Articles on this Page
- 02/03/15--07:30: _S.L. Schultz - One ...
- 02/05/15--08:00: _Parker Weston - Two...
- 02/12/15--08:31: _Ron Riekki - One Poem
- 02/13/15--07:30: _Anna Mirzayan - One...
- 02/18/15--08:00: _Wanda Morrow Cleven...
- 02/22/15--06:54: _Nina Kossman - One ...
- 02/23/15--07:30: _Megan Merchant - On...
- 02/24/15--07:00: _John Jay Flicker - ...
- 02/28/15--09:58: _Joseph Saling - Two...
- 03/02/15--21:28: _Keith Wesley Combs ...
- 03/14/15--17:20: _Richard Schnap - On...
- 03/15/15--11:00: _Bronwen Manger - On...
- 03/17/15--07:00: _Kurt Nimmo - One Poem
- 03/30/15--10:07: _Timothy Pilgim - On...
- 03/31/15--15:50: _Tom Pescatore - One...
- 04/01/15--09:40: _Ivan Jenson - Two P...
- 04/02/15--20:59: _Carl Scharwath - On...
- 04/23/15--19:26: _Christopher Steven ...
- 04/24/15--10:00: _Bud Faust - One Poem
- 04/25/15--09:00: _Chris D'Errico - On...
- 02/03/15--07:30: S.L. Schultz - One Poem
- 02/05/15--08:00: Parker Weston - Two Poems
- 02/12/15--08:31: Ron Riekki - One Poem
- 02/13/15--07:30: Anna Mirzayan - One Poem
- 02/18/15--08:00: Wanda Morrow Clevenger - Two Poems
- 02/22/15--06:54: Nina Kossman - One Poem
- 02/23/15--07:30: Megan Merchant - One Poem
- 02/24/15--07:00: John Jay Flicker - One Poem
- 02/28/15--09:58: Joseph Saling - Two Poems
- 03/02/15--21:28: Keith Wesley Combs - One Poem
- 03/14/15--17:20: Richard Schnap - One Poem
- 03/15/15--11:00: Bronwen Manger - One Poem
- 03/17/15--07:00: Kurt Nimmo - One Poem
- 03/30/15--10:07: Timothy Pilgim - One Poem
- 03/31/15--15:50: Tom Pescatore - One Poem
- 04/01/15--09:40: Ivan Jenson - Two Poems
- 04/02/15--20:59: Carl Scharwath - One Poem
- 04/23/15--19:26: Christopher Steven Seymore - Two Poems
- 04/24/15--10:00: Bud Faust - One Poem
- 04/25/15--09:00: Chris D'Errico - One Poem
Struck but not down
they climb the hill in staggering gait.
Drops of red mark their panicked ascent and
melt away white into pink and lavender holes.
Fell now but struggling to recover
tan legs flail as shards of bone puncture skin.
They snort clouds in the cold.
Bellows do erupt.
Their wild eyes seek to catch a glimpse
of those the metal only grazed.
The hill they climbed and where they fell stands bare.
No brush to blanket their shivering pain
or tree to canopy the early morning chill.
Fatigue descends as pain defeats
the crumpled forms release.
From a distance they lie broken
limbs jutting forth in strange puzzles
as the sun rips open the horizon.
The first fire of yellow, orange and red spreads across the cold expanse
crawls over the lifeless forms
into the open eyes.
They are still
so still those pools of amber.
Those they leave behind stand vigil
shaking from the violence they avoided.
They must move on.
They must find cover.
Light in the early morning air they spring into the wood.
S. L. Schultz lives in Michigan and teaches college composition. She has written in a variety of genres, including plays, screenplays, poetry and novel. She has published poetry and her plays have been produced in San Francisco and Chicago. Her first novel, Little Shadow, book one of a trilogy, was published last year.
