Fear, by Kendra S. Wende
I live in the heart of all humanity,
ingrained on their souls,
I can make their blood race,
their breathing quicken.
I come in many different varieties,
from a little adreneline boost,
to cold black,stop in your tracks paranoia.
I am the monster under the bed,
that thing that goes bump in the night.
I turn the sweetest dreams into your blackest nightmares,
you awaken to your own bloodcurdling screams,
swearing it's real.
I reduce a strong man to nothing,
I make a world's beauty forget her looks.
I am always there,
just around that next corner,
lurking in the shadows,
yet you see me each time you look in the mirror,
I am fear.
Beloved, by Gale Acuff
Nobody loves you like God, Miss Hooker
tells us in Sunday School class, but I wish
that she would, or could--I'll bet that she can.
And God doesn't even have a body,
no red hair and blue eyes and He can't cross
His legs like she can--He doesn't have legs,
at least not like a person, at least not
like a lady, at least not like hers. I'm
only 10 so I'm not sure what love is
but I'm willing to learn. Oh, my parents
love me, I know, and my dog does, and my
cat--if my cat loves anybody it's
me because I rescue him from the dog.
And maybe my fish love me, too or my
fingers that drop the food into their tank.
And my sisters love me, and my brother,
if I had one, and my grandparents, if
dead people can still love. But Miss Hooker
is beautiful and smart and knows her stuff,
all those stories from the Bible, that is,
and what they mean. They must mean something
or else we wouldn't be here. They must mean
something, else why would we talk about them?
In class I don't talk much--I get enough
of that in real school. No, I like to watch,
and hope that Miss Hooker looks me in the eye.
When that happens I screw up all my love
into the center of my eyeball--what's
that called? the iris?--and that's the same name
as her first. Iris Hooker. She looks at
me and I try to shoot my love straight out
so that it hits her right between the eyes
and knocks her out while she's still on her feet
--in her chair, I mean. I want her to know
how I feel because I don't have the words.
Well, I do, but not a many as hers.
So she's too smart for me that way. No, I
have to make her feel my power--after
all, she gave it to me. I wonder if
she knows. Maybe I will have to tell her.
I think she loves God more than she loves me.
And there's Jesus, too, and the Holy Ghost,
and Mary, and all those disciples, not
to mention Moses and David and Paul.
Sometimes I pray, though God's my rival, and
in the name of Jesus. Double whammy.
But I've got no choice: Please make Miss Hooker
love me, I beg. I'll take good care of her
and wait until I'm old enough to get
hitched up, and patiently. At 18, say,
and she'll be maybe 35. That's old
but if it's Your will You'll keep her looking
young. And we'll have babies and watch TV
and go to the movies and munch popcorn
and sit on the porch and count the cars and
go fishing and read comic books and play
Crazy Eights and Yahtzee and Parcheesi
and live to be a hundred each and get
our pictures in the paper. O Lord, if
You love me, You'll love me like Miss Hooker
ought to and make us happier than hogs
in slop. Amen. Sometimes I fall asleep
before I hit Amen but it's a long
prayer but I need to be close to God
if I'm ever going to make her mine,
Miss Hooker I mean. At night I hold her
close to me, even though she's a pillow,
and tell her how I feel but she's silent
--asleep, I pretend, and not just not real.
And in the morning she's gone, though she was
never there. But I'll see her for real next
Sunday. I'll pretend that she pretends not
to know who I am and it's our secret
and not even God knows and God knows it
all. Nobody loves me like Miss Hooker.
Gale Acuff has had poetry published in Ascent, Ohio Journal, Descant, Adirondack Review, Worcester Review, Danse Macabre, Maryland Poetry Review, Florida Review, South Dakota Review, Santa Barbara Review, and many other journals. He has authored three books of poetry: Buffalo Nickel (BrickHouse, 2004), The Weight of the World (BrickHouse, 2006), and The Story of My Lives (BrickHouse, 2008). He has taught university English in the US, China, and the Palestinian West Bank.
