Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Thursday, February 28, 2013

north dakota

by Linda M. Crate

song of the whipperwill
golden grasses, warm summers
plains singing psalms of oblivion
there you'd find me one summer's
week hiding behind a smile
when worries mounted my shoulders
and babbling brooks seemed an
eternity away from reaching yet still
I refused to give up hope for she
blossoms in my heart no matter the
locale I have always been a field.

I Think You Have Beautiful Eyes

by James Babbs

I told her
and she smiled at me
then she kissed me
softly on the lips
I felt her body shift
there were other things
I wanted to say
but when I thought about them
they just sounded dumb
we need more wine
I said
and I held my empty glass
up toward the light
are you trying to get me drunk
she asked
of course I said
and it made her laugh
she felt warm next to me
I leaned in and gave her
a long slow kiss
my head felt strange
for a moment
I thought I was floating
it must’ve been the wine


by E.K. Smith

She squints at me
And releases towards the vivid lull
A comma lines her Brown Sugar Fingers
Blistering with anomaly and exception
under my grasp,
It has not been an amaretto-and-strawberry life
  as we'd both hoped
My anxious reflection through her grace
Repeats that back to me
Bleeding out thickened thunderstorms
And warding them off,
A final gift.

suburbs, dusk, the creature waits for something

by Ben Adams

he sits in sweat-damp
clothing, types
words to himself

the heat crawls on
like some ancient, mechanized

he thinks of doing the washing
of blackening his hands under the bonnet
of the rusting ford out front

the 4 cylinder '79 motor
kicking over
once more

he thinks of starting things
he thinks of tumblers filled with ice
and bourbon

and there is the brown grass backyard

and on the clothesline
a single
grubby tea
towel, hanging stiff
and dry
from weeks
in the sun.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The best way

by Gopali Chakraborty Ghosh

brain aneurysm
under a bus
cerebral stroke
cerebral malaria
Cardiac arrest
or in sleep
dreaming of you

Love 'n peace

by Anna Maria  

Love keeps searching
till it  finds.

Then it stretches
its aching feet
lies down,
sleeps in peace.

Nana’s Apples

by Paul Tristram

When I was but a child before the age of ten
my Nana lived across the road from us.
In the Summertime me and my brother
would call in there whilst playing in the street.
She would always be in her kitchen
and would greet us with a thick Welsh accent

“Hiya boys, do you fancy a bit of apple, then?”

She was a strong, powerful woman
not just physically but in character also.
She would walk to the fruit bowl on the table
and fetch back a single green apple.
I’d whisper under my breath to my brother

“Watch her face, she won’t even flinch!”

She would rip that apple in half in one go
with no sign of effort or strain at all
and always completely down the middle.

“Imagine that apple was your head, mun!”

I would tease my brother as we walked out
through the backdoor chomping on apple.

Years later I was drinking with a girl
and I was telling her about my Nana’s apples,
she went to the kitchen and got 2 red ones
and  tried to get me to try it myself.
I told her that there was no way in hell,
that I was 37 years old and if I couldn’t
I’d never be able to forgive myself as a man.
So she had a try and failed to do it!
And I bet my Nana was looking down
from her big kitchen in the sky
making Welsh pasties and watching it all
with a big old smile upon her face.

Just Nickels

by Ryan Hardgrove

Wake up early
watch her dress before work
without glasses
a fog of flesh and fabric
go down stairs
after she leaves
feel for the bathroom switch
her fragrance lingers
wants to stay
with me
within the home

Stare at the toilet
the porcelain
marshmallow yellowed
browned in the bowl
don’t smile
yeah, don’t smile
you look better that way
you look real

Want to get some things done today
get gas
apple juice
find a roach amongst
the pebbles strewn
across thin upholstery
beneath my feet
            feel for a lighter
            between the seat
            and the door
only sticky nickels
no lighter
no dimes
no quarters
just nickels

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Village Sunset and Morning Birdsong

by Charlotte Hoare

Last night the sky was bleeding.
Tonight it is burning.
Beyond the rooftops
Along the tree line.
Red sky at night, shepherd's delight.
Gleeful vandalism.
Joy at the knife crime and the arson:
There's nothing else happening.

The birds jump
in and out of synchronisation.
One voice so much louder than the rest.
Like the alarm
from the car with the smashed windows.
All dreams of adventure
are shattered on the kerb
and stacked like memorial flowers
against the flat tyre.

waiting for thunder

by Ben Adams

images flash in the mind
like silent lightening
left waiting for the thunder

(these words echo thus)

remnants of an unconstricted world
swirling black-water beneath
a speckled moon
minor chords whisper from islands in the night:
from the chaos, then, this tune—

(that is you)
is that you I see?
or your shadow, or your ghost?
your voice I hear, but muffled
as though some door had just swung closed

what does it matter, anyhow?
what did it matter
then, or now?

(it matters what is lost)

that which is chaos—
curious energy formed
from place, and time, and naming:

the lightening joined, then, by a rumble
and this for the explaining

this, which is
cold rain, and winter
expression paralysed
and splintered

this, which is for then, forever—
what does it matter, anyhow?
what does it even matter.

(it matters, it matters, the thunder said)

to wake upon a stranger’s bed—
to know them well, their hair, their skin
to know their name but not your own
the weight of all the worlds brought down
better, then, to wake alone?

amid the ash, and fractured bone
to feel a trembling in the pre-dawn air
the fluttering wings of birds entombed

(creatures trapped, by time’s march caught)

remnants of the daylight world,
the big sky world—
its hidden weight now pressing down
upon the stones upon their backs
their wings hemmed in, their voices drowned

remnants of an unrefracted world
that did not see itself in glass
or pass some half familiar face
and never break its stride

(the lightning flashes by our eyes)

what does it matter, life
or death—
all turns to ash, and sand, and earth

(it matters what is lost)

and this, the cost,
the holding back—
the muffled voice of someone else:
the knowledge that there was no need
for what we spoke, or thought, or felt

(it matters     it matters)

remnants only
remnants of
remnants just of something else
formed in words, in time, in blood
imagined thunder, what we felt

(and what was lost)

I remember     I remember
     I remember swirling water
I remember crashing rain
I remember you the same

lightning flashes by our eyes
images before our eyes
waiting for the noise of thunder
with the rain collapsing
at our feet—

but the thunder
does not come, and then
it is too late.     it is too late.

false prophet

by Linda M. Crate

lament me not your sorrow
I know you to be a false prophet
and I'll not swallow your lies
as easily as I once did; I will
no longer be naive I must consider
all the times you've cried wolf  —
I cannot believe there actually was
one, but you've got my apologies
if tomorrow the fields are crying crimson
with your tears but until then I'll
keep my distance and skepticism lit.


by Donal Mahoney

Sleet on the turnpike
in the middle of the night 
but I keep driving,
both hands on the wheel,
nowhere to pull off,
and a yellow bus
comes over the line
and kisses my truck.
That's all I remember.
Now I'm in bed,
wired to things,
unable to move,
listening to a doctor 
telling my wife,
"It's been two weeks,
no improvement."
He asks her nicely
if we should let him go,
the dimwit bastard.
If I could, I'd scream 
but I can't even
wiggle my toes.

