December 28, 2009-January 3, 2010: Peter Marti and Robert Ronnow

Peter Marti
petermarti@ymail.com

 

Bio (auto)

Born East Chicago, Indiana height of US population boom Raised San Jose, California, graduated SF State University Studied at Naropa’s Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics with Ginsberg, Burroughs, et al Member of the San Francisco based poetry/art magazine collective Birthstone in the ’70s, rock n roll singer in ’80s and part of the Wordland performance poetry group in the early ’90s Nominated for a Pushcart Prize, 2002 Published recently in Napalm Health Spa, Poetry Super Highway, M.A.G and in Hazmat Review and Big Scream Currently the chef at a Tibetan Buddhist retreat center in the Santa Cruz Mountains Of Peter Marti’s poetry, Gregory Corso wrote: “Bum Poet! Yeah, you made me see it-good sound, good clear images.”  

Bitter Smoke, Holy Words is good! You ain’t scared of letting the “self” go on the page…you use the “I” with a certain confidence that suggests your “I” has its eye on the world as you.”-Jack Hirschman

Amelie Frank writes: “…it takes a talented and generous soul to translate the vernacular of pigeons, honest labor, and car alarms into the idiom of desire…this reminds me why, as a publisher, I am willing to wade through 50-70 pages of bad to mediocre work to find the one poem in the pile that just knocks me over.”

Fellow poet Marc Olmsted says of Peter Marti’s poetry: “Valentines for the essential heart-Buddhist shrug under decay of the Real Movie – Redemptive Poet, kind friend of all readers.”

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Peter Marti and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Goodbye, Grasshopper

“Only when the man and tiger are of two minds is the man in danger.”
—David Carradine’s teacher in ’70s TV Show KUNG FU

We were ready for something different—
no more 1950’s TV nuclear families of nice people—
for a hero maybe better inside and got
Kwai Chang Caine’s struggles in his vaguely exotic skin—
neither Chinese nor American—every week before each
episode, lifting the glowing red iron pot with his forearms to be
forever embossed with those dragon scars, his agony ours,
thrusting burns into the snow outside the Shaolin temple, never
to return to orphan’s home .Somehow Grasshopper something went wrong
you never grew weary enough of samsara or maybe it never
really rubbed off on you, those Four Thoughts that turn the
mind towards the real Dharma, and you found yourself in a
Thai hotel with a few hours to kill so you tied rope to your
genitals, wrist and neck tried to stave off boredom with the
ultimate ultra O—autoerotic asphyxiation—hanging yourself,
age 72, in a closet
.Did you forget to breathe?
.Did your mind find the quiet place it sought all along,
Buddha Nature tamed by rough bonds until, deprived of
oxygen, let go into the Bardo of becoming someone else?
.Were you confused watching your suit of meat next to
your actor’s clothes, next to your wife’s new dress or whatever
else they found you with—your last bulging eyeball final blink
before the void?
.Could you see humor in the nostalgia for you—or only
the paycheck that kept you fed and drugged and liquored or
clean (or a mix of it all)—radiating out into the confused world
we once thought tamed by a path like yours, that red glowing
dragon fantasy of having such strength?
.One episode Caine, forced into a pit of rattlesnakes, sat
unharmed with reptile cool discipline and I, terrified, craved
that fearless Mind for mine
.Now, thirty odd years later, I’m driving the angry
just-caught rattler away from our home in a 5 gallon bucket I become quiet and earnest prying off the lid but the rush of a
fat Diamondback exploding downhill out the tipped bucket is
pure fear:
.I watch in awe
.holding my breath too long.

______________________________

Robert Ronnow
ronnow@taconic.net

 

Bio (auto)

 

Robert Ronnow has published three poetry collections: New & Selected Poems: 1975-2005 (Barnwood Press, 2007),  Janie Huzzie Bows (Barnwood Press, 1983) and Absolutely Smooth Mustard (Barnwood Press, 1985, originally published as “White Waits”) He has served as executive director of several non-profit social service and environmental organizations He has also been a forest worker in the western and northeastern U.S He plays jazz trumpet He lived in New York City for twenty years before relocating to Williamstown, Massachusetts where he currently resides with his wife and two sons You can read more poems on his web site at www.ronnowpoetry.com.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Robert Ronnow and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Cameron Diaz

Herpetologist meets actress (Cameron Diaz) If he’s funny he’s me South America or Africa (on location) In a diamond mind The protagonists (lovers) the diamonds, the miners and the minders By minders I (he) mean (means) watchers, organizers, supervisors As all art must: choose a focus The personal is political said Cameron on the night bus to Quebec I had never met a girl so willing to make love in public
Open to it.

To what extent is violence necessary? And
is that the essential question or
should violence be accepted as man’s state, fate
a more essential question existing beyond or below
peace or war Perhaps
the religious and (for the irreligious) sacred injunction
against egregious violence exists
to still ourselves
to open ourselves
to the deeper question That Cameron Diaz is funny and beautiful
is hopeful And the telescope and microscope have extended
the eye’s appreciation Under the microscope
Cameron becomes a collection of foreign, alien, uncompassionate, selfish, self-organizing
organisms Frightening, inexorable, fascinating
to the scientist in you!

To the telescope
vanishingly small, infinitesimal as the farthest sun
only smaller
smaller by magnitudes of magnitudes of ten
and incinerated in a nanosecond Gone
from the movie (photographs the contents of which move
for the naked eye) I cannot help what I do or hope.

Anyway, it’s a love story
or science project, socio-political documentary An essay An essay about how it is actually impossible to say what you mean
but it is possible with a lifetime of meditation and study to shut up
and know what you meant.

Now I’m deaf I can see Cameron Diaz but not hear her The guy, the herpetologist, at first colorless turns out to be
colorful as a bird or snake!
He knows a lot about snakes, and birds! Not only how they mate
but what they eat
(amateur botanist)
where they nest
what they do with their pain Do they get depressed?
Can they have guests?
How do they judiciously employ violence to organize and defend
the nest.

The international collective remains insufficiently organized
resulting in violence and threats of violence that interrupt
commerce, procreation (love) and the pursuit of happiness (Cameron Diaz)
at least for certain populations, sometimes Otherwise, most men, most times, live in peace excepting
flood or fire God or man may
choose to impose I lay in my bed and listen naked Have a good day (Diaz) The goddess does not exist, except as bone.

Around this time (July)
the queen yellow jacket (redcoat) searches
blind and deaf
for a ledge or cavity to build a city of her descendants
safe, that they can defend Most cities
prosper, undisturbed
and sleeping peacefully, overwinter We, however,
remain active, Cameron Diaz makes winter movies or
love stories in South America, and I
delight to imagine her herpetologist Or one who
discovers the sun
around which a habitable, understandable, compatible
orb orbs Or
maybe the movie’s about the revolution, soldiers dying defending
this dictator or that dreamer
and the movie completely failing, not even trying, to explain how
the sons and daughters of the dying soldiers (miners) feel
fishing alone, hunting for wisdom, thereafter Sure, these men chose violence, not Cameron Diaz, and were not
farmers, botanists or herpetologists
their tools could have been and should have been the telescope or microscope
but are there enough microscopes and telescopes to go around
and did we not (taxpayers, movie makers) encourage them to
defend Cameron Diaz?

Man’s world is insufficiently organized to preclude violence
in allocating resources (Cameron Diaz) When we invade Iraq
to defend our allies and interests
with rockets and rocket throwers, Rockettes and Cameron Diaz
each man (each Diaz) must make his
own individual choice
whether this war
is worth fighting for or the next or the worst Go to jail, go directly to waterboard, at the hands of
your local police, chamber of commerce Learn how to walk the desert and the universe The names of rocks and planets, that being the only answer to the hyperorganization that is a cancer on our insufficient organization.

I was reading Foreign Affairs
The Case Against the West by Kishore Mabubami (Cameron Diaz) How can I relinquish my privileged position
sit still, lie naked
until what constitutes consent of the governed and non-violent change, Cameron Diaz,
to her herpetologist
is known.

December 21-27, 2009: Renee Summers and Joyce Swing Goodlatte

Renee Summers
Renee.Summers@umb.edu

Bio (auto)

As a poet, I am always amazed when I am published and have been proud to have a Holocaust poem published on Poetry Super Highway I am a volunteer at the New England Pension Assistance Project, Pension Action Center, Gerontology Institute UMA Boston where I am a pension counselor, not an attorney I live in Scituate, Massachusetts I have appeared in a number of local venues – MAX Magazine of the Community Newspapers, Aurorean, Ibbetson St Press, Spare Change News, Hoi Polloi: A Literary Review for the Rest of Us and others I have self-published a collection of poetry entitled If the Potter’s Hands Shake, two chapbooks and three/now four poetry books in the form of art works

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Renee Summers and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Poetry Reading
(at the Cape Cod Cultural Center)

In the midst of a mixed media exhibit
A large bank vault door hung heavily
Next to oils, acrylics, collages and watercolors,
Across from banners and posters
At a raised dais in front of the door
A diminutive woman, winner of the Center’s
Annual poetry contest, read, sipped water
From the small table beside the mic,

To the delight of the audience Next a bear of a man, Martin Espada,
Was introduced as “one of our political poets
Born in Brooklyn, poet or renown.”

Hands delineated his words as he raged
Against Latino despots, spoke softly
Of his father and his native land
Held the listeners enthralled
A break for wine and cheese and grapes
At this annual fund raiser was to be followed
By a second prize winner and Robert Pinsky,
Poet laureate and originator of the Poetry Project
An amateur poet, white haired and stoped
Walked over to view the weird hanging
And overheard “Isn’t it wonderful what
The Center has done to this old bank building?

Eureka! Not an art hanging, but a real door
With an opening revealing a room
Where fine photographs were displayed She stepped outside the room, smiling

And promptly stubbed her toe, tripped
And fell over the dais floor A loud thump,
A splash of water, and then silence
As a group jumped to her aid
Robert Pinsky followed with a dramatic narrative.

