Monday, July 28, 2014

A Poem by Dan Jacoby

parmita dana (perfection of clarity)
greatest power of the mind
seeing what’s not there
mystery of making things up
a cowboy on a horse
a lab named spot
doing best with  nonexistent deadlines
mad hatter dinner at seven be there
bring face painted flowers,
too conventional,
bring antique standing mirror,
any house can use another
bring a book
books stay quiet
when you want to think
except one missing
last page
leave the windows open
so your music and I
can converse
gives the moonlight
something worth shining on
a warm breeze that comes
with gentle rain as
elfin ears hear
different soft whispers
every night parfait
real life doesn’t measure up
to what’s in the mind


Dan Jacoby lives in Illinois on a very old family farm. He is a former student, special forces soldier, spy, steel worker,  teacher, coach, mentor, and principal.  He has published poetry in  the Shore Review, Deep South Magazine, Lines and Stars, Red Booth Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, and Red Fez. He has work soon to be published in Ascent Aspirations Magazine, The Vehicle, and Steel Toe Review.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Poem by Lyn Lifshin

Some Afternoons When Nobody Was Fighting
my mother took out
walnuts and chocolate
chips. My sister and
I plunged our fingers
in flour and butter
smoother than clay.
Pale dough oozing
between our fingers
while the house filled
with blond bars rising
and kisses of fudge
Mother in her pink dress
with black ballerinas
circling its bottom
turned on the Victrola,
tucked her dress up into
pink nylon bloomer pants,
kicked her legs up in the
air and my sister and I
pranced thru the living
room, a bracelet around
her. She was our Pied
Piper and we were
the children of Hamlin,
circling her as close as the
dancers on her hem

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Two Poems by Walter Ruhlmann

The Rain Bows Down

No bows, no arrows,
rainbows twisting around my neck,
erupting from my sex.

Drops of rain like drained hopes,
thick and sticky, copulating
castrated rivulets of blood,
water rolling down the panes.

Pains and sheltering blows,
cleavers chop and chisel this skin,
foamed and soaped,
eternally scratched,
bruised and itching.

Downward movement
towards the ground
where smashed flesh,
crashed corpses,
purple tumescence,
scarlet portraits,
explode in fireworks.

Leak like dark liquid sparks
unsettled, guffawing
cherishing falls, breakdowns,
bleak houses on hilly trade winds,
or mountains blowing zephyrs,
colourful, dazzling beams,
wet rays, orange, pink ore,
the rainbows slit-open is
spitting iridescent ordeals.

A Bowling Bowl in My Stomach

A dragon laid an egg inside my corpse;
not a body, nobody sees that I exist,
yet my scales shine in the beams
but an egg lies here inside me.

The hatching is coming,
I can sense strange vibrations,
the ovum was once fertilized,
invaded by white sperm
from an ancient Python,
or some reptilian snake.

Walter Ruhlmann works as an English teacher, edits mgversion2>datura and runs mgv2>publishing. His latest collections are Maore published by Lapwing Publications, UK, 2013,  Carmine Carnival published by Lazarus Media, USA, 2013 and The Loss through Flutter Press, USA, 2014. Coming up in 2014 Twelve Times Thirteen through Kind of a Hurricane Press.and Crossing Puddles through Robocup Press.        His blog

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Two Poems by Changming Yuan

The Two in the Grove

she is a willow
gorgeous and graceful
his whispers are breeze
gentle and generous
blowing through her branches
slim and sunlight-glazed
constantly making her tremble
like a chuckling tree
I kissed your morning
With mine, and held
Your night closely with mine too
Between your spring and autumn
I lay my summer
Deep in winter
From your January through February
To your March, I wrap your April and May
With my June and July
Within your August
I use my September or October
To caress both your November and December
And right from your moment
I suck my whole year
Changming Yuan, an 8-time Pushcart nominee, grew up in rural China and currently tutors in Vancouver, where he co-edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan. Since mid-2005, Changming's poetry has appeared in 839 literary publications worldwide, including Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline and Threepenny Review

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Poem by Diane Webster

Green Light, Red Light
Green lights blur
like white center lines
on midnight highway
until car
euphorically sails
silent in darkness
fingertip close
until roller coaster
plunge flashes
red lights, red lights.
Diane Webster enjoys the challenge of picturing images into words to fit her poems. If she can envision her poem, she can write what she sees and her readers can visualize her ideas. That's the excitement of writing.  Her work has appeared in "The Hurricane Review," "Eunoia Review," "Illya's Honey," and other literary magazines.

