Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Combination Plates

by Ed Markowski

Ten minutes beyond a mandarin orange salad,
a bowl of hot and sour soup, two crisp egg
rolls, fire cracker shrimp ding and two hot
cups of oolong tea, my girl Dixie deep fried
me until I froze solid and popped in the damp
and delicious heat of her banana split.

Biting The Worm

by Bryan Murphy

The ebb tide breaks;
life flows in his favour:
unbidden, unforeseen, relentless,
it replenishes a micro-universe
with love, ecstasy, contentment.
Wise-monkey eyes flick open
to macro-horrors
in a shrinking world;
one existence blooms,
a universe rots.

Victoria Rose

by Ella Barstowe

This day won’t last forever
And tomorrow’s almost here
So drink three cups of water,
Some Gatorade for electrolytes
And chamomile for emphasis,
Two aspirin for the pain,
And a firm pinch on the arm
Or a cut
To remind you that you’re still real
And you’re still you
And you still remember
How you got this far.

But you accidentally remember too much
And your monsters come back
To attack from all sides
And mine do too,
Since the call is sounded.
But this time,
This time we know
What we didn’t know before
And we fight with all weapons drawn
Until our monsters subside
And we realize
We’re still here sitting together,
Gasping for air,
Throats tightening
Around the stories of our pasts
As they try to escape
Mixed with tears.

With tears in your voice,
Your hair in your hands,
Your lips curl into an arc
As they sip
On the chamomile we prescribed,
And then
You stop drinking,
Tell your last secret,
And announce that you’re going to bed.

can’t play pictures out here

by Mike Foldes

jorge focused on taking the same photographs over and over. different people who all looked the same. mangold said “we can't keep writing the same poem, painting the same picture, shooting the same photo…. you must get out and away and come back with fresh flowers and wet sand. i think there’s some down that alley.”   jorge went to search for wet sand and fresh flowers. mangold never saw him again. when he returned, jorge was a different person, unrecognizable. his work was different, too. he’d taken up guitar and composed music for it that turned rivers green, the sky red and mountains mauve. when he put away his instrument, the world he played in went dark.  mangold said, “let’s go inside. you can’t play pictures out here.”

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Incandescent Soul

by Randall Johnson

A wire too small to see
turns spirit into being
perfect transference
not an ohm wasted
the who, watt, where and why
dispersed instantaneously
until the little fiber
one day

Chambers of the Mind

by Amal Younis

Contents within the heart begin to unravel
Thoughts scattered across the mind beg to be spoken
Deep desires surface, while silly mistakes reveal a newfound purpose
Words that can’t pass the tongue struggle to be released
Leaving one mentally stable, yet vocally deceased.
Words from within take over numerous pages,
Replacing the once void lines with bottled up emotions
Power to the mind that never sleeps; more power to the heart that constantly speaks
Rare moments of weakness often occupy chambers of the mind
Replaying failures over and over like a broken tape recorder
But silence will only leave the heart heavy with words it cannot keep
So power to the mind that never sleeps, and power to the heart that constantly speaks


by Devlin De La Chapa

He sat beneath the threat of rain
and watched the chickens peck

he had a favorite here and there,
the others were just props, ornaments,
trophy’s on a life less accomplished

the southern dust picked up and
tethered through his thick dark hair,
the same hair she pulled on many nights
before the fights before the idea of
peaking the American Gothic-ism-esq

a wooden screen door slams against the frame
of a door twice built, he notices the house is old
but holding well as she reaches him in a blue polyester
period dress in feline steps mirroring the cat ambling
beside her legs mirroring the chickens clucking

“where’s dinner?” her tone is broken like a tune
of past regret, lips thin, bare, refined, unpursed
like their lives unrehearsed on mother’s earth

sighing, he plucks up a favored chicken thinking, as
he headed toward the barn, that she at least deserved that.

