Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Poem by Craig Kyzar

Wires Stripped Bare

Thrusting ever-deeper into the mind
In the real world, I slowly fade
A tangible shadow of my digital self
Scare me
Hurt me
Push me past the brink
Her cries rain down in black and white
Fantasy is our new currency
Reality an unpalatable relic
Screams of zero and one
Tied and bound in binary
Submitting to illusion
The third dimension imposes fragile limits
Sensations no longer prized
A previously inescapable prison
Outside its walls the mind runs free
As the body goes limp and wanting
Scentless sex and senseless violence
Adrenaline rides raw on barebacked electrons
Until thoroughly spent and unfulfilled
A darker conquest calls

Craig Kyzar is an award-winning journalist and international attorney. After graduating from NYU Law School and enjoying eight years of legal practice in Manhattan, Craig is heavily involved in nonprofit work dedicated to enhancing children’s literacy skills and connecting economically disadvantaged youth with a life-changing love of reading.

Craig’s editorial columns and articles are regularly featured across several news outlets, providing uniquely provocative views on legal, political and humanitarian issues. His versatile poetry, personal essays and fictional work have been featured in national and international publications, including Recovering the Self, The WiFiles, Green Heritage News, Houston News Online and St. Augustine News.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Three Poems by Darren C. Demaree

Emily as Sea Wind
Hips called to be spun out
by the beautiful, devastating
language of the salted water,

my woman doesn’t need
a ship to stand broad-chested
to the whip, the circle

& movement of restored light,
that always finds the land
irresistible to a proper teasing.

Emily as Spurn of the Root

The yellow grass
never makes it
to the truck, never

roars past the root,
the spread wide
reflection of a small

thing staying small
above the black dirt.
Emily, the bare hand

of my summer days,
she is run-off, yellow
grass, she is working

in the nutrient to
awaken the spread
to lift the discovery

of what I missed
before I found
myself ankle deep,

searching for it.
Flush to my lips,
she flies like a flower

intent on imprint,
a patient dandelion,
held on to with caution.

Emily as a Lake, a Lilac
Maybe you thought, the shore
of beauty was somehow less
beautiful? Eager to be shoulder

& splash, Emily is the lake
& the purple lilac, she is beauty
& almost beauty, she is what

shakes the walls of all beauty
& collects its to rattle heat
down from the jealous, sky gods.

Darren C. Demaree is living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children. He is the author of "As We Refer To Our Bodies" (2013) and "Not For Art Nor Prayer" (2014), both collections are to be published by 8th House Publishing House. He is also the recipient of two Pushcart Prize nominations.

Friday, March 29, 2013

A Poem by Chris Butler

La La La Love

is the conductor
on my inner orchestra,

featuring an angel’s vocal solo,
backed up by sirens’ chorus,
a ribcage xylophone crescendo,
the vanae caveas brass section,
heart strings strummed and
a pumping bass line pulse,

until we beat in rhythmic sync.
Chris Butler is a twentysomething nobody shouting from the Quiet Corner of Connecticut.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Poem by Martin Willitts, Jr.

Men Caught Staring At Trouble

Trouble came towards the glancing men,
not certain if she was a still ripening girl
or revenge of too-much-women for most men.

Her breasts traveled at bipolar speeds.
You could hear the men’s steamed breaths
over jackhammers and sirens.

Trouble always smiles
before it is too late, with danger sign eyes.
Men do not know when to quit.

Temptation is a border-line- age woman
showing too much of herself.
Men that should know better, don’t.

Foolishness looks
at what it should not,
and looks twice too long.

Martin Willitts Jr retired as a Senior Librarian and is living in Syracuse, New York. He is currently a volunteer literacy tutor, and editor of Willet Press. He is a visual artist of Victorian and Chinese paper cutouts. He was nominated for 5 Pushcart and 3 Best Of The Net awards.  He has print chapbooks "Falling In and Out of Love" (Pudding House Publications, 2005), “Lowering Nets of Light” (Pudding House Publications, 2007), The Garden of French Horns” (Pudding House Publications, 2008), “Baskets of Tomorrow” (Flutter Press, 2009), “The Girl Who Sang Forth Horses” (Pudding House Publications, 2010), “Van Gogh’s Sunflowers for Cezanne” (Finishing Line Press, 2010), “Why Women Are A Ribbon Around A Bomb” (Last Automat, 2011), “Protest, Petition, Write, Speak: Matilda Joslyn Gage Poems” (Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, 2011), Secrets No One Wants To Talk About” (Dos Madres Press, 2011), “How to Find Peace” (Kattywompus Press, 2012), “Playing The Pauses In The Absence Of Stars” (Main Street Rag, 2012), and “No Special Favors” (Green Fuse Press, 2012). He has three full length books "The Secret Language of the Universe" (March Street Press, 2006), and “The Hummingbird” (March Street Press, 2009), and “The Heart Knows, Simply, What It Needs: Poems based on Emily Dickinson, her life and poetry” (Aldrich Press, 2012). His forthcoming poetry books include Waiting For The Day To Open Its Wings” (UNBOUND Content, 2013), Art Is the Impression of an Artist” (Edgar and Lenore's Publishing House, 2013), “City Of Tents” (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2013), “A Is For Aorta” (Seven Circles Press, e-book, 2013), and “Swimming In the Ladle of Stars” (Kattywompus Press, 2013).

