bethany W Pope

You can also read his poems and stories here!

Memory Lane

Yesterday, I took a ‘Trip’ down memory lane,
I hallucinated until I came down.
Phew! I won’t be doing that again in a hurry.

© Paul Tristram 2010

A Bag Of Fruit & Nuts From Skewen’s Greengrocer

We tried mathematics,
and simple common sense,
trying to pinpoint
when the shift
would occur each time.
Yet, a surprize
wrapped up in a mystery
it remained.
Mamo would cage-pace
the kitchen floorboards,
the lower bend in the road.
Watching for police,
or any other indication
of trouble or danger.
On rare occasions
her hard-earned wisdom
would be gratefully wrong.
We’d literally
feel the tension snap
from the living room.
Her voice would break
with happy emotion.
“Here comes your Old Man now,
just one bottle in his hand
and a big brown paper bag
of fruit & nuts in the other.
Sometimes he can be a sweetheart
just like Big Len,
your Grandfather, used to be an all!”

© Paul Tristram 2015


He was an old black and grey mongrel with scars
(A ‘Bitza’ my Father called him, ‘bits of everything’)
He would howl every evening to the 9 o’clock news.
Follow my Mamo to catch the bus into Neath
and sit waiting at that lonely bus stop
across from ‘The Travellers Well’ until she returned.
He was the Old Man’s dog but it was her who fed him
(What with all the prison sentences and alcoholism!)
That dog was as street smart as they come
and would wander the roads of Skewen like he owned them,
knew those back lanes like the backs of his paws.
My Nana often came back from the shops cursing
“That bloody Tristram dog’s followed me home again.
I couldn’t get rid of it, I tried shouting and throwing stones
but it just circled me like a lion, and when I came out
of Jeffries Stores ‘and you know me, I was in there
a good three quarters of an hour’ he was still waiting
and now he had a cowing gang with him, I swear,
there must have been five or six other dogs with him.
They all tailed me through the park, growling and barking
whenever anyone came near me, that animal’s too clever
for it’s own good, you can see it in its eyes, it just knows!”

© Paul Tristram 2015

Friday, November 27, 2015

Stefanie Bennett- Three Poems

Stefanie Bennett has published several books of poetry & has poems appearing in
Dead Snakes, The Provo Canyon Review, The Mind[less] Muse, Shot Glass Journal,
Ink, Sweat & Tears, The Lake, Eskimo Pie, The Plum Tree Tavern etc. Of mixed
ancestry [Italian/Irish/Paugussett-Shawnee] she was born in Qld., Australia in 1945.
Nominated for The Pushcart, her latest poetry book “The Vanishing” is published
by Walleah Press [2015] & is available from Walleah Press, Amazon & Fishpond.
... Told to “get off
My high horse”
I tried:
The horse flew
And so
Did I –.
The tree that
You felled
Was mine!
Put it
Surrounded by
Grey days
You lose
When love’s
In the wash.

John Sweet- Two Poems

we are nothing and nothing can save us
and despite everything we’ve
created we are still surrounded by emptiness
we have the promise of the lottery
we have ipods for
starving children everywhere
and it feels good to rest out here
to just drop to your knees on the edge of
burnt hill road and let the blood flow,
and it feels good to close yr eyes
left him lying there because the baby was
crying, buzz of flies was a soft blanket,
a wall, a gentle ocean
shadows of birds in flight
could taste it, like music or the
sound of running feet
no one asleep, but one of us turned away
autumn maybe or the end of summer
and the heat like a dull blue shroud
silver sun in a sky the color of dust and
despite all of the wars we’d won
we were lost
found the mother in a shallow grave with her
hands cut off but we never found the father
had 400 channels to choose from
and it wasn’t enough
had some good fucking medicine
still hated myself, but not as much
not as fiercely
missed the heat that came with
all of that glorious empty anger

bird imagery 2
like a body found hanging
from the
underside of a bridge
like dirty white skies or the
rusted metal towers that
grow from the ridges
of anonymous hills
wherever you are
it’s always 20 years too late
whoever you wanted to be
we always end up nothing more
than hungry ghosts in the
age of crows
saints nailed to crosses
in upstate fields and
the man said sing
and so we did
said jump because it was
only the 98th floor
because it almost
felt like flying

Jennifer Lagier- A Photo

                                                       "Moon over Marina dune"

Richard Schnap- Three Poems


I remember their eyes
Windows that revealed
Cold empty rooms
Lit by dwindling candles

And I remember their lips
Muttering the words
Of childlike songs
Set to funereal music

And I remember their hands
Clutching the remains
Of scavenged cigarettes
And cheap bags of dope

But I forget their names
For they’d invent new ones
Aliases to deceive
The harvester of souls


