Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Cottage, Seagull, West Wales Coast

by Robert Nisbet

In a coastal cottage suddenly
by tossed spring hawthorn
the seagull with the savage eye
scratches down the windowsill.

@bronxgirlwithpictures #whoareyoureally

by Amy Soricelli

I see your pictures the coffee designs/ it is cool how you did that in the
space of your life/ your dog is nice -
I would not see your dog otherwise/your lost penny came back it's true/ the barn door you painted sky blue
we don't have barn doors here.

I could not set my life in a  box;
you planted plants in the planters
you painted the deep night air the stars bounce off the sides/
on the stairs made of clay
I could not see that any other way.

I have not gone Down Under you weave rugs/ you spy spies
in the sheep you tend the blank country skies-
it's the gritty Bronx blues I cup into my palm/ I snap it back let it go
you want more dirt red alarms/ painted city snap tags across the concrete
there would be no other way for you to see.

You have all boys down the rusty stairs/ in towns ending in full bubble round
my mouth gets caught in those flinty sounds -
is the air we share the same over there.
The stuff you sell the corner back down the alley/ your blackboard
signs and heady beer/ can't see the same sun from over here.

I smile your days and birthday hats/ you take yours off to all of mine in that
we share the nothing of everything fast/ flashes black then white
the mornings your day and mine is night.
But you would not know me before or then -
i doubt I would  know you if i saw you in the light/ or down my street
there would be no other way for us to meet.

Sirens Cut

by A.J. Huffman

through early hours of unrest.  My mind swims
a little harder towards awake, clings to inflated
images of tragedy.  I am drowning in another
wave of wakefulness.  This level is painted five
alarm red.  Are they coming to take my body away?
I wonder at decibels far beyond appropriate.
Louder and louder, my thoughts and distant screamings
rage.  I know I should plan, panic, run,
maybe even get out of bed, dressed.  Flashing
crescendos.  I roll over, bury my face
in pillows, relieved, but knowing
I am anything but safe.

Another Sunrise in His Day

by Donal Mahoney

Will I walk again,
Tillie mumbled,
lost in the fog of

her knee operation.
The surgeon predicted
she'd toss her cane away

in two months.
Still in a fog, she asked
if she'd walk the way

she walked before,
with the same locomotion,
as her husband called it,

a walk he studied
through binoculars
behind lace curtains

from the upstairs window
sitting in his wheelchair
as she strolled through

the garden, picking a
bouquet, creating another
sunrise in his day.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


by Marc Carver

As I walk across Clapham common,
I see some young women and men having a party.
Underneath a open canopy there is some food and drink.
A young woman comes over to me
and tells me to help myself.
"To the beer?" I say.
"Sure, we only have to carry it home." She says.
She gives me a bottle.
"Do you need it opening?" she asks.
"I can sort that out." I say
but she gets a bottle opener and opens it for me.
I thank her and have my first free beer.
I got one a year ago
but I had to convince the guy I was a genuis
and of course
that is what I did.

The Pride of Elizabethtown, Ky

by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

She climbs into bed
beside me
and turns out the light.

I imagine Europe
the Dark Ages,
only the green fire alarm light
blinking in 28 second

We are on our way
to Florida.

The land of Jimmy Buffet
and the Seminole

by the car
a large bronze fountain
of lions
stands guard.

The pride of Elizabethtown

If we drive right through
we should be on the beach 
by five,
the darkness

I play the ode to joy
on my belly,
or how I imagine it should
be played.

My fingers in the dark
like the legs of
a jubilant

Why I don't care that we end

by Amy Soricelli

Your laughter fits in a teacup - it rolls around
my tongue like oolong blends
It lives in small signs / back alleys the last
seat on the train.
It dies by the road a flat meat.

It doesn't rise up with guns pointing fists strong
It does not revolt against the blues.
It doesn't bob up and down like a sagging kite it falls
like wicker into your hand

And it doesn't shield me from the truth
that i'm not right enough for you to love;
that i'm much too damaged to care.

death will come to you

by Linda M. Crate

the music of the night
stars singing to the indigo
of the sky,
and to the moon mother
her snobbish nose
above the sea;
this speaks to me in whispers
louder than the carnelian of
your sun smile—
the more you pursue me the harder
i disappear into the heart of
a wood
dancing with stars in the belly of
her streams,
moon beams dancing their astral
silver in my hair
as i gallop away from you;
you are the manticore desiring the magic
of my blood,
and i am the unicorn goring everything
that destroys innocence to the
but i know i need help when it comes
to you—
i lure you into the forest,
and you follow
without consideration only seeking like a blind
ravenous animal;
i bring you to my bretherin,
and all too late
you see your end etched in the horizon of
story telling sequins dancing
in their jeweled thrones of a night's sky.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


by Richard Schnap

I wear a dress
Of green garbage bags
Mirroring the way
Your world looks at me

My shoes are made of duct tape
My hat barbed wire
And I carry a purse
Made of Barbie doll heads

But next to my eye
Is a tattooed tear
The only cosmetic
That adorns my face

And if you ask me
What meaning it has
You’ll just have to guess
For my lips are sealed.

