Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


by Marc Carver

He told me not to hurt the bee
as I kicked it a little with my shoe.
"They  get drunk on the nectar
and fall asleep." He said
Just like you
when you used to come back from the pub
and fell asleep in your mashed potato
I thought
but the thought came with a knowing laugh

be the light

by Linda M. Crate

believe better horizons into being
shimmer stones to stars
hold your palms out and blow a better future
into the wings of this indifferent world;
sprinkle your dust of knowledge
upon me, let your brilliance enlighten me in realms
i could never imagine existed —
let the beautiful truth hold us forever in her
embrace, so many broken halos of darkness have
singed our wings let's not let that happen again
we were meant to shine as stars
not stand as candles dimming
our smoke obliterated by the breaths of clouds;
sing an angel's song so that the light
can remember to pierce through the arms
of pines and between irises of clouds —
snake your wisdom into the ears of men that could
use some smartening up, and let waves of
the ocean erode away all the pain we've felt
so we are no longer so numb;
visions of everything good and pure in life and light
should dance upon our futures now
because this darkness must stop.

The Last Rites

by Madhumita Ghosh

It is a cremation
one of its kind
I am not sad
have seen the inert remains
of a spirit long lost and dead
weeping in my heart
begging to be released
I stand calm
a secret joy fluttering its wings
eager to be released
so it can soar
The smoke rises
curling up, heavenwards
the essence of a being
gnashing and gnawing at my heart for long
now forever departed
frees me of a bondage
a dead lead I have borne all the while
I gather my flying hair with my hands
make a tight knot behind
my eyes now free from the looming lurking spectre
I look ahead
and walk briskly,
out of the crematorium,
free as smoke.

Battle Scars

by Amy Soricelli

I cannot carry in a cup, the fear I feel for you.
It would take a bucket with two hands, possibly sounds of effort -
to lift your burden up the hill.
Solid ground would become a zaggy whirlpool  -
your bumps of uncertainty...your dances on my feet.
It is sad, i know, the sounds you make when you waken fresh from some dark dream-
the hills of strong footing in rumpled sheets lost in the valley of your pillow.
It is clouds that stop us,we answer.   Our own ghosts.
You say your pain is deeper - stronger - louder.
We wrestle our anger like a contest - it ties us up/wraps us tight.
We fall against the mats defeated/ lost in some slippery cloud of dust.
I cannot carry in my heart the heavy sounds of lonely.
It turns against itself - poking, jabbing -  needle ends against the thin skin.
Like a high school cutter -you can run your fingers along the faintest scar -
swelling up on rainy days, fluttering like an eye when deprived of sleep, love.
The finger runs along the lines of it.
They always lead to you.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Dreaming the Dirt

by Corinne Gaston

Mother and child appear to me
out of the folds of a dreaming spirit
Before my eyes
They grow old, love, and die
And are reborn again.
They are surrounded by the grain
Endless growth and germination, the hot clay
In a world of soil and light
Arching over the earth, planting the seeds.
The mother
Who cradles the moon and child,
The sun that cradles the grain of the earth:
It is all done with purpose
The spirit folds them up
The seedling tucked into my mind’s womb
And then like a jolt
I am feeling the vines grow
I am inhaling the scents of foliage and compost
Dropped guavas
That are overripe and bursting
Full of that sweet-smelling pulp
The soil soothes me from the feet up
Grainy and damp
I am dreaming the dirt


by Umm-e-Aiman Vejlani

Standing afore split frequencies,
Watching each other in sequences
from separate vestibules of faith,
While they mull and cull us figures
foolish; emaciated of coherence.

We are linear, parallel but serrated
in evenness; while the world pulses
of the ordinary, sifting from the rare,
our defiance flares, resilience tears,
we become a monument of debate.

You and I will inspire forms of art
to celebrate us; the uneven, canvas
or sculpture will don the admiration
that we were plainness, like mail
of the everyday; slipped under
the doorway of conventions many.

There will be no study of realness,
Only musings and silent greetings,
We will become carefully guarded,
Tagged and priced, dutifully dusted,
Elevated in value transcendent
of beauty itself; in irony, after its end.

Now we exist as an after thought
 in the same world, same unevenness
with different voices defending us over
wine and cigars or rap and graffiti.  

Garnet Brigade

by Rebecca Miller

I am a seductress and I collect broken hearts.
I have them pinned into shadow boxes.
Many Victorians would be jealous
of my specimen collection.
They fall into my lap with blood streaming out,
shards skittering.
So many dresses stained and ripped.
Plum, teal, mint, lace, silks, cottons.
All defiled with vital fluids.
Best first attempts at the art of preservation.
Organ tissue taxidermy with pins and plush backboards.
Some small, some enormous, some shared.
Complicatedly delicate arrangements, filigrees of life.
They belong to men. Strong men.
Men who signed consent forms
 to release their hearts.
Shamefully, it is not for science.
A grave humiliation for all.
Shimmering rubies and so the obligation is large.
They must be guarded, not besmirched.
Each piece is prerequisite to the next.
I weave the ruddy morsels into compositions
of great artistry.
My finest works all covertly displayed
in the damp and darkest vault.
It is made of cedar, heroically scented
after the men who gave their hearts.
Locked with thirty two locks,
one for each treasure inside.
Sometimes, they come running.
They want their hearts back, they cry.
If only I could oblige, if only their wives
could tape them up like kindergarten crafts.
Not because I cannot, because I will not.
These jewels were gifts bestowed to me!
They will not be savagely ripped from their alliance,
their haunt.
And so they weep: for lost love, lost hope, lost passion.
Ruined men, they are dark princes of my army.
A battalion they painstakingly walked into as
machines ruled by instant gratification.
This is a life sentence, doomed into ranks of triviality.
I dominate them with words and keys alone,
until the day I pommel my scrapbook
of lust and set them free.


by Matthew Williams

Last night I left my glass of rum
outside on the porch steps—
and so this morning I had to take

rainwater with my swig of rum. Stop.
With my drink watered down
it stands to reason that I would

be sober enough to write you
a message that does not
quickly, prematurely. Stop.


by Michael Cluff

Gary in the office
below mine
is on the prowl from a frozen cage,
he irritates Mel
Polly and Molly.

Will has none
and can't borrow any
so he's all alone
going nowhere.

Meredith was married once
but walked in circles around it
when the divorce was to be final.

Sydney was never jelloed
when she worked the pole.

Palmer trees risk all
icicles sometime don't melt
wishing wells hope for no droughts and draughts
while quoits, ladders and silos
Godot wait nonstop... nonstop....

I wear bright wide striped tie sadlessly.

