Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Poem by Barbara Sutton and Lance Sheridan

the mulberry street incident   
"the bend"
'a tortuous ravine of tall tenement-houses'
where the 

downpour rain 
running water gorges street cracks open
like all

undisciplined lives 
of immigrant children playing ball with a 
stick, hit

it slick 
like ice through a 'Puck' building window,
reflections in

broken glass 
show mulberry trees swaying similar to
drunks trying

to hold 
up crack brick 'roost' alleyway mortar; 
flatfoots with

a slick
ice grip use trash can lids like irish knight
armor to

fend off 
dumb mick mob switchblade knife blade
rusted cut;

the huddled 
masses walk in manured covered streets 
to avoid 

vendor's 'slinging
the crap' on every square inch of cement
pavement; pickpockets

procure the 
rest much like naval press gangs soliciting
lint out
of poecketless
pants; hollow-eyed mothers of the motherless
street urchins
trudge, heads
down and spirits broken, down the filthy avenue
remembering the
false promises
of streets paved in gold; noise of the crowded street
never ceasing,
always the
babble of so many screams trying to be heard, sucked
into the
tenement brick
like downpour rain, to echo in crowded sweatshops where
hope dies,
but dreams
live, even if it's one dream that makes it out, much like
an echo
creeping along,
creeping, cat paw similar in 'roost' alleyway mortar,
silent, unnoticed . . .


Barbara Sutton and Lance Sheridan began writing poetry together in January of 2013. Having penned almost a dozen poems in visual freestyle, eight of those have been accepted into numerous journals. What other poets are saying about their writing, "you send the reader on a journey through his own soul;” "symbolically thought provoking"; "the imagery is amazing;" and, “this is a sort of writing which deliberately flouts grammatical structure and any form of restriction. It is not words. It is more music you relax to, curl up listening with an abstract ear.” All of their writings are in Visual Freestyle Works® ’We sift the human storm, the life storm, through the dust and debris of their souls, animating it into thoughts and words. And then we write, not guessing where it might go, exhaling our last breath toward the light.'

Monday, April 29, 2013

Three Poems by Ben Adams

big ships
she is lying on the
bed, still
sleeping, naked legs spread out
one arm
below small breasts

sunlight falls through the morning
over pale skin
and tangled auburn hair

while out the window there
are mountains
across the bay

and big ships on the water
moving so slowly
they appear

moving through sad middles of nowhere
there are things
that grow older with you
count the numbers
on the stops
toward jobs
and appointments, drinks
and petty conversations
drive the highway at night
towards people and towns and odd celebrations
there are things
that grow older
and when they go
you feel it
like a toothache
or dull cancer—
dead-end jobs and rusting cars
and women
die finally in one-
or-another bleeding way
and that is fine
and you feel it only
like tired muscles
or mindless paperwork
a bus stop in the sad middle
of nowhere
stopping a moment
moving off.

Vancouver, B.C.

what I liked most about the place was
waking up on cold, early mornings
lying tired and hungry
in unwashed sheets for a few more

then rising, dressing, looking
at the bright, clean sun through
the window of my sixth floor dorm room
at the university, making
my way downstairs, across campus

over thin, crisp snow
and slippery pavement to
the coffee grind for caffeine breakfast,
and smoking a cigarette on the union building steps
before class.

what I liked most about the place
was drinking at the gallery lounge
on a Wednesday night,
wearing always the same boots & jacket
the music playing loud

and the way your eyes remained on me
your fingers curling a strand
of hair from my face,
before stepping away.

what I liked most about the place
was evenings over the west end
the sodium lights struggling to come on
while Stanley Park’s tree line rose, silhouette-alone
across the harbour

like some dark horizon waiting
to be reached, like doors opened
into unlit rooms,
the sound of air traffic landing
on rain-slick tarmac.

what I liked most about the place was
washing those sheets just in time
before you finally knocked,
and your sleeping body stretched out
in the morning.

