Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Sunday, March 31, 2013

What You Did On The Cross

by Kufre Udeme

Nobody could have done for me
what you did on the cross
No man from this world could have given up his life
that a chaff like me may live
They could have said:
     We can't waste this priceless gift
     for such a worthless thing
They could have remembered all the evils I had done
and they could have let me drown in them
Even those who love me which I know
Could have given up all except their lives
They could have said:
     Dear, we want you to know that we love you
     but for this one thing we can't do
They could have remembered all the pleasures of this world
and they could have decided to stay back while I go
Even those whose blood uniforms with mine
Could have emptied all their tears but not their breath
They could have said at last:
     Though he's gone
     he lives in our hearts
They could have remembered me only as long as my grave is fresh
and they could have talked about me no more, except once in ages
Even while I was deep in sin
Could do nothing good at anytime
Christ still die, for my sake:
     Son, your sins haven been forgiven, he said
     welcome to my kingdom
Nobody cares for me
as much as he who lives in the highest heaven
And though I can't repay him
continuously, I will do his will
For there lies my satisfaction.

Untitled (Blooming, A Scattering of Blossoms
& Other Things)

(after the painting by Cy Twombly)
by Neil Ellman

Plum blossoms
explode in pink exuberance.

It is spring
and the rose-like scent of peonies
fill the air.

It is the dawn of creation
the beginnings of life
scattered sky, a garden,
a pond where lilies float
on silent rafts

wind sows life and death
then life again.
it is spring, coming and going
then coming again
on flowering wings.


by Nalini Srivastava

Yes, I am a dare devil,
I am daring, rightly as you said.
I wasn’t always so,
And I wonder how I could ever be the shy, silent sort.
I enjoy freaking out at the wrong doers,
I am a rebel by the soul.
I enjoy breaking the traditions
And yet I am a traditional being at heart.
I am two women in one I feel,
One the goody goody type,
Other the bad girl who just wants fun.
I am a super mom, who enjoy facing the odds,
And I am the daughter who loves to be pampered.
I am the spouse who likes to dominate there
And yet I like being the submissive one too,
I love to assert my freedom,
And yet I love the chains of love.
I am the eternal wanderer
And yet I am fully domesticated too.
I am the sentimental dreamer in my heart
And yet I deal life practically often.
Given a choice to be the one I like better,
I would again choose this ambiguous persona
I love to be the known one
I prefer being the enigma too.


by Ryan Bermuda

Consider this child
shaded dark and comely
hums like the presence of dusk
clarion cries burst from timber bed
charging an audience of stars
for generations to consider
this child of oak and bone
of begetter and ghost
birthed in unison
turns lorn faces
to kith in kiln
of father’s
and son’s

The Burial

by Douglas Polk

getting out of the car she seemed worn and faded,
maybe it was the snow washing her color away,
her husband complained about the emptiness,
and driving through a blizzard on a stretch of road which reminded him of Siberia,
wondered why anyone would live here,
then caught my eye,
and apologized,
no offense taken I said,
she seemed a stranger,
until my younger brother called her old,
and made her smile,
for a moment I saw her,
the girl I had loved,
and chased away to the big city,
and this other man's arms,
she asked how the end was,
I lied,
and told her,
her mother did not suffer at all,
the guilt in her eyes,
told me she saw through my lie,
no matter,
in a few days after the funeral,
the memory will fade and evolve,
the guilt will begin to disappear,
unless improperly buried,
the guilt,
then festers and fills with promises broken,
remembered as the years fly by,
leaving scars upon the soul,
her mother said prayers for evolution,
as will I.


by Tom Hatch

The sky was the blue nephew
Under the carrot orange morning
Aunt, the pink candy egg niece,
The chocolate bunny uncle white
Frosting eye
The jelly bean babies crying
Sugar drops, cousins are many
Cream filling red, yellow,
Shallow pastels
Another uncle we missed at Christmas
He is still a head down candy cane
Always out of place a twist red and green
The distant aunt plastic robins blue egg
Filled with rum or scotch
The blue nephew turns grey
The carrot orange aunt is
Feeling the crunchy bites
The chocolate bunny uncle
Cracks and is hollow
The cousins cream filling
Is sticky under foot of fading
Pink niece egg
The distant aunt and I sit
In the afternoon corner she is drinking rye
A bloody Mary in my hand
Then the grey nephew that was blue
Turns this gathering into
A bunny monster hurricane day
Blowing us to Thanksgiving where
We all become turkey, mash potatoes,
And stuffing, someone with a crooked smile
Creamed turnips that I hate

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Subject Line Poem

by Anon Ymous

I’m a ghost; here, but never was. I’m a wisp of wind, a memory.

AKA Grey Goblin

by Ian Mullins

So they sent me to computer school
to help me get a job
and all day long I tapped diligently
on the keyboard
with other losers like me
in a room that smelled of old men’s sweat

and we all played our parts;
except for one man-boy
with grey hairs in his eyebrows
who only used his fingers to pick his nose
while decorating the desk with a knife.

One day he brought toys
to play with, a little Spiderman
from a cereal box and a Green Goblin
with a skull-bomb in his hand,
daring all comers to be small boys
with blackened fingernails
and tattoos reeking of dope,

but I didn’t take up his challenge;
told myself I had too much pride.

But when they threw the man-boy out
he left the Green Goblin behind;
and on my last day,
when I crept out like a burglar
ashamed to admit there was nothing
worth stealing, I pocketed the evil-doer
and brought him home to sleep
under my pillow, dreaming
he might swing through my window
and scatter my grown-up nightmares
like bad guys in a jewellery store

while me and Spidey duke it out
on the roof-top. And this time
the old Grey Goblin
with skull-bomb in hand

will still be smiling
when I turn the last page.

Reunion at the Children's Park

by Donal Mahoney

From the Dead Sea
of a bad marriage
a phoenix rises--
children who somehow
thrived and married
and now have children
as beautiful as they were
years ago when they
played in the park
on see-saws and swings
and made their parents
occasionally happy.

