Articles on this Page
- 06/23/15--07:30: _John Attah - Two Poems
- 06/30/15--09:21: _Timothy Pilgrim - O...
- 07/10/15--07:00: _Richard Schnap - Tw...
- 07/13/15--08:33: _Emily Ramser - One ...
- 07/14/15--07:30: _Jocelyn Mosman - On...
- 07/15/15--08:00: _Gary Beck - One Poem
- 07/16/15--07:00: _Taylor Bond - Two P...
- 07/23/15--09:09: _Raymond Keen - One ...
- 07/24/15--10:03: _Eric McClure - Two ...
- 07/28/15--10:03: _Kelven Ka-shing LIT...
- 08/07/15--09:43: _Stephen Mead - One ...
- 08/24/15--09:34: _Matt Babcock - One ...
- 10/15/15--09:46: _Martin H. Levinson ...
- 10/16/15--07:30: _Richard Schnap - Tw...
- 10/17/15--07:00: _Tom Montag - Two Poems
- 10/26/15--10:31: _Colin Dodds - One Poem
- 10/27/15--07:30: _Alan Steele - One P...
- 10/28/15--07:30: _Anna Sykora - One Poem
- 10/29/15--07:00: _Desi St. Amant - On...
- 10/30/15--07:00: _Susan Beall Summers...
- 06/23/15--07:30: John Attah - Two Poems
- 06/30/15--09:21: Timothy Pilgrim - One Poem
- 07/10/15--07:00: Richard Schnap - Two Poems
- 07/13/15--08:33: Emily Ramser - One Poem
- 07/14/15--07:30: Jocelyn Mosman - One Poem
- 07/15/15--08:00: Gary Beck - One Poem
- 07/16/15--07:00: Taylor Bond - Two Poems
- 07/23/15--09:09: Raymond Keen - One Poem
- 07/24/15--10:03: Eric McClure - Two Poems
- 07/28/15--10:03: Kelven Ka-shing LIT - One Poem
- 08/07/15--09:43: Stephen Mead - One Poem
- 08/24/15--09:34: Matt Babcock - One Poem
- 10/15/15--09:46: Martin H. Levinson - One Poem
- 10/16/15--07:30: Richard Schnap - Two Poems
- 10/17/15--07:00: Tom Montag - Two Poems
- 10/26/15--10:31: Colin Dodds - One Poem
- 10/27/15--07:30: Alan Steele - One Poem
- 10/28/15--07:30: Anna Sykora - One Poem
- 10/29/15--07:00: Desi St. Amant - One Poem
- 10/30/15--07:00: Susan Beall Summers - One Poem
Heal These Bones
Heal these bones that lie on this valley
Where the cloud gathers
Where the rains fall
And thunder barks the testimony back to heaven
Lift them up like the bronze serpent
And let there be flesh in this valley of bones
For bones are not for eating
The flesh is the beauty hiding the bones
Free and heal these bones.
Whisper Slowly Into Those Ears
Whisper slowly into those ears
The ears that listen less
And listen as the mouth proclaims
All it has heard, true and untrue
For out of proportion, the words will flow
And the tap of oratory unfixed
While the lips churn out words
Words that bear no meanings
Words that ears prefer to take
To listen to and be merry
Let this whisper still be slow
The ears still listen less.
Ojonugwa John Attah is a Nigerian poet and short story writer. He also loves taking photos of nature and writing songs as well as messages. His poems have been published online and in print.
In the morning she woke
With hope for the new day
A white dress embroidered
With flowers and stars
Then in the mail
Arrived three overdue bills
A grey smock frayed
At its collar and sleeves
Next came a call
From her depressed ex-husband
A blue robe stained
With tiny dark drops
And finally a text
From a man cancelling a date
A black gown riddled
With cigarette burns
Profile In Black
He was raised
By a lost father
And a gullible mother
Attended a school
With identical students
In both dress and cruelty
Worked at jobs
In cage-like cubicles
Married a woman
That changed from a dove
To a ravenous vulture
Wrote many poems
That piled up like leaves
From a burnt forest
Watched the stars
And saw constellations
That no one else could
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 orint and online publications.
