Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Poem by L.B. Green


The novel's jacket-flap posits
that love and relationships are proof

of the moral complexities of life.
She continues to cull and rearrange,

dust a house of books and shelves, empty
drawers overflowing

with years of papers no longer needed,
open rooms:  to further light and possibility,

all the while reading in both days and nights,
the newspaper notices of death, when she traces

the faces of family and friends, dead
and alive, here and everywhere.  And though

the summer weeks, spent with terra-cotta pots,
their big, bossy, yellow blooms, renew,

morning skies are sinister.  They scheme
of midnight and rain.

L.B. Green is a writer, poet, painter, and photographer.  She is the author of the books Judas Trees North of the House (2003), Night Garden (2009) and THE ART OF SEEING In Sweet Silent Thought (2010), a collection of poetry and photography.  The North Carolina Arts Council, the MacDowell Colony, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts have awarded her grants and fellowships in literature for poetry.  The recipient of both the Robert Ruark Foundation Prize and the Randall Jarrell Prize for poetry, her work has been published in anthologies, journals, magazines, and newspapers, in print and online, including:  The Southern Review, RHINO, Cold Mountain Review, Rattle, the Penwood Review, and the 40th Anniversary Anthology, ENTERING THE REAL WORLD:  VCCA POETS ON MT. SAN ANGELO.

Friday, November 28, 2014

A Poem by Susan Dale

The Song is Gone

A 60's waltz
Ephemeral as a dream,
   the song
      slipped into quietus
The dancers gone too
Their footprints washed away
by the heartbeat of a lake, persistent,
             ever flowing onwards
We danced our days into Lake Erie's currents

Rainbow seashells, driftwood sculptures
Broken glass scrubbed gentle

Behind this rock, that
water chants
answered with a song of remembering
Walking across the thin sands of seaweed and bloated fish
to work our way into rocky waters
And further
past a broken pier
Into a sunset horizon
rising into twilight falling

Slivers of shadows creeping thin
The soul of remembering
Wrapped tight in tides of yesteryear

Susan Dale's poems and fiction are on Kind of a Hurricane Press, Ken*Again, Penman Review, Inner Art Journal, Feathered Flounder, Garbanzo, and Linden Avenue.  In 2007, she won the grand prize for poetry from Oneswan.  She has two published chapbooks on the internet:  Spaces Among Spaces by and Bending the Spaces of Time as part of the Barometric Pressures Authors' Series (Kind of a Hurricane Press).

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Three Poems by Felino A. Soriano

from Forms, migrating


                   —after Hiroshi Sugito’s painting Untitled

Rain, with implementation of dual
purposes insist and inspire
has begun its whispering
weight loss, ascending
upon bantam modular
convictions.  What knows
its visit well, a ballad of believing
parental guidance or
the pressuring example
of scold and terrible indentation—
either cannot become or
as one has instructed silence
within the growth such green
permeates within the eyes’ good
palms and restructuring inventions to
examine what builds into life and its
mobile aggregations, unfiltered.


                   —after Ömer Uluҫ’s painting A Figure, a Bird, a Dog

idling . . .

initiating |__________|




socializing’s          (media)


                             watching (laughter, the epitome of observation’s emblems)

                                                                                      with pocketed voices obtaining spatial paradigms

—of regard toward diagrams of believing
connection can/should or-will

behave as the bending contoured salutations of  remembering when hands
wore warmth in the connectivity of searching

and what has become unidentified



                                                                    toward timeline

                             and where blurry bullet points

the architecture                       of educating silence’s theory of voice =ling remembering intuition’s tissue-thin                       inclusions


                   —after Linda Lynch’s drawing Linen Drawing, I

with trajectory of asymmetries

                                       balance cultivates ontological realm-specific
genre aptitudes

                                                          twirling of the running’s demeanor ↓

→                          ribbon 


                                        →                                 smoke
                                                                                                unwinding ↓