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Three poems by Turk Oiseau

The Gift

I am trying to form a syllogism
but I can't turn the spigot on.

It begins with enormous loss
that crams you to the ground.

It takes months to dare to think
that loss is a kind of a gift

But what is that gift exactly --
is it authority on the subject of pain?

What good is it to be an expert
on knowledge no one with 1/2 brain would want?

What sort of gift is tears and who
would stand in line to taste them?

Ophelia -- 2011

I feel you,
and I feel you feel me too

I want to ask how
one floats laded down

with so much information?

that doesn't kill us
makes us sadder

Like a mermaid
tangled in a net

you have given up
gasping for good.

Love Which Is Lousy
Live in the forest where moisture
gleams from every limb
our plaintive harvest fills the air.

I know we aren't friends
and yet we are close.
I mark and deposit,

I whisper to the dendrites
my affection for your flesh
No one knows you
the way like I do.

I am desperate for your
scratch, see me how
I hover in your fur.

Turk Oiseau has been previously published in Nightsbridge. He is Macedonian.  He is a CPA by day but loves the Imagistes at night, especially Charlie Parker, another kind of bird, and his favorite American, H.D.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Three Poems by Jim Davis

An Episode of War

It’s important to leave the orchard
in the early morning, before the bugs arrive, said Ares,
stretching and yawning after a nap. I invented, he said,
Arachnophobia, among other things – there was a girl
in Mrs. Needleman’s fourth period bio class who stuck
gum on the underside of his desk. Her name was Arachnid,
oddly enough, those were the days when new parents took pride
in a name’s ingenuity – the final moment of complete control.
Her parents owned a cherry orchard, but they were sour
and bruised after any big wind. They shared a Coke
one afternoon on the bank of the Euphrates, it was too warm
for coffee. Have you noticed the purple trees they’ve planted
at the Acropolis? How the sky is redder than it’s ever been?
(A boar snorted about the forest for truffles.)
It’s morning again, and she’s left him for a software salesman
outside of Monterrey. He took up golf and archery, abandoned croquet
but found himself in songwriting, plucking the golden mandolin he stole
from his father, who has always been unfairly particular
about sending his other-worldly possessions on loan. Anyway, one day
his neighbor, Dan – six foot eight – a man whose knees ached
from the weight and angle of his limbs, slightly knotted
from a disease which Ares referred to as “the gangle”
plucked him from the snow by the collar. Ares unbolted a bloodshot eye
and fell into a rant about advertising in baseball, these days, how
if a man can get on base and stay there, he’s worth every penny. A whisper
that screamed of sour whiskey. He said one day, when he was eight or nine,
a wolf spider crawled from the outhouse bench and bit him behind
the knee. He’s been working on his short game, he said, but it was slurred,
so Dan lowered him back into the snow, knowing full well
that once everything had melted and the sun took proper arc, that Ares
would return to the orchard, to nap in the shade of a tree, or perch in a limb
with the half-eaten body of a lamb hanging limp between his teeth.


