Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Thursday, October 31, 2013


by Robert E. Petras

Cherry bombs were what me and the boys wanted,
 their scarlet explosions, the danger,
the fun fun fun.
Took us a day’s bicycle ride
on a country lane
to a reclusive country store, but
all we got for our paperboy money
was candy and soda pop
and wading in a creek
at a hole called Coulter’s Rock.

As we coasted our bikes
back onto the road
a car screeched around the bend
a door flung open flinging a baby
into the weeds,


The driver swooped over that kid
and snatched him into the crook of his arm
Drove off.

All I remember of the guy
was his nose and face were all red
and the lit cigarette protruding
from his mouth like a wick
and that he was lugging that kid
like a loaf of bread,
not the way, my coach coached me,
to carry a football as I banged my way
through the line of scrimmage,
keeping my head up, always.

Halloween Poem 7 ( Dan Rivers)

by Michael Cluff

Back in 1982
during bank auditor days,
I have to wear
three piece vested suits
in dark, dull colors,
white, yellow or blue only
dress shirts
and heavy plain-toed businessman shoes;
however, since my hours were
usually from midnight to dawn,
I sometimes removed my feet from
my leather prison to air them out
or relieve the boring pressure of numbers
from my numbed skull.
On October 30 or so,
Mrs. Palatine saw my lilac socks
and crossed over from boss to ballistic
balance between a bewigged Norman Bates
and Leatherface with a tad bit of a banshee
on the side, and her voice tore paper off the desk,
pale notepads and the bathroom stalls sixty feet down the halls.
The next week, I started to celebrate Thanksgiving early.
I now worked at home
producing voodoo dolls
that I claimed always had singular minds
of their own.

When Every Day is Halloween

by Donal Mahoney

It used to bother me
to see odd people
leapfrog parking meters
and shout every day
is Halloween until
I realized I'm as odd as
they are, always will be.

That's the way it is.
Not much I can do about it.

On Halloween I ring doorbells
without a mask or costume
and whisper "Trick or Treat."
My neighbors do not know me.
We may never meet.
If they put candy in my bag,
I say nothing more than "Boo!"

That's the way it is.
Not much they can do about it.

In time you learn to live
with who you are even if
both of you are strangers
who may never meet.
Normal people are the ones
you have to keep an eye on.
People with monocles are fine.

That's the way it is.
Not much I can do about it.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Great Mutation
(after the drawing-collage by Yves Tanguy)

by Neil Ellman

I am the something-or-other
born of this and that
neither one nor the other
fish nor fowl, evolving nor evolved,
an original what
without a Latinate name
apart from the others
who were my other halves
I seek another to replicate
whatever I am
to speak the language
only I can understand
in an alphabet of letters
without any form
myself, too, without a face
to call my own
I am alone
a stranger even to myself
an anomaly of time
and circumstance
the great mutation
one of a kind.

love letters

by Linda M. Crate

autumn dances colors into my eyes
vibrant yellows, oranges, and
dispersing the darkness
of grey, despondent clouds brushing
a cool ocean of breeze
my hair into the wind;
blowing leaves into
my arms
love letters that aren't mine to answer —
i wonder if i were someone's
dream once
forgotten and abandoned
three pomegranate seeds too bitter
to swallow,
and left behind to burn in slow
until they were all but forgotten;
wish i could remember
how the other part
of my
walked and talked and looked
i bet he looks like autumn
tastes like cider on my tongue, draws out
my words so i can paint fire
into stars.

Glass Wall

by Bhargab Chatterjee

The clarity of darkness
is more than your lips.

We open our hearts in the cafe,
every day, before the glass wall.

At night silence drops into height
like a strong appetite.

The cold smell of stored up rice
teases my senses.

Before the glass wall
all known faces explode in the air.                      


by Daniel Wilcox

She said, Never have I had a single evil urge and argued so ardently, yes, really sincerely in her secular innocence. Or was that self-chosen ignorance, blind-sided? Lowering the bar so minimally debased that only the vile need apply for infamous, wicked status--the debauched ones an open conduit to debouch the pit?

He said, Always, I have had a mingled evil urge and grieved so dejectedly, yes, really repentantly in his sacred guilt. Or was that self-chosen obsession, blind-sided? Raising the star so supremely zenithed that only the pure need apply for exalted, righted status--the chaste ones an open conduit to deliver the peak?


by Amy Soricelli

My uncle's hair is thick with summer -
its shadowy slivers of striking blonde fall like they used to ...
she says to me -
over his eyes like he's hiding it all behind the lashes - like he can sweep away anything
and bury it deep under sight like a snow globe.
My aunt's eyes are filled with glass doors from across the hall; she watches like a lighthouse -
her ears pressed to the back door stories of other people she eats like grapes;
plucking and popping into her mouth.
They carry their collective shadows in side drawers- hers on the right side of the bed his on the left,
and in a messy pile by the front door fluttering in the air with dusty speckles; his stomping foot,
his eager left-over everything.
My uncle's fist is tight with lines drawn like a road map from one end to the other.
He holds out the slow rope she grabs; i watch them walk along the lines on the floor single file
like a cop testing for wine.
He patches the walls with clouds, with air; punches holes in the ceiling to let in some light.
My aunt's hands carry the spread wings of too many days in the wait and see -
she drags her laundry spread thin with silky cloth like whispers
that slip easily from the side of her throat.
They reach for the same shadow in the dead of night;
the same passing dark across the face.
It is not the same what they see -
but they see it both the same.


by M.F. Nagel

Where the rivers run north
November light
Comes moose brown through the white
Spruce trees
Naked. Sleepy.
Strangers at the windowpane.
The remains of autumn rains
In afternoon.

Floating worlds.
A pale will.
In shifting
Shades of forgetfulness.

Where the rivers run north

The berries come hard and black on the vine
Before the grey winds before
The last grey goose
Goes south
Hording summer under its wings.

Leaving us
Old glaciers and no footprints
In a wide wild country.

Where the rivers run north.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Noise At The Bedroom Window

by Susan S. Keiser

Is frantic, wild. It jars me from dreams,
a bird - trapped this side of the darkness.

She hurls herself against the night,
blood on the glass, her heart an arrow.

I think I will never catch such a fighter,
but she is tired.  She trembles under my hand,
I open the window, then slowly, my fingers.

She is stilI. I wait, palm open. I blink
and then she's gone, out into the world,

leaving this empty nest.


by Will Monigold

“Love you, kiss kiss.”
7 Up from bottles
Slurp slurp.
Wait, have I taken those
Pills yet?
He said once a day…
Can’t remember
Crunch crunch.
“Love you”
She hangs up.
Alone again.
Alone again.