Canto for Edgar Allan Poe (1), by David E. Patton
Let what winds
Will what blows
Over sea or land o’er
Where man stand
Looking for his
Who will a cloud
Of heavenly fire
To woo you and your kin.
If perchance it let you in
Its heart of stature gold
That Moses did not know.
I pose as priest yes I pose
To be a dream within a dream
And deem to slay the forgotten day
No less gone far too soon.
It is now the noon of our lives
Try as much as man shall try
The vision remains the same
Amid the roar of wind swept shore
And golden sand that
Slips through the hand
To tell a time fit for rhyme.
The day does creep
The cloud does weep
And deep within all hopes
Fall as grains for to small
To be the composition of man..
None is more none
Then we can stand
To mold our God by
Man’s mind and hands
Carved in wood the mask
That binds the face
To the warer.
Roar, roar O tormented soul
The waves shall bare you aloft
And I the priest of all your days
Shall woo you to the grave.
Canto for Edgar Allan Poe (2)
When you make up your mind
And find the fine command
That once was grand by
The precept of man
Who woo the doom of earth
By machines of war
Then that Lord of love
Shall fall from above
And spite all concerned
Shall ring the knell
That tells the ruling angels
Decked in jewels grand
With satin wings and
Africa hair makes their vows
To stand by their man
And assure no more
The fleshy core that
Makes a man a man.
None-the-less with what
Was spoken I am at peace
With my reverie
That I keep safe
From the church-yard door
Thinking the happy dead
Will sigh and swell
The bosom composed
Of words stolen from
A poem that none knows.
O go yes, go your way
With mind made of broken
Thoughts the last token
Of all your doubts.
Canto for Edgar Allen Poe (3)
Death do not come for me
I fain not to know your
Do not come from your throne
Leave me truly as one alone.
Let not life’s light go dim
For what I hold worst
I hold best to keep dear
The life within my breast.
Take not away my last breath
Lead me not to my eternal rest.
I trouble no melancholy waters
I love no holy heaven come to town.
Let me stay and not lie down
Or drawn in a sea lurid and rough
And silent by the waves as they must
That stays hugging the shores
Free from the pinnacles
Of spires and domes.
I make of my heart
A church of songs
Yes, yes in deed
Do not come for me.
Canto for Edgar Allan Poe (4)
If to myself I can be true
I fain that I am not in love with you.
I named the night that we first met
And ultimate truth fled my rest.
And sublime wisdom does its best
To step me out of time and space
And Titan floods the holy gate.
Wait; yes wait you now long dead
Who ills my will and overspread
The chilly lake where lilies grows.
The human cold of murmuring snow.
When spring beams its warmth
White robed the nook the travelers keep
And like some fallen angel I weep
Melancholy for all my friends
Taken by AIDS they grown bone thin
And spotted ill the disease encamped
In their breast once ghouly thrilled
The unholy spots ring their skin
And derange their minds
Till they loose track of time.
Friends gone to soon into the
Hell’s fire of pools aghast they
Meet their memories spent.
I sigh for them yes I weep
Sheets of rivers mean to peace
The restlessness that I seek
The chilly rim surging
From the sad sea.
The grey wood dark and cold
Enfold all my living hopes
And the dead are lonely in their
Heavenly clothe clothed by
The hand of the only God
Who swamp his shrouded form
With memory of the last fall
From the golden cross.
03-24-2010, by David E. Patton
Poets employ your tongue
With wit and joy
Admit the though thought
Of he who amour
All your art apart
To enchant with gallant breath
Of joy that yield and reel in
The view of nymphs who plays harps
Acquired from the Gods.
Frequently bend your
Proud back to the observation
Of all your cares ware the
Robe of friendship to forgive
The passing of the years embroider
By the God mars who pursed
The making of your pure art
As something thousand fold
And mark the hour of your coming
Into the spirit that in life shall prosper
Its informed wit of the savage who
Is closer to God then your skin
He who dictates to Bacchus that lay
The nymph in her chamber of love
He who flew with Daphne
From his fixed sex of learning
To rest beside the light
Of all our might and rake
The guess of all our success
To meet and greet what
Overtakes our most profound
Footsteps leading to where we
Have been as kin of the animal
My dear love cause all we know
Is by the precept of the human soul.