_______________________________

Joyce Swing Goodlatte

joyce.swing@gmail.com

 

Bio (auto)

Joyce Swing Goodlatte lives in Oakland, California She has published poetry in The Milvia Street Review and Street Spirit This has ben a year of continuous changes and challenges.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Joyce Swing Goodlatte and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

 

After the food raids

They collect shellfish from fetid water
cook with kindling of tennis shoe
the air fills with bitter black smoke
In Port-au-Prince thousands sift
through debris for bits of food
risking dysentery
they look up at the photographer
lift shirts and point
Mothers fill their children’s bellies
with mud mixed with oil
to fend off hunger pangs
for a few hours more.

December 14-20, 2009: Liz Minette and Max Dinckmann

Liz Minette
lminette@earthlink.net

 

Bio (auto)

 

I have been writing and publishing for about 10 years Some publication credits include Mississippi Crow, Blood Lotus, Main Channel Voices and Third Wednesday among others I sustain writing and life by working at a community access television station I am listening right now to the wind wrap and rattle itself around my house-December is here.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Liz Minette and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Antenna Towers

Their lights sashay
up and down the backdrop
of an evening sky baked
like velvet.

Heartbeats, over and over,
the lights are
red satin dance steps,
a woman going out
dressed in bangles.

They are again, again, again,
or here I am here I go –
channel off, channel on.

Garnets of command perhaps,
the lights wink “Come”,
they wink “Closer”.

Their towers whisper and buzz
to rock, vetch, to anything hiding
or wanting as the lights pulse
their blood rhythm all night.

Until dawn rubs itself into being,
and the lights blink home home sleep.

thistle

an idea in
the well-weeded
garden its purple
exclamation points
leave my mouth
ajar the thistle
a hairy stem
w/a white flower
a fairy’s petticoat
flapping on
a green wire
red wing
blackbirds have
unbuttoned the
shirts of ripe
tomatoes
i harvest the
green ones &
the thistle
place it in a
jelly jar next
to the sink
green tomatoes
rowed on the shelf
above wait this
change doesn’t
please thistle &
it soon departs
slumped shoulders in
a brown paper coat
under green moons
turning blood


Dream Poems

I dream poems Good ones I write I’m a writer I dream blue silk
scenes, blue milk
floors with dark people
frozen standing
on them And straight dark
letters words typed on a page
white being shown to me
by these dark people
planets spinning below their eyes Fingers spread out on
bubbled green glass tables,
they talk about this great writer
that isn’t me,
and wouldn’t I like to read
one of these poems
not written by me
written by me.

 

 

 

 

 

Max Dinckmann
lylerogernorth@cox.net

 

Bio (auto)

 

I live in Westerly, RI I have been writing poetry for years, serious and humorous I also translate in four languages I have published (at my own expense) five books of poetry, with two more I hope to publish in the near future I write about all kinds of subjects which reflect my education, reading, and travels.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Max Dinckmann and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

 

The Senile Moose

An old senile moose on the rut
with impaired eyes and nose,
mustered up his drive and courage,
but mistook the bucks for does
who notwithstanding his dotage
found him a pain in the butt.

 

December 7–13, 2009: John Grochalski and Jason Sturner

posted December 7th, 2009

week of December 7-13, 2009: 

John Grochalski and Jason Sturner

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here for submission guidelines

John Grochalski
john.grochalski@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

I am a published writer whose poems have appeared in Avenue, Thieves Jargon, The Lilliput Review, The New Yinzer, The Blue Collar Review, The Deep Cleveland Junkmail Oracle, The ARTvoice, Modern Drunkard Magazine, The American Dissident, My Favorite Bullet, Words-Myth, The Main Street Rag, Underground Voices, Eclectica, Zygote In My Coffee, the Kennesaw Review, Octopus Beak Inc , Re)Verb, Clockwise Cat, Ink Sweat and Tears, Cherry Bleeds, Indite Circle, Lit Up, Gloom Cupboard, One Night Stanzas, American Tanka, Tattoo Highway, Lit Up, Ghoti, The Smoking Poet, Why Vandalism, The Delinquent, Delirio, The Chiron Review, Gutter Eloquence, Opium Poetry, Mad Swirl, Deep Tissue Magazine, The Loch Raven Review, The Hidden City Quarterly, Poetic Desperation, Red Fez, Eviscerator Heaven, Viral Cat, Leaf Garden, Alternative Reel, and the Orange Room Review My short fiction has appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Fictionville, Bartleby Snopes, Retort, The Battered Suitcase, The Big Stupid Review, Pequin, The Legendary, The Moose & Pussy, and will be forthcoming in the anthology Living Room Handjob My column The Lost Yinzer appears quarterly in The New Yinzer (www.newyinzer.com) My book of poems The Noose Doesn’t Get Any Looser After You Punch Out is out via Six Gallery Press and my chapbook Meditations On Misery With Women is due on Tainted Coffee Press in the summer of 2010.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by John Grochalski and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


so you’re the one

so you’re the one, she says
i’m in the wine store
with a handful of cheap french bottles
trying to replace all of the wine that my wife and i drank
you’re the one who’s been
drinking all of my wine
your wine? i say
the store owner laughs nervously he dresses nice, better than i ever could i’m probably putting his kid through college
with how much money i spend here
yes, she says she points to my bottles that’s my favorite wine it’s so smooth and it doesn’t give you a headache
that’s nice, i say, putting the bottles down
the store owner rings them up
on his brand new, digital cash register
vivaldi is playing the background
and i realize then and there
how much i hate vivaldi and this wine store owner
how much i wish there was somewhere else to go
now i know, she says, putting her
wine on the counter
as soon as i take my bagged bottles now i know who’s been drinking all of my wine i can put a face to the culprit she says
i guess you can, i say then i leave the store
and begin the slow walk up third avenue
toward the apartment
bracing myself against the wind
coming off the ugly, brown river.


forty-seven

we are in bed
my parents are visiting from
pittsburgh
my father has had the weather channel
on for three straight hours
i really liked that poem you posted
my wife says
thank you
i just hope that my sister doesn’t
read your blog
why?

well, because you criticized my family
for the black friday dinner
it was a joke
you didn’t criticize your parents
for staying with us for three days
i have plenty of poems
about my parents
which ones?

it was all in good fun anyway, i say

some people won’t see it that way maybe your fans will
i don’t have fans
then we were quiet through the bedroom door
i hear that it is going to be fifty degrees
in new york tomorrow
i hate the sound of televisions
through thin apartment walls
it’s going to be forty-seven
on friday, i say i read it in the paper
good, my wife says why don’t you write a poem
about that too.


comb on the floor

my father is on his hands
and knees
he can’t find his
comb on the floor
and he is blaming my mother
telling her she’s the one
moving shit around
all of the time
they have been here
for two days
and i started drinking
at eight in the morning
on thanksgiving
my father is on his hands
and knees
he finds his comb underneath
his own travel bag
he then proceeds to move all
of his things
across my living room
away from my mother’s things

and the two piles
of luggage stay like that
for the rest of the holiday
separated
like two boxers in their respective
corners
waiting for the next round
to begin.

Jason Sturner
flowerpetalsonthecreek@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Jason Sturner resides in Wheaton, Illinois and makes his living as a botanist In 2004 he published his first book of poetry, titled Kairos, followed by two chapbooks in 2008: 10 Love Poems and Selected Poems 2004-2007 For more information, please visit www.jasonsturner.blogspot.com

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Jason Sturner and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Props at My Funeral

While I sleep
throw ropes down my mouth Climb in—
But beware of the biting words
that linger along the throat They are bitter, always questioning
destiny’s decisions When you reach a path lit by embers
Grab your cross, and hold it tight There, bits of heart decompose along the turn You should cover your head, for it drips still
off the ribs
(Remnants
.of a splat-
.ter-ed
.love
affair) You may even see her against the starless dark A ghostly angel playing the loose string
of a smashed violin (It is true: sometimes the old sounds are deafening
and you can’t hear the new ones)
But I digress Follow the map that I gave you
and gather the props as you go:
The rusty crown The bloody pile of nightingale feathers The broken teeth of one genuine smile And don’t forget the dried up pen and quill I should remind you now
to leave by morning,
for tomorrow I will sit at the edge of the world There I will smile into the rising sun
and without a thought

drop off.

November 30–December 6, 2009: Taylor Graham and Dave Waddell

week of November 30-December 6, 2009: 

Taylor Graham and Dave Waddell

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here for submission guidelines

Taylor Graham
poetspiper@att.net

Bio (auto)

Taylor Graham is a volunteer search-and-rescue dog handler in the Sierra Nevada Her poems have appeared in American Literary Review, International Poetry Review, The Iowa Review, The New York Quarterly, Notre Dame Review, Poetry International, Southern Humanities Review, and elsewhere Her book The Downstairs Dance Floor (Texas Review Press) was awarded the Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize Her current project is Walking with Elihu, poems about the American peace activist Elihu Burritt, the Learned Blacksmith (1810-1879).

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Taylor Graham and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


The Oregon Question

for Elihu Burritt, the Learned Blacksmith (1810-1879)

1 “Fifty-four Forty or Fight!”

You’re sitting in your bare-bones room in Worcester, 
Massachusetts, a continent away from all those settlers
from Kansas and Ohio stirring up dust on the Oregon Trail 400 miles south of you, in Congress, the talk is Manifest
Destiny, the Stars and Stripes over Vancouver Island.

Such a small, intricately laced world! This morning’s post
brings a packet from a stranger across the sea: a letter
from the plain folk of Edinburgh, Scotland, to unknown
friends in Washington City They beg for reason and
goodwill: a Motherland at peace with her distant child.

And here’s a letter to the citizens of Philadelphia
with the same urgent message, signed by the good people
of Manchester, England You’ll accept the mission,
carry these letters to the Capitol and the City of Brotherly
Love: each single voice louder than slogans for war.

2 A Ship Goes Aground off Nantucket

from “A Child’s Question” by Elihu Burritt

“Fifty-four Forty or Fight!” It looks like war, 
United States against the Motherland And off the coast of Massachusetts, Mother Nature
brews a storm.

Against the wind, English seamen
wrestle down their sails But still, their solid British ship
wrecks on the shoals off Nantucket.

Merchants and whalers, good Nantucketeers
rope themselves in, throw themselves
into the waves to save seafarers
from a common foe and friend, the Sea.

Observe this English mariner
shivering and drenched,
wrapped in Yankee
comforters and warmed with tea

as a small child asks
her father, isn’t this the enemy
we wish to go to war
to kill?