The Stars of Del Mar

by Robert Halleck

I was sitting in the park
at the end of 15th Street
holding my mail and
looking at the stars. He sat
beside me.  I told him about
this star, that star, and
did you see, did you know
how far and how you
could not get lost.
That's North and yes
that's the Big Dipper and
yes the moon is full
and here is why.

He thanked me
and got up.

Crossing the tracks
to the other park,
he lay in the grass
and looked up enjoying
the silence, my ignorance,
the stars for what they are.


by Nancy May

hen in the coop
a blackbird eats seed
on the green grass

An Important Remake

by J. K. Durick
We are getting to retake some of the scenes
Fix the things that went wrong the first time
Around, and the film editor has been busy
Cutting, splicing, making things look better
Than they did, jump cut, invisible cut, finally
Fixing my place in things; of course, makeup
And the costumer did their parts, dressed me
Pressed me, even made my ears look smaller
And me a bit taller than before, and we made
Other changes, the screenwriter was replaced
By a script doctor, pages and pages of fluff
Disappeared, special effects were added, and
A full set of stuntmen brought in, this time
I won’t have to actually fall down those stairs
Or be launched over the handlebars, so much
Of my painful childhood will be done this time
By someone else; the grips and gaffers, even
The best boys were all in line behind scenes
Managing the wires and props properly, no
Lights out or tripping up in this latest version;
And after the wrap, when everything was finally
In the can, the director called the cast and crew
Together, popped a bottle of good champagne,
Turned to me and said, “here’s looking at you”
But this time, no close-up in the scene,

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Riff on the Simple Answer
to the Ultimate Question

by Mark Blaeuer

Divinely, Jackie Robinson
of Dodgers fame walked out: New York,
up Gower street, yet dwelling on
gigantic bears who punished pork-
ly kids appalled
at Elisha the Bald.

So all Egyptian deities
a rainbow of molybdenum
did huff, begetting Jesus-knees
and Catalan’s Talmudic sum.
My tongue, I wot,
surpriseth Their robot.

Turn now to Billy yearning here:
his Juliet is comatose,
embedded in the very near
half-century, her cricket dose.
If paradise sport pips,
TIFF Elvis hips.

Connect two more antipodes.
Harshad-abundant-pronic Loire.
Hey, Disco Biscuits on CDs.
Indelicate?  No, Strigaskór.
Kaleidoscopic hens
eat citizens.

Regard the Math Olympiad
(see hundred per). A way sub-par
green jacket. Lewis Carroll, rad
unto his death. Ummi Kumar
is not a Beast but holed
dominion’s gold.

Enough. Why should I prate of oil-
to-barrel gallonage, diffuse
Orion Nebula, Fred Hoyle,
the NatWest Tower? Too abstruse.
“How Not to Be Seen”
entertains a queen.

Go then, you made of Størmer stuff
and overlocking CPUs,
lest Hack and honeycomb be tough
and sphenic magic sing the blues.
X-factors byte indeed,
you must concede.

too much for even the greatest

by J.J. Campbell

the final tears
of a dying soul

what outsiders
would call a
life well lived

but the regret
of the truth is
often too much
for even the

be it a gun

be it an overdose

be it an accident
attributed to
old age

the final days
will come upon
us like hell
breaking through
a calm night

like disease
among the

there's always a
part of the story
they never told
you as a child


by Sandy Hiortdahl

Jesse left three shredded
perch on the bank
for that wounded hawk
and we watched to see
her come closer, closer,
limping and wary with
a yellow eye, with a beak
and talons moving fast
on the fish, but watching us
just in case and ready
to turn and do her best
if need be to protect herself.
She ate all three and then
sat back a bit as though to
reflect on the lunch and give
hawk thanks in her hawk world
to the pond and its inhabitants.
The next day, Jesse did the same,
and the next and the next and by
the end of the week, our hawk
walked the shore in triumph,
snatching up the fish guts,
then took flight.

Even the Rainbow Tank’s Fish Saluted

by KJ Hannah Greenberg

Even the rainbow tank’s fish saluted,
As the secretary determined which,
Among languages, best suited
Environs, where civics, education,
Like so much fashioned violently
By a disgruntled minority (aided
With roads, healthcare, employment,
Hope, sustenance), altered relevance.

Every six months, the landlord collected,
No matter if young children’s toileting,
Or parents’ clear beverage cans silently
Witnessed intruders pry open windows’
Bars, cut door latches, abscond, disappear,
Carry away utensils, rugs, rings, computers,
Transform humble dwellings, structure new
Caravansaries for safehousing loutish men.

Draped in an ulster, Grandmother called
Quietly, assigning chores, classes, meals,
Forced political revenants to again dissolve,
To disband “community” broadcasts since
Tainted factotums composed rumors,
Networked citizens, planted falsehoods,
Drank up tears plus orbital motions, life;
Expectorated happiness, safety, gratitude.

Our captains sometimes misappropriated
The Holy Land’s reliable ingredients,
Invited outworlder bandits to capture,
To record, to film transpirate feelings.
Mistakenly, officials summoned “truths”
Beyond reason, vitriol-shaped stories,
Hurtful movies, bile-laden sound bites,
False, bitter, representations. Mendacities.