One in a million

by Marc Carver

I have been to the gym twice today
made love to a beautiful woman
if only in my mind
found money on the floor
been gifted more money and walked away from it
let someone else have it.
Now i am wrapping up the day with a few beers
What a day
give me more of these

Days Again

by John Pursch

Always in I’llbequirky donut house, waffling between timelines, Lola renews her vows of loyalty to state-fed broth supply, singing facial hymns of old anxiety and anguished disregard for friendly foes, sliding into past regression status fate, picking up a subtle cue of weeks in slippage, timing gearbox grinding, loosened into further plunge, buckled feet dissolving, thighs become transparent, wonder vaguely now how Montauk Chair became delivery boy semantic chase machine, pinned to extradition’s trace, greeted by authorities at luminous temporal border…

Began as weekend jaunt per bureaucratic watchdog, simple loose-end journey, inner outage, double-time bubble spiral into Raw Swell’s delusory epidermal zone; swept to Towels, marked congealed, bucketed to Days Ago per frothing manic protocol, reaped digression requisite to satiate supernal norms, body-bagged to Montauk wobble, Merry Itchy music, peep shots, still return beyond the Untied States. Inferred pleasure subtly brought to bear through diplomatic duct tape, but decades in a dusty villa dominate, all for dog erasure, disavowal of future lives, strict proximity lunch from Untied States to statute heaven, haven-free beyond relapsed authority.

Phasing into conscious feed, Lola’s in a dingy bar, sweaty, caked with dust, juke box nonsense chatter, cerveza preparada, how did handgun, revolving walls, low stucco ceiling, someone groping gringo, staggering to barefoot stumble out to blinding windblown streets of Eighties autos, braying orchestrated extras, atmospheric jumble, dimmest memes of old-time tin-hunk fusion, definitely not her pastiche, but who can deny their own pet saga, drawn from textured gravity’s welled-up tomb? No one argues with reality in Days Ago, urged to live along a lungful at a twisted time, springing momentary headlock, told to hope for rural lease, mealy funnel to urban hell-hole hopscotched into time-disease vibration, decimal skin pries coup d’etat along with bodied hurl, fallow till an early moonrise, yearning for detached secretion dues. She bumps along a pastel wall, wooden walkway, tries to stay in simple lag-free focus, heading off the blurs, leer avoidance, sees her handheld deal in progress, tosses gun to random hombre, clatters into wood, amusing local nervous boiling sky drives into shade, Federales roll to stop in granulated cinders, pop the trunk to vending class occlusion closets, flicker of periphery resounds and she’s filtered forward, furrowed brow discerning silent integration’s fanning static, fleeting footfalls carry into transfer doorway now secluded, hands return in concrete faucet drop.

Jazz quartet in ritzy flat overlooks Gulf of Days Ago sunrise from balcony trying to resolve street noise ambient monoxide must be ten stories up in Cannedcon sound of distant rocket strikes horizon plumes adrift muffled mortar rounds falling in the city. Party raging, stands from sofa only to be tackled headlong dive by wildly wasted woman in failing sundress mouth-to-mouth pinned to wall-to-wall tangling tongues lotta lipstick straddled and strangely stiff recalling Days Again technology prone to bad boundaries healthy conclusion she’s a man not her but Lola herself is wooden subjected to timeline seepage now reliving some pseudorandom dude’s bestial morning by design mistake or chance who knows no controlling the recursive calls just lie back and enjoy it people stumbling spilling tequila on her laughing dancing this could go on till noon she’s suddenly no it can’t stone arching oblivion release to battered daydream of scintillating feet chattering in buckled shoes thighs coalesce in visible loins clenched hands leather armrests body landing flash of Montauk restraints smiling to operators hazy beeline from Toothy Canned Sequences direct to Towels, wearing a dress no less…

“Yes, yes, Miss Kirov, all better now, let’s see… Return address The Puntagain, Buggy Fatima Metro, Watchingstoned, T.V.”

Sodden whirling metro brakes behind familiar voice: “Buggy Fatima…” Automatic rising to leather boots trudging in unison soft bell snap of doors onto steep eternal escalator turnstile giving way to streets of old T.V., hailing cab…

Friday, February 22, 2013

Winter Storm

by Douglas Polk

Mother Nature enforces her will,
ice and snow,
keep the car from ascending the hill,
trapped and at her mercy,
hoping hers,
 a loving disposition.

The Flood

by Doug Draime

The levee was breaking
and a call went out
over the local radio station
for all able bodied men
and any male children
that could lift
at least
forty pounds,
to come down to
the levee to help
fill and stack sandbags
to reinforce the old
dilapidated walls. I piled
on a flatbed trunk
with my grandfather and
some neighbors.

The sky was black
and ominous, ready to
split open again
with thunder and
another massive downpour. We
got to 1st  street
across from the levee,
where four or five other flatbed trucks
were parked, men and kids
getting off them, and one
truck already empty
heading back out
to pick up more people. Women
were serving coffee, donuts,
and hot chocolate; makeshift
tables were lined up for
a block down 1st street. There were
about ten men filling sandbags
and sealing them up. We had
gotten off the truck and the
National Guard was directing
everyone to form a line
in front of the men filling the sandbags,
to pass them down to a few
other men standing by
and ready to stack them against
the levee walls.

We could all see and
hear the raging Wabash
flowing and busting
over the top of the walls. I was
only nine, skinny and barely
able to pass the bags
down the line. We heard
shouts from
the National Guard,
that there was another crack
farther down the wall. Almost
simultaneously it started
to  rain, falling down on us
like spilling buckets. I don’t know
how I passed those bags,
my arms and legs and hands
were throbbing with pain.

It was a long time before we
got a break, as others fresh from the trucks
replaced us on the line. I
wolfed down four powered donuts
and a cup of
hot chocolate. And just as we
were being directed to form another
line, the National Guard
on bullhorns were
shouting again and this time, that the dam
a couple of miles down
river was breaking and that we all
to our homes. We scrambled like monkeys
and piled back on the trucks, and I looked back
as we were hauling ass out of there
and watched people shouting
and running for vehicles and just
plain running helter-skelter in every direction;
the garbled sound of bullhorns echoing and
vibrating through the lights from the trunks
in the deluge of
pouring rain.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Biggest Burger in 1950

by Tom Hatch

I danced backwards up into the sky
Drank from the malted milk light house
Tilting it from sitting on the moon
Captured light enough viewed my beginning
From two universes which ones I do not know
If I paid attention should have enlist help from the sun
In the milky way I paid attention!!
when I was born coming from
The space between these stars and
Two lusting young bodies of passion on their own grand scale
In womb nourishment from burgers, fries
And milky way shakes
Puffed cigarettes in back seats of cars
Woody Herman on the radio Stan Getz on
Sax on the airwaves into space just
Passed me by setting on the
Moon watching my life coming up
On queue

The Visitor

by Laura Grodin

I call you the phoenix lights,
but they only see blues and reds
reflecting on crumbled soil. Nothing above but miles
of hollow air. You hover without touch,
the buzz of air pushed beneath you, floating
above a sand dune you’ve never known.