At summer reunions they try
to unspool the mystery
of why their parents
fought all day
yet stopped at night
and gave life to them.
They gather today
in the same park
and applaud their children
who smile and laugh
on see-saws and swings
once theirs alone.


by Richard Hartwell

I spied two dinosaurs fornicating on the dining room table.  My grandson has obviously been here, but at only two it is doubtful that this tableau of cross-species copulation was intentional.  And yet, and yet.  He was, probably, “fighting” them; pitting one against the other, complete with growls and shrieks and pain.  As he tired of his game, he left these plastic monsters in their last pose, the dominant Tyrannosaur atop the alligator-like deinosuchus.

This domestic scene of dominance bears striking similarities to the struggle between his parents he sees played out daily.  But currently he’s asleep, so the dinosaurs are only fucking up his mind right now and not his life.  That will come later, during the ice age.


by Jeremiah Walton

Reject all the material barriers to participate in
Ultra-Destruction of Self
Self is beautiful, destroy it!
Legions of small insects dream of sheep pestering flesh,
bugnails creep eyes open
You're forced to watch The Movie of your reality, being able
to react upon each curtain’s fall
1/30th of a second quickest time, hurry!
Self is awake
The temporary insanity of Loves must sleep
Love for material, love for people, love for highs,
love for Love
A void must be built within Self to destroy Self
To be conscious in the womb, a glorious death sweet as
pomegranates stuck between the skin of teeth
Zippers of flesh are opened to bleed freely along the eternal
mindscape of Consciousness
Physical body is not conscious, meat temple for "I"
What are you seeking crying philosopher?
Why are you trying to be sooo God damn Zen?
Magnificent walls, squirming murals around your
breathing bulge
What tales of you to tell?
Share your secrets!
The sobbing philosopher slits his wrists in geometric
patterns, and chases destruction lovingly,
entertained by the ominous lights of progression
rusting the horizon
Babble of idiots chase his giggling robes
Fire bomb thoughts quest for elusive truth, fingers slipping
down wet slides of authentic flesh
Each tip bawling love me! love me! love me!
Betray the destruction and rebirth of Self!
Abandon your quest! Lie and love me!
Weeping on sodden type writers, the archaic thinkers of
beautiful present are consumed by the universal poem
Organic truth is eternity
Discover me!
I've merged with the eternal, saliva of
God wets my eye lids
Thick ageless flesh encase the meat encasing my skeleton
encasing potential soul
Languid spine of man is malleable,
Osteopaths of Eternity's fingers direct bone molds, suit
cases for the truth-seeker
Star glazed eyes bellow "keep away!" darting into recesses
of Manchester
The evils of Brown Ave need to be contemplated, loved,
hated, understood in essence, unexplainable terms of
Seeking Holy oasis from the feverish socializers and lovers
and pleasure fondlers and innocence seducers
Soda crackle fizz of midnight along the highway pops, the
singing monologues of droning robots
O' great philosopher!
Reject the trivialities! Cry over nothing rather sob over
Thoughts corrugated, rough surface to trespass, tripping
High with Self, high with Ultra-Destruction
High, I see God in the eyeblink of eternity,
and screech WHY
Faces in trees gnaw on thought-bones and,
only answer WHY
My pockets hold no answers and,
only answer WHY
The evils hold no answer and only answer
No thing truly matters, bury the heart, the ranting of
fanatical-desire must be dispelled
We need need need need need!
A truly beautiful destroyed Self does not!
A truly beautiful destroyed Self is a babe opening his eyes
to watch the creations of lead on paper for the first
time, and
wonder wonder wonder!
A nose is born!
Then eyes!
Then lips!
Then ears!
O' vast world, how is this so?
Programming has yet to circuit in his mindscape! Yet to
be infused with barriers of social living, with desire
filters for acceptance, with love for love, with rejection
of acoustic heartfelt squawking of Self!
His well of thought is deep and pure to gulp
The steady drip of human experience has yet to dry the
faucet of the mind to a trickle
This babe, this beautiful individual, a waterfall of
understanding and Holy thought!
Not yet a dribble of security, of mindless human Self
Not yet a reflection of wired Mirrors

The Battle Of Glue-Bag Island

by Paul Tristram

I remember living down The Melyn
and me and 3 of the other 12 year old boys
who hung around by the ‘Violent Playground’
bought ourselves some catapults.
We decided to go down by the River Neath,
we loaded up on ball bearings and marbles
then we climbed over a wall of a builders yard
and found a massive pile of pebbles
so we took loads of the small ones.
When we got down there the tide was in
So we threw whatever bottle and cans
that we could find along the pathway
into the dirty water and shot at them.
After a mile or two of this
and also shooting every sign and post we passed
we came upon an old man walking his Terrier dog.
He pointed over to the marshland
at the side of the river just at the bend.
It was flooded apart from the largest mound of earth,
what was left above the water must have only been
the length of 2 cars and the width of 1.
And upon it were 6 Briton Ferry boys.

“That’ll teach them!” laughed the old man
with the dog as he walked passed us.
“They’ll be stuck there for a few hours!”

I looked and saw that The Ferry Boys
didn’t seem to care, they were sniffing glue
and drinking brown cider flagons
and were bouncing around to SKA music
coming out of a Boom Box.
They were a lot older than us
and I recognised some of them
from the gangs that fought in town on Saturdays.
They were always walking around sniffing gas
and fucking older girls in the lanes behind our school.

“We’ve got them trapped!” I sneered.
kneeling down and aiming a ball bearing.
Jackson and Billy kneeled down each side of me
but Pudding started whinging like a girl.

“C’mon lads, let’s not, they’ll kill us, mun!”

I let my ball bearing fly, it ripped through the air,
hitting the tallest Ferry Boy in the middle
right in his outstretched hand, making him drop
his flagon which smashed at his feet.
It was too late to turn back now, I screamed.

“Oi! The Melyn!”

And Jackson and Billy opened fire
as Pudding jumped to the floor and loaded up.
Jackson’s first shot hit one in the elbow
a cracking shot, the boy was screeching.
Billy hit one straight in the bollocks

“That’s for fucking our older girls!” he sneered.

Pudding’s first shot nearly took out a seagull
flying over them, it was glorious mayhem.
My next shot hit one of the Boom Box speakers,
we were four 12 year old Melyn street urchins
taking on six 16 year old Ferry Boys
and we pelted them into screams and tears.

Later that evening after having tea
I went over to the ‘Violent Playground’
to meet up with the boys.
To my concern  I saw Jackson, Billy
and Pudding over by the graffiti steps
talking to the older ‘Melyn Wrecking Crew!’
Dai Headcase saw me and shouted

“Come here lad, Mr. Oi! The Melyn!”

