Saturday, May 31, 2014

Three Poems by Felino A. Soriano

from Confirmations
agency of hands
(, combat, shape, caress: paradigms of of/all connectivity)
isolated temperatures              teem,
tame-or surge in the handling(, or, mis-) of rain
each each/either
slant of eventual osculation
cannot contain symphonies or
a music of relatable
collaboration theory
besides: “my alone ness needs spatial time                              away,”
(reliant  much-too
this/these personperson plurals rise and divide their cellular connection
did you dial again, again                            your touch cannot from city/city
distance tough the faces feature
smiles of elongated togteherness
on thinking of
why trance?,? the memory
discards cluttered
physiological freedoms: affirmations
this truth lauds and engages land within
context of spectrum and ongoing
reductive impersonations
Felino A. Soriano is a member of The Southern Collective Experience.  He is the founding editor of the online endeavors Counterexample Poetics and Differentia Press; in addition, he is a contributing editor for the online journal, Sugar Mule.   His writing finds foundation in created co√∂ccurrences, predicated on his strong connection to various idioms of jazz music.  His poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Anthology, and appears in various online and print publications, with recent poetry collections including Mathematics (Nostrovia! Poetry, 2014), Espials (Fowlpox Press, 2014), and watching what invents perception (WISH Publications, 2013).  He lives in California with his wife and family and is a director of supported living and independent living programs providing supports to adults with developmental disabilities. Links to his published and forthcoming poems, books, interviews, images, etc. can be found at

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Poem by Larry Jones

dear mother
my mother died yesterday
she was 95 years old and
a mean bitter woman
she hated my father
she hated me
she swore she would haunt me
after she died.
bring it on
Larry Jones lives in Utah. He has poetry at The Camel Saloon, Dead Snakes and Clutching at Straws.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Three Poems by Darren C. Demaree

Wednesday Morning #136
The energy
of uncoiling
is brief,
but early
all I need
is that much

Wednesday Morning #137
Then it wasn’t about above
or below, it was about forward
& stasis, which consumes us.

Wednesday Morning #138
The wound
is collection,
struck skin,
that knows
better is more
than a pivot.
Darren C. Demaree's poems have appeared, or are scheduled to appear in numerous magazines/journals, including Pyrokinection, The South Dakota Review, Meridian, The Louisville Review, Grist, and Whiskey Island. He is the author of "As We Refer To Our Bodies" (2013, 8th House), "Temporary Champions" (2014, Main Street Rag), and "Not For Art Nor Prayer" (2015, 8th House).  He is the recipient of three Pushcart Prize nominations and a Best of the Net nomination.  He currently lives and writes in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Three Poems by April Salzano

Masterless Slave
I am a contradiction,
oxymoronic. Shade of no tree, sunless light
in blank-canvassed sky. I leave footprints
without grace of sand. I sing,
devoid of voice, arias of silence
in languages that cannot be
translated. My lungs are full of breathless
air. My kings have all been dethroned.
If you pay attention, you will see that
I mean nothing I say. I am everything.

Garden Hoe
I fuck for flowers.
He is filling my garden now
with the brightest purple pansies.
He tills the earth in the bed, better
dirt raked up to fertilize. Spores
will catch the wind and ride
to greener grasses.
Pollinating progression breeds
more blooms, spreading wide
my intention to color the world
in temporary shades of lusted hues.