Find this true of you
Find in the pace of my face
That I who excel and once held
The ancient tale the poets tell
Beautifully in the race of my
Dark face of a fine mind
Full of grace and grandiose.
Find that I have yet to
Discover a God as lover
Calm in his frame as to make
Virgins weep to see him and I
Entwined in sex of superior minds.
Some make of God who looks like
Phoebus in his make full of grace.
Some God of wit and virtue.
Some God’s merit of character
Born to retrieve what is chief
Among men who woo with fancied
Grace of long lost resemblance held
By the glittering crown all proud
And struck by a vain chain
As to never aid the maid of
Black locks like some Medusa
Stupefied with stock viewed
In the dull, noisy lewd light
Of the red light distress.
It is the God of poetry who
Purifies the world of all its ills
It is the combined nature of God
And men mind that birth
The formal arts set to music
Of various tones fresh and
Some what terrestrial as to choose
Who will come to refuse the poet’s call
To honor and duty of pride waiting
The wars that rage across nature’s
Face yet it is the God of earth
That has placed us all here, yes
It is God of war who
Weep bullets and booms of bombs
Busting their load
Deadly as to kill the descending
Notion of human motion stalled
In the throat of manly pride
And so men, young in their skin
Died the death of indignation
And who but the poets shall
Report, why the dull indignation
Why the peeled back skin
Of our human kin, why
Teach the skill of how to kill.
It is misplaced human will of pride
That roasts the eyes
With flame throwers
That cause mothers to morn
And moan for youth
Who advanced to the killing line
And was proudly ravished by death’s
Blame not death for death is not
To blame when man’s sanity is measured by
His will to kill, to kill, and yet again
The blood spilled stains the land.
Mortals are sinful in their nature
Upon the sphere of earth
They kill even the dirt
That shepherd silver chariots
Across the Aurora flame’s
And call blushing virgins
To swear the name of God.
Who is to blame, who will
Show their face to the way when
My arms has no Gods to infold
To hold with speed of aspiring
Earth full of birth and over used
Who is the who is to woo the beautiful
Endymion, the handsome one
Beneath the blue moon
Who shall held the God’s call
Who shall fall as some bloom
Faded soon and full of the faith of spring
Who teaches the boy to play his wars
In the class room of industry.
David E. Patton writing has appeared in Mad Blood, The James White Review, Rocky Mountain Arsenal of the Arts, Bay Window, 7, and Guide. His chapbook, Milk Bowl Moon over St. Louis appeared in 2003 from Perisistencia Press. Also an accomplished painter and sculptor, Patton currently resides in his hometown of St. Louis, having spent much of the pass quarter century living in Denver, Boulder, Milwaukee and Boston. His book The Trinity was published by Turkey Buzzard Press in 2008 and his fore coming book will appeared in 2010.
Talking Loudly to the Empty Air, by Vincent Spada
Down the street he went,
his hands waving wildly above him
Hair all messed and matted
Crazed, like a lunatic
Shoes falling from his feet
Jacket split and frayed and ripped
Face with a beard deepest brown
Fingernails, full of the dirt
Seeing and hearing no one
Walking quickly in his direction
Going where nobody knows
Talking loudly to the empty air
A Shock of White Hair, by Vincent Spada
Look at the carnage
and see what is there
and a shock of white hair
Camps all over
but no one to care
and a shock of white hair
Slaughter and chaos
The blood everywhere
and a shock of white hair
Smell of the gas
Ashes in the air
and a shock of white hair
The piles of ghosts
Nothing can compare
and a shock of white hair
Look at the carnage
Go look if you dare
and a shock of white hair
Vincent Spada is a writer and poet from Methuen, Massachusetts. He has an upcoming book of poetry published in June. He has authored One Under the Sun by Brambleby Books and Said the Kitty to the Cat by Top That! Publishing.