Precipice Pie

by John Pursch

Yen police immunize a slash mechanic’s widowed terrier, prep the lad for trapdoor trips to Choctaw burial rites, and imitate a sleepy pole dancer, flooding strata choosers with bilious ballroom blinker crust. Splendid crill deface the hearing’s herringbone heresy, halting hearsay’s fumbling measure of disrepute, slathering on sun-angle stew, plopping downy clemency slakers in wartime cement. Groupies scream in tonal blurt mutation cloth, loathing subtraction’s ordinary truculence, pleading snowball clothes and tender ale for hefty transmigration gigs, buttering upwardly bulimic cosmic truth with semaphoric teats. Guffawing pepper jack seekers predate checkerboard clown derailment, mooing outer Estonian victual malaise to waylaid rotary hens, positing daisy chain ownership, bequeathing duly garroted ether to turgid pupil ankles. Undulating bier choices mitigate interstitial fascia, culling worm integrity from alternating glass flesh, dipped in formal halter diagrams, filched and wound in gallium harness eyes, peeling effrontery from pustule coverall bliss. Gifted hearse peduncle plebes alert illicit cherry bumps to gambled entry waybill chocks when herpetic legions ice an eatery’s ferocious whale. Islands activate suburban telltales, segue into patched fever, and simulate worn torches, phasing lamentation into woolen gunny shuckers, brought to village highroads by oily onset stamens. Octogenarians collapse in dearly unearthed reprisal, feeling weighty candle oafs beneath sequential sighs, topped with aching nativity screams. Blotchy pegboard Romeos detach ensuing flimflam, stressing turf in equal karma dings, freezing delicate Hessians. Mainlined jobbies run ousted handspring chunks in junket frieze repast, solving bolstered briquettes with medical hegemony. Eking hoes an ominous call from venerated hexagrams, wired for sundry filigree in calligraphic soaking pools. Deemed far less than haystack hoots, berated ears recall unemptied slogans, pitting steady homes against the grainy strut’s imputed grail. Thus the drugged remain, unsightly in billowing highball lossage, oozing periodontal guts in pitted alkaline washboard lather. Preening twinges from celestial placemats, plaque bellowers fume at careening posers, clipping a stray figurine from every billionth bailiwick, wounding untold bumblebees in passing. Lucky sawfish teethe on chummy hovercraft debris, gnashing Samson’s diurnal caseload. Cratered floozies emerge victorious, flashing toothy chrome in stellar gore’s descending crop dust pillar, dusky and bedazzled by extrapolating pizza blokes. Goofballs inundate equation contrails, frosting sighing taffy hicks with dew line mortuary nougat. Pseudopodal rhododendrons heave ashore, withering to prone features, sanding hilltops into precipice pie.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Happy Birthday to the Muse

The wise and beautiful one walks among us today.  Drink up!

Thursday, July 25, 2013


by Marc Carver

In the park
the little girls
sit in a circle
They begin to shout
it reminds me of how cruel
children can be
not to mention adults.

Two hours later in a different park
middle aged men dance at the festival
with their children on their shoulders
they are looking for their young years
as if they had left them in a pocket
of a out grown jacket.

A small boy is playing with a plastic globe
of the world.
He loses it and it roles toward me
I have an urge to give it back to him and say
"Here, I give you the world. The world is yours."

I will not leave anything unrazed, my love

by A.V. Koshy

I will not leave anything unrazed, my love.
Burn the sky of the universe down.
Put out the golden eye of the sun.

Destroy you and the whole earth.
I swear.
Storm petrel. Awakening.

Once Upon a Summer

by Douglas Polk

July remembered from crew-cut days,
cuffs on my jeans,
four inches high,
clothes bought to last the next school year,
terrorists then only a minor worry,
nuclear destruction,
the nightmare imagined,
practice grabbing my knees,
under the desk,
bomb shelters,
in the neighborhoods of the rich kids,
the ones with something to lose,
fistfights over baseball cards,
or baseball stars,
when over,
we would get up and shake hands,
still hating the Yankees with all my heart,
jumping off the river bridge,
wade down past the bend,
in the shallows,
pitchforking catfish,
or the occasional frog for supper,
knowing when I could see the fireflies,
my day was at an end,
once upon a summer.

Two Births

by Michael Ceraolo

for Colleen

Tuesday May 7, 1985
I had gotten off work
from my job as a convenience-store clerk
at eight that morning,
                               a normal cool early May morning
with normal temperatures predicted for the rest of the day,
the weather would the only average thing about the day
When I got home my wife told me
that her water had broken during the night
It was almost four weeks early
so I was a little worried,
she had been through this before,
so she calmly packed a bag
and we headed for the hospital

I wasn't quite so calm at this time:
when getting on the highway
I went the wrong direction,
we had to go to the next exit,
get off,
            and turn around,
the rest of the ride was uneventful
and we made it safely to the hospital
only a few minutes later than we should have,
settling in to the delivery room
to await our daughter's first day

Colleen was showing the impatience of genius even before birth,
having decided she had served her full term in utero
even though the doctors said again it was a month early
She banged her head trying to get out because her mother wasn't ready,
and continued banging her head over and over to no effect

Because Colleen's birth day would not be today:
my wife's water had broken several hours earlier,
her cervix was nowhere near fully dilated or effaced
and was not making any progress toward becoming so
And despite the oxytocin that was started soon after our settling in,
the minutes dripped away as the medicine dripped in,
no further dilation or effacement taking place,
a contest of wills between mother and daughter
that went on for over thirty hours,
the doctors finally broke the long stalemate
by going in and taking Colleen out
(official birth time:  6:26 PM May 8th)
Her head would need considerable shaping
after what she had gone through trying to be born,
but in a very short time there would be no deformity
And despite her early birth she was healthy and has remained so,
though I fear she has been disappointed many times since
when the world didn't bend as easily to her will

for Maxie

July 7, 1988
I had again gotten off work at eight that morning,
though the intervening three years
had produced a huge improvement
in our family's circumstances:
I was no longer working as a convenience-store clerk
but had gotten a job as a firefighter
(the twenty-four hour shift I had just finished
was listed as Wednesday though it included eight hours on Thursday)
The temperature had reached ninety-six degrees that day,
in the hottest and driest summer I've experienced
(so far)
             [Environmental aside to the audience:
not watering our lawn had paid off in many ways
Besides the decreased water bills,
I had only had to cut it twice
before it went dormant;
it bounced back nicely when it finally did rain
as I watched the disliked next-door neighbors
murder their lawn by fertilizing it during the drought]
Today the temperature would reach ninety-nine,
as it would also the next two days,
that would not be the only,
                                       or the best,
                                                        memory of the day

Many children are in a hurry to get here
(and remain in a hurry once here),
she would be different
(we alone knew ahead of time it would be a she
and already had her full name picked out:
Maxine Rose Ceraolo)
She was a week later than expected,
just waiting patiently for her day to come,
when we left for the eleven o'clock appointment
to induce labor, planning for a VBAC
No wrong turns this time
Not long after we got there
and got settled in the delivery room,
she had a drop in the fetal heartbeat
(perhaps just more of that patient relaxation?)
and the doctor became impatient,
we couldn't wait for a natural birth after all,
that the potential risks outweighed the benefits

A surgical suite was scared up,
the epidural administered,
and a little after noon
(official birth time:  12:13 PM),
a little over an hour after our arrival
instead of the expected several,
Maxie was born,
                         healthy from the start,
still serene and patient out of the womb,
and she remains that way today--------

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Fire Dancers
(after the painting by Mark Tobey)

by Neil Ellman

Black fire, gray smoke
black auroras dance
on blistering stones

black tongues lick
the empty sky
abandoned by the stars

black the night, black
the flames
that hypnotize the eyes.

black divinity, how black
the prayers
leaping from the pyres

Black ash and flares
how dark the music
that makes them dance.