3 On Board the Hibernia, May 1846

Here you are, Connecticut New Britain son
of a dead shoemaker – who could have guessed
you’d be riding the same ocean waves
that tide so many storms between your New World
and old Motherland? This steamer ship
christened Hibernia sails today with blessed
tidings for Britain – some might call it
Serendipity – bearing you east so far beyond
your berth and birth-land, a vessel that holds
your hopes, and answers all your letters
Its news: the Oregon Question is settled –
yes, settled peaceably
at last.

Dave Waddell
omeomi@xplornet.com

Bio (auto)

I am an amateur award-winning photographer, poet/writer and retired gentleman I live about 40 minutes from Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada Out in the country here we are greatly concerned with metaphors and almost every farmer i’ve met has a tall twisted yarn Often they go too far but I still like them.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Dave Waddell and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Baby Likes Cats

Baby likes cats
Ooh, baby likes cats
Baby likes cats
Moves like that
Baby likes cats
Moves like that.

The Sea Across The Bottom Of The Sky
(read by comma, pause by space, end by period)

Each composer of, Raw fish Japan, Each gem Ramble tremble, Love nature’s quake, Recursive Every journey illusion, Look at my eyes, See astigmatic shudder But for full awe, But for way no, Heaven Earth Blast ring sound, Head space none, Duration relent O joy Helen, Halt her hobble, Always A Birds fish, Day night, Eyes Canon, Talons Nikon.

Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2009: Taylor Graham and Dave Waddell

_______________________________

Taylor Graham (poetspiper@att.net)

Bio (auto)

Taylor Graham is a volunteer search-and-rescue dog handler in the Sierra Nevada. Her poems have appeared in American Literary Review, International Poetry Review, The Iowa Review, The New York Quarterly, Notre Dame Review, Poetry International, Southern Humanities Review, and elsewhere. Her book The Downstairs Dance Floor (Texas Review Press) was awarded the Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize. Her current project is Walking with Elihu, poems about the American peace activist Elihu Burritt, the Learned Blacksmith (1810-1879).

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Taylor Graham and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


The Oregon Question

for Elihu Burritt, the Learned Blacksmith (1810-1879)

1.”Fifty-four Forty or Fight!”

You’re sitting in your bare-bones room in Worcester,
Massachusetts, a continent away from all those settlers
from Kansas and Ohio stirring up dust on the Oregon Trail.
400 miles south of you, in Congress, the talk is Manifest
Destiny, the Stars and Stripes over Vancouver Island.

Such a small, intricately laced world! This morning’s post
brings a packet from a stranger across the sea: a letter
from the plain folk of Edinburgh, Scotland, to unknown
friends in Washington City. They beg for reason and
goodwill: a Motherland at peace with her distant child.

And here’s a letter to the citizens of Philadelphia
with the same urgent message, signed by the good people
of Manchester, England. You’ll accept the mission,
carry these letters to the Capitol and the City of Brotherly
Love: each single voice louder than slogans for war.

2. A Ship Goes Aground off Nantucket

from “A Child’s Question” by Elihu Burritt

“Fifty-four Forty or Fight!” It looks like war,
United States against the Motherland.
And off the coast of Massachusetts, Mother Nature
brews a storm.

Against the wind, English seamen
wrestle down their sails.
But still, their solid British ship
wrecks on the shoals off Nantucket.

Merchants and whalers, good Nantucketeers
rope themselves in, throw themselves
into the waves to save seafarers
from a common foe and friend, the Sea.

Observe this English mariner
shivering and drenched,
wrapped in Yankee
comforters and warmed with tea

as a small child asks
her father, isn’t this the enemy
we wish to go to war
to kill?

3. On Board the Hibernia, May 1846

Here you are, Connecticut New Britain son
of a dead shoemaker – who could have guessed
you’d be riding the same ocean waves
that tide so many storms between your New World
and old Motherland? This steamer ship
christened Hibernia sails today with blessed
tidings for Britain – some might call it
Serendipity – bearing you east so far beyond
your berth and birth-land, a vessel that holds
your hopes, and answers all your letters.
Its news: the Oregon Question is settled –
yes, settled peaceably
at last.

_______________________________

Dave Waddell (omeomi@xplornet.com)

Bio (auto)

I am an amateur award-winning photographer, poet/writer and retired gentleman. I live about 40 minutes from Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada. Out in the country here we are greatly concerned with metaphors and almost every farmer i’ve met has a tall twisted yarn. Often they go too far but I still like them.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Dave Waddell and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Baby Likes Cats

Baby likes cats
Ooh, baby likes cats
Baby likes cats
Moves like that
Baby likes cats
Moves like that.

 

 

The Sea Across The Bottom Of The Sky
(read by comma, pause by space, end by period)

Each composer of, Raw fish Japan, Each gem.
Ramble tremble, Love nature’s quake, Recursive.
Every journey illusion, Look at my eyes, See astigmatic shudder.
But for full awe, But for way no, Heaven Earth.
Blast ring sound, Head space none, Duration relent.
O joy Helen, Halt her hobble, Always A.
Birds fish, Day night, Eyes Canon, Talons Nikon.

November 23–29, 2009: Cassandra Dallett and Terry Michael Riley

week of November 23-29, 2009: 

Cassandra Dallett and Terry Michael Riley

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
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Cassandra Dallett
cassandradallett@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Cassandra Dallett lives in Oakland, CA She is currently unemployed, a sometime student, and a full time mama When not cooking for an army she writes poetry and short stories of memoir Cassandra has published in Cherry Bleeds, Street Spirit, Opium Poetry2.0, Gutter Eloquence, Ascent Aspirations, Criminal Class Review, The Milvia Street Journal, and The Beat Museum of San Francisco.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Cassandra Dallett and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


He Just Don’t

understand
when I run to the kitchen
throw things
smash chairs
dishes
the wooden rungs crack
I splatter hot sauce
on the cabinets
long to throw it
in his face
and I chant
you have no idea
you have no idea
no idea
how crazy I am
while I break up
my own shit.

Terry Michael Riley
terryriley1954@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Terry Michael Riley lives in NE Arkansas He has been writing poetry for three years His poems have appeared on the Internet and in Storyteller Magazine, Down in the Dirt magazine as well as in 4 and 20 magazine.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Terry Michael Riley and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Satisfaction

Walking into the garden
My taste buds salivate
With the thought
Of fried fritters
As golden bottlenecks
Hide underneath
Box fan leaves
Playing peek-a-boo
With the Sun

November 16–22, 2009: Buxton Wells and Suzanne Austin

week of November 16-22, 2009: 

Buxton Wells and Suzanne Austin

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
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Buxton Wells
buxtonwells@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

RBuxton Wells was born in Iowa, raised in Virginia, and is a longtime resident of Memphis, TN Appearances online with Winning Writers, Umbrella, Wandering Army, The Legendary, carte blanche [pending 2009] and Contemporary American Voices [pending 2010] constitute his publication history to date He has his expectations.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Buxton Wells and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Backyard in February
 
The party’s over–
there was no party  
I step out back—
deliberately, for drink—
with a dozen empties clinking  
I’m under the eaves of dead fathers,
where lightning arcs through vascular trees
to thrash in the underground  
The ground is softened
after the hard rains
and liable to give way  
This is less catharsis
than diuresis,
with bright clouds edged around
 
a beaten misshapen moon,
the branches scissoring
and parting in silhouette below  
I am at home in the dark trees,
like raccoons in our crawlspace
are loose in the wild  
I would not move against the trees
or blaze them on my way,
or sacrifice beneath them,
 
but only burn them
slowly down with my urine
like a crocodile  

 
The ancient trees go down at night
when the thunder cracks
and the rain softens the ripping sound
 
of deep roots giving, of trunks falling
through neighboring arms
of younger, lesser trees  
The downslope plunge is the way of old trees
caught up in their towers and water rights,
walled off for years against gravity  
And now they’re dead, my yard gone
sliding into them, leaving bars of mud and sand
built out from half-buried trunks  
Fingers of smaller drainages are headed
toward the house, to bring it down to a cracked
foundation  
Gaps are opened, the black earth runs
beneath a patter of leaves, upslope
of the mass wasting, the bottomless give  

 
This month is bitter awareness month I’d choose some other observance What held my attention, the dark
 
has absorbed What started as pain
is a tenderness I come back inside, to wife
and child, by the carport light
 
and gently shoulder the kitchen door Not that I know what I’m sniffing for, but
the old house smells like a crotch  
The creepers have climbed to the overhang,
threatening the house, calling it
wonder of nature
 
to insinuate and claim what is natural The tendrils have wound through
the window frame in the back bathroom,
 
where I once saw a rodent thrashing away
in the toilet bowl I found it disturbing—
and drowning, too, in seeming desperation  
Just how it arrived there and how
I retrieved it, I don’t recall It’s all taken down by the animals—
 
it may be significant, maybe the end
of some stellar event, that ends
with this house on our backs  

 
O best beloved,
remember in moonshine
our good abode,
 
that breathed not a word
to a living soul, but freely offered
its backside to the woods

 
If the sun comes out late
tomorrow, it will throw a different light
on the buff-colored sides of our house  
I give you the book cliffs, the limestone
shelves, the iron-rich skein
of a red sky  
In four months’ time–after a final glut
of rain–we’ll be green again, the dead
outlasted, overgrown We’ll try
 
the unsuspecting way, let trees
be spread wide above us, the ground
stabilized beneath our feet  
The hot breath of June
will not penetrate.

