October 13-19, 2003: David Herrle and Elizabeth P. Glixman

week of October 13-19, 2003

David Herrle and Elizabeth P Glixman

click here for submission guidelines

David Herrle

Bio (auto)

David Herrle is a working Pittsburgh writer whose first short fiction collection,  Anywhere But Her, was officially published July 2003 He is the founder and editor of SubtleTea.com, founder and mediator of Castle Shannon Library’s Monthly Muses Writers Forum, and an occasional participant in various art events and readings In 2002 his self-published poetry book, Doomsinger Smiles, inspired the poetry collection he has recently finished for agents/presses: Venus Egmont (Fiction Girl Poems)
Herrle is also currently shopping a 5-part novel, Love Is Blonde, and is gradually working on an epic novel about a fictional woman’s life, Where Are You, Fine-Wine Face?  Groundwork for a collaborative anthology of poetry and prose through SubtleTea is one of the many projects Herrle has in mind at present
He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his earth angel, M.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by David Herrle and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Sees Her Ex

She took a drag on her Lucky Strike
squinted held it in
smoke out nostrils
dragon jets
her teeth showing
said “sorry”
I nodded thinking it had been
in her lungs
or even silk inside
She took another drag
squinted held it in
smoke out nostrils
dragon jets
said “there’s that bastard”
the smoke in my face again
this time didn’t say sorry
saw her watching him
flirt with sexies
her teeth hidden
by tight upset lips.

Eve Walks Through the Orchard

Last fall she was high heels over head
hopelessly hopeful
in the arrested moment
stretched over countless hotel
nights with the tallest man she’d ever dated
Chases around king-sized beds
sipping brandy until dizzy
chewed banana smashed through their teeth
and mashing it together with their tongues There’s something ultra-intimate about
swapping sloppy banana with a man
He always said nothing could go wrong in a hotel
until one night the police were in the hall
and they saw something under a blanket
wheeled to the elevator They closed the door
and laughed Horrible, but they laughed They laughed and couldn’t stop
because they were so alive
and they made love like frenzied lions She cried his name like someone
shattered on rocks pleading for help
One night she half-awoke and half-dreamed
that he packed his clothes and tip-toed to the door The next day she called the desk and found
that he had checked out and claimed she would pay the bill She felt ashamed to be naked
Now she walks through the orchard
upturned collar
wind pressing at her back Shed trees frozen like dead women Amused that this reverie comes
to her a year later, crunching over
fiery leaves, she thinks
He wouldn’t need a ladder to pick
the highest apple
She wonders if he’d offer her a bite Or if they’d chew it into sauce and share it in a kiss
But there are no apples anyway In due time, in due time.

Elizabeth P Glixman


Elizabeth P Glixman (Worcester, Massachusetts) writes poetry, nonfiction, and short stories Her work can be seen in e-zines and print publications including Small Spiral Notebook, Snow Monkey, Outsider Ink, storySouth, Pig Iron Malt, Doorknobs and Body Paint, 3 A.M Magazine, Chocolate for A Woman’s Soul II,  Whole Life Times, In Possee Review, and Muse Apprentice Guild

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Elizabeth P Glixman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Creator

In his yellow glory Amen Ra
wakes the land 
each day
above and around the Nile River
Amen Ra brings happiness
to infertility
with melted snows 
and flooded rivers

He inherited this job
from a mother
whose gardening skills
won her a prize
at the country 
It is hard to tell when she lived
or if the story is real
for she was a woman creator
and not much is known about Eve
except the rib

The land after death and in-between is hidden 
in pyramids 
and ancient letters 
the solar disks
the plumes
the eagle’s head
the goat
The hand of Amen Ra
is invisible
No one can decipher
the complete 

It is five o’clock
Amen Ra is pleased with this day’s work
It is good
He boats across the red and violet western sky
in his creaky ship 
to sleep the peace of a labor well done
Tomorrow he will
bring dawn to men
laboring in the fields 
who bow to him
at days end
and proclaim him the creator of all
in the darkness

Published in Snow Monkey

Voices At Night

Do you want him dead?
These were the words I heard before sleep
when all I wanted was a lullaby Brutal words arrived in my ears from the dark hall
Whose exit led to the back door,
Where I could see stars and pine trees
Through bullet proof square pieces of glass
Last month when it snowed
crystals larger than moth balls,
there was a fight
Blood red in the snow,
In the backyard with the stars and the trees
next to the door with the glass, where all is visible Enraged fists and clenched teeth were dim
In the shadows of the moon
It was all about laying actions down on the line
About money
It was an f you fist thing
Hidden in trees in the yard White powder in brown bags
Money, dark as a boy’s skin
From the window I watched. 
The strange hand movement that was their kiss
felt sweaty in my palms Between these boys was victory
They hugged
I do not understand their language
Those do you want him dead words sleep with me,
I am afraid to hear past twelve midnight
when the murder words slid under my door,
From the hall where the stars do not live,
I remember the moon’s face, shining bright
And the red lines of blood on the boys’ arms

It is night, no words appear in the hall I tell the cow in my lullaby to jump quickly over the moon,
There are brown bags that daylight will seize

Published in Tough Times

An Invitation

I am planning to make love to myself in the middle of Main Street this Tuesday at eight a.m My angel, my devil, my woman will be there in view of all You are all invited
Pretending I am acting but knowing the truth I will kiss my lips reflected
in the mirror of the crimson puddle on my right where soldiers died for peace and mothers cried in shame Their lips, my lips walk on another face in another universe

In hallucinations of golden sands I will toss through the granular mounds of my mind
sifting and sorting, telling the terrorists of history to go away You are not welcome here My feet will hit cement near the city’s plaza, moist blankets of sun burnt sugars
cover toes, legs, a belly softer than dust, and a limb that was left from the last war
I will roll on the sidewalk No one will see anything but passing traffic A person at the bus stop glances blindly, not aware of reflections His mirrors are covered with cloth so heavy
the sunlight is gone from his eyes Moaning Crying In isolated fulfillment
I will laugh in surrendering pain
Roll down the hills of childhood in grass stained pants
and clothes my brother never wore At the bottom I will rise
peacefully and fall towards the mountaintop
Everyone who can see will clap at the performance, leave his or her name in the guest book, and search for their own mountain to climb
Published in Skyline Literary Magazine

Cast Iron Pan Speaks

Harsh weighty overcast cooking pan
cajoles me in the electrified heat Flushed with burning, he is glowing,
demanding the removal of all fans Energy quantifies time No need for coolness
Breakfast Lunch Dinner Yoked circle chicken gift
condenses codifies Crispness is an option Completed Steamy swelling tomato
sauce ionized by cooking

My expertise is exactness Exhilarate my leaden edge
Notch my sweat in degrees,
Slowly grease my grace Lead me to satisfaction The stainless steel-protruding spatula
Is my icing Scraps Tingles Releases my iron will Removing rusty resistance Ignites I love the pain in my pan

October 6-12, 2003: Jade Blackmore and Adam Joseph

week of October 6-12, 2003

Jade Blackmore and Adam Joseph

click here for submission guidelines

Jade Blackmore

Bio (auto)

Jade Blackmore is a poet, writer and advertising coordinator in Los Angeles Her work has been published in hundreds of small press zines, consumer magazines and websites She is currently a self-help columnist for Moondance.org, and also contributes articles about rock music to Suite101.com and RockConfidential.com Her websites:
and www.jadeblackmore.com

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Jade Blackmore and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Hollywood Eulogy

Girl in beret,
(Closet junkie)
faces melting into mustard
as bums watch Incognito splashes,
sidewalks on fire Gunshots scattered by the altar of Mary Mercedes voodoo Brownshirts in Beverly Hills
procure shrunken heads in trophy cases Temporary poet with two black eyes and Grace Slick’s voice courts a millionaire biker Dozens of raggy-bearded bikers escort them to his Bel Aire mansion on their wedding day Neon red blood coats the parking meters along chic street Get spit on riding the bus to Westwood See an Indiana schoolgirl’s bedtime fantasy butchered in the back of a van in Farmer’s Market The insiders smell poverty like dogs smelling meat and attack Reality pukes up miracles like so much synthesized garbage Cocaine high, calypso target Angel blonde screaming in bathroom, Laurel Canyon tripping Saxophone players from hell
curdle beneath the sewers of Hollywood Boulevard providing the city’s soundtrack
for a Marlboro
or a bottle of beer A dancing minstrel long past his prime has a rich ex-cheerleader support him
while he pursues a stale dream But the city knows Fame is just a freaky old man
gliding down a carpet of vultures.


