Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Sunday, December 30, 2012

II.II

by Eldon (Craig) Reishus

I was of one mind.
Like three blackbirds
On apple-limbs
Naked in snow.

The Hustler

by Anthony Ward

I love the interior of a place.
The world shut out
And everything closed in.
A building of pressure
Heating things up
Enabling me to blow off steam
After long nights beneath residual light
Haunting shady joints
Like a desolate loner
Searching for his soul,
Where life’s just a game
I happen to take seriously.

HARD WHISKEY LULLABY

by Kallima Hamilton  

Lone wolf and a loose woman horse
around after the bars close late, sit
under a howling moon, eat the flesh
of cutthroat trout on the blue banks
edging Whitefish River where loons
at the lake eek-out crazy cries of longing.
Rockets’ red glare—their ferocious fight
wrenching freedom from the star-black
sky. Smoke curls like question marks
in the chill of night when ghosts turn
marble, fend off looters and fill the trees
with hard sounds, haunting moans. Time
to go home, be among the wild grasses,
feel the wet earth, study solitude as
a giant stone, lick wounds, down whiskey.

Urban Legend

by Fred Pollack

That salivating snout, weird
white eyes, that
grin no predator omits
even when starving, which he might well be.  Just a
glimpse, in mirrors, in
windows in slant light,
paintings in bad light, countertops,
monitors.  The head moves back and forth
and who are you to say
it’s a coyote or wolf, what do you know of
either?  Native Americans made
the coyote the great ambiguous artist; they were
noble, of course, but not necessarily right: there’s no
trickery in those eyes, no
fun.  The head moves,
dribbling, and you think, sentimentally,
of The Steppenwolf (but you’re flattering yourself,
aren’t you? that isn’t
you); then, more
maturely perhaps, of Beuys
communing with one for a week in a room
Midtown amid straw and piss – but
this one doesn’t
commune (and what makes you think
it’s a matter of culture, that these nervously grasped metonymies
help?).  Sometimes not only
the head but the whole thing
trots (“slouches”) out of the frame
(he could be whining and you wouldn’t hear),
to reappear perhaps
to someone on a bus,
the subway, a bridge – as if what’s
behind there, where he is, has
no walls as well as no food, is a
loft as big as the metropolitan
area; as if space, not time, were the killer.

kiss & tell

by Ed Markowski

our
kisses

screamed
so

loud

roamed
so

reckless
and

burned

so
bright

sally
&

me

we
went

deaf
dumb

delirious

&
blind.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

DON QUIXOTE: VAQUERO DE MI CORAZON

by Kallima Hamilton

The fretful concubine
Said, "Phooey! Phoo!"
--Wallace Stevens, "Anything Is Beautiful if You Say It Is"

Don't call me Dulcinea--the neighbors mock your sweetness
and already I'm the envy
of every girl in the Cathouse.

You make me blush,
intoxicant with your voice
like fine French chocolate. Charge windmills for me
(I will be your blonde envoy).

You slay the giants
and slake the thirst of dry old maidens.
Red-brick roofs grow hot;
I swelter under pomegranate skies.

Douse me with chivalry, that
green romance,
noble knight. Craze me
at midnight with the dulcet petty (pretty!) lies

of misperception: anything is beautiful if you say it is.

We live in a transformative time.
Kiss me & I shape-shift
into gold Sheba, cream-skinned and balmy with love.
There's truth in the power of the spoken word:

touch me and I'm a she-Lazarus inside the reddened rose,
inside the dewy body of the dawn.

The Banks Of River Styx

by Denny E. Marshall

Hope when I die
I go to heaven
Not such much as that I deserve it
It is that I know
Citibank & Bank Of America
Have branches in hell
And Wells Fargo ATM’s
Are burning eternally with fees
I never want to deal
With them again
Let alone
Forever

broken

by Linda M. Crate

pickles sweeter than the truth linger on your tongue
a constant reminder of her
she that you wish you could forget
the one that had a heart as black as your coffee -
she tore off the wings of all your dreams,
and choked you in the embrace of painful words that cut in
thick shards of glass you were surprised
didn't cut up the lining of her throat as they did your heart.

Miles of Music

by Anthony Ward

Those masterpieces, that,
Janus like,
Ended the most important decades of music
And defined the decades to come,
Gave birth to the cool.

Such mellifluous melodies,
Like mineral water
Filtering impurities
To become crisp and clear,

Revitalising sound
Smoothing over us
With clarity,
Making us feel kind of blue,
But in a silent way.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Saloon Staff Wishes All
A Very Merry Christmas

Windows

by Benjamin Grossman

Should never shut up. With their mouths closed how could we write of the existence of souls? Yes, these entrances shrink all other entrances. How many times did Peter Pan come through Wendy’s door? If not for a window, what would’ve become of our beloved Romeo and Juliet? Where would Rapunzel let down her hair? What friends would our teenagers rely on to sneak out of the house? A window is an ideal womb: it allows one out into the world and then allows them to return. Even the mirror on the wall would say no other is so fair. There are reasons beyond beauty that history builds its home amongst the stained glass. No window is just a window. They are knights in translucent armor, brewers of love, instruments of rebels.

Old Movies Taught Us

by Jason Braun

I.

Women faint like falling
rock on a Colorado roadside.

Every heavy must tend pigeons,
mice, or an unmanly mutt.

There are not many black people
in Casablanca when Bogart’s around.

Lassie can talk, but only under
the spell of a boy’s chin bobbing in a well.

There are three ways to get a cat
off a hot tin roof.

Courage can be brand of gin,
bought behind the curtain.

II.

Taxis are always waiting.
Nothing matters more than a snow sled.
A man with two broken hands can’t scratch.
Never trust a British accent.
Shirley Temple is cuter than should be legal.
Psychology is a new word.
Our machines will betray us someday.
Sometimes a cigarette holder isn’t.
Santa is the only hope.

Christmas Blues

by Douglas Polk

Christmas songs play on the radio,
faded and lifeless,
the hope diminished,
if not gone,
death alive,
in heart and mind,
awaiting a peace and good will,
seemingly never to come.

Vigil

by Claudia Rey

The baby lies still on the cave's floor, on a bed of flowers and palm branches. Six days old, but his heart couldn't beat regularly, his lungs couldn't pump enough air into his frail body and he died this morning. His tiny face is as white as ivory, nearly transparent. He looks like a porcelain doll - small, so small. All around him, white candles and bowls of copal burn in the heavy air.