Never mattered whether media made sense.
Faith’s valuable raw properties advance us,
Bring constructs revealing universal blueprints,
The Almighty’s hand, heavenly master plans.
Immense earthen openings still engulf rebels,
Sort out lesser baddies with quick death by
Divine fire. There’s no consolation elsewhere;
Service to The Boss means enforcing limits.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Mount Parable

by JD DeHart

no one bothered to tell
the weary traveler
that the inside of the mountain
was hollow, but he continued
anyway, leading his family
on, past the lagoons that might
have offered solace, past the plenty
and the promises, the grand
vineyards, the voices of gods,
to the intended destination,
now listening to the echo
resonate back to him, too far
to go back now.

Moth Upside Down on the Ceiling

by Donal Mahoney

This black moth
flew in the front door
of the living room
the other night
and has been up
on the ceiling
ever since.
It's hanging
upside down
in the same spot
not moving

like a drone waiting
for instructions.
I'm in my recliner
this morning
drinking coffee
and watching him.
He's an immigrant
from the light
that shines all night
on the front porch
letting burglars know

I have an AK-47
should they decide
to drop in.
The last few nights
I've noticed other moths
fluttering around the light
perhaps wondering where
this moth is.
In his current fix,
he too may be wondering
how they're doing.

When I was a boy,
there was a protocol
in my family when
a moth commandeered
the parlor ceiling.
My father would swing
the fly swatter
and flatten the intruder
with one splat.

The last three mornings
I haven't seen this moth move.
I wouldn't kill him
even if I had a swatter.
But if he were
an inconvenience,
like an unintended fetus
found in a womb,
I still wouldn't do anything.
We have people trained
to take care of that
and like my father
they know what
they're doing.


by Marc Carver

My words gift death
to someone
who is ready to leave.
The damp fingers
snuff out the candle of light
small smoke now fills the room.
I can touch her still as she leaves
crosses the plain
as she goes
she becomes young again
and we are together
and there is no one else in the world
not at all..

Didn’t Miss a Light

by Todd Mercer

Me and Ingenue
cross the distance of the city
on the surface roads. A couple blocks,
then stop, we roll
a couple blocks more.
This ain’t the speed round.
Don’t waste worry,
we’ll get there when
night falls from under-slung clouds,
while you tap your watch’s face
certain of superiority, while you vent
and stew, Ingenue and me
are living better, cataloging
truth on the ground you’ve missed
from the vantage of the
sometimes-efficient toll thruways.
We’re a mile out, in-bound,
humming with soul, seeing all
and blessing the details.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

silent treatment

by Wanda Morrow Clevenger

worst part
of fighting
with him
is the
black eye

the expanse
spent sorting
and chaos
on yard sale

putting a
to damages

what to
let go
for pennies

what to
for the next

don't underestimate me

by Linda M. Crate

i don't know who i am
my identity
has been stripped from me
like a jane doe
in a morgue
don't know when i ceased to be
a person,
but evidently i'm only a woman
or what men
as such judging from the way
they view me like a piece
of meat
when my hips sway as i walk
my skirt flying behind me
like a gypsy anthem;
i am not
your conquest,
the ancient climb or the
archaeological dig
of gyrating hips against the nether-regions—
stop stripping of my name,
i am linda;
daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece,
great niece,
cousin, friend, co-worker,
poet and writer—
there's a passion beating in my chest that would
burn your baser thoughts to ruin
for i am a woman,
but i'm so much more than that
there's talent and emotions
woven in my fabric;
i burn bright as stars
woe to the man
that underestimates me again.

This One Doesn’t Have a Title

by James Babbs

according to the bathroom scale
I’m up to 250 pounds
the heaviest I’ve ever been
I know I’m fat and need to lose some weight
I’ve never tried to pretend
I’m thin and beautiful
but I have gone past mirrors
and stopped to look at myself
thinking I wasn’t too bad
after all
I still have my own hair
and all of my own teeth
even my wisdom teeth
at the back of my mouth
I’ve heard some people have trouble with them
when they start coming in
but I never did
and I never had to have my tonsils out
I still have all my original parts
and the only bones I’ve ever broken
were two small ones in my right foot
after a large box of laundry soap
fell on it many years ago
when I worked the night shift at Wal-Mart
and didn’t weigh near as much
as what I do now


by John Pursch

And so O’Flaherty E-Roarkin’ Tweedy Two-Piling
Flamepot Torino-Angler-4-Fleshscan Farmbot
(alias Sunsheen Q-Table Fixamatic Sox Machina)
was always renounced from seed to shiny spleef,
as any whirled-wide louver’s primary basted
mating tourniquet might be...

Well, this slovenly grout-fer-notchy
wrench ova wenchy wonder,
she staggers between barstools
batter tan any udder armchair
totally dug-knee-terrier blow-by-blowbot
what Yule never have deep rivulets
of purely mined loud goop,
latter lone good luck,
to mate in personage or when exiled
on an otter planetoid in sherbet aloud
summed starry-sighed canned stellae shins,
tanned intoned and of course purr-flecked lea attached
to seven amour (hey!) stumblingly spinning thighs
lick wad weave Yeti sea graze the soil or hat most fear
of hourly wander fuel planet Dearth.

