Monday, July 14, 2014

A Poem by Ken L. Jones


The Neon Koan

(A Suicide Note For The Sixties)

I

Behold a green skinned monster
With a brain the size of a walnut
A hot fleshed green skinned dinosaur
So large that he needs another brain in his tail
Just to act as a guiding apparatus
A green fleshed behemoth whose emerald oaths rip the primeval air
Causing the lesser monstrosities to scurry in terror
Behold this thing driven by a passion
Which engulfs him like a vortex
This unholy fool is the last of his kind
No more will he taste warm red flesh and armored platings
No more will he be a fourth horseman in a time when horses are the size of rats
No more will he topple trees and rock the food chain
For the strange bony faced primates who cling to the branches will soon stand upright
Someday these insignificant creatures will only remember
This terrible green skinned one as a legend
An aphrodisiac, a side show curiosity, thirty feet of white bone abstraction
Suspended on piano wire like George Reeve’s Superman was in my daguerreotype youth
The green skin now spews from Texas oil rigs
The hot blood is now the minerals of Africa
The savage razor teeth now line the coal shafts of Wales
Now the emerald king is nothing but an illustration in a children’s book
Nothing but a Japanese movie monster
Now nothing more than a symbol for things that can’t adapt
And refuse to function in the all too real present state of affairs

II

This is my tribal chant
My ghost dance to scare up feelings in an effort to catch hold
Of any submerged fragments that rise to the surface
My fingers now drum in the dust of ruined civilizations
How my fingers long to make dust of my present bloated situation
Oh why must I be dust again
Oh dust to be reborn
To be dust to be reborn again
Reborn again and again
Spinning in a cyclic sickness
Until the final sewing shut
Of infinity’s eyelids

III

These words like a team of horses strain beneath my whip
While a musette playing free form mocks my word imprisoned lips
Oh stumbling straining existence you woman never tamed by man
Still my pen, amputate my arms, atomize my soul beyond remembering
I am weary of life and cringe at the dawning of each new day
Street worn things beyond my grasp
Not within my range of caring

IV

This is the end of my pink flesh age
This is the beginning of gray hair
Flaccid thoughts, coughed up words
And all of the empty dreams that come near the end


“What sign are you?”
 They ask as they stitch up your life like   
An ancient whale bone corset
 “What sign are you?”
They ask and when you tell them
They know who you are
They’ve seen you coming a mile off
You’re as recognizable as the punch line
To a traveling salesman joke
What sign are you they ask and I answer
“I am a sign of decay and folly a mass of hacking fat
A Pandora’s Box of complexes
I am the Mayan Codex decoded in Camarillo
An immaculate deception
I am a vaudeville nativity
A tangible infinity
I am the instant anything machine
That puts you on Easy Street
And never asks “Where would you be without me?”
I am a Frosty the Snowman
Who never melts in the summer
I am a mystic and a libertine
I am the rhyme that does not vamperize inspiration
The poetic voice that matches any saxophone
The Sphinx that asks no riddles
In short I am paradox and enlightenment
Nonsense and common sense
Mysticism and reason
An irreconcilable set of opposites
Whose tension keeps the world spinning
In the middle of the teeter-totter
With no time off for bad behavior

VI

Such bitter wine I taste
Bitter to my dilated taste buds
Bitter to my phlegmed lungs
Bitter to my corrosive spirit
Which lays crumbling
Like a sheet of steel
Which has resided in a vacant lot for months
And now sparkles in autumn hues
In the pale cold sunlight of afternoon
Oh what a cold ashen fireplace
It is the morning after youth
So like stale jazz heard through a worn needle
So sadly stagnant like a river damned
And happy in its green death
And in its inability to quench thirst
I have lost the only love that I have ever desired
Since desire first did bloom
And I prayed to God to free me from this flesh
And pleaded unto him for release from this world
Of singular beds and barren wombs
And I was denied
Yes I was denied
Is death such sweet succor that God would deny me its pleasure?