Coffee House Blues

by Douglas Polk

coughing uncontrollably,
mucus expelled in my direction,
wiping his nose on the back of his sleeve,
my hand over my cup of coffee,
hoping the drink still pure,
daydreams of smashing his forehead against the table,
and beating him bloody with my fists,
next time I will sit further away from the counter,
she is late,
as usual,
probably in the parking lot,
creating and practicing her excuse,
no respect for my intelligence,
she needs to believe her fairy tales,
too tired to really care,
what the fuck am I doing here once again,
is it love or boredom,
which I seek,
or want to run from,
she opens the door,
and sees me,
her game face on,
I silently curse myself,
wishing this a bar,
instead of a coffee house.

Friday Night Blues

by Ryan Hardgrove

just north of town
along the Ohio river
my little apartment
rattles in its foundation
as another plane skates
far too low

I’m full and bloated
on 8 dollar pizza
and can’t seem to scrape
enough black sticky residue
out of my old glass pipe
I could call someone
for a real score
but I’m fresh out of cash
      I’ve even exhausted all the nickels and dimes
      the quarters have been gone for days
and the pennies are far too tragic
for spending

the ball of tar is getting close
to something substantial
almost smoke-able
maybe I will get high tonight

another plane blasts
through the window
like a god damn freight train
and irritates my diligent fingers
working ceaselessly
at the meticulous task at hand
one day all those planes
will drop out of the sky
like locust shells

and then maybe
I’ll be able to figure out
what’s really wrong with me

There's a Cliff Ahead

by Donal Mahoney

Sixty years ago,
the two of us rode tricycles
up a little hill
behind our school.
Nothing stopped us till
mothers called us home.

Sixty years later,
we ride mountain bikes
in this wilderness.
We'll keep pedaling till
someone takes our bikes.
We know that someone will.

Your wife told me
you haven't been
to church in years.
She's worried
about your heart.
Skips a beat?

Let's stop for coffee
and you can fill me in.
There's not much time.
Maybe we should stop
for a beer instead.
There's a cliff ahead.


by Marc Carver

I look up
through the glasss
and see a big crosses
 in the sky
planes going one way
then the other
then i think
it could be god
playing noughts and crosses
must be bored up there
nothing to do
after all
the show runs itself

Thursday, October 24, 2013

maybe I was.

by Heather Brager

I thought I'd know your voice
a quality for the radio
back when you fucked girls
you didn’t know in their
dirty upstairs apartments
a few hours before dawn
I wanted to be those girls
but you know I will never be

you told me that we are
the sum of all parts
every choice is our brand
the broken glass on my rug
your hands on my ass
pulling my hair
your car parked down the street
just waiting for me to leave

I recall your profile
as you quickly turned
a short intake of breath
your eyes were mine
I thought I could curl up
inside of your chest
as we stood in my kitchen
waiting for the stew to boil


by M.F. Nagel

In  a
Gold and ice
A Place of men


Men that know
The madness of mountains
That know
The madness of men.


Wintered ravened night

A Silvered city

Aurora painted
A starry Shaman

Giver of salmon
Wait for the  fishermen.

Full-bellied bears
full-bellied dreams.

Of moose
And men and mountains

Of  salmonberries.
In the
Dens  of winter.

In a
Of gold and ice


A Perfect Mess

by Martha Landman

It was never meant as
a five dollar combo deal
when we met unexpectedly
in the subway

the smell of piss
at seven twenty six pm a macabre
chlorine dance on our nostrils
your mouth dry and silent

It’s better not to know the
thoughts criss-crossing your mind like
wild dogs, even though the dude next to
you stared as if he read them like a book
of local lingo stuffed in a dream container

I remembered that time at the library:
You were keenly swallowing a sandwich
behind the large print section
when my slobber kiss landed on
the arm of the man in work clothes next
to you just as you stepped away
at the wrong time

Later, you didn’t cry
in the subway: vibrant commotion
all night and day, a plethora of
ankles and hips,
when I told you I didn’t
mean for her to carry my child

It just happened I said
I was waiting for the moment
your raised hand would meet my cheek
but you snorted and mentioned the
strawberry farm where my breath
panted against your chest
as your father’s two shots
rang true

On the platform
behind us a muralist killed
the perfect swell.

Empty Nest

by Michael Cluff

Removing the wingtip dress shoes from 1975
a condom from the same year or so
still not used
a ticket stub from The Omega Man
although he slept or made up
for over more than sixty percent
of the movie
a clump of the basenji,
Joseph's, hair
who died from poison
tossed over the faux redwood fence
in 1977 plus
a breath mint
in a pocket of a green glen plaid pair
of suit pants
in total style for 1982,
all from the barricaded spare room closet,
Morris tried to blink
yet could not
since he was as dried
and frozen now
as the sea monkeys stolen
from a Safeway in Santa Maria
back before the Bicentennial
and placed in a leaky portable cooler
no longer holding anything
except stale and heavy styrofoam
and poppycake seeds.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Brother's Echo

by Brittany Zedalis

A voice
calls out
in the night, an

A reminder
of what once
was, and what
could have been.

But is nothing more...
than an echo.


by Marc Carver

I tell the big man in the steam room
I want a big pile of money
Then i want to sit on top of it
counting it
and looking down on everybody else
Before i can say
I am only joking
I don't care about money.

The thought has anchored
so i walk off

I'd Caress Your Soul

by Wayne Scheer

I'd caress your soul if I could,
massage your brain,
kiss your heart,

but I have to settle for surfaces
and your breasts, thighs,
belly and ass

do just fine.

Reversal Rub

by John Pursch

Hat down, huddled troop door slant in full tribunal pause, Kabuki Clem wipes age from colder faceplate to trimmed alluvial personae, clogged abutment saddle shoes licking solid sores of foppish safecracker news; all but swipe itching dowager’s loutish wrench lips, unscrew happy loam of dirgelike dustbin decoupage, eating corked canaries off car door contraband, pelting civilian whereabouts with unseen ham. 

“Delimit erstwhile rotation mouths, conning severed towers from hallway gulfs to overcast widgets in Terran Hoax skyline,” Kabuki operates, dripping spatter of clarity in boldly embossed tartar.

Data Chef squeezes cartilage from lone mosquito emblem, breezing plural infection cone for lazing priapic donors, speckling blue desk from skyward hospice relegation, simpering crowd whines to wide-eyed charbroiled daze, souvenirs raining on palatial tributaries, tears sliding uptown in gaseous belief.

“Chasing wad -- a clemency serration box, mixed to single digit commotion?” Chef sidelines, chopping fused vertebrae on sandwiched signs of messy autistic grape skin crate.

“Wheedle me disrespectful hotly cantilevered bipedal modus, preparation of titular pageantry nodding witty stumps, rebranding horsehide cowlicketty slipstream gerunds, hey spay quad oops?” Kabuki erupts, projectile comet’s irksome olive drab reptile airborne, halfway to valet chop shop’s soothing pedicure.