He just walked away

by Bobbie Troy

he didn’t look back
after setting the swans
on fire
he didn’t see them
flapping and flying fruitlessly
into the unknown
then suddenly dropping to the ground
in a mass of blackened beaks
flesh upon flesh
sorrow upon sorrow
death upon death
he didn’t look back
he didn’t dare look back
he just walked away

Thursday, October 25, 2012

$40 co-pay

by Ross Vassilev

sometimes I think
I've got every disease known to man
I've seen so many fuckin doctors
over the years
and I know all you doctors
made so much fuckin money off me
the co-pays and
and all the useless shit
that helped you pay the mortgages
on yr 3-story homes
you're all a bunch of fuckin crooks
every one of ya
America is just one big con game
everybody's trying to con everybody else
those who can, get rich
and those who can't
sell drugs on the corner
it's all a big sick rat race
and there ain't no end to it
but you're still the shining city on a hill

Revisiting Grandma’s House

by Ella Barstowe

Here, I grew up
With mothy dresses
And amber patchwork meadows,
With rusty fences, musty barns,
And twelve mothers’ attempts at unconditional love
For thirty three of the world’s most pointy-chinned children.

Here, I learned
That “lame” does not just mean a horse with a bad leg,
That if you are rude enough to ask Grandma
To give you her old toys, she will,
And that if you are polite,
You get nothing,

That all five of my mother’s sisters
Are clinically depressed,
And that I am likely to develop hip problems
In my early thirties.

Here, I discovered
The meaning of republican
And alcoholic
And out-of-wedlock
And bail bonds
And terminally ill
And refinance
And Luke 21:19

Here, I was told
That the life-size doll in the attic
Is actually Aunt Patty, who died young,
Preserved in a morbid display of taxidermy,
(Which proved to be untrue)

And that if I go to college,
My eggs will shrivel up
Like tadpoles abandoned in an evaporating pond
And I will miss my short window
Of child-bearing opportunity.

Here, I learned
That ain’t ain’t a word
Because my mama said it ain’t
And that I ain’t never going to feel
Like a part of this family,
Despite my undeniable McCullough chin.

O, All My Life

by Séamas Carraher
Alguien pasa contando con sus dedos.
Cómo hablar del no-yó sin dar un grito?
Someone walks by counting on his fingers.
How speak of the not-I without crying out?
Cesar Vallejo, Poemas Humanos. (5 noviembre 1937)
translated by Clayton Eshleman (1968)

O, all my life, in its
bottomless bits,
who shaking our flag
was shook by the chest,
how all headless men shout
this calling with no answers
(and animal in bones
to bite his own heart).
And so fell the world
with its arms all futile
and wonder in knots
for a man with no feet.
O, once upon a time
he was, (i found him)
lost among seasons,
(his minutes sharp and mean)
for change that could not change him,
and raw with working
(O all this class!)
for countless days and still the dark,
solid yet so full of veins,
who struggles yet seen it dead,
and absent in places
(and him more thing that
wrench the soul,
that build these men
and break them)
and sad and stifled,
andnobody in names
these lips and lovers
without love.

O all our life, large with its louts

and a nameless man
who screams in dread,
and all his sky so full of richness
(and then these children starving!)
Such sight inside his sightless brain:
and guns.
And bombs.
All killing dead.
And nothing said.
All saying sung.
And nothing done.
O, all his life with its fire
lit with fuses!
For these eyes a crutch!
A heart for that leg!
And lungs and voice
to bewilder it back.
(This beast-in-power
looks like a man!)
O all that life,
lousy in its dregs,
who dreamed the most but better.
i shook him! And pitied him,
(promised him bread, a slice a mouth)
and the waking parts were beautiful,
but the rest, rags and rotted.
i cried with him
but his mouth was stone.
i nursed him,
and cursed him
(to despair this bad)
then cursed them all,
whose heart was this?
And there was a place
with no single
song left,
and no mouth to shout its end.
O all our life, in its futile flags
and all, and everywhere
this rotten siege,
these church bells, and guards,
their spies and things.
i called him commissar
and shouted him books,
(this empty laugh with
its throat all cut)
blew wind
and watered him
cried in secrets
for his shame that bad,
was god and mother that could
love him not.
O all that world, that wordless world!
And man, like child, who drowns
in our darkness,
and empties bare the last
of these shouts.
If only i could sing, he thinks
(grave as a tomorrow with your hand in mine)
of all this life in loss and loudness,
our silence grim,
it aches and utters.
No home or rest in this war
full of butchers,
no walk or flight will fix
this stone.
O all our li
(this funeral life!)
Its love now loss,
and all this endless wartime,
sinking now
into your nearly

monster evening

by Mike Foldes

the monsters came from everywhere
to sing, to dance, to copulate,
to pen their poems in shadowy halls
where monsters go to procreate.