Opposite of Memory, by David Sprague
Handcuffed to a chain of hand-
cuffs chained to a chain-link fence
surrounding a spruce, I feel alone.
Truth is always the same
old lie, various bouquets.
Dim the lights, let her sing.
Dim the lights, let her sing.
I’m running out of
I’m on a rollercoaster, sitting beside
a turkey—worst thanksgiving ever.
Visiting Spain, by David Sprague
The world’s fastest red car brakes
hard. Sunset on the rocks…a leaf
falls, a light beam tries to be heaven—
but photons are not even phantoms,
yet alone lifelike wingèd angels.
When the atoms said no, the scientists
said yes by stabbing the atoms to death…
We belong in arms.
An invitation to Barcelona but he
had to be somewhere else. If he
had gone he would’ve seen
the matador bow then
blow off the head of the bull. Victory
for a second, then an encore
of boos. (We stare at you.)
Bird Lady, by Michael Lee Johnson
They call her old maid Misty, as in fog, she misses the sun.
She runs a small pet store, more for the injured and lame,
alone and half the light bulbs have burnt out.
In the backroom everything smells of dust and feathers.
The cockatoo is cuddly and named Brenda, but has bad toiletry manners.
The macaw is well hidden, and fetches a high price on the open market, called Ginger.
Misty is surrounded by wired bird cages,
jungle noises in unfamiliar places,
and sleeps on a portable cot.
When parrots or parakeets shout shrills in the night,
her eyes squint and flash out in the dark but no one sees it.
Squinting is a lonely habit.
Misty works alone and is getting old.
On a wall, near her cot, hangs a picture-
but is it Jesus, or St. Jude Thaddaeus
carrying the image of Jesus in his hand or close to his chest,
difficult to tell darkness dimmed at night.
Misty sometimes sleepwalks at night from small room to the other-
she bumps, sometimes trips and falls, her warfarin guarantees bruises.
Misty tosses conjectures: “I’m I odd, old school, or just crazy?”
Her world is eye droppers, bird feeders, poop in cages, porcelain knickknacks.
Love left Misty’s life years ago, when World War II ended and so did her marriage.
As she ages everything is measure in milliliters, everything seems short and small-
medications in small dosages day by day.
Early in morning a young homeless boy knocks on the store front window
desperate for a job, he lies about credentials.
Misty desperate for help asks for no references.
Today is dim, raining outside, and old maid Misty still misses the sun.
Michael Lee Johnson is a poet and freelance writer from Itasca, Illinois. He is heavy influenced by: Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Irving Layton, Leonard Cohen, and Allen Ginsberg. His new poetry chapbook with pictures, titled From Which Place the Morning Rises, and his new photo version of The Lost American: from Exile to Freedom are available at: http://stores.lulu.com/promomanusa. The original version of The Lost American: from Exile to Freedom, can be found at: http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?isbn=0-595-46091-7. He also has 2 previous chapbooks available at: http://stores.lulu.com/poetryboy.
Michael has been published in over 23 countries. He is also editor/publisher of four poetry sites, all open for submission, which can be found at his Web site: http://poetryman.mysite.com.
Washed Away, by Marcelo Smith
Let the ocean wash me away and let me float
among the waves drifting ever so slowly out to sea
for I am alone with my heart shipwrecked among the splintered rocks
it is here I float in silence
not a word muttered
left alone with my abandoned thoughts
for my love is lost somewhere among this world and I deem to find her
for where has she gone?
I cannot feel her invigorating presence
has she fell off the end of this world?
traveled into the next ?
no....no I will not lay in wait
I shall swim the deepest depths and venture treacherous waters
across the seven seas to find my love
dear god I pray light the sky's and lead my way
bring my love back into my heart
for if I do not
I shall become part of this vast ocean
a renounced phantom until the day I find thee.
