Articles on this Page
- 04/26/15--08:00: _Andrew Darlington -...
- 04/27/15--07:00: _Julie Gates - One P...
- 04/28/15--07:30: _Robert F. Gross - T...
- 04/29/15--07:30: _Trish Saunders - On...
- 05/01/15--13:42: _Tendai R. Mwanaka -...
- 05/02/15--13:14: _Ronald J. Pelias - ...
- 05/03/15--08:00: _Joel Best - One Poem
- 05/04/15--08:00: _Jonathan Butcher - ...
- 05/05/15--10:25: _Larry Duncan - One ...
- 05/07/15--11:12: _Jack E. Lorts - Two...
- 05/10/15--11:59: _Scott Laudati - Two...
- 05/15/15--11:35: _Stephen Jarrell Wil...
- 05/23/15--11:54: _Darren C. Demaree -...
- 05/26/15--08:00: _Emily Tuttle - One ...
- 05/27/15--07:00: _Michael Lee Johnson...
- 05/28/15--07:30: _Tamer Mostafa - Two...
- 06/01/15--09:08: _Douglas Campbell - ...
- 06/03/15--07:30: _Neil Ellman - Three...
- 06/12/15--07:30: _Autumn Meier - One ...
- 06/22/15--08:42: _Craig Shay - One Poem
- 04/26/15--08:00: Andrew Darlington - One Poem
- 04/27/15--07:00: Julie Gates - One Poem
- 04/28/15--07:30: Robert F. Gross - Two Poems
- 04/29/15--07:30: Trish Saunders - One Poem
- 05/01/15--13:42: Tendai R. Mwanaka - Two Poems
- 05/02/15--13:14: Ronald J. Pelias - One Poem
- 05/03/15--08:00: Joel Best - One Poem
- 05/04/15--08:00: Jonathan Butcher - Two Poems
- 05/05/15--10:25: Larry Duncan - One Poem
- 05/07/15--11:12: Jack E. Lorts - Two Poems
- 05/10/15--11:59: Scott Laudati - Two Poems
- 05/15/15--11:35: Stephen Jarrell Williams - One Poem
- 05/23/15--11:54: Darren C. Demaree - Two Poems
- 05/26/15--08:00: Emily Tuttle - One Poem
- 05/27/15--07:00: Michael Lee Johnson - Two Poems
- 05/28/15--07:30: Tamer Mostafa - Two Poems
- 06/01/15--09:08: Douglas Campbell - Two Poems
- 06/03/15--07:30: Neil Ellman - Three Poems
- 06/12/15--07:30: Autumn Meier - One Poem
- 06/22/15--08:42: Craig Shay - One Poem
You'll Never Find A Gay In Catholic Church
‘After 200 years of Mass
we’ve got as far as poison gas…’ (Thomas Hardy)
Our father who art not necessarily in heaven
hallowed be thy name… but only up to a point…
this is my prayer for all you holy-phoney gospel-preaching moral majority
well-respected evangelists who curse out your neighbours and damn sinners,
sorting spiritual e-numbers from chaff and theological sheep from goats,
may your Lord have mercy on your soul, for I have none – you’re bound for hell,
this is my prayer for all you child-abusing born-again porn-downloading-again
god delusion creationist clergy who visit massage-parlours and maintain discrete
assignations in motels for the laying on of hands in stations of the crass,
I don’t forgive you fathers, for you have sinned – you’re bound for hell,
this is my prayer for all you fake-Catholic sisters of no-mercy who take the pill,
use condoms, fail to procreate, whose sacred causes oppose stem-cell research,
same-sex unions and a woman’s right to choose, no bunch of our fathers
and mumbled hail marys will buy you off this time – you’re bound for hell too,
this is my prayer for obese indulgers who pig out on junk-food and chocolate,
you poets who commit blasphemous rhyme writing verse that doesn’t scan,
you asylum-seekers, rough-sleepers, furtive smokers, dope-smokers, binge
drinkers, coke-drinkers, coke-sniffers, glue-sniffers – you’re already in hell,
this is my prayer for all you slacker youth who self-harm, self-abuse,
substance-abuse, pick your nose, play emo, play gangsta, play x-box,
and hang out in hoodies on street corners – you’re probably in hell too,
with all those unbaptised dead babies, bastards, adulterers, civil partners,
junkies and whores who reside in unforgiving purgatory for eternity,
this is my prayer, blessed are all you atheists, humanists, rationalists,