I walked on over as cool as a 12 year old could
to stand before my natural hierarchy.

“We’ve just been hearing about
‘The Battle Of Glue-Bag Island’
off your lieutenants here.
You 4 are not in the park this evening
you’re staying on these steps with us!”
said Dai Headcase winking
as he passed me his cider flagon for a drop.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cogitative Choppers

by Lauren Bennett

The I.V. drips a mixture of tranquility and propofol.
Sliding through my veins,
I melt into the grey pleather chair.
Fluorescent lights mellow to a soft glow.
The novocaine nipped needle numbs.
Creases and folds of my dentist’s face shift-
an aged mirage fading in an anesthetic desert.

The four wisdoms are cut out.
Gums carved up: the thanksgiving turkey.
Each small little bone- covered in intelligent enamel.
Wrangled out as my test scores lower.
Their space making room for my dim-witted molars.
Vacating space for simple sentences
I’m a thirteen-year-old stoner in the mouth.

I stumble into consciousness.
Feeling about as sharp as the safety-scissors I’d be forced to use.
Those sage teeth evacuated a juvenile mine,
the stiff black stitches in my mouth
occupy the space for new knowledge.
My tongue probes them-
glides over them.
Between sentences constructed at a third grade reading level.

A latex clad hand hands me a small mason jar.
Placed in my palm weighed with sedatives,
the water inside sloshes left to right.
Peering in,
through eyes altered by opiates
I follow four ivory chunks of my former IQ.
Tilt my hand left to right,
contently watching high test scores,
college acceptance letters,
and a 4.0 GPA wallow in water.

lend me your love

by Linda M. Crate

you nip at me playfully so i lash out with
talon and beak in irritation sometimes for while
i love you, i am not some game to be played
or even mastered; i am just a girl yearning for
your love to whisper me all the soliloquies my heart
has forgotten so that i can bloom a scarlet lily
freckled with brown once more beneath a sky that
is tethered with sun star hope and stained with the
blood soaked clouds of every bitter yesterday past.

a urine filled e-cig

by Larry Jones

pissing in the toilet
4 am
the electronic cigarette
jumps into the bowl
the brain asleep as
the hand goes in
past the turds from earlier
down to the bottom
a quick dry
with the tee shirt
just a slight taste of salt

I give you nothing

by Marc Carver

I got back to the car park
and looked at my ticket
there were two minutes left
and for a second i thought about giving it to the old woman
who was waiting to drive into my spot.
"There you go love i have two minutes left on this one if you want it."
The look on her old face as she looks at the ticket
maybe thinking there is an hour and two minutes left.
Then she comes back an hour later and finds a ticket on her car
and not quite believing what has happened.
I don't look a thing like the bloke who would do such a thing.
Certainly not.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


by  A.V. Koshy

What you might feel for Krishna
or I for Ma(g)dale(i)ne,
is it not the same sun lighting up the universe
whether seen from death's or life's eyes?

Once, when I called you Shakuntala
were my eyes not the windows of the life-giving sun
to you and were you not my flowering lotus
drinking my love up greedily, delirious:
happy as never before in its rays that stun?

But now if it's only a cold star dying
I am no longer the one
and you are only a pond with no white or pink
lotus in it
just eclipsed by some green scum
loving buffalos
wallowing in the mud and pretending
the buffalo is not Yama's black One

Then if it be so that it is Death you love
more than life, like a cup of black water -
not this golden expanse of my solar flare -
be reaped by his scythe till you relearn that one loved you
more than life and death,
one of whom
it will be said one day
he was Life
but wrapped in death's disguise
so as to awaken in you again, then - ah! too painfully late -
the Lotus and its play with the Sun
and its longing to be called again by that once lovely name
without the shadow of this darkness falling on it,
escaped from what looks beautiful but is only a poisonous dark cloud
of no rain, now about to choke you to death!

Shakuntala, can't you hear the difference in the tone of my voice when I call your name?
Return before it is too late; come back here, my dagger, and bury yourself deep into my heart's arms.
to realize, at least then, I dead, that your home was not there with him but it is only at Home with me that you will ever belong.

The Motions

by Chris Butler

Going through the motions like bathing in the ocean’s waves, allow the emotioal tides of life to wash you away then ashore with the celestial cycles. Every journey is traveled by an autopilot coasting on cruise control. In your daily tasks, perform strictly instinctual, habitual rituals, adorned in your uniform, marching around as a preprogrammed mechanical man. Picture yourself in a serene place and remain there. Smile politely at everyone you meet, and reactively respond to their inquiries that everything is fine, in order that they won’t request any further replies. Keep your eyes focused only on the earth in front on you. Prepare prepackaged, processed, preservative meals. And by the end of each day, make sure to mail it in, just so no one notices that you even exist.

The Ground of Our City

by Austin McCarron

The ground of our city
is blinder than shadows
of spring, but
richer than sand with eyes.

On the desert river we see
widows of light, on dangerous
journeys, holding plans of dust,
where the music of machines
is greater than clouds of song.

Trampled underfoot, in parks and
spaces, the bones
of servants, slaves of time, hidden
like water in baths of eternal stone.

On this Sunday, walking around the
city coast, the wound of history is dry,
patched up with leaves of blood, the
sun of trances, art of religious voices.
Flanked by possessions, we describe
our emptiness, but
grasp nothing of solitude, selling in the
market our coats of expensive flames.

The sweltering summer contains carvings
of our flesh.  Bitterly, we recover from
the savagery of loss, our mystical ruins,
torn out of
the city like dreams in the womb of life.