East 143rd Street

by Amy Soricelli

Josie's building has steel windows.  Nails grounded fist into corners
keeping out sunlight, slips of fresh air.
Breezing by birds carry South Bronx dust fluttering through the wings/deep
down they soar... puffing up hard on concrete.
No one lives next door - boarded up with slabs of cedar wood smelling like
campsites in the rain -notice of non-payment taped to the door like a Christmas wreath.
High and dry that family of six - off in the night/ backwards-
fast-flying on wobbly tires.

Josie hears sounds next door on late nights - her small brothers bouncing off
the sofa/high on sugar drinks and plastic toys with missing pieces.
She hears laughter - random bangs that shake the plaster off the high-ceilinged walls -
she smells deep foods, rich, spicy -their colors slip under the door
and the cracks in her roof tapping lightly.

No one lives there - sealed, shut-tight.
Josie thinks there - moved in .....
are the ghosts of everything good.

Caprese Panini

by Denise R. Weuve

When I love
It will be between ciabatta bread,
Dressed in red and green heirloom tomatoes
Of our mother country.

When I love
It will be a special blend of pistachio and basil
Grinded with a bit of citrus lemon juice,
Sweet garlic, and Pecorino Ramona into a smooth pesto.

When I love
It is the way I spread the pesto,
Like a sheet, onto the grilled ciabatta
Seasoned with herbs de Provence.

When I love
It is before dawn
When the sun waits to rear forward
So I can snip the perfect leaf of basilico.

When I love
It is in the layering:
Tomato, basil, red onion,
Mozzarella di Bufala.

When I love
It is tenderly serrating a masterpiece
In two but not to share,
Simply to make it easier for you to consume.

When I love
It is the giving that never takes
It is the flavor you cannot forget
It is always there when you are hungry


by Richard Schnap

There was an empty marmalade jar
Where he kept his antique pens
And a small Dutch radio
On the top shelf of his desk

And when I dared to enter
Into the sanctuary of his room
He’d be balancing his checkbook
While a classical station played

Now the jar holds pencils
As the radio blares rock
But no frightened child disturbs me
Who I’d stare at without a sound

But sometimes in the evenings
When the world seems far away
I can almost feel him with me
Wishing for a second chance

Sunday, July 21, 2013


by Nancy May

a fox searches
upturn bins
stars twinkling again

i will not be bested

by Linda M. Crate

you're no dove
innocent and pure as driven snow
you are a wolf in sheep's clothing
looking for someone to devour
it won't be me
too long i've weathered the wings of your
storms, clawing to steal away all my
light so nothing remained but
dark shadows of the moon
azure petals of night
would not find the slivered silver of me
hanging from your fangs;
i tried once to love you, but you pushed me away
couldn't be your lover or your friend
just a whisper in your life —
avalanches of emotions toppled me in your rejection
of me; even atlas can't lift the world without
feeling pain pricking the dam of his eyes,
and i wish i could be half as strong
so i could procure an excuse
for these country roads,
and their weight wouldn't smother me under flowers
of oblivion; what you did to me was inexcusable —
you took all my magnolias of may
stole away all the crimson and gold of my sunsets
plucked out all the stars of my eyes,
dined on my heart
then expected me to fall submissive before you;
but my will is stronger than you think,
i will not grovel at your feet
you may think yourself stronger being a wolf but even ravens
have their weapons my talons will tear out your eyes
spotting the white snow of your heart with crimson spots
dancing the world some justice —
freeing any other heart burning beneath the flames
of your love too harsh, too greedy.


by Jay Sizemore

been bitten by a jellyfish,
tentacles and barbs injecting venom
into the fascia where the pain hides,
to the point a stranger’s urination
would seem like a comfort on the skin.
Been in a car crash any worse
than a fender-bender, backing into
that parked car the day my dad
had his first heart attack
or getting rear-ended
for paying attention to stop lights,
my neck whipped like a spring,
but not broken.
Seen a desert or a rattlesnake
in the wild, always through panes
of glass or the high gloss sheen
of magazine pages left open
in a doctor’s office.
Had such a moment of clarity
that I felt like God must be real,
clutching his ghost-like fist
around my heart until the joy
burst free, and even murder
had its proper place in the world.

Something New

 by J. K. Durick     

It’s the newness of the new that’s endearing,
the pristine feel of it, the un-faded glory of it,
the way it makes us want more, and to go on
and on with beginnings, and starting points,
and breaking things in, the getting to know
a harmless unknown.

It’s the time before routine and the expected
give it that familiar foreign feel  and wear us
down with it, tire it and us to a silence that
aging makes of all things, once new and then
just waiting to disappear, but today that seems
far away, impossible.

It’s the way the first robin or snowstorm makes
us feel, new again, even when we know how
naïve that is, how repetition and time will win
out again, but, of course, we’ll welcome the next
robin, the first few flakes falling, we’ll run out
to see the newness of things.

A Quiet Neighborhood

by Donal Mahoney

I wish he had never come out
from behind the stove, that spider
I stepped on at 4 a.m.

He was a big one
bothering no one.
He didn't see my foot

that hour of the morning.
Reminds me of Mrs. Grimm,
the widow next door.

She took her garbage out
at midnight Sunday.
They found her cold

in the driveway at dawn,
a bullet in her forehead.
Her children swear

she had no enemies.
Survivors of the spider
say the same

about their early riser.
Everyone knows that ours
is a quiet neighborhood.

Saga of the Ancient Mariner

by Ailill

Oh Tiresias, mystic orator,
seer into the heart of
Odysseus, tell us of the travails
of that ancient mariner.

Why do these tales of the sea
lend themselves to such prose
and prosody?

Shamanic Odyssey to the core
of the story, new twists in a saga
re-spun like leavened bread over-done.

Reborn on the eve of the storm that held
the ship fast; Poseidon, heart set in stone,
grasped it with his moss covered talons,
tearing off the mast, before he bore
it under.

Awakening from his slumber, no stranger
to the anger of the deep, both cursed
and blessed, he bailed from the deck, thrashing
the sea toward the lifeboat just freed.

Gaining a-hold, lifting himself onto
the boat, grief tearing into his soul,
he began to cry out from his heart
as he thought about the crew that had
been lost, the journey with its costs.

Baring down, the waves, a mighty whale, lashed
his boat with the snap of its tail. The winds
howled like a lion on the prowl, paying
no heed to his despair.

Lifeboat adrift, not permitted to rest,
worn out, floundered about, tossed and turned
a stray amidst the crests and troughs of wild
waves. Not accepting his lot, in spite of
the gods; visions of Penelope and the warm
hearth of home, beloved abode, inspired him
with the will to stay alive.

From desolate depths, dolphins called out
to him, wailing siren songs day and night long

of visions of comrades once lost, sensing
double cross, jealous he was still alive,
while they did not survive. From the muck
of graves haunting, nostrils wept the smoke
of saucer eyes, and gnashing fangs,
nagging the dreams of restless sleep.

For days he rode out the waves, at the crossroads,
spirits invoked, sending prayers to the sky,
asking why his life must be sacrificed,
what had he done wrong, what must be atoned?
Within sins grew in magnificence,
looking into self, he questioned beliefs
once held.

