Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Poem by Nels Hanson

Conversations with a Ghost

“The Garden of Eden was the Fall, Phil,
God’s own bad idea, not Eve or Adam

and the apple—” Who else but the dead
could speak so naturally about the tender

curved necks of Franz Marc’s “Blue Horses,”
the faded poster in the cluttered den,

three heavy sleepy ponies painted Prussian blue,
grazing emerald grass grown so tall

before man was born and the horses caught
and tamed? Or laugh at an absurd passage

from Edith Sitwell’s Life of Alexander Pope
I found behind the sofa, how Jonathan Swift

described in avaricious detail the savory
dinner he should have prepared

for the poet and his companions, mourning
they had arrived so late and unannounced,

insisting his guests accept exact payment
in coin, in compensation for the sumptuous

delicacies no one would ever prepare
or taste? “‘Cherry tart, three shillings—roasted

lobster, eight shillings—Portuguese Madeira,
two and ten—gosling soup, six shillings—

There you go, my good fellow,’” Ellen mimicked.
“‘Now the next man!’” When Dr. Johnson

was a boy before he wrote the dictionary
he was carried to the village school each

early morning by three friends who arrived
at his door and hoisted him up like a lord

in honor of his judgment, intelligence and
wit. “The kids were way better critics

than the profs at school,” Ellen laughed.
By candlelight she read that page aloud

from Boswell’s thick biography one night
the power went out at the house on Sawyer

in warm April rain that beat for hours
like laughter against the window panes.

Nels Hanson has worked as a farmer, teacher, and contract writer/editor. He graduated from UC Santa Cruz and the U of Montana and his fiction received the San Francisco Foundation’s James D. Phelan Award. His stories have appeared in Antioch Review, Texas Review, Black Warrior Review, Southeast Review, Montreal Review, and other journals. "Now the River's in You," a 2010 story which appeared in Ruminate Magazine, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and "No One Can Find Us," which was published in Ray's Road Review, has been nominated for the 2012 Pushcart Prizes.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Three Poems by Maureeen Kingston



because her son lived
she went to mass twice a day
because her son lived
she gave up sweets
once and for all

bacon, berlin, caisson, chiffon, clothespin, coupon, darvon, doctrine, drunken,
krypton, million, pitchmen, russian, sermon, shaven, sovereign, suntan, warden


because her mother starved
she ate & ate
because her mother starved
she spoke in tongues
& channeled snakes

billion, born-again, broken, elton, felon, glutton, margin, mission, omen, passion,
rayon, reagan, riven, saigon, sampan, sequin, shaman, siphon, tampon, vulcan


because her mother acted out
she oms calm
because her mother ate & ate
she f(b)logs herself with kale
vows to cleanse herself
once and for all

brazen, dragon, gluten, goblin, gunman, genome, hempen, iphone, jasmine,
net-gen, pagan, sullen, taliban, trillion, toxin, urban, vegan, veteran
tauntie mame=my anti-meme
my poet loa=anima sola=one-woman sass band=the intermediary
who protects me from remote gods & slick crawdads
her spun steel hair=cornmeal bosom & lumpen hips=
a mother loaf
when I lose heart I reach for her raptor pluck=her mantis
mouth=to bite the heads off all my doubts
found poem: the art [of the] come-on: an overheard emoticon
student lounge. finals week
her:  i worked on the piece for 16 hours straight
in an unventilated room.  got high off my ass
on turpentine.
him: you have a piece of glitter on your lips.
her: what are you doing this summer?
him: bookstore–d & d, coffee, comics–a dream job.
her: lucky. i’m saving for a new piercing.
him: i’ll do your navel for 20 bucks.
Maureen Kingston is an assistant editor at The Centrifugal Eye. Her poems and prose have appeared or are forthcoming in The Camel Saloon, Emerge Literary Journal, Gone Lawn, The Meadowland Review, Rufous City Review, Stone Highway Review,, VAYAVYA, Visceral Uterus, and Wild Orphan.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Poem by J.K. Durick

While Walking I Am

The measure of sound, the clip-CLOP
left-RIGHT sequence -
soft left, hard RIGHT, repeats,
soft, hard, soft, hard,
a stress preceded then followed,
surrounded, muffled by space,
a subtle lapse in the beat,
a softer sole on the left,
a slight hitch in the knee,
a heartbeat....