Emily Ramser just published her first full poetry collection, I Forgot How to Write When They Diagnosed Me, this past January. Her next chapbook, Conjuring Her, is set to be released later this summer through Weasel Press. You can find more of her work at her blog, www.chickadeesweetie.
open and close
rarely making an impact
on the general public,
more and more immersed
in social media,
computer effects movies
diluting the impact
of live theater,
with hi-tech cinema,
stage emotions mistrusted
by commercial producers
nurtured on twitter.
Taylor Bond is a 2014-2015 Lannan Fellow, a writer, and a freelance photographer. Her work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in various publications including Underwater New York and the Belle Reve Literary Journal. Her personal website can be found at www.warrior-princess.wix.com.
Genetically Mutated Dwarf Mouse
I was born on an operating table; under the topaz
twilight of amethyst surgical-lights – all Frankenstein-like.
My first breath was spent mistaking a knife
for my mother; I recall the way I extended my ghoulish
paw out towards the starved steel of the scalpel.
The tree outside the laboratory’s window was split asunder
by the thunder of my first heartbeat.
I spent my childhood scrambling awkwardly in my wheel,
trying to learn the unkind mechanics of my design –
my legs were not created equal – and learning to operate
my asymmetrical spine without fumbling across
the imaginary tripwires required half of a lifetime.
I cannot dance, but now I know – my body isn’t a song,
but a metronome. I keep time.
I am a pendulum in an enormous Victorian-era
antique clock, my whiskers mimic a split pediment,
my tail is a sundial’s gnomon – none of this was an accident.
Now I know why one leg is longer than the other:
because it catalogues the minutes, not the hours.
I can only assume that I was created to be the King
of the Dwarf Mice. I have seen my reflection.
My albino pelt glistens against the midnight’s pallid
shades of pyrite. And in the night, my eyes, my snout,
my tail, glow fluorescent green – the way a construction
worker’s neon vest reflects against the testing tone
of passing headlights – my jacket shines. And at night,
amidst the laboratory’s unsettling absence of light,
my eyes look like fireflies – two dancing shards of jadeite.
Psalm for a Coastal Diner
The restaurant’s patrons quietly stared
as Death Moth entered. The sackcloth outlaw
came to rest upon the pardoning paw
of the Japanese ceramic cat on the counter –
the slipshod-mask a Rorschach-forecast
for the brackish ocean’s perpetual
foreverness – a strange attraction to static.
All murmuring collapsed into quiet
as his legs lifted off of the Bobtail,
turbine-body in trail towards the center
of a ceiling-light, and as Death Moth’s
oscillating wingtips twitched below
the orange strobe, all knew that all that was
was the crepuscular messenger’s
sobering imprint, forewings’ stigmata
glissando – a nocturnal arrangement
where for so long, there hadn’t been any music,
just noise – white unquiet, an empty of all.
Eric McClure has his BA in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he
was the winner of the Paul Carrol award for outstanding achievement in creative writing. His
work has appeared in The Red Shoes Review, the Shot Glass Journal, Prairie Margins, and The
Rusty Nail. He lives in Chicago where he is currently a graduate student at DePaul University.
I Miss The Old Old Lantern
I miss the old old lantern.
When I was young and innocent,
It was you who brought me downstairs;
Carrying this little old old lantern,
On the day when the moon was full.
I was afraid,
Afraid that the lantern would be burnt,
Afraid that the candle would be hot,
Afraid that you would leave.
Your caring hands,
However just comforted me,
In that frightening moment,
You just held me,
Across the festive path downstairs,
Carrying the old old lantern.
It was my happiest time,
When warmness is no longer in scarcity
When family is no longer in dream.
I am still afraid,
The lantern would be burnt,
The candle would be hot,
And you would have left.
You really left.
The day when the moon was full could no longer be the same,
But please don't worry,
Under the full moon;
I will hold your hands again,
To show you what I have done,
To honor what you have dedicated to me.
We will play the lantern together again, one day.
I miss the old old lantern.
I miss you.
As a Director of an app development company in Science Park Hong Kong, Kelven Ka-shing LIT believed Science is Magic but as time goes by, Science is just too weak to be with our Life. He fills this gap with Literature, and finally a way out comes by.
Bathing Amid Danger
Garments shed, five layers, a bullet
Now he is thin:
Ribs jutting, the hips, a canoe’s middle,
The legs, something to be swum, the wrists
Too fluid for shackles…
In the tub he’s almost invisible.