—after Vijay Iyer’s Helix, by Felino A. Soriano
Of butterfly wings
wearing ballet’s hexagonal
holding an eye’s visual afterthought,
elegies of dead air’s voiceless
various hallways, darkened by more than dusk’s virtuous
said to behold
more so landscapes of unseen tomorrows
delineating sections of
—after Terumasa Hino’s Stella By Starlight, by Felino A. Soriano
Exhale from exhale, moment’s
surrogate example of beautiful otherness, her
weight now weightless
wandering with walking eyes
acclimated tableaus of city’s vibrant systems
serenaded by the unlikely visitors
gone toward a history of flashing absence,
asking her to repeat syllables
cascading cadence of inviting
—after Masahiko Togashi’s Sketch 4
visitation, dissipating purpose
pleasing section of an hour’s gradual
drunken aerial, lavender horizon
halo born simplicity
sacred in the solitude of
an image’s organic composition. Retreating
clouds bathing section of sky’s stilled
segregating whispers of unspoken dialogue
cataloguing virtue’s necessary
Felino A. Soriano (b. 1974), is a case manager and advocate for developmentally and physically disabled adults. He has authored 29 collections of poetry, including “Construed Implications” (erbacce-press, 2009) and “Delineated Functions of Congregated Constructs” (Calliope Nerve Media, 2010). His poems have appeared at Calliope Nerve, Unlikely 2.0, BlazeVOX, Metazen, Otoliths, and elsewhere. He edits & publishes Counterexample Poetics, an online journal of experimental artistry, and Differentia Press, dedicated to publishing e-chapbooks of experimental poetry. In 2010, he was chosen for the Gertrude Stein "rose" prize for creativity in poetry from Wilderness House Literary Review. Philosophical studies collocated with his connection to classic and avant-garde jazz explains motivation for poetic occurrences. His website explains further: www.felinoasoriano.info.
Consonance, by Rich Follett
for one moment
arm in arm,
(who knew that stars could
actually form a canopy?)
for one heartbeat-optional moment
bathed in twinkling chastity
we lived wholly within each other,
you and i –
for one resplendent,
montane midnight moment
in two bodies
with Philotes smiling down
for one unstained moment of divine grace,
twin exhaled awe-spirals danced
a November paean
for one immortal moment
(that one was enough)
was ours …
Triage, by Rich Follett
my jubilee begins;
half a sentient century –
five decades extant,
seeking event horizons ...
my jubilee begins;
i am surrounded by revelers
expecting a speech.
a marker is warranted,
some shred of sagacity
to eulogize youth
amidst encroaching nitre and rheum.
obligated by longevity;
resigned to the impossibility
peering inward and
steering a poetic course;
returning to scylla and charybdis
armed with shards of battle-scarred outrage,
i steel my newly wizened, hoary spirit
for apocalyptic confrontation
only to discover
a child’s laughter –
three truths reverberate:
i am here,
(far longer than i ever thought i would be);
i am happy
(far more than i ever thought i could be);
i am hopeful
(a mockery of reason, and yet …).
my thoughts now
are of daisies
in reckless profusion –
an ebullient garland
of undreamt tomorrows.
bereft of appropriate thanks,
i giddily chart a course toward home and
my well-meaning friends –
returning to their
jocular gibes and black balloon bouquets
with unprecedented equanimity.
my jubilee begins;
sagacity will have to wait
until the child has finished singing.
Rich Follett has recently returned to writing poetry after a thirty-year hiatus. He lives in the sacred and timeless Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where he joyfully teaches English and Theatre Arts for high school students. His poems have appeared in Paraphilia, Calliope Nerve, Sugar Mule, Four Branches Press and Counterexample Poetics, for which he is a Featured Artist. He is the co-author of Responsorials (with Constance Stadler) and the solo collection Silence, Inhabited (Summer 2010 release date) for NeoPoiesis Press. Most recently, his haiku/photo combination Aurora's Adieu received first place honors in the first international iPoetry Poe-Tography Competition.
Monday Evening, by Alan Britt
when a May wind
rubs her hips
against their thick
Every bird in the neighborhood:
metaphysical pulleys in need
of religious oil,
flowing past thin reeds,
as Mozart flutes.