“High ravenous pundit’s miniature tape resection storm scurries for louvered indigenous curling pyre, scrolled to roundhouse tidal wolf care,” Chef replies, tossing razor batons into wading ceiling funnels. “Weaving mild toxins on bald rock calf evasion, I sleep quaintly retained, infernal content stashed before venous shake.” 

Clem he cannot take it anymore. “Too abstract!” shouting bolts up and outa front door, guns blazing, bullets tracing execution’s moonlit daffodils of old country lane suddenly interchanged for Your Nuke city sidewalk. “Ha! Chef he fix me in blown baloney warehouse wig!” 

Chef collapse in heap of dusty rags, shifting bones distilled to flesh bag neurosis kettle, wanders seamlessly in sentinel freeze, captured to mingled stanza burlap wheeze of gestured exotic roll-on gush. Oozing down elbow to shin he smears reversal rub on cobblestone, old keystone cops, carthorse spokes, lavish escapades of talkie walkabout phrase machines, slopping from furtive past to posited wilderness, draining offal into wading tank’s sebaceous cistern. 

Bogged by ownership ducks, he soothes aromatic nodules of spacetime detritus with coonskin cadaver feet, copped to tonal interior bloodline glow, sopping up bossy manacles and ritualized tendril cake mats. Hair colludes with notarized beef, stroking outer grain cuffs, timed to mumbling stellar watchmen, winding off a mealy tort soup’s chaise souffle. 

Spinning up to torpor’s educated sectional function, Kabuki delivers steadily strummed conception kinks, remanding bonked hortatory cultures to aggravated salt, flooding swirled fervor with illegible foolish grapefruit, melodic harm in dysentery raincoat cowls, hovering beneath crime belt stasis sheen, defaulting flat u-turn vials to stifled lightning, cached to lapsing urban escapee dusk.

“Taint noddin’ con be ton ablution drat; measly planet chops Guyana hefty leaf wadayagnu?” Chef he tosses up bottled hounds and rubs fur the bartered future on fleece-lined posh incinerator’s paused eternal pasties, wedged hover cons a foisted hearse.

“Reality’s bestial comb au paired onus!” Kabuki crows, proudly spraying entire establishment with all manure of time drug wheeze, clouding disappearing act, auctions, sanctioned biers, passive espadrilles, borderline pleasure tease not in tactile glutinous jungle stretch of waffling hieratic dungeon. 

Flown to steeper pustules, crude test coattails resemble dunking notice surgeons, pressed to bottom feeder grist, indolently disheveled proposition plops, grueling fractionated piecemeal sticks emasculating humid tights from oceanic leggings, barred to wheedled conch motels, bereaved in plaudit cravings for cold can spoons of iridescent radial scorn.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Day Trip

by Bryan Murphy

Two thousand black beers
in that tiny station bar,
barman rolling eyes
when I order it warm,
cup my hands round the bottle,
let the bitter-sweet malt
ease my vocal cords
after long lessons
then late-night winter chill.

They've spruced it into glass and light,
overlaid pisshouse stench with bleach
and estuary ozone.
Rolling stock's the same,
still leaves on time,
rocks you from river to sea
past names that send synapses
pulsing deep into the senses.

This river line from Lisbon
leads always to Cascais,
a last sweet home in Portugal,
jettisoned to touch the world.

The station there feels smaller.
Outside, a spasm of disorientation,
autopilot frozen by decades of disuse.
In this land of cartographers,
they now have public maps:
check, then plunge towards the sea.

Joy: the posh-shop street's hubris
has been punished: turned to tack,
an Indo-Italian takeaway its feeble heart today.
Still it disgorges day-trippers
into the square above the bay,
on whose tiny beach only foreigners
venture from sand to water.

We spin off into cobbled lanes
whose tiled names
infuse the ordinary with artistry.
Bougainvillea masks the enigma
of partial demolitions.
I know those names,
no longer where they lead.

Autopilot stirs, wakes, fires itself,
pulls me through tunnels of time,
sets us outside an unimposing cottage
a corner of which once served as home.

It stands silent, shut up.
No neighbours chatter.
The garage opposite, now a gallery
enjoys an extended siesta.

We head on to the big one:
a shiny modernist temple
to Paula Rego's twisted magnificent dreams.
Culture as commerce.
I leave with a hallucinatory bookmark:
"Não incomodar" - do not disturb.

The park opposite, where I laughed myself sick
on LSD, my unique trip,
when dappled sunlight filtered through,
swirling in dizzy patterns among the leaves.
The leaves are still there;
the sunlight still does.

Mostly Cloudy

bu Martha Landman

Once I was stuck in a Land Rover
horseflies buzzing around the
buffaloes approaching me on
the African savannah I noticed
somehow there were no clouds
the old radio crackled and the
weather reporter reckoned that it
was mostly cloudy elsewhere
my grave concern was to get the
battered engine going my breathing
fast tracked my heart through my
ears and for a second I wondered
if I could cancel this when the wind
changed direction and the buffaloes too.

girl of a thousand faces

by Linda M. Crate

she has a thousand china faces
none of them her own
paints on the
make-up so automatically it
almost looks natural
fakes a smile so good
it breaks her heart;
still no one can see the pain
etched and sewn
deep within,
and if they can they
simply ignore her misery
because her pain is too painful
to face —
blowing in the wind like dandelion
dust she wishes
she could blow into a better
because happiness doesn't speak
into the bones of people
lonely as her
she wasn't born the lucky type
that catches all the breaks
not even sometimes
empty of all promise like the moon
she stands on the ledge of
autumn air,
leaves crimson as her hair
dancing circles around her
as she contemplates becoming a leaf.

Civilizing Billy

by Wayne Scheer

As a small child, Billy was a terror.

Even before he could walk, if his parents tried keeping him in a playpen, he’d rage against his confinement as if some primordial urge demanded his freedom.

But Billy wasn’t a bad child. As long as he wasn’t restrained, he seemed happy and well adjusted.

That is, until he started school.

Billy’s kindergarten teacher believed her order was more important than his.

Billy’s parents counseled him to the ways of the world.

“The more you do as you’re told,” they taught their son. “The more freedom you’re given.”

Billy learned well.

He obeyed his teachers and they allowed him certain latitude. He did what his employers expected and they left him alone.

Billy grew to be William H. Lowery and earned a great deal of money, thus affording him his freedom.

Approaching retirement, William wondered what to do with his freedom.

Goin To Heaven

by Will Monigold

When you get to heaven
Are you naked?
Do they issue those robes
Or do you have to bring your own?
These things bother me.
Someone saw Jesus
In a potato chip.
Is that where he lives?
Can he be bought so cheap?
Stacked like wood
And put in a bag.
Does anyone ever see the devil
In one of those chips?
Maybe that’s where they
Do battle.
I’ve been told
There was a time
When things were better
But I wonder about the people
Who cried for want
Who died of lack.
What did they see in potato chips?
Is heaven in that blue sky
Above my head?
Wait, I see a face
In the clouds.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


by Daniel Patrick Roche

Why does the girl across the bar
give me lustful looks?
The answer, elusive in my head
as in any of my precious books.

