Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Thursday, August 29, 2013


by Nancy May

a broken branch
weighing heavy
a cocoon

Dressing Gown Days

by David Mac

She said, ‘We’re just flesh and bone.
Don’t you know?’              

I said, ‘You’ve got no heart.’

She said, ‘Don’t start.’

‘Well, what’s the matter?’

‘I’ll tell you later,
 in a day or two,
when we’ve had chance to grow,
when we’re both a little older.’

‘Ah, promises, promises, promises.’

Everything will come in the future.

She kissed me goodbye and went to work.
Another day in my dressing gown
as I sat and looked at the day begin.

I thought: I’ve never forgotten to wake up yet, I’ve
never forgotten to keep breathing.
I’ve never missed one single day of life yet!
Surely there must be some kind of
reward due me.

It isn’t here yet…

Maybe I’ll check the post. Maybe I’ll
wait a little longer.

Lost Creek

by Douglas Polk

Lost Creek flowed on the fringe of town,
past haunted houses,
abandoned by all,
but the spirits and the farmers,
keeping cows on the rented land,
a place for lost boys to go,
the water cool and clean,
shaded by trees along the banks,
escape for an afternoon,
the troubles of home,
no worries of money or tomorrow,
able to revel in the wilderness,
an African Safari on the fringe of town,
Lost Creek,
a place lost boys go.


by Linda M. Crate

roots grow and grow, unheeding of unhinging cement blocks or toppling over flower pots. so does my love always outward reach and reach until it pushes distance between me and those that i once loved. i am unable to stop this love. it flourishes like a moth to the light, like a creek imbibed with rain, like stars bursting with an ethereal glow. i wish i didn't care so much. it only seems to cut me on the blade, not them. they never seem to cry as hard as i do, salt the ocean with the same pain as i do. the ocean loves to erode me into a harpy, make me screech love songs to the moon. tonight is different. because of yesterday i can only romance one, and though he's turned from me, there is no distance that i won't knock out of my path. yesterday i was terrified, but today i am strong enough to break every fortress of rocks and mountains standing in my way. i will not be defeated, i will defeat.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


by Michael Cluff        

The day the sun
did not arise
I stayed bound
to its mood.
The souring milk
at least halted
its movement
while the crickets
realized a holiday
was in their hands,
as it were,
until the universe
went back to the day before,
a Roman Catholic festival day,
and reversed
what the delayed dawn
held in negative promise.


by J. K. Durick 

The road
Stirs up its dust
To mark my
With the taste of
White-tan powder on
My feet
And clothes.
It’s an August
Afternoon and I’m
Becoming part of the
Day I want to be.


by Marc Carver

I sat in the back of the cab
looking for money.
A man came up to the cab
He asked for directions
that he didn't want.
He took a look at me
with my beard
and long hair.
He decided I was rough
even for this part of town.
So he walked off
in the wrong direction
and the Asian taxi driver
didn't know how close
he was to being robbed
or killed.

Helicopter Fork

by John Pursch

Chief Amoeba he were short-order cook in Terran Hoax cufflink shop, selling wild-eyed portly customs scams to artisans of local dirtbag service shekel hodgepodge industrial wasteland venues, chop-shopped to pinochle dust by long low crude oil century of waxy dog patrol bliss hoof-dropping skewer.

Even so, the Chief had peristyles of short-arm syndrome crawling up his good leg, titrations richly embroidered in handkerchief silk soup, slaving under heightened Your Nuke coffin shop blowgun arcs, spun to fantasies of duly dorked and frozen hiatus breath floozies, built from bellybutton sidearm glazes to alleyway slipstream fire escapee doodles in spray-faint garden airs.

Amiable as good ole Amoeba were, he faulted at low-spun angle of solar belching, costing hairy swarm pits of deranged mariners entire launch code pay-buckle crews, looted from sandbag levee determinism’s roach coach causeway insecticide berth, fully devolved to cold elbow washing pint chowder and shaving dent malapropism bunts, grazing pies in sweltering moon age stun-gun cesspool June.

“Order up!” Amoeba yells to android patience cruiser feed. Hominy grappling hookers, deskbound hamster hockers on extruding whalebone caustic prowler fates, calmly comb bleached decanter risk filet for newfound laundry versus ancient brooding vestibular hustle, pickling freshmen over scheming loud crill; finer pastries neighborly war established onto shapely C-suction audibles.

“Aye, Amoebic Distant Hairy Filcher…” Penelope’s purple anterior wardroom semi-colonic nervous cistern revolves in consternation’s gruel embrace, grabbing plates with biplane flugelhorn zeitgeist zest, filled with hapless tremors of downtown halcyon craze nod-off clearing wheeze, flashes headlong flipping platter hashy brawn in dirty tumbling pry-clean whereabouts to fervent undercoat arrival in customary cockpit spruce, scarcely kneading helicopter fork and prune deterrent chance, leaving rheumy apple pie deodorant dues for hopalong bioflavenoid pursuit, completed burp gun teens in fist remuneration weal.

“Extra bumps, corn silicate mauled, tusk farce 43!” Penelope wails through gummed gumdrop gum, chummily chomping chimp chirps. “Chief, I’m goin’ on break for ten,” sparking into phased locution’s locket strafe, spinning screw-capped wheels to barely wowed in crowned vermilion spokes, slamming beer nigh Terran Hoax.

“Yeah, yeah… Phoebe! Slick up stacked ardor,” Amoeba integrates, slapping timeline baubles down to MJ-23 hookah guile mechanics.

Go eat slowly grows, bay dye lifer heaving dry dock phase, udder hefty otter, bashed rounds, cape on, slide off coughing, known anions, eggs straw sneeze, hauled tea mussed art, flagrant violations ratchet-infected seamy steam tabulation shouting clot blooper vault glowing bread elephant skin sawed-off sandbar crouton head news.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Winter eleven

by La Quinta Blackketter

They say they’re loud thoughts.
and they’ll quiet once I surrender
to the all knowing pill.
knowing my mind, patching the holes,
cradling me at night.
I don’t know where they come from.
They accompany me in the shower
tying my chest like a tourniquet,
filling me up with white noise
and ancestral blood.
All the consequences will have their day now.
All the places I didn’t go, coming to deepen
my finger prints.
Dear doctor, you are the intrusive thought.
Your subjects touching my scars,
laying me down, cleaning me day by day.
Like a favorite guitar, tuning me.
Pickin’ at me with those pills.
I still sing in the shower.
I just don’t make up the words anymore.

Land Of Milk & Honey

by Melanie Browne

He got a quickie divorce
and married a young
Thing who quickly
Sported a baby bump
After he stuck his
Proverbial P
In her proverbial V,
but she dumped him
for someone with a
saner head,
he wanders around
at night screaming
About “the sickness”
and parties he was
never invited to,
I heard His son’s hair
Is that same
Autumn color

diamonds are liars

by Linda M. Crate

diamonds are liars. they are not best friends. only rocks. if i wanted a rock then i could tear one from the sculptures of men medusa has turned to stone. i don't need rocks. not unless i'm throwing them through glass castles. hypocrisy is so alive that truth has turned her head away in shame. they don't serve any purpose. they only glitter. shimmering smiles of sunshine upon the lake, that is what i want to wear upon my soul. what need do i have for rocks? they only sink. i want to rise like a current and fall and rise again to know the feeling of normalcy. i aspire to reach for heights taller than the stilts of the highest tree. some day diamonds will be buried beneath the sea, but me i will be flying with the ribbons of clouds hung in the sky. 