a note for the doctor taped on her stomach marilyn
with nothing on but the radio,
dyeing her pubic hair for the first time everybody’s got something in common with
quite mad,
like her mother marilyn
with no make-up
a country bumpkin
in flip-brimmed hat someone should have warned her
about jealous Italians marilyn
wired for sound
in the president’s bed ,
her consummate body
limp as spongecake
after Bobby left the fuzzy end of the lollipop the pursued lips marilyn
shivering in sweater in times square subway the backalley abortions, the fruitless womb marilyn
running up belltower stairs
in high heels
when the roses stopped coming.

the problem with comets

is that they catch your eye,
so quick and bright against the sky,
retinas burn every 75 years or so,
a comet tricks you into thinking
it’s a permanent fixture
of the solar system you look in the sky years later
and expect to see it
flailing past the Big Dipper,
a grandiose peacock of the air you remember it that way,
not acknowledging
the deep trench that sucks you in
or the unwieldy cinder
that ferments the soil.

Adam Joseph


My name is Adam Joseph I reside in San Bernardino, CA; and I am 24 years old

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Adam Joseph and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Born Again Auto-Body

drop off the car
simply wait for an estimation
simply wait for instruction upon demand,
for high dollar expense to be taken
as an exchange for apparitions of goods and service simply continue to wait
simply make use of loose time,
and the minimalist waiting area,
its two chairs ” broken zenith -coffee percolated sixty times over -uninteresting selection of old periodicals
-uninteresting people,
simplicity was not in time’ s schedule
only passing slow enough through darkened ages,
reaching enlightenment,
enlightened with no troubadour or study of the golden mean,
but churches, monasteries, mosques, and islamic nations yielded all focus on national economic balancing and a welfare reform,
simply wait, now accompanied by my disgust,
not entertained by the dollar bills that inevitably continue to be plucked from my conspicuous consumerism,
in waiting, I somehow invited the company of any available fanatic who was in dire need of helping anybody and everybody find jesus amongst the minimalist backdrop of burnt coffee and suspicious specialty service,
it was a negro who stood hyperactively beside a window,
taking a break from the mental assistance of helping the crew service his jalopy,
that’ s when his movements shifted into a gear that pointed in my direction,
” shit!” was my apparent expression, while he had that look,
that twinkle of gospel in his eyes yearning to be forced upon unwilling audiences,
gospel was not alone in his eyes,
noticing the yellow-filmed cataracts that had taken refuge there as well,
he was as negro as the night,
leaning down with a gratuitously sinful touch to my knee,
he whispered me a question,
” have you found christ?”
” I wasn’ t aware he was hiding ”
shit began hitting any fans that occupied my space and had no mercy,
ball busting rambunctious laughter persisted and
coexisted with sympathetic tears we forcibly wept as a homage to me,
he took several walks to certain imaginary destinations,
upon return quoting matthew, peter, and john
not saint john mind you,
twisting tongues into ultimate knots
almost saved me from his own horrible truth,
continuing to spray jesus and magdelin,
he touched and tapped,
under impressions that my personal space was on a leave of absence,

still negro as the night,
he discovered that my interest was never roused in his continuous game of hide and go seek,
in which he never had the chance to hide,
just infinitely seeking a hider who is never to be found,
I quietly sketched out a drawing of this eternal one-sided game and presented it to the negro, 
his eyes now reflected his worry that I may burn in some imaginary destination for such a blasphemous disbelief,
I assured him that I was a lost cause and he should move onto those who were actively in fear of eternal hellfire,
eagerly, I got right back to the six-day-old joe, the broken television, the uninteresting magazines and made sure to leave out the uninteresting people.

a bookstore

in this bookstore
is an annex
and a cellar
in this annex and cellar
I spend some time browsing
never between the two
that’ s where the gaudy people discuss disease along with others
while gays discuss humanism
and the bastards cease to converse on hedonism

they tell me there’ s history
imbedded in the annals of this bookstore
there are spectacular amounts of black and white photographs of literary icons
either the annex or the cellar

I spend more time in the annex
than the cellar
surrounded by millions of poems and
pungent b.o and phenomenal men blurting phrases,
” fucking faggots, I hate them”
quiet enough for all to hear

the same phenomenal men
sit comfortably in small chairs
absorbing the works of Blake and Elliot
attention less to those scuffling by

in this bookstore skinny hairy men
have written stories of sodomy, opium, and love
one thousand times over
moving to the ivy league
and dying soon after

in this bookstore
I strive for the comparable death
to my predecessors
hoping for more than repugnant b.o to rub off onto me when I go

The hot

the hot made for the heatest day
i’ ve come to know,
i noticed eyeliner, rogue, and lipstick forming
vibrant lakes,
after dripping off millions of strangers
we once called mom

ugly people, ugly belief, ugly conscience
were all revealed by a horrible
unrealistic sun

social practice, character, and sensibility
were thrown out to the curb
replaced by buckets of cold water,
dousing expensive linens and silk threads

one of every man’ s legs had a sweaty testicle or two
super glued to it so tight,
they formed lines in front of
the jaws of life

my shirt clung to my chest and back
giving me another constant discomfort,
causing my hate to grow
directed at innocent bystanders

a chorus of bickering and moaning
duets of whining and bitching
solo fits of hysteria (the solos went to the females)

the government employed and the fully uniformed,
passes by thinking of ways to die before tomorrow
i gave suggestions to the more pathetic ones,
the ones without state issues hand guns or revolvers

I say
that hot was the heatest hot
ever remembered

people’ s faces gnawed off, unstapled,
silicon implants,
sifting through city streets,
at unimaginable speeds

heaps of melted prosthetics, ivory, gold, and silver teeth,
and mountains of epoxy and polyps,

the hot continued to linger through the dusk
into the evening
no considerable commotion being caused
but still no relief
only masses of steam draining off boiling asphalt

the darkness only kept the sickening faces a secret
from themselves
i knew they were there,
naked, revealed

in the hot

they were all alike,
forced to tell the truth for the first time
in the hot

i was one of those truth tellers

September 29-October 5, 2003: P.J. Nights, John Poch and Marc Awodey

week of September 29-October 5, 2003

This week presenting the winners of the
2003 (sixth annual) Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest:

see the complete contest details here

PJ Nights
John Poch
Marc Awodey

click here for submission guidelines

PJ Nights

Bio (auto)

P.J Nights lives in Brunswick, Maine She teaches physics and astronomy further inland, and is the senior poetry editor of MiPo Her poetry appears in print in Animus, Penumbra, the 2002 Slow Trains Anthology and the textbook, Language of Prejudice
Her works have been published on the web at Apples & Oranges, Steel Point Quarterly, The Green Tricycle, Erotica Readers & Writers Association, Slow Trains, CleanSheets, The Lightning Bell Poetry Journal, MiPo, LotusBlooms, the muse apprentice guild, Lingerings, Mind Caviar,  Amoret, the Emerald Collection, Ophelia’s Muse, Tasha Klein’s Gallery, Hoot Island, Writer’s Hood, Tryst, La Rosa Blanca, MiPo Print, and Erosha Her poetry has been recognized by the IPBC, NPAC and the Preditors & Editors Reader’s Poll She was chosen as the Poet Laureate for the Spring ’02 edition of Amoret’s Emerald Collection
She won first place in this year’s contest.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by P.J Nights and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

three parts wormwood, one part Solomon’s Seal

it starts with one word
and then I find myself adding
all the accoutrements

.to sculpt a space
.where you might appear

to chorizo, I scramble in some eggs
over a can of sterno
c’mon, john, look! my swiss army knife
has a spork and a toothpick!