Hear, led me given ye hind spansule
of wad she zounds alike when she pluralizes:

“Aaooooh, ladled biceps honers,
stuck hon palmipsest Dearth,
shame dimes noun has plangent Dirt.

Swell come’s sorely swilling up
hen yer bulkheads bellow dick,
high can seize data weed out
heaven clocking a shekel
on yer seemingly measely orbit.

Whelp, antsy blonde-ruddered feminine lobotic
ken sea wad’s cumin on,
phlegm halfway surround da galactic hub,
dusty opaquity knot-weed-spandex.

Highs closet, laps spurted,
higher tail ye icon feeble yer savory surge,
haul twelve bullion of youse,
nest jut yearning toucan but hag chew alley
scumming upper sturm und dragnet,
spouting threw thyme without heaven
you sing temporal drugs or thyme mache!

Quiet an extraordinary fleet
ewe bays’ve menage’d to pull offal,
hefty ye drone mine the pun!”

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Visit

by Bobby Steve Baker

Once; it seems a life ago, I drove in procession
this rudiment of road and so I know it well.
     Two wheel ruts enclose grasses two feet high
     whose heavy buds we severed on the grill
intruding through
the winding pines that whistled with our passing,
whistled in pursed lips of the wind. Whispering our
     to those who understood their sticky tongue
     from years of idle listening to their seductive
Fallen pine cones crunched beneath our tires
a squirrel stood statue still beside the lightly
travelled trail.
     My son, oldest of five, and the only one
     to know his grandfather, was impatient
as a child will be when he anticipates a visit
with papa and will receive a treat, for sure a treat.
     Past the final cloistering of trees
     there he was in a small clearing by a pond, sitting
on a stone, smoking a cigarette, directing
other men, always Master Chief of the Boat,
     never satisfied, nothing done quite right.
     He had lost weight, but then I realized
the last time I saw him he had lost weight,
and the light in his eyes for his grandchild
     was so bright there was some left over
     for his son a glint in the eye of a father
who loved the idea of loving his child
but could not hold him to his chest and encircle him.
     He gave me his Navy medals to give to my boy
     who was delighted by the terribly funny stories
that were told about the war.
Don’t be so long in coming back he said,
     dragging smoke off the dying embers of the cigarette
     as we turned to take our leave of him,
and he slipped again beneath the mist
the stone wobbling for a moment like a buoy.

lord only knows why she married him twice

by Larry Jones

well fiddle faddle elmer
(sometimes she called me elmer)
you're holding your fork
just like your father.

I wish you wouldn't do that
you remind me of him.

do you know how he got out of the war?
while he was in korea
he fell off a jeep
and broke his leg,
so they sent him home
ha, he was a liar and a coward.

your father was the dumbest man I ever knew,
he could never hold a job
for more than a couple weeks
and he was always crying
about silly little things.

you see that hole in the living room wall?
your father did that with his fist,
he was drunk and crying
then he had the nerve
to blame it on me.

lord only knows why I married him twice.

stop looking at me like that willie
(sometimes she called me willie)
you remind me of him
god I hated that man.

A Father's Day Like No Other

by Donal Mahoney

Wally Anderson, father of three daughters, was not pleased after reading an email from Shelly, his eldest, a week before Father's Day. He thought she might be coming to visit for the holiday. Instead Shelly told him of her sudden wedding to a man he did not know. A Google search told him that her new husband had two names and that he had married Shelly under the most recent one. However, Google also said his new son-in-law had a good job and apparently leads a respectable life.

The wedding had taken place on an island in the Pacific. The ceremony had been conducted by one of an indigenous chieftain under a gigantic coconut tree. Shelly had studied anthropology in college with an emphasis on indigenous peoples so Wally understood why she might choose to marry in that environment. But the more Wally read about her marriage, the more he felt as if a coconut had fallen on his head. 

This was not the first time Shelly had surprised him. She had married her two other husbands on the spur of the moment as well. One was a drunk and the other a gambler. After two marriages of less than a year each, Shelly moved on with life. And now she had a new husband, albeit with two names. The first two husbands, whatever their flaws, had only one name. No confusion in that regard at least.

So after his daughter sent him a photo of the happy couple on their honeymoon, Wally did another Google search and discovered not only did her new husband have two names but photos of him available online revealed that he resembled the late Ted Bundy, a mass murderer and rapist executed some years ago. This prompted Wally to reply to his daughter's email by asking why her new husband had two names, giving full credit to Google for disclosing this information. 

"Shelly, as your father, I have a right to know," Wally wrote. 

In half an hour, Shelly sent her father a long email with attachments attesting to the character and accomplishments of her husband but without any explanation as to why he had two names. Apparently, he had taken the second name as an adult, tossing out the possibility that he was an orphan adopted by some nice couple in Iowa, the state from which he hailed under the first of his two names. According to Google, he had earned two degrees from Yale under that first name.  

In his next email to Shelly, Wally mentioned that he was still confused by the whole situation and needed further clarification.

