Friday, September 26, 2014

A Poem by Anna McCluskey


As the needle compresses
her bones melt and
she oozes out between the slats of her parents' picket
Her gelatinous form
slinks along the curbs of
dozens of streets
through dozens of
Each time she tries to
form an arm from
the liquid she has become
and reach the hovering glow
of satiation just above her
shape diminishes that much more
Until one day someone
stepping in her puddle
leaves a piece behind

Life blooms within her and
she finds herself solidifying
once again
She reaches up and finds
that fullness in another
way and she is
emptied out again and
holds her daughter in
her new-found arms

Anna McCluskey is a fresh new voice in the poetry world.  She studied creative writing at Saint Louis University, and currently lives in Portland, OR.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Three Poems by Ivan Jenson

Mass-Market Man

my potential
has just now
been tapped
on its shoulder
by the manicured
of opportunity
and so far
lousy luck
has not tripped me
I step up
to the podium
and give my
sappy speech
where I thank
the lucky breaks
which stopped
my advance
toward the doom
and the greasy grind
of slinging burgers
under the yellow
arches of mediocrity
brain frozen
from sipping
iced compromise
and all this
bliss is happening
I reached inside
to my source
shared it
and discovered
that the interpersonal
hush of
once revealed
are always universal

Ambulance Chaser

bypass the heart attack
and don't go out
in that broad stroke
of genius
known as
sleeping through
your own death
instead go out
surrounded by
jugglers who go
for your jugular
or go out
on a limb
limber as a gymnast
until the branch
breaks then
fall with the
autumn leaves
and land with a thud
on the auburn crud
or better yet
lose a game
of strip poker
Russian roulette
and die in a
then writhe
on the floor
only to extinguish
your existential
with one
bullet more

The Ecstasy of Agony

I am tired of going
the extra smile
and giving two
hundred percent
while the next
guy gets where
I'm trying to go
by the skin
of his generic
genetic attributes
just for once
I would like to have
the asymmetrical
advantage at that
cocktail competition
otherwise known
as happy hour
where the
natural selection
is made
and those
who have inherited
that look of wind
in their hair
go home
flanked by
the checkmate
of femininity
while the rest
of us guys know
too well
you can go home
alone again

Ivan Jenson is a pop artist painter and contemporary poet whose artwork was featured in Art in America, Art News, and Interview Magazine while selling at auction at Christie's.  Jenson was commissioned by Absolut Vodka to make a painting titled "Absolut Jenson" for the brand's national ad campaign, and his "Marlboro Man" was collected by the Philip Morris corporate collection.  Jenson wrote two novels, Dead Artist and Seeing Soriah, both of which illustrate the creative and often dramatic lives of artists.  Jenson turned to poetry as an outlet for artistic expression, and he is now a prolific writer who is widely published (with over 450 poems published in the US, UK and Europe) in a variety of literary media.  Jenson's poems were recently published by Hen House Press in a book titled Media Child and Other Poems, which can be acquired on Amazon.

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Poem by Helen Losse

Come, See the Moon and Their Special Effects

In an up-coming movie,
whose trailer looks like a rum commercial,

the Atlantic boasts of sunken ships--
in a secluded cove along the rock-lined shore--

that hold box after box of full, brown bottles,
stashed by pirates--mustached and tattooed like

Johnny Depp--and water-choked with
golden coin, visible only in torrid moonlight.

Helen Losse is the author of six collections of poetry, including Facing a Lonely West, Seriously Dangerous, Mansion of Memory, and Better With Friends.  Her poems have been included in various anthologies, such as Literary Trails of the North Carolina Piedmont, an are forthcoming in The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VII:  North Carolina, and Kakalak 2014.  She is an Associate Editor for Kentucky Review.  

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Poem by Sylva Portoian

Application of Dedicated Poetry

Application of any theory
Invented for serving humanity
To-be carved on rocks
Like Hammurabi's Code of Laws

Thus, to apply
Like treating
Vivifying a dying flesh
Like saving senses
Of falling apart

Like catching a falling child
Before reaching on a hard ground.

Applying our minds
Applying our hearts
Trying to treat every sick soul
Senses forcefully suppressed!

Who lost their smile
Who lost their voice
Who lost their grace!

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Poem by Wanda Morrow Clevenger


I like the night
better now
the mad scientists &
maddening hypodermics
are dismissed
& the
monkey see
monkey do
is done

the night is gentle
I sleep better
in my own bed
only knowing dread
of insulin days
the east window
can't keep out

Wanda Morrow Clevenger lives in Hettick, IL -- population 200, give or take.  Over 270 pieces of her work appear in 106 print and electronic publications.  Her debut collection This Same Small Town in Each of Us:

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Poem by Andrew M. Bowen

Chattlebury Park

A rising wind flicks ripples
from the sun-flecked river.
Kites float in the air
and clouds laze far away.
Grass fresh mown sends you off in time and space.
The day beholds everything,
wine and beads and smoke,
love waits just around the corner,
and happiness is just to live
in Chattlebury Park.

