June 19-25, 2017: Poetry from Anwer Ghani and Diane Elayne Dees

​Anwer Ghani and Diane Elayne Dees

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​Anwer Ghani
tajalliatj@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Anwer Ghani is an Iraqi poet. He was born in 1973 in Hilla. He is the author of "Narratopoet"; (I. Inventives Cloud 2017), "Antipoetic Poems"; (Creat Spacee 2017), "TRUMP"; a poetry collection, (Inner Child Press 2017) and "The Narratolyric Writing"; essays (Smashwords 2017). His name had appeared in Adelaide, Zarf, Peacock, Eunioa, Rabbit, Otoliths and others. Visit Anwer on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by ​Anwer Ghani and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Arab’s River

I heard that the rivers’ waters, which breathe their laughs in the springs, will end in The Arab’s River. The birds which leave their eggs in the high trees will build their nest in the garden of my grandfather and the clouds which turn the sky dusty, will give their rain in our dessert. The bombs which had been made in the remote land will sleep in my river’s dreams. So I am a famous man and my river is a kind heart.

 



Diane Elayne Dees
dianeedees@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Diane Elayne Dees’s poetry has been published in many journals and anthologies. Diane, who lives in Covington, Louisiana, also publishes Women Who Serve, a blog that covers women’s professional tennis worldwide.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Diane Elayne Dees and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Conway Speaks Her Truth
(found poetry)

We feel disappointed.
That’s why we feel compelled
to go out and clear the air
and put alternative facts
through their phones,
certainly through their television sets,
any number of ways.
Go buy Ivanka’s stuff–
microwaves that turn into cameras.
I’m going to give a free commercial here:
He has intelligence and information
that the rest of us do not.
The masterminds behind
the Bowling Green Massacre
mainly care about what happens
from the waist down. 
There’s nothing we can do about that, 
except not leak ourselves.
Hold us accountable.

 


June 12-18, 2017: Poetry from Scott Laudati and David Subacchi

​Scott Laudati and David Subacchi

Send us your poetry for POET OF THE WEEK consideration.
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​Scott Laudati
scottlaudati@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Scott Laudati lives in New York City with his turtle, Tango. He is the author of books Play The Devil (novel) and Hawaiian Shirts In The Electric Chair (poems). Visit him on instagram @scottlaudati

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by ​Scott Laudati and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


my first night back

we were far apart once
but you can hear my heart now
in this chest,
and your hair used to itch
my skin if you didn’t tuck it back
but you’ll never hear about it again
because i left you once
and i learned
to miss everything,
coffee at sunset
and all night sirens up and down
amsterdam
while the pitbulls howled at
newspapers blowing by like
white rabbits taunting them
in the night.
and the coffee fades while the rum kicks
in and all those sounds fade to the periphery
like a television on in someone
else’s apartment.
and your hair crawls across my chest
like the tiny arms of a friendly spider.
you always knew what you had
but it took me a little longer.
there’s no escape in my forever now
our bones can grow soft in peace.
and that future we always talked about
can’t come soon enough

 



David Subacchi
david.subacchi@tiscali.co.uk

Bio (auto)

David Subacchi lives in Wrexham, Wales (UK) where he was born of Italian roots. He studied at the University of Liverpool and he has 4 published collections of his English Language poetry First Cut (2012), Hiding in Shadows (2014), Not Really a Stranger (2016) and A Terrible Beauty (2016). His work has also appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies. You can find out more about David and his work at http://www.writeoutloud.net/profiles/davidsubacchi

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by David Subacchi and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Engineering

If you wear these goggles
With headphones
And take a control
In each hand
You can walk
Across a battlefield,
Or stand in front
Of a roller coaster;
Say immediately
If you feel uncomfortable.

This is a university
Where we specialize
In engineering
Virtual reality;
Soon you will be able
To pick up swords
Or avoid collisions;
The technology
Is of course, still
Work in progress.

If you prefer
Less interactive
Learning experiences
We still have a library
With some books
And a half empty workshop
With old fashioned tools;
If you find anything
That could be useful
Just help yourself.

 


June 5-11, 2017: Poetry from Richard Lynch and J. K. Durick

​Richard Lynch and J. K. Durick

Send us your poetry for POET OF THE WEEK consideration.
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​Richard Lynch
photoshop.layers@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Richard is immersed in biology. He just realizes it, unlike everyone else. Politics become annoying, especially when a dollar store closes because they can’t get goods from China anymore. The biology of politics becomes getting beaten with bricks that — in a midget’s hands — look like legos on the deathbed of a young terminal cancer patient. Sympathy becomes blinded by empathy and people make commercials. Someone has a cause that interrupts a football game. It was supposed to be fun. You end up getting rabies shots because the wild dogs are of unknown origin (that’s a true story), and all because you ran out of eggs. Jesux the jeans had teeth marks and fashion could tolerate holes, but not those that came with experience. Richard eats eggs. Sometimes every day. Sometimes they are eggs beaten with bricks, which is clumsy compared to using a whisk. He doesn’t whisk, but regretfully his tongue is bigger than his mouth, and the lisp never really goes away.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by ​Richard Lynch and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Traffic Accident Addict

I’ve noticed
that bleeding can be a relief, like
a sleeping limb brought to life
by reestablishing the blood flow
in changing position
or flexing muscles.

Tingling neglect gets replaced
by a cool vibrant sensation.

Maybe death, as well,
is a relief. Passing from
the constipation of
this form to the next.

I died in my dreams —
more than once. When
you get past the fear of it, the
strange peace of calm
that comes on after the loss
of body is immaculate.

I slept through it several times
now just to be there. The
ache you have harbored in corpus
dissipates. The form that engaged you
is not even a memory. A
tingling evaporation like
watching the breath come off a mirror
with nothing to replace it.

Another breath didn’t matter.

In my dreams I lost
that fear of death, not
that it wasn’t coming, but that it
might just as well be a welcome release.

Workers laid traffic cones
along the side of the
discussion where
no one should pass.

I

was alone on my highway
bleeding down it.

Bleeding out.
Welcoming the coming.

 



J. K. Durick
jdurick2001@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Social Justice Poetry, 1947, Stanzaic Stylings, Synchronized Chaos, and Algebra of Owls.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by J. K. Durick and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Going to Bulgaria

I’ve never been to Bulgaria, yet I know that this time of year,
springtime in Bulgaria must be beautiful, with all the streets
of Sophia – is that the capitol of Bulgaria? – all the streets
bustling with Bulgarians going about their business, sidewalks
full, and cars and trucks and buses, the notorious traffic of
city life bumper to bumper, people talking, even shouting
all in Bulgarian, a language I’ve never heard; as I said
I’ve never been to Bulgaria, but if I did go I’d be a tourist
strolling through Sophia, viewing the sights, whatever
they are, I’d find a café, a sidewalk one if they have them,
I’d sit sipping Bulgarian tea or coffee, people watching,
listening to conversations I can’t follow, to street performers,
I hope they’d have them, playing stringed instruments and
singing what must be traditional Bulgarian folk songs, I’d be
there absorbing Bulgaria, and happy I’m sure; yet I’ve never
been to Bulgaria, but online TripAdvisor has decided I must
go there, they fill the margins of everything I view with ads
for places to stay in Sophia, Bulgaria, hostels to hotels deep,
the cheapest for sixteen dollars a night, who could resist
such an array, the places to stay in Bulgaria haunt my every
search, my every game, my every online minute, yet as I’ve
said I’ve never been to Bulgaria and plan never to go there,
though I’d like to see Bucharest, but that’s not in Bulgaria.

 


May 29 – June 4, 2017: Poetry from Theophilus Kwek and Sy Roth

​Theophilus Kwek and Sy Roth

Send us your poetry for POET OF THE WEEK consideration.
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​Theophilus Kwek
theophiluskwek@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Theophilus Kwek has published four volumes of poetry – most recently The First Five Storms (smith | doorstop, 2017), which won the New Poets’ Prize. He also won the Jane Martin Prize in 2015, and was recently placed Second in the Stephen Spender Prize for Poetry in Translation 2016. He lives in Oxford, UK, and is a Co-Editor of Oxford Poetry. He is completing a MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. 

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by ​Theophilus Kwek and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Fibonacci

It must have been around this time of year.
Weathered sheep, white sky, a frozen sun,
snow-hares still flecked with autumn colours,
kites flown from draughty nests. Foxes, long
gone into hiding, let alone by the royal dogs
asleep in Pisa’s kennels. Nothing left to ruin
his famous experiment, not the thought
of Geronimo curled in his father’s things
through warm Mediterranean nights,
dream-fingers closed on a noiseless toy
made from the tree outside, nor the sense
he finds hard to explain, waking at first light
to a quiet house, of something out of joint,
a pattern unstuck. In the end

what is it that makes him count the pairs?
One afternoon, a sign of nature’s genius,
a willow-branch stealing unawares
through the window, stalks of angel’s tears
frosted over in their plain geometry?
Or, at forty-seven, the inscrutable
timed tremble in the blood, age’s alchemy,
which after a spell turns lead into silver,
then some lighter element? In the mean,
it’s said, many seek that constant proof
to which all things must tend, and chance
upon what he alone among them gleans.
Nothing so infinite as to count as truth,
only return, which is a form of consequence.

The Lonely Crowd, Issue Five: Summer 2016

 



Sy Roth
sydad@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Sy Roth lives in Mount Sinai, New York. He is a sullied lover of words. 

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Sy Roth and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Sullied Lover

rhythmically it sways
to a chorus of the wind swipes
trying to shake it loose
a balless scrotum
in a neo-world

flaccid,
wind-chime ornament
trapped
in its branches
it shuffs angrily

atonal clashes of wind accompaniment
drums and cymbals
a discordant calliope
cradled in outstretched arms

budding branches
tango in aping spring winds,
a mewling sirocco
of entanglement
against the sky

the branches barely verdant
swaddled in anticipation
eludes the flotsam of men,
dodges and weaves above
a dusty field
trunk anchored
to a sour earth
dressed in monet-fevered oils

colossal dream
dancers sunday stroll
beneath it
easter ornament
incipient revival
drags it back to the tomb
crunchy sound of plastic bags
dangling
above a sullied earth
too high to dispose of

it supplants solemn joy
defies gusty winds
dresses the tree in gloom
its crinkly chime
of a sullied lover.

 


May 22-28, 2017: Poetry from Doug Elson and Jim Babwe

​Doug Elson and Jim Babwe

Send us your poetry for POET OF THE WEEK consideration.
Click here for submission guidelines.


​Doug Elson
dougelson@hotmail.ca

Bio (auto)

Doug Elson is an aspiring poet who lives in Chapleau ON Canada. He works, lives, and wanders in the great, remote outdoors of northeastern Ontario, Canada. He considers the lonely wilderness his main inspiration. His work has appeared in eFiction magazine, Untitled, with Passengers, Haiku Journal, and Stellar Showcase Journal

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by ​Doug Elson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Trees

Flowering trees
crash their beauty
into a fast grave
and I run and 
drag my fingers in
the last boughs.

 



Jim Babwe
jdbabwe@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Jim Babwe is a Cal Poly Pomona grad. He also went to several other universities, including Stanford, Oxford, and UC San Diego (but only to the campus bookstores). Right now (no kidding), he is loading up a rented U-haul and moving back to Encinitas. He’ll call you back as soon as he can.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Jim Babwe and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Over the Limit

Stupid panic
and the scent of Brut cologne
cheapened the expensive ride
(but did not lower the price)
in the back seat of a patrol car
where my righteous indignation
and involuntary participation
with the law and injustice
spent my phone call
on a plea
to a bail bonds company–
catchy phone number
in the radio jingle–
which billed me
for a ten percent fee
before the DMV
punished me
and the CHP
punished me
because
I ran out of Listerine
and used the cologne
to mask the odor
of beer on my breath
(two twelve ounce cans, I swear)
not understanding
the percentage of ethanol
(gaudy green bottled liquid)
I guzzled into a horrible
taste in my mouth
and refuses to vacate
its stubborn spot
beside my self-sworn oath
to boycott all false promise,
pseudo
manly
scent
products
forever
and
ever.

Amen.
Dammit.

 


May 8-14, 2017: Poetry from Alex Dreppec and Clyde ALWAYS

​Alex Dreppec and Clyde ALWAYS

Send us your poetry for POET OF THE WEEK consideration.
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​Alex Dreppec
AlexDeppert@gmx.de

Bio (auto)

Alex Dreppec (artist’s name) – born 1968, lives in Darmstadt close to Frankfurt as "Alexander Deppert", studied psychology and linguistics and went to Boulder/Colorado for his Ph.D. (finished 2001). German author with hundreds of publications (both poetry and science) in German journals and anthologies, both the most renowned ("Der große Conrady" – since 2008) and the best sold among them. "Wilhelm Busch" Prize 2004. Numerous English poems were accepted by "Cincinnati Review", "Notre Dame Review", “Borderlands Texas Poetry Review”, “Parody on Impression”, “English Journal. National Council of Teachers of English” (USA), "Orbis", “The Interpreter’s House”, “The Journal” (UK) and others so far. 2015, Alex Dreppec has been awarded the third place here. Visit Alex on the web here: http://www.dreppec.de/english_dreppec.html

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by ​Alex Dreppec and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Gathering Mushrooms at Night

We startle the swarms of the night,
you settled on my way.
We’ll gather mushrooms at night.

They plan the breakout
from the rain-soaked ground,
we’ll gather mushrooms at night.

Scatter me into the world,
come, rest yourself upon me,
we’ll gather mushrooms at night.

Three seconds between
your lips and mine,
we’ll gather mushrooms at night,

and then a break all too short
from the civilised world,
we’ll gather mushrooms at night.


previously published in: The Binnacle. Twelfth Annual Ultra-Short Edition 2015

 



Clyde ALWAYS
clydealwaysthebard@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Clyde ALWAYS the Bard of the Lower Haight, for the promotion of bliss, writes and recites his own blend of tall tales and clever verses. You can catch his act any Friday evening at Cafe International on the corner of Haight and Fillmore in San Francisco, CA where he performs as emcee and ringleader of their infamous open mic night, which, has come to be known locally as ‘The Clyde ALWAYS Show.’

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Clyde ALWAYS and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Like, Literally Annoying

Like, literally he was dumb as a turkey.
Like, literally he would bray like a mule.
Like, literally what a prick and a jerk—he’s
a literal shit-show—an asshole—a tool!

Like, literally he was drivin’ me crazy.
Like, literally he was gettin’ my goat.
Like, literally I was Martin Scorsese
and literally jumped, like right down his throat.

Now, literally he’s asleep with the fishes.
Now, literally I’m just so full of beans.
Now, literally we’ve got all of our wishes.
Perhaps now he knows what ‘like, literally’ means.

 


May 1-7, 2017: Poetry from Alex Ewing and Jan Wiezorek

​Alex Ewing and Jan Wiezorek

Send us your poetry for POET OF THE WEEK consideration.
Click here for submission guidelines.


​Alex Ewing
hitchdiggy67@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Alex Ewing lives in the suburbs of Columbus Ohio. She is a graduate of Howard University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Juked and The Laughing Dog.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by ​Alex Ewing and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Just Go Please

Last night was especially brutal
Your hands were so close, yet never crossed the threshold of my neck
I can still feel the heat of your fingertips 
Pointing to the door

 



Jan Wiezorek
janwiezorek@comcast.net

Bio (auto)

Jan Wiezorek has taught college English in Chicago, and his poetry is forthcoming from Schuylkill Valley Journal online. He is author of Awesome Art Projects That Spark Super Writing (Scholastic, 2011) and holds a master’s degree in English Composition/Writing from Northeastern Illinois University. 

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Jan Wiezorek and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

October Wood

Some niche: rested in planks
with its own electric fingers

hovering light to become
our hands, caressing a

mahogany thigh and
making death through

elemental cuts and saws.
Here in the mist jays strain

among wooden feeders and
lichen stains like palms

wrestling with backbone and
clavicle. We are so strong

until the cardinal shares seeds
with mate. Then, we have the

tendency to take out a folded
linen cloth and share it, wrapping

each femur of petrified wood
while bird tolls a dee, dee, dee.

Is it true we bury some religious
without a lid, the death face

covered in tossed flowers, not
wood? And we hold them well

into night, feeling muscles, skeleton,
and hair against our knees, rocking

death away with sensational fingers
and cushions of body bark.


Library Reading Room

Living dust is always learning,
tucked along bookshelves, lining
in graphite fill, filmed across
flamboyant ice blocks of glass.