No matter, the end is the same -
I've become a bit of poetic meter,
endless blank verse without proper
line breaks, forever ready to scan,
a form in search of substance,
a sound looking for sense that fits
this cadence, that can dance to this
endless iambic beat,
whirl it around - thum-THUMP, thum-THUMP,
like dancing with Long John Silver,
or falling down a flight of stairs
missing every other one. 

J.K. Durick is presently a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Literary Juice, Napalm and Novocain, Third Wednesday, and Common Ground Review.  

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Poem by Tom Hatch

The Moving Wedding to Today

After the party the bottom of glasses
and bottles
a quarter inch, half inch of liquor
Flat champagne and wine
the windy bride and groom
black and white shoes left in the
Stance of last dance in Kronos time
written in the ink from the remains of glasses and bottles
love letters from opulent long ago remembered
we had a little cocaine to stimulate
ambrosia’s garter that was retrieved by
the one with high cheek bones adorned
boxes of Revlon's big smile bed sheets torn
to the floor the conga line from the night
A centipede in confused foot play
shoots and ladders since then
the direction the raw lawn is mowed
A pear tree pruned for more yield
Tapping tongue's memory of a taste star lit walks
Holding lying next to full tide and low
Part words part rebus a crossword puzzle
on the head of a pin

Tom Hatch paid his dues in the NYC soho art scene in late 70's 80's and early 90's. He was been awarded two National Endowment grants back then for sculpture, showed a lot and the The New Museum a couple of times.  Taught at University of Florida inTallahassee, in new Jersey at Princeton. He got really close to the literary world his office was next to (name drop) Joyce Carol Oats' office and the University of Penn in the city "Of Brotherly Love".  He resides in Connecticut now a few farms up and down the road. He does residential construction management for the rich and famous in the Apple. He loves to write...sculpture takes up too much space and money.  He has published numerous poems and is a regular at Camel Saloon and Boy Slut. He was invited and published a companion piece with Devlin De La Chapa, the editor of Boy Slut about chess and checkmate.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Poem from the editor, A.J. Huffman

Conversation with an Uncooked Egg
“To crack or not to crack,
that is the question.”
                                                                                                        The egg remained stoic, white
                                                                                                        showed no signs of responsive
I pondered this reticence in the face
of consumption, tried again to engage.
“Do you, in fact, pre-date infamous
                                                                                                         Nothing. Egg refused to even crack
                                                                                                         a smile.
I continued, alone in this diatribe.
“Is it wrong that I am okay with
cracking/frying/digesting you,
knowing that – were my intentions
swayed – you might have gone on
to hatch/grow/lay eggs of your own?”
                                                                                                         Egg held tough, conceded no display
                                                                                                         of emotion. My rantings, ignored.
I went for the jugular, more personal
with fatalistic undertones. “Do you have
a serving preference? Shall I scramble?
Turn you over, easy? Poach?”
                                                                                                        Not even a blink. Just blank
                                                                                                        resignation, silent strength.
Defeated by such a show of courage,
I forfeit. “You win.” I replace
fragile orb in carton, move on to bacon
for a more self-indulgent solace.
A.J. Huffman is a poet and freelance writer in Daytona Beach, Florida. She has previously published six collections of poetry all available on She has also published her work in numerous national and international literary journals. She has is the editor for six online poetry journals for Kind of a Hurricane Press ( ). Find more about A.J. Huffman, including additional information and links to her work at and!/poetess222.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Poem by Harmony Hodges