There’s something odd when I look up,
I can’t finish my cereal, the bowl in my hands
is unlike grey plates circling. Vibrations in
my slippers on the wet grass, a button undone
on my flannels, near my neck so I can open wide.
You’re coming down soon.

Flying in V’s like birds of another species,
There is a notable emptiness between earth and soil.
Tufts of air brush my cheeks, hair static.
Stricken from memory you’ll land, nestled
on moonlit craters, cracked from the constant
beating of breath.

It’s a Magical World

by Emma Ambos

Man-junkies swinging
the streetcops like tennis shoes
up the high-wires

they balancebeam their arms
and puncture pattern the ectoplasm
like laces, Anne’s and blood clots

the clouds they hang from
like martyrs, they moan
and fight the bit-

Riders of Leprosy
gods of their Own
crucified on the hot-shot

A Day Later

by Jeremy Marks                            

Bones glistening with fat are lying flat and carelessly stacked in a smoldering pit on the beach. Scampering beyond this bowl of ash and sand are the last smoldering cinders of pine; they dance among the scattered thorax of Blue Crabs; the cracked and crevassed.

The fire feasters were too full and now the gulls will have their way; they loop, descend, hover and spear on raised feet. There is meadow hay encircling this small place; it snares ribbons of smoke along its stalks.

The bay is water barely blue -the fog vapor is gray. Morning is a mixing of water and mist in a dim overlay of weak sunlight. First there is no shore, and then there is no beach. There is just so much bay.

On a strange loblolly branch, held high and newly dead, a pair of bald eagles chitters. They grind their beaks to bark in blench dawn; the sun front-lighting their milk white domes. When they stop, they wait; both pairs of eyes catch the silent gray light drawn like a shade up their yellow bills. The night is shed like old skin.

The eagles spy the offshore with its shallows; like osprey, they know how the fish go. A salt breeze moves through the trees; anchored skiffs knock together and there are buoys.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Mystery

by Gorakhnath Gangane

I live in the sands of the desert
I live in the traces of a woman
I live in the criminal minds
I live in the genius's brains
I live in the healing plants
I live in the ferocious fauna
I live in the masters and slaves at a time
I live in the history, present, future and science
I live in all elements... water,earth, air, rains, storms
I defy time before and after
I was there before everything came into being
I would be there after everything would have vanished
they call me mystery
yes, I am undying mystery.

Pocketing Fire

by Patrick McGee

He had fire in his eyes,
the man that took me
to a power station
to break inside.
His eyes spoke their flame.
One last episode before life

I climbed rusted ladders,
crawled under rotted boards,
threw rocks at glass,
rolled on concrete,
covered my skin
with dust and ash.
He led me to the smokestack
and we climbed and climbed
and climbed, the iron rungs

sweaty and warm.  We stood
at the rim, the earth spread out.
The spotlights blazed,
the sirens blared.
This is living, he said,
baring his teeth
to suck in the hot air,
filthy and raw.  I laughed
when I pushed him
from the edge.
They took him away
in the trunk of a car,
drove north to the station.

all is blindness

by Ali Znaidi

Moon, trying to assemble its pixels,
in fact, no clear pics at all,
instead the pictures are coming out
like leathery rinds of citruses
through the pale shadows of


leaking drops of the moon’s
lemonade [a drop of truth may appear]

but no aid at all
tonight the moon convened all
protection softwares:

truth’s pictures/

all is blindness,
& we all see the truth w/
shattered glasses.


by John Pursch

Sipped triumvirates sop up painless time, capped with foamy seizures, hopping on bored carotid easels, flooding occipital blowholes with sink remains, fraying venous tantrums for the toys in extant motorcar chives. Too handy for dueling bout crops, a minimal lime rolls to pasty shins, catches a flaking pin’s chemise, and touts emotional vestibules, sacking equine redactions for woozy maritime clay compote, fed to tunneling terrapins in dusky wartime cuticles. Bark means it’ll swoon at sunrise, etching addiction’s brutish slaw cot with lacquered ascetic breath, coping when form-fitting navigators impeach an epaulette’s born acidity vent. Crucibles evoke premonitory brewhouse strudel, splashing cordoned hermetic seals with edelweiss in four-bar roaming quartiles of tertiary prunes, uttering pinnacles in spawned elation’s bony onset, screamed at wizened seagulls, irritating jangled limbs of hideous grout. Held for dotted tenderloin immersion, knotty ovations pine for cheerful counter girls, speckled with fallen sod, infused with rolling tinsel tunes in tubules of amiable illusion’s stanched cumin fumes. Saffron cores emulsify cemented Valvoline, splatter searchlight conifers with warning pelts, and fructify a chosen hamstring’s sentient vapor, issuing forked similitude to thickets, charging half-note umbrage for grueling grape-noose sybarites. Idle hemlock lickers efface autumnal racecar flutes with crawling stoppage, hedging garrulous odysseys before amassed pendulums can imitate a frozen truck, swapping roadkill for gutterball delight, deloused and turned to cider in the pouring rain. Slashed swap meat fouls created cues, scuttling an octal mumbler’s venal call to backstage bigamy, savoring a silent laundry lip’s glossy take-out tune. How far from dipsomaniacal trigger-happy pilfering can foolishly squandered legions of squirming germinal voyeurs succumb to any sequestered highway totems of turnpike turncoats, of looming luminescent lucidity, of evergreen goblets in focal disarray’s overthrow, of overflowing integral champions in dateline distress? Deeply pleased to glimpse eternal hankies, knickers, and cummerbunds in cucumbers of penumbral embrace, togas hiked inches above the waterline’s tumbleweed coyly spin oldies, drumming down vernal vestiges of waistline stew, camping out in pawned official cufflink grounds, filming nebulous wattage in turntable hues, clamping detective moons on noontime vigils in barstool burlesque motives, similar to waypoint follicles and tongued garb nests, beyond an asymmetric tree line’s furtive grace. How the extra clipper shops erode in avionic twilight, shifting naps to licensed sight, puzzling enzyme salesmen with tracked eventual diatribe; all for teapot doghouse crews to pinch an emissary’s beeswax hint of stallion overcoat recusal, blanched in sutured corrugation’s vinyl itch.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Campo de’ Fiori

by Bryan Murphy

Filippo was in pretty good shape, until they burnt him.