It cushions the amperes of green-
focused lamps, is sewn in gold-
filigree frames, taunts the colors
themselves, inviting the eye to image

what is paint—and what is disguised
brushwork of somber dust-catchers.
Sitting, turning, trading eyeballs,
clicking surfaces, they fail to alpha-

betize correctly when the librarian asks
again and again. He brushes them off.
And so we come to this—pour out the
vacuum; empty it before the second seating.


Township Cemetery

Pasqual, the name weathered on a time-rune
stone, conducted the underground railway

in the twenty years leading up to the Civil War.
At great cost and with hardship to family, the

memorial shouts, and we hear echoes, trimmed in
angelic tondi for liberty, bamboo crosses, and

three flowers: red, white, and blue. Honor, for
sure, in the hillside of ill-repair; no visitors.

The gate squeaks its neon “open” as much as
a formal parting. Hunt for such history

among the first-named free, back to black
holler, and find a footstone in foundation

rocks and tumbled hearths: their past
lives on in loveless troubles, carpet moss.

 

 


19th Annual Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) Poetry Issue

Our nineteenth annual Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) issue.

Alex Chornyj
Ananya Guha
Anthony Watts
Bryan Damien Nichols
KJ Hannah Greenberg
Dan Fitzgerald
Daniel Irwin
David Ades
David Lohrey
G. David Schwartz
David Supper
Donal Mahoney
Elena Thornton
Elizabeth Harmatys Park
Nicholson Eric
Cona F. Gregory-Adams
Geoffrey Heptonstall
Graham Fulton
Hanoch Guy
Heather Browne
I.B. Rad
James Goodman
Jan Chronister
Jim Bennett
Johnmichael Simon
Krista Wallen
Lisa Stice
Marsha Markman
Martina Robles Gallegos
Matthew Scott Harris
Merridawn Duckler
Michael Brownstein
Michael Burch
Michael Virga
Neil Ellman
Nicholas Nicola
Ozzie Nogg
Nancy Scott
Patricia Carragon
Raoul Izzard

Richard Kalfus
Richard Widerkehr
Rie Sheridan Rose
Rifkah (Rita) Goldberg
Ron Kolm
Stacey Zisook-Robinson
Steve Braff
Stefanie Bennett
Susan Beth Furst
Thomas Elliott
Tina Edwards
Tina Hacker
Virginia Mariposa Dale
Wilderness Sarchild
Zvi A. Sesling


Send us your poetry for POET OF THE WEEK
consideration.
Click here for submission guidelines.


Alex Chornyj
xelanire@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Alex (Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, Canada) has been writing for approximately forty years. His poetry has been published in magazines, books, online and in journals. His writing is the expression of his inner self through the spiritual translation of his spirit guides. He is a regular contributor on the monthly Poetry Super Highway call in show on blogtalk radio.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Alex Chornyj and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Sanctity

It’s something we need
To talk about
The ugly side of conflict
The cultural genocide of the Holocaust.
During the second world war
Most did not live to tell
But those who did
Speak of unspeakable acts.
As those of Jewish faith
Faced a persecution
Families were torn apart
Incinerators filled the air,
With an acrid odour
From the burning flesh
Of the innocent
Whose screams and cries,
Prevail to this day
As Hitler has many names
One face replaces the other
The suffering across lines,
Is non-discriminatory
It is as pervasive today
As for those who stood in line
Waiting for their execution.
Whose only guilt
Was being who they were
Not from anything
That they’d ever done.
But the race they were born into
To be chastised
By an ethnocentric doctrine
That lacks any legitimacy,
Or jurisdiction
We need to acknowledge this loss
As a black eye in our history
Not to forget,
But to solemnly remember
Not to relive the moment
But to teach us how not to be
To defend the dignity and sanctity of life.


Ananya Guha
nnyguha48@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Ananya S Guha lives in Shillong in North East India.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Ananya Guha and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Untitled

The bombs left many
gasping
many splintered
before seeing
a holocaust


Anthony Watts
sanchobramble@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Anthony Watts lives on the outskirts of a village near Taunton in Somerset, England.  He has been writing ‘seriously’ for about 40 years.  He has won prizes in poetry competitions and has had poems published in magazines and anthologies.  His latest collection is The Shell-Gatherer.  His main interests are poetry, music, walking and binge thinking – activities which he finds can be happily combined.  

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Anthony Watts and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

He watched

black smoke curling from the crematorium
where his mother and sister were being consumed;

next he watched (they made him watch)
while they hung a child who took an hour to die.

‘Where is God?’ a prisoner asked, ‘where is He?’ 

– and a clear voice answered, ‘He is here,
hanging on the gallows.’



(Based on the memories of the Holocaust survivor
and Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel.)


Bryan Damien Nichols
bryandnichols@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Bryan Damien Nichols was born in Houma, Louisiana, on August 30, 1978.  He earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Baylor University, and a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law.  He has practiced law both in Houston and in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley.  Bryan currently lives in Los Fresnos, Texas, with his loving wife, Michelle.  Bryan is best known for the poetry he writes through his two heteronyms:  (1) Kjell Nykvist; and (2) Alexander Shacklebury.  These two heteronyms were featured in Bryan’s debut poetry collection, Whispers From Within (Sarah Book Publishing, 2015).  In this submission, by contrast, Bryan writes in his own name.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Bryan Damien Nichols and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Remember

Remember the sore-ridden boy with the severed
leg, Gottschalk, who coughed himself to sleep
on a floor of dirt. Remember the half-blinded
girl, Jesenska, who collapsed by the assembly line,
her box full of machine parts scattering
as she fell. Remember the women–Desnos,
Nussbaum, Rubczak–who, after having
their children ripped from their slender arms,
forsook all pride and hope. Remember how
they became as statues, starring with dulled eyes,
into the infinite gloom of fresh-wound memories.
Remember the heavy rains, the muddy puddles,
the bodies of broken men–Feldman, Cohen, Shkop,
Ullman, Pirjevec, Kolbe–in muddy puddles.
Remember the compound where dozens
were held, finding room for themselves only
like folded sheets stuffed into a closet.
Remember that so many drained the cup
of that specious phrase spiked with insidious intent:
Arbeit Macht Frei.

But remember that these many millions–male
and female–young and old–all and singular–
remain woven into the blood and sinew
of our hearts as a testament to the simple truth
that the Oppressed–in spite of fear, savagery,
and hate–can survive.


KJ Hannah Greenberg
drkarenjoy@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

KJ Hannah Greenberg, who writes from Jerusalem, BH, plays with words that bud in pastures where gelatinous wildebeests roam and beneath the soil where fey hedgehogs play. Hannah’s poetry collections are: Mothers Ought to Utter Only Niceties (Unbound CONTENT, 2017, Forthcoming), A Grand Sociology Lesson (Lit Fest Press, 2016), Dancing with Hedgehogs, (Fowlpox Press, 2014), The Little Temple of My Sleeping Bag (Dancing Girl Press, 2014), Citrus-Inspired Ceramics (Aldrich Press, 2013), Intelligence’s Vast Bonfires (Lazarus Media, 2012), Supernal Factors (The Camel Saloon Books on Blog, 2012), Fluid & Crystallized (Fowlpox Press, 2012), and A Bank Robber’s Bad Luck with His Ex-Girlfriend (Unbound CONTENT, 2011).

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by KJ Hannah Greenberg and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Animadversion

Across social media, the animadversion of “Jews,” “Hebrews,” “Israelis,”-
You know the kind, remains popular fodder for denizens more intrigued
With Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram’s bright lights than actual collective
Justice, human decency, or the sorts of goings on that honor life’s worth.

Irresponsible censors claim prejudice is fake news, hatred died last century,
BDS makes better citizens, also that no one really wants to throw the Holy
Land’s people into the sea. After all, liberal attitudes are necessarily good,
Plus “equality” means treating terrorists the same as victims, worldwide.

Funny, though, the genocide that was the Shoah, our near destruction
In Esther’s Persia, plus countless other faces/places of enemies argued
Otherwise. In every generation, some villain seeks die Endlösung der
Judenfrage, the removal from humanity, of us, G-d’s precious children.


Dan Fitzgerald
writer@fayeadams.com

Bio (auto)

Dan lives quietly in Pontiac, Illinois, tending to home and garden. His poems have been published in The Writer’s Journal, PKA Advocate, Nomad’s Choir and many others. His work is also included in several anthologies. He has written off and on for a number of years and has written three chapbooks- Musing, Your Star and Other Poems, and Random Tales.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Dan Fitzgerald and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Remembering Again

Numbers grow faint
on withering arms.
Old railroad tracks
dissolve in rust.
Flowers bloom where
only shadows grew.
Blue sky and wind
drive away the smoke
from long ago burnings..
Pictures fade.
Blacken bricks crumble
with the rain.
Words become just slogans
written on abandoned alley walls.

Then again, faces disappear, nameless,
into dark deep basements.
Tombstones are broken and scattered
on sacred ground.
The whiffs of gas and smoke
drift on the passing wind,
stirring memories
that should never have been forgotten.
Old voices begin to speak.
Oh yes, remember us again.


Daniel Irwin
niwrid@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Daniel S. Irwin, artist, actor, writer, soldier, scholar, priest, after traveling a great part of the world now resides back home in Sparta, Illinois. 

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by email and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

A Shame

A shame that it would happen
A shame what people could do
A shame so many took part
A shame innocents suffered
A shame the world did little
A shame to deny it happened
A shame if we ever forget.


David Ades
davidades@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

David Adès is a Pushcart Prize nominated poet who relocated to Sydney, Australia in 2016 after living in Pittsburgh for five years. He has been a member of Friendly Street Poets since 1979. He is the author of the chapbook Only the Questions Are Eternal (Garron Publishing, 2015) and the collections Mapping the World (Friendly Street Poets / Wakefield Press, 2008) commended for the Anne Elder Award 2008) and Afloat in Light (UWA Publishing, 2017 – see https://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/afloat-in-light). His poems have appeared widely in Australia and the U.S. in publications including over 20 of the Friendly Street Readers, and numerous literary magazines and have also been widely anthologized, most recently in Australian Poetry Anthology, Volume 5, 2016. David is the winner of the University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize, was a finalist in the Dora and Alexander Raynes Poetry Prize 2016 and has been highly commended for several other prizes.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by David Ades and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

My Mother, My Daughter and Anne Frank

1.

My mother, born in the same year as Anne Frank,
was woken night after night in July 1942 by sirens,

ran with her brothers and sisters, gas masks in hands,

to a basement for shelter, to hide from the bombs
raining on Alexandria, while Rommel stalked Egypt,

inching closer, fighting the battles of El Alamein

in the near distance, while Anne Frank moved into
her Secret Annex, began her diary probing a world gone mad

with curiosity, intelligence and burning questions.

My mother still remembers her father’s fear, his quaking
and stomach cramps at the sound of the sirens,

the first bomb that fell on an apartment block where friends lived,

the threat in Rommel’s approach, poised to push the British
from Egypt, to bring mass murder to the Jews of Alexandria.

One of six children, my mother witnessed

her family’s dispersal across the globe,
saw generation follow generation, a beautiful flowering

gifted only to those who did not perish.

2.

My mother’s six-year-old granddaughter knows about
Malala Yousefzai, burns with questions,

tries and fails to understand why so many girls

around the world are denied education.
My six-year-old daughter knows about Anne Frank,

burns with questions, tries and fails to understand

why Anne Frank had to live in hiding in an attic,
why the Nazis wanted to exterminate the Jews.

I cannot answer her questions, cannot explain

what I also do not understand. My mother’s
six-year-old granddaughter is a whole world unto herself,

the flowering of another generation that holds

a realm of possibilities, a realm of futures in its eager hands.
Had she been born in a different place in a different time

she may have been one of the millions of worlds

extinguished to fulfil one man’s demonic vision.
We live, we die, but what passes in between

is so senseless, so brutal, so full of carnage

and questions asked that cannot be answered
that we flounder in our sacred mission to try and try.


David Lohrey
lohr_burgh@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

David Lohrey grew up in Memphis. His poetry can be found in Otoliths, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, Easy Street and Quarterday. In addition, recent poems have been anthologized by the University of Alabama (Dewpoint), Illinois State University (Obsidian) and Michigan State University (The Offbeat). Work can also be found in The Stony Thursday Book (Limerick) and Hidden Channel Zine (Mall Sligo). David is a member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective in Houston. Recent fiction can be read in Crack the Spine, Brilliant Flash Fiction and inshadesmag.com. He teaches in Tokyo.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by David Lohrey and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

At Sobibór, Prisoners Fought Back

The Rottweiler next door killed my wife’s pink
…………Chihuahua, but spat out one ear.
We planted its ear in our flower bed next to
…………the foxgloves under 3 inches of mulch.
It germinated, sending up coiled fronds 14” high.
…………At the first rain, it died, the entire spectacle.

It barks at night, or so my wife says. She hears it.
…………Lorraine, our Mexican maid from Oaxaca,
hears it, too. Her mole won first prize at the Pomona Fair,
…………taking 1st place for color but 3rd for taste. It was the color
of blood that’s been left out in the sun.

Lorraine calls everyone amigo except me. It’s clear we are
…………not friends, so she calls me mister or maestro.
She asks me every morning if I’d like some mud. Her ass
…………is wider than our Maytag. She doesn’t use pot holders
when she removes hot skillets from the stove.

The Rottweiler next door killed my appetite for life. It’s a special
…………breed bred for violence. He ate our pooch whole, clamping
down on its head and swallowing, as a snake devours a mouse.
…………Only Judy Collins can mend my heart. Only the past offers
escape. From here on out all our neighbors are Rottweilers.


G. David Schwartz
davidschwartzg@aol.com

Bio (auto)

G. David Schwartz is the former president of Seedhouse, the online interfaith committee. Schwartz is the author of A Jewish Appraisal of Dialogue (1994) and Midrash and Working Out Of The Book (2004) Currently a volunteer with the Cincinnati J Meals On Wheels Schwartz continues writing. His newest book, Shards And Verse (2011) is now in stores or can be order on line. Names are not real people.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by G. David Schwartz and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Yom Means Day

Yom means day
Hashoah means remembrance
Holocaust means disambiguation or burnt
We remember the burning
We recall not singing
For our voices were
Pecked out my a metaphorical raven
Metaphorically sitting here wishing there was saving
We hope the terror is gone
we pray we will see the sun
but a part of the sin
Is there is no grave yard to put bodies in.
So let us look to the sky
Not for a silent deity
But for any images we may see.
So we may say sorry
Sorry it happened, sorry we didn’t do enough
Sorry sorry sorry you are gone.


David Supper
davidmsupper@aol.com

Bio (auto)

David Supper now lives in Nottingham where he is a full time artist as well as writing poetry. Soon after the six day war David and his wife emigrated to Israel where his twins were born. Unfortunately this did not work out and they returned to the UK and he trained as a teacher at Manchester Poly. David was an art teacher in a secondary school in Berkshire for over 30 years. David has had poems published in a number of anthologies and magazines most notably ‘The Robin Hood Book’ and previous Holocaust shoah collections. Currently, with his second wife, who is Canadian, David is working on a series of children’s books out of which has developed a new game for 4-7yr olds which they hope will soon become well established for the youngsters.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by David Supper and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

All the Children

Sealed tight on iron wheels
clanging, clashing, grinding
metal on metal, burning coal,
choking, cold, flesh sticks and tears,
the smell of urine.

Small bundles of rags
are passed through air vents
as the train slows,
accompanied by desperate wails,
‘look after my baby, my little one’.

The cries fade as the grim freight
moves on, inexorably, heading east.
In monochrome queues of people
shuffle forward, left, right, left…
children cling to their mothers, whimpering.

Numb with fear, wide-eyed, dogs barking
they edged into the showers.
‘Leave your clothes here,’
were the orders,
‘fresh ones will be provided,’ they lied.

The iron doors clang shut,
and in the half grey light
there was a moment’s silence…
…until the gas came.


Donal Mahoney
donalmahoney1@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Donal Mahoney has moved from St. Louis, Missouri, to Belleville, Illinois. He is still searching for a “new pickle.” Some of his work can be found at https://thestoryshack.com/authors/donal-mahoney

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Donal Mahoney and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

They Were Refugees, Too

They were refugees, too,
back in the Forties,
settled in Chicago,
learned English,
some a lot, some a little,
found jobs of some kind,
made do like their neighbors
until things got better.