Suzanne Austin
attictragedy9@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Suzanne Austin lives in Terre Haute, Indiana

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Suzanne Austin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

untitled

Your front porch at 5 am
Still dark
Except for the lightning bugs
– the lightning sky
Your lips
The seventh month
Spent in parking lots
Of closed bars
With ringing ears
And hands closed around each other
These puddles almost feel permanent
If anything
Could
I couldn’t fully explain the Northern Lights
Or the reason why
I’m only human enough
To watch you pull your leg into your seat
As you drive
With your window down
To the damp air
Feeding us
And I could listen to you tell that story
Again and again
Sleeping
I hope
Now
As I write this
Listening to the train pass
I imagine its destination
Somewhere tomorrow afternoon
While I’m waking
(Radio edits can never be fully appreciated)
There are reasons for silent adoration
Perhaps
So that cameras can underestimate you
Perhaps so that
A mild manifestation
Can become an aged proverb
Former becomes present
Each theory another wrinkle
(Although the static is tuned to D)
Each interpretation
A distant echo
Or an elaborate sideshow
Of sunsets spent
Poring over words
To burn minds
With impressions
Surfacing from chemical baths
Suspended from lines
Of meaning
(Roads never close up shop)
And the nights keep coming on
As if the day wasn’t good enough
To exist alone
What hope is there in time zones
Or any other separation
Of dark and light
Other than rebirth
The light from the clock
That’s 20 minutes slow
Shows me the space
I must move across
To reach you
(Would saying emptiness doesn’t exist be a contradiction?)
I am a pixel

November 9–15, 2009: Ruth Guilbeau and Chris D’Errico

week of November 9-15, 2009: 

Ruth Guilbeau and Chris D’Errico

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
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Ruth Guilbeau
ruthgilbo@embarqmail.com

Bio (auto)

Ruth Guilbeau writes in Kingsport, TN and is the administrator of Poets Contest Corner, a weblog dedicated to the encouragement of poets and their craft.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Ruth Guilbeau and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Old Motown

In a spotlight before millions
Michael took off his glasses
disclosing once adolescent eyes
that mirrored our cold, vacant, street corners
For a moment those bleak
jip-jivin’ days slid forward
as they do when Motown memories
come whirling down around us
in fleeting, broken quarter notes
like the snow that fell below the streetlights that we leaned on,
cussed out and
reached to dim.

Chris D’Errico
clderrico@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, I have worked as a line cook, a doorman, a cheesemonger & an exterminator My poems have appeared in various journals & magazines, in print & scattered throughout cyberspace Offcenter Press published my poetry chapbook “Debris Of Hearts” in 2007, Virgogray Press (virgograypress.blogspot.com) published my chapbook “Vegas Implosions” in 2008 I front the harmonica-heavy, experimental funk/blues project “Sidewalk Beggar” (www.myspace.com/sidewalkbeggar) I live in Las Vegas, Nevada with my wife, Tracy.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Chris D’Errico and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Pop Song

Substance in the fluff
Luscious confectionery grace
Getting fatter, saturated with your sweetness
Tart sheen of sunlight through pineapple shades
Crispy mint-vanilla sheets

And the double chocolate blankets
The marshmallow pillowcases with toffee-nougat inside
And the strawberry stitching, the watermelon mattress
Peppermint box spring with lemon-lime skirt

So I have an appetite problem
The filling between us is so scrumptious
Let’s float effervescent across caramel canyons
Slurp through the cream of a thousand Sunday sundaes
Your cherry melting center, your cocoa-butter hands

And even if the world only lasts fifty licks, sugar
Let’s eat each other up
Before my insides go sour and you rot my choppers away

November 2–8, 2009: Michelle Matthees and Sam Silva

week of November 2-8, 2009: 

Michelle Matthees and Sam Silva

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
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Michelle Matthees
michellematthees@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

My poems have appeared in The Bellingham Review, Bloomsbury Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Paragraphs, and elsewhere I have work forthcoming online in Pemmican and Pank in addition,  I am a current recipient of an Emerging Writer Award from Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis and have received awards in the past from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Jerome Foundation, AWP, and other arts organizations I am a graduate of the University of Minnesota MFA Program in Creative Writing and currently live in Duluth, Minnesota.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Michelle Matthees and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Domestic Violence

I recall the importance of round objects This is how my father and I touched–

baseballs, tennis balls, ping pong’s
fragile skull eggs, shotgun shell

BBs pouring waterfalls of lead
through fingers It is important

to keep moving I learned to love
the free-wheeling tricks my body could do,

its grace under pressure, the way it could
spiral away from mind into beauty
I dove for all the catches; I balanced
on one leg I laughed at my clumsy brain

behind its scarred back, secretly
cheered when it was the last one chosen
I practiced my own handicap Carefully broke
all the bones in my mind.

Sam Silva
samsilva54@nc.rr.com

Bio (auto)

Sam Silva has published at least 150 poems in print magazines, including Sow’s Ear, The ECU Rebel, Pembroke magazine, Samisdat, St Andrew’s Review, Charlotte Poetry Review, Main Street Rag, and many more Has published at least 300 poems in online journals including Jack Magazine, Comrades, Megaera, Poetry Super Highway, physik garden, Ken again, -30-, Fairfield Review, Foliate oak, and dozens of others Three legitmate small presses have published chapbooks of his, three of those presses have nominated work of his for Pushcart a total of 7 times Bright Spark Creative of Wilimington purchased rights to his first full length book EATING AND DRINKING and put the book out through author house at their expense He now has many books and chapbooks available at http://www.lulu.com/samsilva54 and has kindle books at Amazon.com Sam’s spoken word poetry is avaible at the major digital markets such as Apple iTunes.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Sam Silva and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Of Things, Black and Blood Red

A blur of abysmal night
,,,autumn’s wretched cat sounds
and silences
through the corner of the reptile eye
I am a lately dead lizard
whose blood has dried up I am snake-wisdom
traveling
through harvest orchards
….I am summer’s incandescent cup
emptied
just as the sun goes down.

October 26–November 1, 2009: Josh Thompson and Ray Simons

week of October 26-November 1, 2009: 

Josh Thompson and Ray Simons

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
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Josh Thompson
jthompson420@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Josh Thompson is a poet and short story writer from Rockaway Beach, NY His work has appeared in The Coe Review, The Ugly Tree, Ballard Street Poetry Journal, Thick With Conviction and Poetry Super Highway, among others His first book of poetry, When All Else Fails, Try Dreaming was published by Literary Road in 2006 He is currently one of the vast number of unemployed artists in New York City He drinks too much and has an affinity for dangerous women.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Josh Thompson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


candle wax

the heat of your favorite season has passed
and you still sleep with the same boring lover
like candle wax, he drips down your arm he’s hard to remove, you explain to me,
but you don’t wash him off you allow him to glaze over,
becoming one with your flesh
it makes me ill to think about this
as I type away at this godforsaken machine
in hopes of recapturing a mental image
of the sun setting behind your luminous green eyes.


when the soul leaves the body

I sold my soul to
a bottle of bourbon
in exchange for the perfect sentence
After she smacked me across the face,
I finished my last drink
and walked out of the bar
Behind me, a car crashed into a lamppost I walked on
and felt absolutely nothing.


ivy

one day I will concoct a story
so gripping, so sprawling,
people will mistaken it
for ivy
not
today
though
I am too busy
counting all
of the freckles
on my left arm
yesterday would
have been perfect
but I could not awake.


long walks through blizzards

remember that tragic December the blisters we got from walking
so many miles in our snow boots we substituted warmth for comfort I held something, but it wasn’t your hand the sky was angry with what it saw below,
so it sent more snow and wind,
and you laughed, but it wasn’t at something funny I died a little that day, but don’t you worry,
it was only on the inside.

Ray Simons
Oldmanevoc@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Ray Simons is Retired from FDNY/EMS He writes poetry therapy to cope with 9/11 experiences & EMS stress in general He lives in Locust Valley, N.Y.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Ray Simons and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Hypoxic Vision

Night,  .the small town
held together by lines
phone lines, power lines
stitch our lives
like a mad surgeon I walk the dog, our
usual pattern, now powered
by bronchodilators & steroids
the shops & bars seem
another time, mood 1920`s
German Surrealist with
flashes of Dali color, walk on in
shadow, a moving shadow, silent
in my recent history, tie her
leash to wrist in case
of syncope & WALK THE DOG
a simple task takes on
elements of an epic journey
time stands still
like a car wreck
scan empty streets
disoriented
lost child in
town of my birth
a dog, a man, a crooked cane
Dr Caligori .No, Nosferatu
the walking ghost
& that cute little dog.

October 19–25, 2009: J.R. Simons and Lisa Zaran

week of October 19-25, 2009: 

J R Simons and Lisa Zaran

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
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J R Simons
jovialities@windstream.net

Bio (auto)

J R Simons is a poet and playwright from Elyria, Ohio where he works as a substitute high school teacher, college theatre instructor, high school drama club assistant director, SAT/ACT preparation teacher and improvisational murder mystery producer/writer/director He is a recent graduate of the MFA program in poetry at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio His work has appeared in a number of local Ohio newsletters and poetry publications.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by J R Simons and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Superman

went on a bender last night He started out with Elephant Ale and
when that was not enough
to dull his X-ray vision
and hide the truths that
only he could see,
he switched to Jack and Coke
in an effort to slow his reflexes, but
he still could fly and
he flew, flew
up and away
into a rage and
kissed Jose Cuervo
on the mouth
Then the barmaid brought him
a bottle of Absinthe
and that did the trick He felt that old familiar click,
got up from his stool,
stood on the bar –
red cape –
askance
Blue tights –
akimbo
wavy blue hair –
awry “Goddamn bird?” He asked –
“No!”
“Goddamn plane?” He asked –
“HELL NO!”
“I’m fucking SUPERMAN!” He shouted
as he crashed through the ceiling The Caped Crusader raced
through the night –
weaving in and out of airline traffic
exploding through the troposphere –
an ICBM streaking through the sky –
targeting his destination –
The Fortress of Solitude –
with laser precision There he curled himself up
in a little fetal ball
in the corner
and wept.


Findley State Park, 2008

I
We pitch our tent
between the gnarly
tree roots veining the ground
under patches of blue
through a leafy canopy
of tufted pine needles
like brown urchins
in an azure sea of sky
Our bath towels hang
like banners on a
makeshift clothesline
strung between the knotty-barked
trunks of tall pine trees
A band of locusts
chitters love songs.

II
The smell of a hundred
campfires meets the sunset,
shafts of sunlight
sifting through the smoke Night as dark and shiny black
as onyx with so many stars
the constellations are obscured
devours the sun A choir of crickets
chirps solemn hymns.

Benediction
I
Meet me at the forest’s edge
where the white-tailed deer,
easily spooked, come down to feed
on tender shoots
II
Along the trail, morning mist A young buck, his two does, pause,
eyes moist, black,
an invitation
III
Sun shattering through cedars,
liquid light drowning trees and trail
in a saffron shower
of crystalline shards IV
I pass the family They cross behind
me, circle around, 
disappear into the wood
to find their beds of rhododendron
Three tails flick white.