The cave has been dug centuries ago on the side of the hill, up over the village: a ten minutes climb in the humid night, with a man guiding us by the light of a flickering candle. The dirt road is quite steep, and after a while we don't feel the cold any more. Chanting voices waft towards us. A group of people has gathered in the cave: the baby's father sits near his head, the mother opposite him, and they sing a wailing prayer, each one answering the other with a verse. They sing in the local, ancient language called Ocotlán, but we understand some words - jiho, chiquito, mi corazón. Around them, sitting cross-legged on the dirt floor, the closest relatives. Dressed in white tunics, resting their heads against the cave's walls, their eyes closed, they follow the prayer with a low humming. On the father's knees rests the baby's sister, three years old. Her face is quiet, almost smiling, as she breathes deeply in her sleep.

It all looks like a cruel, reverse Nativity scene. And yet, what a profound peace: no crying, no shouting in despair, only this sad song, this last lullaby, wrapping the dead baby in waves of love.

A lady offers us some yellow flowers, and following her example we each kiss a flower and put it on the floor, near the baby. Then we go.

How pure, how genuine this ceremony is, I think as I follow our guide down the road. What a dignified, noble way to express their sorrow. How consoling, in its own way.

The vigil will go on all night long. At dawn the little corpse will be cremated, and the ashes will be scattered from a high rock overlooking the sea. Then the father, shaman and sculptor, will start carving his lost baby's face in a stone to be set on the cave's threshold. Other ancestors are waiting there for him - he won't be alone.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Saint Nick

by Ed Markowski

Every  day,  night  and  day,  for  the  past  five  days,  we’ve  had  rain,  rain,  rain,  rain
and  more  rain.  A  total  of  thirteen  inches  since  Monday  has  turned  an  entire  state
of  immaculate  snowmen  into  an  ocean  of  mud.  I  lost  my  eyes  this  morning  in  a
rising  tide  of  blacker  than  black  black  sewer  water  flowing  from  an  endless  black
hole  that’s  blacker  than  black,  and  blacker  than  the  blacker  than  black  liquid  filth
cresting  the  lip  of  the  sump  crock.  I’m  trying  to  figure  out  why  the  dog  damned
sump  pump  keeps  on  quitting  and  spitting  up  on  us.  Yesterday,  Laurie  and  I  took
thirty – five  bags  of  sewage  soaked  paper,  cloth,  and  wooden  memories  out  to  the
curb.  Thirty – five  garbage  bags  that  contained  Jesse  and  Becky’s  baby  shoes, two
programs  from  the  1934  World  Series  autographed  by  Goose  Goslin  and  Ducky
Medwick,  Laurie’s  wedding  dress,  a  first  edition  of  The  Old  Man  And  The  Sea
signed  by  Hemingway,  a  blue  paper  lei  Elvis  allegedly  wore  during  the  filming
of  Blue  Hawaii,  Barbie  and  Ken’s  entire  wardrobe,  decades  of  joy,  decades  of
tears,  and  the  tangible  history  of  a  family  that  no  one,  including  the  Red  Legend
who’s  due  to  arrive  at  midnight,  can  replace.

With  my  face  still  searching  the  sludge  for  my  eyes,  a  late  December  mosquito
plants  its  flag  in  my  left  cheek.  I  say  to  my  co – pilot,  cheerleader,  apprentice,
tricycle  king,  and  three  year  old  grandson,  “ Nick,  go  get  your  old  Oppie  a  roll
of  tape,  a  hammer,  and  a  screwdriver.  I  hear  Nick  shuffle  off  to  Oreo.  Then  I
hear  a  metallic  symphony  of  thuds,  pings,  booms,  and  bams.  I’m  mesmerized  by
the  song  of  wrenches,  screwdrivers,  levels,  and  concrete  trowels  falling  from  their
pegs.  In  perfect  harmony  with  the  bangs,  my  mind  screams,  “ You  better  be  sure
the  boy  is  ok.  For  Christ’s  sake,  what  are  you  waiting  for? “  Next,  a  scorching
duet  composed  of  Laurie’s  voice  and  Becky’s  voice  geysers  up  from  the  depths
of  the  sump  crock.  “ Maybe  the  hammer  fell  and  broke  Nick’s  foot.  Maybe  he
cut  his  hand  on  that  rusty  razor  wire.  Maybe  Nick’s  skewered  on  a  screwdriver.
Maybe  he’s  sipping  a  cup  of  cotton  candy  pink  anti – freeze.  Maybe  you  should
take  your  finger  out  of  the  dike  and  make  sure  he’s  ok  you  irresponsible  ass.”

When  their  voices  fade  I  hear  the  triumphant  footfalls  of  a  tiny  warrior  marching
back  to  Bataan.  I  hear  Patton  parading  through  Paris. I  hear  fifty – thousand  Yankee
fans  cheering  a  Mickey  Mantle  walk  off  moon  shot.  I  hear  Nick  coming  closer.  I
hear  Nick’s  laughter.  I  feel  Nick’s  excitement  soaked  words  temper  the  damp  cold
air.  “ I  found  four  hammers  Oppie,  four  Oppie,  that’s  good  Oppie,  isn’t  that  good
Oppie,  Oppie,  can  I  have  a  donut  now ? “

I  look  over  my  shoulder  into  the  dim  seventy – five  watt  light.  Both  of  Nick’s  hands
are  Good  and  Plenty  pink.  With  each  step,  Nick’s  hands  shift  from  bubble  gum  pink
to  Pink  Panther  pink,  to  pink  grapefruit  pink,  to  the  undisputed  heavy  weight  champion
of  pink,  Polyurethane  Pink  Flamingo  Pink.  I  turn  my  back  to  Nick.  My  eyes  are  still
lost  in  the  foul  puzzle  flowing  over  the  sump  crock’s  lip.  When  I  turn  to  face  him,
Nick  drops  four  hammers  on  the  floor.  His  face  and  voice  blossom  into  the  shape,
sound,  color,  and  scent  of  pure  joy.  “ Oppie,  I  found  these  too  where  you  didn’t  hide
them  so  good.”  Nick  points  to  the  sump  pump’s  plug  that’s  sagging  in  the  wall  socket.
“ Here  Oppie,  put  some  of  this  over  there.”  Nick  hands  me  two  pink  eggs  of  Silly
Putty  that  he  and  his  big  brother  Matthew  were  going  to  find  in  their  stockings. The
Silly  Putty  cements  the  plug  in  place  and  the whir  of  the  sump  pump  becomes  the
sweetest  Christmas Carol  I’ve  ever  heard.  Up  in the  kitchen  I  set  two  powdered  sugar
donuts  on  a  paper  plate  for  Saint  Nick.  Then,  as  the  rain  changes  to  snow,  I  dial
Santa’s  number  and  order  two  dozen  for  tomorrow  morning.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Demand for the Release of Qatari poet Mohamed Ibn Al Ajami

from 100 Thousand Poets for Change

Mohamed Ibn Al Ajami, after spending a year in solitary confinement, was sentenced to life in prison by a Qatari court on November 29, 2012