A lady waits there;
Mystery is her name.
Straw hair flows down Venus' back
she smiles with turquoise cat's eyes
and her body flows like a river.
Wine-sweet kisses make you drunk
and lying within her arms
you come to know eternity.
You take her where the blossoms fall like rain
in Chattlebury Park.

Tomorrow beams a million years away.
Life says:  live for now
and feel the rush of this moment
because all time stretches ahead
and nothing seems vital
in Chattlebury Park.

But phantoms rush from every corner
and laugh inside the blushing ear:
"Tomorrow is here and you've still got nothing done."
The sky turns gray, the wine to sour lemonade,
and a dustdevil scatters the blossoms
in Chattlebury Park.

Andrew M. Bowen works as a sales manager.  He is trying to publish his first novel.  He has appeared in eight independent films and five stage productions.

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Poem by Smita Sriwastav

See-Saw Dialogue

She sat on this swaying plank
with quicksilver moods,
its temperament reminiscent
of a confused pendulum,
munching on peanut moments
as it weighs life's pros and cons,
with a weird boy
his hair spiked as a porcupine,
barely familiar from
earlier trysts in this park.

He wore a wide grin
as the ones seen on potato smileys,
emerging from frying pan promises~
so too intrigued to bother
about familiarity she asked him
the reason for his delight,
wondering what was so special.

With a saucy wink he recounted
a visit to an amusement park,
regaling her with descriptions
of the most amazing rides in the world,
as she felt her gaiety seep out
from her pleasant evening
making it dull and insipid
as she yearned to savor
the delight alluded by him.

She sat forlorn, wishing she could
visit this amazing place of fun n' frolic,
aware it would be deemed
a wasted, frivolous expense
by her strict and pragmatic parents,
when a girl in freckles and pigtails
peered at her to inquire
if her brother had been bragging again.

The boy had a penchant
for telling tales~the taller the better,
about things he'd heard
at his father's barber shop,
pretending to be richer and luckier
than he was just to feel grand,
making her realize
her foolish gullibility at
ignoring the joy of graffiti skies
and leisure moments with friends,
behaving as the frenzied moth
unaware of golden glow of the lamp
as it pines for an indifferent moon . . .

Smita Sriwastav is an M.B.B.S. doctor with a passion for poetry and literature.  She has always expressed her innermost thoughts and sentiments through the medium of poetry.  A feeling of inner tranquility and bliss captures her soul whenever she pens her verse.  Nature has been the most inspiring force in molding the shape of her writings.  She has published two books Efforts and Pearls of Poetry and has published poems in journals like the Rusty Nails and Contemporary Literary Review India, four and twenty, Paradise Review, Literary Juice, Dark Matter Journal, Torrid Literature, Milk Sugar, vox poetica, the Shine Journal, Daily Love, Rainbow Rose, Life As An, Inclement Poetry Magazine, Red Poppy Review, Blast Furnace and many more.  Her poetry can be read online on her blog, Rain-Chimes~My Poetry Blog,

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Poem by Jonel Abellanosa

Igloo Booth

Come in, sit.  To shut out applause
And fireworks, background music,
Close your eyes for ten seconds.
Steady your right hand over the tiger
Orchid as if anointing it with prayer.
There are no answers here, only herbs
To help you take which way when
You leave.  Now drop a ten-peso
Coin in the bowl.  If the koi glows neon
The mirror will show you your face
Twenty years hence, or else revisit
The cathedral where you speckled
Your wishes.  There are no more saints
On my altar, and hills have vanished
From the wall paper.  Another coin
And the flaming wick will whisper your
Heart's scents, how to mend if it's broken,
When to roll the dice.  You're here
Because you've noticed trees conversing,
Wind's starling murmuration weave,
Watersound's homage to pebbles.
You're here because you're no longer
Afraid clouds might find the moon and follow.
If you put your name in the guestbook
You'll see the forking path in your dream.

Jonel Abellanosa resides in Cebu City, the Philippines.  His poetry has appeared or will appear in numerous journals including Windhover, Dark Matter, Anglican Theological Review, Pedestal, Cha:  An Asian Literary Journal, The Lyric, Red River Review, Fox Chase Review, Poetry Quarterly, Barefoot Review, Ancient Paths, Star*Line, Inwood Indiana Press, Burning Word, Barefoot Review, Mobius Journal of Social Change, Liquid Imagination, Pyrokinection and Inkscrawl.  His chapbook Pictures of the Floating World is forthcoming from Kind of a Hurricane Press.  He is working on his first full-length collection, Multiverse.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Poem by Ken L. Jones

Lines Written in the Dark in the Haunted Mansion

New Orleans ghost mansion cobwebbed with
Blood rust shivering suits of armor
Stuttering of past lives
Lonesome Jack Kerouac flits across
The gas lit hall and fires up a butt
Scribbles something in
A penny notebook and then vanishes.