And by the Seventies,
on hot summer nights
they were loud and happy
gathering on Morse Avenue
around parking meters
in the dying sunlight
outside one of the delis
lining the street
to argue about the Cubs
or politics or anything
they could disagree upon.
If someone made a point
someone else made
a counterpoint.

Arguments squared off
with cab driver against lawyer,
handyman against accountant,
all of them equal as a people.
They were survivors of the holocaust,
some with forearm tattoos
shouting under short sleeve shirts,
others with tattoos silent under
long sleeves worn to the office
that day with a tie.

Chicago had welcomed them
thirty years earlier and now
they were giving back, working
and sending their children
to college after making a life
and a neighborhood their own.


Elena Thornton
info@artizona.org

Bio (auto)

Elena Thornton, M.A. – Educator, Poet, Photographer, Artist, has more than 30 years of hands-on experience in the education, business and the nonprofit sector. Founder/CEO, Arizona Consortium for the Arts, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, an all-volunteer, community organization.  All the programs, events and activities are free to the community. The consortium’s vision is to establish a multicultural, multidisciplinary arts space/center with an open door policy. The center will provide a home for all creative and innovative activities and will foster artistic growth for people of all ages through the participation in the arts. It will be a home for many wonderful community organizations and groups representing and celebrating our diverse community. Visit www.artizona.org

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Elena Thornton and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Holocaust Remembered

In the museum everyone quietly, slowly passes through
Each photograph, each artifact, each memory
I walk through quickly, my time is limited
Time stands still
A photograph of a beautiful woman
Full lips, wide smile, hopeful eyes
Perished
One of six million Jews
Gypsies
Homosexuals
Handicapped
Poles
And many, many other nationalities
Perished
Gassed, shot, starved to death,
Worked to death
And remembered here in the museum
In our nation’s capital
In Washington, DC
In the United States of America
Images, films, photographs of
Children, men, women
Young, old, reduced to bones
Spirits crushed
Reduced to ashes
Laughs gone forever
Hopes, dreams, talents
Silenced
In the cold ground below
Generations lost;
Disappeared in the purple cloud above
I walk out slowly
I retrospect
I pray…
I light a candle
I cry


Elizabeth Harmatys Park
parkeliz@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Elizabeth Harmatys Park lives in Burlington, WI.  She is a poet, a sociologist by profession, a teacher by vocation, a prison volunteer and peace activist.  She is a past recipient of the first place Jade Ring poetry prize awarded by the Wisconsin Writers Association.  In 1910 Elizabeth’s grandparents came to America from a village in Poland very near Oswiecim (Auschwitz).  This poem has been in her mind’s eye for many years because she was born in America while Jews were being exterminated near the place of her family’s origin. 

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Elizabeth Harmatys Park and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

1942

Spirit babies
flowing down to earth
warm from oven wombs
descended through
millions of spirits
young, in-between, old,
unborn flowing upwards
into eternity

Those new babies swam
down into the world
through a river of horror
through grieving spirits
trailing fierce sparks
of remembrance
as they ascended still warm
still smoldering from the fire
of extermination ovens

These being born,
were they marked?
These being born,
were they singed?

Did the tears
that flowed from
the murdered ones
wet the birthing babies
and cover them like cauls?


Eric Nicholson
ericleo@blueyonder.co.uk

Bio (auto)

Eric Nicholson is now retired. He worked as an art teacher and also worked in other fields of education. One book about Renaissance Art and Self-inquiry is looking for a publisher. Now working on a book about Blake and Buddhism. He enjoys countryside conservation, writing, singing in a choir and walking. On facebook. Published in www.neutronsprotons.com, www.literaryorphans.org, www.emptysink.com and www.heartjournalonline.com – Blogs on http://www.erikleo.wordpress.com

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Eric Nicholson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Watching Martin Heidegger on You-Tube

Here he wielded an axe without thinking of it as an axe.
“He fitted in with the farmers and foresters so well.
I can see his face over there:
he’s still alive as far as I’m concerned.”
A smiling son ushers us deeper into the Black Forest hut.
Who would have thought we can see him today
thinking the unthinkable and doing that which a small part
of him knew not to do. A cousin speaks next:
“As a child he was the weakest and smallest but commanded
all of us with his piercing blue eyes.” Cut to a dog-eared still.
The camera pans slowly across a desk, switching directions
so as to avoid a dark swastika; an abrupt cut shows
a grainy footage of a rustic figure splitting logs;
the Hitlerian moustache a mere shadow among deeper shadows;
light splintering each black and white frame until the end.
A fly crawls over my laptop screen briefly covering 1942
then takes wing as Heidegger becomes a talking head,
full frame. As I watch it’s difficult to grasp, as he talks,
his comrades are inscribing philosophy on human flesh.


Cona F. Gregory-Adams
writer@fayeadams.com

Bio (auto)

Cona F. (“Faye”) Gregory-Adams is an award-winning writer of poetry, children’s books, nonfiction, and short fiction.Published in newspapers, magazines, poetry journals and anthologies in the USA, UK, Korea, and Canada, Faye won Missouri’s Senior Poet Laureate title in 2010, and 2012. She served as co-editor of the annual Missouri State Poetry Society Poetry and Prose Anthology, published by the De Soto Chapter, 2003 through 2012.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Cona F. Gregory-Adams and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Hitler Burns

Hitler is burning
He burned yesterday
He will be burning tomorrow
He began to burn immediately
after his last breath.
Hitler will burn forever.
He would gladly accept a drop
of cool water on his tongue
from the least of those at Auschwitz,
at Dachau, at Warsaw, at Flossenburg.

Now, he knows.

He needs no convincing;
how cruel
how wrong
how doomed
from the moment he began
to devalue those he termed
“useless humanity.”
Now, he understands
that each one
was more acceptable than he.

He has total recall of each
prideful thought, callous decision,
every brutal act,
Now, he sees their faces
perpetually before him.

Hitler cannot escape the flames,
his torment will never end.
Yet he is not consumed.

Hitler burns.


Geoffrey Heptonstall
geoffreylit@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Geoffrey Heptonstall writes regularly for The London Magazine. He is the author of a novel, Heaven’s Invention, and much short fiction. He is also an essayist, playwright and poet. He lives in Cambridge, England.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Geoffrey Heptonstall and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Chamber Music

Where once was Jericho falling
to the music of one mind
the stones have risen unseen.
There is no way of finding a way
of words that never fade
when written in the air.
 
Every thought an echo
of a voice once heard.
The speaker is unknown.
None dare ask of anyone
the answer to the question
‘Who walks into this world?’
 
How the mind may leap
higher than a hand can reach
There is no way of knowing
all that is passing unware.
and how it may appear to be
the sound heard only in silence
from the far side of the universe
where the walls have an ending.


Graham Fulton
hfulton32@btinternet.com

Bio (auto)

Graham Fulton lives in Paisley in Scotland. He has had 11 critically acclaimed books of poetry published, the most recent being Brian Wilson in Swansea Bus Station (Red Squirrel Press, 2015) and Paragraphs at the End of the World (Penniless Press Publications, 2016). Equal Night is due out this year from Irish publisher Salmon Poetry. He is also the co-author of Pub Dogs of Glasgow (Freight Books, 2014) and Pub Dogs of London (Freight Books, 2015).

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Graham Fulton and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Limits
Warsaw, Poland

not much left
of the ghetto

a small
shadowed-away trace
of wall

a relic of dead-ends

high and dark
skins of brick

guided here
by our local guide

as we walk behind
normal homes

with
functional courtyards

bare trees

a reluctant sky
invisible grey

lines on the ground
to show
where things
were

how to remember

maps of
dead people
dead stories

parked cars
window boxes

limits of hope

human limits
stones in holes

candles in holes
burning people


Hanoch Guy
hanochkguypoet@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Hanoch Guy spent his childhood among cacti and citrus groves He is a bilingual poet in Hebrew and English, He taught Hebrew and Jewish literature at Temple university. He has published extensively and won awards in Poetica,Mad Poet society.Poetry matters. He is the author of The road to Timbuktu/Travel poems, Terra Treblinka;Holocaust poems, We pass each other on the stairs, Sirocco and scorpions-Poems of Israel and Palestine, and A hawk in midflight. Hanoch resides in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Hanoch Guy and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Freedom Feast

My grandfather’s house
In Beltzi Romania
Whitewashed walls ready
for Passover.
Crushed matzos and special Carmel
wine from the holy land spills.
Bard’s hair caught
in the broken glass
Grandma Sura holiday’s
Kerchief torn
Baby’s doll ripped.

Attic pours bibles and
talmuds to the creek.

A mournful hay roof touches snow


Heather Browne
dr.hmbrowne@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Heather M. Browne is a faith-based psychotherapist in Garden Grove, CA, recently nominated for the Pushcart Award, published in the Orange Room, Boston Literary Review, Page & Spine, Eunoia Review, Poetry Quarterly, Red Fez, Electric Windmill, Apeiron, The Lake, Knot, mad swirl.  Red Dashboard  released her first collection, Directions of Folding. www.thehealedheart.net

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Heather Browne and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Her War Ghosts

The ghosts she did not know
 Tinged her days, sepia shaded longing
 Sadness touching upon celebrations
 Cooling the edges, chilling
 her laughter
 
The ghosts she did not know
 Painted her moments, washing her walls
 Their shadowy silhouettes hanging
 Among family portraits
 Photos of before or now lined the walls, never then
 
She looked into the eyes of her grandmother
 Grandfather, uncle, aunts
 Days, years, months before, lightness, light
 Family she’d never meet
 Or know
 She looked at their mouths, soft
 Their hands, open
 Their bellies, full
 Her parents never spoke of what happened
 Only these three photos remained, hung
 Silent
 
Walking the hall she struggled to capture their voices
 Their words, alert to prick their whisperings
 She could sense their muffled background rumblings
 
Standing before their faces she could feel the rise
 Their anger stirring, her hatred mounting, stomach rolling
 Her family had been taken
 Ripped from all they’d known, stripped
 Down to nothing, nothing but flesh and bones
 Their bodies burned
 The dust of their debris covering everything, falling
 Still
 
She moved to Papa and Mama’s portrait, young then, before
 A spring dance, lace, chiffon
 Laughter filling their faces, spilling easily into gentle bodies
 Ghosts she did not know
 She smiled, a bit
 Mama’s hand gently touched Papa’s clean-shaven cheek
 Her wrist soft, clean
 Their numbers inked
 Embedded into flesh
 Stained
 Always covered now, her body shook, on guard with prickling
 Her covering would slip in moments, exposed
 Fear and shame contorting Mama’s face, always fear now
 She longed to touch their mark
 
She turned to Grandmother’s portrait
 She had her Grandmother’s eyes
 Spoken, this brought stinging to Mama
 She looked deeply, her eyes
 She pressed her nose upon the glass, cold
 Dust stirred
 The barrier between then and now
 How could they share eyes
 When she’d never seen the horrors?
 Her reflection mirrored back in the aged glass
 Her eyes overlapping Grandmother’s
 Blending and reflecting
 Revealing
 Her ghost


I.B. Rad
IBRadeck@aol.com

Bio (auto)

I.B. Rad is a New York City poet who’s been published in a variety of venues, much of his work being available on the internet. This poem was first published in the online British “Tuck Magazine.”  I happily acknowledge that the initial part of this poem is indebted to Wistawa Szymborska’s “Hitler’s First Photograph.”

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by I.B. Rad and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Terrorist

Such a pleasant face,
so benign
as in ‘wouldn’t hurt a fly,’
who would have thought
he’d die a terrorist?
Did his selfie lie?
Could he have started out
some mommy’s precious child
laughing at a puppy’s antics,
liking pizza,
rooting for a football team
with boyhood pals?
So why then
did he grow so inured
to inflicting pain
or even death?
Did he succumb to a brain dysfunction,
a mental abnormality?
Was he taught a foreign ideology,
some sacrosanct creed
of his favored group
that transcended suffering of ‘others?’
Were family or friends
disfranchised by an ‘enemy’
or did some other kind of tribulation
or extreme disappointment
test his humanity?
Was a key ingredient
a life so vacuous,
a cultural alienation so profound,
he craved a terrorist’s clarity and belonging,
a moth to the flame?
Unfortunately, we’ll never know,
for as he was fatally shot
authorities can only analyze his history,
investigate his internet activity,
interview those who knew him,
and speculate on an answer.
Still, in the end,
varied pundits will mouth
the received wisdom
that he was nothing
but a demented savage.
But then, had I or mine been harmed
by a terrorist’s act,
what would my reaction be?


James Goodman
stonegoodman@mac.com

Bio (auto)

James Stone Goodman is poet-rabbi currently working in St. Louis, Missouri. He works in prisons, advocates for mental health, runs a rescue mission countering drug misuse and other extreme preoccupations.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by James Goodman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Nowadays the Blue Is Hidden

The blue was taken from a snail found in the Sea. The snail comes up once every 70 years.
– Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 26a, Menachot 44a

1. There is a street in Paris (11th arrondissement) called
The Street of Tailors. I visited my friend who
lives near the street of tailors. We went to eat at a café
around the corner. The first day we passed the street of tailors,
I asked him, What is this street?

Don’t know, he said.
The next time we passed it, I asked again,
Where does the name – street of tailors – come from?
It once was a street of tailors, he said.

We passed it again the next day,
What is the street of tailors? I asked.

He said this: I heard that there was a street of tailors working there,
then the Germans took Paris, June 14, 1940,
and they all disappeared.

2. A street of tailor artists, seventy years of ghosts, they have not changed
the name of the street. A chasid on the sixth floor
ascends and descends silently
to make the evening prayers.
The street of tailors.

He knows fabrics but is a failure at freedom. Fingering the coat
he peers over his glasses. Nice merchandise, he says.
Expert in drapes and Torah, hands stained
with experimental dyes, he mixes a perfect blend
for a priestly tunic.

Expatriates tell jokes in a café, they order intestines all around.
It smells like an insult. Later they fuss
and pass the street of tailors.

3. The tailors sewed in secrecy, to recover the lost blue thread,
mystery blue, a deceased mollusk carried it
into the deep where it gave birth,
in salt, to the sea.


Jan Chronister
wfoppres@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Jan Chronister lives and writes in the woods near Maple, Wisconsin. Her chapbook Target Practice (2009) was published at the University of Wisconsin. She is currently president of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Jan Chronister and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Hiding from Punch Cards

A net is dragged through Berlin,
Captures data from doctors,
schools, churches, post office.

The family changed their name
back in ’30, so that shouldn’t be
a problem. They converted to
Catholicism about the same time,
removed menorahs, took down
the mezuzah. David and Rebekah wear
crosses to school, a picture of Christ
hangs in the hall. Nazi thugs

break windows, paint graffiti on
Uncle’s store downstairs. They move
five blocks away. Three knocks

on the door
middle of the night
Father dragged away
family left to worry
what the machines
will do to them next.

(written while reading an account of IBM’s involvement
in the collection and processing of data used by the Nazis
to identify Jews during the Holocaust)


Jim Bennett
info@poetrykit.org

Bio (auto)

Jim Bennett lives near Liverpool in the UK and tours giving readings of his work throughout the year.  He is widely published and has won many competitions and awards for poetry and performance. He runs www.poetrykit.org a successful internet site for poets.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Jim Bennett and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

written in a notebook on a visit to Auschwitz

I never thought it would make me feel this way
perhaps I should have listened read more about it
but I thought I knew it all I did know it all
but I had never seen it for myself
now i feel both guilty and a victim
and there is a smell in here

and the echo of the camp orchestra
lines of people waiting to come in to see
the ovens the showers the relics
outside noise from the school children
as they wait to be led inside and taught a lesson
this is an awful place and there is a smell here

a stench that clings to the air like honey
from the rosebushes flowering red roses
drop their petals on the path like spots of paint
while visitors in lines try to look respectful
as thorns covered by foliage
are ready to prick any hand that explores them


Johnmichael Simon
j_simon@netvision.net.il

Bio (auto)

Johnmichael Simon lives in Metulla, Israel. He has published eight solo books of poems and several collaborations with other poets. He is published widely in print and website collections. Johnmichael is chief editor of Cyclamens and Swords publishing and webmaster of Voices Israel.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Johnmichael Simon and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Yahrzeit

There are those on whom grief lies
like cold stones on a winter night
women and men in streets, on buses
gray, drab, holding their burdens close,
year after year,
worn before their time
Who will never love again
or grieve another time
telling themselves; this stone is mine
let no other disturb it
Tradition has us unveil stones
after a month and revisit them
once a year – on Yahrzeit
we stand beside
the stones and remember.
On this day each
may place his flower
his own small stone
on the grave
and move on
There are some
who dare to reach out
to touch another thinking
my hand is a flower
from under earth’s blanket
that can brighten drab stone
when spring comes
The flowers know that
only those who have
suffered winter’s cold are granted
to grow between the stones


Krista Wallen
krista.wallen@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Krista Wallen lives in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, where she is a wife and mom. From a young age, Krista has enjoyed reading and writing poetry.  You never need to ask if she’d like some coffee, as the answer is always yes.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Krista Wallen and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

untitled

Large eyes, wasted frames
Haunted looks, dead men walking
No end in sight, none.