Selene solicits a couple lunching on the patio at Luigi’s
Italian Eatery. They were a sharing a sandwich
of shaved turkey, peppercorn cheese melted into focaccia
with pesto mayonnaise. I don’t have anything, she assured him,
I’ve spent too long in the woods. My granddaddy always told me
you gotta learn how to fight before I’ll teach you
to talk like a scoundrel, young lady. Sorry, I didn’t mean to
bring the crazies around, (ain’t no furies like the first),
it’s these new eyes I’m seein’ with – my first time in a big city.
The couple shifted in their seats, glanced at each other, Selene.
No way, she exclaimed, noting the stack of books on the elbow
of the tabletop, I write too! I write songs, plays, novels, I write
movie books… the key is to write only what you know, show ‘em
what you got, see if it sticks – like spaghetti, my gramma used to say.
She had a face tattoo that was just beginning to scab, a scarab
and a palm leaf. You a poet? she said. How’s this, you don’t want to know
what I done. I done just about everything – how poetic is that?
Brother, she said to the man, clearly taken aback, I been in prison
for ten years before this, outside three weeks now, and I ain’t goin back.
Take my cratered lakes, take my Mare Isularum and swim in it.
I gotta find a way downtown, she said, you got some change? you know
when the bus run? Good luck, said the couple. You know where ‘luck’ come
from… Lucifer! I’m gonna bless myself instead, brother, hiking up
the strap of her shoulder bag, closer to her neck, where another tattoo was
peeking up from her collar, also scabbed. Now all I need is two
frickin dollars for a guitar string, she slurred, finishing a can of beer
with a belch. Ah now, don’t even bother, I’ll go find myself a shade tree
and rest for a while. Later that night, thousands stand on balconies
across the city, catching the echoes of a song played from a park bench,
splitting the limbs of a shade tree with divine pallor, lunacy, a chorus
aching its way across the key of B, negotiating the entire minor scale,
until, finally, vibrating lights brought the evening to her knees.


He dipped his brush in crimson oil to paint an empty pail.
How can you tell from this angle? Turn on the light, she said.
A bucket? Yes. And is that a dog? Yes. It’s a dog.
There’s flaw in your stroke, it’s convincing, it makes me want
to tube a newspaper, strike her haunch. Careful, he said,
headlines are decidedly harder these days. They laughed,
he fingered the canal between her knuckle and wrist,
she smiled, turned back to the canvas and touched it.
Strokes dried to points like colored teeth. I’ve got one, he said.
What’s the difference between wind through a pail,
and thread through the eye of a button?
She sipped a plastic cup of wine, trying to decipher chardonnay
from pinot, shrugged (if it’s not from a box, it’s probably fine).
A vehicle, she said, a co-operative attachment, while the other is free
to focus its attention on lack of contents. His mind was fuzzy
from linseed oil and sauvignon. She smiled, grabbed him
by the collar, pushed him back into the couch and knelt.

Years later, they have fallen out of touch.
She calls him on a Sunday as it rains.
How could you paint an empty pail? It’s not possible
to paint emptiness, to capture absence. You’d have to be mad
to spend your life on such things. Baby, he whispers –
he can tell she is crying, he imagines the cord
wrapped around her finger, and she, in a distant city
would be wearing a summer dress, Roman sandals
laced up her calf, sunglasses pinned in her hair –
I won’t upset you, neither would I hope to paint what’s not there.
I’m trying to call attention to the hole in the bucket.
You don’t need to see the puddle to understand.

A dog scratches at the door. He stretches to turn the handle,
clutching the receiver between his shoulder and chin.
Is that Maggie? Yes. How is she? Fine, just fine.
He’d given up drinking the year before, set a ringed mug
of coffee on the countertop. The dog attacked its water dish.

I guess I never thought of it that way, painting the hole, that is.
Believe me, he said, I understand, but that’s how it has to be –
what else can we hope for, if not what is, or isn’t?

The dog sat watching him fiddle with the cord, smiled,
tilted its head, then shook its dripping jowls on the floor.

Jim Davis’ greatest passions are being a teacher, poetry and painting. He is a graduate of Knox College, a graduate student at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, and is hoping to begin the Creative Writing MFA program at Northwestern University in the spring.  He has recently been nominated for Best of the Net consideration by Lascaux Review, He has won the Line Zero Poetry Contest, Eye on Life Poetry Prize (2nd Place), named Runner-Up for the Best Modern Poem by Chicago’s Journal of Modern Poetry, and he has received multiple Editor's Choice awards.  His work has appeared in Seneca Review, Whitefish Review, Blue Mesa Review, Poetry Quarterly, and Contemporary American Voices, among others. My first chapbook, "Feel and Beat Again," will soon be available from MiTe Press, of which Boston Literary Magazine said: "Canny, brilliant and unerringly insightful, Jim Davis lives in a world where nothing is ordinary."

Monday, March 25, 2013

Three Poems by Taylor Graham


Every day is a surprise.
At edge of greenwood, I said “go find!”
My dog knew, I meant a human: Frank. He'd hide
so he'd never be discovered
among trees so dense, only a compass kept me
from fairytale circles. Poison ivy, greenbrier
twined through trees. Everything gets lost here.
And Frank?
My dog came ranging back - her head popped up -
quick turn, mid-stride - disappeared
in green - came back with that look in her eye.
She bucked a pirouette
in front of me, whirled around, nosed into green.
I saw nothing but thicket. Green.
Pivoting, she stared at me, stared
into green. Leaped in. A gasp - squeal -
“HELP!” and Frank crawled out, head to toe
in camo. My dog found the disappeared-
in-forest. A Green Man. Trickster
Pan, Puck, Loki - the shape-shifting
spirit of trees.