It was a bright and sunny day, and all throughout the land
flowers were burning and bleeding
all of the dehydrated fuzzy little creatures
slowed to a crawl before ceasing their futile struggle for happiness
their big cartoon eyes now as vacant and glassy as taxidermy
only the vultures and other scavengers of death
remained unscathed by the harshness
the overbearing dryness the scalding but cheery day brought with it
the scroungers made toys and games
out of the flesh and bones from the pieces
of the loveable little fluffy carcasses they couldn’t eat
starting to smolder on the searing fields
a jackal flew a rancid kite made from a bunny’s blistered hide
they frolicked and feasted long into the merry night
then slept peacefully like kings and queens without a single care
tomorrow, it looked, was going to be another wonderful day.
Six Word Stories
We visited the combustible genital exhibit.
Number 9, that's the fetus responsible.
Her helicopter wound is healing nicely.
The asshole doesn't need the head.
Preacher launches bible at possessed cripple.
Snack kid swallows dwarf stripper alive.
Claustrophobic astronaut needs to air out.
Blind cartoons never hear onomatopoeia coming.
Lunch lady's hands look like hamburger.
Which racing ambulance has bigger emergency?
Parker Weston is a multimedia artist residing in Mesa, Arizona (voted the most conservative big city in the United States) mainly focused on assemblage/sculpture. He has a comic strip, Animation Taxidermy, several short animations and musical project Stembreo, to boot.
The Burn Bin, Turkey, Classified Material
Writing Time At Philz
Dark roast is coffee that has been roasted
almost to the point of burning.
It turns from green to charcoal.
Today the air smells blackened, singed,
tinted with vast quietness of fields laid bare
after forces have withdrawn.
The table I choose is awash with coffee cups, hipsters,
and books--Organic Chemistry, dental hygiene,
and a Loeb version of the Aeneid, which I eye
and covet quietly.
In the story Prince Aeneas survives the siege of Troy.
As he's sailing towards the future Rome,
a group of his companions fall in love with a beach
where the company has taken refuge.
It reminds them of home before the walls were
slathered with the blood of Trojan children.
Aeneas leaves them on the island,
and sails on.
I want to turn to the person
whose copy that is,
and proclaim that I am the echo of Aeneas,
hard like stone, adrift on inhospitable seas
searching for a place to rest my ship.
I want to say I have hoisted my sails
to get to this place, though I was weary
from the world, from years of battling,
from the bodies of men and their ghosts.
I too have lost many loved ones
and my tears taste like a potion
of bitterness and regret.
I want to tell him that I too am trying
to be an incarnation of valor fed on wolf's milk,
that I have remade the words
with my own body, sacrificed to them my bones and the marrow of my dreams.
I have allowed Virgil to be the god whose instruction I followed
along swiftly tilting seas
in the hope of rebuilding a temple in my soul.
I want to whisper: I have finally made it here
through all the monsters of land and sea,
through betrayal and hope,
through my own wildness and fear
and the wilderness of my heart--
I have been courageous enough,
or foolish enough, to land upon these shores.
I want to reach over
and grasp the book like a raft,
thumb through its pulpy pages,
take in its smell and remember the walls of Troy.
Instead I saying nothing
and continue to sip my quiet cup of ash.
Anna Mirzayan is a graduate student in the Humanities and a shallow-water poet. She mostly ponders Being and sometimes, sparingly, words.
still burdens the Greeks,
burdens them with the highest taxes
the loved exacts from the lover:
middle-class teashop warmth forsaken,
adding machines count the killed,
a scarce spring, a fruitless autumn,
quiet markets and barren cribs:
see the wretched pass for the mad,
the mad for the licentious
shadows creeping after the main
shadow over the town--
the cruel nudity of the woman
washed clean of mercy,
memory of the guilt reflecting
future centuries' guilt.
Moscow born, English-language publications includeBehind the Border (HarperCollins, 1994) and Gods and Mortals: Modern Poems on Classical Myths (Oxford University Press, 2001). Translations of Russian poetry have been anthologized inTwentieth Century Russian Poetry (Doubleday, 1993), The Gospels in Our Image(Harcourt Brace, 1995), The World Treasury of Poetry (Norton, 1998), and Divine Inspiration (Oxford University Press, 1998). My translations of Marina Tsvetaeva's poetry were collected in two books, In the Inmost Hour of the Soul and Poem of the End. Her work was awarded the UNESCO/PEN Short Story Award in London (1995) and an NEA grant (1999).
Tulips by Your Bedside
I don’t know if you see death
as a blood-blister, or a sky-drawn
curtain, but the javelina
dug up every last tulip seed
Your refusal to fight
is already a hole in the ground
where a bright seedling should be--
firm in the soil--and my boys
should get the chance to swerve
their red tricycles around
your reply to spring,
not ask questions to a slab of marble
wearing mute letters of your name.
This is not how
I want to teach them
But I get that drugs brine
your taste for survival
and knives cannot untangle
a whole parade of clots.
And that this is the lease
we all enter into--
and such love
is the security deposit we never
So, I’ll rake over patches
where that wild beast
tusked the dirt.
Tuck any waylaid seeds
into the lip of my shirt,
for another season when
the ground will accept
It’s better than waiting
for the first really good rain
to puddle and a swarm of bees
to belly up for a sip, accidently sting
a fat knee or elbow--a sliver so small
that I won’t see and will have no idea
how to calm my son from crying.
Megan Merchant's chapbook, Translucent, Sealed, is forthcoming though Dancing Girl Press. Her first full-length collection, Gravel Ghosts, is forthcoming though Glass Lyre Press. Her first children’s book, These Words I’ve Shaped For You, is forthcoming through Philomel Books. Her future is bright. She wears shades.
beating to the quiet rhythm of the dulcimer
in a melody of pine and aerosol
peeling off the side walk scabs
all mortality in the Achilles’ heel
wrapped in the scent of camphor
and tasseled in the hickory root
the hidden meaning in the voice
Vaudeville and modes of humiliation
the Stygian reflections of a last chapter
in a pantry filled with bitter fruit
when the delicacy of friends goes away
and walks into an apex of solitary reading
Reading Other People's Poems
March 19: Today Lisa brought me a book of her poems and asked me to read them.
I was not impressed
She was honey, sweet fruits falling, warm fleece
and down, packed around shards of fractured china.
She stood naked before gods, pleasing them
fellating each in turn.
Other men's penises leap from the page,
spraying the air. You boast, and I think you tease.
You are a wanton, an incestuous
female ram screwing your father before
a stranger's eyes, bowing before a picture
of Jesus as you wail coming for your
dead dead grandfather.
I have something for you, she said, slipping
away and leaving the black book falling
open so effortlessly that if she
had stayed she would already be mine.
Instead, I am left with a piece of her soul,
broken so painlessly it might never
have been attached.
I reached for your voice but I found nothing,
only the lines splintering in my ear.
This black thing kept you from me as if you
had come to me sealed in a box for which I
had lost the key.
A Visiting Poet Explains a Poem as a Hexagram
1) There is unity that defies the order we impose on nature.
Such is the object of all attempts at poems, and also their source.
We want to know what there is that wants knowing.
Why the lovers fuck and teenaged boys jerk;
and why rich people eat, their sideboards covered
with flowers and food; why children become adults;
why the poor suffer; how the meek inherit;
how the pure of heart see God.
2) A poem is a language that goes beyond words.
Consider the word, what it means to know the word,
what it means to have the word. Consider
who it is that makes the word.
Does the word create evil? Then the word
is evil. Does it seem dark and immoral? Then it is immoral.
The word is what dwells inside you.
It is your secret, masturbating mind.
Nothing is darker or more forbidden.
The word is the thunder of rockets, the force of war.
It is Lebanon, Sarajevo and Mecca,
Aleppo and Damascus. It is the spirit of Rome.
It is anarchy.
It is every structure built that is not conceived.
The word is the whine of turbines, or it’s the hiss
of burning flesh. It is millions dead.
The word rapes. The word is a temple whore.
It offers children as a sacrifice.
The word is with you always, but is it your soul?
It is the substance of your mind.
And you are its creator.
Consider language and its effect on the word.
Language is neither moral or proper
nor immoral or evil. Language is the way
the word is made flesh, an act of conception.
Language is the force that explodes the tips of trees
each spring and turns migrations while it breaks
the frozen ground with purple croci.
Language is the dance inspired
by the music of the spheres.
3) Don’t always expect to understand a poem. Experience it.
Say the lines aloud; shout them out, or act them out,
or let them intrude into everything you do.
Let them become like a spouse.
Start with an image. Compress it with words,
always expecting to find the accidental.
4) Poems are not ideas, but rather their source.
Go walking outside. Sit by yourself at a desk
in a dark bedroom. Place yourself with friends
outside the doors of a church. Suspend all you know
and assume nothing. The poem will yield itself
only when you yield.
Listen, for poems are sound.
Look, for poems are vision.
5) A poem lives by the force wonder and delight give to images.
An image can be intercourse between strangers
in a crowded room. It can be texture that’s pleasing or repulsive.
It can be matter that entwines itself
like a cage full of black snakes, or that resembles
a convoluted cactus that looks like a brain.
It can be abstract. It can be concrete. It can be terrifying
or be comforting. It can reaffirm belief or undermine
all our myth. Allow the image to expand to its fullest
possibility. Give it the freedom of children playing.
Let it invent its own rules as it goes along.
Exclude nothing from what you’ve not already found.
6) Poems aren’t always what you want them to be, nor what someone has said
a poem should be.
This is how poems can die: if they are made to fit
molds that are too small, or if they’re stretched past
limits they were never meant to pass.
Poetry can be motion of either the soul or the body’s parts.
Poetry can be intense stillness or silence.
A poem can be your body, or the way
I respond to it here in front of this class.
It can be your body nude, or your body clothed,
your body asleep, or your body on canvass.
Poetry can be your body caressed by love,
your body grown old, or your body rotting.
Poetry can be the seed that forever blooms within you
and no one ever sees.
Joseph Saling's first book of poems A Matter of Mind is available from Foothills Publishing. His poetry and stories have appeared widely in such journals as The Raintown Review, The Formalist, Poet Lore, Ohio Journal, The Bacon Review, Nothing No One Nowhere, and Carcinogenic Poetry. He lives in Metro Atlanta with his wife Sandy and their dog Yeats where to pass the time between poems, he writes stories, paints with acrylics, works on a novel, and makes a living as a freelance health writer and editor.
He woke up one day
And decided to write
A letter to himself
That came back unopened
With a stamp that said
No one at this address
So he found a pay phone
And called his house
But got a recording
That said the number
He was trying to reach
Had been disconnected
It was then that he looked
At the ground and saw
He had no shadow
As he felt the hand
Of the invisible wind
Passing right through him
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.
Tricks of the Light
I think we've met in wildflowers,
and lay somewhere unpoisoned
before now; I think I've seen you -
thrown from muddy mountains;
sometime frightening I held you -
heard your whisper in the tatters
of a dream before the answers
overtook the mysteries. I think
we've loved as children - spoke
in colour, not in language,
touched in song but not in body,
through the curtains of a moment.
I think we've been the royalty
from a kingdom of the half-light,
where our memories ran together
in the cadence of the pine trees.
In long shadows of the evening,
in the lyrics of the magpie,
on stone bridges in our midday,
I think we may have met.
And I think that I believed them
when they said you were a figment,
that I'd never ever find you;
sincerest fool I've been.
Bronwen Manger is a 27-year-old poet and spoken word artist from Melbourne, Australia. Her poems have appeared in a number of anthologies, literary journals and other publications, as well as on TV and radio. Bronwen has featured at various poetry readings around Melbourne, Perth and Canberra, often alongside her identical twin sister. Outside of the poetry world, Bronwen works for Deakin University in the area of investigative interviewing research.
that’s what they say now
the people who study such things. the universe
has no beginning and probably no end.
it is infinite.