Lisa Zaran
lzaran@msn.com

Bio (auto)

Lisa Zaran is an American poet, essayist and author of six collections including The Blondes Lay Content and the sometimes girl, the latter of which was recently the focus of a year long translation course in Germany She is the founder and editor of Contemporary American Voices, an online poetry journal, a ridiculously tasmanian Bob Dylan fan and the mother of two amazing children.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Lisa Zaran and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

With Arms of Blue

To go along dying and singing
~Cesar Vallejo

To go along living and breathing
into a world that is dying, cloves
knocking into lungs, the bloody
raincoat of love, that poor shrub
of a spouse spilling always, a multitude
of whiny details.

Misery, complaints, traffic, the cost
of things, etcetera etcetera.

Forty years, you’d think I’d have learned
each groove in the rock I call my life
by now You’d think.

I run my hand along the banister of days
and come up with splinters I build a bed to die in and my daughter calls
on the telephone requesting to borrow
a mattress.

The audience I think I have is not real The lover I thought was mine is so far gone
by morning it would take a time machine
to find him.

All my dreams draw up beside me
wagging their tails As I reach to pat their heads, 
an hysteria of teeth and nails.

Wisdom for Myself
(to get through life)

Become everything.

Not just flesh and blood,
become the wheel and ooze
of each, the singe and its
beginning Do not bed down
with worry or spend any terrible
amount of time mouthing milk
or handing out candy.

The devil, naturally, will try to stop you.

God, Himself, may try to cripple
your knees Become everything All that is bewildering and all
that is hypnotizing to your heart.

Become your dream, even if your dream
is a navel growing backward
or a wavy desire you had as a child.

Be broad as daylight, linear as night Bloom cold Die warm and happy.

Ointment

Love grows bold A little fugue A man hanging from the turnpike
bridge Saturated gold, an aluminum
coat on everything old And it’s time.

It’s time to put this whole dumb life
to use.

Like a foot without toes,
I walk with the knowledge of boots,
steel-toed and confident.

My mother would be proud My father might tap my shoulder one
two three times with the palm
of his weather-beaten hand.

Good job girl Good job.

I pick my graces carefully I take cold wind as an impetus
to carry on I thwart no passion,
gather little dust, learn from those
with something to teach.

I smoke myself Miles away,
a highway gets stoned.

October 5-18, 2009: Jim Knowles, Sian Lindsey and Brenda Tate

week of October 5-18, 2009: 

This week presenting the winners of the
2009 (12th annual) Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest:

see the complete contest details here

Jim Knowles
Sian Lindsey
and
Brenda Levy Tate


BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here for submission guidelines

Jim Knowles
jimk_arts@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Jim Knowles is from Andover, Massachusetts He wone first place in the 2009 Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Jim Knowles and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Breccia

A ship, they said: an island’s more the case One touch of lips that tore four souls apart The clock has stopped above the campus lawn What matters most can hang you from a chain.

Three sets of feet were splashing in the foam Above canals, the windows cut the sun And there you are in photo number three You started skidding sideways on the road.

He leaves a candle where the future died There still are things that he can never say That grey flypaper will not let her go But nothing here exists that won’t be gone.

The rubber mask, the hiss of oxygen Outside the silent river rumples by.

Sian Lindsey
nachtjenevel@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Sian Lindsey won 2nd place in the 12th annual Poetry Super Highway poetry contest and lives in County Donegal Ireland.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Sian Lindsey and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Slainte (A sestina for Ireland)

I have turned my face to the winter streets
of Ardara and traced the curling lines of smoke
from lively fires that crackled bright with turf And in the thickening cold the mist
that rises from the rain-steeped russet bogs brings in
the smoke and settles just above the window frames.

I have stood at the edge of the battered cliff that frames
the roiling sea beneath Slieve League, and in the streets
of Donegal I’ve closed my eyes and revelled in
the smell of earth, and the thickening smoke
that eases down like winter soup on the soft, grey mist I have stained my shoes in puddles brown with turf.

In Galway I once stole some turf
from a field, where it sat in triangular frames
of hand-hewn clods cool-glazed with mist Later, with my stolen lump I hurried back through empty streets
to burn a piece, but found it hard to light, the smoke
too watered down-I tossed the whole thing in.

In Dublin I queued at St James’ Gate to be let in
to try the perfect pint, brown-brewed with turf,
bubbles jigging through the creamy black like smoke
that rises up through the evening grey and frames
the chimney squares And walking back to Eden Quay the streets
were quiet save some bodhran beating through the mist.

One year I walked from Arklow in a closing February mist
to Glendalough, and knocked on unfamiliar doors to be let in
to pay my twenty euros for the comfort of a bed The streets
fair glistened with mid-winter snow and smelled of turf
not cut there, but far to the north in Donegal, where in wooden frames
it waits in row-carved russet bogs rich-blanketed with smoke.

An Irish life is measured in the vibrant grey-white smoke
of peat fires burning, hearth by hearth, and in the mist
of centuries of nights spent under lively timber frames I left my cherished Ireland on a rainy Thursday morning in
October, left behind my home, my fireside stack of turf I drink my Guinness now and ponder only hollow streets.

For all the rain-blessed streets I love, all the earth-rich smoke
from turf fires melting cotton-softly in the gloaming mist,
for every green grass hill that frames the greying sky behind — slainte.

Brenda Levy Tate
faranya@gmail.com

Thanatopia

Ten o’clock is poking around my trash, and here I
am on the inside, petrified of windows I don’t want
to try for rest just yet I know how it goes: I’ll start praying
and forget what I’m begging for, debate with three cats
over bed-space, then recount all my wrongs-inflicted
even on people I haven’t met and can’t identify
There are too many sins to number I string myself
along the eternal abacus, whose beads clack like fangs Forgive me; I have been cruel Forgive me; I did not
believe Forgive me; I thought myself the only true sun
and dismissed everyone else Send me wherever
failed stars go – where the iron hammers them down
See me, Lord: I’m the one spinning without center,
straining to breathe the whiff of passing feathers I’m the one stretched over this canyon like a sternum,
a bone-bridge carrying my blur of red and white light I’m the one who can’t swim, but I jump off anyway,
trusting rocks will get me before the water does
Wearing a lamp-nimbus, I use the Book as my soporific The resident angel asks to guide me through it; I shake
my head at his pale braids, gleaming in the mirror Instead, I choose to translate the icing on a hot-cross
bun I wonder if holy words are edible, how they taste Sweet-berry, butter? I spread them hopefully on a roll
The angel’s voice grinds me like a rockslide I lie down
again, while he smokes and exhales very old stories In a rift valley, an almost-woman lifts her sandstone face
and stares up Something stares back She throws away
a half-eaten kidney, screams when her chest cracks open She falls asleep The watcher crawls in, closes her ribs.

September 28-October 4, 2009: Andrew Baron and M.K Harikumar

week of September 28-October 4, 2009: 

Andrew Baron and M.K Harikumar

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
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Andrew Baron
macbaron4@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

My name is Andrew Baron I live in Sugar Land, Texas I’m an autobiographical minimalist.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Andrew Baron and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


That Night

I cannot remember that night: January, cold,
beautiful, bland? But I imagine
it was just the same: all itch and ache Well, maybe your eyes, fireflies
when I get it right, did not shut down
with our bodies Perhaps that crushed green
held a steady glow beneath your eyelids
and we panted, our hearts thump thumping
back to pace Yes, I whispered something
uncommon: Lovely River, Moon Tear, Blood
Blossom, Sweet Fire, Perfection I love you
No, nothing like that Only that night,
something else: an accidental flicker
fastened An ember, unending
I remember that night: January, freezing
so disturbingly still You swung the front door,
a bitter slam against the cold So, we kissed
My chapped lips burnt on your prickly
mustache; two lightning bugs pulsing, and then
it was over You muttered: How was it?
Alright? Okay?
I love you I love you,
and your hand smoothed over my belly I cannot remember what else: if the lashes
of your eyes fell before mine, if you zapped
the T.V on, if my dreams bled from child
to woman to mother, or if I awoke any different
.a human being But on that night, something else:
a lucky speck, buried and spreading The tiniest wildfire, ignited Yes It will consume us, slowly, forever.

M.K Harikumar
mkhkumar@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

M.K Harikumar is a journalist and writer living in Kochi, Kerala, India Visit him on the web here:
www.newsmk-harikumar.blogspot.com and here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.k.harikumar

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by M.K Harikumar and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Dusk is not poetic anymore

Dusk declined to be poetic anymore
And it laboured hard instead
for a new poetic genre Though it did succeed
In framing some patterns of red,
It gave it up unsatisfied That some strong patterns came up,
As though they were instances
Of some mysterious riots let loose
By someone, was just an experiment And the dusk now remains tired
of trying out many colours It was unsuccessful for it to conclude
that the most trying of challenges
was to live without any poetic shades Life is like the dusk It’s a constant effort
to be as much less poetic as it could But before thinking in this line,
someone else had set a canon
on the dusk’s declining to be poetic This is yet another reason for the dusk
to be deviating from the poetic fold

September 21-27, 2009: Daniel Bradbury and Walter Ruhlmann

week of September 21-27, 2009: 

Daniel Bradbury and Walter Ruhlmann

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
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Daniel Bradbury
rummy_wino@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

The Afar lives in the empty old gin bottle that is Hollywood He walks midnight streets with whores, pimps, users, dealers, queens and dreamers And with them he dreams Dreams through the dust and dirt and blood and sweat .Of the Island of California and walking hand-in-hand with Queen Califia.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Daniel Bradbury and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Los(t) Angel(e)s