what I liked most about the place was
of that,

and, of course, remembering it
Ben Adams is a writer and political ranter currently studying for his PhD on the poetry of Charles Bukowski. He comes from Adelaide in South Australia, which Salman Rushdie once called a sleepy conservative town (of 1.2 million) and “ideal setting for a Stephen King novel, or horror film.” Ben takes this as a compliment, much preferring King’s work to that of Mr Rushdie. Ben has also worked as state ambassador for Express Media’s National Young Writers’ Month, a Buzzcuts arts reviewer and coordinator, and had several poems appear in the online small press. He proudly served among those last few video store clerks to hold their ground against the coming of Netflix. More at backpagesblog.wordpress.com

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Poem by Bryan Murphy

The Biennale Hits Turin

The joy of seeing!
Take out your lenses and put in ours.
We do, and our sight is suffused
with colour, vitality,
hope, humour, irony,
imagination cubed,
self-indulgence concentrated.
Discoveries: arrangement as art,
critic as curator, curator as artist,
a city-shifting installation, with temperament.
Sneaked in
on unannounced artists-only day,
we try to look the part,
myself under beard and Borsalino,
Qing as a lightweight Yoko,
clearly from east of Empoli,
so who’s to tell?
Visitors too are exhibits,
we’re not alone,
though challenged more than most
to tune our reason and emotion
into this antidote to TV,
into exhibits that epitomise local individualism,
screaming look at me,
in this window on the world
in a space isolated from the world
and its residual warmth,
till we are frozen into leaving early,
back into the drab,
unseeing city:
how did this produce that?
We know again,
if this is Italy,
it’s good to be here.

Bryan Murphy is a former teacher and translator who now concentrates on his own words. He divides his time among England, Italy, the wider world and cyberspace. He is the author of the e-books Murder By Suicide, Linehan’s Trip and Goodbye, Padania, and welcomes visitors at: http://www.bryanmurphy.eu/

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Four Poems by Karla Linn Merrifield

Happenstance: Visceral Being

On the day Amazon bees swarmed & swarmed—
hundreds? thousands?—out of the rainforest,
up my sleeves, under my collar, & into my damp hair,
the latent Homo erectus in my ancestral genes
dictated: urge to flee, adrenalin surge,
& the primal screams programmed
into my evolutionary survival equipment.
Black-bodied, black-winged, in numbers
sufficient to blacken the equatorial sun,
they attacked, so it seemed, buzzing, buzzing
to lap perspiration, sip tears, crawl, & creep
all over scalp, throat, breasts, intent
upon licking me alive, so I believed.
But, no, those Meliponinae are members
of a stingless, ergo harmless family
of neotropical apians, merely sweat bees.

But double helix & basic instinct insist:
The horror, the horror is the swarm, the swarm.

Defeat of the Amazon

I met the sauna primeval:
95 hot degrees of it,
95 degrees humidity,
clothes sodden from step one,
each footfall farther
a conscious caution
against the poison promises
of wasps, bees, those inch-
long bullet ants.
I tramped a mere two miles
but imagine mine
more Bataan Death March,
Brazilian-style, on a trail
of sweat, near tears, worn down
by a misery of fear
amid the fecund trees of thorns.



I remain on the Nile,
the blue Nile fringed in green
where water buffalo graze
and donkeys race their masters,
legs akimbo, chasing stray goats.
Around the bend, a tethered camel,
farther upstream, sheepdogs and brown cattle..

North of Luxor, south of Dendara,
I remain on the Nile,
where small towns flank both muddy banks;
in a duel of voices the dual imans
utter their prayers, broadcast on loudspeakers
at 3 p.m., three seconds out of synch.
Time skips a beat in the heart of Islam.

Floating through the kingdom
of herons and egrets and kingfishers,
I remain on the Nile.
Children wave from the sugar cane fields.
Fishermen toss their nets, retrieve them, toss.
Women wash their veils on the rocks.
Boys gnash dates, fire pits from slingshots.

Arriving at last almost to the Aswan High Dam,
though the Nubian city, its desert of tombs, grow dim
and the waters rise frenzied in an evening sandstorm,
I remain on the Nile.With a felucca as our perch,
we snare the wind: no minarets in view;
the temple is obscured. Not a colossus in sight.
There is only the great river, only us, the gods.