"Shelly, if your mother was still alive, she would want to know as well," Wally said as imperatively as he could. He didn't want to set Shelly off because she might disappear again as she had when she was fresh out of college. She had spent three years island-hopping in the Pacific, getting to know the terrain and the people. She really enjoyed her time there.

In her reply Shelly said she would "tell Daddy all about it on Father's Day" when she was coming to see him. Her new husband, however, would not be coming with her since he was going to visit his father for the holiday. 

"They are very close," Shelly added in a postscript. 

Wally replied right away, his fingers flying across the keyboard.

"Which father might that be--and which name does he go by? And does he live in Iowa or is he somewhere else? A concerned father wants to know." 

Shelly wrote back and bubbled that she would tell him everything on Father's Day and bring him some fresh coconuts to boot. 

Wally realized that all he could do was wait and see. So he wrote back and said that he'd wait for Father's Day so she could tell him everything in person.

Shelly replied right away and said that if it's a boy, they might name him Walter.

It was obvious to Wally now that this would be a Father's Day like no other.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Launch of cross country mobile bookstore & publisher

June 14, 2014
For Immediate Release

Mobile bookstore and publisher prepares to launch a cross country journey in the style of Jack Kerouac.

Independent publishers Nostrovia! Poetry and UndergroundBooks have launched a crowd fundraising campaign to organize a cross-country mobile bookstore and publishing house called Books & Shovels.  Books & Shovels, headed by Jeremiah Walton, a 19 year old poet from New Hampshire, and founder of Nostrovia! Poetry, will begin its cross country journey at the 2014 NYC Poetry Festival on Governor’s Island.

Aiming to promote passionate living, Books & Shovels exists to encourage others to be willing to make sacrifices to accomplish their dreams.  The store is run of a station wagon, and sets up shop at literary festivals, open mics, poetry slams, and on street corners, distributing poetry chapbooks, street books, cds, records, novels, comics, graffiti, and displays of passion.  You can donate your materials to Books & Shovels for distribution through their website.

Nostrovia! Poetry was founded in 2011, and has since published chapbooks, zines, street books, video poems, any median it can sink its teeth into.  Nostrovia! Poetry has been featured at the 2013 and 2014 Midwest Small Press festivals, the 2013 NYC Poetry Festival, and Cleveland's 2014 Snoetry Festival.   Known for its guerilla marketing tactics and street performing missions, Nostrovia! Poetry will not be silent.

Books & Shovels is seeking pledges to help finance the project.  Money can be pledged through their IndieGoGo campaign at  Information on Nostrovia! Poetry can be found at



Jeremiah Walton, Nostrovia! Poetry
Tel: 603-727-6710
Email: jeremiahwalton (at)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Throughout the Beginning of Social History

by KJ Hannah Greenberg

Throughout the beginning of social history,
Yaacov’s sons distinguished here as holy.
The ways of prayer would cover all. No
Bashing, no exclusivity, no slurs; just unity.

Contemporary settlers’ demographics, too,
Amass thinking, speaking, acting towards
Each other as balance against muddled facets,
Quantifiably garnering lives free from canards.

Honor, again and again, gleans conscience,
Behooves cleaving to forefathers’ wisdoms,
Provides an ongoing purchase of miracles,
In local buildings glistening with sandstone.

Decebrate postures, those funky oppositions,
Faith improperly functioning, trendy rhetoric,
Disobedience to The Book, The Boss, Truth,
Omit vital spiritual nutrients, clinch iniquity.

When all of the nations turn against Israel,
Reflecting predawn eternity, we’ll run, greet
Messiah’s world without dressed up religion.
From the straits, we’ll call upon The Name.

Sentences Correctly and Incorrectly Translated Using Duolingo

by Joseph Feinberg

Each day I love you more
I want to be better
She is covered in ice
Her eyes are the only parts that can move
She communicates to me more than before
When the ice melts, she becomes liquid
She becomes so hot that steam ascends from her skin
There is her warmth against my body
It's the body of the animal
These are our heads
Your face is red
Your face is red
Your face is red
He has blood on the lips
His skin is cold
It is too soon to turn back
They did not want to leave my prison
The heart is a muscle
The pain is in a muscle


by Jennifer A. McGowan

We talked about how to twist the truth.
Like you drying gunpowder in the gas oven,
I said.  Good party talk, but really.
He was silent for a minute.  It wasn’t
in there for very long, he said, defensively.

Time is Lumber

by Todd Mercer

The roof of his house collapsed
as the pumper truck pulled into the drive. He paused…
then called out the strategy, the Fire Chief
rolled hoses from the hydrant hookups,
as if it were any other house. The training
takes over, but time is lumber
and this residence was fully involved
when a neighbor phoned it in.
After the embers of a total burn-down
are doused, bulldozers and actuaries
come through with their tasks. The man’s
bunking at the station, just for now/indefinitely,
charred hair, stoic, smoldering.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

On The Roof

by BethAnn Caputo

I think of us,
Imagine a neon line painted on asphalt.
I claw at the boundary, stripped bare
Dig my finger nails deep
just to watch them bleed.

These places we have come to fear the worst,
turned inside out
could be a different world--
let the past leak down the gutter,
dream out loud.