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Poem by Adreyo Sen

The wind tugging at the hem of her black and gold caftan,
struggling to pull her close as it blasts its way,
she stands remote, her hands crossed across her bosom,
oblivious to the catcalls of urchins as they loll past her,
staring at her with insolent curiosity, yet respectful,
her eyes looking beyond the jungle of traffic,
past the bleating cars, past the commuters,
to the desire of her heart, she waits patient,
monument of sacrifice,
mutely shaking her head in negation, as vendors,
spread their colourful array of goods before her,
hoping to take advantage of her soft tender face.
Gentle and barren, the black hem of her caftan,
forming a respectful train, she waits,
waits for her dream, her eyes firm and resolute,
a part, yet not a part of this world.
Commuters hurry past her with dispassionate glances,
trained in the controlled cynicism of stock markets,
casting her into the scattered scrambled memories,
to mull over in the security of their home,
the pathetic sweet figure they think they smiled at.
As her lips start to tremble and her eyes dim,
no longer her bright messengers of hope,
she sees her dream and flings her arms around him,
and as he lifts her up in his arms, kissing her radiant face,
the great city of commercial gods carries on, oblivious as ever,
to the triumphant march of love.
Adreyo Sen resides in Kolkata, India.  He is pursuing his MFA degree at Stony Brook, Southampton.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Three Poems by Ally Malinenko

Big Sur
Am Alone, says the king,
walking down the stone path.
Am Alone.
And at first he means it, they all do.
At first.
Until the silence grows
louder than the noise he used to make
down in the dirty city bars.
It grows like the moss on the trees,
like the gray hair on his arms.
Am Alone, they say
to get better
to be well
and still and peaceful,
to quell the fury.
But they hate it, like all kings hate being king.
They have no idea,
these men
with the bright ideas,
with the looks that give and take
away from the spotlight
and all their fickle tempers,
their broken glasses,
cutting the bottom of feet.
All the roaring.
They hate it
when there is no one to hear them.
Nothing but silence and the echoes
of their own fury thrown back at them
from the ocean’s mocking slap.
still, Am Alone,
something I have never known
not truly.
To live without it.
To forget and be forgotten.
To be still
for as long as I wish
vibrating like an atom.
Forever, even
Am Alone.
Building Civilizations
Sometimes I wonder if I made you up, too.
The way I have always made up stories.
Especially when you told me that you had never read
all the books you said you did when we were young.
And I stopped on the street, shocked.
I saw my reflection in the store window,
my windblown hair,
my boy jeans, my fall jacket, taken aback.
I have watched you,
over the course of our life together
and even in our life apart,
create and recreate yourself for other people
but I had the secret. I knew you when.
And now, I realize it has happened again,
this time to me.
“It was you,” you said.
“Those were your stories. I couldn’t be bothered.”
When we were little we built civilizations
in my basement. Giant pillows for continents,
toys and dolls for people.
We played God. Some lived, some died.
Back then, I wrote poems too, inside
without paper or pencil I just didn’t know.
And here on the street, with the slump
of your shoulders passing my reflection
I reach out and take your words,
pluck them from the cool night air where they float,
stuffed them in my pocket, like a survivor
and when you were gone,
I ate them, bite by bite,

savoring them, like a secret.
Yowling in the Next Life

In the next life, 
I'm going to come back as a cat.
No more of this pink hairless life.
Instead i will set on the dock in San Francisco
and laugh
that white bright laugh
that used to torture the prisoners on Alcatraz.
The sounds they could hear over that quiet bay,
all that gentle conversation, the awkward
dinner dates, the shuffling starts and sputters
of men and women getting to know each other.
The symphony of clinking silverware, coughs, chatter
nervous accents, embarrassed pauses, space of silence louder
than laughter.
All of it floated over all that black water
over the honking of seals,
and came through those
rusty, sea-stained windows and 
my god, it must have driven them crazy.
The cacophony of want.

yes in the next life,
I'll be on the dock, too.
A fat black cat, yowling at your moon. 
Ally Malinenko has been writing stories and poems and novels for awhile now. Possibly too long. Occasionally she gets them published. Her first book of poems entitled The Wanting Bone was published by Six Gallery Press and her first novel for children, Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb, was recently published by Antenna Books. She can be found blathering here: