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  • 03/26/13--21:00: Kislay Chauhan - Five Poems

  • Afternoon Desert 

    Tides in absorbed sunlight, dry sand desert
    Whitish glare, seeking mirror boats
    Where time is dried, moments sweat
    Music in flames, days on the roots
    Dewdrops of morning search shadow
    Where sun is more leaned, cleaned but hard
    The outsized branches, curvy eyes of leaves
    Stony feet the sharp fingers digging surface
    The labors with spades mining the place
    Small spiders with sewing tensing wounds
    Blocking airs impelling to breath high
    With black and white scenes and sky
    Turning years of hooks and scissors without rain
    Striving bones, sore throats of birds and beasts
    And then steady rocks of bronzed silence
    Little weeds the waiters of years
    And no one dares, no one hears
    Only the tails of trees bounding water
    Spongy blue ribs spread out of chest
    The boats only mirages peeping far away
    Forever a mirage alone never gets any meet
    Dazzling waves decorate them hanging mirrors
    The last storm all forgot but still the signs there
    Desert fencing borders far of the crowds
    Where only cheerful nights smile
    And afternoon songs are tired unto evenings
    When all the stars dine together
    On sand-sheet, sand with resting eyes

    An Old Age

    A mechanical heart, desolated
    Standing solemn around weaving silky water
    Water of eyes, inveterate healer
    On grass of sorrow by wind directing ways
    Lifted breath burden on the lungs
    Frightened gazes of nerves hugging heart
    Dripping sights of memory in front of legs

    The day of last heartbeat of his words
    Dissolving in fog of all directions,
    Peeping shadows of memories from cloak
    Someone almost lost the grace of life
    And somewhere pulses thunder to get out
    Rotten skin with blooming sights and spirit
    The layers of irregular breath stiffened

    Where every valley is not straight to cross
    Distinguished desires without any complaints
    Certain limping stick in hand for way
    Every step, summing up a journey
    Dull head, digging shoulders, wide glasses
    Which seems something binocular badges
    Lost quartz of teeth, shrugging expression

    Occasional smiles filling lonely times
    He just needs help to cross that road
    And lakes of sorrow and solitude
    And listening last seasonal singing of birds
    Every step with folding calm days in arms
    Preaching eyes of life need assistance of love
    An old man carrying belief of life, belief of life

    Seashore Witness

    Slowing prints, waves take a walk
    With numbed faces for one end
    Once again looping fear was formed there
    Over still eyes of snails by offshore wind
    Some striding crabs around coastline
    Tear-stains the patches by seaside
    Along wet sand I would like to retire
    Stillness of darker truth and my life
    The misty colors in straight sun strings
    Inaudible songs of seagulls and seabirds
    A misty silence, a moving street
    The drops steal my back footprints
    Two lonely rooms, my soul, my shadow
    Over and over, many times through my breath
    Thick peeling off earth’s surface under feet
    Setting up a dream-house through seashore
    A single dream, floating with every ray
    Rising different gleams, different dreams
    Over and over till end to end
    A breezing ghost, with siren sound by ears
    And in far away blue waves
    Binders of my breath—
    Many things unsolved there spread stones
    The diaphanous destinations change stations
    With every tide, with every wobble
    A dried log of life witness there from years
    Broken both sides and dubious eyes
    That was the last meeting with that log
    At that last night, when dreadful wave came
    Then all witnesses were ended forever

    Face of The Nature

    A painted face of nature, flashing sun
    Feeble walks of days and nights on the face
    Eyes the trees, mountains of different shapes
    Our visionary guides for our journey

    A little temple appears in dawn and dusk
    Holding life to show us god for every question
    Sounds of small bells bounded in the temple
    A brilliant echo of nature and its voice

    Street lights the stars for night to dream
    The sleeping nature with a guard, the moon
    A fortnight duty of moon caring all the ways
    By tender lullabies of breeze and sea-waves

    Smile, the rivers with radiant water and falls
    Hairs the fringes and fragrance of the flowers
    Forehead the horizon, emotions rise and set there
    Ears of temples, churches and mosques where

    Elusive brows of sun and moon rays on eyes
    Watching shyness with garden of red roses
    The attempting joy and sorrow, gardens and grays
    Anger seems little creepy with craters and bays

