Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Three Poems by Cristine A. Gruber

I had
that dream
again, the one
with the broken
mirror and the seven
bottles of beer. I figure
the damaged glass suggests
I struggle to see myself for
who I really am, but the
quantity of beer remains
a bit of a mystery,
for I’ve never
been able
to drink

Lost in the anomalous,
mislaid in creativity’s hold, 
dancing with the Woodbridge,
the surest way to grasp the characters
that make the pulp so very vibrant. 
Crimson, viridian, cobalt, magenta…  
not shades of the rainbow,
but colors of the storm.  
The gale of life meets
the tempest of creation 
in deeper, varied signals
of the squall. Deepest
moments of color,
just before the lids
turn pitch black,
only pulsating
dots remaining
for escape. 
knowing the veracity
of the Woodbridge, yet
drawn to it none-the-less. Forever
inspiring, but for the shortage of time…
time to say good night
to perennial Woodbridge;
time to seek provisional peace
among the wedgewood blue
and the eggshell white.

                 *Woodbridge is a wine label 


Two cups water,
half cup generic ketchup,
spoonful of expired sour cream,
small container of rancid guacamole,
two packets of hot sauce, the hotter the better,
and a dash of congealed onion powder,
found in the back of the cabinet,
hidden for more than three years.  
Mix well and simmer for twenty minutes,
the established time it takes
for hunger pangs to subside.
Pour in large mug and drink quickly,
the quicker the better,
so as not to think too hard
about the rancid guacamole.
Wash down with two large cups
of very strong coffee,
brewed from a three-day filter.
Cristine A. Gruber has had work featured in numerous journals, including: North American Review, Writer’s Digest, California Quarterly, Dead Snakes, Endicott Review, The Homestead Review, Iodine Poetry Journal, Miller’s Pond, Napalm and Novocain, The Penwood Review, Pound of Flash, Pyrokinection, Red River Review,  The Tule Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, and The Write Place at the Write Time. In 2014, her short stories, "Imprisoned," and "Stash," both received Honorable Mentions in the Writers Weekly 24-Hour Short Story Competition. Cristine's first full-length collection of poetry, Lifeline, is available from Amazon.com. More of Cristine’s work can be found and enjoyed at http://sierraviewjournal.blogspot.com/

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Three Poems by Ken L. Jones

On Native Horses

The sunlight filters through my anointed wanderings
And becomes newborn but never becomes necessary
To the barnacled sea that is asleep by these citrused shores
As dusty as the twelve string guitar
It has been many a year since I’ve played upon
The color orange has gone
Slo-mo is gone but the fog is forever
As I awake in sunflowers clotted with shadows
As mechanical as the Mississippi River
Until I am once more drawn to the swirly
Tie-dyed patterns of the nearby throbbing city
Which welcomes me back sardonically
With its cloven hooves and brimstone cape.


Unlimited Refills

The miracle that is the night is almost over
Dawn is twinkling here and there as it eats up the dark
The whole town is quiet like a deer that has found a leafy shelter
And hopes to hide from bullets there
And as of yet still the rush of noon is a hesitant violinist
Whose schezo is just now scratches merely sounds waiting to take form
And on a few broken cat hairs in a cloud of powder
It will arrive at last standing on its own two legs as a thing that is fully formed.

I’ve Never Forgotten

The rocks and seaweed were dressed up in Greek mythology
While I waited for her by a lighthouse on a roaring beach
There where the rocky outcroppings stretched out like reflections in funhouse mirrors
While switching boxcar like frail clouds come apart the minute
That they touch the oh most loud and full of traffic bridge on this seacoast of trembling storms
Until something like the long dead Hendrix plugged all this in like it was a Stratocaster
Then played it upside down until a hexagon of constellations was brought forth
And all things bark encrusted melted into a most succulent bliss
With all the abandonment of a bacchanalia with only this poet as its witness
To try to bring it all forth to you with words that sometimes fail him.