Childhood is a Collection
of sounds, mine is the wait
for noise from another room, animals
grunting, suffocating on each other’s air.
I hear water running when it ran
down holes in various thirsty sinks,
choking on throated bezoars. If I listen,
I hear the rats walking drunk on confusion
through newly-dug sewer tunnels, lost.
Their scampering is a message I cannot
translate from the heavy house of memory,
the empty walls of regret.
April Salzano teaches college writing in Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband and two sons.  Most recently, she was nominated for two Pushcart prizes and finished her first collection of poetry.  She is working on a memoir on raising a child with autism.  Her work has appeared in journals such as Convergence, Ascent Aspirations, The Camel Saloon, Centrifugal Eye, Deadsnakes, Visceral Uterus, Salome, Poetry Quarterly, Writing Tomorrow and Rattle.  The author also serves as co-editor at Kind of a Hurricane Press.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Three Poems by Bruce McRae

Night Train

A train of thought,
traveling from somewhere to somewhere else,
the engineer dragging on its lonesome whistle
as if a convict his cigarette, the conductor
in two minds, in two opposing quantum states,
existence vying with non-existence.

A train of thought in the long black night,
the passengers inhumanly quiet,
their tickets punched and paid for,
their mouths shut but their eyes open,
stealing a few cursory glances
at the blackened countryside,
that light at the end of the tunnel
receding, coming closer, moving away.

Coming Along Nicely

At the junction of Now and Again.
In a country that hasn’t been invented yet.
Beside a river under temporal persuasion,
studying the finer details of handwritten tracts
but too damned close to see the bigger issues,
noticing how one man’s fact is another’s fiction,
applying a thick lacquer to cover the cracks,
the faults still showing and darkening with age,
gaining in mass, the perspective shrinking,
seeing before me the theatre of the self,
a vision floating freely into the stratosphere,
your face appearing, a voice saying something
I don’t need to have to deal with right now.
I really don’t want to hear it.

Less Than A Single Breath

On an island in a lake on an island . . .
At sea level. Stranded on morning’s beach.
Donning our rough apparel.
The small appearing large. The sleepers weeping.
Yesterday’s rain making fools of us all.

Dawn saws a jig on its catgut fiddle,
the wind in an awful and needless hurry,
gravity’s barbed hooks dangling provocatively,
the wind beside itself with work and worry.

Pauses couple, birthing an inbred stillness,
each eventual life losing its tiny lottery.
Soon the moments have piled high,
a tower of time, a backlog of grim reckoning.

Soon, the unbearable gifts of winter.

Pushcart-nominee Bruce McRae is a Canadian musician with over 800 publications, including and The North American Review. His first book, ‘The So-Called Sonnets’ is available from the Silenced Press website or via Amazon books. To hear his music and view more poems visit his website:, or ‘TheBruceMcRaeChannel’ on Youtube. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Two Poems by Paul Tristram

Coedffranc Infants School in the 1970’s
(The Little Girl With Ginger Ringlets And Freckles)

When I was 6 years old
they took all the classes
to the assembly hall
to watch the school play.
But even before it had started
I had been caught misbehaving,
as usual and was made to sit
with the girls as punishment.
We were all sitting cross-legged
upon the polished wooden floor.
There was a girl sat next to me
with ginger ringlets and freckles,
she was chatty and asked me
if I knew how to roll my socks
all the way down to my ankles?
I told her with a serious scowl
upon my face that I didn’t know
what she was talking about.
She said she would show me,
ignoring my scowl completely
she reached down to my foot
and after pulling up the bottom
of my Wrangler jeans up a little.
She put her palms flat against
each side of my socked leg
and rolled it down until it
was a tight little round roll.
As she did this her hands
touched my bare skin,
something strange happened.
I got tingles upon the scalp
of my head and a warm glow
inside of my mind.
Next she pulled some coloured
felt-tip pens from her little bag
and drew a rainbow on my leg.
“It’s a tattoo!” I exclaimed
“No, it’s not, you silly boy,
it’s a Rainbow Bridge
for your invisible friends
to come over to see you!”


