Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Results of the 2014 Editor's Choice Award are in!!!

And the Winner is . . .

Scavenger Hunt by Donna Barkman

2nd place goes to . . .

Visitation Tuesday by Denise Weuve

3rd place goes to . . .

Mathematics by Christopher Hivner

This year we had three Honorable Mentions.  They are . . .

The Traffic in Old Ladies by Mary Newell
this small rain by Alexis Rhone Fancher
Signs of the Apolcalypse by Terri Simon

To read the winning poems and to see the complete list of finalists go to Kind of a Hurricane's Editor's Choice Contest Site: 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Three Poems by Jonathan Beale

Woman Making Mealie

     after the painting of an African scene by Tony Hudson

Bent double -- Intensity of their focus.
Grind, wind, wist, pist, push.
And grind around again.
Such mechanical circularity.
With a delicate female touch.

Of life or of-the-day-to-day,
Unrelenting -- unending.
Their voice is within their labour.
Their children are taught.
Their whole life is tort.
The land gives.
The land takes away.
A blood red sacrifice
is made today.

As the Sunday supplement
          thought passes
in to tonight's foreboding of
what may be, what we do not have.
Do we have to starve?
Who is by division
took that very first step?
From the water's edge.
To discover?

As the cattle hum the day away
They are going on, as jewels
Are invisible:  lost as they
Are in their day:  in their existence.
Making mealie all their day long.

The Forgotten Miracle Somewhere in America Sometime

The eternal wonder -- lost:
Distant -- while tangible
His world:
The heavily oily sludge in the gutter
His home:
The rat-run under an alien sun

No one notices:
The undefinable state of what was, and is to come
For everyone else:
Somehow indescribable,
Unknowable to him
As it's grown into reality.

One slight; one night; once among the neon
and the bar room noise
The chaos:
Seemed to be alien, vaguely relative, somehow familiar.
The action:  something invisible, something unreal.
Although important for the need of mankind.

The need for when all else has drained
Down the gutter away . . . away . . . away . . .
All their eyes were distracted by
The neon, billboards, and garbage blowing about
Now forgotten in their busyness.
The unassuming guy, stopped, stopped a hunger.

Yesterday's wants now gone bellies empty
Unrequired yet to cut out as a cataract
Strangely it shuffled by
A stranger did something smoothing
The sculpture of another life from another world
This the act, now lost in time.

Some Street Scenes Seen Through the Eyes of Edward Hopper

The scene, the street; seen as life, a cross section of humanity.
Filled with myth and mystery among life's other scenes.
The guy just sweeping the street without question.

A fella just sits outside the store -- unaware of an external world --
Without him even being part of it.  The dull blank empty windows
Stare carelessly away.  He looks at his lifetime in trepidation & fear.

People, sat alone in rooms, dully staring out.  Staring at solitary strangers,
Instantly, forgetting their faces.  Waiting to sup from the Lethe, to forget their words,
The scene that passes by, before them each and every day.

Streets run along, always there.  Silently meandering carrying the drunk home:
the lover to his want:  someone to their destination:  clandestine meetings.
Their lives pass, and come-and-go:  alive in the eye, and come to life in the brush.

Jonathan Beale's work has appeared regularly in Decanto, Penwood Review, The Screech Owl, Danse Macabre, Danse Macabre du Jour, Poetic Diversity, and also Voices of Israel in English, MiracleEzine, Voices of Hellenism Literary Journal, The Journal, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Down in the Dirt, The English Chicago Review, Mad Swirl, Poetry Cornwall, Ariadne's Thread, Bijou Poetry Review, Calvary Cross and Deadsnakes Review.  He was commended in Decanto's and Cafe's writers Poetry Competitions 2012.  And is working on a collection for Hammer and Anvil.  He studied philosophy at Birkbeck College London and lives in Surrey England.

Jonathan Beale’s work has appeared regularly in Decanto,  Penwood Review,  The Screech Owl, Danse Macabre, Danse Macabre du Jour, Poetic Diversity, and also; Voices of Israel in English, MiracleEzine,  Voices of Hellenism Literary Journal, The Journal, Ink Sweat & Tears, Down in the Dirt, & (‘Drowning:’ Down in the Dirt July 13) The English Chicago Review, Mad Swirl, Poetry Cornwall, Ariadne’s Thread, Bijou Poetry Review, Calvary Cross and Deadsnakes Review.  He was commended in Decanto’s and CafĂ© writers Poetry Competitions 2012.  And is working on a collection for Hammer and Anvil.  He studied philosophy at Birkbeck College London and lives in Surrey England.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Three Poems by A.J. Huffman