                   →                          laughter

                                                                                       and with these
gatherings of disparate particles

what plunges does not provide death in the manmade articulation of samesize enunciation                    ,                             instead italicizes and devotes

numerous angles of interpretation’s obligations as

mobile incisions                                                   not-harm sufficient

but the role  of renewal in the worded oscillations of discovery’s neoteric
brands of language’s intrepid illumination

Felino A. Soriano is a member of The Southern Collective Experience.  He is the founding editor of the online endeavors Counterexample Poetics and Of/with; in addition, he is a contributing editor for the online journal, Sugar Mule.   His writing finds foundation in created coöccurrences, 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 Of isolated limning (Fowlpox Press, 2014), 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

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Two Poems by April Salzano


The word blackberry is a bush, fat
with vowels, sharp with stinging
consonants.  Juice would run down
my throat like freedom and summer
if I could bury my hands in its brambles,
but ivy's got the window, locks have the doors.

I Will Walk the Road

heavy in my suit of skin,
unfortunate in my lack of logic.
I will carry my cracked compass,
my missing map to a place
neither named nor navigated.  I will find
it by inviting instinct.  Each element
will guide me as I move from earth to sky.

April Salzano teaches college writing in Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband and two sons.  She is currently working on a memoir on raising a child with autism and several collections of poetry.  Her work has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in journals such as Convergence, Ascent Aspirations, The Camel Saloon, Centrifugal Eye, Deadsnakes, Visceral Uterus, Salome, Poetry Quarterly, Writing Tomorrow and Rattle.  Her first chapbook, The Girl of My Dreams, is forthcoming in spring, 2015, from Dancing Girl Press.  The author serves as co-editor at Kind of a Hurricane Press (

Friday, November 21, 2014

Two Poems by B.T. Joy

Escaping Criticism

Last night I dreamed a zen monk was writing
a description of paper by dipping his dry brush
into an empty inkwell; then letting the bristles splay
for a few seconds on each square-inch of pulp.

Most of us can't, of course.  We stage a play
called Nothingness; but can't resist, at least once,
coming out onto the dark stage
bowing from the hinge of our waists,
whether we expect rancour or applause.

The best is not to lay a single finger on the strings;
to say the sound most natural to violin
is what it does in the corner of a quiet room,
responding to woodlice and small currents in the air.

The best is not to paint at all.  Just ask del Caso
who should have left his critics with an empty frame;
who couldn't help but render the boy's fleshy toes,
two fingers and a thumb; hair lit and eyes overawed
by a light no artist ever caught.

Cat Energy on the Dog Walk

     While walking the dead I woke the dog.
Their small bodies are audible at 60,000 hertz.
Every link in the choke-chain is another poem
that John Keats never wrote.  Every photo album
is a catalog of human strivings.
     The streets are watermelon red.
The experts of the cold seas say
the seesaw of the tide has gone off kilter
by a quarter of a degree.  Somewhere
the Beaufort scale is hitting twelve and a hundred million
pairs of sweatshop trainers are irredeemably lost.
     While walking the dead I saw two pools,
their freckled water was the colour of unwashed jade
and somehow they resembled your eyes before leukemia.
Mystic tunnels in a pine-nut shell.  How every pistachio
longs to visit the cave of silver doves.
     I'm a penniless student outside the dancehall at 3AM.
I'm a mother of three, turning fifty now,
and already unseen among the mangoes' sweat.
I'm a terrapin's legs and the chalky night and all
the young hopes Augustine must have had.
I'm walking a dog
     while walking the dead.
The morning moon is the colour of an artichoke's heart.
The hedges smell like the heat of July
and the linden, like a moody child, throws the puzzle
of faint shade across the grass.