Seventeen Year Itch

by Donal Mahoney

Marcia was 17 the first time thousands of locusts rose from the fields of her father's farm and filled the air, sounding like zithers unable to stop. Her father was angry but Marcia loved the music the locusts made. She was in high school then and chose to make locusts the focus of her senior paper. 

At the town library she learned locusts spend 17 years deep in the soil, feeding on fluids from roots of trees that make them strong enough to emerge  at the proper time to court and reproduce. Courtship requires the males to gather in a circle and sing until the females agree to make them fathers.

Courtship and mating and laying of eggs takes almost two months and then the locusts fall from the air and die. Marcia remembers the iridescent shells on the ground shining, She was always careful not to step on them. She cried when the rain and the wind took them away. 

Now 17 years later Marcia is 34 and the locusts are back again. Her dead father can't hear them and Marcia no longer loves the music the way she did in high school. Now she stays in the house and keeps the windows closed and relies on the air-conditioner to drown out the locusts. Marcia has patience, however. She knows what will happen. She reads her Bible and sucks on lemon drops, knowing the locusts will die.

In the seventh week, the locusts fall from the air in raindrops, then torrents. "It is finished," Marcia says. She pulls on her father's boots and goes out in the fields and stomps on the shells covering the ground but she stomps carefully.

At 34 Marcia's in no hurry. Before each stomp, she names each shell Billy, John, Chuck, Terrence or Lester, the names of men who have courted her during the 17 years since high school. They all made promises Marcia loved to hear, promises she can recite like a favorite prayer. She made each man happy as best she could. They would grunt like swine the first night, some of them for many nights. But then like locusts they would disappear.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Eyes we dare not meet in dreams

by A.V. Koshy

you weep for the dumb
the mute
the silence/d
for their lack of language
the helplessness in their eyes
the unknowing, unnerving look in their cries
the way I weep for my son and his kind

at such times, I long
to gather you up
like a bunch of unpicked wild flowers
and hold you close
but time, space, place, distance
conspire to ensure my gesture

is as in vain
as their soon to be slaughtered pleas and blank faces
that fall on deaf ears
and your tears

but I won't let the sound
of pain's whine escape
from my throat
I make sure I try
to keep the balance
between real and ideal
refuse to go insane

fight to comprehend
the indifferent universe
that allows
both chaos and design
and to remake it fresh

I made this difference:
snakes freed from wicker
onto desert sand
the vanity of unclipped wings in a cage

The Coming of God

by Tom Hatch

The train is moving along
North or south the clip
Wiggle side to side, up and down
Tipping onto the smooth trestle
The trees, the houses, the bushes
The ground opens to a view of
Long Island Sound
All eyes it seem to peer up and out at
The blue water, the sky the open
Air distant cumulus clouds the distant land
The coming of God it seems
For a moment then
Swallowed back into
The trees, the houses, the bushes
Solid ground, wiggle side to side,
Up and down
Eyes turn back to sleep
Reading newspaper
Computers, iPhones, etc.
It was only God for few seconds
So we go back to being mortals
That we cannot help ourselves to be
Passing over water on a bridge

Dole Day

by Séamas Carraher

Butchered and emptied of closeness
as we are,
the breath holds.
There is no need to abstract it
as claw and fur,
to move it, shuddering, into the
cold and damp of January.

As gutted and absent of closeness
as we are, enough is enough.
Shit! Even now
the day drizzles.

Here is a small place democratically,
already this diminished.
We are small:
administered, theoretically, surgically,
in proportion to our scarcity.
In this way the landlord calls.

We are small, common!
Existing like a sack
without brain or body
heroic entity without sustenance
neither more nor less, with a name,
a roof without walls,
hurrying like a registration
to a belief with no beginning.

This then in our most grudging existence
this is our pittance,
this hole is our love,
our mouths here is mined like a battle.
This is that dumbness torn skin from skin.
Her articulation, my heart,
is more like a puncture


This then like any holiday,
any mass to move in our bulk,
short of feet, short of breath.
Its brevity, burden, your pose,
your method, your analysis.
Articulated again!
You, maybe, like us, is destitute at breakfast.

Here is a hand the length of rage
nailed to my clockface.
Here we live as if history could cease.
Here, mute despair, its chest drowned in drink.
Suddenly your hands are gripped to his face
in both my loneliness.

Here must be the voyage where we live,
both man and wife,
equally clerical in our molested organs,
here we hesitate before all wealth. Such mystery!


Such squalor celebrates the grip of eyes.
Here love is cold and counts in calories
here is the kitchen, the abattoir of dreams
here is the present, overflowing,
a miracle of economy in our transition,
the unmentionable breakfast, like blood
on the floor.


Emptied to each other, as we are,
each day, the same day, twice.
The cat’s tyranny on the landing like
a neighbour,
your hands between fingers fall from my face.
This is the edge of the wind, you said it.
It was too late,
this edge of the wind – will not feed us!


Butchered and emptied of each other
as we are,
the wet of the pencil blunts your cold lips,
now as if rising in love, your
replica crosses the street.
“I could have been a factory worker,” shouting,
somewhere never far away, without justice:
the empty terror of it all.


Emptied almost of life, like an extraction,
it is that simple, comrade.
Such hunger, like our paralysis,
more like an offering to fall from her arms.
Here where i invoke you, (who tells me i’m free.)
It is that simple: to be scalded with love,
and descending in its path, like a tin can
in a breeze.

It is so simple. The streets ventilating with rage.
It is still simple,
as simple as the coins falling from the meter,
like voices in this room, opening out your head.

Holding the truth for a moment. To be emptied
like wind or dust,
all other commerce, consumptive, diseased.


Emptied to each other as we live. Here
even the floors consume us all,
we are swallowed, slavelike, epileptic,
in each convulsion of furniture,
our poverty’s blisters
now solid as your hand, his hand held
to yours,


And here you have dared call me human,
a second ago
in your blindness like an unmovable plea
curled like the chairs in an angle where the window was.

Now, finally, emptied of corners as our coupling is,
both military and terrorist,
of plastic packets and torn cartons
in all empty rooms where your love was
as if it was the concrete of nothing:
“you could have been a commissar” you call,
all my being, three foot high, my becoming
one minute ago, almost as useful as the armchair, these curtains

“eat this if you can.” Shouting
as you recede
pregnant with both our exile, our geography as
strategic as any occupation
in such desolate space,
as easy as these lies we tell
each other.

Errata Shale

by John Pursch

Phoebe punches out Amoebic timeline, hovers shoeless into airlock, catches cladding, hits the streaming concrete’s Your Nuke ambience, swimming rhythmic oddity for tertiary gig. Firstly concupiscent player, seconds as dumb waitress ala cufflink shop, finishes her onset hours running coffin concession uptown till waning crowds trip regulator dust to sand her heels to personal horizon basement, whereupon we all sleet. 