from Ribbon this Memory

of pink satin tied pigtails, a white eyelet
dress, and new patent leather shoes I was
always afraid I would scuff.  It was Easter,
and I was watching my mother arrange
the dinner table.  Nothing fancy, no crystal glasses
or linen napkins.  Just regular place settings
that would quickly fill with ham and all the trimmings
she had stayed up cooking till dawn.  No one would notice
that she did not sit at the table with us, but continued
to refill bowls and plates, bring napkins and extra forks.
She would eat later, from a paper plate, standing
over the sink, after the other dishes had been washed
and returned to cupboards, after the kids were asleep
in bed, after the rest of the family had been sent off
with containers of leftovers that would last for days.
In that quiet corner of the kitchen, she leaned
against a counter, sighing.  Exhausted but smiling.
Content in knowing that the laughter still echoing
against the stucco ceiling made all her work worthwhile.

Learning to Walk

Tiny brown eyes glow with frustrated determination.
Still on all fours, one leg cocked as she searches
for handhold or point of balance.  Finding none,
she continues unaided.  Second leg up,
pauses in humorous frog-squat position
before bravely raising her hands.  For several seconds
she teeters, a tower of triumph, but excitement propels
her forward.  One shaky half-step lands diapered butt
on tiled floor.  Instead of expected tears, a giggle
escapes her lips.  A moment later, she re-assumes starter
position, ready to try again.

The Road to Sky Road

does not require feathers, or wings
made of wax.  It flows like a dream.
Anyone can follow.  Just close
your eyes and pretend you are
a cloud.

A.J. Huffman has published eleven solo chapbooks and one joint chapbook through various small presses.  Her new poetry collection, Another Blood Jet, is not available from Eldritch Press.  She has two more poetry collections forthcoming:  A Few Bullets Short of Home, from mgv2>publishing and Degeneration, from Pink. Girl. Ink.  She is a Multiple Pushcart Prize nominee, and has published over 2100 poems in various national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, Bone Orchard, EgoPHobia, and Kritya.  She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Two Poems by Ron Yazinski

The spirits that begot the wind and rain
Left Lake Apopka centuries ago with the Indians;
Then the round-faced earth gods
That brought a bountiful harvest,
No longer came,
As the migrants who carried them were forbidden to return;
Even the long- indentured angels,
Have earned their release from skeptics like me.
I thought the only magic left was the industrial kind
From down the road in Disney World,
Where, for the price of a good used car,
Parents can spare their kids the trouble of dreaming for themselves.
But in the dark center of Winter Garden,
As the crowd counts down to the lighting of the towering Christmas tree
“Three, two, one,”
And a galaxy of lights blazes on,
Plant Street trembles with applause.
Included is the delight of a delicate strawberry blond
In a pink princess dress,
Which the grandma who holds her had especially made
With ribbons and butterflies.
In the child’s screech of pure joy,
And the clapping of her right hand,
Against the stump where her left hand should be;
There is all the magic we need.
I came, after Sunday Mass, to the Church of the Resurrection,
A church so white and antiseptic
A saint would wipe his feet before entering;
Where the stillness was scratched only by the periodic ticking of rosaries
Drooped over the backs of pews by the few remaining bowed heads.
I was here because, though I had long lost my religion,
I still admired religious things.
I wanted to see how much this new building resembled the one of my youth.
Very little, it seems. 
Whereas my childhood church was as dark as a fortress,
A good place to hide from the eyes of God,
This was a sustained flash of light.
Making it easy for the aged heads to identify me
When my cell phone went off.
Embarrassed, I fumbled for it,
As they creaked their heads towards me, frowning I didn’t belong here,
If I didn’t know how to act.
I confess I never knew how to act in places like this.
No prayer or crust of bread ever made me believe that I belonged.
I always felt as if I were caught peeking into a neighbor’s bedroom window
As he sneered and pulled the curtains.
And even though each second the phone doesn’t ring,
Reminding me that nobody in the wide world wants my attention,
Still, it has the possibility of communion,
So much so that when I answer it
I whisper, “Amen.”
After dividing the last four years between his native Pennsylvania and Florida, Ron Yazinski and his wife Jeanne have recently become permanent residents of Winter Garden.
     A retired high school English teacher, Ron is inspired by the personalities and energies of his new hometown.  Initially enticed by the climate of central Florida, he finds the hospitality and openness of the people who live in this marvelous little town,
refreshing and rejuvenating.
     Ron’s poems have appeared in many journals, including Strong Verse, The Edison Literary Review, Chantarelle’s Notebook, Centrifugal Eye, and Pulsar. He is also the author of the chapbook HOUSES: AN AMERICAN ZODIAC, and two volumes of poetry, SOUTH OF SCRANTON and KARAMAZOV POEMS.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Three Poems by Miki Byrne