It's one of so many,
uncountable as earth bounty
bundled in 25-lb bags for juicers.
What's sweeter? Hands-and-
knees grubby then scrubbing
at sink, growth rings and
wrinkles, under-nail cubbies
still hording soil. A carrot
never forgets where it came
from, pointing earth-center,
even after I've lopped off
its feathery air-praising tops,
its green wings. Deep red-
golden as fire-mulled supper,
the carrot sweetens a stew.
Raw-crisp it softens the puppy
whose wild kitchen antics
beg for a bone. The carrot
less bloody satisfies -
see the dog at ease in her
corner holding, with
carefullest paws, and
gnawing the root,
the ring finger
of peace.


A thin, neon-green ghost floats, dog-level, through moonless October woods - darting, pausing, moving faster as it weaves between trees. My dog following her nose. Since nightfall we've been searching for a child.

The green wand - Cyalume light-stick on my dog's collar - disappears again into dark. I remember other forests full of spirits. Deer, snake, rabbit. Hermit who hiked tangled trails, quite at home. Small girl in search of elves. Old man hanging from an oak tree. Scent of deadfall, years of leaf-decay.

My dog ranges ahead. I watch for green shimmer, then shine my flashlight on the ground. Step over a log. What lies on the other side? Memory of an old woman caught fast in bramble vines; a murdered child. The boy we're looking for. My dog will tell me.

twig-snap in the dark
gnarled roots reach out to grasp
a light through trees

Taylor Graham is a volunteer search-and-rescue dog handler in the Sierra Nevada. She’s included in the anthologies Villanelles (Everyman’s Library, 2012) and California Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present (Santa Clara University, 2004). Her book The Downstairs Dance Floor was awarded the Robert Philips Poetry Chapbook Prize. Her current project is a collection of dog poems, about living with her canine search partners over the past 40 years; What the Wind Says is due out in 2013.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Two Poems by Laura Winton

Lost Summer

Rain follows me wherever I go.
I pull clouds behind
me on sky-high kite strings. Lightning
curls my hair, locks rolled in
cumulus curlers everything
I touch turns to storm:
soccer fields into swimming
pool mudholes, lakes, stagnant
mangers birth mosquito cities;
roads wash
out leaving me
           no way home
and children tick
           worthless days, counting
backwards lost bicycle hours and home
runs unhit. Grey is the backdrop
to heaven, a channel off
the air, shows canceled into
white fuzz and all
I cannot stop

Ten thousand

Someday I will be worthy of my ten thousand ideals
cast off my puny small gods and their
incense dances their
silent lotus supplications I will
learn to speak
in your tongue with gifts of understanding
great visions your dreams become mine
I will build you
tall monuments and skyscrapers
from children’s blocks with bumps
and ridges prefabulated where
pilgrims once swung an axe.

Always you demand the impossible the
counterclockwise moment before apology.
Someday I will cease to live in present tense to speak in first person to
sit finally inside the quiet house watching for shadows
beneath the door.

Laura Winton is a poet and a spoken word and performance artist currently living in Minneapolis. She has performed her work in New York, Chicago, and London in addition to the Minnesota Twin Cities and her poetry has been published in dozens of little magazines and websites around the country. She also published Karawane: Or, the Temporary Death of the Bruitist, a journal of experimental performance texts from 1997-2008. She is also an academic whose work is on the liberation of the imagination as a political act. She likes Dada, Surrealism, and any writing that is not immediately understood by the conscious mind.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Two Poems by M.V. Montgomery

28 November 2008

The Thanksgiving crowd massed
under the star of the Wal-Mart sign,
and those who had waited all night
for plasma TVs and digital cameras
became resentful of the apostates
who had not kept faithful vigil.

Newcomers were cold and frustrated,
pushing against the bodies in front
to compact the empty spaces in line,
as if this might reduce the length
of their wait. And the crowd grew,
from the hundreds to two thousand.

The executives who placed sale ads
had arranged the Valley Stream event
during a period of deep recession
but hoped to stir up a rich frenzy.
The store was to become a holiday
war zone, left for workers to defend.

Jdimytai Damour clocked in for work
and worried about the crowd outside.
His job was on the maintenance crew,
but it is cheaper for a company to hire
temps in place of security guards
when human shields are needed.

Mobs push from the back, blindly—
forcing feet to thrust for any hold
they can find. And so the store guests
pressed against the aluminum door,
bent it like a bow, finally burst in
still chanting, Open up, open up!