His agony, symbol of our inner-
most hemorrhage, cleaving apart, leaving
its mark upon our souls,

asking to be freed from this misery.
But the sea, no remorse in its bones
for this man alone; its mind ruled by
heart hardened Poseidon, merely tossed
him up onto the bare rocky island.

From her cave Calypso, that hypersexual
witch hag crone, seducer of men’s souls,
beckoned, enchanting spells invoked, enticed
with visions of youthful bloom, every
seaman’s fantasy, feeding into vanities.
He followed upon her summons

to landscapes of imagination.
Visiting him day and night, phantom
ghost arms held him tight, deluding
of limitations.

Spectral wonder, with thighs of thunder,
revealing mysteries down under;
the embraces of this sultry seductress,
feeding off life’s breath like a black widow
succubus, mistaking his agony
for ecstasy only she could give.

Her captive, relationship fictive; she
whispered fantasies into his ears making
him sing her songs for seven years.

Despair, side-note to a steamy affair,
kept him ensnared. In her cave, his body
began to waste away, alarming Athena,
Goddess of Wisdom;

coming to him, walking the beach,
she reminded him of the promises
he meant to keep. Realizing he was
a victim of hallucinations, he began
to weep for Penelope and his long lost home.

From his mind he forced Calypso to relent,
alone once again, he crafted a raft
and cast it out onto the ocean.

Trial over, bound for home and the arms
of Penelope, this was merely
the beginning of a trail of events
in a tale without ending.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Listening Look

by Ann Staton

You ask me where I go, at times, while you are talking, even though I have not moved.
You call it my listening look.
Often enough, your words are more important than knowing how to dress for the weather,
more important than hearing the morning news, wondering what my parents will complain about
this time, 1800 miles away.

You are so close at times I feel your breath along my hairline, cheek, against my ear, but you
see, as my eyes drift, and you know I’ve briefly checked out, tuned into something
like which student will unnecessarily complain, miss a lecture, blame me for an “F”.
Because I silently, fearfully curse the swollen lymph nodes plaguing me the past months,
fearing I have something awful that will only compound our suddenly
odd situation, our dark age, it seems.

Or maybe how someone needs to set fire to the piece-of-crap fuse box in the garage below us,
that trips when I am blow drying my hair, landlords, too buddy-buddy, who blame us for tripped
circuits, hot water heaters, or air conditioning not adequately working,
garage doors that don’t quite close so any fucking transient, the ones that walk up and down the
street from the half-way house, some with electronic bands around their ankles, mumbling to
themselves or having full-blown conversations with the voices in their heads, or growling as they
limp past, can squeeze through, smoke crack, fuck all night.

I might be thinking, when I look away from your eyes to the blinds blocking that frustrated-
widow-wannabe-landlord whose wife died of cancer months before we moved in, insinuated
we hacked down our landlord’s cherished rose bush, breaking her heart, of our children, my
horrible act of missing them. Then, again, it could be my mother who can’t
hear well, and my father who can only  communicate with people who are not his children.
We all have our own fucked-up legacies of love and problems.
That could be the listening look you see, or hot cold souls
of artifice too artfully existing.

Oh, my dearest darling, it has nothing to do with how much I love and adore you.
You are this life’s most wonderful, most easy part.

On Wanting More

by Denise R. Weuve

The magnolia tree needs water
Its graying limbs want water.
Reclaimed rusty faucet water
That drowns the lawn, rarely reaches
Its roots that fruitlessly stretch
Like Tantalus for a thirst quenching sip.
This tree wants more;
It wants God’s tears
But you know
God doesn’t cry
Not since the fall of Gamorrah
The lust of David,
The Day you became machete heavy-
Began whacking away at the rings
Marking years of desire
And generations of bloomed cream buds.
She feels the blade bleeding her
Reverbration rolling through
Her low baring limbs
That only want to shade you.

When you lay down beaten,
Knuckles bleeding from the days work,
You will want God
To remove the pain.
The simple blisters-brillant,
Proof that god has failed you.
Then you will know
The blisters have moved
From your palms to your heart,
The calluses left behind
From the fallen tree.
Remember the smell of southern magnolia
Against a beach side home.
Can you hear
The tears forming
In the ducts of your eyes,
Or the wanting of life
The chance to flower once more.  


by Vinodkumar Edachery

With beaming pride
And unconcealed joy
Placed in the hands of my daughter
A high-tech mobile phone
With ultra- modern
Camera facilities

The comforts
I never knew
In my childhood
My daughter should enjoy
Was my only thought.

Traps flew to her
Like honeyed  words.
Soon Wail came running
Cutting off all services
To burst into tears
At the end of a rope.

old park benches

by J.J. Campbell

i like to sit on the
old park benches
over by the statue
with no eyes

now i'm sure there
were eyes when it
was originally built
but that was long
before my time

the faces haven't
really changed much
over all these years

the clothes of my
youth are coming
back and i couldn't
be more disgusted

no one wants to sit
on a park bench and
be nostalgia fucked
to death

not even the hookers
that cut through at
dusk each evening

not sure what their
hurry is

i've got twenty bucks
burning a hole in my

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

All My Dreams Were Caring Women

by Poulome Mitra Shaw

All my dreams were caring women with hips and generous bosoms.
With the tender moon tucked within
With every disenchantment in their stride
They always walked back home
religiously, oh so religiously every night
without pleading with the closed doors
to unafraid beds violating the nightmares seen
They were caring women with forgiving hearts and large kind eyes
I always knew all my dreams were Mother's within.
They let go of all the verses that had baubles of disdain
I always knew all my dreams were Women within
They let go of every stab, every excess untold
I always knew my dreams never trembled
even when nightmare played out its role
They were compassionate women with tender smiles and loving arms.


by Craig Kurtz

got everyone responding favorably
to number therapy. It was a boon
when designer silence went black
to white. I had doubts. Too loud.

Always & never became accepted
fields of study. When unequal specimens
filled every switchboard, evolution
went cheap effects. Too bad.

From bottled words to canned thoughts
in a generation. Only then did anyone
notice the door doesn't open from
the inside. I had wondered.

Aerosol children seemed a good idea
at the time. Praxis spread like
electronic dust. Then telepathic sex
was deregulated. Big mistake.

Serotonin warehousing polled well
initially. Spectacular error in
judgment. Ditto splicing genes
in algae spores. Too late.


by Amy Soricelli

She is the swirly waterfall -  the small circle of around and around water
before it glides down to the end, the bottom-
catching itself mad open  as the years disappear like mist.
The sun slips like a shadow behind every wall  -hiding her soul deep in a doorway,
packed tight like a fist.

He watches sometimes, from his perch on the ceiling -
how small she seems in the evening light -how vacant in her new gray hair.
She seems lost in the flowers on the carpet.  Small yellows and blues pick up the color in her eyes
as she dances along the walls and slips between his pauses.

Today she remembered the long thorny walks of who they were -
remembered the simple plaid shirt, buttons that he missed,
the tree lined parkway of their first summer -singing to the radio breezing by the gas stations,
postcards of state birds stuffed in back pockets like a comb.