Darwinians, pacifists, vegetarians, agnostics, pansexuals,
pagans, heretics, blasphemers, apostates, unbelievers,
recidivists, free-thinkers, doubters, and waverers,
for the rest, come at me, ye legion of horrors
for I would willingly slay thee all,
there is neither fear in my heart
nor compassion in my eyes,
face it, you chose the wrong salvation
you’re all bound for hell…
Andrew Darlington has had masses of material published in all manner of strange and obscure places, magazines, websites, anthologies and books. He's also worked as a Stand-Up Poet on the‘Alternative Cabaret Circuit’, and interviewed many people from the worlds of Literature, SF-Fantasy, Art and Rock-Music for a variety of publications.
The fissure in the broken frame of my winter,
Hewn from molding, gray, aged elm,
Cracks the mirror holding me captive, hanging,
Crooked, crammed in the corner, clothed in cobwebs,
Where the wispy bones of a deadly spider
Until the hour the jagged silver fingers
Growing the crevice
Spin a fractured web,
Become a kaleidoscope,
And my steel cold prison crashes down the steep slope
With the clamor of an avalanche
Sending shockwaves of spindly shards
Over brittle brown earth,
Spiking the solid surface,
Seeking the chasm concealing life—
What was trapped between wood and glass
Dr. Julie Gates has directed the English Education program at Angelo State University for the past 13 years. She is also a creative nonfiction specialist and a creative writer. Her poetry has appeared in Carcinogenic Poetry, Concho River Review, and Visions with Voices.
standing too long
work of a lifetime
take it down
strip off safety gear
step in close
breathe what’s toxic
finger lines of least resistance
find the fissures
wire the charges up close
lick them like a lover
blast though the heart valves
blow out the memory plaque
spatter the bio over the big picture
reduce expectations to rubble
spit on what remains
piss on your ruins
let bitter weeds take root
admit the snakes
In the Sewing Room
All of it is familiar but none of it is known;
I don’t know any of their names.
The daydream figures of the dolls on the shelf:
Indian princess, mammy, sweater girl, silent
Movie star miniature with corkscrew curls.
I don’t know how they came to be here--
In the sewing room/guest room looking down
On this bed with all these swollen, lacy pillows.
I don’t know if they are companions or collectibles,
Given as gifts or picked up at rummage sales.
I don’t know if they’re décor or confidantes.
But they must be recollections of this home
That I pass homeless through. I do not touch
Unless I receive invitations, and they are mute.
Robert F. Gross gave up his apartment, car, and his possessions, except three suitcases of stuff, in October 2013. He's been wandering about with one suitcase of stuff ever since. He writes, directs, performs, and is on the lookout for meaning.
You Knew I Was Home, Ignoring the Bell
I would have invited you in but
there was a black dog looking
calmly at me in the mirror
after the doctor suggested I give up
chocolates and coffee --
the very things I wake up craving. Then
CNN confirmed for me the dread--
making news that a wild elephant
is slaughtered every 20 minutes. I say,
a wild elephant dies every 20 minutes to
satisfy demand from China according to
my television. The word "insatiable” was used.
I am beginning to despise you,
ancient and beautiful land of scholars
and warriors and Wu Wei--think we don't know
your fabled herbal remedies include
powder from the black rhinoceros horn?
Your reply came quickly:
American buffaloes. Florida manatees. Hawaiian crows.
Yes, the door is invitingly open now,
the black dog
refuses to leave.