    Foggy sights and seasonal feeling ever-changing
    Snowing teeth when eyes raining or autumnal hair
    Beautiful nature different in different regions
    But same in all aspects, to care, love and inspire

    Heart Of Wood

    Somewhere a box filled emotions
    Of wood, built round bit for life
    Different cherishes keeping in
    Supplying sets of dreams’ belief
    A lock of ego, anger and hate
    With key of help, kindness and love
    The sides varnished with tender
    A sort of wood flinching in fear
    Slanted, corners of silence, spiritual
    Stiffing to ground, burns in fire
    Fire of love, hurt and desires
    Wrapping cloths of seasons boiling
    Lonely narrow boxes...
    Strange boards made of wood
    Devouring colors of surfaces
    Edges broken, steeping to ground
    An old tomb, with torn boundary
    A monument lasts for a breath
    Breath that unlocks lock, loneliness
    Wooden box, clouds, rains and keys
    Sunlight heals it up, an artifact
    Parallel conditions, stars run above
    May be one day, we put it as monument
    Lonely, only memory of old swarms
    When it used to have everything
    Heart of wood, now in a museum
    Motionless, a show for strangers
    Having life, all of wood, to be painted
    Or to be burned to warm some

    Kislay Chauhan is a computer engineer, 25 year old, He has written four poetry books “ Takhir,” “The Vague,” “Once And for All” and “The Edges of The Spirit."

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    The Phone Cord from The Wall is a Twisting Snake of Wonder

    It has been very quiet, of late,
    the brown bag wisdom of half-eaten sandwiches,
    much dish soap on the window sill without comment,
    me, sitting here in my undershorts
    on the couch
    watching a carpet beetle rediscover America,
    Columbus of the many legs,
    a favourite of buckwheat whores,
    and there is no telling how the knives in the wall
    got there,
    I hear life is unpredictable, that’s what they say, right?:
    expect a mudslide and a yellow parakeet arrives,
    drain flies in the margarine, and
    all that?...
    Not to worry, though,
    I’m as sane as the next bed
    still defecating in the bowl
    and hanging postcards on the fridge
    like felons...

    Which reminds me,
    I must remember to check the flashlight
    for batteries
    so there will be shadow puppets
    on the wall


    Less than 20 000 kms
    and his tires
    are already bald.

    And he is balding too.


    We are both 30
    year old men-
    reasonably healthy -
    but he
    is somehow

    seems to come to a man
    all at once.

    after wife
    and kids.

    He combs over
    some of it,
    but we both
    still know.

    Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a happily unmarried proud father of none.

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  • 03/28/13--09:49: Richard Schnap - One Poem
  • Black Vinyl

    He believed that churches should all be burned down
    And women were either stupid or mean

    As he filled his loft with a thousand recordings
    Of punk rock idols who had early deaths

    But when he heard the toll of Sunday bells
    Or the lilting laughter of a passing girl

    He knew he could never collect enough noise
    To drown out the echoes of his homeless heart

    Richard Schnap is a poet, songwriter and collagist living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His poems have most recently appeared locally, nationally and overseas in a variety of print and online publications.

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  • 03/28/13--13:30: John Harper - Two Poems
  • Joyous Range

    now among a question
    i can’t ask,
    and in seeming more so than waiting,
    there’s something larger
    inside this being, getting nearer—

    softly let it ask of me, then,
    conflagration angel—whom i thought
    as but a pausing desire from my lips—
    what of which needs buried, and what of me needs burned
    in opal air held high,

    unlocking the rounds of peace and war
    from tunnels of vast, darkened messages
    i’ve scratched out, and cried into,
    from the heart of a cold statue watching
    space go by, in the moon’s silver light—

    in feeling done, or tired, or blinded,
    with waiting for an incandescent
    answer to come,
    what else can i do
    but naturally fall within a joyous range—

    Mr. Moment

    i’m waiting for the true moment to happen,
    but sometimes i do see how so very much
    it doesn’t occur to me why i believe
    it’s actually not already

    happening right now, and only right now—
    like when letting go a spot
    i’ve been gazing at on a stream,
    it feels as i’m itself sliding along clear rivulets,

    without any focused particulars,
    or boundary between—
    i tend to heavily stick around, hovering
    at either frustrating extreme of best and worst

    self-fascinations; and i will do this
    till i see what really counts; all of me
    must come through the parting thought
    that i’m any more than a moment—

    John Harper is a graduate of the Writer’s Workshop at Iowa, and has published his poetry in literary journals like Diagram, Mid-American Poetry Review, Cutbank, Spinning Jenny and Zoland Poetry. He was a book finalist with Four Way Books, and has a chapbook called PEEK-A-BOO TERRAIN.