It’s a simple door, one-way ticker tracheal ostrich feed, harries the lost bedraggled few, picking off an innocent straggler every second or so, slipping imperceptibly from subway flow divert to coffin entryway to disappear from Dearth forever join communal bathing party topless to be sure dissolved for reassembly at the end of graying human funnel likely transport MJ-12 migration to a better world but first the coffin generates obituary causal death report evaporating body bag zipped coronal undoing facile fawning of funereal reality phased to optimize informal flood election scrapes hegemony in taut reprise. 

Hardly ever advertise explicit lure of coffin carny’s so precisely calibrated could sweep entire city troubadour in damage maze but quotas only so much flesh required today something in a barker’s paltry belly commodified demurral augments war mache’s ability to drain the dearthly denizens from hosed unviability to any of innumerable boxcar realms controlled by lobot superstars, like MM-33 perchance to dovetail with germinating neon means in greatcoat surprise. 

Presumptive walk-off carrier smidgens lookie laborers stagger through coffin door enticed by Phoebe’s dusky smile perhaps or siren’s sigh on aerated pillows. Painless integration soft alarm promotes to laughing existential nether humbling in the guise of state belief immersion breath in holding tank’s identical waveform. Deferential technicians slowly turn wading pool recursion baffles, prepping filtered sequences for combinative sacrificial computation juggles, popping out a prom queen couplet’s indigestible prawn in rank ardor, stiffened star crust huddling near uxorious center fielder, preying on errata shale.

“Sumptuous grouping tonight. Mowed how many mangy citizens of Your Nuke’s finest straits?” Skidly Marker sidles up.

Phoebe simply smiles and nods, briefly glancing at his shades, chesty lunge enough to let a hundred lunch pail owners off the hook, dooming them to one more dearthly day of blackened lung in grimy causeway recompense for Dramamine dawn infusion. Deriding homely laudatory pillars, wandering wad went right, how’d I menage a trial-and-terror stacked appraisal blech in famished reliable humming dungeon whence an n-gon splayed me hair for haul weir worldly urchins toll.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


by Miranda Stone

Strip mining scars
the bare skin of the mountains.
Ridges of stone and wood
rise against the sky, blotting out
early afternoon sunlight.

Niches carved in slate
house the copper moonshine stills. In barns,
in shacks men stir sugar and corn
to produce liquid clear and pure
as the strychnine the holy rollers drink
in plank churches on Sundays.
Some survive the serpent’s bite.
Those who succumb lack faith in the god
speaking in tongues to the congregation.

Even in the mountain mist of dawn
when the bobcats slink through the woods,
a single searchlight washes over stone.
A train piled high with powdered coal
snakes its way past clapboard houses.
High above on the mountainside,
rickety shafts sleep, shut up in darkness.

Ode To Amanda

by Denny E. Marshall

She emerged winged-foot from the sky
Like an angel in Apollo’s shadow
Fathers from the heavens fingers
Announce with thunderbolts and lightning
Messages drift above to form shapes
In different layers of colored clouds

Lands on a mountain cap with harp
Notes cut like ribbons to reveal
Distance between the long still islands
In the stoke of beating heart and rhythm
Held my hand like feathers falling
Fell through her like warmth reclaimed

Up ahead rotating pastures play
Scenes of tall castles golden shine
Strong winds unfold the darkness away
Where loneliness once walked freely
Transforms into along with her eyes
Only sunshine regardless of the hour

It All Begins Here

by Amy Soricelli

If she started there first she would say first -
where did you begin?
It wouldn't be pink princess slippers down by the bed oh no -
the moon did not begin by her bed its slippery pie smile, so Mr.Cheese -
it haunts too. oh yes it can haunt.
She would not ask if she could hide somewhere in the folds of some memory it burns black black coal
into the slivery slips of her skin.
He touches her and he shouldn't so she carries it shhhhhhhhhhhhh
till it's in her dreams like black black black dead cats on highways and shrunken heads
in black black black movie theatres.
He waits for her every day her violin case thump thump thump
up onto her legs bruise them every day till she sees him waiting there
top of the stairs top of the stairs the very top.
No turning back no turning around always there his eyes
waiting dead there is no life there.
If she started there first she would say first
how did you live your life?
It couldn't be all popcorn balls and christmas lights its not that simple
the tin foil dreams of other kids.
Hers on the top stairs its black black black hands like hate.
It would begin there.


by Linda M. Crate

blue lagoons swim with fish. my father likes to fish. i never have. i like watching the ribbons swimming through the water. reminds me of the mermaid i wish i could be. i've always loved singing and the ocean breeze. always thought one day i'd be granted fins, but poseidon rejected me. i was no beauty like medusa. perhaps, i was always a gorgon. i turn everything to stone. the moon shown silver with my jealousy and rage, made the ocean seethe with my lyrics against the gods. everything seemed so much simpler as a child. i would look at a fish, and it would be a fish. now it's only the illusive dream i cannot capture, swimming away as easily as old friends walking out of my life. powerless to stop them, i watch them go. blue lagoons swim with fish. but i've never liked fish.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Sassafras Tree

by Pamela Hill

“Angel isn’t really dead, you know.”

I sit on the couch glaring at my sister, Gabriela.        

“It’s true,” she says. “He’s alive.  He must be a spy.”

I leap from the couch and snatch his photograph from the mantelpiece. “You know Angel died.” 

His eyes, full of life, stare at me from the photograph as I trace the image of his face with my fingertip. 

Gabriela rarely listens and rambles on. “You were married to a spy, Ana Maria.”  She points at the urn on the mantelpiece.  “No proof Angel’s in that urn.” 

My blood pressure escalates, voice rises. “Just go home.” 

She moves toward the front door then turns toward me. “I saw him at the church café.”

I return Angel’s photograph to the mantelpiece. “You must have seen someone who resembles him. I see his features in the faces of strangers.”

She leaves, and I snuggle under my quilt wondering if Gabriela needs more therapy to calm her overactive imagination, a term our parents alluded to years ago when referring to her illogical thoughts.  Gabriela has told absurd stories for as long as I can remember.  Still, I sit wrapped in a quilt all day thinking about Angel and wondering if he can possibly be a spy. He left for work one day and never returned.  The police said he died in a head-on collision.  I never saw Angel again, only the urn.

During dinner, I see his image at the table. I can’t eat nor drink as the lemon in my tea is too bitter. Washing dishes, soap bubbles become arctic ice floes running over the edge of the sink, and I shiver in the silent, frigid kitchen.

Night comes.  I lie disconcert in my room listening to the monotonous ticking clock, and the chiming, and now the ticking again.  I fall asleep but wake startled in the middle of the night.  What is that knocking?   I run to the door and fling it open where I am met by a crescent moon as a cool breeze ripples through my nightgown. 