Smell warmth, languorous.
Smell lanky skin,
Mild, pliant on arms…
Fingers dip under.
Steam slips from waves, skims air…
Here, he’s as much without gravity,
The bathroom a moon element…
Lids close, dreams press out
The ceiling: geese & clouds reflected
About bony shins, elbow crooks…
Canals & dark gondoliers…
Straw hats shield their eyes.
Long staffs work the current,
Frozen now, an Edward Hopper scene,
Lush but remote…
Hear pan pipes beginning?
It’s a solitary fanfare, some song nearly
Broken but sustained by notes…
Level after level, this is his voice rising…
Trickles bead from limbs, the neck’s hollow,
The swirling hair presently lifted, wrung out,
Damp black from a back
Unaware of its nakedness or what armor
This water music needs.
A resident of NY, Stephen Mead is a published artist, writer, maker of short collage-films and sound-collage downloads. If you have the time feel free to Google the words "Stephen Mead Art" for various links to his multi-media work. Oh yes, and he works a day job.
Not long after bombs stop plunging
from the skies over Tripoli, I invade
the “Mommy and Me Class” at the local pool.
A storm broods. Lightning slithers
through murky clouds. The chance that steered
the wayward bird of artillery that killed
the general’s four-month old granddaughter
threatens to march us to the break room
for a politically correct safety video
in which Longfellow, a cartoon whale
in Florence Nightingale bonnet, tells the tale
of the only black kid in a gang of four white kids
to get sunburned. For now, our sleek
teenage teacher floats in a cheerless hub
of eight tubby moms and eight girlies
in pig and peppermint suits. My son and I,
the only males, keep the far-off dreams
of deposed kings behind the forged passports
of our smiles. Chilly hypocrites, the adults sing,
“If You’re Happy and You Know It,”
paddling the hands and feet of rebel kids.
Each turn of the matriarchal wheel sends
an overcast look of ethnic cleansing
in my direction. Who can splash off the stain
of not belonging? What dark weather
decreed us too heavy for this year’s styles?
What tyranny snared me in the whirlpool
of fatherhood? My son, pure Viking, hair as white
as Arctic light, eyes of fierce democratic blue,
senses the shift in regimes as we slip
single-file into The Lazy River. Under guard
of a goofy fiberglass moose, I learn I must
dunk him three times, which I do, loving him more
each time he comes up screaming curses
at this world in which every small life matters
as long as we, the newest circle of leaders,
obey the command to drown our hearts
and immerse our young in the lessons of death.
Teach writing at BYU-Idaho. Poetic stuff in Alehouse; Bateau; The Cape Rock; PANK; Poecology; Quiddity; Rattle; Slant; The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review; Spoon River Poetry Review; Terrain; and Wild Violet. Earned the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Award and a PhD in Literature and Criticism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Civilization and its Discontents
I bite my lips, pinch my thighs,
pray I don’t pound you into the
ground or chuck myself off
the twenty-second floor terrace
we are standing on as your sip
your Singapore Sling, munch on a
pretzel, pontificate over climate change,
feminism, the lack of civility in American
society and your aching feet that I’d like to
stomp on each time you say “what is this
world coming to,” “politicians are liars and
crooks,” “bring back the good old days” as if
I don’t know I want to disappear and become
a Trappist monk obeying a vow of silence
with my fellow monks who also don’t talk
but love each other because how can you
not revere someone who doesn’t bore you
to death or make you want to kill them
with their washed-out platitudes and
monochromatic conversation that
dyes Technicolor discussions drab
and weary gray.
Martin H. Levinson is a member of the Authors Guild, National Book Critics Circle, and the book review editor for ETC: A Review of General Semantics. He has published 8 books and numerous articles. His poems have appeared in The Potomac Review, Rattle, BRICKRhetoric, Occupoetry, Specter Magazine, First Literary Review East, Penumbra, Literary Mama, Third Wednesday, Freshet, Musings, Message in a Bottle, Mindset Poetry, and other publications. He holds a PhD from NYU and lives in Forest Hills, New York.