Lisa Stice
houlistice@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Lisa Stice is a poet/mother/military spouse who received a BA in English literature from Mesa State College (now Colorado Mesa University) and an MFA in creative writing and literary arts from the University of Alaska Anchorage. While it is difficult to say where home is, she currently lives in Hampstead, North Carolina with her husband, daughter and dog. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and the author of a poetry collection, Uniform (Aldrich Press, 2016). You can find out more about her and her publications at lisastice.wordpress.com and facebook.com/LisaSticePoet.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Lisa Stice and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Dear Elie Wiesel

I cannot forget the sickness in my throat,
the heaviness in my core when I learned
that in 1939 900 Jewish refugees 
on the MS St. Louis—a ship named
for the patron saint against the death
of children—cabled ahead, but the president
did not respond because he feared
they would take jobs from his own
and so the ship was turned away.
 
But I am sorry
others have forgotten.


Marsha Markman
marshamarkman@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Marsha Carow Markman is Professor Emerita of English at California Lutheran University. She is co-editor with Susan Corey and  Jonathan Boe of The American Journey, Volumes 1 and 2 and Writing Women’s Lives, the latter including her, “Breast Cancer Diary.” She wrote and edited the “Introduction” to Piri Bodnar’s, Out of the Shadows, articles with Gordon Leighton in College and Research Libraries News and Research Strategies; “Teaching the Holocaust through Literature,” in New Perspectives on the Holocaust; and a review in The Historian of Martha Blauvelt’s, The Work of the Heart. Marsha’s poetry explores childhood memories and racism in its many forms. She and her husband divide their time between California and Maryland.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Marsha Markman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Watchers

They were witnesses as Jews
were dispersed from
the land of Bach and Beethoven
to the far corners of that
ancient continent.

They saw evil wave his baton
to the left….to the right
when names became numbers
labor was forced
ghettos dotted theland
ovens spewed the noxious remains
of innocents.

They watched as six million Jews
were robbed of
their properties
as family and friends
were eliminated
another five million deemed
unworthy
unfit for life
for Nationhood.

…... . . . .
Watching came to our shores
when the first Americans
were driven from their homes
to arid deserts
lands stolen
treaties broken
lives shattered.

They witnessed
the institution of slavery
and Jim Crow in
"the land of the free."

And in the past century
gathered again on the walkways
if towns and cities across Europe
to witness forced marches
to see cattle cars filled with
human refuse
to hear the clanging of their
death toll.

Shameful accomplices
are these bystanders*
witnesses to misery and death
as they watch
…..and watch


Martina Robles Gallegos
Selbor2015@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Martina was born and raised in Mexico and came to the United States at almost fifteen. She spoke no English. While recuperating from a work injury and stroke, she got a Master’s degree from Grand Canyon University. She’d picked up writing during her initial recovery. Some poems have been published in the Altadena Poetry Review: Anthology 2015, Hometown Pasadena, Spirit Fire Review, PSH, Silver Birch Press, Somos en Escrito, Spectrum, and Basta! She lives in Oxnard, CA.

 

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Martina Robles Gallegos and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Impossible to Forget

Some claim the Holocaust didn’t happen
that there was no use of chemical weapons
that decimated innocent people,
but present events remind us
that the Holocaust was real
and shouldn’t be repeated.
Who listens to departed souls
who couldn’t escape the gas chambers?
Who listened to emaciated bodies
who died waiting to be fed?
Who listened to orphaned
children whose parents
couldn’t escaped the horrors
of the Holocaust? All those souls,
bodies, and orphaned children
are screaming from far-away worlds
and beg us to remember
a dark, criminal, and deadly
past which seems likely to repeat.
Voices from the graves never forget the past
and call out to humanity to halt the hateful
rhetoric if our planet is to survive.


Matthew Scott Harris
Harris40tude@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Matthew Scott Harris resides in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. He dwells among a moderate population of Eastern European offspring. His misty past comprises gaps, where missing links (albeit demonized, penalized, vilified subjects of a cruel fate imprinted an ugly scar) upon humanity.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Matthew Scott Harris and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Yom Hashoah
(Holocaust Remembrance Day April 24th 2017)

Haunting apparitions resurface upon a tabula rasa
whereat soundless ancestors beckon, clamor, and despair
excruciatingly fateful gasification heinous hour
incinerating, numbing and soiling Yahweh
genealogical holy illustrious Jewish kinsfolk lost
mine name obsolete per quotidian rapacious suffering testament
unbeknownst victims wickedly yanked
absolute blistering, charring, and desecrating every family
grotesque hallucinations intimating jarring killing machine
inducing jagged, mangled and pronounced sorrow
tears unequivocally viciously and wretchedly annul bereavement
crematoriums devour glorious Hassidic kind loving
outlook painfully riddles
Sephardic too vanished wraithlike yield zero;
culture fractured interrupted links
odiously rendered ultimate x’d ancestors
blackened crisps descendents emptying fracking,
genocide heaps irrecoverably jumbled
key learned men noticeably obliterated
plenti quality resplendent sons tormented,
ultimately value wrenched
ache benumbs captured, deported, exterminated
flourishing glorious Hebrew individuals
jammed, kicked, liquidated mercilessly never offending population
overtly pilloried, quintessentially ridiculed,
Semitic tribes underwent venal wretched x yoked
ancestry begone; cremated, decimated, egregiously fated grim hell
insidiously jerked, killed odiously
perdition reigned suffering
toll untold vacant withered x’d y Zed
thy genealogical family tree severely truncated
great many generations of mine genealogical tree
paternal and maternal grand descendants met their doom
thy family devoid of many branches
limbs lopped and fed fiery ovens
forever missing links constitute gaps sans broken chain.


Merridawn Duckler
idawn@earthlink.net

Bio (auto)

Merridawn Duckler is a poet and playwright who lives in Portland, Oregon.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Merridawn Duckler and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

A Genre

I went to the horror film
with a victim of its horror,
and though he was not my relative
I kissed his cheek,
blue track veins
under skin of winter paper white.

Various “miracles” had brought him
to this not very clean theater;
silent on that subject,
he took his seat among those with no idea
this was his life.

And when they loaded the trains, he was the cargo.
And when they dumped the ashes, his were absent.
The projector has no conscience,
in dark we sit
as events unfold, before one who folds his eyes.


Michael Brownstein
mhbrownstein@ymail.com

Bio (auto)

Michael H. Brownstein has been widely published throughout the small and literary presses. His work has appeared in The Café Review, American Letters and Commentary, Skidrow Penthouse, Xavier Review, Hotel Amerika, Free Lunch, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review, PoetrySuperHighway.com and others. In addition, he has nine poetry chapbooks including The Shooting Gallery (Samidat Press, 1987), Poems from the Body Bag (Ommation Press, 1988), A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004), What Stone Is (Fractal Edge Press, 2005), I Was a Teacher Once (Ten Page Press, 2011), Firestorm: A Rendering of Torah (Camel Saloon Press, 2012), The Possibility of Sky and Hell: From My Suicide Book (White Knuckle Press, 2013) and The Katy Trail, Mid-Missouri, 100 Degrees Outside and Other Poems (Kind of Hurricane Press, 2013). He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011).

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Michael Brownstein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Sun Never Rose Over the Belzec Death Camp

The shape of the sun did not enter our minds,
Spring days and summer, a sameness.
Yet we gathered our strength and helped
Each other to our feet, hid the sick and injured,
Made excuses for those not strong enough to rise.

The fields gray and mud, our skin darkened
with labor and sweat. We ate because we had to,
We shared what we had because that is our way.
We dealt with the sameness with prayer and Kaddish,
A jubilance for life even as they tried to murder us.

We must have been frightening to the men with rifles
Holding the leaches of violent dogs. We scarred them
Into horror and night sweats. Still we worked,
Sharing the little we had growing stronger inside.
Everyday the same. They knew we were better than them.


Michael Burch
mikerburch@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Michael R. Burch is an American poet who lives in Nashville, Tennessee. He is an editor, publisher and translator of Holocaust poetry.  His poems, translations, essays, articles and letters have appeared in TIME, USA Today, The Washington Post, Writer’s Digest, Voices Israel, the Holocaust poetry anthology Blood to Remember, and hundreds of literary journals. Some of his poems have been used in Holocaust memorials and taught in schools around the globe. He also edits www.thehypertexts.com.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Michael Burch and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Something

for the children of the Holocaust

Something inescapable is lost—
lost like a pale vapor curling up into shafts of moonlight,
vanishing in a gust of wind toward an expanse of stars
immeasurable and void.

Something uncapturable is gone—
gone with the spent leaves and illuminations of autumn,
scattered into a haze with the faint rustle of parched grass
and remembrance.

Something unforgettable is past—
blown from a glimmer into nothingness, or less,
which finality has swept into a corner, where it lies
in dust and cobwebs and silence.


Michael Virga
mavbuon@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Michael Virga, son-song of Virginia Ruth, writes from their native heartland, Birmingham, Alabama. 

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Michael Virga and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

untitled

"Though I walk through the valley of darkness" Psalm 23:4


the wandering
Jew walked
and wondered beyond death


"Not all those who wander are lost." — J. R. R. Tolkein


Neil Ellman
ellmans@comcast.net

Bio (auto)

Neil Ellman, a poet from New Jersey, has published numerous poems in print and online journals, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Neil Ellman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Victor and Victim

Time crawls on bloodied knees
and I am mired in the earth
where millions died
both it and I doing what we must    
without a choice
to keep alive the memory
of so many souls
tossed in shallow graves
and to keep ourselves alive.
Time, perhaps, is the victor
wounded but struggling on
while I, the vanquished,
became a victim
of everything I have seen—
time and I without a chance
to stay our destinies
unscathed.


Nicholas Nicola
nic_nicola50@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Nicholas Nicola was born in February, 1959 in Melbourne, Australia but he spent most of his childhood & teenage years in Sydney where his Greek Cypriot parents had a milk bar. From his mid-20s, 30s & early 40s he travelled extensively overseas; one positive legacy from this somewhat wayward time is to have developed an ongoing interest in humanitarian issues which can have an underlying influence on his creative work which includes etching and writing. Nicholas still lives in Sydney and his ‘day job’ is as a casual (substitute) teacher mainly in the area of E.S.L (English as a Second Language) and Visual Art. Nicholas has a website: https://nicholasnicolaetchings.synthasite.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Nicholas Nicola and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Mass

When you think of ‘mass’ what do you think?
Church mass
Mass graves
the human mass
the dark mass within the universe or of the dark mass in our minds
or
perhaps there’s
the masses of particles
of physical existence
which makes our huge populations able to wonder about God while looking at
the stars and also wonder about God after looking
at
a
massacre
consider the
increase
in
mass
of
a
falling
object
when
that
falling object
is
a
human
being
who
has
become
a
victim
of
a
falling morality


Ozzie Nogg
ozzienogg@cox.net

Bio (auto)

Ozzie Nogg’s poetry, essays and short fiction have appeared in 50 Word Stories, Apollo’s Lyre, Flashshot, Apocrypha and Abstractions, Diddledog, and weekly Jewish newspapers. Her book of personal stories, Joseph’s Bones, won First Place in the 2005 Writer’s Digest Press International Self-Published Book Awards. She lives in Omaha, NE where you can visit her at: www.ozzienogg.com

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Ozzie Nogg and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Majdanek 1995

We are here because our ancestors told us to come
go
in the winter they said
go
feel the chill in your
bones
some of us walk on the ground
in the snow we leave
tracks
some of us perch on the
fences
from here we see Lublin
the chimneys of Lublin
the chimneys of houses in Lublin where
mothers
cook pierogi for their
families
sweet pączki for their
children
fathers
smoke cigarettes
smoke
rises from chimneys of warm houses in Lublin where
blind people
eat dinner
remember
we are here because we were lucky
because our ancestors told us to
go
here even the summer wind blows cold


Nancy Scott
nscott29@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Nancy Scott has been the msnsging editor of  US1 Worksheets for more than a decade. She is the author of nine books of poetry, her most recent, Ah, Men (Aldrich Press, 2016) is a retrospective of the men who influenced her life. Pivotral Moment is an excerpt of a longer poem from that book. Originslly from the Chicago area, she currently resides in New Jersey. www.nancyscott.net

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Nancy Scott and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Pivotal Moment

for Peter M. Blau

The summer of 1941 a young man with a thick accent came to our door and asked to speak to my father. Whether my father had heard about him, I can’t say. I was two. And so my father signed for his fiancée desperate to escape from the Nazis, while this twenty-something Jewish student attended the local seminary at a time when safety was his only other concern after making his way across Europe with no thought except to board a ship which was delayed in port. While waiting, he met an American, who knew about a seminary that had raised funds for a scholarship, but couldn’t find an eligible refugee, and it turned out the seminary was in our hometown.

After he graduated, the young man left to pursue his education elsewhere. I learned some, but not all, of this years later when I was a student at the University of Chicago in need of a part-time job and he was already a distinguished professor seeking someone to transcribe dictation tapes for his new book, difficult because he had such a thick accent and I was unfamiliar with the subject—just this between us until the day I stood in the doorway to his office and explained that I couldn’t come in for a few days because I had to go home. He asked where I lived and was moved to find out

who I was and told me how grateful he’d been for my father’s help, but was dismayed to hear that my father had recently died so he thanked my mother instead. She recounted to me how my father arranged for another family to hire the fiancée, a lovely blonde and fine seamstress, but she married a different man and moved away and nobody could remember what happened to the man who asked for help to bring her to America.

The professor took a personal interest in me because it was clear I was still grieving my father’s untimely death. I had no plans for my future though graduation was just a few months off, so it happened over lo mein in a Chinese restaurant that the professor asked if I wanted to go to Stanford with him for the summer; he’d arrange for the University to hire me as his assistant—exactly what happened and then one evening he invited me for dinner where I met a young man with a post doc fellowship. Within weeks, I moved in with him and the marriage lasted for twenty-three years.

Now fifty years later, I decided to surf the Internet for news of the professor who had died in 2002; impressive list of accomplishments, books, papers, and awards, two marriages. This part of his story I never heard before—his capture and torture by the Nazis, details of his daring escape across Europe, his sister saved on a Kindertransport, his parents dying in Auschwitz, his enlistment in the Army and return to Europe where he served as an interpreter, but what I do know first-hand is the dinner and conversation we shared one spring evening on Chicago’s South Side and the offer that propelled me on a trajectory setting the course for the rest of my life.


Patricia Carragon
pcarragon@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Brooklyn writer, Patricia Carragon’s latest chapbook is Innocence (Finishing Line Press). Cupcake Chronicles is forthcoming from Poets Wear Prada. She hosts the Brooklyn-based Brownstone Poets and is the editor-in-chief of its annual anthology. She is one of the executive editors for Home Planet News Online.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Patricia Carragon and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

senryu

synagogues on fire
Jews crowded into boxcars
arms numbered for tears


Raoul Izzard
raoulizzard@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Raoul is an English teacher who lives in Barcelona with his wife and two-year-old son. He loves drinking coffee in the city’s numerous bars and cafes when he isn’t on daddy duties.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Raoul Izzard and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Kristallnacht in Esslingen

“The Propaganda Ministry instructed the papers on 10 November:
“here and and there window-panes had been smashed; ‘synagogues
had set themselves alight or burst into flames in some other way”
from The Third Reich in Power, 1933-1939, by Richard. J. Evans.

At daybreak, in a Jewish orphanage,
sledgehammers broke down doors, and stones
broke glass. The cupboards and the tables all
gave away, and sinks exploded inwards, paper worked
itself into a storm that covered floors.

The orphans watched a bonfire in the yard
mount up with prayer books, shawls, their toys,
in silence. There were no beds to go back to.
The angry air bruised, pulled at hair, and spat:
“Get out or you’ll be next into the flames!”

The children in pyjamas ran through streets
where Jewish shops and houses blew out smoke.
Prone men and women bled and were detained.
Unwritten orders carried out themselves,
and shunted people off to unknown fates.


