Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Poem by Grace Maselli

The Twinkies Are Gone
But then they came back,
even after Hostess tanked.

Other Big Firms to the rescue,
lest you flip
out and horde, as some did,
the golden sponge,
filled and artificial.
You’ll wish you’d had more cream
before The Nuclear
with only cockroaches left to feast
on the sugary nectar,
the radiated sponge a bygone thing.
Take back the night swinging
on the yellow mini cake like an oblong moon
bounced into open ovens in bakeries.

A skilled workforce pulls down the door
to 425 degrees or so of heat —
slips raw batter into the cooker
a sugar high
at the Emporia.

Sons, daughters, mothers, fathers,
cranking out sponge cakes for 50 years.

Better than Hungarian cherry pie.

The darling of fake foods:
and glorious,
from which American dreams are made.
Grace Maselli is at work on a collection of essays and poems. She studied for seven years in New York City at The Writers Studio founded by American poet and author, Philip Schultz. Her work has appeared in Cleaver Magazine, Poydras Review, Streetlight Magazine and The Penmen Review.  Her poem, What the Hair Is Going On? was recently published as a mini chapbook by Phafours Press, Ottowa, Canada. She lives in North Tampa, FL, with a husband, two kids, two dogs, and a Coronet guinea pig.

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Poem by Dan Jacoby

parmita dana (perfection of clarity)
greatest power of the mind
seeing what’s not there
mystery of making things up
a cowboy on a horse
a lab named spot
doing best with  nonexistent deadlines
mad hatter dinner at seven be there
bring face painted flowers,
too conventional,
bring antique standing mirror,
any house can use another
bring a book
books stay quiet
when you want to think
except one missing
last page
leave the windows open
so your music and I
can converse
gives the moonlight
something worth shining on
a warm breeze that comes
with gentle rain as
elfin ears hear
different soft whispers
every night parfait
real life doesn’t measure up
to what’s in the mind


Dan Jacoby lives in Illinois on a very old family farm. He is a former student, special forces soldier, spy, steel worker,  teacher, coach, mentor, and principal.  He has published poetry in  the Shore Review, Deep South Magazine, Lines and Stars, Red Booth Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, and Red Fez. He has work soon to be published in Ascent Aspirations Magazine, The Vehicle, and Steel Toe Review.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Poem by Lyn Lifshin

Some Afternoons When Nobody Was Fighting
my mother took out
walnuts and chocolate
chips. My sister and
I plunged our fingers
in flour and butter
smoother than clay.
Pale dough oozing
between our fingers
while the house filled
with blond bars rising
and kisses of fudge
Mother in her pink dress
with black ballerinas
circling its bottom
turned on the Victrola,
tucked her dress up into
pink nylon bloomer pants,
kicked her legs up in the
air and my sister and I
pranced thru the living
room, a bracelet around
her. She was our Pied
Piper and we were
the children of Hamlin,
circling her as close as the
dancers on her hem

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Two Poems by Walter Ruhlmann

The Rain Bows Down

No bows, no arrows,
rainbows twisting around my neck,
erupting from my sex.

Drops of rain like drained hopes,
thick and sticky, copulating
castrated rivulets of blood,
water rolling down the panes.

Pains and sheltering blows,
cleavers chop and chisel this skin,
foamed and soaped,
eternally scratched,
bruised and itching.

Downward movement
towards the ground
where smashed flesh,
crashed corpses,
purple tumescence,
scarlet portraits,
explode in fireworks.

Leak like dark liquid sparks
unsettled, guffawing
cherishing falls, breakdowns,
bleak houses on hilly trade winds,
or mountains blowing zephyrs,
colourful, dazzling beams,
wet rays, orange, pink ore,
the rainbows slit-open is
spitting iridescent ordeals.

A Bowling Ball in My Stomach

A dragon laid an egg inside my corpse;
not a body, nobody sees that I exist,
yet my scales shine in the beams
but an egg lies here inside me.

The hatching is coming,
I can sense strange vibrations,
the ovum was once fertilized,
invaded by white sperm
from an ancient Python,
or some reptilian snake.