For the past thirty-five years Ken L. Jones has been a professionally published author who has done everything from writing Donald Duck Comic books to creating things for Freddy Krueger to say in some of his movies.  In the last six years he has concentrated on his lifelong ambition of becoming a published poet and he has published widely in all genres of that discipline in books, online, in chapbooks and in several solo collections of poetry.  

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Results of the 2014 Editor's Choice Award are in!!!

And the Winner is . . .

Scavenger Hunt by Donna Barkman

2nd place goes to . . .

Visitation Tuesday by Denise Weuve

3rd place goes to . . .

Mathematics by Christopher Hivner

This year we had three Honorable Mentions.  They are . . .

The Traffic in Old Ladies by Mary Newell
this small rain by Alexis Rhone Fancher
Signs of the Apolcalypse by Terri Simon

To read the winning poems and to see the complete list of finalists go to Kind of a Hurricane's Editor's Choice Contest Site:  http://editorschoiceaward.blogspot.com/ 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Three Poems by Jonathan Beale

Woman Making Mealie

     after the painting of an African scene by Tony Hudson

Bent double -- Intensity of their focus.
Grind, wind, wist, pist, push.
And grind around again.
Such mechanical circularity.
With a delicate female touch.

Of life or of-the-day-to-day,
Unrelenting -- unending.
Their voice is within their labour.
Their children are taught.
Their whole life is tort.
The land gives.
The land takes away.
A blood red sacrifice
is made today.

As the Sunday supplement
          thought passes
in to tonight's foreboding of
what may be, what we do not have.
Do we have to starve?
Who is by division
took that very first step?
From the water's edge.
To discover?

As the cattle hum the day away
They are going on, as jewels
Are invisible:  lost as they
Are in their day:  in their existence.
Making mealie all their day long.

The Forgotten Miracle Somewhere in America Sometime

The eternal wonder -- lost:
Distant -- while tangible
His world:
The heavily oily sludge in the gutter
His home:
The rat-run under an alien sun

No one notices:
The undefinable state of what was, and is to come
For everyone else:
Somehow indescribable,
Unknowable to him
As it's grown into reality.

One slight; one night; once among the neon
and the bar room noise
The chaos:
Seemed to be alien, vaguely relative, somehow familiar.
The action:  something invisible, something unreal.
Although important for the need of mankind.

The need for when all else has drained
Down the gutter away . . . away . . . away . . .
All their eyes were distracted by
The neon, billboards, and garbage blowing about
Now forgotten in their busyness.
The unassuming guy, stopped, stopped a hunger.

Yesterday's wants now gone bellies empty
Unrequired yet to cut out as a cataract
Strangely it shuffled by
A stranger did something smoothing
The sculpture of another life from another world
This the act, now lost in time.

Some Street Scenes Seen Through the Eyes of Edward Hopper

The scene, the street; seen as life, a cross section of humanity.
Filled with myth and mystery among life's other scenes.
The guy just sweeping the street without question.

A fella just sits outside the store -- unaware of an external world --
Without him even being part of it.  The dull blank empty windows
Stare carelessly away.  He looks at his lifetime in trepidation & fear.

People, sat alone in rooms, dully staring out.  Staring at solitary strangers,
Instantly, forgetting their faces.  Waiting to sup from the Lethe, to forget their words,
The scene that passes by, before them each and every day.

Streets run along, always there.  Silently meandering carrying the drunk home:
the lover to his want:  someone to their destination:  clandestine meetings.
Their lives pass, and come-and-go:  alive in the eye, and come to life in the brush.

Jonathan Beale's work has appeared regularly in Decanto, Penwood Review, The Screech Owl, Danse Macabre, Danse Macabre du Jour, Poetic Diversity, and also Voices of Israel in English, MiracleEzine, Voices of Hellenism Literary Journal, The Journal, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Down in the Dirt, The English Chicago Review, Mad Swirl, Poetry Cornwall, Ariadne's Thread, Bijou Poetry Review, Calvary Cross and Deadsnakes Review.  He was commended in Decanto's and Cafe's writers Poetry Competitions 2012.  And is working on a collection for Hammer and Anvil.  He studied philosophy at Birkbeck College London and lives in Surrey England.