His crime consisted of reciting a poem extolling the courage and values of the popular uprisings in Tunisia:

Oh revolutionary, sing the praises of the struggle with the blood of the people
in the soul of the free carve the values of revolt
and to those holding the shroud of the dead tell
that every victory also bears its ordeals. 

To sign a petition for the release of Mohamed Ibn Al Ajami’s, follow this link:

An Epistle to Dr. Man Mohan Singh and His Men

by Binu Pathippallil Mathew

Joined I, the millions to send across your fame,
And proudly shared the posts with the claim,
That, you’re the world’s most learned leader,
Placed on the top rung of the political ladder.

Young men made network busy with multiple email,
Showering you praises and blessings like a hail,
And the mass merriment in the streets added gaiety,
To the advent of their new leader; the light of the laity.

The elders said it’s the millennium prophesied,
In the Scriptures and the poor peasants sighed,
A great relief with the hope you would wield,
Your magic wand to help them raise the yield.

Our neighbours feared!  You, in this new position,
Would win the world with your noble disposition,
And the foreign press predicted a boom in growth,
With bureaucracy back to bullish form from sloth.

But, like clouds in summer, dark and thick, we’ve seen,
Of late, a volte- face in your policies with unforeseen,
Taxes; an aberration from our traditions, with an urge,
To alter the basic structure, ignoring the people’s rage.

You screamed and sprang up like a sleeping cat, poked,
By a naughty boy, when The Washington Post hooked,
You with a small bait; “the underachiever”, a top title,
That turned your ego to challenge the poor with a battle.

The financial reforms focused to facilitate foreign firms,
Failed to flourish fruit in our fields and factory farms,
And faded the future of farmers, whose sweating blood,
Will form a furious fountain and flow like a flash flood.

Singh is the king!  But, of the corporate syndicates,
Led by the super Singh whose planning vindicates,
The country’s move to capitalist mode, throwing,
The masses to abject misery and poverty growing. 

Dude! Do not drive the destitute to dark dens of desolation,
Nor dictate their daily diets and deepen their degradation.
You bag the budget to beautify your bathroom; a venue,
To bathe and beat the battle of bulge, with our revenue.

The young chap, rich in blood but poor in the head!
Went on campaign, countrywide on our expense, led,
By an ambition to keep the poor firmly under his sole,
But failed to find in the villages, India’s real soul.

This mocker! A man of mixed breed mocks the mob,
With gimmicks from home tutors, a novice in the job,
Whom the poor once saw a savior in, lets down the youth,
Proving him a chocolate hero, with words from his mouth.

Our motherland made not by thy mother, the great madam,
Who plays a puppet show behind the scene. God dam!
Our prime minister, pulled by a petticoat, performs,
Mindless deeds, quick and serious, called ‘reforms’!

Walk down the valleys and into the villages, in plain,
And dine with the destitute for a day to feel the pain,
They take to eke out a living, under the heavy burden,
Of the new reforms, your team has made all of a sudden.

Fall not a victim to the vested interests of the west,
To welcome the wholesale witch, Wal-Mart, the pest,
That will leave lakhs of our retail vendors to perish,
On pavements with the hopes and dreams they cherish.

Bring not the relics of capitalist seeds from graveyards,
Of the west and plant in our poor peasants’ courtyards,
Just to raise the figures at the stock market and to spread,
Your reforms into countryside, denying our daily bread.

Make not our motherland, the great Gandhi envisaged,
To make a welfare state for all, that was once besieged,
By some alien forces in trading form, a banana republic,
To be controlled by a corporate consortium, in public.

Repair the rusted railing of your trailing regime and regain,
The lost glory, embracing the Gandhian values once again,
Lest the irate peasants and housewives revolt with ballots,
To uphold the pride of Bharat Matha, against your bullets.

.............Vande Matharam.............

All Mouth and Trousers

by Marc Carver

I told her i had come in here to get enough beer
to drink myself to death.
She told me she was hard up for sex.
"I only want a man for sex that will do me." she said."
I said i was available during the day.

She asked me a few more questions and i guess she changed her mind.
She told me she had one offer already today.
"Does it really work like that, you know i am quite shy when it comes to this.
It is that simple you just ask and then you get it or not."
"It is someone at work," she said
"I don't really want that."

We talked some more as she handed out the free Christmas pud.
I said i would be up for seeing her again but she said i would see her on the tills
I guess she was not quite as desperate as she made out but i walked out with no beer
still alive.

Ours

by Rebecca Gomezrueda

And she is
Crying?
Is she?
And now we
Now I'll
We
Dig your fingernails into the floor
Find nothing of stability
But the click
Crunch
of nails with too much pressure
The scratch
Tear
Half moons against your palm
Oh now you want to ask?
Don't say
Things you don't mean
He doesn't
Mean
He forgot
And you forgot
And she is
She
And you aren't kissing me
Just fucking kiss me already
Why
Don't you know
He never needs to ask
Tear the tears from your throat
My throat
Her throat
But which is me
Be happy
SMILE
that he bothers
To gift you
Happy that
Anyone would stay
When most know
That you
Us
Are
dirt trash nothing
not to him
to her
to me
you
just tell me who I am
which one
and you'll believe him
won't we
But someone is screaming
And it's not me of course not
But no one is kissing me
Because you forgot
And he forgot
And she is
She is silent
She is
Laughing
I promise