Of course, seven years of imprisonment had taken a toll – his leg muscles had atrophied and his eyes would water in sunlight – but for a man past fifty, well, he looked as though he’d be around for years to come. And that voice: loud and level, a debater’s voice. Not to mention the man’s mind, sharp and lucid as his tongue. Ah, his tongue.  The weakest part of his whole body, the only part he couldn’t control.  Even that was healthy enough when I examined it. They brought the friar to us, to our hospital on the island in the river. Wanted to be sure he’d survive until the end of his holy inquisition. Some of his holy inquisitors looked more likely to snuff it than he did. Tortured consciences. Brought him here regularly over the years. Always me who examined him, until – Holy Father!

Yes, we talked. Mostly he talked and I listened. No, I didn’t absorb any of his heretical ideas, all that rubbish about life on other worlds. He did teach me some of his memory tricks. No, it’s not witchcraft. Believe me, I’ve seen a few witches in my time. Tell you one thing, I’ll never be able to forget him. Never forget a word he said. And he says plenty. Dominican, he is. Was. Intellectuals. Not like us plain John-of-God people. We just tend to the sick. It’s true we learn anatomy and cures, but mostly we just talk and listen to our charges. And pray for them.

So, memory and anatomy and obedience. I’ll get by with them in the secular world. Saecula saeculorum. What a world. Sixteen hundred years after Our Lord came to it. And left it. Poor, forsaken Filippo Bruno:  our Brother Giordano.


by Neelam Chandra

Do the dark black clouds
Really know
How much hidden energy they have
In themselves?

I believe they don’t.

For if they did
They would not wander
Over the hills and the seas
In quest and pursuit
Of happiness…

After meandering from place to place
When the realization finally dawns upon them
They just summon their internal inherent energy
And generate some
Beautiful drops of rain
Which sizzle and soak
The entire world
In their drizzle and delight
Thus kindling and sparking
A new cycle
Of self-realization
On all those mortals
Who are bathed
By those celestial drops…


by Byron Beynon

The tide has turned its face
from the shore, once more
the herring-gulls feed and quarrel
on the luminous mud
where lonely boats, abandoned and still,
wait, listening for the sound
return of the sea that will come
like the end of a journey.

Upright figures that stand on rocks,
the stranger who digs
for bait or for something he has detected,
the hopes and fears which are his alone.
The rose-blush of air enters
the bay on this invigorating day,
sand-ribbed and rubbed grains
peel away time, a flight of sky
seen before the rolling mist returns
again to listen for the marooned and mysterious cry.


by David Rawson

He can fold you into sugar,
into a howling thing,
into the ant that carries
so much more than itself, but even
fifty times your weight
is a limitation. Each fold is your weight
compressed, until your matter
does not matter, until your mass is
something holy, twitching.

You were the first
cancer. This petition you are holding
declares it. Your wife's hair
has fallen out. She made this clear.
She is the officer who fired God.
He is not so oblivious.
The one who advises you
dictates your gifts. You are a lump
of sugar she borrowed
she cannot return.
When the days bleed,
you are a sometimes dog
eating more than you
can carry.

Of a clown whose body crumples
as complying
 to an unseen hand, who is always
 about to ask, why did you lose
your virginity to "brothers on a hotel bed"?

When he shakes
your hand and says, “I'm the kid
but call me Michael” and then screams
“I'm a young man.”
When you stopped watching Twin Peaks
when the dwarf wouldn't stop
When you read the note, "I have taken all
your spoons," you roll
a chocolate covered coffee bean under
your tongue,
Press down, keep

When she said, "I was sick
long before," point to the kid,
That lump in the corner.
He can fold a paper
ever so neatly,
As many folds
as there are stars,
Until you can no longer
The density.
the lump
of something,
a Schrodinger
laugh. Maybe.

She has measured herself
out of the day, and you
in the mound, the only
worker left.


by Marc Carver

I woke up in the middle of the night
my heart was racing and i thought
this could be it.
My number might be up
but after a piss and and some water
it started to slow down
and i knew
that i would make it through another night.

Friday, February 15, 2013


by Gopali Chakraborty Ghosh

Thursday, February 14, 2013


by David Rawson

were fat, shedding feathers, sweating oil,
flicking tongues, bodies the color of cotton,

singing out love to trees that knew bruising.
Ours was a love of footprints, the pruning of love

for millennia, until the ice age almost pruned it out
completely. Ours is a love that was meant to shiver.

We are lovers who forgot there was meat in there,
that cartilage even is a kind of love.

We scattered at the sight of eye-line ankles, the trees
that bite before they kiss.

We will always know a love taller than us.
We will always duck when it begins to snow.

I do not know what I seek

by A.V. Koshy

I do not know what I seek.

In the midst of my island
this spreading pool of loneliness
engulfing every green thing
on this auspicious day,
overflowing its borders.

The fish too escape.

Only a lone rock remains
jutting out like an ugly tooth
splashed by black waves
in the dying rays of the setting sun.

It's another love I spay.

Forget Cooking Tonight, Baby!!!!

by Paul Tristram

 Finish up your shopping in the supermarket
whilst I'm finishing my 2nd beer and 1st cigar
 in this Wintertime beer garden across the road.
 It's not raining for a change!
We'll put the shopping bags in the car
and leave it parked where it is.
 I want to hold hands with you again
just like we did when we were a-courting
and stroll through this shining neon city.
 I want to kiss you with alcohol and excitement
dancing upon our eager breath again.
 I want to put on my top hat and have you slide a dress
 (which we've only just shoplifted!)
over your jeans and take you to the Opera.
 Then afterwards we’ll sit in the gutter
of the red-light district sharing a KFC,
dribbling hot chicken gravy all over my crotch
as we roll back and fore.
 Laughing like demented children in a crazy circus
as the working girls blow kisses at us
as they pass and say "Awwwww!"
 I want to take you to that midnight burger shack
down by the harbour and cast a handful of coins
and wishes into the blind harmonica player’s tip-cap.
Borrow his harp off him for just 4 and a half minutes
so I can blow magical, musical kisses all over your head.
 Shake those ringlets around your shoulders
and open up that birthday present smile,
show me once again the reason that I made you my wife. x


by Tom Hatch

Strung together these letters are pearls
Spun into bright words
Around your lovely neck resting from holding
Smiles from that land of orchids where
Love books glow different colors from page to page
Flipping thru a rainbow reflects on the outer
Mist of sultry clouds of life with you belongs to us

On the rise of soft breasts become these words
Before they are written my life with you perhaps
There are angels in these words of pearls resting
In my life with you on arms and wrists of
Passion above your head the string of pearls
Clasped in submissions tablet with words
In mother of pearl our time is in your hands

Of your breathing inhaled movement
The velvet light of Vermeer across
Your back lays the sentences of your
Splendor, loveliness vast of centuries
Past and future cultures learn and learned
From your vocabulary of a naked empress
Kallos in Greek, breagha in Scottish
As the heavens welcome our moon
That become many full into the words
A necklace wrapped around us pearls
That brings a message of my life with you
The birds of two the swans of two
At swim two birds