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  • 03/28/13--18:30: Matthew Wilson - One Poem
  • Apollo's Kin
    Stars are the sun's stubborn children
    that broke off piece by piece
    burning up too fast
    in their quest to be independent.

    Some will lose their way among the angry asteroid
    and others, mere children, will smash
    themselves to dust
    on the surface of dead worlds.

    Some will reach the home of men,
    and warm wet cheeks.
    Some find vengeance and burn the eyes
    of their admirer

    or scorch their home because they have none.
    Spiteful, beautiful energy lighting the cold, dark
    of space.
    Running at impossible speeds.

    Trying to find its way back home.

    Matthew Wilson, 29, is a UK resident who has been writing since small. Recently these stories have appeared in Beyond Centauri, Starline Poets Association and Carillon Magazine. He is currently editing his first novel.

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  • 04/01/13--09:07: John W. Sexton - Four Poems
  • Corrugated Sky

    gold-winged Garuda ...
    thy lime droppings
    sterilize the heavens

    clinker accumulates
    the length of his throat
    grey hoarse cumulous

    fingernails hammered black …
    the corrugated sky
    rattles down

    House of Un

    airplane made of straw …
    in the upper skies
    he flies asunder

    cockerel does his trumpet
    in the dawn crack ...
    the roof trees shake

    from the priest's fingers
    a procession of skin-mites
    ... communion wavers

    at the House of Un
    in Shoes Without Purpose ...
    immortal standing still

    nine micrometeor stigmata
    ... Laika appears
    at Fatima

    riding a stream
    of consciousness ... the

    verily a voice
    came unto the fishmouse ...
    "bibble bibble bibble"


    a sinew rope tight
    through the grey clouds ... Kiowa braves
    haul in the sun

    toad he a-courting
    pistolled spawn-shot 
    his warty toxins a-ha

    woked up dis mornin
    Mista Saytin …
    E Lee's Nomerica


    the circus of Dr Now …
    wings of hair
    plume the perfect plummet

    the x-ray cows
    go oom …
    sunflower nova

    drowned sailors absorbed
    by the ice shelf... now
    the fathoms fathomable

    that acid tongue  ...
    sulphuric rains

    an egg with two yolks ...
    Issa and his shadow
    eat their light and dim meals

    does darkness age? …
    faint yet
    the stars in twilight

    John W. Sexton lives in the Republic of Ireland and is the author of four previous poetry collections, the most recent being Vortex (Doghouse, 2005) and Petit Mal (Revival Press, 2009). His fifth collection, The Offspring of the Moon, is due from Salmon Poetry in spring 2013. In 2007 he was awarded a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry.

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  • 04/03/13--12:08: Jean Amery - One Poem
  • Speak, Write Say, Hope, Do, Move.

    Speak, write say, hope, do, move.
    Say there is still something left to fight for.
    Write these few lines a sad tribute.
    Hope that every second I've spent has not been in vain.

    Say, that each day I feel a little stronger.
    Write that my convalescence is nearing its end.
    Hope that I have enough strength in me to fight again.
    Do not fail, do not fall, 

    Write that I see myself reborn in that reflection.
    Hope that those cold blue eyes will be rekindled with fire.
    I do still believe in all of this I swear I do.
    Move forward, once more to the barricades.

    One more time I will speak,
    I will say I crossed the long chasm of despair.
    Say I knew there was something on the other side.
    Say that there is always more.

    Write that I don't have all of the answers. 
    Write that my revolt is far from over. 
    I have so many days left to live so many fights left in me.
    Write these lines down as I feel my heart pump.

    And I hope I will keep up the fight.
    And I hope that my words will not fall on deaf ears.
    And I hope that I am not alone.
    And I hope that you have not forgotten who I am.

    Jean Améry received a Masters Degree in Arts, in History. He's been previously published on The Cynic Online Magazine.