Self

by Francesca Klein

I was born from paper mache pieces of Rolling Stone
wandering through the astral plane
and becoming your fears
through the cracks of a cracked society
the sizzle of ash and brain cells
and flowers of your mother’s favorite dress warp into faces of disapproval
and her perfume wafting through your subconsciousness
ancient sky Gods relinquishing power
we turn some world inside out

Friday, December 21, 2012

Two Days Ago

by John Pursch
 
Draining wax from nuanced hours, cisterns empty growing sheets of rainy shade in sheltered groves, from millennial exhortations to miniscule diversion’s smooth caress, simplified in brooding aerial nooks. Lunar settings glow in clovered feet of harmonizing sleep, casting elongated hillside palms to reels of coral anonymity. Somewhere in Two Days Ago, Lola relives oarloads of orphaned hours, shopping partial events, groping through emission’s stuttered view in retrograde immersion, coping with lagoon tricks of unfound sizzling vestiges, slipped beyond effusion’s dotted foam. Flashbacks seep through blunt drain carriers in bland temporal gist; sanitizing time baths dump her into I’llbequirky all-night diner, slumped and drooling pancake gruel, staring at familiar face in dirty storefront window.  Memories of a human loophole path to interchange glue, shipless swirl to MJ-12, semantic Graylien web, whence Raw Swell’s vortex here at sourced infusion’s ground, latencies beyond recusal’s tepid whitewash, rumors of a Montauk Chair for protoplasm kicks… Agonizing turn to plaza, muffled drums, suppository shots, umbrella pumps, a picket fence, limo crawling past Ape-Z to flying cars, lunar cities, off-world population contrails, blue sky retrofit down torrents of imperious hail, chasms mystified with droning buzz of sawbuck sleet in tawny repetition’s chase, melting shelved iconic latitudes shake the transfer shale from cotton runes, only to release and fall, to trace again immensely swooping tours of broadly funneled combs, through origins of axial lands, to populate entrusted waves of every passing dream. Winking into time-lock, simultaneity’s cynical spew injects across the urban scene, implanting frozen histories, empaneled seaside girth, flashing faraway in porthole swoon, lifting oceanic shapes of pods to careworn prows, indented by an eon’s worthy suffering in surfaces. Helical spouts push on to brinks of battled shoreline craze, to purity’s emblazoned crest, to seas of crystal fertile breech, to saline lattice, arching airborne for an instant, carving fathom’s overture. Lesser beasts and shouts of wooden fleets, the shame immense in senseless hordes, last but a foolish second’s span in fortune’s turn of endless bliss, providing but a tiny speck in otherwise unblemished skies, a moment’s existential chance to billow up from single cells, course the ocean’s stormy wake, and soon descend to watery gaze.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

mayan

by Marc Carver

Some say the world will end soon
but of course it won't
how could it.
If it did end it would mean nothing to me.
Only show me how many times
I should have done something and I never bothered.
But after a while you lose count of your regrets or mistakes.
Because they tell you nothing
you learn nothing from them
and after a while you lost.

El Bambi

by Larry Jones

A sign above the door says
El Bambi since 1943.

The joint is filled with
ranchers
truckers
and the like.

A horse collar hangs on the wall
next to rusty license plates.

Drop a penny in the slot
get your exact weight
and your fortune told at
El Bambi since 1943.

Pig farmers drink their 3.2 beer
chow down on bacon, eggs, coffee and
the waitress knows your name as
music from the 50s plays.

A relaxed atmosphere
everyone is safe unlike
the cafe on the other side of town,

no one's ever been shot dead at
El Bambi since 1943.

Lost

by Ramesh Dohan

Murdered. Her hair was black and so were her eyes.
She was murdered along the street
amid the hustle and bustle.
Hysteria when she fell
Soundlessly, I saw it unfold on the television
She had been a classmate in the past

I think I saw her die
The news went on silence
mingling movie stars and war.

rotten apple

by Linda M. Crate

you ring loudly bells of despair caught in the whistling
wind; your purport seemingly the one task of annoying us -

lingering where you should not past your point of welcome
an uninvited wedding guest partaking of the wine to drown
out all acquired sense and reason if only for a brief moment

pleasure is the only thing you seem to crave truly as you
fall an autumn leaf gold and brown to the rigid earth

once you dreamed that you would change the world

but now all you do is drum your foot fall against old
haunts that have no desire to remember your shadows, you
are only a ghost of what you ought to be; you withered and spoiled.

Damn Zen

by Suchoon Mo

uber ubiquitous
unter linden teeth flossen
ramen chowmen lumpen chicken
ach mach doch bach ich zuch ouch!
das des damn das kranken dasein
hare krishna semen zen zu hoboken

Untitled #131

by Dan Hedges

when you’re lucid dreaming about
assorted owls in the pre-life,
note how spiritual narratives
reverse migrate the uncanny
to the mundane;
in the flight of abstraction,
we carry the spirit forth

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December 2012

by Douglas Polk

the world chaotic,
evils progress,
humanity devolves,
mental monsters,
devoid of emotion,
stalk the streets,
killing for the momentary rush,
or in punishment,
pay back by the outcast,
the innocent to pay the price.

In Memoriam

by Donal Mahoney

First a rabbi spoke
then a minister
and then a priest.
Finally an imam.
They did their best
to soothe the mourners
at the memorial for
the children slaughtered
in Connecticut
even though many
in the audience
had never been
to Connecticut.
Everyone was
close to tears.
Someone gave
the microphone
to a woman
in the front row
who said she
wanted to remind
everyone that
January 22, 2013,
is the 40th Anniversary
of Roe v. Wade,
and that her clinic
would be offering
a special
throughout January
for any woman
dealing with
an unintended
pregnancy.
50% off.
Two for one
for any lady
expecting twins.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Metallica Records Its Debut Album in Rochester, NY, May 1983

by Daniel M. Shapiro

The four horsemen flashed the lights
before techs could adjust
the white/black ratio of sky.
In this land of Chuck Mangione,
listening would seldom go easily.

A studio by the name of Music America
knelt behind a green sign with white letters:
The City of Rochester Welcomes You.
Peeling paint nodded its long-haired nod
at the whiplash-quick thrashers from the West.

Even boogaloos had to stutter-step,
cowering in the cool basement
of the 50-years-dead social club.
The drummer insisted his cymbals
rotated from the callused ghosts.