Trish Saunders lives and writes in Seattle and Honolulu and (in her imagination) Paris, France during the 1920s. She’s been published in Off The Coast, Blast Furnace Press, Dead Snakes, Silver Birch Press.
I have decided to leave this city of war. The war has gone out of
control. You never know who belongs to whom,
anymore. What the fight is all about.
The war is still dragging on its
fiery tail through the
dead city like
giant prehistoric creature. I take a maze of trail, which threads
its way out of the city, through the unchecked growth
and rubbish. I keep walking, leaving the images
of the city, into the wilderness. The sky
is layers of cotton-thick smoke.
Wild, cross-bred thorny
plants, hollyhocks, and emaciated chrysanthemums dotes the
trail. Sprigs of tamarisk, sprigs of furze, herbs still
exuding scents, the grass is singing dirges
around my feet, as I pass between
air’s legs, it snakes a hiss,
a bark. I begin to see,
to feel another
in these species difficult and deeper into great piles of life
fomenting. An irresistible occasion, this garland of
demonstrations! Morning glories, their
purple flowers look down on the
melee much as generals
observe their wars
doing the actual fighting. These generals are the ravishment of
their own extending success, a display. The wheat fields
weaving brushstrokes of their pride, they dance
and shout as of people of a ceaselessly
bombed city when it’s freed.
Rose bushes poised
choreography which gathers them in front of the
forsythia. Quack grass, thistle, cockleburs and
black eyed Susan: are the privates,
war for the generals, the morning glories. This war does not
pace itself, space itself…, for it is self contained in itself.
If You Are Going
If you are going
Linger a little while
Like the setting sun’s rays
Touching the coming night
If you are going
Touch the coming night
If you are going
Linger a little while
Kiss me good night
Hold me for the last time
If you are going
Hold me for the last time
If you are going
Linger a little while
Say you care a little
Come for good-bye
If you are going
Come for a good-bye
Tendai. R. Mwanaka is a multidisciplinary artist from Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe. His oeuvre of works touches on literary disciplines (non-fictions, poetry, plays, fictions), music and sound art disciplines, visual art disciplines (photography, drawings, paintings, video, collage). His work has been published in over 300 journals, anthologies and magazines in over 27 countries. Nominated, shortlisted and won some prizes and work has been translated into French and Spanish.
One hundred fifteen years
I carried my name,
Santiago Lazaro Perez,
gave it to a good wife
who now sits near
our dear Lady of Guadalupe
and to nine children, all
but two who I had to bury.
No está bien.
Now, I worked my patch
of banana, citrus, and mango,
worked everyday of my life.
I could hardly pick.
Had to use my cane to reach
what I could not.
And each day I’d lug
with each full crate
the pain of an old body.
No está bien.
So, I took the ladder
I climbed so many times
to the orange grove,
set it against the nearest tree,
went up, tied a rope,
and pushed the ladder away.
My weight on my neck
pulled me straight again.
I swung, proud.
Ronald J. Pelias’s poems have appeared in a number of journals, including Small Pond, Midwest Poetry Review, Margie, and Whetstone. His most recent books, Leaning: A Poetics of Personal Relations (Left Coast Press) and Performance: An Alphabet of Performative Writing (Left Coast Press), call upon the poetic as a research strategy.
my first night in the new world
a storm marches in from beyond the gray mountains
perhaps from as far as the sea of red glass
the wind speaks in tongues
the green moon is full
the storm maneuvers like angry soldiers
this tempest is a search for conquest
i’m lucky to be inside a tent
when the first raindrops fall
i am safe within a protective sheathe
listening as the wind
thrashes in frustration
the tent swells and shrinks
a laboring lung
the storm outside
attempts to rearrange reality
weather is an artist
painting the earth with unfathomable brush
hoping to paint me as well
into a composition some might find
Joel Best has published in venues such as Atticus, decomP, Autumn Sky and Quick Fiction.He lives in upstate New York with his wife and son.He is the author of the collections “The Dogs Are Gone,” “Timeline,” “12 White Lies,” available at Smashwords.