I wander out on the deck and feel the breeze caress me.  Signs of a storm are gathering, and clouds begin to mist. I watch a cluster of sassafras trees sway on a hill just beyond the deck. I think about rain and how the grey-black clouds comfort me, somehow stabilize me, as a lightning flash reveals Angel’s face at the dark end of the deck. In the glance of my eye, I think I see him and run to that side of the deck and call out to him, “Angel.”  He doesn’t answer.  I imagine a deception in my sense of sight.  I wish to climb the hill and wrap my arms around the trunk of a sassafras tree and sleep within a cradle of aroma.     

Morning comes.  I’m about to leave for the church café and Gabriela shows up. “It could have been him at the café yesterday,” she says.

“Please stop talking about Angel.”  I wrap a pink mascada around my neck and leave Gabriela standing on the porch.  At the church café, I sit in a corner at a table watching and attempting to sip coffee, but my hands are shaking.  I want to believe Gabriela and linger.  I want her story to be true, just once.

Angel doesn’t appear, not even an apparition.  I contemplate Einstein’s consolation…a distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion. Is death an illusion? Is flesh nothing more than a prison?

I go home and kiss the urn, remnants of bones that are my past and my present - but not my future.  I’ll find a distinction in a returned kiss someday, a kiss, and arms that wrap around me as the blossoms wrap around me from the sassafras tree. 

Einstein also said… I never think of the future, it comes soon enough. I’ll go with that. 

A naturalist on a train journey, enjoying daybreak

by Ragesh Gopinathan
Rain was over
Green, darker
Train moving.
There are places where the rail attempts a circle,
Always to fail.
Train a mere follower
Draws with its body whatever the rail has already drawn.
Me watching out
Up above, the sky yet to be blue.
Seeing a crow, a man-crow
On his wings.
I ask him “engotta?”*
“panikk pova**”, replies him.
Where to
His better half, the woman clad in black
Off to work
Follows, obediently.
I wish them good luck, move on.
Thinking of my ‘man-eyes’ that
Always find men on front,
As it is on earth, so is it on the sky.


by Robert Halleck

Things exist without words.
A dog's footprint.
Blue sky.
Ice plant by the path.
Spring sunset.
The way silence
Listens to silence.


by Marc Carver

The toilets flush
and at last I am in my favourite place.
I got a bit worried earlier
when I heard the man take his pants off outside the cubicle
but now
it is just me
I hear shouts and racing cars outide
but apart from that
some thoughts come to me as the man outside says to the other man
"Oh yea - I know what you mean."
He does not
I carry on
in my poor man's palace
and realize it is a good job
I am here
at home
we have no toilet paper

Walking Wounded

by Michele A. Perez

Forgive and forget,
I know Jesus,
That's what you said,
But it's really kind of hard to,
When this keeps playing o'er and o'er in my head,

Like Ground Hog Day the movie,
Only much, much worse you see,
I have left that soiled ground,
But it seems to have followed me,

I don't know if I'm in a waking nightmare,
Or in a walking sleep,
But it is the littlest things that trip it off in me,
The noon day test of the emergency PA,
On Wednesday I do dread,
I cringe inside and silently scream,
As I remember the dead,

The damned artillery,
I know they have their job you see,
As my home is shaken by their FTX,
It sends me running in the streets screaming
"Take cover or you'll be dead!"

I retreat to my private world and pretend to be alright,
Funny enough those dreadful dreams plague me at night,
Flashes of the past,
That I cannot remember,
Having me crying out and fighting
An enemy unseen,
Though it was the wife beside me
That actually got beaten.

Uncle Sam, I did my heroic duty,
Yes, I signed up and fought,
I had no clue what it would do to me,
I remember the faces
Of those who perished,
My brothers in arms I greatly cherished.

They tell me I’m the lucky one,
I made it home alive,
Kind of hard to believe it
When the war still rages inside,
No, I did not lose an arm or leg,
But the doctors can’t issue a prosthetic mind.

I look at my issue weapon,
Dark thoughts swirl in my brain,
I know that most won’t understand,
I’m a conflicted mess,
I hang in the balance between life and suicide,
Hating that I feel this way,
But feeling guilty I’m alive.

I adapt to the new normal,
I tell you I’m fine,
I’ll shake your hand
When you thank me for my service,
My smile hides the fact
I am the walking wounded.

The Dipsomaniac
to the devoted drinkers of my native kerala

by MP Anand

I have an irresistible desire for alcohol.
I drink till I fall.
Everyone says it is toxic
But it intoxicates
And opens the gate to a sphere
Where there is no pain or fear.
Alcohol has since time immemorial
Made its drinkers revel and reel.

I live without an aim
No big targets to tame.
Alcohol is my bane.
It set my life on  the
And carved my name in the alcohol of fame.  
By Greek Dionysus and Roman Bacchus
I reek and roam and carouse with booze.

Drunk am I to the brink
When I lie without the power to rise or drink
Too many drinks on the rocks
Have landed my life on the rocks

The writing is on the wall
I will die before all.
I am waiting for His call.
Still I don’t have the gall
To give up alcohol.  
Brandy, whisky, beer, rum
I take them as they come.                                    
From scotch to arrack
I consume till I get a whack
And hit the sack .

By the Holy spirit
I will drink this spirit
Till I become a spirit .
This is my way of becoming spiritual.


Paul Tristram

She sat staring intently
at the cigarette burn on her thumb.
Peered sideways at it
then sadly smiled.
Touched it gently,
felt the wound alive,
painful and tender.
She was satisfied,
she’d given birth
to something real at last.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Five Rupee Poems: GANGA

by Tammy T. Stone

A smile on the inside
The organ of body
And sounds together
Have an experience:
Expelled from
Yesterday, a quiet
Place inside,
The light can’t quite
Touch it yet, this place
That the future invites
Me into.

I start to see
A door: thick, wooden,
And two-sided
With etchings and reliefs
From a culture I
Can’t place at first, until
I hear music from
Renaissance Italy,
Like glass singing,
Graceful for the Courts.
This is the door I see,
The worlds through it,
Every desire for light.

They might be saying
Something because
I’m here to listen,
The paint is speaking
From this century,
Dressing the ones before
It, thanking
Gurus and Gods between,
The Beatles,
And everything that
Has made Love and
The stillness here, stillness,
The ashram is singing.

Round awake
And a perfect yellow
Leaf with death immanent
On the left side.
Still it curves majestically,
It won’t crumble,
The walls are not
Forever either, but
Still I can look through
Them, forty years in
Every direction
They are,
Having created,
Having got us together,
Nodding their approval
After a morning
Of Om, the chant of
Vibration and all sides, to the
Music of my childhood
Gently weeping sounds.

Say it again.
The door asks, will you
Arrive, and what
Will you see as we move
Heavily and the river
Falls over rocks, carries
Secrets and prayers
Flowing past, but we
Can only see the
Body, and so mistake
For gravity.

At Haridwar, the Ganga
Breaks away from the
Himalayas and begins.
Pilgrims flood daily,
Piles and piles of shoes
Rest happily, wearily,
As we find a spot
On the steps leading
Down to the moving waters,
The entrance to sacred origin,
People find
Ways of changing into
Trunks hiding in full view
Snapping photos knee deep
In the holy flow of things.