The sweater-vested man enlisted to engineer
had worked the counter at Music Lovers Shoppe,
collected sweaty bills for vinyl at retail price.
He would translate the band’s seek-and-destroy riffs
into the soundtrack of zits that couldn’t be hidden,

zits that shielded braces, speech mid-voice-change,
threadbare denim or faux leather a daily coin flip,
weed-burned fingers contorting into devil horns.
This would be a symphony for the front window,
an opus to unite the lonely at breakneck speed.

Six weeks later, the band would flee for anesthesia,
for all the gloom-free cities. The tightly gripped hammer
would give way to blood, jump in the fire midsummer
to go three times platinum, a discarded mirror
of shrugged-shouldered East Avenue clouds.

Ultraviolet

by Rebecca Gomezrueda

She enters the spectrum
With ease
And not even the voices
Will scare her away

She shushes the meanest of them
For she has tired of 3-D
And in this place of bright lights and swirling walls
Her mind is at peace
And she can successfully
Think of only one thing at a time

DIOSA

by Claudia Rey

You know, said the handsome man
I thought that our friendship could develop
that we could become more than friends
but something just doesn't fit.
Don't know what it is
maybe you're too much for me
too clever, too sophisticated
too well learned, too…
Too old? said the woman.
Come on, man, say it,
stop coating the pill.
I'm too old, that's your problem.
What a pity.
You couldn't see past the façade
so you don't pass the test.
She twisted a shell on her bracelet
and stood transformed.
Taller, slimmer, tanned,
smooth oval face,
shining golden eyes.
A stunning beauty.
A bluish cloud surrounded her as she went away
hips swaying, long skirt flowing like water.
Amigo, said the waiter
bringing him a glass of mezcal,
lo siento para ti. She was Naya, the sea goddess,
but you didn't recognize her.

Hands

by Sarah E. Alderman

Sweetest slut-puppy in the whole litter
With green eyes that echo the ocean
Its depth and uncompromising loyalty
To anything that is named love or disguised as
Did I fall out of the box?
Your favorite crayon
Your favorite hue of blue-green
Waiting for you to turn me over in your hands
Until I have turned
Purple, black, red
All the colors of bruised and bleeding
I am no longer my own
You make me wonder if I ever was
I am not a chameleon
But I learn to turn shades
According to your mood swings
The heat of your palms melting
Off such naive and silly things
Like ambition, like identity
Who needs self awareness, confidence, esteem
When in the presence of a supernova
Filling the sky with your temper
Temperamental heat
Eruptions, explosions

Sculpting spine until it is fragile and brittle
Like the burnt-out wick of a candle
Or the husk of the tallest pine
That cannot bend with the wind
Only sway in place
And still your hot heavy hands
Move over me

Brackish Street

by Rachel Lauren
             
Telephone wires cast its web to all the hungry houses. Connecting us. I know them not by name but the way they live. There’s the blue balloon always been filled with helium two houses to the left. He occasionally passes a nod to the walking wallet tip toeing on debt. Who sleeps with the gold mine at one of his other houses so the damp rag he married can absorb more fallen tears, the two houses across the street. A lonely house falling apart from heartache rots in its grave to the right. I sometimes lurk along its walls following flies. They tell me secrets. “He chops off the heads of crows and harvests them for the winter to wear them on the tips of his fingers.” Who are these people that share the same brackish street name as me? Trapped in this web.

Obtusely Obese

by Francesca Klein

A mirror extends in front of me, no, a mirror taunts me. I try to stay away from mirrors because they reveal the truth of my pillowy body and shatter my fantasy of normality. I pull my stringy black hair back and away from my sweaty forehead into a ponytail, fitting that I would make my hair equate to a horses ass. Puffed cheeks almost eclipse my brown eyes. A musty Polaroid depicting my cherub-like frame as a baby is stuck between glass and it’s frame. I am sitting on a too small squeaky wooden stool in front of my vanity, my mother’s mother’s empty perfume bottles and angel figurines meld into the neighbors’ mariachi music and archaic framed photos stare back. A steaming pot of dumplings reside on the stove, a broken girl resides in her own gravity.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Baked Scraps

by Rachel Lauren

He always yells at me
from his office room
telling me to keep it down
he wore pajamas to work
but if you asked me his uniform
was an orange jumpsuit
and his holding cell was typed
words on a page turned vertical

He birthed these words from his mind
to the page but
I was birthed by mother
so I came second to love
hours withered like flower petals
after the stem is choked
by metal claws
when the little lights of hope
that grows in number each year
for my birthday emerged
from mother’s hand
his hands were stabbing away
at the fading keys
my wish was a twin
to the year before
but the little lights of hope
always vanished

Piano residuals unattended
bleacher seats vacate
report cards unnoticed
he probably wouldn’t
even recognize the stranger
his only daughter had involved into
he probably thought I was still four
with pigtails and crooked teeth
I was the cub of an alpha lion
who cared less
if I was here or not
like baked scraps of DNA

Porcupine

by Rukhaya MK

Life turns a somersault
on me-
A cardboard cutout in a plastic
kinetic world-
as darts dart from all directions
some striking the target right,
 inconspicuously growing some
on me like grafted hurts,
some strewn on the floor,
each with an
autobiography
of its own.

Thwarted motives, misspelt intentions
Grudges that long ago
ran away return-
 disguised with their progeny
Rehearsed voices on phone lines
fail to connect warmth
mingling synthetic  sorrows,
with  plastic comforts.
Voyeuristic stares peep
to witness the spectacle
of how I survive the experiment
yet again.
Deliberate ambiguities where
Subject turns Object.

Flowering nights

by Reena Prasad

An earthen lamp sits in smoky vigil
Dusk spreads beyond the courtyard tree
Burning incense sticks smolder
till they crumble into grey dust

Come home, the roses are sparkling wet
The dew-drenched lady
is quietly walking by.

Night glances in
through the creeper-draped glass
only to look away and ponder at large.

The Nishagandhi has bent
under the will of the rain
drizzling sweetness even in defeat.

Warm breaths hush the talkative bangles
but naughty anklets continue to smile and peep
Drops of water dot the cool, mud pitcher
Drops of water break into sweaty beads
Reality whispers but sleep cajoles.

Waiting for a bee to return back to me
Spring of my soul, I bloom no more
When darkness embraces my curled-up toes
a gentle need seeps through my inner whorls.