This cage has become a city
Big and ranging, a rock and roll suicide on every corner
Comings and goings
Their going, our cumming
There’s a touch and a poet
who’s words are a whiskey dick
Soft and ineffective
unable to bring ears to orgasm
So we worship the prospect of death
A thrill to bring firmness back to flesh
Cigarettes and liquor
There’s a moment and a catch
Because only the righteous can enter the Kingdom
and as we redefine righteousness to encompass ourselvesThe Kingdom redefines itself to become our prison
City walls that quiver on demand
Pornstars
Rockstars
Satellites and cigarette butts
Yes, and love
Caged up, its all eyes and lips
Hands and hips
Fucking becomes prayer
Palm to palm is holy palmers kiss
Flesh to flesh to please the Moon
Gouging out our eyes to become the sun
Lust under false pretenses makes us one
In our cage city
We become commercials
Enlightenment through self destruction,
there’s nothing we haven’t been
My fear is my catalyst
Cause and effect licked out like fingers meshing
We dodge the challenge with a cringe
and smile like children as night falls
We ignore our nothing now
in an attempt to regain innocence through a convoluted tomorrow of misplaced lust and trust
Forget me when you go
Or you’ll just catch my sickness of
Lost angels and contact lies
We’re born to forget as animals and church bells
So, forgive us tonight and punish us tomorrow
For the Lord is my shepherd and I shall not tire
trudging through the Valley of Names
A trap blind to our leaving
as it was blind when we came
City night
Cage of light

Walter Ruhlmann
wruhlmann@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Walter Ruhlmann was born in 1974 in Caen, Normandy, France He currently lives in Le Mans where he works as an English teacher Walter lived in England from 1995 to 1997 after taking a degree in English at University He began publishing Mauvaise graine, a literary magazine, in 1996 Back in France, he has carried on publishing and writing mostly poetry, although he has published short stories in several French-language magazines Walter is the author of several poetry booklets and published poems in magazines such as Poetic Diversity, Aesthetica Magazine, Ygdrasil, Above Ground Testing and many more.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Walter Ruhlmann and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

With Love from Euphor

On the tiled floor, I saw strange forms appearing The head of Spartacus
or that, more exciting, more modern also, of Actarus.

Princes
whether they come from Thrace or Euphor
always haunted my frozen mornings,
my capsized nights.

Later
– much later –
it is by their laughter that I was started the most.

The princes always had an open throat
and amazed eyes
in bed.

I saw their wings growing
at the same rate as their sexes
which were spread out around me
everywhere
in me
on me
in my eyes and the clouds.

I flew away too
far from this nest
to join
in dream
in the bathroom
unreal colorings,
small encrusted gravels,
in the shape of happy princes,
in the shape of dark princes.

The Angels’ Birth – 1

The tiger is thinking of you
and throwing the wind
over your shoulder
like the red scarf
hung onto the coat rack.

The winged horses
are quenching their thirst from your thoughts,
our broadcasted dragons
are roused
so fires start.

The tiger is listening to you
while you are painting the wintry feelings
and from your heart and from your guts
and from your blood and from your tears
you draw the East
and a charming nature

The tiger hid himself
in Winter’s arms His delicious song
woke love up
and the dying sun
resuscitated
on a soft, serene
and foggy
morning.

The tiger between your hands
hums
uncertainty.

September 14-20, 2009: Brenton Rossow and Nadia Ait Said

week of September 14-20, 2009: 

Brenton Rossow and Nadia Ait Said

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
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Brenton Rossow

Bio (auto)

Brenton Rossow has been living in South East Asia for the past nine years He is the lead singer of an experimental three piece called The Folding Chairs His work has recently been published in LINQ, Thieves Jargon, Taj Mahal Review, Decomp Mag, Origami Condom, Nefarious Ballerina, Sein Und Werden, Parameter Magazine, Barrel House and Everyday Genius He is currently working on a novel about grasshoppers in Laos.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Brenton Rossow and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Swirling Into the Bit-Stream
In My Favourite
Little Border Town

and suddenly
I’m back in the nest,
swirling into the bit-stream,
lights and colours moving around me

night has fallen
upon this beautiful little border town
and I find myself at the roundabout,
cigarette burning down
in an ancient barber’s chair

some of the people
I thought I once knew
have forgotten my face
and talk to me
in a confusing tongue
but I just smile
and nod my head,
reclining slowly
in a soft leather chair

when my hair
begins to fall
I realize
I’ve made a mistake
but it’s too late
to turn back now

a pipe-cleaner jiggles and tickles
the inside of my ears
my forehead is shaved,
along with my cheeks
and the backs of my ears

strange oils and powders
disappear into my pores

and just as I’m
about to fall asleep,
powerful hands
massage my scalp,
pinch me between the eyes
and expertly crack my neck

rising from the barber’s chair,
looking into the mirror
upon my shiny bald head,
I realize
I’m back
in the nest;
swirling
into
the bit-stream,
lights and colours
moving around me

Nadia Ait Said
noodles_ghanem@yahoo.co.uk

Bio (auto)

I am a multi-lingual-ethnic-moody Algerian olive in French baguette baked in the UK spiced in Egypt and Syria I hide in libraries studying dead languages-eastern and am currently living in Paris engorged in a Phd I started writing poetry to balance the insanity of my academic writing.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Nadia Ait Said and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Fold

11 years gliding, precipitations hail
opal drops, cascade of bursting gems
in this perpetually wintry amble
I stroll London inspirational city
home to my hopes, you fulfilled all
and more Imaginings born
in the midst of your cobblestones
nurtured in cloud bursting tulle skirts
soaring in blustery deluges
One year sultry rushes
scarlet pepper soil
golden-haired streams
rosy sandstorms
no torrents here, bathing in ardent rays
a breeze cooling my veil Bountiful Syria, jewel of my exile
extension of my voyages
rounded exclamations, bowing tongues
One year bustle hustle
flamboyant luxuriance
vibrant feathery dusty city, Cairo
angels crown your horizon
sitting atop triangular ancestral abodes In the cobalt hues of shadowy dusk
Um Kulthum’s soft caresses undulates
from feluccas, glinting vessels
merging sweet whispers
between well practiced cotton sheets like leafs
and enamoured firmaments
Auspicious journeys fastened convictions
bird of fire, bearing on its wings my future.

The zuqaq of Damascus

Winding passage on
sandstone granite
pebbles like seed make
gemstone kernels
yours walls cinder ashen powder
Veering halting
your curves inviting
labyrinths you pencil
veiled tales of urging loves
You contort
I pursue
my exiled kith and kin.

September 7-13, 2009: Michelle Angelini and Jennifer L. Ethington

week of September 7-13, 2009: 

Michelle Angelini and Jennifer L Ethington

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
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Michelle Angelini
monique.baby@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Michelle Angelini lives in Hollywood with her cat, Sasha She has been writing poetry for over 25 years In the past several years, Michelle has been a member of Emerging Urban Poets at the Catalina Library in Pasadena, plus being published in the group’s quarterlies and calendars She also has several of her own chapbooks, “Mise en Poem,” “On Becoming a Sexagenarian,” “This City Where I Live,” “Half Moon Rising,” and “Updated Oldies: Love and Other Fantasies “ Her themes for poetry are gathered from the world around her, animals, photography, emotional issues, and nature In addition, Michelle writes a daily reflective journal called Lessons from Life Writing poetry satisfies Michelle’s creative side, but working as a substitute teacher pays the bills.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Michelle Angelini and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Flyaway: In the Midst of Wings

It’s like the commercial
The photographer arrives
in the middle of a field
just as wild birds become airborne
She mentions that capturing
the experience on film is a goal
but being in the middle
of it is amazing

When I walked by the LA River
I was in the middle of a flock of pigeons
where I felt part
of a flock ritual
They
took off
flew in one direction
with the wind
then turned back
several times more
in the wind’s direction

I’ve always wondered
why flocks of birds
fly aerial switchbacks
While I still do not know
the answer
I’m just content
to have been in the middle
of a flyaway

Jennifer L Ethington
greeneyedelf@juno.com

Bio (auto)

I am 39 years old and reside in Lawrenceville, New Jersey I’ve been writing poetry since I was a child, and with any luck it’s become more readable since then

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Jennifer L Ethington and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Mia

I’ve never liked doctors
Their hands are always cold
When they’re poking and prodding
frigid hands, icy words,
delivering bad news in a worse tone
I didn’t want to hear the diagnosis, 
Why the blood, why the pain,
What had happened But I knew what it was:
It was a loss Our loss You’re just a babe yourself;
This wasn’t supposed to happen I mean, not the end result, but… Now that it has, it’s for the best Our mistake
I wanted to cry as it left me,
Cramped and bleeding and alone at midnight But the tears wouldn’t come There was only pain And I couldn’t tell you I gritted my teeth, I rode it out,
And I flushed it.

August 31-September 6, 2009: Phillip A Ellis and Angela Consolo Mankiewicz

week of August 31-September 6, 2009: 

Phillip A Ellis and Angela Consolo Mankiewicz

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Phillip A Ellis
phillip.a.ellis@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Phillip A Ellis is currently working on an Honours thesis on Christopher Brennan’s XXI Poems He lives in South Tweed Heads, in rural New South Wales, and he has two books currently in print, The Flayed Man: and Other Poems, from Gothic Press, and a concordance to the poetry of Donald Wandrei, from Hippocampus Press He is currently working on a concordance to the poetry of H P Lovecraft; his website can be found at http://www.geocities.com/phillipellis01/

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Phillip A Ellis and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Thinking of Christopher Brennan

Returning to rooms, through westerlies
tugging at our soiled, distended coats,
one of us pauses thought a moment,
and invokes thought of the other man.

One of us, or both of us, will cough
halfway up the stairs to the small room;
there, the beds and our books await us
as in silent reproach of the past.

And the wood of the stairs will speak low
of our passage back to rooms, will say
that we have paused here, and proceeded on,
and that all acts are just mere echoes.

That we practised poetry, echo;
that we are barely alive, echo.