Getting here, wide-eyed as
The train sleeps,
Cloth from home turns
Seats into furniture,
Three hours late, meals behind,
Daylight still arrives on
So simple, so deep.
I sit, call your face and
It appears in full
Clarity, but it’s your
Eyes I see first, how
They are so large from
Taking so much of the
World into them, and how
They see into mine,
Not here, not to my
Somewhere else they have
Joined in full communion.

From a feeling its parts emerge;
The way the song reminds
You, I know, of your twenties,
The way they chose purple
Cushions and an orange
Tablecloth where our imaginations
Take us, and how you love
Those colours, standing out in
The clutter of a café space,
The way you still can’t
Believe you saw a body
Burning up into the Ganga
Sky yesterday.

One time, last words,
Unceasing creation.
Song and fire offered
out to friends
Everywhere, flower
Gods flow down current,
I reach an end looking
Down and there’s an artist
Drawing a young chai wallah
Who turns to see his
New creator, and soon
He sits to pose, serious,
Unmoving, brilliant.
A boat passes behind all
This, against every moon,
A lone vessel carried
By her mother, its master
Lit in his moving castle,
With Christmas lights and
All this grace.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Vertigo with a Touch of Syncope

by Donal Mahoney

I look in the mirror and I'm not there.
Where did I go? I don't know
so I look around and see my wife
with the dogs and kids.
Not one of them sees me.
Recliner's empty. So's the bed.
I must be somewhere; I always am.
Barber claims he saw me yesterday
and I won't need another trim
for a month or more.
Dentist says I have no teeth to fix,
that I should keep gummin' it,
so why would I go there?
Maybe I'll call my sister who knows
nothing about me now.
We haven't talked in 20 years.
When no one's in the mirror
they sometimes find me
behind the couch chompin'
on a Dagwood sandwich
but this time it's different.
Where am I? Heaven? Hell?
Somewhere in between?
I hear Hoagy on the piano
playing "Georgia on My Mind."
Text me on a cloud
if he plays "Stardust."
The drinks will be on me
for everyone in the house.

Sister Training

by Amy Soricelli

Frances spoke God better than anyone I knew.
Spoke it in her room with the rosary beads hanging accusingly from the bedpost -
solemn hand fixed on the white bible etched with gold cross on the front
and random Aunt-penciled wishes on the inside cover.

Frances spoke God with her eyebrows raised shoulders straight -
she faced the window that overlooked the alley where the family deep with brown eyed kids
kept chickens in a wire cage.
The clatter would rise like holy smoke up to the window where she prayed.

Frances spoke God in class - down the hallways wallpapered with grabby, evil
hands pulling pigtails and hate from behind their ears like lonely uncles with coins.
It was all she was, that Frances - with her serious smile wrapping her whispers in thin cloth
like church wafers with their brittle secrets
and Frances...speaking God better than anyone I knew.

The Turtle You Are Not

by Lauren Gordon

One must have a remarkable body plan. Be willing to show the shape of your life as a scaled corpuscle.     Spend your life belly to dirt, looking down at objects before your eyes.  Gaze with the full spectrum of unfathomable color, because this makes up for your cold blood. Occasionally, you will have to be brown.   Own your bulk, your poor pursuit movement, the time you spend eating a plate of lettuce, ignoring your mother.  Look down at what is in front of you, never what is aside, behind.  Maybe you will swim, maybe you will possess glands that produce tears to rid your body of the excess salt you take in when you drink.   One must oscillate air on the floor of one’s throat quietly.  Surface at regular intervals to blink the ocean.

Sonnet 50
for Emily

by Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke

Jon the delectable pixie left his clan –
wiggled his delectable butt at the elves too –
left for the highway life.  When the
Oldsmobile sideswiped a bison, Jon ran
to the nearest redwood and chopped it
down.  A Park Ranger was so enamoured
with Jon’s butt she took off her uniform
and ushered him into her light aircraft.
She set the controls for Finland.  Wow,
there’s plenty of gas in this pixie, she said
besotted by Jon’s butt high above the
North Atlantic.  Finland was a gas!  A tad
cold for naked Danielle, but Jon, ever the
creative one, blew her sunbeams between puffs.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Why Am I To Desire

by Shameer Aboobacker

“Maktub” be it called ,what it is
Let me tell you; It is the wondrous
thing which the Almighty decides
Also all shall be given an immense power which it is
Laid , which opens Master lock That's why you are to desire

Everything we care shall be gone in
one single fraction, But also may I tell
have a soul were none competes
filled with gratitude together with the
Key and attitude of gratitude I ask, why may not one desire

You may desire or not but the sun shall rise
and the earth shall spin. But together with
it never just study knowledge; the key I
pay for success is simple Knowledge you
learn change to wisdom and that what makes your desire

You shall risk it all when you desire
you may think but desire is bond which makes what
you have more stronger, not just desire says the Prophet Yeshua
Your belief and fate shall save; Trust your Belief and harness Faith; hunt
Your Wildest dream and that’s how you are to desire.

God he asks You gave me power to desire
I failed which I lost the count of; Learnt more
what I ever more capable Risked It all
for my Dreams. Thus he asks Devil. Wise man
says whatever I strive for was worth I Gained Better than one who ain't desire.


by Richard Schnap

She said she wanted to have
A champagne cocktail before she died
When I sat with her in her apartment
As she told me about her life
How when she visited Israel
She felt like she was home
And how "There's someone watching over us,
That's not true for everyone."

When she passed her family left
The picture I gave her in the hall
And when I told her daughter I missed her
She replied a lot of people did
And she did have the champagne cocktail
She swore she would live to taste
As a mourning dove perched on my window
Sang sorrowfully the whole next day

birthday wish

by Linda M. Crate

i drank guiness on my birthday
to get drunk on memories
of you; because i love and miss
you but i can only tell you
so many times it's better to imagine
you dancing your tongue inside
my mouth; to fantasize about
canada breeching the virgin isles
to picture your kiss — it's almost like
kissing you again, i crave your touch
and your love and your voice
like a drug addict looking for the
next fix; like a river needing rain, like
a dancer needs to dance or a writer to
write and my passion burns bright
as the sun — pretended that day didn't
happen, sometimes, that it was all
some nightmare i have yet to awaken from
because i know we are meant for so
much more than this paltry friendship.


by Marc Carver

"I am a gentle man,"
I told her
but she did not look so sure
"It is the gentleness of a woman that I like."
"Men can be gentle too. I said.
"I have a girlfriend." she said as we sat on  the table outside the pub
I was there waiting for another woman to come
and come to think of it
I guess she was too.


by Bradford Middleton

I’ve done a lot of crazy things in my life
But nothing compares to the time I decided
To move my life back home by train
From Stoke to London with four bags to haul
All my worldly goods on my back and in my hands
The records, the books, the clothes
It’s all too much for my puny body to handle
But onward I go to the first departure point

The bus into town to the train station
Where the ticket inspector looks aghast
As I stumble onto the concourse
Hoping there is enough time to smoke
A big strong roll-up to send me on my way
Back to the civilization of London town
Once it’s smoked I look up again and
See the train pulling into the platform