A bud in precocious bloom, a butterfly sensing doom
a moth settling for a vagrant hue
or am I the colour of a summer night
fading too soon?

Crushed jasmine buds dot a bridal bed
as a tender night falls into a scented dream.

Pure Land

by Ross Vassilev

I prayed to Buddha to fix my heart
and I'll be damned if he didn't
and they say Buddha ain't a God
but I prayed to him anyway and it worked
and when I look at my hands sitting on the table
with the sun falling on them
I think of Buddha
and when I drive through some place at night
and the neon lights are all glowing
I think of Buddha
and when I remember all the crazy things I've done--
smashing windows, petty sex crimes and the rest--
I think of Buddha
so you can worship whoever the fuck you want
but Buddha's always there for me
when I need him.

Shed(epilogue)

by Sez A

Head followed

the cut

of man

and the
dress was torn.

Lad that rode the dragon
clutched at
russet garment

and yellow faced sword

feasted on a beady
wolf.

Straws

by Reena Prasad

If I could comfort
by sending a happy thought
to dangle upon your window sill,
swinging itself up and down like a monkey
in the hope that you could find in it
a glimpse of something well loved,
lost to the hurrying feet of time

for a desire
to see a fleeting smile,
a slight decrease in the number of furrows
seeps into me …

as you tear yourself apart
to pull out the shining stars
that gnaw and bite your insides
and pour your love all over the table
to become a specimen
for everyone’s delight .

They see beauty in the raw sewage
and applaud all the broken bits.

The Pantyhose Horrors of Summer Internships

by KJ Hannah Greenberg

The summer of ’79’s facetious fun
Meant typewriter trauma, all manual,
Pantyhose horrors, thirty-five cent buses,
Faux pas built on office politics.
Most female interns floundered,
Stenography was a practiced art,
Supervisors were necessarily hung.

Jogging suits felt groovy,
Wall phone came in colors,
Coffee machines squirted choice,
Copy machines were dreams.
Big Bosses smiled at curled hair,
Painted lipstick, also mascara,
Executive lunchroom politics.

Work like a dog, think like a man,
Nod like a lady, fret like a child,
Expect people beyond PR,
To misunderstand (a lot).
Call shipping. Call shipping.
Read the newspaper,
Peruse dictionaries. Blow gum bubbles.

Call the west coast, Call the east,
Sneak a peak, without computers, at lists
Of your friend’s fathers’ promotions,
Twirl your extra office chair.
Get regular haircuts, manicures.
Memorize the company song.
Polish introductions, use white out.

These days, flat-screened, run-on realities dictate time sharing.
Gender preferences hide, other demographics slink, all LinkedIn aliases.
Working from home, bunny slippers, tea, hangovers, absorbs the populace.
Maybe, perhaps, what if, a girlie elected an international commerce.
Would jet planes, transatlantic software systems, avatars suffice?
Contemporary time zones function as so much punctuation;
Interns, now, get paid to update technology, upload themselves.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Christmas after the Connecticut Killings

by A.V. Koshy

The world has tipped over.
Humanity spills and the bucket becomes empty.

From henceforth we count nothing certain
but this:
we do good in the face of insurmountable darkness
standing on an island
that steadily shrinks
while around us the ocean of insanity brims

The saints are handcuffed
Tomorrow's killers walk free and proud
on the edge of no return. Still Germans and guns?!
The new age's god is being born
The feathered  seprpent!
Lovecraft would say, I prophesied it all

Mothers, eschew birth now on -
The Christ-child's sacredness is gone

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Battleship

by Sarah E. Alderman

We play Battleship in bed
Our memories the pegs
The darkness our divider
The ceiling our board
Like children at a slumber party we giggle
As we call out positions
And it has been so long
Since a night we spent together
Was filled with sounds of our laughter
You reach for my hand in the dark
Breaking our moment of abandon
And innocent pleasure
I pretend to be in the act of rolling over
Shoving my fingers beneath my head
Just out of your reach I call out another guess
You pause as if to think, as if you weren’t hurt
By my backward advances
Then you interrupt our silence
By making me promise not to cheat
I cross my fingers beneath the pillow
And I agree
I do not want to be cruel
In my attempt to be kind
Sparing your feelings has become a fulltime job
But I let you believe what you will
By telling you a lie
“You win,” I whisper, in the still
And let you enfold me in your arms
As I pretend I am somewhere else
Anywhere else but here

on tuesday the 6th

by Ed Markowski

Opened my eyes
Shut the window
 
Crested twenty – one pearls
Q tipped my wax wells
 
Watched PBS
Watched Fox
 
Drank two cups of coffee
Drank two cups of milk
 
Planted a moon dog
Pulled up a cattail
 
Ate an English Muffin
Ate a slice of Pumpernickel
 
Listened to Bob Dylan
Listened to Wayne Newton
 
Rode the wind through a White Pine
Climbed the stars between Mpingo branches
 
Deep fried a Dixie Chicken
Baked Alaska
 
Sailed a desert
Painted an ocean
 
Bought twelve American Beauties
Sold a dozen chocolate éclairs
 
Felt a field mouse roar
Touched a show dog’s whimper
 
And when I forgot to vote
I remember waking up.

SOUL IN THE MIRROR

by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal

When I look at my soul in the mirror my soul never answers my questions. Its imaginary hands do not wave back. I try to look into my soul, but my soul dissolves before my eyes. However, my soul looks through me and I feel naked inside. My soul’s deadly stare gives me the creeps. I wonder if it is even my soul. I feel an immense emptiness. I go nameless and I run out of breath. I go without memory and everything falls away from me. When I look at my soul in the mirror I feel like it is the beginning of the end of my life.

FIVE DOLLARS

by Alan S. Kleiman

In the days of Clytemnestra
The alphabet heard our prayers
And rejoiced
The elephant trees spread their wings
And flew to the hill top gardens
No one recalled longer days
Or cloudier skies
Than e
Gibberish
Raise your hand if you think I’m saying anything
Or if you think I have anything to say
Raise your hands if you believe in angels
Raise your fist
Black power spells ludicrous backwards
I’m a white guy he screamed out loud
I never killed no one
Until I met you
And danced through life
Like a five dollar bill.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

As it ended(epilogue)

by Sez A

He had far coursed of
under water

and the song;

herons and female son
the fowl hand size masonry minister

from trunks

substantial disrepair flights accompanied the

grey whore
geese

upon at the crevices

as it blew, gnarled
at the narrow
balmy pool
of the fallen son.