Canned Hockey, Holmes

by John Pursch

Wheeling down to pond-scum gravel thought, Kabuki Clem drinks tightly woven casualties through cloggy breathing apparatus, stuck in fusion fits from swampland cesspool stint near Everglades horizon berth. Greasy youth returns in plumb line retrofit, flooding Clem with dreams of interbreeding lobots, decadal flipside’s carnal tap root wedged in human byline stupor. Wealth of gigged transmission sparks calamitious off-planet ooze of coupling hybrids, fistulae of planned irradiation; not quite spaniel marriage ala Sam Nabisco animal tract, but authorized in feudal courtyard premises, crossing systematic gist. Internal timeline prescience upholds the law of landed seepers, spins to throbbing embryotic heat, inserting thinly owned confabulation, extracting seam-screw tips in vile lobotic subterfuge, chipping lung ejection spates from ergonomic bugle wax. Not to spay a bolide if towline autonomic missiles strafe immobile zebras for anxiety’s pet croupier, oven seas of birdbrain lime go looming in Kabuki’s clammy zonal octet wash, grapefruit lozenge lounge denying pending traces of balmy ergonomic craters. Semblances of night converge in frozen weekly chambers, herding bedstand ermine spokes, immune to oxcart diction, debriefing oily vicars with replicated sores of ancillary mop-up. Wandering up with bubbling ears, harkening to a tumbler’s fall, Kabuki wakes in spangled floss derision, fondly pressurized in stable boots, gobbling shipped emotion kicks to sway in pointless shining reason. He lacks reduction spots of mellow poise demise, suspecting bourbon dignity of cavalier civility, owing venal silence pleas gone trenchant, disregarding moose tears. Buxom lobotic forelocks feed him shorn sheeple, plunged atomic fealty, and cabled turnkey charioteers, ensuring activated pick-offs. Hardened andirons activate his hocked musician ploy; soon he’s grunting natty hen somatic weal and plotting capes of neat ergodic goulash mien in laughing gowns. How can Clem’s bald breviary bleed away in puddled regress, when Campy Chia clarity repels his Groinland thermidor from pulverizing dreamt Canned Hockey, Holmes?

Friday, March 22, 2013

March Madness

by Ben Rasnc

The pure unadulterated sound
of composite orange ball
ricocheting from hard polished floors
captures the crowd mesmerized, anticipating
choreographed moves
like chess pieces
across the checkered squares
as in the waning seconds,
the deft artistry of
a point guard’s palms spin
a perfectly inflated  orb
into delicate trajectory
designed to drop gently swishing
through stringed net
ignites an explosive primal scream
of deafening proportions,
the sweet sound
of victory
at the precise second
the time clock
triple zero.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Working Week

by Moriah LaChapell

Monday Powers Whiskey
to make it through the week.
Tuesday fuzzy tongued waking
in daylight "savings" darkness.
Wednesday's desire stalled
by the hum drum ho hum.
Thursday, the unfastened lid
on the warm left over night
Mayonnaise jar
Friday, the sigh.
Saturday, farm eggs and bacon.
Sunday, bliss in the backyard
we watch our daughter chasing
blown bubbles, her blonde hair
flying in the wind.

langu ages

by  L.B. Aaron Reeder IV

on this north side terrace
envelop your creased   letter hand
into the other, and dirty path down
    and back,       return empty
handed, our languages like flies,
desperately miss
glue traps unseen and
like flies   we are attracted to dri-
ed-out apple cores
tossed from cars          she lost grandmother’s
locket, ruby heart,       how do I say,
I have not seen it? but will help her look.


by Linda M. Crate

nostalgia waxes like the moon, falling over
me in the white wings of doves; yet the
memories are inconvenient and fickle, coming
at the worst of times like jellyfish rolling onto
the sea shore during the hottest summer day -
whipping me into a shade of maudlin that I
rather not acknowledge, it spins me in webs
of a spiders then sucks my blood; it's unfair
to think of you tripping over the tongue of my
mind like a laughing girl when your absence in
my life sings the loudest hymn I have ever
known; I don't know when we fell into this
state of decay, I only know that I don't like it.

Kebab van man

by Marc Carver

I got back from somewhere
then went for a few beers while i waited for a ride.
On the way i stopped and talked to the kebab van man.
I stopped and talked to him before
but he didn't seem that keen to see me.
"You were telling me last time about your three wives."
"Christ mang, don't get me started on that. It is just the sex mang , I love the sex. I have to come once a day,or i get all tense. I finish here at six get a shower then have sex with the woman, the first two they say to me i am tired go and vank yourself off in the toilet, I say, what the hell i need you for, i pay the bills for what I want to wack myself off i go to a prostitute instead and save my money."
"But why don't they like it ." I said.
"They say the come, it drips out of them all day and they don't like it. Christ mang here is your chips."
"Thanks for the interesting conversation."

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Blindest Ray

by Austin McCarron

 I walk through air
of shapes,
with amputated feet,
and the light in my soul
is open
and the
hair on my face is free.

I comb its breath with
images of song.

The purity of dawn, grey
like a severed heart,
like a mother of dreams,
trusting what it sees.

Incomprehensible, I sit down,
hunting for plans to live.
I bubble inside
like water on grass of solitude.

I drink out of machines. I find
a path belonging to dead trees.
I walk
in a garden of trembling stone.
I pass rivers of chaos and dances.
The sun is
a crowd, baked with silent voices.

In between widowed branches,
the city is my childhood, radiant
with feasts of life, bread of water,
food of fish and flames, crushed
like sweet fruit with juices of time.

Imagine Nation

by Chris Butler

The great escape,
to where no one runs wild
and the mind cannot
envision what the eyes
cannot see,

is sprung from serving a life sentence
in detention,
when all of my friends are pretend
and I ally myself with animated animals
speaking with squeaky voice boxes
fluently in my native language,
to keep me awake and daydreaming.

We role play misadventures underneath a smiley faced sun with watchful, starry eyes shaded by black Ray-Bans,
until the day passes away when sun showers and Technicolor rainbows morph into afternoon moons and twinkling twilight,
when I must return to the real world.

But I can’t make myself believe in make believe.

Violent Verse

by Paul Tristram

I carry the scars
emotional, physical
and ones of memory.
The stitches, the blood,
broken bones and bruises.
The pain and the aching,
the stinging and burning.
Singing aloud that ‘Violent Verse’
with a chorus of courtrooms,
prison or death lay that way.
I have been to one a few times
The despair, the adrenalin,
the fighting and quarrelling.
I’m not ready for the other yet.
I leave the ‘Violent Verse’ behind
for I have seen the light
and am now singing a happier song.