My words fall off of butterfly wings
of unique proportions
pile up like shards of ocean glass
in a jar
in the dusty shed
only to be taken
off the shelf
by a duck hunter
during a drought
driven through muck
and on bumpy coils
then plopped on a stump
shot at
my words explode
into the atmosphere
Harmony Hodges is an artist living in Portland Oregon. She writes poetry and fiction and her work can be found online in the journal With Painted Words.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Two Poems by John Pursch

Mnemonic Peacock
Taller mown nebulae evoke strapped mothball stew, charging wounded martyrs with handheld rosin dumplings. Cowcatchers deplane at sunset, eyeing the romanced cloaking pigeon for signet hooves. Duchies imbue carnal divers with dolphin needs, elevating imperiled hooligans beyond Socratic wheelhouse blues. Clearance slicks balked satchels, creasing grim tirades, looped amid diurnal humpback engines. Hacked pudding empties dumplings of torn truculence, shifting mellow pheasants for sheaves of serried paltry nymphs, churning toucan peat. Glacial burgers seep melodic amethyst, clairvoyant in a worldly swordfish sort of swaggering gong. Pedestrian prints sleeve Studebakers in tunneled pterodactyl clues, prancing after midwife vows go unrequited. Daughters hover piously, cinching craven wolverines behind referral teething, granting eddies anoydyne deodorant news. Marking stallions plague astringent cardboard victors into licensed mirth, soiling egg tuners everywhere. Lonely muskets spin a vanquished caricature’s snoozing periodontal fuse, crafting woolen giblets from slivers of impugned turbans. Browning features clash without dissolving antsy heels, pat down an execrable lupine fool, and ogle extravagant sundries, flipping barnyard anemones for choral fiefdoms sown to side yelps. Ivanhoe submerges for thievery’s busty avuncular discharge, blubbering avowals to trained concocters of musical flares. Eyes hear rustling dish towels behind cold towers, keels untie angelic potions from strip mall fumes, and auxiliary coulisse mechanics fly sedan crops to destined missionary proving groins, clamping towel dregs to polar imposition. Dour forensic caregivers shock salacious lavatory salesmen, heaving gravy sires to face methodical heights of artsy capillary unguent’s soothing pleat. Mateys swell to hefty slides of curried bleats, spooling sworn magistrates downtown. Wheel barrows erupt, spackling threaded placemats with skillets of familial pence, budging an oliphant in trafficked chrysanthemums. Healers perspire gear teeth, foaming groaty pores, sliming accordion tailings upon denial’s clothed understudy. Betting on a rally, campers stomp as strangers munch in veering cherry walkways, giving hallmarks thermal tethers to verify crustacean samovars. Crunchy southern peacetime inches closer, tuning fanned dirigibles to sighs of loosely coiled summer, auctioned for anterior push-up housings. Callow ministers address egregious darkness, singing inner plugs of heirloom wharf reports, cresting in a moment’s shuffle, penultimate and crowned with carousels of caramel and daisies. Seven hoed pairings devour arrhythmic yacht police, fending for disheveled unity, erring on the porcelain masthead’s blotchy sawtooth weal. Herring induce lost flavors of ghastly delirium, flushing absent entrecotes in lamprey stakes of cooling plainclothes turbines. Christening a yak’s boon with mashed attache kits, scraped stogies dribble salutary gnosis from shaven thirds of served dignitaries, dangling soiled actuaries in fallacious homestead ploys. An expectorant flies west for peacock backwash avoidance, sneezing cleverly, kissing mnemonic jerseys in sweatshop Pollyanna storms.