VII

Spin me a blue web
Play me some blues
Slide your fingers
And play me some blues
Play me the blues of the first born slayed in Egypt
Play me the blues of cheered slaughter in the Roman Coliseum
Play me the blues of The Children’s Crusades
Play me the blues of The Inquisition’s chambers
Play me the blues of Dachau, Nagasaki, and My Lai
Play me the blues of red skull fragments scattered on a street in Dallas
Play me the blues of a dead man on a mountain top
Play me the blues of a rosary of blood dripped on a kitchen floor in LA
Play me the blues of a pregnant butchered actress
Play me the blues of jungle death in steaming Indochina
Play me the starved to death lack of love drunk and drugged out aching souled blues

VIII

Two sweating tundra’s of sun pink flesh
Slam together in a secret death at night
Mastodonian grunts of pleasure issued through foaming teeth
A separate life force emerges unbidden
In squirms and screams and mindless motion and in the bargain
A teaspoon full of ectoplasm to carry on the madness!




Ken L. Jones has written everything from Donald Duck comic books to dialogue for the Freddy Krueger movies for the past thirty plus years.  In the last three years he has gained great notice for his vast publication of horror poetry which has appeared in many anthology books, blogs, magazines and websites and especially in his first solo book of poetry Bad Harvest and Other Poems.  He is also publishing recently in the many fine anthology poetry books that Kind of a Hurricane Press is putting out.

 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Three Poems by Martha Landman


Your Skin 
 
            You cannot travel within and stand still without.
-- James Allen
 
To be drunk from the colour of your skin
Wrapped around you in biscuity ash-white,
Flawless like a prayer-shawl
I think albatross, or even something bigger,
More severe, but I do not know why
My thoughts are analytical, like clear blue sky
The smell of wild animal, of wild
                                          of animal
The taste of you, reckless like chili
Con carne, travels inward along my spine
 
I pause — blue; like a sign of punctuation
Standing patiently on the bitumen’s edge,
The smell of your skin’s karri-tree aroma
Spreads faster than any train of thought
Tucked away in the shade
I think little leather miniskirt or naked flesh
The sacredness of spider’s silk, of spider
                                                       and of silk
Reassembled into a silhouette honest as
Skin on skin in the slit between dark and light.
 
 
 
Back Then
 
Just because it happened a long
time before my imagination’s
eyesight, my retina’s perfection,
Just because it now all seems blurry
and memorably impaired  .  .  .
 
When I relax the I and see the full
stop and let my mind loop from
thought to thought, I find symbolism
in the ulcers bursting in my stomach
feeding me organic wisdom.
 
My soul’s windows need a wash
to see my students in the balance
they offer me when they exercise
all the muscles of their mind even
though they don’t process the facts
 
I feed them day by day.  They are not
to blame for emotions triggered by
my hypnotic influence, my vision
training, my problem-solving approach
skilfully gazed upon their innocence.
 
Mother and child bonded on a clean slate
back then, but I’ve learnt to become scared
of dark material clouding my equilibrium.
My ears, my eyes, my orientation have
grown deaf, stress-inhibited, unrecovered.
 
My preference is to link sound, smell and
taste and indulge in a bowl of chocolate-flaked
ice-cream while I listen to Maria Callas’
frequencies even though some are missing.
It’s been a long time since my brain hungered
 
for otherworldly explorations: the ability to
communicate subtly through the electronic
ear, not shutting down at a baby’s cry or
closing my eyes when romantically kissed

 – my left stockinged calf elegantly uplifted.


 
Science of the Unknown
 
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes.
            T.S. Elliot
 
The moon a yellow night,
unscandalous as ivory,
your unframed shadow
grim, an echo without vision.
 
Smokeless, lifeless,
your opium pipe smelled
of seaweed as you withdrew into
yourself, your skin cool and dry.
 
Not unlike Othello you moored your
misery, handkerchiefed it in a heart
dark with weariness as smoke

eloped from the muzzle of your gun.
 
