Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Poem by Kate LaDew

there’s an atomic clock ticking by my record player table

there’s an atomic clock ticking by my record player table
it’s able to recalculate itself, blinking at the same rate as the world,
accurate to infinity, dropping down to the hundredth of any given second,
cooling atoms to absolute zero,
measuring clouds of fountains, atoms tossed into the air by lasers,
all this sits by my record player table
I watch the thick vinyl turn, looping out sounds that will be stored in my brain for eternity while everything else trickles through my heart like rain
they say ted williams could read the label of a spinning record from 60 feet away
I wonder if he counted the stitches on every baseball,
one by one or twos or fives, flying towards him in wavering lines,
atoms are weightless in the toss, invisible to any human eye
would ted have caught them with his bat, sent them over that great green wall in splatters?
does it matter if we’re all one second off?
when it’s finally time to die will we raise our hands into the air,
grasping at something we’re told is there but have never seen?
one eye on that atomic clock, the other blinking with the rhythm of our slowing heart
give me my last second back, we’ll shout at God
you owe it to me after all this living

Kate LaDew is a graduate from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a BA in Studio Art. She resides in Graham, NC with her cat, Charlie Chaplin. She is currently working on her first novel.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Two Poems by Joe Amaral

Queen of Carcasses
Scurry little princess
Pink and pretty
Entitled with money
See-through fragile tutu
So high and mighty
Sitting properly upon
Your cardboard throne
Scepter of false gold
Burger joint crown
Bejeweled by crayon
Revolt ye underling servants
Jester, serf, lady-in-waiting
Feast on the bones of
The rich bourgeois
Off with their heads

Human Houseplant
Lines scar
thin paper pastures
Wriggle like river etched landscapes
as the drizzle of a tear sleds off my cheek
Following unknown gravity along
mountainous paths
Demon-hearted volcano funnels
I quit the upward climb
My soulflower wilted, drowned via
the watery entrapment of a glass vase
Clear-viewed for all to observe my opaque demise
Clipped trees bow their heads in sympathy,
a synchronicity of sobs and sawn timber
I peer out my prison at the ordinary faces
Curious and confused, ignorant but sad
Their fear resides in the perfume my petals echo
Strangely quixotic, old intoxications
I let my pieces droop off
One by one
Knowing freedom is an outdoor burial

Joe Amaral is a paramedic who spends most his time spelunking around the California central coast, though he is an OG raised in the San Francisco East Bay Area. His poetry and short stories have appeared in many literary journals and print anthologies, including A Handful of Dust, amphibi.us, Carcinogenic Poetry, Certain Circuits, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Eclectic Flash, RED OCHRE LiT, and Underground Voices. He also has pieces published internationally via Decanto Magazine, DIOGEN, Litro, and Taj Mahal Review.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Poem by Olly Peel

I See I Have Been Removed
It is strange how the wind took my words
From the Engadin – its glassy Sils
Where, I swear, I saw my name
Inscribed for a time –
Somewhat higher
In its beginning,
And danced me down
The shaded Val Fex (where lesser
Runs to greater)
To move, finally, amongst your darkening sense
I sign, I take account,
But am mistaken by my auditor,
Significantly so;
I respond – you rise up –
And leave the room,
Caring little for raised words
That valley comes to me again –
It and I are the thing –
Perceived much
And Set within a frame
I cannot go again –
Twice to speak the same –
And call you back;
I try, but I hear in my voice
A voice unascribed
So I have called myself to your dock;
Here I sit, waiting not on judgement,
But on consequence;
I hear – I pronounce –
Orphan, you have hated your father
Wrongly: his intentions were only good;
So, sojourner, go and live among them –
See what they will say of you
I found her discursive this afternoon;
I wish she would find her point,
But often I find her elsewhere
(And I with her: I am rarely where I am)
Do not tell me I fell because of ambiguity;
I fell because, not grasping, I reached
– I am an irresponse–
Created, creating, under your creation
That bloody gate has ruined me;
But I – lying on my side, if I remember –
Was dead long ago –

