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 His experimental lit-rap video is at 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)
carpet burns
WGN presents “One-Eyed Jacks” starring Marlon Brando
my grandmother’s basement
slaps from my mother
kicks from my father
Nerf basketball
10CC “I'm Not in Love”
(1976 to 1980)
sunny, cool, fall days
the woods on Sundays
tall green grass
raised red seams on a baseball
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
(1981 to 1988)
“Footloose” starring Kevin Bacon
Michelob Light in bottles
extra spicy guacamole
“Members Only” black jacket
para mutual wagering
4 seam fastball
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
the swirling light and sound of a west Texas freight train at night in the fog
Jesus Christ
(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
sunny, cool, fall days
“The Road Less Traveled” by M Scott Peck
the woods in fall
the woods in winter
the rumble of Niagara Falls
“Ruthless Trust” by Brennan Manning
the woods in spring
The Stanley Cup
(2000 to 2004)
nostalgia of my youth
photos of my children as children
Jose Cuervo silver tequila
sunny, cool, spring days
Major League Baseball opening day
Jose Cuervo Gold tequila
Chinaco Reposado tequila
the stench of pavement
Gran Patron tequila
the heat of pavement
Herradura Anejo tequila
Marca Negra Mezcal
AA meetings
Alice in Chains “Down in a Hole”
nostalgia for opiates
(2005 to 2007)
AA meetings
Camel 99's
her infidelity
photos of my children as children
Camel 99's
the sweet, sweet voice of Martin Sexton
AA meetings
(2008 to 2010)
the tenderness of your touch
a king size memory foam mattress
the tenderness of your touch
Amerique Verte Absinthe
discussions with the dead
the tenderness of your touch
Ray Lamontagne “Winter Birds”
the tenderness of your touch
ablution by Amerique Verte Absinthe
visions of the dead
visits from the dead
(2011 to 2014)
their forgiveness
AA meetings
Camel 99's
my inability to sleep
the tenderness of your touch
the tenderness of your touch
the tenderness of your touch
the tenderness of your touch
Centenario Reposado tequila
Tramadol in large amounts
thoughts of you leaving me
thoughts of me being left alone
thoughts of you being left alone
the words I have just written
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.