Greeks tell us she looks
for the union of complements.
Schopenhauer is no more competent.

His “Will to Life” smacks
of simply being an opulent
version of ‘opposites attract.’

Scientist do no better in their tracts
saying we seek advantageous traits
differs not from Schopenhauer’s postulates.

But she proves not one to wait
for me to solve this standing mystery.
Everything in this world is slippery.


by Richard Schnap

Where once there were adult theaters
Now there are rows of art galleries

As the landscapes of falsified love
Gave way to portraits of its shadow

But the ghosts of lonely lost men
Still haunt these chambers of visions

That still demand a ransom
To release those caged in themselves

Absolute Magnitude

by Amy Soricelli

It is odd that stars are called what they are in Oregon - the same as the Bronx.
The Big Dipper is alive over some roof; mine being brickish in cement wires/pigeons
tripping through the sky - and maybe theirs in cornflower blue, smooth yellows
and maybe there is shared sentiment like a chain store.
Perhaps it is the same everywhere.

The bright ones travel across your line of vision - squint if you must; its brighter
in clean air - how do the stars gather their strength to hang in there -
the seemingless motionless motion over the grainy buildings with their smokey puffs of
apartment air like gauze.
They struggle through the impossible expanse of blue -how do they not get bogged down in the details
between the grime; how do they manage the energy to appear each night...

Some dance under them.  They gather up long rows of arms - heads bowed passionately -
and sometimes in a circle in languages thick with accent-
telescopes get pulled out onto backyards by polo shirts - kids point up to them in summer camp
with grassy patches designed onto their white shorts;

the promise of love by the trillions blinking like eyes - it is never the deep Shakespeare love on bended knee
but rather the average lover commenting on train schedules - of being lost in a crowd.
The passing of love in seconds like the white between the stripes - the pauses in the sentences, the space
between the blinks...
that is the stars.
The dangling motion of the comma - stars can hang like that.
Stars punctuate the night -
finish your sentences for you.

Bahama Penpal

by John Pursch

Penelope she love to cauterize foolish gerbil breath, straight from hierarchical effusion of hometown elders, spittle sizzling between trotting wreaths in old-time eulogy for punctual sameness and canned accretion’s junkyard deterrent filth. 

She waddle down country room’s stereotypical malaise, feebly humbling dateline injector with aerosol acclivity’s acclamation: “Hayseed O’Reilly in autumnal glaze of greater coattail surprise! How comes ye to venerated toolbox quotation pith, wristing balky butt shingle past pulled-off shirt stopper? Wan yankers lust for bubble-headed phasing fall, wishing whole extra basement boxcar brothel coulda culled a barracuda’s lagoon snap hot dog from penal traceries in knee sock profusion.”

Bahama Matt trolls up in cyclical scattershot whack motif, grieving overhead loops of thundering slyness, famed for trauma pajamas in a Youstun flea bag. “Infested traitor rap emerge you parasitic flatfoot degradation myth, tarrying lewd Penpal,” he swallows bitter unguent from sandbar deluxe inveigling kit.

“Wad ye goiter goner getting’ me waypoint stew, Bland Hambone Mutt? Aye-eye, surly ask a skewin’ skewer fur trample, chest ye sorely err! Spay haughty my wheeze, hefty canoe wad’s goober far ya,” Penelope admonishes the swaying mastiff.

“Oh, the landlocked rabble hast mulch to lurch, spatial flaunt the legs homey,” Matt replicates in singular derision. “A freighter’s none lunger brewing; hat’s furling awning  noun!”

“Exultant hover joyous peduncular venomous dry goods, shooting callously drown tease ivory Terran Hoax alleyways, slides aweigh in cumin drop solution quaff,” she sidles on black, gifting hem broth apparel in doubtful foreskin overload.

Bahama tucks and rolls to ashcan repeater breech, furnishing zippity dew line concordance to the blackout. Phrased daze emote from gaseous galoot recordings, waxing entire city blog blackened toothy laughter soldered to holstered revolution’s eternal yell: “Wahooooo!!!”

Leggy wolves immerse in newbie forest stranger gearshift nodule sweat, flexed in six-shooter wingspan, hover black on thermal carousel of cobalt sky insecticide, halting rodent entrails in tracked fever. Gecko freezes time roulette on brick wall counter lapse, dancing stillness shifting mobile climes in distant dairy steam proclivity for wasted gash sojourn.

Penpal reloads from loafer brood, slaking chorus meows down diagonal hose aspersion, shaken to filial beat relief. “Bete noire, conjuring hep raptor from skied lime, witty outer Piltdown dumpling of a building in situ.”

“Wed, coupled mints frame yo-yo palace?” Behemoth Mutt he’s shamed wattage, habitual surmise, tabby sorely.

“Wheedle, haven icon seize a monument, spatially wand hit’s bane plushly posh, sewn direly endured the hardened soil of tea time operations. Chary isthmus attic forelocks may fuel hand my species, pet aisle stall espy putative botulism hand adore it,” she tumbles on, sledding town-to-downy hairline.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Visiting Crete

by Brian Wake

Above our bed a salamander, motionless for hours,
is waiting for its prey. To even blink, it knows,
an eyelid would betray its whereabouts and add,
perhaps, another hungry day to when it feeds.

Throughout the night we, half-asleep in candlelight,
keep watch for any twitch or instant of an uncoiled tongue
flicked out to whip a careless insect in. But nothing moves
and only swaying shadows stalk the bedroom wall.

Although we watch and worry that some dropping
of its guard might cause a sudden plunge, or time spent
hanging there unglue its toes, we hesitate. Like it we wait.
Our salamander does not move.

And could it wonder whether we, like it, are there
to prove that patience has its own reward and, waiting
in the candlelight, afford to hope that blinking eyelids
might betray its hiding place, and not as predator
but as our prey.

Nathaniel’s First Car

by J. K. Durick 

There was this clumping, then bumping,
Something in there had been clanging,
Then something was banging,
But now it all has stopped.

This is not the way this should be.
The road-side grows green with it –
Your money, your first claim of ownership
Become this empty sleeve, this third
Left boot, this vast array of I-told-you-so.
Your key chain has become ironic, like
The silent disk player or the stick-shift
You’ve finally learned to play.

This is not the way this should be.
There should be hours, there should be
Grace in this, the just return on the time
You spent dreaming of it. The freedom
It was to be has become this dark joke,
This dark reminder of the innocence
You spent on it, this monument to loss,
This monument to your new uncertainty.

This is not the way this should be.
You’re too young to be this tired of things.
Too young to know what every one must
Someday know – the irreversible nature of loss.