But we forget that in people,
there is some devil.
No force, however strong
can weld a crooked pipe straight.

and it's cold
and it's cold
and it's cold

We are homesick most for what we have never known.

The Undead Robots

by Pijush Kanti Deb

The undead robots we are today,
made diplomatically by the dead brains,
paralyzed to the epics scanned by turns
by the dynamic and enthusiastic neighbor,
surprisingly ambidextrous in refusing the nectar
while a glass of hemlock is preferred to drown.
Counseling, good wish and blessing-the pearls
quite generous and tolerant to our thorny attitude,
yet their dropping on us is unfelt and unpicked
and putting two and two together today
seems to be unable to create a better equation.
Tomorrow is ever-hopeful, so ascertained
for a giant touch of an honest morning-
rewarding us a luminous sun, rising.


by Marc Carver

I keep waking up
with these hardons
then I fall back asleep
and an hour or two later they are still there.
Really springy, like those spring boards in the swimming pool
the ones that go up and down when people jump on them.
I wish I  could work one of these away jumping up and down
on someone but
there is no one here.

tell me something worth hearing

by Linda M. Crate

i've never been one for small talk
bores the hell out of me
it's such a chore
to think of
something without any facet
of imagination;
it's a gemstone without luster
a night without a star
rivers with no water,
and i just can't stand it anymore—
tell me a story about your
grandfather or sister
your mother or your child,
a lie about how you
saved the universe in your past life
anything at all;
but please don't talk to me of the
it's nothing i can control,
and i hate the negativity of complaints
that's always ushered in,
in relation to the weather—
no, tell me of laughter
of some happily ever after of all
the things you're grateful for
maybe then i'd turn an ear in instead of
nodding politely, privately
hoping for your absence sometime soon.

Snow Flannel Creamsicle

by John Pursch

Shaman Weirdo Chet,
lotion queen extraordinaire,
dominant pax vobiscum vendor of
proboscis prostheses from Ovarian
Sveltenland to Luft Blank of Serengentifroid Rivulet,
cheap mercantile chopstick sidewalk abomination in
eyefuls of any lucid daydreaming steamship simulacrum;

in short, he breathe poisonous gustatory favoritism
with every ribald exhalation of exalted exhumation…

Chetly dream of attaining she-male status,
hermaphroditic aspirant gone sour
to eggplant noose concoction quaffer,
practical submerged hourly under tiny
paper bumbershoot of blam-blamboozle
snickers from all quartered corridors,
smiling millennial garrisons spewing
insidiously pale invective in quandary
heap of moldy toilette and rag o’ da mouth
sore clubfoot dangle kit bag eruptive chancre,
topped off with whipped Creamsicle of frozen
poi in taro-tinctured waistband seepage.

Still, Chet laugh at sunrise, taunt
cyclotomic integrity with tinny stone throw
of previous century Laudanum’s tubal tile raid
in bric-pac scattershot semblance of logistic
paralysis under junkie sky scream
to heathen-go-lousy store blight,
ceding bitten piles to timid travails of
twirling Battened Rouge, Glueiezee Handya
tripwire totem recourse flit.

Snow Flannel Can, puttering up
Cistern Hamjelloca’s delicate thighs,
synchs to next-door hammering on
Wotan’s pyre of fallen backs and archway
shivers into gold Snowember flurries,
blacking out to Prussian Font floss bites,
cinched evisceration tights, and brewed
enamel demolition churn of Zulu showers
in harrowed isthmus carp asleep from
low-light Howayan tribal stools humming
Shyly-Bino-Breachout Corpsicle.

Chet he plop three year ahead in sudden schlep,
solely due to laugh can pounding on heat-addled
traipsing tonic belief ingredients, kept closet ooze
his vestibule tell icon grapple him black to
prescient-daze ArchandTina.

Nod sew bland to be dislocated
hefty weigh around the globule;
lease he’s lauded on planet Dearth
in horror less hour timeline.
Shim what salvageable, by antsy
salivator’s standards.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

General Strike anywhere matches
Funeral Ghat, Varanasi

by Miriam C. Jacobs and Unisa Asokan

                      A red box of matches,
                      a ten pound stick of butter,
                      a 20 pound sac of sugar, the river.
                      The body covered in yellow cloth, embroidered
                           with a gold pattern.

Down to the river we carry you,
by holy Ganges’ ghastly rush.  Bathers in sun
flame, at sunrise, rub their skins with ash,
press hands to foreheads dotted
with bright pigments, bend into water –
no waiting for a reason to let go.

                        Flies. More flies.
                        The family touches the skin of the dead
                             for the last time.

Here, to the ghats, we bear you on our shoulders –
bier tented in swaths of red,
tented in fire, hands pressed to your navel.
When we tilt you into the water, flame
rises from your open mouth like prayer – press
of current, chimera – rush of nothing you need.

                          The fire negotiates an exchange of light,
                          A crew of the cremation caste sifts through
                               the ashes and remains.
                          Fingers find a wallet chain, a septum ring,
                               a flask of whiskey,
                          an anchor made of copper.

Holy city, where temples shoulder one another
under an ashy sky and bodies drift in the flood,
your mourners, idle now, lower hands,
stand and brush clay dust from trousers,
opening mouths to paper cones of puffed rice.
Holy water, holy river, carry me.  Let me go.