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Two Poems By Susan Dale

Standing In The Doorway Of Yesterday

  In the thin light of March
   When naked trees wear
   Only voices of the past
Then do I rewind remembrance
Time velvet in depths of shadows
Weightless dreams and distant figures
   Standing in nocturnal doors
   Light and the way it creates
   Atmosphere around the years
The way light falls on yesterday
   With its breath of mist
   Feathers drawn across
  The wet paint of memory
Tremors- Quivers- Aloft in the air
Yesterday, with its lines crossed over
    Rubbed thin, crumpled within
          The fingers of fate
Ephemeral shadows shading winter windows
      Luminous winter light
     And the snow that dusts
  My windows with dreams
Sweeping with vertical strokes
Wiping over with whitewash
  Across the epitaphs of time


No barriers between
   pervasive silence
      and the weight of words

Transparent curtains lifted
           to lost beginnings

The way that shadows step
                backwards in time

   Into spheres of colors

Or mingle with the whispers of water

The naked brutality of separations

The metallic flavors pressed on all sides
                  with memories falling
                                    through clouds

Secrets into secret selves

Our landscapes stretched to exiled worlds
Spring back into interiors
To be held within our hearts

Susan’s poems and fiction are on Eastown Fiction, Tryst 3, Word Salad, Pens On Fire, Ken *Again, Hackwriters, and Penwood Review. In 2007, she won the grand prize for poetry from Oneswan. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Two Poems by Steve Klepetar

Still life with Smoke

You can smell it on the ripening
fruit, peaches
and bananas and dark plums

glinting in harsh
light of a bare bulb. Perhaps rising
from a cigarette
consuming itself on the savage lip

of an ashtray’s ironic smile.

And whose hand is that, resting
on the rust-red table, more
weary than starved, half eaten
by thick, acidic air? Who has
offered this feast of floodlights

and chains? What defeated
mouth helplessly surges towards flesh?

When Fire Comes

When planets align and winter beaches groan
with surge, who will lead you home? What skies
will welcome you, traveller battered by roads
unsheltered and unadorned? Tattoos mark
your shoulders and your neck – a chariot,
a sword and a horse with feathered wings –
but now you know you have been away too long.
Distance hasn’t rescued you, nor has all
you’ve seen survived the instant of a dream.
Lost in this wild wind, your ears have lost
the thread of human speech. Cold gravel clogs
your lips and tongue. This frigid night your skin
glows radiation green, and even open doors
won’t stand long against a massive blaze.
When fire comes, where will you find a space?
Even angels feel this kind of heat. Impassive
eyes, so beautiful and blue, discern
such shimmering waves as lift surrounding air
to tumbling clouds of rage and eyeless storm.

Steve Klepetar teaches literature and creative writing at Saint Cloud State University in Minnesota. His work has received several nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Flutter Press has recently published his latest chapbook "My Father Teaches Me a Magic Word,]."

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Poem by Andy Popper

Arringham’s City Market
Apples stacked behind the tomatillos and French sorrel
Dusty with lumps compared with their waxed retail siblings.
The brown-gray authenticity coats rhubarb and dill
In the stationary caravan of boxes and baskets.

Sellers with beards, loose shirts and jackknives,
Freed of barcode, fluorescence, and background music
Offer slices of pear and yellow cheese with crusty bread,
Offer transformation, an embrace, a green seduction, a rural trance.

Products measured by eye and sold by the handful,
By penciled purveyors who assist the illusion,
One-lane roads, tractors, a wobbly table, and trust,
As a taxi passes and a cop gives a ticket.

“What farm grew these?” you want to ask – but no,
Why make the inquiry? You anticipate a blank response, then
Someone will ask one of the brothers who owns the show
And lives in a split-level on a sixth of an acre.