Onto the train I clamber
Pulling my stuff behind me
I find a double seat near a luggage drop
And systematically fill it up
With all my gear before I
Sit back, relax and finally snooze
The train takes off but I’m too
Tired to move so just sit back and sleep

Two hours later and we are there
Friday lunchtime and the madness of Euston train station
I have to get my stuff down to the tube
And it’s here I realise I’m really back in London
People all around me ignore my obvious need
For assistance and even barge past me
In a rush to get somewhere important
I stumble on through the tunnels and then onto the tube

Hurtling out of town to a place I’ve never been
This place will be my new home for a while
But to where from here I’m not sure
As the tube arrives I again crawl out of the carriage
Onto the platform and over to the stairs
Where I clamber up and hope the walk isn’t too far
This place will be my domicile for a while
But to where from here I’ve no idea

Sunday, August 11, 2013

2:19 a.m

Ag Synclair

some of us are compressed
in form
in function
into the tracings of revolutionary experiments
that fail

in all the muck brought up
from the guts of broken men

in all of the compressed faces
that will die alone

the subliminal machinations
will grind away

blood will be let
from every single vein
I ever loved

the perfect order of things
will become imperfect

love will become unattainable
and the lucky ones
will never know any of it.


by Bhargab Chatterjee

I watch the night rain
sitting beside my anorexic window.

Pink rain makes the other buildings

they gyrate,              

glasses rattle
in vain silence.    

I step out      

in rain,

in pink.      

The clarity of night
makes another room around me.

Spare Cupholder

by Michael Cooper

She absorbs the tea thru holes in her palms—a skeleton
key wrapped in a blanket
you wrestle with newspaper
paper cuts and runny ink
tattoos gathered downtown spilling
   you—a fade away jump shot
   into a beer pong cup—my head

grins from her wicker linen basket. I’ve come to tell
you about leaves
in the gutter where you found two eye
teeth as the curtains push the blue
   night open—the car door swings she
   falls out   smelling of a different

hymn.  Burned by your cigarettes.  The abandoned
hubcap holds summer
in its upturned rim—I drink what
the police
offered: dot 3 brake fluid from this red cup
   made of plastic—I sit—cuffed on a curb
   outside my own house.

Afzelia Quanzensis
(Ndola, Zambia)

by Les Merton

The Afzelia Quanzensis in Ndola
is a tourist attraction; protected
by an iron fence with a locked gate.

Overhead branches spread past
security and the large leaves
create an umbrella of shade... .

Shade was always essential
for the men, women and children
from many different tribes
who came together here.

between tribes was limited:
each had its own language
even down to the very name
of the tree they sheltered under.

The Kaonde people named it,
Musambamfwa Nkulakazhi,
the Lamba called it Mupapa,
the Lunda word was Mwande.

The English later dubbed it
Pod Mahogany or Lucky Bean Tree.
Today the desolate aura of the trade
conducted here is epitomised
with the vernacular name:

The Slave Tree.

nowhere near being considered young

by J.J. Campbell

you'd love to wish
on a shooting star

but when you're on
the other side of the
circle it's amazingly
difficult to stay up
that late

it's all a trap you
keep telling yourself

not old enough to
be old but certainly
nowhere near being
considered young
by anyone desirable

too many years of
rejection keeps you
in the house

trying to find
comfort in scantily
clad women who
speak nothing but
broken english

a friend tells you
this is no way to
live a life

you scratch another
name off the list

laugh at how much
room there is on it


by Perry L. Powell

Nature first:
flowers perhaps
but not roses
peonies, lilies, poppies
or maybe a giraffe.

A seasonal reference:
icicles dangling like long fingernails
from oak branches
or the return of geese from the south.

Blend in the people.
For the young, there must be the scent of sex.
For the old, the sag of age.

A philosophical rumination,
some tech, some science…

Stir to taste;
all recipes come down to taste in the end.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


by Will Monigold

Now the moon is oil.  I've turned
the last bottle up and muddied my heart.
My solemn vows live among brute facts.
The room is hand woven like a tight ball of broom
and dwarfs engulf me with elixirs
deliberate as gunpowder.  From the end of my flute
come the next leafy cork and I sit
like driftwood, expecting a kick
from blunt boots.  Any other day would be
compliance, but the worm is frantic for my eye
the solitude like acid in a grape.

It Is Reasonable to Think Your Life Could Be Different

by Lauren Gordon

Planted in a chair all morning

[so many mornings]     your mouth hums

around a spoon.
The rind of the moon hangs

in the window: an epistle, brilliant.  

Last night                    [all nights]

your hands groped my disconnected


the moon, then, an imprint on glass.

Last night        your hands found each other
in perfect worship as you finally slept against me.

I prayed, too:

No one can tell you how to be still
or what it means to be ecclesiastical


I don’t know if there will be enough God left to go around

when you are older. I don’t know if you will find incredible light
in your windows.

Next Day Trips

by Perry L. Powell

It's a meat hook. It's a bat.
From out of the bright orange field emerges a parrot
looking over his shoulder.
Check Google for home runs.
What do you know: gold from quicksilver.
The philosopher's stone in a Japanese University.
Martin Luther at the front door with an iPhone.
Life left in the backroom where the boys play.

Like a charm bracelet—
one anecdote after another
walks the runway.
Here is a late lesson we reject:
gather your tote bag;
Bethlehem waits for its master.

Donning Tallisims

by KJ Hannah Greenberg

Confusing religious symbols with laws,
Wearing icons, but not donning tallisims,
Means, ultimately, using selvedge to ornament.

Commentary on Aristotle, or on Tisias/Corax,
When wrung out by middle-aged moms,
Sings the wonders of gravitas hedgehogs.

Select departments’ found materials craftsmen,
Like fathers returning from sugar caning,
Give the finger to civility’s appurtenances.

Naïve fellows learn ways to deconstruct,
If speaking balderdash with university students.
Mimetic to a one, they generate cosmic tumult.

Some affirmative debaters miss, during cross-x,
Social seams joining voguing friends, elephant tusks,
Idolized triptychs, vacant bedrooms, winning lotteries.

Rubicons, east of The Missouri, bring
Timeshare tips to retired villagers wont to catch
Swinging caffeine-free artists’ consciousness.

Recusal, maybe scholarships in photography,
Addiction, obdurate women, office music,
All remain accessible to teens and twenties.

Accordingly, working as a science writer
Continues on better than reviving twinned poems;
Tumid prose rarely attracts markets’ evil luck.