Damour was knocked on his back.
His coworkers and even the police
couldn’t reach him in the onrush.
Meanwhile, the shoppers advanced
into the warm, Muzak-filled world
where they could at last breathe free.

Afterwards, they complained about
the crime scene delays all the way
through checkout, pushing their carts
past the sliding Exit doors before
these too were finally locked,
and any witnesses were sought.

It was business as usual by noon
when the store reopened. No one
remained from the tragic initial press.
The company had apologized for
the inconvenience, mixing clich├ęs with
inadvertent puns about those impacted.

Still, all of us who have ever rushed
to a sale must own to a small share
of guilt. Perhaps just enough to
honor a man from Jamaica , Queens
whose name means love, and pledge
to stay home on Black Friday.


They began to be sold after the battle of Kinsale.
First, as political prisoners; next, for any petty
offense that could be drummed up. Finally, for
the crime of simply being Irish. After the War,
transportation of three hundred thousand.

Then, “Connaught or Hell”: no choice but exodus
west of the Shannon or relocation to the Americas.
One warning reads: Those banished who return
are to suffer the pains of death as felons by virtue
of this act, without benefit of clergy.

From the West Indies, Colonel William Brayne
wrote back to report horrific abuses—Irish slaves
worked to death, hung from their hands, set afire.
He argued for the importation of more Africans,
who stood a chance of better treatment.

We all read Swift’s Modest Proposal in school
but are not told something like it once happened:
under Cromwell, children age ten to fourteen taken
from Catholic parents, treated like chattel, forced
to breed future populations of slaves.

M.V. Montgomery is a professor at Life University. His most recent book is What We Did With Old Moons.

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Poem by Duane Locke


Sometimes, rare times, what happens
Is wanted. Most times it’s not wanted. Then the mind becomes
A playwright and writes an Aquinasque scenario about
Azure birds uncaged to fly in pale gold atmospheres.

Now from a crimson corpulent sofa two silver strap sandals.
Her skin uplifted by ankle bones is scribbling history.
The indigo shadows that follow the feet’s mobility
Will be the covert causes of overt events.
But the chronicle’s facticity will feature a fiction.

Duane Locke lives in Tampa, Florida near anhinga, gallinules, raccoons, alligators, etc. He has published 6,701 poems, includes 29 books of poems. His latest book publication, April 2012, Is DUANE LOCKE, THE FIRST DECADE, 1968-1978, BITTER OLEANDER PRESS.  This book is a republication Of his first eleven books, contains 333 pages. Order from, Or Amazon.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Two Poems by Maja Topic

Western Monks

unable to grasp a cup half-measured
the protagonist leaps
drilled to his heel a spring
is tethered, grass-hopped in agony
questioning his navel

ever-lasting cliffs heaped upon
the chief, where fingers stroke a tail
level-after-level patterns
emerge on his headdress
to adorn severed ashes with
a circular rite steaming from
a stake centered for cannibals

to lavish with a masked buffet
a titan with prophetic leisure
the turkish tzar,
proudly announcing
'we've conquered balkan terrain!'
ecclesiastes no longer applies here
erected was McDonalds drive-through

by farce lurks an anvil
dozing, flanked are soldiers
toys, manufactured to influence
cardinal foliage, entangled are
the tranquil and the boggled
who baffled, can't articulate
how full a tank can interlace
one in the same principle

Stop Sign Vanity

perched atop an aerial
the raven glares, sleek
insatiable, her hair flows to wait on
unsuspecting victims, who
weak prepare to climb
her silken river, half a pendulum
mirror frays, unwinding, ensnared
to a trap, respectful
of pedestrians
who tread a dainty tap
across a flattened zebra net
where accidents clash

with her mesmerising lesson, lapping
with the radio, abolished
to a history
of reticent minors, who
skip hand-in-hand, impoverished
aside from education
where they land an A
unless they march in cages
shackles of a prototype
where numbers
indicate danger

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Two Poems by Kevin M. Hibshman