B.T. Joy is a free verse poet whose work has appeared in journals, magazines, e-zines and podcasts worlwide.  He has also practiced as a haiga artist and has had work featured with World Haiku Association, Haiga Online and Daily Haiga.  He currently works as a high school English teacher.  He can be reached through his website or on tumblr

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Poem by Ahab Hamza


Fear is septic
and reeks of something evil.  Sharp
rusty claws scratch in the night.
Joy and despair quite
fine and sweet.
About a lonely peak.
Love is fond in the tales
on a white knight's shield.
Pride has thin and
lovely feathers.  Hate is
incessant inferno almost ready
to die.  The seeds
of righteous anger are easily poisoned;
a snake oil salesman
rapist and murderer.  Uncle
Sam meat packing quickly.  A
hell-fire missile, two
degrees, a brown family
sees the cup empty, ignorant
the office worker sits
quietly, in his cell, tired.
His co-worker hidden
behind a luminescent screen
a message pops up again and again
irritating, infuriating.  Guilt
is the strongest, hate is
most torrid, apathy
is man's poison of choice.

Ahab Hamza is a university student born in Birkenhead on 27th November 1993.  He has been featured in the several publications including The Recusant's "The Robin Hood Book" anthology and the Spring 2012 issue of Inclement Magazine.  Most recently he has been featured in Kind of a Hurricane Press's Pyrokinection, the "What's Your Sign" anthology and Forward Poetry's "Love is in the Air" anthology of 2014.  He was also shortlisted for the 2012 erbacce prize for poetry.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Three Poems by Cory Adamson

Legacy by Corruption

-- The old wretch died

The Friends no one ever saw him with
sob and mourn his loss.  Everyone
wears black cloth that crumples and scratches
from the starch.

You don't get it.
So you read his biography
see the movie they made
and you nod every time someone mentions his name.

Then you get addicted to his work.

Flying Kicks and colors explode
in the third eye.  The Greek lady
dictates disguised memoir into
your ear.  You can smell the fruit and coins of her perfume.

You would walk on fire for her, but she only needs a meal ticket and a photo op.

One morning you wake up,
look into the streaky mirror and ask:
Did people mourn the dragon
St. George killed?

The dragon, your dragon, he
pillaged, killed and corrupted
those who found his cave.  His
legacy tempts the angels.

By now everyone has forgotten
the man and you remember
the dragon.  You remember
from the curse he put on you.

The curse you made him put on you.

You get up from beside the Greek Lady on
Monday morning, clean your
meat tearers and slither down the street
to the Inconvenience that pays the bills.

Sweet, sweet woman who asks for the world
and fly fishes for wallets.  Two weeks in and
you fight to keep your claws sheathed.  Never
trust a goddess who walks the earth.

Some cow eyed half-child sits next
to you with a dog eared
mask made from the dead
man's number one book.

They sigh and wish to meet him.

You laugh.  You laugh a scalding,
white hot laugh right in their face
and slither on down to the
Inconvenience feeling smug.

Dragons like to be left alone.

A Reminiscence of Scum and Muck

I speak of all things that creep and crawl
and all things on legs:
We kneel before the Master with grace
and the Whip Cracker with hate.

Worm away if you can.
Skitter, scuttle, and crawl
if you are more blessed.

No reprieve for us on legs.
To scum and muck we march.
Left.  Right.
Right.  Left.
Double time!

For scum and muck
is home to all things harsh.

The scaly giants float in the marsh
waiting for weaker prey.
Pray to God for no scum and muck.

No way out now.
You better jump like Geronimo, Jack,
or you'll be made into a man of mud.

Mud made beautiful is still mud
and is only dirt when dry, and only the shape is changed.
For living things, metamorphosis
is the enlightened way.

Out, Dang it, out!

You sit there with a Mirado Black Warrior
hovering above paper.

A letter scratches out, then
another without trying,
a monk's art of zen.

The climaxing crescendo
raising up against the summer moon . . .
Here it comes!

Of course it vanished up Houdini's sleeve.
And then you scribble
a gradation
for the heck of it.
Tear that piece of trash
a new one.

Of course you say
you're done for good.