This is not the way this should be.
You should be driving off into the distance –
Your present assured, the future a mystery.
That is the way it all should be.

with a body like yours

by J.J. Campbell

whisked away
by the demons
pounding on
my brain

no matter the
situation i find
myself in it always
turns into a bad
cinemax movie
in my mind

who needs a plot
with a body like

we're both a little
shocked i actually
said that out loud

thankfully it was
my lucky day

she laughed and
i knew i had yet
another victim

i mean companion

she won't see
these thoughts until
much later on

McGillicuddy's Wake

by Donal Mahoney

Two new crutches and two double shots of Bushmills Irish Whiskey enabled Joe Faherty to move from the back seat of Moira Murphy's 1976 Buick into Eagan's Funeral Home for Tim McGillicuddy's wake. At 87, Joe was in bad shape, only a tad better than McGillicuddy who looked splendid in a rococo casket. 

The way the funeral home had painted McGillicuddy's face, he looked better than most of the folks who had come to say good-bye. Many of them were in their eighties. Even Moira, who still had her driver's license, was creaky at 75. 

McGillicuddy was 90 when he fell off his horse out in the country. Until that moment he hadn't been sick a day in his life. Never drank and never smoked. Women were his passion. He was calling on a couple until the day he died. 

Few folks knew that McGillicuddy had been expelled from Ireland by the British in 1920. He was 18. He had been captured at 16 bringing guns to older IRA rebels who were fighting the British. A few rebels with rifles caused the British occupiers a lot of problems. 

For two years they kept McGillicudy in prison. They finally agreed to let him go to America. Why not, McGillicuddy thought. Life in America had to be better than prison.

In the funeral home, however, much to the disgust of Joe Faherty, the priest had come to the wake early. This meant Joe didn't have time to grab his crutches and get to the bar next door before the priest started the rosary. The custom at Irish wakes was that the priest would arrive at 6:30 p.m. and all the men would have made it to the bar by then. The women would say the rosary with the priest. 

But this was a new priest and there he was in front of the casket saying 15 decades of the rosary. Not the traditional five, as was the case at Polish wakes. 

Joe figured it would take the priest an hour to finish. Then he'd ask Moira to take him home. He was too tired to go to the bar. Besides, he had had more than the two double shots of Bushmills he had mentioned to Moira. 

Moira drove Joe home. She waited until he was inside the house. She wanted to make certain his new crutches wouldn't result in a fall. Joe waved good-bye to Moira and shut the door but didn't lock it. He had to let the dog out. 

Although he hated to turn on a light--he lived on Social Security--he turned on just one because it was as dark inside as it was outside. He planned to buy some candles.

As soon as Joe turned on the light, he saw McGillicuddy in his favorite recliner wearing the same fancy suit he had on in the casket.

"What the hell are you doing here," Faherty asked. "Why didn't you stay where you were. We got through the rosary so why do this. They'll come here first, considering all the years we've been friends."

McGillicuddy didn't say a word.

"Well," said Faherty, "if you aren't in the mood to talk, I'll have another Bushmills till you decide to say something. You don't look dead. In fact, you never looked better." 

McGillicuddy maintained his silence. 

"It's too bad you don't drink. You could join me in some Bushmills. It's as good today as it was back in Ireland."

Down deep Faherty didn't know what to do with dead McGillicuddy in his favorite recliner. How long, he wondered, would McGillicuddy stay. He wanted to be friendly but there was a limit to his hospitality.

"Let's watch the news on television," Faherty said, turning on the set. "Maybe they'll explain how I've come to enjoy your company. 

"You didn't drive, did you? If you need a lift I'm sure Moira will come pick you up. After all, you two almost got married. I think she's still fond of you.

Still, not a word out of McGillicuddy. 

"I'm going in the kitchen and call Moira," Joe said. "I'll be right back. We can talk about which way you're going, up or down, if you know what I mean. 

"The bets were about even on you. I told everyone you'd be in heaven before they embalmed you. Except for the women, you probably didn't commit another mortal sin in your life. Of course, you were dead when the priest gave you the Last Rites. Don't know if they work on a dead person. Let's hope they do." 

Faherty hoisted himself out of the guest chair, got on his crutches and headed for the kitchen to call Moira. He stumbled a bit on the rug because he wasn't used to the crutches or all that Bushmills. 

"Hello, Moira," Faherty said when she answered the phone. "Could you drop back here for a minute. I've got an unexpected guest who needs a lift. I think you'll be happy to see him. I have to go to bed. We've got McGillicuddy's funeral Mass tomorrow. Wouldn't want to miss that."

Moira said she'd be right over. Faherty, heading back to the parlor, tripped over his dachshund. The dog had slept through all the commotion with McGillicuddy. Joe landed with a thud on his forehead. He never moved.  

The next day Moira blamed Joe's death on his crutches and indeed that was part of the problem. No mention was made of the Bushmills, however. Moira, who had found the body, found the half empty bottle and took it home. 

As Joe's driver for three years Moira thought she deserved the liquor. But she wondered who the guest was that Joe had called about. When she got to his house, there was only the dachshund snoring next to the body.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


by Marc Carver

I walked down the street
past a young lad
he had a Mac Donald's bag in his hand.

I started to stare at the burger bag
as if
I was the hunngriest man in the world.
For a second
I thought about asking him to give it to me.
He started to look worried
So i kept walking
as i always do.

What’s Scary

by David Mac

Death isn’t the thing
It’s getting there that can
Scare you

Old age
Loss of the senses

Death isn’t the thing
It’s making it
Over that
Really hurts

We are all falling
We are all

And it’s

Not a place
Or a finality
Not an end

It’s happening already

The child
The newborn baby

It has already begun
And it cannot be

If you think about it
Death is not the thing

It’s life that kills you

Middle Way

by Bryan Merck

I ride my lawnmower in and around my yard.
I will weedeat the various edges, later.
I remember life before weed eaters.
I remember the non-motorized mowers in Grandmama’s  garage.
Her yard man, King, rode a bicycle to her house.
He carried an empty half-gallon water jar.
Grandmama filled it with ice and water.
Thank God for the internal combustion engine.

I experience the joys and profundities of life.
I can exist without doubt.

Grass is a wonderful plant. St Augustine grass is amazing.
My days are like a field of grass. A strong wind passes,
and there yet remains abundant evidence of my being here.

My lawnmower is of the same brand as serious farm equipment.

Like the women at Jesus’ tomb, I am sometimes “afraid yet filled with joy.”
John “leaped with joy” when he heard Mary’s voice prior to his birth.
The angel brought the frightened shepherds “good news of great joy.”
Jesus told his listeners they would “leap for joy” over their reward in heaven.
He told the disciples that “no one will take away your joy.”

I go about like Abraham at testimony meetings
all the years between when Isaac was promised
and when Sarah conceived.