The Morning After Chill

by Paul Tristram

Her breathing has changed
and she is starting to fidget, slightly
but she is still pretending to sleep.
We are no longer even remotely touching
which is important, now.
There is at least an arm width of space
between our bodies
all the way down this long single bed
from our heads to our toes.
That thin chasm is icy cold,
filled with screaming regrets,
half-remembered names
and last nights drunken smiles.
The bitter aftermath
of an intoxicated attraction now dead.
If I was not so hung-over
and so far from where I live
I would have taken my leave already.
But that time comes at last
as she stirs more regularly with impatience.
I quietly slide out of her bed
and silently into my clothes,
then steal out of the creaking door
of this smoky one night stand bedsit
like a criminal backtracking his way
from the scene of a crime.
Openly wearing the opposite of a smile
upon my weary disillusioned mug
I try to squint away the guilty
grey morning light
as I tread quickly along
this unfamiliar Cardiff backstreet.


by Jeremiah Walton

There is no time to trim our nails
Along our carpentry games
our trousers must be removed
and the clouds in our hearts
must storm
to prove soul
to sunrise love.


by Jonel Abellanosa

To be closer to his material, flour.
Trial and error taught him to layer,
Taught him to crisp or soften surfaces.

Pages prodding try the pita, grissini, Stollen,
Zwieback, try new forms, flavored crusts,
Hues of black forest, brown, gold.

Shaping finger rolls like painting
Inscapes, hand movements hypnotic,
Inward rolls rhythmic .

Baguettes lengthen his meditations.
He braids concentration like Challah,
Sprinkling poppy seeds on plaits.

Cottage, Vienna, fruit, farmhouse
Loaves.  Each croissant like a face
He loved.  Self-portraits of wheat, rye.

Imagining the peel in his powdered hands,
Visualizing larger fire, basil and garlic
Filling the room with changed air

Spreading marmalades of recall
On toast: aroma of the father imago –
Why he became artificer of dough.

This morning, before the painters arrived,
He tried his self-taught measure on pan de sal.
One failed to rise to the desired size

Yet no other held longer his
Rumination to his artistic flaws,
No other point angled the interior light.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Waiting for Melvin

by Donal Mahoney

Mabel in a gray cotton
dress turning to gauze
bends over her garden

feeling for a ripe cantaloupe
to take in the house
and chunk up for supper

when suddenly she sees
a blimp in the sky
this August afternoon.

She wants to board that blimp
before Melvin gets home,
removes his bib overalls

and straps her butt
because his meatloaf is cold
and his melon hot.

If he beats her again,
she knows she can't sit
through Sunday service.


by Marc Carver

I saw the beggar man
that now had a promotion to drug dealer.
I couldn't hide the look of disgust from my face
as he wouldn't look at me.
But you know what they say.
Judge yee
but sometimes it is tough.
You have to walk in another man's shoes to know
but I have no desire to do that
I have enough trouble getting anywhere in my own.

i'm sorry

by Linda M. Crate

i am the
secret keeper
tell me something you will never
hear it again if it's not meant
to be uttered,
and i've buried so many secrets
deep within myself
sometimes it's hard to tell
which ones are mine
betrayed someone's confidence once
as a child, and i hated myself
for it so i vowed to take
an oath of silence—
my voice is but a whisper but it won't
speak anyone's business
because i am an ocean of distance
won't even divulge pieces
of me
until you dig through the sand,
and when you find a
nugget of me
you'll find that i'm already gone;
too many times i've been abandoned so i thought
i'd save us both the trouble
before you decided you'd hate me, too—
and, yes, i know it's
cowardice but i've never been brave
i'm sorry.

The Piano Player Said

by Tom Hatch

The piano player at Bemelmans Bar in the Carlyle
Sometimes he played the 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM spot
Told me he would see this little middle aged women
Coming and going through the bar
Past his melodic piano after awhile
They would nod to each other
As he played the treble keys
The theme song of Dr. Zhivago or
Some Cole Porter
Squeegeeing with great talent
Lennon and McCartney A Day in the Life
They said hi one day the next day they
Spoke she stopped in at Bemelmans
To use the restroom a
Clean one as she said a clean spot when needing
To pee while on a shopping spree
Another great spot she said was Frank E. Campbell's
Funeral Home on Madison and 81st
Famous for funerals since 1898 for
The likes of "Fatty" Arbuckle, Candy Darling,
Dominic Dunne, Jackie O, to a recent
Phillip Seymour Hoffman and J. Lennon get the picture
She went up stairs to pee
During another Madison Avenue shopping spree
A funeral was on she tried to make it
Out before the final tear and farewell
Missed it by seconds forced
To wait in the exiting crowd
Handed a guest book she signed
with name and address
As the others did
Six months later she got a check
In the mail for 20 grand thanks
The dead guy wrote
For coming to see my send
Off to the promised land

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Blues in a Green Country

by Robert Nisbet

He was her first love, a forester.
He planted spruce along the high Preseli hills.
She’d sometimes dream with him
of majesties of green on mountain ridges.

