Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal

The Yellow Hills

Let’s meet in the yellow hills
near the sea.  Let’s picnic in
the yellow hills.  We could
look up to the sky and make
small talk.  We could tell each
other our hopes and dreams.

Stretched out on a blanket
under the warm sun.   We
could pretend we’re dead
or like some immovable
force.  Under a leafy tree
in the yellow hills we’ll rest.
In these hills black ants eat
the crumbs we leave behind.
Their tiny shadows could only
be observed under a microscope.

In the yellow hills we leave
our troubles behind.  Not far
from shore we feel the breeze
that comes from the sea.   We rest
here where the leafy tree’s shadow
seems to swallow us whole.
The yellow hills protect us from
the dark times of the world.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Akeith Walters

Waiting for Pete

Another iced whiskey wets my hand
as I linger in the bar’s twilight,
listening to a Dolly Parton crossover.

The sweet scented blend of a Marlboro
and reefer drifts by

and I turn to see Pete walk in,
his rose polo
and fat ass
hanging loose and untucked.

No one knows what he does when not sitting on his stool
with his back to the door,

with no more than beer or two to hold the world at bay.

Young drunks,
who sway in clusters,
listen to his stories,
the grainy black and white ones,
of stonewall chances taken in back alleys and secret bars,
in secluded parks and rusty boxcars,

before civil rights became the rights of everyone,

except for the few who wore loose rose polos
with a bangle or two
and cowboy boots
with high polished heels.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

William Doreski

The Revolution Will Be Televised

Comrades, the time has come
to seize the means of production
I wrote in my latest memo,
earning a crooked smile from the dean.
Dusk as drab as old sweat pants
crawls across the quad, dousing
my dream of overthrowing worlds.
You think I’m merely boyish
because like Dostoevsky

I want to face a firing squad
and let revolution enter me
like a swarm of killer bees. Laughing,
you share your iced coffee with me.
Why do you suppose the straws
have become alert as antenna,
quivering while the TV rants
of oil spills and massacres, and suits
explain why their public crimes

deserve praise instead of censure?
What does it mean to want to seize
the means of production
the workers have long ago retired
and we academics produce
only a dreary and muffling fog?
As we drain the coffee our foreheads
bump like dueling elk, so we duck
shyly away from each other.

How often we’ve sorted headlines
by degrees of horror, sharing
our modest grief. The revolution
next time will surely be televised.
But when we stand like Dostoevsky
and the rifles nod but refuse
to fire we’ll feel belittled
by the books we’ve read and loved,
the iced coffee freezing our veins.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Travis Macdonald

Definite Article Anything
(worthless customs, rules, or regulations that forbid something to set a price of)


Nominative Singular Pronoun keeps
watch or vigil at or to
a farther point or higher
place on or in

the present day or age
free from sound or noise
as a place or persons; silent.


Any liquid that is swallowed
to quench thirst, for nourishment,
etc. beverage (a Boolean operator
that returns a positive result when both
operands are positive) free fruits, vegetables
from moisture for preservation; dry.

Stimulate sexually an added condition
stipulation, detail or particular
to utter suddenly and briefly; exclaim!


Earth or matter in fine, dry particles
toward or in the direction of: going
each; every; per: spreading and imparting dirt
a hard blow (or a successful show)

Nominative Singular Pronoun has; or forms
in the mind as an idea,
conception etc. — to regard as specified
an auxiliary verb which belongs to you

Next in order of time or place to devise
or arrange, as in a plan at that point in an action
speech, etc. the state or condition


Each; every; per: for a short time or period
having considerable linear extent in the space
of head or skull reaching well into the past
(of beverages) mixed against great odds

to be no longer subject, become in-

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Paul Handley

Style Conscious

The rain drops on my
Signature fedora that has
Become a kinky quirk
Lately, attests that my
Misfit flair became too popular
From a discernment of a norm
That did not remain on the fringes,
Thus keeping its cache.
Maybe next time.

Have you seen the white
Golf shoes? I hope it is only your
Subconscious that registered
It as a shadow echo, then
Stilled to a casual pulse
That warranted a glance of
Appreciation to an unprompted omit.
This is a goal.

Actual Event

The moon looks
Like a multi media

White egg pasted
In my panorama.