Sap

by Reena Prasad

Sap oozes into brown coconut shells
Firm hands grasp the trunks
The mercilessly cut, gasp

Slanting hordes of trees
stretch up, wailing silently
at the fleeing sun
White blood trickles
under the cover of plastic
as nature cries a drizzle
over her unedible milk

Hot tea talks to a damp newspaper
discussing the falling price of life
Age stumbles around with rubber sheets
chasing the afternoon sun.

Low grade tears continue
after the tapping knife has taken away
the virgin milk
till one day the NRI needs
all his golden eggs together

The trees milked dry
stand ready for the slaughter
The aged one wonders about her daily gruel
after the loot has been stashed away

Eventually the sap in every vein
dries out.

say what?

by Ross Vassilev

there'll be no white elephants
crossing my path

the I may be an illusion
but all poets seek fame and glory

the I may be an illusion
but the memories in my head are real

and the anger and the rage
are all too real

I'll lay myself down in the nectar
of the black rose of night

and maybe the Gods will visit me
bearing a thousand gifts

or maybe just one gift
red as a plum

and when the world finally drowns
in the last great flood

maybe my salvation
will be in others' suffering.

I Was Drunk

by James Babbs

I walked down to the creek
and stood in the grass
listening to the sound of the frogs
growing louder as the darkness rolled in
before I leaned over and
vomited into the weeds
I was drunk and
I felt better now
I needed another beer
I wanted to wash
the sour taste from my mouth
I walked back to the house
and pulled another bottle
from the ice-filled cooler
I sat down on the deck
I leaned my head back
and looked up at the stars
I started counting them
but there were too many and
when the others asked me
where I’d been
I told them
down by the creek
it’s a nice night I said
I leaned back again and
the feeling came over me
I wanted to float
out of my own body
but something inside me
just wouldn’t let go
I finished the beer
and reached for another one
I took a long drink
and somebody laughed

Monday, December 10, 2012

UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly 10 December 1948 at Palais de Chaillot, Paris

Preamble

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Article 1

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6

Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8

Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11

(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence. (2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14

(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution. (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15

(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16

(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses. (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17

(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. (2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21

(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives. (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country. (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22

Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23

(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work. (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection. (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24

Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26

(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit. (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace. (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27

(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits. (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28

Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29

(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible. (2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society. (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30

Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

While They Now Bathe

by Peter Franklin

The family crosses the street,
children in tow
not walking fast enough
ducklings gone astray.
While
the semi-truck driver can’t quite
negotiate the turn,
angry motorists honk and flail impatiently,
their lives interrupted
but the goods will be delivered.
They
           
Are oblivious to the crane operator
lifting the grate
into the path of oncoming pedestrians,
unconscious ballet of balance and nerve.
No one dies today.
Now
Walter is staring at a blank page, in a cabana
near the shore
Words poised, now totally oblivious
to the twenty-eight souls afloat.
To escape the heat, they eagerly
Bathe.

TROUBLE-MAKERS

by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal

I come from a long line of trouble-makers,
double-talkers, and mirror- breakers.
I don’t know if I’m coming or going.
I don’t know if I’m being or not being.
I get bored and tired of things so easily.
It is more of a curse than a gift. I don’t
think I could ever be comfortable being me.
I look at the mirror and I want to smash it.
I go back and forth pacing aimlessly. It
makes it seem like I am aggressive and
unpredictable. I am a bit of a wild card.
I come from a long line of trouble-makers.
I am just not all there. I watch the world
with a skewed view. I am a contrarian
by nature. I can’t stop who I am. I am
coming like a cross-fire hurricane and
I’m going away like a rolling stone.

FLASH IN THE DORY

by Alan S. Kleiman

I listen with open arms
Baited breath
Inhaling you
Into my lungs
I grate fences like cheese
Mushrooms run from my visage
Be careful or you could end up like a chimney at noon
But put your fear in your hat
And pull it down on your earlobe
before kidney patches don’t recognize you any more

I know you so well your smell smells of home
Familiarity
Breeding
When colors return and you flash your calfs and tease with your thighs exposed
I’ll be in the dory
By the river
Alone
Counting my fingers
And the hairs on my head
Rounding to the nearest hundred

Turquoise

by John Pursch

Groupers ascend in fallow public drool, sampling etudes with some wanderer’s left hand. Thermostats chew trusty pinochle fleets, eloping with stuttering gymnasts. Beer grenades cough up normal fistulas in backroom terrier cars, bunting before holy storms encase a sloppy tarmac’s imploding gorilla. Height stows supernal shavers, flexing clarified bear nog, chugging inflexible dart boards. One-time keypads cling to silence, glimpsing an old-fashioned headrest’s chirping starlet hue. Feathered harriers warn arrested slipstreams to pan for static, groping in islands of tournament storks. A shuffleboard crone’s diurnal crouton plays for hamburger prolapse, fencing fodder into natural asphalt chews. Mini-martians overflow in punch-card treks, healing canonical farmhands with trenchcoat socket cheese, spilling varsity horse shocks. Focal troughs of canned fluorescent gravy blend statutory beagles with newly coded gel. Vowels erode conned officers, cornering fast parakeets with phoned hyena breath. Meager eateries clone junket teens for oysters, spurring cross Asians to airy innuendoes, catering to eels beneath a shoddy reef. Purple weasels speak in curled estrangement, softening the Roman surge of felonious cellophane. Saffron cataracts plum stark ingestion cues, grafting vellum intervals to pretzel automatics, bending a nine-grain vestibule. Fulgent tanners pin indigenous hobos to biscuit igloos, fixing lensed supermen with darkroom casts. Eschatology flits from easy Chinese fees, chattering plastic talismans when seething dentures scheme. Cataleptic discos percolate germinal effluvia, peering into beehive weirs, swelling to engulf a three-put weekend. Hip-deep in cruising sand, cornets plow eternal leaves, topping bellybuttons with crème de la ice pick, flossing capitulation’s souffle. Unknown tapirs mount a piqued howler’s mastodon, tickling pitted fawns with stolen benches, leaking snarky sabots through gavel mornings. Candy kerchiefs strut in scenery sauce, memorizing leverage stew for launching pad socks. If caustic rhizomes belt eternal kneepad torque, how nervous will munchies make the crowded test tube’s fabled sister? Only mighty elves whale beyond flown scythes, cheering up embarking pavers. Ladder gangs control obliquity’s leaden locket, scorching grommets with a salivating chaise lounge. Predecessors freeze in sunlit allegiance, paying flawed chants to easel mechanics for pending nodal graces. Monthly hills surrender pants to handsome fading mice, shielding vertebral chimneys from wooden stack scars. Counting facial egress, boggled archers soothe a carnival’s grown geyser, changing faxed ideas into filial twine. Noon materializes in octal June, lapses into slumber, and catches old rivulets of dusty skin. Horoscopes emote to oily plaster joints, simmering in morning lawns, stashing schoolhouse anklet tunes. Quarterly wasps sing to gyrating minnows, issuing cardiograms to basting pylons. Valves cement an equine nomad, stipulating hassle-free rolling pails, philandering with suppurated queues. Supine warblers chart encumbered lattice tweed, leaking existential poppers, shorn of pliant surcease. Panderers sink to serpentine grails, penning crooner diaphragms for housewife IOUs, spawning quick ironic histories for mauve fakers. Glossy chats abolish catheters, healing shed tillers, cordoned often. Shortbread reaches crusty locomotion, preening for sourdough news, only to recover cello poses of itchy shouting grace. He flavored thespian glue with sapient gleanings, sparing the misty-eyed starlings an altered ear, much to the banquet master’s illuminated steam. Mowers stanched the credo’s livery hatch, paddling off to thrice remanded spores, emitting blonde pluperfect flecks. Seventy or so luminous chairs, feeble and sporadic, squatted carefully beyond recusal’s sampled font, facing serial coilers, wafting strewn dressing gaffs between a knighted heir’s sudden teeth.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