.the once-empty sleeping bag
.rises and falls with your snores

yellow needs more definition
you aren’t the type to materialize
saint-like in a solar flare, 
no special glasses needed
or pinholes to peep through

but rub it to butter-yes!
the burnished blonde wood
of a vintage Guild

.and your voice curls
.in the nest of my belly

manias-addictions, obsessions
I’ve the pen, the perfect nib, 
the blackest of India inks
with which to write yours down

on a square of paper
that I fold upon itself nine times
(no more creases possible
in such a shape)
to slip beneath my mattress

.where you’ll leave your mark,
.a purple bruise on my spine

invocation-incense burned
in a waning moon, my lips around
that first embryonic word

.one of yours

John Poch


John Poch (Lubbock, Texas) earned an M.F.A in Poetry from the University of Florida and a Ph.D in English from the University of North Texas. He was the Colgate University Creative Writing Fellow from 2000-2001 and now is a member of the creative writing faculty at Texas Tech University. His chapbook of fifteen sonnets, In Defense of the Fall, was published by Trilobite Press in 2000 He won The Nation/Discovery Prize in 1998
John won second place in this year’s contest

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by John Poch and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Why I Just Dropped the Nature Bouquet

Like a cocoon full of its writhing moth, 
at the park’s edge, lying beneath a tree
a couple struggles almost secretly
within the thin white sheet they have brought
Daylight still and nearly home from my walk
around this summer-baked Lubbock lake
bubbling with methane gas or maybe
catfish gasps, I am close enough to see
she is on top In the fingers of one hand
I hold what I’ve found: a dove feather, 
several sprigs of curly willow And
a butterfly wing Nothing in the other
She must think me strange She sees
I see Where are the police,
neither of us will say She softly sighs
something to the man below, but he won’t
look over He is hardly there, his eyes
must be rolled back so far in his mind
dissolving like pills In assent, 
he only nods he mustn’t, for a moment,
move or breathe Silly me, I want
to comfort her I am close enough to tell
that two wisps of her hair are falling spent
over them like long dark tassels of a veil
We are all close to something here
For a moment, I roll my eyes upward
like him, but not as deep into the sky They are waiting for me to disappear
I am looking away, but I can’t look away
Who looks away at the end of the world?

Marc Awodey


Marc Awodey writes poetry full-time His work has appeared worldwide in a number of publications, including Humanitas, Writer’s Journal, Plainsong, Portland Review, Lexicon, and Midwest Poetry Review His first collection of poetry, Telegrams from the Psych Ward and Other Poems, was published in 2002 Awodey, who holds an M.F.A from Cranbrook Academy of Art, is also an award-winning art critic, an accomplished visual artist, and the 2000 Poetry Slam Nationals “head to head” Haiku Champion He lives in Burlington, Vermont, with his family Marc’s third place winning poem is a section of his book NEW YORK a haibun journey

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Marc Awodey and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Numb Flesh

         virgins stalk dumbo
dressed in black like Ezra Pound
before  his  capture

 Talented, abused people His eyes could not meet
any other eyes  David muttered
  dull              obscenities
upon seeing a few exposed boards
of hardwood floor smothered
under green   linoleum There are many talented people                          Pickled eggs
 in a gallon jar  A table cloth A greasy vinyl table cloth A scab of dried ketchup      reddish brown
and cracked  rots  on a greasy vinyl  table cloth         Rhymes like raw colors danced
an odd little jig behind his eyes   Moor Door Whore Deplore Ignore           Semaphore-  he grinned  over Semaphore It reminded him of boats
in distress, and that he was still wearing
his pea coat He had once watched a gutted cabin cruiser
              get way hauled away
onto a hill of slime- at the city dump
  sunk- stabbed in the back
  by a guy in Oakley sunglasses,
and a filthy captain’s hat
acting like he was      nervous
about disposing of a fiberglass boat that way    as seagulls circled and laughed The dump in high summer   
has an indescribable    fetor    An unwashable  stench     It just needs to wear off
           over    time
Jim Morrison yowls
don’t you love her madly
            as    the glitter ball
john Berryman                         
growled     at a wide-eyed
sophomore class-   you will never know
the old navigator would soon hoist sail
farewells to the wind  
fly     for  the edge
           to savor
the syntax of obscurity’s
blank verse   sonnet

in the night
manumit these
let me be-     

dumbo, dumbo, drum
   in and out the artists go
     waxed before they wane
frayed sheaf of vanities
my advantage       
for Waskow-
maybe  you   should move!
 the artists carp
   of cold lofts
i’ve survived              on    ice
twisting through gutters
dumbo-  my mind
       paris green
soon-    erasure marks

i wish haiku were fiction
i’d give a
 for it to be so

it’s an evil journey-
   no eurydice- why go?
without beatrice
   i’m  lost
cock    fights
don’t you love her
joey heaves   

let’s call it  haibun
shoot my insulin-   weaving
 men’s room
        no Stanhope

in the trash
diabetics should not drink-
let’s call this   eating
  and then
boston after the reading-
let’s call that                   talking

where has Waskow gone?
him and grad school Eric
dumbo studios-
two hours this dive
stuck-  a pinned down frog
on york street  
spinning     haiku   tops

wrinkled leaves
kid artists- jabber     walking
hearts quick,  hearts tranquil
on the rocks
good friday
york street lights
          glow redder
dumbo grows fatter
o  k
stranded here-
got no keys
into brooklyn
can’t read subway maps

fatalistic  plan
it’s like playing
     a tabla
  how my fingers tap
squeezing new york ticks
maybe we’ll see something
  we escape the lips    
my harmonica
it’s back home-  snow entombs
i’d   play it  here

dumbo-     lofty met-
rip the F from MFA
  i should warn Eric
i should
         cast   this   out-
a message in a coke can
      drifts down
lake champlain

dumbo dumb     foul     play
disgust marauds
my griege gut    no-
      this ain’t haiku
Kerouac        i think
seeing Issa-
hallucinated his haiku

now   joey    goes    home
my crisscrossed vision cannot
quite   make out my home
love    fear     loss
   home      sea
nyc   brooklyn  boston
  vermont   met   dumbo

some ulla-lulla-
borrowed blanket
         for guinness
all down the

everyday- i  guess poorly
place,  win,        or show?
dumbo chum      dumber-
how come
you don’t teach?
i only know
        confer cigarettes
Ulysses- green puffs
sailing  through my spectacles
blindly       wandering
dumbo- you hammer
thanks for showing me
this grin
       a fine evening
york street-   thanks
this helmet fits just fine
 -makes    the welkin

on his beat boots
 camels became parliaments
       while night
slaughtered him

twenty bucks-
greek town,
       new york   
has a thousand eyes
i only see lines
-bottles in lines
-rest room lines
can’t unencrypt them
   where is Cezanne?
where are the pigeons
i didn’t feed at the met?
   the kids   double   up
   to shade  couple,  and
connect  dots  with soft
   five      marlboros-
Giotto’s angels roll
into purgatory
new artists appear
sir, can i have this seat?
i say-
                  help yourself
he smiles, nods his head
thinks it’s a figure of speech-
  i     near      psychosis
poems all amplified
the long grin- the figures
of speech
budweiser is swill
one blue match
from the Stanhope
game shows from                 hades
    foreign tongue-
de paroles vacante
       et  ce corps
         symbolists grope-
drunken bastards- hash eaters
         stillborn in a jar
misshapen   haiku
this poem will only fail
when it    is     published
  get me  out of     here     
dumbo- acronyms
abound  like     no
           don’t say it
      it’s getting too tight
17 gaunt syllables

the    butcher                splatters

 and our roman heads!
 weeping for red tuscany
 what could i have done?

Eric- you must smoke!
what good is grad school if you don’t
yes-    smoke   like a      ham
blitter dall gumbo
my fear and dear vermont
 i will tumble there
salons  of  boston!

i will come and read to you
of paris          green bronze   
where the fuck              Waskow?  
-how can i illuminate
chained to a      damned stone?
artists leave
artists arrive
from frozen york street-
they crave the warm seats       i lust haiku truth
how few books you really sold
how few oil paintings
how few marlboros
is that box really crush proof
is budweiser      gall
     must gold   be so foul

is   alle kunst ist lokal
for real? if so why?
             why bother going?
to new york city    ever?
shun Cezanne?  haiku?