Who knows? Maybe in
My own miniature (to someone)
Crèche. The finishing

Applicant may have been
Overlooked by inspector

I don’t mind being on a
Set, but a whimsical
Mindset for details is

Not welcome. Our
Scientists have observed
Fundamentals that have to adhere.

Contentment requires lunar tides, not
Schlock van guard.
Inconsistency breeds child

Abuse and grassy knolls.
Memo to “god” give me
A sun at 06:17 hours with

Shimmering streaks,
Appropriate warmth and
Precancerous skin.

Fire the inspector if need be
Or I will curse
You to a locked room of

Social scientists
Debating the nature
Of reality for a week (your time).

Thursday, 16 December 2010

David McLean

tripping over brackets

we trip over the brackets
around the pure perception,
and, inside me,
all cats are gray

like flags over the castle
where nothing lives
innocent oblivion.
all cats are gray,

and time at night
is painless, where evening
has stroked away
twilight anxiety

and consecrated the cold
to being and absence,
that icy absolution
time brings, like nothing,

here where all cats are gray,
and so are most days

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Phil Lane

Nine Ways of Looking at Dawn

Dawn encroaches like doom
written on the sky,
a contract you never signed,
a painting without
a signature.

Dawn unfurls like a white flag,
you surrender to
a morning that looms
with idle hands,
itches for something
to complicate.

Dawn comes down
like a death sentence,
it’s there, it waits,
the sun rises
even on the gallows.

Dawn is birds singing
in the squalor,
sun shining
through the spit
and scorn of judges.

Dawn is another
new sky
of blood
and plumbing
and minutiae.

Dawn arrives
when you are trying
to be a man,
emasculates you
with its flat, white

Dawn yields
neither marked gain
nor marked loss,
it breaks even,
it’s a wash.

Dawn forgets like rain:
as rain forgets the drought,
so dawn forgets the night.

After the gloaming,
dawn is all there is

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Peter Greene

Aquadynamics and the far dark boom of quarry rock

people do much larger things than I
a blast far away in the quarry con
firms it – big men, three hundred pounds and more,
who lose hands between boulders the size of houses, reaching
for the one rock out of place – com
posing vast poems whose subtle song
of a million million voices
expresses itself in the vast and perfect
           slight tilt
of a barge that will be three years
moving from here to far Dubai – attended
by helicopters, the machine train sighs
across the seas and these vast men merely man it – each, too
exhausted in his turn – the gulls cry screaming
in the wake of the tugs and chains – they, smaller than I
tend this great procession
with far greater knowledge and attention
than I, a poet not too far by
enchanted by booms
and the stories of large men
who do larger things , I reach
for that one detail out of place
that will fix the scene in place, in mind forever
but the rocks roll on today
and I pull back a stump.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Neil Ellman

Ghost Story

A shadow wanders
Through the dusty rooms
Between old chairs
Draped in white linen
Passing a portrait of itself
Almost recognizable
Slightly turned
As if to look away
Wondering why it's there
Where it is
And who the others are
Who sense
The silent wind of eyes.

Walk This Way

The sun walked this way
Peeked around the side of the old church
Turned the corner
And entered the empty square
The grey statue changed to fire
Alive again.

Walk this way, it said,
And I did, and in its place
I was transformed to stone.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Ricky Garni

The Fourth Stooge

I thought that surely I was missing something when I read Rumi talking about beating a man senseless with a club so that he could pull the stealthy snake out of his mouth, but it is true: that’s exactly what he wrote.

Sometimes you have to trust people when what they seem to be doing makes no sense, so that they may pull stealthy snakes out of your mouth which were they to explain their purpose might not work, as you would grow tense and inflamed and it would be quite impossible to do what needed to be done, i.e., snake removal.

Then again, some people are crazy. They like to beat you senseless for fun. Moe Howard had that. Bugs Bunny had a little bit of that. I like to think that Rumi was not crazy or one of the Three Stooges or Bugs Bunny. And I know in my heart he wasn’t. But sometimes it makes me smile to think that maybe he really was. Yes, he maybe he was.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Matt Galletta

Your name

Your name lives on my tongue.

Not in conversation,
not consciously,
but in the million
mindless moments
of a day,
it comes out.

Pouring coffee,
parking the car,
through all the countless
tiny tasks
that add up
to a life,

it's there:

a steady rhythm,
a gentle hum,
a one-word prayer
I keep repeating
under each breath.