A Day Out On Alcatraz

It was a little strange being there
yet not eerie in the slightest.
The first boat was full when we arrived
so we hung about around Pier 39
for a couple of hours eating corndogs,
and clam chowder in sour dough bowls.
Looking in the tourist souvenir shops,
finding an awesome place called
‘We Be Knives’ and stocking up.
Then we were upon the small ferry
moving out into the waters of the East Bay
with The Golden Gate Bridge off to the left.
In about 15 minutes we were at the Island,
we took a slow climb up the hillside
winding road to the prison, looking out
for hummingbirds as we walked along.
The place was nothing at all like
the old British Victorian Buildings
that they have back home yet fascinating
all the same and full of dark wonder.
We went in straight through reception
and onto the Landings with the cells
with the Jailhouse sliding bar doors.
It made me smile, it looked just like
it should have just like the movies
I had watched since I was a young boy.
Walked around with a headset on
listening to the recording telling the story
of prison life on ‘The Rock’ back in the day.
Stepped in and out of a few cells myself
thinking of ‘Al Capone, George Machinegun
Kelly, Robert Stroud The Birdman’
and all the many others who had lived
counting away their days in these cages.
I kept a lookout for any remaining ghosts
but I didn’t see any just an interesting
derelict museum of a gone by age.
It was dark when we stepped out again
and walked back down to the ferry
to start chugging back on over towards
the beautifully lit up city of San Francisco.

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight, this too may pass, yet.

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Poem by Bob Brill

Coming into Denver by Train

in the rocking train
the whistle's throaty wailing cry
as we tunnel through darkness
around the mountain's sloping flanks

the train rounds a curve
to a full moon rising
over the lights of the city
spread out below on the plain

descending by switchbacks
the moon eclipsed and reemerging by turns
as we pass the remaining hills
and hulking dark buildings

we shoot into a narrow channel
of houses close to the track
in the train window
dark houses
lighted windows
flowing past
and the still image of my reflected face
lit by the tiny lamp
over the bed
in my compartment

I catch glimpses
of people in the windows
I see the flickering blue light
of television sets
a man's face
filling a TV screen
talking talking

I picture families seated at dinner
passing the roast around the table
a man in his undershirt
reading a newspaper
feet up on a favorite stool
a boy chewing a pencil
as he does his homework

I imagine a pair of lovers
pressed close together
listening to the wheels
pounding the rails
the rattle of the coaches
and the hoarse moaning
of the whistle
calling the soul
to take to the road
as the train passes
and the uproar fades
the whistle crying faint and far away
they return to themselves
to each other

I pretend to have a magic passport
that would let me enter those fleeing homes
to sit at the dinner table with the family
and listen to their stories
of how they came
to be clustered here
in these houses
by the tracks
on the outskirts of Denver

it would take a dedicated lifetime
to mine this lode
all these lives
that fly past the window
I feel the ache of riches
sifting through my fingers

we roll slowly into Denver station
the great train stops with a jolt
breathing out a soft mechanical sigh
I hear movement and voices in the corridor
as travelers prepare to leave the train

but not I
who still have another two days of travel
before I can reclaim the freedom
to go anywhere I want
on my own two legs
and sleep in my own bed
where sometimes I hear
the distant cry
of train whistles in the night
I heard them as a boy
and wondered what it would be like
to adventure forth into the world

Bob Brill is a retired computer programmer and digital artist. He is now devoting his energies to writing fiction and poetry. His novellas, short stories and more than 120 poems have appeared in over forty online magazines, print journals, and anthologies.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Two Poems by Fain Rutherford


Her blazing optimism intolerant
of every asserted impediment,
she torches the doubters like heretics
at the stake of her well-meaning world.

Under those who claim universal indifference,
the cheerful priestess sets a minimal fire.
Too large and the death would be easy by smoke.
Much better a slow roast to help them repent.

Why not just admit this best of all worlds?
Why not surrender the false idol of nil?
As the crackling fat drips from their third degree angst,
and their knowing absurdity rises spiraled and black,
she is there in the sunlight smiling,
"Convert to the true faith or die!"

The Edge

The skeletal mesquite on life support
laughs her canyon-lipped refusal, cliffed-
out and leaning over the plumb-line drop
into air heated blue by the desert below.
Roots, tangled and rattling.
Confused tubing fastened to feldspar.
No longer xylemic.  Capillary action
inactive.  Transpiration shallow.