Mirrored in lake of fresh water pearls
Your long neck image reflected words in water
With origins of the middle ages are pearls
Of history along length of downy swan neck
Stroking with tender greed of words
Stroking with tender greedy hands
In my head soon to be part of the pearls
Popping out one after the other to live
In your place of moist petals

Fingering the pearls of these words strung
Around you in me and my life with you
Your toes are pearls to your
Magnetic eyes are pearls tricking
Me in seconds change to pearls of go
Ahead do it to me with me
With pearls of words
Solidly the pearls have become
A sword cutting passion

A necklace queened as I hold
My largest pearl ever is you
For you but then you stand
Behind me but then in front with me
Proximity of pearls slaves
It has to be written here there
Are words never spoken that are
The finest pearls as whispered
Secrets never told it does not
End here as pearls are round
Eternity in galaxy to galaxy
From man and woman
Here on earth you and me
Hold and told of pearls
The universe lasting saying forever
The indifference and indolence
Gone, gone to become lasting love for all
As pearls are around us all

Laying upon our back till mornings
Stops a beginning that has no end

Soul Hook

by Al Ortolani

Pop lies in Room 217; tomorrow
drapes like a curtain between us.
He sleeps with both hands crossed
against his chest. I try not
to believe in omens, but voices
whisper through the hospital, central
air shifting the ceiling tiles,
an escaping soul, spirit rapping.
Once, a hook was fastened to
a dying man's throat, a thin metal finger
curved above the chin, over the mouth,
to catch the soul's
invisible escape, a sudden gasp
of breath, a flattening of lungs.
Nothing is familiar anymore
except the beep and click of monitors.
Pop stirs momentarily, opens
his mouth as if to speak. I slip
a shard of ice onto his tongue,
touch Chapstick to his lips.


by John Grey

Once again, my arm, swinging, waving goodbye,
already aches like an overused wing.
I have my roots to contend with,
the flight home to see who's getting married,
who's being buried, to kiss cheeks less lovely
than your own, to float through airless conversations,
dig myself out of embarrassing situations,
quell some feuds, rekindle others.
And my arm, of course, will be constantly in action,
hand-shaking, back-slapping, even knifing
if the appropriate back presents itself.
But that's my all, an evolving mix of fun and duty,
resolution and revolution, with the odd cookout thrown in.
The talk turns to pregnancies, babies, sicknesses, operations.
I sit back, imagine relaxing in your arms,
pressing deeper and deeper into your shadow,
as sea-breezes, warm and salt-scented,
flesh out our hair, ripen our breath.. .aaaaah.
Then someone is sure to ask me, for the thousandth time,
"What are you doing with your life?"
That's when I grit my teeth and think of you.
That's where my life comes in.


by Benjamin Grossman

assemble and disassemble us. They look in the mirror only after they’ve broken it up, because if we saw where that first line was drawn then perhaps we would know where to draw the others. But since we don’t know, all we can do is draw a streak across the sand and place our toes upon it, hope that the lines in our blood gravitate away from the line of fire. But those curved signs fill our heads when we think on this, not lines per se, but rather question marks, those malformed lines too ugly to be in the line of vision. Should my palms cry more when walking on the line or crossing over it? A poet worries over nothing else but lines his entire life and the aging do the same. But are the lines on our faces really the same as the ones on the paper? Is the fishing cord in the water the twin of the invisible equator? And if lines are just puffs of air why do they get us high? Maybe at some point we’ll have to decide whether lines are offensive or defensive, and when we do we should tell everyone over the telephone. But it seems the more time we waste thinking about the history of lines the more lines we’ll find upon our own history.

sowing seeds of wheat

by Robert Laughlin

sowing seeds of wheat
the sower’s thought: secrete
growing shoots of wheat
the grower’s thought: complete
mowing sheaves of wheat
the mower’s thought: repeat

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

After the painting by Ceri Richards

by Byron Beynon

The submerged, latent cathedral of Breton
Ys emerges ghostly from
the glassy trenches of the sea,
the rush of foam blinks
with frothy tongues of weed,
a primal force
restless and ill at ease.

Glaze of moon,
glare of vertigo sun,
the shifting, drowned elements
transform the eddying
masonry of pillars,
distorted windows and gothic
arches assimilating heights and depths
known to humankind
in globes of phosphorescent light.

The flame of Debussy's music
like a cypress tree
probes and kindles
the earthly air,
consumes the lighted vase of life
before a strident tempo is heard
as unanswered questions
drift uncomfortably
towards a quivering
territory of fragile beauty.


by Séamas Carraher

i see you see me
in a trick of the light
Karl’s chapter
“The Fetishism of Commodities” (1867)

and the short dressed girl
all in black on Merrion Road.
In all these illusions
in time unfolding
the most beautiful of all is desire.
The most basic
my heart bursting between
its lips your slow caress
and between the two
the sunlight igniting your dancing eyes
with the theory of endless revolution.
Now is the time, love, for us to be born!
But here is the proof.
Marx’s first thesis
on Feuerbach:
“Since, of course, idealism doesn’t know
real sensuous activity as such”
  1:     I met you mediated by
          the price of a pizza,
          you call me master
          and yet in my soul,
          in the seat of this sensuousness
          I am only a servant
          to a love that’s still-(un)-born.
  2:     Only in this ghostlike place
          between your eyes and my own
          have we met and this “active side”
          could be dangerous:
          you – the shadow of this silent assassin
          that killed a small child’s soul
          and this I! The one who killed love
          for a romantic theory like war
          or revolution.
  And 3:    
          in revolutionising practice
          i cannot answer
          between this desire of my body
          that lights its soft wings
          with the journey
          i must cross
          or the unspoken night
          of a dead man
          on a butcher’s slab,
and all between
(both flesh and spirit)
my soul, love!
And the earth so far away

and so we sleep
and in our dreams?
One more slogan:
this language not yet born
not yet-no longer human!

i need you.


by Kevin Mazzola

Drops, drops, drops,
drops of rain,
drops of blood,
drops of bird shit
on the sidewalk.

Drops of tears
on the faces of children
who just learned their parents
won’t be living together,
even though they didn’t
do anything wrong.

Drops, drops, drops,
drops of this,
drops of that,
an extra drop of whiskey
at night
just for the hell of it.