After a Storm, by Alan Britt
licks the muscular ribs
of an algae-covered, split-rail fence.
slashes of white
across their foreheads,
against the feathery branches
of a giant blue spruce.
warm the pulse
against my neck.
Alan Britt teaches English at Towson University. His recent books are Vegetable Love (2009), Vermilion (2006), Infinite Days (2003), Amnesia Tango (1998) and Bodies of Lightning (1995). Essays recently in Clay Palm Review and Arson. Interviews and poetry recently featured in Steaua (Romania), Latino Stuff Review and Poet’s Market 2000. Other poems in The Bitter Oleander, Christian Science Monitor, Confrontation, English Journal, Epoch, Flint Hills Review, Fox Cry Review, Kansas Quarterly, Magyar Naplo (Hungary), Midwest Quarterly, New Letters, Pacific Review, Puerto del Sol, Queen’s Quarterly (Canada), Sou’wester, Square Lake, plus the anthologies, For Neruda, For Chile (Beacon Press), Fathers: Poems About Fathers (St. Martin’s Press) and La Adelfa Amarga: Seis Poetas Norteamericanos de Hoy (Ediciones El Santo Oficio, Peru) Alan occasionally publishes the international literary journal, Black Moon, from Reisterstown, Maryland, where he lives with his wife, daughter, two Bouviers des Flandres, one Bichon Friese and two formerly feral cats.
Complex, by Rich Murphy
Having ignored or misunderstood
the voice behind the couch, Europe’s
depressed and defeated streets slouch
into the 21st Century. Freud’s poems
and paintings, the antidote to corkscrew
pedigree, smelled like mirrors or hard work
to a middle class population. Claiming
its independence from history, America
climbed upon the shoulders of Suus Dame
and beats its chest. While the cathedral
of the baggage-burdened continent wobbles
beneath, the feet of Whitman’s bridge-
burning ape dance as though on stage.
Anthropologists wonder when the world’s
improviser will notice his ancestors
quaking before his feat. The relic tourist
mocks with a jig for ol’ time sake.
Couched in Modern Art, by Rich Murphy
Of all the talk therapy published in 1922,
a novel threaded the eye of ancient Greece,
while attempting to draw a second Renaissance
from a resistant patient. The ink blot dream
analysis strung history’s axe handles
to Penelope’s fingers to mend the Mind
of Europe. Few readers were cured of their wish
to die, but two poets’ collection of ancient
abracadabras made so inclined stomachs
revolt. Depression distracted itself with violence.
The state of art nor its tyrants could muster
an army. So much for art as medicine!
The 20th Century Ithaca of sexual communion
remains visible from here, holding the world
together for the schizophrenic communities
where truth is faith in the reality of process.
Upon leaving our father’s house to seek misfortune,
we traverse everything not ourselves without
a resting place to justify a smile on our mirrors.
Rich Murphy's credits include the 2008 Gival Press Poetry Award for his book-length manuscript “Voyeur;” a first book The Apple in the Monkey Tree; chapbooks Great Grandfather, Family Secret by, Hunting and Pecking, and Phoems for Mobile Vices; poems in Rolling Stone, Poetry, Grand Street, Trespass, New Letters, Pank, Segue, Big Bridge, Pemmican, foam:e, and Confrontation; and essays in The International Journal of the Humanities, Journal of the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning, Reconfigurations: A Journal for Poetics Poetry / Literature and Culture, Fringe, and Journal of Ecocriticism. Derek Walcott has remarked for the cover of my book Voyeur: “Mr. Murphy is a very careful craftsman in his work, a patient and testing intelligence, one of those writers who knows precisely what he wants his style to achieve. His poetry is quiet but packed, carefully wrought, not surrealistically wild, and its range not limited but deliberately narrow. It takes aim.” Rich lives in Marblehead, MA and teaches writing at VCU.
Dressing in the Dark, by Howie Good
I am a man of no importance,
an empty sleeve
pinned to a shoulder.
On my knees in the garden
as if praying.
