Wednesday, 14 December 2011

John Grochalski

idiot morn

stuck in the doldrums
idiot morn
as the cats meow and hiss
smell each other’s ass
coaxing myself out of bed
to the sound of the neighbor’s watching
with a wine acid stomach
and a fatal disposition
not a soul on the street
just streetlights
and damned christmas ones
really feeling the idiot morn
as i suck down cockroach laced coffee
and a walker percy novel
to the sound of rain and wind
as others move
from one hell to the next
with their radiators boiling
the climate change rag
with their small bugs scurrying toward
the sugar and flour bowls
this idiot morn
my stomach in knots
my tongue twisted
my brain a lump
my fingernails bitten down to red, raw flesh
at the thought of being only at
the beginning of the week
at the thought of more idiot morns
like this one
to come
the sight of sunrise blending
with the budding traffic
where horns honk infinite
and there is
already no hope for mankind
in less than the first hour
of alertness
on these
everlasting days
of our gifted existence.   

John Grochalski is the author of two books of poems The Noose Doesn’t Get Any Looser After You Punch Out (Six Gallery Press 2008) and Glass City (Low Ghost Press, 2010). Grochalski currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Kevin Ridgeway

Middle of the Desert Blues

miles between
trailer homes
the pet pig
keeps biting me
while the men
with tools
for appendages
and saucer eyes
hit on my mother
with toothless
swagger and
Crisco crusted
greaser coifs

ashes from many
cigarettes dangle
before dropping
in a floating
dance to the dirt,
this junkyard
among many
grand castles of
orchestrated garbage
on this uncharted
treasure map
of desert land
are all faded glory with
its people burning amongst
the growing torch of
dry debris 
unmarked graves dot
its parameters
skulls hold
lit candles
pipes and
unfinished butts
the damn pig
won’t stop
trying to eat me

Kevin Ridgeway resides in his native Southern California.  He lives in a shady bungalow with his girlfriend and their one-eyed cat.  His work has appeared in a wide variety of online and print publications.  

Thursday, 8 December 2011

A.g. Synclair

December in Three Parts


Just east of the Gallatin, we cling to little nuggets of time. A bone in the ear reminds us that Christmas will be different this year, spending money we don't have on whiskey we shouldn't drink.


Outside the kitchen window two sparrows fought to the death. A few broken quills and a dying declaration that there is no god, from two young sparrows, dead, in a tangle of frozen leaves. You try to imagine why they fought. Probably over another sparrow. I suppose love is hard, even for a bird.


There is a story behind everything. Behind boulders. Behind stars. Behind endless miles of fence posts. The men here smell like fish. The women here live in the space in between. We are all once removed from small degrees of separation, from the Bridgers, from the Big Sky and beyond. The natives saw you coming from a thousand miles away. They are desperados. They know how you tore your shirt.

A.g. Synclair is the editor and publisher of The Montucky Review, a journal of poetry & prose. His work has appeared in numerous web based and print publications. He lives, writes, and collaborates in southwestern Montana with his significant other, the artist and poet Heather Brager.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Peter Schwartz

7 Years

year of the coconut

sorry, if there are more zoos than animals

but you can't afford that kind of dizziness

use my hair to make yourself less violent

but please admit the you they love is small

and can't find his breakfast in the trees

year of the sun

there is a tiredness that ancient conquerors

had to conquer first, if you can wake up already

that gone and still march over yourself into

the daylight, you might still be able to find

your own exhausted corpse

year of the broken chair

hearing your first marathon made you want

to run backwards, but you'd already stepped

in something blurry and headless, a separate

kind of seedless that made you desperate to

immediately reenter the food chain, you just

didn't want that corresponding baptism

year of the match

beware of perfect similarities, nobody's

quite the beneficiary they pretend to be

and playing chameleon doesn't last

year of the cloud

headless, you made your own zoo

up there by the real hereafter

where there is no architecture or medicine

for even the worst cold, where every

drifting one of you is feral

and your metabolism makes wishes

you can't understand

year of the white raft

the drone of your own filter

became too loud, you almost drowned

in your own promised soup, yet some-

how you swam when your trap-

door broke (you had to)

year of the glass eye

nothing's sadder than an empty zoo

so you replaced one eye and built a green-

house to help forget the animals by

planted something you knew

would break, too

Peter Schwartz's poetry has been featured in PANK, Opium, and The Columbia Review.  He's also an artist, comedian, and dedicated kayaker. 