Richard Kalfus
rkalfus@charter.net

Bio (auto)

Richard Kalfus is a retired Humanities Chair who taught interdisciplinary courses on Holocaust/ Genocide Studies. He published poetry and articles on Holocaust education as well as a three part DVD series of interviews with St. Louis Holocaust survivors. The National Humanities Community college Association (CCHA) awarded him The National Community College Educator of the Year. As a second generation Holocaust survivor who last most of his family in Nazi concentration camps has  led to a life-long personal and professional  dedication to the study of the Holocaust.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Richard Kalfus and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

An American Son

“Dad, you gobble up your food
Like a vulture eating his prey.”
“How can I invite Tommy for diner
when you eat like this?”

I was 13 at the time—a sensitive boy
who nothing of what my father
suffered at the hands of the Nazis.

Why was I kept in the dark
about the darkest chapter
In the life of a father I loved?

It was my American mother
who understood him so well.
She knew his fear
in giving voice to the past
and burdening his American son.

So he kept the years of an entire family
lost to himself.

It was years later when I learned
that by protecting me
he was protecting himself
in order to live in the present
and not in the past.


Richard Widerkehr
fordwid@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Richard Widerkehr’s new book, In The Presence Of Absence, will come out from MoonPath Press in 2017.  He earned his M.A. from Columbia University and won two Hopwood first prizes for poetry at the University of Michigan.  He has two collections of poems: The Way Home (Plain View Press) and Her Story of Fire (Egress Studio Press), along with two chapbooks. Tarragon Books published his novel, Sedimental Journey, about a geologist in love with a fictional character.  Recent work has appeared in Rattle, Arts & Letters Poetry Super Highway, Bellevue Literary Review, Floating Bridge Review, Gravel, Naugatuck River Review and Cirque, Other poems are forthcoming in Measure and Mud Season Review.  He’s worked as a writing teacher and, later, as a case manager with the mentally ill.  He lives in Bellingham, WA. 

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Richard Widerkehr and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Cracow

For years I didn’t say much
about being Jewish. My surname’s
pronounced Whittaker. My father
changed his name from Abraham
to Andy, didn’t have children
till Hitler was dead. When I sing
a few Hebrew songs at my music camp,
the other Jew in the room says almost
tenderly, No one does this. It’s been
hidden.
Yes, misspelled
like smoke from certain kilns,
mass graves near Vilnius.
If I tell someone and they say,
Oh, you don’t look Jewish….
Or half-jokingly: I didn’t know
they let any Jews into Bellingham….

Or: You know, I’m tired of hearing
about the Holocaust….
I can’t
misspell our streets like damp cigars
in someone else’s teeth, can’t hold
my poems as if they weren’t
these porous shields. Yes,
dear reader, let’s discuss
a certain vacant lot
near Austen Street, where a gang
of four strips a boy, sits him
down in an armchair, burrs
sticking to the boy’s wrists,
so their sickle eyes get to revise
the kid a little, see if he’s
American or if he’s been
circumcised. In Cracow,
once, there were wells
with no eyelids, lakes like Gretel’s
oven, where almost no one
muttered, My error will abide
with me and spend the night.


Rie Sheridan Rose
riewriter@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Rie Sheridan Rose multitasks from Austin, Texas. A lot. Her short stories appear in numerous anthologies, including Nightmare Stalkers and Dream Walkers Vols. 1 and 2,  and Killing It Softly. She has authored eight novels, six poetry chapbooks, and lyrics for dozens of songs. More info on www.riewriter.com. She tweets as @RieSheridanRose.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Rie Sheridan Rose and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

We Must Be Remembered

We came in cattle cars
to the camps,
Huddling together in hope.
At least we had each other…

Until they sent off the sick
and separated us,
men from women
mothers from sons
fathers from daughters
wives from husbands….

The showers took the weak
sickness took others
work details wore down the strong.

Flesh melted away,
leaving hard bone
under ropy skin…

Liberation came far too late
for far too many.

We must be remembered–
lest the world forget our names.


Rifkah (Rita) Goldberg
rifkahg@netvision.net.il

Bio (auto)

Rifkah (Rita) Goldberg writes poetry and aphorisms, and is a long-time oil painter. She has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Cambridge University and works as a freelance writer and editor. Born in London in 1950, she has been living in Jerusalem since 1975, has two sons, ten grandchildren, and five step-grand-children and is married to the writer Shalom Freedman.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Rifkah (Rita) Goldberg and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Coming Back Shortly

(In memory of Ivan Schwebel (1932-2011))

Half-drunk cup of coffee
Half-read newspaper
Half-used paints

Went out along
Well-trodden leafy path
You knew so well

After your turmoil
Bringing Jewish history
Into modern Israeli cities

King David arising
Lone Warsaw Ghetto trolley
Together in Zion Square

These walks in your “Safe Place”
In calmer paintings of caves and grassy banks
Where you float or lie still and garlanded

Perhaps foreseeing your final day
When you remained there forever planning
To come back shortly to your beloved painting


Ron Kolm
kolmrank@verizon.net

Bio (auto)

Ron Kolm is a founding member of the Unbearables and has helped edit their five anthologies. He is a contributing editor of Sensitive Skin magazine. Ron is the author of The Plastic Factory, Divine Comedy, Suburban Ambush, Duke & Jill, Night Shiftand, with Jim Feast, the novel Neo Phobe. A new collection of his poetry, A Change in the Weather, has just been published by Sensitive Skin books. He’s had work in Flapperhouse, Great Weather for Media, the Resist Much / Obey Little: Inaugural Poems to the Resistance anthology,  Local Knowledge and the Outlaw Bible of American Poetry. Ron’s papers were purchased by the New York University library, where they’ve been catalogued in the Fales Collection. Ron Kolm lives in New York City.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Ron Kolm and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Hitler Was Wrong

I’ve just entered
The subway in Queens
And it’s early for me
Two in the afternoon.
I’m tired and hung-over
Trying to figure out
How I’m going to make it
Through another night
When I notice
Some graffiti on a poster–
Yeah, you got it
A ‘Hitler was right’ tag
And it cuts through
The morning-after fog.

No way, I mutter
Under my breath
You’re absolutely wrong–
Hitler was wrong!
Think about it–
He was a small dark man
With a strange haircut
And film noir moustache
Telling people to worship
Tall blondes.
Didn’t he ever
Walk past a mirror?
A store window?
Or was he truly that blinded
By self-hatred?
I doubt it
Because it seems
He tried very hard
To disappear anyone
Who even remotely
Resembled him, so
He would never have to see
His reflection anywhere–
That way he could fantasize
He was a ravishing blonde
Sword in hand
Playing out
All the old myths.

Let’s move on.
He lost the fucking war.
It doesn’t matter
How many Jews
Or gypsies
Or Russians he murdered
Ten million Germans died
His supposed countrymen
His compatriots with the clean genes
Blonde Nordic giants
With gothic weapons
And designer uniforms
All dead
Killed following a small dark man
Who couldn’t
Face the fact
That he’d failed utterly
As a leader
So he blew his brains out–
Very brave, right?


The guy was dead wrong
A total loser.
And I’m positive
He’d never have reached
That pinnacle of power
If it hadn’t been
For another
Small dark man
A man beloved by the masses
Famous in France as Charlot,
In Japan and, yes
In Germany.
Hitler looked enough
Like Charlie Chaplin
That I truly believe
The Germans were following
The Charlie Chaplin
In their subconscious
When they goose-stepped off
To their fate.

And it hits me
As my train comes screaming
Into the station
That there probably
Wouldn’t have been
A Bill Clinton
Without Elvis,
Or a Donald Trump
Without The Terminator.


Stacey Zisook-Robinson
office@naamatchicago.org

Bio (auto)

Stacey Zisook Robinson is a poet and essayist who lives in Chicago with her teenaged son and their cat. She blogs at staceyzrobinson.blogspot.com, and is a regular contributor to kveller.com, the Reform Judaism blog and several other online sites. Her book, Dancing in the Palm of God’s Hand, was published by Hadassa Word Press. Her poetry has been included in several anthologies, She is currently working on her next book, tentatively called Unexpected Hosannas.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Stacey Zisook-Robinson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Counting Infinity

I wonder about the
infinity of light
that shattered
in a single Breath –
and the dust of Adam
that scattered, a
sweeping whirlwind of
limitless everywhere upon
the earth, and the stars
that Abraham counted –
numberless,
and distant,
and cold fire.

We counted
time by moonlight
and threads of
blue –
Exquisitely finite
and eternal,
a holy cadence
of one
plus one
plus one again
a never-ending measure
of binding
and grace.

So I wonder,
with all the counting
of all the endlessness
of stars and dust
and light
and time
and one
plus one
plus One –

what happens when
six million –
when twelve million –
when a thousand –
when a single
one
disappears
from infinity


Stefanie Bennett
suneagle@bigpond.com

Bio (auto)

Stefanie Bennett… globetrotting… has published several poetry volumes, is of mixed ancestry, [Italian/Irish/Paugussett-Shawnee]. She can be found between Riverside, California – and Trumbull, Ct. US.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Stefanie Bennett and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Epilogue

for Dan Pagis

There is no train.
There is no station.
The stopping point
Begs recall…

There was a house.
A lamp.
A window
Through which

The forest entered
Following
A sky-rail
And tomorrow’s

Apocalyptic
Swan-song.


Steve Braff
stevebraff1@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Over the past year, Steve Braff has been exploring his relationship to Judaism using poetry as a way to bring to word what it means for him to be a post-Holocaust Jew.  Steve’ poetry has been published in Tea House, Muryoko Journal of Shin Buddhism, Muscogee Nation News, Cholla Needles, and Nomad’s Choir. Steve’s first book, “Forty Days”,  inspired by images of Joshua Tree National Park, is slated for publication by Cholla Needles Press in May. He anticipates release late this year of “Exodus Remix”- a poetic retell of the Second Book of Moses. Steve lives with his wife, dog, and two cats, in Los Olivos, California.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Steve Braff and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Exodus 33:16

For wherein shall it be known here that I
and thy people have found grace in thy sight?
Is it not in that thou goest with us?

How can I do justice
to a six foot pile
of seventy two
year old
shoes?

Picture
hóloskaustós
burnt whole spare
shoes display
indifferent stare
this we share
my God.

Two busy to mess unholy mass
sienna grave browns to olive cast
aways saved cover some poor feet
repurposed death eye witness
glaze fast past this past
in verse question-
my testament:

Grace in thy sight?
Goest with us?`
Shall it be?
Known?
Here?


Susan Beth Furst
sfurst14@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Susan Beth Furst is a poet and author. She began her journey writing poetry to document her mother-in-law’s experiences in Poland and Germany during the Holocaust. She wants to honor the victims of the Holocaust by telling their stories through her mother’s eyes. She wants the world to remember that there was a girl from Poland named Irka, and that she lived. Susan lives in Woodbridge, Virginia. You can find her on Facebook at Susan Beth Furst poet and author, or www.beautifuldefect.com.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Susan Beth Furst and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Through blue eyes

I

She stands in line with the other prisoners,
at Auschwitz.
She is Jewish,
blue eyes,
still a teenager.
Her name is Irka.
There is a woman in line with her.
She is Polish and
wears a cross.
Irka asks her why
she is there,
with a cross.
The woman looks at her,
my husband,
she says.
Ruth

II

They load the train cars
with Jews leaving Auschwitz.
Everyone is given
a piece of stale bread,
for the journey.
Irka asks why they are not eating.
They look at her and answer,
Yom Kippur.
Atonement.
They honor G-d,
by fasting
and praying
for forgiveness.
Even now


Thomas Elliott
harlequin62@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

My name is Thomas Elliott. I live in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Thomas Elliott and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Stone of remembrance

‘The Jews – they leave a stone for a lasting memorial’
Explained the young female tour guide at Auschwitz.
I left my heart there- it was too heavy with grief
to carry home.


Tina Edwards
tina.poetry@zoho.eu 

Bio (auto)

Tina Edwards lives in the rural and coastal County of North Somerset in the U.K. Having loved poetry from a young age she has finally taken the plunge and has recently been published in Reach Poetry by Indigo Dreams Publishing.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Tina Edwards and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Deep in the Forest 

using paint mixed with bloodfrom deer
who feed upon the landwhere soil mixes
with remains of crushed human bones
he paintsaloneeasel erectsheltered
by Pine trees

his brush strokes are deftfree from constraint
first a pair of shoesbound together by laces
next twisted spectaclesa white flag with red
crossa railway trackdisappearsover the edge
of canvas

a bird cries in the distancesoon forgotten
he packs away his paletteeaseltreasured objects
slowlywalks barefoot to the village of Treblinka
painting2/8/43trussed under his armin the hope
someonewill take it off his hands


Tina Hacker
thacker1@kc.rr.com

Bio (auto)

Tina Hacker lives in Leawood, KS, with her husband Lynn Norton who is a sculptor and excellent editor. She is a four-time Pushcart Prize nominee whose work has appeared in a wide variety of journals, both online and paper. She was a finalist in New Letters and George F. Wedge competitions and Editor’s Choice in two journals. Her full-length book, Listening to Night Whistles, was published by Aldrich Press, and chapbook, Cutting It, by The Lives You Touch Publications. In 2016, Tina was honored as a “Muse” for The Writers Place in Kansas City.  Since 1976, Tina has been poetry editor for Veterans’ Voices, a magazine of writing by veterans throughout the nation.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Tina Hacker and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Where the Chips Fall

"This might be worth some money now."
My uncle shows me a tattered black case.
It’s unassuming, small, but nestled inside,
six pristine rows of poker chips
stamped with dark brown swastikas
wait for a game. "Found ’em in a dresser
that came with the house."

As my uncle pours a row into my hands,
I see shadowy soldiers flinging chips onto a table.
I smell sweat and cigarette ash,
hear the clatter of chips slapping
against one another. Clack. clack, clack,
like train wheels pulsing on rails,
like shells falling from guns.

Stacks of chips reward the players.
Straight: capture a family from the ghetto,
grandparents, parents, new baby boy.
Three of a kind: beat two pair,
hurl twin brothers to the ground.
Flush: crush five rabbis
wearing black yarmulkas,
then stack your winnings into mounds.

Clenching a chip in my fist, I feel
the coolness of its surface,
the heat of the swastika, a snarl of lines.
Six rows of chips, idle for decades,
lying forgotten, their value rising
as the players who used them pass
out of sight. Six rows ready for a new game.


First Publication: Cutting It, Oct. 2010 by The Lives You Touch Publications


Virginia Mariposa Dale
vmariposa@cox.net

Bio (auto)

Virginia Mariposa Dale has lived in many countries, including Spain and Morocco, fascinated by the French National, Spanish and Muslim cultures there. She had many Jewish-Moroccan friends, who told her of their love/hate for their native land, in which Jews were not allowed to assume high positions in the government or even in the government offices. After she returned to Santa Barbara, Califoria, she continued to educate herself about the cultures I had fallen in love with. The Holocaust Room at the Jewish Federate of Santa Barbara was filled with inspirational stories of Holocaust survivors, and their dedication to helping others. That’s what inspired these poems.  

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Virginia Mariposa Dale and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Angels and Devils

Dedicated to Judy Meisel, Holocaust survivor

A host of angels
……..shed fierce tears
The devil sang out
……..in jubilation

Judy Meisel’s mother breathed
……..poisonous air in the Stuthoff gas chamber
Her daughters ran and hid in a ditch
……..Jewish pigs echoed in their tender ears

Autumn wheat never harvested
Looms left half threaded
Tapestries half finished
Lives cut short for no reason

Judy Meisel orphaned at age twelve
……..while her mother’s heart bled
The devil cut capers
……..as a host of angels shed tears

Jesus Christ, where were you?


Wilderness Sarchild
gooutside@capecod.net

Bio (auto)

Wilderness Sarchild is an expressive arts therapist, poet, and playwright.  Her play, “Wrinkles, the Musical,” (co-written with Naomi Turner) will be produced at The Cape Cod Theatre Company in May of 2017.  Her poems have been published in many anthologies/journals and she has won awards for her poetry and play writing from Veterans for Peace, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom,  Chicago’s Side Project Theatre Company, and in 2015, was the first place regional winner of the Joe Gouveia WOMR National Poetry Competition. Her first full length poetry manuscript, Old Women Talking, will be published by Passager Books in 2017. Wilderness lives in Brewster, MA.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Wilderness Sarchild and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

No Escape

I’m visiting Auschwitz,
Spring day, 2010:
Flowers blooming,
Birds flying overhead,
Clouds soft and fragile.