Dante!      Orpheus!
guide my ambergris to light
     Ulysses- your bow

where in hell     
i can dig no deeper here
it beats
it’s still warm
is this not enough?
must i throw it on the bar
      drag it

through the snow?

September 22-28, 2003: Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz and Linda K. Sienkiewicz

week of September 22-28, 2003

Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz and Linda K Sienkiewicz

click here for submission guidelines

Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz

Bio (auto)

Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz is a poet and fiction writer living in Las Cruces, New Mexico She writes for children and adults, and her work has appeared in a variety of online and print journals She is an assistant fiction editor for Small Spiral Notebook and is on the editorial board of Scrivener’s Pen Literary Journal, Inc.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

Night Game

It is the middle of the night I hear my daughter
up, scampering to find me It is a hot night
another hot New Mexico summer
and I am lying,
not in my bed,
but on the kitchen floor,
cool Mexican tile beneath me
Mom, she calls out And then, again: Mom She concedes this game of hide and go seek
we have not agreed to play
But I hold on to a few moments,
then softly say: Ollie, ollie, oxen free I’m here, my voice guides through the darkness I’m here
.first published in The Ink


the paisley one
for my wrists
and the black
to blanket my sight
and red, yes,
to capture the sighs
but you choose
the silk that will hold
my ankles
the width
of your desire
and then, bind me, love set me free.

one a.m (eastern standard time)

i was drunk again the operator dialed the number
as i threw up in the rain the bars were open
people still out on the streets
and i thought new york
was too crowded to be alone
i told you this when you answered
the phone; you asked what
the hell it was supposed to mean i don’t know i guess i wanted
to say join me or let me
come home
but i was suffocating in the wine,
my feet soaked with vomit
and rain, and all i could hear
was your angry breathing
then the operator cut in
and asked me to deposit a dollar- 85
for additional minutes
i had the money, but realized
the lines were already dead:

i couldn’t speak you wouldn’t listen
.previously published in El Ojito

Linda K Sienkiewicz

Bio (auto)

I’m a poet, free-lance writer and artist from Rochester, MI I’ve had poems published in Slipstream, Clackamas Literary Review, Rattle, Spoon River Poetry Review and others and a short story on cleansheets.com I have two chapbooks, “Postcard of a Naked Man” by March Street Press, and “Dear Jim” which was published as part of Main Street Rag’s poetry chapbook contest I also won The Heartlands Today chapbook award in ’97 and was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize Writing poetry is the best way for me to make sense of the strangeness of memory and logic My website is Wallpaper the Sky

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Linda K Sienkiewicz and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

Too Soon

I pour my third glass of Merlot
and address a sympathy card The cat leaps up, bats her foam ball
under my feet: this is rapture The dog rips into a beef-basted
chew bone: this is bliss The whole room
stinks like dead cow but it’s nice
to have content animals My father’s
girlfriend’s sister died yesterday Heavy
smoker, stole stranger’s cigarette butts
from ashtrays to keep her habit I can’t get used to saying father’s girlfriend They’re tennis partners who live together Sleep together too, I imagine The dog vomits a rawhide strip It’s nice to vomit and be content There’s only one time that I ever feel
so animal, so immersed in the joy
of the moment, even if painful,
and that’s during sex My husband lolls
in bed, I walk downstairs, naked under
my robe, cunt still faintly buzzed Once you let go, the body takes over
and nothing matters— not cigarettes,
wine, I’m sorry for your loss,
the Black Hawk my son will fly
over Afghanistan and certainly not the alarm
which brings tomorrow too soon
.forthcoming in Prairie Schooner

Wake Up

Let’s call my first life practice,
and death—
a pop quiz I’ll cram all night and wake up
as someone else
wearing a bracelet from God
that wards off cold sweats,
bird splat,
false hope
Or as a Fed Ex package
tagged for Virginia Beach I’d be delivered
to your arms
and you would say
Yes, stay
I’m tired
I woke myself
from a dream shouting
There’s a hole in the screen
and you were a firefly
then a star
then a comet
swooshing six hundred and forty two
miles out of reach
and you didn’t look back
Let’s forget cramming
I’ll blast down the coast
like Hurricane Floyd
and break both your arms I’ll throw myself
from your balcony
into the Atlantic
and wake up
as someone
even I won’t

September 15-21, 2003: Elizabeth Willett and Paul Corman Roberts

week of September 15-21, 2003

Elizabeth Willett and Paul Corman Roberts

click here for submission guidelines

Elizabeth Willett

Bio (auto)

I am an ex-School teacher/administrator I inconvenienced students from grade 2 through grad school at one time or another I have a BA in Education, an MA as a Reading Specialist, and an MA in Educational Administration under my belt and no desire for more I freelance design commercial web sites and have four that are up on line I live in Florida or New Jersey depending on the season with my indulgent husband and two eccentric cats (I know, I know, that’s redundant) I am just now starting to submit some of my poems for publication ByLine Magazine: 2nd place in the Humorous Poem category, honorable mention in the Sense of Place Poem category.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Elizabeth Willett and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

A Rainy Night in North Carolina

Squinting and leaning
closer to the smeary windshield
I envy his sleeping form
A steady low rumbling
from the rear seat cage
advertises one cat’s misery
the other mercifully asleep
Dear God, what in hell are we doing
roaring along route ninety-five
hauling our lives behind us
like combat-pursued refugees?

The low riding trailer slews
in the wake of an eighteen-wheeler I know my grandmother’s china won’t make it I wrapped each piece
but it’s paper thin and I know I will lose it

joining all my other losses,
one parent too young, one too sad,
my marriage,  a job, my dog,
accidentally run over by my ex,
now all behind me
Navigating by halo rimmed headlights
past blurry imperatives-MERGE, YIELD
and ranks of low priced stop-overs,
an elastic bungee cord of memories
hooks to the past and drags it along also.

One of the Reasons I Stopped Believing in God

Once, I don’t remember how the subject came up,
you told me that on the night
after your father died,
you saw him at the foot of your bed,
just standing there looking at you,
he wasn’t shimmery or wavery
or any kind of unsubstantial,
he just was, the way he always was,
there at the foot of your bed,
looking at you
Now, after your funeral,
I look and look at the foot
of the bed,
maybe it takes more than a day
maybe you need a few days
to get here.


It was weathered, mottled with vines
and seasons of slimy khaki leaves piled
in the eaves and drifting on the roof,
nature’s slow motion wrecking crews
We didn’t question why a house was in the woods,
or try to figure out why no one lived there anymore If we had looked and wondered instead
of searching for stones, we might have spotted

the frayed rope swing, thought of the kids
who’d once played here, pictured the family farming
and eating pies and cobblers, fruits of the
hundreds of trees in the orchard
But we didn’t know the knobby giants around us were
apple trees, or consider the likelihood that they
were warped and twisted from loneliness,
or bother to wonder if trees might have feelings
We were callow residents of the present Old had no value History was what we hadn’t
created yet A venerable farmhouse with more character
than most of us would ever have, was a target.


slowly the buzz grows
all feeling shrinks
ebon edges feather
and stretch
the ball of myself
coils inward
cold invades and becomes
the buzzing conquers
and yellow fades to loud
winding tighter
dawn is eternity

My Un-doing

Unpadded pew-like benches
circle a drab mosaic floor

I thought it would
be clean, elegant and formal,
but perhaps the statue
of justice is not the only blind
one around here
Eight erstwhile couples
sitting, pacing, avoiding A door opens
eyes rotate in unison
to a called name
then fourteen heads droop
I walk up the stark aisle,
bordered by more forlorn pews
to a battered oak table I stroke it in empathy
A robot voice and stare
initiates the I don’ts My oaken sister and I
weather one more insult I, however, walk free.

Heart Racing

Windows wide to the muggy night
my tunnel visioned stare is centered
on glowing tail lights
Tires hum
then squeal around corners
high-speed shadows emerge
stretch and disappear
after-images lick at my eyes
Cars halt at our wailing There is an almost palpable sense
of mortal apprehension
from staring drivers
I curse the remoteness
of the hospital
and consider my heart Healthy blood pushes through
body I don’t want to know
what it feels like to be an orphan.