For the past thirty-five years Ken L. Jones has been a professionally published author who has done everything from writing Donald Duck Comic books to creating things for Freddy Krueger to say in some of his movies.  In the last six years he has concentrated on his lifelong ambition of becoming a published poet and he has published widely in all genres of that discipline in books, online, in chapbooks and in several solo collections of poetry.  

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Poem by Inna Dulchevsky

Two Poets

     for Marina Tsvetaeva and T.S. Eliot

Two different souls

Two separate lives

With their crafts
Have merged
                                     a poem

Where two different hands
Were holding ashes


Burned ruins
                   of their lives
As a prize
              for a try

One poet
      was nailed to a cross

The other
      was pinned to the wall;

                                             Does it matter the choice
                                             How the soul gets exposed
                                             For the moment of judgment?

Pain from metal in flesh
                        was too acute

With acid in the mind
                too strong
           to bare
for both

They used their voices
To confess their pain
And darken the paper
With voices of pain

As if
       they were trying
To save their souls
From the possession
of unknown gods

They were begging to heal

Eaten sores
                  at the edges of craters

Again and again
            Through the echoing pain
                                                Hollow of hearts
                                                Hollow of lives
                                                Hollow of loves


Inna Dulchevsky is a student at CUNY Kingsborough in Brooklyn, New York.  She was awarded the First Prize 2014 David B. Silver Poetry Competition.  Her work has appeared in Antheon 2014 publication; and in the second book of John Casquarelli, Lavender, in a collaborative poem, My Nirvana.  Her early school years were spent in Belarus.  Inna's literary influences include PUshkin, Lermontov, Yesenin, Akhmatova, Tsvetaeva, Block, Bunin, Turgenev, Chekhov, Gogol, Tolstoy, Bulgakov, Nabokov, and Dostoevsky.  Her interests include metaphysics, philosophy, litarature, practice in meditation and yoga.  Inna's musical education in violin and classical singing, as well as her discovery of Vermeer's light and expansion of consciousness through the connection with inner self and Nature are essential in the writing of her poetry.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Two Poems by Richard Schnap

Halfway House

They seem to come from nowhere
The men without shadows
Stricken with madnesses
That there are no names for
Longing for a reason
To let them forget themselves
A woman's passing smile
An unfiltered cigarette

Then they vanish in the wind
Like birds upon a tree
That stay for a season
Then lift their broken wings
And I wonder where they go
When the clock strikes midnight
If they simply disappear
Down a road that has no end

Faded Portraits

I look at the walls
And see tarnished pictures
Of long-lost friends

A musician strumming
A dusty guitar
In a room full of ghosts

An artist at an exhibit
Of his handmade mirrors
Of a vanished world

A writer whose stories
Depicted his dreams
In disappearing ink

And on stormy nights
When the window is open
They flutter in the wind

As if waving goodbye
Before each one leaves
Taking my heart with them

Richard Schnap is a poet, songwriter and collagist living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  His poems have most recently appeared locally, nationally and overseas in a variety of print and online publications.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Poem by Craig Kurtz

Sonnet:  Demons

Never did the dearth of sleep invigorate
such frenzied sights, our silhouettes
tossed across these walls and claw
themselves with feral disarray.
Those umbral forms reanimate
and independently collide, a snarl
of coital turmoil, until they
liquidate their nerves, deranged.
I see, almost sleep, autonomous
umbrageous bests entwine and
coalesce, then dissipate, concussant
mass, into these walls, absorbed.
Is this dreaming demons
or do demons dream?

Craig Kurtz lives at Twin Oaks International Community where he writes poetry while simultaneously handcrafting hammocks.  Recent work has appeared in The Bitchin' Kitsch, Blognostics, Blotterature, Busting and Droning, ExFic, Fishfood & Lavajuice, Indigo Rising, Harlequin Creature, No Assholes, Reckless Writing Squawk Back and The Tower Journal.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Poem by M.J. Iuppa

Revelation, Maybe

A gin poet craves the slice of lime, sparkle
of juniper--berries that make you
just a little bit bold & crazy.
See how a hand's two fingers tip
-toe across the table
to snatch the parasol from a frosty glass . . .
She wants to catch up to you, your chin
lifted to a summer's sky
full of Jupiter.
She says, hey--hey, not wanting
to be ignored in the two-step
it takes to turn around
and face Miss Liberty who
tells you, with a clink of her glass,
that she's your latest charity.

M.J. Iuppa lives on a small farm near the shores of Lake Ontario, Between Worlds  is her most recent chapbook, featuring lyric essays, flash fiction and prose poems (Foothills Publishing, 2013).  She is the Writer-in-Residence and Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor Program at St. John Fisher College.  You can follow her musings on writing and creative sustainability on Red Rooster Farm on