Corrupted bark falls away in black shingles.
Shriveled seed pods past procreative hope.
Amber sap drools incontinent, staining the slickrock.
Blown branches all grown in one direction,
like the wiry black hair of an ancient crone,
grinning as she steps over the edge.

Over the years, Fain Rutherford has worked as a soldier, lawyer, university lecturer, rock-climbing guide, survival instructor and at-home-dad.  He currently resides in Washington State.  His recent poems appear or are scheduled to appear in Subliminal Interiors, Right Hand Pointing, Poetry Quarterly, Front Porch Review, Eunoia Review, Connotation Press, and Apeiron Review.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Two Poems by Diane Webster

Express Checkout

The busy checkout clerk constantly
looking down at grocery items
sliding across the scanner
in beep, beep, beep accuracy
constantly flips her long, straight hair
back over her shoulder
as strand by strand by fanning cascade
it obstructs her view
flip after flip after flip
as the short-haired checker
in the next aisle over
lefts and rights items
in a steady crowd toward
the harried paper or plastic bagger
only able to catch up
when cash, check or credit card
seal the deal.

High School Reunion

These people are the mothers and fathers
answering my knock
to let me come over and play
or to pick up Carolyn
to see the new horror movie
playing at the Pix Theater.
Who stole my fastest rival in PE?
Who made up the acting class
with natural-looking gray?
Boy, those pillows look great
as paunches and big butts!
And who’s that over there?
Can’t read his name tag.
Not close enough for bi-focals.
Too much facial hair;
not enough on his head.
Perhaps he’s a husband,
and I really don’t know him.
Boy, these people are old!

Diane Webster enjoys the challenge of picturing images into words to fit her poems. If she can envision her poem, she can write what she sees and her readers can visualize her ideas. That's the excitement of writing. Her work has appeared in "The Hurricane Review," "Eunoia Review," "Illya's Honey," and other literary magazines.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Poem by J.K. Durick

Rubbish Day

It's one of the few rituals we have left
In this neighborhood; it's a matter of
Timing, of course, then placement and
Movement play their roles, rolling our
Offerings to the curb, line the street

One for our trash and garbage and
One for our better selves, recycling
As if bits and pieces will return to us
As if the refuse we produce lives on
Reincarnated versions for further use

On Thursday morning, quite early on
We wheel our plastic bins to the curbs
If by chance a neighbor appears on
The same mission we might bow our
Heads in recognition of the ritual's
Communal nature and then move on

Some of us to work, some back into
Their days of watching and waiting for
Around ten they arrive to a fanfare
Of noise worthy of the place they fill
In our lives; roaring, clanking, beeping

An array of colors and logos; in my
Neighborhood we don't all subscribe
To the same server, we're diverse in
This area at least, different companies
The same service, salvation in one of

Its many disguises, our offerings
Accepted once more, God or the gods
Fulfilled and we begin anew, go on
With our lives of not quite so quiet
Desperation, the purr and hum of our
Time spent as the litter builds up again
Builds inevitably toward next Thursday.

J.K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor.  His recent poems have appeared in Shot Glass Journal, Black Mirror, Third Wednesday, Thrush Poetry Journal, and Leaves of Ink.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

A Poem by Leland Seese

Until Next Time

I feel safest when I am held
by the corner of the kitchen counter
where I tuck myself in
with the sink at my left
and the stovetop at my back.

It feels like warmth,
like coffee brewing and bread toasting,
clean like plates just out of the dishwasher,
like onions sweetening on the hot skillet.

I stare at the broken door
of the refrigerator.  My hands
still shake with adrenaline
from pulling him away
before he tore off the whole door.

I stand in the corner
calming down and girding up
for next time.

Leland Seese is a pastor in Seattle, Washington, and, along with his wife, Lisa Konick, a foster/adoptive/biological parent of six children.  He has previously published poetry in The Christian Century Magazine.