Monday, 5 December 2011

Gerry Boyd

When the Sun Arcs Low at Dawn

cherry pie scales of coloratura scent drift lightly
white across gleaming uplifted patinas of sound

and rhythm cannot exit so quickly across deer
skin stretched taut against pale December skies

of cirrus and crystal ice that brush near heaven
with vertebrae scales sky stiff frozen high in azure

canvases chiaroscuro field and ground blanched
to spin a colorless globe with blue focus glowing

on Ionic foothills whose spiny bones revel under
the leafless supplication of grey trees that reach

for a god that is half-moon hidden behind fiction
that arises in bored parchment dried to reaching

so far too far when the sun arcs low at dawn

Gerry Boyd lives in New Jersey and enjoys 'messing around with words'.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Kim Göransson


I dreamed that my special vowels
had been restored. That you woke me up
in the middle of my great monologue
and told me I could live on.

“It's OK, you can live on.”

One by one I hammered the nails.
One by one I hammered into the wall
hoping you would hear me and
change your mind. And wrote to you
in that language that sings
using all the voices I could think of
and you listened and understood
every word as if for the first time.

My exile is nothing special, I said, it's ordinary.
When I say I miss places I really mean I miss you.
You are all the places I will ever miss.

Beneath the eyelids.
One by one we return to the labor room.
One by one forgetting, names, addresses, romances.

There are so many things I don't know about you
and there is never enough time
to get our stories straight.

Learning a new language, you said,
is harder than sleepwalking.
You're in the kitchen frying onions,
crying won't change anything.

Never wake someone who is learning
a new language, you said.
They might get stuck that way.

My great monologue is in me I know it on days
like this when remembering is all, staring
out an empty window.

Barely touching, barely there.

Wear your hair down tonight baby and call it
an experiment in feeling. Frozen
lakes a thousand miles away slowly
thawing become my insides.

You can't say you fully understand a lake
until you've walked over it thinking, I'm walking
over you I'm walking over you until
you reach the other side.

The other side of you is where I will be.
The other side of you is where we will settle down
and start a family.

roadkill II

since we last spoke
the buzzards have been
and gone
and done their thing
the grass grown
thick with it
but still no
sign of
colors changing
in the other room
mother and daughter
sleeping as one
carry away
the afternoon

Kim Göransson was born in Umeå, Sweden, but lives in Virginia, USA. He writes mostly poetry and edits the small e-zine kitchen.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Kelli Allen

Bedroom Mythology

It isn't bearable,
the drawer
opening into another

The ritual
of looking,
all transparency--
echoing cauldrons
of what?  Gunfire

heard under a bed
and we could sail over
every surface
of dissolution
or even beginning,
but my declarations
are shifting,
so instead
I jump.


When you came,
I was already a split
stalk.  A clear critic

against the coming
quarrel would warn
my inevitable flinch

is perhaps an affirmation.
However, much like hesitant
zodiac heeding, I believe

only what you offer
as testimony in the fiery
designs of this diary--

A salary kept useless
by a single bamboo pin.
I carry zinc in the pocket

of your skirt to coat
my fingers when they slip,
galvanized into a proper name.

Kelli Allen is a poet, editor, and scholar. Her work has appeared in many international journals and several anthologies. Allen is the author of two chapbooks. She holds an MFA in poetry and currently teaches literature and creative writing in the St. Louis area.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Neil Ellman

Baby Talk

(for Grandma Gail)

How you speak to him
decomposed to syllables
then “a”s and “b”s
the babble of babies
now your
“g”s and “d”s
he wonders
at the movement
of your lips
the mindless sounds
he tries to imitate
but only gurgles in response
and then spits up.

Neil Ellman lives in New Jersey (USA).  He has published numerous poems in print and online journals in a dozen nations.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Lise Larsen


Sizzling bolts igniting
flock of starlings a mechanical smell
electrical lights last year’s weeds
aerial chirrup bygone grass is coming to stay
stale grassland frost is coming
sliding from hills of ancient monarchs
that once ruled guitar chords
moving limbs piece of meat
he knows where the entrance is
legs unfolding

Lise Larsen lives in Copenhagen, Denmark. She is opportunistic and loves writing and growing potatoes.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Jukka Kaukinen

Station Meat

Jukka Kaukinen is 37 years old. He loves to eat ice cream in the winters and drink warm beer in the summers and write and dribble with art inbetween. 

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Mike Meraz

The Girl with the Golden Eyes

the girl with the golden eyes
has crooked teeth,
dresses badly
and smells of liquor.

she comes in and buys
“Evan Williams”
from you, looks at you
and smiles and says,
“I’ll see you later.”

the girl with the golden eyes
is an alcoholic,
duped up,
reeking of innocence
and shame.

she is everything.
she is everyone.

Mike Meraz lives and writes in Los Angeles, Ca. He has been
published numerous times online and in print. you can check out his
work at Black-Listed