The Psych Lesson

In Psych 101 the professor blew up a balloon
The president met with the joint chiefs of staff
and shoved his fist in one side,
to plan an invasion that would stop terrorism
we observed stoically as
If we create a coalition of nations
the balloon bulged out the other and send in thousands of troops
“If this is you”, he spoke quickly,
to eliminate weapons of mass destruction
“And my pushing is the repression of a problem”,
we will rid the world of this trouble
we began to get interested
Some nations agreed they should, 
clearly he was getting at something,
quash this evil regime and hit them fast
he pointed at the bulge as he pushed harder
Bombs and guns and tanks swarmed, 
we watched it grow larger, pale
Iraqis hailed the conquering troops
and dangerously stretched,
Fifty-seven Americans have been killed
“What do you think will happen here?”
by sniper fire since the end of the war

Paul Corman Roberts

Bio (auto)

I am the producer of the annual San Francisco Anti-Slam (Worst Poem Contest) each Fall, while keeping a low profile amongst the savage Republican hordes of San Rafael My work has been published in 42opus, Cherry Bleeds and Prosodia, and is forthcoming in Canopic Jar, The Sacred Grounds Anthology #14, and the Muse Apprentice Guild.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Paul Corman Roberts and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

Dead Lot’s Wife

From behind the near sky
You skin left sitting and dressed
A convention of human ass trudge
A fast please breath waltz and
Rock hard feet working it all out
You felt him singing the
Cold smile and
Everyone made the lingering wild gowns
Of tiny wee-moons though they have
But one giving rose cup like

Watching the night things swim on ship’s sails then
Explore a delicate tongue beat above
A thousand blind moans, no
It is not essential thinking water or

Sweet corduroy melon drool we must
Question which cooking knife will
Produce black poetry smear shines its
Weak and rusted rimshot recall
Stopped by no one above the sky.

Arcata Theater Foyer (1977)

This monolith, lifeless and cold by day
One attraction claims to be Kentucky Fried
Stale popcorn air lies between marquis slots:
Sinbad’s steely sword glare upon the undead

This arcade a cool shelter from stifling hippies
The “more organic than thou” rap spilling
Out from the co-op past the box office
Another movie with Redford and Fonda
Grown ups are always talking about them
But I can’t picture what they look like
You never see them quite like you see

Everyone else on these walls, airbrushed and
Gorgeous, as if they’re all from outer space Sure enough: “The Invasion of the Body
Snatchers” is said to be “Coming Next Week “

Mom has got the brown rice and granola
Time to go home, but she also lingers
Dropping hints about what I might expect
>From enchantments installed in these walls
Cinderella’s dress falls off her shoulder
Within the aural musk of a shirtless prince
Strange, I don’t remember his tongue in her ear Mom says I won’t be able to see that film
There is enchantment enough in this arcade
Who cares about the health food supermarket?
It reeks of dead plants and weird, smiley people
Not the fantastic creatures mere yards away.

Bug U

What void
In the smooth
Delirious ice forest
Springs its winter prisoner
Heaved of dark blue
Blazes an old iron heart Vast steel light
Speaks the sacred moment
To a bug universe

September 8-14, 2003: Suzi Kaplan Olmsted and Janan Platt

week of September 8-14, 2003

Suzi Kaplan Olmsted and Janan Platt

click here for submission guidelines

Suzi Kaplan Olmsted

Bio (auto)

Suzi Kaplan Olmsted has appeared in The Sun, Blue Satellite, 51%, F.T.S, Lummox Journal, getunderground.com and Napalm Health Spa She is also one of illustrators of The Ellyn Maybe Coloring Book (Sacred Beverage Press, 1997) She has been a student of Deena Metzger since 1994 and now lives in San Francisco with her husband, poet Marc Olmsted and extraordinary cats Girly-Girl and Boyly-Boy.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Suzi Kaplan Olmsted and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

The Milk of Human Kindness

I’m walking in the rain on the way to work
Exhausted, with a terrible cough
Thinking about how hard it is
Carrying all these dark stories
Accumulated in my head as a counselor
Building up a pain mountain.
This morning on the news they announced
A new game show –
Whoever can spend a million dollars
In less than half an hour
(With no notice)
(Just getting a call from Donald Trump)
(Spending every penny completely before another half hour has passed)
Gets to keep it.
I walk all the way to work
Thinking I know exactly how to win this game –
Give all the money away.
Every penny.
Thinking about the people who
Like me
Carry around years and years of horror stories in their heads
And don’t get paid enough to live in the city where they work
I wonder how much you actually have to get paid to keep
Feeling okay about this
To not want to cry when they talk about their parents raping them
To still have more than a hope’s shard when you see their kids in tow
Learning the same things, the same way, or even harder
I figure out a scheme so I can give the money away and still get the taxes paid
And not have the money pissed away by the stupidity of
The non-profit people
Also thinking about just how stupid I know they can be
And a man in very elegant rags swoops up on me in the rain
We are alone on the sidewalk in the light rain
He has made a sign on a square of used cardboard
But he says the same thing “I’m looking for the milk of human kindness “
“I’m running a little short on human kindness today “
He says he really just needs a cup of coffee.
I don’t get him that either.

Not a Ballerina

Soft ass pressed against red velvet seat
Floppy thighs spread trying not to touch the stranger at my side
Dancers float without effort
Legs lifted in zero gravity
Nutcracker fairies hover and I sink deeper into my own lost plans
Once held before ballet class as an exemplar of perfect ballet feet
I groan quietly as I can getting up for intermission


Driving through the hot December San Fernando Valley
I pass several car carriers full of newly minted Mercedes
Shiny and fresh, perfect
Then I get stuck for miles behind 
another carrier with
a jaguar convertible
(giant bucket holding disconnected parts on its back seat),
an old Volkswagen engine cover lodged firmly into its own bumper, Datsuns, Hondas, and other cars that would never be whole again
a dull sheen in the southern California sun
headed for the crusher
the driver in no hurry to get them anywhere
I choose not to pass
turning on my headlights
joining the procession

Passing Judgement

As I drag myself home from a 12 hour day
working with junkies, drunks
and the kids who will become them
passing two ragged men on the dark park bench –
One announces
“We are judges, and we have determined that you are
a really classy lady “
From my derelict madhouse fan club
I get that a lot

pink tutu, green sweatpants

Perfect San Francisco Sunday morning
park shining January cold
little Albert toddles away
from his mother
with pink tutu over green sweatpants
Mom gently calls
no Albert no
we’re not doing that now
come back here
pink tutu over green sweatpants
still flying away
on tiny legs
sweet, sweet, mommy no

The Words

Why do you have
so much stuff
they ask me
as I work to get
admitted to the
mental ward the
night of my 39th
I’m a professional I
think, it’s hard to
get them to keep
you, but they’re
not interested in
my reasons for
they want to know
why I have 20 books
and more magazines
than I can carry
and other questions
that I forget to
answer before they
come to the next
I couldn’t remember
how to pack
and words were
more urgent. 
They leave me cold
on a gurney and
tell me nicely “Now
don’t you wander
from here” and I
pile the books
around me while
I wait for someone
to bring me sleep
and stop the words.