It's like that night
when we drove home
from Boston
through all that fog.

No street lights
in sight,
we crawled with caution,

windshield wipers
at the moisture
beading up on the glass.

Barely able to see
the lane markings,
we couldn't tell
if there was a shoulder
to pull over onto.

Checking the rearview,
squinting into the gray
in front of us,
checking the rearview again,

we wondered when,
if ever,
things were going to clear up.

Matt Galletta lives with his wife, daughter, and cats in Troy, NY. His work has appeared in MediaVirus MagazinePigeonBikeRed Fez, and elsewhere. Find out more at Matt Galletta.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Heller Levinson

mapping like industrial forge

hammering     (out)     a shape
bringing to fruition
tending to   (tenderizations pattern beating

the shape of finding 

poured to/on anvil    pounding into position   into shape    pounding accruing shape   shape establishes position   grants position ... /administers
co-ordinates arrive at position, deliver a position, -- embarkation    accountings & establishment

co-ordinates = finders

the found tossed tenebrous in the incinerative convolute of perennial displacement

furnaces laboring

Map rebuffs Peril

M:   I provide a service.
P:   You imperil.
M:   I guide people.
P:   You only misdirect them further.
M:  Degrees of lostness?
P:   Levels of Perdition.
M:  I’m useful.
P:   So are caskets.

mapping tomb peril

encrustation coarctation astringency assembly syndrome

to get there → how?               not, ... why?
how -- the supracessional

mapping:  an options elimination operation

questing to arrive

maps   }       take you there
gps      }
              the quest is to find, locate ... identify

identity < > locatability
location < > definitionality

discover – uproots from the unknown
                                                         (larval spits
initiate search
the unidentified appears

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Philip Byron Oakes

With Sauce

Flibberty giblet corn fed stories
of heroic binges of charity,
feeding the appetite
for having given it all away.
A dyslexic take on a zip code of behavior,
coming up lemons in the hands of the
postman. Ringing twice the normal
speed of light and fluffy words
from home. Commas
with saddles to ride the silence,
to a meaning between the
lines etched in faces making
the weathermen who they are.
Characters in an antagonist’s drawl
fleshing out an alibi for convalescence,
thinly veiled in the thick of a limp
through the Russian revolutions
of the door.

Sure Wood

A forest stumped for an answer
as to where to sit. From whom
to seek shelter, in houses gutted
by old flames, coming back to
haunt the furnace for the hearth.
Culling the herds of the listless
for the brightest of those eyes
lost in sleep. To separate the
wood from the wooden, when
asked to loosen a grip, on a
hand in the making it what it
is. Confounding the unmitigated
with alloys of discretion, in
fending off the queries from
those who might do some good.
Anchor the garden to the ground.
Meet the qualifications in the alley.
An one for all intents serving
as a purpose, for what might
have been, as well as for what
narrowly is. As good a reason
as any to plant a tree.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Ton van ‘t Hof



a love story well maybe not
to flow unobstructed through
but one that's still pretty cool while

some stitches without losing any density

haply purporting to kiss the holy moon

all over its length


a next generation neurally based autonomous road

red reusable plastic fire hydrant

trees nature sound effects wind

clouds? well let's face it we googled some

lovely tibetan endless


giving wisely what
they really want
to grow on happiness hope poems do

autism grass roots
fruit flies toolbox policy

its clean green fun be

a third degree polynomial always

a tic-tac-toe for instance

the tuscan risotto sun

standing rib roast or
going round some corners slower

would your lights dim

not love but then one
way of totally open blue sky thinking


Thursday, 2 December 2010

Lyn Lifshin

All Night the Night Has Been

lightening with moths

white behind the walnuts

If a woman couldn’t sleep
and came to this window
in this light her skin
would glow like bones

Clouds over the full moon
even with the wind

What would have been
nuts looks like limes
on the white stones,

it sounds like some
one tapping on a glass
coffin. It sounds

like someone tapping
from within the tree

July 23

she lets dread
take the form of
tulips, bulbs
planted before
white camouflages
sky. It’s too late
to remember
camisole, lace.
Only papers
torn from confetti
on the 2 by 4
floor, the abstraction
of terror, other
cities people left
at night, herbs
never picked,
running through
ephemera, writing
the footnotes
before the text