Wait!

This is not a place for the living, the beautiful.
This is a lake of ashes, a smell of burned bones,
a watch tower where Nazis drank tea, shot bullets,
told jokes. Nearby are barracks where people slept
crowded as bedbugs; where I taste dirt
that holds their DNA.

I spend the night here.
I cannot sleep.
I can only take one breath, then another,
hoping I will be able to walk away in the morning.
I do. And I don’t. That is why
I won’t stop writing about Auschwitz.


Zvi A. Sesling
zviasesling@comcast.net

Bio (auto)

Zvi A. Sesling edits Muddy River Poetry. He has published two books of poetry, Fire Tongue (Cervena Barva, 2016), King of the Jungle(Ibbetson Street, 2010) and two chapbooks: Love Poems From Hell (Flutter Press, 2017) and Across Stones of Bad Dreams (Cervena Barva, 2011). He is the Poet Laureate of Brookline, MA where he lives with his wife Susan J. Dechter.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Zvi A. Sesling and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Synagogue in Belgium

In a small town in Belgium
not far from the city square
at the crossing of two streets
where the neighboring houses
whose white paint has grayed
with age stands a long-abandoned
synagogue where a small vibrant
community of Jews prayed
Today what remains is a boarded up
dark building empty except for the
memories, except for the outline of
the six-pointed star over the main entrance
the star having been removed by the Nazis
and the sanctuary provided no sanctuary
when the Nazis rounded up Jews and
placed them in the synagogue until they
were shipped to the death camps leaving
the synagogue empty again
Very few residents today know what it is
or remember – but we remember and mourn


April 17-23, 2017: Poetry from Christopher Hopkins and Jay Passer

​Christopher Hopkins and Jay Passer

Send us your poetry for POET OF THE WEEK consideration.
Click here for submission guidelines.


​Christopher Hopkins
chrishopkins1974@icloud.com

Bio (auto)

I was born and raised in Neath, South Wales, surrounded by machines and mountains, until moving to Oxford in my early twenties. Both areas have shaped me and my writing. I currently resides in Canterbury and work for the NHS (National Health Service). I have had poems published in Rust & Moth, The Journal,  Harbinger Asylum, Scarlet Leaf Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, Tuck Magazine, Dissident Voice magazine, 1947,  and Duane’s PoeTree. I have two early work e-book pamphlets “Imagination is my Gun” and “Exit From a Moving Car” which are available on Amazon.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by ​Christopher Hopkins and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Your thanks are welcomed every time.

I sit in their chairs like stains on the fabric,
measuring a life gone,
by counting the refresh rate on a VDU.
Monitoring the toner.
Charged with cartridge orders.
I am a King. 
Your thanks are welcomed every time. 

The staircase climb,
felt no different this morning,
though I realised those desk top lunches 
leave their trails on the seagrass.
And that’s what I took with me.

23 years.
After biting down every day,
every wish of time to go, until the
rush hour slug or holiday time hospice relief,
it’s the remains of lunchtimes,
droppings of white collars days left on the carpet tiles,
I take with me.
I died on the floor,
thinking what lunches fitted the wheeled in crumbs,
like a librarian of waste.


Fire on the corner of 13th and 3rd 

The building had gone up good.
Caught up like a timber frame.
Tangerine lashes through the window panes,
rubbing their black palms all over the brick,
and a stretch of chrome ladders batting it back.
The shouts and cracks,
and the sirens calling.
The people came,
and stood and stared.
Necks all cricked up,
and the un-winking shark’s eye, 
of a T.V. lens to the heat. 
The spectacle of it all, 
captured in its full technicolor drama.
Us counting blessings,
an after thought,
to the  crowds fuss as if watching
in the shadow of awesome, 
of some Cape Canaveral.
This upended Saturn five.
Though this crowd in their pjs 
and winter coats.
The building has the Florida heat,
the firemen in life supports,
and the astronauts wives,
waiting at home,
for their husband’s end of shift.
In the pale of morning 
smoke still billowing,
lay the skeletons of yesterday’s living,
in front of the lobby doors,
and on show through holes 
the fisted flames had torn.
Remnants of dinning rooms, 
half cooked sofas,
burned up spines of light reading on
tables of black coffee charred.
……Now just moon dust on the wind.
The crowd,
had moved on,
along with fire trucks red raving lights
that spin like crap dice.
And that black eye? 
……Still scouting for misfortune.


Entering the desert

Succulent chunks of high rise buildings and sand paper roads lead 
all the way out of town,
to where the boxes got smaller and smaller.
Like sound waves of a song 
on FM, fading out to the cemetery on the hill. 
The sun is glass above the horizon,
below the visor.
Driving straight to ball,
blind.


The lamb walks under parking signs
on the main street after dark.

She lives on an island where the asphalt meets 
the Pacific, with the mountains behind her,
and the street light switch,
hums lullabies of the night. 
Her thoughts came out of her head 
like tree roots,
when she wasn’t trying to fold them away,
and her spit tasted of the sea. 
Small hickeys of stigmata lay out the star signs,
on her arms and feet.
and the occasional thick lip goodbye.
All are forgiven.
She owned the night,
as much as the glimmer-time held her up right.
Contours of her hips like arrows to her limelight. 
She is desire. 
She is an apple, 
turning on the orchard floor.
She is and is always alone,
walking a different track, when weighed down
on back seats of chance.
Bad luck on her shoulder, whispering ok’s,
like a pimp of promise which never comes. 
The lamb walks under parking signs, 
on the main street after dark.
Sits under war paint in the bathroom light.
Loves, but doesn’t love.

 

 

 

 



Jay Passer
jp8521984@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Jay Passer’s work first appeared in Caliban magazine in 1988. His first chapbook, Laugh Until You Scream, was published by Outer Dark Press in 1999. Since then, his work has appeared in print and online in scores of magazines and periodicals spanning the globe. He is the author of 8 chapbooks, and was featured in the 2014 Friends of the San Francisco Public Library Poets 11 Anthology, selected by Jack Hirschman, representing San Francisco’s District 6. His most current collection is included in The High Window Press’s Four American Poets (2016). Jay Passer lives and works in San Francisco, the city of his birth.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Jay Passer and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Game of Drones

you get tired
and alone
and the afternoon is sometimes
so barren that
when the blue bottle fly
flits about the room
like a teething rubber band
you somehow don’t feel
so isolated

still
and somewhat halfheartedly
you roll up
the morning Examiner
and lurch about the room
always a swat behind

it’s the oldest war
reduced to the most
inconsequential participants

now you open your eyes
since fist-shaking never works
and quick! out the window goes the fly
denying you
the hunt
and the kill

that’s when you realize

you just lost your BFF


Morning all the Time

You have to stand up out of the shadows
even if it’s more comfortable
especially 
if it’s more comfortable
down there
among the roots

Even with the sun scorching
wind like whiplash
swarm of locusts

You have to stand up and take that step
even if it leads to the abyss
especially

when it leads to the abyss

 

 


April 10-16, 2017: Poetry from Lark Beltran and Darren C. Demaree

​Lark Beltran and Darren C. Demaree

Send us your poetry for POET OF THE WEEK consideration.
Click here for submission guidelines.


​Lark Beltran
larkbeltran@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Lark Beltran, originally from California, has lived in Lima, Peru for many years as an ESL teacher. She and her Peruvian husband alternate between the capital and two other cottages in the mountains and jungle. Many of Lark´s poems have appeared in online and offline journals.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by ​Lark Beltran and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Teeming Void

Nothing poetic moves
on this Sunday curb
overhung with telephone wires
condensing polluted globules
from a dull sky.

Ho-hum
is the Nissan Sentra
and its driver
wearing a cast on her foot,
who joins the line
of life-stories
outside the entrance
to the medical lab
on Cheaper Day –

encapsulated poetry
their hidden worlds
motley and passionate,
like cells
under a microscope.


Wine In The Desert

The night I camped
on a tawny, duney stretch
of Precolumbian cemetery
out among the slivers of the sticks,
two coffee-mugs of the local unlabelled port
made the stars enact special
Van Gogh spirals just for me.
Under their gyrations I think I danced,
to sink upon sand softer than sleeping bag
(discounting the odd shinbone or vertebra
of a once-fellow sentient
who walked these grounds before my family´s name.)
Rocked by a motherly earth
and unwilling to rush the ride back to reality,
I revelled in a quasi-mystical cocooning
never experienced again.

 

 



Darren C. Demaree
darrencdemaree@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

My poems have appeared, or are scheduled to appear in numerous magazines/journals, including the South Dakota Review, Meridian, New Letters, Diagram, and the Colorado Review. I am the author of six poetry collections, most recently "Many Full Hands Applauding Inelegantly" (2016, 8th House Publishing). I am the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry. I am currently living and writing in Columbus, Ohio with my wife and children. Visit Darren on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Darren C. Demaree and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Trump as a Fire Without Light #22

Let me put it another way. We’re imagining hope. We’re imagining Ohio. We’re forced into belief. We only see the threats, the tension, and the titles of his lists.


Trump as a Fire Without Light #24

Strained faces and clutching each other, how awful all of these holiday cards will be this year. Look into the blackened corner, the creeping soot has an eye for mother and father sees it. Look into the blank fireplace. How is this happening? At least the children are smiling. They believe every rustle to be that of Santa Clause. Their only worry is that all of the doors are locked at night now, and what if there is no backup plan?

 

 


April 3-9, 2017: Poetry from Sofia Kioroglou and Caitlyn Chandler

​Sofia Kioroglou and Caitlyn Chandler

Send us your poetry for POET OF THE WEEK consideration.
Click here for submission guidelines.


​Sofia Kioroglou
sophiek.74teacher@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Sofia Kioroglou is a twice award-winning poet, journalist, writer and prolific blogger residing in Athens, Greece, with her husband Peter. Her work can be found online and in print in Lunaris Review, In Between Hangovers, Galleon Literary Journal, Pengician, Galway Review, Verse-Virtual, Dumas de Demain, Books’ Journal, Poetic Diversity, Every Writer, Winamop, Aenaon, Outlaw Poetry to name but a few. She has work forthcoming in Basil o’ Flaherty. She was one of the winners in the International Competition of Epok this January and her work won a distinction in the Poetry Contest of Unesco Club for the return of the Elgin Marbles to Greece. To learn more about her work, visit: sofiakioroglou.wordpress.com

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Sofia Kioroglou and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


A zipper that jammed halfway

Walking through the Old City of Jerusalem
over cobblestones slick with rain,
I drink in the sensory rush

In its tumults, I heave and roll like a ship
the echoes of the wind reverberating more
like a Swiss milkmaid than a strangled cat

The drumming of winter rain
that deep chord of familiarity
stirring a welter of emotions indefinable

Caught between the past and the present,
like a zipper jammed halfway, with metal teeth
ground to a halt, peace is digging its heels in

To get it, sometimes you have to let it go
by grabbing the stalled tongue and yanking it hard
the friction, a tertium quid camp.

 

 



Caitlyn Chandler
cecartgirl@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

My name is Caitlyn Chandler and I live in the small but rapidly growing town of Waxhaw in Charlotte, NC. It’s a nice town; just far enough away from the city to gain a sense of freedom but not lost, miles into the country, to feel like you live in the middle of nowhere. I am a design student at the community college, an artist who mainly specializes in graphite portraits, and I have been pursuing poetry for about three years now.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Caitlyn Chandler and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Rush Hour

Sitting
in a sunlit corner
of an old
uptown
café
Clicking
keyboards
and cracking vinyl
bounce off
the wood
and steal beam
walls
Ties choke throats
high heels
pinch toes
women in grey skirt suits
men in blue polos
Plastic
coffee cups
with lipstick
stained rims
tired eyes
and empty pages
A girl taps a pen
against her pale,
freckled skin
A boy stares
at the reflections
within
the red trimmed
window pane


Nothing Has Changed

Lazy eyes drift across
twelve-year-old surroundings.
The old Willow,
looms over the roof.

A rusty bird feeder
clings to a branch,
moss-covered pavers
stretch out
from the front walk.

Powerlines,
flickering street lamps.
an empty field
a skeleton tree line
an old road
running
from town.

 

 

 


March 27 – April 2, 2017: Poetry from Dave Waddell and Gregg Dotoli

​Dave Waddell and Gregg Dotoli

Send us your poetry for POET OF THE WEEK consideration.
Click here for submission guidelines.


​Dave Waddell
jrosewaddell@gmail.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 © 2016, and owned by ​Dave Waddell and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Blue

The blue sky sat easy in the afternoon
The blue dress she wore sat easy on her golden  nakedness
The blue ice sat easy on the tip of her tongue
The blue Ford sparkled with music in the sun
The blue shot through everything like wet paint lacing into other wet paint
The blue dress she wore and the blue shirt I wore ran into each other
…………………….. like something folded and folded, perhaps like a fan
 
Puzzling, danceable blue
Years of blue
Gifts, jokes, books of blue
Free, slow, left over blue
Positive, irregular, expandable blue
Wayward, fundamental, odd blue
Least amount blue
 
Blue dazzles blue in blue eyes
Blue eyes express tenderness and surprise
Tenderness splinters into a thousand tiny pieces and then reforms
Breaks up and forms blue
Bright blue showering brilliance
Flat blue turning in turn emotional and golden blue
Blue that turns and looks at me and turns into you
Blue searching for those blue drowning in blue.

 

 



Gregg Dotoli
gdotoli@icloud.com

Bio (auto)

Gregg Dotoli lives in New York City area and has studied English at Seton Hall University. He works as a white hat hacker, but his first love is the arts. His poems have been published in International Times, Quail Bell Magazine, Metaphor, The Four Quarters Magazine, Calvary Cross, Dead Snakes, Halcyon Magazine, Allegro Magazine, the Mad Swirl, Voices Project, Writing Raw and Down in the Dirt. His book "Poetry Fob" was published by Underground Books.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Gregg Dotoli and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Bad Daydream (inorganic blue cheese)

scared myself,
reflecting while bathing
in moon silence
and hypnotic diamond star clusters
I realized earth missions
with bots, sensors, battery acid
diapers, rot,
bad exp[e,i]r [e,]ment[ ,s]
half-life
man-trash, germs
packed and ready to go
soon we pollute the moon

 

 


March 20-26, 2017: Poetry from Vicki Iorio and Patrick Theron Erickson

​Vicki Iorio and Patrick Theron Erickson

Send us your poetry for POET OF THE WEEK consideration.
Click here for submission guidelines.


​Vicki Iorio
vickiiorio@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Vicki Iorio of Massapequa, New York is the author of the poetry collection, Poems from the Dirty Couch, Local Gems Press, 2013, and the chapbook, Send me a Letter, dancinggirlpress. You can read Iorio’s work in Hell strung and Crooked, I Let Go of the Stars, (Great Weather for Media), The Brownstone Poets Anthology, The San Pedro Review, The Mom Egg, Crack the Spine, The Painted Bride Quarterly, The Fem Lit Magazine, Redheaded Stepchild Magazine, Concise, Cactus Heart and Rattle on line.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​LB Sedlacek and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Raw

I have never eaten a starfruit.
I am determined to eat all the strange fruits in my market.
My sister stopped eating years ago, pared down
bones, did squats minutes after giving birth,
remade her body without a knife.
Babies leave chimera cells in their mothers.
Scientists debate whether these hangers- on
cause chaos or are just shadowy reminders of division.
My belly was a pointy blood orange that morphed
into a watermelon. My daughter came out a raging
purple eggplant with a rounded spine.
Eating raw honey while pregnant may be dangerous to chimeras.
I was no match to the craving.

 

 



Patrick Theron Erickson
patricktheron4@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Patrick Theron Erickson, a resident of Garland, Texas, a Tree City, just south of Duck Creek, is a retired parish pastor put out to pasture himself. His work has appeared in Poetry Super Highway, Grey Sparrow Journal, Cobalt Review, and Burningword Literary Journal, among other publications, and more recently in Right Hand Pointing, Tipton Poetry Journal, Wilderness House Literary Review and Danse Macabre.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Patrick Theron Erickson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

It’s No Longer Morning

The smell of
fried eggs and bacon
no longer clings
to your housecoat
 
your hair
your skin
 
Your buttermilk biscuits
soak up the bacon grease
 
and the chalky buttermilk residue
still clings to your upper lip
 
But the cat
doesn’t seem to mind
 
minding his business
licking up the leftovers
 
before eviscerating
a field mouse
on the front porch
 
It’s no longer morning
 
But it may as well be
for all the day holds in store.