 
 
South African born Martha Landman writes in North Queensland, Australia. Her latest work has appeared in egg poetry, Beakful and Jellyfish Whispers.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Three Poems by John Pursch


 Lipstick Swap
  
Wayward pouters puzzle over dross
in ghastly quadrant highland tabernacles,
owning spiked gypsy doodles in
pterodactyl Steadicam rice balloons,
flipped to ashen primate shoulder tongs
by the wisest statuary, groaning over
seasonal poofs of shallots in threadbare
missionary imminence.
 
Guests arrange an ouch forever, elating
queasy fall resection tortoise inklings
before structured luminaries stumble up
to lamprey cartwheel orgy penitentiaries,
feeling for solitary guardians in cardigan gales.
 
Keisters christen original urchins
with marching inguinal dumplings, bleeping
into pried Scotch routines for groupies
on sonic mantissa craze defense puree,
quacking sourly at historic umbilical flotation
in tasty spume coordinates.
 
Martinis squelch tribunal undulation, ululating
amusingly guileless topographic requiems
for architectonic vintner pants in sprockets
of a Sten’s ball-peen pulchritude, plus or minus
the espadrille of tree house frills.
 
Wending flimflam from periodic insect saturation,
hobnobbing with exclusionary torpor, educational
cash chasms cash in cached casuistry
for facial effacement’s surface furnace,
bleeding Troy’s parasitic Parisian
duck clock marquis in folded vowels,
canned innocents, and gustatory truss
marks of this embattled lipstick swap.

 

Time-Trap Sighs
  
From far below the babble of marginal baubles,
huffed and proffered with taut stretched hounds,
comes the barking of aliquots and sedimentary crayons,
simmering over doughnut stoops in sold-down Paltrymore,
spurning typhoons merrily in jocose rotational caresses
of sweet concrescent swoons.
 
Crescendos captivate clipped gaggles
of fairly told and furious tattlers,
trying on robotic wigs in tomfoolery’s
penultimate surmise, coughed to
splintered locomotive tiffs by
squalid highbrow suitors of an
adoration’s annual survival pit.
 
Hokum lifts the arse of whaling nuns
to ergonomic palm retriever soil,
coiled in recompense for sweatshirt sundaes
and mollified Hockedover Moonies,
flexing quintessential scepters
in doggone lassitude’s flimsy
technical eyewash caboose.
 
LL-57 brings up the derriere,
flashing goulash facial jammies
within apostasy’s tallied pies.
 
Sweetness pours down lace enigmas,
supplementing time-trap sighs with cluttered crows,
asleep in toweled-off trampoline entrancement bolts
of shoelace grocer crabbiness.
 
She culls the catwalk for sunshine glossies
in daily chutney waybill wander,
stipulating household hyenas at dawn
for nestling newsboy underthing replacement,
termed numismatic by avuncular dropsy clothiers.
 
How could a hobo countenance
the prude dismissal of stealthy air seditionists
from shallow conning tower knolls,
sneered adroitly at juvenile sailors
in row house deviled nylons?

 

Lorry Chimps
  
Wind climbs to cooing dove repeater tears,
falling on fettered ears in pools
of lachrymose pterodactyl sutures,
bending distant rooftop catamarans
with hoarse lineament shallows,
punching time-retardant fate to diamond grist
in followed waypoint indignation.
 
Muttered cowlicks warily refute a scolded trench
with paradoxically wooden shipments of tire
irony and tiptoed laboratory dog columns,
fishing tousled curvature from pineal meanings,
flourished in bobbled topographic cufflinks
before a wrestler’s suburban sightings
line up for caryatids of pentagonal unrest.
 
Armed weariness snakes to thorough armchair tails
of Automonkey Umpire sheaves and fibrous pundits,
mopped to annular pistachio headboard turrets,
firing bullfrog missives at swiped illegal egret scuffs
in premature giraffe collation handlers.
 
Spoilsports spout,
offending marsupial karma
with Hofbrau Mauser misfires,
clenching kaleidoscopic fairy stools
and amulets of umbral preset inquisitions,
plucked from sighing octets of pewter thimbles,
fueling dental winter dusk with keg line ballast palliatives,
raked to spine powder.
 