Friday, May 9, 2014

A Poem from M.J. Iuppa

At Arm’s Length
My arm has fallen asleep.  It doesn’t know I’m still awake.
Lying beside me, strangely detached, its fingers think
to move.
                                                       Tremor of electricity—
little by little, in the dark, my arm rises up & shakes off
a dream--- its hand waves in small circles. It wants to be
a purple finch.                          
                                                    Come down from there.
It flies out of reach  . . . What else have I lost in the casualty
of sleep?
M.J.Iuppa lives on a small farm near the shores of Lake Ontario. For the past ten years, she and her husband Peter Tonery have been committed to food sustainability. She has numerous publications (poetry, fiction, nonfiction and plays) in national and international journals as well as two full length poetry collections Night Traveler (Foothills, 2003) and Within Reach (Cherry Grove Collection, 2010) and five chapbooks; her latest prose chapbook Between Worlds (Foothills, 2013). She served as the poetry adviser (2007-2012) for the New York Foundation for the Arts, and since 1986, has worked as a teaching artist in the schools, K-12 for a variety of agencies (RCSD, BOCES 2, Young Audiences, Genesee Valley BOCES, Project U.N.I.Q.U.E. and V.I.T.A.L. Writers & Books, and others) Currently she is Writer-in-Residence and Director of Arts Minor Program at St. John Fisher College.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Poem by Linda Bearss

Quitting is Not an Option

He shakes his head in disbelief
he scuffles toward the cement block wall
pulls on his team sweats, sliding
down the shoulders of the tight singlet
tugging on his hat, eyes hidden, face
shadowed—anonymity in another loss.
He sits crouched, knees up
on the bleacher’s narrow step
face buried in his hands
every time, every match
he darts out faster
strains harder
strives longer
yet the moment arrives—
the referee slaps the rubber mat
and steps back to raise the other
boy’s arm, again and again.
He has grown four inches since summer
the baby fat is melting over  his
growing muscles—girls notice
He still has that boyish face
and innocent hazel eyes at 16.
Patience is a hard win
growing and leaving
is exhausting work.
A foot taller than her
he’s the youngest of
many brothers . . . warriors.
She settles in again
perched high in the bleachers
joining the loud crowd
shouting and breathless.
This is not the moment for hugs and comfort
mothers learn as sons grow and leave.
His anger is necessary
it mocks and drives him
to learn to press longer
to stare down what he cannot yet see.
She waits and prays:
“God, give him what he needs.”
They learn in silence and sweat
he faces his own demons and
designs his next match alone
quitting cannot be an option.
She watches silently as he
pulls up the yellow straps
shakes his muscles loose
and bounces on the polished
gymnasium floor, ready
for another turn to win
weighing moves and choices
beneath the crowd’s cheers and taunts
he waits to prove himself.
Linda Bearss has published poetry as well as articles on Theodore Roethke and Paul Laurence Dunbar. Her poetry and literary analysis have appeared in several anthologies, including: The Midwest Miscellany XXXV, Midwest Miscellany XXXIV, Midwest Miscellany XXVI, Temenos: Special Roethke Edition, Of Sun and Sand, Poised in Flight, and Tic Toc (anthologies published by Kind of a Hurricane Press). She is in the process of compiling two chapbooks, Steppin’on the Cracks and Taming a Tightrope. Linda Bearss is a long term fellow of the National Writing Project and member of the Academy of American Poets. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