Rubber Heron

by John Pursch

Argyle ergonomists imply affluent portage queens in diatribes of eczema and spindrift seasons not withheld from tubal orders, groveling for supper curves in modest pendular comas. Heavier sidebars loaf in barge fanatic sheet parades, dancing to wedded breastworks of bubbly toxin mortuaries and grazing percolation steer. A bevy of whiffle tux casino blokes suspends tomato feeding grumps from pleasure onset whist, demolishing pentameters with cue ball hiccups, flaunting oyster checkers before a dorsal pest can eke out denatured stipend flocks for lanyard leis in triplicate. Haughty toy geysers imbue bilious redcoats with scrimshaw whimsy, wobbling into sunken hedges, rowing past cheated plump shrews in subterranean syringes. Stirrups comb eventual bulwarks, clearing bullion fronds, spouting porous entrees from reading gnats, clouting boxed chafing drones atop atonal platters, menaced by wizened caricatures of tidal authenticity’s suburban stain. Sliding odors perpetrate a busty dinette wheeze, finessing philanthropic chestnut oxen over brute necrotic tees. Parallel gumption trains encephalic punch cards to floss ennobled klieg flutes, harping on smoky serrated paramours when crosshatched muffins exile woofers to Icelandic yore. Capacious interludes endure thronged undulation, peering uptown, beyond enchanting morticians, glazing bylaws beneath carousing sawmill troops. Castaways imbibe a sandbar’s purest supine farthing, sailing mothballed pence till fallow merchants irrigate decanted treason. Squeeze on, rubber heron, plotting pallid Asian treatises, besotted and debauched, broaching decorticated chalk fields with crisis loops, paunchy and redacted, porcine but prevaricated, casting gypsies for depilatory crowd-ruse matinees, made of funereal toil, carping on fired axes, ratcheting syrupy chase routines to reap a perforated sofa. Buildings relapse in sundial crows, living off mascara till moonrise, sneezing every other catcall’s inner noon embrace, plucking drowned redundant warriors from rivulets of pickled steel. Angular ingots pelt emergent promises with oxide baths, sizzling over embalming tramcar toast, spouting blown corruption. Barometric cargo heaps palatial ballast’s grainy kisses, throttled way past starlight, glossy and bituminous. Empty folders cloud hypnotic ancillary cushions, balk at telethons for armpit clues, and tape infernal loaves to crated sprocket hugs, speckled by a shackled haze. Plaques espy a mated styrene cocktail, mulling over Turing diseases, machined to porters per a village cupola. Thunder oozes non-stop, flashing gunnery swelter, pooling paper crescendos where omnipresent flint agrees. Denatured angels insure rhapsodic glances from tabletop cessation’s crenellated tar pit, cleaving crockery from escutcheoned greetings. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Fantasy Island Redux: “De pipeline, boss, de pipeline!”

by Maureen Kingston  

a hot load, a hot shot
through the weakest vein

the great plains

where seldom is heard
a discouraging word        

where dissent is drowned out
by the global cash machine

he maketh me to lie down
in green pastures

the pipeline’s well-designed,
the engineers assure

a mighty fortress is our god,
a bulwark never failing

the promise of jobs & safety,
a universal hope or a uniscam?

The Good Life, Nebraska’s motto,

her citizens gracious to the end,
pouring pitcher after pitcher of tar sands

Jesus loves you

by Ross Vassilev

you were
no son of god

you were
a long-haired
wandering hippie
who gave it all away
for free

then they made you
a god of war

but you still got
true followers
occupying Wall Street
and marching in Palestine

sacrificing their blood
for the cause
just like you did
so long ago.


by Tom Hatch

I worked at a welding shop
Grinding fresh welds smooth
With sparks of excitement
Which got old, carried blue
Canisters of kerosene to the
Heaters dispersed around the shop
Spilled some on my overalls worked
The rest of the day dodging sparks
That would have set me ablaze

My older brother shoveled loafs
Of bread out the oven at the bakery
Off of I-35 passing by the heavenly
Smell in the outside air
He opened a fresh hot rye
Inhaled almost died of its
Hidden toxic gas learning to let it cool

The younger brother worked at a
Candy factory known for its chocolates
He was told eat as much as you want
He was in heaven stuffing his face
Mumbling to himself the greatness of
This job at the end of the day he puked
In the parking lot next to his car
The next all he did was work

My sister the youngest of four
Baby sat the brats down the street
Or was it up the street battling the kids
Hiding in and around at bedtime
Verbally abused by the brats until
They feel asleep a knock at the door
The boy next door wanted to set at her feet
And howl begging for some action
Until the parents came home he ran


by Mar Carver

I have to say i have upset quite a few people today
I don't mean to do it
but i have never been much for the rules.
... It must have started at about six this morning
and then people caught up with me
that i had upset yesterday.
I used to take a lot of joy from it
but now i don't.
all i hurt them with is the truth
that is the killer
most people hate that
all you have to do to get rid of people
is tell them the truth
it burns them

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Fragments of Time

by Bobbie Troy

fragments of time
surround me
like a shroud
filled with tiny monsters
that pick at my flesh and bones
until there is nothing left
but the fragments of time
seeking another target

Airport Angst

by Richard Hartwell

God, here I am again in an airport lounge.  I’m waiting for my second wife to depart for Wichita.  I’m expecting this one will come back.  At least this time I’m not praying for a hangover to go away.  On the drive in Sally made some comment about how I hate airports.  To a great extent this is true, but like a casual affair gone on too long, it is often a love-hate relationship.  I’m thinking about all the good-byes at airports - wondering what was so good about some of them - and I’m thinking about all the arrivals at airports - wondering what was so good about some of them, too.

Sally just interjected that I was probably too drunk to remember most of my airport encounters.  She’s possibly right, but some of those encounters needed the dulling of an anesthetic.  Come to think of it, the tension between the sepsis and the antisepsis in airports creates much of their mood.  One can encounter the gleaming sterility of ticket counters and corridors and washrooms along with the depravity of hucksters and religious freaks and the truly lost and forlorn.

I conjure in my memory all the airports I have known, or at least those whose brain cell filing system is still alive, and they form a liturgy of sorts:  Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, New York, Chicago, Boston, Indianapolis, Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, El Paso, Tampa, Portland - Oregon, not Maine, Seattle, Coos Bay, San Jose, Fresno, Burbank, Ontario, Nashville, Honolulu, Lihue, Merced, Modesto, Monterey - California, not Mexico, Augusta - Georgia, not Maine, never Maine, Terre Haute, Kansas City - yes, Kansas, and not to forget Travis and Midway and Subic Bay, Pleiku and An Khe, Cam Ranh Bay and Qui Nhon, Happy Valley and LZ English, and dozens of landing zones too obscure for names where you were lucky not to get your ass blown away instead of just accosted for a buck and a paper flower pinned to your lapel.