And The Winner Is
He sometimes felt
He was just a character
In someone else’s film
Acting a role
Set down in a script
By an unseen hand
For the story of his life
Seemed to mimic those
He’d see on TV
Especially the ones
Said to be based
On real events
But maybe he was wrong
And the movies he watched
Were modeled after him
Making him believe
That in some strange way
He could never die
Landscape in Grey
I have walked
Down one way streets
That led me to
Sudden dead ends
Where ashen houses
With broken windows
Stood like skulls
In a deserted morgue
And in each one
I found orphans in rags
That could barely
Remember their names
As they filled their veins
With doses of poison
Hoping to forget
Them for good
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.
vulture, bird of
the light. Across
silence. Take us
God, lord of death,
All this emptiness,
Heart full of ashes.
Tom Montag is the author of In This Place: Selected Poems 1982-2013, and a contributing writer at Verse-Virtual. In 2015 was the featured poet at Atticus Review(April) and Contemporary American Voices(August). He has poems at Hamilton Stone Review, Little Patuxent Review, Poetry Quarterly, Provo Canyon Review, Third Wednesday,and elsewhere.
Waiting by the tumbleweeds
for my laundry to tumble dry
in a jerry-rigged moment of solitude.
In the Valley of the Gods,
the stone towers and shattered canyons
defy symmetry and elude explanation.
With its billion years, the canyon wall confronts.
Its striations continue for miles along, miles in,
broken only by paint, ravines and drill bores
like the irregular face of God,
marked and interrupted by our prayers,
distorted and illuminated by our investigations.
A silence greets me, nourishment enough
that I may turn from my heart of crumpled paper,
toward an unforeseen transformation.
Colin Dodds is the author of Another Broken Wizard, WINDFALL and The Last Bad Job. His writing has appeared in more than two hundred publications, and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.Colin’s book-length poem That Happy Captive was a finalist in the 2015 Trio House Press Louise Bogan Award as well as the 42 Miles Press Poetry Award. Colin lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Samantha. See more of his work at thecolindodds.com.
Our Trinity reached its banks today. Pooled,
First time in recent member, begging
My spirit away from my menial tasks,
A haze instilled to the afternoon, thus
Making three o’clock more like seven; touched
The depth where whiskey turns green umber then back.
Ripples stir perch to life, dancing beneath
A pair of mallards intent on their sprint,
Wings a whisper from twigs and Johnson grass
Afloat. White discard lies as if anchored,
Tiny pillars of pulp brace water high,
Ever as preventing structural fail
From weight of the flock’s straggler members, each
Individual v in the flying
Zigzag across smooth amber glass surface, face
Buried deep in the ripples. There, again,
Goes the two-some, post reincarnation
Of some girl’s childhood you, searching for
A home to call own in river stand in
Ocean foam, artificial along the
Bank—homage, final Mexican Gulf home—
Nature stops well short with a mini train
Above the steep fall from grass to murk, a
Separation of two legs from none, and
To look through myself floating atop
Fluid depths, lying on those pillars, this
Other me among white caps wanting flight.
Desire to float, in continue my dry
Path to home, to my own blue, Gulf Delta.
Alan Steele holds degree in English and Law. He lives in Burleson, Texas, just outside of Fort
Worth with his and kids. Alan has been previously published in Aries, Apropos, Poetic License,
BL Poet, Verse Unto Us, New Mirage Quarterly, and Thumbprint.
did you believe you were helping me
that’s what I tried to understand
I had no breasts yet didn’t matter
when you defiled me and destroyed me
when you repeated I'd get better
how did I gain the guts to go
after you turned me to a stone
The Words She Wore
When she first spoke,
words were leaden with bookish facts
sandwiched with rehearsed one-liners
like a stiff, over-sized suit: It was pressed,
it was clean
but could not conceal her slouch
and anxious smile,
with pointy shoulders
and boxed silhouette
heaping years onto her youthful façade.
with practice and wheeling seasons
she continued her quest for knowledge
exploring the narratives of sages
uncovering truths from storytellers,
playing match-maker for her
ambitious neurons, phrases, and clauses.
soon, her words became a
faded, well-worn band t-shirt
fitting her like a glove
mapping the unchartered curves, twists and turns
she always knew her mind held.
Desi is a new writer, and her work is inspired by the countless people who have touched her life somehow: loved ones, complete strangers, and estranged acquaintances. Currently, Desi teaches 9th grade English and 12th grade AP Literature in Southern California, where she lives with her artist husband and two adventurous little boys.