Walking to the Candy Store With Kyle
Autumn here.
Dull grey
light fighting it out with heavy
slow-moving clouds.
Clouds winning mostly.
Kyle limping.
Some kid injury.
The kind only kids get.
Youth forgives them completely.
Few folks out.
Nearly a ghost town and that is
how I like it best;
Being a phantom,
Haunting my own head.
These streets talk too fast
about a past I cannot believe I lived.
There are witnesses who choose not to be present
and to remain silent.
The candy store exacerbates my pain.
Decadent youth like a fallen city,
cannot be built again.
I feign a smile, a laugh, knowing all too well this candy would kill me
Law of the Tribe
As I twist my broken neck,
Select one more glance at the frothy past,
a thin layer of film seems to burn off my eyes.
Inarticulate gesticulation ruled back then.
We wore dysfunction like a tribal tattoo.
Hearing just now (this time) words no mouth formed.
You stammer idly by freedom's torch flickering in your eyes.
I stammer my attempt at logic.
Put the lightning bolt from my side.
You were so unbelievably awkward as you tried
passing things on to me.
I died rolling sky over sea,
sea over sky.
Drowned in thin air.
It was the law of the tribe.
Kevin M. Hibshman has had poems published in numerous magazines and journals over the past
decade and a half.  In addition, He edits his own poetry newsletter: FEARLESS and has authored thirteen chapbooks of poetry.  The latest, INCESSANT SHINING is currently available from Propaganda Press.  Kevin received a BA in Liberal Arts from Union Institute And University in 2010.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Poem by Ken Karrer

Remembering Our Breakfast at Neruda’s

Your wetness dripped down
My chin
Bee dulce
Honeyed, warmed
From my favorite
By baby powdered
You let me
Mi sancha.
I just loved to
Move up
to your table.

Ken Karrer grew up in central Texas…playing football, hauling hay, working on oil rigs, and pumping gas. He received degrees in English, history, and education and worked as a teacher, coach and high school administrator for over 30 years. He lives in Austin and now and works for the Texas Education Agency. He is a musician and an avid restorer of antique Cadillacs. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Poem by Suchoon Mo

Cut Your Ball In Half

I see a web site advertisement

I put on my reading glasses

now I see

I remove my reading glasses
a close call
Suchoon Mo is a Korean War veteran and a retired living in the semiarid part of Colorado. His poems and music compositions appeared in a number of literary and cultural publications. His recent poetry chap book, Frog Mantra, was published by Accents Publication of Lexington, Kentucky.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Poem by Tim Tobin

A Conversation with Death

Me: Dead?
Death: Between.


















Tim Tobin holds a degree in mathematics from LaSalle University. He retired from L-3 Communications after a career in software engineering. His poem Fury so hot, Hate so black is published on Rope and Wire, and Lotsa penquims, lotsa kids appears on vox poetica. The March to Hell has been accepted for the Static Movement anthology named simply Hell. In addition, 35 of Mr. Tobin’s short stories have been published.  He is a member of the South Jersey Writer’s Group and of the Dead Poets Society of Camden County College.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Poem by Yoosaph Peram

Violent silence

Your silence
is violence
We shoulder your crime
Of being tender
Your suffering
Your half-baked smile
For all the shadows dark
That kill your life
Your love
Your need
Your dream
Your ecstasy
We turn down
Your plea
For mercy
For delight
For freedom
For duties
We hear your
At the kitchen sink,
Lightless bed
Moon tide
Hearing it all
We search
Behind the eve
For coziness
Unceasing success
Dogged by your
Smell of sweat
Taste of sweet
Our paradise
In you
Your hell
In us.

Yoosaph Peram is teaching at university level in Saudi Arabia. He has published a book on Postcolonialism, and is in the process of publishing two translation works. He has published English poetry several magazines including pyrokinection and nostrovia poetry, short stories and essays in translation in Malayalam.

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Poem by Doug Bolling


0n my gravestone I want the
best memories to be carved:

How you lifted the mountain
off my back.

The day you drove the '88 Chevy
off the interstate
and into my heart.

Just the method you used
to cook the burgers
on the outside grill
even when it rained
all the way down to
your shoes.

That November when we missed
the bus to 0rlando and spent
the night in the laundry room
of an Atlanta nursing home.

And sure, the darkest night
when Polly your best dog
gave up the ghost
on the bathroom mat
and you cried your
golden tears
almost till dawn.

So ends this epistle
to those who visit here
on their damn

Doug Bolling's poetry has appeared in Poetalk, Blue Unicorn, Tribeca Poetry Review, Hurricane Review, Indefinite Space, Illuminations, Iodine Poetry Journal and Convergence among others.
He has received three Pushcart Prize nominations and currently resides outside Chicago in Flossmoor, Illinois. His poetry has been both experimental and traditional.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Two Poems by Andrew Frederick Popper

But for the Goshawk

For more than a year, he neither kissed nor held a woman,
Though he lived among them and had many as friends.

Then hiking the front range two hours from the city
A sudden rain drenched him above the tree line,
That marmot run moonscape, where one can see summits
And black skies at midnight in violent storms.

He flipped up his hood when lightning lit the hillside,
And then heard a voice, a clarinet tone rising,
A stone hit the trail and he looked below him
She, a rock ready – and he said: “Wait!”
“Don’t throw that. I’m coming.”