After their parting, she did well enough.
She married, raised young, played bridge,
consorted even, more latterly,
with ladies who lunch.
                                     They’d not have thought
that once, teaching English to teenagers,
she would flinch from William Blake:
Tyger, tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night.

Sometimes now, driving over the Preselis,
she’ll wince with wonderment,
seeing those forests, their green
and their grandeur, matured now
and confident upon the sky-line.

Hunting With Masai

by Charles Bane Jr

Dawn is spear and
shield and gun recklessly
left behind. We move in a
single line. Last night
they chased away a
missionary and we lay.
Mine is the god of the Hebrews
I explained, mountain born
like N'gai. He is not desirous
of you and only one
of mine has seen his face.
His mountain had boiled gravely
and he built a vessel of lava
rock for a climber overcome
to voyage fire home.

The Blue God

by Joan McNerney

The blue god
    is so strong
he can twist trees
with the tip of his tongue.

You better not defy him
              scream at him
              lie to him.
He'll explode and beat
      the hell out of you.

He lives on nothing
   will die for nothing
   makes us children
   shivering all night
   crying in empty winds
   turning our tears to ice.

The blue god
    is so strong
northern winds bow to his will.

He doesn't dig
           your moaning
           and groaning.
You better shut up or he'll
make mincemeat out of you.

He laughs at everything
has respect for nothing
makes us afraid to fight
when he spits in our faces
turning our tears to ice.

So we watch in silence
waiting for the coming light
when he will hold us
in his burning hands
and we will be born twice
    once by fire
    once by ice.

Lake Effect

by John Ottley Jr.,

Just a tiny yellow mist
in our pristine Oregon lake.
They’re going to empty
60,000 gallons of clear mountain water
into the Pacific
just because security cameras caught a guy
tinkling in it.

Guess they don’t film moose
lumbering in here stiff-legged to bottom feed.
They just let everything go when they feel like it.

Foxes lift their legs every time they pass.
And bears—you should see those hairy dudes unload
while they wait to scoop one of us up for lunch.

Raccoons and lynxes don’t do it in the lake,
but you can bet their business leaches in on us
come the next rain.

And, hey, we rainbow trout:
all we eat is bugs but, even then, every so often
we gotta…well, you know.

Wait’ll the lake bed’s dry and we’re flopping
and gasping for breath.
Yeah, eagles will snatch up a few of us, but the rest:
talk about your genocide.
Eventually the lake will refill, but, man
that water’s going to taste fishy for years.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Hand of God, sculpted by Carl Milles

by Linda Gamble

Precarious perch
above Detroit street,
not  yet committing
to the palm, he balances
on thumb and forefinger,
free to fall, hoping to be caught.
Peering skyward, back arched,
he strains to see the One
who has reached down to
meet him,
who holds him aloft,
that he might see the potential
of his becoming.

Dead Grey Wolf Skins
(Tribute: Aldo Leopold)

by Michael Lee Johnson

Dead grey wolf skins hang
on white clotheslines across Baraboo, Wisconsin
the dark surface, side of the moon,
that only exists in memories hung high, long before.
Hunters in the past did their job well,
sold skins, collected a few bucks,
increased deer for hunting, saved cattle,
decreased fear, told tales, short stories, adventures.

The grey wolf face now emergent,
opens his mouth wide in the safety
open in blue sky.
Shows his white teeth against
background of black sky, shadow,
hears thunder again, releases
fireflies at night, monarch butterflies
during the day, guts down pine tree spikes.
He walks once again over landscapes of turquoises.
He consumes dirt road dust, 119 miles to Milwaukee.
His keen eyes are sharp for growth of skyscraper, Pabst Building.
Traveling side roads over many years brings him to the present.
No more violators, hunters with guns, fake Jesus people
slender in His bathrobe Christ repeats two fishes, 5 loaves.

Aldo Leopold feeding inmate in small jail cells, only kills a few for research.
Aldo a Saint of conservation a consumer of cigarettes and butts,
heart wings of doves attached, broken, stroke fire, a neighbor field
heart stroke drops into history.

Great Plains Drifter
(Monarch butterfly tanka sequence)

by Tim Gardiner

each spring
in forest pines
the odyssey begins ~
an orange army
decorates grey plains

delicate ladies
lay alien eggs
on milkweed leaves ~
a new generation
drawn to magnetic north

this season’s
prospecting pioneers
mine for nectar ~
sweeping along highways
at tornado pace

on Route 83
a butterfly is pinned
to the radiator grill ~
another victim
of the summer vacation

turbine blades
cut through silence
on high plains ~
a passing swarm
caught in their draft

the plough
has done its worst
cultivating extinction ~
ghost towns
deserted by butterflies

in all directions
dancing prairie-grass
is stripped of colour ~
drifting spirits
ride south to sanctuary

a life and death race
to escape fall’s
cold touch ~
two thousand miles
lead to the same tree


by Marc Carver

As i sat in the town centre square
thinking about another opportunity missed
some students came and sat opposite me
They seemed to be waiting for someone.
Ten minutes later the beggar came down the street
and the students got excited.

Two of them went over to him
and he gave them something
and they gave him something
and then they both went their own ways.
Like magic they were gone.
as simple as that.