the languages they spoke were one,
a blend of blood and sand and snow,
of crystal skies and perfect fruit,
of guttaral, pachyderm and crow.

the monsters came from everywhere
and when the shiraz began to flow
unscheduled breaks, a spark, a spore,
their fecund minds, flint and steel

lay lightly on the feathered plain,
throats parched, riven to the core.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

and what did you taste

***and what did you taste
     to suddenly understand
     the language of the birds
by Miriam Sanger

dragon’s blood
from the edge of your sword
or your own
from a loose tooth
or bloodied nose
after you crashed
     through the privet hedge
and went head over
on the new bike
you’d forgotten how to brake
     between the legs
forbidden, but...
or smeared to the knees
in childbed
this humor you must have put yourself in
before the crow
in the parking lot
cocked its intelligent head
and told you
weather was running in
from the west.

Update at Ten

by Randall Johnson

Fire was news not weather then.
Water ran like water,
from taps, you understand.
They say fire weather tomorrow
and water’s short.

Fire weather?

We scoffed at bottled water once
which now pervades cold cases
at every store where needs are sold.
Will we cough at canned air next
or buy it in bulk before dirt weather?

Memo on a Parable

by Ed Werstein

To: The Shepherd
From: The Poet

Re: Your Lost Sheep
Let’s consider this from his perspective.
Maybe he had a mind of his own.
Maybe he was tired of conforming,
of every time his eyes wandered
feeling the crook of your staff
round his neck.
Maybe he just wanted to be
alone for awhile,
to not be a part of the fucking
flock any more.
Maybe he was sick and tired
of your mid-night advances.
Maybe he was an artist
searching for a tar pit
to dye in,
the original black sheep.
Maybe he didn’t want to be found.

Maybe you were just afraid
of what songs he’d sing to your flock
across the hills at night.
There were ninety-nine others.

Plucking Glass w/Tweezers

by Devlin De La Chapa

the sweat of cold beer slips through my hand,
Kool cigarette ashes feather over beige
shag carpeting at 11 in the morning
her body lies naked big tits black
snatch blond hair red nail
polish on fingers and
toes, my teeth grind
my head unwinds

last night rewind
a dingy motel room
lots of booze, horny broad
in carnal systematic positions
this was not the road I’d wish to
take to poetic perdition; I am fucking up
these hands penning words on blank hangover
canvases to create distorted fragments of poetic pornia

wood spent missing linoleum is what my blood-shot
eyes grasp as I reach across the nightstand for
the stenograph but the late morning sun
creaking through red sangria curtains
blinds my sight, warms my skin,
dries my mouth, my big head
throbs as I cannot bare to

think about the remnants
of red nail glass chips embedded
in both ends of my shoulders where her
fingernails had raked across my skin in the heat
of last nights streescapade so I spend the day plucking
glass with tweezers, true I may not be remembered as the
poet vying for the next Great American Poem but somewhere a
famed poem will be penned of a poet plucking glass with tweezers

Sunday, October 21, 2012


by Bradford Middleton

There is broken glass all over the street
Whilst there are broken dreams all over this town
Due to the broken promises from those who are in control
Those who’ve never had it hard and made it to the top
Simply because of their old school ties

All I’ve got is my minimum wage
But I don’t even deserve that they will say
All they want are obedient serfs
To do as they are told and do all the work
But why should we when all we get is no thanks at all

Laid Off

by Ben Rasnic

What tipped me off
was his plastic puppet smile
illuminated by the funeral parlor
fog that always seems to hang
over four suits in a cramped room
with one empty chair.