Eradication Therapy

Heavy words.  Dense, meteor-solid.
Weighty, as if each syllable could be collected.
Placed together like a handful of stones.
Turn my closed fist into a hammer.
Yet, a hammer would be futile.
No single unsubtle weapon will suffice
To break this fast-held hold.
A siege must take place.
A slow, gentle seeping.
Brought in regular repetition.
Two weeks each time.  Plugged.  Attached.
One tiny entrance breached.
Specialist force enabled.  To encroach,
infiltrate.  Creep slowly, industriously,
in a slow flooding.  Overtaking the enemy
until the balance shifts.
The hostage must wait.  Hope for success.
Balance upon an unpredictable outcome.

Getting it Back

A small demon of fear took residence.
Moved in unannounced, unwanted.
His hands grasped at thoughts.
Twisted them into licorice knots, black, sticky.
Offered insecurity, hesitant action,
slow responses.  His eyes saw all,
crinkled with mirth at failure.
He hunkered down in every room,
hand to mouth, giggling at attempts to work.
Attention was diverted for a long time,
maximum distraction occurred.
Now I stare back at him.
Attempt his diminishment by force of will.
Dislodge his hold upon my life.
Imagine his death by various means,
let my dislike billow cloud-soft and broad.
Now each time I catch a glimpse,
he is becoming smaller.

Sunlight on Sea

A million sparks flicker.
Dance bright fractals,
sharp as hand-scattered stars.
Peaked on ever small wave-top,
reflected from cupped hollows.
To flare in firework bursts, pin sharp.
A restless tapestry stitched in bright needles.
Its pattern sketched by breezes.
Cloud-shadows tear ragged random holes
for the sun's quick fingered darning.

Miki Byrne began performing her poetry in a Bikers Club.  She has had three collections of poetry published and work included in over 160 respected poetry magazines and anthologies.  Miki has won poetry competitions and been placed in many others.  She has read on both radio and TV and judged poetry competitions.  She was a finalist for Gloucester Poet Laureate.  Miki is a member of the charity Arthritis Care's People Bank.  She has been disable for many years.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Three poems by Dawnell Harrison


A lobotomy would be nice.
All emotions pressed out

by shocks of blankness,
my hands laying flat

and upward towards the sky.
I cannot feel your hatred

or your tenderness.
I am in a long, sweet

abyss of nothingness.
I am the person I always

wanted to be--
soft and sweet like

cotton candy.
I dream that I am Dorothy

in The Wizard of Oz.
Toto rambles beside me.

The yellow brick road
awaits me--
I have a purpose now.

Chipped Smiles

Chipped smiles roam
the streets--

unhappiness reigns
like a King in his Kingdom.

A cold memory moves
in my brain--

suddenly my feet are frozen
and I am back in Idaho

where snow falls heavily
upon the tattered streets.

Nobody is outside--
crackling fires ignite

the indoors and everyone
feigns contentment.

Still a long-married
couple's sex hangs

in the air like
a deer's head--

dead, glassy eyes
look out into the abyss.


My stomach dreams
of something ripped from it.

My soul dreams
of tattered bits of blue

raining down like
a ticker-tape parade.

My mind holds cold blanks--
it does not know what

to think since I said it is over.
Memory moves like snow drifts--

holding onto the highs
and shoving the lows

into the hooded background.
Two red beating hearts

stopped dead like a dog
that freezes to death

from the elements.
Take notes.

Dawnell Harrison has been published in over 200 magazines and journals including Mobius,, Pyrokinection, Queen's Quarterly, Nerve Cowboy, Fowl Feathered Review, and many others.  Also, she has had five books of poetry published, including Voyager, The Maverick Posse, The Fire Behind My Eyes, The Love Death, and The Color Red Does Not Sleep.

Monday, February 16, 2015

A Poem by Michael H. Brownstein

And Then the Heavens Opened Their Throats to Sing

This is the word of my mistaking:
Hike with me through the prairie of prayer,
through mudflats and iron weed,
the eulogy deep and dry, the earth
salted with columbine and passion fruit,
lace wing and flying unicorn, a terrain
of frenzy, the yellow mollies of spring, milk
and milk thistle, a porcelain of words--
grant me this wish.  Spare a fictional animal.

Michael H. Brownstein has been widely published.  His latest works, Firestorm:  A Rendering of Torah (Camel Saloon Books on Blogs) and The Katy Trail, Mid-Missouri, 100F Outside and other poems (Barometric Pressures -- A Kind of a Hurricane Press).  His work has appeared in The Cafe Review, American Letters and Commentary, Xavier Review, Hotel Amerika, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review, and others.  In addition, he has nine poetry chapbooks including The Shooting Gallery (Samidat Press, 1987), Poems from the Body Bag (Ommation Press, 1988), A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004), What Stone Is (Fractal Edge Press, 2005) and I Was a Teacher Once (Ten Page Press, 2011).  He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011).