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  • 04/05/13--17:22: L. L. Kelly - One Poem
  • Stark Reality 

    the memory of
    your impatience
    with the grim reaper
    splattered on the stair way.
    New paint and carpet
    is no disguise for
    such a desperate act.
    Etiquette dictates
    we must wait our turn.
    Budging in line is considered to be
    the height of selfishness and rudeness.
    In this instance,
    with selfishness and impatience
    being the cornerstone of our relationship,
    I understand your reasons.
    I must forgive you.
    It seems the soul collector needs an assistant.
    His workload has become unmanageable.
    Too many suffer, waiting in the queue,
    while others are taken too soon.

    Lorna Kelly uses the pen name L. L. Kelly, and makes her home in Denver Colorado.  She lives with her daughter and her cat who often unknowingly serve as muse. Lorna has been sharing her poetry on: 

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    Auschwitz, 1945*

    The midnight mass-
    Acre of five thousand
    Candles wrought from the
    Changeless essence of Descartes’

    Wax, a fitting tribute
    To the unnumbered dead
    Layered in ash and dust.
    My lips seek words whose spirits

    Have been swallowed up by God,
    & my prayer sounds as
    Hollow as I feel.  I spit
    Epitaphs on nameless mass

    Graves.  I curse Nazis
    To fight the cold numbness
    Of fragmented fingers
    Crawling down my spine.

    *After reading Yusef Komunyakaa’s Talking Dirty to the Gods

    Park Bench

    It is a cold October day:
         the ground lies
    frozen in the dust, and
    I sit as still as death
         and wait for
    the afternoon edition.
    My breath clings like rust
    hanging in the air,
    swirling around the center
    of the universe of
    blowing trash and
    tinkling wine
    too soon,
    it will snow.

    Stem Cells

    The embryo may be alive,
    but does it have a soul?  I'd give
    the claim a chance if I could see
    and touch a soul.  Is faith in the
    existence of a god enough

    to make it true?  If I believe
    in unicorns, will they, too, live?
    It's pure irrationality.
                       The embryo

    cannot become a human life
    outside the womb, but can divide
    and grow.  So, when does it achieve
    its personhood?  Answer that, and we
    would know the moral status of
              the embryo.

    Mr. Hansen currently teaches philosophy and ethics at a community college.  He has had over 60 poems and 16 short stories published or accepted for publication.

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  • 04/10/13--21:00: L. Kinney - Two Poem

  • Classical Splatterpost

    Relative antiquity.
    Starbust inanimate
    joyfully in the third degree.

    All over the walls,
    a child covering the halls
    with a matchbook crayon.

    Red in color,
    black in sight,
    just like a fiend
    creating an agent
    who roams only at night

    to carry more of the curtain
    and alarming the sound
    on free verse and antiquity.

    It's only relative, you see,
    in the eyes of what used to be
    a smiling understanding.
    Contorted and distorted now
    into classical splatterpost.

    Tears will not run for you
    when lies are what you hand out.
    Destruction for power
    in a manipulated population.

    If that's what the prize is
    then smoke is what you dance with.

    B Side Track

    Too tired
    for the game.
    The unscrupulous
    rat race
    plastered in the masses.
    Give me a rest
    from the crime.

    But no,
    I found more,
    this hatred
    cheap envy
    hidden behind smiles
    and inside the eyes
    of drowning liars.

    These strange hearts
    beat bad, a bitter song,
    an infection
    that cries out
    for more glamour
    more vanity
    to last for a life time.

    The swindle still rings
    in my ears
    with the beginning underfoot,
    confusing the connections
    waiting and turning,
    while yearning
    for an end.

    Unsuitable players
    bounce life in a game.
    Blames one thing for another,
    replacing the light
    consuming commercialism
    to fabricate what was once
    actual reality.

    I am not blind
    to side wind on the B side.
    I listen
    to the opinions

    of life
    while waiting for truth
    to come alive.

    L. Kinney is a metrical and free verse poet, writing in diversity and classical distance.

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  • 05/09/13--19:05: Holly Day - Three Poems

  • Words of Wisdom Concerning Water

    You can never see your reflection in water pooled in the palms
    Of your own hands. Try it. It’s impossible. I think
    Your hands would have to be deep as oceans and wide as canyons
    For your face to show up in the water you've cupped in your hands.