Crawling and grasping, deceived by soaked lichen,
Clutching the scrub pine, heels before him,
Inching and falling to her side.

She, a lone hiker, a circuit trail champion,
Had glimpsed red-tailed falcon
Or was it a goshawk challenging the sun,
And slipped on the mica,
Flecked sodden and slick
Hidden in rubble that formed her footpath.

She fell as if struck, rolled and collided
With the last outcrop before the abyss,
Hard happy granite that saved her sweet life.

Alone in a deluge, two hikers at cliff’s edge,
Plan their ascent as thunder surrounds them,
Study the hillside, talk out the handholds
Sure of their moves.

At last on the path, a first hug, then backpacks,
Tied shoes and planning, walking together,
When wind blows the last rain toward some other hillside
Toward some other hikers who meet on a mountain
And wonder if salvation will grant an embrace.

The Mountain Singer

In sunlit parts her face revealed
The aching themes
Of cherished Sundays
Released to feed the wind.

I know you doubt
But grand symphonic
With genius bowing eights rows deep
Can scarcely match the star blue echoes
A tonal bliss,
Rare mirror of dawn.

We sat on benches
Moved from the basement
Open to claim all she conveyed
Every fragment, the words frail boundaries
Simple shining frames.

This was the singer
Who lived north of our town
Who transformed the rain
That started to fall.
This was the voice
Of life in the mountains
Of grace and compassion,
The purest of springs.

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. His novel, Rediscovering Lone Pine won the Maryland Writer’s Association prize and his nonfiction casebook in administrative law recently won the Guttmann Prize for excellence.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Poem by David LaBounty

on the backside of maybe

the back taxes
I owe
are collected in

the surf side
of the
moonless tide


we hold hands

my lover
showing me
once was

lottery tickets
folded in
the shape
of golden bands

David LaBounty has held jobs as a miner, a mechanic, a reporter, and a salesman. He is the author of the novel Affluenza and the recent poetry collected titled moon chalk. He lives in Michigan.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Two Poems by John Saunders

Dream Words
His thoughts rolled over the edge
of awareness,
to land in the discomfort of emotion.
Too late to reverse,
he could only hope reality
would not counterpoint his position,
let him find his own solution.
He counted the seconds,
lay in wait for the bounty of opportunity.
When it happened
he did not believe,
could not countenance the consequence,
instead, chose to see
a different accident,
one that could not be explained,
that happened without excuse.



So much said in the white silence,
as if voice is redundant.
Her black words tumble from the virtual
to shadow my reality,
leave me in no doubt of her intention.
All these meanings wrapped
in a cloud, unreachable,
the hallowed sanctuary of knowledge –
all past, present and future lost.

John Saunders’ first collection ‘After the Accident’ was published in 2010 by Lapwing Press, Belfast. His poems have appeared in Revival, The Moth Magazine, Crannog, Prairie Schooner Literary Journal (Nebraska), Sharp Review, The Stony Thursday Book, Boyne Berries, The New Binary Press Anthology of Poetry, Volume 1, Riposte, and on line, The Smoking Poet, Minus Nine Squared, The First Cut, The Weary Blues, Burning Bush 2, Weekenders, Poetry Bus and poetry 24.
John is one of three featured poets in Measuring, Dedalus New Writers published by Dedalus Press in May 2012. He is a member of the Hibernian Poetry Workshop and a graduate of the Faber Becoming a Poet 2010 course.
His second full collection Chance will be published in early 2013 by New Binary Press.

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Poem by Joe Massingham

The Mind

The mind is Odyssean,
ceaselessly searching, seeking answers ,
finding ways round, going off on new
explorations, tenacious in finding what
it’s seeking and as soon as that task’s done,
starting on another.

Travelling so much, far and wide,
often with no map to help it and
little idea of which is north or south,
it’s bound to get into difficulties
from time to time.

Pounded and battered by the blows from
Scylla and Charybidis,
at low tide likely to be washed into the mouth
of some Platonic cave, puzzling over
what is reality and what illusion.

It has a wicked sense of humour,
delighting in deceiving us, leading us
astray, smirking at our discomfort whilst
being careful not to cause us too much
distress deliberately.

Never sleeping though never wasting effort
if it can help it. It comes with us on
life’s journey and only stops when we do.
If ever you get an invitation to an Olympian
feast you should give it to your mind.

It’s earned it.
Joe Massingham was born in the UK but has lived the second half of his life in Australia.  Major employment has been as a Navy officer, university student from first degree to PhD, tutor, lecturer and Master of Wright College, University of New England, NSW.He has run his own business but because of cancer and heart problems he now spends time waiting to see medical practitioners, writing all sorts of things and smelling the roses.  He has had work published in Australia , NZ , UK , Eire , USA , Canada , India , and Nepal .