I look over this list and realize that in over half these airports I was drunk or stoned or emotionally short-changed.  Perhaps Sally’s right.  Perhaps I do hate airports, but it’s been a long relationship, very long.  And perhaps, like a wart you constantly molest, my memories have become a part of my deformity.

Purple Rain

by Michael Ceraolo

The colors that once shone through the rain
are now contained in the rain


by John Pursch

Buggy Fatima Metro sign spins half-angelic under matted clouds, flickering in the time-lag glow of Watchingstoned, T.V. Lola staggers up from subway into open taxi, mumbling: “Puntagain.” Meter thrown, dark Potatomac below, marble domes whiz by, cemetery stones adrift… Scrolling into backlog news, chipped surmise habituates to military grapevine, blurring down to sudden thump of rooftop pad in Charlatan, Forgiveya. Postcard feel of chugging headache, contrails drip in gloppy datelines, sentry handprint queues recede to replication’s filmed gymnastic smear of endless buried corridors. Safe within the Puntagain, she cracks new blue identity, emerging Kirov Commodore, fusion spanning milled illusion’s funneled con rotation pluck. 

“Cleared to Concourse, Kirov, spree compartment beam,” eroding walls repeat in still repute’s impeded charm, flowing now to nether levels, latched to rail insertion’s horizontal lassitude. Weathered locks impress her face to ceiling wax of dummy statues, flashing subterranean, leasing selfish itch of forged velocity, clearing headway sinkers, bubbling down to continental shuffle’s mute tectonic brakepad.

Far beneath museum lawns of decomposing wartime dead, Lola briefs Joint Chefs of Stuff on Days Again encounter, mind transmission amplified by Graylien assist to lip-lock lobotic LL-1. Reliving bleed-through brainpan swap of feral Federale morning, siphoned into rehacked past of asymptotic free-for-all, disinforming free-fall boys with trained-to-tango velveteens, underpinning panned duress… Fiscal drowning tracts knead sallow autumn doughboys, splicing roses into Gila mustard gas, coalesced inertial dance offending nuance chimps with grotesque arm-bar machinations. 

Tripping telepathic shades, LL-1 decision-punts a dawning ardor, officiating discontent to win ambrosial followers in wrenching elbow templates. Tertiary clam sojourners cough up two-door lung hits, covering her clone extraction, blowing dust partition foam, centrifuging monkeys into seismic irrigation dupes. Merged evasion isolates a dewdrop tray of stoney plight mache, conning the Joint Chefs into traction moths, claiming west wing ushers honed from tubal house surrender clots. Room disabled, LL-1 and Lola go translucent, Montauk wig, and tunnel straight to Terran Hoax for rendevous with Chief Jacco, circa 1824; bent on splicing him to MJ-5, saving banished Wea Tribe, or maybe just lunch at Clappy Girl Mausoleum.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


by Jnana Hodson

Queen of the Moon, enthroned
atop a white statue
of St. Joseph
in the pelvis of church towers,
both facing the broad lake:

Bless me and the angel with an oboe voice.

More than the dark pigeons, flocking.

So passive, she could not be held.
Elusive, yet essentially
eating away mountains.

Why Daniel Gave Up Painting And Took Up The Blues

by Joe Farley

When the dandelion wine,
farm fermented, ran out
you turned to whiskey,
and married yourself to a bottle,
adapted the drinking man's diet
and shed forty pounds
and with it all thoughts
of the lover who left you
for a woman and not a man.

You still saw her naked
when another model posed
for your brushes to dance
colors across a canvas.
The shapes came out
broken and tormented,
so you left the studio
and bought a slide guitar
and learned to paint music,
with blue the only pigment
left on your palette.


by Marc Carver

Nobody wants to be touched today
they all happy in their own worlds.
Head down a to b.
I admire them for their dedication to life
their drive and determination to go on and on.
Sometimes, i feel like lying in the woods and waiting for the world to be finished
i was quite disappointed when they fucked up the mayan calender
Had my hopes up
but there you go,
on and on these people go a to b
and from b back to a again
Me i look for c but
today i salute you
a to b people.

the breadth of things

by Linda M. Crate

sometimes I’m envious of the evening in all it’s stark beauty of tangerine and lavender strung with ribbons of gold and bright orange. I wish that I could obtain that level of loveliness. I’d be every shade of gorgeous then — models would turn their heads as I walked and even Aphrodite would be rendered speechless as I walked past. the burnt sienna earth would be praised merely because I walked across it. but I am not even pretty enough to be a star despite all my blazing passion. I try and try and I try again, sometimes life is a hard race to endure. I like the taste of snowflakes on my tongue, it makes me feel closer to the earth, closer to Adam whom God made from the dust.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


by Bob Eager

Feel My Belief
Feel Better,
Feel a little relief
Try something less than noble.
Try A gentle transformation,
An elixir reformation.

Seemingly an own beneficial personality masquerade,
becoming a secretly harmful serenade
an invitation to a long term massive charade.

An eye opening appealing potion
with a false collective notion,
triggering an elicit explicit personal emotion.

Make a wish and take a chance.

(You’ll never know there is no real difference)


Above and Below

by Perry L. Powell

Above, a plane vanishes
into a cloud. All it leaves
a shadow on cloud flesh.
A breeze skates across the pool;
waves shimmer like mica.

These words are not famous words.
I am not a famous man.
But my wife swims in the blue
waters. And I am content.