Jonathan Beale’s work has appeared regularly in Decanto,  Penwood Review,  The Screech Owl, Danse Macabre, Danse Macabre du Jour, Poetic Diversity, and also; Voices of Israel in English, MiracleEzine,  Voices of Hellenism Literary Journal, The Journal, Ink Sweat & Tears, Down in the Dirt, & (‘Drowning:’ Down in the Dirt July 13) The English Chicago Review, Mad Swirl, Poetry Cornwall, Ariadne’s Thread, Bijou Poetry Review, Calvary Cross and Deadsnakes Review.  He was commended in Decanto’s and CafĂ© writers Poetry Competitions 2012.  And is working on a collection for Hammer and Anvil.  He studied philosophy at Birkbeck College London and lives in Surrey England.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Three Poems by A.J. Huffman

from Ribbon this Memory

of pink satin tied pigtails, a white eyelet
dress, and new patent leather shoes I was
always afraid I would scuff.  It was Easter,
and I was watching my mother arrange
the dinner table.  Nothing fancy, no crystal glasses
or linen napkins.  Just regular place settings
that would quickly fill with ham and all the trimmings
she had stayed up cooking till dawn.  No one would notice
that she did not sit at the table with us, but continued
to refill bowls and plates, bring napkins and extra forks.
She would eat later, from a paper plate, standing
over the sink, after the other dishes had been washed
and returned to cupboards, after the kids were asleep
in bed, after the rest of the family had been sent off
with containers of leftovers that would last for days.
In that quiet corner of the kitchen, she leaned
against a counter, sighing.  Exhausted but smiling.
Content in knowing that the laughter still echoing
against the stucco ceiling made all her work worthwhile.

Learning to Walk

Tiny brown eyes glow with frustrated determination.
Still on all fours, one leg cocked as she searches
for handhold or point of balance.  Finding none,
she continues unaided.  Second leg up,
pauses in humorous frog-squat position
before bravely raising her hands.  For several seconds
she teeters, a tower of triumph, but excitement propels
her forward.  One shaky half-step lands diapered butt
on tiled floor.  Instead of expected tears, a giggle
escapes her lips.  A moment later, she re-assumes starter
position, ready to try again.

The Road to Sky Road

does not require feathers, or wings
made of wax.  It flows like a dream.
Anyone can follow.  Just close
your eyes and pretend you are
a cloud.

A.J. Huffman has published eleven solo chapbooks and one joint chapbook through various small presses.  Her new poetry collection, Another Blood Jet, is not available from Eldritch Press.  She has two more poetry collections forthcoming:  A Few Bullets Short of Home, from mgv2>publishing and Degeneration, from Pink. Girl. Ink.  She is a Multiple Pushcart Prize nominee, and has published over 2100 poems in various national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, Bone Orchard, EgoPHobia, and Kritya.  She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press.  www.kindofahurricanepress.com