A drop for me,
a drop for you,
all these drops
could fill
a desert lake.

perfectly imperfect

by J.J. Campbell

and these are the
moments where i
find you perfectly

years of decay
slowly bleeding
from your eyes

the complete lack
of belief in other
human beings

disdain glistens
your lips and
i know resistance
is futile

each kiss
each taste
each moment i
give in and simply
accept the madness

hand in hand

may we walk this
road to hell and
find more joy
than sorrow

but let's not kid

we both chose
this path

why not make
the most of it


by Richard Schnap

At the edge of my room
Sat an old guitar
Gathering dust

My ex-wife bought it
For a birthday gift
To kill our silence

But it was too late
I’d already learned
She was deaf to my song

And there it stayed
Till I found the one
Whose dreams I could strum

Modern Olympian Ode #8 (1960): If I'm Lyin', I'm Dyin'

by Michael Ceraolo

I don't know if this particular idiom
translates very well into Danish,
but it translated into the life
of one Danish Olympian

August 26, 1960
The first event of the Rome Olympics
for which medals would be given
would be the hundred-kilometer
team time-trial road cycling,
four cyclists to a team,
three of whom must finish the race
for the team to have a qualified time

One of the Danish cyclists
had dropped out early in the race
A photo shows two teammates
holding up a third teammate
so he can finish the race,
for the cyclists were well into the race
and the Danes were just out of medal position
(the rules in force at the time
allowed only teammates to help)

But the cyclist,
Knud Enermark Jensen,
to the pavement out of consciousness at first
and a few hours later out of this life,
the first,
             and so far the only,
                                           Olympian to die
on the day he or she competed,
and people wanted to know why

The Danish team trainer would say
that he had given the cyclists,
with their knowledge and approval,
the drug Roniacol,
which would improve circulation in the legs
during the course of the long race
but could cause the blood pressure to bottom out
(an autopsy was done by the Italian authorities
claiming sunstroke as the cause of death,
though the report was never made public
and later 'mysteriously' disappeared)

Years later,
amphetamine use would also be acknowledged,
and a sinister synergy between that,
the side effects of the Roniacol,
and the summer heat
would be accepted as the true cause of death

No better living through chemistry on this day

Sunday, February 10, 2013

La passion de Jeanne d’Arc

by Robert Laughlin

Dreyer cuts to the crowd
The first cinematic image of an infant nursing at the breast
Juxtaposed against the burning of Joan
We easily forget
Those sucking infant jaws suck dust today

Snow Falls in Kansas City

by Al Ortolani

You are sleeping when
the first flakes fall, not rising
until the paperboy swings by
in his squeaking Durango.
You have coffee in the morning,
reading yesterday’s news, drinking in
predictions of more snow.
In the afternoon you wade out
into the gray light. A calmness
descends, drifting
in swooping bales between
shut doors. Your peace, punctuated
only by crows, begins
in the belly, extends even to 87th Street
where a single taxi churns
to the edge of town.


by Marc Carver

I got out of the car and an old man looked at me
"Hi." I said,
he said nothing.
"Bye." I said,
again nothing.
I looked at the coins in my pocket.
I either had enough for gas
or enough for wine.
I went with the latter.

the once dearly departed

by J.J. Campbell

the haunting voices
of the forgotten

the once dearly

i hear them at
night in my head

mostly laughing

mostly at me

and when i wake
up in the morning
and see pillows
tossed across the
room and the covers
on the floor

i'd like to think i
told them a thing
or two

but i doubt it

i'm sure it was some
elaborate prank that
got interrupted by the
demons deep within
that have no 
need for laughter

at all

Driving Home

by Kaili Doud

We could call it an orb like many others have,
     the November sun—great and glowing

as it breathes marigolds in sparkling sheets
     over the damp city asphalt.

This evening is cold and branchy,
     and that orb is setting like a sinking chin,

dusting fricatives of goldish light over this tourist trap
     we call Earth.

Were we so lucky to be a mystery like Mars,
     or an endless anger like Jupiter,

we could call it cruel, or not enough.

Pleasure of Mr. Peanut

by Tom Hatch

It was a simple question
How far is his dark blue full moon lid
from your heart?
On a running leap from your picture next to
The can of deluxe nuts with 50%
Less peanuts that is your pleasure?
Next to each other on the desk falling for your love
Mr. Peanut winks from the can
In each others arms giggling smiling in that picture
A soft landing breathing into each others
Inhaling and exhaling peanut breath
In the pleasure of 50% less peanuts more pecans and such
As you walk down the road with
Mr. Peanut holding his cane and top hat
You look so funny with
the monocle and raised little finger
You did not stay with him long
Coming back for me to lick your sea salt was fantastic

Thursday, February 7, 2013


by Susie Sweetland Garay

Here we are
struggling to
make the pieces fit
like some
oversized puzzle
Ancients left for us
in the desert
with so many
no one will ever
agree on its
meaning or

Maybe we are
all right. And
all perishable
like a fading
star, burning
itself out,
or farm house
taken back by
the life

We walk over
hallowed ground,
touch stone that
has been carefully
placed and shaped,
created for some
Godly purpose
we no longer

The words we
speak are hollow.
No one here
is as brave
or lovely
as we once
thought we were.

The secret garden

by Reena Prasad

 The scents and sounds talk to me
 I walk hushing my pollen-dotted anklets
 a butterfly among the black bees
 the search elusive, a garden unknown
 trepidation in every flutter
 the message brought by the wind
 safely hidden in my folded wings
 I can reciprocate but not in this Eden
 do not acknowledge my invisible rustles
 A bumbling bee's eager overture
 may be a lethal slip today
 blow my dust around, but within your self
 admonish your fingers, just do not touch -
 breathe in the beauty of silence,
 the joy of unsaid thought
 for the sake of a flitting love
 be a mute witness today.

Sarah ‘Mother Of The Streets’ Tuppence

by Paul Tristram

I was in the foyer of the old Neath police station
waiting for my girlfriend to get bailed when I met her.
She was sat next to me on the wooden bench,
not waiting for anyone, she had told me that the police
just let her sit there in the wintertime out of the cold
and let her drink as much hot tea as she wanted.
She looked about 70 years old but claimed to be only 42.
She had a face like a boxer and not a competent one at that.
She had one tooth left in her head on the bottom left hand side.
She told me that she had been beaten so many times
that she had almost become clairvoyant and nearly always
turned her face before the punch landed
hence saving her one remaining tooth.
She explained that all of the obvious problems; the drugs,
the drinking, homelessness, violence and hunger
were merely attachments which came along with her real problem.
Her problem, itself, was that she had a fascination
with what other people would term ‘Lowlife.’

She had been married at the age of 18 to her first love
a few years later the doctors had told her after tests
that she would never be able to know motherhood
and a few years later at the age of 28 her husband died of cancer.
It was then that she had started walking the streets
in search of them..............................................The Lost!

“I of course see the anger, the craziness, the threat and danger
just like everyone else!” she explained.
“But I also see something else, the noise is a front,
the dance I call it and the dance is a protective shield
to hide what is behind...A wounded and hurt little boy or girl.
And that is what I do, I make them feel better, it’s that simple,
and that in return makes me feel better, a caring transaction.
I give them a safe place to unload, to strip bare and heal a little bit
and they give me the chance to love, care and be mother.
They call me Sarah ‘Mother Of The Streets’ Tuppence
and I have nursed many of them, young and old and short and tall!”