I remain on the Nile,
becoming crocodile,
becoming iconic.
For immortal
papyrus and
reed of Sheshat,
I remain on the Nile
to write her story.
O, guardian,
I remain on the Nile.
                      --for Roger M. Weir
Night is a rarer place
on Amazon rivers:
mirror of Mars,
of moon,
of the Milky Way.
Around a bend sleep
solitary three-toed sloths
in trees of dreams.
Mystery throbs in throats
of gladiator frogs,
Earth’s primal drumbeats.
Keeping the ceaseless vigil of invisibility,
spectacled caimans watch
wide-eyed from deep time
in flooded forests.
The mind of darkness falls
prey to imagination.
Long-nosed bats begin to feed.
Karla Linn Merrifield recently received the Dr. Sherwin Howard Award for the best poetry published in Weber - The Contemporary West in 2012. A seven-time Pushcart-Prize nominee and National Park Artist-in-Residence, she has had 300+ poems appear in dozens of journals and anthologies. She has nine books to her credit, the newest of which are Lithic Scatter and Other Poems (Heartlink) and The Ice Decides: Poems of Antarctica (Finishing Line Press). Forthcoming from Salmon Poetry is Athabaskan Fractal and Other Poems of the Far North, and Attaining Canopy: Amazon Poems (FootHills Publishing). Her Godwit: Poems of Canada. (FootHills) received the 2009 Eiseman Award for Poetry. She is assistant editor and poetry book reviewer for The Centrifugal Eye (www.centrifugaleye.com). Visit her blog, Vagabond Poet, at http://karlalinn.blogspot.com.

Friday, April 26, 2013

A Poem by Christopher Kenneth Hanson

A Lone Spirit Bell

par tempus espĂ­ritu chi allegre della notte
est la piacere della la gente completamente.

By dawn heed, rising
As still of heat
In decadent mourning
By grace of bays,
Found solace flummoxing
In net of truth,
Found umpteenth hangings
All over you

And if still, when risen-
come here, complete:
Though these tempests
ring still torpidly

Drawn by bells
circumnavigate all which heed
strewn over battle ground lights
fragrance in dawn-
And measure in the soot that falls
from the ringing ceilings below.

Christopher Kenneth Hanson (ckhanson81)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Two Poems by Diane Webster


As I leave my therapist’s office
I always stop outside the door
that opens to the alley
to look left then right
checking for cars
like mom taught me --
in my mind I hold her hand
as I cross the street.
I wonder if someday
I will close my eyes,
feel morning sunshine against my face,
hear silence on pavement,
and stretch out my arms
like Christ upon the cross,
like exaggerated hug in waiting
and step out…


The van passes like a berserk robot
sproinging, rattling with loose screws
and rusted panels flapping joyfully in wind
disappearing in its own smoke screen
like an old James Bond vehicle
bumbling along in Alzheimer confusion
thankfully knowing it has to stay
between the lines hopefully still knowing
right hand from left instead of relying
on forgotten faith in Jesus bumper sticker.

DIANE WEBSTER: Her challenge is to remain open to poetry opportunities and to write what she sees whether by walking across the parking lot or watching the hawk scowl from its tree. Her work has appeared in “Illya’s Honey,” “The Cape Rock” and other literary magazines.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Poem by Damien Healy

First encounters

Earthen ware chimes silently ringing.
Fallen nectar drapes the carpeting moss.
Dragonflies hovering on a brook.
Rekindle the glow of previous nights.
While snug in her bosom warmth from within.
A kaleidoscope of diamond horsehair.
A rustling beneath the hollow heart.
If ever a sight beheld a loft.
Neither the twain cross bridges of doubt.
To rest in the limbs of one so delirious.
And reach for eternity when one says “I do”.

Damien Healy was born in Dublin, Ireland but has been living in Osaka, Japan for the past 20 years. He holds an MA in Applied Linguistics and teaches English language at a Japanese university. He has written three textbooks for Japanese university students and has published several papers on language teaching. He has recently found the time and energy to start writing poetry again. He has had poems published in "The Weekenders" and "Ofipress".

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Two Poems by Andrew Kreider


this piano bench, salt-streaked and
leaking sheets of filigree
has tonight become a lifeboat
pitching on the swell

the weathered rail, the steel twice-blessed
at which you weep is sinking slowly,
but you do not raise your head
for you know the way, the truth, the life

and I wonder as we wave
just what you are praying
and if God loves music
just as much upon the open sea

what we cannot sweep away


I write my story at my best
in choice and generosity
in worlds embraced
and sometimes rugs
pulled up to cover what
I cannot sweep away.
Most of all I write
without regret.