Drinking coffee out of paper cups with plastic lids

by Andrew Taylor

The lemons are from Turkey
                                          container enters
motorway corridor

pace gather a sense of runway

strip light replacement
                                      across point ghost tunnel

river gradient
glow of ink shine of ink

condensation on the inside of a plastic lid


take the technical work it through

there is the possibility of a rainbow

first encounter
                           river view

Tom would take the commuter ferry
in early evening mist

wait! the office is not yet open
by chance the cup is brewing

pilgrimage seven streets expanded
views from the floor

neon of Exchange Bar reflection
               leaves tambourine tumble

knee high boots weather
accordion stops
                    tail end of hurricane
or is it a severe storm

between March and December
                                                  annual communication

carve your useless names
                    before the storm gods

here they are!

don’t wear corduroy before your time
keep paper cuts clean
make sure not to slag people off in poems

you will be plagiarised

‘Welton began to bore me
                                         Matthew began to bore me’

Don’t drink Gin in the winter

the young won’t get it the young won’t get it
tell us what you want and tell us what you need

Listening to Scott Walker
it really should be played
in a rented house in Bootle
on Mordaunt Shorts

reading a big paper

# 66 but the bottle is #12131

The fence has been cut
                     it burns with a crack
sparks rise like bubbles in a vintage glass

the blanket is for coverage
stay with it buddy boy!

run to the grocery
unless you want frozen pizza

I'll fix you some coffee

Oh we're all out of it
you had rather a lot last night

i won't accept this

by Linda M. Crate

you don't get to take my flowers
leave them to wilt in the waters
of a despondency as you have a fling with the next
pretty thing because i deserve better
than withering into entropy, oceans of emotions
eroding me into a shell of the cynic i once
was; shaping me past the point of
repair —
i will prove to you the worth of the woman you lost,
you will look me into the eyes and tell me
the truth of it all because i don't
believe you when you say God told you to do this;
he wouldn't wish such agony upon either of us
don't make despise you
as i do liars —
once i knew how to twist my words into such a way
anyone would believe them, but you inspired
me to want to be better than before
i was naked with all my truths,
and this cannot be my
all my devotion burning brighter than the passion of stars,
this cannot be the story spelled out for us in the
legacies of galaxy, stars not yet born
cannot remember us this way
nor can the planets or moons of other
realms —
i won't stand down for i cannot surrender this romance,
my love for you burns hotter than the flames
of a forest caught in an unending blaze;
there is no fire fighter that
can quash me beneath his hose or foot
forever this love of mine will
scorch until you are again turned into the likeness
of a smile, and your lips meet mine in a kiss.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


by Ayeni Tolulope

I wanted all green, but I dressed in cream,
Didn’t understand why; maybe it was just a case of blues,
I felt grim, hot and red,
offended by all this glamorous light.
Oh! What I’d give for pink,
Or another shade of colour different from this eternal light,
But remember, a forbidden darkness is black,
Since the evening sun still glows golden-yellow,
Perhaps, I should just stick with my cream,
Or move closer to mother earths’ green.


by Jacki Halton McAvoy

I walked away from love one day
From someone that I adored
I turned by back
I stepped away
Wanting never to love anymore

Love hurt my heart many times before
And I cried plenty of tears
But I'll hurt no more
Cause I'll love no more
And I will have nothing to fear

That's when you came into my life
And although I may have fled
You caught my heart with your loving touch
And that is when you said

Take one more chance at love
I'll make it worth your while
Take one more chance at love
With me you'll always smile
Let me hold you
Let me kiss you
Baby, depend on me
Take one more chance at love
Love me

I was afraid from the very start
Cause I'd heard those words before
Words of love whispered soft and clear
But words didn't matter anymore

Until you said

Take one more chance at love
I'll make it worth your while
Take one more chance at love
With me you'll always smile
Let me hold you
Let me kiss you
Baby, depend on me
Take one more chance at love
Love me

Now I know what true love means
Cause you bring me love each day
You changed my life
With you gentle touch
Now I'm so glad I can say

I took one more chance at love
You made it worth my while
I took one more chance at love
With you, I always smile
Oh I'll hold you
Then I'll kiss you
And you will depend on me
Cause I took one more chance at love
You love me


by Marc Carver

There is a shadow
where time once dripped on
with a certainty
that made it eternal
now that time has gone
only a memory
a faded dark roundness.
It unsettles me
so I leave the room
and never go back
in a way I am the same as that room
 the room with the time missing

It was an unfamiliar day

by Tom Hatch

He had to get in early
Went to a neighboring town's
Train station that had earlier options
The trees high across
The tracks reminded him
Of his childhood in
LA. they resembled
Eucalyptus trees
The sun was dry like
So Cal but he was in So No Ct.
The light reflecting off
The burnished tracks and
Many sun glasses
That he felt were
Staring at him
Popping up from button
Down collars
He thought that was why
People wore dark glasses
So that they can stare no need
For self conscious blinking
To moisten dry eyes
He sat in a backwards facing seat on
The moving train he
Hated the way
The passing power
Lines out the window unspooled like
Playing a big fish
That will never
Be caught

Sunday, August 4, 2013


by Robert Gross

My dead lover returns
on his pale torso wounds
the size of ravens’s eggs

Which don’t heal when
you’re dead he tells me
but don’t hurt either

I know he’s dead because
he wouldn’t let me see them
if he were alive

He says I just came by
to see how you’re doing
He sprawls on the sofa

I used to wear a blindfold
when we had sex I learned
to spin a fantasy and he

was only ardent when unseen
embarrassed by his body
long before the cancer sapped it

I only saw him naked
a week before he died
even then he didn’t know

and would have ordered
me out of the sickroom
but the dead have no shame

at what they exhibit and
the survivors learn at length
to be indifferent too

Twinkle Stinking Little Star

by KJ Hannah Greenberg

Twinkle stinking little star,
You evil nighttime fiend,
Ill-results are all you want
From our domestic scene.

We won’t yield to your beacon
Bend toward your brackish throne,
Give in to you sinful whim,
Yielding hearth and home.

Cosmos-style complexities
Might bury us in dirt,
Yet your malevolence ways
Won’t mark our greatest hurt.

Beyond your ceiling flicked with light
Dwell noble hearts and souls.
Your slight criminal intent,
In contrast, ain’t that bold.

Married Seinfeld And Jay Letterman
[For JD]

by B. Joseph Biesek                                        

Rendezvous at ASH if you’re criminal
            Brothers in arms if you’re liminal
If not fight for dust and the right to party
Fun times but we read of bombings

They must hate me but
            Look I will apologize for the dust
            The rut is gone once I’ve crushed been
Like I make hay while the sun blasts

the empty moon for you

by Michael Cluff

the empty moon for you
twirl the dynamite stick
until sparks of purple
splash into the frozen bay.....

The waggle of the waffles
hopping hot out of the toaster
in retro avocado green
will never coincide
with the shift
I will do under the earthly cover
to shake the fallout
off your rust-riddled hair.