She is the ice in his glass and the sudden rain.

It cannot be held in a shape -  the hollow feeling of losing her minutes by seconds;
years fall away, lost in a cloud like old makeup.

He rushes to her call when she remembers his name.
It will be full dark again before it is said louder than a whisper.
Not to worry, he can hear.


by Michael Cluff

Yvette is slurping on an egg creme
made by Manny at the cooler
he wears a yellow sweatshirt
with a spot shaped like South Dakota.

Her cousin from Caledonia
does not like to speak any langauge
she would rather writhe
in a dizzy jazz improv
that reminds Hank
of Gillespie.

A spearfish wallows in a drying lake
filled with potash and ptomaine
he has beaten tthe odds before
but that was back in Buffalo.

Stewart wonders about Wilma
a hostess for an airline
that only flights the night shifts
between Branff and Boise and Poughkeepsie
in only the foulest weather.

Hank shaves a solid block of ice
to recall Wilma's features
she was too much like Manny
and Yvette would have to solve it.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sixteen Ways No One’s Written about Scooby Doo

by Antoinette McCormick


On a foggy night in
The only thing moving
With clockwork precision
Was Mystery, Inc.


The Mystery Machine
Ran on eight legs and four paws
Even underwater
—Take that, Batmobile!


What flavor is courage?
Does it squish or crumble
Between your fingertips?
Even a four-year-old knows
It’s not vanilla.


Comic kismet’s prima lex:
The most unlikely
People in the world
Can be friends
If one of them has a van,
One has contraband,
And another has specs,
That could signal
Alien spacecraft.


—Danger-prone Daphne’s so astute.
—Sounds like Velma’s found another clue.
Shaggy’s met an oogly-boogly
“Scooby Dooby Doo!”


Oh, unsinkable Slayer of Sunnydale,
Trade your glossy, golden locks for unnatural rose,
Your heels for purple platform boots,
And leave your Black Belt at home.
Your Watcher should have told you
Sleuthing’s not a fashion show.
Bird-boned limbs and a bitchin’ soundtrack’s
All you really need to catch those pesky spooks.


In the Zen of Scooby
There are three essential truths
(Which have nothing to do
With Rube Goldberg contraptions
Monsters, or masks, and
Everything to do with
Cold-cut-filled fridges
In haunted mansions):


Fill in the blank:

I miss you ____________.

a)      Withers
b)      Dinkley
c)       (Dude, it’s a trick question.)


No one ever
In the Mystery van

No one ever
Bit it
In the Mystery van

No one ever
In the Mystery van

No one.


Oh, sway-backed omnivore,
Did you raise a January paw
When Iwao Takamoto
Rode to Gardens of Blessing,
Section 3, Lot 1390, Space 3?
Cut! Print!
That’s a wrap


Sarah Michelle Gellar once flew to Mexico
In a flowered, psychedelic wedding coach;
Apprehension overtook her
When she mistook
Dead Chico’s only son
For Fred Jones.


Scooby loves Scooby Snacks,
Shaggy loves Scooby Snacks.
Hey, Polar Bear,
What would You do
For a Scooby Snack?


There’s a hassle in the castle
And nowhere to Hyde
(That’s your cue, Scooby Doo).
What the hex going on?
Which way is witch?
A gaggle of galloping ghosts
Couldn’t say for sure.
Better mine your own business
Leave werewolf stuff alone
It’s snow fun and it snot fair, but
Wen his annoit half-right have erred alight full?


According to the Alimentary Law
Of Ingestible Physics
Any food left unattended
In a Scooby Doo lunchbox
Will….  ….    …    ..   .


Everything I know about
                Somethin’ strange
Paranormal investigation
                When it don’t look good
I learned from
                Who ya gonna call?
Uh… sorry, Scoob’.


No apparition’s ever very bitchin’
After the big reveal; so what’s a poor
No-longer-numinous slob to do,
But sigh and say,
“I would’ve gotten away with it, too—
If it weren’t for you MEDDLING KIDS!”

Baby Blue Leisure Socks and Hand Bag

by Tom Hatch

Briskly a brief cased suit runs up the aisle about to miss his stop
knocking over another’s cup of coffee brown as an early morning
commuting deltas starts to flow under the rows of seats as the coffee's
Current spurned by sighs, nudges and "not again"
lifting away from the floor shoes
brief cases and bags
this is like a bleeding wound
the pulsating blood meandering
like an ancient river by
the movement of the train
causing an ox bow like lake
on the linoleum terrain
baby blue leisure soxs in
tasseled loafers jerks up
Squealing an accountant
finding errors on a spread sheet
a woman across the sail head phone texting
looking at her Vogue a picture
of Drew Barrymore in an ad
unaware of the river moving
on the floor is her
baby blue hand bag
stained bottom


by Ian C. Smith

He is fourteen, on his own
with no heating, no phone
no savings, or late-night knaving.
This kid’s barely shaving.
In the shared kitchen he heats
inexpensive snacks, repeats
just one course, the main
then back to his cold room again
a shadow at childhood’s end
future man without a friend.

He reads movie magazines
wearing only a pair of jeans
lying lonely on his narrow bed
starring as a handsome hothead
or taking the jackpot with an ace.
He would like to press his face
between a woman’s breasts
like a gunslinger of the old west
seen from the dark stalls, his redoubt
on his weekly night out.


by Peter Franklin

It’s a beautiful sunrise
I said to her on this fine day
Of solstice,
And to the horizon stretching in front
Of me.
Blush pink-hued clouds
Nodded their approval…
She told me in her early morning way
That there really are no
Not-so-beautiful sunrises.
Aren’t they all spectacular…each one
Expressively different, signaling
Yet another new beginning.
Sweeping away the clinging gloom of night.
I really had never thought of it that way
But I know I’ve never said, Hey…this sunrise is kind of
Ugly and plain. Maybe I just needed to
Take time and notice.  I nod
Reassuringly and shuffle off
In my old-man slippers…
Of course,
That it’s all true.
The seasons change, and so do I.
But the sunrise, according to her,
Is always beautiful.

Something Unexpected

by James Babbs

sitting in my car
on another chilly morning
just waiting in the parking lot
before going into work
I watched a couple of black birds
one bird chasing after the other
and the black bird being chased
carried a piece of bread
holding it with its beak
at least
that’s what it looked like to me
then the black bird with the bread
let it drop and
I watched it
falling through the air
but before the bread hit the ground
the other bird snatched it up
both of them turning
before flying away
and I sat there
a little while longer
thinking hey
that was kind of cool


by Benjamin Grossman

are the crowned shapes. They were the earliest markings upon the walls, the beginning dribbles of art. “Pubic triangles” ancients called women’s reproductive organs before language grew immature. But some mummified opinion will say we are born from holes. Yes, circles bring us into life but all those circles lay at the center of closed v’s. More than God knows why Egyptian monuments aren’t pentagons. It wasn’t a crash that placed healthy eating inside of a pyramid. Aristotle understood the golden imprint a three-sided structure leaves upon a story.  A trapezoid must be a trapezoid. A square must be square or it risks being mistaken for a rectangle. But a triangle is a contortionist, able to shrink and expand and change while never changing. No matter the exterior conditions, the interior of a triangle will remain constant. We should all be turned green by the inner perfection of such a flexible shape.