 

 

 


March 13-19, 2017: Poetry from Kirsty A. Niven and Mark Mansfield

​Kirsty A. Niven and Mark Mansfield

Send us your poetry for POET OF THE WEEK consideration.
Click here for submission guidelines.


​Kirsty A. Niven
kaniven13@outlook.com

Bio (auto)

Kirsty A. Niven lives in Dundee, Scotland with her husband and two cats. Her poetry has appeared in GFT Presents: One in Four, The Dawntreader, Mothers Always Write, the anthology A Prince Tribute and several other publications. She also contributed towards the Dylan’s Great Poem Project of 2016.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​LB Sedlacek and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Newborn

Oh little pearls –

Pink rosebuds, silken –
a fist, milky sweet,

Your tight grasp
clenches and releases –

Meaningful, needing.
Love washes over,

Love consumes
as tiny crescent moons

Pattern my skin –
tireless tattoos.

A wave of it
crashes against me –

Pulling me under,
gasping for air.

An emptiness overflowing,
a wound salted.

Such a little thing,
I can’t look away –

A grip on reality,
both wrinkled and new.

 

 



Mark Mansfield
mmansfield001@rochester.rr.com

Bio (auto)

Mark Mansfield is the author of one, full-length collection of poetry, Strangers Like You (2008, revised 2016 Van der Decken). His work has appeared in The Adirondack Review, Bayou, Blue Mesa Review, Deep South Magazine, The Evansville Review, Fourteen Hills, Gargoyle, The Innisfree Poetry Journal, The Ledge, Limestone, Magma, Salt Hill, Tulane Review, Unsplendid, and elsewhere. He holds an M.A. in Writing from Johns Hopkins and was a 2015 Pushcart Prize nominee. Currently, he lives in Geneva, New York.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Mark Mansfield and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Arlington

The morning air feels fresher here.
All at once, next to a mound
of newly dug earth, rifles appear
to salute a cloudless sky. And while

they do, somebody’s choked-back tears
are muted by the blanks sounding
until each barrel descends,
as six young soldiers, three to a file

each side of a tri-colored bier,
one by one, fold then bend
its flag into a perfect wedge.

While a boy who used to play “War” near,
camouflaged by some neighbor’s hedge,
no longer plays. Today war ends.

Previously published in The California Quarterly

 

 

 


March 6-12, 2017: Poetry from Layla Lenhardt and Dave Lewis

​Layla Lenhardt and Dave Lewis

Send us your poetry for POET OF THE WEEK consideration.
Click here for submission guidelines.


​Layla Lenhardt
lenhardt.layla@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Layla Lenhardt had once gotten drunk at Jane Austen’s house and has since been published in The Wooden Tooth Review, Right Hand Pointing, Third Wednesday, and 1932 Quarterly. She is the founder of 1932 Quarterly and she currently resides in Indianapolis.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​LB Sedlacek and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


XY

i.
There’s a fever dream in me that keeps coming.
In a photograph she wore a black pencil skirt and you said,
“don’t worry, she wears a promise ring.”
All these women with their promise rings and pencil skirts
and virginities and love of god. Every woman was a virgin.
Blessed Art Though Amongst Women in Indianapolis with godly devotions
to promise rings.
 
ii.
In Omaha, in your hotel room, you whispered in her ear and she melted like
wax all over your bedsheets while I was in a mid-atlantic city saving space.
When I think about it, it makes me want to taste the saltiness
of every single man who’s ever batted
an eyelash in my direction. I wanted to tell
the tinman that I had enough heart for the both of us.
 
iii.
In June, I was a Skeleton. Pansy seeds were burrowed
in my clavicle and in my kneecap and in the jammy gap
between my big and little toes. In June,
you were a botanist.
 
iv.
This time was no different,
we marched like refugees, bare feet stomping on cold
linoleum to my bedroom. On my back I carried the life
we once had. My former world fossilized like an insect in amber in the lies
you’ve told. My skirt a heap on the floor, the yellow
lighting refracting off your shoulder blades. Our bodies broken
into one dozen worries.
 
v.
Between pursed lips you told me she moved to Peru. I’m sure
she brought her virginity, her promise ring.
I told my sister I forgave you. I told anyone
who would listen until my tongue cells went dry and both
sides of my mouth were exhausted. The freckles on your back
shackled me to you. I wanted to tell
the scarecrow he can have the squishiest parts
of my ridgy brain.
 
vi.
Your father was an indian giver, so I gave you a free pass
as I patiently watched the syncopation of your dogmatic breathing.
Forbidden fruit, you told me.
You had a sweet tooth for it.
Forbidden fruit, they tell me,
pairs well with the Lagavulin left over
from easter.
 
vii.
Autumn came like a bill in the mail.
While the sun hung low like a pendant on the neck of a mother
and the birds had all left us,
I was opening the envelope.
 
viii.
We’d given life to something more than we had planned when
we pressed promises between us like finger prints in ink.
The crumpled white sheets in an Ohio apartment knew
of a motherhood
oh which I was unaware.
 
 
ix.
At 7 weeks its ears and teeth
At 5 it’s heart, limbs, and eyes.
They put that on posters
to make you change
your mind
 
x.
Eyes, limbs, heart.
How many times can a person ask if you’re certain?
But I knew I was certain as I’d pinch the translucent skin
between my thumb and index finger to stop the acid
from rising in my throat. Just like someone told me once,
just like I did three years before. I’d like to tell the lion
he can have all of my courage.
 
xi.
Two weeks later, a warmth previously unknown, came
over me when the portly black butcher said,
“lay back and count from ten, this will only hurt a bit.”

 

 



Dave Lewis
djlewis1966@yahoo.co.uk

Bio (auto)

Dave Lewis (born 1966) is a Welsh writer, poet and photographer based in Pontypridd, south Wales. He has always lived in Wales except for a short spell in Kenya in 1993-94. He has been published in a number of literary magazines all over the world and has published a number of books including: Layer Cake, Urban Birdsong, Sawing Fallen Logs For Ladybird Houses, Haiku, Roadkill and Reclaiming the Beat. His poetry is post-modernist and often anti-establishment, but can also be deeply confessional. He has also written three novels: a modern, crime thriller trilogy set in his native south Wales and East Africa. In 2007, along with Welsh writer John Evans, he set up and organised the first ever Welsh Poetry Competition, an international poetry competition, now in its eleventh year, aimed at encouraging and nurturing the wealth of creative writing talent that exists in Wales but often gets overlooked by the arts establishment. Website – www.david-lewis.co.uk

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Dave Lewis and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

R.I.P. John Thomas

I can picture his unkempt room
gas fire furnace-warm in winter
stained poems
unappreciated socks
discarded like aspiration
his eyes a reluctant grey
 
holed up in Canton now
he tells me of his mam still at home in ‘the’ Rhondda
I read between the fatherless lines
and imagine the old Hitlers
from the ‘workies’ hall
judge and jury
 
chasing the golden boys
casting out doubt
they diluted the terraces
spread Heinz variety wide
and narrowed their eyes
like a cat down the tapered valley
 
I remember his bony hand
the half of S.A.
gratefully received
like a coin machine
in a gay and sad
peep show
 
then there was his navy sports coat
and creased granddad shirts
only a woman could touch
the thinning white hair
the bottle-thick specs
and high forehead
 
we talked of Shelley and Keats
of Dylan and Sam
but as John emphasised the importance
of the Poetics
he licked his lips
lusting my body
 
Warren said he was a wine victim
Sue mentioned horses before carts
and not following the leader
but John just continued with the classics
until I left
or he left
 
or our money ran out
or the bus came
as the stars
ummed
and
ahhed
 
he got beat up more than once
his tongue too quick for their fists
then he died I guess
someone in the Old Arcade said
before they ripped out
the beautiful old bar

 

 

 


February 27 – March 5, 2017: Poetry from Richard J. Fleming and Judith R. Robinson

​Richard J. Fleming and Judith R. Robinson

Send us your poetry for POET OF THE WEEK consideration.
Click here for submission guidelines.


​Richard J. Fleming
rikitiki979@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Richard J. Fleming is a survivor of three Chicago blizzards.
He has recently had poetry published in Right Hand Pointing, The Rusty Nail, Inkwell Mag, Curio, Otoliths, Rain, Party & Disaster Society, One Sentence Poems, Unbroken, Rattle and forthcoming in Hotel Amerika and Stoneboat Journal.
Right Hand Pointing published his first Chap book, “Aperture”. You can read it here.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​LB Sedlacek and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Red White & Blue Shoelaces

What if I told you, I know for a fact, this conversation is being
recorded.
The keeper of the akashic record can put his bony finger on it,
at the behest of whoever might express a passing interest.
Good idea to keep things up your sleeve; red herrings
to drag across the infinite.

They might get posted on the walls of an abandoned factory.
There may be a reward for the man who goes out for a carton
of milk, and never comes back.

The absolute correct and proper thing to do, is to pick up your
stuff and leave by the nearest exit,
the one closest to the restroom, and next to the water fountain
that is shaped like an Oldsmobile hubcap or a Close Encounter.
We can return, we are assured, when our papers are in order,
and the stitches have been removed.

You may brush your tongue against the tunnel roof. Whatever.
No bright cynosure lights our amble through the peristyle.
We have to avoid hundred watt bulbs,
and a hundred and eighty five miles of bad road, starting tonight.
Somewhere down line, even hard core concrete falls under a spell.
There is a considerable distance between rest stops.
You might as well pay as you go.

If I have fallen out of touch, or fallen off the milk truck,
I have no regrets, having spread the Faith among the Wallabies.
I’ve fled from better famines than this I imagine,
just so we could all get together, and drop our names into a hat.
Don’t forget to vote.

 

 



Judith R. Robinson
alongtheserivers@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Judith R. Robinson is an editor, teacher, fiction writer and poet. A 1980 summa cum laude graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, she is listed in the Directory of American Poets and Writers. She has published 75+ poems, four poetry collections, one fiction collection, one novel; edited or co-edited eleven poetry collections. New collection, “Carousel,” due in March, 2017, Lummox Press. Visit Judith on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Judith R. Robinson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

How It Is

1

I encounter Mr. Collier,
a gentleman I’ve met before
who remembers me:
“Judy, right? Richbloom? Reizenstein?
No, wait, don’t tell me!
Rosenberg, that’s it! Judy Rosenberg, right?”

2

After young years in make-up and admittedly glam clothes
Many come-ons from many different directions,
Cultures, even countries. But so little difference
When one unpacks it:
The white, the black, no Asians though
Plenty of Jews in tweeds, Goys in khaki,
Romans in Italy, Israelis in Haifa,
Workingmen in trucks, two teachers, my dentist, frat boys
Galore. A milkman when I was a kid, and my mother’s
Old uncle. Those two were nasties.
Diminutive Chip and Dale,
the fanny-pinchers at Disney World,
All the best sellers on book tours. Ancient Leon Uris,
Big, sad William Styron, to name two.
Sly Gerald Stern, another.
One local favorite: Ray in his eponymous tow-truck,
Circling the block time after time, shouting,
Lunch, just a a meal together, I promise!

3

The constant is change. This is America, 2017.
I am older than I was.

So, Mr. Collier, that is how it is. The name is Robinson.
One can only smile.

 

 

 


February 20-26, 2017: Poetry from Mike Jurkovic and Taylor Graham

​Mike Jurkovic and Taylor Graham

Send us your poetry for POET OF THE WEEK consideration.
Click here for submission guidelines.


​Mike Jurkovic
mjpj55@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

A 2016 Pushcart nominee, poems and music criticism have appeared globally but have yet to generate any reportable income. Full length collections, smitten by harpies & shiny banjo catfish (Lion Autumn Press, 2016) Chapbooks, Eve’s Venom (Post Traumatic Press, 2014) Purgatory Road (Pudding House Press, 2010) Anthologies include: WaterWrites & Riverine (Codhill Press, 2009, 2007) Will Work For Peace(Zeropanik, 1999). President, Calling All Poets, New Paltz, NY. Producer of CAPSCASTS, archival recordings from Calling All Poets, available at www.callingallpoets.net. Music features, interviews, & CD reviews appear in Elmore Magazine & the Van Wyck Gazette. Visit Mike on the web here: www.mikejurkovic.com

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​LB Sedlacek and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


breathing machine

It’s all lumped in my brain right now
but I do recall another poem
you didn’t read about the mayhem genius
who took great lengths
to insure each mourner
had enough rope, scotch tape,

and a six foot ladder.

Small provisions, admittedly.
But he was running out of tricks.
The old brain didn’t click
like it used to. You reach a point

where the ground gives way

he told his nurse. A bright, young gal
w/a bright, young future. Until, y’know,
they turn out the lights and the breathing machine

 

 



Taylor Graham
poetspiper@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Taylor Graham is a volunteer search-and-rescue dog handler outside Placerville, CA, and serves as El Dorado County’s first poet laureate (2016-2018). She’s included in the anthologies Villanelles (Everyman’s Library) and California Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present (Santa Clara University). Her latest books are What the Wind Says (Lummox Press, 2013) and Uplift (Cold River Press, 2016).

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Taylor Graham and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Gold Rush Days, The Divide

She peeled off her dress with its chain-
stitch embroidery the camisole & petticoats
bone stiff corset
she had to get out of this century this shackle
of fashion chemise & pantelettes
the whole plaster cast
of clothes molding
how a woman was supposed
to be held together till she fainted dead
away white as porcelain

no
she had to slip
into mens trousers stolen off the line
blustering in a change-of-weather wind
a roomy shirt
that let the shoulders work
unbutton the collar
had to get out
in the open, run free before all the
gold the life the breath of it
was gone


Off the Forest Road

The 10-point buck, gray squirrel,
jackrabbit, cougar must have thought
the world was ending

when miners felled the tall pines and cedars,
aimed their Monitor
to water-blast the earth into craters.

A hundred years ago and more.
Miners took what they could
and left

the craters still there.
Logging roads dodge around the old
pocked mine-field. Scars

overgrown with bear-clover,
tall pines rising from the mined-out depths.
Watch your step.

My dog shows me coyote scat
along the way. Raven says Man comes
and goes, the forest stays.

 

 

 


February 13-19, 2017: Poetry from Elaine Reardon and Ryan Quinn Flanagan

​Elaine Reardon and Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Send us your poetry for POET OF THE WEEK consideration.
Click here for submission guidelines.


​Elaine Reardon
ear@crocker.com

Bio (auto)

Elaine Reardon is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, an herbalist, and poet. Her new chapbook, The Heart is a Nursery For Hope, published September 2016, won first honors from Flutter press as top seller of the year. Elaine was a featured poet in the January 2017 issue of stanzaicstylings ezine, and has won several poetry competitions, including Writer’s Digest, and Poet Seat. Elaine also published global curriculum through University of Massachusetts Press. Currently Elaine lives tucked into the forest in Warwick MA. Visit her on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​LB Sedlacek and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Canning Jars

I had need of the old jars this morning
went to the cellar to retrieve them
from the bottom shelf
the empty jars still had bits
of your faded handwriting

Twenty-two years ago you sat with me
writing lavender, thyme, anise hyssop
on stickers with neat calligraphy
a row of garden for the herb shelf

It was difficult to loosen faded labels
to fill the jars with something new
they now sparkle in the dish drainer
aside from rust on the hinges

Like what changes the heart
what changes iron to rust
can’t be removed easily

 

 



Ryan Quinn Flanagan
cyanogen_rqf@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his other half and mounds of snow. His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, Poetry Super Highway, In Between Hangovers, Horror Sleaze Trash, and Red Fez. Visit Ryan on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Ryan Quinn Flanagan and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Snapping Turtle

door left ajar
turned in off its hinges –
the thieves had taken everything
except his great-grandmother
and he asked ma what happened
and she smiled and showed him a fridge magnet
in the shape of a turtle
and he gave her a great big hug
before putting her back
to bed.


A Little Love for the Common Rectangle, Please!

locked in this room
this thick rolling fog of a room
with head nestled in knees
surviving on bread and water
and words
words repeated over and over
until they all become
the same word:
patella
I have influential friends
no need for kickbacks
both knees carry great sway
and the weight of my dangling thermostat
head as well
the fluid leaks out of my ears
and forms new rivers
salmon pour out of my eye sockets
to spawn, then die;
hungry birds circle high above
like it’s the only shape
they know.


Group of Seven

A strike was out of the question.
Seven pins remained.
As I fondled my second ball in hand.
The best that could be hoped for now
was a spare.