I ride my lawnmower into my garage.
I have resolved not to live my life seeking pleasures.
I have resolved not to live my life seeking mortifications.

My main identifying label is “human,” above all else,
and I am a man; I am of the male gender. Every man, woman, and child
blesses me, and I in turn bless them.
We can do this in a real and substantial way.

If I ask Western human beings “Where is mind?” they will point to their heads.
If I ask Eastern human beings “Where is mind?” they will point to their hearts.

If I never walk in darkness,
light will mean nothing to me.
If I never experience the severities and sorrows of life,
joy will mean nothing to me.

Fukushima #4

by John Pursch

My memory has been dismembered. There is no longer a flailing of farces, a chattering of teeth, a fueled imbroglio of wanton emblems. The icons of six o’clock news have receded into the countryside, along with full count pitchers of rice paddies, photos of a lost gazelle, and placemats to be framed in a wild and wizened lineup of causal circumspection. All that remains of the Panic of ’87 is the dusty rag once owned by four presidents, now hopelessly on display next to a dozen pallets of whisk brushes. 

Referential integrity ceased to obtain after the fall of Fukushima #4, swirling into paused idiosyncratic dubiety; all without a titter, a meaningful sigh, a cataract of phosphorescent malingering outside donut shops near you. Pentagonal starboard snowfall continues unabated, filling the gunwales with iced chaff and old newsprint, pickled in fine dusk. Onsets of opinionated release appear, vacillate, and slink into cold closets, yearning for herniated police. The only constant is the scudding glow of slo-mo cloud, sputtering from blowgun eruption stilts just over the horizontal listing sea. 

Modular hickory smoke still rises from the motu, revealing burnt catamarans, echoing nocturnal cries of hypnotic pheasant herders, huddled deep in solitary traceries of doubt. It is as though time has finally lost all meaning, though this would be far too simplistic a statement to hold any stale water. We know very little, but what remains of our canned convictions is killing us. So we keep on spraying the clock with aerosol belief revolvers, bent on sad regret, achieving duplicitous remembrance of module flint bicuspid erasure, molded in stone and concrete. 

Now I see through the purple plastic of empty cartridge, to newly blushing fossils of teenage expectations, groping each utterance for purchased redemption in quick sure steps, solid handiwork, and fluid beats of heartfelt joy. Doubled over in pleasure, ecstatic electric ejecta becalm the humming racetrack with greying houses, busted planets separating sunrise infidels and nervy dolls in greenish gauze. 

I realize of course that if I inject this last remaining green capsule, there is no turning back from hell-bent empties of pop-top fibrillation and spinning mornings of downtown soup canary coffee mugs on old abandoned carousels of horse guffaws and slackened linearity’s pejorative oomph. But all is foregone, especially the frozen shake of impending inky stairwell echo, fall of metal gunship blaze in cooling sheath of anchored nostalgic grief, pushing overt cattle, glimpsed in charismatic truncheon swaths of neural muon baths.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Happy Durga Puja

 from Pijush Kanti Deb 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Varanasi Divers

by Deborah Bayer

Beautiful young bodies
diving from the high bridge,
you know no fear
of heights, of deep water.
With magnets in hand
you vanish into the belly
of Ganga Ma in search of coins
flung by pilgrims speeding
over the holiest of rivers.

It’s a living.
It’s your life on this warm
day on the cusp of spring.
I long to lean over the edge
of the wide touring boat
rowed by two silent men,
put rupees in your
dark wet palms
but we are too far apart.

Along the Ghats, Sadhus,
bone thin naked men
with dreadlocks and beards,
covered with sacred ash,
sit cross-legged,
fingers interlaced, eyes closed.
Some are saints,
some are not.
Who can know at a glance
which man traverses
an inner universe
where galaxies are
beyond counting.
Who can know what
any of us will find
if hunger
springs us off the edge.

One Pound Notes

by Paul Tristram

A pocket full of them
and you felt loaded
even though you probably
only had £20 on you.
I remember being on Windsor Road
and walking past a taxi place
there were 3 of us
up to no good, as usual.
We spied an extremely inebriated man
half sitting, half laying
upon a chair in the waiting room.
He had around 30 one pound notes
in his lap, falling off his legs
and on the floor all around his feet.
His woman friend was on her knees
laughing and picking them all up
whilst he was singing loudly
“On the streets where you live!”
In we ran like psychic thieves
not a word had passed our mouths
we each grabbed a single
one pound note from his lap
and ran back out into the street.
‘In Like Flynn’ and fluid as always,
we didn’t need it
and it was only a pound note each,
we could have robbed him blind.
It was for the thrill, the rush of it
the excitement of living.
I miss one pound notes
the pound coins are not the same
although a handful of them
forcefully flung up close, in defence
did save me from being stabbed, one night.

Windsor Knot

by Donal Mahoney

Do you remember how
to tie a Windsor knot
the way your father taught you
on graduation day
in eighth grade

the man who wore a tie
twice perhaps at most--
on the day he got married
and the day he was put to rest,
the same tie for both events.

Then almost every day for 40 years
you tied that Windsor Knot
because office attire required it.
Now you haven't worn a tie
since the day of your retirement.

You'll need that knot
twice more for certain--
as pall bearer for besotted
Uncle Pat and for yourself
the day you're buried.

Both days your Windsor Knot
had better pop out right
or the ghost you don't believe in
may drop by to show you
one last time how to tie it.

Nappy to the Grave

by David Mac

We pour booze into our souls, we
Breathe smoke into them too
We set ourselves on fire

We awake in the mornings and
Ask the body beside us

‘You don’t
Tell us

Then we get up and
Go to
Or to
Nowhere at all

And it is like this
From the
To the

So perhaps the bodies
Are right

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Journey of the Yellow Monk

by Richard Hartwell

Saw an amber monk today,
Walking –
            out of time and place,

Barefoot, bald, in dirty robes,
Walking –
            on a city street,

Sticking to deep shadows,
Walking –
            up against a wall,

Far away from jungle paths,
Walking –
            heedless of his feet,

Through broken glass and trash,
Walking –
            in disdain or ignorance,

Focused on his journey’s prayers,
Walking --
            Oblivious of worldly cares.

Visiting Florence

by Brian Wake

Across a crowded bridge the motorbikes
stampede. A siren shrieks stop thief
and stolen prints are floating on the river.
Like frenzied rats, the rumours of a handgun
scuttle through the market place, and the
police are clearing space along the street.

Inside the gallery, a sculptured sentry guards
the precious works of art, a holster angled
for the instant draw. In silver palaces along the river
bank the doors are closed, the heavy gates
are locked, the shutters drawn, all treasures put away.

The sun has set behind the Grand Hotel and waterfalls
of golden lamplight spill from every balcony.
The jewellers on the bridge are stuffing diamonds
into haversacks; and on the wall a young man plucks
a mandolin for coins.