Sunday, February 15, 2015

A Poem by Kelley White

Maybe not
            August 15-18 1969
We had tickets, but I couldn’t get the weekend off
from the Big Banana (where I was the head vegetable,)
it was Tommy Chase, the head fruit, who’d said it was the greatest
lineup ever—but I don’t think he went either, nor the fuzzy haired
boys from the hardware store in Franklin nor their matchstick
thin sister—but you went, tossing your Boy Scout backpack
into the back of someone’s pickup (or VW or bus or camper,
you don’t remember whose, you were, you admit, pretty
fucked up then) from your parent’s house. I was fourteen.
You were twenty-two. We didn’t meet for a quarter
of the twentieth century. I lost the tickets. You lost your
sleeping bag and mess kit and everything else a person needed
more than his pockets to carry (I think that meant a little money
and some matches and some dope) and didn’t really listen
to the music, you remember the Pig Farmers and you’re so proud
you’ve friended Lisa Law on facebook and it turns out Wavy
Gravy is not really so much older than you, or even me,
and we’ve all lived into the twenty-first century—I think—though
even as a kid I never got it how the 18 hundreds are the 19th
or is it the 17th, centuries that is, and we have lost a lot,
lovers, loves, our bodies, our spirits, minds, the ability to
imagine. Still you half-wake and tell me your dreams. For how much
longer? Eight years was a generation. Junior high to Viet Nam.
You didn’t go there. Maybe your number came up. And my
daughter’s been to the American wailing wall, to see her husband’s
father weep at a name he didn’t save. Maybe I saved you.
Maybe you saved me.

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.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Poem by Chase Gagnon


I wonder if aliens write poetry,
comparing their love to the endless stars in their dusty red sky
where our sun is just a faint flicker. 
Do they write with technology beyond ours
or do they still dip their quills into a jar of ink
as dark as the universe between us? 
I wonder what other worlds have spilled their tears
onto a page stroked by the pen
of a mentally unstable genius,
who let his soul gush from out the pores of his gray skin
and travel down his arm 
to the tip of a silver pen 
empty of whatever substance would mark the paper. 
Chase Gagnon is a college freshman from Detroit, currently enrolled in the local community college. He is a recluse who stays up all night reading old books, drinking coffee, and playing Xbox... all while attempting to write decent poetry. His poems have appeared in places such as Otoliths, Modern haiku, Teen Ink, Cattials, and Bones, just to name a few. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

A Poem by J.J. Campbell

becoming a man

i press the
blood of
my lips

i quickly

i prefer
the taste
of guilt

J.J. Campbell lives and writes on a farm in Ohio.  He's been widely published over the years, most recently at The Camel Saloon, Dead Snakes, ZYX, Raw Dog Press, and Midnight Lane Boutique.  You can find him most days bitching about something only he cares about at his blog, evil delights.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Two Poems by Michael Lee Johnson

Jesus in a Nighttime City

Jesus walks
Southwest side
Chicago nighttime city
in bulletproof vest
stores closed,
blasted windows,
mink furs stolen,
a few diamonds for glitter
old parks, lost quarters, nickels, dimes,
black children on Merry go rounds, Maywood, IL
danger children run in danger
in spirit, testimony,
red velvet outdates His robe.

Clock Maker

Solo, I am clock maker
born September 22nd,
a Virgo/Libra mix insane,
look at my moving parts, apart yet together,
holes in air, artistic perfection,
mechanical misfits everywhere,
life is a brass lever, a wordsmith, an artist at his craft.
Clock maker, poet tease, and squeeze tweezers.
I am a life looking through microscope,
screen shots, snapshot tools,
mainsprings, swing pendulum, endless hours,
then again, ears open tick then a tock.
Over humor and the last brass bend,
when I hear a hair move its breath,
I know I am the clock waiter,
the clock maker listens-
a tick, then a tock.

Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era:  now known as the Illinois poet, from Itasca, IL.  Today he is a poet, freelance writer, photographer who experiments with poetography (blending poetry with photography), and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois, who has been published in more than 750 small press magazines in 27 countries.  He edits 8 poetry sites.  Michael is the author of The Lost American:  From Exile to Freendom (136 page book), several chapbooks of poetry, including From Which Place the Morning Rises and Challenge of Night and Day, and Chicago Poems.  He also has over 70 poetry videos on YouTube.