    There are myths about people falling into the water after falling in love
    With their own reflections, that the face they saw peering out at them from the
    Rocky depths of fish-fouled water was so fucking beautiful that
    They just had to try to kiss it, but no, I don’t believe it
    No one could be that stupid, to not know what their own face looked like
    to have not seen their reflection a thousand times before
    in dirty run-off ponds, in a wooden bowl filled with still soup,
    In a TV cop’s mirrored sunglasses. I just don’t believe it.

    If it’s cold enough that the water pooled in your hands begins to freeze solid,
    You should go inside. You’ll catch your death from that kind of cold.
    If it evaporates from exposure to the wind and the heat
    You should get more. You can’t have too much water
    On a day like that.

    The First Bite Is Obscured

    all I can remember
    first bite of food after a 30-hour fast
    peach, a sandwich, I think, but I don’t remember
    or sweet mustard and glazed ham
    store-bought white bread
    is that peach.
    or just peanut butter and jelly on soft
    whether it was salty pastrami on black rye
    filling my throat. I know I ate more than that
    a ripe peach, flesh firm, dripping sweet nectar.

    A Solution to Illiteracy

    Pope Boniface VIII made it illegal to boil the bones
    of any man who had died abroad, so during his criminal
    papacy, all corpses had to be carried intact, or in bloody pieces
    from whatever holy battlefield they met their end.

    Anatomists of the day had to make their drawings of bones
    of skeletons from the burnt or impaled corpses of criminals
    interred above ground as a warning to their countrymen, pieces
    ripped clean from their dangling corpses, of what sort of end

    waits for dissenters, an end written in the lengths of exposed white bone
    in the scattered pieces of criminals left at the crossroads leading out of town.

    Holly Day is a housewife and mother of two living in Minneapolis, Minnesota who teaches needlepoint classes for the Minneapolis school district and writing classes at The Loft  Literary Center. Her poetry has recently appeared in The Worcester Review, Broken Pencil, and Slipstream, and she is the recipient of the 2011 Sam Ragan Poetry Prize from Barton College. Her most recent published books are "Walking Twin Cities" and"Notenlesen für Dummies Das Pocketbuch."

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    Remembering Fahrenheit 451

    Coldest depths of space,
    Remote and weightless darkness,
    Void between relations
    Surrendered to indirection—
    No fire could burn
    As absolute zero would seize
    Functions meant for a world.

    Tight money clenched
    Until girders break
    Holding up ceilings and bridges,
    Vanguard endures unknown.

    A child emerges
    From the stars’ womb
    And begins to shape the world anew
    As suitors of the old vanish,
    Penetrated by arrows of an Odysseus
    Vagabond and bare, peer of the father
    Tending to his son.
    Knowledge and art fills the child
    As does bread and water.

    Light is added to darkness;
    Air stirs in light’s heat.
    Wind resembles world’s whorl.
    And the moon’s appearance,
    Fragmentarily appearing behind a cloud,
    Is like the father’s shattered face
    When smoke shifts over a lonely fire.

    Flood of Dreams

    Forests drain darkness, leaden light pours
    Onto plains pursued by molten flames.
    Omaha shimmers a steel suit.
    Downpours dropped from tiers
    Of eastward roaming thunderheads
    Glaze a merchant gazebo like pottery.

    The dark insides of purses and wallets
    Complement knee sockets above wet concrete,
    Pedestrian sway approaching day’s work grind.
    Bodies feed a beast of energy—
    Wood fires here once warmed settlement hearths;
    Electronic signals extend the city globally.
    Supercell hailstones like littleneck clams stripped,
    Eaten, their broken shells discarded
    Like wampum on a stone floor—
    Rain flows over pavement and through soil beyond
    The open door, swallows and reproduces stone
    Like the calcium armor of mollusks,
    As if fluidity at once seeks
    Dark of oblivion and light of being,
    Form mineralizing, time suspended,
    Ground stable in gravity’s equilibrium
    As fingers’ presses link an electrical storm.

    Confused in Omaha’s lit glare, desperate
    For a drink as if rum will dissolve the constellation
    Of neon inspired illusions within himself,
    A banker sits at the raw bar,
    Forks a living clam, and douses
    Horseradish and ketchup, slamming the rum

    Bruce Edward Litton's poetry appears in Ocean, Small Brushes, The Fauquier Poetry Journal, other journals, and will soon appear in Columbia Review.