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Three Poems by Bill Jansen

The Riot Kiss

Another Facebook question:
how many single police women
patrol your neighborhood?

Nothing in my neighborhood
but cold evenings and cats
in the heat shadow of my car.

But as I carry out leaking bags
of garbage to the dumpster
I hook up on tear gassed pavements.

It's fun. Under a buffering moon,
the riot of her golden tresses
released from the ominous helmet.


that's the score on the tidal range
where water sizzles like chopped onions
where the sunset yawns like a pelican

where a boat slides on horizon grease
and I note the empty future of a crab
dragging away what drags it away

where rocks confident of their social reach
let mussels cling until they super size
and plastic toys burrow into hungry sand.


wo ist christi?

"ich bin ein und zwanzig jahre alt
ya, american soldat"

christi wears short skirts
accepts marks and you
pink pseudo champagne

october rain on tables
littered with beer glasses
in downtown stuttgart

a tablet of ROSIMAN NEU
tightens the balls
your concentration

she bites your earlobe


a cab ride to the station
at night.

Bill Jansen lives in Forest Grove Oregon. His works has appeared in various ezines, including Triggerfish Critical Review and The Centrifugal Eye.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Two Poems by Jeffrey Park


Like a ghost she speaks in a whisper
and her whispery breath flows
across my face like a desert wind, hot

whistling over carven stone and down
through narrow ravines
a whisper that makes my cheek itch

if you scratch it it’ll only get worse
infected with some flesh-eating
virus and one word

that keeps repeating: respiration
breathe in, breathe out
she murmurs blow out until your face

turns purple – when the spots in your
eyes begin to seem like old friends
you’ll know you’re almost there.


Day by creeping day it gets just a little more difficult
to explain my ever-multiplying little idiosyncrasies:

no morning cup of tea coffee cocoa and just how long
has it been since you last had a bath, when did

you last wash your hair, brush your teeth, use deodorant
and why ever do you make that face when I sit

down next to you and then scrunch away like you’re
afraid of my touch? And how should I answer?

Should I speak to you of how I bite back my screams
at the gurgling sounds emanating from your stomach,

at the thought of what goes down the drain after you’ve
had your bath, at the mere sight of your feet dragging

dragging on the carpet – for the love of Jesus, I can feel
the static lightning running madly over your flesh –

Keep your questions and your sparks and your hateful
fluids well away, can’t you understand my internal

parts aren’t rated for such an environment? That dead
and caking skin is my only insulation? In my private

fantasies I imagine a house scrubbed of foul contaminates,
no bathroom, no kitchen, no faucets or drains or toilets

circulating their sludge, no bugs, no breath, no you –
only bare formica surfaces and positive barometric

pressure generating a pleasant pop and rattle in my ears
which are dry as a bone and clean as a whistle.

Baltimore native Jeffrey Park lives in Munich, Germany, where he works at a private secondary school and teaches business English to adults. His poems have appeared in Requiem, Deep Tissue, Danse Macabre, Crack the Spine, Right Hand Pointing and elsewhere, and his digital chapbook, Inorganic, has recently been published online by White Knuckle Press. Links to all of his published work can be found at

Friday, March 8, 2013

A Poem by Neelam Shah

A breath of fresh air

The feeling of freedom,
The endless struggle forgotten,
No more polluted air,
Gliding in the midst. I sigh with relief,
No anxieties, no worries,
A brand new journey awaits,
With the helping hand of a,
Breath of fresh air.

I feel a cool but pleasant sensation,
That touches my cheek, leaves me at,
Ease and peace with the helping hand,
Of a breath of fresh air.

Beyond the past I set off, awaiting an,
Brand new future.
A time to revitalise, to reenergise,
A time to declare myself, reveal the truths in an,
Heavenly atmosphere with the helping,
Hand of a breath of fresh air.

I am at a different disposition in life,
To revolutionise and adjust with,
The helping hand of a breath of-
Fresh air.

Let go of the struggles, welcome,
Upon new opportunities, smite,
All battles that come in my way,
I strive to gain victory with pride,
only with the helping hand of a-
Breath of fresh air.

Stepping outside the house,
Living every moment to moment,
Seeping in the hours, days, months,
Years with great anticipation,
I couldn’t have done it without the,
Helping hand of a breath of fresh air.

Neelam Shah is a second year International Relations with Media Cultural Studies student at Kingston University.  She is passionate about creative writing, Journalism, writing and research.  Her hobbies include blogging, reading, photography, traveling, volunteering, visiting museums and exhibitions and playing badminton.