She then reached over and put the palm of her hand upon my chest
saying in a low voice, almost as if she were not really talking to me
“I knew I would talk to someone tonight and it’s you,
I have planted a seed which you will nurture well,
remember that there is no such thing as coincidence!”
Then she withdrew her hand and just looked into my face
for a moment or two with the most beautiful sky blue eyes
then slowly turned her gaze down to the cigarette burnt floor.

Soon I heard the buzzer of the inside door and my girlfriend appeared
cursing and calling the officer names who was showing her out.
I stood up and put my hand in my pocket, pulled out all of my change
and held it out to Sarah ‘Mother Of The Streets’ Tuppence
she looked at my hand, then at my approaching girlfriend and then at me
and shook her head with a mischievous smile and said,
“I think you’re going to need every penny of that, son!”

As we stepped out onto the wet, winter pavement my girlfriend asked
“What was you trying to give that old troll, money or drugs?”

“It doesn’t matter” I replied
“And she ain’t no old troll, she’s an angel, I swear to God,
I’ve just met me a real live, breathing angel!”

“Well, I’m glad one of us did, because all I met were arseholes,
That blonde Plod who nicked me offered to drop the petty charge
for a blowjob!” she explained.

“Jesus Christ No!” I exclaimed.

“Don’t get your knickers in a twist, I’m on in court 2 weeks Tuesday
for the ABH and the petty charge!” she answered blowing out fresh
cigarette smoke into the cold evening air, as we walked on through
The Dark Arch under the railway and entered ‘The Welsh Bard’
public house where all of the towns villains now met and drank.

It’s Not about the Sex

by KJ Hannah Greenberg

It’s not about the sex, about the fecund smell of vanilla, vervain and hops.
One bus stop’s bridegroom, moon-faced, gleams at his intended.
She, a hairdresser, glows with words, storytells her boyfriend.
That ever-so-ripe woman’s belly belies commercial incident.

The pair grasps that objects, not tools, forge social cartels from church people,
Cause community college jocks to take responsibility for spasms of mentations,
Bring about immediate and complete interventions from boxing instructors,
Prevent nice children from going full throttle against other undeveloped sauceboxes.

On alternate generic shelves, as well in comestible shops, and on popple trees,
Publications containing tidbits on plighting one’s troth, without toxic chemicals,
Sans physically distressing manipulations, devoid of stuffing choice mailboxes,
Gets snatched up by trouble-making fancy pants, their mothers, some albondigas chefs.

Holding hands, for the purpose of adoring liquid gold or inflorescence blossoms,
Interesting local papers in stories about sticky comforts or sycophantic civil servants,
Touting local populace’s more complicated daily tasks, exposed toes, or flaxen ways,
Forces select practitioners to regard uncial jottings, squirrels, kittens, fishes, and curses.

Pain, accordingly dissipated, might allow sleeping, eating, caring for mice, mountains,
Defending invaluable lab equipment, rippling peace through laundry, daffodils, thunder,
Sniffing herbal analgesics, calling distant relatives, disfiguring cold-hearted armies,
Maybe trying out some new, shellac-based nail polish, while embracing pencil pushers.

What’s more, eventually, children abrogate, often with great aplomb or ballet solos.
Their mental constructs, though, remain empty of regret for openly behaving
Past esculent mores, beyond laggy sabots, clear of high leveled adolescent glamour.
Position, ever after, in most disposable cultures, leads to matrimony.

The Sky

by Benjamin Grossman

is the oldest known adhesive: it was glue before glue was glue. Though how many eyes it has attracted is uncharted. But we know of the wishes it has stolen, of the prayers it has requested, of the offerings it has swallowed. How can we not describe the sky as anything other than bipolar? From yellow to red to blue to black it flutters at the speed of a chameleon. No relationship could withstand such degrees of fire and ice, and yet the sky stands with the unflinching determination of a painter’s canvas. When fireworks heave it remains unmoved. When an orgy of gods built their homes amongst its vastness and humans renamed it “the heavens” it complained no more than a tree, rather it protected the dead from the horrors of homelessness.


by John Grey
Again, your head into
what already reeks of spring,
another cycle, around and around,
like breezes, as if roots at home
grow into yesteryear,
their business-like manner
centers in garden soil,
pushes the old dead out,
draws the new life closer,
as deeper and deeper, holes are dug,
dirt throws back down last season,
burrows itself in each descent
into that entangling tide of soil,
as you float though waiting flowers
already seeded,
through stones from a world
far down and gathered in,
pebble after pebble
gripped in your hands,
tossed aside, everything but
this tossed aside in face,
it's how gardening
left moonlight hanging,
moves that never learned
no longer moving,
blue eyes, now gnomes,,
other growing overdue,
once planted in rows
for random rain,
scented and soothed,
now happy that the heart's
still beating, still warm,
but taking root in botany, not love,
the pain hardly felt enough
to remember those chancy times,
when it wasn't just earthworms
that still wiggled when cut.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Fiat Lux
on the 4:36 Amtrak

by Kaili Doud

We—who stand on weathered brick
and wait,
in reflection of birds on a power line
as the sun slumbers yet, we
with rolling suitcases
and shoulder bags, books stuffed in places
they cannot breathe, and tickets
embossed with clammy thumbprints
and a bent, tired signature—
we can only hope that the members
of our incongruent and anonymous flock
will make it just far enough
to join us on our journey,
but not our seat assignment;
to smile breath tooth and lung,
but not on us;
to reflect, to read, to arrive
where they need to,
and where we do as well:
to light and purpose
and hot coffee, god-given or stroke
of luck, so long as our hands
have grip left in them to unstow our luggage,
fold our newspapers;
so long as it is morning when we make it there.


by Narendra Kumar Arya

Beside my house
Flows a river
In the nights it has cold
At the noons it has fever.

There are trees
that are unfamiliar to me
And I ask the botanist
And they say, we?
Too much old, Very tall,
Teaching me lessons in recent history.

And twilight brings the Renaissance
About the nests and birds
Of too many tongues,
Which are dying for lack of many
I yearned I were Salim Ali
They sing, I observe
Clouds rush following
Each other’s cacophony.


by Madhumita Ghosh

Incense burns
conch shells resonate in the fragrant air
the old tree by the holy river
worshipped again, stands tall
curious birds, flummoxed,
fly around the alien figure
looking for their homes
in the arms of the draped tree woman
Not so far away
she writhes and groans, alone
scalded, burning flesh
spreading no stench around


by Joe Farley

looking in windows at other people’s lives
you wonder why yours is not like theirs,
such simplicity and joy seems to exist
within those stone walls
while your life is fire and tempest.

what you do not see are the facts
hidden behind those perfect smiles.
the father has a mistress he meets
every Saturday in Delaware
when he goes to supervise repairs
at his rental units in Wilmington.

his wife drinks in secret and has affairs
to chase away the ice from a cold marriage.
their son sniffs turpentine and longs to be a woman,
while their daughter reeks of semen
returning home from dances at fifteen.
the bond that holds them together is money
and the desire to keep what they have
and gain more.

more is what they will get,
more and more pleasure and pain.
those without fear or heart or belief
will press on without pausing,
while the others will falter
under the burden of accumulated life.
there is no need to mention evil
it may not be the right thing to say.
they are just participants in a world
full of desires and choices,
nothing moralistic about it.
it just is what it is.
people do what they do.
they always have.