One of the brothers who shops at the East Harbor market at 0500.
And crates the apples in boxes stamped with the family name,
Arringham’s Market, on Saturdays, in a concrete parking lot
Used during the week for executives of a brokerage firm.

Bring your dog and tie around his neck a checkered bandana
Breathe the cloud of sweet vanilla and freshly baked wonders
Pies and breads made at a small factory just north,
Only a few minutes from the entrance to the tunnel.

Andrew Frederic Popper has taught at American University, Washington College of Law for the last three decades. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2010 University Scholar/Teacher of the Year. He is the author of more than 100 published novels, casebooks, articles, papers, poems, and public documents. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Poem by Darren C. Demaree


Poem For My Unborn Thomas #55
Used to pulsed blood, just wait
for the reliance of your own flush
to raise the rushing tide of marriage
within your own risky stream
& what you choose to pluck
from the maroon cascades. You
will want to have such great energy
when you feel the magical, brave
push to be alive, frightened
& in your mother’s arms all at once.
There is no poetry in your blood, son,
but the call to high spirit is your right.
Darren's poems have appeared, or are scheduled to appear in numerous magazines/journals, including the South Carolina Review, Meridian, Grain, Cottonwood, The Tribeca Poetry Review, and Whiskey Island. Recently, Freshwater Poetry Journal and Blue Stem have each nominated him for a Pushcart Prize.
His first full collection of poetry, tentatively entitled “As We Refer To Our Bodies” is forthcoming from 8th House Publishing House this fall.
He is currently living and writing in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and daughter.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Poem by Louis Marvin

Zenny Kenny-Grand Ideas on Caffeine

in the palm of my hand lies the universe
in my mind lies the tranquility you seek
do not speak and blast apart that which is perfect without your mundane thoughts
lie quietly and let the universe of this room surround you
you who yearn for something that is not here and not now
you who want something that brings fleeting happiness
go away from us, as we are happy with this bee, this tree, this bird
go away and look into a solid gold watchband
you will see a distorted face that was once yours
the universe lies quietly in my hand
I blow it to you like a feather
like a child’s bubble that will never break
it lands softly in your palm
do not crush it with a false handshake
do not salute fellow officer and let it fall to be crushed under boot
let it lie quietly
this universe now in the palms of our hands
Louis Marvin, Born in Burbank, Raised (hell) Phoenix, Living/Loving in Hawaii

Monday, July 23, 2012

Two Poems by Kanchan Chatterjee

stopping by
around mid-day
the bus stops
at the motel…
I sit inside
and look out
through the broken
window pane...
a lonely cow munches cardboard;
a backdrop of baked landscapes,
mountain ranges
or maybe dunes;
from a distance they all look the same
I eat in silence and wait…

a moment captured
looking out the moving window
I see an old fellow
sitting under the
shadow of a
Coca-Cola hoarding
by the dried up river
catching his breath...

Kanchan is a 44 year old male executive working in the finance department of government of India. Although he doesn't have a literary background, he loves poetry and he scribbles as and when he gets time or inclination. Some of his poems have been published by Indian publishers, namely, Cyberwit.net and Indus Valley. A few of his poems have appeared in some e-magazine and journals from around the world such as hauntedwaterspress, Oddity etc.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Poem by John Casquarelli and Aimee Herman