Evading Sedation

Shitting charcoal for three days
Finally sedated
Not dead
Like Dee Dee Ramone
Just back to rehab

Without You

No little kisses as I climb into bed long after you have gone to sleep
No arm around my shoulders as I try to change positions in the dawn light
No dozing to the sound of a mad melody sung to a cat following your every move

Hospital Poem

You’re going to be so far
and my rings
.have fallen off
.because my fingers
.have lost all
.their meat

“Hey Nutcase”

says Julie on the phone
friend magnetized the first day of
pre-school, neither of us two years old yet
now both 39
I’ve answered the payphone in the mental ward
we’re veterans of rehab and psych wards
Julie’s in her apt where the next door mariachi music is too loud
She can make me laugh so loud
The wardens run over to shush
We compare psych med side effects
we hate,
the relative merits of institutional food
who makes a better temporary best friend
the depressed borderline who sleeps 18 hours a day
or the girl in the dissociative fugue
who’s perfectly normal 30 % of the day but sings to
herself in Spanish the rest of the time.
Twice a week at Miss Anita’s house
for yoga class and carrot juice when we were 4 4 times
a month at the psychiatrist now,
talk & medication checks,
doing the 21st century asana
we could give a class

Janan Platt

Bio (auto)

Janan Platt works in accounting during the day Her web site is alienflower.org She is also the co-writer (with Stephen Mack) of a computer technical manual She lives in a small, tourist town south of Mt Shasta, California.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Janan Platt and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Hello I Want My Counter to Skyrocket

I’m sorry if I disturb you,
but hello I want my flowers to explode
sideways to the cosmos Call it
middle age crisis Hello I want
Madonna to find Saddam
while riding her bicycle
and wearing Puma sweats
in England I want my hello
to hit the charts My Web page
is just sitting there I want,
I want, I want I’m sorry,
can you please help me for free.
I hear you can crash MSIE
with just 5 lines of HTML code.
But, hello, you show me
the URL to a freakish Turkish
comedy Hello, they’ve killed
Cal! He was making an under
ground movie with Holly in Seattle
His address has expired It must
be a conspiracy I want my rocket
to sky counter Just to one thousand
by June Can you help me
with my code Hello, hello, hello?


This is sand, where I went from dark to light,
where the turtle and toad dig,
sad green skin that sags,
tongues of salt, the eyes
touched with fossil and foam.
Aleatoric sounds float
where the kelp swims freely.

The heat absorbs like water
and the silt is like a powder
choking and dismal.
Some ice plant grows here
brighter than a dream.
This is clay, unfired and healthy
fermenting in the humus.

Grasshopper parts and dead beetles
are ingredients by the stream.
My adulthood is a pastlife debt,
no score keepers, not a plan.
I will take the soil to fill the holes.
God’s tangled hair is the roots
that my shovel cannot cut.

September 1-7, 2003: Jeffrey Alfier and Aurora Antonovic

week of September 1-7, 2003

Jeffrey Alfier and Aurora Antonovic

click here for submission guidelines

Jeffrey Alfier

Bio (auto)

Jeffrey Alfier, a former Air Force officer, is a technical writer living in Schwedelbach, Germany He is published in several journals including The Adirondack Review, Border Senses, Columbia Review, The Explicator (forthcoming), and Valparaiso Poetry Review His work recently appeared in Penumbra-the Art & Literary Annual of California State University, Stanislaus.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Jeffrey Alfier and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

Highway Begins South of Window Rock

The enemies you made in this town know
you said too much to another man’s wife
telling her that she smelled like a warm bed,
taking to heart Billy Holiday’s words
that bread and love must come before sermons,
though it’s not worth the crushing obsession
when betrayal stings like a Phaedra kiss
Such are the debts this town never forgives
when even longing is loss The last place
you swore was home didn’t have your address When protest turned riot in 89′
and strip mines on the San Juan burned your lungs
you gave up on offers of redemption,
your patience worn thin as invasion routes
Now you claim this road puts all behind you,
where the sky dreams in ecstasy of hawks
and vanishing points grieve for horizons The reservation stretches behind you
where Route 12 runs like a scar Its echoes
sound like lovemaking in an empty room.

Apache Trout

Spring means spawning in the tributaries
and legends say willows are a birthright Your disguise of yellow and olive skin
melds your compass to the late summer moons
that glint off shades of conifer forests Here, your ancestors dreamed six hundred miles
in a profligate span of three rivers
that outsiders stocked with your hostile kin
while men corrupted to indifference
made you a refugee in headwaters
But you were summoned back by your namesake
long before the grazers and timber men
repented in hatcheries Natives say
if they build you one more stream, your rebirth
will make history buy back the legends.

Early April: War Funeral in the Midwest

The blue shroud trimming his shiny coffin
and your black dress are brushed by a spring breeze
that finds your eyes downcast like Andromache,
when she saw the future of her city
dragged behind a chariot of madness
Some other headstone in the field reads ‘Bach’,
but no one thinks of Leipzig cantatas
distilling an incoherence of tears
when stock futures are up, oil prices down,
and cities we conquered drift with snipers.

Aurora Antonovic

Bio (auto)

Aurora Antonovic is a Canadian freelance writer, visual artist, and the former co-editor and columnist for the now-defunct GT Times Her poetry has appeared in six countries and three continents, most recently in Megaera, Thunder Sandwich, Skyline, Reflections Journal, Poet’s Pen, The Sidewalk’s End, Makata, write-away, The Moriarty Papers, and Poetic Voices, the latter in which she appeared as featured poet for May 2003 She is currently completing work on a collection of poetry entitled, “SoHo in September” She resides in Ontario, Canada.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Aurora Antonovic and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

Interview With A —  “Poet” (for lack of a better name)

She told me how “her people” had always been the victim of prejudice,
and that the reason she qualified for so much grant money was because
of the “disability” her race offered her;
The thing is, I couldn’t tell what “race” she was
I saw an aging woman before me, bitter with her cheating husband,
complaining because she wasn’t pretty enough,
or, truth be told, talented enough, to really make it,
everything was everyone else’s fault you see;
I heard about how the world owed her funds to keep her failing gallery going,
even though the work in it wasn’t any good, anyway,
the world owed her money to self-publish terrible poetry books that no one really ever read;
I had only consented to interviewing her because she had begged to be given a chance;
I did a quick skim at my notes to be sure I had her name down right:
it was a typical, Anglo-Saxon name What was I missing?
“You know,” she said as she stuffed greasy fries in her already-full mouth,
“It’s the Jews who kept me back, those neo-cons who control every facet
of government, who don’t want to see someone like me succeed” I looked away from the sour-smelling ketchup that slid down one corner of her flabby lips onto her shapeless jaw that was still gabbing,
while she went on and on about how she was a victim of bigotry,
as she bashed an entire people and culture for her pathetic shortcomings

Conspiratorial Whisper

“You know,” she went on in self-important tones
in what was, I imagine,  supposed to be a whisper,
“Jewish women can’t have orgasms” I bit my lip
to stop myself from wildly laughing, tried to deep breathe
and tune out this ridiculous conversation;
I did weigh the option of shutting her up, but thought it best
to let her ignorance run its course Perhaps it would spare someone else from having the trouble of hearing such drivel
that day hey, never let it be said  I’m not a humanitarian
By now, she had finished her burger, fries, and Coke,  began to rise her considerable
bulk up from the table, her closed purse in tow while my coffee sat untouched,
then changed her mind and leaned across the table,
“I’ve slept with a hundred men,” she said with a superior sniff,
then looked quickly to see if I was buying any of it “My people are real women,
and we know how to satisfy men “
“Say”, she said in an injured tone, “I haven’t had a date in so long, not even
a freaking kiss”, then, brightening, “Think you could fix me up?”


She rose up from the table, wiping her greasy fingers down the
front of her jeans while I looked at the full napkin dispenser in front of me
“You gonna write this up?” She asks
“Well” I begin
“Tell people all about me?” she asks
“I will write something, “I say, “maybe in poem form” “Cool!” she says
“Can I see it?”
“Oh, you’ll see it all right,” I say with resolve,
Glad to get out of that grease-filled diner
Glad to get into the great outdoors
Where I can get my first breath of fresh air all day
And then quickly home where I can wash away the scent of
Cloying bigotry and the sourness of rampant racism.

August 25-31, 2003: Michele Lamberti and Maisie

week of August 25-31, 2003

Michele Lamberti and Maisie

click here for submission guidelines

Michele Lamberti

Bio (auto)

Born (1973) and raised in Germany, Mülheim a d Ruhr; near Cologne My parents were immigrants from Italy I´ve studied economics (what a waste of time ;)) quite succesfully and I´m now working as a Controller for a german pipecoating company.  2 Months before my 30th birthday I had an epiphany: I love poetry

I also do you like chess, house music and italian food
How come: An Italian living in Germany who writes in English?

Why does somebody fall in love with the wrong woman and marries her?