A Poem by Sy Roth

Shrinking World
Espied a shrinking world
loath to participate on it
its circumference half-radii
so small I would eventually
find my feet entwined
around  my head
Buttressed by air
Proximate distance from my body
A wordless composition- paper’s thickness
Rustles close to the rank smells of being.
Pushing desires--
To push away from the others
Spring clean and shove it all into plastic sheets,
shrink-wrap the flotsam
and leave them unprotected from winter winds
and a scalding summer sun.
Met myself in a zone of silence
Where it all shrank to a pencil nub
pink eraser the only monument plopped at its summit
an effervescent bubble pops mid-air
showering a nasal spray of dis-ease
smelly big toe waggles serpentine by my nose
curling up into the venomous air.
I with it
Infectious weevil.
Sy Roth comes riding in and then canters out. He resides in Mount Sinai , far from Moses and the tablets. This has led him to find words for solace.   He spends his time writing and playing his guitar. He has published in many online publications. One of his poems, Forsaken Man, was selected for Best of 2012 poems in Storm Cycle.  Twice selected Poet of the Month in Poetry Super Highway .  He was named Poet of the Month for the month of February in BlogNostics. Included in Poised in Flight anthology.  A Murder of Crows named Poem of the Week in Toucan.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

A Poem by Chad W. Lutz

Summer Sore 
Shriek bang! Shriek bang!
A few persons clap.
Children chase each other in stir-crazy games of tag
under a mid-summer drizzle.
Shriek bang!
A couple of the kids stop to watch
and then continue their merciless quest of tagging each other “it.”
A young writer, alone,
leans against a public restroom; cold beer
warming in his left hand with his other in his pocket.
He’s beginning to feel a little inebriated,
perhaps a bit too drunk.
His legs begin to numb, finally.
The previous days' runs through the Smokies,
up and over Rich Mountain through a series of storms and bridle trails,
still reminding him with each leaden step.
His clothes are still drying on the line.
A mist sees to it they won't.
But the night is clearing.
His legs are numbing.
He flexes his quads,
and then his hamstrings,
gives them both a rub,
and then returns to nursing
his beer and gazing up
at the free show of
pop and sizzle
against the
of the
It feels good. Perhaps it will last, despite the ebb of seasons.
Chad W. Lutz was born in 1986 in Akron, Ohio, and raised in the neighboring suburb of Stow. His works have been featured in Diverse Voices Quarterly, The Dying Goose, Haunted Waters Press, and prominently on, of which he serves managing editor. Chad currently works in North Canton writing web content for an online job resource website. An avid athlete, Chad runs competitively for a Northeast Ohio running club and swims in his spare time. He aspires to run the Olympic marathon at the 2016 games.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Two Poems by David Chorlton

The Fading
The paint flakes away from the letters
spelling Christ is the Answer
along the tall white side on a trailer
left in a yard beside the Interstate
to stand before all weathers
while traffic on its way to Tucson
passes by. The message is paler
at each journey taken; in winter
when a chill runs inside the metal,
and in summer when the heat
burns right through it. Years ago
the words stood out, their letters
had crisp edges, and the black was blacker
than any black before it. Nobody
could pretend not to have seen it;
there was no way around
considering the possibility that here
was the truth. Now the bold assertion
has become shabby as graffiti
after too much exposure
to merciless light.
Along the Interstate
It’s a clear day for the Swainson’s hawks
coming home to summer
on the flyway north, and for the turkey vultures
circling the sun
while mountains crumble
into the sky where it touches the desert.
It’s a clear light that shines on the billboards
selling lies to the open space
surrounding them, and on
the disused water tower the freight trains pass
going east, west, and east again
to where the wind blows ill across the blooming
ocotillo, toward the wreckage
blocking the highway for the next
ten hours they say
at the truck stop stocked with souvenir coyotes
made in China, but one driver
swaying gently with the country music
that plays in the urinals
says nothing will stop him
from leaving right now; he knows
the roads only birds can see.
David Chorlton was born in Austria, grew up in Manchester, England, and went to live for several years in Vienna before moving to Phoenix in 1978. Arizona’s landscapes and wildlife have become increasingly important to him and a significant part of his poetry. His most recent collection is The Devil’s Sonata from FutureCycle Press. The shadow side of Vienna provides the core of The Taste of Fog, a work of fiction published by Rain Mountain Press.