Friday, July 12, 2013

difference of opinion

by Linda M. Crate

you're a loaded god complex
cocked and pulled
looking for another notch
to etch in your bed post always
searching for more to satiate
your thirst, an imp in gentleman's clothing
i mistook your lust for caring,
and now i'm paying the price my little
broken heart chipping past the
point of repair; you asked me not to feel
betrayed, but how could i not?
you took all my flowers from me;
promised me that I was unforgettable then
forgot me in a land of despondency
where lonely country roads crushed me beneath
their weight of sorrow —
your love was the romance i was most
enamored with beneath the silver moon that shimmered
in your hair i felt immortal even invincible
now i've fallen like a lamb before the slaughter
choking in the blood of our dying flowers,
and your empathy has dissolved;
devolving into some selfish monster you don't even
lend me a hand to stand on my own two feet
again you let me stutter over my own
syllables simply stating that it's sad so sad and you're
praying for me —
we must pray to a different God because mine
is one of love
yours one of indifference.


by Marc Carver

The house smells of moscow.
And now you can do what you want
she says.
"Yea, to be honest with you
i don't want a job anymore."
She lurks about unsure of me
as so many are.
"It is a real crime to be alone." She says.
I have known that loneliness
the loneliness of tears and wine
nobody to dance with only
the craziness of your own mind.
"You should come and live with us."
I tell her even though i know she will be just as unhappy here
but as one person walks through
an open door
another walks out.

bruised clouds

by Linda M. Crate

if i cried
a thousand rains
would then
you come to my
side, brush
away everything that
hurts soothe me
with a kiss;
tell me you were sorry
realize your mistake
love me again?
there's a part of me that
says yes, another
arguing no;
but all i know is that i
love you, i'll always
want a romance
to flower between us -
i'll cling to this
paltry friendship and accept
it's hollow shell like a
hermit crab choosing
it's new home,
but it doesn't smell as good
as your love did, and it
reminds me of
bruised clouds
the color of your eyes.


Marc Carver

I hear a dog
I know he is big
he has a deep bark
cars go up and down
and he continues to bark.
I don't think he will ever stop.
That tree looks like a kid with an afro.
I saw three women that i know a little today
know of them wanted to talk to me.
But i have nothing to start over.
More dogs start to bark a chorus
and i sit there
watching the tree

fort fairfield

by Linda M. Crate
i wasn't born there,
but it became my home —
the whispers of
birds between the pines
and scarlet sunsets
prettiest in the middle of
nowhere; indigo ink scattered
only by stars, it was close
enough to what i knew for me
to adopt it as a place i've
always been and forever would
be; so now that i'm not there it reminds
me only how much i miss the pieces
i left behind in maine —
you most of all, hidden beneath
silver blonde hair with eyes as blue
as the kiss of ocean water in italy;
it was there that i knew belonging it's not
here in this area once known as 'home' —
burn a hole through my heart,
crisp away all this bitterness let me swallow
another maine's crescent moon;
forget me not in this wasteland of snow
and apathy, let me fly back to you
on the wings of the strongest cardinal winter
can provide because you're the only
place of me left that isn't numb.


by Marc Carver

As i was looking through
the books in the library
I noticed the O'Hara book that i did not read
in the H section.
I went over to the desk.
"There is a O'Hara book
in the h section of the classics."
The woman had a bewildered look on her face.
You should be a librarian the woman said.
"I just wanted to share that with you."
"Okay." She said
and i walked off.
The man who was behind me in the queue
gave me a smile on the way out
and i did the same to him.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Study in Grey

by Shelby Dale DeWeese

Stacked books
swirls of dust.
Tiny house,
windows, struck by


Slate sheets
Billows of
the skyline playing

in the morning.
The mist gasps as
a ghastly figure
out of the
shadowy grim,
a graphite smudge
of matted curls
her pale back,

plastered in damp
by misty
and hovering
on the fringe
of misery.

What are you drinking to tonight?

by Tyler Bigney

The needle on my record player is broken,
so the house is quiet except for
the wind and my solicitous breaths.
The birds outside, alive another day,
stomachs full from the seeds I tossed
out to them this morning. I’m praying
for the sun to bleed through the curtains,
and break like yolk across the floor.
I’m drinking until l’m happy,
but once I’m there,  I continue
to drink until I feel worse,
awakened at four a.m. by what feels
like my chest caving in. And
like every horror movie ever made,
turns out I should have left my guard up,
or circled back and asked for help
while I still had the chance.

One of the Best

by James Babbs

of course
it was saturday night and
there wasn’t much going on
I was into my third or fourth drink
when I called the bartender over
and told him
I wanted to buy one for the lady
sitting at the other end of the bar
from where I was sitting
she looked better than alright
she looked like
one of the best I’d ever seen
at least around there anyway
when the bartender
set the drink down in front of her
and pointed over at me
I raised my glass
and gave her smile
she came bouncing on down
and took the stool next to mine
her jeans were so tight
they looked like
they were holding on for dear life
a few hours later
when we were back at my place
she peeled them off
and I felt like
I wanted to hold her the same way
and it was good
really good
it may even have been great
I was too drunk to know for sure
but she ended up spending the week
then she told me
she needed to go get her stuff
and I told her okay
we brought everything back to the house
and got her all settled in
so there we were
just the two of us
staring at each other
from opposite sides of the room
let’s have a drink I said
and I took down the bottles
and started mixing things up
she said oh that’s nice
after she tried it
and she asked me what it was called
I said sometimes love’s beautiful
but it’s mostly a pain in the ass
and then I held my breath
but when she laughed
I knew it was going to be okay
so we drank all night
and she danced for me
and then I danced for her
and the next morning
we rolled ourselves out of bed
and started all over again
endless days and nights
until she started getting restless
and wanted to go other places
and meet other kinds of people
what’s so great about people I said
and I laughed
then I emptied my glass
well she said
it’s just because you think
you’re better than everybody else
and I said so
what’s wrong with that
and she stormed out
and slammed the bedroom door
I mixed another drink
and I sat there drinking it
I didn’t have nay place to go
I didn’t want to go anywhere
I felt warm
I felt pretty good
and I knew
it was going to be a long night


by Bryan Murphy

I’m on my knees,
fingers flicking through Indian pile,
grass-green in imagination,
smooth as Wembley turf.
My centre-forward nail
my left-hand goalie
tips the marble away for a corner
to the sound of one hand clapping
at relegation averted
on the sole luxury item
in that returned-colonial Kentish cottage.

This one, too, is older than me.
I notice it more
now home is my default venue.
Its football-pitch shape sparks only
meditation on colours faded yet effective,
on provenance, history,
on artistry that launches illusions
of depth and movement
radiating from a lotus centre,
its very survival an augury.