Poetik des Wassers or water musings
for the soul of Christian Ide Hintze

by Ali Znaidi

because Wasser ist auch eine Muse
because Wasser ist auch ein Körper, fathomless
experimenting w/ water is such a tempting experience
akin to experimenting w/ Sapphic stanzas, (though
loquacious ripples in the swimming pool
                  rinse our body limitations/
wet papers sip watery ink (mythology inhaled
                           to the marrow)
but how tiresome to decipher that message
written in eldritch emoticons by a one-eyed pirate
                            centuries ago
but what you consider a hieroglyph is not a hieroglyph,
                                but clairvoyance
& as the murmurs of water lick your weary ears,
it becomes evident that what you are hearing are not
murmurs, but Sappho’s sheer melodies, bewitching
& when you sweat, Sappho’s feeble breeze will be
a ventilator for your overheated brain’s hard disk
so don’t worry & just continue your ruminations through
the three-dimensional water’s pr[isms],
& what is poetry if not swaying words struggling through
the drunken oceans
there is a thought, and then it is adrift, and then it is adrift
                  ||depth in the form of a surface||
& because the sole foe of poetry is the anchor
         ||the intake of water = the ecstasy of poetry||
& because water touches everything, & because
each sip is a sap/ it is why we like to sop our tongues into it,
suckling on the swimming words clutching at Sappho’s
                                                                          wet hair
a drop of water/an imaginative flake/a mantle for dreams
there is imagination in a ripple/trying to regain its lost
rhetoric like a little hummingbird at the edge of a lake
dipping its beak into the heart of the unknown =
trembling undulations of the water continuum/
      undulations of the palpitating heart
water is a bearer of everything, especially the unknown
& because this everything is a redundancy
nobody is aware of it & redundancy is a sin, except
the discovery of what is latent between the waves
while sweat grains are oozing more and more
from the pores—a discovery fever
& wisdom is dripping (drop by drop)
from Sappho’s wet hair—eloquent lines w/out words

sunday fortune cookie

by J.J. Campbell

the fortune cookie
that came with
my crab rangoon
on sunday had the
following on it

your existence
has a positive
to mankind


i needed a
good laugh

Thursday, March 7, 2013

wake up, America!

by Linda M. Crate

every city is the same
New York, Boston, Philadelphia —
only different names and skyscrapers,
but all the same lights;
Portland, Florence, Kittyhawk
there is no history in the United States
any more for we are all too engrossed
in the history of one another or to thrust
ourselves onto the page to be unforgettable —
we forget our own roots our ancestors that
fought so hard for our country of the blood
spilled seeping into time's sands
all too concerned with our own wealth and
immortality that we forget the things
that truly matter, we only remember
our own greed and selfish wants and that
is why the world hates us for we
are corrupt and without hope —
we need to create a better world one worth
fighting for one with honor and integrity
that can help it's own nation to fly
instead of letting our country to keep going
further down into hell's hand basket;
let's remember us our cities for reasons of
which we can be proud, and if that is to
happen let's forget our own foolishness.

Folded, then again, a porch looses another board

by James Diaz

From where I had been
sitting, to now, shaking
off the rain,
remembering what objects
went into which drawers,
refilling certain jars,
and leaving others empty-
everything, incredible
or dull, as it had been
before- suddenly changed-
I could begin to believe
that we could learn we
were not so awful,
to each other, yes,
still at times-
but to all that we could
never know of ourselves,
was perhaps the greatest
amount of kindness, that
needed only words, yet
didn’t know how to be named-
and maybe, would never speak
‘itself’, even if it could,
As I crossed the street, as I
went home, as I peered into
things, took everything closely,
under the eye, the nose,
the nervous nap- I began to
trust that I would not have
to answer for any of it.

hope slowly bleeds

by J.J. Campbell

dancing with the
shadows of mercy
as a song of hope
slowly bleeds from
an old stereo

but these oppressive
winds only bring
heat and destruction

they never bring

the fruits of life
are slowly dying
on the vine

helpless, i watch
from behind air
conditioned walls
knowing one day
that will be me

i'm pretty sure they
have already started
building the cross

Psycho Pacifist

by Marc Carver

I went into the shop for water
came out with wine.
I got a strong urge to crack the bottle over someone's head.
I grabbed it
by the long neck in the plastic bag
but i couldn't do it.
I couldn't bear to see all that wine wasted.

some how

by Marie Nunalee

every one
in the lines of
our palms
in the curve of
the path in the
puff of a pipe lazily
hazily filling the
open gash of grey
void above
tiny matted
frames in the
pointy dot of
toward us in
the night

we scoop the marbles
from our weatherbeaten
yellow grassy circle

and we stand to
locate the way


by Tom Hatch
“Specific” I said
“Pacific” she said.
“can you be more specific?” I said
“about what?” she said
“did it have anything to do with
oceans”? she said.
“no, just be more specific” I said.
“OK, I will.
Do you want to see my legs?”
she said.
“yes” I said, “I love your legs
they are as long as the Panama Canal
connecting the two oceans” I said.
“so it does have to do with oceans” she said.
“I guess so, your knees drive me crazy” I said.
So, I started in the Atlantic sailed up ending
moving smoothly, moored in her specific
later continued down along to the Pacific
in the archipelago of toes

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Kind of a Kind

by Perry L. Powell

A thing
is always a kind of a thing
and that’s what makes it
a thing.

As Plato knew.

And so my chair is a kind of chair.

And so you,
leaning over that chair
to kiss my forehead
reminding me of another kiss long ago,
are a kind of source of things that are
most warm in my world.

And so I
am a kind of fortunate thing
in this otherwise world.


by Ben Rasnic

The place I call home
is no longer,
is merely a place where strangers dwell
and the memories that swelled
within those familiar walls
now belie a distant fading,
a forlorn puff of smoke waning
that bequeaths me now
with inexplicable sadness,
and forever

A Day Off

by Douglas Polk

wind and snow,
deep and cold,
no work today,
the internet down,
and electricity off,
forced to stop,
and take a minute to breathe,
when time enough to think of eternity.

Family Feud

by Richard Hartwel

It’s difficult to sleep at night when the booming anger of artillery keeps you up; the challenge and response, the tit for tat, the continuous sparring of retaliation as each side, or all, tries to subdue the raging other by force and volume.  So I enter each day already blurred by the conflicts of the night before.  Yet I am expected to reconnoiter the way ahead, to be alert, to take the point as if nothing is unusual, but tuned for even the smallest violation from the expected.

This no longer reminds me of the war past.  It has become the war present, the war future as far as I can see.  This is not my war, but their war.  It is again someone else’s war in which I am caught up.  But I am no longer so young, so naive, and I’m related to them this time, by marriage and by blood, transported across four generations.