Angela Consolo Mankiewicz
acmank@earthlink.net

Bio (auto)

I have 4 chapbooks out, the most recent are AN EYE, published by Pecan Grove Press (2006) and AS IF, just released from Little Red Books-Lummox Publications include: PRESA, Montserrat, Re)Verb, Sketchbook, Seldom Nocturne, Istanbul Literary Review, Arsenic Lobster, Temple/Tsunami, Butcher Block, Slipstream, Chiron Review, Hawaii Review, Cerberus, Karamu, Lynx Eye, Pemmican, Blind Man’s Rainbow, ArtWord; a Grand Prize sestina in Trellis Magazine and 2 award winning poems in JerseyWorks, among others My childrens’ stories, THE GRUMMEL BOOK, are being reissued on CD this year by SHOOFLY; LAURA HANSON, a novella was serialized by ESC! Magazine last year I’ve also been the Contributing Editor and Regional Editor, respectively, for the small (now defunct) journals Mushroom Dreams and New Press Quarterly Combining poetry and my love of music, am currently collaborating with composers on a chamber opera and a song cycle.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Angela Consolo Mankiewicz and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Concerning Place

Either the Brooklyn I was torn from at 14
or the downtown L.A of my 20s;

Either BoroPark-Bensonhurst streets
where I discovered I existed
or 8th and Hill between May Co and Bullocks
where I stole Isolde’s potion.

Except where you are, there is no other place.

I have no other ties, no other roots, no other metaphors;
no landscapes, no roomscapes , no smells or tastes
to inflame longing and desire.

Only Brooklyn, downtown L.A , and you.

August 24-30, 2009: Ryan Quinn Flanagan and Robert Preuss

week of August 24-30, 2009: 

Ryan Quinn Flanagan and Robert Preuss

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Ryan Quinn Flanagan
cyanogen_rqf@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a transient by nature Presently residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada, he is the author of three books of poetry and a chapbook entitled Epicurus Cunnilingus His work has recently appeared in The New York Quarterly, Vallum, Quills, and The Oklahoma Review.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Ryan Quinn Flanagan and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Jack London Fixed My Carburetor…

and didn’t overcharge He said he charged me factory rates
for parts
and labour

and that she was good to go
as soon as
my card cleared
Pulling out of the bay door
and off the lot,
I saw Jack London get into a four door
late model Sedan
in my rear view

and position it on
the lift
When I got home
I told my neighbour that Jack London
fixed my carburetor

and didn’t
overcharge
That’s not Jack London, said my neighbour
That guy’s been working down at the car place
since it opened seven years ago He lives in the apartments two streets over
on Ferguson

Jack London lives two streets over
on Ferguson?,
I inquired

My neighbour dropped the hood
and looked at me
in utter bewilderment
Who said anything about
Jack London?


Cloudy, with a 90% Chance of Foucault

Foucault said something about sexuality
and the three condoms in the toilet
tend to agree,

as does the housewife
who stocks up on zucchinis
and the predominance of obelisks
and skyscrapers
in every city
I even see Foucault in the thick white milk
of passing clouds
on their way to yet another one night stand

a few time zones away
Getting their freak on
Mountain Standard Time.


What I meant to say was…

I love you
when you walked in on me
grating cheese into a blow up pool
in the livingroom
while Johnny Cash on the stereo
said something else
I meant to say I love you
when I used your credit card
to pay that single engine Cessna to fly over the house
at twenty after six
with a banner in tow
that read:

HITLER IN ‘08
I meant to say I love you
when I swallowed all your Vicodin
and shit myself when the adoption lady
came by the house
and every time I get drunk
and you have to come pull me out of the gutter
I’m just trying to make the same
old point
When I dipped into your life savings
to pay for falconry lessons
and that rented Batman costume
I was wearing
when you came home from work
and walked in on Batman paring carrots
over the bed
what I meant to say was I love you,
but I’ve never been that good
at expressing myself
Like the time I wanted steak for dinner
and brought home
a cow.

Robert Preuss
ssuerp59@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Robert Preuss resides in Schenectady, NY His essays and verse have appeared in numerous literary magazines including The Modern Review He edits Poets Collective.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Robert Preuss and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Blues Machine Has Stopped

In memory of Cora Walton “Koko” Taylor, 1928-2009

Between numbers
Willie Dixon
used to explain
what constitutes
the blues
thus creating
the College of Pentatonic Engineers (COPE)

and standing out
among a standout faculty
Koko Taylor
demonstrated
that a woman singing
the blues
could indeed
move the Earth.

Her exams
were neither
written nor voiced
but danced
and if you could dance
that was singing
the blues you were a bluesman
or blueswoman and this blues,
this testimony,
was a bridge between us

and by shaking the Earth
all together,
stone and earth and clay
might yield before
that kingdom
implicit in the language
of the blues,
a lunar,
reflective tongue.

We are time and tide
together Our ships groan
like great oaks
which slough off
stout limbs
as they stretch
yet we are
inexorable Coil hawks
stifle hungry cries
across quilted hills Antares in occultation,
the silent code
exchanged
pinpoint to pinpoint
in arabesque meadows
of silken tips
and braided ends
lies bereft of secrets,
whispering,

When we say the blues
we ain’t talkin’ no hydrangeas There are some finer points,
however Say you meet
the Devil All I can say is you better smile
and act like a lady
Hah huh huh And if you meet a lady
things gonna get a little complicated
and this is why we sing the blues.

And though the sky itself
heaves shrunken,
the ends of bare wires
sputter and pop
and the howl templars
of hoodoo
are stifled
and the wing-ding
wang dang doodle
that spilled night into
so many long days
has spun to an end,
that span,
a transposition
of sidereal keys,
not quite amphibious
but like some
blue terrapin
across time and tide,
an ancient passage
such as a poem,
awaits
discovery.

August 17-23, 2009: Jim Bennett and Elijah Kellogg

week of August 17-23, 2009: 

Jim Bennett and Elijah Kellogg

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
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Jim Bennett
poetrykit.org@clara.co.uk

Bio (auto)

Jim Bennett lives near Liverpool in the UK and is the managing editor of www.poetrykit.org His most recent publication is a poetry collection called “The Man Who Tried To Hug Clouds” Bluechrome Publishing 2004 (2nd edition 2005) Jim teaches Creative Writing at the University of Liverpool and tours throughout the year giving readings and performances of his work
Visit Jim on the web here: http://www.poetrykit.org/jim/index.htm

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Jim Bennett and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


These poems are from a collection of 56 poems called “56”

17

the crushed
bent broken motorbike
lies on the roadside
the rider
dressed in black leather jacket
looking like
The Wild One
escaped with minor injuries
was cremated within hours
had road rash
broke a vertebrae in his neck
broke two vertebrae in his neck
needed to dry out
hurt his back
broke his pelvis and died
needed to go for rehab
did it as a publicity stunt
needed a rest
was tired of getting booed
didn’t go to hospital
went to hospital
is in intensive care
went to a local doctor
and stayed for a while
then went off with some friends
and made music in their
cellar
the truth was never tested
and the silent do not lie


18

the planets
are dust
that collect
and reflect the suns light
like pearls
strewn on a jewellers
black velvet cloth
there are no voices here
no air
just a rock
in a gravity well
anchored to Earth
and a US flag
stiffened to fly
in an imagined wind

Elijah Kellogg
elikellogg@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Elijah Kellogg is a 20 year old resident of Santa Clarita, CA He is currently (and simultaniously) completing his Associates in English from a local community college while also working on his Bachelors in Biblical Studies at Eternity Bible College in Simi Valley Elijah has only one poem published It can be found in Reflections of Youth, which is a compilation of young poets produced years ago by The American Library of Poetry Elijah is hoping that he will not die having only achieved one poem professionally published Along with poetry, Elijah enjoys spending time with his fiance, music, culture, teaching and (apparently) writing in the third person

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Elijah Kellogg and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Gum

Mouth to mouth resuscitation
proves that breath is life Gum,
proves it is also death.

2:45am

Floating, fuzzy, bloody numbers
in a sea of pitch Remind me how the hours pass
so slow without a hitch Furthermore, an orange glow
calls me from the corner;
whispering that sleep is free,
but often on backorder.

August 10-16, 2009: Dr Kane X Faucher and Ross Leese

week of August 10-16, 2009: 

Dr Kane X Faucher and Ross Leese

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
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Kane X Faucher
jonkilcalembour@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Kane X Faucher is an instructor in the Faculty of Information & Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario and is the author of over 500 poems, short fiction, articles, essays, reviews and commentaries He is also the author of 8 books, including Urdoxa, Jonkil Dies, and his recent Gonzo travelogue, Tales Pinned on a Complete Ass: A Journey to Romania He lives and works in London-the other one, in Canada –
Visit him on the web here: http://kanexfaucher.weebly.com/ or here: http://uwo.academia.edu/KaneFaucher

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Kane X Faucher and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Psalmud

Here is a larger illustration:

being published electronically as satisfying
as having one’s name on a telephone conversation.

Jabbed hard and square in the chest,
buddy.

O sucks to be you/me.

Stephen Vizinczey is in praise of older women (what Magyari ain’t?)

Go in for biopathy, come out with emo-plague Attack of the Wal-Martians, ’til you cry Oriaunt Diagnosis? Agnosis; you go lonely and untroubled
without a god perched on yer shoulder.

Perhaps you&me
in the same platoon
in Wheilo (Can you speak Turenchi?)
How are your people now? The Tiv are always parading;
maybe at the Warri refinery Are you in touch with Achan? Isaiah?
-misfired alumni missives from Delta State.

Peculators, simony-artists, cryptologists alike Rather to be like Lazaro, live a good life,
learn nothing.

Ross Leese
marielindley@hotmail.co.uk

Bio (auto)

My name is Ross Leese and I live in Doncaster in the North of England I am approaching my thirties, somewhat uncomfortably and would like to leave it at that!

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Ross Leese and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

as another door closes

I keep my
spirits high

by chewing
gum

and reading
bad poetry

by brilliant
poets.

August 3-9, 2009: Zyskandar A. Jaimot and Emma Lee

week of August 3-9, 2009: 

Zyskandar A Jaimot and Emma Lee

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
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Zyskandar A Jaimot
jaimot@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Zyskandar A Jaimot resides in Orlando, Florida far from the economic ravages of the cold wind and snow in the North+MidWest “To me–poetry is a long summer night full of fits and starts–when dark walls come close suffocating me in my airless cubicle–and it is only eventually I am able to peal the sticky sonnets from off my spent skin “

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Zyskandar A Jaimot and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


le Grossiers (little cherries)

Young fruit
unaware of its desirability In early spring small cherries
‘le grossiers’
from the rich Loire region
grace produce bins
at upscale Parisien vendors Tiny red sweet fruits,
adored by young American women Flocking tour groups of high school classmates
just graduating to experience
joys of European sophistication
mixed with wine and the best fromage Une-deux-trois,
the sweet essence is gobbled down The sensation of smooth small beads
on lips and tongue at first tart
then sublime sugary moisture Seductive juices
delicately running down lips
then chins
finally onto budding breasts Watched eagerly by men
who await in shifts
at each brasserie
hoping to enjoy
the taste of another kind
of succulent springtime
delight.