While the peonies
fluff their ruffled cuffs.
It’s there every morning,
like a shadow
that carefully knocks
snow from its boots
before coming inside.
Howie Good, a journalism professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, is the author of 19 print and digital poetry chapbooks and a full-length collection, Lovesick, published by Press Americana.
At the Cemetery, by Clyde L. Borg
I always stand there,
With flowers in hand,
A cross of palm,
A bed of ribboned branches.
I come to respect
And for remembrance.
Invade my soul
And fill my thoughts
With what used to be.
Chasing High Noon, by Ernest Williamson III
I made the verdant earth cower at my wealth
my fame was indifferent
like muck on the banister of Rockport shoes
allusions illusions both were the same
in this erratic spinning top
this paucity of life
slipping and dripping
with complaints and love
I was a tad bit better than reality
before and after the birth and death of my soul
I went from the disposition around the Ethiopian sundial
kissing and being kissed
in scarlet lipstick
in fervid dank dark dens
layered with gaudy diamond
and gold plated walls
a dream a lie a frustration
but not a reality
until the lead slipped
from the lips
of tired old
of day and night.
Bio: Ernest Williamson III has published poetry and visual art in over 250 online and print journals. He is a professor at Essex County College and ABD at Seton Hall University. Visit his gallery at http://www.yessy.com/budicegenius/
In Your House by Jodie Fox
I am afraid-
afraid of the curtain's orange beads
dangling from their necks,
afraid of the helpless gray carpet,
exhausted with defeat,
the naked Christmas tree with its desperate tinsel
trying to fatten shameful gaps,
afraid of the heavy wooden TV,
the lack of a fireplace,
afraid of how the 4 o'clock sun
barges ungratefully into
the dusty living room
just before you get home.
I fear the putrid pea colored couch,
your prickly beard
your eyes laughing,
your mouth, lips,
stained yellow teeth,
My head on the bathroom floor,
I fear the coolness of pink tiles,
so tiny and close together,
while your finger
sticks callously in my ear,
in my warm mouth.
I fear the smell of chicken soup
polluting the kitchen air,
I fear the linger of a silence
so loud it keeps me awake nights.
I fear footsteps above.
I fear to walk, eat, pretend,
that I could make myself bloody again.
Yes, I am afraid.
Afraid of becoming
one of your cigarettes.
Jodie Fox writes for 2 local magazines in the Bonita Springs/Naples Florida area and have taught English/Literature classes as well.
Fake It, by Ivan Jenson
true to your
by all means
on an MGM
Trophy Life, by Ivan Jenson
if you have
shifts of tone
in the figure
by events which
through all this
then I take
my hat full
off to you
Ivan Jenson has enjoyed success publishing his poetry in the US and the UK and he has received recognition for his bold Pop Art. His Absolut Jenson painting was featured in Art News, Art in America, and he has sold several works at Christie's, New York. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Word Riot, Poets and Artists O and S, Zygote in my Coffee, Camroc Press Review, Word Catalyst Magazine, Poetry Super Highway, Alternative Reel Poets Corner, Underground voices magazine, Blazevox, and many others. He now writes novels and poetry in Grand Rapids, Michigan. http://www.ivanjensonartist.com/
Loneliness Motel, by Michael Keshigian
His little hole in the Boston skyline,
one window lined with soot
facing Fenway Park.
In the room overhead,
there was a clarinet
that stalked Stravinsky’s Three Pieces
During the day it was mostly quiet,
the crowd on the sidewalks
resembled the spiders in the room,
preying with thick overcoats
to catch the unsuspecting
in a web woven with smog
dimly illuminated with the little light
that penetrated the building alleys,
so dark, he could only shave
with a lamp in his face.
Every morning at 7:30 A.M.,
students clamored on the staircase,
rushing en route to classes
at the universities
and colleges around the corner,
the clarinet player would flush the toilet
then turn on the shower.
Once in a while, a bird
chirped or tweeted, like a bell chime,
so close to his door,
for a moment, he believed
he had a visitor.