Walter Ruhlmann works as an English teacher, edits mgversion2>datura and runs mgv2>publishing. His latest collections are Maore published by Lapwing Publications, UK, 2013,  Carmine Carnival published by Lazarus Media, USA, 2013 and The Loss through Flutter Press, USA, 2014. Coming up in 2014 Twelve Times Thirteen through Kind of a Hurricane Press.and Crossing Puddles through Robocup Press.        His blog

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Two Poems by Changming Yuan

The Two in the Grove

she is a willow
gorgeous and graceful
his whispers are breeze
gentle and generous
blowing through her branches
slim and sunlight-glazed
constantly making her tremble
like a chuckling tree
I kissed your morning
With mine, and held
Your night closely with mine too
Between your spring and autumn
I lay my summer
Deep in winter
From your January through February
To your March, I wrap your April and May
With my June and July
Within your August
I use my September or October
To caress both your November and December
And right from your moment
I suck my whole year
Changming Yuan, an 8-time Pushcart nominee, grew up in rural China and currently tutors in Vancouver, where he co-edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan. Since mid-2005, Changming's poetry has appeared in 839 literary publications worldwide, including Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline and Threepenny Review

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Poem by Diane Webster

Green Light, Red Light
Green lights blur
like white center lines
on midnight highway
until car
euphorically sails
silent in darkness
fingertip close
until roller coaster
plunge flashes
red lights, red lights.
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.

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Poem by Adreyo Sen

The wind tugging at the hem of her black and gold caftan,
struggling to pull her close as it blasts its way,
she stands remote, her hands crossed across her bosom,
oblivious to the catcalls of urchins as they loll past her,
staring at her with insolent curiosity, yet respectful,
her eyes looking beyond the jungle of traffic,
past the bleating cars, past the commuters,
to the desire of her heart, she waits patient,
monument of sacrifice,
mutely shaking her head in negation, as vendors,
spread their colourful array of goods before her,
hoping to take advantage of her soft tender face.
Gentle and barren, the black hem of her caftan,
forming a respectful train, she waits,
waits for her dream, her eyes firm and resolute,
a part, yet not a part of this world.
Commuters hurry past her with dispassionate glances,
trained in the controlled cynicism of stock markets,
casting her into the scattered scrambled memories,
to mull over in the security of their home,
the pathetic sweet figure they think they smiled at.
As her lips start to tremble and her eyes dim,
no longer her bright messengers of hope,
she sees her dream and flings her arms around him,
and as he lifts her up in his arms, kissing her radiant face,
the great city of commercial gods carries on, oblivious as ever,
to the triumphant march of love.
Adreyo Sen resides in Kolkata, India.  He is pursuing his MFA degree at Stony Brook, Southampton.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Three Poems by Ally Malinenko

Big Sur
Am Alone, says the king,
walking down the stone path.
Am Alone.
And at first he means it, they all do.
At first.
Until the silence grows
louder than the noise he used to make
down in the dirty city bars.
It grows like the moss on the trees,
like the gray hair on his arms.
Am Alone, they say
to get better
to be well
and still and peaceful,
to quell the fury.
But they hate it, like all kings hate being king.
They have no idea,
these men
with the bright ideas,
with the looks that give and take
away from the spotlight
and all their fickle tempers,
their broken glasses,
cutting the bottom of feet.
All the roaring.
They hate it
when there is no one to hear them.
Nothing but silence and the echoes
of their own fury thrown back at them
from the ocean’s mocking slap.
still, Am Alone,
something I have never known
not truly.
To live without it.
To forget and be forgotten.
To be still
for as long as I wish
vibrating like an atom.
Forever, even
Am Alone.
Building Civilizations
Sometimes I wonder if I made you up, too.
The way I have always made up stories.
Especially when you told me that you had never read
all the books you said you did when we were young.
And I stopped on the street, shocked.
I saw my reflection in the store window,
my windblown hair,
my boy jeans, my fall jacket, taken aback.
I have watched you,
over the course of our life together
and even in our life apart,
create and recreate yourself for other people
but I had the secret. I knew you when.
And now, I realize it has happened again,
this time to me.
“It was you,” you said.
“Those were your stories. I couldn’t be bothered.”
When we were little we built civilizations
in my basement. Giant pillows for continents,
toys and dolls for people.
We played God. Some lived, some died.
Back then, I wrote poems too, inside
without paper or pencil I just didn’t know.
And here on the street, with the slump
of your shoulders passing my reflection
I reach out and take your words,
pluck them from the cool night air where they float,
stuffed them in my pocket, like a survivor
and when you were gone,
I ate them, bite by bite,

savoring them, like a secret.
Yowling in the Next Life

In the next life, 
I'm going to come back as a cat.
No more of this pink hairless life.
Instead i will set on the dock in San Francisco
and laugh
that white bright laugh
that used to torture the prisoners on Alcatraz.
The sounds they could hear over that quiet bay,
all that gentle conversation, the awkward
dinner dates, the shuffling starts and sputters
of men and women getting to know each other.
The symphony of clinking silverware, coughs, chatter
nervous accents, embarrassed pauses, space of silence louder
than laughter.
All of it floated over all that black water
over the honking of seals,
and came through those
rusty, sea-stained windows and 
my god, it must have driven them crazy.
The cacophony of want.