Saint Lucy Lost Her Bowl
Saint Lucy brushes against me
as I order another Bushmills,
her eyes in her hands.
She has lost her golden dish.
After all, the Dark Ages
ended in the advent of perspective—
bodies piled on the steps of the Academy,
every face bearded, every hand and finger
curled along the concept of a ground,
save the cracked blue sky between
Adam and the hidden phallus of God.
My favorite Cubism being
the slow slope just below the waist
punctuated by the bone of the hip
and “My mother is a Fish.”
This is a mystery
unavailable for digestion
or search engine complicity.
I don’t understand these directions.
They don’t exist between the bottles
or on my walk back home.
I got her in the corner booth
after I took her hands
and she lifted her skirt so I could see.
There are dimensions curled tighter
than either Michelangelo
or Da Vinci could imagine.
This is a mystery.
I like the way they sigh
with their throats between my thumbs
but my mother said a man’s feet
were made for standing,
particularly when a woman needs a seat.
“We never really touch,” she says.
My hand working like a fulcrum
between her thighs. “It’s all
repulsion of electromagnetic fields.”
This is a mystery.
The way she covets her breasts
and laughs when I become a child
at the sight of them. Don’t even
get me started on the Pre-Raphaelites.
There are too many lilies in that water.
Of course, Botticelli is the best
but my softness lies in the penitent
kneeling beside the bedside
of pornographic swells. Their hearts
and holes plastered to mimic design
along the walls of the next whiskey hall.
Larry Duncan currently lives in the smallest apartment in Long Beach, CA. In 2010, he received his MFA from California State University, Long Beach. His poetry and fiction has appeared in various print and online publications, including Juked, the Mas Tequila Review, Emerge Literary Journal, Bank Heavy Press, and the Fat City Review. His Chapbook Crossroads of Stars and White Lightning is available through Arroyo Secco Press. You can learn more about Larry and check out links to his other poetry at his website http://larrydunc.wix.com/
Ephram Pratt Extolls Billiard Balls of Dust
Encased in silence
like wings on
an invisible bird,
the lions of redress
into broad strokes
of an isolated burgess
the invisible by
a lack of industry
the ancient sunlight
flowing into fountains
of incremental lightning
intrigued by a
multitude of stoppages,
cleansing the fingers
of a withered hand,
blasted in a
salt peter function of
billiard balls despairing,
lazily crooning in a
voice of dust.
Ephram Pratt Admits to Fawning Acclivity
Enticed by an elegance
of shared darkness,
of lights appearing
on the horizon
of a coming of age
dream, bucolic & broken,
like an incidence
needled and enfolded
let the brokenness
of a fatal lament
seek out the messengers,
seek out what we know
but whisper softly
only on days numbered
in the Book of Life,
the Book of Hezekiah
into a sullen scripture,
betoken by acclivity
into silence by
a never waning sky.
Jack E. Lorts, a retired educator, lives in a small remote town in eastern Oregon. He’s appeared widely, if infrequently over the past 40+ years, recently on-line in Haggard & Halloo, Elohi Gadugi, Dead Snakes, etc. Active in Democratic politics, he’s run for the Oregon House of Representatives and was mayor of Fossil, Oregon, population 479, for many years.
my father was a
real man; he
weaker fathers couldn’t
(give a funeral
tearing, build a shed
and fill it
he knew how
make a man.
had no doubt
i was not a man,
had none of the
and didn’t show
of figuring it out.
he liked to
say, “you think
you just flush
and it goes
what’s going to
happen when it doesn’t
and it comes back
and you and all your
friends are drowning
you don’t even know
how to use
was the same.
in high school
always said it
things but as
far as I could
tell he did
they both had
on the couch.