TERROR STRIKES

by Vinodkumar Edachery

Narrow- mindedness
Revels in cruelty
Terror’s offspring
Chop the palm of dissent
Re-enacting the barbarity
Of the Middle Ages
Checking all progress
And freedom of thought
Not the followers of God
But, of Devil
Eight of them surround
A helpless deer
Tear the limbs apart
Like the feathers of a bird
Relishing wolfish cruelty
Celebrating savagery
Bathing in human blood
Wisdom never dawns on them
They need a world so ugly
Like their terror outfit
Instilling communal venom
Teaching irrational things
Their flocks, a retarded lot
They label everything heretic
As moral police sometimes feign
Attack women in public places
Mislead  folks and distort facts
Many a Malala suffer from this
Thus the great Indian Taliban is sprouting up
They strive to create a Terror Republic
Swear to rewrite secular history
With a lot of flamboyance
Freedom Parades are going on
Want to weaken Muslim League
That leads the youth in peaceful ways
Never cultivate tolerance
To them, faith is the world
Like the frogs in the well
They pounce upon,and demolish
Age old statues
Smash TV sets and computers
Like Don Quixote reborn
They are scared of
Broad daylight
Pretend they can safeguard faith
Unleashing reign of terror
But actually cowards
Who fled for life
Many a time
Leaving the community
In the lurch

Let us shed the dry crust of religion
Outdated laws and customs
And let the good values reign
It is wise to know
That rashness is a folly
Prudence, not a bad thing
Stirring up communal passion-
A wicked thing, most primitive.

Echo

by James Babbs

I keep repeating myself and
I keep using the same words
over and over again
but every time I say them
I try to say them
in a different way and
I keep repeating myself
I keep wondering why
I never learn from my mistakes and
I keep repeating myself
I keep repeating myself and
night after night
I have the same dreams
I keep doing the same things
over and over again
I keep repeating myself
I keep repeating myself and
every time I touch her
she feels like somebody else and
I keep repeating myself
I keep repeating myself and
every time she looks at me
she wants to know my name

Paramount

by M.N. O'Brien

Do you smell the wood burning from the Halcyon
years? I swear the embers still glow under the gray.
Now I need another picture to use the leftover words.

Pass me another photograph of Marlene Dietrich,
the one with butterfly lighting, as if she was looking
up through floorboards, the shine cracking through.

Can we go soon? I'm getting older and rationality
seems unreasonable. It's paramount, like Washington,
the grommet, graceful tumbleweed, and swift fates.

If I collapse, you'll go upstairs and eat eggs without me.
I don't want that to happen later, but I'm talking before
we leave, and the view has yet to manifest on highways.

Where's the photograph, in the fireplace? I know films
with those scenes. The photograph curls up burning,
the camera zooms in on the black and white smiles.

Hook Shot

by Michael Ceraolo

It is so old-school it is almost extinct
(it has a couple of new-school versions),
                                                            yet
it is unstoppable without fouling:

                             catch the ball on the block
                                                                       angle
your body properly to the basket
                                     (the defender at your back)
lift one side's arm and leg in one motion
                                                               and
s          w         e         e          p
                                               the arm protected by your body
kiss the ball in off the backboard,
                                                  or
drop it directly in the basket

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mourning the lost poems of an unknown poet
Hurt- spoken to Vincent

by A.V. Koshy

i know, vincent
this one is going to be as raw as your later ones
and as bitter, angry and ugly
you know those friends, birds of the same feather
but they were not friends
and i would write poems
and poems after poems
and they would say silently
but you are not as good as the ones who write in malayalam
we are better
or the ones who write in usa or uk
or the ones who got prizes
or got published
or the great ones
and i would say nothing
write, read it out
to a few
who would not laugh -
like you had theo
i had them -
and then tear it up
confetti on the sidewalks, so many countless pieces
littering the streets of the city of my cri(m)es

all my life they have followed me, vincent
and i kiss my girl and say, to her i'm more than vincent
and they say why don't you stop this madness
and i say
anna
is there god's hand's imprint on my heart
am i not like dostoevsky
and they say megalomania

vincent, sit here, paint with me in my loneliness
while i make love to your golden cornfields and bluest of skies
and let me read out to you my poem
and we can tear it up and let it like blackbirds fly
into your painted sky
for one thing i know of you, vincent
you would not laugh as the gutters fill with boats for boys
made from paper taken from my left-behind poems
alone of all mankind, you would sit and cry
with me and give me your canvasses, to write -