vacuumed sequence of non-committal   
I keep breaking down mountain landscapes
to subjects and predicates
call upon lineage        within line        wrinkle         mourning
hang on roots and branches
study some meaning that has entirely changed
today: hatred        unconfirmed traumatic        mothers' sick grows louder while baby still forms lashes and opinions        later: love       or skinny        or bone structure reveals homo sapien finger swallow           tomorrow: cancer     or a way out of hair comb and breast swell
say okay in a noncommittal voice
hand over cliff notes version of self
place napkin upon folded lap and nod
agree to hate because love is too messy and expensive
always have a lover on the side who will do the things the Bible disagrees with
do whatever it is I like
but what I like can be both
fact and hallucination
dream sequence or invasion of privacy
only after a long period of time          do women wonder why gender is pressed against bathroom doors
this isn’t rare science
common sense
just plain stuck avoiding you
there is decision in indecision      in fragmented opinion      in reduced price vocalization
at the worst possible moments            toenails curve up toward skylight
but a branch of our river
that runs past old sawmill town
to front porch and twenty year memories
but a growth on the side of a road
on interstate twenty or route nine
swells beneath tires and rubber rib cage
there is such a thing as quality
though completely irrational
after many turns you dig your feet
into the soft duff of needles edgewise
or you’ll slide down
burn like grass surrounding trees
scatter and collapse into shade
we’re too accustomed to hand filled promises
of oxygen laughter over jazz radio that
floods miles of empty horizon
sit with line in water
and turn away from pine odor mid-afternoon
hidden beneath the braids in your hair
“closeness has nothing to do with what is asked,” I said
you have to be in a certain mood to accept bad advice
with little practical value
the kind that makes your lips bleed
at the canyon wall where the wind freezes
there’s a name for this kind of semi-desert
but I don’t know what it is
why every word quivers off the glass door
each time you motion to me
“glass wheels have no religious preference/   glass eyes have no directional pattern/   glass sip has no language requirements/   glass woman has no idea where her hips are/   glass word has no choice but to fissure/   glass womb has no comfort in its supper/   glass man has no limbs beyond his weapon/   glass house    glass spit    glass animal    glass empty    glass collapse    collapse    synapse    sinking    skin graft ” 
every marriage should come with an interpreter
merge both classic and romantic understandings
about what looks good

you in that dress looks good
you with that paycheck looks good
you and that mortgage and these diamonds
and a maid and weekly flower delivery
and leather furniture
and stainless steel appliances
and surrogate body to house our children
and monthly appointments of cosmetic enhancements
looks good
scrub small patch of emotion when you’re absent
                                   hoping for some answers amid ocean trenches
                                   of self-awareness

dinosaurs are obsolete
though you're bound to discover
plenty of them at almost every job
conversations with no point or purpose
other than to ditch rocky gorges in dry country

maybe it's just the usual late evening letdown
but if you're a sloppy thinker five days a week
then why should you give a shit about the weekend
John Casquarelli is an English professor at Boricua College in New York. He received his M.F.A. in the Creative Writing program at Long Island University. He was awarded the 2010 Esther Hyneman Award for poetry. His work has appeared in several publications including Downtown Brooklyn, Kinship of Rivers, By The Overpass, Brooklyn Paramount, Pulp, The International Rebecca West Society, and Sun’s Skeleton. His first full-length book, On Equilibrium of Song, was published by Overpass Books (2011).

Aimee Herman, a queer performative poet, has been featured at various New York venues such as Dixon Place, Wow Café Theatre, Public Assembly, and Sidewalk Café. She has performed at reading/performance series such as: Hyper Gender, Sideshow: Queer Literary Carnival, and Red Umbrella Diaries. Her poetry can be found in InStereo Press, and/or journal, and Polari Journal. Her first full-length book, To Go Without Blinking, was published by BlazeVOX Books (2012).

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Two Poems by Jane Oliver

We are careless

Too many things are broken
pictures, notes, people.
We break our word - rarely
hyphenating an excuse
irrationally separating
pieces of the truth.

Dreams lie scattered in dirt
sharded by ‘I don’t think’
a voice out of harmony
discordant arpeggio
cubes in a landscape.
We are careless and things break.

Useless things

We carry things with us like an empty
violin case – useless to anything except
the violin. Grandmother’s bequeathed
jewellery which will never be worn, but it
might be worth something to someone
some day. Old faded, crack-folded too
often reread love letters to remember
and constantly hold out false hope.
We straddle longing’s stringless cello that
resonates only with a knock on wood,
and beat the heart’s broken-skinned drum
sending unwanted messages nowhere.

