Almatango, by Alessandro Cusimano

the axis of gaze
pulls and runs through
without permission

head draws a simpering
all in one breath

the longing
steals the attention

skips the rest of the heart
and picks the time
measures the space
and tends its burnished bow

in the embrace

the black braid is taken up
again all the times
on the edge of a cadence
put on the ropes

the breath in the turnaround
keeps the instant

passion creates the torment
undermines the desire violates
the deception of platitudes
and strangles the void

causes the panting and
opens a terrible beauty wide

in the arms

the motion
fast and conclusive
has the glance of a moment
moves the melody

gives an unbeatable final

madness seizes the sorrow
and becomes a flower

meets happiness
for a moment
the emotion of a different life

flatters the delirium
and falls in love

in the shade of tanguerias

where the soul lives life
with resentment
and bewilders the reason

the age of wine
the light
the colors
pose without compassion
without regret

without conquering
the rest of life

Expressivist poet, Alessandro Cusimano freely refers to the peripheral and irregular languages, drawing on the dialects, the slangs, the various sectorial and technical form of expressions, recreated with personal inventions and varying intensity, in every moment of his literary production. Appeared recently on the international literary stage. Anarchist and visionary, painful and surreal, his works reflect on anxiety, crush conventions and illusions, proclaiming, with a barrage of words, that life is, by its nature, a scandal. An unconventional path, funny and desperate, populated by staring puppets and strange creatures whose life unfolds between sarcasm and resentful emotion.


In the Shower, by Michael Keshigian

She is a tree,
a rootless red maple,
twirling and deflecting raindrops
amid rising clouds of steam
that exacerbate
her pinkish glow
continually blushing
as the warm, soothing stream
strikes her skin,
there is foam
where her auburn mane
straddles the slender taper of her neck
just above the branch
she arcs to trim
and become more youthful.
Polished, she departs
the porcelain hole,
her ballet arm
stretches for a towel
as her foot pirouettes
beyond the sliding glass door
stained by
escaping puffs of vapor
highlighted by the heating lamp
that announces her conquest,
if only temporarily,
over the eager insistence
of lifeís desecration.


Moonlight, by Michael Keshigian

It delivers a promise
from the sun
upon a slender shoot
whose spiky tip
slices black windows
to seize
the pictures
upon our walls
and cast their likeness
on the unsuspecting mirror
that reflects a grin
atop the hardwood floors
gleaming as if wet.
Yet night still penetrates
the firmament above,
an ink stain upon linen,
and the owls,
ever vigilant,
stare wide eyed
deep into the darkness
of our shadowed insecurities.

Michael Keshigianís seventh chapbook, Wildflowers, was released this past Fall 2011 by Flutter Press. Other published books include: Jazz Face, Warm Summer Memories, Silent Poems, Seeking Solace, Dwindling Knight, Translucent View. Widely published in numerous national and international journals, he is a multiple Pushcart Prize and Best Of The Net nominee. His poetry collection, Eagleís Perch, is due out from Bellowing Ark Press, Spring 2012. His website is at:


Steampunk Sortie, by Julie Kovacs

Nothing in my possession
                                except from the past

                                                                       very distant past

                                           a heart 500 kHz
jolted into the future by a

                                                               time machine 70 Ķs
                      20-Ω cog wheels goggles Verne and Dickens \\

finely detailed braided hair locket
                                                            left in the wisteria bush

                                along the ilex lined road


Spooky Night, by Max West
-lyrics to a song by Zak King

Over low moans, cries from a distance
the rusty iron gate
to the graveyard shrieks open-

grasp my other hand tightly
as the only reminder of warmth-

Are you scared dear?
Well I am too;
as brave as I can be
so can you
on this spooky night we two

Blue ghosts adrift in the leaves
speak of our names in other lives,
the shadows take their hands and play
in a dance at the edge of death and life

Are you scared dear?
Well, I am too-
but as brave as I can be
so can you-
on this spooky night we two

Tombstone teeth smile atop the hill
where tolls the long broken bell,
where moss is green as abandoned fields
where the marshy thickness swells

Are you scared dear?
Well I am tooÖ
as brave as I can be,
so can you;
on this spooky night, we twoÖ

Max West is a creative writer, musician, and graduate of UC Davis, who has published articles, a book entitled Fourteen Months and Two Weeks Downtown: A Fictional Documentary with Names Changed to Protect the Guilty, poems and several chapbooks of poetry, including Professions, Pocket Poems Vol. 1, and Semi-Serious Multi-Faceted Flowering Wheel Poem. He resides in Sacramento, California. More words available at:


HOPE for the AFFLICTED!, by Lara Eckener

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Moon Sleep, by Michael Lee Johnson
(Version 2)

I stick
my hand
out toward
the sea,
roll out my palm.
I offer a plank,
a trail for you.
Follow out into the water
and the salty stars.
When you stretch out
and give your heart
to the final moment
of the glass night sky,
draw me in-
sketch my face
on the edge
of our moon-
sad and lonely
over ages of celestial
moon sleep and dust.

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: The original version of The Lost American: from Exile to Freedom, can be found at: He also has 2 previous chapbooks available at: 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:


Stamper the Inventor, by Jason DeHart

He's invented the great underwater apparatus
It allows us to converge
Make our way across the canal
Up the inlets
Invading new lands
sweet noble imperialism
His great feet tread new ground
Bridger, his assistant
Makes all the necessary connections
Applies the patents
as weapons of war run down the chain
unhook and then find their way
into the hands of the power-hungry.

Jason DeHart is a middle grade English teacher and has had poetry published in AIM, Modern Dad, and Life As An [Insert Label Here].


Almatango, by Alessandro Cusimano

In the Shower, by Michael Keshigian

Moonlight, by Michael Keshigian

Steampunk Sortie, by Julie Kovacs

Spooky Night, by Max West

HOPE for the AFFLICTED!, by Lara Eckener

Moon Sleep, by Michael Lee Johnson

Stamper the Inventor, by Jason DeHart

Visit The Biographical Poet

All poems are copyright of their respective authors.

Exercise Bowler, editor, Julie Kovacs. 2010-2016