Syncopated Teal
Kilkenny bloats on turret mime flounder, rolls engraved persimmons into outcomes of elusive dreams, and pastes turpentine couplets within aortic baritones, ferrying wind chimes to fallen kites. Pillows hock a likely import, eddying into ebb tide fools. A wanton feudal shadow miser’s latent figurine bites her Rosicrucian moustache, flips pylon briefs to overtly tenuous monster gruel, and sticks aerial questions to bellbottom flues of cardigan moxie teeth, spilling spun ankles in terminal bleat cache gloom. Glutinous clocks peel aerated slush police from overture mechanics, crossing dermal meat oblation frocks with handheld eel parameters, trickling needle dials to pain regard quartets, flexed above entropic clouds. Valves degrade to grinding periscopes, styled beyond mustard Thursdays, treating tired evasion to roof beckonings for nasal dumpers. Shams gong herbal doorstep pins, exiting with boot surprise collage, soaked in skylight booze. Florid notes erode corrosive gender miles, hobbling spaniel belts; colonic fluid’s grappling juices paler than balloon encounter mirth. Coughed upon a gauzy seascape, antennae moan of ontic cravings, spreading ptomaine noise to settings flung beneath a quavering room of antlers, hissing through steel. Search enumerated fleas for easy bias construal, flexing conventional synthetic streetcar peat, immersed in quartz. Lowered hubcap toil pleases dodging flush techniques, hugging angular mothers with visual care, noting vocational wipers of thermal clangs, sniffles, and syncopated teal. Tournament wheels drain zingers for pocked lightning seams, tapping showboat creams, crammed behind mock assemblies. A bone lauds situational repression, shouting for blurred Estonian engines, cleaning teams of stone pheromones. Clover pants in sloughed-off mops, hovering inside hooded fakery. Tepid charts infuse shame atop checkered carrion from sycophantic sticker plight’s effusive candor, drenching straightened jockeys with cloture glop. Yellowed trace of asphalt trees in misanthropic entropy tars senescent children, fed to animal magma by forgotten carriers, groaning into tasered clocks. Nude openings sell tinted mirage caffeine to tranquilized dementia’s floating backdrop, wearing shoed colliers to emaciated chalk routines. Akashic skulkers shuck canoe remains, fortified by tweed, to plot with daytime anthem mouths, hopping an oxygen charm. Feeding retroactive slate to gurgling plastic thuds, girdled louts efface a faction’s relaxed train, lighting misty ends within scarred junipers. Condensed prelates frost a wired window’s smiling door, cracked in pasty fragments of Styrofoam need, squeaking thinly dropped screams. Hats become stirred sponges, lost to facial flings of gravitation pucks, stuck in sequestration’s riverbed blouse. Thrown cotton pounds interior mascot knees, forcing cauterized arcs to cross lewd comments above a tiled flood. Tribal rotation flies to craggy speaker tomes, suffused with cool reduction cloth, homing in on Batman’s silver chute. Musty cars hover to pretend, pocketing manhole dues, endured in soft and fecund shoals. Crisp heirs point from Indian motes to generic threads, recommending shelved hives to middling panes of thumbscrew steps.
John Pursch lives in Tucson, Arizona. His work has appeared in many literary journals and was recently nominated for the Sundress Best of the Net 2012 Anthology. His first book, Intunesia, is available in paperback from White Sky Books at . He's @johnpursch on Twitter and john.pursch on Facebook.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Two Poems by John Kross

The Weight of Words

There i s
beau tiful
trans par
e n cy in
o u r   un
s po ke n
words, no
embellished perfection rather simple contented silence, a
derivative of unhappy places where spoken words were
o  n  c  e
s ev er in g
we a po n s
a n d a n y
h o p e o f
re con cili
a t i o n a
a c r u c i
f i x beam
stre tch ed
a c r o s s
our backs
the weight
o f w h a t
n e a r l y
killed   us

My Forte
My forte has never been         chemistry
especially             in matters of the brain
this delicate science              eludes me
but give me a knife           and I’m a pro
a      butcher     in       a  cesspool       of
a        drowning        stagnant           me
where    the   water   under  my    bridge
does              not           flow          out
but backs up tighter than
                          a meat packer’s drain
overflowing with        bloody blobs of
broken promises   and   good intentions
John Kross is an aspiring poet living and working in Dallas,Texas he has been published here several times in the past year including Storm Cycle, the best of 2012 anthology. You can read John's work and interact with him as the poet "V" at