As If We Could Change Things

by R. Martin Basden

As if we could change things
end of life issues weigh heavily
on those who hobble into senior status
count pills more numerous than classmates
spend precious time wishing that
mundane would undress
and usher something startling
to sunrise

instead somewhere
between invincibility and purpose
mortality sneaks up behind you
jerks your pants to your ankles
and laughs        

My Road

by Nick Hatch and Tom Hatch

It was an early day at the farm
and I decided to wake up before the sun
as I had a long walk ahead of me.
Rubbing my eyes and wiping the “sand”
Off my face, I joked to myself that
Mr. Sand Man had visited.
I leaned forward and looked
out my bed-side window,
noticed the heavy mist in the dawn
That was densely packed in.
Because of it I couldn’t see more than 20 feet
As the sun lightened the morning
I hopped up and touched my toes
and did a little jig,
just to get my blood flowing.
I slipped my shoes out from
under my bed, placed them off
to the side and got dressed.
I didn’t have my favorite
dark green shirt so instead
I grabbed the long-sleeved black and orange
"Princeton” labeled shirt.
Given to me with high expectations
Some sort of "birthright" shit
I didn’t think it would be
much worse to wear it
Expectations or not
as it was wet and cold
Outside for that matter.
Once I slipped that on,
I grabbed some clean underwear and
socks…then put on a pair of traditional
Levi blue jeans, same thing everyday
I said with a sigh. And, yeah…
If you didn’t already get the picture
my family always
Has plenty of pressure on me.
I slipped my shoes on and walked
outside to look at my road that
I had to walk down is pretty creepy.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Yes, Yes, Yes
for Pujo Raj

by  Deborah Bayer                

You say, Take my hand.
I balk.  Where are we going?
For a ride with Shiva.
The Destroyer?  I taste dust.
Do you want to see the Hoopoe?
More than anything, I whisper.
Hop on the motorcycle.
I obey.

What about my dance partners,
fear and duty?
Won’t they wonder where I am?
Now you are the one to whisper:
No worries.
Road wind sweeps away doubt
and I grip Shiva’s waist.

We pass palm trees, temples,
rickshaws, tea stalls,
meandering cows, a scarecrow
wearing a ragged pink sari.
It’s a speed I can manage
and just as I’m thinking Shiva is more
of a gentleman than I’d been led
to believe we almost collide
with two strolling monks,
bent with age.  They take
it in stride.  No worries.

Shiva parks the bike and leads
the way down a dirt path,
past a pond, a cluster
of homes, and across a dry field.
I scramble to keep up.
He turns and looks at me,
I feel seen in my entirety.
His head wobbles side to side.
I nod in return.
We’ve assented to something—
something I can’t name.
oop-oop-oop he calls out
to the north, to the south
and gets no answer.
No worries.

Pausing, listening. looking—
Yes, you brought me here,
to this moment.
Yes, I am in India
in sunset’s golden light.
Yes, I am chasing a bird
and Shiva is my guide.

When he takes another step
I’m right there with him,
up fly a pair of Hoopoes
white bars adorning
black wings spread wide.
My arms lift in praise,
as if I too could take to the skies.
When the birds settle nearby,
we creep forward to admire
their black-spotted crests.

For a moment everything
is bathed in luminosity—
the wacky Hoopoes,
my dirty sneakers, the kids
perched on a blue wall,
Shiva’s triumphant grin.
Yes, we’re all dancing together
hurling through the cosmos
on a planet turning
toward its moon.

The Solitude Of The Silversmith

by Paul Tristram

He strains away diligently
by candle and moonlight
in the cobwebbed quietude
of his attic workroom.
Back arched and spectacle nosed
the stamina of an army
expertly directed upon
a single point of focus.
Tiny slivers of moonbeams
confetti fell upon his bench
twist, spiral, spin and dance
as breathing changes pitch.
The backbone breaking posture
of the will targeted upon itself.
The fight between
the artist and ones craft.
The agony and ecstasy
as each brush stroke of the file
paints a picture perfect
striding another high to climb.
The tunnel-visioned stamina
with unique flourish intertwined
is why this master craftsman
remains also a pupil
for he is still learning all the time.

Spelling Ukulele

by Donal Mahoney

Like many people today, Wally Przbylski works on a computer. For Wally, a computer looks like a typewriter attached to a television screen. It's a big improvement, however, over the Royal typewriter he worked on in the Fifties before a job change in the Sixties forced him to move to an IBM Selectric. As an editor, he was always on deadline and speed was important. 

In the Eighties, a defense contractor hired Wally and he learned to edit on a Wang computer. His job was to copyedit technical prose written by engineers. The engineers wrote proposals to win contracts from the government. From Wally's point of view, the engineers were a strange lot.  

The company's specialty was building missiles "to keep America safe," as Wally pointed out to his neighbors. At that time the company already had a missile they could put through then-Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi's bedroom window. The problem was, Gaddafi slept in a different domicile every night. He was said to have many wives. A married man himself, Wally understood how separate domiciles might help to keep the peace in an extended family. 

Wally was one of a small group of editors in this company of engineers. The nicest thing an engineer might call an editor was a "wordsmith" but editors were called "erasers" as well. 

The engineers considered the editors unnecessary outsiders hired to mess with their copy before it was collated in notebooks, boxed up, put on a plane and sent to the Defense Department where proposals from different contractors were evaluated. Eventually contracts would be awarded. And if Wally's company won one of them, ecstasy ruled for half an hour. He figured half an hour was about as long as the engineers would waste on ecstasy.

"And what's with their pocket protectors," Wally asked another editor during a coffee break. "Every engineer has a pocket protector and wears a short-sleeved white shirt with a tie too short. Every pocket protector has a rainbow of different colored pens. How many pens do you need? And they think we're weird!"  

Brilliant in math and science, the engineers had a problem writing grammatically correct sentences. Punctuation was a mystery to many of them and spelling was as well.  Most of them didn't realize they had this deficiency. In fact, Wally told his wife one night that he didn't think these engineers thought they had any deficiencies. 

"I don't think there's in introspective one in the bunch," Wally said. "Their minds are lost in math and science. Brilliant men but tough to work with if you aren't one of them." 

Wally was a good editor whether the engineers appreciated that or not. He was quick to spot misspelled words and faulty punctuation. And he excelled at fixing garbled sentences the engineers had cast in the passive voice. 

Wally's job was to install the active voice in their copy without changing the meaning of the text. This was not easy for an ignoramus in technology to do but Wally managed to do the job well. He knew the engineers liked the passive voice but the marketing department knew the active voice would help sell a missile system to the government.

"What do you know about science?" a miffed engineer asked Wally one day after accusing him of "raping" his copy. 

"Statutory rape," Wally said. "You gave it to me."