Jane Oliver is an editor at The Mindful Word.  Find out more about her poetry by visiting her website http://www.alwaysstandingonmyhead.com/poetry.htm

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Poem by Sherry Steiner

it was 3 pm. the sun was gone. and so was he.
she never realized the scope of his presence. when present he was quiet. when gone he was loud. how startling the difference in the here and not here. he picked up a feather on the floor and put it in his pocket. the french are known to do that.
il était 15h00. le soleil a disparu. et lui aussi.
elle n'a jamais réalisé la possibilité de sa présence. quand le présent il était silencieux. quand parti il était fort. comment l'ébranlement de la différence dans ici et pas ici. il a ramassé une plume à l'étage et l'a mis dans sa poche. on connu que le français le fasse.
Sherry Steiner
Housatonic ma

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Two Poems by William Davies, Jr.

My Wife

She didn’t consider
The dove-tail joints
Or, that it was made
Of Birdseye maple.
Only that the center drawer,
In addition to socks
Contained letters
From Iraq,
A stone butterfly
With one eye,
A trove of birthday cards
Replete with the
Corniest of sentiments:
“Forget a blender lets
Go on a bender.”
Scalloped photographs
Caramelized in
Plastic lunch bags
She would move
Over and over.


Her father ladles
Her into the grass,
A nesting doll
With thick glasses,
A broken toy.
Tiny, barely
Eight years old
Already a dowager
Of hospitals
Brought to this
Girls softball game,
The same as if
Taken to the ER
In the middle
Of the night,
Only now
No siren
Or flashing lights,
Just worse.

He has recently had a poem published in The Cortland Review and poems accepted by The Wilderness House Review and Blue Lyra Review.
He live in rural Pennsylvania with his wife, Theresa, and they bottle our own wine.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Two Poems by James Tierney

The Grimm Sisters

Safe from the danger
Of bed time stories
They reveled
In the paradise of day dreams
Where in their orderly world
Life was easy to handle
With time enough on their hands
To be repelled by what others
Were attracted to
They were at an age when
Instinct prospered over reason
Bored with older brothers
Who turned theirhands
To happy endings
Which in a woman’s world
Wasn’t as simple as it sounded

The jazz singer’s broken heart

There were any number of reasons
But no onereason
Why her heart
Didn’t seem to be in it that night

A perfunctory performance
An almost deliberate disaster
In setting out to be disliked
She was a huge success

At times like this
It was assumed
There were as many reasons
As there were pieces to her heart

Born in Northumberland (UK), James now lives and works in Milan, Italy. Following a Bachelor of Education course at the University of Durham he worked as a Press & Publicity Manager in commercial and repertory theatres up and down the country.
This led to a post with the Foreign Office as Contracts Manager at the British Council, Milan. There James took an advanced diploma in Business Administration from Cambridge University followed by an MBA from the University of Leicester.
Married with two children James now works at the University of Milan, specialising in the area of Business Administration. Publications to date include a number of language course books including a project for the Open University. Poetry includes a number of titles published in 2012 by Forward Poetry.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Poem by Dana Yost