Music Hall

If there was a lover I could
imagine, his thighs would
take me over the brass. If
I could remember when the
bow or strings could have
been a tongue on the crevice
where a knee and hip join.
If I could touch what I feel in
the cat’s fur or re-reading
Ruffian’s last hours. I
think of the Cadbury in my
pocket book, the winter once
he held me. In a drawer,
the sales slip: 1921, sold to
my grandfather before
he changed his name, good
quality. German, 360 dollars,
so my mother could star.
It was the reason she named
me Rosalyn Diane, a name
for the stage. I try to remember
the feel of the strings. “Talented.”
”Never screeched.” I watch
the first violinist, rhinestones
in her hair, black velvet
skirt near the one with short
stubby legs in what looks like
shorts she shouldn’t be
wearing. . The singer is nice,
making her cooing sounds. Years
after I throw glass as if to get
it out of me when my husband
ran off, he’s at the box office
in line near me a friend says
and like this night, I don’t
feel anything

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

SJ Fowler

{Jus Primae Noctis}

He could’ve been a colonel in the army.
King of the moth squad,
with his great grandfathers name, easily he could.
But he was not born on sacred soil.
He looks the part, but only just.
She can shut her knees all she wants.
This memory of military degradation has returned
him to sense. He is no rapist!
He has never been a man who needed to take
anything by force.
Just because he has the stomach for it (who doesn’t?)
does not mean that he would.

She opens her legs in pain and he stabs the blade
into her inside thigh. He cannot hear her shout.
The spray is fine at first and he has to stand
away to not get doused in the blood.
She will loose consciousness and though they will not
be able to save her,
they might try beyond the blue still living,
which will look better on the news.
The artery has opened up now.
The blood is coming in ways he did not know it
could. The body is forceful & final.
It will soon pool about the entire toilet. His
distraction is theft.

SJ Fowler

{I am a dancing Cathar, married twice, looming incest}

he enters a double door that carries the face of a bookcase
                   & descends into that rare subbasement
                               to carry on with those who struggle in her name, Jus Primae Noctis!
                       I help them to place a bag under the Museum.
                                                 & the ghosts are welcome to me.
                                                 they are dead for a reason & jealous sweep
                                        I will return the place again to Montague’s fields
                         & raise the Uncle’d spectre that they have forgotten. Complaint
               I do not think they will speak Dutch, or Latin.
                           I think they will just come for everyone I have known.
                  so the incentive grows. A crutch
                           if it cannot roam it cannot be. It must return then,
                                                   to brack &  hood & cea
             it will not be the good half of me that’ll stick to their fingers when it goes
       not the lowerhalf
                            I will not be in sight when the tomb rises in fire.
                                    no notice will be given. That day is this day.
                       the colossal rat
               clearly beneath the white binds it is beginning to cry
          the words beneath the cloth are inquisitive
                                                  there are no apologies or exclamations.
                  it bites down trying to predict the blows.
  I                                       always chewing, trying to sever the gag.
                                                      it cannot save itself now.
                                                            more hitting, more irregular blows,
                                  always with the closed hand.
                               He does not put everything in.

{Nafkhae is the name of that particular form of air or vapour which the angel gabriel is said to have blown or caused to pass from his coat sleeve into the windpipe of Mary for the purpose of impregnation}

during the night, I need to be calmed.
She has bad news. Porphyria is dead.
The shape so different from the other girls.

The last time she saw me she was drunk and singing,
her bra sweated through, her arms lacerated, refusing to heal.

The bottle in her hand broken, and her still drinking from it,
wincing at the taste, mocking me, singing so loudly,
deafening the others and she liked me, loved me,

slept with me because I laughed over her falls,
laughed as she sung white power anthems
outside of the off-licences by night and pharmacies by day.

Shouting at the top of her lungs ‘six million lies’,
getting the elderly at bus stops to join in,
wiping billiard balls over my lips,

still warm like platypus eggs from where they had just recently rested.
Porphyriagena is dead. She lies dead.
I must go, lest they suspect it was me.

Clearly she died of cullagium, of poisoning,
but how terribly I would be beaten before they realised this
and confirmed it so.

She wasn’t even that old, she was twenty years old.

Her death cannot be in anyway related to me.
Just a coincidence. None the less…
I leave her undisturbed behind me and do not close the door in my wake.
I need a rest, I seek a massage.