The fire tower on Norwattuck
is still ablaze with morning light
and maybe that is why we see
each other clearly now
some twenty years removed.
For we are oak trees in a mist
dependable and knowing
long limbs dancing in the wind.


I called into the rolling mist
last night while you were running
eyes bright and laughing
as a six-year-old.
In the dark I pulled the rug around me.
once again, but this time without fear,
while the shifting breezes called your name.
Born and raised in London, England, Andrew Kreider has lived for over twenty years in northern Indiana. He has published three chapbooks, and has an active poetry blog under the title Penguin Poems. http://thepenguinpoet.com

Monday, April 22, 2013

Two Poems by H. Alexander Shafer


thank you, billy childish

i love everyone on these
cracked roads
which stretch for miles
in all directions,
the ones who’ve lived
three generations long
w/ dirty rim plastic glasses
an out-of-date ideal of
societal standards
& self-conduct
& a healthy appetite for
gold coins
in indian casinos,
& those who eat at fake
chinese restaurants
who are ran by ½-chinese
who look chinese
& act chinese
who ain’t really chinese,
i embrace the colonels
the master sergeants
the privates
& the recently enlisted
convicted of a non-violent
offenses, i even care
for those who gangbang
on street corners
shopping center alleyways
corner stores
& your front lawn,
w/ fists full of spray paint
cans, 40-oz bottles of
3.2 & sixty-dollar cash
pay checks, i love
the sports fanatic
& his shouting,
the used car salesman
lying through his teeth,
the mommies w/ short haircuts
bedazzled oklahoma
shirts & the sudden ability
to text message, & the daddies,
as they either silently accept their
typing out text messages
& water the grass every
other day, or
are boisterously hollering
& shaking their fists
during their pill addicted son’s
junior high basketball game
for kicks
& false sense of success,
of course i couldn’t forget
the store & shop
owners, the iltalian
grocer, who lies
about the sausages,
the pakistani side-shop
clerk, who sells
hash pipes at ½ price
cheaper than anywhere
else in town,
& the korean doughnut
shop owner, who ain’t
so good at selling
doughnuts & only seems
to serve cold shit coffee,
& always those who
sell car insurance
drugs & tires & cocktails
to middle-aged divorcees
& junior college dropouts
on the same night,
& by the way
the divorcee
& the dropout too,
i love them & everybody else
eaten up about
leaving or staying
truth or lie
religion or flesh,
& especially those who hate
because of cumbersome
snows, then stand in the
street & curse the heat,
admirable are
the passerbys
the homeowners
the drunks
the board of education
tv junkies
& not to mention the dull
teenager walking
alone at night,
i’m loyal to the
high school art teacher
punk rocker
hospital janitor
& everybody else
accused of only wearing
black shirts,
& also those who practice
faith as religion
eat the body of christ
on sunday
play golf
on tuesday
visit their mother
on wednesday
& get busted sorting through
dirty magazine racks
on friday, & even
the ones who condemn
sinners & the sinner being
condemned by sinners.
from the sewage pond
to housing editions, to
the shopping mall
& military base, which
make up the four corners
of town,
i love these miles & miles
of cracked road
& everybody within,
i love them
because they are me
& i love myself
because i am them.


the fool on the hill, has taken up residence in my head.
& then on the couch, smoking my lungs blacker each
drab day. my fool eats whatever is thrown close enough
but the best cuts of meat are thoughts & hands. the same
fool who, with best intentions, led me to bickering
relationships with women, drudging days of bank
work, microwave nachos & regular day long arrested
development marathons, which made me question life.

that fool takes my hand, searching through stacks of un—
educated this & that. & is always sure to keep me
comfortably uninspired & like wrists hog-tied to a couch.
it’s only when i drive, alone from the bank, my head
becomes clear, & music cha-chings from ear to ear, as if
my black jeeps cab creates some kind of homebase.
inevitably the needle scratches the record & my fool

comes to mind. driving thirty-five down twenty-third
takes the piss out of me, i pass homeless like they were
starbucks. the music now sounds dull & the thoughts
stop. only thing coming to mind whether or not to take
mom up on the offer & call doc for free anti-depressants.