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    Transfigured Sailor

    show me, great sailor
    a womb of dismay
    unconquerable African dusks
    w/ which maddening tyrants
    play, chaos drags them, lords
    of bagpipe orbits; midnight masters
    grading flame, ashes of every

    breathless zeal to give what’s never renewed
    back to the cloud fleet: soarings, circlings
    native rhyme bulks

    from eternity springs ancient sting w/ flesh
    peoples, grace, Dante's rapture
    kind crime of mourning

    are you still heralding the fire
    now that sun's been betrayed
    moon quartered, last quiet carcass,
    once the fruits I could smell through me
    in ecstatic prayer

    brave Spanish master, show me
    flocks of mind, your arrogant
    blinding religion, can you soar on such
    throne? hell’s cataract you climbed
    spilling legislatures

    pendant minds? inspiring lightnings?
    today’s transfigured ruins

    Soul's Eagle God

    whirl yourself where
    planet's sunrise takes it to the mountains
    gloats in huge brains, rising from Earth's trashcan

    black cosmic blood wings chant: to hell with fortune & generations
    finger head & liberty
    let’s blend the larks w/ weeds

    this nadir-based
    bone nation horror
    no man's embrace
    that chaos of a city
    once great lionic soul, human lung ice field
    boasts the flies
    on & above ocean breaths

    starry justice's spirit
    shoots out
    boa-like ages
    sparks, blood-eyed tramps, 
    mines, days, flowers: apex gory nights
    luminous palms
    must-have caves of the region

    to all the monsters of America ghastly, of and about
    the guns, thyme, false love, heaven feed columns – all that
    & more, the subliming slime teaching me
    w/ hastened dreams of every slain child
    I lit up words that warm it
    when demons slain saint’s people, okay,
    what have I forgotten, by stagnant milk 
    & hamburgers, I merged w/ what destroys me
    souls echoed love
    freedom’s columns said goodnight

    true were those ages
    now sun attunes my freedom
    to invaders’ simple tongues:
    wing-whir blood church floorshow

    Great American Novel (Condensed)

    chapters you read – surface that
    American spirit – on mechanical
    of control
    face the doctor
    who seems to come
    from lower breed
    of fake ignored revolvers
    & stranger covered
    machine guns
    obedience to the devils
    and rare submissive crew
    putting your beard
    through outvoted peering
    pamphlets you read – inside that
    UV joint
    in kinetic print
    assure you
    that images fooled you
    big time

    A.J. Kaufmann is a young Polish poet, songwriter and traveler, the author of "Siva in Rags" (KSE, 2008), "Broke Nuptial Minds" (Virgogray Press, 2009), "Love Lions of Paris" (KSE, 2011), "The Golden Elephant" (, 2013) and other poetry chapbooks.

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    good block.
    on the
    in lawn
    and kids
    not targets
    in a

    and taste
    by her
    and a
    hair net.
    hot dish
    in the
    and let
    of the
    coffee shop
    like a

    to fall in
    and go
    A slice
    is not
    life raft.
    Ice cubes

    from the
    than it
    it can
    its means.
    from it
    a form

    on the
    Have to
    oil and
    to let
    out of

    Gregory Liffick has had several poems published in print and online journals, as well as two chapbooks. He is also a teacher, artist and musician.

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    i peer at black panes with merry awareness of the dead

    a neon pack stuffed with idioms adorns me i once

    docked in the bay area and ate out a girl at a diner with a
    waitress hotter than etude nine

    i might attempt to i might remain awake and elude violent
    dreams but the source of her depression rages below the
    surface oh at night mister gandhi

    might have ben

    Benjamin Joseph Biesek is a bastard poet who claims that time is just a concept and doctors are magnificent, and he is available to talk via Skype if needs be.

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  • 05/11/13--08:00: Maurice Devitt - One Poem
  • Dreamless

    Is this what
    you were born to:
    the sound of thunder
    in an upstairs room,
    the apology
    of mirrors,
    family tree
    on the palm
    of your hand -
    sweat of blue ink
    to reveal
    a childless life -
    set to zero
    and in this fixed fragment
    to hear
    only the silent song
    of a passing bell?