Monday, February 23, 2015

Two Poems by Ron Yazinski

The spirits that begot the wind and rain
Left Lake Apopka centuries ago with the Indians;
Then the round-faced earth gods
That brought a bountiful harvest,
No longer came,
As the migrants who carried them were forbidden to return;
Even the long- indentured angels,
Have earned their release from skeptics like me.
I thought the only magic left was the industrial kind
From down the road in Disney World,
Where, for the price of a good used car,
Parents can spare their kids the trouble of dreaming for themselves.
But in the dark center of Winter Garden,
As the crowd counts down to the lighting of the towering Christmas tree
“Three, two, one,”
And a galaxy of lights blazes on,
Plant Street trembles with applause.
Included is the delight of a delicate strawberry blond
In a pink princess dress,
Which the grandma who holds her had especially made
With ribbons and butterflies.
In the child’s screech of pure joy,
And the clapping of her right hand,
Against the stump where her left hand should be;
There is all the magic we need.
I came, after Sunday Mass, to the Church of the Resurrection,
A church so white and antiseptic
A saint would wipe his feet before entering;
Where the stillness was scratched only by the periodic ticking of rosaries
Drooped over the backs of pews by the few remaining bowed heads.
I was here because, though I had long lost my religion,
I still admired religious things.
I wanted to see how much this new building resembled the one of my youth.
Very little, it seems. 
Whereas my childhood church was as dark as a fortress,
A good place to hide from the eyes of God,
This was a sustained flash of light.
Making it easy for the aged heads to identify me
When my cell phone went off.
Embarrassed, I fumbled for it,
As they creaked their heads towards me, frowning I didn’t belong here,
If I didn’t know how to act.
I confess I never knew how to act in places like this.
No prayer or crust of bread ever made me believe that I belonged.
I always felt as if I were caught peeking into a neighbor’s bedroom window
As he sneered and pulled the curtains.
And even though each second the phone doesn’t ring,
Reminding me that nobody in the wide world wants my attention,
Still, it has the possibility of communion,
So much so that when I answer it
I whisper, “Amen.”
After dividing the last four years between his native Pennsylvania and Florida, Ron Yazinski and his wife Jeanne have recently become permanent residents of Winter Garden.
     A retired high school English teacher, Ron is inspired by the personalities and energies of his new hometown.  Initially enticed by the climate of central Florida, he finds the hospitality and openness of the people who live in this marvelous little town,
refreshing and rejuvenating.
     Ron’s poems have appeared in many journals, including Strong Verse, The Edison Literary Review, Chantarelle’s Notebook, Centrifugal Eye, and Pulsar. He is also the author of the chapbook HOUSES: AN AMERICAN ZODIAC, and two volumes of poetry, SOUTH OF SCRANTON and KARAMAZOV POEMS.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Three Poems by Miki Byrne

Eradication Therapy

Heavy words.  Dense, meteor-solid.
Weighty, as if each syllable could be collected.
Placed together like a handful of stones.
Turn my closed fist into a hammer.
Yet, a hammer would be futile.
No single unsubtle weapon will suffice
To break this fast-held hold.
A siege must take place.
A slow, gentle seeping.
Brought in regular repetition.
Two weeks each time.  Plugged.  Attached.
One tiny entrance breached.
Specialist force enabled.  To encroach,
infiltrate.  Creep slowly, industriously,
in a slow flooding.  Overtaking the enemy
until the balance shifts.
The hostage must wait.  Hope for success.
Balance upon an unpredictable outcome.

Getting it Back

A small demon of fear took residence.
Moved in unannounced, unwanted.
His hands grasped at thoughts.
Twisted them into licorice knots, black, sticky.
Offered insecurity, hesitant action,
slow responses.  His eyes saw all,
crinkled with mirth at failure.
He hunkered down in every room,
hand to mouth, giggling at attempts to work.
Attention was diverted for a long time,
maximum distraction occurred.
Now I stare back at him.
Attempt his diminishment by force of will.
Dislodge his hold upon my life.
Imagine his death by various means,
let my dislike billow cloud-soft and broad.
Now each time I catch a glimpse,
he is becoming smaller.

Sunlight on Sea

A million sparks flicker.
Dance bright fractals,
sharp as hand-scattered stars.
Peaked on ever small wave-top,
reflected from cupped hollows.
To flare in firework bursts, pin sharp.
A restless tapestry stitched in bright needles.
Its pattern sketched by breezes.
Cloud-shadows tear ragged random holes
for the sun's quick fingered darning.

Miki Byrne began performing her poetry in a Bikers Club.  She has had three collections of poetry published and work included in over 160 respected poetry magazines and anthologies.  Miki has won poetry competitions and been placed in many others.  She has read on both radio and TV and judged poetry competitions.  She was a finalist for Gloucester Poet Laureate.  Miki is a member of the charity Arthritis Care's People Bank.  She has been disable for many years.