I am unable to wrap my mind around that one.
a line that shoots out into space
and travels forever. here on earth we are
shaped by time.
born here. died there.
remembered or forgotten. celebrated or reviled.
some people would like to live forever
like vampires walking the earth.
how tedious that would be.
with the same
broadway productions and concerts
the same advertisements
the same telemarketers
and one-time deals
the same books with blank pages
the same masterpieces that are not masterful
the same bloating and crab grass and tax forms
and love affairs where love has evaporated
or never existed at all.
the same thing
every day forever. this would be
an infinite horror show.
the infinitesimally short time
we have is a blessing. it allows for another chance
another set of variables
and maybe the slim chance a new
species might come along
and get it right
Kurt Nimmo born in Detroit, Michigan in 1952. In the late '70s, he co-edited the successful literary magazine, The Smudge. In the '80s, he edited Planet Detroit. Kurt has been nominated for several Pushcart Prizes for fiction, and two of his books were selected as "modern classics" by the Wormwood Review. He lives in Texas with his wife and two cats.
Happy Ever After
Sometimes Bukowski is
just too sad for me,
harping on death,
thinking about death
all the time, sitting and drinking
and angry growling
at the page,
Kerouac, too, with his death
and compassion and poor Gerard's
death so young and frail, and Joyce talking
of death writing about death death
death dublin and death and sadness,
sometimes I'm too sad for myself,
blank pages make me sad
and pages filled with text, thoughts,
any sad thing just stacked
like boxes in old gray warehouses
where people die and go to
die and waste their sad lives dying,
sometimes sadness and death
is all there s to write about,
every story ends with death
even the ones unwritten.
Tom Pescatore grew up outside Philadelphia dreaming of the endless road ahead, carrying the idea of the fabled West in his heart. He maintains a poetry blog: amagicalmistake.blogspot.com. His work has been published in literary magazines both nationally and internationally but he'd rather have them carved on the Walt Whitman bridge or on the sidewalks of Philadelphia's old Skid Row.
Ivan Jenson has written two novels, Dead Artist and Seeing Soriah, both of which illustrate the creative and often dramatic lives of artists. Jenson's poetry is widely published (with over 450 poems published in the US, UK and Europe) in a variety of literary media. Ivan is also an accomplished fine artist. His artwork was featured in Art in America, Art News, and Interview Magazine and has sold at auction at Christie’s. Ivan Jenson's website is: www.IvanJenson.com
She is the lament
of the voiceless
into the psyche,
chains of the enslaved
loosen their duress
to her words–
we together manipulate
to rebuild our most treasured
Carl Scharwath's work has appeared internationally with over eighty publications selecting his poetry, short stories, essays or art photography. He won the National Poetry Contest award on behalf of Writers One Flight Up. His first poetry book “Journey To Become Forgotten” was published by Kind of a Hurricane Press.
Tying a Strong Knot
To pull it taut
snug rubber wrapped wire
to test the anchor
deeply seated, sheetrock and stud
You have to
give no flying fiddle sticks
the mess you leave
On the cusp of winning it’s
a hotel room
as close as you can stomach
Trite, burning the bacon
catching the last 58
shamed by your
If she didn’t bite so hard
I might have avoided
spilling into another world
Having found impotence
pressed cold like tile against my face
I retire to soak and
toss around the failure
of over starched linens
Patterns burned into the
soiled top of my black possibilities
the origin of the tender
The unabashed psychic power of twenty-three
thirteen-year-old boys praying to go blind.
The blue beast that lives under my bed—
his tongue is smooth and unabated.
The rattling of a fly against
Feet on cold linoleum.
I say, listen baby just spread
copper legs and do what
boots bring out
Christopher Steven Seymore is a writer and musician and resides in the great Houston, Texas. He graduated from The University of Pittsburgh. He has no living heir.