    Maurice Devitt has just been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and in 2012 was runner-up in the Cork Literary Review Manuscript Competition, short-listed for the Listowel Writers’ Week Poetry Collection Competition and had poems accepted by Orbis, Abridged, Skylight 47, Southword, Moloch, Revival, Boyneberries, Paraxis, Weary Blues, thefirstcut, Red Fez, Spinoza Blue, The Galway Review, Other Words: Merida, Stony Thursday, Ofi Press, Bluepepper, The Weekenders and Smiths Knoll.

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  • 05/11/13--17:05: James Shrader - One Poem

  • When She Comes

    First one I remember
    it is Christmas Eve. Outside
    my bedroom window colored lights are strung
    along a bending length of fence in the cool Florida night.
    In the morning there will be fog.

    Her knees are saddled
    against the plates of my pelvis,
    anchoring her. Each time her back wall—
    where it tents—clamps down on me painfully
    her eyelids flutter and her lips part vacantly. Beautiful, she falls
    backward a bit, arching as if against a headwind. Impaled
    on my modest length of mast, her arms lift outward
    as if to catch the wind. Lifting outward
    as if crucified. Each time
    I have to shake
    her awake.

    In old Dallas,
    in a converted Victorian,
    pink curtains filter streetlight
    like a scarf draped over a tiffany lamp,
    like an ancient house of burlesque.
    Atop me she swells.

    As an athlete she
    excelled, all points of her body
    graded on the curve. She leans forward, clasping
    her hands behind the base of my skull, elbows finding purchase
    in my collarbones. A Muay-Thai fighting clinch. Her wails resonate
    through the groaning, antebellum building, and when she spasms, the hiss
    and spit of a lawn sprinkler spigot, a warm spray in choppy bursts.
    When we rise to survey the damage the pink sheets are stained
    wet with the negative impression of my form. The lighter,
    dry trunk of my torso forking into two legs.
    A crime scene outline,
    a massacre.

    Central New York
    in winter. The frozen mouth
    of the Mohawk Valley. The most beautiful, married
    mother of two, a born-again Baptist in a town full of Catholics.
    If her balding husband were a better Christian
    she wouldn’t be doing this,
    she says.

    Her icy blue
    bedroom eyes and swollen,
    clichéd lips say otherwise. With me
    above her hoisting her hips, the sweetest nectar
    branches along the peach fuzz of her lightly scarred navel
    then converges in a narrow torrent between her breasts. With her
    above me we ruin my roommate’s air mattress, the stuff pooling in the seams,
    to my wrist where I support my weight to sit up. We flip over couch
    cushions once, then again. Eventually we burn wounds
    into our knees and along our spines from the old,
    rough carpet. The floor there is wet for days
    and cold as outside the snow
    piles man-high.

    James Shrader's nonfiction has appeared in the Florida Review and Awosting Alchemy.

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  • 05/12/13--05:00: Carol Oberg - Three Poems

  • Entertainment...

    Did you see me fall against the house
    When I put my cigarette butt in the pop can
    And after popping back up from my knees
    Fall, back, again, on my butt;
    I wasn’t drunk at 9 a.m.
    Nor still tipsy from the night before
    But it hasn’t happened again
    So it’s hardly even a thought now-
    Unless someone, like you,
    Saw me fall, pop back up
    Only to do it again that
    Plop plop
    On the dry deck
    In my winter jacket
    Scarf, hat, the gloveless hands
    Of a serious outdoor smoker
    And called all the neighbors
    Your entire widespread family
    Then posted the video of it
    On your facebook page
    Then it would be a thought
    Worth my sweaty alarm
    Because you could be anywhere
    Everywhere I am falling next
    One time after another
    Picking myself up all alone
    Unless I am broke can
    And can not pop up.

    Sunshine Makes Rain Impossible

    The first green grass
    Is that linguini piece
    Growing behind the wood stove
    That exhales wide tubes of smoke
    Without inhaling ever and
    The thermostat’s set at 67
    But its 75 inside again with
    Most of the windows open.
    It’s time we let the
    Fire burn out and in bed
    Before dawn decide
    To make that long trip
    To town because
    There are not enough
    Blankets in this house.