it hard to concentrate
while watching other
at each other
to lay on
to be the triumph
of all men,
and every sunday
never giving any thought
the game, when
forty of them took one big
Something Like Love
i miss you
lying in your
while you walked
rolling away from your path
like the sleeping stomachs
of giant buddhas
and me staying
making the bed
so we could unmake it
using your roommates
teapot to bring
your small bones back to
and your soft skin
under my heat
it could be love you said
you hate me now
you used the
bruises of your old
lovers to build back
and i let my old
loves leave me
i could see
no dark spots
but my pain
and when once
love could conquer
by our epitaph
held the ruin of
it could’ve been love you said
who are we now
the words and the doubt
i only remember
how your cat ran away
every time i opened the door
and even though
your dad was
a cop i tried
to like him anyway
we had no vices
we could go
to the zoo sober
and smile at turtles
and pet giraffes
that night we drove all night
i reminded you of
who seemed to smile back
and we rolled
and ignored our sins
and once again
we talked about
i always try and
go back to
that night i let you
get on the plane
and you left me
and new jersey behind
it can still be love
i always try and go back to that night
in my mind
in my songs
it was something like love
we were something like love
Scott Laudati lives in NYC with his boxer, Satine. He is the author of "Hawaiian Shirts In The Electric Chair". Visit him @ www.scottlaudati.com
Nude Male With Echo #53
It is less Greek
to say I feel the world
much more through my feet
than I ever have
from the sun above
& though my skin does pink
under the harsh blessing
of the old god,
I am home most of all
with bare feet headed nowhere
on a forgotten field.
Nude Male With Echo #54
When the bird finally shook
out of the weathering
in my chest, it flew away
to exercise the way my heart does,
& without understanding
that there never was a mystery.
That bird flies to the sun
& assumes all of that heat
was born amidst his own wings.
Darren C. Demaree has appeared, or is scheduled to appear in numerous magazines/journals, including the South Dakota Review, Meridian, The Louisville Review, Diagram, and the Colorado Review. He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology.
Through The Looking Glass
I had a dream last night that you were waiting
at my grandmother’s.
A huge tree was in the middle of the kitchen,
trunk so huge you had to climb it to get from
the oven to the stove top,
and you were using the apples hanging firmly from the ceiling,
to make a pie.
Your body was full and flush again and your eyes—
The eyes you got from my grandmother
and that my mother got from her
and that I got from all of you,
stare back at me like a looking glass.
Light catching on the layers of hues
embracing and floating in your iris like oil and water—
Dark navy blue jeans and the sky blue dress I tore
jumping from the back of your green pickup
the day it wouldn’t stop raining—
Before I speak, you smile
and you ask me how my day was.
I say good and do you need help with the pie
and you say yes and we talk.
We’re slicing apples with our fingernails,
little fruits and buds we pluck from our kitchen tree
and I am loving it, loving you, so much that I don’t notice
that the apples are growing brown,
or that your white blonde hairs,
bleached from 1000 Finnish nights,
are falling, calmly,
on the crust.
Emily Tuttle is an English undergraduate at the University of Maryland, minoring in Creative Writing and Neuroscience. She is part of the campus’s living and learning program for writers, Jimenez-Porter Writers’ House, and managing editor of Paper Shell Review, the on campus journal of analytical essays. She has an upcoming publication in Stylus, the University of Maryland literary magazine, and has been awarded the honorable mention for the Jimenez-Porter Literary Prize.
There’s always been a working class
and cycles of economic instability.
The newspapers call them crises. The downturn
of the seventies, inland industrialization, wedding ring—
ziplock exchanges on the downtown strip
before Cobra beers added the King to the title.
This city is in competition—with larger metropolitan
areas and it fares at the top—top three in most
categories. Nation and State to be correct. Police—
included, circling the rough spots, pocketing
cash from the runners, and handing back the rocks
before curling in front of their squad car vents.
Some numbers don’t make the statistics cut:
gun metal clips, trigger guards, and other parts
stashed in park garbage cans. The psychotics
rising from their codeine lows
who stumble upon the rusted offerings
while rummaging for something to eat.