Then came a spew of syllables
from the designated, flapping mouthpiece
with a gush of bloody feathers
from a dying quail
that made no impressions;

a Q&A that began and ended with
“Our attorneys advise we are not required
to pay you any kind of severance” and
“Aren’t you retiring soon anyway?”

concluding when a greasy, clammy hand
splayed rigid fingers extending
into empty space
like a housefly I swatted
with my self-respect
on the way out the door,
mind churning
like a fully loaded magazine
spraying bullets haphazard
into the void.

At 58,
& in the diminishing light
of horizon,
it is at times with deep personal regret

that revenge is a poison
I can serve only
and in silence.


by Marc Carver

I looked at her
with my hate filled eyes.
'I know you hate me I can see it in your eyes.'
'Yea, i really hate you.'
I don't hate her for what she does to me
or even for what she does to herself.
I hate her
for what she does
to someone i love.


by Mike Foldes

“The graveyards here are so very big,” she said,
As we drove through Queens, then Bronx.
“Those graveyards are filled with the bones
of people who put this city on the map,”  said I.
“It’s 500 years we’re talking about.”
On the Cross Bronx, she said,
“Those walls look to be 100 years old.
“It must have taken a lot of money to build.”
“Not taking into account sweat equity,” I said,
Weaving through traffic under the elevated
to get to Tremont, Webster
and the impacted ramp onto I-95 South.
“I bet they’d kill me if I got out here,”
The white girl said at Arthur Avenue.
“They won’t kill you,” I said, “My daughter
went to school here. She survived just fine.”
“This part of Bronx is Little Italy,” I explained.
“Where everyone gets bumped…,” she said.
“Bumped. Like in the movies.”
“Oh. Bumped. Like in the movies.”
“Where are the Italians?” she asked.
“Bumped,” I said. “Like in the movies.”

fill in the blanks

by J.J. Campbell

stealing glances
underneath street
lights, soulful
music blasting
in the night air

i know you can't
be happy or you
wouldn't be

and just as i
muster up the
courage to slip
you my number
as your boyfriend
wasn't looking

the lanky geek
took your hand
and pulled you

off into the dark
for who knows

i had just spent
the last ten hours
standing, baking
in the sun,
listening to

a pursuit was
definitely not
in the cards

i'll let my
fill in the
blanks of
what could
have been

beer drinker

by John Grochalski

the beer drinker turns away
finishes a bottle of bud at the bus stop
opens up another one
that he has hidden in a paper bag
but he’s not fooling anyone
he’s doing it more out of respect
for the other people waiting for the bus home
people not used to seeing men
drinking beer in strange places
people who wouldn’t understand the need
after eight hours of selling your time down the pipeline
people for whom this way of life
is just the expected, inevitable norm of human civilization
the ones who will never find another way
the beer drinker tips the new beer
pours a waterfall of gold into his mouth
his eyes are red with weariness and booze
his hands are thick and black with grease
his clothes are stained brown from dirt
to say he is the standard and the stereotype
of the fading blue collar ideal
would be an understatement
he’s the american hero incarnate
but still the people recoil and move away
clutching their bags and their briefcases
no one here wants to associate with the struggle
although politicians stake their claim on his type
every election cycle
they just want to read about guys like him on the nightly news
and shake their heads at the way the country is going
the beer drinker, he just wants another beer
and probably a day off
he pours himself another waterfall of missouri piss
then cracks the next bottle a little bolder this time
he lets the paper bag go sailing down stillwell avenue
as the good  ecological people huff and pull on their clothing
people who’ll never know a beer buzz at lunch
people who know no desperation
because it sits manifest like a rank cloud over everything
so thick it blinds their hunger and need
chokes them on their own conceit
before they ever see the natural
light of day.


by Richard Hartwell

Every evening we are poorer by a day,
but richer by a memory;
every dawn we are poorer by a dream,
but richer by an opportunity.

It is this forward shift, this change,
this inevitable variability,
that is mankind’s lodestone;
for, without change,
or the expectation of change,
or the vision of change –
without this or these,
what is life worth?

Unrest is the mark of existence;
variation is vitality
not fulfillment or satiation.

Mankind needs need and
pursuit of the far country;
arrival is not a goal, only
passage is of genuine worth,
its challenges fulfill mankind.