yes in the next life,
I'll be on the dock, too.
A fat black cat, yowling at your moon. 
Ally Malinenko has been writing stories and poems and novels for awhile now. Possibly too long. Occasionally she gets them published. Her first book of poems entitled The Wanting Bone was published by Six Gallery Press and her first novel for children, Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb, was recently published by Antenna Books. She can be found blathering here:

Monday, July 14, 2014

Four Poems by Agholor Leonard Obiaderi

Body Language
When you came in through the
language followed you.
The way you held your
was in itself more eloquent
than speech, high ,
regal like a queen decked out in
pink petals which decorated
the ruffled neck of your  gown
flowing, its own smooth river.
No words tumbled out
of your mouth, or crashing
waterfall, yet your eyes held
a vocabulary more vast
than Shakespeare. You sat
in the window seat to watch
the morning sun
to the gold-coloured  curtains in
soothing phrases.
Your presence was meant to calm.
Every time you raised a slender finger
to smooth your hair
each strand
was a personal idiom that admonished
About mother’s death? Wipe
away your wretched frown.
In your presence, I flourished in the
but memory floated higher
and higher
each time you stepped through
the door, language, an epiphany
like  a dog at your heels
chewed dead consonants.
(July, 1969 -  Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon, the fist human )
First time I appeared in
school. Maiden journey
to the moon  started, scribbling
paths on the blank page
the Milky Way.
Mother handed me and my wet
cheeks to the class teacher.
First time I kissed a girl. My virgin
savoured a taste of nectar. Her pink
tongue, red lips suppressed bright
colours like secret intercourse.
First time I held my baby in my
stars filled my head, my
heart and loins.
First time  you betrayed me .
A wormwood-bitter memory
of sweat, hot breath and a
lover’s  whisper
seeking a hiding place in moon craters.
A generation of firsts. Yet,
they never reached fertility. They inhabited
the dormant eclipse on this marooned
I hope to make another
first attempt,
leaping across to Mars.
In the ash-coloured dawn, I
have stared at the  sequence of
petals, their ring.
To discover what will stand
erect as a tree trunk or lie flat
as the horizon.
The crimson-cheeked flower
possessed little knowledge of it.
I have gazed at the long road,
its endless hours rolled into
open-ended pouches.
A hope for something I
could hold up to the
I have stood by the roadside,
no sparrows
twitter in
the hatching reddish
The gloved hand turned
inward, dipped into me,
touched something equidistant
between the heart and the mind,
bloodied but  
stainless. So, I knew I
could  see  the shape of tomorrow
veiled in  floral patterns. 
Too Late to Change
It was the names
through their  rainbow-coloured reefs
through their poison of the stingray , paved
their path to the tears.
His name  wasAndrew. Meaning?
Pestle arms, palms
cupped into a mortar,
he ground nearby
sapplings into dust.
Manly, tough.
Firstborn ; Felix. Meaning?
Happiness. He walked the night
right into a speeding
Secondborn. Aurelia, Meaning?
Golden girl. Her nostrils
of white powder nudged other
girls heaving bosoms.
Father disowned her.
A name he could have changed.
Andrew, rough, strong.
No wonder, his arms swung
Hurting feelings, breaking
wills crushing even  
Deborah, the
Thirdborn; a bee. Deborah
stung  without speaking,
eyes green as buzzing
Fourthborn; Allen. Meaning?
Harmony yet the raging
battle of blood generations
Till death ploughed
Andrew deep into the ground.
A graveside full of strangers. Faces
he wished he had changed.
Agholor Leonard Obiaderi holds a Bachelor's degree in the English Language.He lives in Delta State, Nigeria. He loves poetry, crime novels and wrestling. His poems have been published in UptheStairCase Quarterly; Barnwood International Magazine; and Shortstory Library. He has been featured as poet of the week in Poetry Super-Highway.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A Poem by Marc Carver

Free Festival


The woman with the Italian name
she kept after marriage
told us that
in this special farm
they milked the cows to classical music.
A picture came up in my head.
Two cows with their udders hooked up
Not this bloody Rimsky Korsakoff again.