And there are just
bystanders playing the part of jurors in a place
where there is no testimony and the judge has left
to prune geraniums, pick lemons, sip Manhattans
next to the terrace of his coastal mansion.
“some rivers flow back
toward the beginning
i never learned to swim”
i was born
in a northern valley
c is for current
there are more i’s
than i have
the deltas undertones
stir a shirt to the surface
near the banks
a bucket of quick dry cement
for its possessor
why am i here
the top of stockton
floats into the drought
of dry crinkled vines
the wine is a sharp white
they are still here
lurking in the cattails
the city’s name irks the natives
my mother had a child
that drowned before birth
when the rain does come
the ground has been too dry
to absorb the water
who can swim
when the tides
of the city
reach the tides
of the delta
will i sink
in this stockton
on the inland delta
will the water
drag our bodies
why do we
Tamer Mostafa is a Stockton, California native whose writing has been influenced by many, but directly affected by the teachings of Joshua McKinney, Alan Williamson, and Joe Wenderoth. He has published over 30 literary works in various journals and magazines such as Confrontation, The Rag, Poets Espresso Review, Stone Highway Review, and Phantom Kangaroo
Before dawn, when Orion
and a slivered moon dominate,
when maples are barely articulated
against a leafless sky
and the air is quiet,
when few eyes travel this road
the stars ride high
and towhees are not astir
beneath the laurel hedges,
the small winding stream
weeps among rocks and roots
collecting whatever has fallen,
taking whatever is not tied down
or bound up.
Chasing after Anorexia
Dematerializing is what saints do.
Each holy person, if the Medieval
sculptors are correct, seeks after
spiritual anorexia, a reaching out
towards physical non
Saints are persons who are able to
tend, as far as it is humanly possible,
towards emptying themselves
of self so that they may be filled
with the pure nothingness of the
spirit. Unlike Descartes, they believe
that to not be is to be fulfilled,
and that thinking, at least as seen
through a philosophical lens, puts
too much emphasis on the individual
self and ignores too much the
Douglas Campbell is a retired professor of art at George Fox University where he taught painting, printmaking, drawing and art history courses. His poetry and artworks have been published in a number of periodicals.
I tried to capture you the other day—
To put your love into words, to
Describe the fire coursing through
Your veins. Of course you’re fire;
Lovely things are rarely anything but.
Yet the bonfires are too tame, fireworks
Too explosive, the fireplace too
Homely and the firecracker too loud.
Then I thought of magma, of that scorching
Potential residing just below the earth’s
Surface, pulsating with the heat of a
Thousand suns, and I knew it was you,
You’re the heat seeping from long-hardened
Scars. You’re the fire licking up dry and
Crumbling wood. You’re the intense force
Moving mountain rock and sea. You’re the
Private display only I can witness.
You’re more than potential to me:
You’re the ever-felt eruption.
Autumn Meier is a graduate student of Southwestern University in Waxahachie, Texas. she currently resides in Illinois, where she is preparing to leave for Kiev, Ukraineto implement a writing program.
He sings beside the ticket-window
hallucinations of flappers
walking and talking
through the linoleum hallways of his mind.
He sees the souls
of the passersby
through the television static,
a chaotic flashing of cowboy westerns.
Psychosis spills from his jowls
of that toothless mouth.
Words dancing freely off his yellow tongue,
ravaged by termites and years of doctors druggy drool.
Travelers walk past him
floating on silver electric escalators
to the helicopters, to their sleep chambers
and rain soaked metallic eyes.
Quiet specters pass
that he’s been living alone
in his checkerboards universe−
contemplating the riddles of their evil glances.
He picks up their crumbs and morsels,
delivering bread and wine
to the pothole where he keeps
the key to his concrete fingerprint.
Craig Shay's an English teacher. His poetry blog is available at www.craigshay.wordpress.com