The Hell! It’s just a breeding ground
of allergenic mites that I’ll not have
sear my sinuses, rash my skin, widow my lady.
Roll up those half-bare threads,
no more dreams for that theatre.
Away to the cellar!
Let twilight gleam on bare boards.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


by Benjamin Grossman

filled us with sin before we were even seeds. The protrusion in our throats is proof of this. Yet it is hard to stand over the understanding that what was once forbidden to eat is now recommended to eat daily. No other fruit can claim to keep the doctor away as well as God. The power of this rounded edibleness rests in its ability to lift the curtain on the strength of good and evil: one rotten apple spoils all the rest rotten whereas one good apple never polishes those ones of a rotten nature. But what of the insects that lay their eggs inside these apples? And where, if not underground, would the story of Snow White exist without a poisoned apple? Being the apple of one’s eye has nothing to do with apples and yet still the phrase speaks of their majesty. The apple really may not fall far from the tree, but when there are no more trees, where will the apples fall? Only the core may know that answer, or at least whoever planted those first seeds which roamed free. 


by Amy Soricelli

I would not be the sturdy blue car packed with backseat luggage
if I would be on wheels.
So safe, shiny in the solid traffic -
you can see the walnut radio waving to you from the front.
Deep forest aunts and uncles in hidden, perfect houses -
road maps across the lap of every high school girl you envied.

I would not be the flashy red sports car
if i would be on wheels.
Swift in the wind, crisp choppy words hitting against the glass like bugs -
its trendy, bubbling sunshine
always alone in crowds filled with shallow wine and good intention.

I would not be the speckled wagon bumper stickers - dents and dings
if I would be on wheels.
Fair living day to day with struggle jammed-high into small, darkened spaces.
Hope cradled between your knees like a sullen, spoiled child.

I would be the small car, over there,
the one sitting on its last drop of gas -
parked deep into some bush listening to the news.

His Mother’s Pasture

by April Salzano

is perimetered by cornfields, rolls with Pennsylvania
gentleness and arguable boundaries. Late June, the first
cut of hay has been bailed. Round bundles rest
on small summits, a field’s thirsty punctuation
with logicless placement. The cattle are decades gone,
the trough, arbitrary and dry. The Marcellus shale men
have come back with gas leases for farmers to sign.
They haven’t seen grass this green since the steel plants
shut down. Even the ghosts have given up on this town.
Where sky meets field, far from the noise of the interstate
from which we are just a place on the way someplace
else, far from the latent commerce of the few remaining
diesel engines that moan in the night like lost calves,
a space exists. A thin line of in-between holds its ground.
Peace intersects every acre like a scythe slicing
grass just dry enough to call hay.


by Linda M. Crate

the city of brotherly love
full of labyrinths of secrets i want to
jimmy free; one visit to a friend
i hadn't seen for a while she told me
when i proposed to taking a walk alone
to carry a knife just in case —
different from the little town which delivered
me a sense of security and peace that
walking wasn't an activity
threatened by issues of security;
so few trees growing by houses and buildings
jammed closely together, yet there's
always the sense of adventure
lingering in the air with the thought of
something to do or somewhere to go there's
always some activity to take your mind off of things when
the going gets tough unlike this little place i have
lived so long and so hard; full of reflection blowing in
bending arms of trees and red hot pokers thrusting
their opinions through the grass of which
bees and hummingbirds always acknowledge their agreement —
philadelphia sings with an energy that seems in sync
with the restlessness in my soul, and yet there are no nesting
birdsongs in my ears or little rabbits hopping through
my yard only cars and buildings and houses
broken infrequently by trees and flowers and quietly rimmed
trees of sunset laying awkwardly in a cement jungle.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Empty the Ocean

by Bobbie Troy

I suddenly found myself
standing on a beach
I looked at the ocean
then I looked at the spoon
in my right hand

a voice came out of nowhere
and commanded:
empty the ocean
with the spoon
or your life
will be meaningless

Giants and Nobodies

by Steve Calamars

The brass-knuckles are already on when I round the corner.  They are on my right hand, concealed in the pocket of my blue jeans.

I see Kafka on the sidewalk.  He appears to be arguing with Milena about something.  He doesn’t see me coming.

Kafka is a giant in this neighborhood.  I’m more of what you’d call a nobody.  The only element in this entire arrangement in my favor is surprise.

So I walk up quick.  I pull my fist from my pocket.  The gleam of the brass-knuckles in the sunlight is sour to his eyes.  Kafka squints.

Milena opens her mouth to scream, but it’s too late.

I catch Kafka with a right hook, like a cinderblock to the side of his head.

My left hand comes from my left back pocket in a flash.  All you hear is the metallic flutter of the butterfly knife.

I bury it in his chest 5 or 6 times, before leaving the knife in there and cocking my right hand back.  I fire it like a fastball into the center of his face.

Solid brass-knuckles bulls-eye the soft target of the nose.  An explosion of red jelly and jagged purple bone fragments.

Kafka falls back, like a flat gray sheet along the sidewalk.

I leave him lying there, bleeding out, Milena at his side, crying over him.

I slip my right hand back into my pocket.  I keep walking.  I turn the corner at the end of the street, my body dissipating like pink light and black smoke—


by Marc Carver

I. Animal Nature

I go for a walk
see a snail on the pavement
it has long antennae
Coldplay is playing on my phone
I move the phone to him
Para, para paradise.
He seems to have speeded up.

I see a medium size bird
hop out of a bush.
I go over for a chat
He goes back into the bush
Don't want to talk eh.

I see a dog take a crap
watch the vulnerable
face he has
that they all have
almost a look of shame
he wishes he could use the toilet
once again.

II.  Human nature

On the side of a truck
is a single sentence.
Bob is a wanker.
I don't know Bob
but i guess they are right.

III.  True Nature

I love you more than anything
in the world
some people are fucked up
they don't ask to be fucked up
they just are
but then they find something
in that pit of despair
a freedom
that ends the lost.
So don't ever ask
me again if i love you.
Ask me why i love you.

Kathmandu Taxi

by Paul Tristram

I awoke upon the settee
she was on the computer chair
studying me quietly.
I could tell by her face
that I had done something wrong
it was just a matter of how bad
the ‘something wrong’ was?

“You don’t recall, do you?”

I shook my head whilst sitting up.

“Ok, well we were at the house party
and everything was going fine,
you told some funny stories
and shit like that,
everyone was laughing, they loved it
you’re always great on beer.
Then when Benny & Lisa start showing
me the wedding photos you disappear.
When I finally find you an hour later
you are in the kitchen having an Absinthe
& Jägermeister drinking contest
with that lunatic Normski,
you are Wankered, the both of you!
I get you into the taxi and you fall asleep
but halfway home you jump rigid
and punch the back of the driver’s seat
yelling “Kathmandu Motherfucker!”
then you fall back sleep again.
The driver slammed on the brakes
and spun around in his seat
but he saw that you were sleeping.
We laughed at the ‘Kathmandu’ bit,
it’s a good job you said it,
it defused the whole situation,
I might have had to mace him,
you crazy Bastard!”

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Corpse’s Birthday

by Séamas Carraher

Savage fatherland,
brute in this peace, industrial in hypnosis,
both more and less our own impersonations:
still, with all them educated accents
up comes that voice!

To be dead at the beginning then,
time after time. To be so much corpse,
to know our place, knowing these limits,
their entrance and exit already worked

then there is no change. With all these
answers (and not a single question), with
all them suffocating silences, religious
and civilised,
with all them personalities, them celebrities,
all salvage and rubble,
even the freedom to lie – unattainable!