Emma Lee
teamlee@ntlworld.com

Bio (auto)

Emma Lee’s stories and poems are widely published Her poetry collection, “Yellow Torchlight and the Blues” is available from Original Plus (UK) She blogs at http://emmalee1.wordpress.com and can be found at http://teamleepoetry.com A knee injury forced her out of the ice-rink and she found herself hanging around with bands until she swapped beer-sticky floors for the comforts of cinemas She lives in Leicester with her husband and daughter.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Emma Lee and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Wood can Tame Metal

At the bend between fire station
and hospital by the tree that,
hit at seventy miles per hour,
caused a police car to overturn,
fresh flowers were placed
Then the road was widened
and a mini-roundabout installed Stuck behind a correctly-driven
police car, I see a smooth patch
on the tree trunk where metal
once scraped bark.

June 29-July 5, 2009: Simon Perchik and David Neves

week of June 29-July 5, 2009: 

Simon Perchik and David Neves

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
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Simon Perchik
simon@hamptons.com

Bio (auto)

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The New Yorker, Poetry Super Highway and elsewhere Rafts (Parsifal Editions) is his most recent collection Family of Man (Pavement Saw Press) is scheduled for Fall 2009 For more information, including his essay “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” and a complete bibliography, please visit his website at http://www.geocities.com/simonthepoet

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Simon Perchik and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


One fire hearing another
widens its nest, glistens
–I drink this tea
till each eye cracks for air, flies
and my wet shoulders as if a brood
still soaking in leaves and twigs :the sky
nearer, by morning all those suns
tracking in V formation
–I drink from a map
printed on glass, the burnt parts
sound like roads reaching out
and there’s no name for my hands
or knees or how do I find water
that has no name
though it’s here on the map There’s got to be somewhere
the swooping stab by a door
as it opens –this map
is outdated and my lips too
forgot who they are holding
–I drink this boiling tea
for its sound, its crash
as if the sky lost its way
and will last forever –drink
till my eyes, my talons and claws
my feathers and how painful
to eat anything in the morning.


These leaves although the sunlight
fluttered, each branch
tightening some birdcall
eaten alive –the leaves
still thin, will prowl all winter
for roots almost bones
almost dry :each leaf
brackish, sharpening itself
will strike through the Earth
as if it could overflow
and you drink without a cup
or hands Or lips All night
a river, unbreakable –you break a branch
as paths still fork
reaching for leaves, still mark
where lightening buttresses the Earth
with fountains –you will kneel
lift each leaf, your hands
greener than each day
half out some mountainside already warm
already loose and singing.

David Neves
stud-ly@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

My name is David Neves I am 51, live alone, love classical music, chess and computers I am a big Mets fan (baseball) and speak five languages I have two grown children-one of whom is autistic I look quite a bit like Jerry Garcia! I live in the Ironbound section of Newark and own my own home I am retired from the US Postal Service.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by David Neves and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

In Memoriam
(A Trilogy and Epilogue for Harry Shapiro and the YMCA)

I

Harry, I really didn’t know, nobody ever told me
as I stare Sodom in the eye;
boy we’re close-we’re so fucking close that
we can tickle King Kong’s balls, Harry;
Damn, that revolving fan in the ceiling
whirling clockwise but never faster
than the vapor that is us, Harry, you and I –
counter, clocked and unwise in our home;
Yes, we are home, Harry-in our cheesy little pocket
of well stitched yuppiedom
but you are released my friend
as they carry away poorly stitched patches
of what you were and
where you’ve been

II

I did not know, I did not know-
that fucking ceiling fan aggressively
attacks the smoke, but
where the fuck did the years go?
You take my greasy kid stuff and
defiantly comb it through your
reluctantly grey wannabe pompadour-
Harry, you handsome sonofabitch, you!
Fuck, where did the time go, musing
while puffing the coffin nails and sending
our epitaph into carcinogenic space;
Shit, no stray dogs in Yuppiedom, Harry
just us, as clandestine fumes cha cha
seductively between the twin whorehouses

III

It sucks, Harry; weren’t you a cook in Viet Nam?
– you can smell the wannabes and neverweres
(so full of shit) from across the river since they
always brag about how may gooks they’ve wasted;
but if you’d really been there, 
I mean REALLY BEEN THERE
you wouldn’t talk about that shit as
the phony vet blows nicotine trumpets with
blazing tatoos that hurt my eyes;
But you can tell that he pulls his prick
and you’re not here to tell him ’cause
you’ve been released to those choppers
that bring holy hash and sacred shit-on-a-shingle;
they treated those cans like gold, like fucking gold, 
I won’t pull your prick anymore, Harry

Epilogue

They don’t announce this kind of shit;
whenever they find you dead in your room you’re
only a footnote and/or soup kitchen gossip but
I didn’t know since they don’t announce that shit;
May God grant us grace to be real, Harry
You’ve been released, Rest In Peace, my friend

July 27-August 2, 2009: Daniel Romo and David Neves

week of July 27-August 2, 2009: 

Daniel Romo and David Neves

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
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Daniel Romo
danromo@charter.net

Bio (auto)

Daniel Romo teaches high school Creative Writing, and lives in Long Beach, CA He has been published here and there, and is currently seeking admittance into a rather swell low residency MFA program He strives to be witty and relevant in his poetry, but claims to use first person too much He’s addicted to SportsCenter and thinks gray sky the utmost inspiration

Visit Daniel on the web here: myspace.com/danielfreeverseromo

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Daniel Romo and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Things Done

I.

The plastic, olive infantryman
Obediently dangles out the window of
Alex’s mom’s new ’83 Corolla hatchback,
An old shoelace tied to his leg;
The other end clutched in my hand, 
Sticky with sour apple Now and Laters residue Each green light stuttering over concrete
As if riddled with enemy fire,
Body crashing street like a dire Kamikaze Dropped off in my driveway,
I pick him up, put him in my palm,
And inspect his wounds recalling the word
I got wrong on the spelling test earlier in the day,
— sacrifice Battered, misshapen, almost all in one piece,
One couldn’t tell
He never had a heart.

II.

I’d never heard of Norman Schwarzkopf,
Didn’t know much about the Persian Gulf
Simply, “scud missiles” often punch lines
To late night monologues It’s early Monday morning, and I’m hung over
From a frat party when Alex calls “They may ship me to Iraq soon bro.”
I thought he only wore the uniform to get laid,
And the only time he’d ever fire, 
Feverishly mashing button A
During drunken Nintendo wars The day we hugged goodbye my tears
Tasted like gunpowder,
And I hoped he’d shoot those
Mother fuckers in their mouths.

III.

The house smelled festive Alex’s mom cooked chicken enchiladas,
And baked a chocolate cake Blue and white frosting read,
Welcome home hero Resuming epic video game battles
In his living room:
Me on the La-Z-Boy, 
Feet propped up on the ottoman,
Alex next to me,
Just like pedaling to the park From his wheelchair,
Abrupt stubs once rangy legs he proclaimed,
“I’ll still kick your ass.”
In that moment I recalled,
Alex never missed words on spelling tests Battered, misshapen, almost still in one piece,
One couldn’t tell,
He never had regrets.


Con Artist

In another life he was John Rockefeller And raided trains with
Pancho Villa.

You first met him at a
“Clue” board game-themed party;
He was Professor Plum.

That night he told you
He graduated Yale at 14,
And began renegotiating the debt
Of small European countries
Later that summer.

If it weren’t for his claim
To be the inspiration for Don Juan,
You knew him to be Casanova.

But you learned he was a liar, 
Cheat, 
Scoundrel.

Deftly painting portraits of impossibility, 
Beautiful, 
At what he did.

David Neves
stud-ly@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

I am 51, live alone, love classical music, chess and computers I am a big Mets fan (baseball) and speak five languages I have two grown children-one of whom is autistic I look quite a bit like Jerry Garcia! LOL I live in the Ironbound section of Newark I am retired from the US Postal Service I am a bulbous, ugly, sick, poor and dullwitted fellow! When I finally go to those “piney woods”, to that great Super 8 in the sky, or to that celestial Chinese buffet, my epitaph should read:
“HERE LIES THE CUTE LITTLE FELLA AT LEAST HIS POEMS DON’T SUCK!!!” LOL I am now on YouTube I am slowly uploading my videos onto that site, so you can see me read my pieces and decide for yourself whether they suck or not!

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by David Neves and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Tribute
(How I Out Luperted Rick Lupert!)

Hey Rick, I bought your book,
Your bright, shiny, altar boy, 
Sister Bertrill, pristinely
quasi-ecclesiastical,
crossing guard orange
poetry-book;
in order to fulfill
my life’s ambition
which is
to win arguments
(which I could not do,
since I promptly
debated my cat Ksusha
and lost)
and to influence poodles
(coincidentally, a shaggy, 
snooty, toy poodle proceeded
to pee on my leg)
so I got my umbrella-
Oh yes, Rick, I bought your
parking-cone orange
poetry book-
The best $15.38
that I’ve ever spent!

July 20-26, 2009: Luivette Resto and G. Murray Thomas

week of July 20-26, 2009: 

Luivette Resto and G Murray Thomas

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
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Luivette Resto
luivette@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Luivette Resto was born in Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico but proudly raised in the Bronx She received her BA in English Literature with a concentration in US Latino Studies from Cornell University in 1999 In 2003, she completed her MFA in Creative Writing specifically poetry at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst Her work can be read in several publications such as Harpur Palate, Albion Review, Falling Star Magazine, The Furnace Review, Latino Today, and Kennesaw Review Currently, she lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband, Jose and their three children, Antonio, Sofia, and Joaquin Resto is a professor at Citrus College and Mt San Antonio College where she teaches English Literature and composition writing.
Haikuniverse - A Daily Haiku or Micro-Poem
Lupert: It's the Website
Cat and Banana
Ain't Got No Press
Cobalt Poets

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