Forward motion is all, whether physical
or intellectual or emotional.
Mankind is made for movement,
not entropy and stagnation.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Just like genghis

by Marc Carver
As I sat down on my bed
watching a film
it began to thunder and lightning- so
I got up and went outside in the rain
thought I would give god his chance
I waited for a while
but I just got wet
and I thought I had given him long enough
so I went in
and watched the end of the film.

Lung Tap

by Miriam Sagan

my name is on my wrist
so it has come to this

there’s screaming down the hall
but why I can’t recall

they say the screamer is me
but this is hard to see

I tell her to shut up
scream lessens not a bit

my name is on my wrist
an opiate of bliss

in sacrificial pose
bound knees support my nose

the needle is my name
she’s screaming just the same

I read what I am called
and memory is jarred

my name is on my wrist
m-i-r-i-a-m means bitterness


by Richard Hartwell

Increasing nearsightedness,
In fast advancing age,        
Can be of great benefit.

No longer do you see
Serpents in the grass
At the garden’s far end,
Blending, blurring with a
Surrounding palette,
Forming only background.

Eyes can distinguish
Shades, hues of color,
But so little of form,
Thus forcing, focusing
On the immediate,
Aware what is before is
Seen with greatest clarity.

Concentrating as it recedes,
Continuing to distinguish its
Shape amidst amorphous
Background, surroundings,
Something said in praise of
Beneficial aspects of
Such narrowed vision.

If I can clearly see only
What is just before me,
There is less possibility
Then that I will trip,
Fall over the obvious,
While admiring the ethereal.

you don’t know me

by John Grochalski

she snaps at me at the work desk
she says
you don’t know me
and i think that’s fine
i don’t want to know her as i don’t want to know most people
but it’s the way she says it
like she wanted me to know her but i never bothered
people are touchy this way
they expect you to take an active interest in them
many people do take an active interest
in one another
i see them out at bars and at restaurants
i see them at jobs nodding their heads
listening to maybe a third of what the other person is saying
before they open their mouths to speak
these people, they know each other
but me?
i’m not built like that
i’d rather keep it like strangers on a plane
i’d rather leave people alone
and not ask them so many questions
still, it’s kind of sudden and shocking to hear someone
spit that out at you
even though i probably deserve it
so angry and formal
so accusatory and pent-up
an acknowledgement that maybe you never cared
you don’t know me, she says again
then storms away
as if she hasn’t sat in that seat for three years
telling me all about her son and his fiancé
her husband and his job woes
how much she loves her god
her family coming over from russia
and building the american dream
her houses and cars
her pets and neighbors
her love of john lennon and brett farve
her prayers
her hopes and her dreams
and all of the holiday traditions that she’s passed down for years
you don’t know me, she said
fuck, i think
i probably know you better than i know myself.  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


by Trina Tan

It is the limbo between the parentheses
of waking up or living.
People say it is some sort of conjured darkness,
of time lost, of things foregone,
of winter’s cold joy and bears hibernating.
People say it is for the weak.
They forget that just as we feed into the strains of our eyelids
to keep up the quick erratic breathing
and the litheness of our feet
we need to feed into the silence of our deafening
and the need for our feet to step off the ground
for a while longer than a second.

So it lies between us, the illuminating darkness,
an entity with limbs, the barometer of health we overlook.
The slight twitching of our hands against each other
triggers off earthquakes in an unknown somewhere.
We feed into a cache of things unremembered,
things we forget to believe when we are awake.
And as we dream, it grows,
enveloping us with the fabric of sewn-together
joys and tragedies,
filling the gaps that the air has left
between the curves of our bodies
and the roundness of our souls.

The bears, they wake up,
rubbing off the remnants of their dreams
which had crystallized in the corners of their eyes
as if reality had gone on its knees to beg for some.