Lugging floral mussels to lorry chimp wiggling festivals,
spooned rock stars spar with parietal espousers
of the weirdest formulaic horse meat mown
to naturalized menaces of flannel girth,
crossing overt marionette neurotics
with industrial crustacean galoots,
leaving hockey scars in triumphal

scintillations of encountered lisp eclairs.
 
 
 
 
John Pursch lives in Tucson, Arizona. His work has been nominated for Best of the Net and has appeared in many literary journals. A collection of his poetry, Intunesia, is available at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/whiteskybooks. His experimental lit-rap video is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l33aUs7obVc. He’s @johnpursch on Twitter and john.pursch on Facebook.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Poem by John Kross


All That I Have Felt
(In some semblance of order)
 
(1967 to 1975)
 
kittens
carpet burns
fear
WGN presents “One-Eyed Jacks” starring Marlon Brando
my grandmother’s basement
slaps from my mother
fear
kicks from my father
fear
Nerf basketball
10CC “I'm Not in Love”
fear
 
(1976 to 1980)
 
sunny, cool, fall days
the woods on Sundays
tall green grass
raised red seams on a baseball
fear
Tickle Pink wine
the smell of hashish
the buzz of high tension wires
Stroh's beer, pull tab tall boys
the woods at night
the breeze through the car window
her breath in my ear
fear
 
(1981 to 1988)
 
“Footloose” starring Kevin Bacon
Michelob Light in bottles
extra spicy guacamole
fear
“Members Only” black jacket
para mutual wagering
fellatio
4 seam fastball
fear
the garlic taste of Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO)
a 91 mph fastball
Feldene dissolved in Dimethyl Sulfoxide and applied to my skin via tongue depressor
my 93.5 mph fastball
The roar of the crowd
fear
October
the swirling light and sound of a west Texas freight train at night in the fog
Jesus Christ
Fear
 
(1989 to 1999)
 
the anticipation of child #1
the birth of child #2
6 hours of uninterrupted sleep after child #3
an 8mm obstructed kidney stone
fear
morphine
fear
Vicodin
fear
sunny, cool, fall days
“The Road Less Traveled” by M Scott Peck
hydrocodone
fear
the woods in fall
thunder
Valium
fear
the woods in winter
the rumble of Niagara Falls
Valium
fear
Oxycontin
shame
Valium
fear
“Ruthless Trust” by Brennan Manning
the woods in spring
The Stanley Cup
fear
 
(2000 to 2004)
 
detox
nostalgia of my youth
photos of my children as children
hydrocodone
detox
fear
Jose Cuervo silver tequila
sunny, cool, spring days
Major League Baseball opening day
Jose Cuervo Gold tequila
fear
Chinaco Reposado tequila
the stench of pavement
Gran Patron tequila
the heat of pavement
Herradura Anejo tequila
detox
hydrocodone
fear
Marca Negra Mezcal
detox
AA meetings
Oxycontin
fear
Alice in Chains “Down in a Hole”
detox
nostalgia for opiates
fear
 
(2005 to 2007)
 
AA meetings
Camel 99's
her infidelity
fear
photos of my children as children
Camel 99's
the sweet, sweet voice of Martin Sexton
AA meetings
shame
regret
fear
Suboxone
regret
shame
fear
 
(2008 to 2010)
 
the tenderness of your touch
a king size memory foam mattress
the tenderness of your touch
Amerique Verte Absinthe
fear
discussions with the dead
the tenderness of your touch
Ray Lamontagne “Winter Birds”
the tenderness of your touch
ablution by Amerique Verte Absinthe
fear
visions of the dead
fear
visits from the dead
 
(2011 to 2014)
 
their forgiveness
AA meetings
Camel 99's
my inability to sleep
fear
the tenderness of your touch
the tenderness of your touch
the tenderness of your touch
the tenderness of your touch
fear
Centenario Reposado tequila
regret
Tramadol in large amounts
regret
thoughts of you leaving me
thoughts of me being left alone
thoughts of you being left alone
regret
 
nothing
nothing
nothing
 
the words I have just written
 
darkness
 
fear
 
 
 