Because she lets him bone her

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Michele Lamberti and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

St James Park

The tufted duck dives, comes up late,
with nothing more than a single bead
of ice-white water, centred
on her back, between her black wings,
behind those always focussed eyes.

Totem & Teatime

“I can no longer shop happily”
Lost in the supermarket, Strummer/Jones

1 I trick the squirrel My brother
and his girlfriend did the same On my knees, upon the concrete,
(like them besides the meadow),
I show him my left fist,
as if it isn´t empty,
but full of first-class Spanish nuts I know: he will not resist The brown
blitz descends from a scots pine I open my fist
and it´s him Two spirits
As I weigh his claws in my hand,
he sees exactly, that I have nothing Then he stares straight into my filthy face For a very long squirrel-time
2 Who am I to mess with
the ruler of this park?
Don´t you know: the white swan
is busy fighting naked children;
the big-headed black swan sells
dull feathers on a seedy TV show All the others do not count Now:
Do you know who I am?

3 That night,
naked in front of my mirror,
I wrote: “You shall not
eat a squirrel” on my chest
and loved the living
colour of each letter.


Bio (auto)

i live in a seaside town called Lowestoft on the most eastern part of the United Kingdom I am a simple mind with many legs and interests
Visit Maisie on the web here: http://www.xanga.com/maisie97

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Maisie and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author


sitting so still its ridiculous
by the widest water in the world
watchful for the first ripple

staying by the line motionless
as a stature which surveys a town centre mindful whether the string will stop

its silent waving in the wind whether the fish will bite at
the tender flesh of the wriggling maggot

slowly drowning to death
in the still reaches of the pond
beyond the tall waving reeds

full of summer promise,
finds me a daydream
Dorset evening

Sudden Death

A cat chased by a dog
In a moment of sex-driven
Desire cannot run fast It’s stuck to the pavement

In wonder, how the earth
Still moves passes it’s mind
And whether there’s gonna be
Fish for tea, or milk

To drink, his last moments Caught by the death grin
Of the dog’s invasive grab
Scissors them away


Me I don’t do
I dont do drugs but ok, give me
Another asperin,
a glass of wine
freshly pour’d good
vintage, or a pot
Drop me a quick fix
Into a teacup Or how about a coffee
And a quick fag smoked over a nice
naughty cream cake I don’t do drugs But i’m still
Addicted .I’d say .

August 18-24, 2003: Michael Ladanyi and David Howerton

week of August 18-24, 2003

Michael Ladanyi and David Howerton

click here for submission guidelines

Michael Paul Ladanyi

Bio (auto)

Michael’s chapbook, Palm Shadows, was released in June 2002 by Purple Rose Publications, Mar Vista CA, the printers of Promise Magazine His chapbook, Spelling Crows of Winter, will be released by Pudding House Press,
<http://puddinghouse.com>http://puddinghouse.com in the late summer of 2003 He is currently searching for a publisher for his full length poetry book, Humming Riddles In Naked Seasons, and his chapbook, The Artist in a Field of Worms
Michael Paul Ladanyi resides with his wife and two daughters in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains His poetry has appeared over two hundred times in print and online journals in the US and abroad during the last two years His most recent print publications include: Snow Monkey, Spring 2003, Maxis Review, (Marygrove College, MI) Spring 2003, Joey and the Black Boots, Spring 2003 farewell issue #41, and The Circle, #24 Winter 2003 His most recent online publications include: ken*again, Volume 4 #2 Summer 2003, Write-away-poetry, Summer 2003, The Muse Apprentice Guild, Spring 2003, Poems Niederngasse, #57 May 2003, Voices, Spring 2003 and The Pedestal Magazine, Summer 2003 issue #16 His work is upcoming in several magazines and collections of poetry, including the anthology, In Our Own Words: A Generation Defining Itself Volume 5, Tryst, Poetry Life&Times, James River Poetry Review, among others
Michael’s poetry has been featured in several magazines and journals, and he has been awarded many Editor’s Choice and Poem of the Issue Awards He received a Poet’s Hall of Fame Nomination from Skyline Literary Magazine, (May 2002 issue) for his piece, Liquid Chiron’s and Periwinkle Sound, and placed in the top ten of the Net Poetry and Art Competition, (Dec 2002) with his piece, Spelling Crows of Winter
Michael served as a poetry editor with Rustlings of the Wind for over a year, until the publisher decided to close the magazine after a successful five year run He is a poetry reviewer with the magazine Write-away-poetry, and the founder, creator, publisher and co-editor of Adagio Verse Quarterly.l

While his first, and deepest passion, is poetry, Michael also enjoys music, to the point that he has completely filled one wall of his living room with the largest entertainment center he could find, and the rest of the room with as many stereo speakers, sub woofers and anything else that plugs in and creates sound This is all much to the dismay of his wife, who can often be heard screaming, “There’s no more room in here!”

When not writing and spending time with family, he enjoys collecting antique glassware ranging from the 1890’s to the 1960’s, which he stacks on what shelves in the living room that are not covered by stereo speakers.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Michael Ladanyi and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

The Artist in a Field of Worms

He quickly digs in his pockets for change,
hoping to scrounge enough to pay
for a half-price afternoon museum ticket Finding it, he slides the handful of warm
coins and two crumpled dollar bills into the tray In front of a charcoal and pencil Buddha
he shuffles a pocket-book of Ginsberg’s
poems and the museum’s guide to that
weeks featured artwork Long thick
lines of charcoal stare at him as
splintered face bones, drunk and
love-forced sections of dry black earth He imagines the artist in a field of worms,
grinding his long-cheated hands into
a water-papered sky, sticky fingers
smearing across 90 miles of snaking white,
mud, grass and dung covering his feet—
and wishes he were there.

Unrecognized Patterns

~For William~

The rheumy sun has failed this
cool august morning;
it hangs by thin, bone-sung arms,
a gaunt loss onto itself
William, I have often wondered
how calm my clacking blood
would grow if I were to hold this
suicidal repose, if I were to leave
these colored words to rot,

to wander grey layers of skewed
seasons we once lived;

each night to walk unrecognized
patterns our eyes have traced
upon blue-suckled, blood-drawn days
What would they teach themselves
that we have not languished over?
Would they, as frightened sparrows,
be released from behind my eyes?

My voice seems to rise and
fall as manqué echoes trapped
beneath cold river stones,
leaving me only naked sighs.

The Sun Will Sit and Cry

The sun will sit and cry and tell
me of a thousand yellow griefs,
how the slim-fingered sky meets
and breaks, plays blue cords
of sweet despair locked in fading
sighs and green-etched currents
beneath our greater deaths
The sun will sit and cry and show
me how to weep as drizzled moss
below purple-hearted oaks, grey arms
of what we see in ourselves that
glitters as stars upon shadows
of timed souls, our wider eyes cutting
their teeth, scrawling upon bare bone.

David E Howerton

Bio (auto)

I’m a part time programmer part time cook Live in the American River Canyon just outside of Auburn, California I done some landscaping sign painting cooking and even made jewelry for awhile to make ends meet I live a rather quiet life there are three adult daughters and a cat who insists that he’s boss My hobbies include type design, soapstone carving, and walks in the woods, and collecting dragons.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by David E Howerton and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

cleaning house

Bits, of lint and hair
clutter carpet unswept
since last year Some places are easier
to clean, but only
after getting really dirty So much like minds and spirits
not bedrooms and livingrooms.

dusty stacks of books

Dust ladden air thich
swirls like galaxies
in sunrays speckling walls
stacks of books
covered in drifts of dust
waiting for a rag
then a moving to some
overladden shelf
where several thousand more
stand ranked.

day forgotten question

watching clouds small gray fleeing east
shadows fly brief moments Seeing relief for a minute or two
then July sun yellow-ivory bright hot
returns stinging flesh Driving
thin skined people in doors
where shadows sit thick hiding dust and lint Being awake wondering when quiet will ease
afternoon spent digging through books
looking for a forgotten question
whose answer isn’t remembered either In pale twilight where dust gathers
every surface covered in books and papers
seeing a unending job
maybe a break and a nap will help.

everything off

a weak day
brings traffic noise
and hot wind
sucking any energy away
leaving me
sitting quiet
dark room
everything off
shades closed