a little voice

by J.J. Campbell

i've had a headache
for the last four days

a little voice inside
of me tells me it's
a tumor

the same little voice
that assured me i'd
be better off by not
going to college

the same little voice
that swears she is the

although, when pressed,
she doesn't have a name

the little voice that
scolds me for feeling

the same little voice
that tells me right before
i fall asleep each night
that my father never
loved me

i've had a splitting
headache for the
last four days

a little voice tells
me it's a tumor

the same little voice
i try to drown in
alcohol every damn
chance i get

A Billion Times Before

by James Babbs

he was taking a piss
with the bathroom door open
I don’t know
he said
maybe I need to find another job
we’d had this same conversation
about a billion times before
you don’t need another job
I said
you need a career
I was trying to peel
the label off of my bottle
but it wasn’t going very well
how do I get one of those
he asked
I said
first of all
you have to figure out
what you want to do
I heard him flush the toilet
before washing his hands
he came back into the living room and
handed me another beer
he said
isn’t there any way I can get paid
for drinking and sleeping
I said
well if there is
be sure and let me know
I watched him toss his bottle cap
at the waste basket in the corner
it bounced off the edge and
landed on the floor
he said
I swallowed some more beer and
went back to working on
trying to peel the label
off of the other bottle

Vowel Inversion

by M.N. O'Brien
You're younger than yesterday’s yellow star, and her
yin-yang necklace. The unfortunate usurper upstairs
understands the orders of the original owners, and without
being too oblivious and obscure, the invisible icons
introduce the insanity of the eclipse. I enthusiastically
endorse the endeavor of man, and all of the sun's alliteration.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


by Michael H. Brownstein
She massages my hands and lets me put things in my mouth
Her skin clear weather, eyes blood sucker brown, hair huckleberry opium.
Everyone needs someone they can brag to safe and strong, selfish and encouraging
As if hazardous waste can spread that thin
Or a sunset can be that spectacular through polluted haze.
Light fills a space like heat over paths of weed and wood
And she, a shadow in deadfall moving, the moon on the wake left behind,
And sometimes from a lack of doing nothing, she is the sun.


by Richard Hartwell

I have three sons who are addicted,
addicted to their age and ages.

One son is addicted to pills and morphine,
chemicals that extend his day, so he
can do all that is required of him.
Or so he tells himself.

Another is addicted to sex and the
wiles of a young woman, so much so
that now he’s addicted to a young family,
a job and a nine-to-five routine
that seems to extend to the horizon.

The third son is addicted to music, raves,
the ravages of body piercing,
inflicting on himself the pain
his words inflict upon his mother.

I have three sons who are addicted,
but then it seems to me we are all
addicted sons ourselves or, rather,
sons of addiction.


by John Grochalski

back in the city of my youth
we drink beer
and he tells me how anti-social i am

it is not enough
to sit here and drink beer
rehash the old times

watch my brother’s legs shake
underneath the table
as we talk about his divorce

we have to discuss my lack of presence as well

i don’t understand this
i mean i think i do all right with people

i’m the only man in the room who’s still married
and i’ve got almost two hundred friends on facebook

some of whom i actually know

i’ll admit that sometimes
humanity just becomes too much for me
and i have to recede into myself
keep finding new and improved ways to disappear

but anti-social?

still he takes a pull on his beer
and tells me as such

he says he calls them as he sees them

only i can’t be mad at him
he’s been taking care of my brother
keeping him on the straight and narrow for a few months

while his divorce moves along
and i play the recluse up in brooklyn
instead of trying to be the good, supportive brother

with a resume like that
he can say what he wants to me
and i’ll sit there and take it

i’ll just smile back at him
nod and take a pull on my own beer

as the conversation turns toward
jobs and women

another old friend of ours

big billy bradley

who owns three liquor stores
has four kids and three ex-wives

a man who’s just too busy these days
to give anyone of us a phone call.


by Byron Beynon

Here the famous guests are scattered
in funerary plots and calculated divisions,
with sculpture, some reminding me of sentry-boxes,
ready and made to accommodate whole families.
During the hour or more
I stayed among the dead
I found the black and polished grave of Proust,
his name remembered in time and letters;
I searched for Balzac, Bizet,
and the young American
Jim Morrison of the Doors.
Blind men! But who's to say?
One by one the shadows disappeared.
At 89e Div 1-2 I saw
graffiti on Epstein's monument
to Oscar Wilde,
Oscar who? Someone had scrawled
in dark paint.
A gardener pointed
to Piaf's place,
smothered in flowers and notes,
as children from a school party
sketched Chopin's marble face.
Nobody could disturb them,
they had completed their cycle
in a city touched by sunshine and dust,
where unknown visitors leave bouquets,
vulnerable petals that see in the light.


by Marc Carver
There are Raphael paintings in the sky by day
as clouds race by.
The days are mostly the same too
but i never see the same clouds.