Try to shield your eyes with God
the best you can,
real life will still creep through.
you can not get away from it.
you also are part of this world,
and as part of it have needs
just as strong as the bodies
at the dinner table.
why you do not act
to fulfill your wants
may be a holdover from childhood,
a fault in your self,
a weakness or an ailment
that holds you back
from being the same
as that family that you envy.


by Tom Hatch

It's not so bad We all stand around in formal dress
Holding martini glasses and Champagne glasses
Someone down here negotiated this
And the style changes are very fast keeping up with the latest fashion
We get these at the store Black Friday's Horror of High Fashion
we chat as demons with flaming Eyes rip at our conversation causing run on sentences and stuttering
When we feel like smiling or laughing the ones with flaming hair
Poke us in the eyes causing tears which we drink out of our glasses
Holding these in cocktail party fashion this is better than
Before I was told this was negotiated
By some of the best that hell is full of...bartering bastards
We only had to read Paradise Lost and not mention God or his son
This was not easy while they clipped our toe nails down
To the red quick but we soon began to take the laughter and
Smiles as tears which we love to drink out of our cocktail glasses
And repeat to Satan you are right it is better to reign in
Hell than serve in heaven as we sip our smile of dripping tears

Then there are the doubting moments the dust of fighting
Male lions while lioness waits in heat the dust does not settle
Until there is a victor
We are in the under brush in interrupted from our devilish
Cocktail party
We wish those lions would go away
And get along later she will give birth to cubs
With horns that howl men's voices
The tears of sadness we drink from our glasses

We hear there is another fitful negotiation tactic in the hopper
They will separate us from those nasty lions and their dreadful cubs of
Howling men's voices if we recite the book of Job with Satan as God and God as Satan
Satan's felonies point of view got us here in the first place so that was not hard to do
All I want are tears to drink from cocktail glasses in haute couture
Next to demons
With flaming eyes and hair that make me cry
Ah! to drink a martini of wit that causes more stuttering tears

A diamond in the rough

by Marc Carver

I haven't had a shower in a few days
haven't changed my socks or pants either
there is no sheet on my side of the bed.
I have eaten chips for three days
It has snowed for about the same.

I am a very dirty man
but underneath the dirt
is a decent guy
like one of those diamonds
living in black black coal.
All you have to do
is dig a little
and you will find him.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


by Susie Sweetland Garay

Surely, she thinks, they will
believe that a woman
with nothing on
has nothing to hide.
That she is harmless.

But they only seem to find her
more sinister for her

There’s Only One Twinkie Left To Save The World!

by Paul Tristram

My woman is a Californian
and to my surprise and delight
when we were a-courting
she received a care-box from America.
It’s Christmas time
and she sits next to me to open it up.
It’s full of candy (sweets we call them in the UK!)
It’s full to the brim with the stuff.
Now I’m a Welsh Gypsy
I haven’t got a sweet-tooth
I’d rather eat a cold pie, scotch egg
or sausage roll and drink a beer while walking.
But I’m fascinated, this is all new to me
they don’t sell any of this over here.
So I’m willing to give everything a go
and by God that is what I do.
My taste buds are like a freshly released
moral less prison whore at a sex party.
I’m stuffing all sorts of crap into my face.
‘Mike and Ikes, 3 Musketeers, Jolly Ranchers,
Almond Joy, Starburst, Butterfingers, Twizzlers,
and then she hands me ‘The Holy Grail.’
I swear the sunlight slanted sideways
through the window to dance off its
clear, plastic wrapper.
At last I have in my hand a ‘Twinkie’
my thoughts go running backwards in time
to when a gang of us teenagers
were watching that American punk film
‘Suburbia’ back in ’84 or ’85.
And that guy in it says
“My old man’s gonna be back soon
and if we’re still here he’s gonna shit twinkies!”
We all turn to each other confused
none of us know what a ‘Twinkie’ is?
And no one we know, knows either?
There were no home computers back then
so you couldn’t Google anything.
A ‘Twinkie’ was a complete mystery
to us in that ‘80’s Welsh town.
I turned to my woman like a retard
smiling over and over again

“It’s a twinkie, I’ve got a God Damn twinkie!”

She obviously looked really concerned
I took a photo of me holding up a box of them
and smiling from ear to ear, proudly
and then stuck it up on Facebook.
Within the first hour I had 40 likes
at the end of the 2nd hour I had 70 likes
and Stevie, one of the Inner Circle
from the old days commented

“Pauly, I’m so happy for you,
I could shit Twinkies!”

But for every good break
there’s a bad break just a-waiting.
And a few months later it turns out
that ‘Hostess’ is closing down.
I’m not even disappointed though
because at the end of 2011
I did indeed have my cake and eat it.


by Joe Farley

Deception requires assistance
from those who are deceived,
that conscious choice
to add up the facts
in one way and not another,
overlooking obvious signs
and trails that lead to pain,
content to hide your head
and look the other way
until there is no escape from facts,
or what is most likely true,
and then, oh then, pity the world
and pity you.


by Bradford Middleton

A man’s face is ingrained in dirt in my window
He looks panicked as if he is stuck there
Horrified at the prospect of remaining forever
Entrapped in my window

The man of glass bludgeoned forever in
Cold exposed style knowing he could
Well be gone with a gust of wind or
Even a bit of rain

History Repeating

by Douglas Polk

listening to stories of the Depression,
on my father's knee,
now nervously waiting the events to come,
the drought already here,
along with the stock market crash,
experienced in 2008,
financial ruin,
the homeless,
only house less,
but not on the streets,
no food lines,
or soup lines,
food stamps instead,
thinking of laying in bed,
and covering my head,
afraid of where the first bombs will fall.


by Joseph Webster

Ball of nails.
Heads or tails.

Ball of nails.
Play catch.
Catch with hides.

Ball of nails.
Never was, never fail.
Serpent. Demon. Ezra tail.

Ball of nails.
Trail of pain.
Not so. Brisk. Away.

Ball of nails.
Time ails.
Search. Dry. Shade.

Ball of nails.
Stretch to dusk.
Cramped torn sails.

Nail of bags.
City of hags.
Stop. Pray. Flail.

Nail of bags.
Concentrate. Prevail.
No, betrayed.

Nail of bags.
Hear the news.
Too much. Today.

Nail of bags.
Stop the train.
Overcoat. Hail.

Nail of bags.
Discover. Pale.
Drink. Rail.

Nail of bags.
Back. Stop. Say.
Not yesterday. Today.