I return from my own skirmishes each day, neither bowed nor bloodied, just worn down further with frustration, slightly bent with age and exasperation.  I pass through the perimeter into a hot landing zone each afternoon or evening, depending on the season.  The warring factions within my own compound are compressed too closely together, rubbing wrongly against one another until the heat built of the friction of their own self-rightness ignites into factional squabbles and squabbles into war.  Accusations fly.  The barely scabbed wounds of past history are scratched open.  The fresh blood of emotion spritzes the atmosphere, signaling to some a need to escalate the attack and close upon their quarry.

By each and all I’m called to bear witness to new transgressions, to recall evidence of old ones, to mediate the use of language as a weapon, to relay non-negotiable demands and refusals to surrender, back and forth by shuttle diplomacy, from room to room and sometimes spilling out of the compound, breaking the neutrality of the neighborhood.

It’s expected that I’m left unscathed by each attack, each thrust and parry.  It’s assumed that the flak and shrapnel and bullets, the fire and concussion of each battle, simply pass overhead.  They don’t.  Each day I add new cuts and abrasions to the scar tissue of my thinly disguised armor, new punctures to my fragile ego, new stress fractures and traumas to this emotionally sated syndrome.

Like any prolonged combat, the waves of heightened action are followed by troughs and trenches of relative quietude.  Like any seasoned conscript, I take advantage and try to cat nap in these valleys of hope, trying to tune out the dull thuds in the distance; turning their dark voices of angry despair into the white noise of peaceful oblivion, before the fatigue of battle etches my soul too deeply with wounds which never heal.

Memories On A Wall

by B.A. Varghese

Plastic frames pressed together alternated between gray and black giving the illusion of a large dark checkerboard mounted on the wall. In front of the squared pattern of pictures, an old observer stood. Snowy hair rested on frail shoulders, and withered blemished fingers touched dry cracked lips. Eyes encased in wrinkled skin squinted at the arrangement of photographs. Each frame a frozen unique moment of time. An instance of existence occupied by the space of people. A young boy with shiny black hair wisping in the wind, blowing out five candles sitting in the icing of a blue cake. An older boy snacking on sweet kettle corn at a festival of lights and pumpkins. A young man rafting in the raging water with the waves dashing into foam against the red rubber craft. Each instance of frozen time suspended until unlocked and the memory relived. Clouded eyes darted from picture to picture. A couple kissing and toasting champagne glasses together. A young child clinging to a man's orange swim trunks against the ocean's teal waves. His eyes ricocheted faster from photo to photo. Christmas. New York. Wedding. Birthday. Valentine's. Graduation. Following the slick road of plastic frames too quickly, confused eyes crashed and fixed on the portrait of the aged man in the center of the patchwork.

I’m Waiting for My Ride

by James Babbs

standing on the corner
they told me
what kind of car it was
but I’ve never seen them before
another warm afternoon
the sun brightly shining
I’m getting kind of tired
I hope they come pretty soon
there’s a bar across the street
I see the neon signs
lit up in the windows
I watch a beautiful woman
as she stops at the entrance
before disappearing inside
I pull out my phone
wanting to check the time
I could really use a drink
but I’m waiting for my ride
if something’s gone wrong
they should’ve been here by now
maybe I should call them
do I have their number
maybe they changed their minds
and forgot to let me know

Monday, March 4, 2013

Free Zhu Yufu

March 4, 2013 To the Offices of the Government of the Peoples Republic of China: To date, Zhu Yufu has been detained by the Peoples Republic of China for two entire years for his composition and distribution of the now famous poem, It’s Time. This imprisonment violates Article 35 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Every day that Zhu Yufu remains in prison increases the power of his words and the reach of his poetry. Your Government’s attempt to silence him only makes his voice louder. The signers of The Petition to Free Zhu Yufu urgently request his immediate and unconditional release: it’s time to let him go. We have a say in the matter. So do you. Free Zhu Yufu. The time is now. Respectfully, The Signers of The Petition to Free Zhu Yufu

Sunday, March 3, 2013


by Vinodkumar Edachery

A wolf approached sheep
With sharp claws
And fierce teeth
To scare them
To tear them apart
To relish at the sight
Of their scary flight

But the sheep were defiant
There was no trace of fear
In their eyes
Soon he was surrounded
On all sides
startled at the onslaught
He realized,to his horror
He had lost his terror.

From then on
He walks
Clad in sheep skin.

When The Gun Goes Off It Always Surprises You

by Anastasia Placido

Not like jade enamel:
Glazed and polished
Amore, love
Lots more than shine
And charmed
Like a snake in a basket
Cast over like a darkened sky
And awash in air
Insulated, head to chest
A murmuring of the heart
Crack the ribcage
Open up the breast
And let the light beam echo


by Anna Maria

I want to be
the beach
shameless naked spread
taking the thump of the waves
without ceasing..

Watching the peaceful
blue beyond
and the setting sun
with my eyes closed.

This night is blind

by Gopali Chakraborty Ghosh

This night is dark
This night is blind
My night is the companion of the moon
And see, after many a day,
She has come alone
In such quiet desolation has she come.
Perhaps some one will put out the lamp
And I will talk to Darkness all night,
Tell all the secrets of my heart.
But Darkness shies away from me
See, she sits there alone
Alone and silent in that corner.
She is mad, my Darkness
So silent she is
She hurts me, she pierces me.
But still she is mine
And I will lay my head on her lap
And in her arms
I will sob silently
And Darkness is the kohl
That unravels from my weeping eyes

My night is the companion of the moon
And see, after many a day,
She has come alone
In such quiet desolation she has come.

flight attendant

by Marie Nunalee

I am beginning to believe
you are in this because you
enjoy the take-offs and the

I cannot imagine it
to be for the exotic locales
that you are in this industry,

it is that lurch in a body’s
center. that last attempt on
the part of gravity to ground
before the atmosphere opens
its arms.

it is the smiles, the pouring of drinks,
the squeezing
of hands,
the reassurances,
“You’re safe here.”


by Marc Carver

I walked into the pub
a man was running around the garden.
As  i walked in
i heard him being sick in the bushes
When i got to the bar he was there with a friend
"Your friend needs to go home."
"You, you should mind your own business." He said.
"I am just trying to do you a favor."

The barmaid came to the bar and asked who was next
and everybody pointed to me.
The man held the drunken man in his arms.
The drunken man looked at me and i looked at him
His eyes said thank you.
I got my beer and sat down
ten minutes later
the man told the drunk to text him when he got home
and my job for the night was done.