Day is now night and how bright that moon is.
Not full, just like a eye.
The all seeing eye.
If it turned and looked it would see straight into my heart if i let it.
Only good men die on nights like this.
Warm death
blanketed by dreams
the journey for you my friend
is over.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Shayira of Sorts

by A.V. Koshy
O Rumi
intoxication with the divine
is not the only way

O Ghalib
the way of the senses
is not the only one

Brothers, you know
the body of my love
also has on it cartography
that gives me the map:
I alone have the key
to open its hidden door
Before me spreads
the unending vistas
of her Keen Delight


by M.N. O'Brien

I empty the observation deck of my mind,
guessing this is what I'm supposed to do
in my bedroom, to wake up on mountaintops.

The isotopes of winter count the ways
I wonder by looking at my footprints in snow.
I'm to understand this without thinking.

Underrated and overstated quotations burst
open a debate to decry and decriminalize.
I guess this is what I'm supposed to do

to wake up on the snowcapped mountaintops.
I guess these are the things I'm supposed to say
to empty the observation deck of my mind.

Seven Hills Road

by James Babbs

I’m thinking about the girl
who lived on seven hills road
the one with the yellow hair
she kept a loaded gun
underneath her pillow and
that was a million years ago
but I’m flying past her house
driving in my old car
out on seven hills road
where the city ends and
the sky opens up and
you can count all the stars
and you can wish upon
every one of them
you can waste your life
waiting for them to come true
out on seven hills road
with nothing better to do

Emptied Clouds

by Marilyn Braendeholm

Ambivalence, they said,
empties clouds of water
and incense of its holy
intent and yet, fear of

breathing in tenderness
kept them choked and dazed.
Their prayers rise on thin strings
of hazy smoke, carried

to heaven on fragile flags
with scurries of penned whispers
that flap like fledglings
against the changing wind.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


by Michael H. Brownstein
My dear Cassandra, I must punish you. From this day on you will only speak the truth, but no one will ever believe you.
—Apollo to Cassandra after she broke one precept or another
My name is Cassandra,
But you believe me to be someone else,
And, yes, I am a woman.
Listen! My eyes are green,
My hair is black,
Greeks do hide in the belly of the horse.
I live here, behind that wall,
My bedding, that corner.
I need not latch my door
Nor do I need clothing during sleep.
Legs gapped open, I wait for you.


by Byron Beynon

A middle-aged man
conducts the air,
guiding me to other seas, other mountains,
which I inhabit like dreams and distant places.
He tries a variety of angles,
moving his arms like a windmill,
butterfly fingers stroking the air.
He has cultivated a paunch,
imitating a pregnant woman,
he looks outward and searches
the coastline,
rests both hands
on hips, his pointed elbows
the arms of a vase,
the completed work of a potter,
brought to maturity.
His wife cuts free
the green-skinned cucumber,
she sits carving a meal for two,
nudges her man to eat.
A shared refreshment
without words,
her name is already written
on the water.

Bon appetite

by Marc Carver
The young woman came out with a couple of tea cakes.
I was tempted to call her over
and ate the cakes quick and then shoot off.
‘Hey where the hell are my teacakes?’
‘I gave them to that hungry looking guy with long hair he said they were for him.’
It reminded me of the time I was in France
when I ate a big steak and drunk a fabulous bottle of wine
then got up after taking a good look around and walked off.
He is still looking for me now.

Puddles Of Truth

by Peter Franklin

Take me to your
Higher Coach,
She who resides within…
She who has all the
Whether or not you want
To hear them…
The answers.
They are the ripe hanging
Fruit…harvest time on your
The transition into the
Unknown is fragile
And frightening.
Knowyou’ll go when you
Are ready to go.
Once you quiet the noise within…
Will then melt away.
Puddles.Wonderful puddles of what
Once was.
Have courage to access
The treasure chest…
Your authenticity and brilliance are waiting
Be you.
At the core is the truth.