In the evenings I’d sit
On the balcony and watch
Trains slowly passing
On the nearby tracks

While inside my wife
Shed her heavenly costume
Revealing the serpent
That lurked deep inside

And as her rage grew
Like a gathering tempest
The men on the boxcars
Would wave and smile

As I waved back and wished
I could somehow join them
To be carried away from
The fangs of my night


I remember the crimson candles
Set in their shining brass sconces
The dark and brooding landscapes
Shot through with a lukewarm light
The shelves of books of wisdom
Penned by the world’s great authors
Forbidden to ever be opened
Like tombs that were sealed shut

And I remember the windows
Covered with layers of curtains
To impede any rays of sunlight
From finding their way within
For this was the house of shadow
Reflecting the mind of its master
A man who built an empire
As dark as his endless night

Jennifer Lagier- A Photo

                                                         "Full moon over Marina"

John Pursch- Two Poems

John Pursch lives in Tucson, Arizona. Twice nominated for Best of the Net, his work has appeared in many literary journals. His first book, Intunesia, is available at Check out his experimental lit-rap video at He’s @johnpursch on Twitter and john.pursch on Facebook.

Sheet-to-Parakeet Collisions

I glisten down to scattered meows, mere crumbs of culled occurrence edge infusion plopping felt dementia spinning cogs to frozen catwalk terminus of inlaid hatpin germaphobia, plausibly entitled to amorphous seeds.

Absurdity absolves disturbing sheet-to-parakeet collisions, pressed to imitation walnut prescience, calling pestilential zebras.

Somehow turning into crows, the sky erupts in broad effulgence, bubbling effigy to crimson neckline histories of paused-life stifled powers, netting dental sentences for poshly incarcerated baubles.

Sabotaged survival tombs peculate atomic typicality from potable copter aptitude, sequestered blithely into finned portraiture of yawning bucolic suction.

Aft pretenders denude myopian sedation crust, stippled to golden drawbridge hypertension quotes of peopled seashore tomes in Gothic nook parameter relief, plied separately from fallen wheat.

Polyglot Implosion Teeth

Eyes avert in quiet disrespect, antsy involution, scheduled earrings, purported blasphemies, and segued seclusion’s secular cigar.

Sullied hemlines wallow by with hurried cough, elliptical retainer blurbs emoting incandescent swerve from contrail lane above the crowd’s immunity of unaccented dialect.

Softly shifting debutantes preen for sycophantic gasconade of Cossack cherubim, cursive seraphim, and Seraphic nods of parietal paternity in spun tachometers.

Flicks revert to credit scroll in timed release of anklet tattoo permanence.

Oh, we’ve slipped past yawning sputter Nile to hammered Dacron polyglot implosion teeth, flogging savory watch sand why, adrenaline of movie lines, and plugged bazooka hideaways for secondhand psoriasis.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

David J. Thompson- A Photo


David J. Thompson- A Poem

Something So Close

When he hands me a glass of beer

and a little plate of green olives,

I think how much my bartender tonight

in Madrid looks like my Uncle Mike,

the exact same black hair and thin face.

Uncle Mike ran a hardware store out near Annapolis

and married Aunt Donna back in ‘64

when she was just sixteen. He was a kid

then himself, right out of the Air Force

with a new, red Mustang convertible.

Their marriage didn’t last forever, maybe

a handful of years with three daughters

and the Mustang traded in for a station wagon.

Aunt Donna ran off with the guy who built

the deck on their house my grandmother paid for;

then the cops found a boatload of car stereos

and radar detectors in Uncle Mike’s apartment.

I remember maybe the last time I saw him

we were tossing a football around in the backyard

and Uncle Mike reached back and chucked one

hard just beyond my outstretched arms and over

the fence into the neighbors’ yard. Even though

it was forty years ago, I can see him standing there

hands on hips, shaking his head. Oh, shit, he said.

Sorry. No wonder I never made the varsity.

I motion to the bartender for another beer

and more tapas, but when he starts to walk

toward me, I just stare down and push the plate

of olive pits and thin napkins across the counter.

I don’t look up until he walks away, start to wonder

how old Uncle Mike would be these days or even

if he’s still alive at all, stuff a sardine in my mouth

and take a long swallow of beer when I realize

I wouldn’t even know who the hell to ask any more

about something so close and so very far away.