Of course you'd lie
to yourself
like that.

Cory Adamson is a student in Lincoln University studying English with minors in history and philosophy.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Two Poems by Kelley White

Living in the Attic

We put our bed down in the space
under the eaves--a wide space
a bit of platform so it was a mattress
flat, and interestingly, clearly our
bed, your things already packed
four closets nearby but there
was plenty of storage space and light
streaming in from three tall windows
(as in the house where I lived years
ago with my husband and children,
and odd it just was the next morning
that I read of the attic at the great dwelling
at the Shaker Village at Canterbury,
great space of numbered drawers
built into rafters with careful
so careful craftsmanship.)

There was some implication
of us taking in foster children
and in another part of the great space
were bedsteads set up for a dozen
or more neatly planned and looking up
at the rafters I saw there hung an ornate
antique bird cage-and another-and
a third I had glimpses of color
when lowered there was contained a parrot
a macaw another brightly feathered speaking
bird.  They had been without food and water
a few days (this clearly goes back
to my conversation with my mother
about the divorcing mailman using my house
in New Hampshire to store houseplants)
but strutted happily about released
and speaking and there were others too

Maine Hermit Living in Wild for 27 Years Arrested

You made the papers.  Sitting here in your bathrobe
you smell pretty good but your feet are altogether too
white.  Bless your knobby little terrycloth, bless your
sash, bless your dry-skin knees, your hair that
seems to have a hint of gold even as the brush sluices
the last of the suds through your scalp.  A watery
syrup sweet swish.  They gave his name but I will not
give it to you.  Nor the title of his little pond.  The make
of his car.  The spot on the map.  Alright, John X.
I'll use scissors to take apart that map I'll never fold
back into the pocket of your chest.  You've identified
the junco.  His little grey vest tells me you're right.  Allors
boucoux.  That's what I thought he said.  I'll hosey the longest
paddle.  Scratch your sainted rock of justice.  Covered
in moss.  I scratched my initials into its velvet pelt
with the keys to your convertible. That rusted iron
barge.  As if you ever paid off your loan.  We'll be flying,
this flower child, hands dusted with cornmeal, blue
pale eyes in the wrinkled pie crust of your face.  Your tax
refund belongs to tomorrow.  Honi sant qui mal expanse.
Ah, the junco taps the ice cubes from the freezer, shakes
up the cubes in your bathtub gin.  We'll float, bare toes
in that grainy black in white photo on the front page.

Pediatrician Kelley White worked in inner city Philadelphia and now works in rural New Hampshire.  Her poems have appeared in journals including Exquisite Corpse, Rattle and JAMA.  Her most recent books are Toxic Environment (Boston Poet Press) and Two Birds in Flame (Beech River Books).  She received a 2008 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Poem by J.K. Durick

Uncle John's Photos

So many were saved, these
random pieces of a life--

unsorted faces, generations
held together like this,

in blank boxes and books
mostly unlabelled
anonymous now--

a grandparent perhaps,
some army buddies,
an almost forgotten war,

a few of a niece, a nephew,
then summer folks
rowing and waving,

assorted dogs
forever chasing things
thrown so long ago,

they have all become blurs,
a hundred years worth,
at least

This is how it ends--
all our joy and folly
our sadness and anger

the things we did
the things we were capable
of doing

fading pictures
pieces of the puzzle
we become.

J.K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor.  His recent poems have appeared in Boston Literary Magazine, Black Mirror, Deep Water Literary Journal, Eye On Life Magazine, and Leaves of Ink.

Friday, November 7, 2014

A Poem by Matthew Valdespino

In Pursuit of Humble Dreams

True humility is impossible
I'm too stupid for it
Stumbling around the deli line
Scared that my boss
Will see my fucked up wrapping
"Tuck the bread, fold it in, and push"
I'm only here to properly worship
That mischievous god
The minimum wage
But the sermons aren't steady
Work schedules can change
So I can't make plans
Just pray

Sweating over crumpled receipts
My boiling stomach raises questions.
What is ambition without confidence?
Hatred and fear
The type of melancholy disdain
That turns a good man bitter
Because he wanted to be "great"
Are my dreams here to guide me
Or to ruin me?
Filling me with unseemly pity
For the similarities between myself
And the man sleeping on the sidewalk.