Trying to avoid the gutters
all around me
I made my approach.

In smelly shoes
that at least a thousand other men
had lost in.

 

 

 


February 6-12, 2017: Poetry from Ellaraine Lockie and Dan Fitzgerald

​Ellaraine Lockie and Dan Fitzgerald

Send us your poetry for POET OF THE WEEK consideration.
Click here for submission guidelines.


​Ellaraine Lockie
elockie@comcast.net

Bio (auto)

Ellaraine Lockie is a widely published and awarded poet, nonfiction book author and essayist. These poems are from her thirteenth chapbook, Tripping with the Top Down, which will be published in April, 2017 by Foothills Publishing. Her chapbook, Where the Meadowlark Sings, won the 2014 Encircle Publication’s Chapbook Contest, and her collection, Love Me Tender in Midlife, was released in 2015 as an internal chapbook in IDES from Silver Birch Press. Other fairly recent work has received the Women’s National Book Association’s Poetry Prize Best Individual Collection from Purple Patch magazine in England for Stroking David’s Leg and the San Gabriel Poetry Festival Chapbook Contest winner award for Red for the Funeral. Ellaraine teaches poetry workshops and serves as Poetry Editor for the lifestyles magazine, Lilipoh. She lives in Sunnyvale, California but spends copious amounts of time yearly in Montana and New York City.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​LB Sedlacek and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


While Waiting Outside Pete’s PizzaRia

A cockroach comes from the sewer grate
marching a mission to the door
Waits for the customer who opens it
An unwitting doorman
for the Mayor of Cockroach County

………I’m ten again
………in the backseat of a Rambler
………My farmer father driving in Seattle traffic
………and calling every other driver a cocksucker
………Me envisioning the only cock word
………I know: cockroach

A vibrator buzz emanating from a bee
drills the air outside the PizzaRia window
It flits back and forth in a furor
A small storm in front of green fluorescence
Glass separating it from beer, soda and perfume

………I’m a freshman in college again
………A good girl at debate rehearsal
………in a basement with a group of intellectuals
………And I say Someone kill
………that cocksucker before it gets away

Five minutes later the cockroach is buried
in a flour bin or a pile of plate scrapings
Bragging about its 350 million years of survival
The bee still beats wings against glass
like a crazed construction worker with a dental drill

I can’t suffer the sound any longer
So move toward the darkened Cobalt Cafe next door
to wait for someone to open the door for a reading
On a small stage where we’ll celebrate
the perpetuity of thousands of years of poetry


Home of the Brave

The daughters don’t have bars
across their rented windows
I spend nights wondering if I
raised them to be careless or courageous
They say the area is becoming gentrified
So I’ve stopped winding the gang wars
around my rosary when I visit

I imagine hummingbirds
in the morning glory as helicopters circle
See Andy Warhol’s tomato soup can
instead of a man plastered in red
across a car hood

The hate graffiti on pavement and garages
becomes art icons of Mexican/American culture
The woman hostage in the grocery store
on Sunset a part of a movie plot
Popcorn in the lobby when gunshots
pepper the place across the street

And now that they are buying a house
in an equally improving neighborhood
I finger the beads of worry
about raindrops on a leaky roof

 

 



Dan Fitzgerald
djfitz467@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Dan lives quietly in Pontiac, Illinois, tending to home and garden. His poems have been published in The Writer’s Journal, PKA Advocate, Nomad’s Choir, PoetrySuperHighway and others. His work is also included in several anthologies. He has written off and on for a number of years and has written three chapbooks – Musing, Your Star and Other Poems and Random Tales.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Dan Fitzgerald and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Enough

I like your poetry
a lady told me once.
Thank you, I said,
I like it, too.
Maybe that will be enough
in a world
that needs more poetry.

 


January 30 – February 5, 2017: Poetry from L.B. Sedlacek and Randolph Bridgeman

​L.B. Sedlacek and Randolph Bridgeman

Send us your poetry for POET OF THE WEEK consideration.
Click here for submission guidelines.


​L.B. Sedlacek
lbsedlacek@charter.net

Bio (auto)

L.B. Sedlacek is a poet and writer in Lenoir, North Carolina. Her poems have appeared in such places as "Mastondon Dentist," "Improvijazzation Nation," "Coppertales," "Pure Francis," "Third Wednesday," "Scribe and Quill," "Circle Magazine," "Tales of the Talisman," "Big Pulp" and others. L.B. publishes a free resource for poets, The Poetry Market Ezine, www.thepoetrymarket.com. When not writing or reading poetry, she enjoys swimming, riding bicycles, and doing volunteer work especially for the local humane society. Her latest chapbook is "Mars or Bust." Check out her books on Amazon here.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​LB Sedlacek and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Up at the Ski Lift

Our sunglasses are wrapped
to our heads
shiny and glowing underneath
goggles squeezed
tight on toboggans
our gloves thick wrapped
tight to our fingers
barely gripping the rope
pulling the snowboard
up to the counter to pay.

5200 feet, a high elevation,
but with Spring too early and
manufactured snow like a thin
ribbon of caulk the bright
yellow snowboard, round
and cranky, is our best
option. And, note: will
keep us wrapped tight
around a tree, or worse.

We zip up our jackets
and jump!

 



Randolph Bridgeman
randolph.bridgeman@navy.mil

Bio (auto)

Randolph Bridgeman graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and is the recipient of the Edward T. Lewis Poetry Prize. He was a Lannan Fellow for the Folgers Shakespearian Theater 04-05 poetry reading series. His poems have been published in numerous poetry reviews and anthologies. He has four books of poems, South of Everywhere 2005, Mechanic on Duty 2008, The Odd Testament 2013, and The Poet Laureate of Cracker Town 2015. His fifth book, The Trash Talk Poems, is forthcoming in 2017.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Randolph Bridgeman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

the way things get written

i wrote this poem with a pen that i stole
from a waitress at IHOP who told me
her baby-daddy had just left her and she
needed a big tip to help pay for a new tattoo
which i gave her because i’m a sucker
for a woman who knows what she wants
and is willing to work to get it
the poem before this i wrote with a pen
i found between my car seats along with
crusty mcdonald’s french fries
and half eaten funyuns
right after some homeless woman
at the WAWA gas station insisted on
pumping my gas
checking my oil
washing my windshield
(these are metaphors)
then she charged me ten bucks which i pay
because there’s something there that doesn’t
love an all american down on your luck story
but my best poems i tell you were written
with a pen that i five-fingered off
of my psychiatrist
it leaks onto the page like her
inkblot tests –

what do you see she asks

i say

an asian fish taco topped with
kesong puti cheese and
wasabi sauce

and how about now

an american beef taco topped with
cougar gold cheese and
sour cream

and now

a spicy mexican taco topped with
cheese whiz and jalapeno peppers

(these are metaphors too)

 


January 23-29, 2017: Poetry from Kathleen A. Lawrence and Bernadine Lortis

​Kathleen A. Lawrence and Bernadine Lortis

Send us your poetry for POET OF THE WEEK consideration.
Click here for submission guidelines.


​Kathleen A. Lawrence
lawrencek@cortland.edu

Bio (auto)

Kathleen A. Lawrence lives in Cortland, New York, near the Finger Lakes. Poems appear in two Prince memorial anthologies, Crow Hollow 19, Altered Reality Magazine, the Science Fiction Poetry Association website, Rattle (online), and other venues. Born in Rochester, New York — home of Kodak, the Garbage Plate, and Cab Calloway — Kathleen spent most of her youth in a plaid jumper. She now teaches Communication, Popular Culture, and Gender Studies at SUNY Cortland.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Kathleen A. Lawrence and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Holly Would

(abecedarian)

Aspiring actresses
bauble breasts,
corset cheeks,
dishing dirt.
Envy envelopes
fans fanning
gooey gossip
handling hangers-on.
Ionizing images,
jerks joke.
Kunzite knobbed,
lounging ladies
mimic mangled
nip-tucks nitpicked.
Opalescent ovaries,
pretty pouches
quench quinine.
Rouge roughens
slow satin
teetotalers tying
ugly Uggs.
Vigorous Veronicas
wrestle women
exploiting XXX’s
yo-yo Yolandas.
Zoo zip-locked.

 



Bernadine Lortis
ideagardener1@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

An avid reader, gardener and dabbler in watercolor, Bernadine has been writing secretly and sporadically for years. Degrees in Art and Education were occupationally driven. Since submitting in June, 2016, her poems and creative nonfiction were published in Stirring, Mused-bellaonline, Silver Birch, Mothers Always Write, The Afterlife of Discarded Objects and soon in Miller’s Pond. She writes and lives with her husband of 45 years in St. Paul, MN where she finds inspiration all about her.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Bernadine Lortis and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

And on a More Personal Note

I wrote things
I wrote on a note
no
no I won’t
I wrote
you don’t own me
Ramon, and

on a more musical note
I wrote a song
a song
so sad I cried
but I was crying
long before
I sang the song and

on a more sober note
I drank
you, I swallowed
you, I slashed
our dream
delerious
while some crank pumped
my stomach so

on a more personal note
Ramon
unless
you guess the seriousness
this cry sings of—
ask the Dove
she knows.

 

 

 

 


January 16-22, 2017: Poetry from Michael H. Brownstein and Russ Kazmierczak, Jr.

​Michael H. Brownstein and Russ Kazmierczak, Jr.

Send us your poetry for POET OF THE WEEK consideration.
Click here for submission guidelines.


​Michael H. Brownstein
mhbrownstein@ymail.com

Bio (auto)

Michael H. Brownstein (Chicago, Illinois) has been widely published throughout the small and literary presses. His work has appeared in The Café Review, American Letters and Commentary, Skidrow Penthouse, Xavier Review, Hotel Amerika, Free Lunch, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review, Poetrysuperhighway.com and others. In addition, he has nine poetry chapbooks including The Shooting Gallery (Samidat Press, 1987), Poems from the Body Bag (Ommation Press, 1988), A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004), What Stone Is (Fractal Edge Press, 2005), I Was a Teacher Once (Ten Page Press, 2011), Firestorm: A Rendering of Torah (Camel Saloon Press, 2012), The Possibility of Sky and Hell: From My Suicide Book (White Knuckle Press, 2013) and The Katy Trail, Mid-Missouri, 100 Degrees Outside and Other Poems (Kind of Hurricane Press, 2013). He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011).

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Michael H. Brownstein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


The Bullies and the Followings

where the world ends
where the world does not end.

This is how stuff starts
a rumor on the bus becomes
a lie in the classroom becomes
a kicking on the playground
a cloud of audience
a liter of disbelief.

My mother can no longer watch my attack
nor can she smother my attackers.
My father is not where he has to be.
My brother owns all of the nicknames meant for me.

The old sad house no longer supports a front porch
its windows full of window beasts
filling the frames with true possums.

Everywhere the mist of skunk
the spray of ivy.

 



Russ Kazmierczak, Jr.
karaokefanboypress@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Russ Kazmierczak, Jr. is an artist that lives in Phoenix, Arizona. He self-publishes a mini-comic book called Amazing Arizona Comics, which satirizes Arizona news, history, and culture with superhero adventure. He also hosts a Johnny Carson-inspired, monthly, late night talk show called Phoenix Tonight, which can be found on YouTube. He writes and performs poems at Phoenix area open mics like District 4 and Caffeine Corridor. Follow his adventures on Instagram @amazingazcomics.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Russ Kazmierczak, Jr. and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

My Neighbor, the Psychic

My neighbor, the psychic,
signed the lease without ever
seeing the place.

She’s never fined by the HOA.

My neighbor, the psychic
is the President and
only member of our Block Watch.
We figure, she’s got it.

Her Christmas lights are up all year long.

My neighbor, the psychic
had a Labor Day barbeque
for everyone in the community.

There were no leftovers.

Yesterday, I went next door
to borrow a cup of sugar.
She gave me a cake.

My neighbor, the psychic
stopped me one morning before work.
She said, "Don’t go."
I asked, "Why not? Will I die?"
She replied, "No. You won’t."

I want to have sex with her,
but I’m afraid she’d see me coming.

Our landlord came
with a notice to evict
my neighbor, the psychic,
but she was already gone.


The Mechanic’s Hands

perpetually fingerprinted,
the mechanic’s hands
know what moves you
better than you ever will

dark-veined fingernails
like Middle Eastern oil fields
all greasepaint, but

nobody accuses
the mechanic’s hands
of racism

the mechanic’s hands
are ten angry men
face first in the mineshaft

they hate metaphors
they hate this poem

they don’t introspect
just inspect
diagnose
repair
repeat

the mechanic’s hands
hold the key

literally

 

 

 

 


January 9-15, 2017: Poetry from Lee Chottiner and Michael Lee Johnson

​Lee Chottiner and Michael Lee Johnson

Send us your poetry for POET OF THE WEEK consideration.
Click here for submission guidelines.


​Lee Chottiner
leechottiner@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Lee Chottiner is a poet and award-winning journalist. He lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Lee Chottiner and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Prayer Decomposition

Here’s what happened
to prayers

Like an old shawl
the threads frayed

until you couldn’t tell
a psalm from a sermon

from an affirmation
so we put them

in the ground
or gave them away

at estate sales (the
clever ones turned them

into art) Doesn’t matter
dust to dust is done

Don’t despair
some still wrap themselves

They merely look
for new ways to tell

old stories.

 



Michael Lee Johnson
promomanusa@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Michael Lee Johnson (Itasca, Illinois) lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. He is a Canadian and USA citizen. Today he is a poet, editor, publisher, freelance writer, amateur photographer, small business owner in Itasca, Illinois. He has been published in more than 915 small press magazines in 27 countries, and he edits 10 poetry sites. Michael is the author of The Lost American: From Exile to Freedom, several chapbooks of poetry, including From Which Place the Morning Rises, Challenge of Night and Day, and Chicago Poems. He also has over 106 poetry videos on YouTube as of 2015. He has been nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards for poetry 2015 & Best of the Net 2016. Visit his Facebook Poetry Group and join here. He is also the editor/publisher of anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze. A second poetry anthology, Dandelion in a Vase of Roses, edited by Michael, is due out soon. Visit him on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Michael Lee Johnson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Sing it Frank, Physical Therapy

Sing it Frank
I’m busy at physical therapy
struggling with back spasms
looking out this window, these clouds
this rain, slice this thunder,
listening to your songs over again
on the Muzak for this 6th week in a row,
peddling this mechanical bike,
might as well be a mechanical bull
with a heat pad on my spinal cord.
I’m deep inside your larynx 10 minutes
3 times a week tickling it back and forth,
jousting and reviewing those playgrounds
of all your illicit affairs. With a few shots of vodka
peddling these wheels with intensified pressure
I can appreciate Lana Turner, Judy Garland,
Lauren Bacall, even Marilyn Monroe.
"This is my kind of town Chicago is,
my kind of town Chicago is."

 

 

 

 


January 2-8, 2017: Poetry from Gareth Culshaw and Paul LeBrun

​Gareth Culshaw and Paul LeBrun

Send us your poetry for POET OF THE WEEK consideration.
Click here for submission guidelines.


​Gareth Culshaw
jaspers1980@aol.co.uk

Bio (auto)

Gareth Culshaw is from North Wales. He writes poetry and has been published in various magazines over the last twelve months. He is now venturing into other areas of writing although poetry will always be his main interest.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Gareth Culshaw and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


It’s That Season Again

A bang woke me up
as I made my way into the trees.
I checked the recently shaved sward.

A run of telephone posts
pinned the field. Taking my eye
away from its shape.

Behind a net sat a man, his gun
star angled, waited like a
snake in the grass.

Later I got the binoculars and saw
a dead medal lying on the floor.
Its voice now just lost to the open air.

 



Paul LeBrun
canpaul@icloud.com

Bio (auto)

My name is Paul LeBrun. I live in Surrey, B.C. Canada. I would like to learn how to write short, creative non-fiction stories about personal experiences throughout my life. Some dark, some light. I’m studying poetry to develop prose in my writing. I enjoy learning about Haiku in particular. I have a sixty year old well to draw from. I love to read anything from Tolstoy to Sedaris. Mostly historical creative non-fiction books. European history in particular. I’m fascinated by Kafka and Camus as well. I worked as a machinist for 40 years. Now I’m ready for something new.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Paul LeBrun and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Bus

Sunlight flutters my eye
I look from my window
Oversize umbrella tree
Supports a red glass hummingbird feeder
Illuminated it burns my retina

Beyond it a fjord
A wooden dock, at low tide
Aluminium boat unloads
8 Students, 2 adults
A school day