Bradley Williams- A Cartoon

See website at:

James Valvis- Two Poems

James Valvis has placed poems or stories in Arts & Letters, Barrow Street, Green Hill Literary Lantern, Ploughshares, River Styx, The Sun, Tar River Poetry, and many others. His poetry was featured in Verse Daily. His fiction was chosen for Sundress Best of the Net. A former US Army soldier, he lives near Seattle.

let’s get down
to the nub here
if Thomas Jefferson
or William Shakespeare
or Martin Luther King
or whatever historical figure
you can come up with
is really “spinning
in his grave…”
newly conscious
down there in the dark
of ancient coffins
all old flesh gone
and nothing but bones
rattling like empty pens
inside a jammed desk draw
he has bigger problems
than whatever little issue
you’re pissed off about
Rejected Poems
Of all tragedies this is the least.
Yet my poet friend allows them
to corrupt mind and mood,
like dead fish in a pond,
inky blood muddying water.
It takes days to scoop them out, he says,
and go on again with the work.
When I was young, I also
fell into despondency.
So much victory seemed elsewhere.
It took me a lifetime to accept my defeat,
and only then did I see a little success.
Now just sometimes does the stink
stifle me, but still sometimes.
I don’t find it helps to talk about it
or know that others share this fate,
but my poet friend tells me
I should open up about my failures,
since he’d find that encouraging.
I want to invite him to the hole I dug
in my heart, show him
where I bury the bones of hope,
let the burial mound of my failures
be a hill upon which
he could at last look down on me.

Sanjeev Sethi- A Poem

The recently released, This Summer and That Summer, (Bloomsbury) is Sanjeev Sethi’s third book of poems. His work also includes well-received volumes, Nine Summers Later and Suddenly For Someone. He has, at various phases of his career, written for newspapers, magazines, and journals. He has produced radio and television programs.
His poems have found a home in The London Magazine, The Fortnightly Review, Allegro Poetry Magazine OtolithsLemon Hound, Solstice Literary Magazine, Off the Coast Literary Journal, Synesthesia Literary Journal, Oddball Magazine, Hamilton Stone Review, Indian Literature, The Hindu, The Statesman, and elsewhere. He lives in Mumbai, India.
Poems are forthcoming in Sentinel Literary Quarterly, and  Literary Orphans.

What do those not honored with winsome
habitus do? Realizing I’m my worst emblem
I swaddled in sandpaper leading to rescission
of haptic reciprocities. I continued with liniment
of life-hacks but my body failed to free me.
Corollary to Gehenna: supernal forces gesticulate.
Faith is Fata Morgana or like an afterword:
fragrance to be inhaled on a future date.

Jennifer Lagier- A Photo

                                                                "Carmel Beach"

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

Dial 'M' for Memories

Willie in his 80s now
hadn’t made sense in years.
His wife understood his 
grunts from the recliner
where she propped him up 
till bedtime where snoring 
was music in the night.

His grandson told neighbors
Gramps had Old-Timer’s Disease,
an excellent diagnosis
with which doctors agreed.
It was time to move Gramps 
to a home so his wife began 
packing things he would need.
It was then she found 
an old photo in a drawer
under his socks and shorts.
It was dated 1948, still clear
though crinkled a bit.

It was Gramps’ class photo
from his 8th-grade graduation. 
All the young faces were suns
gleaming in their own universe.
She showed it to Willie when 
she brought him his lunch.
He blinked and pointed to a girl
in the third row and said,
“Call Carol and tell her
we’re going to the movies.
Tom Mix and 25 cartoons.”

His wife was old enough 
to remember that a Western
and 25 cartoons were a
regular Saturday matinee  
at the local film house
for kids in 1948.
But she was two years
behind Willie and had
never gone with him.

Besides she was still shook 
just to hear Willie talk.
This was the first sentence
he had offered in years.
She didn’t know what to say.
Finally she said she didn’t 
know what Carol’s number was
so how could she call?
Willie looked her in the eye 
with a twinkle from long ago
and said “Prospect 6-3943.”

All the Nudes Not Fit to Print

No more nudes in Playboy
according to the anchor 
on the Nightly News.

Playboy has declared
nudes passé because 
they’re found so easily

gamboling on the Internet 
doing everything imaginable.
Some men date instead.

Venus Calling Mars at Midnight

Millie calls the hotel at midnight
to tell Willie he didn’t do anything wrong.
It’s the way he didn’t do anything wrong

that’s the problem because a man doesn't
send a girl yellow roses on Valentine’s Day.
Willie is half asleep but awake enough 

to know if he didn’t do anything wrong
why is Millie calling him at midnight.
He’s out of town on the company’s buck

and has a big meeting tomorrow with
a big presentation to give to the board.
He listens for 20 minutes and as soon

as Millie's voice cracks he knows 
a hurricane of tears has begun so he says
he didn’t order any yellow roses.

He ordered three-dozen long-stems
with a jungle of the usual greenery 
in a beautiful vase with baby’s breath.

He figured they'd send red roses because 
he paid enough to buy a botanical garden.
Millie says tomorrow she’s calling the florist 

and giving him Hades but Willie says please don’t. 
He and the guy who took the order are from Mars. 
Willie will pick up red roses on his way back to Venus.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.