August 11-17, 2003: Ruth Mark and Eric Rossborough

week of August 11-17, 2003

Ruth Mark and Eric Rossborough

click here for submission guidelines

Ruth Mark

Bio (auto)

Ruth Mark is a licensed psychologist and freelance writer Originally from a small town in Northern Ireland, she currently lives in Hilversum, The Netherlands She has also lived in Scotland and in France Her work has been published in diverse print and web venues including Riviera Reporter, Dakota House Journal, Poems Niederngasse, Snakeskin etc.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Ruth Mark and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

Doury Road had no Greenhouse
Make a circle first by looping the short snake
Of crocheted stitches, joining head to tail
Continue looping, pulling gently-not too tight
Expanding the circle in a lace filigree
Of loose-looping, therapy in the wool
The click and flash of the hook-needle
Against her gold wedding band That click the secret ingredient
Of perfect crochetwork, the added spice
Used for making rugs, left out of food Her cooking a mismatch, bland as wallpaper paste
Peas, potatoes, meat-indecipherable in the sludge
She’d take her postcard piles out on rainy days
The splash on the grey panes keeping us burrowed
Twitchy as rabbits, nervous with boredom
Our youthful energy bubbling like lava
Just under the surface Empire State,
Liberty and endless old grainy photos
Of long-ago ladies she traveled with
Sitting down to buffet dinners
The camera always trained on their
Mountainous plates Forks, knives clutched
In expectance, and up to lipsticked grinning mouths I knew what folk mean by
‘Ladies who lunch’ aged 10
The disparity between her doily-bottomed pastries
Good china for important guests-chipped cups for us –
And my mother’s delicious coffee cakes
Served up as wedges on plates
She had every colour of thread under the sun
A rainbow of shine and texture
Organized from earthy browns to vibrant ochre
The deep aquamarine and cobalt dividing the pack Her Singer kept polished in the back room
The window looking out on the arm of the garden
As wide and as long as the bench A dressmakers dummy missing its head
Stood pride-of-place, middle of the narrow room
Posing in the latest creation-some blouse perhaps
That needed new buttons or a clean lace collar
“For the lady next-door-but-one” The head-Judy-we called it
My cousin would frighten my sister with –
The youngest of our trio, horrified by its
Polystyrene fakeness, dented nose
Its no-eyed molded face, lack of hair
Her hair was tinted a funny shade of blue
Curls set every two weeks by my aunt or
Mum would come, patience personified
And dab the hair with lotion, add a paper
And roll the spiky sausages all over
While she’d complain if they went in to tight
Clucking her tongue while instructions flowed And mum would set her face,
And methodically roll-an hour, two
Easily passing, the smell of peroxide thick as fog in the air
That was then, this is now
And the same woman lies
Most of the day in bed, the air
A hothouse, the greenhouse she never had Gone her tended garden, the hedges
That needed forever clipped
The gravel drive that was a nightmare
For the motorist, its incline deceptive
The sweep in front of the house sharp
As the scissors she wielded in her sewing room Gone too the postcards, snapshots of America
Europe Perhaps they’re in shoeboxes
Hidden away in some aunt’s cubbyhole
Forlorn, forgotten-like she is to a degree –
My Dad attends once a week
A difficult hour carried out with grace
His mother, her essence wasted
Reduced to this shell, marking time
She finally has her own greenhouse What could ever grow in it?

Eric Rossborough

Bio (auto)

Before moving to Madison, Wisconsin, I lived in Los Angeles for many years, where I attended the Thursday night workshop at Beyond Baroque in Venice Last week I was featured at Barnes and Noble here and deemed so offensive the mike was turned off within the first five minutes My work has appeared or will be appearing in Nerve Cowboy, Poetry Motel, Schizmogenesis, Seldom Nocturne, Cup of Poems, Madigan Pages, and other publications I am engineer and a host of “Radio Literature” on WORT, and am an editor for the magazine Premiere Generation Ink
See more of Eric’s work on the web here and here.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Eric Rossborough and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

First Woman

.Sex And The City was — is a book written by Candace Bushnell, who looks just like one of the actresses on the show Could I get one of these fast lane women to sleep with me? I hope that woman got a lot of goddamn money for the TV show Remember when Cynthia and Julie and I visited that woman Claire, in her apartment in New York City, 1982 Her trash can was stuffed with suicidal poetry Julie became quite worried Later Claire sold a TV show idea Cynthia was very excited, but nothing came of it And who is she friends with? Of course Cynthia met her through the Chapdelaines We called this woman up from Scott’s apartment Cynthia was drunkenly trying to fix her up with Scott “Eric likes poetry, put him on the phone ” They put me on the phone and I’m talking to her, but Claire was drunk herself and thought she was talking to Scott still, not a seventeen year old She was all caustic and cynical, and I’m right out of Wayland, delivered direct from suburbia, by bus “Do you want to go to bed?” I said I thought she sounded tired That weekend we went to a bar and I insisted on ordering a beer, ’cause I heard they wouldn’t card in New York My father was like, “Eric has had his first beer ” I don’t know if it was my first one or not, but I ordered a Miller Or a Bud I was all Billie Holiday and Velvet Underground, looking for them around every corner My Mother said, “That girl sounds more like Eric’s type ” But she was too old I was in high school The last time I saw her was at Cynthia and Jim’s wedding in 1987 She was drunk and dancing and didn’t remember me at all
.The suburban milieu was my forest I went home to that snow and put on my Billie Holiday record “Some get a kick from a plane ” Yellow and white cover I put the needle down, listened to the crackle, took my codeine and settled down to write Outside the white pines stood I was going to be a writer, all right Perhaps that’s all I really need to think of But what would such a New York woman think of me, going off to live in the Wisconsin woods? Dripping seeds and pine needles and smelling of mulch? It’s almost too much to fathom!

Rehearsal Space

.A child about to be born needs a briefing on what to expect What? You should just think about sex And money “Cause money, and sex, are running my life!” That’s from Nigheist Picture it, the bottle of water, the bottle of beer, the gatorade, the smell of spilled stale beer in the rehearsal space and dirty hunks of carpet The crude heavy metal of the drums and the amps Heavy to move around and not soft in any aspect And then the sound BA NAA! Hard and mean and very loud Enough to hurt a little baby’s ears Better watch it In one rehearsal space a homeless young woman was changing her baby’s shit filled diapers and I got kind of mad about it I was not the kind of person I am today and am a little embarrassed One time we threw out one of the members of Anthrax because we had to practice He was in there, long hair, with a couple of very redneck looking skinheads They had to go drink somewhere else That’s the end of the story To a rock musician the world is full of beer and pot to a way lesser extent Hard liquor some but mainly, beer I never did particularly like the skunk beer smell in summer and the sweat I would soak my jeans clean through and drink gatorade It was a good let out but the mind of the rock musician is on physical things and I could never get there all the way I was more appreciative of the damage it did than the life itself I always wanted to be one of them fistfight guys but it’s just not me One time I rehearsed with Steve and Chris and this time I was on the mike instead of the drums and I poured down about five beers in no time and it was like, Whoo hee! It didn’t affect me at all On the train ride home I felt just like Waylon Jennings.

Crazy Horse

.When I was in third grade Crazy Horse was new in the school library, and its clear cellophane wrapping shone over the colored picture on the cover No photographs for Crazy Horse The book was long to me It felt strong, and thick in my hand I felt ambitious and enterprising I knew I was stepping into my birthright, going places meant for me alone On the way home from school the air was fresh, breezy with natural smells and blue overhead I climbed a hill floor of pine needles to sit and read under the waving trees Rocks jutted out of the ground here and there It seemed right to be outside for a while, with such a book The words were taking me to strange half-remembered places The slick covered book slipped out of my hand as I slid down the steep hill, away and ahead of me It bounced off a rock, and landed in the small ditch that ran along the aqueduct I followed home from school every day Now Crazy Horse had a little marking of rock on it, and a couple pine needles showed through the clear jacket cover The book was now not new as before I had found my world, not so much in the problems of Curly with his brown hair as the feeling of wide open spaces, in a page, and the singing woodlot of white pines, big enough to hold me.