John Kross is an aspiring poet living and working in Dallas, TX.  His poems have recently appeared in Napalm and Novocain, The Mind[less] Muse, Pyrokinection and the 2012 edition of Storm Cycle.  You can read more of John's work and interact with him as the poet "V" at Hello Poetry.  www.hellopoetry.com/v/
 
 
 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Two poems by A.J. Huffman


Entropy

Sandcastles fall from the smallest winds,
turning order over/through/[and] against itself.
I trundle under the devastation with tools
I have been forbidden to touch.
A new wall breathes against my surface.
Sharpened by its preceded hollow, it leashes
my strategy -- I begin forgetting myself
in the middle of sentences . . .

Still momentum is built.  By desistence,
I acquire acreage (mental not physical).
The tally:  loss negates gain
as we flounder in [diminishing?] circles
fueled by our own divisible foot
                                                  steps.



Leading to the Moon . . . 

Dial it down to the crocodile's tears.
The butterfly house is abandoned and dripping
with brackish dreams.  Three cats whisper
our feathers across the moss.  An empty
bench catches them and collapses
from the weight.  Of imaginary alliances
is the battle cry from the bushes
no one sees.  The bridge
stays silent:  collecting unspoken payment
for passage back.  To sanity?  Surely,
we pledge a toast to total compliance
with each other's wonder at waterfalls
made from dying vines.



A.J. Huffman's poetry, fiction, haiku, and photography have appeared in hundreds of national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, and Offerta Speciale, in which her work appeared in both English and Italian translation.  She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

A Poem by April Salzano


The Girl of My Dreams

She is thin in the morning and fat
by nightfall, loose seams tearing apart, death
a wish that comes as much as it goes,
a passing fancy, a fancy passing.
She watches a string dance, umbilicus
of dust laced from ceiling to cupboard,
she is sure it is not the reverse.
She watches it blow but never fall.
Falling and mingling with the rest of the filth,
it will go undetected.  Her skin has a mouth
that eats everything in sight.  Careful,
she thinks you look delicious.
Dust bunnies romp in the garden of her
dreams, unflowered, save the dandelions
with all their heads popped off
because of people who had babies
and made rhyme out of reason,
not the reverse.  Laughter is her echo,
a paralyzing fit of convulsions.
She is contradicted.
Look into the mirror.  Her
reflection is yours.  Now read this
backwards and see
how lovely she is.



April Salzano teaches college writing in Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband and two sons.  Most recently, she was nominated for two Pushcart prizes and finished her first collection of poetry.  She is working on a memoir on raising a child with autism.  Her work has appeared in journals such as Convergence, Ascent Aspirations, The Camel Saloon, Centrifugal Eye, Deadsnakes, Visceral Uterus, Salome, Poetry Quarterly, Writing Tomorrow and Rattle.  The author also serves as co-editor at Kind of a Hurricane Press.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Poem by Jude Neale


We Sing Ourselves Back

We are born singing,
orchid air in freefall beneath our trapeze feet.
We open our jaws wide,
balloon our throats
swing ancestral anaconda notes down
across the emerald city.
We dance antic swags, ellipses, somersaults,
wound the air
with our bass, treble, bellowing melodies.
The women go first
and the men sing back in waves,
above the recitative.
And later with dusty feet,
we wander like leathery kites
shipwrecked with words.
Wanting again to float above it all,
we drill underground instead
to look for our voice,
deep inside the belly of the whale.
We sing ourselves back
and become once again whole.



Jude Neale was shortlisted for the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize (Ireland), The  International Poetic Republic Poetry Prize (U.K),The Mary Chalmers Smith Poetry Prize  (UK), The Wenlock International Poetry Prize(UK), the RCLA short story and poem competition and she was nominated for the Canadian ReLit Award and the Pat Lowther Award for her book ‘Only the Fallen Can See’.