"I had to give to you," the engineer said. "It was perfectly fine the way I wrote it."

That's when Wally asked him if he could spell ukulele.

"Spell what?"

"Ukulele," Wally said.

The engineer sputtered a bit and then actually came close to spelling it before stomping back to his desk. He missed by one letter--the "u" that comes after the "k."

"That's the letter they all miss," Wally told his wife that night. "They never get it right."

Following other derisive comments that would occur occasionally about his editing, Wally made it a practice to ask every vituperative engineer to spell ukulele. Almost to a man none of them could. The engineers were all male in those days since everyone knew that women typed well, didn't particularly like math or science, but made excellent coffee. 

It was this job as a wordsmith in a company of engineers that led Wally to lay down the law with his daughters.

"Never marry a man who can't spell ukulele," he told them one day when both were still in the Girl Scouts, selling cookies.

Wally even told his wife that if one of his daughters ever wanted to marry an engineer, he would have her deported to Slovenia. Not that there was anything wrong with Slovenia but he knew no daughter of his would like it there. Not enough nice places to shop. Two engineers at his company were Slovenes and they complained inordinately about the lack of good retail outlets in their country.

Despite all of Wally's warnings, one daughter grew up and married a man who couldn't spell ukulele. As Wally points out to strangers now, she's divorced with a flock of kids who are great in math but abysmal in English. She may even have lupus and Wally suspects she might have caught this non-contagious disease from her former husband. 

"At least he wasn't an engineer," Wally often reminds his wife. 

The other daughter, however, followed Wally's advice. She is married to a poet who was able to spell ukulele. Wally asked the young man to spell the word when he came to the house to ask for the girl's hand in marriage. Wally gave his permission and is proud that the couple's seven children won spelling bees in grammar school but never got past algebra in high school. Each child would warn the sibling next in line about the dangers of geometry. 

Wally is a somewhat happy man these days as retirement looms. Not one of his grandchildren so far has shown any interest in becoming an engineer. And just the other day, the youngest one asked him to teach her how to play the ukulele. Wally agreed but first he will have to take lessons. After all, the girl is only seven but already she can spell ukulele.  

Thursday, October 3, 2013


by Richard Schnap

I have known love
To walk into the room
Holding a dog-eared diary
Scrawled in a secret code

And I have known love
To walk into the room
Carrying a plate of pork chops
With apple-garnished stuffing

And I have known love
To walk into the room
Clutching a menthol cigarette
And a can of cheap beer

And I have known love
To walk into the room
Bringing a yellow rose
The gift of its heart

Blistering Bliss

by Michael Cluff

The control I usually have
is lost in your arms
and mouth
it just gets better
each passing second.
I am now a nerve ending
that wishes to be blistered
blissful in your eyes, your body
your laughter
even your ever missing presence.

Adieu My Mother’s Voice

by Tom Hatch

Not wanting it to be that way
But a soul can only stay in a body
For so long from the first breath to the last
Many words are said maybe some of regret
The ones that stand out are the voices and
Words of love on this thought
I smile, but oh! My heart is breaking
Adieu my mother’s voice
Boarded a chariot of sunshine
Lifted with the fog she is gone

rain dancer

by Linda M. Crate

i remember when we looped arms
through walmart
the glances people would give us
i never cared
wish we would have said shove it
and forgot propriety in public
because i would have kissed you in front
of the whole world, i wouldn't have
cared because i loved you that much
i see kissing couples all the time
and i feel surges of jealousy
running through my veins
as i think of you with her because even after
all the heartache and drama you've
shoved me through, i still think it should be me
you're kissing;
i can never forget you,
how is it that you so easily cast me aside?
i would have done anything for you
given you the whole world
should you have made that behest
you say she completes you,
but you completed me -
so what do i do now? i've tried moving on,
but none of the guys i like
like me;
they all stare at me like i'm some damaged
artifact, as if in giving you my virginity
i'm just garbage
or luggage they want to forget at the
airport -
and i just stand here with all this longing in my legs
wanting someone to understand that
my passionate love wouldn't
have to consume them
if they'd just romance me with the same passion as i
did them,
but i guess something must have marked me
forever your girl
because none of them even look my way
burned the necklace and ring you
gave me,
but still your name is etched into me
some invisible ink
i cannot wash off not even if i dance wildly
like you in the rain.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Let Us Dance
White House, Congress and Mass Media /
Dance of Swallows

by Suchoon Mo

 my dear lady
 let us dance
 together you and I
 cheek to cheek

 I shall dance polka
 you may dance tango
 or vice versa

 the music doesn't matter
 nor the dance
 musicians are drunk
 and so are we
 let us just dance

Dance Of Swallows - Suchoon Mo

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Work of Art

by Brittany Zedalis

I trace
The lines
On the palm of your hand
The scar on
Your face
The veins
In your neck
Pieces of you
Placed together perfectly

Work 3

by Séamas Carraher

Mention now these
in their unredeemable stares
who swear with their sweat
worked long and harder
as cold as ice cut fog
into their chests
for these precious minutes
nailed like Hegel’s mask on
the cover of a book;
how we slaved and saved
each of these oddments.
You, who would give everything
but the meditation of ruin
leaving your ghost
to God
and your children to damp clay.
A book, a mothtorn cloth
of Engels facing a  vase of dead
rich in their assorted ruin
as if such trivia in the
unmentionable heart of our
could wake history
a minute too soon,
believing in the quiet and
careless desperation
of dying men
(that it had all mattered):
a light pulled from its opaque
as also this, our antithesis
in these cheap and gaudy images
for us,
who are all men labouring
with their own despair.

The Reverberations from 9/11 Seem Likely to Continue For Many Years

by Ally Malinenko

the bus pulled over after announcing
that at 9:03 the bus would pull over
on this, the twelfth anniversary of
September 11th
for a moment of silence.
We are right by the cemetery and
through the break in the buildings,
you can see downtown.
I take off my headphones and wonder
what that view was like 12 years ago
with smoke tunneling
forever into the sky
but everyone else
is still on their cell phone
the woman next to me chattering in Spanish
and a teenager squealing over a text
none of them looking at the empty sky
except the one old woman
at the front of the bus
who is praying so hard
right now
for the living
and the dead
as if that has ever worked.

Out of the Mouth of Babes

by Michael Cluff                                

" I want to be the hostage,
I want to be the hostage
who helps crash the plane
for a change," lamented Jarrod
that unusually warm and
uncomfortable May 28th morning.

"You're better as the tower," said his twin Hugh,
"You don't move around
or whine as much
as Ashley."

" I want to be the stewardess
who calls her boss
and tells him about the jet plane
gonna to be hitting the building soon," Adrenne did whine.

At four, five ans seven
these kids
were reliving history
in their own steads
over and over and over and over again
in their backyards
in suburban Saginaw
or Selma or Savannah or Sacramento

somewhere close
to home