that & the bums. i bet they got some fools too. click—
clacking fool’s voices in the ears of every busted home—
less on street corners, highway exits & barhall parking lots,
who i refuse to pay out for fear a buck less brings me a
step closer to them. these hands, when i drive alone, ache
to collect my thoughts, yet at the end of everyday are

stuffed sweating through the denim of my pockets, or
demolished between my ass & a couch cushion, while i
stare up at the ceiling fan on hi, like a fool, focusing on
each blade, tryin’ to figure what i should already know.
barhalls & banks have little to do with hands. cigarettes &
couches have little to do with hands. knowing this
all thats left to do is flip the fuckin’ fan the finger
& get on with my day.

H. Alexander Shafer is a poet, screenwriter and musician. His poetry can be found in The Writing Disorder and The Shelter of Daylight. He continues to write and play drums in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Two Poems by Rex Sexton


I can see nothing.
Darkness fills the window.
My head feels foggy,
my body numb – like
waking up in bedlam.
I turn on the night light,
reach for a cigarette.
I remember a party,
I remember a dream.
The streets were empty.
Dark, deserted buildings
surrounded me.
Although I could see
no one anywhere,
I knew I was being shadowed
everywhere …
“Tick tock he loves me not.”
A woman sings a soft lament
somewhere in the shadows
of my cloudy remembrance.
“Tick tock my heart has stopped.
Tick tock tick tock.”
The smoke from my cigarette
floats above my bed like a spirit,
and softly disappears into that
shadowy space between here
and nowhere, where some woman
is waiting whom I can’t remember.


Things tied with strings, or wrapped
with ribbons, my life, until the package
I married a dark-eyed girl, raised some
children. I lavished them in all the
nine-to-five amenities my blood, sweat
and tears could bring them – we were broke
a lot to sum it up, never broken.
Love, marriage, the baby carriage, OK
by me, both of us – our blue heaven shopping
at the seven-eleven. Anything beyond that
either flat left us or left us flat. We were
OK with that.
The great mysteries, God, existence, destiny,
were moonbeams lighting our home and
we left them alone content with the glow
they added to life in their own opaque way.
Now the man who lives here isn’t there,
not in his head or bed, upon the stair or
anywhere. The dark eyed girl is gone, maybe
to heaven, away from our blue one. Life
lingers on, she lingers on, some, in the
presence of the children whenever
I see them, which isn’t very often.
Rex Sexton is a Surrealist painter exhibiting in Philadelphia and Chicago. His latest book of stories and poems “Night Without Stars” received 5 stars from ForeWord Clarion Reviews, which commented on the “wild beauty” and “joy of this collection … the prose rabid, people hustling to survive their circumstances …” Another recent collection of stories and poems “The Time Hotel” was described by Kirkus Discoveries as “… a deeply thought-provoking …compelling reading experience.” His short story “Holy Night” received an Eric Hoffer Award and was published in Best New Writing 2007. Recent poems have been published in reviews such as Mobius, The Poetry Magazine, Willow Review, Mother Earth International and Edge, recent fiction in Saranac Review, The Long Story, Straylight, Left Curve, Children, Churches and Daddies, Art Times, and Foliate Oak.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Two Poems by Linnea Harper

Homage to Dressage*

Down at the hippocampus
where blood and electrons meet
sparking emotion and instinct

large mythozoic mammals
abandon dry land to submerge
in rivers of effortless breath

and oh! the cool joy that rises
as gravity falls
and oh! how lightly they

tread in the lazy underhaze
wafting through haphazard
currents in equine ballets

(*with apologies to the noble 'potomous)
Old Elephants
Time must have hooked itself to a chain
of old elephants to be going this slow.
These circus ghosts, retired with health care,
have nothing to do all day but drag it around
their sanctuary like a bale of rotting hay,
leaving bits and stalks in their lurch.
Shall we hitch a ride on the back
of this beast? Take the time and slow it down
to a sleepy turtle's traipse? Scrape it against
the walls and drag it through the water trough?
Unhook it where it washes up, watch it dry
in the slow air?
Or we could keep our distance
maybe pellet the tough hides
with pebbles from peashooters,
try to get a rise. 
When they were young, and shapely women
with scanty clothing rode their proud shoulders,
did they quicken their pace then? 
And did time stop altogether in the spotlight,
in the warm glow of the applause,
and are they all recalling now
their last bow, one knee on the floor,
hoping against hope
it will never start again?
Linnea Harper lives on a tidal slough on the Oregon coast, near the mouth of the Alsea River. Her poems have been published here and there, including in CALYX, and she has been a finalist for the Bunchgrass Prize. Before she was a poet, she was a social worker, and before she was a social worker, she was a poet.