Once the slippage of water
is confounded by my in-held breathe
monasteries will chant
your name
and lost books of antiquity
and religious lore
will descend into libraries
where data bases will shimmer
with a batch of light
once seen long ago
and not again
until now noir nights.


by Marc Carver

I could feel it
eating away at her
night after night
as she tossed and turned
she knew she had to do it
but she struggled with it.
Maybe the only reason
she didn't
she knew that i wanted her
to do it
I wanted her to cut me free
to unchain me
because i was too weak
to do it myself


by Paul Tristram

Did you hear about the murder down in Penzance?
some bloke killed his girlfriend and disappeared
with her three year old son. Apparently he had strangled her
two weeks previous but they only discovered the body night
before last, so as you can imagine there has been a big man
hunt all over Cornwall for him. You see, the bloke is not the
real father of the little boy who he has got with him, so
everyone is worried in case he does something to the little
boy. Anyway, the reason that I am telling you all this, is because
they caught up with him yesterday, by that I mean, they found
out where he has been staying for the last two weeks. Though
I am afraid that when they got there (The Police) he had moved
on. So you never guess where it was? Right next door to me!
The police were all over the street yesterday asking
questions. They came into this place and were asking the guy
in the next room who I was? (because I am new and no one
knows anything about me) and I was in bed sleeping off
last night’s nightmares.
I watched the news last night and they showed a photo of him
and I recognized him, I’ve been passing him in the street, I
never did like the look of him, although I don’t like the look
of anyone.
Well, all of this has now really messed up my system, you see
I am in this place and all of my neighbours are straight-heads,
you know, they sit around on the steps and talk about TV
aerials and steam engines and bollocks like that.
So I have been personally giving everyone bad vibes, to stop
them from trying to get me to join in with their shit, because
they did try the first few days but I soon put a stop to that.
So anyway I’m coming back from town and there they are, of course,
sitting on the concrete steps like birdshit and one of them
looks at me and says hesitantly
“Did you hear about the murder?”
“What fucking murder?” I replied curiously.
And with that the other  three stand up and start
talking over each other in a bid to tell me about the murder,
the police and that the bloke lived next door.
But of course the price of learning this information is
absolutely ridiculous, I’ve got them calling me by my Christian
name now and they knock on my door (When I’m typing,
can you believe it? they actually disturb me when
I am working, just to ask how I am? or what I’ve been doing
with myself all day?)
Anyway, I hope he hasn’t done anything to the little boy
and I hope they catch him soon.

Friday, August 2, 2013

day-shuffling /

by McKenzie Langford

eye-duped at its rosy core / a nucleus in a quantum love swarm / déjà vu is only nostalgia pranking poetic / it jesters the universe / it goggles the ripe holy vision of Hermes & futureperfect childsages raised on Halloween & cartoons & cereal / telepathy-quick realization that a single eye-duped moment contains embedded within it the conspiracy of your entire personal & transpersonal history is a zencoin worth pocketing / if somebody wanted my attention they could’ve mailed or knocked / as long as things keep interesting.

night-shuffling /

by McKenzie Langford

God’s children cannot feed on aphorisms only / trade you a fiver USD for some of that Beulahland currency / -- it is a poison moon that scopes these things / won’t you snap a Polaroid & thereby trap the ghosts? -- / time is a lizard the color of whiskey plague fear or electric forest sweat / lizard the time / the way is bricked in century junk & tender data / sure to freak eyeballs & eardrums awonder / don’t think asunder / there breathes an open window in my dream.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Lovers Observe the Moon Under Arrest

by Robert Gross

Talk about the moon as a mushroom:
a fleshy obscenity sprung up
under cover of darkness

meant to be arrested at midnight
without memory or remorse
thirty-seven degrees from the horizon

booked in the nodding night court
mindless before high priests
who do not grasp its transit

cannot finger the musty
deliquescence of summer into fall,
the funky quick decay of thought

into sensations, the prison break
of a convicted self into a felony
of infinite quick fragments.

The authorities dare not interrogate
the moon in terms of silence.
They sentence it to death.

Counting Burros

by Richard Hartwell       

I count the burros every day,
each time I travel Reche Canyon:
a cutoff, one freeway to another,
a road increasingly more traveled by,
retaining still a placid, natural state,

Conducting census of wild burros
early mornings and late afternoons;
twenty-eight, a magical number,
varying day to day to failing eyes,
camouflaging grasses, trees, scrub.

Burros float in spring on an undulated
tide-pool, wild mustard, breeze stirred,
bordered by golden poppies, boulders,
yucca surfacing with floral ebb and
flow as burros graze shore to shore.

                        *  *  *

Spring births increase daily tally, then
seasons change; sere of summer into
fall, yucca flowers drop, grasses turn tan,
boulders immobile, as the count fails, the
drove melts to russet, brown, and coffee.

At times the group splits in two, I cast
eyes both sides of the road in chorus,
gaining twenty-eight, plus or minus;
but now and then totaling is interrupted;
encountering a body civilization-struck.

Shrink of count is not so much of
herd as of head, heart, soul, idyllic
scenes: meadows waving, wild,
without commuter-driven death:
contractions of herd and dreams.


by Ross Vassilev

night crawls on its belly
and somewhere in Cleveland
a young man gets stabbed to death
in a parking lot--
the bottle is empty
the doors are locked
headless mice lie in the yard
I'm starting to understand leeches
and serial killers
I try to cheer myself up
thinking of lipstick lezzies
blue warblers
and the foreign occupiers getting slaughtered
at Ong Thanh
but the light at the end of tunnel
ain't no on-coming train
just a neon bulb that's flickering out.

Teflon Spray Filet

by John Pursch

Strafed by forking process servers, Jacuzzi clams erupt in coyly preternatural jalopy exhaust, carbonizing suburban tracts in cello strings and ham hock extrusion bilge, smothering half the slack-jawed citizens in excuse-machine offal. Peacetime lung sauce disappears, dribbling down heels of daytime soap au pairs, leafing through periwinkle dust rags of daft tectonic codgers, fleecing noumenal connivances for underage totem piles. Settling in woodland marshes of plural retraction organs, confabulation dice dissolve in toolbox shriveling quotas, flashing quasi-opulent decibel creeds. Flouting asymmetric plausibility, coonskin chaff devours a waggish stampeder, selling clay pot derbies to cattle constrictors, flipping through appendix motes for pseudo-viral recompense. Globs of fleshy strudel inch through telepathic eateries, blending binders with anthill locomotion torque, shrink-wrapping young thighs for immediate take-out urchins. Feisty doormats blink away a pauperizing viscid slush, flecked with tonsil destruction broth, glazed in haven chariot ire. Calamity clones impel arranged tariffs to tax tuxedo turtles, shucking centennial rotation pellets from nonplussed vagabonds down mannequin gateways, trained to cry in pumping house shoes. Brunch explodes through hocked pajama filters, breaching anklet barriers, drowning cuspidor salesmen in tobacco chaw revival, funneling cortex blahs to gorgon donors, gargling aortic mandibles with brooding whiners of catchy regulator bubble tunes. Torso conversion kits reach plumb line obsolescence, seeping greenish gas from hollow synaptic locales, drooling styrene cochlear gruel. High on frozen kite debris, ionic romantics glide blissfully to lubricated stairwell tripe, bashful in their disembodied rodeo horns, crafting automotive G-string portents, ominously coping with intermittent porpoise tees. They only moo at placid caterers, tie themselves to gleeful notaries with public golf mache, resting lassoed and entranced between carbolic bleaters, specious and hermaphroditic. Hooked on time-bath sheets of fully leashed recursive wander, Teflon spray filet immerses self in livid inklings, tossing back tequila swarms with gut-shot trailer burns, encircling parietal daydreams.