A broken-boarded, loose-nailed
should-be-buried farm shed, still bearing a weak
coat of barn-red paint. It was in the trees,
just south of town, south of the pile of
gravel and sand stored by the highway department.
We called it the Slaughterhouse,
‘though I doubt things were ever butchered there:
just a name drummed up by kids looking for
something of semi-fascination and backstory,
something beyond the small-town everyday.
Barely teens, the old place in the grip of —
pick a “d” word: decay, deterioration, disrepair —
was where we spent our days for a few summers,
with pilfered cans of beer, hot dogs we’d cook
over a garbage barrel, where top-forty songs
boomed out of a portable radio.
Desolate, but ours.
It’s where I slow-danced with the St. Paul girl,
kissed her when no one was looking,
then, before we biked back to town,
kissed her again — this time, everyone looking.
Yeah, you did that then.
You tried life out.
Others, mingling their toes in the river’s bend,
smoking their first cigarettes,
swearing out loud because there was no soap,
carving their names into the rotting wood of the floor.
It’s gone now, of course. Bulldozed years ago
to clear field space so someone could
plant crop as close as he could to the river.
A map’s worth of old buildings we used to
bike to in summers has been wiped
out of being — country stores where you’d get
a bottle of grape pop for a dime;
Stevie’s grandmother’s two-story farmhouse,
burned and buried, along with the grove,
by the investors who bought all 480 acres.
New uses for old places.
But are there new uses for the old people?
Or even the young?
One night, a country drive. I watch a controlled burn
in a black field west of town: ridding the land of weeds
and stalks. They'd burn rock if there was a way.
I remember the shed and the St. Paul girl.
I remember the wetness of her lips,
the way she wrapped her arms around my back,
holding us in place.
There may have been a dragonfly.
There may have been a song on the radio.
Through one of the broken windows,
I could hear the river.
It made the sound of forever.
And she held us in place.
Dana Yost is the author of two published books, 2008's Grace, a collection of new poems; and 2010's The Right Place, a collection of essays and poems. His third book, A Higher Level: Life's Large Lessons From a Small College on the Prairie, a regional history book, will come out this fall from Ellis Press. He was an award-winning daily newspaper editor for 29 years at papers in the Upper Midwest. His poetry has appeared in a variety of journals and magazines, including Stymie Magazine, Awakenings Review, Open Minds Quarterly, Relief, Turtle Quarterly, Red Booth Review, Bare Root Review, the Crusader, South Dakota Magazine, Time of Singing, and Wolf Head Quarterly. He lives in Forest City, Iowa.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Two Poems by John Casquarelli

answers move the silt downstream
this highway is beat-up concrete we pass at eight-thirty cool morning toward the Dakotas
free of billboards and advertisements and you say “Go away, I’m seeking truth.”
so we drive on
willing to get lost in some farmer’s backyard
discuss memories, birth control,
and I confess to being an unfeeling, ignorant clod, a sort of trousered ape to whom it is obviously a waste of time to take an interest in anything higher than Lady Gaga's underwear
isn’t it enough to know the engine is flooded?
but, of course, that’s technology
it’s so simple when you see it
barbed-wire fences
locked gates
signs that say NO TRESPASSING
fewer trees and a sudden feeling of being a spectator amid the rattles near cottonwoods
after a while we whisper to mountain sunlight
run down each other’s ghosts
move to the bed by the window
I read a sentence or two from an old butterfly journal
afraid that voices will be silent if I let them
as soon as the wind stops
we rest our heads on the sleeve of my jacket
think of the empty road in the photograph
“Is there anything more,” you ask,
“besides one tiny refuge of scrub pines and mosquito repellent?”
familiarity makes it hard to see
past shady curbstone behind hotel
where you can throw a penny onto a small green plain
reach some temporary goal
that explains how much better it is to travel
than to arrive

Line is
a breath
before you glance
scarlet branch
on white wall
because you were
eaten on sweet bread
you are spine
wrapped in
skin’s image
form bone
flute cadence
let loose
rain water
the woods
fill up
merge sound
convey a bow of
burning gold
sword in hand
speak through
other character

John Casquarelli is an English professor at Boricua College in New York. He received his M.F.A. in the Creative Writing program at Long Island University. He was awarded the 2010 Esther Hyneman Award for poetry. His work has appeared in several publications including Downtown Brooklyn, Kinship of Rivers, By The Overpass, Brooklyn Paramount, Pulp, The International Rebecca West Society, and Sun’s Skeleton. His first full-length book, On Equilibrium of Song, was published by Overpass Books (2011).