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Poem by Emily Strauss

Urumqi, Xinjiang Province, Western China

This city flows north from eroded canyons
coal mines staining the river-bottom
variegated badlands above a graded army road
rising unevenly toward distant snow.
The city slides down like gravel in a wash
sediment deposited as black dust on floors and faces
bricks grimy before they set, the stream herded
into a cement ditch lined with blighted elms,
their leaves spotted with rust.
Buses and carts fall up the map, streets fan out
like alluvium abandoning the beige barren hills
for an uncertain desert basin below
houses and concrete schools unresisting
defeated by rumbling boulders
the mass inevitably collapsing under oncoming mountains.

Emily Strauss has an M.A. in English, but is self-taught in poetry. More than 80 of her poems appear in public online and in anthologies. The natural world is her framework; she focuses on the tension between nature and humanity, using concrete images to illuminate the loss of meaning between them.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Two Poems by Amanda Clark


Sandy's swirling round in
New England.
She's hovering above
preparing for the attack.

There's a storm already inside
of me
thrashing down trees and
warm tropical winds
two days before Halloween.

An hour ago I was advised on

The same echoed sayings,
'don't take behaviors personally,'
and 'leave work at work.'

This conversation was directed to the group,
but I listened closely to every word
and let the thoughts flood my world.

I receive verbal abuse
from youth
who live inside storms

I receive verbal abuse from
writers who defend their craft
at all cost from my edits
(suggestions rather that need to be author approved)

I sit outside
and watch the rain
thinking of irony.

My intentions to help
get lost in the storm
of insults.

It would be easier
if I held no emotion,

if I could shake off the rain
and leave the droplets

Detach myself from
all, turn off that emotional switch,
prepare to go to sleep.

Instead, I filter the storm.
Channel my winds
through jogging around the
living room while doing laundry.

And then of course,

I type this poem.
The Editor Inside
The tortured souls are at it again,
reading the criticisms and questioning their existences
“So you want to be a writer?”
I can hear Chanaski’s voice
and picture his ghost,
he’s surrounded with
the misfits of the world
they’re clinging to him like hungry leaches
who have finally found something to suck on
who have finally found blood.
With my writing
it is as though my insides
have been taken out of me
and wrapped around my skeleton,
there are no more secrets,
every part of me, revealed.
Who are you to judge my soul?
Amanda Clark currently resides in Woodsville, New Hampshire. She teaches English and Social Studies at an alternative school in Bradford, VT. She is the author of three previous books of poetry, all of which she considers to be, “chapters of her life,” including, Looking at the Moon, Flying Fall, and Beautifully Mixed-Up World. She was also a contributing poet for The Litchfield Literary Review. Additionally, Clark is the founder and editor of Steady Moon Press, a publishing company dedicated to poetry.
Clark graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Art History from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. She also graduated with a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from the University of Vermont in Burlington, VT. Additionally, she has studied abroad in Spain, Italy, and New Zealand. Her previous vocations include social work and outdoor education. Clark's poems have been distributed to classrooms, art galleries, libraries, and various newspapers. If you would like to contact Amanda, email her at: bigredac@yahoo.com
Her website is also available at: https://sites.google.com/site/amandaclarkauthor/home