    Wisdom Runs

    On the opposite wall the cheap print looks
    Remarkably like you hanging for real
    But lifeless, the fake eyes bulging wet-like
    Above the proud manipulations of your generous
    Head and long neck sawed off, glued tight to
    An oak board nailed sturdy onto knotty pines
    Someone ages ago went searching the virgin woods
    To cut down, hand saw and plane, varnish yellow
    The walls and ceilings with deep grooves for winter flies
    And spiders to nestle their own in safe hiding
    As the years turn the cabin planks shiny orange
    Waiting for others to go back out
    Search deep in the quiet November forest
    For your kind my dear. You poor deer
    God made smart enough to grow, to even crown
    Your head with a mighty rack for all to wildly pursue
    The glorious boast-- Got One
    to take and eat then show the rest of you off
    No knife no fork scrapes anywhere, you’re magnificent
    Alive in multiple memories, some of you buried in white
    Forever hiding, collecting inches of freezer burn
    but with us. Still.

     Carol Oberg has published widely with Blue Mountain Arts, Inc.; was one of three featured poets( ten poems published) in Ancient Paths Literary Magazine, issue 16, in 2010; in the fall will have a poem published in The Fourth River (Chatham University).  She and her husband are retired on a small inland lake in Michigan's Upper Penninsula.

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  • 05/13/13--06:00: Anna Gaccione - One Poem

  • Upon a Neglected Wall

    The sun’s gaze lands
    Upon a neglected wall
    Usually hidden by darkness.
    Light wakes the colors.
    Rosewood and russet greet each other.
    They begin to dance
    Back and forth across the bricks.
    Dust stretches towards the light
    Having been confined too long
    On sills and awnings.
    People rush back and forth
    Like mindless worker ants, blind

    The sun slowly turns its gaze.
    Darkness gradually gains power,
    Once again suffocating the wall.
    The secret is lost in the dark
    Until the sun grants it life again.

    Maybe then someone will stop
    And find the joy in stopping.

    Anna Gaccione was born in Virginia in 1992. She has a black belt in Taekwondoe and attends Shorter University. 

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    Beat Writers of Humanity Remembrance

    Kerouac must have heard the atomic bomb as it was being bottle fed leading to his honorary double speaking medically discharged conscientious objector-type exit-special from the Navy

    Ginsberg may have tossed and flopped as the civilian bombing campaign caught inextinguishable fire and his inner spirit started to howl

    Burroughs kept hallucinating horses fitted with antiquated gas masks galloping over the globe into mechanized armor

    Corso was excited about his new life until he heard what American bombers were doing in North Korea

    Kerouac though about how undercover economic thinking pulled a lot of triggers all the way to Viet Nam

    Ginsberg saw the best superpowers of his generation being manipulated by high money and political madness destroying others both foreign and domestic

    Burroughs kept hallucinating the asylum self-examination mirror as expanded global empire

    Corso watched banana clips morph into aerial bombs then fall to earth as thirsty field embalming machines

    Ginsberg sadly saw his generation bury Kerouac and then later witnessed Nixon and Kissinger flying to China giving away more than they ever got

    Burroughs kept hallucinating that damned 3rd rate actor, Ronald Reagan as our President, and resumed his target practice

    Corso saw the AK-47 multiply like hubcaps and join all the American and other international armament around the constant reloading process

    Ginsberg saw American Star Wars declaring victory as Russia remained silent sitting atop their untapped geographical and geological goldmine waiting for future technology to catch up

    Ferlinghetti said goodbye to some of the greatest literary minds of his generation

    Ferlinghetti knew that Kerouac was holy. Ginsberg was holy. Burroughs was holy. Corso was holy. The academic English Professor getting paid and well awarded for his/her silence was holy. The stalker-murder victim David Kammerer was holy. Lucian Carr was holy. Burroughs deceased wife was holy. The small press was holy.

    Ferlinghetti passed the generational literary torch to the post beat generation because they were sacred, blessed and holy, and ongoing war wasn’t.

    David S. Pointer has recent work included in Volumes V & VI of the Southern Poetry Anthology Series for the states of Georgia and Tennessee. He also has work included in Indiana Crime 2013, at James Ward Kirk Fiction and Noir Erasure Poetry Anthology at Silver Birch Press. 

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