Where are the stars?
Wasn't I going to be
A constellation someday?
My name whispered into the endless dark
By those cracking throats
I filled with water
Wasn't I going to live forever
through their eager laughter
a chain of love that I created?
I guess what I'm asking is
when will I save the world?

I went to a good school
Got my grades
Degree covered in Ivy
But now, who am I?
Some wasteful dummy
Chewing on last week's donut holes
Living in my Uncle's basement
Pouring through Craigslist
For 400 dollar rent
Only month-to-month
Gotta be ready
For the floor to collapse

But I have a car
Registered and insured
And filled with gas
If things really do fall apart,
I start to drown
In this sea of self-made shame,
I can curse the universe
I don't believe in
And ride into the sun
To hide behind it's blinding glare
So my dreams can't find me

Matthew Valdespino is a 23 year old graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.  After spending the past year working on farms in Lynden, Washington and Central Chile, he has moved into the Seattle-Tacoma area to pursue his interests in Poetry on a more full time basis.  His work tends to explore limitations, both of himself and those around him, the virtue of struggle, and the city of Seattle.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Three poems by JD DeHart

Name is Not

Do not call me the cardboard one
or mistake me with the guy
lumbering across the hall,
swinging his well-intentioned yardstick.
Look at my face closely, I beg them,
do not simply see me as representation
of the title on my desk, a cartoon figure
casting all the projections of prior experience,
but a real flesh figure, blood being,
pulsing and variable, with a name and purpose.

The Mess

Life is messy, the wise sage,
Teaching is messy business,
so I picture spills in each seat,
a slight overlapping of intention.
They are lips and thoughts, ever
so subtly out of place, pushing
and resisting, attempting to secure
a foothold, a place in the world,
to move the Archimedean earth
even with a surging tide of inquiry.


I was shed like snakeskin,
left in the dry sun with no water,
no sweaty palm to rest on my aching
blistered back.  Small crabs began
to scutter across my new flesh.
I know the feeling of being hollowed,
cast aside, and disregarded.
This is why I do not go to parties
unless they are small and I know
most of the people there.

JD DeHart is the author of the chapbook, The Truth About Snails.  His blog is and he is a staff writer for Verse-Virtual.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Three Poems by Diane Webster

Skin Cancer

This malignant growth toying
with normal skin cells
only wants to come out and play,
but it displays behavior problems
destructive to the whole.
As outcast, it develops a crust
like armor protecting the core
seething beneath in growth rings
exploding outward with hunger
unabated until back fires exitinguish
or circular cuts expunge the fuel
to microscope musings in control

Office Shock

If you get too close to her, fear snaps
like a static electric early warning device,
"Step back behind the line."
Like she's going to jump every woman she sees,
a homo-love machine gone berserk;
like if she touches you with her fairy hand,
she'll turn you into a lesbian;
life if you like her,
you'll be taunted as homo lover
or worse yet dykes who love dykes;
life if you get too close,
she might enjoy the static spark;
like she wouldn't be caught dead,
let alone alive, with most of you.


It wishes for a switch
to release all foreign
metal filings bristling
at attention to the forces
mysteriously collecting within
to draw metals forward
when all it desires sticks to
a mirror reflection of itself
in opposite attract rule.

Diane Webster's goal is to remain open to poetry ideas in everyday life or nature or an overheard phrase and to write from her perspective at the moment.  Many nights she falls asleep juggling images to fit into a poem.  Her work has appeared in "Philadelphia Poets," "Illya's Honey," "River Poets Journal" and other literary magazines.