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Poem by Ayaz Daryl Nielsen


they eat a precooked
chicken while sitting
on the grassy meridian
of a busy side street

their cardboard signs,
propped against a young
maple supported by
two thick guide wires

one sign says, ‘my ship
sank, please help,’ the other,
‘no lies, it’s for beer’

the chicken tastes so good
as they flick warm bones
at passing bicyclists clad in
purple and pink spandex

one has an eye patch and a
torn pirate flag as a cape,
the other’s belly is sunburnt
as it sags from his T-shirt

the precooked chicken -
it tastes so good -
it tastes so good to them

ayaz daryl nielsen, poet/editor/husband/father/veteran/x-roughneck (as on oil rigs)/x-hospice nurse, editor/custodian of print pub bear creek haiku (20+ years and 110+ issues), has poetry in awesome homes including Lilliput Review (ed. Don Wentworth), Barbaric Yawp (ed’s. John and Nancy Berbrich), Shemom (most favorite person ed. Peggy Dugan French), Yellow Mama (check it out online/Cindy Crosmus most exotic of editors), Lalitamba (possibly coolest print pub in existence), ayaz has three collections of poetry in print, blog site is bearcreekhaiku.blogspot.com (which translates as joie de vivre).  

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Three Poems by Daniel Gallik


I kept seeing the gun
and thought about my kids,
she said to her husband.
The man was alone,
and demanded all the money,
she continued
while the husband
started packing up
his belongings in his mind.

God, she kept on, I was scared.
I thought it was the end
of my dismal life.
I thought I’d never see Jimmie
and Lizzie again.
Oh, and you. The husband
in his mind has his stuff
in the Datsun,
and was heading for Fla.

Meanwhile, she droned on.
Outside a heavy snow was falling,
huge plows scraped at the fall.
The husband went down the stairs.
In the two car garage his one car
wouldn’t start.
The good one did,
and he went to the Bi-Rite
to get some Kleenex.

The Lake’s Girls In June

There they lie. Talking & taking in
sun & wondering what the next day will bring
as the stars fade into the baby blue
of a clear morning. Elz asks,

the house is a mess, when shall I clean it,
or (laughing), shall I clean it at all?
Marsh changes the subject, I am
worried about my son.

He’s involved with a little girl already.
Toni asks, oh, which girl? Lindz pouts,
oh, that daughter of mine. Giggles,
and I haven’t even taught her

that sex is bad. All she has to do,
Elz quips, is ask her mom about bad sex.
The four giggle, go in for a bit of a swim.
Meanwhile, the summer pushes near.

Times when the kids will live at the beach.
Chatting about new bikes. SPF 15
sun proof protection. And whether
their moms really understand anything.

This Story Never Made It Into The Courier

Sun’s down and orange. Herv ate the last
peach of the season. Chucked the pit into
the already full garbage. Said, well,
there goes summer. Wife said not one

word, did the wash. Herv then went and
took all his clothes off. He said
to no one, that’s a day. Then, hey hon,
come in here, make love. Louise kept

folding underwear. Herv got in bed and
farted, closed his eyes. Died. Louise
took another load downstairs. She later
folded more and more. Kids came home from

Lincoln’s girls’ bball game. The Statues
won and were then 7 and O. One girl said,
Dad in bed? No one said nothing as Louise
decided to do the dishes. Herv’s brain said,

no work tomorrow. Ain’t that funnier
than hell? Yuck, yuck, yck as his mind
fell into its ending. Wife thought,
I wish when he went to bed he’d be quiet.

Daniel Gallik

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Poem by Bill Jansen

homeless mascot

one city's junk light
is another city's night game

the soot of cheers
on a feathered, blunted man

who was the mascot of a team
until he was let go

because a mood went viral
they wanted a younger owl

his eyes sparkle in the dark
mice nibble cardboard stars

held fast in his falling apart
size 9 Adidas claws.

Bill Jansen lives in Forest Grove, Oregon.  His work has appeared in various ezines, including Triggerfish Review.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Poem by Linnea Harper

Ooh La La La
For myself, having thought on important
topics, I fear the practice has done me little
good, there is so much I can’t remember
and the rest has been imagined away.
But stay. We may yet discern
some value in this communion.
Let us delve together into the dusty
stacks where memory and invention
meet and make amends
until we are one with the cadence
and the voices we have found
turn to honey in our mouths
the tea is hot, and the toast
pops up in perfection.
coda: When engaging in any brouhaha
          from writing to dancing the cha cha cha
          I don’t like to bring
          too much brain to the thing
         I like living on love and ooh la la la

Linnea Harper lives on a tidal slough on the Oregon coast, near the mouth of the Alsea River. Her poems have been published here and there, including in CALYX, and she has been a finalist for the Bunchgrass Prize. Before she was a poet, she was a social worker, and before she was a social worker, she was a poet.