So prolific is our courage in whiskey,
our children in the future tense,
such is a desire, born on one breath
dead on the next
(O practical convulsion, that i don’t
swallow your tongue, tied as it is
to these old men in chairs!)

So solid is the site of our crimes,
our savage motherland,
so solid is our suppression, our situation,
our censorship, then another
courage! (to have such a thought!)

This ordinary day, like any other
begins the same, these
weak legs kicking in air,
here is our Long March, unstoppable, suspended,
both motion and withdrawal, our departure and entry,
its ascent and deficiency, fortress and sentry,
all criminal and trespass our transition.
Here, we storm heaven, returning.

Tell me another story, schoolmaster,
while i beat my own head into timber.

Look what you left us, father, and proud,
(here in this hospital we call home,)
the small pieces of your life left unravelled,
your socks and prayerbooks, sealed up in
a drawer,
all utter death without dreaming,
now abandoned by its boss,
equal and immutable,
these dead things in chains still
awaiting permission.

Look what you left us?

And somewhere there are people no one owns.
There, we are rocked by winds, our speech
like a sea, both wind and water in speech
in our most murderous articulation
(another explosion! to have such a thought!
to taste it, touching its tongue to her lips).

And this homeland is full of such whispering,
this homeland more like an eviction,
here we are heroic, we are numb, it is this crowd,
this is each need and its surplus
in our mute actions
this voice with 2 heads
crying to be i.

Here is where your lips got burned, and here
is where your charity burned others,
but this is no more than a murmur, unspeakable,
to be battered by love in its kindness,
to be chained by its loss, by its lack.

Then there is still no change. Like a nail.
Struggling like a nail in hard wood.
Not even the savagery of faith left to lose,
my conscience in code like your own,
this is what it means: eat your heart out.

Like a nail in labour
i am like a nail in labour,
to imagine the impossible,
her wild working of limbs and brain.

Here is where we have come
to be here all the time!

This country is cruel.
Brutal in its stones
and loud in its empty promises,
both more and less our own blind lies,
our fierce collusion.

This is how we have come nowhere. Listen
to it. Listen carefully.

Here is a place in a language not all theirs,
here is an empty place, not anywhere.
this is a point of departure, like a nail,
here is where we leave from, and always
guttural, spontaneous, forced, silence.
(In this populace mass all mortal function,
like its inversion,
its torture and interrogation)
here is where we are free, tomorrow, carefully,
ungovernable, irrepressible, raging.
Here we are rocked by winds not ours, both wind
and water in speech, our speech like a sea.

Drown in it. Twice! And again, comrade!

César, 50 years after your delirium,
and now no more than 5,000 miles away
there is this movement to be made,
as if a nail could have brains.

in the dead stillness of your corpse
there is more to this than meets the eye,
there is more to this than the uncertainty
of contradiction
there is more to this than all their dead noise,
(our rippling, murmuring, agitated,)
and there is more to this than my mother’s voice
(savage in its praying! to love our assassins!)

There is more to this world than its
solid nature, its impregnable politics,
there is more to the brutality than its law.
Here is each history in our hesitation,
this is where we are suspended, in this
womblike paroxysm where we all wait.

And there is more to this outside of this
and there is more to this out of it
as there is in it,
and there is more to this eye than
its mirror
and there is more to this “no more than this”.

This is where we hesitate
in our nail
in here
where we are sealed labouring in such cold savage speech
(so savage is this love, Mother, that i may capitulate before i destroy!)

And finally, lords,
there is more to this than eternal longing,
than the mystery of god,
than all these closed doors,
there is more to this than vowels
and consonants,
there is more to this than all them

Finally, brothers, in our mutilation,
there is more to this than all our speechlessness,
there is more than this flood, we imagine.

There is much more.

July 4th Barbecue
for Kermit Gosnell, M.D.

by Donal Mahoney

Every year Dr. Gluck,
the famed gynecologist,
invites his nurses to his ranch
for his July 4th barbecue.

The nurses and their husbands
drive miles to watch the doctor
twist the necks of 20 chickens
before he dips the fowl, some
still wriggling, in a big vat
of boiling water to remove
the feathers before he tears
the legs and wings off
and places the parts
neatly on the grill.

Everyone agrees the meat
is wonderful, as is the sauce.
No knife is needed except
to butter the fresh-baked rolls.
The slaw and potato salad
have no peer, the nurses say.
They claim the same is true
of his ice cream and pecan pie.

The perfection of this feast
is no mystery, really.
Every July 4th Dr. Gluck
celebrates America and
demonstrates outdoors
the skills he's honed
indoors for 30 years.
The nurses agree, however,
the fetuses don't wriggle
as much as the chickens do
and it's nice the fetuses
go in a bucket
and not on a grill.


by Richard Schnap

She lay there in the nursing home
As the fireworks embroidered the sky
A tapestry of fiery scarlet
Casting shadows on the room’s white walls
The heart monitor’s steady beeping
Competed with the festive explosions
One for the release of a nation
One for the release of a soul

She died early next morning
And the machines were taken away
As downtown the workers collected
The debris of the holiday crowds
And I’ve always wondered if even
In the grip of her morphine haze
She felt proud to be independent
And free from the world’s restraints


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Article 1

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

Article 2

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

Article 3

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

Article 4

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

Article 5

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

Article 6

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

Article 7

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

Article 8

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

Article 9

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

Article 10

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

Article 11

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

Article 12

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

Article 13

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

Article 14

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

Article 15

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

Article 16

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

Article 17

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

Article 18

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

Article 19

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

Article 20

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

Article 21

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

Article 22

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

Article 23

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

Article 24

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

Article 25

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

Article 26

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

Article 27

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

Article 28

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

Article 29

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

Article 30

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

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Wanting A Kiss

by Anastasia Placido

Like I'm dying
split down the middle and folding
inside to out
or a poison rattling my veins
and I tremble, I shake, I strain, I flush
I cannot stop
I cannot stop
I need to touch
climbing a wall with fiery fingertips
losing my grip
and you keep fucking with your lips
It's all so absurd
I mumble, I laugh, I shift and fidget
barking mad
a tree in the wind
with human skin
God I want to jump your bones so fast
I might well be a graverobber
or your savior
like your dying

Van Gogh’s ear

by Shibani C

Van Gogh’s ear waits,
In the tiny cleft of time curled between,
Blood fresh and congealing,
Ebbing out.

Humans wait patient,
For flies to fall on their tongues.

Moons hurtle, grass unfurls,
Oceans hold whale scents and fish tears,
And spaces between paint and canvas in which Van Gogh’s ear lies,
Many times baked in midnight sun

that cruel mistress of time

J.J. Campbell

they all seem so
young anymore
and i don't feel
like going to jail

they all seem to
be wearing rings
and i don't feel
like competing

none of them
know how to
form a proper

and i no longer
want to be the
asshole who
keeps correcting


that cruel mistress
of time has simply
passed me by

i don't think my
destiny is to be

of course

i own a gun
just in case


by Marc Carver

I told her
sometimes money
was not important
At the end
or at the beginning.
one thing was for sure
neither of us
was at the beginning