At the free wine tasting
all the people sat at the tables
sipping their wine.
I threw it down my throat as soon as I could
and then waited for the next bottle to come out.


At the cocktail masterclass,
we all tried some of the cocktails afterwards.
I saw the server with the last jug so I ran over to somebody else's table
and told him to fill me up.
"You have some of the white one in their do you want a fresh glass?"
"No, I don't care, throw her in."
The table burst out laughing,
but I was deadly serious.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Poem by William G. Davies, Jr.

Revlon or Max Factor
She was old
and the compact
she was looking into
to fix her lipstick
must've told her
something else,
she pressed more
into her lips
as though she were
stubbing out a cigarette.
William G. Davies, Jr. lives in a town surrounded by dairy farms. He has been happily married for thirty-eight years. His work has appeared in the Cortland Review, Bluepepper, The Wilderness House Review, Gloom Cupboard and many others.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Poem by S.E. Ingraham


Making love is much like making Pavlova, she thinks
as she straddles his warm body and eases herself
onto him carefully, slips down,
until she lays completely prone atop him,
fitting every inch of her body to every inch of his.
They were nearly the same height
so this was easily do-able, and she loved to do it.

As with making the meringue, she knows the beauty
of the thing is partly in keeping it still so as not to break it;
she and her love also share this motionlessness, like a gift.
Looking into each other’s eyes, they link hands, intertwine fingers.
With a small sigh, she raises his arms above his head,
inhales a heady mixture of the outdoors
and wood smoke, distinctly his...

A twinge in his loins produces a grin
that she quickly chases from her face
He maintains a neutral expression, evens his breath,
calms his ardour, tries to prolong the moment.
He holds her gaze, dares her to look away...
She does not, but her legs stiffen, he can feel her toes curling;
knows she is close.

All thoughts of frothy egg-whites, real whipped cream
and sugary confection evaporate
as she drapes her hair like a thick silky curtain around his head,
starts to breathe into his ear...
He groans, is about to protest when she begins to move, ever so slightly
Acknowledging her acquiescence, he answers her smallest of thrusts
with one of his own
They soar, in concert finally, lose themselves
in each other, the perfect mix...
Know that even if the fragility of the moment
breaks apart, they will not.

S.E.Ingraham, penning poems from Edmonton, Alberta, is pleased with how 2014 is going. Free Fall mag is publishing her short-listed poem, "Superman's Sheet"; two of her poems appear in Kind of a Hurricane Press's Something's Brewing, and, Ingraham's glosa, "Table for Three" won the 2013 Tom Howard Poetry Prize. Her favourite highlight to date is winning a neighbourhood sidewalk contest, near where her grandsons live, delighted that not only will her words be "etched in stone" but that the boys will be able to read her, and walk on her, in perpetuity. More of her work may be found on any of her blogs - e.g. or,


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Three Poems by Pattie Flint

Glass Box Waltz

blown wrists and fingertips
like  teacups rimed with Sunday afternoon
sugar cubes. I open you
and you dance for me alone.
Crystal shins stretch painfully
downwards into velvet folds
where I keep my mother’s diamond
ring. Your tin vibrations are
foxes crying in shards of sunset.
When I put on my evening jewels,
I want to weep for you;
holding keep over
treasures you never wear;
spinning round and round in circles
and going nowhere.

Cotton Balls

Tell me the color of cinnamon
without using the word red.  I like
your gingersnap lips and the way
they sting the insides of my
elbows like peach fuzz burns from
the summer we climbed trees
using only our knees.  I can't tell
you how much your metal retainer
turns me on in a way I can't
defend.  But maybe you can put
these words in your mouth like
those old pennies and know that I
am alive.  Pick the flowers only
after they've died so you can
remember eating rose petals
at father's funeral, soak cotton
balls in honey and put them on
my tongue so I can taste your

French Cherries

Grandmother didn't have the patience
to teach you how to tie french knots
because you are left-handed
and born in the year of the horse.

Instead you learned with cherry stems
and numb coca cola tongues
on hot july nights with me.

We anchored ourselves in the Sound's
dark waters and tickling dinoflagellates
remember rough kisses on
the skin of our knees like grown movies
we watched when we were too young for them.

Pattie Flint is an uprooted Seattle native toughing it out in New England and spends her days as an editor at Medusa's Laugh Press specializing in hand-bound books. She has been published in InkSpeak, HESA Inprint, Hippocampus and TAB, amongst others. She is currently working on her MFA at Cedar Crest College.